Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

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Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Farmfield on 08/30/2016, 6:47 am

So two months ago I posted this thread - viewtopic.php?f=19&t=126831 - and as I'm now taking this from a tip to reality, I thought I'd start a thread about it. :D

So it has begun. I'm right now running an OC'd Intel i7-4790K @ 4500 Mhz CPU, 32 Gb of Corsair DDR3 vengeance RAM, a MSI GTX970 Gaming 4G GPU and 3 Samsung 850 Pro 256 Gb SSD's, one each for system, caching and current projects, and of course a lot of storage/backup HDD's in my box as well as on my network. So that's where I'm at.

So this is what I bought so far... (all $$ are as totals)

    1 pcs ASUS Z9PE-D16/IKVM dual socket 2011 mainboard with sixteen RAM slots and six Gen 3 16x PCIe slots, 10 SATA connections ~$450

    2 pcs Intel Xeon E5-2670 v2, 10 core (20 thread) CPU's ~$350

    2 pcs Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO's ~$80

    8 pcs 8Gb (64Gb) DDR3 1333 Registered ECC RAM sticks ~$110

    2 pcs Samsung 950 Pro 256 Gb M.2 SSD's to be run on PCIe adapters ~$350

    1 pcs EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Founders Edition ~$450
And on top of that I bought a PCIe sound card, a 5 port USB 3 PCIe card, a 4 slot 5.25" bay for 2.5" disks, etc.

I will likely add on another 8 pcs 8Gb (64Gb) RAM pretty quickly - I almost regretted not ordering it directly, but hell, I'll probably survive. I'm also likely to add another GTX 1070 GPU pretty quickly too, it depends on how fast my transition to Redshift 3D (GPU renderer) is, going ahead. For now I'm gonna run my GTX970 as a secondary card for Redshift 3D - and as Redshift is VRAM independent, you don't have that lowest card VRAM cap as you would in Octane, Cycles, etc...

The two Samsung 950 Pro SSD's are to replace my caching and current project SSD's and hopefully I will be able to run them on one PCIe adapter while not losing any (or too much) performance - else it's gonna get crowded on the PCie slots, if I need to run them on separate slots - I'll probably switch them for a single 512Gb if that's the case. We'll see what works, what speeds I get running two on one PCIe compared to running a single 512Gb. It's all trial and error at this point. :)

For now I only got the mainboard and coolers, but stuff is going to drop in during the week now, best case scenario, I'll get the CPU's before the weekend and with that be able to get it up and running on friday or saturday. :D

Image
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Guitarboy2828 on 08/30/2016, 8:45 am

Dam that's cool! Guess some recent projects paid off nicely to warrant the upgrade? Those dual xeons are going to run beautifully! :D
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Farmfield on 08/30/2016, 9:48 am

Naeh, this has been in the works for six months or so, it was the timing that was the reason for delaying it this long. As I'm also migrating to CentOS, with the hardware upgrade and OS migration, it was really something I had to plan ahead for, just to make sure I was up and running 100% before getting into heavy production again. So I planned this pretty well, making sure to have a couple of calm weeks to do it over. :)

I also wanted to add that the reason why I wanted to do this upgrade is because I move more and more away from compositing into the FX side and with that I just do so much simulating and alike - it's whole other level of computational need compared to compositing. So if not for that, I would run my current setup for a while more, perhaps upgraded the SSD's and the GPU, but I would definitely managed on the performance side, running the 4790K...

Oh, and I was just slapped over the face with another expense - I was sure I would get this mainboard into my current Fractal Design Define R4 but that was ridiculously dumb of me. The Asus card is 4" wider, so I had to spend another $200 for a new case. I went with a Fractal Design Define XL R2, a case that doesn't have the SSI-EEB form factor mounting holes, but I was planning to mod my current case for that anyways, I'll just have to do it with the XL R2 now. Because drilling holes in new stuff is a way of life for me!
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Tiner on 09/2/2016, 8:45 am

I see you are also getting a new build, sweet! :)

Good to hear that Redshift dosent have that Vram cap, been thinking about getting a license that i could use in Houdini so i dont need to export to 3ds max everytime. And the fact that you can use Redshift on all supported platform makes it a no brainer, very generous. My guess is that they are doing the same thing that Vray did with the whole unlimited render nodes to gain popularity.

I think you will be happy with the Fractal Design Define XL R2, i have it in my current build.
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Farmfield on 09/2/2016, 9:22 am

Yeah, the case is great - though less great to carry home from fukn Coop yesterday. :D

And I run all Fractal Design cases here, for my workstation, my sons gaming box and the box I got hooked to the TV...

A nice thing with being a former chief of sales on Inet is, as I haven't got my Xeon CPU's yet, I just made a call and got an Intel LGA2011 CPU lent to me on a service order until my Xeon's arrive, so I can at least get the thing up and running. That being said, I can't get CentOS to boot on the thing, none of the images from CentOS work, not the install ones, not the Live CD. I'm messing with the switches now, acpi off, apic off, etc, but it just don't wanna play. So friggin annoying.

Also annoying, I got my ECC RAM today but as the CPU I got lent to me as an i7, I can't run them as they're registered ECC sticks. It's supposedly possible to run unbuffered ECC with an i7, though you don't get the ECC, but it will at least boot - these won't.

So it's like I'm having fun, but not fun enough. :D

Sen är det ett djävla pissväder också! :evil:

^ using Swedish to covertly insult all other members at the VCP forum.
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Farmfield on 09/2/2016, 9:28 am

Oh, and about Redshift, yeah, it seems great, though for some reason I've had such lag in Houdini, using the beta, it's basically unusable for previews. Dunno what the hell is going on, doesn't seem to be a common issue, so it might be something on my end - well, I'll sort it out, eventually.

And I also saw something else, awesome today. RebusFarm, which is my favourite render service from the Max/Vray days, now offer HtoA support. But it's perhaps not good news after all - Redshift locally, Arnold on RebusFarm, that's a tough choice. :?
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Tiner on 09/2/2016, 9:48 am

Thats sucks :P Will try Redshift as soon as i have all my hardware.. ooh the wait.
I really dont like Houdini's render window, luckily Redshift is working on their own render window.

Im not a fan of renderfarm services, i rather have that shit myself ( money tho :P ). One of the downside of redshift is that it isnt scaling well with 3 or more cards so you would have to split it up using 2 cards per frame instead of having all cards working on the same one. Vray scales superb tho ;) love Vray.

Not sure about Vray for Houdini, will it be the original developers (Vlado & co) or some shitty third party like Vray for C4d. Heard something about getting released on Github but maybe that is just (alpha/beta)... But i still think that Redshift is perfect for Houdini, seams like it supports alot too.

Must be a pain in the ass to make a renderer for Houdini with everything that needs to be supported :P
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Tiner on 09/2/2016, 9:55 am

Farmfield wrote:Yeah, the case is great - though less great to carry home from fukn Coop yesterday. :D

And I run all Fractal Design cases here, for my workstation, my sons gaming box and the box I got hooked to the TV...

A nice thing with being a former chief of sales on Inet is, as I haven't got my Xeon CPU's yet, I just made a call and got an Intel LGA2011 CPU lent to me on a service order until my Xeon's arrive, so I can at least get the thing up and running. That being said, I can't get CentOS to boot on the thing, none of the images from CentOS work, not the install ones, not the Live CD. I'm messing with the switches now, acpi off, apic off, etc, but it just don't wanna play. So friggin annoying.

Also annoying, I got my ECC RAM today but as the CPU I got lent to me as an i7, I can't run them as they're registered ECC sticks. It's supposedly possible to run unbuffered ECC with an i7, though you don't get the ECC, but it will at least boot - these won't.

So it's like I'm having fun, but not fun enough. :D

Sen är det ett djävla pissväder också! :evil:

^ using Swedish to covertly insult all other members at the VCP forum.


Oh snap! Tell the peeps over at Inet to order my damn motherboard so i can get my shit built lol

This build i went with the new Bequiet! Base 900 case, looks so clean and nice, i hope its silent :P
Last time i tried Linux was like back in 2005 or whatever, not a fan.

I dont think any i7 cpu support ECC

Weather.. yeah, This summer was freaking pathetic.
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Tiner on 09/2/2016, 10:05 am

Oh and by the way, when can we expect to start seeing daily video tutorials in Houdini from you? yes, i said daily :P
This is the first time ever i have asked for a tutorial so you better feel flattered ;)
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Farmfield on 09/2/2016, 11:44 am

I managed to get CentOS installed, but it doesn't boot - damn, my Linux skills are rusty as F**k, I haven't dabbled with it in years. I was "Team Leader" for the Swedish (official-) Ubuntu forum for a year, back in 2009, and that scared me away from Linux until now. And I wasn't scared away by the OS, it was the user base. Old school Linux folks are to a large degree lunatics, pure and simple - well, like all extremists, really, left, right, Linux, same same but different... I'm not getting back in bed with that crowd. ;)

And Linux has made some crazy strides in the last couple of years. It's an OS is amazingly good, it beats Windows by a mile, way better performance in Houdini, Nuke, Fusion, etc, and the apps generally run more stable as well... And for me, with the new Xeon's, lots of ECC RAM and better hardware virtualization support, I can run a virtual Windows machine directly on the hardware. That is, even if it runs in a Windows under Linux, it's not running on emulated hardware, it really runs on the actual hardware, as much as the CentOS install does, basically - so well good enough performance for doing Photoshop and AE stuff, though I admittedly do very little of that, nowadays. (which is why I'm migrating back to Linux)

And as flattered as that makes me, hehe, there will be no daily tutorials, but there will be tutorials, eventually. As it looks now I'll likely do a free "crash course", approaching Houdini the Farmfield way, hide-the-shelf-and-add-a-wrangle-SOP type stuff, but aimed at the Houdini beginners - kinda in line with the article I did for Gridmarkets. Then I got a commercial one going out on CGCircuit on doing a procedural spider web asset - dunno if you saw the beginnings of that, I posted it way back, and I actually finished the setup, a pretty cool setup. I haven't posted it or the asset because I wanted to do a tut around it, dip my toe in, so to speak, see if it's worth getting into. Releasing scene files from RnD is one thing, but putting the time into doing tutorials, if you want to do good ones, that's another matter. :P
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Tiner on 09/2/2016, 12:26 pm

Yeah im sure Linux have come a long way, i just like windows a bit to much i guess :P Will be installing Win 10 soon so that will be sweet, and the bash shell will be super usefull, no more extra programs to ssh into servers and what not :)

A crash course sounds sweet! and not using the shell tools is a must, i think i only used those a few times to see how SideFX did something. Best is to learn how to build up the system yourself.

I love VEX, i soo badly wish that Cebas could implement a coding node for TP, could be python or, well anything other than the god awfull VB like Maxscript crap! Working as a webdeveloper (php,javascript etc) for around 8 years so coding isnt a new concept, even did a few courses in C++,Java and ugh.. VB back in the days...

I did see that spiderweb assets, looks great!
I assume you be advertising the CGCircuit on vimeo once its out, will deffo be getting that!

Once i get the new (4th i think, can never be happy it seems like :P) theme up on my site im thinking about creating a Houdini resource learning page and link to good sites about Houdini, so your vimeo channel will definitely be up there.
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Farmfield on 09/2/2016, 12:54 pm

Yeah, Windows 10 is great, no question about that. I won't kill my Windows 10 install I have now, I'll mirror it on a backup dick, so if I regret migrating, I'll have a Windows 10 install to run back to. :D

And the crash course, yes, there's imo a very flawed approach in most beginner tutorials from Lynda, Pluralsight, etc, because if you don't dive head first into Houdini, you won't even be able to asses if it's a software that fits you. I mean, Houdini is what it is, it's technical, it's Lego for grownups, Lego on acid, mixed with C like coding. Math. Several types of nodes. You shouldn't spend three months getting into it before realizing this isn't for me. IMO.

About the spider web asset, that's the build that in part became about doing as nice a looking node tree also...

spiderweb2.jpg


I also thought about creating a Houdini resource page - wouldn't it be cool doing that with www.goprocedural.com?

Magic. :shock: :D
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Tiner on 09/2/2016, 1:10 pm

Thats a nice looking node tree :)
I started learning Houdini after seeing a video from Simon Holmedal and i was like... ok i love thinking particles and houdini is like TP but on steroids for the cost of a cheap 3ds max plugin :D

Soooo you own goprocedural.com... and SideFX's Vimeo channel is called goprocedural... money to be made ;)
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Farmfield on 09/2/2016, 1:35 pm

...by SideFX, suing me. :?

Naeh, we'll see, for now it's on backburner, I got so much on my plate as it is.

And Houdini is an amazing application, but it also made me loathe everything else, Max, Maya, Modo and other applications not beginning with an N - but whenever I leave Houdini, I feel I lose all control. Similarly, when I leave Nuke and feel I lose channel and color handling - and a working 3D space.

And not kidding, I really see that as a downside, because I get seriously frustrated using Max, AE, etc, and it's just no fun at all, working in them - and I have too, sometimes.
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Tiner on 09/2/2016, 2:25 pm

Im thinking more like they making an offer to buy it ;)

I cant see myself leaving Max (unless tp gets ported) but im sure i'll be staying in Houdini more and more the better i get at it.
If it wasent for thinking particles i would most likely be in Maya indstead of Max even tho i really like the modifiers. Max updates is pretty pathetic imo, Maya seems to be getting the better updates ( and im not talking about the damn naida :P ) and is more geard towards FX, motion graphic. Max is lucky to have the plugins that they have altho more and more of them is getting ported to Maya.

I mean, how many renderers do Max need to have lol, what is it now, like 50 included renderers lol.
Im sure the Max core code is a cluster ****, years of implementing third party plugins and then forgetting about them lol, poor Max.

Forgot to ask
How is Fusion? How is the keyer/masking compare to Nuke? I must say i never really liked working with layers and nested comps in AE, feels unnecessarily complicated. I think im gonna give Fusion a try.
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Farmfield on 09/2/2016, 3:34 pm

Lol, yes, I got that, but they might also be really pissed off, which isn't really to my advantage. I'll check with SESI either way, before doing anything more than what I'm doing now, just to be nice. And safe. ;)

And I get why you want to stay with TP, it's really nice and one of very few things I miss in Max - but you really haven't even close to the level of access to the data as you have in Houdini, and that's what I got addicted to, the data is data is data thing. The plugins are a hassle too, sure, you can start messing with Genome, but generally they live in different worlds. In Houdini you can shuffle a mesh into a particle network and output the points from that mesh directly into a FLIP simulation where you use it to create bubbles of smoke using Pyro - it's all connected. Like the Pandora ecosystem, but without the penistails... ;)

And Fusions's paint and roto tools are in no way as nice as Nuke's, imo, but then again, Nuke's are sooo friggin good. Same with the keying tools - though Pieter Van Houte, the guy who run's "We Suck Less" forums, has kreated KAK, "Kick Ass Keyer" for Fusion, and that seems really good. Personally, though, I just do Element type setups in Fusion, I do all my core comping in Nuke and Natron, I really dislike how Fusion handles color and channels.
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Tiner on 09/2/2016, 3:41 pm

I agree on everything you said about Houdini, soo powerfull that everything is connected compare to using 5 different plugins in 3ds max and try to make them play with each other lol. You can however come a long way with using alembic or Xmesh but its more of a hassle ofc :)
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Farmfield on 09/3/2016, 12:46 am

First off, because it's the actual topic: My CPU's have arrived in Stockholm. Damn, if I'm lucky I'll have them here by monday afternoon. :D

And my issues with CentOS was due to a faulty disk. I just grabbed an old 500Gb to use for testing setting up the hardware - a dry-run, so to speak, getting everything in order to install on an SSD, drivers, etc... But seems the install locks up in the end, not finalizing, thus it doesn't boot. Gonna try with another disk today, see if I can get it going.

***

As for Houdini, yeah, the internal consistency of Houdini is amazing. Take something like packed primitives, they are just points with attributes referencing a geo to create the collision hull, but as they are points, and they are in DOPs, that are particles - thus you can control them directly using POP forces. That's amazingly cool. Or being able to bring actual geometry into POPs, like we did in the differential curve technique I came up with, also very cool.

Going from that back to Max, I can't do it. As I usually say to Stark, Max makes me cry. ;)
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Tiner on 09/3/2016, 10:11 am

Oh snap :) Is that the last pice of the puzzle before you can start rocking this baby?
Might be getting a dual Xeon node for rendering/simulation next year if everything go as planed. Tons of them on Ebay, lots of ES verisosn tho, hit and miss on those plus illegal but... well :roll:
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Farmfield on 09/3/2016, 10:54 am

Naeh, though the Xeon's are the only critical part. I'm waiting for a 4 bay hotswap bay for my SSD's, an USB 3.0 card, sound card, etc... :)

And I of course bought ES'es - and there's no "hit and miss", quite the opposite as they are usually underclocked and in general they haven't been in heavy load systems. When I researched this, back in june, I found the main issue people have are with motherboards - that's why I opted for a new one. And you of course buy for a reputable seller. I bought mine from Japan, but I would have had no issues buying from Hong Kong/China either - I've really had very little issue with anything I bought off Ebay over the years, the sellers are scared to death of bad reviews, etc, so they are always very quickly to fix anything wrong.

The 2670 v2's I bought are 2.3 (3.1) Ghz instead of the 2.5 (3.3) Ghz in the final version, but looking at the benchmarks, it'll mean ~10% slower compared to the release version 2670 v2, we are still talking 30% faster than a i7-5960X for 1/2 of the price for a kit with CPU/MB/64Gb RAM - and you get ECC RAM...

And calling them "illegal" is an immense stretch, hehe... First off, like the Windows EULA, you really have no legal grounds for that outside the US legal system - so I don't even have to read it so be fairly certain the Intel non resale agreement would be similarly invalid outside the US. And even in the US, say someone had a legal engineering sample and gave it to you, then you sold it. That wouldn't be illegal either, as it's about resale, selling something like if you had bought it for selling it. You gotta separate resale as a business and resale as selling something you own. :)
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Tiner on 09/3/2016, 11:13 am

It is a hit and miss, but the miss might be very slim ;) These ES versions arent always the propper one that later will be on the shelf but hey, i will most likely get ES versions aswell, you can get some proper cpu power for cheap. I would buy everything from Ebay except for motherboard, case and PSU.

The only bad things about Xeons and thats why i opted for a i7 is that the all core boost is pretty low unless you go for like a 4 core. I was first gonna get 2 10 core E5-2640 v4 but the all core boost clock on those is 2.6 or 2.8 cant remember. The boost clock that is being specified (3.4 GHz) on intel product page is on singel threaded operation. Thats why i went with the freakishly overpriced 6950x that will also be overclocked :P but whatever, i just closed my eyes and clicked buy... cried for a few days and now i feel all good :P

Those E5-2640 v4 (2 of them) would have given me a bit higher speeds in multithreaded operation vs 6950x overclocked but would have costed me a bit more and given me less airflow in the case, since im thinking about getting 1 maybe 2 more titans i need my air lol unless i spend like wopping 800-1000 euro on watercooling those 4 potential titans :P
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Farmfield on 09/3/2016, 11:48 am

Mmm, having the fastest single core CPU, ever, right now, there's just no difference between it and the 4770K I had before it, even back when I was in Max with all the single threaded stuff. Before that I had a HP with dual Xeon X5660 and I switched that to the 4770K, specifically to get better single thread performance... But there really wasn't much difference. So not worried about that.

Oh, and running Linux, you get a significant boost in Houdini, Nuke, Maya performance - in part, I guess, because the caching is much "better" (thus faster) but also in regard to the purely computational stuff in Houdini, doing simulations, rendering, they're talking about upwards of 15-20% better performance under Linux. Going to be really interesting to test out. :)

Btw, what are you using the Titans for? Ok, if you need the memory, that's what it is - but people who buy them for performance, that's just crazy. Real world comparisons, doing CUDA rendering in Cycles, four Titan X (Maxwell) are 2 seconds faster than four GTX970's... :?
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Tiner on 09/3/2016, 12:01 pm

If 4 Titan (maxwell) was about as fast/slow as 4 970 that just means that Cycles needs to do better.
I will use my for now 2 Nvidia Titans (Pascal) for rendering, they are fast, and not a few second faster than than 970 ;)
Chaosgroup tested the new 1000 cards incl Titan pascal and the Titan was 30% faster than the 1080.
It will be sweet!

Image

And Vray RT scales pretty damn good with 3 and 4 cards, this is something i hope Redshift will do better aswell with updates.
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Farmfield on 09/3/2016, 1:18 pm

I actually found the Cycles benchmarks to be very representative with what I've experienced using different cards in practice, hehe... Vray RT and Octane scale really well, though, but they are very pure biased renderers. Most GPU acceleration doesn't, it's more in line with the Cycles benchmarks. And Cycles did scale that well until they started cheating, but it's still an biased renderer in it's foundation. Redshift, on the other hand, isn't so they'll have a really hard time getting that to scale anywhere near as good as something like Vray RT...

Either way, I've grown very unimpressed with hardware these last couple of years, I've been at this for so long, I've seen the big jumps in processing power, and that time has past, it seems - I mean, the 6700K is slower than it's predecessor, DDR4 isn't faster in practice than DDR3, etc - it's not the direction we were hoping for. ;)
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Re: Dual Xeon's on the cheap (it has begun)

Postby Tiner on 09/3/2016, 1:38 pm

Vray Advanced and Vray RT is actually unbiased, just like Redshift, Octane however is not (unless you use Direct lighting, but that isnt a true GI solution). Altho, using Brute force/brute force should i guess give a more biased result in Vray i guess, but its still not a true biased renderer.

The test Chaosgroup did is an actual test, in practice so im sure its all good :)

Yeah the progress in the computer world could be better but atleast things last alot longer now than what it did some years ago ;)
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