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rhinothropic

2018 Build Discussion

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There have been a couple threads with some useful information, but I'm hoping to create a discussion moving into the new year. It's my hope to get some solid advice on how to proceed with a workstation/possible HEDT build, or whether to weather the storm and keep waiting. I'll do my best to not be overly redundant to some of the points made in the larger thread about TR risk etc..

First off. I had every intention of building a serious and flexible (Houdini, Nuke, Zbrush, and the other usual suspects) Linux workstation with a budget that can be in the 10k-11k range, but not for the sake of building just to build now. Absolutely need to to make a solid decision for the future of my business. Which leads me to the belief that my original thought of building with E5-2690 dual Xeons may not be a wise choice unless intel drops the price significantly. Newer architectures just seem worth waiting for perhaps. Just to clarify as well, I'd like the ability to really crush some simulations and render via CPU and GPU, yet also have single threaded fluidity. OpenCL is obviously in that general realm of thought too.

• Newer Xeon Gold 6140  & the turbo speed of the the W2195 has some appeal, but the base clock speed and future of everything makes this financially tough to justify, especially talking dual. ? With a 10k budget if need be, convince me if you disagree.

• With that 6140*, would the dual-CPU compensate at all, or is this just going to be sluggish for single thread?

• TR is good current bang for the buck, but it's not what I'm really hoping to get out of my build... but it's in consideration.

• i9 7980XE? Is this just really stupid? No ECC and thermals, but if I were to build a single processor HEDT, those are some fantastic Houdini specs etc.(threads/turbo speeds) for a freelancer minus the obvious flaws, but long term thinking more threads, dual cpu, and error stability. And, the solder? Delidding?

• Say you did go with the XE...No ECC, but is it justifiable in thinking you may build a secondary render/sim node when new AMD releases? Talk to me about the (lack of)ECC, future of Epyc or next TR, HEDT vs other memory tech, lanes, cache etc..

• Let's talk two machines... realistically for a home setup, what all would this entail or have impact on for sims and rendering? For the sake of example, fast single core speeds w/not as good all core speed/high thermals & no ECC with the XE, and say you went for AMD with a ton of threads for a node later on. Any communcation, workflow, error problems a huge concern? I get that ECC is generally really important for serious workstation builds, and Intel has done this...because intel profits/Xeons.

• So I guess, what is the ideal build if you had a large budget right now vs later in 2018? And what is the ideal stop gap choice to be able to create content in the meantime with a potential node build pushing into 2019 perhaps? Save the $, avoid this XE like the plague, or go TR(lot of discussion about the $-performance in other threads)...more of a generalized " I have been waiting for some time now, but could also shift my focus for a while longer if it's truly the wisest decision, vs get something cost friendly".

 

Apologies for the long intro. I don't expect anyone to cover all this straight away. Hoping this will eventually help others in the same boat as me. Clarity of whether to wait or not. Realize it has a lot to do with what you are specifically looking to accomplish, and there is not a chip that fits perfectly into the gamut of applications. It's obviously frustrating and exciting times looking to build a workstation.

 

Thanks for all those who contribute, truly.

 

Edit ( As Luke pointed out, I think I had accidentally confused the two intel chips. The W2195 and the Xeon Gold 6140. )-[ * ]

Edited by rhinothropic

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the Xeon W2195 looks like an un-gimped 7980XE. So if you need more ram and access to a second processor then it is good. The thermals are better out of the box so it won't throttle as much.

Threading works best for Mantra rendering and Pyro. Other parts of Houdini don't scale as well. 

ECC isn't really necessary for Vfx afaik.

For some weird reason OpenCL isn't working well on any of the new processors at this point in time.

 

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2 hours ago, marty said:

the Xeon W2195 looks like an un-gimped 7980XE. So if you need more ram and access to a second processor then it is good.

The Xeon W series is for single socket systems. Note where it says "1S Only" on the specifications.

https://ark.intel.com/products/126793/Intel-Xeon--W-2195-Processor-24_75M-Cache-2_30-GHz

This is the multiple socket capable equivalent (up to four sockets).

https://ark.intel.com/products/120485/Intel-Xeon-Gold-6140-Processor-24_75M-Cache-2_30-GHz

2 hours ago, marty said:

ECC isn't really necessary for Vfx afaik.

If the processor is capable of it then it's a no-brainer. Go with ECC memory whenever possible.

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23 hours ago, rhinothropic said:

is this just going to be sluggish for single thread?

No. The turbo frequency stuff in recent processors is legit. If you're using only one thread it'll kick the clock speed way up automatically. It does this at the expense of heat and power being "wasted" by comparison. That one core running at the much higher clock speed uses as much power as the rest of the cores combined running at the base clock.

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1 hour ago, lukeiamyourfather said:

If the processor is capable of it then it's a no-brainer. Go with ECC memory whenever possible.

Sure but the tone of the OP, if I read it correctly, implies that non-ECC is only for non-serious work.  which is simply not true.

 

1 hour ago, lukeiamyourfather said:

The Xeon W series is for single socket systems. Note where it says "1S Only" on the specifications.

thx! Then a properly de-lidded 7980XE appears as good as the W chip up to 128GB ram essentially, plus probably a cheaper mobo too.

Edited by marty

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Just now, marty said:

Sure but the tone of the OP, if I read it correctly, implies that non-ECC is only for non-serious work.  which is simply not true.

Didn't mean to imply that at all, I had just thought that the ECC was pretty important for large sims, and production rendering for example. Is it not one of those things that could cause some significant problems or errors with renders etc.?

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Just now, rhinothropic said:

Didn't mean to imply that at all, I had just thought that the ECC was pretty important for large sims, and production rendering for example. Is it not one of those things that could cause some significant problems or errors with renders etc.?

Never seen any metrics that show anything for ECC/non-ECC. The results of ram corruption will probably be a slight change in a pixel. Maybe.

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1 minute ago, marty said:

Never seen any metrics that show anything for ECC/non-ECC. The results of ram corruption will probably be a slight change in a pixel. Maybe.

Well, that is good to know. Certainly contrary to what I had thought. Thanks marty

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