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woodenCheese

Xeon 3175

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Looking to build a beast of a Linux workstation. Perhaps it might be better to wait for some benchmarks in December, but I'm curious what some of you smart folks think about this re-purposed Xeon Intel is preparing to launch.

I get the disdain for Intel, but I'm looking to build the best possible machine I can with a 10k+/- budget. From video discussions I've watched with insider tech guys, it seems plausible that this processor should fall in the 4k range given that it's meant for workstation peeps like myself. It doesn't really make much sense to put in on the market for 10k, like the platinum version of itself.

Anyway, I'd just like to know your thoughts if you have a moment. I've considered going Threadripper, but really hate the handicapped memory issue. It might be the better move financially, and then think about getting by with that while gearing up for the next Epyc as a secondary machine, especially if I refrain from the 2990WX, and go with the a second gen TR that doesn't have the latency problem. My gut is telling me this 3175 is going to be worth investing in if  they keep it relatively affordable for a professional workstation. I don't think I can wait for whenever 10 nanometers actually happens, and then there are so many variables with what chips are released when etc..

Any advice, things to be aware of, or general knowledge you can drop on me is truly appreciated. It's driving me mad not knowing if I should wait for this Xeon, or get to building now with another chip.

Edited by woodenCheese

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The Xeon Gold 6154 processors offer good value despite the relatively high cost. In a dual processor configurations they offer 36 cores at 3.0GHz and have more PCI Express lanes, more memory slots, and lower TDP per processor compared to the Xeon W-3175X. I recently built some machines using the Xeon Gold 6154 processors and I'm happy with them.

The Xeon W-3175X could be a compelling option if the price is right and the memory limitations are not a show stopper for whatever you're working on. I was really interested in the EPYC processors but I wasn't able to find them in sufficient quantities to be able to actually deploy them. Either there's not that many of them out there or the demand is so high they get snatched up right away.

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It's also good to note that any high-core count processor (usually above 10) has memory bandwidth issues because of Non-uniform Memory Access (NUMA). The AMD 2990X is a bit of an extreme case of that, to be sure. But pretty much all CPUs with many cores will partition the cores into clusters with their own memory controller attached to their own bank of RAM. If a core requests bit of memory that's in the RAM bank attached to their core cluster's memory controller, all is good. If the memory is in another bank, it has to hop to another cluster's memory controller, adding a bit of latency to the request. Because of this, both Intel and AMD have redesigned their core interconnects to work around this, so at least there's no more than 1 hop involved.

Another interesting thing about high-core CPUs is that the "uncore" parts of the CPU now actually use more power than a CPU core, and these are not easily shut down like cores are when power savings is activated. This includes stuff like the interconnect and the memory controllers. So the idle power of these monster CPUs is quite high. Just something to bear in mind.

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17 hours ago, lukeiamyourfather said:

The Xeon Gold 6154 processors offer good value despite the relatively high cost. In a dual processor configurations they offer 36 cores at 3.0GHz and have more PCI Express lanes, more memory slots, and lower TDP per processor compared to the Xeon W-3175X. I recently built some machines using the Xeon Gold 6154 processors and I'm happy with them.

Interesting you mention the Xeon Gold 6154. I had looked at that initially, but dismissed the idea once I saw the price tag. I'd definitely have to re-calibrate my thinking/funds with this build to have @7.5k tied up in chips.

Just to be clear, the Xeon Gold 6154 would have 96 PCI Express lanes total if running dual socket? Versus, the 44+24(chipset) of the Xeon W-3175X? That seems significant, and I assume that also doubles up on the L3 cache size as well. So, the Xeon Gold 6154's would have access to 49.5MB, where the Xeon W-3175X would be obviously capped at 38.5MB. Is that correct, and is that something that can have a big impact using Houdini for single and multi-threaded workloads?

I realize there isn't a perfect solution for everything, but for simulation and rendering, yet also wanting fluid UI for the entire gamut of workflow possibilities... would those dual Xeon Gold 6154's, in Houdini terms demolish the performance of the Xeon W-3175X apart from faster single core speeds? Basically, given the cost difference of running dual cpu's, do you feel the performance would justify double the price to that of the Xeon W-3175X that has slightly higher speeds with slightly less threads? I suppose I'd like to know just how much more gain I'm actually getting with dual Xeons if you can elaborate a bit on how that can manifest... If dual Xeons offer up a better solution, is there any reason to wait to see benchmarks in December, or is it kind of we know what to expect when comparing single socket vs dual?

18 hours ago, lukeiamyourfather said:

The Xeon W-3175X could be a compelling option if the price is right and the memory limitations are not a show stopper for whatever you're working on

I'm quite concerned about this actually. I'd like to not be held back too much in the simulation realm for example. Guessing that chip is going to be quite nice in some areas, but severely handicapped when it comes to handling large data sets then? And, when you say "more memory slots", I assume you mean from a server mobo? Does the ASUS ROG Dominus Extreme offer somewhat of an answer to that for the Xeon W-3175X? ...Also, which motherboard did you use for your Xeon Gold 6154 builds out of curiosity? Is the Supermicro X11DPG-QT the best bet, or just carry the higher price tag?

Super sorry to bombard you with questions. I really really appreciate the feedback as I'm still learning a decent amount during this process.

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5 hours ago, malexander said:

Another interesting thing about high-core CPUs is that the "uncore" parts of the CPU now actually use more power than a CPU core, and these are not easily shut down like cores are when power savings is activated. This includes stuff like the interconnect and the memory controllers. So the idle power of these monster CPUs is quite high. Just something to bear in mind.

Thanks, Mark. I appreciate the insights. I realize there are definitely some trade offs with trying to achieve higher core counts, but was completely unaware of the "uncore" information. Suppose that is a necessary evil if one wants to achieve results that require those monster chips.

Edited by woodenCheese

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I used these for workstations. I've built many machines using Supermicro hardware and I've never been disappointed.

https://www.supermicro.com/products/system/4U/7049/SYS-7049A-T.cfm

The Xeon Gold 6154 might not be the best option for everyone but it's definitely a good option. The main advantage for me is the number of memory slots (bandwidth and capacity). The Xeon W-3175X says the maximum memory is 512GB but that's only if you use insanely priced memory modules. You can get 512GB of memory for 1/4 of the price when you have twice as many memory slots to work with. Plus more memory bandwidth, more cache, more PCI Express lanes, all the other stuff that comes with dual sockets.

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You are concerned about latency with Threadripper but not concerned about latency with dual sockets?

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1 hour ago, AaronAb said:

You are concerned about latency with Threadripper but not concerned about latency with dual sockets?

On paper the latency is worse on the Xeon Scalable Processor platform compared to the high core count Threadripper models. Memory bandwidth is a completely different story though. From what I've seen the memory bandwidth on the Threadripper is problematic but the latency isn't so much. Both platforms are very capable and are amazing tools. It comes down to priorities and budgets.

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43 minutes ago, lukeiamyourfather said:

On paper the latency is worse on the Xeon Scalable Processor platform compared to the high core count Threadripper models. Memory bandwidth is a completely different story though. From what I've seen the memory bandwidth on the Threadripper is problematic but the latency isn't so much. Both platforms are very capable and are amazing tools. It comes down to priorities and budgets.

Yeah 4 channel memory is a headscratcher for me on Threadripper. The Xeon 3175 is an improvement there, I just don't have hope for it making much financial sense(unless you can buy LOTS) given Intel's yields.

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On 10/15/2018 at 5:08 PM, lukeiamyourfather said:

The Xeon Gold 6154 processors offer good value despite the relatively high cost.

@lukeiamyourfather Is a version of this chip expected to be launched as Cascade Lake SP with some of the vulnerability fixes, and Optane support? Or, is it the only processors listed on the wiki page set for December?

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I don't have any insight into future products. That website doesn't either for what it's worth.

Quote

Information presented in this article deal with future products, data, features, and specifications that have yet to be finalized, announced, or released. Information may be incomplete and can change by final release.

Buy what you need when you need it. There's always going to be something new just around the corner. Once in a while it's worth waiting for something new but those moments are few and far between in my opinion.

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13 minutes ago, lukeiamyourfather said:

I don't have any insight into future products. That website doesn't either for what it's worth.

Buy what you need when you need it. There's always going to be something new just around the corner. Once in a while it's worth waiting for something new but those moments are few and far between in my opinion.

No, I get that. Thought there was some general understanding of how these releases work with tech enthusiasts. Didn't mean to presume you had insider insights or anything. Seems a bit odd to not have any info about which Xeons are going to be upgraded @4 weeks out. There was talk of that Gold 6154 in this thread, and imho it seems crazy to purchase those, if ones with Spectre and Meltdown improvements will be on the market in December.

Edited by gridMoth

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23 hours ago, gridMoth said:

There was talk of that Gold 6154 in this thread, and imho it seems crazy to purchase those, if ones with Spectre and Meltdown improvements will be on the market in December.

If you can get to where you're running something on my machines at all then I've already been compromised and Spectre and Meltdown wouldn't have anything to do with it. The software patches (or their hardware fixes) are important to cloud hosting providers like AWS where there are multiple virtual machine guests with no trust between the guests but it doesn't matter for a typical visual effects workflow. The software patches are optional so performance isn't impacted unless you actually install them. The Optane support and other features are more compelling reasons to wait for an upgrade.

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4 hours ago, lukeiamyourfather said:

it doesn't matter for a typical visual effects workflow

Great to know, thanks

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In case anyone was still wondering, it does in fact look like Cascade Lake SP will have the Xeon Gold 6154 successor Xeon Gold 6254 with an improvement in the base clock speed @ 3.2ghz. So that's cool. Guessing the boost could possibly be 3.9 - 4.0ghz?! Hopefully they aren't 6k a pop.

https://bit.ly/2PWWdFT

 

 

Edited by woodenCheese
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