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highfive

Good 12-core vs. Great 6-Core in Cinema 4D?

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I'm interested in building a new hackintosh for myself and cant decide between two Intel Xeon E5-2620s (12 cores) or one Intel i7-3930k (6 Cores). The obvious answer is 12-cores, but judging by the benchmarks it looks like the 3930k is the better deal:

 

12-Core E5-2620 Benchmark: http://www.cpubenchm...0+2.00GHz#price (Score: 17499) Price: $816.00 ($408.00 each)

 

6-Core i7-3930k Benchmark: http://www.cpubenchm...0+3.20GHz#price (Score: 13579) Price: $589.99

 

The score/price ratio is self-explanatory, so my question really is this:

 

Do 3D/video editing software packages utilize more cores regardless of processing speed? Or are these benchmarks an accurate representation of how fast these processors will be in FCP, After Effects, and Cinema 4D...

 

Cinema 4D has more yellow 'render boxes' in the picture viewer for each core/thread you have but you could easily have a lot more 'boxes' on a 12-core that render out more slowly than a really fast 6-core, correct? There are plenty of other 12-core builds with lower benchmark scores than the 3930k, but does benchmark score alone dictate how well C4D renders out of the picture viewer?

 

Same goes for After Effect's memory & multiprocessing; does it help to have 12 cores to divide out 2gb of RAM to each core with 24gb of RAM, or would it work just as well with six cores receiving 4gb of RAM each? (leaving some for background CPU of course).

 

Just a side note, I've been all over dozens of forums and tonymac's site etc. etc. and explored so many possibilities that I dont want to get too off track in this thread discussing stuff other than processors please! Hackintosh's are pretty complicated and we could go on forever discussing the different possibilities, but I'd rather do that elsewhere! Let's keep it mograph related :P

 

P.S. - (It's also not just the cost of the processors to consider, but also the cost of a server motherboard and extra cooling).

Edited by highfive

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First and foremost, don't hackintosh. It will be a nightmare, and you won't have many options in regard to what motherboard or processors to use. You pretty much have to use hardware that apple uses, and they update their OS to stop supporting hackintoshes, so your locked into the build as it is from day 1. The only reason for hackintoshing used to be for Final Cut, which is dead now. Windows 7 is great.

 

If you are rendering 3d or using multiprocessing render, 12 cores will be better.

 

Both processors you listed are 6 core. You are looking at the multi-threaded cores on the xeon, but you could turn on multi-threading on the i7 as well.

 

The xeons are for when you want dual processors, for a real 12 core system. With hyperthreading on, you would see 24 cores. You will also need a board that supports it, and a case that supports the board. Its great if you want to go that route, but if your not looking to double the cost, the i7 is fine.

 

If you aren't rendering 3d a ton, or have tight deadlines, then an overclocked i7 is likely better. You can push 4.5 ghz out of them.

 

You wouldn't notice any significant difference in working with a dual xeon setup. You would only notice a difference in rendering. Having a 4.5ghz six core would feel like a faster machine while working, and give you the same 6/12 render cores the xeon would give.

 

You will want a minimum of 24 gigs of ram, but I would recommend 32 because its supposed to be 2 gigs per core dedicated to AE.

Edited by AromaKat

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3D Rendering and tight deadlines are both factors. I plan to do a lot of 3D work including dynamics, lighting, hair, etc. I also do a lot of post work in AE with trapcode and magic bullet.

 

I heard overclocking is really bad for processors and dramatically shortens their lifetime. Is their a safe way to do it that I don't know about? Also, couldn't I just overclock the xeons?

 

And another huge reason I'd like a hackintosh (besides having access to old FCP files) is so that I won't have to port over all of my software and plugins to PC. I'll also probably get the same hardware I'm looking at now regardless if it's a hackintosh, so is there any harm done if I get set up on a PC partition first then go for the hackintosh? And thanks for the heads up on RAM ;)

Edited by highfive

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If you can afford to go with two xeons do that. But be sure to get the latest ones. You will be looking at $4500 for two xeons and a board as opposed to $1200 for a high end i7 and board. But... if you are going to spend that amount of cash without being diehard-PC just buy a real mac tower.

 

I have never had anything go wrong with an overclocked processor. It just turns off if its too high, in which case you dial back the OCing a bit and try again until you hit something stable. You can find good OC settings once you decide on a processor with a quick google search. Xeons aren't really designed for overclocking, so you cant open them up too much but you can get a stable 3.9 out of the latest top of the line xeons with watercooling. You will want water cooling for overclocking, or at least a really good air cooled fan.

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Here's what my proposed build will look like:

 

http://amzn.com/w/3C1NN8WZHAATC

 

I'm still leaning towards the 12 core because of how beneficial it is for 3D rendering. It's only about $400 more total (counting the server motherboard and extra cooling) for the 12-core than the 6-core and that seems pretty worth it to me...still looking for any advice or input before pulling the trigger on this project though!

Edited by highfive

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Your going to be hating life with that 2.0ghz processor speed.

 

If choosing between working speed and render speed, I'd suggest holding more value on working speed over render speed.

 

You will definitely want >3 ghz. Working within the programs won't use multi-cores in any real way.

 

If you don't get these xeons, you will be wanting an upgrade in 6 months.

 

Also, if you go the dual-xeon route you will need a dedicated 48gb of memory plus extra app / system memory. Go with 64gb.

 

Whats your budget?

 

Another thing to consider if you have the dough for a decent dual-xeon setup is to make an overclocked i7 for your workstation and make a few cheap micro atx render cows for less than $500 each so its modular / can grow over time and not taxing your workstation at all.

Edited by AromaKat

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crap, youre right...im dramatically starting to favor the overclocked 3930k. Ya its risky but its not THAT expensive to replace if it does fail. It's also about $700 cheaper than the 12 core (if you factor in the mobo/cooling), which is almost twice what I originally figured. How's this config look:

 

http://amzn.com/w/2AVDA8IN36GDM

 

*Intel 6 Core i7-3930k 3.20GHz 12-Thread 12MB Cache LGA 2011

*32 GB Corsair Vengeance Blue DDR3 1600mHz

*ASUS P9X79 PRO - LGA2011 - X79 - 8x DIMM Motherboard

*-GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 560 1GB GDDR5

*OCZ 120GB Vertex 3 SATA 6GB/S Solid State Drive

*Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache

*Antec Performance One Series P183 V3 ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

*Quad HD 2560x1440 D-Sub Computer Monitor

 

This will run me about $1950-$2050. It's supposed to overclock around the same speeds as a 12-core E5-2620 build. But will losing the extra cores hurt me in 3D or After Effects? Other thoughts? Thank you very much for all the help so far by the way aromakat!

Edited by highfive

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Cinebench does give a realistic impression of what to expect from a machine when it comes to rendering in CINEMA 4D. At least AE though behaves very differently than CINEMA 4D so i would be reluctant to apply the results to it.

The low base speed for single threading you get with a 2GHz system will be a major drag, the 2 GHz Xeon setup might be nice for a render client, but for a workstation you should go for something higher clocked, even if it has less cores.

Maybe even get the new ivy bridge processors instead if the sandy bridge, it runs cooler and faster.

Cheers

Björn

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My comments on your latest build:

 

- Get windows 7 professional, not a branded oem home (crapware)

- Look into full tower sized cases for greater expandability down the road (hard drive arrays, etc)

- Double up that 1TB hard drive so you can raid 1 it. You will still have 1tb of storage in the end, but you won't lose anything if one crashes

- Look into getting a 40-60 GB ssd (sata 3 / 6gbs) for application cache. This makes working a lot faster with CS6. Possible upgrade in the future if you don't have the cash now.

- You should be fine with a 1gb video card, but thats pushing minimum requirements. If you can find a 580 with 2-3 gigs by a decent brand you should be good.

 

With watercooling you can get that pricessor up to 4.5.

 

Before purchasing, but after its designed for a post production workstation, run your build by the guys on the Toms Hardware forum for compatibility. A lot of times someone chimes in and says something lilke "why are you getting _x_ when you can get _y_ for the same price?". They may not really understand our industry needs though, so its good to design it here first.

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Thanks so much for all the advice. REALLY useful and insightful...I'd be lost without forums.

 

- I'll dodge the OEM but think all I really need is Windows 7 Home Premium. I don't really see anything I need in the premium or ultimate versions (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/compare)

- Full tower sounds smart. Only about $60 more for the upgraded case of that brand

- That's on the list. In a hurry to get to the beef of this machine and add the bells & whistles later (blu ray burner, FW800 adapter, etc.)

- Good advice on the second SSD!

- The ideal video card is about $350 more than what I'm looking at now. That may be something I'll upgrade down the road.

 

And Srek, the thing that really sold me on the 3930k was the overclocked benchmark score: http://www.cpubenchm...ocked_cpus.html (2nd from the top). It scores among the range of a good 12-core system!

Edited by highfive

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Doesn't home premium limit you to a max of one processor?

You need business or ultimate if you build a spec with dual processor set up - I know you're erring the other way - its just that I was very excited about scoring a free Home Prem licence until I realised I needed Ultimate for it to see my other xeon quad....

 

(I'm still using the old xw8600 - fantastic machine!)

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- I'll dodge the OEM but think all I really need is Windows 7 Home Premium. I don't really see anything I need in the premium or ultimate versions (http://windows.micro...roducts/compare)

 

Home Premium will only let you use up to 16gb of RAM. Professional lets you use up to 192gb.

 

Such a weird, arbitrary limitation.

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Thank you!!!! Could've really shot myself in the foot there. I thought I had heard something limiting about Premium before but couldn't remember what it was, and for some reason they don't list that on the comparison sheets on the microsoft site. Looks like I'll definitely be getting Professional; I know a student who can get it to me for around ~$60 which is a good deal imo.

 

 

Home Premium will only let you use up to 16gb of RAM. Professional lets you use up to 192gb.

 

Such a weird, arbitrary limitation.

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