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i7 versus Xeon


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#1 ebarone

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 06:42 AM

At work we need a new number crunching computer. These computers will run Linux CentOS 5, and will run all day every day at high load for the next 6-8 months. Right now, we have a bank of systems using two Xeon E5355 2.66GHz quad core processors. There are physically 2 processors in each machine, yielding 8 cores, and yes our software utilizes them all.

How would a single Core i7 stack up against dual quad Xeons? A single i7 965 extreme costs about the same as two of the quad Xeons, so if anyone knows where there exists a direct comparison between the two setups, I'd be extremely grateful, however price really is not an issue. I just want the absolute best performance.

Opinions?

"What do you mean you 'dont know why' thats funny?? Its a big black guy punching a 100 year old woman in the face! How many more excuses for 'funny' do you need???"
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#2 Waco

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 06:52 AM

What software is it? What you are running will determine how well the i7 scales versus the dual Xeons. If you are memory-constrained and you have a lot of core-to-core communication the i7 will shine. If you're primarily number-crunching without a whole lot of memory or core-to-core access the Xeons might very well be faster.

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#3 ebarone

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 07:03 AM

Its custom software, AFAIK its limited to the number crunching ability of the processor. Its pretty cool, basically its a custom made AI system. The computer we're replacing runs a genetic algorithm based program which controls 20 other identical systems, all of which run a simulation program which was also custom built specifically for our lab. But ya... its a number cruncher only.

"What do you mean you 'dont know why' thats funny?? Its a big black guy punching a 100 year old woman in the face! How many more excuses for 'funny' do you need???"
Gaming system, OC speeds TBD:
i7 975X stock speeds | Corsair H50 w/ 2 Scythe Slipsteams | eVGA GTX 480SC + PNY GTX480OC | 3x2GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 2000
Asus P6X58D Premium | 3x Intel X25-M G2 160GB SSD in RAID0, 2x Seagate 7200.10 500GB in RAID0 | Win7 Pro x64 | PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W
CoolerMaster Stacker 810 | Logitech G15 | Logitech G5
GF's "new" gaming system (aka my old one):
E8400@4203MHz@1.296v | Xigmatek HDT-S1283 | eVGA 9800 GTX+ | 2x2GB Corsair Dominator@1125MHz
Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3L | 1TB WD Green | Win7 Ultimate x64 | Thermaltake 1000W Mod | CoolerMaster Centurion | Logitech G15 | Logitech G5


#4 Waco

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 07:10 AM

I think your best bet would be to find someone with an i7 system and see how it does. In terms of pure number crunching ability I think the Xeons may have an edge.

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#5 uneedav8

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 09:38 PM

How about two i7 Xeons like on the new Mac pro desktops......

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#6 hornybluecow

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 09:55 PM

well to compare a normal 2.6ghz i7 is faster than the top quad xeon at 3.2ghz. if i were to compare total computing power of a single 775, 771, i7 and i7 xeon (which isn't out yet) it would go like this

775 Core2 Q9650= 100%
771 xeon E5450= 100%
dual 771 xeon E5450= 200%
1366 i7 965 = 200%
dual ???? xeon 965= 400%

edit: xeon sometimes have an edge because it has the newest SSE support. an example would be back when Q6600 was new they only had SSE 3.1 support while xeon already had 4.1/2 (which cuts video rendering times in half using after-effects, etc.) now they seem to all be equal but i bet you anything xeons will always have cutting edge tech at least 6months to a year before desktop levels.


to break it down more unlike desktop level xeons can handle triple amount of memory (if you have the cash). it really helps when rendering out large projects, i know my 4k videos won't even move on 8gbs, i have to go to the lab and use this massive 64gb rig.

Max amount of ram
775= 8gb (90% of the time)
771= 24gb
1336= 12gb
i7 xeon=24/48?

Edited by hornybluecow, 09 March 2009 - 10:09 PM.

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#7 Waco

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 11:00 PM

well to compare a normal 2.6ghz i7 is faster than the top quad xeon at 3.2ghz.

It completely depends on what you are doing...

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#8 hornybluecow

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 06:28 AM

in this case i don't think so, 771 and 775 are the same really, just different SSE support and memory. i say that lightly but the computing power of a core2 and single 771 xeon should be the same given closely related hardware.

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#9 Waco

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 10:16 AM

in this case i don't think so, 771 and 775 are the same really, just different SSE support and memory. i say that lightly but the computing power of a core2 and single 771 xeon should be the same given closely related hardware.

I didn't say the 771/775 were that different...I said you can't make a blanket statement like you did about the i7 versus the Xeon/Core 2. The winner totally depends upon what you are doing.

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#10 uneedav8

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 07:06 PM

and i7 xeon (which isn't out yet)


Xeon

Edited by uneedav8, 10 March 2009 - 07:07 PM.

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#11 hornybluecow

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 08:03 PM

oh man, i need to sell everything i got a build a xeon workstation now...MHmmm 16-cores 32 threads...*drools* maybe 4k images will render now...


edit:oh wait i guess they are still on 4cores untill the summer...

Edited by hornybluecow, 10 March 2009 - 08:05 PM.

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Review Test Rig: : i7-4770k @ 4.2ghz, MSI-GD65 Gaming, Geforce GTX 770 , Corsair Force GT 240 GB, Patriot 16 GB 2400 (2x8gb), (Case always changing) Thermaltake 750w.


#12 spectrascope

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 08:22 PM

well if you are using custom parallel processing why not run th threads on a multi gpu system nvidia tesla for example couple of teraflops power per tesla system or custom ati based system on the same concept ati 4870x2 2.4tera flops a piece with single digit precision floating integers, one issue is you are limited to, 2 cards per board currently cause of hardware constraints from ati, nvidia does not have this problem but their number crunching power is less per card about 800gflops feasibly, but you can run more than two cards, and there are better docs on them. I say this because a Xeon I7 965 produces ~150gflops per chip btw new xeons so so much faster than old xeons with old old xeon 3.2ghz 771 112gflops per chip, great job intel :closedeyes:

Edited by spectrascope, 10 March 2009 - 08:24 PM.

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