Maximum price/performance


B

bughunter

Hi,

I'm currently working on some [multi-threaded] CPU intensive
experiments and as such am in the market for a new PC that will deliver
the most CPU performance for my budget. In addition I would like to
keep the electrical power consumption and noise to a minimum also, so
no power hungry 3D graphics is required, just basic graphics, HD,
memory and a netork adapter.

I see AMD are about to ship low power (65w) AthlonX2's. However, my
budget of up to 1000 GBP (about $1800 US) is enough to buy several of
these systems, unless I go for the very top end Athlons (and FX's), but
they have poor price/performance. I'm more inclined to buy 2 or 3
Athlon 3800+ based systems as my work can be split across multiple PC's
if necessary.

Alternatively I could go for a 2-way dual core opteron (4 cores in
total). If I did go this route I would want to use the Opteron HE's
because they run at 55watts instead of 89watts. From looking on the web
I see that such systems are quite expensive, although I would consider
building my own system if I could source the parts, preferably in the
UK.

www.scan.co.uk seem to have a selection of 2-way opteron m/boards,
although I gather from reading this newsgroup that they are at a
premium to the price in the US. I also couldn't find a single outlet in
the UK that supplies Opteron HE's, does anyone know if these are freely
available or are they only supplied to high end server builders?

If I can't source reasonable priced (in comparison to the US) Opteron
parts in the UK then I will just buy a couple of cheap Athlon X2
systems, but if anyone out there know's better then I'd really like to
try and build (or buy) a 2-way Opteron system as it would be more
conveinient for me to have 4 cores on one PC than across 2 PC's.

Thanks for you time,

Colin
 
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P

Paul

Hi,

I'm currently working on some [multi-threaded] CPU intensive
experiments and as such am in the market for a new PC that will deliver
the most CPU performance for my budget. In addition I would like to
keep the electrical power consumption and noise to a minimum also, so
no power hungry 3D graphics is required, just basic graphics, HD,
memory and a netork adapter.

I see AMD are about to ship low power (65w) AthlonX2's. However, my
budget of up to 1000 GBP (about $1800 US) is enough to buy several of
these systems, unless I go for the very top end Athlons (and FX's), but
they have poor price/performance. I'm more inclined to buy 2 or 3
Athlon 3800+ based systems as my work can be split across multiple PC's
if necessary.

Alternatively I could go for a 2-way dual core opteron (4 cores in
total). If I did go this route I would want to use the Opteron HE's
because they run at 55watts instead of 89watts. From looking on the web
I see that such systems are quite expensive, although I would consider
building my own system if I could source the parts, preferably in the
UK.

www.scan.co.uk seem to have a selection of 2-way opteron m/boards,
although I gather from reading this newsgroup that they are at a
premium to the price in the US. I also couldn't find a single outlet in
the UK that supplies Opteron HE's, does anyone know if these are freely
available or are they only supplied to high end server builders?

If I can't source reasonable priced (in comparison to the US) Opteron
parts in the UK then I will just buy a couple of cheap Athlon X2
systems, but if anyone out there know's better then I'd really like to
try and build (or buy) a 2-way Opteron system as it would be more
conveinient for me to have 4 cores on one PC than across 2 PC's.

Thanks for you time,

Colin

You can get this for $250 US - it holds two dual core processors and
uses registered RAM.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/CustRatingReview.asp?Item=N82E16813131059
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131059

That is equivalent to spending 2x$125 for motherboards with a single
socket.

In terms of annoying issues, your plan to build with AthlonX2 3800+
makes a lot more sense. You have a lower thermal density, so the
multiple machines will have less heat in each computer case. With
the AthlonX2 you use unbuffered memory, which would only be an
advantage if you had some RAM you could reuse. (For either system,
I'd select some ECC RAM. You can get registered ECC or unbuffered
ECC, so ECC is available for either type.)

So I guess it really boils down to how important is it to have
four cores inside the same computer case. If there is no strong
reason for it, and you can log in remotely to all the machines
and start computing jobs, going with the X2 3800's should be
easier. You might even be able to live with the power supply
that comes bundled with the computer case you use.

The K8N-DL will fit in an ordinary ATX case, but apparently just
barely (12" x 10.5", one IDE cable side mounted).

You can see that the Tyan server boards here, some have prices
above the Asus K8N-DL. Tyan has many nice Opteron boards, and these
are probably more that is required for the job.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Submit=ENE&N=2010200302+1071310162&Subcategory=302

Supported CPU types for Asus products, are listed here:

http://support.asus.com.tw/cpusupport/cpusupport.aspx?SLanguage=en-us

And to get real opinions about building server type platforms,
I recommend forums.2cpu.com . I see the K8N-DL is not always
a good solution. The 3800+ and a regular motherboard is looking
better all the time.

http://forums.2cpu.com/search.php?searchid=185084

HTH,
Paul
 
N

Norm De Plume

am in the market for a new PC that will deliver
the most CPU performance for my budget.

According to your title you want the opposite of that.

Get the third fastest AMD. With #1 or #2 you pay much more but get
only slightly more.
 
S

stefanbanev

I'm currently working on some [multi-threaded] CPU intensive
experiments and as such am in the market for a new PC that will deliver
the most CPU performance for my budget. In addition I would like to
keep the electrical power consumption and noise to a minimum also, so
no power hungry 3D graphics is required, just basic graphics, HD,
memory and a netork adapter.

It is the same requirement I have faced. You may see below the computer
I built; it is 4 core Opteron 2.6GHz with 4GB PC3500 (430MGz) CAS2.5
The total cost = $2463 The noise level is below 30db (~1meter). The CPU
temperature is ~45C for heavy 16threaded load and room temperature
~25C.

With 2XOpteron275 instead of Opteron280 (-$300) one HD (-$80) and 2GB
RAM (-$214) the price would be ~1.8k
$2463 - $514 (2X150-2X107-$80) = $1869

The lowest price for Opteron275 you can find on:
https://www.shop.sanmicro.com/displayProductDocument.hg?productId=98&categoryId=5

The original configuration and some tips can be found
below:
//---------------- Hardware setup
MB ASUS K8N-DL (BIOS has to be updated to v7.0) $218
http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?p=MB-K8N-DL&c=fr&pid=29806611f49e1ff04...

CPU 2 x Opteron 280 ( 2 X $749 )
https://www.shop.sanmicro.com/displayProductDocument.hg?productId=106...

4GB RAM 4 X 1GB/DDR400/ecc/reg
$107 X 4 CM72SD1024RLP-3200 (Samsung chips K4H510838C-UCCC)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145310
OR
$102 X 4 TS128MDR72V4J (Samsung chips K4H510838C-UCCC)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820208124
PSU JUST PC JPC-FP600S 600W RT
$79 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817181109
2 X CPU FAN AMD| TR2 M6 A4006D TR2 (Silver-5 has to be applied between
aluminum heat-sink and cupper base)
$7 X 2 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16835106604
$82 X 2 Western Digital (WD1600YD) designed for RAID
http://www.monarchcomputer.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Stor...

$31.99 Case: XCLIO 6010BK (couple silent 80mm fan can be added)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811103005
$50 PCI-E Video card and CD costs about $50 (sufficient for my needs)
//---------------- Tips
If BIOS <7.0 the bios has to be updated to v7.0. (FD is required)
Old BIOS can support one dual core CPU so, set in one Opteron280 in
socket0 update BIOS to v7.0 then put second CPU in) Note: Do not update
to BIOS1008 it has multi-core scalability issue.
Populate 4 memory DIMMs A1B1 A3B3
The RAID-0 should be set on NVIDIA RAID (FD is required)
With memory recommended above the simple over-clocking below does not
require any special voltage/timing tuning:
- The memory latency can be set to CAS 2.5 (2.5-3-3-8-1) (BIOS
settings)
- The CPU speed can be set to 215 (provides free upgrade to Opteron
285(2.6Ghz) ) (BIOS settings) The FSB would be up to 430 accordingly
(instead of DDR400)
- Disable all spread spectrum options (BIOS settings)
- Set only basic ECC options (for all banks) (BIOS settings)
To speed up booting:
- Switch off all unused IDE
- Switch off Silicon RAID controller (jumper on MB)
The ASUS web does not have the latest drivers for NVIDIA chipset
I would recommend take the latest from TYAN website
http://www.tyan.com/support/html/drivers_support.html
* nVidia Chipset
* SATA RAID for nVidia nForce chipsets
The SATA RAID-0 has to be saved on FD in order to install Windows on
RAID ("press F6" procedure)
Drivers can be taken directly from NVIDIA website; however there is
some confusion what chipset package has to be used for k8n-dl.
 
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B

bughunter

Thanks to everyone for the your feedback. I am holding back on a
decision for now as I see the Athlon 3800+ will also be available as a
35w part (as well as 65 and 89w), but they don't appear to be available
or priced up anywhere yet. If they're not ridiculously priced then I
may well buy two 3800+ boxes with less wattage and therefore less
cooling and fan noise.

Norm De Plume, I specifically refered to the 3800+ as it is the lowest
spec *dual* core part, so overall price/performance should be better
then single core.

I noticed tomshardware.com posted a detailed article on Athlon socket
AM2 performance and it's actually slower then the old Athlons is some
cases, but for me the reduced wattage is appealing. If I also factor in
that 2 boxes with unbuffered RAM will run faster than one box with
buffered ram and two CPU's then my choice is swayed to the multi-box
option. The work I'm doing is more suited to dividing the work across
systems, it's just that it would be easier initially for me to
multithread my code and run it on one box, but ultimately more boxes
seems like the way to go.

Regards,

Colin Green
 

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