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Good upgrade?

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This is an upgrade I'm doing for a friend.  Right now he's got an Antec 1200 case (not being replaced),  i7 930 (no OC), GTX 460, 12GB RAM, two 120GB SSDs in a RAID 0 stripe (about 600 MB/s transfer total), 5 platter drives for storage and a Seasonic X650 Gold (Nearing end of warranty).  This computer will be used for CAD, gaming, video/picture editing and storage.  Is this a worthy upgrade for him?  Anything I should change?  Price, within reason, is not an issue.

 

 

 

[attachment=355963:Build01.png]

 

The two Samsung drives will be in a disk stripe.

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Posted

why not just re-use the existing drives? and I don't really see a point in RAID0-ing SSDs at the moment.

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why not using a Quadro/FirePro gfx if he's doing CAD / Video? Unless CAD / Video isn't a priority then get a Geforce/Radeon, else a Quadro or a FirePro.

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While the i4700k is considerably better, is there any reason why the performance on the Nehalem i7 isn't good enough? I feel that buying a quadro/firepro is more about vendor support than about better performance at the same price/performance (don't quote me on that, I did _not_ verify this).

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why not just re-use the existing drives? and I don't really see a point in RAID0-ing SSDs at the moment.

 

He is using the old drives as storage.  They're full.  About 4 TB worth.  He wants a fast computer and two SSDs in a RAID 0 will be really fast.

 

 

why not using a Quadro/FirePro gfx if he's doing CAD / Video? Unless CAD / Video isn't a priority then get a Geforce/Radeon, else a Quadro or a FirePro.

 

He games more than he does CAD.  That's why I picked the 760.
 

@Snaphat-  He said he wants a faster CPU.  I haven't watched him use the computer in a long time, just going by what he's telling me.

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He is using the old drives as storage.  They're full.  About 4 TB worth.  He wants a fast computer and two SSDs in a RAID 0 will be really fast.

 

 

 

He games more than he does CAD.  That's why I picked the 760.
 

@Snaphat-  He said he wants a faster CPU.  I haven't watched him use the computer in a long time, just going by what he's telling me.

 

honestly you can try benchmark his system then advice him the parts need to buy, if any.

 

@snaphat - i have a client that did tested this: they use GPU and CPU intensive task software and it was really faster on a Quadro than Geforce with the same hardware (because they bought two identical workstations but for different ends and the only diference on those workstations was just the gfx card; just to get it straight they test it using real life software and user behavior).

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He is using the old drives as storage.  They're full.  About 4 TB worth.  He wants a fast computer and two SSDs in a RAID 0 will be really fast.

 

 

 

He games more than he does CAD.  That's why I picked the 760.
 

@Snaphat-  He said he wants a faster CPU.  I haven't watched him use the computer in a long time, just going by what he's telling me.

*shrugs* if he wants a faster CPU, then he wants a faster CPU. One of the things I've learned is that if someone is dead set on upgrading their hardware it's very hard to talk them out of it.

 

In any case, as I said the CPU is much better. The 760 is also. The memory is on par with typical modern system memories. Make sure to check the PCIe specs on the mainboard (e.g. is it PCIe 3.0 and does it allow x8/x8 if he ever plans to go dual GPU, etc.). I won't comment on the rest of it, but performance wise, it is a nice upgrade.

 

 

honestly you can try benchmark his system then advice him the parts need to buy, if any.

 

@snaphat - i have a client that did tested this: they use GPU and CPU intensive task software and it was really faster on a Quadro than Geforce with the same hardware (because they bought two identical workstations but for different ends and the only diference on those workstations was just the gfx card; just to get it straight they test it using real life software and user behavior).

 

 

Far enough, I'll take your word for it. The drivers are different so perhaps they are optimized for specific workloads?

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*shrugs* if he wants a faster CPU, then he wants a faster CPU. One of the things I've learned is that if someone is dead set on upgrading their hardware it's very hard to talk them out of it.

 

In any case, as I said the CPU is much better. The 760 is also. The memory is on par with typical modern system memories. Make sure to check the PCIe specs on the mainboard (e.g. is it PCIe 3.0 and does it allow x8/x8 if he ever plans to go dual GPU, etc.). I won't comment on the rest of it, but performance wise, it is a nice upgrade.

 

 

He has the money and wants a faster computer.  He's been talking about doing this for a few months now.  I doubt he'll ever need SLI but the PSU and MB can do it if needed.  Is the 4770k that much faster than an 930?

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You might as well reuse the PSU.  Personally I don't think it's worth replacing it since it's a good brand.

 

Also, instead of the 840 Pro, you can save a bunch of money by getting the 840 Evo instead.  The performance difference is pretty much negligible.

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Is the 4770k that much faster than an 930?

 

reports suggest 20% to 30%, some stock other with air OC, but in real world i think is much lower than that; for gaming it's very negligible.

On the other hand in power consumption the 4770k beats the crap out the 930, so there's a saving in there.

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He has the money and wants a faster computer.  He's been talking about doing this for a few months now.  I doubt he'll ever need SLI but the PSU and MB can do it if needed.  Is the 4770k that much faster than an 930?

Performance wise yes.

 

http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i7-930-vs-Intel-Core-i7-4770K -- In these results you'll see that it has 2x performance improvement. These are aggregate benchmarks testing various things. The reason for such an increase has a-lot to do with the fact that Intel doubled the size of its floating point (FP) vector units (starting in generation 2 I7s) so it skews the improvement toward the 100% range. Take note that the aggregation also includes memory intensive, and non-floating point operations which will not see nearly as good improvement as the FP operations.

 

The best I found for non-FP ops is the following:

http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/463/Intel_Core_i7_i7-4770K_vs_Intel_Core_i7_i7-940.html -- In these benchmarks you'll see integer operations are seeing 20-30% better performance. Note the compression benchmark in particular. (you need to switch to the benchmark tab after going to this link).

 

So at a minimum, I would say that 20% improvements is nothing to take for granted.

 

Now whether, he is actually doing computationally intensive tasks (FP operations or otherwise), I make no comment on. I'm generally of the opinion that 95% of people can get along with a celeron dual core just fine.

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You might as well reuse the PSU.  Personally I don't think it's worth replacing it since it's a good brand.

 

Also, instead of the 840 Pro, you can save a bunch of money by getting the 840 Evo instead.  The performance difference is pretty much negligible.

 

I was thinking about that and brought it up to him.  He doesn't want to worry about anything old messing up the new parts.   I have a Seasonic PSU and it's been fantastic.  I'm still on on the fence about telling him to keep the X650 and saving a few bucks.  On the other hand, if the PSU goes and takes anything else with it, that would suck a fat one.  As far as the Evo line, they only carry a 3 year warranty.  The pro line is 5.  I know the warranty isn't everything, but if you're willing to put 2 more years coverage than anyone else, it might be worth the extra money for the quality. 

 

reports suggest 20% to 30%, some stock other with air OC, but in real world i think is much lower than that; for gaming it's very negligible.

On the other hand in power consumption the 4770k beats the crap out the 930, so there's a saving in there.

 

Less power and less heat are always nice whilst gaining more performance.  I've seen mixed numbers comparing the 930 to the 4770k.

 

Performance wise yes.

 

http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i7-930-vs-Intel-Core-i7-4770K -- In these results you'll see that it has 2x performance improvement. These are aggregate benchmarks testing various things. The reason for such an increase has a-lot to do with the fact that Intel doubled the size of its floating point (FP) vector units (starting in generation 2 I7s) so it skews the improvement toward the 100% range. Take note that the aggregation also includes memory intensive, and non-floating point operations which will not see nearly as good improvement as the FP operations.

 

The best I found for non-FP ops is the following:

http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/463/Intel_Core_i7_i7-4770K_vs_Intel_Core_i7_i7-940.html -- In these benchmarks you'll see integer operations are seeing 20-30% better performance. Note the compression benchmark in particular. (you need to switch to the benchmark tab after going to this link).

 

So at a minimum, I would say that 20% improvements is nothing to take for granted.

 

Now whether, he is actually doing computationally intensive tasks (FP operations or otherwise), I make no comment on. I'm generally of the opinion that 95% of people can get along with a celeron dual core just fine.

 

Thanks for the info.    He needs the power.  It's quad core or better from here on out.

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Thanks for the info.    He needs the power.  It's quad core or better from here on out.

 

if money isn't a problem and he really wants performance then i would recommend Opteron or Xeon class CPUs.

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if money isn't a problem and he really wants performance then i would recommend Opteron or Xeon class CPUs.

 

Performance wise for Haswell, currently none of the Xeon offerings have better performance except* this one: http://ark.intel.com/products/75465. For practical purposes the only effective differences are 100 mhz higher clock, TSX, and Vt-d.

 

If he jumps back a generation to IvyBridge then there are a good deal of better offerings (12 core processors, large caches, etc.): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_(microarchitecture)#Server_processors. Even 6 core offerings on the consumer front are technically superior to the i4770k. That being said though, clock-for-clock (or instructions per cycle) Haswell is probably going to have better single thread performance. And you also have to consider that parallelism isn't free so gaining the extra cores doesn't necessarily get you anything if you can't find a workload that saturates the increase in resources so I'm not sure it would be worth it unless the OP's friend really has things that will peg 6+ cores.

 

*Note: this is only because the -EX and -EP processor families haven't been released yet.

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Performance wise for Haswell, currently none of the Xeon offerings have better performance except* this one: http://ark.intel.com/products/75465. For practical purposes the only effective differences are 100 mhz higher clock, TSX, and Vt-d.

 

If he jumps back a generation to IvyBridge then there are a good deal of better offerings (12 core processors, large caches, etc.): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_(microarchitecture)#Server_processors. Even 6 core offerings on the consumer front are technically superior to the i4770k. That being said though, clock-for-clock (or instructions per cycle) Haswell is probably going to have better single thread performance. And you also have to consider that parallelism isn't free so gaining the extra cores doesn't necessarily get you anything if you can't find a workload that saturates the increase in resources so I'm not sure it would be worth it unless the OP's friend really has things that will peg 6+ cores.

 

*Note: this is only because the -EX and -EP processor families haven't been released yet.

 

 

 

I've talked to him about the 6 core options.  I think Haswell will be better suited for what he does but the option is still on the table.  If he didn't game, I'd go with the 6 core 2011 socket.  Unless the 6 core IB is better than Haswell for gaming...

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I've talked to him about the 6 core options.  I think Haswell will be better suited for what he does but the option is still on the table.  If he didn't game, I'd go with the 6 core 2011 socket.  Unless the 6 core IB is better than Haswell for gaming...

I don't think Ivybridge or haswell will make a difference in practice. Most games just aren't CPU bound on sufficiently decent processors. There are a few games (like MS flight simulator) that are CPU bound though.

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If CAD and gaming are your main focus then I will suggest this:

RAM. Get as much as you can afford. I have 16GB in my machine, but as a 3D artist, I can always use more. 
SSD's - In truth, you don't really need SSD for working with CAD. Just use a 250GB one for windows and ure apps and use a 3GB Black for storage.
Processor - This only becomes useful when rendering, so a 6core processor running 12 threads will be awesome here. 

My PC is just a 3570K watercooled 16GB P.O.S. - but for Maya and other intensive 3D packages, it does the job and does it quickly. 

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My PC is just a 3570K watercooled 16GB P.O.S. (...)

 

Funny, most of the people i know would like to have that "P.O.S", as you name it. :laugh:

 

Anyways, the advantages of using an enterprise grade CPU is the stability, not the performance; sure Haswell can be quite good, but a Xeon with a good board, ECC RAM and hardware RAID would kill any desktop configuration. And the fact that one can use more than one CPU in the same board..MURR CORES derp derp

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might have been noted already, but i'd shoot for one of the closed-loop coolers. theyre pretty awesome for the price.

 

also, i dont care for Asrock, but that's just me.

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