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Got 8 Cores, and uses 'em all...

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hafa

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2003
Location
A tiny dot in the middle of the Pacific
Well, after sweating blood finding a working floppy drive and then flashing the bios (a task I always dread with expensive boards) in my main workstation to allow for Quad-core compatibility, the model 5405 2Ghz dual Xeon quads ( are FINALLY installed:

wtm.jpg


The improvement in performance in Adobe CS3 (and other apps, for that matter) is really significant. It's amazing to think that 2- 1.86Ghz dual-core Xeons struggled so, but the whole suite is now much smoother, even with a full load of other apps running; very nice indeed.

The other thing I've noticed is that these chips run MUCH cooler than the 5030s that were installed previously. That explains why Intel opted for aluminum HSFs with these, rather than copper.

Now to get some serious work done... :santa:
 
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Sam__

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Location
UK
8 cores... awesome!

maybe you should take up folding? use those cores to theyr full potential :D
 
OP
hafa

hafa

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2003
Location
A tiny dot in the middle of the Pacific
Sam__ said:
maybe you should take up folding? use those cores to theyr full potential

I'll have to see if there's any open time slots: This machine runs a whole bunch of MSSQL databases, each of which are synched with remote servers via scheduled Transact-SQL stored procedures and also runs multiple scheduled file synchronization routines via FTP. Due to bandwidth issues, I have to schedule all these things sequentially for those times I'm not actively using the machine for design and programming work. Any folding would have to happen during times when the machine is not actively pursuing other processes, which are pretty sparse.

Given the number of things I demand to happen all at once, I pretty sure that I'm going to enjoy their full potential ;)

Why would they go to aluminum? Copper is a better conductor of heat...

Because aluminum is cheaper and the lower heat load allows them to get away with it. FWIW, I kept the copper HSFs from the 5030s.
 

nd4spdbh2

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2005
Location
Camarillo, CA!
god that original pic is sexy! i got to play round with a mac pro with 2 3.0ghz quads and XP pro at my aunts work... i wanted to take it home with me...

haha good call i was going to say u should use the copper coolers with the new chips.

BTW i bet you saw a BIG (like you said) performance increase... going from 2 2.67ghz dual core netburst xeons to 2 2.0ghz quad harpertown (45nm new stuffs) xeons... man talk about an upgrade!!!... also decreased ur overall energy usage by 30w... 15w per cpu.
 
OP
hafa

hafa

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2003
Location
A tiny dot in the middle of the Pacific
god that original pic is sexy! i got to play round with a mac pro with 2 3.0ghz quads and XP pro at my aunts work... i wanted to take it home with me...

haha good call i was going to say u should use the copper coolers with the new chips.

BTW i bet you saw a BIG (like you said) performance increase... going from 2 2.67ghz dual core netburst xeons to 2 2.0ghz quad harpertown (45nm new stuffs) xeons... man talk about an upgrade!!!... also decreased ur overall energy usage by 30w... 15w per cpu.

Whoops! typo on my part: the original dual cores were 5120s (woodcrest) (1.86Ghz), not 5030s. Both processors use the core architecture.

In addition to the obvious, the 5405s have 12MB L2 cache as opposed to 4MB on the 5120s; I can't help but think that this accounts for a significant proportion of the perceived improvement in performance.

The funny thing is that the 5405s run cooler, even though they're rated at 80 watts, compared to the 5120s at 65 watts...
 

DaveB

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Got 8 cores too!

Here's my current budget 8-core setup built with things found around the house, on eBay, and at Newegg. It's another ATX sized system with a Supermicro X7DAL-E+, dual BSEL modded E5340s (2.4 GHz/1066 to 3.0GHz /1333), 8GB PC-5300 FB-DIMMs (4x 1GB plus 2x 2GB), and an MSI 9600GT 512MB PCI-e video. It's housed in an old Lian LI PC-60 case I had laying around powered by an OCZ GameXtream 600W PSU. Added the usual Scythe Kama Bay 120mm Fan adapter (takes 3x 5-1/4 bays) at the front with a 100 CFM+ Panaflo fan controlled by the fan controller built into the 3-1/2" media reader panel. CPU cooling is provided by Intel copper passive Socket 771 Heatsinks with 80mm PWM fans screwed on.

Runs sweet and not really that expensive. It's my 3rd quad core built using the Supermicro X7DAL-E+ and all have been 100% stable. ;)

16qq7m.jpg

nrvo0.jpg

2iu3lsz.jpg

5clfk7.jpg

30blqvb.jpg
 
OP
hafa

hafa

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2003
Location
A tiny dot in the middle of the Pacific
Hey, Dave!

Quite the "budget" system you have there ;) Your post on this forum back in 2005 was what turned me on to the K7DAL-E motherboard and the 5120. I now officially have processor envy.

I was wondering if mixing 1 and 2 gig DIMMS would cause any issues; obviously not.

(Sorry, folks, this technically should be in the storage area, but while I have Dave's attention...)

One thing I'm looking at doing next is moving to a RAID-1 array for data security for my OS drive. I already have a 4-drive RAID 10 array on this machine for storage and was wondering two things:

  1. Could I just pop in two new drives and set up a RAID-1 volume on them without affecting the existing 4-drive RAID 10 array?
  2. I planned on taking an image of my existing single drive and then restoring it on the newly-created array. I'm assuming that I'll need to install the drivers for the RAID adapter before imaging, but how do I go about that to ensure that they're available at boot?

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

DaveB

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
I've mixed FB-DIMM sizes on several systems. Branch 1 has two channels each with two slots, I use the 1 GB FB-DIMMs there. Branch 2 has two channels with one slot each, so I use the 2 GB FB-DIMMs there. That way each of the four channels has 2GB available.

Not a RAID maven for sure, but the manual states (in Appendix D) that two volumes using a total of 4 drives is the maximum. Specifically saying that a 2 drive RAID 1 and a 2 drive RAID 0 is OK. So I don't think you can setup that mirror since you are already using 4 drives on the RAID 10. You may need to buy a cheap PCI-X or PCI-e x4 RAID card to add that RAID 1 for your OS.
 
OP
hafa

hafa

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2003
Location
A tiny dot in the middle of the Pacific
Just a brief follow up:

The Intel 632XESB SATA RAID controller can handle the two arrays as we discussed with no problems. I thought I'd give it a shot just for fun and here it is:

drives.jpg

VISTA: RAID 1 array on Ports 0 & 1

Storage: RAID 10 array on Ports 2,3,4,5

;)
 
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curtis1552

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Dayton, Ohio
His concerns for folding were that he has to update several SQL databases, which apparently pull a lot of the CPU process.

To the OP, Folding uses only 'free' processing, it is set a a low priority task and all others take precedence, the ONLY time I have ever noticed a lag would be when playing games on the computer.

If this doesn't seem good enough you can set it to only fold when 'idle' at certain times, or only to use certain number of cores, and a certain maximum % of the CPU.

Look into it, it's easy to configure, and you'll be furthering scientific progress.
 
OP
hafa

hafa

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2003
Location
A tiny dot in the middle of the Pacific
His concerns for folding were that he has to update several SQL databases, which apparently pull a lot of the CPU process.

To the OP, Folding uses only 'free' processing, it is set a a low priority task and all others take precedence, the ONLY time I have ever noticed a lag would be when playing games on the computer.

If this doesn't seem good enough you can set it to only fold when 'idle' at certain times, or only to use certain number of cores, and a certain maximum % of the CPU.

Look into it, it's easy to configure, and you'll be furthering scientific progress.

It's not CPU usage that's the issue as much as internet bandwidth. The synchs start at 11:30PM and run until 9:15AM, take a break to do backup from 9:15AM to 12:00PM (during which time nothing can run), then schedule again until 11:00PM. I schedule the smaller stuff towards the evenings when I'm actually using the machine, but at no time can I afford to compromise much bandwidth, as it will throw the whole schedule off.

Perhaps I'll build a dedicated folding machine once our solar panels are in place. As it is, it costs a small fortune to run this one at $0.30/kwh.

Would you by any chance own Nero Recode? If you do would you check to see if you can use all 8 cores.

Sorry, Master Moo. I don't have it, as I don't do any video at this time.

BTW, I finally set this thing up in the case I bought from Travis Dawes. Not the prettiest wiring job in the world, but not the worst, either:

llsm.jpg

You can see the three drives mounted in the upper bay; they have their own 120mm fan for a total of 3 front intake. The 80 mm top exhaust fan (behind the panel just above the PSU) is a nice design touch which clears the dead space which always plagued my V1000. I'll never understand Lian Li's rationale for installing the rear fan as an intake, however. It's worse than useless as such, but functions very well when turned around. I also ditched the worse than useless ducting inside and out...
 

VinnyTAMU

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2005
Location
BCS, Texas
Nice systems guys, DavidB and hafa what were your build costs for your systems? I am mainly looking for costs pertaing to the processors and mother board.
 
OP
hafa

hafa

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Joined
Apr 19, 2003
Location
A tiny dot in the middle of the Pacific

satandole666

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Location
Charlotte, NC
This is really impressive fellas.

I'd love to build an 8 core machine but I have no idea what I'd do with it (besides folding).

I've been looking for something to do on my computer (besides gaming) at home. Something creative, something purposeful. Have any ideas? If I can find a good one maybe I'll build myself one of these treats.
 
OP
hafa

hafa

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2003
Location
A tiny dot in the middle of the Pacific
These machines make great CS3 workstations if you're interested in graphic design and/or photography. They're also great database servers and make a terrific platform for web-based database-driven application development. The real beauty of these uses is that they will make the machine pay for itself rather quickly ;) .

Of course, you could do all of this on a lesser machine, but I've found that I'm much more productive on a machine which I'm enthusiastic about and is a joy to use.
 

Hipcrostino

Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Location
Canberra, Australia
For my place of business I personally order two 8 core (dual quad 1.6ghz xeons), 4gb ram, with 15000 rpm scsi drives in them for the sole perpose of running virtual mechines. they can run 8 a peice with no issues (they need more ram though). very very fast for only 1.6ghz cores. That "budget" system above would be wonderfull for such a purpose.