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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 19:07   #1
Assassin8or
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What to build?

I'm looking to get away from my main i7-950 machine and build a replacement machine which would be multipurpose, as my current machine is, with it on 24/7 folding but it's also my main PC for gaming, working, etc.

Firstly, I've been looking at the E5 machines and seeing what ES samples are out there. I'd like something pretty pokey, so I've been looking at the E5-2687W chips, a few of which have been going for about 500.

On the other hand, there's someone selling 4x Opteron 6176 chips at 275 each making the platform cost reasonably similar.

I think that the PPD would be heavily biased towards the Opteron machine but by how much are we talking about? And which do people think is more practical for my day to day usage?

Last edited by Assassin8or; 22nd Nov 2012 at 19:17.
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 19:49   #2
Christopher N. Lew
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Have you seen this thread?

I reported

"Got my 48 cores folding (Opteron 6166 at 1.8GHz), and here are some numbers -

P6901: TPF 08:08, PPD ~254000, power 394W
P6903: TPF 17:10, PPD 371182, power 395W
P6904: TPF 24:53, PPD 349300, power 396W"

Since then the high-scoring P690x WU have finished, but I'm still getting close to 230,000 PPD as a long time average, same power draw. That's at stock speeds, I still haven't overclocked the machine.

That machine is folding 24/7, and nothing else. The OS is Ubuntu Linux, so bear that in mind if you are thinking of using it for day-to-day computing. Also, if you are running ordinary single-threaded software, it will appear to be on the slow side.
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 05:13   #3
TaRkA DaHl
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2687W Should do about 160k PPD, draw just under 300W and would be more practical for day to day use, but you really need to be using Ubuntu or another Linux distro to get the most points. The difference can be staggering.
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 17:17   #4
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Thanks Christopher and TaRkA DaHl.

On reflection if I went with a 4 processor box I'm either going to have to use an MS Server OS or Linux. This isn't a problem per se, as I have access to plenty of MS Server OS options and use them day in and day out at work, but AV etc. is a nightmare and expensive on such systems.
I also work on Linux systems day in and day out so there's not really an issue there, other than most of my working practices would need some shifting about a bit and I'd have to look into whether there is such a simple backup solution available to me as my Acronis software. In addition my gaming would be hampered by the fact that I'm not on the Valve Steam on Linux beta at the moment (I play a lot of TF2 these days), and I run a triple monitor Eyefinity setup which may have issues on Linux.

With a two processor box I'll not have any of those issues as I can just continue using Windows 7. 160K PPD is nice as that's over 1m points a week, if I can get near that production value on Windows.
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 17:28   #5
TaRkA DaHl
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If you want to run windows 7 for compatibility reasons, I have found that running a VM of Ubuntu or similar to be the best bet for points, even with the overheads involved running a VM you still get a considerable points increase using linux.

You have to use VMware player vesion 3.0 as it allows you to modify the config file to use as many cores as you like, newer ones limit you to 4 (or 8...)

If interested there are plenty articles kicking about on how to setup.
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 17:33   #6
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TaRkA DaHl that's interesting, it might be worth me switching the i7-950 over in the mean time. Is VBox not an option then? I'll need to look into it as I already have an Ubuntu VM on this machine.
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 20:02   #7
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My results with Virtual Box where pretty bad, VMware player 3.0 gave the best results and was easy to configure. I also used it to make my 2600k appear to have 16 threads to the client but only allowed it to use 8, was getting 90k PPD on the damned thing before they were stricter on the time frames.

Once VMware 3.0 is installed load up a new image, then close it, open the image.vmx file in notepad and set max_CPU to however many threads you have. Then it will use them once you start it back up.
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Old 30th Nov 2012, 22:14   #8
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I've got to say that with Virtualbox I saw no increase in PPD on my i7 machine. I'm thinking of giving native linux a go on my work laptop though to have a look at performance.
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