Which processor gives most bang/buck?


log in

Advanced search

Message boards : Number crunching : Which processor gives most bang/buck?

Author Message
Profile Razorface
Send message
Joined: 6 Aug 01
Posts: 16
Credit: 179,216,490
RAC: 93,388
United States
Message 687875 - Posted: 2 Dec 2007, 14:18:03 UTC

I am building dedicated units to run SETI and was wondering which processor gives the highest RAC/$. Also, is the amount of memory important? My best unit so far is a Q6600 w 512MB, running about 1900 RAC. I paid $277 for the processor, but I see other people getting better results with the less expensive quad Zeons. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Bill

____________

OzzFan
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 02
Posts: 13614
Credit: 30,346,529
RAC: 21,235
United States
Message 687896 - Posted: 2 Dec 2007, 15:43:38 UTC

The Core 2 Q6600 is the best CPU/$ out there right now. 512MB of RAM is fine if all you're doing is crunching.

The quad Xeons probably get better RAC because they can be used in dual-socket configurations, meaning that there's probably two quads working together for a total of 8 CPUs. Though I don't know if I'd look at processor cost alone because even thought the Xeons may or may not be cheaper, they use more expensive FB DIMMs and workstation/server class motherboards which are more expensive than their desktop counterparts. Total system cost is probably more reflective of RAC/$ than simply looking at CPU-RAC/$.
____________

Profile mr.kjellen
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 4 Jan 01
Posts: 195
Credit: 69,566,891
RAC: 11,773
Sweden
Message 687950 - Posted: 2 Dec 2007, 18:19:44 UTC

There are both dual socket (socket 771) quad xeons, and regular socket 775 quad xeons.
Dual socket is the 5xxx series and single socket the 3xxx series.
I run a xeon 3120 (s775), a quad speced at 2.13GHz, at 3.13. A nice even 1Ghz OC.

512MB RAM seems a tad on the low side, but if the system overhead isn't that much I guess you can get away with it. Preferably in dual channel mode.

/Anton

Profile Razorface
Send message
Joined: 6 Aug 01
Posts: 16
Credit: 179,216,490
RAC: 93,388
United States
Message 689502 - Posted: 8 Dec 2007, 1:28:01 UTC

Thanks for all the info...after looking closer I find the Q6600 has a FSB of 1066, but the motherboatd I installed it on only has an 800Mhz FSB. I'm screwed, right?
____________

Joe
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 25 Nov 07
Posts: 5
Credit: 19,945
RAC: 0
United States
Message 689507 - Posted: 8 Dec 2007, 1:31:59 UTC - in response to Message 689502.

Thanks for all the info...after looking closer I find the Q6600 has a FSB of 1066, but the motherboatd I installed it on only has an 800Mhz FSB. I'm screwed, right?


You should be able to oc the fsb to 1066.

OzzFan
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 02
Posts: 13614
Credit: 30,346,529
RAC: 21,235
United States
Message 690049 - Posted: 9 Dec 2007, 14:35:14 UTC - in response to Message 689507.

Thanks for all the info...after looking closer I find the Q6600 has a FSB of 1066, but the motherboatd I installed it on only has an 800Mhz FSB. I'm screwed, right?


You should be able to oc the fsb to 1066.


Overclocking would be one option, but it can cause instability issues for your system if your motherboard can't handle it. I would return it and get a Pentium Dual Core (1MB L2 cache, still uses the highly optimized Core architecture) or a Core 2 Duo E4600 (2MB cache).

Replacing the motherboard would be another option, but it could invalidate your Windows license since a new motherboard purchase can be considered a new machine.
____________

Dissident
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 20 May 99
Posts: 132
Credit: 70,320
RAC: 0
Canada
Message 690102 - Posted: 9 Dec 2007, 20:31:34 UTC - in response to Message 690049.
Last modified: 9 Dec 2007, 20:32:15 UTC

Replacing the motherboard would be another option, but it could invalidate your Windows license since a new motherboard purchase can be considered a new machine.


You just have to call MS to have your key validated and they'll give you a new product key. I've had to do it before and it's quick and painless.

OzzFan
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 02
Posts: 13614
Credit: 30,346,529
RAC: 21,235
United States
Message 690107 - Posted: 9 Dec 2007, 21:10:34 UTC - in response to Message 690102.

Replacing the motherboard would be another option, but it could invalidate your Windows license since a new motherboard purchase can be considered a new machine.


You just have to call MS to have your key validated and they'll give you a new product key. I've had to do it before and it's quick and painless.


That works for XP but the licensing has changed for Vista.
____________

Profile [KWSN]John Galt 007
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 Nov 99
Posts: 2441
Credit: 18,348,802
RAC: 1
United States
Message 690114 - Posted: 9 Dec 2007, 21:31:34 UTC - in response to Message 690107.

Replacing the motherboard would be another option, but it could invalidate your Windows license since a new motherboard purchase can be considered a new machine.


You just have to call MS to have your key validated and they'll give you a new product key. I've had to do it before and it's quick and painless.


That works for XP but the licensing has changed for Vista.


So, what you are saying is that I can't replace a MB in Vista and use the same copy? What happens if the MB is dead, and you need to replace it?

Going back on topic, I have 3 quads, all with 2gb of RAM. I OC'ed them to 3gHz (recently, and am pulling 2700-3100 RAC apiece (b4 OC). With the cheap price for RAM, don't hesitate to max out the PC. It can't hurt.


____________
Clk2HlpSetiCty:::PayIt4ward

Dissident
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 20 May 99
Posts: 132
Credit: 70,320
RAC: 0
Canada
Message 690120 - Posted: 9 Dec 2007, 21:49:31 UTC - in response to Message 690107.
Last modified: 9 Dec 2007, 21:50:12 UTC

That works for XP but the licensing has changed for Vista.


Just one more reason then to stay away from Vista, IMO...

OzzFan
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 02
Posts: 13614
Credit: 30,346,529
RAC: 21,235
United States
Message 690128 - Posted: 9 Dec 2007, 22:36:53 UTC - in response to Message 690114.

So, what you are saying is that I can't replace a MB in Vista and use the same copy? What happens if the MB is dead, and you need to replace it?


If the MB is dead and you replace it with the same one, you're good.

From what I understand, Microsoft is saying that OEM and Upgrade copies of Vista (any flavor) are non-transferable to a new machine. Microsoft has stated that a new machine is anything that consists of a "considerable" change in hardware. A new motherboard might not be an issue by itself, but if you end up upgrading the processor, video and NIC all at the same time with the motherboard (and since the NIC is built into many motherboards these days...), you will have to buy a new copy of Vista.

The Upgrade copy (any flavor) also cannot do full, clean installs anymore like previous versions of Windows (there's a workaround, but it's generally a PITA). The Upgrade copy must have an existing copy of Windows installed before it will continue.

The Full Retail version of Vista (any flavor) is the only version that is transferable to a new machine.

OEM copies are supposed to be limited to a single activation and that's it. However, I had to re-activate after upgrading my BIOS (which subsequently turned off my SATA NCQ setting) and Microsoft didn't give me a hard time about it.
____________

Profile UBT - NaRyan
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 20 Oct 07
Posts: 89
Credit: 145,658
RAC: 0
United Kingdom
Message 690142 - Posted: 9 Dec 2007, 23:09:21 UTC - in response to Message 690128.

I had to re-activate after upgrading my BIOS (which subsequently turned off my SATA NCQ setting) and Microsoft didn't give me a hard time about it.


Another one I have seen is Vista wanting re-activated, after you install new Motherboard chipset drivers......

Now thats a stupid bug.
____________

Profile ML1
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 25 Nov 01
Posts: 8417
Credit: 4,133,161
RAC: 1,437
United Kingdom
Message 690223 - Posted: 10 Dec 2007, 0:29:33 UTC - in response to Message 690120.

That works for XP but the licensing has changed for Vista.

Just one more reason then to stay away from Vista, IMO...

Just save on all the complicated silliness and give a mainstream Linux distro a try?

The only "WGA" (What G****** Advantage?) fun that I ever suffer now is when sorting out others' (Microsoft) PCs... And "DRM"?...


All "good fun"?

Happy crunchin',
Martin

____________
See new freedom: Mageia4
Linux Voice See & try out your OS Freedom!
The Future is what We make IT (GPLv3)

Profile eaglescouter
Send message
Joined: 28 Dec 02
Posts: 162
Credit: 42,012,553
RAC: 0
United States
Message 690458 - Posted: 10 Dec 2007, 23:35:02 UTC - in response to Message 687875.
Last modified: 10 Dec 2007, 23:37:39 UTC

My best unit so far is a Q6600 w 512MB, running about 1900 RAC.
Bill


Bill, that RAC is way too low for a Q6600 running as a dedicated 24X7 SETI cruncher.

1. Optimize the client
2. Boost the FSB

Shoot for a RAC of 3,000+ on the Q6600
____________
It's not too many computers, it's a lack of circuit breakers for this room. But we can fix it :)

Brian Silvers
Send message
Joined: 11 Jun 99
Posts: 1681
Credit: 492,052
RAC: 0
United States
Message 690535 - Posted: 11 Dec 2007, 3:09:30 UTC - in response to Message 690223.
Last modified: 11 Dec 2007, 3:11:34 UTC


Just save on all the complicated silliness and give a mainstream Linux distro a try?


I recently took part of a class that was about Ubuntu 7.04 and/or Fedora Core 5. I dropped the class (even while having an "A" grade) for a multitude of reasons:

1) The instructor started out the gate with a quiz that had an "extra credit" question of "Why does Microsoft suck so bad?". I didn't answer the question. Most of the time sane, rational, and humble instructors do not comment on students' non-answering of extra credit. Instead, this instructor deemed it appropriate to "instruct" me to "answer all questions, even if you don't agree".

2) He said that *ALL* Windows installations require a format/reload over time so as not to become "slow" and/or riddled with problems. Furthermore he proclaimed that taking the upgrade package instead of the full retail installation was doomed to problems every time. When I pointed out that I hadn't formatted in years, he scoffed at the idea. When I said that I had used the upgrade editions to go from Windows for Workgroups 3.11 -> Windows 95a -> Windows 98 -> Windows 98SE, he told me I was "lucky". When I told him that I had picked good hardware and built the system myself, he then said that I was then "really lucky". I couldn't take any more of the arrogance, so I replied back "or really skilled", to which he almost belittled me in front of the entire class, but he realized what he was about to do and shut up.

3) He refused to listen to what I said about how a homework example was broken so badly that it would require a rewrite of the example (out of the course text!) in Python and that learning Python was outside the scope of the course. What got broken was the whrandom support in Python-tk (deprecated, use random instead). The example was based on whrandom with 4 parameters being sent. Random only supports 2 parameters (arguments). His bluster and "know it all" attitude prevented him from listening to what was being said. He assumed that whrandom was only being used for pseudo-random number generation. It was, in fact, being used for tasks in addition to the PRNG...

4) His syllabus had old information. He even has several course documents up that say "these are old, but they should still work".

OK...now that I'm done with the instructor's arrogance and ineptitude at teaching:

5) Ubuntu 7.04 took 3 attempts at installing via VM Player for it to work. This was with a machine that HE created in VMware Workstation and installing from the 7.04 CD that came with the book. Is this a problem with VM Player? Perhaps. As some of us cannot afford to just go get a second system and could not trust that the partitioning tools would be 100% safe, it was the only option left for getting the software running.

6) Instruction manuals are written at a very technical level. If you want to do only web surfing, emailing, and word processing / spreadsheet tasks, the only advantage I can see with Ubuntu is the fact that it is less of a virus target. The Export to PDF option in OpenOffice is nice, but not a neccessity.

7) Continual software updates. There are just as many, if not more, security patches for Ubuntu (Gnome). The day after I spent HOURS going from 7.04 to 7.10, there were even more updates for stuff.

8) My hardware only worked properly without fiddling with x11 settings because of the generic interfacing due to the VM. My Logitech MX Revolution mouse is not fully supported. My X-Fi card is certainly not supported. Someone else in the class had some extreme difficulty in getting dual monitors to work with ATI cards. The response from the wonderful instructor? "You may have problems with 'bleeding edge' hardware". Wow! Thanks chum!


So, my first experience with a "mainstream" Linux distribution was less-than-satisfying. A lot of it was because of the arrogance of the instructor, which was not surprising since the group of Linux Zealots that I had exposure to before were also arrogant. That said, I saw nothing truly "impressive" enough to convince me that "Microsoft is eeeeeeeeevillllllll" and that I should fdisk/format/install Linux.

IMNSHO, and, obviously, YMMV..
____________

Profile ML1
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 25 Nov 01
Posts: 8417
Credit: 4,133,161
RAC: 1,437
United Kingdom
Message 690682 - Posted: 11 Dec 2007, 16:12:05 UTC - in response to Message 690535.
Last modified: 11 Dec 2007, 16:14:06 UTC

I recently took part of a class that was about Ubuntu 7.04 and/or Fedora Core 5. I dropped the class (even while having an "A" grade) for a multitude of reasons:

1) The instructor started out the gate with a quiz that had an "extra credit" question of "Why does Microsoft suck so bad?"...

So, my first experience with a "mainstream" Linux distribution was less-than-satisfying. A lot of it was because of the arrogance of the instructor, which was not surprising since the group of Linux Zealots that I had exposure to before were also arrogant. That said, I saw nothing truly "impressive" enough to convince me that "Microsoft is eeeeeeeeevillllllll" and that I should fdisk/format/install Linux.

IMNSHO, and, obviously, YMMV..

Briefly(-ish :-) ) so as to not linger too far OT:

There's always "zealots" on both sides of whatever fence. Don't tar everything for the sake of the loudest few.

I would also guess that some of the "Linux zealotry" is just a response to the extremism from the Microsoft Marketing and from Steve ('Linux is a Cancer and Must Be Destroyed') Ballmer.

Back in the real world, I'd have called that tutor up on his approach. That is completely unnecessary and quite negative. Whatever system you choose should stand on its own merits.


I think that Microsoft has garnered a powerful EVIL status due to the extreme aggression shown towards everything that is not Microsoft. I would say (and the courts have demonstrated) that Microsoft have gone way beyond 'normal acceptable business practices'... And their 'war' continues... Including against their very own customers!

Meanwhile, I do find Microsoft very annoying for how Microsoft wastes my time and incurs extra expense for me even when I'm NOT using any of their software!

All a question of what might be 'reasonable'...


I moved to Linux a long time ago now because that proved to be (by far) the best platform for development work I was doing at the time. The inherently better security (and no viruses) is also great for much more relaxed surfing and computing. I still work on some Microsoft systems, and they take a certain very different 'care' and expense to keep working...


Regardless, what is best is what works well for you.

Happy crunchin',
Martin

(Disclaimer: Merely my own personal views...)
____________
See new freedom: Mageia4
Linux Voice See & try out your OS Freedom!
The Future is what We make IT (GPLv3)

Message boards : Number crunching : Which processor gives most bang/buck?

Copyright © 2014 University of California