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Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

Inoram
Amethyst

Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

Hopefully the subject filtered in the right people.

I am looking to build a new PC; Haswells were launched yesterday. I am wondering what people's experiences were with dual Xeon's versus overclocked i7s. The closest my own experince has been is with gen2 i7 o/c versus a gen3 Xeon (single) and the i7 seemed to perform better.

But I am open to ideas and curious if anyone has spent some time doing some tests with multiple hardware configs.

Also, possibly the same people have done some GeForce versus Quadro testing? I have done a little bit not enough to state really good data. But I have not seen much benefit of a Quadro card, other then everything looks a little nicer on the screen, but I probably notice more than the average user. (I don't do rendering stuff).

Matt

14 REPLIES 14

Re: Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

I suppose it's primarily for running Pro/E? To my knowledge, only the Assembly module can use more than one core. Last time I checked, part regeneration was all done in a single thread, so you didn't get any improvements by having dozens available. In fact I think the nature of the task may mean it's limited to one thread for the foressable future.

When I looked into all this stuff, I decided the Xeons weren't worth the extra money for this sort of work. I did a thorough comparison between the a first gen Nehalem i7s and similarly priced Nehalem Xeon and I found the i7 performed slightly better. I seem to remember concluding that it was because the Xeon required error-correcting memory, which is inheriently slower than regular non-spacestaion memory. It's also relatively expensive. I found it a little amusing that many workstation manufacturers would push Xeons and low-end "Fire Pro" or "Quadro" over the almost identical "domestic" i7s and gaming graphics cards. I even had a guy from Dell tell me that I could add extra Xeon processors in the future via expansion cards. Yes really.

So far as graphics go, I can't tell the difference between a mid-range pro card and a high-end gaming card (both ATi/AMD). They benchmark very differently, but when I can't see the difference in Pro/E I'm inclined to think that doesn't matter.

This is all a good few years old, so I'd recommend heading over to Guru3D and asking there. It used to be a very good forum for this sort of stuff.

Re: Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

Yes, to run Pro/E (creo2).

So it sounds like your experience has been similar to mine, though.

Also, I just did some part modify/regen with the task manager open and I can see it using it all the cores.

Re: Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

Here is a good discussion from last month:

http://communities.ptc.com/message/205052#205052

Re: Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

Thank you, I actually read that one and a few others. I was hoping to find some other PC enthusiasts such as myself that were using CREO. For me, speccing a Dell versus building a performance PC are two completely different worlds. But I know a lot of people are stuck to corporate policy for PC purchases, etc.

Re: Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

A word of caution to a buld-it-yourselfers. PTC does not support your hardware. If there is an issue with Pro/Engineer/Wildfire/Creo and it is hardware related, PTC will not work on resolving the issue unless you can prove the issue exists on an approved computer. Doesn't matter that you used the same components, your computer is not in their facility to verify the problem against. That alone is why most companies stick with Lenova, HP or Dell for their CAD computers.

Re: Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

Darn approved hardware. Could you imagine the rants if PTC had to support every type of configuration?

Re: Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

Approved hardware is great for the IT Dept - having 15 workstations the same does help. But if youre a sole user you can achieve a cheaper and higher performance machine by building your own. Probably the only area where you can have problems is the graphics cards - using a non CAD card does seem to work for some cards with some drivers - but exactly which one and which driver is problematic. There are a bunch of companies making special non approved CAD machines - use their spec for guidance for part selection.

Re: Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

Basically what Burt said. And exactly! There is no reason to pay more (in Dell's case almost double) for a computer that is, well in simplist terms, slow. Unless what I mentioned before your corporate policy doesn't allow you to buy a good computer and/or you/your IT dept doesn't know how to build a good computer.

And right PTC does not "support" ANY hardware. If you video card dies, they don't send you another video card.

So now I am curious what cases you have experienced where this hardware support has helped? I am sure there are cases where they can tell you a certain video driver is flaky on a certain hardware config, etc.

But thanks for the input. I am not trying to encourage people that don't know how to build performance PCs to run out and try it. At least not on a machine they have to use daily for design work.

Re: Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

I don't disagree. Souped up cars and souped up computers are great. But don't expect you local mechanic (PTC Tech support) to pop the hood, look at it, say "huh, I have no clue what's causing the results, failure, thing-a-ma-bob not to work", close the lid and say good luck figuring it out yourself.

Re: Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

I suspect the best you will get from PTC is "use this (very) old graphics driver"

I would recommend stress testing your hardware when you first put your machine together - it could save you a lot of grief with faulty RAM etc.

Re: Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

Burt, yes I give new computers a pretty good burn in, plus stability check (since they are over clocked) and then I still back them down a little even if stable just to come off the literal bleeding edge of what the hardware can do, so I can get some life span out of it. It takes a few days, memtest and prime etc., and that's if nothing fails. lol.

Re: Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

lol, yup...PTC, not a hardware company...

Re: Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

Matt Griswold wrote:

And right PTC does not "support" ANY hardware. If you video card dies, they don't send you another video card.

Matt,

The point is that if you find a bug with Pro/E on your non-approved system, they may refuse to investigate it - they can just say "you're on non-approved hardware; it's not our problem". If you're using an approved system, they should ultimately acknowledge the bug and offer you some sort of solution.

To another point: when you say

Also, I just did some part modify/regen with the task manager open and I can see it using it all the cores.

do you mean it's maxing all the cores (100% CPU usage), or is Windows just sharing one thread across all the cores (25% for quad core or 13% for 8-core)? The only multi-threading I've found is for relatively small sections of Mechanica analysis runs. Single-threaded speed is king, generally.

Re: Haswell i7 o/c or Haswell Xeon dual

Jonathan Hodgson wrote:

The point is that if you find a bug with Pro/E on your non-approved system, they may refuse to investigate it - they can just say "you're on non-approved hardware; it's not our problem". If you're using an approved system, they should ultimately acknowledge the bug and offer you
some sort of solution.

Agreed, understood, but I never found this to be a good reason to buy an approved system.

do you mean it's maxing all the cores (100% CPU usage), or is Windows just sharing one thread across all the cores (25% for quad core or 13% for 8-core)? The only multi-threading I've found is for relatively small sections of Mechanica analysis runs. Single-threaded speed is king, generally.

It appears to be maxing all cores. I probably do not have a good model to best analyze this but just modeling a part with a ton of radii and modify/regen, it maxes all the cores, BUT it seems to do it quickly and in kind of spurts.

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