Author Topic: Workstation configuration  (Read 7845 times)

2019-06-21, 18:15:18

fla

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Hi,

I'm configuring a new workstation for myself and I would love to hear your opinions on the subject.
I'll be mostly running Cinema 4D + Corona.
I mostly work on archiz - houses or small residential projects with realistic 3D foliage.
My upper budget is 1800€ for the whole package (1gb ssd, 64GB rama,... LCD excluded of course)

I'm going to use it as a main computer, not a slave. So I'm expecting decent viewport speeds.
Since CPU represents the bottleneck for Cinema viewport performance my first thought was i9 9900K.

But now I started thinking about Threadripper 2920x.
Based on cinebench scores (https://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/amd-ryzen-threadripper-2920x-review,10.html) 2920x is 27% faster in multithreading compared to i9 9900K.
On the other hand i9 9900K is 22% faster in single thread rendering - how would that difference be reflected in the viewport speeds?

The other thing that confuses me are the Corona benchmark results - results of i9 9900K and 2920x are very similar. How come there is no noticeable difference in Corona speeds between the two? Should I trust Corona benchmark results or Cinebench results?

Any advice regarding graphic card much appreciated as well.
At the moment I have my eye on GeForce GTX 1660 Ti . Should I go with something cheaper since I'm working with CPU based Corona only?
Will it at all affect any viewport speed improvements when working with a lot of scattered geometry (grass,trees,...)

Thanks,
matej

2019-06-21, 19:01:59
Reply #1

Juraj

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How much in hurry are you ? I would say Zen2 Ryzens will be better choice than both above unless you will want to upgrade to 128GB in future and higher core CPU, than Threadripper platform is the correct choice.

(Could mods move this to HW section please? It's not tied to Cinema).

Regarding your question on speed difference: It's bit complex, Corona Benchmark isn't very representative by now, and Corona suffers a bit from AVX injection, something that Cinebench does not.
Single core speed will be felt in viewport, but not to great degree at all since even Zen1 has decent single-core performance, but Zen2 is on par if not little bit better than 9th gen Intel.
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2019-06-21, 19:18:12
Reply #2

fla

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Thanks for your fast reply @Juraj Talcik!
I could wait let's say until august - from what I understand Zen2 is lunching in july but release dates could extend quite a while  (?)

There is a chance I will upgrade to 128 of ram indeed. I wasn't aware that poses a problem with Threadripper ?

best,
m

2019-06-21, 19:51:17
Reply #3

Juraj

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Thanks for your fast reply @Juraj Talcik!
I could wait let's say until august - from what I understand Zen2 is lunching in july but release dates could extend quite a while  (?)

There is a chance I will upgrade to 128 of ram indeed. I wasn't aware that poses a problem with Threadripper ?

No, oppositely :- ). It doesn't pose a problem with Threadripper.

Ryzen is AM4 platform, dual-channel right now, only up to 4 DIMM slots. Currently DDR4 (Non-ECC) modules only come in 16GB modules. So hence 4x16=64GB maximum. Samsung already started production of 32GB non-ecc modules, but when they will come and how they will be supported is currently unknown. There is no guarantee it will work on current motherboard simply with bios update. So if you go with Ryzen you might be stuck with 64 on X570 boards. In theory, maybe in practice both X570 and the higher-end X590 will support 32GB dimms (and thus 128GB option). Intel's LGA1151 is also dual channel quad-dimm socket only, and does theoretically support 32GB Dimms when they become available.

Threadripper, TR4 platform, is quad-channel, 8 DIMM slot (on ATX and E-ATX sized boards), so you can go up to 8x16=128GB, so if you buy 4x16=64GB now, you can buy another 6 months later if you wish.

Also, you could theoretically buy high-end TR4 board (only two of them, MSI MEG and Asus zenith ALPHA), both of which can be score  for 500 euro, Alpha only if you search around... buy cheaper Threadripper now, and later upgrade to Zen2 32/48 core.
Zen2 Threadripper will come probably with its own new chipset (X599?) but will work on existing X399 chipsets as long as they have powerful enough power cascade. And only MEG and ALPHA have 16 VRM phases.

That's my suggestion number 1.

My suggestion two would be 16core Ryzen9 3950X, but in order to update 4x16=64GB memory, you have to upgrade fully to 4x32 in order to have 128GB in future, replacing what you already bought (64GB DDR4 3000 CL15 currently costs about 320 +/- Euro).

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2019-06-22, 05:47:16
Reply #4

JoeVallard

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If your going to buy a threadripper to hold you over till zen 2, the zen 1 TRs are going on sale left and right in the US. I picked up my 1920x for $279, thats less than half the price of the 2920x. I've seen the 1950x sell for cheaper than the 2920x as well. This would probably vary on which country you are in. You could buy a good x399 Juraj suggestted and drop a 1920x/1950x in and upgrade to a new TR whenever they come out. It would save you a fair amount if you just intend to upgrade the cpu it anyways.

2019-06-22, 12:45:08
Reply #5

Juraj

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If your going to buy a threadripper to hold you over till zen 2, the zen 1 TRs are going on sale left and right in the US. I picked up my 1920x for $279, thats less than half the price of the 2920x. I've seen the 1950x sell for cheaper than the 2920x as well. This would probably vary on which country you are in. You could buy a good x399 Juraj suggestted and drop a 1920x/1950x in and upgrade to a new TR whenever they come out. It would save you a fair amount if you just intend to upgrade the cpu it anyways.

Exactly ! And not just direct sales, you can go on local e-auctions/e-bazaars and buy them unopened or very shortly used for very nice prices.
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2019-06-22, 23:14:37
Reply #6

JoeVallard

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Exactly ! And not just direct sales, you can go on local e-auctions/e-bazaars and buy them unopened or very shortly used for very nice prices.

I purchased an openbox item for the first time and I was a bit worried about it, but I found the x399 Taichi on sale + $100 off for open box and when I opened it up, Every package still had the sticker on the plastic bags. The box was literally the only thing that wa open. Guessing it was returned caused they ordered the wrong socket.

For a quick overview of my budget build, I used some of my old parts to save money and I had no need for my old i7 3770 and its components.

TR 1920x = $279
Taichi x399 = $200
Gskill Trident Z 32GB(8x4)  3200Mhz = $233 (this stuff is down to $179 now) If I had a bit more for a budget I would of got 64GB 16x4
WD Blue 500gb M.2 Ssd = $70
750w PSU = $138 (My old PSU didn't have an extra pin for the taichi's mobo)
Noctua NH-U14S TR4 = $80

Oddly enough that put my build at $1,000 exactly. The 2920x alone is $600. The 9900k was above $500 at the time of my build as well.
I used my old Case, GPU, platter drives, and Windows 10 lets you transfer you key to your online login so didn't need to buy a new key.
There are some incredible savings for gen 1 TR out there if you have the patience

I also sold my old components on ebay for around $250. Which puts me about $750 for my low end workstation.

I was planning on upgrading to the 3950x later this year... but they moved that to the Ryzen socket, so now I'll have to wait and see if my budget allows for an upgrade to the zen 2 Threadrippers =/

2019-06-25, 17:27:56
Reply #7

fla

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Thank you very much Juraj and Joe! You helped a lot!
I wasn't paying much attention to cpu development lately and I can see there are lots of exciting announcements from AMD.
Now I'm thinking to wait for Zen2.
I'll be on a lookout for TR 1920X though, if I find it priced as mentioned I will most probably take it.

Do you recommend Radeon graphic card to go with AMD cpu?
Latest Corona update uses Intel and Nvidia (even before that) denoising - if I go with Radeon + Threadripper I wont be able to use it. The new intel denoising seem pretty fast though.

best,
matej

2019-06-25, 17:50:30
Reply #8

Juraj

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No, go with nVidia. For few reasons:

- AMD doesn't have competitive cards are now. The very upcoming range is slightly competitive in mid-range segment (against RTX2060) but not priced any better at all.
- But neither has nVidia made worthwhile improvement in almost 3 years. RTX have barely perceptive improvement outside of actual ray-tracing, for which only the top model (RTX2080ti) is any good for, on all others it's wasted.
- Intel Denoiser is much faster than Corona ones, but still much slower than Optix by nVidia (and eats huge amount of memory). Optix is instant..it's fraction of second, it's seriously cool during IR.

Buy card with at least 6GB of VRAM, ideally 8. (But I've seen some 1080ti with 11GB go as low as 400 Euro...but unless you plan to also do Unreal Engine you don't need it). 3dsMax doesn't care much if you have 1050ti or 1080ti...nothing will be faster in viewport. But the moment your scene in viewport runs out of memory (lot of polygons and textures shown in full resolution), 3dsMax will become extremely slow. You will go from 50 FPS to 0.5 FPS. Graphic card memory is just as important as system memory, even for pure CPU renderers because you still need viewport.

Best thing right now is to buy some older 10xx generation from nVidia, ideally from someone second hand and save money massively for really good performance.

Scoring very cheap Threadripper on market or auction would be good if you plan to upgrade. But don't forget to spend the money of powerful board in that case. MSI MEG and Asus ZenithAlpha are 500-550 Euro right now...which is lot, but worth it.
The other x399 boards will be useless for Zen2 Threadrippers because of their weak VRMs.

« Last Edit: 2019-06-25, 18:00:18 by Juraj Talcik »
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2019-06-25, 18:10:04
Reply #9

JoeVallard

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No, go with nVidia. For few reasons:

- AMD doesn't have competitive cards are now. The very upcoming range is slightly competitive in mid-range segment (against RTX2060) but not priced any better at all.
- But neither has nVidia made worthwhile improvement in almost 3 years. RTX have barely perceptive improvement outside of actual ray-tracing, for which only the top model (RTX2080ti) is any good for, on all others it's wasted.
- Intel Denoiser is much faster than Corona ones, but still much slower than Optix by nVidia (and eats huge amount of memory). Optix is instant..it's fraction of second, it's seriously cool during IR.

Buy card with at least 6GB of VRAM, ideally 8. (But I've seen some 1080ti with 11GB go as low as 400 Euro...but unless you plan to also do Unreal Engine you don't need it). 3dsMax doesn't care much if you have 1050ti or 1080ti...nothing will be faster in viewport. But the moment your scene in viewport runs out of memory (lot of polygons and textures shown in full resolution), 3dsMax will become extremely slow. You will go from 50 FPS to 0.5 FPS. Graphic card memory is just as important as system memory, even for pure CPU renderers because you still need viewport.

Best thing right now is to buy some older 10xx generation from nVidia, ideally from someone second hand and save money massively for really good performance.

Scoring very cheap Threadripper on market or auction would be good if you plan to upgrade. But don't forget to spend the money of powerful board in that case. MSI MEG and Asus ZenithAlpha are 500-550 Euro right now...which is lot, but worth it.
The other x399 boards will be useless for Zen2 Threadrippers because of their weak VRMs.

I was literally typing a message to tell him to wait for your words of wisdom lol. But that would of been my advice as well. The nvidia denoiser to to valuable to give up for interactive rendering. Here in the states there were 1080tis on sale for $600 yesterday and 1070 for $350.

2019-06-25, 18:17:00
Reply #10

Juraj

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Optix really made my work so much more fun. The results in complex interiors early can be bit...ugly, but still give me super good idea about light. I love using Optix and Lightmix at same time in IR.

But when I do studio work, like white-sweep furniture rendering...I get fantastic final like (without micro detail in fabrics of course...AI denoisers absolutely kill this kind of info) image under 1 minute in 2560px (For simple scenes I can get away with IR with resolution as high as this, and the Optix is still like 20miliseconds to compute).
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2019-06-25, 18:23:37
Reply #11

fla

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Thanks again, you guys rock!

If I decide to wait for Zen2 would I still need to buy the expensive MSI MEG/Asus ZenithAlpha MB. Or can I expect new MB within 350€ range made for the new Zen2 cpu?

2019-06-25, 18:28:02
Reply #12

Juraj

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Thanks again, you guys rock!

If I decide to wait for Zen2 would I still need to buy the expensive MSI MEG/Asus ZenithAlpha MB. Or can I expect new MB within 350€ range made for the new Zen2 cpu?

By Zen2 you mean Ryzen3 on Zen2 right ? Because even Threadrippers Gen3 will be on Zen2 Architecture in Q4(/Q1 2020). And they have completely different boards (AM4 platform with X570 chipset for Zen2 Ryzen, TR4 platform with X599 chipset for Zen2 Threadrippers, but for both, current chipsets also work with bios update, but not all motherboards).

If you decide to go with Ryzen 3xxx, then AM4 based X570 boards will start at 200 euros. And because even the most high-end 16core Ryzen9 3950x is only 105W TDP chip, almost every board will support it well.
What is funny, AM4 boards will now range from 100 euro to 1000 Euro because there will be some super high-end stupid gimmicks board for it putting those TR4 based MEG/Alpha boards to "shame" (they are great deal in fact).

Choices, so many choices :- D ! Enjoy.
« Last Edit: 2019-06-25, 18:32:30 by Juraj Talcik »
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2019-06-25, 19:05:37
Reply #13

JoeVallard

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I was wrong the 1080ti I saw was $440!! If you don't mind refurbished. You should be able to find some good deals on 10 series, if you don't want to try raytracing out in real time.

2019-11-21, 21:29:28
Reply #14

fla

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Finally the wait for 3950X is over.
So here's is my setup at the moment, I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on it.

CPU
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
900€

MB
ASUS TUF GAMING X570-PLUS: https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/TUF-GAMING-X570-PLUS/
250€

Or should I go with PCie3 ASROCK Taichihttps://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/X470%20Taichi/index.asp ?
Since there is no obvious advantade over the PCie4 boards at the moment.

RAM
64GB (2x32GB) https://www.adata.com/us/orderinfo/483
This leaves to slots open for possible upgrade to 128GB
300€

GPU
Used 1080 ti
500€

HEATSINK
NOCTUA NH-D15 chromax.black https://noctua.at/en/nh-d15-chromax-black
100€


best,
matej
« Last Edit: 2019-11-22, 10:04:12 by fla »