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Need help choosing CPU

nanganand

Junior Member
Aug 25, 2016
2
0
1
I need to build a PC for the first time in my life (always been OSX until now), and I'm struggling to figure out the correct CPU. After hours of research I'm not clear, so I need some help!

My primary work until now has been predominantly video editing using high end footage (mainly RED 4K but increasingly RED 6K), alongside motiongraphics/animation primarily in Cinema 4D.

I will still continue to do that work, but I'm about to start a new job developing some VR using Unreal Engine, so I need a rig that will also be a high-end gaming machine. On top of that, I am now learning Houdini, so need a machine that will work well with VFX sims / rendering. Finally, itt will be amazing to finally explore GPU renderers like Octane and Redshift.

Here's what I know I want:

– EVGA GTX 1080 x 2 in SLI (my new boss has already bought these, so this is definite)
– At least 64GB RAM (perhaps 128, or at least the option if it seems like a good idea?!)
– Fast SSD as main drive
– Internal RAID secondary drives

Where I'm really falling down is the CPU. Someone initially suggested the 6700K, but the more I read about it, it seems like it would fit the gaming/VR side of what I want to do, but not so much the video editing / VFX / animation / rendering side of my work. I was reading about the 5820K instead, but some people seem to urge the 5930K since it has more lanes for dual GPU systems. But what about Broadwell-E? Or should I even be thinking Xeon for a system like this? I'm finding the whole thing crazy confusing, and the more pages/threads I read about it, the less clear the answer becomes to me!

All help and suggestions much appreciated!
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,675
6,738
126
My understanding is that the Skylake 1151 chips only support 64GB of RAM (4x16GB unbuffered).

If you want 128GB, you need to go Xeon, and (I think, not 100% sure) registered RAM.
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
9,366
2,828
136
I'd recommend looking at a proper workstation with ECC memory. When you have 64GB of the stuff, the odds of one of those memory chips developing a flaw (and potentially ruining days' worth of work) is very real. I've personally had the ECC in my workstation save my bacon, as it let me know when a fault developed instead of silently corrupting data.

Try speccing out a Dell/HP workstation with a single socket Xeon, plenty of ECC RAM, and enough PCIe slots and a big enough power supply to handle those two graphics cards. Buy it with the crappiest Quadro NVS card that Dell will sell you, immediately throw it in a drawer, and put in your 1080s.

What's your storage solution? Are you putting your work on some sort of NAS, or are you planning on relying on internal storage?
 
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EliteRetard

Diamond Member
Mar 6, 2006
6,490
1,019
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I'll agree on the ECC RAM for 64GB+, and since Intel went stupid on pricing the new HEDT chips there's no reason to consider a consumer version.

Not sure your budget, but I'll guess a max around $1k (you did get 1080 SLI). Seems there are 4 good choices depending on what balance of work/gaming you want.
Gaming typically isn't well threaded, and wants faster threads...while pro work can significantly benefit from extra cores. So the goal is to find high speed high core counts.

E5-1650 v4 6 cores @ 3.6 - 4GHz ~600$
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=E51650V4BX

Similar price bracket as the 5930k/6850k, same 6 cores, but higher clocks and faster RAM (official 2400), with all the Xeon extra goodness (more total RAM, ECC etc). 50% more cores than the 6700K but should game near the same. There's no faster Xeon, though there's an 8 core E5-1680 v4 that matches it at 3.4 - 4GHz (but at $1700).

-----

E5-1660 v4 8 cores @ 3.2 - 3.8GHz ~1200$
https://www.amazon.com/Intel-CM8066002646401S-PROCESSOR-E5-1660-FC-LGA14A/dp/B01GXMOOVO

The next up in CPU takes one step from gaming and one towards work. It adds another 2 cores and drops clock speeds a hair. The real hurt is the big price hike. Still, you're getting double the cores of the gaming chips and 90% of their performance. It compares favorably to the 6900k, same price but faster and supports all Xeon goodness. Could be a nice balanced CPU, price, cores, speed...though as mentioned above, $500 more will get you another 200MHz (hey, if you aint paying for it...).

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E5-2618L v4 10 cores @ 2.2 - 3.2GHz ~700$
http://www.shopblt.com/item/intel-xeon-dp-10c-e5-2618lv4/intel_cm8066002061300.html

This is the compromise CPU. If you want more than 6 cores but don't want to pay $1k for it. It's a lower power CPU (which can be a good thing) and thus comes with low clock speeds (worse for gaming)

-----

E5-2640 v4 10 cores @ 2.4-3.4GHz ~900$
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=E52640V4BX&c=CJ

This is the CPU to get if you want the most fast cores under $1k. It's just a tick faster than the one above, but every MHz will help feed those 2x 1080's. A vastly better choice than the 6950x at $1700. Same core count, nearly the same clock speed, and somehow way cheaper with all the extra Xeon goodness. Should run games about the same as an i5-6400.

-----

I also want to bring attention to the Dell outlet. If you don't mind refurb or scratch and dent, then you may find great deals. They've got a 30% off code right now: bpoFWs30
I see a 40 core desktop with 2x E5-2698 v4 @ 2.2 - 3.6GHz liquid cooled, with 192GB DDR4 2400 ECC, and a 1300 watt PSU for ~$8,100. Perhaps a tad overkill, but fun.
 
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HiroThreading

Member
Apr 25, 2016
173
29
91
Very good post from EliteRetard, and I concur.

They're a bit older, but a dual Xeon 2670 set up is also really good bang for the buck.

Sourcing a good C602 motherboard is a bit of a challenge. But because the dual Xeons have a huge amount of PCIE lanes, you can make up for the age of the chipset by adding in whatever PCIE cards you need (NVMe, RAID controllers, multiple GPUs, USB3.1 and so on).
 

MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
38,751
3,064
121
I'd recommend looking at a proper workstation with ECC memory. When you have 64GB of the stuff, the odds of one of those memory chips developing a flaw (and potentially ruining days' worth of work) is very real. I've personally had the ECC in my workstation save my bacon, as it let me know when a fault developed instead of silently corrupting data.

Try speccing out a Dell/HP workstation with a single socket Xeon, plenty of ECC RAM, and enough PCIe slots and a big enough power supply to handle those two graphics cards. Buy it with the crappiest Quadro NVS card that Dell will sell you, immediately throw it in a drawer, and put in your 1080s.

What's your storage solution? Are you putting your work on some sort of NAS, or are you planning on relying on internal storage?
It obviously looks like the op is doing a lot of video editing, I'd vote this route.
 

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