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Intel Xeon And AMD High-End Processors

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Intel Xeon Processors

processor flat pins center chips
source: phxere

Xeons processors are the corporate-class of CPU from Intel.  Those generally appear as more expensive CPU, when compared to mainstream versions with the same clock speeds.  This is because they offer other advantages that are more business-oriented.

Although, we do not recommend them for home users, it is worth noting how they compare to regular processors.  Here are a few advantages of the Xeon class or CPU:

  • They permit a longer product life-cycle through software updates and firmware upgrades.
  • Extended personnalized customer support.
  • Certified for uptime stability and reliability for continuous heavy duty use in work environments.
  • Guaranteed compatibility with a list of common components.
  • Better durability and and overall quality of the electronic components.
  • Some performance tweaks for maximum device performances
    • More data lanes for simultaneous device speed
    • Support for multiple CPU)

 

Form Factor

The usual purpose of this Xeon brand is for the long term operation and maintenance of multiple computers, such as large-scale data-centers, render farms or cloud-computing servers.  They generally are a better return on investment in the long run, when there are many machines to maintain and repair.  They can be used in two different form factors

  • Full ATX towers
  • Server Blades (render blades)

Server blades are flat, thin computers that are usually inserted horizontally in a rack-mount containing multiple blades at once.

 

Performances

chip on motherboard name branding
source: pxhere

Performance-wise, they also offer more data lanes than the mainstream processors.  This allows more simultaneous hard drives to transfer data at the same time without clogging the main bus.  This doesn't necessarily equal better crunching power for home users using one or two drives, however.

The second aspect is that Xeon Processors usually have a lot more L3 cache, sometimes 400% as much, and a fitting price tag of course.  The only big advantage for home users is that you could support two CPU on the same motherboard.

You can find more information on Xeon CPU at www.velocitymicro.com

 

How to Recognize Xeons

Products names are always a little tricky and change often to confuse consumers.  Xeons can be identified in 4 ways:

  • They used to have the name Xeon before the number, but is no longer always the case
  • i9 ntel processors are Xeons
  • i7 processors ending with the letter X (ex. i7 7920X) are Xeons
  • The processor socket identifies them: LGA 2011 and 2066 are both Xeons.

 

Price Considerations

For most consumers, however, there are some important things to consider before buying a Xeon Processor.

  1. First, the components for Xeons use an entirely different socket, so they need a special type of motherboard.
    • Today, they are named the LGA 2011 and the newer LGA 2066
  2. They requires a different type of RAM: ECC memory (Error Correcting), which is more expensive.

This will run up the costs of your machine very quickly and it isn't necessarily going to be a good return on your investment personnally.  Therefore, we recommend that you avoid using the Xeon-class processors, if you're just building one home computer.

 

Double Processor

The only reason you would want to go with an intel Xeon processor for 3D rendering, is the ability to use two processors inside a single motherboard.  But this too, will cost you a whole lot, for that second CPU, special motherboard and double the amount of RAM.   If money is not a concern and at all and you are interested in getting raw performances for multiple computers, then this is for you.  In the end, it will still be more affordable than building two separate computers, so this is what's used for large-scale computer farms.

 

Pro: Lower High-End

8 Cores, 3.6 Ghz, L3: 11 Mb

Also available on Newegg.com (US)

Pro: Mid High-End

10 Cores, 4 Ghz, L3: 25 Mb

Also available on Newegg.com (US)

Pro: High-End

14 cores, 3.1 Ghz

Also available on Newegg.com (US)

Pro: Highest-End

18 cores, Max: 4.4 Ghz

Also available on Newegg.com (US

AMD's High-End CPU Ranges

AMD has a range of processors with higher-end performances, and a matching price range, to cater to professionnals and heavy multimedia users, like 3D artists.  Those are the Ryzen Threadripper CPUs, which can fit up to 32 cores in a single chip. As with Intel's business range, AMD's high-end CPU also require a special socket, the TR4.  You can find our recommendations for those, below.

Finally, AMD also extends into the business-class CPU that allow for a dual-socket motherboard, and 64 cores chips.  This is done through another type of socket, the EPYC 2-Socket Solutions.  You can find out more about this new architecture here, directly from AMD.  They are however, definitely not for the home user, as they are available for the server blade format only.

 

 

amd processor phenom inserted socket
source: wikimedia Mike Babcock, Socket AM3 and AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition - flickr 2, CC BY 2.0

 

More About Processors

Mid High-Range

12 Core, 4 Ghz, L3: 38 Mb

Also available at Newegg.com (US)

Pro: Recommended

16 Cores 4 Ghz, L3: 40 Mb

Also available at Newegg.com (US)

Pro: Highest-Range

32 Cores, 4.2 Ghz, L3: 80Mb

Also available at Newegg.com (US)


 

Go back to choosing the best processor for 3D rendering

 

Compare all CPU performances and prices here

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/

 

 


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