Xeon vs i7

TJ
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Topic 194337

Hello,

I was wondering which processor a Xeon or i7 is more efficient, for running Boinc but for other applications i.e. mathcad and mathlab?

Has anyone experience with this?

Greetings from
TJ

Bikeman (Heinz-Bernd Eggenstein)
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Xeon vs i7

Quote:

Hello,

I was wondering which processor a Xeon or i7 is more efficient, for running Boinc but for other applications i.e. mathcad and mathlab?

Has anyone experience with this?

Both Xeon and i7 refer to families of CPUs, not individual CPU types, so it's a bit difficult to compare "Xeon" to "i7" in general. Also "efficient" can mean many things, like "cost-efficient" (EUR/performance) or "energy-efficient" (W/performance).

Could you be a bit more specific, like maybe giving a certain budget you have in mind?

Also, computing intensive software packages (including the BOINC framework with some BOINC projects, and Matlab (for certain functions via a plug-in)) now support using a modern graphics card to accelerate the computations. So when planning your budget, you might want to include some extra EUROs for a high end graphics card.

In general, a desktop CPU based solution (i7) should be more cost-efficient in most scenarios.

CU
Bikeman

Paul D. Buck
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As far as I know the basic

As far as I know the basic CPU is the same. The i7 though is the chip targeting the desktop user while the Xeon is the workstation and server. One other difference is that the Xeon can be used in dual processor configurations.

So, for example, the latest Apple Mac Pro has dual Xeons at the top end. Meaning 16 virtual processors total. My single i7 has 8 virtual processors.

Dell is also offering dual Xeons in its workstation line though I do not know if their MB allows multiple GPU cards or not. As far as I can tell from the web site it does not. Nor are they clear as to the wattage of the PSU.

NewEgg does have server MB allowing dual Xeons ...

Looking to the future, it would almost be better, for the moment, to consider the i7 in the sense that if you want 16 processors you would build two boxes ... but that would give you twice as many GPU slots to fill. Even if you only started with low end cards, that is a lot of GPUs to fire up and do work with.

If you look at my stats on Willie's site you will see that the vast majority of my work is on GPU Grid and I only have 4 Nvidia GPUs (one ATI, but MW is pretty hard to get work from), and this is with 6 computers with 30 CPUs (one AMD dual (really old), two dual Xeons for 4 virtual CPUs each (Dells), one Q9300 (4), one i7 (8) and one Mac Pro with dual Xeons 8 more cores).

mikey
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RE: If you look at my stats

Message 92818 in response to message 92817

Quote:
If you look at my stats on Willie's site you will see that the vast majority of my work is on GPU Grid and I only have 4 Nvidia GPUs (one ATI, but MW is pretty hard to get work from), and this is with 6 computers with 30 CPUs (one AMD dual (really old), two dual Xeons for 4 virtual CPUs each (Dells), one Q9300 (4), one i7 (8) and one Mac Pro with dual Xeons 8 more cores).

Do you have a link to "Willie's site"? Also the new ATI 4770 has 640 'stream processors', are those comparable to Nvidia's 'stream processors'?
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4633240&csid=ITD&body=MAIN#detailspecs

TJ
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RE: Could you be a bit

Message 92819 in response to message 92816

Quote:
Could you be a bit more specific, like maybe giving a certain budget you have in mind?

Hi Bikeman,

The Budget is now issue, as I work a lot at home I need a “heavy†pc and every 4 years my work buys a new one for me. However I can give suggestions and if I really want special features I can pay a small amount myself. The old one (after 4 years) I can buy for 100 euros. I will have one nVidia GTX card installed in the new one.
Mathcad and mathlab will be uses widely as well as excel. It should be nice to calculate a few E@H WU’s as well. I have looked at output from some Xeon processors and saw that several of 2.66GHz, has different outcome for the integer calculations. Sometimes i7 where faster (comparing the seconds needed). I know it is difficult, that is way I dropped the questions here with many experts reading.

Greetings from
TJ

Paul D. Buck
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RE: RE: If you look at my

Message 92820 in response to message 92818

Quote:
Quote:
If you look at my stats on Willie's site you will see that the vast majority of my work is on GPU Grid and I only have 4 Nvidia GPUs (one ATI, but MW is pretty hard to get work from), and this is with 6 computers with 30 CPUs (one AMD dual (really old), two dual Xeons for 4 virtual CPUs each (Dells), one Q9300 (4), one i7 (8) and one Mac Pro with dual Xeons 8 more cores).

Do you have a link to "Willie's site"? Also the new ATI 4770 has 640 'stream processors', are those comparable to Nvidia's 'stream processors'?
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4633240&csid=ITD&body=MAIN#detailspecs

"Willie's site"

The thing is, right now, ATI cards can only be used on MW and not that well as they are having troubles issuing work, or keeping the beasts consuming the tasks satisfied... So, if you want to do GPU work, the best choice at the moment is Nvidia cards. IN another year, who knows ... but for now ... Nvidia is the way to get into GPU computing. There are three active projects for CUDA, SaH, SaH Beta, and GPU Grid (my choice) ...

TJ
TJ
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RE: As far as I know the

Message 92821 in response to message 92817

Quote:
As far as I know the basic CPU is the same. The i7 though is the chip targeting the desktop user while the Xeon is the workstation and server. One other difference is that the Xeon can be used in dual processor configurations.

Hi Paul,

At Dell-Netherlands there are workstations with options of two processors (Xeon) and two high-end graphics cards, under the direction for small businesses. My work is buying so that is now problem, however they sell these systems to private individuals as well. I find all these graphic cards very expensive comparing with the ones they offer in XPS or Dimensions.

But I see workstations with Xeons and high end gaming machines with i7’s and that is way I drop the question at first. I should say a workstation is bought by companies where money is not the most important issue. For home users they built machines with i7 and are a bit expensive as well. That is way I thought that Xeons are better/more efficient.

Greetings from
TJ

DanNeely
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RE: Do you have a link to

Message 92822 in response to message 92818

Quote:

Do you have a link to "Willie's site"? Also the new ATI 4770 has 640 'stream processors', are those comparable to Nvidia's 'stream processors'?
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4633240&csid=ITD&body=MAIN#detailspecs

Not directly. Nvidia stream processors do ~3x as much work as their ATI brethern. The ATI ones are ~3x smaller so they can put ~4x as many on a single card.

Peformance levels at a given price are roughly comparable, but the ATI card will have significantly more SPs to provide it.

mikey
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RE: RE: RE: If you look

Message 92823 in response to message 92820

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
If you look at my stats on Willie's site you will see that the vast majority of my work is on GPU Grid and I only have 4 Nvidia GPUs (one ATI, but MW is pretty hard to get work from), and this is with 6 computers with 30 CPUs (one AMD dual (really old), two dual Xeons for 4 virtual CPUs each (Dells), one Q9300 (4), one i7 (8) and one Mac Pro with dual Xeons 8 more cores).

Do you have a link to "Willie's site"? Also the new ATI 4770 has 640 'stream processors', are those comparable to Nvidia's 'stream processors'?
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4633240&csid=ITD&body=MAIN#detailspecs

"Willie's site"

The thing is, right now, ATI cards can only be used on MW and not that well as they are having troubles issuing work, or keeping the beasts consuming the tasks satisfied... So, if you want to do GPU work, the best choice at the moment is Nvidia cards. IN another year, who knows ... but for now ... Nvidia is the way to get into GPU computing. There are three active projects for CUDA, SaH, SaH Beta, and GPU Grid (my choice) ...

Thanks for the link. That is why I am doing folding right now, Seti is out and GPU Grid is an I don't know.

mikey
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RE: RE: Do you have a

Message 92824 in response to message 92822

Quote:
Quote:

Do you have a link to "Willie's site"? Also the new ATI 4770 has 640 'stream processors', are those comparable to Nvidia's 'stream processors'?
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4633240&csid=ITD&body=MAIN#detailspecs

Not directly. Nvidia stream processors do ~3x as much work as their ATI brethern. The ATI ones are ~3x smaller so they can put ~4x as many on a single card.

Peformance levels at a given price are roughly comparable, but the ATI card will have significantly more SPs to provide it.

Okay that explains the difference, thanks!

archae86
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Just in case someone happens

Just in case someone happens upon this thread, I'd like to mention that Xeon is sort of a brand name for the server variants of many generations of Intel processors. So if one browses through the active host list for Xeons, one will find many levels of performance.

At the design level, most if not all Xeons have been built from the exact same silicon die as their mainstream desktop stablemates, with the distinction being made by fuses blown during final personalization, pinout, and such.

In some cases the Xeon variant could not be introduced until a later stepping than that used for the initial desktop product offering because bugs only affecting the multiple socket configuration support which has been the main Xeon product differentiator over the generations had to get fixed first.

I think the Original Poster and several good responses have all implicitly assumed the scope of the use of the term Xeon here was limited to Xeon-branded derivatives of Nehalem, or the i7 generation of Xeon. But without that assumption, of course, many, many Xeons are considerably less capable. and some of the performance comments on this thread are quite inaccurate without that constraint.

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