Cases to take a quad Tyan board?

Discussion in 'Tyan' started by Richard, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. Richard

    Richard Guest

    I'm seriously considering going for a quad Tyan board with dual core
    processors to provide a powerful platform for Photoshop. BTW can I put
    two CPU's on, save up for a few months when the prices will have come
    down and put a couple more on, or is it best to buy all four at the same
    time. I'm thinking of stepping issues here.

    Now to the main reason for this posting. What are the choices for
    cases to fit this 16"x13" board in form factor SS MEB ? What power
    supply to buy is also another question. I will be running 5 or 6 fast
    SCSI drives on the system.

    Many thanks for your help.

    Richard
     
    Richard, Nov 19, 2005
    #1
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  2. Richard

    Jim Guest

    Richard,

    I don't know whether you have a reason for this, but the K8WE (S2895)
    supports two, dual-core, processors and up to 16 GB of memory. I have
    a fast SATA II RAID setup with 1.3 TB of storage. The operating system
    thinks I have four processors. What's worse is that Photoshop doesn't
    even support my setup, let alone the equivalent of *8* processors as
    you would have. I'd call Adobe and see whether they will support eight
    processors in the near future.

    Jim
     
    Jim, Nov 19, 2005
    #2
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  3. Richard

    Richard Guest

    In his posting of Sat, 19 Nov 2005, Jim writes
    Dear Jim

    My reason for considering a quad rig is that much of my business is
    concerned with preparing files that often run into more than 1g in size
    and sometime considerably larger. Some of the operations I do are CPU
    intensive and I find myself just waiting for around half of my work
    time. This is not only of course very wasteful but is very frustrating,
    leading to the temptation to not try alternative techniques when
    deadlines are looming!

    I had in mind that it may be a good move to get a quad board and only
    install initially two dual core processors and see how that is for
    speed, and up the number if needed and or when the price of processors
    drops.

    As to the point about Adobe supporting such a configuration, I posted a
    question on the PS forum earlier in the day and had this response from
    one of the chief PS engineers.... Of course Photoshop can handle it...
    Why would you think it couldn't?

    Well there you go.

    All the best

    Richard
     
    Richard, Nov 19, 2005
    #3
  4. You don't say what OS you are considering?. On most MS OS's, a custom HAL
    is needed to go beyond four effective processors....

    Best Wishes
     
    Roger Hamlett, Nov 19, 2005
    #4
  5. Richard

    Jim Guest

    Richard,

    Sorry. I guess I know far less than I thought I did. :) They told
    me that it wouldn't even support my dual, dual-core system. I guess I
    spoke with the wrong person.

    As for power supplies--and I may be wrong here as well--I would think
    you would need dual power supplies of some sort. PC Power and Cooling
    only goes to 1K as far as I know, and that would not be nearly enough.

    One advantage of the K8WE is the dual PCI-Express video.

    Good luck! I'd be quite interested in how this project turns out! :)

    Jim
     
    Jim, Nov 19, 2005
    #5
  6. Richard

    Richard Guest

    In his posting of Sat, 19 Nov 2005, Jim writes
    Dear Jim

    Thanks for joining in on this thread. I am uncertain which way to jump
    at the moment that's why I am delving and asking questions. The reply
    I got from Chris Cox at Adobe was far too glib and curt for my liking
    and he has now come back with a response that suggests to me that he is
    not really bothering too much to read what I am asking...perhaps he is
    not correct and you are! I will keep you posted.

    For Roger, as regards the OS, I would far rather continue with Win2k if
    it provides the necessary CPU support, but I understood that MS consider
    that it is at the end of its life. Do you know what the situation is
    with the server versions or XP both as in 64bit? I am not a fan of XP
    even with the eye candy off!

    Cheers

    Richard
     
    Richard, Nov 19, 2005
    #6
  7. Richard

    Rob Stow Guest

    PhotoShop will *run* on our hypothetical 8P box. What the guys
    at Adobe are not addressing is whether or not it will *use* all
    of the cores in all of the processors.

    I have built several boxes based on the S2885 and S2895 for a
    couple of small video production shops in my area. They use
    XP-Pro and XP-64 and use Adobe Premiere, rather than Photoshop.
    They have found that two single-core 2.6 GHz Opty 252 processors
    beats out a pair 2.2 GHz Opty 275 processors for any single task
    they might to with Premiere.

    However, the boxes with the dual-core processors let them do more
    things at one time without the system becoming unresponsive to
    user input. For example, rendering a clip with a pair of Opty
    252's will go faster than rendering the same clip with a pair of
    Opty 275's - but with the Opty 275's it is *much* easier to work
    on other things while the rendering is being done.

    One of the guys who runs one of those shops hangs out (or at
    least used to) in the forums at 2CPU.com - you might want to ask
    multi-processor questions there.

    Note also that with W2K-Pro SP4 on those dual-core 2P boxes, W2K
    sees all four cores but used only the "first" core on each
    processor. I have not been able to find anything at MicroSoft
    that will let W2K Pro use all four cores and at this late date I
    don't expect MicroSoft to add this capability to W2K.
     
    Rob Stow, Nov 20, 2005
    #7
  8. Richard

    Clueless Guest


    Why not consider a http://www.tyan.com/products/html/tx46b4882.html (only 2
    SCSI drives) or a http://www.tyan.com/products/html/vx50b4881.html which
    supports 8 SATA drives (the 10k ones should be fast enough) & use an
    external drive array for SCSI?

    Re Windows, you will need Windows Server x64 standard edition (upto 4
    processors, the dual core CPU's are treated as one processor so is ok).

    S. Althaf
     
    Clueless, Nov 20, 2005
    #8
  9. Richard

    Richard Guest

    In his posting of Sun, 20 Nov 2005, Clueless writes
    Thanks for that but I want the very fastest SCSI drives and find the 15k
    Seagate 320 drives are excellent and would rather buy a tower to take
    the 5-6 H. drives I need.

    I am not too clear on the availability of 64bit OS for self build as I
    understood that MS put the boot in on this.

    Cheers

    Richard
     
    Richard, Nov 20, 2005
    #9
  10. Richard

    Clueless Guest

    Is disk performance a limiting factor in Photoshop, esp if you use over 12
    GB of RAM (you can have 128 GB but I understand 3 GB for image use + rest
    for OS / plugin use)? Or a RAID soln would help.

    As for buying Windows x64, look for the OEM version, available on EBay for
    half list. You just need to buy some hardware with it, commonly a cheap
    mouse or cable is sent for free.

    S. Althaf
     
    Clueless, Nov 20, 2005
    #10
  11. Richard

    Jim Guest

    Richard,

    I'm enjoying the exchange. Actually I am actually more of a coputer
    hobbyist that a worker. This KW8E is the first server I have ever
    built. I actually did it to gain access to a 64-bit, 133 MHz slot for
    the RAID. I have RAID in my other machine, but it is slower in a
    32-bit slot. I also liked the idea of building a Windows x64 system,
    and I knew it would not run all of my applications. In fact, I am
    using two computers with a Gefen switch box and one monitor. The major
    advantage of Win x64, as I understand it, is that x64 is the first
    public version of Windows which supports up to the equivalent of 4
    processors for only $140.00. That sounded like quite a deal to me!
    Unfortunately, building the machine was quite another story, as
    *everything* costs more for servers. Even my freen Grisoft AntiVirus
    would *not* run on a 64-bit system, you have to buy the paid version.

    Adobe told me that they do *not* have a 64-bit version of Photoshop in
    the works, although I have read that in Maximum PC. I haven't really
    found much, if any, "Designed for Windows x64" software. Much of what
    I do have runs in 32-bit mode. Logitech *does* have 64-bit mouse
    drivers, which is one of the exceptions.

    Jim
     
    Jim, Nov 20, 2005
    #11
  12. Richard

    BC Guest


    Dear Richard,

    one possible consideration: A "quad" (two dual core) G5 Mac?

    Case problem: solved.

    Power supply: solved.

    OS: Solved, and, it's pretty good. Unix based, stable.

    Can take either ECC or non ECC memory, up to 16G (using 2G modules)

    Storage: Xserve RAID--or, you can most likely use the hard drives of
    your choice regardless.
    http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wo/StoreReentry.wo?family=XserveRAID

    Or, build a cluster (that would not be my choice for a name, given my
    experience with bureaucratic clusterf-x) that could be expanded later.
    Note that the solution includes backup power, 24/7 support, 4 hour
    response time, etc.

    Seems as though lots of creative types prefer Apple.

    And, one other consideration: a Sun Workstation W2100z:

    Specs:

    http://www.sun.com/desktop/workstation/w2100z/specs.jsp

    Two AMD Opteron 200 Series CPUs that range from Model 244 (1.8 GHz) to
    Model 252 (2.6 GHz)

    # Microsoft Windows XP Professional (32-bit) (Windows Catalog Certified)
    # Microsoft Windows XP x64 Edition (Windows Catalog Certified)

    Case, power supply, OS issues again handled, and, one source to go to
    for problems: with such high end gear, would be nice to have someone to
    service it. It appears that Sun's pricing structure has improved, and,
    having taken quite a beating after the dot.bomb, seems as though they
    (along with Apple) would be eager to listen to your needs and customize
    a system for you.

    With so many variables, such a complex setup (you're not talking about a
    $399 Dell) and no central point of contact, could be that you'd spend
    more time chasing down gremlins than Photoshopping. And, assuming this
    is work, not play, (?), and this is a considerable investment, having
    the system integrated/guaranteed is perhaps not a bad idea.

    HTH, GL,

    BC
     
    BC, Nov 20, 2005
    #12
  13. Historically, the standard HAL, with W2K server, supported 4 processors,
    and 'professional', 2. People selling machines with more processors than
    this, used to supply custom HALs. Now there has been a 'switch' with XP,
    in that on this, _hyperthreading_ processors, despite showing as two
    processors in task manager, are treated as a single processor, so you can
    have four hyperthreading processors, showing 8 tasks, with the standard
    server HAL. However this 'exception', does not appear to extend to the
    fully dual core processors (a friend tried a configuration similar to what
    you are proposing, and XP server SP2, would not recognise more than four
    cores). XP X64 'enterprise' server, did.
    Currently, XP X64 'datacentre' server, supports up to 64 processors, XP
    X64 'enterprise' server, 8 processors, XP X64 'standard', 4 processors,
    and XP X64 professional, 2 processors.
    Seriously, while a lot of processors can be a great solution for some
    jobs, where there are a lot of processing tasks showing a very high
    tendency to always access data from a number of small memory area (so the
    cache works efficiently to serve the processes), for more 'normal' tasks,
    other areas tend to increasingly become the bottleneck. It is well worth
    taking some time with performance monitor, monitoring all the traffic
    areas (memory I/O, network I/O, disk I/O, etc. etc., before deciding to
    expand to this number of processors. I'd not be suprised of the system
    will hit other limits, once you shift beyond perhaps three or four cores.

    Best Wishes
     
    Roger Hamlett, Nov 20, 2005
    #13
  14. Richard

    Richard Guest

    In his posting of Sat, 19 Nov 2005, Rob Stow writes
    snip
    Dear Rob

    Can you explain to me what you mean by running on your hypothetical 8p
    Interesting...I wonder why that should be unless Premier simply cannot
    address more than two processor cores.
    Seems to support what I have said above.
    OK, thanks for the lead.
    I'm sure you are right, but what about their server versions...are they
    pulling development of those OS?

    Cheers

    Richard
     
    Richard, Nov 20, 2005
    #14
  15. Richard

    Richard Guest

    In his posting of Sun, 20 Nov 2005, Clueless writes
    Certainly using the fastest SCSI drives with one for OS, one for paging
    file, one for Photoshop scratch disk and a work in progress has worked
    well for me to date. I understand that one can alter the switch to
    allocate 4G of ram to Photoshop. What I also had in mind was to be
    able to use perhaps about 5G of ram as a software first scratch disk for
    very fast working with files of up to 1G in size. Now does anyone know
    who has this software ready for 64bit use?
    Good tip...thanks!

    Richard
     
    Richard, Nov 20, 2005
    #15
  16. Richard

    Richard Guest

    In his posting of Sat, 19 Nov 2005, Jim writes
    Dear Jim

    Thanks for that. As this machine will never be allowed on the Internet
    catching a virus is not an issue and any files transferred to it will be
    checked out on the office computer running 2K.
    I would be most surprised if they were not well advanced on that front
    though they are taking their time. Makes a bit of a nonsense all the
    trumpeting that came from Apple when they launched their 64bit
    processors...then of course their OS was not really 64bit at that time.
    I understand it is now getting there.
    Yes I have just found out that my large Wacom tablet will not have
    drivers available for it and will have to replace it...Ugh!

    Cheers

    Richard
     
    Richard, Nov 20, 2005
    #16
  17. Richard

    Richard Guest

    In his posting of Sun, 20 Nov 2005, BC writes
    snip
    Well yes but I am not that convinced! We do run several Macs here for
    mundane tasks like operating the drum scanners but to be honest prefer
    win 2k boxes for the Photoshop editing work for several reasons.
    Too small a case and I prefer to keep all the gubbins in one box rather
    than have leads and boxes "strewn" about all over the work area<G> Yes
    I know that many in the Mac fraternity seem to love to have the wretched
    things cluttering up there work areas, but me I look on a computer as a
    means to an end which sits under the work benches and just gets on with
    the job rather than being ...Err a fashion statement!
    Very expensive route at present though.
    I like to keep things as simple as possible but yes a raid system could
    be useful for creating a large and fast scratch disk.
    Were we are we are miles and miles from any likely support centre so is
    a given that we/I support ourselves!
    Not so daft either as one option.
    This has always been a consideration as these things usually go tits up
    when a deadline is approaching. Any support has to be really up to
    speed if it's of any value here.

    Thanks for the though provoking suggestions.

    Cheers

    Richard
     
    Richard, Nov 20, 2005
    #17
  18. Richard

    Clueless Guest

    Windows Server x64 standard can use 32 GB of RAM but only 3 GB per image
    data as per http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/332271.html &
    http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/320005.html
    If you have sufficient RAM, the use of the paging file & scratch files
    should be entirely in memory. And a RAID soln is going to be faster if you
    use SCSI but still pretty good I/O with SATA.

    My personal setup would be a 15k small SCSI RAID 1+0 for the OS, another
    similar for both scratch & swap (probably never get used but why take a
    chance), a larger SCSI or SATA RAID 1 or 1+0 for the data, a large SATA disk
    or two for archiving and finally atleast 12 GB RAM.

    S. Althaf
     
    Clueless, Nov 20, 2005
    #18
  19. Richard

    Rob Stow Guest

    AIUI, the box being discussed in this thread hasn't been built
    yet - therefore it is "hypothetical" rather than real. When you
    find your case and assemble the parts ...
    W2K - server or Pro - has not been updated to reflect MicroSoft's
    policy of counting CPU sockets rather than cores. When W2K came
    out, they almost immediately stopped development of NT4: bug
    fixes and security fixes continued but the set of
    features/capabilities was locked down. Similarly, the feature
    set of W2K Server seems to have been locked down about two years ago.

    However, W2K Server can handle 4 processors just fine so I would
    expect it to be able to use all 4 cores in a 2P Opty 27x box.
     
    Rob Stow, Nov 20, 2005
    #19
  20. Richard

    Richard Guest

    In his posting of Sun, 20 Nov 2005, Rob Stow writes
    snip
    Dear Rob

    Thanks for the explanations.....wonder if they are selling off copies of
    2K Server cheap<G>

    Cheers

    Richard
     
    Richard, Nov 20, 2005
    #20
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