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Old 2012-03-29, 15:39   #1
joblack
 
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Default Best Prime95 bang for my bucks?

Hello everybody,

I'm planing to buy a second PC for playing around with Linux. So I'm thinking about getting one which performs well with Prime95, too. :)

Which one gives best 'bang for my bucks' experience (for 2 and 4 cores)? I suspect Sandy Bridges but is a Celeron the best choice?

Last fiddled with by joblack on 2012-03-29 at 15:41
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Old 2012-03-29, 16:10   #2
cheesehead
 
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Work type(s)? Just L-L?

And, nowadays, it's "for 2 and 4 cores and XXXX graphics card" !!

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2012-03-29 at 16:12
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Old 2012-03-29, 17:36   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joblack View Post
Hello everybody,

I'm planing to buy a second PC for playing around with Linux. So I'm thinking about getting one which performs well with Prime95, too. :)

Which one gives best 'bang for my bucks' experience (for 2 and 4 cores)? I suspect Sandy Bridges but is a Celeron the best choice?
With the advent of P95 version 27 incorporating AVX, the sandy bridge CPUs outshine all others. I don't know how the Celeron SB compares to normal SB, so I am no help there.
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Old 2012-03-29, 17:46   #4
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The best bang for the buck it to buy used and not the latest generation. You have to be conservative, though, how far back in time you go with technology. Sure you can buy some Netburst processors for $50 a pair that originally were over $3500 each, but you will get miserable performance in comparison to something modern.

Anyway, let us head to eBay and see what is out there. Somebody is selling two Intel Xeon E5630 processors. They are currently at $161.50 each with four days to go. Add two triple channel ECC memory kits (one per processor), for example two of Kingston KVR1333D3D4R9SK3/12G, at about $120 each used, a compatible motherboard, plus a GPU or few, while gamers unload their previous generation to get the latest, and you have a pretty smoking set of components.

You can get an even better deal if you watch auctions for complete servers or workstations. Sometimes, when a company goes out of business or something, there is a flood of used computers somebody looks to offload quickly.
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Old 2012-03-29, 19:05   #5
fivemack
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The 'a compatible motherboard' part was by some way the largest expense when I built in early 2010 the dual-quad-Opteron that I've since sold to xilman - the RAM and the CPUs came from ebay, the case from a machine that was being thrown out at work, but dual-processor motherboards aren't that commonly found second-hand and cost three to five hundred pounds.
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Old 2012-03-29, 19:14   #6
Dubslow
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Normally I would agree with TObject, but as bcp19 pointed out, AVX is way worth the extra money. (Alternately, you could just wait for Ivy Bridge to be released, and then maybe SB will be less pricey or "second generation" )

The real answer to your question depends on what worktype you want to do, and if you want what's best for GIMPS or what gets the most credit. It also (heavily) depends on how much money you have. Buying a GPU (I'd recommend a GTX 570 or 580) will get you lots (and lots) of TF credit, but TF isn't exactly in short supply right now. Depending on how much money you have, I'd go for an i5-2500K -- it's the second best mainstream product, and is almost exactly as good as the best mainstream product except for $100 less. (The 2500K costs ~$210.) GIMPS needs P-1 -- for that, I would get RAM rated at DDR3-1866, again if it's within your budget. (Rated less will still be very very good for P-1, or for anything.)
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Old 2012-03-29, 22:40   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubslow View Post
Buying a GPU (I'd recommend a GTX 570 or 580) will get you lots (and lots) of TF credit, but TF isn't exactly in short supply right now.
It seems to me that GPU L-L software testing is proceeding well. Might not any graphics card purchased now have a substantial chance to reliably contribute L-L during its lifetime?
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Old 2012-03-29, 22:59   #8
Dubslow
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That's also true, I suppose. But, for instance, a 2500K slightly overclocked can roughly match a GTX 570 in LL throughput (depending on a variety of factors; see
http://mersenne-aries.sili.net/throu...6144&mhz1=3600 as well as
http://mersenne-aries.sili.net/cudalucas.php).
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Old 2012-03-29, 23:38   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubslow View Post
That's also true, I suppose. But, for instance, a 2500K slightly overclocked can roughly match a GTX 570 in LL throughput (depending on a variety of factors; see
http://mersenne-aries.sili.net/throu...6144&mhz1=3600 as well as
http://mersenne-aries.sili.net/cudalucas.php).
Mine actually outperforms a 580. I average 8.7ms on a 26M exp, or 1.48 DC/day compared to the 580's 1.28.
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Old 2012-03-29, 23:49   #10
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That's 'cause yours is at like 4.2 or 4.5 GHz, right? That's a bit more than 'slightly' OCd.

(I used 3.6 GHz, as you can see by the last 8 or so characters of the first link.)
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Old 2012-03-29, 23:59   #11
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Our team found, over the long haul, that best bang for the buck was with the latest, greatest and newest ... buying something already old only means it gets too old too fast ... in six months regret sets in ...

With the latest, one can usually skip the next upgrade cycle. This is important, since too frequent upgrades usually means money wasted on platforms that become obsolete, i.e. socket change, ram standards change, change you name it change ...

So, on the long haul, the bestest latest usually winds up being cheapest ...
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