3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

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cellarnoise2
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3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by cellarnoise2 » Sun Mar 21, 2021 9:15 pm

Sorry, I did not take the time on this forum to find this sub...

I'm interested in learning about the best "low cost" bang for buck server level cpu's. From a bit of searching currently Epyc. Under $2,000 for all hardware.

I'd like to stay air cooled with best bang for buck. Including CPU, cooler, case, MB, power, ect. Like all of the factors :)

From what I know so far, stay ES sample Epyc. Maybe ATX compatible along with ATX power supply. Noctua Air Cooler, Epyc. For most of DC, at least a gig of RAM per thread?

I don't run 24/7 all year, only during the non Air Conditioned months here in Spokane, WA. So normally run puters from October to May. I will likely wait to buy DC stuff until this fall at this point. Maybe best will be single socket Epyc 7003 ES? I'd like to think I could do 64 core with a single GPU?

I am actively trying to purchase a 5950x for my side job with a 3080 for when I have time for any gaming (which as been zero this past year) and DC.

What you all think?

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by crashtech » Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:20 pm

I like your premise and I want to follow your progress. As far as I could tell last time I looked, Epyc hardware was just too expensive for me. First-gen Naples CPUs are at a disadvantage due to their essentially half-speed AVX2 operation. Second-gen Epyc are really good, but are still pretty expensive afaik. I've been adding Zen2 consumer CPUs to my little fleet, as well as a few Broadwell Xeons. I think this is a tough time to find big compute on the cheap. Pretty much a tough time for silicon in general.

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by StefanR5R » Mon Mar 22, 2021 10:19 am

From the figures which I have seen so far, the performance and performance/W difference between Rome and Milan is negligible in workloads which scale well to all cores, such as almost all BOINC projects which use CPU but not GPU.

On the used market, there may occasionally be opportunities to snag some Epyc 7V12 (7702 or 7742 variant for Microsoft Azure) or 7B12 (for Google Cloud Platform).

I am not daring myself WRT the 2nd hand market. So far I only occasionally bought used CPUs from European sellers who appeared to be proper businesses. These were still Intel CPUs, LGA2011v3.

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by Icecold » Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:38 pm

I just looked on eBay again, and couldn't find anything that seemed worth it in the way of Epyc processors available QS/ES or otherwise.

I just checked my eBay purchase history, and I had put together a 28 core/56 thread Dell Precision T7810 in October for the following prices:

Matrox PCIe x1 video card - $20

64GB ECC DDR 2133 - $156

Dell Precision Barebones - had 2 heatsinks, no processors, no RAM. $275

2x Xeon E5-2683 V3 14 core/28 processors - $110 each / $220 total

120GB Sata SSD - I had this already, but I usually pay around $20 for them.

= $691 total, includes shipping but not sales tax. I had to do the 'make an offer' on some of the items to get it as inexpensively as I did, but something similar should still be available if you can be somewhat patient on it and purchase items as good deals are found. Each item was purchased from different sellers, buying it all from one seller would have raised the price considerably. The CPU's are pretty low clocked, but I thought $110 each was a good deal at the time.

If I were to do it all over again I would maybe buy an ATX dual socket 2011-3 motherboard and put it all together myself vs building using a Dell precision, but the costs add up quickly when you need CPU heatsink/fans, power supply, etc.

I've also been getting pretty good deals on Ryzen 3950x's as people upgrade to 5950x's. I know that doesn't really fit this thread, but if it's for something like BOINC where you can scale across multiple machines, a used Ryzen 3950x for $500(but also need to buy all the other parts to go with it) is fairly tough to beat from a PPD per dollar perspective, and is still quite efficient if ran on eco mode.

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by Fardringle » Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:48 am

The dual Xeon build is an interesting idea for a bunch of cores at a not horrible cost. Not necessarily very economical to run long term, though. Those Xeon E5-2683 V3 processors run 120 Watts each so the power cost will add up a bit over time. Still, for under $700 for a complete system, that's not too bad at all.

The newer Epyc systems are amazing, but certainly not cheap.

Personally, I'd love to upgrade my 3900X to a 3950X or even better a 5950X. But I haven't had any luck finding one that isn't badly overpriced, and I'm pretty hesitant to buy used CPUs since there's no way to know if they have already been abused or not. Even better would be to upgrade the 3900X andput the 3900X in a second system, but that's not in the budget (or available space) plans...

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by Icecold » Wed Mar 24, 2021 6:39 am

Fwiw I've never had an issue with a used CPU I've bought and over the years I've probably bought 50-100 used CPU's. I've bought them from Anandtech FS/T, Hardforum, eBay etc. It's pretty hard to cause noticable degradation on CPU's and I don't overclock anything I use for DC projects.

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by crashtech » Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:45 am

I have had good luck with CPUs, but not perfect luck. I've had quite a few Haswell Xeons get to me with at least one memory channel bad.

Looking at prices, performance, and power use, according to my little spreadsheet, the best bang for the buck is simply the 3700X right now. All the Zen3's and Zen2 Epycs are just too expensive right now.

If power use is not a concern, the 2680v4 curb stomps the 2683v3 and can be found for around $160.

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by Icecold » Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:39 am

crashtech wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:45 am
I have had good luck with CPUs, but not perfect luck. I've had quite a few Haswell Xeons get to me with at least one memory channel bad.

Looking at prices, performance, and power use, according to my little spreadsheet, the best bang for the buck is simply the 3700X right now. All the Zen3's and Zen2 Epycs are just too expensive right now.

If power use is not a concern, the 2680v4 curb stomps the 2683v3 and can be found for around $160.
I need to look around again at processors. I was hoping at one point to grab a couple 18 core Broadwells but they were still pretty expensive. The 2680v4 looks like a good option if staying with 14 cores.

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by crashtech » Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:09 pm

Icecold wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:39 am
crashtech wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:45 am
I have had good luck with CPUs, but not perfect luck. I've had quite a few Haswell Xeons get to me with at least one memory channel bad.

Looking at prices, performance, and power use, according to my little spreadsheet, the best bang for the buck is simply the 3700X right now. All the Zen3's and Zen2 Epycs are just too expensive right now.

If power use is not a concern, the 2680v4 curb stomps the 2683v3 and can be found for around $160.
I need to look around again at processors. I was hoping at one point to grab a couple 18 core Broadwells but they were still pretty expensive. The 2680v4 looks like a good option if staying with 14 cores.
It's possible that there are better values than the 2680v4 , but one of my CPU selection criteria is that the single thread performance has to be good enough to run a decent GPU. Even the 2680v4 is a bit slow for this (2.9GHz all core) I actually ended up with 2x 2690v4's which were not as good a deal, but are 200MHz faster than the 2680v4 under full load.

I think the beastliest Broadwell that still has a somewhat sane price is the E5-2697Av4, ~$325, 16 cores and 3.1GHz under full load. But all of these CPUs are outperformed in all but a few things by a $250 3700X which uses much less juice.

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by pututu » Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:35 pm

If anyone is looking for cheap 18-core QS (not ES) haswell (4669v3), systemviper might still have have this for sale for $150 each.https://forums.servethehome.com/index.p ... ual.32404/

I've one and it can run all core at 2.9GHz all day https://hardforum.com/threads/unlocking ... 1043572180. This need some bios hack though which I may have forgotten. Can be found in anandtech forum here https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/wh ... s.2496647/

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by endgame124 » Sun May 16, 2021 11:27 am

My primary concern has been in points per watt given that I have a limited amount of solar power and electricity past that is 17.7 cents kw/h. I haven’t moved up to any true server grade components, and It’s pretty tough to beat the 5950x in eco mode on points per watt.

I really want to see the new threadripper, but if AMD delays them any longer, I don’t see how they would make sense with zen 4 eta around mid 2022. Why spend 2k on a thread ripper 5970 when you can wait 6 more months and get better performance out of a 7950?

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by StefanR5R » Sun May 16, 2021 11:57 am

The Threadripper platform –so far– is not the best choice in terms of power efficiency AFAICT. You get all the power hungry I/O for which there is no use in a compute node, and it seems idle power consumption of the platforms (Ryzen, Threadripper, EPYC) is something which did not receive a lot of attention from AMD yet. Perhaps they'll do better in future platform iterations.

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by Icecold » Sun May 16, 2021 12:16 pm

endgame124 wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 11:27 am
My primary concern has been in points per watt given that I have a limited amount of solar power and electricity past that is 17.7 cents kw/h. I haven’t moved up to any true server grade components, and It’s pretty tough to beat the 5950x in eco mode on points per watt.

I really want to see the new threadripper, but if AMD delays them any longer, I don’t see how they would make sense with zen 4 eta around mid 2022. Why spend 2k on a thread ripper 5970 when you can wait 6 more months and get better performance out of a 7950?
Is there an expectation of a core increase with the next generation of Ryzen? If there is I would agree, but if not, a 16 core newest generation Ryzen shouldn't be even close to as fast as the previous generation 32 core / 64 thread Threadrippper in multithreaded workloads. I would trade my 5950X in a heartbeat for a 3970x if somebody wanted to trade straight up. The pentathlon really drove this home to me, it's a pain managing a bunch of smaller threaded machines vs a few high threaded machines, even if the end performance is similar.

If you meant efficiency, not overall performance, yeah you're probably right. You can really get the power usage low with eco mode, and in theory that should only get even more efficient on newer processors.

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by crashtech » Sun May 16, 2021 1:00 pm

Since Threadripper is unlocked, theoretically it could be underclocked to be more like an Epyc. I'm not sure if it is any more cost-effective, though. But for my purposes, I will be staying with the AM4 platform for the foreseeable future. Epyc is too much money, and the old Xeons are too power hungry. Afaict, my new 5950X is more than a match for my 2x E5-2690v4 system for much less power (haven't measured exactly).

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by endgame124 » Sun May 16, 2021 6:07 pm

Icecold wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 12:16 pm
endgame124 wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 11:27 am
My primary concern has been in points per watt given that I have a limited amount of solar power and electricity past that is 17.7 cents kw/h. I haven’t moved up to any true server grade components, and It’s pretty tough to beat the 5950x in eco mode on points per watt.

I really want to see the new threadripper, but if AMD delays them any longer, I don’t see how they would make sense with zen 4 eta around mid 2022. Why spend 2k on a thread ripper 5970 when you can wait 6 more months and get better performance out of a 7950?
Is there an expectation of a core increase with the next generation of Ryzen? If there is I would agree, but if not, a 16 core newest generation Ryzen shouldn't be even close to as fast as the previous generation 32 core / 64 thread Threadrippper in multithreaded workloads. I would trade my 5950X in a heartbeat for a 3970x if somebody wanted to trade straight up. The pentathlon really drove this home to me, it's a pain managing a bunch of smaller threaded machines vs a few high threaded machines, even if the end performance is similar.

If you meant efficiency, not overall performance, yeah you're probably right. You can really get the power usage low with eco mode, and in theory that should only get even more efficient on newer processors.
Yeah, I’m most concerned about number of points per watt. My wife is pretty tolerant of my hobbies, but she is also a climate scientist. This means that she doesn’t want me burning power on junk hardware to not only rack up a power bill but also doesn’t want me blowing up our carbon footprint. Our solar panels produce a fair amount of extra power that she is good with “donating”. The current agreement is that I can responsibly but hardware to replace my existing stuff (ex,$3k to upgrade my freenas is fine if it’s more power efficient, but $10k is not) but no major increases to my current power load. That means I’ve only got about 1.5kw to play with.

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by Skillz » Sun May 16, 2021 6:22 pm

Sounds like you need more solar panels.

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by endgame124 » Sun May 16, 2021 6:39 pm

Skillz wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 6:22 pm
Sounds like you need more solar panels.
Under consideration, but unlikely - too much shade from the neighbor’s tree to really make it worth while. Now if a storm came along and blew down that tree…

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by Skillz » Sun May 16, 2021 6:46 pm

Electric chainsaws aren't as loud as gas ones.

Throw some panels on the shed?
Take out space in your backyard and mount them to poles on the ground? I mean, who needs a yard anyway when you can generate power with it? :lol:

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by crashtech » Sun May 16, 2021 9:01 pm

More solar, and more Powerwalls!

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by endgame124 » Sun May 16, 2021 9:17 pm

crashtech wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 9:01 pm
More solar, and more Powerwalls!
Might have missed the boat on power wall. Tesla is now only selling them with solar roof systems. They only work when the power goes out too, so it’s pretty expensive for minimal use.

Certainly agree with more solar!

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by Skillz » Sun May 16, 2021 9:25 pm

Well my UPS only works when power goes out. Isn't that the point?

Unless you pay more for electricity at night than you do during the day? Then I could see using the powerwall to store the cheaper (in the case of solar, "Free") power during the day and use it at night, but isn't most power more expensive during the day anyway?

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by crashtech » Sun May 16, 2021 9:36 pm

endgame124 wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 9:17 pm
crashtech wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 9:01 pm
More solar, and more Powerwalls!
Might have missed the boat on power wall. Tesla is now only selling them with solar roof systems. They only work when the power goes out too, so it’s pretty expensive for minimal use.

Certainly agree with more solar!
Well solar doesn't reach its potential without some kind of energy storage system. Powerwall is the most recognized brand name of "that thing." I believe that residential users moving towards an energy storage system will be the way forward, absent fusion or acceptance of nuclear.
I have a little fantasy in which I live where I can have low-head hydro to supplement my solar system. I'm grateful to live in a state with lots of green generation!

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by endgame124 » Sun May 16, 2021 10:10 pm

For the moment, putting my excess energy back on the grid is the perfect energy storage system - I put 100kwh on the grid, I can losslessly get 100kwh back later. Long term, if we get enough people with solar that we generate more out here in the DC area than we use during the day, storage becomes a lot more important. Long term I’m looking at getting an electric vehicle and a bi directional inverter so I can power the house from the car in case of an outage.

As for DC, I’ll replace the i3-6100 freenas box with a 5950 truenas box in permanent eco mode. Then I’ll wait until Zen 4 to upgrade my 2700x. I really want a 3080ti to replace my 1080ti, but we will see how that goes availability wise.

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by crashtech » Sun May 16, 2021 10:23 pm

endgame124 wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 10:10 pm
For the moment, putting my excess energy back on the grid is the perfect energy storage system
Only strictly selfishly speaking. California, for instance, still relies on coal burning (out of state and imported) to fill in when renewables aren't meeting demand. Grid is not actual storage, it only acts that way monetarily to end users because of government mandates.

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by endgame124 » Sun May 16, 2021 10:59 pm

crashtech wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 10:23 pm
endgame124 wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 10:10 pm
For the moment, putting my excess energy back on the grid is the perfect energy storage system
Only strictly selfishly speaking. California, for instance, still relies on coal burning (out of state and imported) to fill in when renewables aren't meeting demand. Grid is not actual storage, it only acts that way monetarily to end users because of government mandates.
It’s not technically storage, but as long as demand is higher than renewable generation, it’s better from an environmental stand point to put the energy on the grid than it is to store locally. Storage and later generation comes with higher losses (be it battery, flywheel, block on rail, etc), and also takes energy to create the storage system. Putting it back on the grid and, say, having a neighbor use it, is low loss and reduces the amount of non renewable generation needed at that moment.

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Re: 3-2021 Big Core Options under $2,000.

Post by crashtech » Sun May 16, 2021 11:54 pm

Well... this probably isn't the proper venue for this discussion. But I will say that utilities that make use of renewables are also deploying energy storage systems as fast as they can, regardless of the energy conversion penalty. That might make plenty of room for dissent against the grid-as-battery paradigm, especially in California, which has apparently declared war against natural gas, the cleanest burning hydrocarbon of all. It's gas plants that are best able to ramp up and down to fill gaps in demand, and despite methane's bad rap as a greenhouse gas, it also (ironically?) happens to be the cleanest burning of all hydrocarbons. Let's be clear here, the excess power from your house, while it does go to another use (axiomatic in an on-demand grid) the net effect is to make peaking plants less profitable, and to thereby increase reliance on out-of-state power, which is not as bound by the emissions rules of your locality. Therefore, the global environment may be unintentionally worsened by the inopportune forced sale of solar into the grid.

The solution would be to require utilities to purchase the power only if they needed it, this would make any possible need for local storage nakedly apparent, where now it is disguised by mandate.

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