Some people (my family included) may be forgiven for thinking that I have vanished from the surface of the earth.

Such rumours are widely exaggerated. In fact, I have been busy migrating to a new workstation and turning the old one into a slave. The power horse in question is an HP Z820 with the following specs:

Two Intel Xeon E5-2687W 0, or 16 cores running at 3.1 Ghz;

32 GB of RAM;

a 236GB SSD as system drive;

and an Nvidia K5000 (Kepler) card.

I’m now up-and-running, ready to say good-bye to grainy renders. Brute force, here I come.

28 Responses

  1. smilf says:

    i have an alienware which i bought 2 years ago, specs are: i7 980x @3.3ghx, 12GB 1333Mhz RAM, and 1.5TB HDD, a 2 nvidia gtx 260 cards….it just doesnt seem to be enough for any of my archviz work…as the poly count icreases above 2 – 2.5m…everything just slows down…selecting an object takes 5 mins (no joke)…..etc etc…is it advisable to upgrade the video card or buy a whole new machine??…im not really well versed with hardware so can u please help??.. Thanks…

  2. Jesse Martin says:

    Can you tell us what kind of monitors you are using?

    I’ve had wide gamut monitors for several years now and still struggle with them a bit every now and then. I’m just curious to see if you’re using wide-gamut monitors, and how you deal with them in 3D Max.

  3. @ shanthkumar

    The dual xeon setup is around 300 % faster than your Core intel 990x.

    If we include a certified memory,a fast Hard Disk, a good video card (like the k 5000), …

    Kind Regards.

  4. renderchief says:

    You cannot compare a K5000 to a GTX card! Nvidia puts definitely limits to the gamer cards. Since the GTX7xxx its not just about the drivers but the hardware itself! On the other hand if you have long rendertimes with CUDA GTX cards are not certified for that; so if the card is damaged you will not get guarantee on it. You made the right decision with the K5000! Congrats! (no matter what others say – they are only jealous!)
    Ideal config for further extensions is the K5000 together with the Tesla K20 (over 4000 Cuda cores!!).

  5. Danio says:

    Awesome build! I would check your watercooling fittings fairly regularly depending on the style (assuming its not a closed loop). I recently sprung a leak but fortunately it was to my external rad. I think the tubing compresses with time. I was running the hose clamp style fittings. Another half turn on the nut and I was good. Also if you flush the system (good idea every 6 months) I’d stick with distilled water and no additives. To keep a handle on bacteria, etc just use a silver ‘killcoil’ since silver is naturally anti-microbial and won’t gunk your system up or react with anything.

    I’m currently constructing a small render farm based off of four sandybridge 2600k’s I got during a black friday sale. It’s all going inside an Ikea Helmer cabinet. I’ve never had the speed to do much brute force stuff so now I get to learn! I read your whole thread over at chaos group about BF and noise. Seems one big part of the solution is high reflection subdivs for mats using script…?

  6. Glimps says:

    k5000 is a Kepler chip (gk104) based card, the same one used for GTX680. technically these cards are very simillar, even has the same omount of vRAM, though driver differences between consumer & PRO cards give an edge for later when You compare screen performance for different CADapps =) on the other hand for computational tasks (like using OctaneRender) will be a bit slower than GTX580 You had =) so k5000 is good for the screen, but if You want better computational power & got some money and space in Your rig..K20/k20x might be a solution – price is steep, but it has 5Gb/6Gb of vRAM & plays nicelly with K5000 as nVidia has Maximus technology. These cards run twise as fast for Arion compared to GTX580, so I assume You might expect simillar performance for Octane too, though noOne has posted confirmation on OTOYs forum yet.

  7. BBB3VIZ says:

    Hi guys.

    Really, you don’t want to know about the cost. Let us just say it made my eyes water.

    I did make the oil-painting image above. A 10-second job: bad underexposed Ipad photo + Photoshop + Alien Skin SnapArt (there are many apps to turn photos into “paintings” and this is by far the best).

    And yes, more stuff is on the way, though whether it will be before Christmas I don’t know. Soon in any case.

    RobSteady: I haven’t looked inside the beast yet. It’s what I would normally do first but been too busy transferring my licenses from the old one and in a hurry to finish. I guess I could put several cards in there, but I would not do it without upgrading the PSU. And this is all liquid cooling in there, which I have no experience of and makes me a bit nervous tweaking things. I did try Octane and at first sight the K5000 does not seem to run much faster than my old GTX 585. Perhaps it is not yet updated for Kepler. Got to look into it in more details when I get a chance. I am very interested in Octane. I use it like I use Maxwell, but the limited Vram is a big obstacle for me as my scenes tend to be quite big asset-wise. These 32 GB of RAM are no luxury!

  8. RobSteady says:

    Nice one!
    Is it possible to add more gpu’s for octane?
    I was thinking about buying one of these great workstations but only if can also use it with octane.
    Do you still consider octane for work in the future. I think it’s growing quite fast…

  9. 4thwall says:

    Great news! Now there will be plenty of time to share with family and friends and of course make materialism 2,3,4,….God bless techlonogy!

  10. Lovely. In the next 6 months I’m going to try to convince my boss’s that we need some new machines along these lines. Our current ones are really good, but they’re essentially glorified gaming machines, rather than dedicated workstations.

  11. Aurélien says:

    Hey Bertrand ! Nice beast you have !
    Just received my z620 one, same config but with xéon six-core in 2.4ghz.
    Work good with 2 others z600 as slave. But no quick as i want…………………….;)
    See you and hope to see soon some impressive render from your new toy ! ^^

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