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Single PC high volume boxing?

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Meshuggenah

Posts: 94

Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:33 pm

Post Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:51 am

Single PC high volume boxing?

Hey,

New 1080 Ti's are being released soon so I'm looking at an upgrade along the lines of;

CPU: i7-6850K (6 cores, 3.6Ghz)
RAM: 64GB DDR4
GPU: GTX1080 Ti x2 (SLI, 24GB total GPU RAM)
HDD: SSD + SATA combo
Some closed loop water cooling kits on the GPU/CPU.

Ideally I'd like to be able to maximize the number of boxes I can run on a single machine (25+) so I can get rid of some of the clutter in my office. Has anybody has looked into some of the new Xeon's or dual CPU options? Here's an example from some YouTube guy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfscbJldcAI.

Also, since RAM is so cheap, was considering the possibility of increasing RAM to 128 and allocating the extra 64 gig as a RAMdisk.

Any other ideas? Got a little white before the Ti's release so I'd like to have the rest of the system planned.

Cheers!
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bob

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League of Extraordinary Multiboxers

Posts: 3315

Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:14 am

Location: In the dining room, with the lead pipe.

Post Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:08 am

Re: Single PC high volume boxing?

Xeons are much like using the E series retail chips with a couple of exceptions.
1. You cannot overclock them.
2. the GHz on the retail chips are better.

There was a guy (shadowandlight?) who tried dual 10core 2.1Ghz Xeons, and found the performance (of EVE) was worse than using normal desktop chips. It was shown you really want a 3GHz chip or better, and in Xeon territory, you end up in quite the high price bracket if you are trying to add many cores. Once you factor in the motherboard/ECC premiums, then it gets to be an expensive exercise. But then again, it does depend on your goals, and may end up cheaper than kitting out two separate systems.

A quick search on ARK, shows there aren't a lot of options that meet the criteria (when you exclude the ??-1xxx chips, which I cant figure out how to do). http://ark.intel.com/search/advanced?s= ... emory=true. You I only looked at the E5s, your pockets may stretch to E7s.
If you can find one of the 2 or 4 chip units at a good local price, then it might work out almost on par.
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Meshuggenah

Posts: 94

Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:33 pm

Post Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:58 am

Re: Single PC high volume boxing?

Yeah, the E5 I looked at was 6 core & 3.4Ghz and was only $200 more than the i7-6850k. The dual socket motherboard was a bit more expensive ($800RRP.) The reason I was considering Xeon's, aside from the core increase, is because i7's apparently aren't compatible with dual CPU motherboards.

I'm not certain whether a single i7-6850k with 6 cores at 3.6Ghz would be enough to power 25+ clients. The other option would be to upgrade to an i7-6900 8 core CPU for a bit of a price hike but even then it'd still be 3.x clients per core.
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bob

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League of Extraordinary Multiboxers

Posts: 3315

Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:14 am

Location: In the dining room, with the lead pipe.

Post Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:11 am

Re: Single PC high volume boxing?

Meshuggenah wrote:The reason I was considering Xeon's, aside from the core increase, is because i7's apparently aren't compatible with dual CPU motherboards.
Correct. 2 and 4 series Xeons have an external QPI link interface which is how the CPU's communicate with each other. Be wary you aren't looking at the 1 series Xeons, which are cheaper, but you can only use 1 in a motherboard, like the "consumer" desktop chips, because they don't have an external QPI interface. The first number of the 4 digit block indicates the number of CPU's that you can have in a motherboard.

e.g.
E5-2643 v4 is a 3.4GHz 6 Core, which can be used in a pair.
E5-1680 v4 is a 3.4GHz 6 Core, which can only be used singly, regardless of how many sockets your motherboard has (and in fact may not even work in a dual/quad socket board).


Meshuggenah wrote:I'm not certain whether a single i7-6850k with 6 cores at 3.6Ghz would be enough to power 25+ clients. The other option would be to upgrade to an i7-6900 8 core CPU for a bit of a price hike but even then it'd still be 3.x clients per core.
Me neither. It depends largely on the game, and what you can do to minimise the resource requirements. You could test with what you have, test a few load points, and extrapolate. It wont be super accurate but it should provide a close enough. Just remember to overprovision. As a general rule I would be inclined to try and limit to 2 clients per true core, and even then that may be pushing it.

For a lot of games currently, the issues really get harder when you hit a lack of GPU power (well after you provide enough CPU). It is a little harder to throw more GPU's at it without having 2 or possibly 3, and then you probably don't want to SLI, which then creates the potential for cross monitor swapping issues (although these can be solved with a couple of simple configuration steps). You did mention about SLI, but then you said 24GB GPU RAM (or VRAM as it is more commonly known). In SLI, you only get total VRAM of one GPU, not the combined total. This is for some really non-informative reasons, which I'll quote because it is hard to spot:
Gforce SLI FAQ wrote:When I configure two graphics cards in SLI mode, do the graphics cards work together to create double the memory size?

No. In SLI mode, each graphics card uses its own frame buffer memory to render a 3D application. The operating system will report a graphics card frame buffer memory size that is found on a single graphics board.
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Meshuggenah

Posts: 94

Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:33 pm

Post Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:28 am

Re: Single PC high volume boxing?

bob wrote:When I configure two graphics cards in SLI mode, do the graphics cards work together to create double the memory size?

No. In SLI mode, each graphics card uses its own frame buffer memory to render a 3D application. The operating system will report a graphics card frame buffer memory size that is found on a single graphics board.


Seems counter-intuitive but good to know I guess. So it's better to use a dedicated monitor for each GPU and split the load of clients between monitors with no swapping between?
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bob

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League of Extraordinary Multiboxers

Posts: 3315

Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:14 am

Location: In the dining room, with the lead pipe.

Post Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:05 am

Re: Single PC high volume boxing?

That would depend on whether you get VRAM limited or not. If VRAM limited you will need to split the cards. As SLI doesn't scale linearly, i.e. two cards in SLI is approximately 170%-180% of a single card, then you get a little more GPU with them split too. For me, it would purely come down to whether any limits are hit.

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