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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby mozart999uk » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:15 pm

Agharta wrote:
mozart999uk wrote:Do you have any experience of i9's? I'd read in one of Pete Kaines early posts that they run quite warm and therefor more cooling was needed. Keen to keep my machine as quiet as possible....

There is a trade-off to be made there between the maximum noise level you will accept and the maximum performance on tap.
Once you go beyond the mainstream Intel and AMD CPUs the power consumption can climb significantly.
If you aren't prepared to pay the price of higher noise levels then buy a slower CPU and save some money at the same time.
The i9 chips aren't generally required for DAW usage so unless your usage patterns are extremely demanding they sound overkill to me.

With regard to sound levels, custom solutions are usually preferred unless buying from a manufacturer who have expertise in that area. Not sure if Scan focus much in this area.

Thanks. My current scan PC is quite quiet. They've used quite components and yet for an overclocked machine it runs quite cool. Still, I'll get in touch with their sales team and see what they can tell me about the i9s. I do run some fairly demanding projects 30-50GB in size with 100's of tracks......
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:59 pm

mozart999uk wrote:Thanks Pete. I'm on Cubase.

Might step up from the 10 -12 core as it's not much more money.

I read your article a while back when i9s first came out. You mentioned they ran quite hot and needed a fair bit of cooling. Would a 3xs i9 be any louder than my 3xs oc'd 3930?

That would have depended on the cooling options at the time, so please PM me your previous invoice number/account number/linked phone number/e-mail and I'll check your previous cooling options in the current system by pulling the old records.

The 10 core / 12 cores are rated to about 140w currently. Your chip was a 130w edition, so stock clocks wise it shouldn't be pulling much more voltage than your current chip and same when overclocked as I'd expect both of them to peak around 150W - 160W overclocked and under load.

Of course, the newer chip has far more cores and threads in there, so it does tend to rise rather more sharply, although there have also been advances in load balancing at the OS level which do seem to help to level out thermal peaks on any given core. Certainly seeing less of the "1 core, 10+ degrees higher than the rest" syndrome that used to be more common.

The chips seem to be running cooler now than at launch, which we do expect that as the product revisions occur. I wouldn't say it's an astounding improvement, but even a few degrees help of course and I'm far happier with them now than I was back then.

The chips above this (i9's) are 160w basic raising to 190w with any attempt overclocking, that's where it gets a bit hot and noisy without carefully considered cooling arrangements.
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby Agharta » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:48 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:The 10 core / 12 cores are rated to about 140w currently. Your chip was a 130w edition, so stock clocks wise it shouldn't be pulling much more voltage than your current chip and same when overclocked as I'd expect both of them to peak around 150W - 160W overclocked and under load.

The chips above this (i9's) are 160w basic raising to 190w with any attempt overclocking, that's where it gets a bit hot and noisy without carefully considered cooling arrangements.

I've seen plenty of reviews showing that the 140W TDP i9 parts are capable of consuming much more power than that at stock speeds and when over-clocked the power consumption jumps dramatically.
Seemingly gone are the days of medium range over-clocks that don't push the power consumption too much.
Here is one review:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/intel-core-i9-7900x-skylake-x,review-33922-10.html

On top of that these chips use a poor quality thermal compound under the heat-spreader which means the temperatures are higher than they need be which negatively impacts the ability to cool them quietly whilst keeping temps in check.

I do wonder how relevant most CPU reviews are for DAW usage in terms of power usage and temps.
Usually it seems to be video encoding software is used when testing power consumption which typically can load all threads fully and continually leading to figures which I think a DAW will struggle to match as the load tends to have more peaks and troughs which leads to lower average power consumption and temps.
On top of that some of this video software uses AVX instructions which pushes the chip much harder than most.
Pete, have you done any testing of DAW power consumption?
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby resistorman » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:42 am

Is overclocking even necessary with this many cores, a lot of memory, and ssd drives?
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby mozart999uk » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:15 am

Pete Kaine wrote:
..., so please PM me your previous invoice number/account number/linked phone number/e-mail and I'll check your previous cooling options in the current system by pulling the old records.


Hi Pete. Have just sent you PM with the details. Happy to discuss here (as long as no personal deats :lol: ) as it might be of interest to some of the others...or we can carry on via PM / email
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby Pete Kaine » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:22 pm

Agharta wrote:I've seen plenty of reviews showing that the 140W TDP i9 parts are capable of consuming much more power than that at stock speeds and when over-clocked the power consumption jumps dramatically.
Seemingly gone are the days of medium range over-clocks that don't push the power consumption too much.
Here is one review:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/intel-core-i9-7900x-skylake-x,review-33922-10.html

As I say, it's improved over time as the chips and firmware support has improved. The problem at launch is that most people (reviewers and us builders) get very little time to test and optimize pre-launch, Normally 10 - 14 days would be seen as an absolute win, although in the case of that last launch it was more like 5 - 10 days if you were lucky!

In an ideal world, we'd all get plenty of time to tweak and test our overclocks and even stock settings. I realised after launch that the settings both advised to me by Intel and the tweaking I did prior to launch, didn't take it quite as far as it would go voltage wise. Since then I've found myself able to bring the core voltages down a bit more where we can and the average temps I'm seeing have certainly improved.

We expect to see changes to the BIos auto & default settings too over the first few months and this tends to translate into improved temps too.

For instance, on the launch chips I was seeing a 140w at stock idle raising to 160w under load and maybe 170w post minor overclock.

The i9's were more like 165w idle, 175w pushed and 190w minor overclock.

I think myself (and most other people I spoke to pre-launch) were running about 10% higher voltage wise than we'd use on the current chips, if only because the first few batches wouldn't overclock without it but that has improved over time, bringing the temps down along with it.

On top of that these chips use a poor quality thermal compound under the heat-spreader which means the temperatures are higher than they need be which negatively impacts the ability to cool them quietly whilst keeping temps in check.

I was interested this week to see a news site delid and replaced the TIM on one of AMDS and the was no thermal difference. Here's to hoping that Intel pay attention...

I do wonder how relevant most CPU reviews are for DAW usage in terms of power usage and temps.

Well, maxing out your ASIO, should pretty much fully load your CPU too in a perfect scenario. Running a CPU torture test should at least give you a worst case scenario, although you'd rarely if ever hit it.

Usually it seems to be video encoding software is used when testing power consumption which typically can load all threads fully and continually leading to figures which I think a DAW will struggle to match as the load tends to have more peaks and troughs which leads to lower average power consumption and temps.

Yeah, that would be the perfect scenario! :)

On top of that some of this video software uses AVX instructions which pushes the chip much harder than most.

My early testing on the i9's was avx based and it melted the system. I had a long conversation with a few developers who laughed at my concern regarding AVX and audio. So, my concern was lessened by those chaps, and to be fair I've had zero negative feedback with AVX issues since launch.

Pete, have you done any testing of DAW power consumption?

I'll do it in general when loadtesting with AIDA or OCCT, but I haven't done a daw specific test with it for quite a few years.

mozart999uk wrote: Happy to discuss here (as long as no personal deats :lol: ) as it might be of interest to some of the others...or we can carry on via PM / email

That was my concern, I wasn't sure if you'd have the invoice details or would only have the linked personal details. Well located!

I'm still using the dark power PSU's, although the newer version, with the improved fan, so that should be fine.

The noise levels on the cooler (bequiet) and the ARchon you have there are similar too, so also shouldn't be a concern.

Case fans on yours are the Fractal basic model that ships with it. Reasonable noise levels with them, but not overly efficient. I'd certainly look to upgrade them for an i9 build, as they won't hold up to shifting that much heat.

Depending on the chip you go with, the two options I'm going with currently are:
Bequiet Silent WIngs 3 (same as the PSU)
Nanoxia N.N.V

I use the Bequiets up to around the entry level i9. Above that, I use the N.v.v's.

The Bequiets are quieter in general and move a fair amount of air.
The N.V.V's are about as loud as your current Fractals but easily shift twice as much air, so preferred for cases that need to vent efficiently.
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby Agharta » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:42 pm

Thanks Pete for the detailed reply.
Always good to read your informed posts even if I don't agree with you 100% of the time. :angel:

I noticed years ago that some motherboards were over-volting the CPU even if you didn't manually over overclock.
This was Asus or Gigabyte and you had to manually change a BIOS setting from Auto to Stock or some such.
I never liked that as a default as Intel test and set the voltage and I feel that should be respected.
I would like to see reviewers use Intel's Vcore values at stock speeds.

I noticed that AVX512 can process 32 bit data types so in theory it could be used to accelerate audio tasks.
I am not clear what type of operations it works with though so do you know if it handles those that are relevant to a DAW?
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby job » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:32 pm

Agharta wrote:I noticed years ago that some motherboards were over-volting the CPU even if you didn't manually over overclock.
This was Asus or Gigabyte and you had to manually change a BIOS setting from Auto to Stock or some such.
I never liked that as a default as Intel test and set the voltage and I feel that should be respected.
I would like to see reviewers use Intel's Vcore values at stock speeds.

It is respected in the way that it was designed. VID is a table with many values and the CPU will request a voltage within this table to run at the set frequency. This is a reason why at 'stock' (which isn't necessarily the motherboard's defaults), each core will be running at a different Vcore because that's the voltage required for stability at those speeds. There is no exact voltage for, say, a 7900x's Vcore. Instead there is the VID table.

As for actually respecting each CPU's requested Vcore from the VID table, i don't necessarily agree because the requested Vcore can often be higher than is necessary due to the need to accommodate lower end motherboards that will have higher (or even severe), Vdroop/drop, and because of this higher Vdroop a higher Vcore is necessary for stability. On better gear you don't suffer so much droop so a higher initial voltage is unnecessary and, personally, i would put it in the bad points column.

For example, the requested Vcore on one of my 7900x's cores under turbo boost was 1.37V. However, it can run 4.5GHz at 1.15V and 4.8GHz at 1.25V, which is currently where it's at with adaptive voltage. So it's running at a higher speed and at lower voltage than it would be if the user wasn't in charge.

As for motherboards auto overclocking the hardware as some kind of feature i would agree that the default setting should be off, not on.
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby Watchmaker » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:08 am

Very informative discussion. It's not often you hear people talking about CPU core voltage draws. I mean a VID...of course there's a VID table, but it just never occurred to me to think about it.

Thanks for making me smarter, I hope one day to return the courtesy. Now, where did I put that abacus...
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby mozart999uk » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:17 am

Pete Kaine wrote:
Agharta wrote:
I'm still using the dark power PSU's, although the newer version, with the improved fan, so that should be fine.

The noise levels on the cooler (bequiet) and the ARchon you have there are similar too, so also shouldn't be a concern.

Case fans on yours are the Fractal basic model that ships with it. Reasonable noise levels with them, but not overly efficient. I'd certainly look to upgrade them for an i9 build, as they won't hold up to shifting that much heat.

Depending on the chip you go with, the two options I'm going with currently are:
Bequiet Silent WIngs 3 (same as the PSU)
Nanoxia N.N.V

I use the Bequiets up to around the entry level i9. Above that, I use the N.v.v's.

The Bequiets are quieter in general and move a fair amount of air.
The N.V.V's are about as loud as your current Fractals but easily shift twice as much air, so preferred for cases that need to vent efficiently.

Thanks Pete. Really interesting. All sounds good. Can I get in touch with you via email when I'm ready to order ...to thrash out the spec?
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby Agharta » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:46 pm

job wrote:It is respected in the way that it was designed. VID is a table with many values and the CPU will request a voltage within this table to run at the set frequency. This is a reason why at 'stock' (which isn't necessarily the motherboard's defaults), each core will be running at a different Vcore because that's the voltage required for stability at those speeds. There is no exact voltage for, say, a 7900x's Vcore. Instead there is the VID table.
Intel has been using multiple voltage/clock steps (SpeedStep, EIST etc) since the last century for those new to this area.
They do define actual voltages which is what I am referring to here and in this case as we are only interested in the voltage used for the highest clock speed as the context is maximum power consumption this single voltage is the relevant one. It is an exact voltage that is hard coded into the chip after validation/testing and varies chip by chip but will fall within a given range.
job wrote: each core will be running at a different Vcore.
Do Intel define a different Voltage for each core now at the same clock speed or is that just the ambiguity of language? I thought they were still using one voltage per clock speed for all cores. I mean when multiple cores are running at the same speed and not when a single core is being boosted via the TurboMax facility.
job wrote:There is no exact voltage for, say, a 7900x's Vcore. Instead there is the VID table.
Which is a table of exact voltage values. :)
job wrote:As for actually respecting each CPU's requested Vcore from the VID table, i don't necessarily agree because the requested Vcore can often be higher than is necessary due to the need to accommodate lower end motherboards that will have higher (or even severe), Vdroop/drop, and because of this higher Vdroop a higher Vcore is necessary for stability. On better gear you don't suffer so much droop so a higher initial voltage is unnecessary and, personally, i would put it in the bad points column.
Reviews rarely look at under-volting CPUs which is in effect what you are doing if running lower than spec settings.
I have enjoyed under-volting desktop CPUs since around 2002 starting with the Pentium Northwood chips and it has really helped with keeping noise levels in check more easily.
But I think reviews should be focusing on running the chips at stock settings for the bulk of the review and if they over-clock there is an importunity to look at non-stock settings.
The review sites when looking at new high end CPUs as being discussed here will be using decent quality boards so the power delivery is usually up to the job.
I don’t see why a quality board with decent power delivery should over-volt the CPU by default!
If manufacturers want to release cheap low-quality boards that over-volt by default out of necessity then that is something I’d expect any half decent review to comment on. But I think that is possibly running out of the specification for the system anyway if the Vdroop is so bad that it requires over-volting at the BIOS level.
But again, that’s a different class of board which you tend not to see in reviews of high end chips.

I like to see under-volting but there isn’t the interest in it that is seen with over-clocking so you rarely see it in reviews.
There is one way to sometimes get a sense of how well a chip might under-volt by looking at how it over-clocks.
Some chips are binned very aggressively meaning that they ship with very little headroom for over-clocking. To achieve this often means pushing the maximum VCore to a level that is outside the optimal efficiency range. As power consumption is roughly related to the square of the voltage and directly to the frequency it’s much more important to keep the voltage low than the frequency with all other things being equal.
As these chips have been pushed close to their limit that tends to mean the voltage has had to have been pushed uncomfortably high to reach a desired frequency.
So if you back off the clock speed by 5 to 10% which should allow a lower voltage the overall power consumption can drop by 20% or so for a small loss of performance which puts you back in the optimal efficiency range.
As you noted you have been successful under-volting at stock speeds also. Did you measure the power saving when doing so? I tend to use that as my ultimate reference as I trust my power meter more than software readings.

It’s usually chips that are underwhelming that have this issue as they need to be pushed hard to try and compete with a competitor’s superior product.
AMD has had this issue with their GPUs for a few generations now and they under-volt very well apparently.
So based on the high power consumption of the Skylake X series they might well be ripe for under clocking/volting.
job wrote:As for motherboards auto overclocking the hardware as some kind of feature i would agree that the default setting should be off, not on.
I imagine the reason why some manufacturers over-volt by default is because they also set the Turbo Boost out of spec by default. They set it so that the maximum turbo boost speed which by design is usually only rated for 1 core is allowed for all cores. To compensate for that they need to increase the maximum VCore.
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby job » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:23 pm

Agharta wrote:They do define actual voltages which is what I am referring to here and in this case as we are only interested in the voltage used for the highest clock speed as the context is maximum power consumption this single voltage is the relevant one. It is an exact voltage that is hard coded into the chip after validation/testing and varies chip by chip but will fall within a given range.

I'm not sure i understand how this argues with what i said. Yes, any specific core of a CPU will request the voltage it needs to run at a given frequency, and this requested voltage will be a value found in the VID table. Yes, the voltage needed (and therefore requested), has been previously determined and coded into the CPU.

You think (i think), that this voltage should be honoured. I disagree, and i gave an argument in the previous post. There are also other settings, such as a sensible LLC, that can be incorporated to obtain stability that are arguably better than a higher Vcore. A higher voltage will lead to a higher current which will lead to more heat. None of which is a (long term) consequence of a sensible LLC.


Agharta wrote:I thought they were still using one voltage per clock speed for all cores.
...

I think you're conflating Vccin with Vcore? Vccin is what's delivered to the integrated regulator, which in turn delivers to the other parts of CPU; the cores, the memory controller, etc. Vcore is as its name implies, and can, and does, vary between cores at any given frequency since each core requests the voltage that it requires for stability at that frequency. Why would a CPU have as many Vcore values as it has cores if one Vcore value would suffice?

Can different cores on the same CPU request the same voltage for the same frequency? Sure. Can they request different votlages? Sure. What matters is that whatever this voltage is is in the VID table, and as long as the voltage is in the table it is therefore be 'in spec'.

As for a direct answer to your question... I honestly don't know when or if a single Vcore was hard-coded in a multi-core CPU. I can't recall any but that doesn't mean much.

Agharta wrote:
job wrote: job wrote:
There is no exact voltage for, say, a 7900x's Vcore. Instead there is the VID table.

Which is a table of exact voltage values. :)

Fair enough, let me rephrase. There is no definite, single voltage for all the cores of a CPU. We can make it a definite, single voltage if we wish, and many people do.


Agharta wrote:...under-volting CPUs which is in effect what you are doing if running lower than spec settings.

Technically, under-volting (or over-volting), is using a voltage which is below (or above), that found in the VID table. As such, i'm not under-volting my CPU. 1.25V could actually be considered on the high side, but my cooling is up to the task and it's also running adaptive voltage so it only gets given 1.25V when it requests it, i.e. at high load, so all is well.

Agharta wrote:
But I think reviews should be focusing on running the chips at stock settings for the bulk of the review and if they over-clock there is an importunity to look at non-stock settings.

...


Yes, you may be right. Although i think board manufacturers impart their own settings on things by default for the sake of performance; if you've got 3 boards for the same platform from 3 different manufactuers and 2 of them score X in various benchmarks and the other scores X+1 then the X+1 board will be perceived as better.
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby Agharta » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:41 pm

job wrote:I'm not sure i understand how this argues with what i said. Yes, any specific core of a CPU will request the voltage it needs to run at a given frequency, and this requested voltage will be a value found in the VID table. Yes, the voltage needed (and therefore requested), has been previously determined and coded into the CPU.
You think (i think), that this voltage should be honoured. I disagree, and i gave an argument in the previous post. There are also other settings, such as a sensible LLC, that can be incorporated to obtain stability that are arguably better than a higher Vcore. A higher voltage will lead to a higher current which will lead to more heat. None of which is a (long term) consequence of a sensible LLC.

We may be talking at cross purposes as I have been commenting on the reviews of CPUs and how they should be conducted to give a good indication of typical real world usage using the stock settings. As soon as you venture off into fine tuning multiple settings then that is a whole other ball game.

job wrote:Vcore is as its name implies, and can, and does, vary between cores at any given frequency since each core requests the voltage that it requires for stability at that frequency. Why would a CPU have as many Vcore values as it has cores if one Vcore value would suffice?
Can different cores on the same CPU request the same voltage for the same frequency? Sure. Can they request different votlages? Sure. What matters is that whatever this voltage is is in the VID table, and as long as the voltage is in the table it is therefore be 'in spec'.
As for a direct answer to your question... I honestly don't know when or if a single Vcore was hard-coded in a multi-core CPU. I can't recall any but that doesn't mean much.
From Intel’s documentation:

“The voltage is optimised based on the selected frequency and the number of active processor IA cores.
Once the voltage is established the PLL locks onto the target frequency.
All active processor IA cores share the same frequency and voltage. In a multi core processor, the highest frequency P-state requested among all active IA cores is selected.”

So to bring it back on topic which was looking at the power consumption of a CPU when fully loaded there is only one voltage that matters as that is the one that is hard coded and is used for all cores under a full CPU load.
All the other stuff relates to power savings which have no bearing on the full load state. Keep in mind that it’s not that unusual for DAW users to disable the power saving states anyway to keep responsiveness at optimal level.

job wrote:Fair enough, let me rephrase. There is no definite, single voltage for all the cores of a CPU. We can make it a definite, single voltage if we wish, and many people do.

For the purpose of looking at the full load state which is the context here, as shown above there is only one voltage that matters.

job wrote:Technically, under-volting (or over-volting), is using a voltage which is below (or above), that found in the VID table. As such, i'm not under-volting my CPU. 1.25V could actually be considered on the high side, but my cooling is up to the task and it's also running adaptive voltage so it only gets given 1.25V when it requests it, i.e. at high load, so all is well.

If you have changed a setting away from that which is hard coded for that frequency then you are either over or under volting it. It’s bizarre to say anything else for me!
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby melciados » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:56 am

mozart999uk wrote:So rather a generic question I know but......

I'm currently running a 5 year old scan 3xs PC. i7 3930k. Overclocked at 4.2gHz. 64 GB ram.


Man, you have a awesome workstation! I wish i could get this. What is the price of your setup today?
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Re: Suggestions for new PC

Postby job » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:14 am

Agharta wrote:For the purpose of looking at the full load state which is the context here, as shown above there is only one voltage that matters.

He is the 7900x at full load with all cores locked to 3.3GHz (which is bare bones stock), whilst honouring each cores requested VID value.

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