Application and Futuremark Performance

As the mobile benchmarking suite has been updated recently, the desktop suite is going right along with it. Thus there may not be quite as many comparison points between the Puget Systems Genesis II Quiet as we'd like, but enough to at least get a feel for how the system performs.

This is the second dual-CPU workstation we've tested; the Lenovo ThinkStation D30 is the first, and features two faster Xeons owing to their higher 150W TDPs.

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Futuremark PCMark 7

In terms of pure graphics performance, the GeForce GTX 670 is miles ahead of the anemic stripped down GF100 powering the Quadro 5000 in the Lenovo D30, but remember that this is a consumer card competing with a series of workstation cards. PCMark continues to be limited principally by storage performance and clock speed.

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R11.5

In multi-threaded testing, everything lines up as it ought to. The two octalcore Xeons in the Genesis II are incredibly fast, but the D30's are faster.

Video Encoding - x264

Video Encoding - x264

Our original x264 encoding test demonstrates about what we'd expect. The initial pass is not as heavily threaded as the second, and benefits more from high clock speeds than copious core counts. When we can leverage the additional throughput in the second pass, the Genesis II surges forward.

This is as good a time as any to point out why $4,000 of eight core Xeons are for very specific tasks, and why we haven't seen (and may not see for some time) an enthusiast-class octalcore i7. More cores mean more heat, which means reduced clocks. Six cores (twelve threads) have been, in my experience, about the limit for what a consumer or even prosumer can really take advantage of, and quad cores really are excellent for almost everyone in that class. This isn't one of those "better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it" situations, either; as the test results for x264 and PCMark 7 demonstrate, if your workload can't take advantage of the extra cores you've effectively left performance on the table by going for more cores instead of fewer, faster ones. That's why you're seeing dual-CPU workstations but virtually no dual-CPU enthusiast machines.

Introducing the Puget Systems Genesis II Quiet Workstation Performance
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  • bromega - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    honestly, the cable management looks pretty scrappy for a boutique build Reply
  • gipper51 - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    Care to test an incredible workstation? Try one of the overclocked systems from Boxx Technologies.like their 4920 Xtreme or one of their 4+GHZ dual Xeon systems. We are using the 4920 Xtreme systems for Autodesk Revit / 3Ds Max at a medium-sized architectural firm and it absolutely screams, and it better for $8K. Coming from hexcore Xeon Z800 systems....staggering difference.

    Boxx is boutique, but their clients include Disney, Boeing, BMW, Mercedes, NASA, Pixar, Dreamworks, US Dept. of Defense, and dozens of others. Top notch stuff.
    Reply
  • SodaAnt - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    Really now? I just went to their website, and for a computer with the exact same configuration as the product being reviewed here would cost $10,000. And that wouldn't even be for a super quiet computer, so I fail to see how that would be a better computer.

    Plus, the claim about the "4+ GHZ dual Xeon system", I fail to see how that is true. The processor they list has a max turbo frequency of only 3.8GHz, so unless they are overclocking a workstation, there's no way that can be true. And if they ARE overclocking a workstation, that's a dangerous road to go down.
    Reply
  • gipper51 - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    Yes they are overclocking the Xeons to a mild degree. Whether it's a good idea or not, they've been doing it for a long time. I doubt they would have the client list they do if these machines were not reliable.

    The 4920 Xtremes we are running have hexcore i7 CPUs at 4.5ghz and you can barely hear them. Not silent, but they are quieter than our previous HP workstations.
    Reply
  • SodaAnt - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    Its beside the main point though, that if you want the same machine that was reviewed here, Boxx would charge $3,000 more. Further, how do they overclock them anyways? Part of the other problem is that overclocking SB-E xeons isn't an easy task, and tends to be more unreliable because of the multiplier lock. I somehow feel they tweaked the frequencies by about 5% just so they could advertise that they are "4GHZ+" Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    SNB-E allows you to run the BCLK multiplier at various settings, so while SNB-E is CPU multiplier locked it's still possible to set the BCLK to 1.25x or 1.66x instead of the default 1.00x. So basically it's easy to get a 25% overclock, and if your hardware can handle it a 66% overclock is also possible. You can also lower the multiplier however, so running with 1.66x and a 27X CPU multiplier (as opposed to the default 29X on the E5-2690) would get you the above mentioned 4.5GHz. Reply
  • Rick83 - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    I suppose this board won't support full AMT 7.1, due to the wrong LAN chipsets being used?
    But - does any S2011 board support KVMoIP via AMT? In the 1155/1156 Xeons this supposedly requires the integrated graphics - without those being present on the -E platform, a quick googling couldn't uncover this information.
    Reply
  • tunaman - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    im sure you could build for cheaper, 6000+ (when you add the extras) for something special.

    nice concept, but i would rather just take and build the crysis 3 machine from may 2013 - best free software issue for 1,615. Laptop exterior accessories http://goo.gl/OItwV
    Reply
  • gipper51 - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    Sure if you are a one man operation. Our company bought 50. Some buy hundreds and need tech support. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    "if your workload can't take advantage of the extra cores you've effectively left performance on the table by going for more cores instead of fewer, faster ones."
    Wasn't Turbo Boost and the like supposed to take care of that issue? If the other 2/4 cores in the hexa/octa core aren't used, power gate them and allocate the left over TDP to the active cores by increasing their clocks. Unless that only works until 4 cores and not above, it seems to be more an arbitrary limitation Intel puts in place to cement their profits, like they do with various other feature differences between processors. I don't see a reason they can't release octa core for the enthusiast market as an extreme edition for the LGA2011. They just don't want to cut into their Xeon market share and profits is my guess. Same reason why there aren't hexa core LGA1155 CPUs (I don't buy that the platform can't feed them fast enough).
    Reply

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