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Hardware - setup for mobile workstations


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Hello Guys.

We are about to purchase 2 new workstations (mobile, high-end laptops) for purpose of intella processing. For now I have been using 2 machines as follow:
i7-4720hq, 32 (4x8), 3 SSD's inside: 2 tb system + source, 1 tb case , 1 tb optimization, nvidia 980mx, both run on win 7 enterprise.

We are considering going for an upgrade to boost our intella processing capabilities, that's why few questions arose: 

  • Should we go for 6 cores (i7, i9 processors, having in mind single case was never bigger than 500 gb as source data, usually 95% is around 200 gb)?
  • Should we consider going 64 GB of ram?
  • Based on our current knowledge, we should get machine with 4 separate drives to put source and system alone. Will going for HDD source instead of SSD source have an noticeable effect on processing time? 
  • GPU: is it necessary at all in pure Intella machine? Is it power used by any task in Intella? 
  • OS: Should we switch to Win10? 

Of course we are limited by the budget, but if the increase of performance will be notable, like for example going for 64 ram and i9 processor with dedicated GPU - we will most likely take that option. 
At the same time I'm sending a direct e-mail to support with the same questions to have more input into that.

Thanks!

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Hi Lukasz,

I suggest you to read through these threads:
Selecting a Computer to Host Your Intella Software
Connect Hardware Requirements

The last one is targeted at Intella Connect but I believe you can get some usable information there anyway.

Please understand that it's really hard (or near impossible) to predict how much different hardware combinations will improve processing speed because of countless variables. I guess you've already got a sense of that by reading through the threads above. Anyway, there are few guidelines/recommendations in the order of effectiveness:

  • SSD: we recommend using SSD drives over HDD
  • RAM: 32 GB should be (just) OK for indexing with 6 cores, having more may help with certain types of evidence
  • CPU: moving from 4 to 6 (or more) cores will help to reduce indexing time, provided that the machine has sufficient RAM
  • GPU: not a factor

Note that there is no need to switch to Windows 10 as far as Intella is concerned. But given the fact that mainstream support for Windows 7 ended in January 13, 2015 you might consider upgrading it anyway.

With regards to your last question - as already said it's hard to predict what will be the increase of performance when using:

  • i9 instead of i7
  • 64GB RAM instead of 32GB

so we can't give you any definite answer on that.

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Thank You, i've already went through those threads.

We are definitely going for 6 cores, we are however still debating, whether to go with i9-8950K or Xeon E-2186M. Both Intel processor have same amount of cores, threads, cache and same speed (2.9, up to 4.3), however Xeon comes with ECC support. Do You think that might be an advantage for Intella processing?

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With regard to 64 GB RAM, which I have installed on a high-end Dell rackmount physical workstation with dual Xeon E5-2600 v4 processors, for 32 total cores, I have not been able to realize the performance I had hoped for in a machine dedicated to processing performance.  Not that it was bad - far from it!  It's just that I was thinking that better use could be made from the RAM and number of processor cores.  In reality, despite having 10K RPM internal, enterprise class, SAS rotational drives and a 15K RPM system drive, it seems like the disk IO simply cannot supply enough throughput to make effective use of that degree of CPU and RAM.    

I wish I had instead opted for SSD drives, which were more expensive at the time than they are now.  The only way I have improved performance with this setup was when we filled out the remaining internal drive bays with 12 Gb/sec 10K RPM drives (vs. their 6 Gb predecessors).

I think the information that Primoz has provided is directly in line with my own experiences, and generally cautioning that the investment in massive RAM and CPU may not result in the kind of performance increases you might hope for (like I did).

That said, if I was in your situation, I would go for the fastest SSDs I could get, probably go with the less expensive processor, and 32 GB RAM, and do some benchmarking vs. your current machines, while monitoring RAM usage.  If can need more, you can presumably expand if you can configure in such a way that you have open slots.

Hope that helps some with your decision.  Good luck!

 

Jason        

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