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Old April 6th, 2011, 01:27 PM   #16
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Re: Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
Bruce,

I have replied on the other forum.

Tom,

FYI, a heavily overclocked i7-2600K @ 4.7 GHz is still slower than a moderately overclocked i7-920 @ 3.7 GHz. See PPBM5 Benchmark

Also read Adobe Forums: Tapeless workflows and Sandy Bridge or...
That's only because of the nearly $2,000 disk subsystems (such as a hardware RAID card that costs well over $1,000 and 10 or more 1TB hard drives) that those top i7-920 or 950 systems are equipped with. On a more modest disk subsystem (a simple two-disk RAID 0 on an onboard Intel ICH or PCH RAID), neither the i7-920/950 nor the i7-2600K performs particularly well (or put it this way, both platforms perform significantly slower than they should) even when extremely heavily overclocked. Based on the systems that I submitted to the PPBM5 site, I have demonstrated the biggest failing of the integrated Intel ICH RAID: The ICH/PCH itself cannot handle the traffic demanded by the on-board controller, and there is way too much back-and-forth switching going on within the ICH/PCH itself. And that's not to mention that the ICH/PCH SATA controller has to handle both the OS drive and the working RAID array at the same time, which degrades performance further due in large part to the on-board controllers' misuse of the CPU.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 01:53 PM   #17
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Re: Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

Randall,

Thanks for emphasizing a point I have been making for a long time.

Your PC is only as fast as the weakest link. Just today I made this comparison:

Have you ever watched a Formula 1 race and wondered how they can achieve those miraculous lap times with mind staggering speeds?

The reason is actually pretty simple. All the properties, features and capabilities of a Formula 1 car are finely balanced and create a synergy that enables them to achieve those impressive speeds. They have the engine power to accelerate very quickly, they have the gearbox to shift gears very quickly and maintain maximum torque, they have the brakes that enable them to brake very quickly and at the last moment before cornering and they have the grip from their suspension, tires and down force to keep the car on the ideal track.

As long as everything is finely tuned and in balance with all the other components you have the capability to win races. Of course external circumstances, like rain and temperatures have enormous impact on race results, using slicks or intermediates or wet tires have a huge impact, as do the adjustments to front wing that are required to keep everything properly balanced. And of course, if your grip is gone or one of your gears is malfunctioning or your tires are gone or your brakes are overheating, you can no longer win.

A computer is not really different. To get optimal performance, all the components need to be properly balanced. The computer is only as fast as the slowest component. And the computer is also faced with external circumstances, like rain and temperatures of the track, that you have to live with, but that have a major impact on performance. That is the codec of the material you want to edit. Then also take into consideration that the different circuits in Formula 1 require different setups for the cars, Barcelona, Spa, Monte Carlo, Monza, all require different tuning and setup of the car. Similar to the editing workflows of an editor. Long form or short form, multicam or not, few or many tracks, DL to AE, all these aspects have an impact on performance.

There is a - marketing driven - tendency to invest in the fastest or newest CPU on the market, without looking at the balance. The rest of the system setup is often overlooked and my argument is that you need to look at the overall picture in the situation and with the codecs the editor need to handle.

There is no simple answer. Again take Formula 1 racing and the tuning they need to do before a race on a specific track with specific weather conditions.

Your remark is utterly valid, but people often forget that with faster CPU's, hardware assisted MPE, lots of memory, the new bottleneck is disk I/O, as demonstrated in the results page.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 02:39 PM   #18
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Re: Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

Thanks. There is no free ride, after all.

And speaking of BFTB (Bang-For-The-Buck), there are several astronomically expensive systems that truly underperform severely for such a high price. For example, the third-slowest system in the PPBM5 list has an estimated BFTB rating of a measly 0.1 (compared to the 14.1 score of your system) because some of the components in that system (especially the memory) are very expensive at their current street prices. The absolute slowest system (total time wise) on that same list has a BFTB score that's only slightly better, at around 0.2. (It is noted that both of those expensive slowpokes have old, nearly obsolete CPU's that still sell for a much higher price than what they are actually worth; for example, each of the Xeon E5405's in that system with the absolute poorest BFTB score still costs as much money as an i7-950.)

With that said, my current i7-2600K system delivers a significantly better BFTB rating than I could ever extract from my previous i7-950 system unless I spend another $1,500 USD (total) on a discrete RAID controller plus additional SATA or SAS disks for the 950. And with the economy as bad as it currently is and with my unemployment continuing for the foreseeable future, that's not an expense that I would be undertaking any time soon.
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Old April 7th, 2011, 02:08 AM   #19
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Re: Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

"1) Do all of their cards (except for a select few) require the hack, can a relative novice/non techie do it themselves or is there a software program that one can launch and let it roll? Do the 4xxx and 5xx series require the hack too?"

Okay, 1(a) --- Can a novice do the hack?
Some can. Some cannot.
Can you open a text file?
Can you type your name?
Can you save a file?

Let me try to make this as explicit as I can.

On Windows, you open a text file called ""cuda_supported_cards.txt." (You do know how to find a file on a hard drive, right?) Use Notepad or WordPad. (You can use a wordprocessing program to do this but you have to know how to do a "save as" an ASCII text file. If you do not know how to do that, just use WordPad or NotePad. You can find them under Programs - Accessories.) When you open the text file, you will see a list of Adobe's certified cards. It really is just a text list. It is only a text list. If you have a card that is not already listed, you just type in the name. Let us say you bought a GTX 4xx or 5xx card (and remember, you must hava CUDA enabled card with at least 1 gb of RAM. Remember the minimum specs we recited above?). Let's say, you bought a GTX450 card. You just type "GeForce GTX 450." Save the file. You are done. That's it.

I realize that this seems unbelievably difficult to some people. It will be terribly frightening for others.
If this seems difficult or frightening, if you need a special software program to type your name, you should buy a GTX card with a chipset on Adobe's certified list like the GTX 470.

"Do all the GTX 4 & 5 cards require the hack? "
No. The GTX 470 is on the list already.

"5) Where can I find the so-called “long Nvidia card” thread?"
Right here in the Adobe Creative Suite forum on DVinfo. There are now a couple of them:

Best Graphics Card for CS5


How to make Premiere CS5 work with GTX 295 and possibly all 200 GPUs

The last one is the thread which disclosed the list modification hack to us a year ago and it continued to have posts until a month ago.


"8) Is it essential or a luxury to have a video card that has dual cooling fans and is
overclocked?"

It is neither essential nor a luxury. Anyway, you do not need to worry about such things. You are are looking for a machine to edit one or two tracks of HDV from your new Canon XHA1, right? For that, a modest card like a GTX 450 will be fine. As will the Dell system. Did you read Harm's posting on relating hardware to editing needs? If you have not, read it and it should reassure you.

If you want to overclock, then you absolutely should not buy the Dell XPS900 you were looking at.. Dell systems are simply not set-up for overclocking and do not have the case cooling you would need if you want to get into overclocking. Overcocking will void the warranty. You do not need overclocking for what you want to do.

"How much more performance is squeezed out by overclocking?"

Potentially, a lot unless you buy a Dell system. If you want some idea of the kinds of results that overclocking and systems arrangements can make,, start with the PPBM 5 website to see test results of various configurations. PPBM stands for Premiere Pro Bench Mark.
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Old April 7th, 2011, 08:30 AM   #20
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Re: Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

One final comment on my 2600K, Harm:

My heavily overclocked 4.7GHz result is now on the list. Although it loses out to your moderately-overclocked 920 and even to ADK's overclocked 2600K by a slim margin, I'm pretty happy with the results even if I am content with settling for a runner-up position just because I did not want to spend much more than I paid for the entire vehicle to squeeze every last bit of performance from the vehicle. What's more, I achieved such a result with less-expensive graphics and disk components than the ADK system did with their system's components; for example, at current street prices the graphics and disk components that were actually used in the PPBM5 tests on my system cost less than $400 USD while those that were used in the ADK system still cost more than $1,000 USD. Had I stuck with the i7-950, I would have had to spend much, much more for the extras just to even come close to, let alone surpass, what I achieved with the i7-2600K. And that's not to mention that the overclocked 950 would have had to guzzle more fuel (power consumption, and thus the cost of electricity) than the heavily-overclocked 2600K to achieve such a result; for example, if the heavily-overclocked 2600K averages 30 MPG (or 12.8 km/l for those of you who are using metric measures), the moderately-overclocked 950 would have averaged only about 22 MPG (9.4 km/l) if I were to squeeze every last bit of performance from the latter platform.

And now, back to the OP's choice of a system:

I agree with Jay, in this case. That Dell XPS 900 (which the OP misstated as the XPS 9100) is less than optimal for CS5. Not only does Dell not offer anything but previous-generation ATi (AMD) graphics cards with that system, but Dell has "gimped" its X58 motherboards to prevent any intentional overclocking or voltage tweaking at all whatsoever.

Last edited by Randall Leong; April 7th, 2011 at 09:32 AM.
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Old April 7th, 2011, 08:53 AM   #21
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Re: Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

Randall,

Your dark horse appears to have a lot of Arabian blood. It really is fast and your BFTB score is now 10.8.

Congrats.

On another note: Sander just submitted his results, once with the video card at PCIe-16x and once at PCIe-8x and the differences were huge: 5 versus 10 seconds on the rendering time. Around rank # 39 (216 s) and # 53 (237 s).

Last edited by Harm Millaard; April 7th, 2011 at 10:49 AM.
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Old April 7th, 2011, 11:24 AM   #22
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Re: Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

Randall --

The misstatement actually was mine. Bruce was indeed referring to the Dell XPS 9100.


Bruce:

If you want to get a Dell XPS 9100, this is what I would suggest for your consideration, assuming you've got other accessories to move over from your old system (e.g., Blue :Ray burner, additional hard disks, etc.)

CPU = get the stock I7/930 processor. An I7/950 would be nicer but, AFAIK, Dell does not give you that choice for this model computer.

RAM = the base model comes with 6 gigs. For transcoding (as for DVDs), 12 gigs. is better and seems to be a kind of sweet spot for work with CS5. (24 gigs is better still, but given the budget you've set and the kinds of editing you plan on doing, 12 gigs will be fine.) Dell wants $220 to upgrade from 6 gigs to 12 gigs. You could throw the stock 6 gigs of RAM away and buy a 12 gig set of Corsair XMS3 from NewEgg for $160 if you can insert RAM yourself.

Video card: get the stock card and replace it with a card using nVIdia CUDA chipsets that you buy elsewhere. An EVGA card with a 450GTX chipset (assuming if it will fit in the Dell case) would be $129 at NewEgg.

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 comes .with the computer. Home Premium will not recognize more than 16 gigs of RAM. This is fine as long as you never want to increase the RAM up to 24 gigs (good for multi-cam editing and transcoding among other things). A rule of thumb for DDR3 systems is to pick a RAM amount that is even divisible by the number of slots, which is 6. That means you want 6, 12 (i.e., six 2 gig RAM modules) or 24 gigs of RAM (i.e., six 4 gig modules). You can't get 18 gigs because, as far as I know, nobody sells 3 gig modules.

Dell computers come with McAfee security software. My personal observation is that you should replace this software because it seems vulnerable to malware. (I say this I've had to fix a couple of friends' Dell computers in the last couple of weeks because McAfee seems to happily allow bogus security hoaxware and malware to take over the computers.) A lot of editors generally disconnect their computers from the internet except for upgrades and will shut off the security software while editing.
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Old April 7th, 2011, 02:06 PM   #23
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Re: Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
On another note: Sander just submitted his results, once with the video card at PCIe-16x and once at PCIe-8x and the differences were huge: 5 versus 10 seconds on the rendering time. Around rank # 39 (216 s) and # 53 (237 s).
Actually, both of the results were with the video card at PCIe-16x. It's just that the 216 s result was with the CPU overclocked significantly to 4.5 GHz and the 237 s result was with the CPU at its stock 3.4 GHz speed. And the stock speed result that Sander submitted was slower overall than even the 220 s stock-speed result of mine. This is because the slower Sander's system simply has a slower disk I/O subsystem than mine (250 GB hard drives with only 8MB or 16MB of cache memory whose physical platter designs are three to four years old are distinctly slower than 1TB hard drives with 32MB of cache memory whose designs are less than a year and a half old). In other words, the use of slower-performing hard disks in an otherwise fast computer system for video editing is like putting the wrong set of tires on a Formula 1 race car for otherwise ideal track conditions (or more appropriately, that F1 race car were equipped with a set of tires that had been mismatched to the course). And also because of the slower-performing disks themselves, Sander's system was slower overall at 4.5 GHz than my system was at 3.9 GHz (195 seconds). These examples perfectly demonstrate how the disk I/O is the new bottleneck in these otherwise very fast computer systems.

On the other hand, an earlier system with the same CPU, motherboard and memory also submitted by Sander did have the video card running at PCIe-8x. Although its 238 s total result was only 1 s slower overall than the stock-speed PCIe-16x result, its rendering result was indeed over twice as long (23 s versus 10 s). And Sander's systems are equipped with a GTX 560 Ti, which is a good BFTB video card that's a couple of steps below the top of the line (nearly equal to the older GTX 470).

On another note, using the two systems with the absolute poorest BFTB scores (the two I mentioned in a previous post in this thread) is very much like driving either a big, very old truck that can't haul much of anything or a very old bus that's near the very end of its useful life.

Last edited by Randall Leong; April 7th, 2011 at 03:14 PM.
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Old April 8th, 2011, 05:08 PM   #24
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Re: Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

I've now read through the entire thread & took notes of all of the salient points, recommendations and highlights. Am thankful to all of your informative, thoughtful and very educational responses.

Yes, my primary use for CS5 will to process HDV footage from an A1 + A1s on 2 tracks. Effects processing is likely to include audio enhancement/correction as well as brightness/contrast adjustment and leveling out the picture as I can never seem to get it perfect. How much of a load would that place on the system if done simultaneously?

I plan to learn how to use the multi-cam feature as soon as possible.

Does CS5 have any motion solutions like FCP does when the tripod is bumped or shaken for example by accident?

How does one overclock a CPU? What are the pro and cons of such an decision? Can the motherboard handle it? Is it a technical procedure?

Please, would any of you care to list you current CS 5 configuration?

I'm thinking that a higher end system even if it's a HP has advantages:

a) One can upgrade the ram, power supply and graphics card to suit needs.
b) The system has been tested, has a warranty and comes with tech support.
c) You're not paying someone 3 figures to build it.

I guess my weakest link now is what should I use for a motherboard?

Would anyone make a few suggestions please that would be compatible with say the GTX 450/460/470 range & a i7-2600k processor?

I also will need to buy a firewire card.

Again, thanks so much for all of your time invested in this thread
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Old April 8th, 2011, 05:43 PM   #25
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Re: Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

Iíve read somewhere in the past that itís best to have 3 internal hard drives for CS5 for optimized performance.

Wondering how these drives are assigned & set-up within the program once installed.

My goal is to have 2 computers eventually, one exclusively for video editing (not connected to the internet) and the other for every day normal use that my wife can access.

So, if thereís a case which can only fit 2 drives internally which are configured as RAID 0, could I use a fast 7200 rpm external drive (Firewire 400/800) as the 3rd to meet the programs needs?

Iíd also really appreciate if someone would give me a mini-tutorial on motherboards, and CPUís.

Thanks again !
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Old April 11th, 2011, 03:49 AM   #26
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Re: Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

If you need to use external drive, make sure it's at least eSata or USB 3 compatible. Firewire is definitely too slow for any serious editing IMHO.

If you want to have 2 computers using the same external disk, I would strongly advise for some kind of NAS (Network Archive Storage) device that you can connect via 1-Gig Ethernet, which will also give you better speed than Firewire, and more security as well.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #27
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Re: Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

Bruce:



1. My system right now: I7/950, ASUS P6tD v2 mobo, 12 gb Corsair 1366 DDR3 RAM, gSpeed external Raid 10 run off a rocket raid card, Internal Intel Raid 0, PNY GTX260 graphics card, SATA II internal drive for OS, 7200 rpm SATA drive for audio and miscellaneous media files, 300 gb SATA drive being used for page file and miscellaneous storage (also for dual bot when I need to go back to WinXP for something), an e-Sata and external Firewire drive for archives and inactive project storage, Seagate 2tb 7200 rpm USB drive for automatic back-ups, Matrox MXO2 mini, Pioneer DVD burner, Pioneer Blue-Ray burner, and a PC Power & Cooling 750w power supply. Case is currently an Antec P180 with four 120mm fans. (The Antec case is due to be handed down for other uses and replaced with a Cooler Master HAF932 in the next week or so. This all runs under Win7 Pro/64.

2. Info on disk configurations for CS5. See this from Harm Milaard:
Adobe Forums: Generic Guideline for Disk Setup

3. On info for assembling system (mobos etc.), you have to choose between an I7/9xx system with "X58" mobo and an I7/2600k with Sandybridge mobos. For info on configuring your own I7/9xx system:from DVinfo sponsor Videoguys (who do not sell systems):

Videoguys Blog - Videoguys' DIY7.7: Intel Core i7 with Vista 64 AND Now Windows 7

For info on a Sandybridge I7/2600k, check out Randall Leong's system which is described in this and other threads. If you have specific questions, used DVinfo's private message function.


4. "How does one overclock a CPU? What are the pro and cons of such an decision? Can the motherboard handle it? Is it a technical procedure?"

Start with this thread: Adobe Forums: Overclocking the i7, a beginners guide

5. "Effects processing is likely to include audio enhancement/correction as well as brightness/contrast adjustment and leveling out the picture as I can never seem to get it perfect. How much of a load would that place on the system if done simultaneously?"

Not much.

Audio effects/processing/etc. in CS5 imposes no perceptible loads. Brightness-contrast is MPE hardware-enabled if you get an nVidia graphics card with CUDA GPUs (as repeatedly recommended). With hardware MPE, adjustments would be instantaneous without requiring rendering.

Does "leveling out." refer to setting levels in Effects-Adjust-Levels? If so, that is MPE enabled, too..

6. For after-the-fact image stabilization, PPro CS5 does not come with its own shake remover. There is one in After-Efffects If you upgrade to a CS5 package rather than just upgrading PPro. I've used Mercalli in the past with CS3 and the company recently e-mailed about a new plug-in for CS5.


7. Further Observations on what to get for your proposed use:.

(a). Do not get a case in which you can only put two drives. Do not make a two drive system into a Raid 0 which is also used as your boot/system drive.

(b) For doing 2 camera HDV multi-cam editing under CS5, you could do okay with; (a) a 7200 RPM system/boot drive; (b) a separate 7200 rpm (or faster) 1 or 2 tb drive for media (for multi-cam editing it would be significantly smoother if you can have a second and third drive to combine into a Raid 0).

If you want an additional drive and do not have room in the case, I suggest getting an eSata (external) 7200 rpm drive. I would suggest doing your editing from the RAID 0 with transcoding to and DVD burns from the extermal e-Sata drive. You could get by without the external drive but it will make life easier.

(c) I do not know of any Firewire800 drives I could recommend for use with a Win7 system. USB drives would likely have throughoput rates that could impede or bog down multi-cam editing if you have your project files on it. You are better off with a eSata drive. Most new computers and current mobos have eSata connectors.

When I was running under Win XP, I was able to use external firewire drives for editing both DV and HDV files. I have found this to be frequently troublesome under Win 7. There seems to be something on my system that, under Win 7 Pro 64 that causes throughput to drop off a lot when working with HDV files on the external firewire drive.. I suspect that this is a Win 7 thing because I can boot back to Win XP and run CS4 --- I have the old WinXP disk in the case and can dual boot if I want to --- and I don't get these drop-offs there.) Go with eSATA for an external drive for use in editing.

(d) You will not need to buy a firewire card if you assemble your own system. (Unless you want a firewire 800 connection.) Almost any suitable motherboard will have firewire connections built into it enabling you to have firewirte ports on the front or top of the case. as well as at the back.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 03:01 PM   #28
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Re: Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay West View Post
On info for assembling system (mobos etc.), you have to choose between an I7/9xx system with "X58" mobo and an I7/2600k with Sandybridge mobos.
That is very much the case nowadays. However, if one should choose an i7-2600K, go with a "P67" mobo, not an "H67" or "H61" mobo, if that user wants to overclock. The "H67" and "H61" mobos do not allow overclocking of the CPU at all. Or wait for the "Z68" chipset-based mobos that are due to come out in May or June of this year.
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Old April 14th, 2011, 06:22 AM   #29
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Re: Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

Hi

A small, unscientific comparison between my old and my new computers:


Just built a PC with:

ASUS P8P67 Delux Motherboard
Intel Core i7 2600k
8GB 1600 Corsair RAM
Zotac Geforce GTX 470
OZC 60GB SATA-2 SSD boot disk
2x640GB SATA-3 HD (perhaps RAID1 in the future, have not decided yet)
Win7 64
CS 5.0.3


Compared to my 3 year old system:

HP Pavilion Elite 9180
AMD Phenom 9500, 2.2GHz
3GB RAM
Geforce 8800GT
500GB SATA-2 Boot disk
500GB SATA-2 Edit disk
Win7 64
CS 5.0.3


Timing test:


- Four small video clips, HDV 25p, 2min 20sec total length.

Render times to a new HDV file on disk:

- No filters applied:

Old system: 2m07s
New system: 34s

- Applied one filter (ProcAmp) adjusting brightness, contrast and saturation:

Old system: 7m20s
New system: 40s

- Applied two more filters, adjusted some RGB components and RGB Gammas, plus added sharpness:

Old system: 54 minutes!
New system: 44 seconds!


The render times on the new system is magic. It also allows me to add more than 10 filters (just tried it for fun) that supports GPU/CUDA and play directly from the timeline without any delay or prerender. I'm absolutely astonished by this new computer system. Be aware that not all filters in CS5 supports GPU processing but the ones I've tested with does.

My conclusion: Get a Nvidia card if you can, once you have one you'll never look back.

Regards,

/Bo
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Old April 14th, 2011, 08:31 AM   #30
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Re: Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

Bo,

Thanks for emphasizing a point I and others have been making for quite some time.

The AMD CPUs lack SSE 4.x support in their instruction set. Intel CPUs, even the Core 2 Duos, support SSE 4.1 while the i7 introduces SSE 4.2. What's worse, the first-generation Phenoms are weaker and less efficient (performance-wise) than even current Phenoms. And because the current quad-core Phenoms generally perform at about the same level as a low-end Core 2 Quad in CS5, the first-gen Phenoms are glacially sluggish in CS5 - well over 100 times slower than a fast system.
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