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Old August 2nd, 2007, 11:05 PM   #1
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Quad Core 2.4Ghz vs Core 2 Duo 3.0Ghz

Curious (David) or anybody else...

What kind of performance differences are we seeing with these two CPU's? Currently putting a new system together, will be editing via Vegas and then buying another copy of NEO HD.

Currently both CPU's are identical in price. One has 4 cores at 2.4Ghz, the other has 2 cores at 3.0Ghz and a 1333Mhz FSB. I'll be building in a 3 disk RAID 0 setup but I mainly want something that will give me strongest playback performance on the timeline editing Cineform .AVI files.

Anybody have any idea which way would be better? I do realize that rendering on the Quad will probalby be quicker, but I'd sacrifice some rendering performance for raw timeline performance. I've found editing multiple video streams simultaneously while applying transitions, effects to my HDV source video to be a little slower than I'd like on my current E6600 system.

Any advice or help is greatly appreciated,

Jon
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 10:09 AM   #2
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I still slightly favoring 3GHz dual core with 1333FSB, over the slower clocked quads -- I'm sure that will change soon.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 02:03 PM   #3
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Great... That was the angle I was kinda leaning towards with my gut as well. I'm sure, in time, that may not be the case, but perhaps by the time Quad Core's will really be utilized, we'll be up to 3.0Ghz+ Quad Cores for half the price the 2.4Ghz's are now...

In a world that's easy to complain about a lot of things not being the way they should be... Buying computers at these great prices I think goes often unappreciated...

Jon
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 03:28 PM   #4
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Jon, you could always overclock. If your board and memory support it, the 6600 appears to overclock well. If we get a better cooling solution, we'll probably overclock our quad to 2.7 or 2.8 just to gain some editing speed. Supposedly it clocks to 3GB fairly easily.

Makes me wish I had a V-8 (dual quad) now
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 06:11 PM   #5
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I can overclock, and that's an option, but in most cases I think I'd rather stick at stock speeds. If the processors were unlocked like the "Extreme" series, I'd be more inclined to do it by changing multipliers and bus speeds independently. I don't much care for "stressing" my systems to the point of having to rely on fans and very high quality power supplies.

I still live by the idea that a stable and reliable system is more important than a fast one.

From an overclocking standpoint, I'm pretty sure I'd have more luck with the E6850 than the QuadCore as those chips are already sucking a lot of power and generating a lot of heat. 600Mhz X2 core's is nothing to sneeze at and though I *know* rendering times in Vegas will be faster on the Quad, I can't help but think that day-to-day tasks, particularly on the Vegas timeline, would be improved with faster frequencies in the dual-core.

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Old August 4th, 2007, 09:07 AM   #6
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You need to be really careful with heat when it comes to overclocking the Q6600 - even at stock it's a hot chip. And you also need to get your BIOS options right. And you need to have the right motherboard.

I wouldn't recommend it personally.
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Old August 4th, 2007, 04:17 PM   #7
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Thats interesting guys because my Q6600 idles at 25C and hasn't gotten over 42C since I have had it. That includes encoding(which btw only utilizes at most thus far 42% of cpu power). One thing to keep in mind with any machine is cooling in the case. The Antec 900 case that I have now, lowered my cpu temps by at least 10C from what I remember. And yes, it does overclock really easily. I just played with mine to see how high it would go without problems, and I easily took it to 2.86 on just air and stock cooler, and if I remember it went up to 32C and 44C when encoding. I currently have it at 2.6Ghz and 26C while I type this.

I am not sure how the Cineform works, but I installed a Microsoft update(Its the DB936357) that someone suggested on newegg just for an experiment, and it is working even better than it originally was(which to be honest is really hard to believe). I can easily run Photoshop, Premiere AE, and Soundbooth while burning a disc in Encore without any type of hiccups, glitches or the like that I currently experienced with my Pentium D. Yes, the clock speed is lower than the duals, but I would have to say they are extremely efficient in the way they are manufactured. I don't know, but I have never had a machine run like this before overall. It is simply amazing to me. To be honest, I have yet to see the processor go to 100% as it normally did and would with my previous processors.

Just depends on what your going to do. If your really going to multitask, the quads are amazing chips... I also definately have not had any timeline slowdowns at all. But then again, I use Premiere which does utilize all of the cores.

I just cant recommend the quads enough for editors to be honest. As the other user suggested, make sure your motherboard supports it. But from what I understand, most major MB mfg's that have done boards post and including the 965 chipsets utilize the quads. I am running an Abit AB9 and it required no bios updates at all. It was simply a drop in and took only ten minutes to install.

Just my .02..
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Old August 4th, 2007, 05:59 PM   #8
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Adobe apps work better on quad cores:

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...2049695,00.asp

To quote: "While the quad-core chip does well here, the four cores don't make as massive a difference as they did in the 3D rendering tests. The increase in performance is substantial, and if you're doing a ton of video editing and encoding, with lots of transitions and filters, you should see significant productivity increases."
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Old August 4th, 2007, 06:17 PM   #9
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Sorry I am on Quad cores and no Adobe does not scale
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Old August 4th, 2007, 07:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damon Gaskin View Post
Thats interesting guys because my Q6600 idles at 25C and hasn't gotten over 42C since I have had it. That includes encoding(which btw only utilizes at most thus far 42% of cpu power). One thing to keep in mind with any machine is cooling in the case. The Antec 900 case that I have now, lowered my cpu temps by at least 10C from what I remember. And yes, it does overclock really easily. I just played with mine to see how high it would go without problems, and I easily took it to 2.86 on just air and stock cooler, and if I remember it went up to 32C and 44C when encoding. I currently have it at 2.6Ghz and 26C while I type this.

I am not sure how the Cineform works, but I installed a Microsoft update(Its the DB936357) that someone suggested on newegg just for an experiment, and it is working even better than it originally was(which to be honest is really hard to believe). I can easily run Photoshop, Premiere AE, and Soundbooth while burning a disc in Encore without any type of hiccups, glitches or the like that I currently experienced with my Pentium D. Yes, the clock speed is lower than the duals, but I would have to say they are extremely efficient in the way they are manufactured. I don't know, but I have never had a machine run like this before overall. It is simply amazing to me. To be honest, I have yet to see the processor go to 100% as it normally did and would with my previous processors.

Just depends on what your going to do. If your really going to multitask, the quads are amazing chips... I also definately have not had any timeline slowdowns at all. But then again, I use Premiere which does utilize all of the cores.

I just cant recommend the quads enough for editors to be honest. As the other user suggested, make sure your motherboard supports it. But from what I understand, most major MB mfg's that have done boards post and including the 965 chipsets utilize the quads. I am running an Abit AB9 and it required no bios updates at all. It was simply a drop in and took only ten minutes to install.

Just my .02..
Damon,

What editing software are you using? While rendering, your CPU should be pegged at 100% - afterall, this is what you paid for when you bought a Quad Core CPU for rendering. Some applications are able to take advantage of the Quad Core's better than others. I know Vegas has a good reputation for deliverying rendering times that are almost 100% faster than Dual Core's at the same frequency.

The real question here though is, what happens when a dual core CPU runs 600Mhz faster on each core (E6850)? In addition to the raw speed increase, throw in a faster bus speed, newer stepping, lower power requirements, less heat, etc and this has me doubting the Quad core is the only way to go. Specially since rendering isn't something that I really get held up on because I'm either rendering something that isn't very long and to wait 1 minutes versus 40 seconds just doens't bother me, or it's a large project that I'll just have the system do it overnight either way.


Jon
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Old August 4th, 2007, 08:37 PM   #11
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Since we are talking about the Q6600, what do you think about this setup from Dell at $969.00?

Dell 9200
Intel® Core™ 2 Q6600 Quad-Core (8MB L2 cache,2.4GHz,1066FSB)
Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition
2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 2 DIMMs
160GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
20 inch E207WFP Widescreen Digital Flat Panel
256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT-DDR3
Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
IEEE 1394 Adapter
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Old August 4th, 2007, 10:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Williams View Post
Since we are talking about the Q6600, what do you think about this setup from Dell at $969.00?

Dell 9200
Intel® Core™ 2 Q6600 Quad-Core (8MB L2 cache,2.4GHz,1066FSB)
Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition
2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 2 DIMMs
160GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
20 inch E207WFP Widescreen Digital Flat Panel
256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT-DDR3
Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
IEEE 1394 Adapter
Well... that certainly looks like a good place to start. I'm pretty much convinced that you'll want a second 20" display for video editing work and that 8600GT is a great video card as well. Also, the hard drive is just a start as well - considering adding a few extra drives and setting them up in a RAID configuration. Not bad though..

Jon
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Old August 5th, 2007, 08:23 AM   #13
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Overall, a pretty good value for dollar. A couple of personal opinions:

Consider going with XP Pro, though, as Home is missing a few things under the hood that you might want later in terms of computer admin capabilities.

FWIW, I'm also toying with the idea of building a new box with XP 64 bit, which some people seem to be liking, as long as they're careful to make sure 64 bit drivers are available for ALL hardware in the system. Might be more hassle than it is worth, though...don't know yet.

For hardware, now that systems with the 1333 FSB are out, I personally wouldn't buy a 1066 system for future HD editing use. My understanding is that Dell builds their own motherboards, so short of getting the specs from Dell, no way to know if the MB would support future 1333 processors.

For HD, you'll want to set up a RAID 0 for your data files. Make sure the MB supports RAID 0 or that you have the budget remaining to put in a RAID card and get a couple more disks.
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Old August 5th, 2007, 08:29 AM   #14
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Hi Jon. I am Using CS3 Prod Premium with the Matrox RTX2 version 3.0 drivers. To be honest with you, as I stated, previously with the other cpu's it did go to 100% and stay there. But then again, alot of my other applications did so also. But with this chip, nothing every gets it to 100 with the exception of when I ran some benchmarks and had to even run multiples of those, tweeking the settings to "force" it to stress the processor more. To be honest from reviews of other quad users on my favorite newegg(lol), this is not uncommon at all. Not just with Premiere and the Adobe software, but also with other applications/most.

For example, with my previous processor, when I did a render, yes it would shoot up higher for sure. But then again it would take much longer also. So I am not sure, but I believe the processor is simply more efficient. As this actual is happening across the board with every program after purchasing the chip.

And to be honest, I am not sure of the comparison between the dual and the quad. I know I have read, they are recommending the quads strongly for editing, and the higher clocked duals for gaming. I am actually even seeing this on the Intel and Microsoft site.. And this may sound strange, but I would believe more of the route of the mac pros machines since they have been focused on getting more cores in their boxes versus the higher ghz speed, though they do have some at higher Ghz. I simply know mine is cruising. I am rendering something now in premiere and it is a 1:19 minute timeline(a scale to frame size and different format video), it is only going to take 30 minutes to render it from the little counter. This is all at the 38% of processor speed it is using. And yes, some are I am sure definately more efficient.

One question to you Jon though, you said your not talking about rendering and the like, what are you speaking of? The layering ability of the processor? Like how many levels you can stack on top of one another? What format are you using? DV or HDV? I can test and see, though, I don't think its fair with the Matrox card. But I can try a native Adobe project, just to see. I know with the Matrox card for DV, I can now stack 11 layers. On my little test, I was able to do 8 video layers with both opacity changes and motion, creating static PIP's and 3 titles on top of those.

With HDV, I was able to stack 3 layers of video(1080i captured via firewire), 2 of which with opacity and motion changes creating pips. I also was able to add three titles without any hiccups. When I actually did add the fourth layer of video, it did not prompt a render until I went to adjust the opacity of the clip or added the motion to create the third pip on that fourth video layer. I also played around with the three titles and after trying to add a ripple to the third title, I called it quits. Throughout this test, I never had a stall, the system didn't require renders at all on the DV test, the timeline was always responsive, I had Premiere, Firefox, Photoshop, and IE open writing this message, and the processor still only shot to 73 percent with a temp of 32C. When I did go to export the HDV multiple layer clip down to 50MB I frame it took the processor to 77% max and a temp of 37C taking only 1 minute 28 seconds to export the 1 minute 31 second timeline(I deleted the fourth layer clip since I wasn't using it anyhow). When I actually brought this into Cinemacraft basic doing a two pass 8.9MB encode, it took 41 seconds first pass and 51 seconds second pass. If my math is right, that is basically 2X realtime in total to export to a nice quality format ready for burning a realistic multi layered timeline. It was small for sure, but you could easily have substitued color correction for the opacity and pips.. Before I was looking at 6 to 9 times realtime for exporting and rendering the HDV. With DV, forget about it! The exports out of premiere are like and have always been since my X100(thought it wasn't I-frame and just regular DV) much less than realtime for the most part from the timeline, and with this processor its no different. I actually exported a one hour timeline the other day and it only took 20 minutes. The conversion to Mpeg in encore took another 20, and I was good to go. Still under realtime... I am sharing all of this simply to share my workflow and how this processor has accelerated. Saying this are faster is definately an understatement for me, even with the cores only shooting to less than 100 percent. My thought is, if it does what it is supposed to faster, with less cpu power, which in turn generates less heat, requiring less cpu cooling(none of the fancy thermaltake and artic cooling paperweights), it doesn't matter to me that it doesn't "go to 100%". That just is saying its more effecient with the same software..

That is on my system. I usally for my projects don't do heavy effects, but I honestly have discovered that with the HDV, I am going to have to upgrade my gpu as the Matrox card depends on it, and this is why I recieved the render with the ripple effect.. But back to the processor.

I once again don't know the comparison on how the 6850 would perform compared to this, but I also am curious and would like anyone that has purchased it to compare.. I simply believe that either way, your going to be good. The newer chips are much more efficient and cooler. And my quad is the "supposedly" hot one with the B3 stepping. I have also read great things on the 6850 so I would think your fine either way.

Also, see the little pic enclosed.. This was during the playback if I remember correctly..

D
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Old August 5th, 2007, 09:57 AM   #15
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Damon,

Thanks for the thourough (sp?) post.

Let me address a few points..

#1) I use Sony Vegas 7.0. Most people who are using the latest update on this software who also have a Quad Core CPU are reporting rendering times that are almost exaclty 2X what they were when they had a Dual Core (Quad 2.4Ghz vs E6600 Dual Core 2.4Ghz - for example). This is contrary to common practice with Quad Cores as most benchmarks for games and even video editing "tasks" such as rendering with Windows Media Encoder or DiVX show sizeable performance improvements, but not the true "twice as fast" improvements Vegas has been able to acheive in rendernig.

#2) I edit in HD (HDV) and a lot of my edits are multi-cam in nature so I need to be previewing on my secondary montior 4 simultaneous HDV videos and play switch camera operator on them while building my timeline. When previewing these 4 HDV images in quarter size on my monitor, playback is limited to about 15-20fps for each video. I'd like this to be the native 30fps I am shooting the source material in. I've been told this is mostly a disk and cpu intensive operation but frankly, I can't get a straight answer out of anybody. I do have two drives in a RAID 0 configuration that the source video is on.

#3) What I'm looking for is timeline performance. And when I say that, I mean when I apply heavy color correcting, transitions between frames, etc, etc I want the preview playback to be very smooth and retain at the full frame rate desired. Right now on preview, my playback will be completely smooth until I hit a video with lots of changes and then, naturally, the playback is more difficult for the computer and it slows a bit. Keep in mind, I do *not* use the timeline temporarly rendering functions in Vegas. This is all "real-time" usage.

#4) When using Cineform .AVI files, I find that performance on the timeline is about 10-15% slower than editing raw .m2t HDV files from the import. Cineform has acknowledged that playback performance of raw HDV files in Vegas 7 has been vastly improved and the small performance hit while using Cineform is to be expected. I prefer working with Cineform files as my source, so anything I can do via hardware to capture back that performance hit is great.

What I really need to is find a Vegas user with a Quad (easy) and then a Vegas user with a 6850 (harder because it's brand new) and then have them run a couple of files.

I'm not in a hurry to buy, but want to order something in the next couple of weeks ideally. As David said above, I still suspect that the 3.0Ghz Dual Core might offer me overall better performance than the 2.4Ghz Quad Core for what I'm looking to improve on...

Time will tell.. :)

Jon

Last edited by Jon McGuffin; August 5th, 2007 at 09:59 AM. Reason: grammar fixes
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