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Old March 2nd, 2010, 10:34 AM   #1
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Processor for HD Editing !!

hi, i have few upcoming video projects which will need HD editing and stuff. i was thinking of upgrading the processor from my dual core to quad core as i was playing with hd editing in adobe premiere and it was quite slow, so i decided to upgrade my processor which might fasten things up, at least dats wat i think. would my upgrade help me achieve smooth editing and do i also need to upgrade my ram too.

Current Stats:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+
Corsair 4GB XMS2 DDR2 800Mhz
Adobe Premiere CS4, After Effects CS4

Future Stats
AMD Phenom II X4 3.0Ghz
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 10:58 AM   #2
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An upgrade to a Phenom might improve video rendering performance, as well as making your NLE feel a bit snappier. But although it is pin-compatible with your existing motherboard (and thus can run with your system's existing DDR2 memory), it needs a Socket AM3 motherboard and DDR3 memory in order to perform at its best. And even with DDR3 memory, a Phenom II upgrade won't perform all that much better than a last-generation Intel Core2 Quad processor on a DDR2 motherboard and DDR2 memory - at least not for the price that you'd be paying for the whole processor/motherboard/memory upgrade.

Thus, if you need a new motherboard and new memory in addition to the Phenom II processor in order to maximize its performance potential, you might as well spend a little more money for an upgrade to an Intel i7 platform. Adding more memory to your existing setup is becoming more and more economically unfeasible because DDR2 memory prices have been increasing substantially over the last two months while DDR3 memory prices have remained relatively flat over the same period.

Bottom line: I would not recommend such a processor upgrade if the rest of the major components in your system (for example, an old or low-end graphics card, an outdated hard drive, slower memory) were going to drag down the performance of that just-upgraded system. The performance improvement would not be worth the price that you paid for that processor upgrade. However, if your system's memory is of good quality and relatively speedy and the rest of your system's major components are up to current performance standards, then a simple Phenom II processor upgrade may be worth it.

Last edited by Randall Leong; March 2nd, 2010 at 11:43 AM.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 11:44 AM   #3
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I agree completely. The OP should use his current system for other tasks and get a decent i7 system for editing and forget about AMD. AMD is too far behind the capabilities of an i7 to be considered a feasible option.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 12:18 PM   #4
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well right now i just have the money for amd processor upgrade. so i think i should do the processor upgrade now and later on buy an am3 board with ddr3 ram when i get some more money. shifting to intel aint an option now cause that requires lots of money as there is big difference btw intel i7 and amd prices !!
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 12:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Shahzad Mian View Post
well right now i just have the money for amd processor upgrade. so i think i should do the processor upgrade now and later on buy an am3 board with ddr3 ram when i get some more money. shifting to intel aint an option now cause that requires lots of money as there is big difference btw intel i7 and amd prices !!
If you are in another (or I shall say developing) country, then all bets are off. If the cheapest "recommended" Intel platform costs so much more money than the most expensive AMD upgrade in your country, then I don't know what to say. Even with the processor upgrade, your present system might still not have enough horsepower to do much if any HD editing. In this case, then, if your system's other components are relatively aged, then stick with standard-definition-only editing on that system. Or, if the rest of your system's components are reasonably up to date, then you might be able to get away with editing HDV (or AVCHD that had been transcoded to an intermediate codec such as Cineform).
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 12:31 PM   #6
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Only thing I can say: Wasted money to go that AMD route.

The argument is something like: I can't afford a car now, so I will start with the rear tires, and somewhere in the future I will add the front tires.

Good luck with that argument.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 12:40 PM   #7
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Only thing I can say: Wasted money to go that AMD route.

The argument is something like: I can't afford a car now, so I will start with the rear tires, and somewhere in the future I will add the front tires.

Good luck with that argument.
I agree mostly. After all, if a user cannot afford the cheapest recommended Intel platform, and it would take many years or even decades to save up enough money for such a system, then that person might as well give up the ghost and stick to basic computer tasks only (such as Web surfing and word processing). It's simply no use "upgrading" to something which delivers only a minimal performance improvement over his current system. (That's especially true of a person who lives in a country whose currency is nearly worthless compared to the exchange rates of the more developed nations.)
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 12:59 PM   #8
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hmmm, the last 2 responses weren't positive at all. anyways i am ordering products from England where the AMD processor is on 130 while i7 processor starts from 230 and then a cheap i7 board is around 130 and put some 120 for the ddr3, so in total dats a lot of money to just get an i7 platform while amd will provide u the nearest performance to i7 with lot less cheap price. i dont want to argue about AMD vs INTEL but Mr. Harm Millaard seems to be an anti AMD guy !! anyways as by me saying when i get some money later, i didn't meant years, i meant in upcoming 3-4 months as here not every body is super rich or at least here students don't have thousands to spend on tech stuff's if u consider the prices are thrice here then USA. anyways i hope u got my point and i had no intention of disrespecting anyone.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 01:05 PM   #9
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Actually, the fastest AMD processor still performs significantly slower than even the slowest i7 platform for HD video editing and rendering. In fact, it performs no better than a middle-of-the-road Intel Core2 Quad in such a task. And as I mentioned, the Phenom II really needs super-expensive memory just to even perform that well. Otherwise, when handicapped by only DDR2 memory, the Phenom II doesn't really perform all that much better than a lower-end Intel Core2 series processor or the fastest of the previous-generation AMD processors for HD (in fact, the performance improvement would not be worth anywhere near the price that you'd be paying for the processor "upgrade").

As such, with your present motherboard, memory and other components, I would not really recommend this processor "upgrade". In fact, I would not spend even one-third of the 133 price on a processor upgrade for your present system at this time. And even in the UK, prices for computer components are still relatively high. 133 there is the equivalent of nearly $200 USD. (And that 133 price is not even for a top-of-the-line Phenom II - it is for only the 945 with a locked HTT, whereas the highest of the line is the 965 BE with an easily unlockable HTT.) And that's currently a little too high for this processor "upgrade". Similarly, Intel i7 processors also cost significantly more in the UK than they do in the USA (230 is the equivalent of nearly $350 USD). In other words, the UK prices of computer components average about 20 to 25 percent higher than what those same components sell for here in the USA. (However, the USA electrical system is different from what is used in your country, which is why most US resellers will not ship anything outside of the Continental US.)

In this case, you definitely get what you pay for.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 01:23 PM   #10
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well lets forget wat i can get with i7 processor, wont i get some performance advantage then my current athlon x2 processor on which i cant even preview hd video smoothly in premiere !!
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 01:28 PM   #11
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You might get some - but nowhere near as much of an improvement as what you would expect for the price that you'd be paying for this "upgrade". In other words, even that 133 price is way higher than the amount of performance improvement (which IMHO would be worth only about 20 if you're keeping everything else in your present system). And if you can't even preview HD video with your present configuration, the CPU is only half the problem. You might have a seriously outdated or very-low-end graphics card, or you might be relying solely on the motherboard's onboard graphics, as well.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 01:50 PM   #12
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and wat if i buy am3 board and ddr3 after a couple of months? i will buy a new system next year Q1 when i come to US. i just need some smooth editing work right now, doesn't matter if the rendering time isn't improved a lot.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 02:06 PM   #13
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also right now i have a radeon x1950 512mb card which is old stuff now, i can try to buy a Radeon HD5670 with the processor. wat do u think ?
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 02:26 PM   #14
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make it HD 5750 !! i hope now i can get a smooth editing experience !!
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 05:22 PM   #15
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Currently, system performance is dictated by:

1. CPU
2. Memory
3. Disk setup
4. OS
5. Services and processes
6. ...
7. ...
8. ...
9 Video card

I feel you are making the wrong decisions, led by your available budget.

Upgrading your CPU will probably gain you some performance increase, but it will be marginal and price/performance wise, a lousy investment.

Upgrading your video card will cost you and the performance gain will be negligent.

The fastest AMD systems I have seen are still around three times slower than a properly configured i7.

If you want to make any investments, do so in your disk setup. That will carry over to your next system, whether that is AMD or Intel. You can always use the storage capacity and the disk speed. For the rest start saving for a new system.

Last edited by Harm Millaard; March 3rd, 2010 at 04:41 PM.
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