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Old July 4th, 2007, 07:59 PM   #1
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Should i migrate to intel or pump up my opteron syst?

my actual specs:

single AMD dual core Opteron 280 - Tyan Thunder K8WE S2895 (up to 16 GB) - 2 GB DDR400 - Nvidia Quadro FX1500 video edition - Windows XP - Adobe Production Studio - Cineform AspectHD - Canon XH A1 / HV20

my pump goal: another Opteron 280 + 2 more gigas + RAID0 with 3 WD Caviar 250 and 3ware controller (the Areca is too $$ for me now) +.. windows 64b (is it worth it or a potential cronic headache?)

good update or better start from zero (mobo, CPU, memory) with dual Xeons or Duo cores?

money is a bit an issue. productive possibilities are still more important. my work: docus, music clips, events, experimental

thanks for the advice (perhaps some opteron user with experience in HDV editing)
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Old July 5th, 2007, 01:25 AM   #2
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I'd allready be very happy with the system you have now. :) If money is an issue I would perform the upgrade instead of buying a new system, dual xeons for pc are really expensive, then you might as wel get a mac pro instead.
With one extra opteron you get a good speed bump for a fraction of the price of a dual xeon upgrade.

Going to windows 64bit is only interesting if you are planning to utilize more then 4gig of memory as the 32bit version only supports max 4 gig. If you are sure there are 64bit drivers for all your hardware then you could consider this but otherwise, and since you plan to keep it with 4gigs, it's better (cheaper) to stick with the 32bit version.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 02:53 PM   #3
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thanxs noa!... but a macpro full is around 3500$... tempting, isn it?

think i prefer to go for the 35mm adaptor
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Old July 6th, 2007, 10:00 PM   #4
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I would say that your system is more then ample for HDV editing.
Get more drives, you can never have too much space. Nicer, bigger monitors are also a no-brainer upgrade.
You didn't mention what software you use. Often software won't work with 64bit O/S or will have no use for anything past 2cores. Check befor you leap.
Also consider swithching to Cineform software instead of a hardware upgrade. It's the best way to increase performance and quality IMO.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 04:59 AM   #5
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As long as you have fast drives, a RAID isn't going to give you a big boost. With HDV, the bottleneck is the CPU. Hold off on the RAID and get the second Opteron first to speed up your render times. Windows probably won't utilize more than 3Gig of RAM, so the 2Gig you have may be enough. You simply need enough RAM and an excess won't speed things up so maybe one more gig would be appropriate. Make sure you have the right configuration of RAM modules to keep your motherboard running in dual-channel mode (if that is supported). Windows 64 won't speed up your render time and it is money and time you don't need to spend. Assuming you already have dedicated video drives, just get enough extra drive space to keep your workflow smooth and get the second Opteron to speed up your renders. You already have a decent system and the only bottleneck is the processor.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 09:06 PM   #6
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Again, it depends on what software you are using to render. Often more then 2 cores has no effect. Also I disagree that a simple RAID 0 doesn't have effect. It does, especially as layers are added and files get big. It isn't simply a matter of HDV's low bitrate. And in saying that I would recomend a non HDV workflow (choose a better codec, such as Cineform or SheerVideo) which will show the true worth of your RAID set-up and give you much better post quality.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 10:25 PM   #7
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I have to agree with Marcus. For HDV and DV CPU is the main bottleneck followed by the memory system. Hard drives come somewhat further down the chain and if multiple modern drives are used they can provide data at a greater rate than the CPU can process. The question of RAID or not has been discussed many times and I think that it depends on the project, file format and how the PC is managed. Personally I do not use a RAID. Just have multiple drives and capture appropriately so that no one drive is being accessing for more than one file/clip at the same time. I have boot drive, a drive just for temp files and partial rendered files, 3 large storage drives in the PC and two external drives. My slowest drive when 80% full still achieves greater then 50MBps, 14 times faster than is needed for HDV or DV or about 5 times needed for using an intermediate codec like Cineform or Canopus HQ. Having a RAID that can deliver data even faster isn't going to help the CPU or memory system. IF you only have boot drive and two other drives then a RAID will make file management easier. Using uncompressed or codecs that are easy on the CPU but with big file sizes may require a RAID to guarantee data rate for multiple streams, but the topic here is HDV I think.
As far as system comments I too am in the same position of having a AMD X2 4200, 2G DDR 400 ( not as good as the Opteron I know) and am thinking of going to a Quad Intel as they are reasonably priced at the moment for the performance. I will wait though to see what the Barcelona chip performs like.
My main editor is Edius Pro and with the HQ codec have no problems running 2 or 3 streams in realtime. With native HDV files it will run for a few minutes then stop. Native files with Vegas need rendering. I only have Premiere Pro 1.5.1 so cannot try native but with Cineform will run much like DV . Same files in same locations. Software makes a difference. My CPU cannot capture and encode to either Canopus HQ or Cineform if it also has to have a preview window open!!!! A clear indication that the CPU memory system is maxed out handling the decode /encode process and nothing to do with reading or writing to disk. I now capture native and then recode as needed. From one hard drive to another drive and this still takes longer than realtime, again indicating that the CPU is the bottleneck( Canopus HQ or Cineform). Once in the intermediate file format editing is just like DV ( the load is off the CPU) and with one stream per hard drive have no problems.

Ron Evans
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Old July 9th, 2007, 07:42 AM   #8
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"Again, it depends on what software you are using to render."

That's a good point. I am using Vegas so I no longer need to worry about that. I don't know about Adobe's multi-core capabilities. If it can not use quad cores, I would hold off on an upgrade until faster dual-core chips are available. A 3GHz core2duo would be noticeably faster than a single 2.4GHz Opteron. Still, I think it is best to wait until computers are about twice as fast as your old machine before upgrading. An extra processor fits that bill, but only if your software will use it.

Ron is right. Multiple single drives are more than fast enough and can be even faster than a RAID if files are allocated in a way that increases the likelihood that each drive will be accessing one file at a time. Ron's workflow seems most likely to have smooth disk access. Remember, it is access time which is the bottleneck with modern hard drives and a RAID only increases data flow and has no positive impact on access.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 06:24 PM   #9
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Thanks a lot Ron and Marcus, very clear explanations

As i said, im working Premiere Pro 2 with Cineform Aspect. I think Prem manages multicores.... dont know if quad core though (anyway ive already ordered the new CPU).

My doubt is the RAID. Should i make it or just work with separate disks (1 disk for system, 1 for temps, 2 or more for clips, audio, etc)

Would a RAID0 really make a difference? People from Cineform told me so...
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Old July 11th, 2007, 02:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hernan Vilchez View Post
my actual specs:

single AMD dual core Opteron 280 - Tyan Thunder K8WE S2895 (up to 16 GB) - 2 GB DDR400 - Nvidia Quadro FX1500 video edition - Windows XP - Adobe Production Studio - Cineform AspectHD - Canon XH A1 / HV20

my pump goal: another Opteron 280 + 2 more gigas + RAID0 with 3 WD Caviar 250 and 3ware controller (the Areca is too $$ for me now) +.. windows 64b (is it worth it or a potential cronic headache?)

good update or better start from zero (mobo, CPU, memory) with dual Xeons or Duo cores?

money is a bit an issue. productive possibilities are still more important. my work: docus, music clips, events, experimental

thanks for the advice (perhaps some opteron user with experience in HDV editing)
Hey Hernan, perhaps bookmark my name somewhere because we have almost the same system :) I have dual Opteron 270's on the same motherboard.

I can tell you that another Opteron processor will be a worthy upgrade if you wait until July 23rd(?) when the processor companies release their new chipsets and previous models drop in price.

I have 4 GB and running WinXP64, can utilize all of it. I encounter absolutely ZERO issue with running 64 bit Windows and editing Cineform on PPro 3. Things run mighty fast with 4 gbs to work with and two processors. I have yet to crash too, which is something new to say since last Ppro and XP :)

The potential chronic headache is with Vista, not 64-bit XP, unless Nvidia does not have 64 bit drivers for your graphics card.

my 2c. Cheers.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 05:03 AM   #11
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Hernan, listen to Ben.

Regarding RAID, I always mention that newer drives are essentially their own RAID 0 since the super high density has brought up the transfer speed of data to something like 75 megabytes per second. That is much faster than a RAID from just a few years ago. The stumbling point for a RAID is that it does nothing for access speed. Nothing can speed up the movement of the heads or the rotation speed of the platters. It takes about 13 milliseconds to access data on all 7200rpm drives regardless of the brand or RAID. That is the same speed as 7200rpm drives from 10 years ago. Yes, hard drives are no faster accessing data than drives with the same rpm 10 years ago. The access time is what allows a drive to bounce around between multiple files. Since the access time is the same with or without RAID, it is actually better to put files on different drives so each mechanism can deal with fewer files simultaneously. Start with multiple regular drives. If that is not enough, get 10,000rpm SCSI drives with faster access time and a longer warranty. I doubt you will ever have a CPU that can outwork even a cheap hard drive, so put your money in the CPU.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 05:40 PM   #12
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thanks a lot for the clear explanations, ive already ordered my extra processor.

i wont go RAID for the moment. Ill get windows XP64 bits(Nvidia has drivers for it) and put 2g more of RAM.

1 more thing: as i wont make RAID, i can buy a 4th hdd as big as possible, cant i? (now i have 2 scratch disks of 250G).

ciao!
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Old July 11th, 2007, 07:29 PM   #13
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Hey everyone - Here is the shopping cart list for the set up I bought.

Thought i'd post and share.

-Terry lee.
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Old July 14th, 2007, 05:37 AM   #14
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Depends on who you are doing work for. Just you, then get what you want. If you want business from most other people, then FCP is the most popular today. 90% of the jobs posted demand FCP editors with Avid taking in the other 10%. I have researched it for seven years now on a daily basis. I use them all cus I want to be able to handle any project when asked. They are just tools. They all will get the job done on an equal level.

Gary
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Old July 30th, 2007, 09:50 AM   #15
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Vegas goes 64 bit!

We are running a dual core opteron 280 rig - and this is happy reading..


> Sony Creative Software, a leading provider of video and audio editing
> software applications, in conjunction with AMD (NYSE: AMD), a leading global
> provider of innovative microprocessor and graphics solutions, demonstrated a
> 64-bit technology preview version of VegasŪ editing software running on
> 64-bit Dual-Core AMD Opteron

http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/...?ReleaseID=660
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