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Old December 5th, 2008, 06:52 AM   #1
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CPU comparison

With all the new technologies out there I lost track of what is going on... hyper thread, dual/quad core, core 2 duo, etc... etc...

Could someone please give us, less hardware literates, a rundown of all these technologies, and tell us why one is better than the other?

Thank you,
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Old December 5th, 2008, 01:08 PM   #2
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If speed is the primary factor for you -- as it is for me -- then you might try the Passmark CPU Benchmark charts available at their website, which are updated daily. While their benchmark tests aren't really about video applications, the charts do give a pretty interesting comparative picture. Sort of like EPA mileage ratings -- YMMV -- but at least they're all tested the same way.

When I built my new editing PC last spring, I took the scores and divided them by the chips' cost, and came up with a "bang-for-the-buck" figure, which helped me decide what the best value was for me.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 01:26 PM   #3
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Thanks Adam,

the answer is yes and no. The website (I suppose you refer to PassMark CPU Benchmark Charts) is very useful; however, I feel like it's time for me to build my next editing machine, and I would like to understand what goes under the hood, and why.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 02:18 PM   #4
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The best bang for the buck seems to be the entry level core i7 quads. Glowing reviews, apparently easy to overclock, if you are into that, great performance.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 03:51 PM   #5
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The best bang for the buck seems to be the entry level core i7 quads. Glowing reviews, apparently easy to overclock, if you are into that, great performance.
i7 920 end of story
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Old December 6th, 2008, 11:23 PM   #6
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yeah, I don't know if i7 would necessarily = best bang for the buck but it's absolutely the chip to buy right now. I priced out a system build for myself at about $1500 for the box that included about 3TB of hard drive space, 6Gb of RAM and the slower 2.66Ghz chip.

I could have probably built a Core 2 Quad 2.66Ghz system for under $1000. Is the i7 33%+ faster? I'm not sure... but the point is, you should probably go for the i7 if you can swing it..

Now.. let me give you the chips in order of speed from slowest to fastest that might help..

Pentium Dual Core - Avoid like the plague
Athlon 64 X2 - Extreme budget only, avoid
Phenom X3 - Budget processor, triple core - odd CPU
Phenom X4 - Fights fist to fist versus the Core 2 Duo - I'd still avoid $120 - $200
Core 2 Duo - As far as I'm concerned, the entry level video editing chip $130 - $225
Core 2 Quad - Now probably the best bang for your buck, uses cheaper (bust still fast) DDR2 memory which saves money $190 - $330
Core i7 - Brand new CPU - blazing fast, should be future proof for 2-3 years $300 - $1000
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Old December 8th, 2008, 09:23 AM   #7
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Guys, seems like everyone is eager to tell me *what*... but what I would really like to understand is *why*?

How is the dual core different from core two duo, core two quad, Phenom, and now i7... what is hyperthread, etc, etc... my head is spinning... No need to re-describe the wheel, if there is a good white paper out there, written for average Joe, please post a link.

Thank you,
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Old December 8th, 2008, 09:34 AM   #8
 
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Ervin...

Don't really think you'll find a one-article-tells-all kind of read. I would suggest you go to http://www.anandtech.com and spend a day reading reviews.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 01:30 PM   #9
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I agree, nothing short of full fledged reviews and studying will get you what you are really searching for but I'll give you some more information here..

Pentium Dual Core - Old Chip Design with 2 processors, runs very hot. Uses Hyperthreading which was Intel's way of trying to trick the software via hardware to see more processors than their really were. There were some tangible benefits to this technology provided software was capable of using it. This is basically Intel's response and attempt to catch AMD X2 design.

Athlin 64 X2 - 64-bit dual core chip, runs at lower frequencies but was the first ground-up dual core design, was the chip of choice a few years back. Great chip, good performance, just out-dated by todays standards.

Phenom X3 - 3 Core chip, new design by AMD over 64 X2 above. It's the value chip in todays market. Released after the Core 2 Duo (see below) but not generally as fast and runs a little hotter while using more energy.

Phenom X4 - 4 Core chip, identical to above. A solid chip for the money however struggles against Intel's offerings.

Core 2 Duo - Intel's response to the X2. Complete redesign of CPU, dumping the Pentium way of doing things. "Core 2" is the name, Duo = 2 cores Quad = 4 cores.

Core 2 Quad - See above, same as Core 2 Duo just 4 cores.

Intel i7 - Intel in an attempt to drive the nail in the proverbial coffen in AMD just recently released this chip which are ALL Quad Cores and re-introduce Hyperthreading which is kind of a "software" method of telling the computer there are twice as many processors as their really are. As above, if an application is written with hyperthreading in mind, it can add substantial performance benefits..

That's about the best I can do to lame-duck it and summarize for you... Good luck..

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Old December 9th, 2008, 05:28 AM   #10
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If you haven't done so already, Tom's Hardware's CPU articles section is a good place to catch up on recent technologies :

Components CPU Articles

cheers.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 01:51 PM   #11
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Very low budget editing machine for $.5K

I must admit, I still live in stone age editing on my old P4@3GHz hyperthread Dell Optiplex. It still works fine for my needs and if it's not broken, why fix/replace it? Still, it will break one of these days... it's 4 years old...

Modest editing needs: an hour or two of video per week, more like the 'edit at night, render overnight' type situation. Mostly DV-AVI, occasionally HDV on Edius; occasional need for an Adobe product or two but no heavy effects; no gaming, no Office or internet on this machine, nothing but editing. HDV editing will increase in the coming year or so.

Would this be one of the best options if all you wanted to spend is $500 for the hardware? OS and other software not included.

Case with 550W power
AsRock/Biostar Intel G31 Series mobo
Intel Q8200 QUAD CORE 2.33GHz processor
4GB DDR2 800MHz RAM
Onboard Intel GMA3100 384MB Shared video
Onboard Premium 5.1-Channel audio
100MBps Ethernet LAN card
Firewire card

I already have the hard drive and optical drive(s). Will run Win XP 32. May add a video card for a second 1920x1080 monitor later.

Suggestions welcome, and thanks.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 02:43 AM   #12
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I would suggest a dedicated video card like an ATI 4650 or similar with it's own memory instead of on-board video with shared memory. Video editing is about, well, say video, so don't skimp on that. That means you may look at a larger number of mobo's without on-board video, but possibly with on-board firewire, so you don't need a separate card for that.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 02:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
I would suggest a dedicated video card like an ATI 4650 or similar with it's own memory instead of on-board video with shared memory. Video editing is about, well, say video, so don't skimp on that. That means you may look at a larger number of mobo's without on-board video, but possibly with on-board firewire, so you don't need a separate card for that.
not so.. if you are editing with Vegas, you can use onboard video just as well as the biggest and fastest GPU you can get. Vegas is only software CPU bound with no additional benefit from usign goob graphics cards. Now some of your plugins or effects bundles may make use of the GPU, but if you don't have any of those, then the GPU does nothing for you in Vegas.
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