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Old October 4th, 2003, 01:29 PM   #1
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AMD64 or P4 Hyperthreading

Ok, so here's the big question, and I'd love to know if anyone can give some informed advice (no speculation, please):

My primary uses -
- Video editing
- sound editing, 5.1 mixing
- graphics design
- music synthesis (Gigasampler, etc.)
- DVD encoding (MPEG2, etc.)

AMD64, or P4 3.0 GHz HT?

I currently have P4 1.9 GHz non-HT and am fed up with the bad performance on multimedia applications.

What do you think?
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Old October 4th, 2003, 03:01 PM   #2
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http://anandtech.com and tomshardware.com have benchmarks on these processors (and one or both of these sites have benchmarks for the upcoming Pentium! The P4EE or something).

Usually video editing and DVD encoding require the most power, the other tasks are easily handled by even a wimpy computer. For graphics design it might be different depending on how large your files are, but you mostly need RAM for Photoshop. For video editing, it seems that the Pentium is best for most NLEs. Vegas doesn't handle dual processors well, so you want the fastest processor you can get (it used to be the Pentium, but maybe the Athlon is faster?). Premiere Pro is optimized for Pentium processors. Recommended Avid setups all use Pentiums.

For DVD encoding, Pentium processors are much much faster than AMD processors. It seems that it is still the case. see http://www.anandtech.com/cpu/showdoc.html?i=1856&p=5 and scroll to the bottom. 64-bit computing has no advantages right now. If you are going to upgrade in 2 years then you should be able to see how 64-bit computing turns out and whether or not it has improvements you need.
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Old October 4th, 2003, 04:37 PM   #3
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Thanks. The "content creation" benchmarks are surprising. Intel still has a clear lead there.
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Old October 5th, 2003, 10:01 AM   #4
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Yep go P4. I based my decision on building a Pentium rig from seeing an overwealming advantage in almost all benchmarks vs the Athlon, including the 64. I've LONG been an Athlon man....as I'll still keep it for a secondary back-up computer and store all my graphical projects on it.
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Old October 5th, 2003, 10:09 PM   #5
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Any idea when the EE will be coming out? I'm guessing there'll be a large price drom in P4 3.0's and 3.2's, which is what I'm shooting for.

Interestingly, I usually only upgrade in 2x clock speed increments or more. I don't understand why in over two years Intel has still not doubled clock speed. Moore's law (no relation to me I'm afraid) seems to be slipping.
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Old October 7th, 2003, 10:41 AM   #6
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Yes.
Pentium 4 - 2.8G (3.0/3.2G way to expensive and not worth the diference).
Asus P4C800-E Motherboard.
2x256Mb RAM minimum, in double data rate configuration.
2 WD Raptor 10Krpm SATA HDDs in a RAID 0 configuration (for OS and intensive disk access tasks as DVD files building)
Quality (Antec, Enermax, etc) Power Supply.

You won't regret it.

Best regards,
Arnaldo Paix„o
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Old October 9th, 2003, 02:48 PM   #7
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In general, Intel Pentium processors are much faster than AMDs when it comes to CPU intensive processes, such as video editing and 2d/3d animation.

Also, I believe Intel is going to lower the prices of the 3.0 and 3.2 GHz P4 processors this month... I am looking for the news link now.
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Old October 9th, 2003, 08:07 PM   #8
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Oh please post that link if you can find it. I have been waiting to buy a 3.2 GHz until the prices drop.
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Old October 9th, 2003, 11:34 PM   #9
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It's also my understanding that the AMD won't perform at its best since Windows is still a 32 bit system. I use only AMDs in my machines except for my editing machine, which is a P4 2.8C. It is considerably faster then the equivalent AMD IMHO.

I suspect the 64 bit AMD would do better in a 64 bit OS.

'Course, you could always move to a MAC G5 :-)
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Old October 10th, 2003, 07:20 AM   #10
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"'Course, you could always move to a MAC G5 :-)"

I just find it incredibly hard to believe that even a dual 2.0 GHz machine will outperform a hyperthreading 3.2 GHz machine. I have never gotten any good data to compare either - anyone have a good link for G5 vs. P4 HT comparisons?
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Old October 10th, 2003, 02:28 PM   #11
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http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1274637,00.asp has some benchmarks, as does other sites like the battlefront forum at arstechnica.com.

The G5 pretty much runs neck to neck with a dual Xeon. Compared to the top of the line Pentium, the G5 should around the same speed (faster at Photoshop). The Pcmag benchmarks on the G4 versus dual Xeons are a bit erroneous because they use rarely-used filters. For Photoshop, both are probably too fast for you to care if there's a difference.

Performance really depends on the software though. The G5 should be fast enough for you that you don't really need to care.
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Old October 10th, 2003, 03:51 PM   #12
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I want to know about comparisons between Dual G5 and a single hyperhtreading P4 3.2.
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Old October 10th, 2003, 09:45 PM   #13
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Ok I'm going to assume the software choices you make, since it's hard to say which is faster unless you do.

Video editing:
Final Cut Pro on the Mac. The G5 does at least 4 layers of DV in real-time. Apple was demoing the G5 doing 6 streams of uncompressed (using special software and an XSERV RAID). Final Cut Pro 5 will probably optimize for the G5 processor and increase that.

On the PC: Avid Xpress Pro does 5. (software only I believe on a dual xeon)
Premiere does a lot with a real-time card. Without one I believe it doesn't do much.
Vegas - no idea about how many streams of real-time it does
Edition - Divide CPU by 600mhz to get the number of streams. (software only) A decent 3d video card will add even more streams.

I'm sure there's an Avid benchmark comparing the G5 to a pentium somewhere, but I would be using Final Cut Pro.

After Effects: There are benchmarks around. I forget the results.

Sound editing:
All platforms are probably too fast to care about. It depends on the work you do.

Graphics design:
If working with small files (i.e. <10MB) then all platforms are likely too fast to care about.
The dual2.0mhz G5 is faster than dual Xeons on the most used filters. On less used filters the Xeons are faster. Overall the G5 has a slight edge. Dual Xeons are faster than the best Pentium.
see the Battlefront forum at arstechnica.com, they have some good benchmarks.

Music synthesis- no idea

DVD encoding- hard to compare across platforms. On the PC side, stay away from AMD as they are slower at this than a Pentium/dual Xeons.

The G5 should be fast at doing this- it's much better than the dual1.42 G4.

The G5 is not exactly the best bang for the buck in terms of speed. However, some non-performance issues may change your mind (Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro 2, etc.).
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Old October 11th, 2003, 12:48 PM   #14
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"The G5 is not exactly the best bang for the buck in terms of speed. However, some non-performance issues may change your mind (Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro 2, etc.)."

That seems to be the eternal conclusion for Macs, since they first appeared. I think I'm gonna stick with Intel for now. Maybe if I get a laptop I'll get a G4 or G5 if they ever make them.

Thanks for the info!
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Old October 25th, 2003, 12:41 AM   #15
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"For DVD encoding, Pentium processors are much much faster than AMD processors. It seems that it is still the case."

That may have been the case for Athlons, but it's a new ballgame with the AMD64/Opterons.

Don't believe every benchmark you read. There are benchmarks, and there are benchmarks. XbitLabs, http:/www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon64-fx51_12.html and PCWorld , http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,112749,pg,5,00.asp both have benchmark tests which put the AMD on top in common video editing tasks like Premiere, Photoshop, and Procoder.

The truth is that for games, the AMD64 is generally on top, and the for common video applications, the AMD64 and 3.2 P4 are pretty close.
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