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Old June 19th, 2004, 02:44 AM   #16
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<<<-- Originally posted by Glenn Chan :
IMO the Pentium is a slightly better buy right now as it generally averages better in benchmarks, like the Main Concept MPEG2 encoder. However, the AMD64 processors are pretty damn close! -->>>

Have a link? last few batches of reviews I have seen have AMD easily taking the majority of benchmarks.

sauch as this one:

http://techreport.com/reviews/2004q2/opteron-x50/index.x?pg=1

<<<-- If you consider the motherboards, the Intel 865PE side is slightly better bang for the buck than AMD offerings. For example, the Abit IS7 is a nice board.-->>>

Really? I didn't know that Intel started integrating SATA and Lan into their southbridge chips freeing up the PCI bus? I wasn't aware they had managed that yet.

I went and looked up the IS7, it does look like a decent budget board. A bit limited I thought though, max 2gb ram, only 2 SATA ports, 10/100 lan only, no hardware firewall, but I notice that it is only around 65.00

But in comparison I don't see any Intel offering that matches either the AMD chipset or the nVidia nForce3 250gb chipsets.

stability wise, they are on a par. AMD is just as capable of 24/7 operation as any Intel based system. And I have seen absolutely nothign to indicate that one is any better than the other. Although AMD offers more standard features.
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Old June 19th, 2004, 08:32 AM   #17
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Steve, the 865 and 875 southbridge also supports SATA RAID. My board, an ASUS PC-DL has both an ICH5R (Intel SATA RAID 0/1) and a Promise FastTrak 378 RAID (0/1) controller. Most of the 865/875 boards will host 1GB Ethernet off of the southbride. Usually it is Intel, but some mfgrs are using the Broadcom chipset. Since it is off of the southbridge instead of through the PCI controller, it does not have the bandwidth issues that it could.

The ASUS P4P800 boards are good too. If you want to look at a fairly reliable guide with prices, check out the weekly guides at Anandtech http://www.anandtech.com/guides/index.html. They cover entry, mid-level, and high-performance systems. These sheets cover both AMD and Intel offerings with current street prices for the components.

If you want to see benchmarks, they are spread out throughout the pages, but CPU ones are in the CPU section http://www.anandtech.com/cpu/index.html
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Old June 19th, 2004, 12:39 PM   #18
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Thanks George I'll take a look at those. I thought that most of that stuff was all off the southbridge so adding that info will certainly help.

Although with Intel changing their architecture to x86-64, I will probnably wait and se what board changes go along with that. According to the information available, they are apparently goign to try to release x86-64 before the end of the year, and that is coming pretty quickly.
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Old June 19th, 2004, 09:29 PM   #19
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Steve, check the review on Anandtech's main page today. The initial report is only 1%. I do need to complain to the reviewer though as the used a Northwood on the 478 and a Prescott on the LGA775 sockets. Not a like to like comparison.
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Old June 19th, 2004, 10:11 PM   #20
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Interesting article, but somewhat disappointing results all things considered.

In general, the 3.6 Intel didn't fare all that well to the FX-53 unless you consider that many of the benchmarks gained a 1 second or less lead.

It did take some benchmarks that AMD had been winning lately like mpeg encoding, but at an extremely high cost difference and not by any decisive amount. Personally I am glad that the actual speeds between the two are almost identical.

New motherboard, new very expensive memory, new case design. That 3.6 Prescott is going to be a very pricey upgrade.

Generally I don't like to comment on unreleased products or products that are coming soon if you can't buy them. Try buying a 3.4ghz Prescott. They are still listed as pre order only.

I purposely did not give reference to the FX-55 chips since those are only recently given out to reviewers and are not available in retail yet.

I'l have to go back and double check the figures, FX-55 was pretty much a clean sweep of the benchmarks comapred to the 3.4 and lower. I'll have to see how that stacks up against the 3.6 benchmarks.
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Old June 20th, 2004, 12:23 AM   #21
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Well I ended up going for a cheapo P4 system to tide me over until the dust settles a bit more on the relative merits of Athlon64 and the new intel chipsets, etc, etc .... I picked up a reconditioned ASUS P4S800D with SiS 655FX chip for $45 at Newegg for its SATA and RAID and I dont need GBethernet or onboard firewire. The SiS chip benchmarks well versus the Intel 625 for video stuff.

I'lll run it with an O/C P4 3.0 Northwood and a RAID pair of Hitachi sata drives for video capture playback. Will see how I go for heat.

Thanks for the .... err... vigorous debate. All points made were appreciated!
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Old June 20th, 2004, 10:18 AM   #22
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Sounds great Graham.
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Old June 20th, 2004, 02:10 PM   #23
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Steve, the techreport article you linked to (http://techreport.com/reviews/2004q2...0/index.x?pg=6) did not contain many relevant benchmarks for video production.

There were 3d benchmarks, which may be relevant to some people who use those programs.

There was a benchmark for divX encoding (XMPEG), but that does not really relate to video production as few people will encode divX. The main concept MPEG2 encoder is a more useful benchmark as it is found in many mainstream MPEG2 encoding products (i.e. Vegas+DVD, ?encore?). Pentiums have an edge here AFAIK.

As far as NLEs goes, I have seen few benchmarks comparing them. Benchmarks exist for Vegas and After Effects. Don't know about Avid and Premiere Pro, although Pentiums and Xeons are recommended by the manufacturer.
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Old June 20th, 2004, 03:03 PM   #24
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My understanding is that the Mainconcept encoder is one of the first apps to implement the SSE3 instructionset .... so it may be most relevant as a benchmark for forthcoming, rather than current, video applications.
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Old June 20th, 2004, 04:08 PM   #25
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Hi Graham,

Don't know whether this is relevant any more. But in the April 2004 Edition of Computer video magazine they done a shoot out between, a dual Mac 2GHz, Dual Xeon 3.06GHz and Dual Opteron 2.2 GHz. All tests were done with editing in mind. I wont go into the details but this is what scores they gave them:

Mac: 84%
Opteron: 84%
Xeon: 80%

Marks were given on: Performance, features, ease of use, desireability and value for money.

Each having their merits and pitfulls. You might find the article on CV's web site www.computervideo.net.

Cheers,
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Old June 21st, 2004, 08:24 PM   #26
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Most of us who buy a computer this summer are going to have to live with it for a couple of years. Taking that into consideration is it wiser to buy a 64 bit processor for that reason alone? If one can wait til August would there be any advantage to buying the Intel version then?

PS--only slightly off topic, does anyone know why processor speeds have stalled out at a little over 3 ghz for about 18 months now? Based on the rate we were going 2 years ago shouldn't we be up to 5ghz or more?
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Old June 21st, 2004, 09:33 PM   #27
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64-bit computing allows larger numbers than 32-bit. You get numbers than can go up to 2^64 (that's HUGE) instead of 2^32 (also huge).

For nearly all tasks 64-bit computing is not necessary. For video it might be useful if you need slightly more rendering quality. Using large numbers can help avoid banding on things like color correction. Right now I don't think it's much of a problem at all as long as your NLE uses 32-bit floating point numbers for rendering.

On the audio side, any good audio app with use 32-bit floating point numbers for rendering audio. One Waves plug-in uses 48-bit float point numbers, which could benefit from 64-bit computing.

On the Pentium side, if you get the Prescott processors, they have the potential for gaining speed since the Prescotts support the SSE3 instruction set. I'm not too sure what it does exactly but it seems to be potentially faster for any video rendering involving floating point numbers. BUT programs have to be written to take advantage of the SSE3 instruction set.

The Prescotts are not a good buy right now IMO as they run hot and consume more electricity (which really adds up) compared to the last generation Canterwood processors. If a Prescott consumes 20W/hour more than the Canterwood processors (20W is not a very accurate figure) then it ends up as ~60W/h on your energy bill (PSUs lose a lot of electricity on the AC-DC conversion). Over the lifespan of your computer this will add up. On a side note, you may wish to consider a high efficiency power supply (i.e. Seasonic) as those will cut your energy bill for your computer tower in half (the monitor is not powered by the power supply, so ignore it).

Most of the Pentium processors out right now support hyperthreading, which gets 1CPU to do the work of 2. Right now the performance difference ranges from roughly -5% to +50% (averaging around 15-20% boost for most programs). As programs are written to take advantage of hyperthreading you will see the performance boost increase.
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Old June 21st, 2004, 11:53 PM   #28
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Betsy,

This link has some info on why MHz speeds are not increasing as rapidly these days, and why processors are starting to waste so much power:

http://arstechnica.com/news/posts/20040620-3907.html
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