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Old August 29th, 2009, 12:44 PM   #1
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AMD quads any good?

The AMD tri cores and quad cores seem a lot cheaper with comparable specs to intel. I'm sure intel is better but for someone who doesn't need the best, or needs it but can't afford it, is AMD viable?

Also, I've been looking at the sites like cyberpower and microexpress that build pc's, many of the machines that look suitable for editing are labelled as "Gaming" machines. I don't game. Presumably a gaming machine has a high end graphics card? I use Vegas which is cpu driven, so that in mind, should if I'm looking to maximize my dollar, should I avoid gaming computers?
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Old August 29th, 2009, 04:05 PM   #2
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The short answer is: NO

The long answer is: No, because the price difference on the total system cost is negligent. You are talking about maybe $ 30-50 on an investment of over $ 1K for a decent system and that price difference is too small in comparison with the better performance of Intel CPU's.

The problem with these 'gaming shops' that build computers is that they know nothing about editing and you may end up with a badly performing system. There are numerous posts here on building a new PC. Search around.

Last edited by Harm Millaard; August 29th, 2009 at 05:04 PM.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 08:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
The short answer is: NO

The long answer is: No, because the price difference on the total system cost is negligent. You are talking about maybe $ 30-50 on an investment of over $ 1K for a decent system and that price difference is too small in comparison with the better performance of Intel CPU's.
.
I looked at some of the benchmark's on Tom's Hardware, could be wrong but it looks intitially that there actually *is* a significant price difference for similarly performing cpu's.

Benchmark: Transcoding mpeg2 to avi

AMD Phenom x4 945 took 169 seconds and costs $170
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 took 173 seconds and cost $395

So the AMD is offering better performance at over half the cost?
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Old August 30th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #4
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Core i7 is available for $300.

Gaming machines are not designed for video editing and vice versa. Core i7 is of little improvement for games, but a huge improvement for video editing.

Get the AMD and let us know how it works out, we'd love to know.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 08:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
I looked at some of the benchmark's on Tom's Hardware, could be wrong but it looks intitially that there actually *is* a significant price difference for similarly performing cpu's.

Benchmark: Transcoding mpeg2 to avi

AMD Phenom x4 945 took 169 seconds and costs $170
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 took 173 seconds and cost $395

So the AMD is offering better performance at over half the cost?
Maybe you had a different benchmark in front of you, but in the Processor charts 2009 for the Premiere Pro benchmark the results in seconds were:

AMD X4-955 : 142 seconds, price $ 290

Intel i7-920: 70 seconds, price $ 340

So you are talking of $ 50 more (less than 5% of total system cost and 17% in CPU price alone) for more than double the performance by Intel. In my book that says it all.

In your comparison you are comparing the absurdly high priced EOL Q9450 and the X4-945, which is like comparing a PIII at intro time and the MSRP at the time with the X4 now.

Last edited by Harm Millaard; August 30th, 2009 at 03:24 PM.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 12:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
I looked at some of the benchmark's on Tom's Hardware, could be wrong but it looks intitially that there actually *is* a significant price difference for similarly performing cpu's.

Benchmark: Transcoding mpeg2 to avi

AMD Phenom x4 945 took 169 seconds and costs $170
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 took 173 seconds and cost $395

So the AMD is offering better performance at over half the cost?
You have to be careful to make sure that these benchmarks aren't misleading. The Intel Q9450 is an older Intel chip. It sounds strange to refer to a Quad Core chip as "older" but Quad Cores predate the i7 series chips. In its heyday, the Q9450 was more aggressively priced. If you want to compare benchmarks, its a good idea to try to look at the latest processors from both AMD and Intel to insure that you get the best comparison.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 04:05 PM   #7
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You have to be careful to make sure that these benchmarks aren't misleading. The Intel Q9450 is an older Intel chip. It sounds strange to refer to a Quad Core chip as "older" but Quad Cores predate the i7 series chips. In its heyday, the Q9450 was more aggressively priced. If you want to compare benchmarks, its a good idea to try to look at the latest processors from both AMD and Intel to insure that you get the best comparison.
I'm just gonna take Harm's word for it that i7's are better. I was in the black hole of trying to compare clock speeds, brands, prices, and dual cores, triple cores, quad cores, core cores etc.

I've based this decision on the reasoning that anyone with a computer as ginormous as Harm's must know what they're talking about.
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Old August 31st, 2009, 08:22 AM   #8
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AMD Phenom II X4 CPUs are reasonably close in performance to Intel Core 2 quads. Phenom II X4 CPUs, running at about a .2 GHz higher clock rate, offer roughly the same performance as their Intel Core 2 counterparts. Dollar wise, the Phenom II X4 CPUs generally offer better performance though (since current prices tend to be lower on them*).

Intel Core i7 CPUs will considerably outperform either AMD's Phenoms or Intel's Core 2s, at a given clock rate.

For editing, I like the motherboard options for Phenoms better than the Core 2s (or i7s). There are a lot of low cost motherboards available for Phenoms, with on-board graphics that can be quite adequate for editing purposes. Motherboard/memory costs, to build a machine around an i7, are still significantly higher than to build a machine around either a Phenom or Core 2.

*Microcenter offers some CPUs as loss leaders, to get you in the store (in-store only). If you live near a Microcenter store, you can get a Core 2 quad or an i7 at below cost.
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Old August 31st, 2009, 11:01 PM   #9
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*Microcenter offers some CPUs as loss leaders, to get you in the store (in-store only). If you live near a Microcenter store, you can get a Core 2 quad or an i7 at below cost.
Even some of their web offers are decent.
Micro Center - Studio XPS 435
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Old September 1st, 2009, 02:21 AM   #10
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The XPS435 comes with a crippled Bios, that does not allow overclocking. Just so you know.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 08:07 AM   #11
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I was referring to the boxed CPUs (at Microcenter), rather than pre-built computers. I recently picked up a Q9550 for $169 (+tax), which is below wholesale. They've been selling the i7 920 for $199 also.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 11:14 AM   #12
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Are the AMD Opteron lines considered outdated, or is there a similair chip that might be good nowadays??
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Old September 7th, 2009, 09:41 AM   #13
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Building a desktop work station with components designed for servers isn't usually very cost effective.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 08:39 AM   #14
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Oh okay.....

It's just that my HP Worksation came with two dual core Opterons...

Regardless, in the end, it's my Apps that are dragging me down, or pushing me forward...
Unless the app's multithreaded, i don't see how even the fastest chip can be useful...
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Old September 9th, 2009, 09:12 AM   #15
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There is nothing that will touch the i7 for video editing, unless I'm mistaken. There are lesser chips that are as good or in some cases even better for other apps and games. But for video editing there is nothing else as cost effective.

You can get by with other chips for editing. There is just no earthly reason with $200 i7 chips available to buy anything else unless you don't do your own upgrades or builds. I personally see buying an inexpensive i7 system as a bit wasteful, since you end up being stuck in the same scenario eventually: having to shop for another PC.

I invested in top-notch PSUs and a monster case, and the only thing I'll need to replace for years (hopefully) is my MOBO, CPU and RAM. I run 10 internal drives, several externals, have two e-sata controllers (one onboard and one add-on), a 30" and 24" monitor and it is nice to not have to worry about having enough power or enough of a graphics card.

It wasn't till I moved to inexpensive pre-built systems that I began running into problems, thinking I would save money. You can get an expensive workstation, but then you can't upgrade unless it's a custom built model. At least then you can swap components later.
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