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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old July 17th, 2005, 09:54 PM   #1
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Ok, I've been given the green light by my better half to upgrade the video editing system. I've been scouring the Dell site, especially the refurbished site, in hopes of finding a nice highend workstation with Dual Xeon's for a great price. Then I noticed that there is a new beast in the market and I need some help from someone that is running some of the higher end PC equipment for advice.

They are showing the dual core chips in some of the lower end boxes (well lower end by not being in the workstation class), as well as dual xeon in the workstation class and now even the "extreme edition" chips as a choice as well.

So with that said, I edit about 10 projects a year, when I work it's typically a good size project but not something outrageous like an 8 camera shoot or something. My goal is to cut down render times and add power for real time editing which I currently offload to a Canopus card.

Bottom line, if someone on this board was to put together a new box, which direction would you go in? The Dual Xeon (say 2.8 or 3.0 gigs), a Dual core or a EE chip.

Thanks for the help, this has been driving me nuts all weekend!

MIGUEL
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Old July 18th, 2005, 12:06 AM   #2
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I just went through the same agonizing decision. You will probably get a bunch of different answers to your questions, which makes it more confusing :). After a bunch of research I finally decided to go with the Dell XPS Gen 5 w/Extreme Edition dual-core processor. I'm still not sure if it was the right decision (vs. a dual Xeon machine) but so far I am very happy with the performance. I can have Adobe Premiere, Photoshop and other apps running all at once with barely a performance hit.

I've never worked on a dual Xeon so I can't compare performance. I'm sure there are others here that will comment.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 10:11 AM   #3
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Greetings, Miguel -

Last week we were going back and forth on this topic - "Pentium D".

To recap, though, I mentioned that when the dual-core chips came out, Tantus stopped building dual Xeon workstations... they essentially became obsolete. They have ALMOST no difference in performance/architecture besides this:

A single dual-core chip splits the 1MB cache between the two cores, so you "only" have 512k cache per chip. This gives a slight performance advantage to the Xeons, but I guarantee that it won't be noticable with your workload and with your Canopus workflow.

Dual-Xeon workstations make available the use of high-end motherboards. This allows use of extremely high-end hardware for use in conjunction with high-end storage.... something that will not come into play for you either.

Dual-core all the way for you. No question. I would be surprised to see differing viewpoints on this based on the further fact that a single processor workstation is also going to be significantly less money for you as well (dual processor workstations also need to take into account increased cost for larger enclosures for bigger motherboards, more wattage in your power supplies, cost of an extra cooler, motherboards themselves are more expensive... it adds up)
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Old July 18th, 2005, 12:12 PM   #4
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Ed thanks, I will be honest, I was leaning towards the D chip as well, especially for the cost vs the dual, it would be a better financial move for me right now. Now I just have to see if my corporate discount with Dell (from my major employer) vs a build out vs a Dell Outlet will yield the best cost for my new system.

Again thanks for the help, honestly after reading so many posts in so many different places about this subject, I really needed the help of video guys on this board for some answers. Tomshardware is great as are many other sites, but they don't use this stuff the way we do, they just test it and in many cases not the way we do.

Again, THANKS!

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Originally Posted by Edward Borden
Greetings, Miguel -

Last week we were going back and forth on this topic - "Pentium D".

To recap, though, I mentioned that when the dual-core chips came out, Tantus stopped building dual Xeon workstations... they essentially became obsolete. They have ALMOST no difference in performance/architecture besides this:

A single dual-core chip splits the 1MB cache between the two cores, so you "only" have 512k cache per chip. This gives a slight performance advantage to the Xeons, but I guarantee that it won't be noticable with your workload and with your Canopus workflow.

Dual-Xeon workstations make available the use of high-end motherboards. This allows use of extremely high-end hardware for use in conjunction with high-end storage.... something that will not come into play for you either.

Dual-core all the way for you. No question. I would be surprised to see differing viewpoints on this based on the further fact that a single processor workstation is also going to be significantly less money for you as well (dual processor workstations also need to take into account increased cost for larger enclosures for bigger motherboards, more wattage in your power supplies, cost of an extra cooler, motherboards themselves are more expensive... it adds up)
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Old July 21st, 2005, 11:11 AM   #5
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The ads on the Pentium D explicitely say "2 x 1MB cache"... or whatever the cache is on them.
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Old July 21st, 2005, 11:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Barabas
The ads on the Pentium D explicitely say "2 x 1MB cache"... or whatever the cache is on them.
Duh! You're right! It is the AMD cores that I was thinking of - the Manchester cores have half the cache per core. I guess that gives even more of a reason to discount Xeon completely until the dual-core models.
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Old July 22nd, 2005, 11:25 PM   #7
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I just ordered the parts to build a new computer and am going with a Pentium D 830 (3.0 GHz) in the hopes that it will give me enough horsepower to edit HDV footage effectively. The only reason I can see to go with dual Xeons is if you want the really fast ones, i.e. 3.4 - 3.6 GHz. Dual cores are currently limited to 3.2 GHz, but that should be plenty fast enough for DV editing, especially with a Canopus hardware card.

I think the trend to dual core computing will be a huge help for video editors, especially as we start to migrate toward high-definition editing.
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Old August 6th, 2005, 04:58 PM   #8
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what do you guys think about the athalon 64 bit processors for an editing system? i need a new one soon too and was looking at those... but maybe pentium D now?

ok, i just quickly tried to pick some parts for a system...
i would love to know what you guys think of it and if it would work well for editing with avid, and some 3d programs.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ w/ 2x1MB Cache (In Stock - Limited Quantities!!!)

Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe w/ DualDDR400, 7.1 Audio, Gigabit Lan, 2 x PCI-E x16 SLI

Corsair 1024MB TwinX PC3200 XL PRO Dual Channel Kit w/ LED X2

Seagate 200GB Barracuda 7200.8 Serial ATA w/ NCQ, 8MB Cache X2

Seagate 80GB Barracuda 7200.7 Serial ATA w/ NCQ, 8MB Cache

NEC - Mitsubishi ND-3520A 16x16 Dual Layer DVD+/-RW w/ Nero, Silver (OEM)

LG 16X DVD-ROM, Black (OEM)

ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon X600 Pro 256MB PCI-E


Thanks!

Last edited by Matt Babinec; August 6th, 2005 at 07:25 PM.
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Old August 7th, 2005, 11:18 AM   #9
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The AthlonX2 is 100% a better choice - the implementation of the dual-core and many other technologies on the chip are just better than Intels' - so as long as you can make sure it is compatible with what you are going to do, it's a better choice. It will work with Avid. There are other considerations with the platform that sometimes come into play, like the PCI architecture implementation on certain boards, but that is another discussion..

The motherboard - any reason to go with an SLI board like that? Doesn't look like you are going to make use of it. Possibly a better choice from ASUS might be something like A8N-E.

The memory might be a little overkill, too.... You can get cheaper RAM that will run just as well and put the money elsewhere.

Recommend a 10K WD Raptor drive for a boot drive.

I'm assuming you want the All-In-Wonder card to watch TV? Just want to make sure that's not your capture solution for editing...
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Old August 7th, 2005, 03:51 PM   #10
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ok, thanks for the ideas..
what memory would you suggest for this system then?

i will also be capturing through firewire, probally just use the firewire that is on the motherboard, should i get an add on card for the firewire? do those work better for video?

i also didn't realise the video card was an all in wonder... i chose these parts late last night. i dont really need the all in wonder either which video card do you suggest?

thanks for the help!
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Old August 7th, 2005, 05:17 PM   #11
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Something to consider:

If you're looking for the best bang for your buck, I think the Dell Dimension 9100 would be a good choice (that's Dell's Pentium D system).

http://www1.us.dell.com/content/prod...=04&l=en&s=bsd
$929 after rebate for a base system. It may not necessarily be the best deal you can get (there's various ways to get deals on a Dell... they have like 10 different prices for every system not all of which are on the website).

Anyways, that particular deal comes with a 20" LCD which can be a really good deal if you want an LCD that size (i.e. for dual monitors).
Pentium D 2X2.8ghz
512MB RAM (you may want more)
Windows XP Home
everything else is pretty basic

If you can build your own computer, you can throw your own upgrades into that Dell. The Dell upgrades are overpriced, which is how they are actually able to make a profit.

A top-of-the-line system may not be all that much faster than that Dell.

(hypothetically speaking) A machine costing $1500 more may only be like 20% faster, which may not be worth that extra $1500.
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Old August 7th, 2005, 05:25 PM   #12
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athlon vs. intel

I was drawn to this forum because I am about to build a pc for video work. I mostly use macs right now but I want to get a pc to play with things unavailable for the mac. The pentium d series does look very attractive for the price. That Dell XPS gen 5 also seems like a good deal. However, I think I will probably get an Athlon XP 3000+ for now. Why? Well, price is a primary consideration. The xp3000 sells for less than $150 while the pentium d starts around $250. The Athlon x2 series is much more expensive than the dual-core intels at the moment--around $600.

While I agree that dual core is the way to go, the xp3000 is a socket 939 processor which is the same socket type as the x2. In a year or so, the prices on the dual core procs will fall dramatically and I can upgrade if I choose. At the moment, the dualcore intels seem most attractively priced. Historically, however, amd seems to provide more "bang for the buck" and getting an intel board may lock you into that architecture for a couple more years (in a loose way). I am fortunate in that I have access to dual-proc G5s for my work; the pc is mostly for me to play around with for comparison purposes and I don't expect to run into performance problems with the xp3000+ and 2gb of ram. The parts i plan to buy will cost me about 700 dollars (2gb ram, athlon xp3000+ 1ghz fsb, epox ep9 socket 939 motherboard, wd200gb hd, 256mb geforce fx5200, 16x dvd burner &case) Maybe another $180 for a WD raptor ; )

I hope this post helps others trying to decide on athlon vs pentium and single vs. dual core. i would love to hear more discussion as I haven't placed the order yet and I may be swayed to the pentium D : )

Excellent forum by the way! I plan to come here regularly . . .
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Old August 7th, 2005, 05:57 PM   #13
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Jonathan, I believe the XP 3000+ is socketA (NOT socket 939) and is being phased out.

There is the AMD64 3000+, which is socket 939 (there's another version which is socket 754 I believe). The XP 3000+ performs quite a bit slower than the AMD64 3000+ and a 3.0ghz Pentium.
The AMD64 3000+ and the 3.0ghz Pentiums also have slightly different versions which differ in performance by few to several percent. By overall, the XP 3000+ is definitely slower because AMD just advertised the XP processors faster than what they really should be.

This is on average... in some cases, the XP 3000+ may be faster. Although I don't know of any benchmarks where an XP 3000+ outperforms an AMD64 3000+. The XP 3000+ may outperform Pentiums on some audio benchmarks (possibly, but I am not sure).

Quote:
Historically, however, amd seems to provide more "bang for the buck" and getting an intel board may lock you into that architecture for a couple more years (in a loose way).
Strangely enough, I think the situation has now reversed. Intel provides the best bang for the buck as far as dual cores go.
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Old August 7th, 2005, 06:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
Jonathan, I believe the XP 3000+ is socketA (NOT socket 939) and is being phased out.

There is the AMD64 3000+, which is socket 939 (there's another version which is socket 754 I believe). The XP 3000+ performs quite a bit slower than the AMD64 3000+ and a 3.0ghz Pentium.
You're correct. I forgot to specify that I was getting the AMD 64 3000+. There are so many different lines, architectures, model numbers, sockets, and various other configuration issues that forums like this are absolutely necessary. I've been researching the issue for hours and hours and I expect I've got a few hours more to go. It's tedious, but fun in a demented, geeky way. I plan on doing audio work as well and have heard the floating point processing power of the AMD64 line is better than most of intel's offerings. To be honest, I am fairly sure either the dual-core intels or the AMD64 will suit my needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
Strangely enough, I think the situation has now reversed. Intel provides the best bang for the buck as far as dual cores go.
Again, you're correct. But I'm betting that AMD will turn the tide in a year or two; that is, around the time I'll be thinking about a processor upgrade :) I want to build my own computer and I also plan to dual-boot to various linux distros to explore that realm. If I was buying a ready-made PC I would probably go for one of the Dells mentioned above. Actually, I would probably buy a dual G5 but I'm not trying to start that battle ;)

I hope this clears things up.

Cheers,
jonathan
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Old August 7th, 2005, 11:40 PM   #15
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Jonathan: for what it's worth, computers based on the Intel Pentium D processors are yielding performance similar to mid-range dual G5 Macs on some video-related tests, so they're not a bad deal for the price. My brother and I got our first Pentium D system put together this week, and so far it looks like it's going to be just the thing we needed to edit HDV footage effectively. Considering you can buy a nicely configured Pentium D setup for as little as $1200 or so, I'd say there's no reason to bother with single-core computers any more for any serious computing work.
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