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Old April 1st, 2011, 04:46 PM   #1
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Xeon Quad Core or i7?

Hi everyone,

I'm not really up with the play on high-end editing systems.

For DSLR and/or AVCHD editing, should I be looking at something like an HP z800 (quad core Xeon) or building up my own customised system from a local computer shop based around an i7 processor?
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Old April 1st, 2011, 08:29 PM   #2
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Re: Xeon Quad Core or i7?

John I have an HP i7 with 8gb of ram, a consumer model and run Premiere Pro CS5 with a NVIDIA CUDA enabled card. It handles the .mts clips from my GH1s just fine.
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Old April 1st, 2011, 10:23 PM   #3
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Re: Xeon Quad Core or i7?

Cheers Chip.

For anyone planning on a new system, I found the following worthwhile reading....

Videoguys Blog - Videoguys' System Recommendations for Video Editing
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 01:25 AM   #4
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Re: Xeon Quad Core or i7?

Right out of the box mine falls very close to this in the middle:

Videoguys DIY7 i7
Quad-core Workstation

Going from a dual core running CS3 to the i7 running CS5 I cut my SD rendering time by about 75%. I never tried doing anything HD on the old one, so don't have a good barometer there.

What does seem to chug a bit is a render where I resize or the one that I did that was pic in pic.

I am sure my workflow is fairly simplistic though, compared to someone needing a dedicated workstation.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 12:42 PM   #5
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Re: Xeon Quad Core or i7?

I have both types of systems, and I think so much depends on the other components in the system. If you go here:

Benchmark Results

you'll see that the top systems are a mixture of both types. If you want a theoretical comparison (sort of like EPA mileage estimates -- they're all equally wrong) of both kinds of chips, you might have a look here:

PassMark Intel vs AMD CPU Benchmarks - High End

but these aren't necessarily real-world tests. If you click around to the multi-CPU comparison charts you'll see the dual-quad Xeons can get much higher scores, but if you look at the price vs. performance scores, it seems the i7s have a clear "bang for your buck" advantage.

I think the real advantage of the Core i7 is cost. If you don't yet have a good editing PC, I think you can get more horsepower for much less with the newer i7 systems. But if you already have a fast dual quad Xeon system, you might not see too much benefit from upgrading. My two scores on the PPBM tests are pathetic but are fairly close together. My dual-Quad Xeon system in 2008 cost about $8,000, but the slightly faster i7 was about $3,000 (not all due to chip cost, of course).

I'm wondering if you might not get more and better responses to this question over in the PC editing forum, as this isn't necessarily unique to wedding issues. Certainly there are many discussions over there on this and similar topics.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 09:26 PM   #6
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Re: Xeon Quad Core or i7?

I have no idea why this was posted to Wedding / Event Video Techniques.

Moved where it properly belongs.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 10:50 PM   #7
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Re: Xeon Quad Core or i7?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
I have both types of systems, and I think so much depends on the other components in the system. If you go here:

Benchmark Results

you'll see that the top systems are a mixture of both types. If you want a theoretical comparison (sort of like EPA mileage estimates -- they're all equally wrong) of both kinds of chips, you might have a look here:

PassMark Intel vs AMD CPU Benchmarks - High End

but these aren't necessarily real-world tests. If you click around to the multi-CPU comparison charts you'll see the dual-quad Xeons can get much higher scores, but if you look at the price vs. performance scores, it seems the i7s have a clear "bang for your buck" advantage.

I think the real advantage of the Core i7 is cost. If you don't yet have a good editing PC, I think you can get more horsepower for much less with the newer i7 systems. But if you already have a fast dual quad Xeon system, you might not see too much benefit from upgrading. My two scores on the PPBM tests are pathetic but are fairly close together. My dual-Quad Xeon system in 2008 cost about $8,000, but the slightly faster i7 was about $3,000 (not all due to chip cost, of course).

I'm wondering if you might not get more and better responses to this question over in the PC editing forum, as this isn't necessarily unique to wedding issues. Certainly there are many discussions over there on this and similar topics.
Except that you can't directly compare your dual-Xeon-quad with your i7. That's because the two CPUs are of different architectures: The 2008 Xeon is very likely a derivative of the Penryn (Yorkfield; actually Harpertown) Core 2 Quad while newer DP (Dual-Processor)-capable Xeons are Nehalem/Westmere (Gainesfield/Gulftown)-based.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 01:40 AM   #8
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Re: Xeon Quad Core or i7?

Well, I think that's a little like saying you can't compare a four cylinder diesel engine to a V8 gas motor because they have different architectures - sure you can, when you look at how much it costs to drive 100 miles. You can compare apples to oranges if you call them both fruit. The plumage don't enter into it. There's only one question -- how fast is it?

Anyway, I have no idea if my chips are Pendragons or Funkytowns; as all the benchmarks and retailers actually seem to refer to them by their numerical model names, that's how I do my research and buying. All the pre-release code name silliness isn't actually helpful if you can't translate that into something that someone will actually sell you. For the record, if it matters, my Xeon rig has two E5430Ps while my i7 is the Core i7-930, both running at stock speed. I don't know what town or magical figure either was named after or comes from.

But no matter; I think the point still holds that either can get you really good performance if you buy wisely and surround them with other good, wisely chosen components.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 09:09 AM   #9
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Re: Xeon Quad Core or i7?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Knight View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm not really up with the play on high-end editing systems.

For DSLR and/or AVCHD editing, should I be looking at something like an HP z800 (quad core Xeon) or building up my own customised system from a local computer shop based around an i7 processor?
single or dual Xeon

1) a Xeon is the exact same as a desktop processor there are no differences.
a 990x and a W3690 are the same exact processor in differnt boxes. dont be fooled.

2) most dual Xeons are outperformed by a 990x or 2600. until you get up into the dual 2.93GHz realm a single higher GHz will outperform.

3) HP is vastly over priced once you get in to a real system and their video card choices (Quadros) are a waste of money.


if you are not doing Red 4k or uncompressed you have no need for a dual Xeon

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Old April 4th, 2011, 02:25 PM   #10
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Re: Xeon Quad Core or i7?

Hey Scott, we meet again.

First off, the HP Z800 is not a rip-off. My Z800 with dual 6-core Xeons, Quadro FX3800 and 24GB of ECC Reg ram was $6000 including tax and shipping last May. The CPUs alone cost over $1,000 each if bought from Intel in 1000 allotments. In case you go to HP's website, just know that the stated prices are not what customers actually pay. I was given 25% off upon my first quote request.

Secondly, please clarify why a Quadro is useless for this OP because many of us find the high-end Quadro's to be extremely useful. More and more high-end programs are requiring a Quadro in addition to their very large speed advantage in many 3D apps.

One last point about HP's BUSINESS computers: their tech support is amazing and fast. I have not seen anyone come close in the computer industry. If something goes wrong, I have ONLY one person to call instead of multiple if I built it myself (ie call ASUS and they say its the video card; call EVGA and they say its ASUS or someone else - been there, its not fun). For BUSINESS use, this level of support is worth any extra cost. AND HP gives you 3 years of support.

Until I see CS5 benchmarks using MRQ, it doesn't matter what they show.

Xeon vs i7: there is a difference: Xeons can use ECC and ECC/Reg ram - something important for very long renders such as some of mine that take 15mins per frame on my Z800 from C4D.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 04:29 PM   #11
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Re: Xeon Quad Core or i7?

if you insist..
whats GHz Xeons do you have?

i dont toot my own horn in any forum but you brought it up.

1) ECC is slower its NOT a good thing for video editing. i dont care if you are doing long play.

2) i have yet to not beat HP by a huge $ amount when quoting against them so yes they are over priced.

3) we do 3 yr warranty and lilfetime support!

4) i call does it all here as well.. including support for the editing software :-)

5) a Quadro is a joke period. they are nothing more than overpriced gforce cards. they are based generally on the lower and slower geforce.
the 3800 you like was based on a 260 the 4000 is a 460. the 6000 is a 480. they have no speed advatage whatsoever. you are buying into marketing hype man.. they only thing they have is on the higher end cards is added memory and 10bit color support.
the geforce cards support 10bit as well but you need a display port with Adobe. there are a few geforce with display ports now.

maya and 3D max do have otimazations for quadros but the performance gains are minor and a 580 will beat the pants off any of them other than the 6000 even for those 2.
you can SLI 2 580s for 3d Apps and beat the 6000 and still have change left over, alot of change.

lets think about this for a minute..
i make more money on a dual Xeon than a single
i make more selling those over priced quadros than a geforce

yet i dont recommend either for the average guy....
so its certainly not sales pitch...

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Old April 4th, 2011, 06:35 PM   #12
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Re: Xeon Quad Core or i7?

Only Quadro supports 10bit on PC and at least the ATI 4870 w/DP on Mac as well. Nvidia hasn't released 10bit drivers for anything but their Quadros.

I checked the price of my Z800 and it was $5500 before tax and shipping. What is yours?

Yes, ECC is slightly slower BUT is very important for long renders. Most video renders happen overnight so the slight slowdown is not a problem. But, for my 3D renders, some have taken 4 DAYS.

Clearly, you have no experience with 3D software because MANY apps are 5-10 times faster with a Quadro and FirePro versus Geforce and Radeon cards.

Where did you hear that Maya supports SLI?

If Quadros were such a waste, then why does Autodesk ONLY use them in their $90,000 and $190,000 systems (Smoke Advanced, Flame)? They use the 5600 or 5800 Quadros and guess what computer they use....HP Z800.

Here are some numbers: GTX 280 vs Quadro 4800:
Maya: 35.71 221.71
3D MAX: 11.53 46.23
Solidworks: 12.94 128.71

Here is a link to another test of the 5000 vs 470 which clearly shows the benefit of Quadro: Nvidia Quadro 5000 Professional Graphics Card Review. Page 6 - X-bit labs

Here is a good video demonstrating the benefit of a Quadro 6000 vs a GTX580

I think your last statement illustrates the difference between our thinking. I am not the 'average guy'. 75% of my business' revenue comes from using a computer (editing, motion graphics, 3D, vfx). I know people who drop $10k for 3 years of software support and actually LIKE it.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 07:15 PM   #13
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Re: Xeon Quad Core or i7?

Enough of this bickering. This thread has started to go off-topic with the discussion of Quadro vs. GeForce. Although Premiere Pro CS5 does not take anywhere close to full advantage of the Quadro (versus a comparably-specced GeForce GTX), there are certain high-end 3D modeling apps that perform much better on an otherwise "crappy" low-end Quadro than on the fastest of the GeForces.

Back to the Xeon versus i7:

It is true that a single Xeon doesn't perform better than an otherwise identical i7. However, the biggest reason to buy a Xeon is a multiple-CPU version of that processor that can help speed up certain tasks. The Xeon W3690 is only for single-CPU systems just like the otherwise identical i7-990X; the only difference is that the W3690 supports ECC and/or registered RAM (though neither ECC nor registered is required for operation).
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Old April 5th, 2011, 08:39 AM   #14
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Re: Xeon Quad Core or i7?

did i wander into the 3D forum?
nope still in NLE on PC ok just checking..

you are correct you are not the average joe. you seem to do a good deal of animation..
not going to debate synthetic tests like Specview. and that discussion is for another time

for the average joe doing video editing
1) quadro overpriced and underperforming
2) Xeon same.

again a SINGLE 980x/990x (or 2600) will outperform dual 12 core xeons up to 2.8GHz. FACT not fiction
unless you get into Red4k or other uncompressed.
doing massive layers and effects, then any only then does the 12 core systems start to show some sense of $ spent.

the OP has no need of a Xeon system, or a quadro
trying to save the guy his hard earns $'s

FYI i would love to send you a 4000 and a 580 to do real world benchmarks with.. i dont have any real versions of 3d software. last one i had/have was lightwave 8
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Old April 6th, 2011, 12:01 AM   #15
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Re: Xeon Quad Core or i7?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Chichelli View Post
FYI i would love to send you a 4000 and a 580 to do real world benchmarks with.. i dont have any real versions of 3d software. last one i had/have was lightwave 8
Scott
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I would love that too :)

For me, with Cinema 4D, I have found that the FX3800 handles larger models much better in the viewport while rotating, panning, zooming and scaling. With the model in this image, I tested a GTX260 (216 cores, 896MB ram), GTX285 and GTX470 and all 3 could not smoothly rotate whereas the FX3800 can. I did this testing last year with my home PC (i7 920).

I agree with you 100% that the average person can get by with just an i7 whether that be 950, 990x or 2600k.

The sad thing about having all this power from 12 cores is that there are very few programs capable of utilizing every bit of it.

Any chance you could include MRQ enabled testing and post the results? From my personal testing of my home PC vs my studio Z800, a project took 70mins vs 25mins with MRQ enabled (xdcam ex 1080p to 480p with a couple effects; GTX260 & 12GB in my home PC - FX3800 & 24GB in Z800).

As always, thanks for the debate ;)
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