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Old February 3rd, 2003, 09:43 PM   #1
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Dual Processor Work Stations

I am in the process of selecting an NLE platform. Currently looking at a Dell workstation and I am wondering if it is worth the extra to get dual processors.

From looking at the posts here it looks as if only a few NLEs take advantage of dual processors, which ones are they and is it worth the cash?

Does Adobe Photoshop leverage dual processors?


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Old February 3rd, 2003, 10:02 PM   #2
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Photoshop does indeed support dual/multiple processors. Premiere and Vegas Video support dual processors as well. A lot of people like Vegas Video around here, it's relatively new but quickly gaining ground on Premiere.
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Old February 3rd, 2003, 10:20 PM   #3
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The Dell Dual Xeon machines are very nice (Precision 530). Pro app's are usually written for multi-processors and so they do help. Yes Photoshop does it and so does Avid Xpress DV, After Effects, and Cleaner. You will also find that nice 3-D apps are multi-threaded too.
If nothing else, it will allow you to operate several different apps at once much easier. The only downside is that the Windows operating system doesn't do a great job handling multi-processors as well as other OS's do (like Linux, Unix and OSX). You also will need Windows XP Professional (or even better is Win2K Pro or Server) because the home edition won't even see the second one.

Check out some of the retailers for preconfigured packages, I know B&H has a few with Avid xpress DV. Any of them will run you around $4500+ in a decent configuration plus software so figure about $6000 for an entry price. If you buy one from Dell it will probabaly cost a little more but they are nice machines.
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Old February 3rd, 2003, 11:32 PM   #4
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I don't think a dual processor system is worth the extra money. A better choice is to save the money you would have spent on the extra processor, put it in the bank, and 6 months from now, go upgrade your CPU to the current fastest chip. These things evolve so quickly that the CPU is the worst investment of any computer purchase. Spend the extra money on more RAM and a bigger HD, or even better, a real-time processing card, like the Matrox RTX100. THAT will make a difference!
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Old February 4th, 2003, 10:57 AM   #5
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Duals are nice, but you can get a poor man's dual CPUs by using Pentium 4 with Hyper-Threading which emulates 2 CPUs and uses unused portions of the CPu to process in parallel. It is NOT real duals, but you will get enough improvement to be worth it and it will not be as expensive as real dual CPUs.
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Old February 5th, 2003, 09:22 AM   #6
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But just like multi-threaded programs, your applications have to be hyperthreaded AND you need to make sure to turn it on in the BIOS.
I have a Dual Processor Machine (Dual 1Ghz P3) and I do notice it's performance difference over the single processor machine (Athlon XP2000+) I also have.
True that RAM and Hard drives are important (a graphics card makes little difference) but if the application will make use of it nothing will speed your machine faster than a second processor. There is a Linux editing program I am looking at trying (because it is FREE and realtime), they recommend a minimum of a Dual Athlon MP2600 (guess I have to build another), and you can add as many computers as you want to the "real-time" renderfarm. (pretty cool)

Well I am a Big fan of multiprocessors and if you go looking at the Pro-built workstations you will find most of them are duals as well. Best of luck.
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