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Old April 23rd, 2003, 11:40 AM   #1
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Dual CPUs worth it in various NLEs?

I am consideringa Dual 2.8 Xeon CPU system to replace my aging (ha!) 2.2GHz system. The question is, does any of the following truly exploit dual CPUs for rendering and such to see significant gains to make the dual CPU option worth it. Or woudl a 3.0 HyperThreaded P4 be a better middle of the road compromise.

Vegas 4
Premiere 6.5
TMPGENC

Non-NLE apps I use heavily:
Photoshop
Acid Pro



Thanks!
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Old April 23rd, 2003, 11:47 AM   #2
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yes

VV 4, and Photoshop both excel with hyperthreading or dual CPU's, and their software is coded to do so.

I can't speak for the rest since I don't use them on any of my boxes.
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Old April 23rd, 2003, 12:21 PM   #3
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I think most major editing software is coded to take advantage of 2 processors.

Given the power you have right now, I'd wait until the 64-bit processors are out later this year. The advantage is a 4X (they say) processing advantage without any software changes.

You won't get a tenth of that with the change you are contemplating right now unless you are also going up in FSB speed, etc., etc. Even then you won't get 4X.
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Old April 23rd, 2003, 02:22 PM   #4
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Thanks, I am not looking for 4x gain, but a 30% - 50% gain with keeping my system responsive while rendering would be nice. Now I wind up dropping the process priority to low which slows the render, but at least keeps the system usable and responsive, I am thinking with duals I can get faster renders and still use it at the same time. Still trying to figure out the most cost effective route. I may just got P4 3.0c with 875 chipset with 2GB PC3200 RAM and at least I can upgrade the CPU in 6 months to say 3.6 or whatever they come out with later this year. Intel is becoming a problme with the short FSB life span, sure P4 is still here but they do mayeb 4 or 5 CPU steps then move to new FSB and chipset making upgrades expensive.
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Old April 23rd, 2003, 05:18 PM   #5
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Keith, the other side of that coin is that movement on the dual-processor side is slower in terms of processor speed and the development of motherboards. In addition, the upgrade path from one two-processor system to another isn't going to be cheap. The motherboard is more expensive, you need two processors instead of one, etc.

Given the investment in my current video system in terms of discs and optical drives, etc., I wouldn't hesitate to rip out the entire motherboard and replace it with an 875-based hyperthreading system when the time is right. (Then I'd use the old mobo to build my son a new system.) I think the single-processor evolution will always be more cost-effective than the dual-processor evolution as long as there is no specific reason why two processors are required.
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Old April 25th, 2003, 07:29 AM   #6
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Mike,

64-bit computing is not really here yet so performance increases
are only speculation. Besides, if you really want increase you must
also have a 64-bit OS (no emulation) and true 64-bit applications.
I haven't heard of any 64-bit NLE yet. And imho I don't think these
will come fast. The major tasks of an NLE is to move data (which
will increase rapidly when we are going to HDTV). The secondary
task is doing CPU work like color correction. I highly doubt a 64
bit CPU will be much better at this than a good and fast 32 bit
one.

Keith,

Can you tell us WHY you are looking into multi-cpu editing? There
are some blazingly fast CPU's available at the moment and with
the newer NLE's out you can do almost anything realtime.

Personally I would invest my money in a DVD burner and more
capacity to edit and such. But ofcourse I don't know what kind
of system/infrastructure you currently have in place.
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Old April 25th, 2003, 07:48 AM   #7
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I've always found dual processor systems all hype and behind the curve.

It's super expensive, and by the time the high end software can take advantage of that generation chip and motherboard, the new single config processors have caught up and have more options. Duals only seem to be worth it for servers.

They really need to add network render, it's actually better to have economically several single processors networked.
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Old April 25th, 2003, 07:58 AM   #8
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I wanted dual CPUs so get maximum video rendering and still have a repsonsive system while I do other tasks while video renders for hours on end. Tom's Hardware had a nice review of the AMD Opteron, but in the testing they also compared single and dual P4 / Xeon systems and for rendering the dual Xeons had a large impact.

Since my original post I am now leaning to sticking with a single 3.0c P4 HT 800FSB since the part sof a dual Xeon system are very expensive and oyu need a special power supply as well for the dual Xeon mobos. I figure I'll suffer through the renders and use the money I save on upgrading system to swap the CPU to a 3.4 or soemthing in 6 months. Although Intel later this year will be ypgrading P4 to PRescott whcih will use same 875 chipset, but different motherboards, the good news it is supposed to come with 1MB of L2!!
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Old April 25th, 2003, 08:03 AM   #9
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I tend to agree with John, multiprocessors are fine if you have the money to spend. In general you get more 'bang per buck' if you stick to single CPU.

Not all software takes advantage of multi-cpus and the speed increase is often not worth the money. You often only get a 20-30% increase in the equivilent single cpu. Just get the fastest single cpu you can.

Most compositing software (after effects, combustion) will do a network render, but I find its implementation a little clumsy.

simon
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Old April 25th, 2003, 08:41 AM   #10
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Keith,

What I've done for that problem is get more than one machine.
One is lowly Celeron 433 (but with 768 mb of memory). Everything
is connected through a fast network. My Celeron has a burner
in it and some mass storage attached etc. Now I can use any of
my two machines for editing or rendering or internet browsing
or whatever. If I don't mind to render a movie for a longer period
I just stuff it on my celeron and let it work for a couple of days.

If I need it fast I use my other machine and continue doing some
other work on my Celeron (which is mostly internet browsing,
document typing, gaming or some programming) which is fast
enough.

Usually you have some component lying around to create something
like that for not too much money.

Ofcourse this is just a thought.....
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Old April 25th, 2003, 09:58 AM   #11
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I have started that process as well, I have my old P4 1.8 with dual A04 burners and 60GB drives, but moving 10-20GB o data is now pushing me to look at a heap Gig Ethernet switch to makle the copies faster. Then I render the MPEG2 on the second system using TMPGENC. I guess the extra $$ is better spent on a Gig switch I see I think NetGear or Dlink has a 5 port for $500 now.
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Old April 25th, 2003, 01:50 PM   #12
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I personally wouldn't want to spend the extra cash on a dual CPU system. You probably would notice some increase in performance, and a decrease in render times, and all of that...depends on how much cash you have to spend.
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Old April 25th, 2003, 03:23 PM   #13
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Keith,

There are more options for moving data accross than gigabit
ethernet (this can be quite expensive).... The following are in
my mind:

1. buy a firewire drive (or USB 2) and switch it between machines (i'm going to do this myself)

2. BUNDLE 100 mbit ethernet channels. You need a couple of good network cards that support bundling (3com cards usually support it) and a switch that can handle port trunking (if I remember correctly) -> I think the more expensive 3com switches support it as well

3. what about a 400 mbit firewire network?

Even (hot-swappable) removable harddisks could be an option
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