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Old August 26th, 2007, 06:24 PM   #1
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Disappointing render times: P4 vs C2D

I have two PC's,

"Cobra" is based on the Asus P4P800SE mobo, with a P4/3.2Ghz/HT CPU, 2 GB of matched ram running at 433Mhz (I think), FSB runnng at 800Mhz. The source files are on a 7200rpm SATA internal drive, and the destination files went to a 7200rpm external USB drive. OS is WinXP Home.

The XPS410 is based on the Intel 965 chipset with a Core2Duo--E6320 (2x 1.8Ghz, 1066Mhz FSB) with 2GB of matched ram running at 667Mhz. [As a side note, this is one quiet machine. I regularly forget to shut if off.] The source and destination folders were both located on a 7200rpm SATA internal drive. OS is Vista Home Premium.

I recently rendered two similar projects in DVDA4. On the Cobra was a project with 4 AVI files, one simple menu background jpg, and a 30s looping audio clip. Each AVI file had a button on the main menu and looped back there as it's end action. It completely filled the disc at around 5.xx Mbps. Both processed during the night with no antivirus or other CPU-hogging apps running.

On the XPS was one gigantic AVI with a background jpg and looping 30s audio clip for the menu. It completely filled the disc at 4.xx Mbps.

The surprise appeared when the Cobra's render time was 2h 44min and the XPS turned in a time of 2h 45m. I had hoped the XPS would beat the Cobra by a factor of 3+ (based on comments in a thread over on the Sony Media forum).

Any observations?
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Old August 26th, 2007, 06:36 PM   #2
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You can try running John Cline's rendertest.veg on both machines. The Sony forum has times of what other people's systems do... if the times are off, then it suggests that your computer is setup incorrectly.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 09:41 PM   #3
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Speaking in terms of setting up a computer correctly or incorrectly, what are the variables involved? Suppose I run the rendertest on the P4 and it turns in a time of 30 minutes as opposed to the 18-20 most people are seeing. Where would I begin to make adjustments? Where are the bottlenecks?

The main reason for this post was the unexpected results of two highly similar rendering jobs. According to posts running John Kline's HD rendertest, the C2D machines were producing results in the 4-5 minute range, roughly 4x faster than the P4 machines. I had hoped to pick up the pace with an entry level C2D running the FSB and memory at speeds similar to the E6600 systems, while saving the $600 difference, but it appears that was not the case.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 10:06 PM   #4
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Culprits

You could have several culprits. Vegas may not be setup on both system to use more than one thread. Or some effect you are using is not a multi-threaded effect / plugin. Or you are using an OS that does not multi-thread (like possibly XP Home or Win2K Home, though I'm not sure if they could multi-thread or not).
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Old August 28th, 2007, 12:47 AM   #5
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XP Home handles multi-threading. It doesn't give you the full potential from dual CPU systems.

2- One of the culprits could be hard drives in PIO mode, programs running in the background, etc.

I would just run the test first to see if it's your project that's setup wrong. 3D compositing anywhere can slow the whole project down.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 02:42 PM   #6
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OK I ran some tests using HDrendertest.

The P4 turned in times ranging from 10:46 (RAM set to 1MB) to 12:14 (RAM set to 256MB).

The E6320 turned in times around 5:47 no matter what the RAM allocation was set to.

So, it looks like both machines are performing like others seen on the Sony thread.



The original post refers to a DVDA project, not Vegas. Based on the above, I was expecting the C2D to be significantly faster, since both involve rendering to MPG. The surprise was that they turned in times almost exactly the same.


The IDE drive is set to DMA mode. Is there a PIOvsDMA option for SATA drives?

I've decided to sell the XPS.

It's been nothing but a timewaster (neither Sound Forge 7 or Excalibur are Vista compatible, nor could I get my favorite PS2 mouse to work. Tried installing XP Pro on a second hard drive, but my ol' copy does not have SP2, and thus does not recognize the newer hardware, so it only crashed during installation....I give up).

I'll revisit the issue once the Vista-compatible Sony products come out.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 03:14 AM   #7
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Scott, let me get this straight. Did you say that the XPS have only one internal drive and that you use it for the OS as well as the data stream file? If so there is no direct comparison between the two. You then will have to test it with the XPS having the external hard drive. Then see if you get faster time. I am assuming here that the XPS is having the only hard drive doing double duty.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 02:09 AM   #8
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Why sell the XPS?

Just install XP and another harddrive... or build your own PC from the money you get from the XPS...
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Old September 1st, 2007, 04:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
The XPS410 is based on the Intel 965 chipset with a Core2Duo--E6320 (2x 1.8Ghz, 1066Mhz FSB) with 2GB of matched ram running at 667Mhz. [As a side note, this is one quiet machine. I regularly forget to shut if off.] The source and destination folders were both located on a 7200rpm SATA internal drive. OS is Vista Home Premium.
A major culprit is Vista Home Premium.

I have two systems. One with a core 2 dual 6420 (If I remember the number correctly) and the other is a core 2 quad. System one has Windows XP Home and the second system has Windows XP Pro.

With an hours worth of 16x9 SD video the 6420 will render it in 28 minutes. The quad will render it in 21. Note that the quad is not all that much faster. Reason is there are other issues that can slow it down some. I have since upgraded my ram from 2 to 4 gig. That will help a little bit but not a whole lot unless I have multiple instances of Vegas open using up most of thememory.

I am rendering from Vegas 7.

Vista is a resource hog and that will slow things down. Also anti-virus software can slow it down as well. Make sure the source video drive and the drive you are rendering to are separate drives and neither one of them is the boot drive.

Keep the XPS410 system and get rid of Vista. Add a one or two more hard drives. SATA II.

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Old September 2nd, 2007, 11:29 AM   #10
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Hermawan, yes, it's true, the XPS was reading and writing from one drive, which was also where the OS resided. Since the render tests looked 'normal' this may have been a contributing factor.

Joe, I did install a matching Samsung HD321KJ drive, but my old copy of XP Pro just would not install. I hit F6 and loaded the correct SATA drivers, ;but no go. Then i installed a PCI video card thinking that the original version of the XP install disk did not support PCIe (first included in SP2), but it still crashed. It just got to be a huge time waster.

I'm interested in what Vegas8 will offer and how it will leverage Vista. I still may face a dual boot situation since all the Adobe apps (CS2 suite and After Effects 7) are pre-Vista.

Who knows, maybe by November Quads will be the current price of C2D's...
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 01:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
Hermawan, yes, it's true, the XPS was reading and writing from one drive, which was also where the OS resided. Since the render tests looked 'normal' this may have been a contributing factor.

Joe, I did install a matching Samsung HD321KJ drive, but my old copy of XP Pro just would not install. I hit F6 and loaded the correct SATA drivers, ;but no go. Then i installed a PCI video card thinking that the original version of the XP install disk did not support PCIe (first included in SP2), but it still crashed. It just got to be a huge time waster.

I'm interested in what Vegas8 will offer and how it will leverage Vista. I still may face a dual boot situation since all the Adobe apps (CS2 suite and After Effects 7) are pre-Vista.

Who knows, maybe by November Quads will be the current price of C2D's...

Scott, the possibility of having a slow render time is likely directly attributed to XPS having one drive that is doing the application, the video storage and the render/project files. That to me is a major factor in you having the performance degradation when compared to the other comp.

As for the quad core, you don't have to wait till November, I checked some sites and in Newegg, Q6600 s now going for $ 275, same as what I paid for E6600 dual core. By November I believe you'll see even higher clock speed for the quad at that price.

My comp setup has two bays of SATA hard drive sleeve enclosure that has separate functionality. These are activated by a key so that I am assured only one is active for boot up. Both uses the WinXP SP2 OS. One for video/multimedia work and another for business. Inside the tower reside two additional drives. The first is my data drive that is my general file storage that I access for both computer functionality. The second is 100% dedicated for video starage and archived project files. This one I have to defrag often. One project will cause so much fragmentation.

You can do this to the XPS without having to have partitioned drive for separate boot up, it's cleaner this way and less confusion. It feels like you have two separate dedicated computers.

As to the difficulty of installing your XP, is this to the XPS?
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 04:16 PM   #12
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Where do you get the render test?
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 05:29 PM   #13
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Where do you get the render test?
rendertest-hdv.veg

Set the project properties for "HDV 1080-60i" and render it out as HDV using the default MPEG2 "HDV 1080-60i" template.

See the NEW Rendertest-HDV.veg thread on the Sony Vegas forum for various render times.

Last edited by Mike Kujbida; September 3rd, 2007 at 01:38 AM.
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 09:11 PM   #14
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VASST has a Vegas FAQ that says always have the source files and the render files on different drives.

With hard drives being so cheap just install another drive and install XP as a dual boot option.

Also clean up all the crap in the background on Dells there is a ton of it.
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