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Old May 25th, 2005, 10:50 AM   #1
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Which processor to use for Vegas 6

My present processor, an AMD 2600+ is moving very slowly through transitions. When I have multiple tracks and effects it still struggles when I set the view window to its lowest setting.

I ran the rendertest.veg file on the machine and it rendered in 2:39 seconds.

I had a friend run the test with his P4 3.0Mgz Multithreaded machine and it was done in 1:29 seconds.

My son's AMD 64 3200 ran it in 1:19 seconds.

In this test the AMD was faster than the P4.

Also we higlighted the area that contained info and set Vegas into an endless loop that renders with each pass. My 2600 never got a frame rate above .7.

The AMD 64 only got to a frame rate of 1.8

And the P4 after several minutes, worked its way up to a frame rate of 29+, full frame rate??!!

So now I am confused about my next processor. I know that on my son's AMD64 I was able to run 4 instances of Vegas using the project that was choking my machine. Even running simultaneously and actively playing each project in a separate window, the machine did not choke. This and the success of the render test designed to put a load on the processor would point me to getting an AMD. (I can get one with faster speed than a P4 at the same price).

But the AMDs inability to work its way up from 1.8 frames per minute on the test that I triend has me wondering about the significance of this test. This must be a different kind of render that HyperThreading works well on?

If anybody has info on this, or has gone through the same process trying to pick a processor, please let me know your ideas.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 10:59 AM   #2
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Working up to full frame rate: If the RAM preview is large enough, this will happen. It's under the Vegas settings.
Preferences
Video
Dynamic RAM preview at the top.
I'm not sure why your AMD systems don't do it.

Which processor to get:
Judging from old Vegas rendertest.veg results:
Prescott-core Pentiums (the new ones) should be about 6% faster than the older Northwood-core ones. 1:29 is right for a Prescott-core 3.0ghz if I remember correctly (I built a machine with that processor so theoretically I should remember).

I find it surprising that the AMD64 system is faster (if I remember correctly, they were slightly slower)... is render quality set on best and not good?
The newer AMD64 cores may also explain why.

Was this test on Vegas 5 on 6?

2- At MPEG2 encoding, Pentiums tend to be faster. Many hardware sites like xbitlabs.com perform a Main Concept MPEG2 Encoder benchmark (ignore all the other benchmarks unless you run those specific programs).
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Old May 25th, 2005, 12:07 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply, Glen.

You pointed out a few things to me that could have been done better.

One is that on the AMD machine I don't have Vegas 6 installed. On my machine and the P4 it was installed.

Also, on my machine I need the Dynamic RAM set to "0" if I am not using it or my machine will eat up memory until it just crawls. I have no explanation for why this happens or what the fix may be. It is a new problem. So on the AMD 2600 dynamic RAM was turned off. On the AMD 64 it was whatever the default value is set to. On the P4 I am sure Dynamic RAM was set to something but I didn't ask Glen about it.

As for the render settings, I am not sure if the AMD was set to best as were the other two. It was if it is the default setting.

But you answered my question about why the AMD didn't pick up to full frame rate, and also why mine didn't. With no memory given for Dynamic RAM they wouldn't render.

So if this render test is valid the AMD is faster than the P4 and significantly cheaper. I am not so concerned about the mpg rendering as much as I am concerned about running multiple instances of Vegas so I can select clips from to another and I can get my work done without any problems. Wish I could get the present PC to perform better but I will do well with something faster and newer.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 03:25 PM   #4
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For some reason I think sometimes the rendertest.veg will default to "good" and not "best".

2- On V6, it may be faster if you set the # of rendering threads to 1. Rendering is changed in that, so results will differ.

I think Pentiums are faster, although there haven't been any V6 results (or other results) lately so it may be hard to say.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 04:16 PM   #5
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I have used AMD chips for editing for years. Once I got a P4 I never looked back. Last AMD was an overlocked 2500+, ran great. The P4 with H/T seems so much faster. I haven't tried the AMD 64s yet. But with no 64bit NLE out yet, does it matter?
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Old May 25th, 2005, 05:34 PM   #6
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I would just ignore the 64-bit stuff as it isn't quite relevant right now. If you are going to upgrade in like 2 years (speed will likely double by then), then you'll probably be fine because you can upgrade if it turns out 64-bit is beneficial.

The AMD64 processors are very very good 32-bit processors. At tasks like games, server/database, digital audio workstation use they are generally faster by a good amount. They also consume a little less electricity, which could mean somewhere around a $50 savings in several years (many variables affect the electricity savings, so it's really difficult to ballpark).

At video tasks, I think Intel still has the lead for now. That's what the old rendertest.veg results from 2 years back show.

I think I'm going to try to drum up support for a new Vegas benchmark so people can get some good info on what's fastest.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 07:37 PM   #7
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Would love to hear some results of the rendertest with various processors, in particular the AMD 64s.

No doubt I saw the result on Vegas 5 on the AMD verses the result on Vegas 5 on the P4 3000 and the difference of 10 seconds in a minute and a half is not terribly different.

I just ran a fourth test on my other son's AMD 3000 32bit and the speed was 2:25 a minute slower than the P4 and a minute and 10 seconds slower than the AMD64.

I can get an AMD 64 3800 for the price of a P4 3.4. I sure would like some compelling facts one way or the other.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 10:00 PM   #8
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1:19 for an "AMD64 3200+" seems a little fast. You can check other peoples results at
http://www.sonymediasoftware.com/for...ssageID=242309 (Vegas 5)

It may be because you have a newer AMD64 CPU, with a different core (venice, winchester, clawhammer, san diego)... they have different cache, dual or single channel memory controller, may support more instruction sets (SSE3), etc.

Some excerpts...
Quote:
Athlon-64 3200+ CPU
MSI K8T NEO-FIS2R Motherboard
mWave PC3200 400MHz Non-ECC DDR RAM (single stick)
Maxtor 80GB 7200RPM HD with 2MB buffer
ATI Radeon 9800 128MB video card
...
1:38
Quote:
ASUS SK8N motherboard (nForce3 chipset)
AMD Athlon64 FX-51
1GB RAM
120GB Maxtor SATA HD (system)
250GB Maxtor SATA HD (Audio, video files)

The new machine runs rendertest.veg in 1 minute 24 seconds
Quote:
$ 315 AMD64 3000 CPU
$ 189 ASUS K8V Deluxe motherboard
$ 218 2 x 512 MB Samsung DDR 3200 RAM
$ 179 Antec 1080 AMG Server case w/ Antec True 430 Watt PS ( very quiet )
$ 132 Seagate 120.0GB w/ 8MB cache ( very quiet too )
$ 66 LiteOn 48X CD-RW/16X DVD-ROM Combo
$ 164 Pioneer DVR-106 DVD+/-RW
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
$ 1,263 Total without tax

My old PC used an AMD XP 2600 on an ASUS A7N8X Deluxe motherboard, and
takes 2 min 34 sec to complete the rendertest .

This new one I just built finishes the same test in 1 min 32 sec, so I'm really happy
with it.
Quote:
Bill Ravens is getting a 1:29 on his tests using a 3.0GHz P4
This is about right with a newer Prescott-core Pentium, and the same thing as you.

3- For the fastest processor at rendertest.veg, it looks like the AMD3800+ (venice core?) may be your best bet?

Looking at only venice core AMD processors.
Assume the AMD64 3000+ venice core at 1.8ghz finishes the rendertest in 1:36 (96 seconds), which is a conservative guess? This is probably wrong.

Assume rendertest.veg scales with CPU clock speed, and ignore FSB and RAM speed. (Which is fairly accurate, although if you want to double performance then you'd have to scale FSB and RAM speed accordingly.)
The 3800+ venice core at 2.4ghz should finish rendertest.veg in 1:12 (72 seconds).

An equivalent Prescott-core Pentium (1MB cache, 5xx series) would need to be 3.708ghz. This is guessed off a Pentium 3.0"E" rendering rendertest.veg in 89 seconds. Price-wise I don't think Pentiums compare at this performance point?

Some other things to consider:
Rendering is different in Vegas 6 and handles multiple processors better. Hyperthreading (Pentium only) may or may not improve performance.

On a different benchmark, the results would be different.

Pentiums still have a clear lead in MPEG2 encoding, although that doesn't matter to you.

Pentiums still use a little more electricity I think, which adds to their cost. Some of the newer Pentiums need DDR2 RAM, which is pricier.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 10:25 PM   #9
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both AMD & Intel are about to roll out dual Core CPU's ...
IMO if you want "it" = get dual CPU's with dual cores & Vegas 6 !!!
i wouldn't waste days/weeks of brain time trying to decide between them = either intel or AMD will do "it" .. AMD will probably be a little lighter on the pocket boom ... i use both AMD 64 & intel's .. no preference
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Old May 26th, 2005, 09:50 AM   #10
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Thanks Glen. That was helpful. I would feel a little better if the score of my son's PC were a little slower. This makes me feel like its not rendering at best or something else is going on. The MB and processor are 5 months old so perhaps it has a faster core. A 3800 seems like the way to get my money's worth for now.

thanks, Don. There probably isn't much difference between them. My concern is that the pc currently chokes. If I can have it running smoothly and run simultaneous instances of Vegas so I can move clips without a long delay my work flow will increase dramatically and I will feel more like sitting at the PC and editing. There are no dual processor, dual core PCs in this poor man's future.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 02:15 PM   #11
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It might make sense to get a slightly slower processor (3200+ venice core? 2.0ghz instead of 2.4ghz; 20% slower, not a big deal when the upgrade will probably be a lot faster) and then use the saved money towards upgrading to dual core in 2 years.
I believe you will be able to get dual core for socket 939... your motherboard may need a BIOS flash first. The installation may be tricky, unless you can read a computer manual (which is really important for CPU installations where you can damage things if you don't read instructions).

You may also get a little money from liquidating your old processor on Ebay, although you'll get less than half its original value.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:49 PM   #12
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OK, Glen, another update.

I was convinced that the reason the speed was so good was because I must have rendered at the "good" setting. That was not the case. It was set at best and I ran the test again and got 1:20.

However, my son tells me the processor is an AMD 64 3400, not a 3200, socket 754, purchased for Christmas 5 months old. I see no name like "Clawhammer" or "Venice" and the box has few specs like the size of the cache. Do you think the 3400 should yeild these results?
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Old May 26th, 2005, 10:12 PM   #13
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Wow, this thread amaze me. I was not aware of so much disparity in performance between Athlon XP and 64 for rendering... I currently edit on a Barton 2500+ with 512 mb ram. It is slow, but usable. My board support cpu up to 3000+ so I was thinking upgrading to 3000+ and add 512 or 1024 mb ram... not too costly as an upgrade... but now, I am not sure... perhaps I should spend some more $$ to change the board and go to the 64 route...
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Old May 27th, 2005, 09:00 AM   #14
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Doubt it'll sway anyones opinions, but at the end of Episode III there's a nice big AMD64 logo under "Visual Hardware" :D

Hey, if its good enough for ILM... ;)
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Old May 27th, 2005, 04:17 PM   #15
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I want to get laptop to edit FX1E footage with Vegas 6. Sony has laptop with latest 1.97 or something MHz processor and 1920 pixels across. Or I can get for less different kind notebook with 1440x900 or something pixels or for even less 1280 pixels accross. The cheaper notebooks have 3 MHz processors. Sony has 17 inch screen I think, is slim, light. Which one should I get if I don't want use tabletop PC at all. I can get new 7,200 rpm HD for any of. They are now up to 100 GB. The built in drives are 4,200 rpm. Could you please explain me advantages of different options.

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