Reccomend specifications for a new machine

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Postby Kariudo » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:39 pm

Pretty much the only thing a 64-bit cpu is good for is...well...running 64 bit programs (and being able to have more physical ram.)
getting a 64-bit cpu means that when there are more 64-bit programs out there, you'll be able to run them

right now, dual-core is hot. The basic idea being more processors connected together can accomplish a task faster than a single processor can...but this depends on the program. Although more programs are being written to be able to take advantage of multi-core cpu's, most everyday programs like firefox, your favorite media player, etc... can't really take advantage of the extra core(s).

There have been cases in third-party benchmark reviews where a single core cpu actually outpaces the dual-core cpu

For editing, dual core will most likely do better than single core (I can't speak for other programs, but premiere pro 1.5 definately runs smoother on my athlon64 x2 3800+ than it does on my athlon64 3200+. Both processors run at 2.0GHz and have 512kb L2 cache per core)

If you get a quad-core cpu, you'll be running into the same wall that early dual-core cpus did. The fact is that there just aren't enough programs out there that can utilize all 4 cores...yet.
For "future-proofing", a quad core would be a good idea. Even though there may not be any single program that can use all 4 cores, you can run 4 programs that are meant to run on a single core (and take a lot of single-core cpu power) simultaneously.
(think along the lines of ripping, indexing, encoding and listening to music all at the same time)

The other big part of the editing equation is memory. More memory running faster really helps out with programs like AE

I don't have any experience with 32-bit vs 64-bit OS's...but if you get a 64-bit cpu you can run either.
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Postby post-it » Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:48 pm

.. as of today, only those who write Games can actually tell you about the benefits of 32 bit over 64 bit.

1) 32 bit is 1992 technology - very limited in graphics but great for word processing.

2) 64 bit is faster in Graphics but currently waist's space in word processing.

Dual Core, Quad Core .. let us not forget that THIS is still a totally untested concept -- only time and good programming skills will let us know what the true differences will be.

.. Its not a cop-out to say that Quad Core might have its benefits; today we just don't know what those benefits can really do for the common man.
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Postby JazzyDJ » Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:49 am

No intrusion, that's a question I had myself. This 32 bit vs 64 bit stuff is new to me. Is Vista Ultimate the only version that has 64 bit?

Also is it true that if you don't have a 64 bit Operating System (OS) than having 3 GB of ram is a wash because that extra gig is wasted due to the OS not being able to utualize it?

Another question I had was about the CPU cache spec vs the CPU FSB spec. I notice that Intel has lower FSB than AMB buy the Intel c2d's have twice (some even 4 times) as much cache memory. So how do you figure out which ratings equal higher speeds (particularly for editing)?


That being said, I've taken into account everything I've learned and for my budget I'm looking at 2 computers. They're Gateway PCs. One is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo (c2d) E6400 (1066 FSB, 4 MB L2 cache) 2.16 Ghz and the other a AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 2000 FSB 1MBx2 cache 3.0Ghz. Now obviously the AMD with that much GHz clock speed is going to be faster. But according to benchmarks the Intels are much more efficiant and manage to pack a punch also. The Intel C2D E6600 2.4 Ghz performs almost just as well as that AMD 64X2 6000+. Now I know there's a difference between the E6600 and the E6400 but still... I am worried about heat, reliability, noise, and power consumption becuase I will leave my PC on all day while I have it do a long task (like rendering/encoding) and then leave for the day (sometimes 24 hours) so that is being taken into account.

Another thing to note, is the more powerful AMD comes with 3GB RAM. The Intel comes with 2GB. Now here's the catch. The less powerful but more efficient intel is upgradable to 8GB ram. The AMD, only 4GB RAM possible.

Not only that but the Intel E6400 powered machine comes with a TV Tuner and a slightly better graphics card. PLUS, it costs $100 (US) LESS than the faster AMD 6000+ powered machine.

If I got the AMD machine I'd have to upgrade the card and get a TV Tuner later. I might still have to do that anyway because I need to pick up Dish Network signal and I'm not sure if that one can do it. I could still use it through VHS analog signal though, I guess. And the Intel PCs Graphics Card is only something like a GeForce 7200GT so even though it's better it's still not the greatest.


So as you can see I have a huge dillema and a big decision to make. Which one would you choose being the editor and PC smart person that you are?

I'm not sure. You can't upgrad your cpu without doing the whole machine. You can upgrade RAM, Graphics Card, TV Tuner and all that stuff later thoguh, right? At the same time one is more expandable than the other and comes with more goodies. Then again, that one (the Intel powerd PC) is a order only (shipping) where as the AMD powered PC I can walk right in and have it today!

What do you guys think? I'm pulling my hair out over this decision!
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Postby JazzyDJ » Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:52 am

Oh yeah something else I forgot to ask. The salesman said to find out if Vegas was compatable with Vista. Anyone know if it is? I'll probably upgrade to 6.0 since the price has been cut.
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Postby Gepetto » Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:25 am

Are there any dual-core 64-bit CPUs on the market? That would solve my problem great. :D

From what you said, Dual-core would do more for me now, especially in what concerns video, but as hardware gets better I won't be able to keep 32 bits and still stay in the loop. I don't expect my setup to be a Ferrari for a long time, but I'd like to know I can upgrade it if I need to, instead of starting from scratch again (The PC at my parent's house is the same since Windows 3.x. I don't remember all the specs but it had 128MB RAM and a 5GB hard drive. Now it houses 60GB, 512MB DDR and has a GeForce 2 video card - all with the same processor and mobo as before)

JazzyDJ wrote:Also is it true that if you don't have a 64 bit Operating System (OS) than having 3 GB of ram is a wash because that extra gig is wasted due to the OS not being able to utualize it?


I'd like to know that as well, but... I thought 32-bit could read up to 4 gigs of RAM. Was I wrong?
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Postby Kariudo » Thu Sep 20, 2007 9:08 am

I can't answer everything right now as I have to get ready for class.

the AMD Athlon64 X2 and FX lines both are dual core 64-bit cpu's (there are some FX's that are single core)

I'm not sure, but Intel's core 2 duo's might be 64-bit as well.

AMD has had 64-bit cpu's for years, with very good 32-bit emulation

Not sure on the Ram limit, but there's a feature of Win XP called Physical Address Extension that IIRC allows you to use more ram...there is also hardware/software remapping for ram over 4GB
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Postby BasharOfTheAges » Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:05 am

Multiple processors is the way it's going to have to go eventually (ultimately due to issues with relativity through the wires when clock speeds get jacked up - heat dissipation will become an issue far sooner than relativity constraints, but if they figure that one out, there still is that physical limit to clock speed to contend with) so the chip makers have resigned themselves to doing it now. It's a lot less costly to redesign the architecture of a chip and make use of multiple cores now - the technology for continuing with the previous methods is much slower and more expensive to progress.

JazzyDJ wrote:Is Vista Ultimate the only version that has 64 bit?

Nope - I run 64bit XP and there are plenty of 64-bit Linux distros around as well.

Another question I had was about the CPU cache spec vs the CPU FSB spec. I notice that Intel has lower FSB than AMB buy the Intel c2d's have twice (some even 4 times) as much cache memory. So how do you figure out which ratings equal higher speeds (particularly for editing)?


The new multi-core Intel chips are a bit stunted out of the box. They can be run at higher speeds than they're set to, often with just stock air cooling. As for Cache... yes you want a lot of it. Cache is very fast memory that's on-chip - you know how data access is so much faster on RAM than it is pulling it from your hard drive? Cache is up to 1000x faster than that.
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Postby Gepetto » Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:09 am

Bashar, is there a downside to 64-bit XP, compared to 32-bit XP? Taking into account especially the video editing, but also drivers and running 32-bit apps and general everyday stuff. I think I remember seeing a few threads around here about AMVapp not working on 64-bit.
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Postby BasharOfTheAges » Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:18 pm

Gepetto wrote:Bashar, is there a downside to 64-bit XP, compared to 32-bit XP? Taking into account especially the video editing, but also drivers and running 32-bit apps and general everyday stuff.

The only bad thing i've come across is my Dell DJ MP3 player won't transfer songs anymore and that's not a fault of the OS, that's Dell trying to force me to upgrade my firmware to support DRM bullshit (which i refuse to do). Just about everything else will run in 32-bit mode. The vast majority of programs I've installed are in my x86 program files folder.

I think I remember seeing a few threads around here about AMVapp not working on 64-bit.

Yea, tests don't work on 64-bit VISTA because it doesn't have the old version of windows media player that they're supposed to run on. Also, unless he's changed it lately, Zarxrax's h264 GUI doesn't work with 64-bit VISTA. 64 bit XP is fine though.
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Postby Gepetto » Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:51 pm

And does it hog more resources? (I should have asked this together with my previous post but it didn't occur to me)
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Postby BasharOfTheAges » Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:55 pm

Does what hog more resources? 64-bit XP? I suppose it might, but then again it allows you access to more resources too.
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Postby JazzyDJ » Sat Sep 22, 2007 1:54 pm

Exactly how much RAM does Vista consume away from your apps? And what processor percentage?

Also, compared to a old TNT2 how do you think GeForce 6150se (shared) integrated graphics will look? Better or worse, also taking the new Vista OS into account?

I bought a new PC cheap that is powered by the AMD 64 X2 5000+ 2.6 Ghz but now have to take it back after it failed to send a signal to my moniter. (same one I'm on right now.) It only came with a GB of RAM so my original plan was to add an extra Gig of RAM, install a GeForce 8500GT (over the stock 6150se intergrated grahics), and add a TV tuner all totaling for slightly a few dollars more than the 3GB memory AMD 64 X2 6000+ machine that I was looking at. So right now I have to take the one with the AMD 5000+ back and return it. I have to get a new PC anyway so I was actually considering going for the more poweful AMD 6000+ (which in the end would have 1 GB more ram for the time being). The only problem with that is I would be suck with out a decent graphics card in the Geforce 6150 shared graphics. (I'm on a tight budget.) Not to mention having losing the TV Tuner goody to get the power.

That's the dellema. Being stuck with a crappy graphics card but getting more cpu power, or getting something no too much behind in cpu but not getting as much memory, but can get everything I want with it.

Which one of those AMDs would you go for if you were in my shoes and could only spend that set amount of cash? What would you sacrafice to gain?

As for Intel, I'm not that rich right now so I'll have to save up for that in the future. I was probably going to get a Quad core in a couple years anyway.
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Postby Joe88 » Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:17 pm

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819115013

you dont need to be rich to get a c2d
you can clock it to 3.2ghz with the stock cooler ... 8-)
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Postby Kariudo » Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:47 pm

while I don't have any experience with vista (with the exception of watching a friend try [and fail] to repair a laptop with vista on it) I think you can get a general idea from the minimum requirements.

vista: 512 megabytes (MB) of system memory [minimum] 512MB-1GB recommended
XP: 64MB [minimum] 128MB recommended

XP has a hard time running on anything less than 256 (unless you're in safe mode)...so if you want to do anything in vista you'll want at least 1GB
if you want to do any editing in vista, you'll probably want 1.5-2GB

IIRC, vista running idle uses around 500-600MB of ram (I found this, which backs up what I remember seeing)

I don't think there is any appreciable difference in cpu power used when idle in XP vs vista (but I can't find anything to back that up)

unless you are playing games like lost planet, F.E.A.R., Call of Juarez, Bioshock, etc..., doing 3d rendering work, or watching HD movies then you really don't need anything more than integrated graphics
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Postby Joe88 » Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:45 pm

impossible

ive ran XP pro fine on 64MB (works better with 256MB) ram compaq deskpro's
vista ran fine with only 512MB ram, Ive gamed with it, as well as a bunch of other stuff with no problems or low memory warnings

tired of seeing these vista ram myths like it need 2GB+ to actually run
its completely untrue

you just need to be in control of whats going on
and dont let stuff like real player, itunes, ipod crap booting when you restart your comp
waste of resoruces

just use the old msconfig in RUN and deselect all the stuff that doesnt need to be ran
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