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Author Topic: Processor Choice: i7quad, Xeon quad, Xeon hex?  (Read 2260 times)
Steve House
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« on: April 02, 2013, 10:17:24 AM »
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Looking for ideas on the optimum processor & GPU for new high-end desktop PC.  Mac is not an option for several reasons.  Looking for optimum performance with Lightroom and Photoshop as well as other media software for audio recording and editing (Audition, Sound Forge, Nuendo), and SD/HD video editing (Premiere Pro, Vegas).  Workstation also needs to serve as the originating PC for video conferencing/webcasting/web-based MS application training deliveries using software such as GoToMeeting, Adobe Connect, LogMeIn, etc.  The various options I'm looking at offer Intel i7 quad-core, Xeon quad-core, and Xeon hex-core processors, and nVidea Geforce GTX, Quadro 2000, or Quadro 4000 graphics cards. Planning on going with something on the order of 16 to 32 gig for memory, SSD OS and apps disk with conventional HD main storage, and the updated Dell U2713h wide-gamut monitor. Thoughts on the various processor and GPU options that will give top performance with the anticipated software without going over the top into overkill?
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Sareesh Sudhakaran
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 10:45:29 AM »
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The details concerning my answer are available in my post: http://wolfcrow.com/blog/computer-for-video-editing-part-one-listing-the-basic-requirements/

In short:
If this is a money-making professional machine, a dual Xeon
64 GB RAM ECC
Quadro K4000

If not, then an i7 3930K, same RAM except no ECC, GTX 680 (4 GB version) or Titan

An HP Z820 or Dell T7600 is perfect. I'm getting a Supermicro build (dual Xeons, E5-2630), which is just as good.

I wouldn't get the U2713, it's not the same as the U2711, which is what I'm getting. If color is super critical, an FSI 17" monitor is good. I'm more into video, so the U2711 is still only a GUI monitor.

Whether or not it's overkill depends on the kind of files, photos or footage you work with. For Nuendo it's definitely overkill. If you're running monitors, you'll need an audio interface like the ones M-Audio makes. I'll probably get that or a Mackie. For monitoring I'm getting Yamaha MSP3, which is cheap but excellent for a one-person station.

For streaming I recommend dual Xeons and fast arrays. I like RAID 1 (2 drives) and RAID 10 (4+ drives), and I tend to stay away from parity drives. Software RAID is fine unless you are transporting heavy files on a regular basis.
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Steve House
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 11:36:15 AM »
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...

I wouldn't get the U2713, it's not the same as the U2711, which is what I'm getting. If color is super critical, an FSI 17" monitor is good. I'm more into video, so the U2711 is still only a GUI monitor.

Whether or not it's overkill depends on the kind of files, photos or footage you work with. For Nuendo it's definitely overkill. If you're running monitors, you'll need an audio interface like the ones M-Audio makes. I'll probably get that or a Mackie. For monitoring I'm getting Yamaha MSP3, which is cheap but excellent for a one-person station.

...

The monitor I'm referring to is the new Dell model U2713h that just began shipping a few weeks ago, not the older 2713 or 2713hm.  Are we talking about the same one?

Have the audio side covered with Echo AudioFire 8 and AudioFire 12 interfaces (considering adding a Sound Devices USBPre-2 interface as well), Mackey 1642 mixer, Sound Devices 442 mixer, a collection of pro-level mics ranging from Rode NT1a to a Schoeps CMC641, playback on a pair of JBL LSR4328Ps or various cans/IEMs. For the webcasting will probably be using a Rode or Countryman headworn mic.

I don't anticipate streaming video files but will need to send live video alongside a shared desktop and Powerpoint slides, typical virtual classroom environment.
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nairb
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2013, 02:39:53 PM »
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This thread will be helpful to me too as I'm trying to figure out what best to replace my 5 year old self built desktop.

I'm starting to do some gigapixel panorama mural installations so something with a lot of ram is needed as the files are big, but I'm not too certain about processing power. As it is now, when prosessing a file that's upwards of 7gb, my processor usage occassionally spikes to near 100%, but most often is chugging away at 25%-30% so I'm not sure if I'd benefit from a dual xeon system other than being able to put more than 64gb ram in if one day I need too.

I read someplace the last few days too that there may me a new generation of xeon coming out near the end of the year? Anybody know of this or if it would be worthwhile to wait for them? As it stands, my current system and finances should last me the year, with the idea to update the computer late this year or early next.

Thanks
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Sareesh Sudhakaran
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 09:47:17 AM »
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The monitor I'm referring to is the new Dell model U2713h that just began shipping a few weeks ago, not the older 2713 or 2713hm.  Are we talking about the same one?

Not sure, really. The Dell rep I spoke to pushed it ahead of the U2711, and I did a bit of digging. The U2711 is a 'simulated' 10-bit monitor (8+2), the U2713 was only 8-bit. On the other hand, the 2713 was LED, thinner and consumed less power.

An inspection and comparison of a sample factory report will throw more insight into the actual practical differences. Hope this helps.
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Sareesh Sudhakaran
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 09:53:27 AM »
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I'm starting to do some gigapixel panorama mural installations...
...I'm not sure if I'd benefit from a dual xeon system other than being able to put more than 64gb ram in if one day I need too.

There's no point in getting an expensive workstation for only a few small projects. You can always work 'slower' if your output is low, and if it doesn't make sense financially.

I only recommend workstations if it is meant to chug full steam 24/7, and if your business depends on it.
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Steve House
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 05:35:58 PM »
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Not sure, really. The Dell rep I spoke to pushed it ahead of the U2711, and I did a bit of digging. The U2711 is a 'simulated' 10-bit monitor (8+2), the U2713 was only 8-bit. On the other hand, the 2713 was LED, thinner and consumed less power.

An inspection and comparison of a sample factory report will throw more insight into the actual practical differences. Hope this helps.
Here's a review that compares the 2711, 2713h, and 2713hm ... http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2713h.htm

BTW, the 2713hm is 8-bit but the 2713h is the same 'simulated' 10-bit as the older 2711.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 05:06:15 AM by Steve House » Logged
John.Murray
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2013, 06:54:32 PM »
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If you take a look at http://ppbm5.com/  (you can filter the results to show only CS6) you'll notice that Dual CPU socket 2011 rigs are well down the list - probably due to Ahmdahl's law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amdahl's_law.

I'd love to hear from the software vendor's themselves where/how multiple cores are utilized and where diminshing returns take effect.....

« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 07:10:10 PM by John.Murray » Logged

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