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i7 or Xeon? Is fewer cores better in AE because of the memory overhead on each?

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John Rowe
i7 or Xeon? Is fewer cores better in AE because of the memory overhead on each?
on Nov 19, 2010 at 11:10:46 pm

Hi there.

I recently bought an NVidia FX5000 at Siggraph and I find it's chugging with Premiere CS5 in my old 2.66Ghz Core2 Quad.

So I'm looking at buying a new machine to get the most out of the FX5000. Should I buy an i7 based machine or a Xeon based machine?

I'm looking at getting a machine with 16-24GB of RAM.

I also use After Effects CS5 heavily and it occurs to me that I might be better with fewer cores rather than more. I noticed in store that an i7-980X shows 12 CPUs in the Windows Task Manager! To use these in AE they each require at least 3/4GB of RAM just to render because AE starts a separate task for each - that's 9GB of RAM dedicated just to the CPUs!

Would I be better off with a single or dual Xeon instead? How many cores does a Xeon show under Task Manager? But would an i7 perform better with Mercury Playback on my FX5000? Is Xeon older and less efficient with a CUDA card?

I use both AE and Premiere but my primary concern is getting the most out of the FX5000 CUDA for Mercury Playback card in Premiere CS5.

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
John



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Dave LaRonde
Re: i7 or Xeon? Is fewer cores better in AE because of the memory overhead on each?
on Nov 19, 2010 at 11:19:50 pm

Get i7 chips. Dual quad core is good. Stuff in as much RAM as you can afford. Happiness ensues.


[John Rowe] "I use both AE and Premiere but my primary concern is getting the most out of the FX5000 CUDA for Mercury Playback card in Premiere CS5. "

Premiere will ALSO take advantage of those cores, too, y'know. It'll probably take advantage of them when you have hyperthreading enabled, too. Then you're talking Spooky Fast.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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John Rowe
Re: i7 or Xeon? Is fewer cores better in AE because of the memory overhead on each?
on Nov 19, 2010 at 11:28:44 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "Get i7 chips. Dual quad core is good."

Thanks for the reply Dave, but which i7? The i7-980X with 12 cores sounds like it would encumber AE more than help it????

John



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Dave LaRonde
Re: i7 or Xeon? Is fewer cores better in AE because of the memory overhead on each?
on Nov 19, 2010 at 11:30:58 pm

Not if you have enough RAM, it wouldn't. What's the theortetical limit of memory at 64 bits? A couple of petabytes or something?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jon Bagge
Re: i7 or Xeon? Is fewer cores better in AE because of the memory overhead on each?
on Nov 19, 2010 at 11:32:53 pm

Thanks for the reply Dave, but which i7? The i7-980X with 12 cores sounds like it would encumber AE more than help it????


If you can afford to put in 24GB RAM (or more) you should be able to utilize the 980x. If you end up with a lot less you might as well go with a quad core, which will be substantially cheaper as well.

--------------
Jon Bagge
Editor - London, UK
Avid - FCP - After Effects


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John Rowe
Re: i7 or Xeon? Is fewer cores better in AE because of the memory overhead on each?
on Nov 19, 2010 at 11:37:35 pm

Hmmm... any recommendations for a Workstation supplier?

Both HP and Dell seem to go straight to the Xeons once you want more than 16GB of Ram.



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Dave LaRonde
Re: i7 or Xeon? Is fewer cores better in AE because of the memory overhead on each?
on Nov 20, 2010 at 2:08:11 am

I ordered mine from HP, 2GB only. Then I got the RAM form an outfit called Crucial. It has an app that runs to tell you precisely which types of RAM will work in your machine.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Todd Kopriva
Re: i7 or Xeon? Is fewer cores better in AE because of the memory overhead on each?
on Nov 20, 2010 at 7:10:42 am

Let me try to clarify something that a lot of people get confused about:

Yes, you're right that having 3-4GB of RAM installed for each processor core is a good idea---but that only applies to processor cores (CPUs) that will be assigned to use the Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing feature.

So, if you have 12 CPUs, but only enough RAM to feed 6 of them, you're fine. Just set the preference for CPUs to reserve for other applications to 6.

The trouble that people get into is trying to spread a small amount of RAM over a large number of processors by using them _all_ for the Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing feature.

There's information about optimum memory and CPU settings here.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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John Rowe
Re: i7 or Xeon? Is fewer cores better in AE because of the memory overhead on each?
on Nov 21, 2010 at 6:33:30 am

Thanks for your reply Todd.

If you were buying a machine with 24GB of RAM specifically for Premiere HD editing, for maximum usage of the FX5000 Quadro card for Mercury playback, would you go i7 or Xeon?

I'm wondering if the FX5000 will give better playback using Mercury on an i7 because it's newer architecture than the Xeon architecture?

Thanks,
John



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Todd Kopriva
Re: i7 or Xeon? Is fewer cores better in AE because of the memory overhead on each?
on Nov 21, 2010 at 4:32:26 pm

> If you were buying a machine with 24GB of RAM specifically for Premiere HD editing... would you go i7 or Xeon?


I'd look at the PPBM5 results and draw my own conclusions.

This benchmark test and the informaiton on the website about it are very useful.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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