"What kind if speed difference can I see when encoding video, use of adobe photoshop, winrar, and ect.
Review the X2 3800+ dual core reviews.....I'd suspect the differences will be quite huge.....
(Agree, if you are not gaming, no need to change video, BUT...all the newest MBs utilize PCI-e, and will not accept your 9600 Pro video card....; there are still some socket 754 Athlon NForce3 boards out there, however, which although older, are still fast, and utilize AGP slots)
well, opty 165 is dual core, so difference is going to be noticeable, probably very significant too
socket 939 boards with AGP...
MSI K8N Neo2-F or
or the one from Asrock which has both AGP and PCIe (don't remember the model number)
(I don't think Asus has any now, at ones they care show details on their site)
Or you can opt for an onboard GeForce6150 with PCIe, so you can plan for other cheap video later (and have a spare machine for REAL multitasking)
RAM... I have insufficient knowledge to give opinions since I am using multi-CPU rigs (dual opty 140 right now, may upgrade soon) with Registered ram which is significantly more expensive (and less performance per processor)
I'm usually a dual core hater because many people spend too much of their budget on the CPU and skimp on their video card and then wonder why they don't have game. In your case a dual is perfect since you are not talking about gaming and since you tend to do many things at once. The guys have already steered you straight. If you need to game in addition to the tasks you mentioned you better save up for a new video card too.
I have done real life testing with an A64 3000 and i found the numbers to be in line with what I had on Auto GK. So I feel it is safe to say that Tom's numbers are good across the board. If you had a 2 hr VOB and wanted to convert it to a divx file, it would take an A64 3000 about 90min, a 2ghz P4 2hrs and 15 minutes or so, and an A64 3800 about 60 minutes. You would see a trans-generational improvement. I have read so many reviews of the 3800. I have seen reports of the frames per second performance of it between 48 and 72. If we take tom's numbers as gospel, it would amount to around 60. I dont own one so I can only use objective comparisons of what I have done. But with every new patch or version of software like Auto GK, it is safe to say that dual core performance will increase everytime as the software gets more optimized for dual core. I dont think you will be disappointed. Everyone I have come across says that the opteron 165 is better all around, but it is increasing in price now (from 315 to 355) And the X23800 has went down to 299 at zip zoom fly. I have had LONG conversations with an owner of a 4200 (he is a hardware reviewer for a tech site) and he has told me that it is not as overclocker friendly as some try and say it is. (more so for precision operations like video encoding) He says the cores can get get kinda out of sync (or so he thinks) maybe the Opteron is a better option if you want to overclock. then again, maybe you will find your encoding projects have problems as you overclcock despite it being a superior chip. Another thing to keep in mind is that the added cache of the 165 will not help you with what you are planning to do. I would choose the 3800 over the 165 and even more so now that the prices have changed places on those chips. I would rather have 200mhz guaranteed than the possibility that better silicon will make for a better overclocker and more tolerant of higher voltage. I am sure there are those who would disagree. Do a little research for yourself and form your own opinion so that you can make the best decision.
zodiac, my system processes a 700MB RAR compression in about 10 minutes. Havent tried video encoding on this system yet, but it crunches every game I run on high quality without ANY overclocking. I notice that when running winrar, that task manager shows my CPU at 50% and only the second core is being used; and not even to its full potential. I suspect that the one core being used is because that winrar is not programmed for multiple threads? and the part about that core not being fully utilized could be that my HDD speed is a bottleneck. A couple Raptors in RAID 0 might be able to fix that... to some extent.
For what you do with your PC, you should go with anything with higher bandwidth, not speed. More execution cores, more ram sticks (in dual channel), and more HDDs (in RAID). Just a thought, but you could go with a low cost workstation setup? Dual CPUs (they dont have to be fast, maybe 1.8GHz), dual RAM bank server mainboard (maybe a gig of generic RAM per bank?), and RAID card (if the mainboard doesnt have RAID built in). Also, the ATI "all in wonder" cards are great for video editing since they have video in/video out. The HDDs don't need to be raptors, they could be any ole SATA.
I writing this on the premise of using a X2 CPU to run two "virtual" computers so to speak. Meaning running two instances on a program at over 50% of the performance if only once instance of the program was running i.e. if it takes 2 hours to encode one job when running one instance, I would like to run the program twice simutaneously to finish two jobs at the same time and finish in 3 hours and 30 minutes instead of 4 hours...
I would recommend 2GB of RAM. I have only seen one benchmark comparing CAS latencies when if comes to encoding jobs. I felt the difference between 2,2.5, and 3 to be small on this particualr discipline. 2GB of DDR500 RAM with a CAS of 3 can be had for $200. I see no problem running the RAM at DDR 230-240 with tighter timings as well.
I dont know if a RAID 5 setup would deliver the performance needed to justify the costs invovlved. Hardware assisted RAID5 cards are relatively expensive not to mention the cost of the redundant drive. I think a RAID 0 array is risky when it comes to video projects. I wouldnt trust large projects on a RAID 0 array, but I imagine some would. CPU assisted RAID 5 cards are cheaper but use clock cycles to get the job done. of course an X2 would perform admirably in this instance but who wants to devote valuable clock cycles to the HDD array? Maybe some would consider it a worthwhile endeavor. I am going to play arround with having the source file on one drive and the finished project on another to see if there is a noticeable increase in performance. if there is, I would say you would break even with a RAID array since it will be reading and writing from/to the same drives. But that is not a scientific analysis, its just a theory even if using two separate drive did indeed improve performance. I would suggest the western digital "RE" series. They are rated for 24/7 usage and seem to be quite reliable and cool. They can be had for $105 for a 250GB HDD.
I have always liked the ATI AIW cards, but I think it depends more on what video source you use predominately. If you have a Camcorder or such, any firewire card will do better since it is all digital. If you are getting your material from a cable box, VCR, yadayada, an AIW would be good. but I think one of those theater wonder Pro cards or whatever may be more in line with what you would want especially if you want to capture in HD mode. I think capturing via analog transfer is a waste. In any event, the AIW is a good card (if a little expensive). This also takes us to AVIVO by ATI. the X100 series is claimed to support GPU assisted encoding but there is no software out here yet to use it. ATI promised us this, but instead delivered a proprietary program that simply worked faster than any other (with no mention of quality I might add) In any event, there is not much to say about AVIVO from anywhere so I think it would be best to hold off on a new GPU until we can see if AVIVO is the real deal and/or to see what Nvidia has in store. At this point, AVIVO looks to be an ATI only thing, so unless you use the ATI program and/or its nero derivative, you wont get any benefits of using a X1000 series card.
When it comes to a good case, ASYS makes a good hybrid ATX/BTX case that is essentially "mesh" so it breathes well. A 120mm fan breathes directly on your HDDs and there is room for 2 other 120mm fans. Its big, expandable and geared for the future. It can be had for $135 from newegg. Besides the CPU, I think this is the most important item you can buy for encoding.
Since encoding jobs take so long to complete, I think system stability and low heat are paramount. This will reduce errors and make your system last longer. Hot running high performance RAM and hot high performance HDDs are against what I beleive it when it comes to video editing. I would suggest cool running parts that are cost effective if even a tad bit slower. I cannot stress enough getting a GOOD case. I have bought so many mobos and HDDs since I have been doing the Divx thing due to heat breaking stuff down. but I guess it has paid off. I have more material than anybody I know, but it has come at a price.