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Workstation/Intel 965EE or Dual Xeon?What does xeon buy me?

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March 24, 2006 2:33:41 AM

I'm building a new computer to use as a workstation for Photoshop and video editing. I'm working with large files in the 200-300mb sizes and also do video editing and rendering with adobe premiere as well as download a lot of archives off newsgroups (so lots of unraring and un-zipping of multi-gig files)

I have been unable to find any benchmarks comparing the new Pentium 965EE (or anything in that ballpark like the 950D, etc) to something like a dual xeon system. I would be willing to put up the money for the xeon if I knew it would give me a big boost for apps like these.

Can anyone point me to any articles or info about what kind of differences I would see between these systems? Thanks!
March 24, 2006 2:34:45 AM

Quote:
I'm building a new computer to use as a workstation for Photoshop and video editing. I'm working with large files in the 200-300mb sizes and also do video editing and rendering with adobe premiere as well as download a lot of archives off newsgroups (so lots of unraring and un-zipping of multi-gig files)

I have been unable to find any benchmarks comparing the new Pentium 965EE (or anything in that ballpark like the 950D, etc) to something like a dual xeon system. I would be willing to put up the money for the xeon if I knew it would give me a big boost for apps like these.

Can anyone point me to any articles or info about what kind of differences I would see between these systems? Thanks!


A Dual Xeon system will buy you a $5,000 Calculator.

Either get an AMD Opteron 64 or a 950 P-D.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
March 24, 2006 2:38:37 AM

ya, thanks but thats not exactly helpful. any chance of some real info about perfomance in those apps? How about AMD's dual proccessor options?
Related resources
March 24, 2006 2:39:43 AM

Quote:
ya, thanks but thats not exactly helpful. any chance of some real info about perfomance in those apps? How about AMD's dual proccessor options?


You can take my word for it...A Xeon system is a $5,000 calculator..but don't try runnig SuperPI on it, it might choke after calculating 3.1 ERROR!!!! haha funny funny...

Get the P-D 950 if you want Intel, and the Opteron 64's need no benchmarks, they just own all.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
March 24, 2006 3:10:11 AM

no really. I'm looking for some real #s to compare this stuff to. They don't sell them because they suck, im sure some equip. is better than others but I'd like to see some data. Please read my request before giving me unsubstantiated claims that platform A is better than B. Thanks.
March 24, 2006 3:11:57 AM

Quote:
no really. I'm looking for some real #s to compare this stuff to. They don't sell them because they suck, im sure some equip. is better than others but I'd like to see some data. Please read my request before giving me unsubstantiated claims that platform A is better than B. Thanks.


I didn't, Xeon is Platform AlphaA7343843X, because it can't calculate 2+2 without giving 756,000 errors, darn!

They sell Xeon's because companies are ignorant, just like people.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
March 24, 2006 3:36:57 AM

I can't give you actual data since I don't think anyone has reviewed the 965EE against the Xeons. However, I can tell you that from a theoretical perspective, the 965EE should be able to outperform any DP Xeon platform, for your media needs anyways.

The problem with the Xeon DP platform is that both processors share a 800MHz FSB. That means of course means that no matter what two single core processors you pick your still limited to the 800MHz FSB while the 965EE has a wider 1066MHz FSB. With the 800MHz FSB limit, a Xeon DP setup should perform the same as a Presler dual core setup. In fact, a Presler dual core setup would perform faster because you are allowed to use faster memory, officially up to DDR2 667, compared to DDR2 400 for Xeon. You wouldn't benefit from ECC and registered memory anyways which the Xeons use. The 965EE should be able to outperform a 3.8GHz dual processor Xeon system.

The other Xeon DP option is of course dual cores giving you 4 physical cores. While this may sound beneficial, you are once again still limited to the 800MHz FSB. With each core only receiving 200MHz of memory bandwidth, they would be starved preventing them from performing at their full potential anyways. As well, the only dual core Xeon out right now for DP setups is the 2.8GHz Paxville. Besides it's crazy high power consumption the clock speed is far behind that of the 3.73GHz 965EE.

There would be no reason to get a Xeon DP setup right now anyways since they are going to be replaced in a few weeks time with Dempsey. The new platform will provide dual 1066MHz FSBs and quad channel memory for nearly three times the bandwidth. Combined with up to 3.73GHz dual core processors, the performance improvement over the current Xeons is tremendous.

Despite Dempsey, if you really want to spend money the 965EE is a better option than Xeons, especially the current ones. Even when Dempsey comes out, I doubt your encoding programs would see much further increase from it anyways. However, value wise, like MadModMike saids the 950D is a much better buy since the 965EE is about 2/3 more expensive yet gives no where near that much of a performance increase. If you don't have to have an Intel, an AMD is also a great deal.
March 24, 2006 4:10:00 AM

Thank you so much. Very informative answer, I should have put 2+2 together with the 800mhz fsb. After reading around on the forums I think im going to delay at least until i see what intel has up its sleeve with conroe. I'm currently on a 1.4ghz p4 with 2gb RDRAM from 2000, so im really feeling the squeeze these days to upgrade. Thanks again.

almost forgot....are AMD dual proc solutions dramatically better than intel? Should I be looking at AMD gear for this type of project where i'm doing media intensive work?
a b à CPUs
March 24, 2006 5:12:21 AM

Quote:
I'm building a new computer to use as a workstation for Photoshop and video editing. I'm working with large files in the 200-300mb sizes and also do video editing and rendering with adobe premiere as well as download a lot of archives off newsgroups (so lots of unraring and un-zipping of multi-gig files)

I have been unable to find any benchmarks comparing the new Pentium 965EE (or anything in that ballpark like the 950D, etc) to something like a dual xeon system. I would be willing to put up the money for the xeon if I knew it would give me a big boost for apps like these.

Can anyone point me to any articles or info about what kind of differences I would see between these systems? Thanks!


Over the fanboy BS

Xeon is a Pentium 4 thats been stress tested harder and is designed for years of solid use and feature extra L2 / L3 cache and support multi processors.

Performance wise 2xsingle core xeons are not worth it cause there expensive and offer equal or less performance then the cheaper and just as reliable desktop variants.

Id get the Pentium D (9xx series) or AMD A64 or Opteron dual core - it will do just fine, there is no reason for xeon and until now opteron.
March 24, 2006 5:36:23 AM

For image editing, video encoding, etc I strongly suggest you lean towards an Intel platform. Especially the ones you are already considering.

:idea: Tip: Some people here (around 60%) are very AMD biased, others (30%) lean either way 8) , very few (under 10%) are Intel biased. Try to recall those figures when discussing anything computer related. Bias towards underdogs can be significant. When you feel it is justified just click the [Ignore] button, and all of that persons posts/spam are filtered for the entire thread. Just one mouse click away. 8)

Intel processors will perform quite well, for the dollar, in the tasks you are looking to do. Just pair it with 2 GB (upgradable to 4 GB) and some decent HDDs (RAID-0/5 perhaps ?) for those large file load times.

Intel chipsets also offer Matrix RAID, which is excellent for what you may want, it permits given partitions (eg: OS + final work, etc) to be RAID-1 (mirrored), and others RAID-0 for performance, using only 2 HDDs.

No AMD platform / chipset currently offers Matrix RAID for high end 'prosumer' use as far as I am aware. But even my 4 core Opteron is not that great in PaintShop Pro. (Thus I avoid using images and diagrams in my posts when a decent explanation should suffice).

The Intel Dual-Core Xeon LV was released on 14 March 2006, I suggest you look into it, as it is based on the Core Duo architecture, not the power hungry NetBurst, as such it performs far more work per clock cycle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xeon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Core_Duo - Sossaman

Remeber: "Personal bias will only lead to a fool being parted with his money".
March 24, 2006 6:14:39 AM

A word of caution.
With the size of the files you are using, you may be in need of a 64 bit processor. Certainly when vista arrives, you will want to transition.
At this point, Intel's 64 bit execution is not very good. They are lacking in high registers, and do not have a full compliment of GPR and SSE high registers. There is some concern that merom/conroe will be equally limited.
Before investing in any new chip, make sure of it's 64 bit capabilities.
a b à CPUs
March 24, 2006 8:33:52 PM

Quote:
A word of caution.
With the size of the files you are using, you may be in need of a 64 bit processor. Certainly when vista arrives, you will want to transition.
At this point, Intel's 64 bit execution is not very good. They are lacking in high registers, and do not have a full compliment of GPR and SSE high registers. There is some concern that merom/conroe will be equally limited.
Before investing in any new chip, make sure of it's 64 bit capabilities.


Conroe hasnt been tested with 64bit and im sure intel would have totally redesigned it especially for future 64bit capabilities (its prolly the P4 originally that sucked for 64bit cause the p4 its self is slow or it wasnt designed for it where as conroe is like a64's entry - designed with it).

TabrisDarkPeace i agree on the fanboyism numbers there.
a b à CPUs
March 24, 2006 11:54:01 PM

There are dual core Xeon processors, but I think it's not out yet.
March 27, 2006 1:38:32 PM

I personally would not buy Xeons (except maybe the LV - but then you probably pay a premium) due to the heat they generate - and required extra cooling. Everything else by Intel is fine - oops... forgot about those tank-sized Itaniums PCs...

This is why I think Opterons are making a big push into the server/workstation market (ignoring the fact they are faster). My company has 130 Dual Xeon blades which requires serious cooling, massive power and ear muffs - those fans generate wicked amounts of noise.

If you are serious about dual-core Xeons... read this:

http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=paxville...

Core / Woodcrest / Conroe will be a big jump forward for Intel. Hopefully they will be priced cheaper than AMD for the same performance.
March 27, 2006 1:45:16 PM

Quote:
I'm building a new computer to use as a workstation for Photoshop and video editing. I'm working with large files in the 200-300mb sizes and also do video editing and rendering with adobe premiere as well as download a lot of archives off newsgroups (so lots of unraring and un-zipping of multi-gig files)


Since you are only doing photoshopping and video editing - get a RAID and lots of memory (i.e 4GB) so you can multitask. You only need serious number-crunching power if you are rendering or media encoding.

200-300mbs is large only for image editing... 2+GB files are common in high-end 3D. A 64-bit OS may help you, but their aren't many Windows 64-bit apps in your area...
March 27, 2006 2:09:51 PM

I would wait until the new Intels roll out. ltcommander_data has hit it right on the nose. If you need it now, the 950 is the way to go, otherwise, just wait for the new Intels.
March 27, 2006 3:43:47 PM

Quote:
A word of caution.
With the size of the files you are using, you may be in need of a 64 bit processor. Certainly when vista arrives, you will want to transition.
At this point, Intel's 64 bit execution is not very good. They are lacking in high registers, and do not have a full compliment of GPR and SSE high registers. There is some concern that merom/conroe will be equally limited.
Before investing in any new chip, make sure of it's 64 bit capabilities.


Second that.
Conroe and Merom will perform comparable with current Athlon 64 X2s on 32 bit, but once you put 64 bit on the table, Intel really sucks at it.
AM2 and K8L will beat Intel's next-gen offerings in 64 bit mode.
This is one of the main reasons Intel didn't go with 64 bit on Yonah becasue they know it will suck against a comprabale Turion.
March 27, 2006 3:49:19 PM

Do you know how well the Conroe/Merom will perform 64 bit wise?
March 27, 2006 3:56:19 PM

Quote:
Do you know how well the Conroe/Merom will perform 64 bit wise?


I know they'll suck, believe me.

They would've gone 64 bit a long long time ago with Yonah but they didn't becasue they CAN'T keep Yonah's power envelope below 30W if they added 64 bit registers to it. 8)

Intel is just implementing the current x86-64 registers that was available on AMD's processors for a long time now just for sake of keeping compatibility with the AMD64 instruction set. On the other hand, Intel will face K8L extra registers to AMD64 which will increase 64-bit performance with more addressable memory (suitable for servers).
March 27, 2006 4:19:41 PM

Quote:
I'm building a new computer to use as a workstation for Photoshop and video editing. I'm working with large files in the 200-300mb sizes and also do video editing and rendering with adobe premiere as well as download a lot of archives off newsgroups (so lots of unraring and un-zipping of multi-gig files)

I have been unable to find any benchmarks comparing the new Pentium 965EE (or anything in that ballpark like the 950D, etc) to something like a dual xeon system. I would be willing to put up the money for the xeon if I knew it would give me a big boost for apps like these.

Can anyone point me to any articles or info about what kind of differences I would see between these systems? Thanks!



I would recommend a Dual Single Core Opteron or Dual Dual Core Opteron system (Tyan S2895A2NRF).

Here are some benchmarks to help you decide:

http://www.linuxhardware.org/article.pl?sid=05/02/24/17...

http://www.anandtech.com/linux/showdoc.aspx?i=2163

http://techreport.com/reviews/2006q1/fx60-vs-955xe/inde...


AMD64 beats P4 based CPUs whether they are regular P4s, EEs, or Xeons

The Opterons do particularly well in Raytracing, rendering, running databases, encoding and decoding audio and video and other very complex tasks. They also do very well in games (OpenGL and D3D).

Opterons Scale incredibly well and Opteron memory bandwidth increases as you add CPUs and memory to the system.

With 2 CPUs and 4 memory sticks you have 2x the memory bandwidth ( 2x6.4GB/sec )

With 4 CPUs and 8 memory sticks you have 2x the memory bandwidth ( 4x6.4GB/sec )

With 8 CPUs and 16 memory sticks you have 2x the memory bandwidth ( 8x6.4GB/sec )

In Xeon systems:
with 2 CPUs your memory bandwidth is 1/2
with 4 CPUs your memory bandwidth is 1/4
with 8 CPUs your memory bandwidth is 1/8 ( theoretical )

Good luck!
March 27, 2006 4:47:53 PM

Very well put, Linux_0. The Xeon is a great CPU, but it simply can't compare to the sheer performance of the Opteron.

Go with Opteron dual-core. Versus Xeon - More processing muscle, less power consumption, more memory bandwidth, less expensive.
March 27, 2006 5:16:29 PM

I haven't seen any type of benchmarks at all for Conroe 64 bit and I haven't expected to see any as of yet. That's why I asked. I'm curious to know if the 64 bit will improve or not. Everybody's speculation so far has it that it won't and i'm curious if there are any type of benchmarks at all or not. Probably not though i'm sure.
a b à CPUs
March 28, 2006 1:06:53 AM

Quote:
Do you know how well the Conroe/Merom will perform 64 bit wise?


I know they'll suck, believe me.

They would've gone 64 bit a long long time ago with Yonah but they didn't becasue they CAN'T keep Yonah's power envelope below 30W if they added 64 bit registers to it. 8)

Intel is just implementing the current x86-64 registers that was available on AMD's processors for a long time now just for sake of keeping compatibility with the AMD64 instruction set. On the other hand, Intel will face K8L extra registers to AMD64 which will increase 64-bit performance with more addressable memory (suitable for servers).

conroe is new from the ground up and would be designed for 64bit properly not half assed like prescott and beyond.
March 28, 2006 1:37:14 AM

Quote:
Thank you so much. Very informative answer, I should have put 2+2 together with the 800mhz fsb. After reading around on the forums I think im going to delay at least until i see what intel has up its sleeve with conroe. I'm currently on a 1.4ghz p4 with 2gb RDRAM from 2000, so im really feeling the squeeze these days to upgrade. Thanks again.

almost forgot....are AMD dual proc solutions dramatically better than intel? Should I be looking at AMD gear for this type of project where i'm doing media intensive work?

You can wait, so just wait. Prices will be lower, better performance, etc, etc.
Don't listen to people who say "this will suck" about future products because until there are real-life benchmarks, no one can say for sure.
!