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Best processor and vid card combo for Photoshop

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March 27, 2006 7:47:21 PM

Does anyone have a reliable benchmark or just knowledge for processors and vid-cards for using Photoshop cs2?

What is the best combo CPU and GPU if price is not an issue?

I also do 3d graphics
- animations 2d/3d

More about : processor vid card combo photoshop

March 27, 2006 8:17:11 PM

Quote:
Does anyone have a reliable benchmark or just knowledge for processors and vid-cards for using Photoshop cs2?

What is the best combo CPU and GPU if price is not an issue?

I also do 3d graphics
- animations 2d/3d


Pretty much any dual processor CPU will do a decent job. It would help if you'd be a bit more specific about the kinds of Photoshop projects you do. In the stuff I do, HD needs can easily eclipse CPU needs. For example, I occasionally work with very large images. If you're like me and you do saves after each successful operation, write time can be huge over the course of the day. Sure, a dog CPU will kill you too. But what I decided to do is this: 1) I put my OS + apps on a RAI0 pair of 74GB Raptors. I also set aside a large partition on that RAID0 that I can use for intermediate saves. My actual image archive is on a separate pair of larger drives that are RAID1. So when I'm in the work process, I do saves to the RAID0 for the speed advantage. When I get something final or of value, I'll back it up on the RAID1 - ditto when walking away for a break.

Regarding graphics cards, again it depends on the specifics. For more or less routine Photoshop, many fairly inexpensive cards will do fine. But as image size or monitor size goes up, the speed of the card matters more. I worked with a Sun workstation a few years ago that was dedicated to high res Photoshop and high speed video work. It had an incredible video card, the maker of which I can't remember (sorry) but it did a great job of showing low contrast features at both the dark end and at the bright end of the spectrum. Many cards fail at that challenge, but then again, so do many monitors.
March 27, 2006 9:01:39 PM

We do photo manipulation and graphic design here at work using CS2 and just to give you a comparison, we use Pentium D's @ 3.0Ghz, with 4gigs of ram (though windows only sees 3.5, not sure how much its hurting it) and 6600GT's and they work pretty nicely. We are handling files upwards of 1.5gigs and it does take a bit of time to save (on a 1.5gig file, could take up to 5 mins sometimes, but we also save to network drives most of the time).

So i would think that as long as you get something along the lines of this, i probably wouldnt go any lower, you should be just fine.

EDIT: Forgot about the harddrives. I dont know much about raid setups...im going to learn about that soon enough...but we have 4x200gig drives in our machines, 2 are in raid_? (they show up as 1x200gig drive) and 2 are in raid_? (they show up as 1x400gig drive)
Related resources
March 27, 2006 9:57:41 PM

Dual, Quad or 8way Opteron with SLI and one or more 7900GT / GTX VGA on a Tyan S2895A2NRF.
March 27, 2006 10:20:33 PM

Im planning on building a workstation, for inensive image manipulation, with rather large images sizes of up to 1.2 gig and many layers.
As well Im going to be doing extremley complex illustrations in Illustrator and 3d modeling/rendering in maya 7.

for the harddrive Im planning on using one of those 4 gig solid state drives to run the OS the Applications, I will also be using either a Good sata or a Raid drive as the primary storage.

I will put 3-4 gig of ram int he rig as well, and I have 2, 20 inch monitors (lcd)


Question
Do the videocards out there now actually accelerate the performance or is it only the processor that takes the brunt of the load.

If i have to wait for a quad-core or a octo-core i will, but i dont want to wait till next year to build this graphic beast. I will settle for a dual core if need be.
March 27, 2006 10:41:35 PM

I would suggest something like this:

http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/Wishlist/WishShareS...

with a Tyan S2895A2NRF motherboard and 7900GT or GTX graphics.

A Dual Dual core Opteron with 4 cores would be ideal for something like this.

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 )


The CPU would be an important factor but RAM is important as well.
March 28, 2006 2:44:35 AM

Quote:
for the harddrive Im planning on using one of those 4 gig solid state drives to run the OS the Applications.


You can get the OS plus apps to run on 4 GB? Seems small.
March 28, 2006 8:16:40 AM

What kind of solid state drive are you planning to use?

They vary quite a bit.
March 28, 2006 11:12:51 AM

You can install WinXP + apps + 1 Gb swap on a 4Gb partition - provided you disabled restore points on that drive and disabled IE (and its cache). Photoshop is nice in what you can set several scratch disks...

So a solid state HD would be a nice idea there.
March 28, 2006 11:37:40 AM

Quote:
You can install WinXP + apps + 1 Gb swap on a 4Gb partition - provided you disabled restore points on that drive and disabled IE (and its cache). Photoshop is nice in what you can set several scratch disks...

So a solid state HD would be a nice idea there.




On a system like that you would be much better off getting as much RAM as possible and configuring the OS to use 0 (zero) swap if possible ( Linux, *BSD, etc can run with NO swap ) or set the swap space to it's minimum value ( IIRC windows requires at least a few meg of swap regardless of how much RAM you actually have ) .

If you have enough RAM there is no need for swap.
March 28, 2006 11:46:03 AM

The problem is that Photoshop runs on Windows and Mac (not Linux, except if you start tinkering with Wine), that Macs don't allow (as far as I know) that much tinkering leaving you with Windows as only choice, and swap + temporary files are what use up most of the disk traffic. Moreover, Windows can't deal efficiently with more than 3 Gb of RAM installed, while a swap file can be much bigger.

For Windows to run well with as much RAM as you can get, installed RAM should be 2 Gb dual channel, a 4 Gb swap on a solid-state drive, and the system itself installed on a fast rotating 80 Gb drive (add PS scratch space there too).

That is, of course, valid for 32-bit versions only. The 64-bit version should be able to deal with more RAM directly, but there are no 64-bit version of PS available yet - which could lead to problems on high memory use.
March 28, 2006 12:04:39 PM

Quote:
The problem is that Photoshop runs on Windows and Mac (not Linux, except if you start tinkering with Wine), that Macs don't allow (as far as I know) that much tinkering leaving you with Windows as only choice, and swap + temporary files are what use up most of the disk traffic. Moreover, Windows can't deal efficiently with more than 3 Gb of RAM installed, while a swap file can be much bigger.

For Windows to run well with as much RAM as you can get, installed RAM should be 2 Gb dual channel, a 4 Gb swap on a solid-state drive, and the system itself installed on a fast rotating 80 Gb drive (add PS scratch space there too).

That is, of course, valid for 32-bit versions only. The 64-bit version should be able to deal with more RAM directly, but there are no 64-bit version of PS available yet - which could lead to problems on high memory use.



$Solution="http://gimp.org/"; :-D

Semper Fi Carry^H^H^H^H^H Linux on!
March 28, 2006 12:26:51 PM

While the Gimp is indeniably a very good tool, professionals would prefer Photoshop for one simple reason: Pantone.

Gimp has a few problems with RGB->CMYB, and doesn't include a calibrated Pantone palette.

For RGB creation though, the GIMP rulez.
March 28, 2006 12:27:55 PM

I wonder what a SLI setup would help in this case... unless you $hit money and dont have where to spend...
March 28, 2006 12:33:22 PM

Quote:
While the Gimp is indeniably a very good tool, professionals would prefer Photoshop for one simple reason: Pantone.

Gimp has a few problems with RGB->CMYB, and doesn't include a calibrated Pantone palette.

For RGB creation though, the GIMP rulez.




You can run Photoshop under WINE, Cedega, CrossOverOffice, under VMWare, QEMU, etc

Of course GIMP will run faster because it is 64bit.

Nothing would prevent a 2D/3D professional from running GIMP for some tasks and Photoshop for other tasks on the same Linux machine.

Dual booting is also an option :-D
March 28, 2006 12:39:18 PM

Quote:
Nothing would prevent a 2D/3D professional from running GIMP for some tasks and Photoshop for other tasks on the same Linux machine.

Dual booting is also an option Very Happy

You like having to dual boot to work on a single file? No.

Emulators such as VMware are resource hogs - you need huge amounts of RAM for the VM, and considering you also need huge amounts of RAM for Photoshop... well, you see the problem.

Wine/Cedega/CXoffice (well, Wine-based solutions) are indeed an interesting option, but once you've spent $800 to get a PS licence, and it just does the job, why use the Gimp? (devil's advocate here)

64-bit support in the Gimp is nice especially on sRGB images.
March 28, 2006 12:58:49 PM

Quote:
Nothing would prevent a 2D/3D professional from running GIMP for some tasks and Photoshop for other tasks on the same Linux machine.

Dual booting is also an option Very Happy

You like having to dual boot to work on a single file? No.

Emulators such as VMware are resource hogs - you need huge amounts of RAM for the VM, and considering you also need huge amounts of RAM for Photoshop... well, you see the problem.

Wine/Cedega/CXoffice (well, Wine-based solutions) are indeed an interesting option, but once you've spent $800 to get a PS licence, and it just does the job, why use the Gimp? (devil's advocate here)

64-bit support in the Gimp is nice especially on sRGB images.



You're right about the dual booting -- it wouldn't work in real time.

The WINE / WINEish solutions are better.

Also please note Linux has other advantages over windows particularly in 64bit, SMP, networking, etc. *BSD and other Unix OSes have similar advantages as well.

VMWare server is actually better than you might think... I have used it and it performs pretty well. Also VMWare Server beta is now free.

:-D
March 28, 2006 1:32:09 PM

I rather prefer qemu myself - it's fast, it's free.

You're preaching an addict: I'm typing this in enlighenment 0.16.7 / Mandriva 2006 64-bit :p 
March 28, 2006 1:52:42 PM

Quote:
I rather prefer qemu myself - it's fast, it's free.

You're preaching an addict: I'm typing this in enlighenment 0.16.7 / Mandriva 2006 64-bit :p 


:-D

Linux hostname 2.6.15-1.1831_FC4 #1 SMP Tue Feb 7 13:37:59 EST 2006 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

on AMD64

Haven't upgraded to FC5 yet.
March 28, 2006 1:55:36 PM

Quote:
Does anyone have a reliable benchmark or just knowledge for processors and vid-cards for using Photoshop cs2?


http://www.driverheaven.net/photoshop/

Results (disregard the idiot in the first place which submitted so obviously fake numbers):
http://www.driverheavendownloads.net/photoshop/results....

I can confirm this result (ranked #7) as authentic because I know the person who submitted it:
http://www.driverheavendownloads.net/photoshop/view.php...

Quote:
What is the best combo CPU and GPU if price is not an issue?
I also do 3d graphics
- animations 2d/3d


If you want to work with large LCD displays nVidia is the way to go. If you need OpenGL for 3D graphics, then you should consider Quadro family depending on the software you use. Some 3D applications can benefit from professional OpenGL capabilities of modern video cards. Again nVidia is the way to go.

Quote:
Dual, Quad or 8way Opteron with SLI and one or more 7900GT / GTX VGA on a Tyan S2895A2NRF.


Is that a dream machine over which you are wetting your pants, or a suggestion?!?

IMO, spending that much money that way is a nonsense.

Most important thing for Photoshop is the RAM amount and HDD speed. Larger CPU cache also helps.

I would advise you to get 975 based mainboard and 8 GB of DDR2-667 RAM, Pentium D 965 (#1), (#2) and best Quadro you can afford along with Windows XP x64 Edition because Windows XP with SP2 can see only 3GB of RAM.
Get 2x 150GB Raptor drives (WDC WD1500AHFD) and set them as RAID0 with two partitions -- first for swap/temp/scratch (32GB FAT32) and the second one for the system/apps and 2x 400GB RE2 (WDC WD4000YR) drives also set up as RAID0 for data.

At the moment that would be the best choice for the job you want to do.

Solid state drives could be used as a scratch disks for photoshop but not for much else due to their limited capacity unless you find one in which you could fit 16GB to hold the swap file on it.

Everyone who recommends you to turn off swap doesn't have a clue about virtual memory and the way OS works. Whatever amount of RAM you have swap should not be turned off because system is designed around paging (check this if in doubt).
March 28, 2006 2:01:00 PM

My home systems are running Mandriva cooker - one is AMD X2 with SMP 64-bit kernel, the other (an old laptop) runs a custom compiled single P3 kernel. I'm waiting a bit before I try the 2.6.16 kernel (rev. 3 or 4 I guess)
March 28, 2006 3:23:45 PM

Quote:
Does anyone have a reliable benchmark or just knowledge for processors and vid-cards for using Photoshop cs2?


http://www.driverheaven.net/photoshop/

Results (disregard the idiot in the first place which submitted so obviously fake numbers):
http://www.driverheavendownloads.net/photoshop/results....

I can confirm this result (ranked #7) as authentic because I know the person who submitted it:
http://www.driverheavendownloads.net/photoshop/view.php...

Quote:
What is the best combo CPU and GPU if price is not an issue?
I also do 3d graphics
- animations 2d/3d


If you want to work with large LCD displays nVidia is the way to go. If you need OpenGL for 3D graphics, then you should consider Quadro family depending on the software you use. Some 3D applications can benefit from professional OpenGL capabilities of modern video cards. Again nVidia is the way to go.

Quote:
Dual, Quad or 8way Opteron with SLI and one or more 7900GT / GTX VGA on a Tyan S2895A2NRF.


Is that a dream machine over which you are wetting your pants, or a suggestion?!?

IMO, spending that much money that way is a nonsense.

Most important thing for Photoshop is the RAM amount and HDD speed. Larger CPU cache also helps.

I would advise you to get 975 based mainboard and 8 GB of DDR2-667 RAM, Pentium D 965 (#1), (#2) and best Quadro you can afford along with Windows XP x64 Edition because Windows XP with SP2 can see only 3GB of RAM.
Get 2x 150GB Raptor drives (WDC WD1500AHFD) and set them as RAID0 with two partitions -- first for swap/temp/scratch (32GB FAT32) and the second one for the system/apps and 2x 400GB RE2 (WDC WD4000YR) drives also set up as RAID0 for data.

At the moment that would be the best choice for the job you want to do.

Solid state drives could be used as a scratch disks for photoshop but not for much else due to their limited capacity unless you find one in which you could fit 16GB to hold the swap file on it.

Everyone who recommends you to turn off swap doesn't have a clue about virtual memory and the way OS works. Whatever amount of RAM you have swap should not be turned off because system is designed around paging (check this if in doubt).


I agree with you on nVidia their workstation cards are very nice.

I'm not drooling over the S2895 because I actually have 3 AMD64s one of which is an Opty S940.

That was a perfectly legitimate suggestion for a high end graphics workstation.

An SLI capable Dual or Quad Opteron with 4+GB RAM would make sense.

A lot more sense than a P4 or a P4 Xeon or any other Intel CPU for that matter.
March 28, 2006 3:25:54 PM

Quote:
My home systems are running Mandriva cooker - one is AMD X2 with SMP 64-bit kernel, the other (an old laptop) runs a custom compiled single P3 kernel. I'm waiting a bit before I try the 2.6.16 kernel (rev. 3 or 4 I guess)


:D  :D 

>
March 28, 2006 5:23:03 PM

As I can see from the application benchmarks on many review sites including THG, Intel Pentium 965 EE is better choice for Photoshop CS from any other AMD CPU.
I am not saying that it can compete with Quad Opteron, just that he could make decent workstation for his needs without resorting to expensive (and sometimes incompatible) server boards, CPUs and ECC RAM.
Anyway, it would be much easier if he asked his question differently, like this:
"I have xyz $$$ to spend, what would you recommend for Photoshop CS2 and maybe some 3D in ____ (insert your favorite 3D modeler/renderer)?"
SLI wouldn't make any sense in Photoshop CS2 and neither in the 3D modeling/rendering applications. Only Quadro could make any difference, that is why I am suggesting to save money on Opterons and spend money on Quadro if he is going to do 3D modeling/animation.
March 28, 2006 5:42:41 PM

Quote:
As I can see from the application benchmarks on many review sites including THG, Intel Pentium 965 EE is better choice for Photoshop CS from any other AMD CPU.
I am not saying that it can compete with Quad Opteron, just that he could make decent workstation for his needs without resorting to expensive (and sometimes incompatible) server boards, CPUs and ECC RAM.
Anyway, it would be much easier if he asked his question differently, like this:
"I have xyz $$$ to spend, what would you recommend for Photoshop CS2 and maybe some 3D in ____ (insert your favorite 3D modeler/renderer)?"
SLI wouldn't make any sense in Photoshop CS2 and neither in the 3D modeling/rendering applications. Only Quadro could make any difference, that is why I am suggesting to save money on Opterons and spend money on Quadro if he is going to do 3D modeling/animation.



A 965 EE at over $1,000 doesn't make any sense.

For LESS than $1,000 you can get 2 Opteron 270s for a total of 4 cores instead of 2 with 12.8GB/sec of memory bandwidth.

Dual Opterons are more affordable, offer great features and scale linearly - there is no comparison.
March 28, 2006 7:49:00 PM

Quote:
For LESS than $1,000 you can get 2 Opteron 270s for a total of 4 cores instead of 2 with 12.8GB/sec of memory bandwidth.

Dual Opterons are more affordable, offer great features and scale linearly - there is no comparison.


I don't have any experience in that domain. Would there be a downside for use as an all-purpose PC? Any common software that won't run with the dual Opty OS?
March 28, 2006 7:54:44 PM

Quote:
For LESS than $1,000 you can get 2 Opteron 270s for a total of 4 cores instead of 2 with 12.8GB/sec of memory bandwidth.

Dual Opterons are more affordable, offer great features and scale linearly - there is no comparison.


I don't have any experience in that domain. Would there be a downside for use as an all-purpose PC? Any common software that won't run with the dual Opty OS?


Dual Opterons run the same operating systems and software any other x86 or x86_64 CPU from AMD or Intel runs.

You don't have to do anything special they run Linux, *BSD, FreeDOS, Solaris x86, Windoze, etc.

If you decide to run windoze make sure you use XP Pro or Server 2003 because XP Home doesn't support N Way SMP... but hey Linux, *BSD, FreeDOS, etc are 100% legally free so you might as well install one or more of them too :-D

Server 2003 really isn't worth it.
March 29, 2006 3:40:13 AM

Quote:
Dual Opterons run the same operating systems and software any other x86 or x86_64 CPU from AMD or Intel runs.

You don't have to do anything special they run Linux, *BSD, FreeDOS, Solaris x86, Windoze, etc.

If you decide to run windoze make sure you use XP Pro or Server 2003 because XP Home doesn't support N Way SMP... but hey Linux, *BSD, FreeDOS, etc are 100% legally free so you might as well install one or more of them too :-D

Server 2003 really isn't worth it.


I see all kinds of learning experiences on that horizon.

Can you overclock dual Opteron dual processors? Do you OC them one at a time or in stereo. Wait, that's like surround sound overclocking.
March 29, 2006 8:07:15 AM

Quote:
A 965 EE at over $1,000 doesn't make any sense.

For LESS than $1,000 you can get 2 Opteron 270s for a total of 4 cores instead of 2 with 12.8GB/sec of memory bandwidth.


Alright genius, Opteron 270 is 455$ making 2 of them $910 -- that is less than $1,000, but the mainboard you are mentioning is $420 and it is on backorder with ETA set to April 17 (monarch). Then registered ECC RAM is $300 for 2GB meaning $1,200 total for 8GB.

And what about some good server case and the power supply with all those extra connectors (24 + 8 + 6 pin)? What do you recommend?

Quote:
If you decide to run windoze make sure you use XP Pro


Hardly, XP Pro doesn't see more than 4GB of RAM (only x64 version does).
March 29, 2006 8:26:22 AM

Quote:
Quote:
XP Pro doesn't see more than 4GB of RAM (only x64 version does).


Even better, XP pro can't use the upper 1Gb memory block - making 3GB the maximum RAM you can use in XP.
March 29, 2006 10:12:15 AM

I'd recommend a Pentium 4 600 (get the 65nm 'Cedar Mill' though) or Pentium D 900 (65nm 'Presler') to be honest.

The software you are running won't actually benefit from a 4-way system, and likely not benefit from Pentium 4 XE/ Pentium X either (as they have 2 cores, each with HT, but the image editing software will only use 2 most likely).

Yes, they may run in over 8 threads, however they only run 2 isolated threads. They could benefit slightly from the Pentium X, esp if multitasking while editing, but not what I'd class as a significant enough improvement to justify the cost.

It'll benefit from a dual-core / 2-way system though.

Disappointing..... perhaps, but it may save you some cash. 8)

My Opteron 270 isn't that great at image editing, but it works (for example):

That one was made by me yesterday afternoon, but the original is far higher resolution. :p 


The Pentium D would be a far nicer system for your needs, with Intel Matrix RAID support (RAID-0 and RAID-1 on the same 2 drives, giving benefits of both, but low cost of only 2 x 160 GB+ HDDs 8) )
http://www.intel.com/products/processor/pentium_D/index...


Perhaps a Core Duo (they perform well, even in image editing, they are lower clocked, cooler, but do more work per clock cycle):
http://www.intel.com/products/processor/coreduo/index.h...

Opterons, even dual-core ones, just don't run image and video editing software at the same pace as the Pentium D IMHO. Owning a quad-core (over 2 x dual core) Opteron 270's I feel able to say that with confidence.

In fact it would be better at image editing than my rig, at a far lower cost, unless you've got image editing software that can run in 4 x isolated threads. Sure mine would be better at multi tasking video editing + image editing at once though. :p 


http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/forpros/e...

The Pentium D / Core Duo have higher raw SSE performance for what you pay, and alot of the software is compiled for the Pentium 4/D and ends up performing slower on Athlon 64 / Opterons, even if synthetic benchmarks (each compiled for given microarchitecture) indicate otherwise.
March 29, 2006 3:52:01 PM

Quote:
Dual Opterons run the same operating systems and software any other x86 or x86_64 CPU from AMD or Intel runs.

You don't have to do anything special they run Linux, *BSD, FreeDOS, Solaris x86, Windoze, etc.

If you decide to run windoze make sure you use XP Pro or Server 2003 because XP Home doesn't support N Way SMP... but hey Linux, *BSD, FreeDOS, etc are 100% legally free so you might as well install one or more of them too :-D

Server 2003 really isn't worth it.


I see all kinds of learning experiences on that horizon.

Can you overclock dual Opteron dual processors? Do you OC them one at a time or in stereo. Wait, that's like surround sound overclocking.


You can OC them if you want. Ideally you want them running at the same core clock.
March 29, 2006 4:04:11 PM

Quote:
A 965 EE at over $1,000 doesn't make any sense.

For LESS than $1,000 you can get 2 Opteron 270s for a total of 4 cores instead of 2 with 12.8GB/sec of memory bandwidth.


Alright genius, Opteron 270 is 455$ making 2 of them $910 -- that is less than $1,000, but the mainboard you are mentioning is $420 and it is on backorder with ETA set to April 17 (monarch). Then registered ECC RAM is $300 for 2GB meaning $1,200 total for 8GB.

And what about some good server case and the power supply with all those extra connectors (24 + 8 + 6 pin)? What do you recommend?

Quote:
If you decide to run windoze make sure you use XP Pro


Hardly, XP Pro doesn't see more than 4GB of RAM (only x64 version does).



That is not the only dual Opteron board out there. Dual opteron boards start @ $200 and go up to $500 - $600.

2 x 270s @ $910 + a board for $220 - $300 is actually not bad at all for what you're getting.

Most Intel boards only support 2 or 4GB -- there are a few that support 8 or 16GB but that much RAM will cost you a fortune no matter what and XP 32 doesn't even see more than 3GB.

Getting a P4 D anything with that much RAM is like throwing $ away because the architecture simply cannot use that much RAM effectively.

The Opteron architecture gives you twice the memory bandwidth and many higher end Opteron boards offer unique features like independent PCI bridges so that your PCI bandwidth scales too.

Intel CPUs are simply bandwidth starved.
March 29, 2006 8:44:16 PM

Quote:
Dual Opterons run the same operating systems and software any other x86 or x86_64 CPU from AMD or Intel runs.

You don't have to do anything special they run Linux, *BSD, FreeDOS, Solaris x86, Windoze, etc.

If you decide to run windoze make sure you use XP Pro or Server 2003 because XP Home doesn't support N Way SMP... but hey Linux, *BSD, FreeDOS, etc are 100% legally free so you might as well install one or more of them too :-D

Server 2003 really isn't worth it.


I see all kinds of learning experiences on that horizon.

Can you overclock dual Opteron dual processors? Do you OC them one at a time or in stereo. Wait, that's like surround sound overclocking.


You can OC them if you want. Ideally you want them running at the same core clock.

In my Socket 940 Opteron 64 overclocking experience (Using 2 250's on the K8WE) I was unable to attain some real stable OC's above 5%. I will hae to blame the registered RAM, and heres why: Using registered RAM, when you overclock your FSB (And subsequently, your RAM) it doesn't really OC it (at least from what I can tell), because I got it up to DDR460, and several tests showed the exact same memory bandwidth (Non-NUMA configuration). The chip on the module that is what makes it registered, acts kinda like a 2nd Memory Controller (sorta) and I haven't found a way to OC that as well, which is what you have to do IIRC, it's confusing, but not really worth it since if you even get 2 244's or 246's (1.8/2.0) and use NUMA w/ 4x DIMM's, you got a nice system.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
March 29, 2006 8:49:00 PM

Quote:
Even better, XP pro can't use the upper 1Gb memory block - making 3GB the maximum RAM you can use in XP.


IIRC, as long as the Memory Hole configuration is setup properly in the BIOS, you can address all 4GB of RAM under Windows XP Pro.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
March 29, 2006 8:52:17 PM

Quote:
For LESS than $1,000 you can get 2 Opteron 270s for a total of 4 cores instead of 2 with 12.8GB/sec of memory bandwidth.

Dual Opterons are more affordable, offer great features and scale linearly - there is no comparison.


I don't have any experience in that domain. Would there be a downside for use as an all-purpose PC? Any common software that won't run with the dual Opty OS?


Dual Opterons run the same operating systems and software any other x86 or x86_64 CPU from AMD or Intel runs.

You don't have to do anything special they run Linux, *BSD, FreeDOS, Solaris x86, Windoze, etc.

If you decide to run windoze make sure you use XP Pro or Server 2003 because XP Home doesn't support N Way SMP... but hey Linux, *BSD, FreeDOS, etc are 100% legally free so you might as well install one or more of them too :-D

Server 2003 really isn't worth it.

One thing to note about Windows Server 2003, if you happen to catch a copy of Windows Server 2003 DataCenter Edition x64 (Or even x86), it is sooooo much faster/smoother than any other Windows OS. I ran x86 version of Datacenter on a small server w/ just 1GB of RAM (512 is the minimum for the x86 version, I think 2GB for the x64) and it was blazin' compared to Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition x86. If you ran Datacenter x64 on a Dual Opteron 64 w/ NUMA, that's a system to say "Intel is good" to get, lol.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
March 29, 2006 9:40:45 PM

You could buy a mac *runs and hides*

For a graphics card you could look at a fire GL instead of a quadro theyve been getting some good press in 3D world and there prices are coming down, but I guess thats not much help if your a 2D monkey.
March 29, 2006 9:51:12 PM

Quote:
You could buy a mac *runs and hides*

For a graphics card you could look at a fire GL instead of a quadro theyve been getting some good press in 3D world and there prices are coming down, but I guess thats not much help if your a 2D monkey.


I got a buddy who is in love with Macintosh, his dream is to buy the Quad-Core (Dual Dual-Core) PowerMac G5, lol. He's really good with MAC's, he's the only guy I know who knows alot about MAC's.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
March 29, 2006 9:51:35 PM

Quadro/FireGL for 2D/3D...but no one has mentioned Matrox Parhelia 10bit/channel rendering for photoshop yet. If its colour fidelity then Matrox could be your daddy.
March 29, 2006 9:57:29 PM

Quote:
You could buy a mac *runs and hides*

For a graphics card you could look at a fire GL instead of a quadro theyve been getting some good press in 3D world and there prices are coming down, but I guess thats not much help if your a 2D monkey.


I got a buddy who is in love with Macintosh, his dream is to buy the Quad-Core (Dual Dual-Core) PowerMac G5, lol. He's really good with MAC's, he's the only guy I know who knows alot about MAC's.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time


lol :-D

Mac's run Unix (BSD) now! :-D :-D

Too bad the new ones are Intel.
March 29, 2006 10:22:14 PM

I scan 4x5 negatives and get files 300-400 meg for digi printing.

I have been using my 700m laptop but I am tired of it being slow, obviously.


I have ~700$ to spend

This is the system I was looking at through newegg:

Abit KN8 Ultra
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (dual core in the future?)
Corsair Value Select 2gigs
NEC 16x DVD-R
BFG 7300gs 256meg
74gig Raptor
250gig Western Digital SE16


Thoughts?

I was looking at a single core Opteron for a bit more but I did not know which motherboard to get, and also I heard you have to use ECC ram?
March 29, 2006 10:55:30 PM

Quote:
I scan 4x5 negatives and get files 300-400 meg for digi printing.

I have been using my 700m laptop but I am tired of it being slow, obviously.


I have ~700$ to spend

This is the system I was looking at through newegg:

Abit KN8 Ultra
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (dual core in the future?)
Corsair Value Select 2gigs
NEC 16x DVD-R
BFG 7300gs 256meg
74gig Raptor
250gig Western Digital SE16


Thoughts?

I was looking at a single core Opteron for a bit more but I did not know which motherboard to get, and also I heard you have to use ECC ram?



1xx Opterons are socket 939 and do NOT require REG ECC.

2xx and 8xx Opterons are socket 940 and DO require REG ECC.

That looks like a great setup.

Shoot for a 7600GT or 7900GT IF you can. You can always upgrade it later if you need to do 3D. The 7300 does fine in 2D.
March 29, 2006 11:52:18 PM

Quote:
I scan 4x5 negatives and get files 300-400 meg for digi printing.

I have been using my 700m laptop but I am tired of it being slow, obviously.


I have ~700$ to spend

This is the system I was looking at through newegg:

Abit KN8 Ultra
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (dual core in the future?)
Corsair Value Select 2gigs
NEC 16x DVD-R
BFG 7300gs 256meg
74gig Raptor
250gig Western Digital SE16


Thoughts?

I was looking at a single core Opteron for a bit more but I did not know which motherboard to get, and also I heard you have to use ECC ram?


I have used 7 raptors, they're all wastes of money. Don't think the 10k RPM's make things faster, cuz it barely does, I wold grab 1 Hitachi Deskstar 80GB SATA2 for $50, you can save $100. You should get the Opteron 146 for $201.

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
March 30, 2006 7:45:54 AM

The Intel Pentium D 930 (2 x 3.0 GHz, 2 x 2 MB L2 caches, 65nm, Socket 775) is going to give better performance in image editing and video encoding / editing than even the Opteron 170 (2 x 2.0 GHz, 2 x 1 MB L2 caches, Socket 939/940) while only costing 80% as much for the processor.

If you where to compare equal priced CPUs you'd be looking at far less than the dual-core Opteron 170 aswell. Quite likely a single-core Athlon 64 / Opteron.

:D  Higher performance in image editing and video encoding

:arrow: Costs less

:wink: Performance per Dollar is higher.

:idea: With a limited US$700 budget this makes even more sense. +6% more performance (sometimes more) than the Opteron 170 (also dual-core) in mentioned tasks while competing against a +25% more expensive CPU. (1.06+ x 1.25) Thus getting +33% more value for the dollar invested in the CPU (comparatively speaking).

8O If paired with an Intel i975X chipset you might be able to upgrade to a Intel 'Core Duo' (2nd generation thereof) 'Conroe' processor down the track.

:!: Manufactured using 65nm process with 4 MB of L2 cache (split between cores).

:? Most image editing software is compiled and optimized for Intels microarchitecture. (Which is now used in Apple Macs for video editing tasks aswell btw).

:?: Why start with a single-core Socket 939 only to upgrade it later to get the performance you wanted, when you can have that performance, using a dual-core processor, today (at a lower cost) ?

:cry:  Running said applications under Linux using WINE would decrease performance, Windows XP only raises the price slightly (or not at all if you already have it), and considering how much it raises the total cost (as a percentage) you gain even more in performance (as a percentage, compared to Linux/WINE).
March 30, 2006 8:04:31 AM
March 30, 2006 1:40:54 PM

Quote:
Not quite :!:

AMD64s are better in encoding and decoding.

And even in photoshop.


Having done extensive Photoshop on large and small images alike, I still say that the processor is not the weak link in the system these days with regards to operational efficiency. And I'm talking about using at least a moderately high performance home PC. Read/write time really chews into the day, even if your work process is macro-rich and mundane. Not that long ago, CPU throughput was much more of an issue, but we're now at the point where computational horsepower is affordable for the masses. Regardless of all those hardware issues, the slow part of Photoshop is the process of making decisions, finding the right filter or process, tweaking, etc. I can easily spend 8 hours on a single image and only 20 to 30 minutes of that is spent waiting on the CPU or HD.
March 30, 2006 1:42:20 PM

Quote:


AMD64s are better in encoding and decoding.



:idea: Considering they are looking at value per dollar, aswell as performance.

:arrow: You must've missed the bit where I stated better performance per dollar spent. Thus for an equal cost the Pentium D will win out. Note: This may, or may not, include overpriced processors. Such as: Intel Pentium X series (basically the Pentium D with HT on each core), AMD Athlon 64 FX, and other extreme priced processors.

eg: As most of those tests on run in no more than two isolated threads they may only have used one core on the Pentium X and been scheduled poorly due to the 4 'Logical processors' due to HyperThreading being available. Sure they may run 32+ threads, but that doesn't help if they are only fed to 2 [logical] processors.

:? It wasn't mentioned above that funding for the project(s) was unlimited. I do however recall multiple 'limited funds' posts. So why are people suggesting overly expensive psuedo-server systems ?

:p  Ever hear the one about the lady who was sold a server to connect two workstations by Dell and didn't want a server, only a switch ?, I thought you guys had more ethics than Dell

:cry:  Last time I checked most artists didn't have suitcases of money to burn.

:idea: TCO - If they can get 85%, or closer (or better yet above :p ), the performance of the (costlier) systems above, while only spending half as much to get it, and still getting a high quality / high reliability system, what are they likely to select ?

:?: Weird Al doesn't have a song about AMD Athlon 64 and Opteron processors does he ? [I just had to add that to lighten the mood].
March 30, 2006 5:07:47 PM

Quote:


AMD64s are better in encoding and decoding.



:idea: Considering they are looking at value per dollar, aswell as performance.

:arrow: You must've missed the bit where I stated better performance per dollar spent. Thus for an equal cost the Pentium D will win out. Note: This may, or may not, include overpriced processors. Such as: Intel Pentium X series (basically the Pentium D with HT on each core), AMD Athlon 64 FX, and other extreme priced processors.

eg: As most of those tests on run in no more than two isolated threads they may only have used one core on the Pentium X and been scheduled poorly due to the 4 'Logical processors' due to HyperThreading being available. Sure they may run 32+ threads, but that doesn't help if they are only fed to 2 [logical] processors.

:? It wasn't mentioned above that funding for the project(s) was unlimited. I do however recall multiple 'limited funds' posts. So why are people suggesting overly expensive psuedo-server systems ?

:p  Ever hear the one about the lady who was sold a server to connect two workstations by Dell and didn't want a server, only a switch ?, I thought you guys had more ethics than Dell

:cry:  Last time I checked most artists didn't have suitcases of money to burn.

:idea: TCO - If they can get 85%, or closer (or better yet above :p ), the performance of the (costlier) systems above, while only spending half as much to get it, and still getting a high quality / high reliability system, what are they likely to select ?

:?: Weird Al doesn't have a song about AMD Athlon 64 and Opteron processors does he ? [I just had to add that to lighten the mood].


It is not that simple :!:

The P4's power consumption destroys any TCO comparison.

Over time the P4 will cost you a fortune in power and cooling costs.

Even the 65nm P4 still consumes more power than a 90nm AMD64.

The P3 derived 65nm cores appear to be more efficient -- we will have to see when the production version is released.
March 30, 2006 6:11:14 PM

Opteron is the same chip as Athlon FX, same memory controller + ECC capability. That means with all memory slots full you will have command rate at 2T instead of 1T and CAS probably increased to 3. That means you will have a lot of slower RAM.

If you can get by with 4GB of RAM, it may be a lot cheaper to get this:

TWIN2X2048-5400C4 for $238 x 2 = $476.
Asus P5WD2-E Premium for $219
Pentium D 930 for $329
Zalman CNPS9500 for $64
Quadro FX4500 for $1739

That CPU should work stable at 3.8GHz for every day with that Zalman and some good 550W PSU with 8-pin workstation connector. That would be FSB 253MHz and RAM would work at 675 MHz 4-4-4-12 ratio 4:3 (best bandwidth for Intel) using 1.9V as per Corsair specs. And mind you, Presler at 3.8GHz is a bit faster than Opteron O/C-ed to 2.7GHz when it comes to Photoshop, I compared it with a friend of mine on another forum.
Here you can look at my Photoshop CS2 score and you can perform your own testing if you like using this test suite.

nVidia Quadro family has 10 bit per color RAMDAC and FireGL sucks (drivers, especially Linux).

EDIT:
Now if your budget is limited to $700... tough cookie...
(2 x 512MB) x 2 = $196
Cheaper mainboard = $114
Cheap and good O/C (TDP 95W) = $250
Much better than 7300 junk = $189

That would be $749 but you get much, much faster system even if you don't get Raptor and you can spare by getting slower EVGA 7600GS for $139.
March 30, 2006 6:46:01 PM

Quote:
Opteron is the same chip as Athlon FX, same memory controller + ECC capability. That means with all memory slots full you will have command rate at 2T instead of 1T and CAS probably increased to 3. That means you will have a lot of slower RAM.

If you can get by with 4GB of RAM, it may be a lot cheaper to get this:

TWIN2X2048-5400C4 for $238 x 2 = $476.
Asus P5WD2-E Premium for $219
Pentium D 930 for $329
Zalman CNPS9500 for $64
Quadro FX4500 for $1739

That CPU should work stable at 3.8GHz for every day with that Zalman and some good 550W PSU with 8-pin workstation connector. That would be FSB 253MHz and RAM would work at 675 MHz 4-4-4-12 ratio 4:3 (best bandwidth for Intel) using 1.9V as per Corsair specs. And mind you, Presler at 3.8GHz is a bit faster than Opteron O/C-ed to 2.7GHz when it comes to Photoshop, I compared it with a friend of mine on another forum.
Here you can look at my Photoshop CS2 score and you can perform your own testing if you like using this test suite.

nVidia Quadro family has 10 bit per color RAMDAC and FireGL sucks (drivers, especially Linux).

EDIT:
Now if your budget is limited to $700... tough cookie...
(2 x 512MB) x 2 = $196
Cheaper mainboard = $114
Cheap and good O/C (TDP 95W) = $250
Much better than 7300 junk = $189

That would be $749 but you get much, much faster system even if you don't get Raptor and you can spare by getting slower EVGA 7600GS for $139.




AMD64 is still superior. The AMD64 OMC + DDR400 beats the P4s with DDR2-666 at the same price point.

You should use 2 DIMMs regardless.

The 7300 works fine for 2D. For 3D the 7600GT and 7900GT are much better.
!