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2-core P-4 2.8GHz Prescott vs. 2-processor Xeon 2.4GHz?

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October 30, 2006 5:43:07 PM

Which of two configurations is better (that's what I have to choose for 3D CAD):

- 2-core Pentium 4-630, 2.8 GHz, Prescott, 200x14 MHz FSB,
16 KB L1 cache, 2048 KB L2 cache;
MMX,SSE, SSE2, SSE3, EM64T;
(installed on an IBM IntelliStation M 6218, complete with 1 GB RAM; ATI FireGL V3100 PCIe, DAC 400 MHz, 128 MB video memory)

or

- 2-processor Xeon 2.4 GHz Prestonia,
8 KB L1 cache per processor, 512 KB L2 cache per processor;
MMX, SSE, SSE2;
(installed on a Dell Precision 650 c/w 1 GB RAM, nVIDIA Quadro FX-1000, 128 MB )?

Thank you.
October 30, 2006 6:35:10 PM

The Pentium 4 630 isn't dual core. Its a single core with hyper threading.
October 30, 2006 6:38:42 PM

Scrap both those ideas in my opinion...

If your running an Autodesk product you may want to check with the Hardware Discussion group over there, there are quite a few CAD users who give good advice.

Mostly the recommendations come down to:
e6600
2-4 GB RAM (from our users I would say 2 GB is the minimum you want)
Quadro FX1500 (or higher).

Not sure what your budget is, if you need to par back I would start cutting with the video card and maybe scale the processor back to a e6400 or so. Here is the system I ahve been getting for our CAD operators (+1 GB of RAM) http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF06b/12454-296...

It'd be helpful to know what exactly you mean by 3D CAD as there are so many products out there... I can tell you can run AutoCAD with less horsepower than the system I described here... mostly the systems above run LandDesktop or Civil3D
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October 30, 2006 6:46:06 PM

Quote:
The Pentium 4 630 isn't dual core. Its a single core with hyper threading.
It's also 3.0GHz, not 2.8GHz. :?
October 30, 2006 8:07:04 PM

Quote:
Scrap both those ideas in my opinion...

I would go with a new HP workstation (thanks for the link), but unfortunately at the moment I have to make a choice from our two existing machines.
At the Autodesk Hardware Discussion group the same Dell with Xeon is recommended. But the Dell we have is one year older than the IBM. Both machines are within Recommended System Requirements (at very minimum) for Autodesk Inventor 2006, - the software to be used.
October 30, 2006 8:13:06 PM

Quote:
The Pentium 4 630 isn't dual core. Its a single core with hyper threading.
It's also 3.0GHz, not 2.8GHz. :?
Yes, it is rated at 3 GHz, but the "CPU-Z" shows me Core Speed: 2793.0 MHz, FSB 199.5 MHz, Multiplier x 14.0.

I am going to use both machines for a week and compare. (Will the older Xeon-based Dell be my choice?)

Thank you all.
October 30, 2006 8:18:43 PM

Must be that C1E feature or speedstep.

Where the system down clocks to lower power consumption.

I believe if you put that CPU under full load it should hit 3.0 ghz, or turn that feature off in the bios, and change setting under power options in windows.
October 31, 2006 11:54:34 AM

Hi Grimmy,

Yes, you are right.
Surprisingly the CPU-Z shows real-time data in its window. When the load passed the ~85% mark, the multiplier jumped up to 15. The processor speed became close to 3 GHz. I have learned interesting things from you :D  .
Thank you.

So, the question now is: - what is better:
a P-4 3.0GHz Prescott w/ hyper threading
or
an old dual-processor Xeon 2.4GHz?

What difference do make:
the MMX,SSE, SSE2, SSE3, and EM64T (in newer P-4 Prescott)
vs.
MMX, SSE, SSE2 (in older Xeon Prestonia) ?
October 31, 2006 1:18:28 PM

Quote:
So, the question now is: - what is better:
a P-4 3.0GHz Prescott w/ hyper threading
or
an old dual-processor Xeon 2.4GHz?

What difference do make:
the MMX,SSE, SSE2, SSE3, and EM64T (in newer P-4 Prescott)
vs.
MMX, SSE, SSE2 (in older Xeon Prestonia) ?


Between the only 2 types that you are choosing from, I'd say the Prescott perhaps would be the better of the 2.

EM64T is the 64bit extention, to be able to run 64bit OS.

Quote:
(Extended Memory 64 Technology) A 64-bit upgrade to Intel's 32-bit x86 (IA-32) architecture. EM64T adds a set of 64-bit instructions that are compatible with AMD's 64-bit instructions (see AMD64). Introduced in 2004, Xeons (code named Nocoma) were the first CPUs to incorporate EM64T along with other enhancements such as the PCI Express bus and DDR2 memory.

With the introduction of EM64T, Intel offers 64 bits in two CPU families: the 32/64-bit x86 (IA-32) line and the 64-bit Itanium (IA-64) line.


SSE3 Explained by Xbitlabs:

Quote:
SSE3 Instructions Set

Another innovation in the Prescott core is the introduction of the new SIMD instructions set, which was first known as PNI (Prescott New Instructions), but then got a new marketing name – SSE3. In fact, I do not think it would be fair to call the SSE3 instructions set fully-fledged. SSE3 includes only 13 new instructions, which doesn’t look serious enough, especially against the background of the pervious SIMD instructions sets from Intel offering over a few dozens of new instructions. Moreover, SSE3 is not a new instructions set developed for some specific tasks. It is none other but a few additional isolated instructions, which kind of “correct a few bugs” in the already existing sets.

SSE3 includes the following new instructions:

* HADDPS, HSUBPS, HADDPD, HSUBPD. These are horizontal operations with SSE2 registers, which have been forgotten during SSE2 development, for some reason. These commands can be extremely helpful for 3D graphics processing, since they allow simplifying the subtraction of such a widely spread value as scalar vector product.
* ADDSUBPS, ADDSUBPD, MOVSHDUP, MOVSLDUP, MOVDDUP. These instructions are intended for work with complex numbers. These commands can be helpful for undulatory processes calculation and work with sound, i.e. where fast discrete Fourier transformation is applied.
* FISTTP. This is anew instruction for the arithmetic co-processor, which allows transforming the co-processor stack into an integer type. For some unknown reasons, this operation was absent in x87 instructions set.
* LDDQU. This instruction serves for unaligned data loading. It can be helpful for video compression tasks.
* MONITOR, MWAIT. These instructions serve to optimize multi-threaded applications. They will allow achieving better performance results in systems with enabled Hyper-Threading technology and avoid threads blocking, just as we have just described above.

Although Intel released the SSE3 instructions guidelines for software developers last summer, there are no programs yet, where the new instructions could really be used. However, we know for sure that they are to come very soon now. First of all, SSE3 instructions will be used in various video codecs, because according to Intel, LDDQU instruction could speed up video compression by 10% if used in data encoding algorithms. By the way, the new version of Intel C++ 8.0 compiler supports SSE3 instructions, which means that other software employing SSE3 is already on the way.
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