Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

64-bit and Quad Core questions

Last response: in Systems
Share
June 2, 2008 4:39:04 PM

Ok, please forgive me if I'm bringing up old questions here, I searched a little but didn't see what I was looking for.

I'm about to upgrade my wife's PC which is a production machine. She's a photographer, digital artist and photoshop instructor, runs huge batch processes on very large RAW files (sometimes batching hundreds of images at a time that total 50+g of data) and we need something pretty beefy.

The machine she's using now I built about 3 years ago and its still a fairly sturdy machine with a 3.0GHz intel CPU that supports Hyperthreaded apps, 3G of RAM, etc.....but after 3 years of heavy use having blown through 3 hard drives in that time and now starting to see some real latency issues we need to upgrade.

In upgrading I've run into the 32 bit vs 64 bit OS delimma as well as the Dual vs Quad core argument and just can't figure out the best thing to do.

I'd like this PC to be able to run the new CS4 when it comes out later this year which will be 64-bit application. I'd like to not have a lot of major compatability issues with older 32 bit periphials that dont have 64 bit drivers (CF card readers, printers, etc).

My questions are this:
1) Is it jumping the gun designing this new system around 64 bit applications and technology since its still so new?
2) Since we're running a 3.0GHz CPU now, would I have to get a 3.0 Dual or Quad CPU to see similar processing speed without overclocking? Since she typically runs her maching 8-10 hours a day doing CPU intensive processing I dont like to overclock due to heat problems.
3) How much of a performance increase would we see in the time it takes to batch process 30+G of 12 megapixel RAW files? Comparing a 64 bit Vista system with 8G of RAM and a 3.0GHz Quad Core Processor vs a 32 Bit Vista system maxed out at 4G of RAM and an E8400 Dual 3.0GHz CPU?













June 2, 2008 5:33:17 PM

64 bit has been around for a long time for the big buisness computers. 64bit was first used by AMD to boost desktop performance by using existing technology several years back. if you'll be able to use more than 3 gigs of ram go with a 64 OS.

new CPUs get much more done per clock cycle than the old ones.

I think you will see a phenominal performance boost by going to even a slow quad and 8 gigs of ram.

you may also want to consider a high quality RAID card and a big Raid 5 or 1+0
June 2, 2008 5:50:40 PM

Video and pix encoding IS the app that the extra cores pay off. Most are multithreaded, and getting more so with each new upgrade of code in those apps.

Go to Tom's charts here and compare the P4 3.0 vs a quad in the photoshop or encoding benchs, not even in the same sphere!

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/cpu-charts-2007/phot...

Photoshop comparo above
Related resources
Anonymous
June 2, 2008 6:01:49 PM

you'll see a massive improvement in productivity... but how much do you have to spend... cause if you have some money you can get a q9450, 8 gigs, and vista 64-bit for about 600 dollars... that 2.6 ghz quad will out perform your 3 ghz pentium 4 like mad...

I went from a p4 @ 3 ghz to a pentium d at 2.4 ish... and then a core 2 duo at 1.8... each time the speed was noticeably faster... so if you got a 2.6 ghz quad core... it would be a huge improvement.... so yeah it should work fine
June 2, 2008 6:04:19 PM

^Agreed. A quad will be a significant improment for you, even the Q6600 at 2.4 will be a major upgrade; a simple BIOS switch gives you 3.0ghz without voltage changes. With multicore coded software, speed isn't nearly as important as being able to effectively use the additional cores. Make sure you drop in at LEAST 4gig of ram (you are currently used to 3GB) and 8 would work very well in a 64bit environment. A RAID5 config might be a better use of 4 drives than 0+1/1+0; if you are getting that many drives anyway...better speed and scaling, plus parity. Only 2-3 drives, RAID0 with a data backup. 3+ (OS drives) RAID5.

You can avoid over heating on a quad by getting a $40-$50 heatsink instead of the boxed coolers they come with.
June 2, 2008 6:21:02 PM

You should make sure that your version of Photoshop is multithreaded i.e. can take advantage of multiple core CPU's. That's not to say your upgrade will be wasted if it isn't as modern CPU's even in single threaded apps leave the old P4's in the dust but it is something your should be aware off.
June 2, 2008 6:39:20 PM

Thanks for the responses so far.

I've given myself a budget of $1400 for this new system.

the Q9450 is $350 on Newegg
the MB I was looking at is the ASUS Rampage @ $290
8800GT 512MB Video Card - $190
I figure 8G of good RAM is going to run $250
A good new case is going to run $200
750-1000W Power Supply @ $150
2 x 500G HD @ $160

not including additional cooling equipment which I will probably need thats $1,590 not including taxes or shipping. Any suggestions on how to get that price down a bit without sacrificing?


June 2, 2008 6:48:50 PM

a non crossfire board might save you some coin.

the 8800 gt is cheaper than that, and prices will continue to drop with ATIs 4 series releasing later this month.

a good case is less than that
I've got the mini version of this one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
it's very quiet and generaly good quality

if your a fan fanatic, the antec 900 is virtualy being given away now.

750 watts seams sort of high to me for a single GPU system.
June 2, 2008 6:55:56 PM

johnnymac13 said:
Thanks for the responses so far.

I've given myself a budget of $1400 for this new system.

the Q9450 is $350 on Newegg
the MB I was looking at is the ASUS Rampage @ $290
8800GT 512MB Video Card - $190
I figure 8G of good RAM is going to run $250
A good new case is going to run $200
750-1000W Power Supply @ $150
2 x 500G HD @ $160

not including additional cooling equipment which I will probably need thats $1,590 not including taxes or shipping. Any suggestions on how to get that price down a bit without sacrificing?
Yes, get a ga-p35-ds3r motherboard, it has built in raid, and is only $120. You honestly do not need ANY of the advantages of the Rampage. Your power supply is also way overkill, with that system you won't need more than a 550-600w unit. Look at the corsairs, the 550w version can be bought for 90. So thats -170 for the mobo, and -60 for the psu.

June 2, 2008 6:58:20 PM

You don't need a 750w-1000w PSU. Look for a less expensive motherboard, like the p35-ds3l(r). Coolermaster cases are very good for the money. The centurion 5 is only like $50, and their bigger "gamer" model is like $70 ($200 for a case is way excessive and somehow I don't think your wife will appreciate windows and lights). The Q6750 should be at a good price since the price was dropped.
June 2, 2008 7:01:47 PM

Change the HD to the WD 640, smae price as the 500, but that drive is as fast as the Raptor X is, for 1/2 price and triple the storage space.

The 9600 is the card to go with, if she is not doing RTS or FPS games atgreater than 1600x1200.

Or the ATI 3870 is a good deal these days, and do have a slightly better image quality.

The gigabyte D series boards gets good reviews, and runs $150ish.

And a GOOD 500 - 550 watt psu will handle this system, as my Thermaltake Purepower 500 handled my Q9450 and a 8800 GTX with all the added stuff just fine. It never pulled more than 370 or so at load.

$65 dollars brand new these days.
Anonymous
June 2, 2008 7:01:51 PM

^ agreed you don't need that much for a motherboard...

you can get a 8800 gt for as little as 135 now... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

psu can stay the same

hdds are fine

case... a tad expensive... most good cases run at about the 100 dollar mark... maybe the case groo posted

ram you could get 2 of these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168......

I personally love mushkin because they are highly stable even at extreme speeds... and in the bios you drop the cas to 4 instead of being 5/4

Anonymous
June 2, 2008 7:03:21 PM

^ wow in the time it took to write ^ that post 3 people posted lol
June 2, 2008 7:10:18 PM

The last one I built (the one she is currently using) is a coolermaster case that was a little cheaper and has been fine. I'm a little infatuated with the Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 full-time ATX case that is $199, it's supposed to be extremely quiet and has lots of room. I'm definitely open to suggestion though.

On the power supply I think I've got a 650W in our current machine. Figure a little beefier PS wouldn't be a bad thing if I ever wanted to add a 2nd GPU or a liquid cooling system (not sure if the liquid cooling requires much power).



June 2, 2008 7:14:08 PM

Unless your gaming, that 8800gt is just money down the drain.
Also 750w+ PSU is WAY overkill for most systems. Get a good 400-500w and shave off a few bucks there.

Some area's to focus on for photo/video editing PC's:
Lots of ram and HDD space for photo/video editing
Video encoding, especially x264 is multithreaded and scales near linerally.. so more cores = better
High powered 3d video cards are NOT required, nor are expensive high wattage PSU's
Get a nice case, and some good quiet fans(stock fans are not quiet), and a 3rd party HSF like the xigmatek s1283.
Last, and most important: GET A GOOD MONITOR. whats the use of photo editing on a LCD that cant accurately reproduce colors?
June 2, 2008 7:16:15 PM

Watercooling, depends on the pump. If you want a 12v DD pump, look to draw a decent amount of power:

Nominal voltage: 12 V DC
Operating voltage range: 6 to 14 VDC
Nominal power (@ 12 V): 24 W
Nominal current (@ 12 V): 2 amps

Agree on the P35 chipset board, you would be better served to go with this and just get a single good card instead of 2 in SLI/Crossfire.
June 2, 2008 7:39:00 PM

johnnymac13 said:
The last one I built (the one she is currently using) is a coolermaster case that was a little cheaper and has been fine. I'm a little infatuated with the Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 full-time ATX case that is $199, it's supposed to be extremely quiet and has lots of room. I'm definitely open to suggestion though.

On the power supply I think I've got a 650W in our current machine. Figure a little beefier PS wouldn't be a bad thing if I ever wanted to add a 2nd GPU or a liquid cooling system (not sure if the liquid cooling requires much power).


DO NOT GET THE COOLERMASTER COSMOS 1000. I tried that case for a ~week before I got my Lian-Li A70.

The Cosmos'...

...sound dampening foam is effective, but not well secured and prone to peeling off (noticed this w/in one week)

...side panels are a bear to deal with...quite a hassle in that they don't like to latch

...there's a lot of plastic in this case and the case is heavy with metal stands/handles. Though I tried to be extremely careful the plastic cracked near where the handles connect...ON THE FIRST NIGHT...I was a bit annoyed.

Now, I'll be honest, ...it was the quiestest case I've ever not heard...I could NOT hear dual Raptors in RAID 0 in that case. However, that pro does not outweigh the cons.

I'd recommend the Lian-Li A70 but that's more money than you want to spend. I'd stay away from the Antec P180/182, the side panel connectors are plastic and are prone to break off...read the NewEgg reviews and you'll read on this issue.
June 2, 2008 7:45:47 PM

^ to the p180/p182 side panels... First one I ever had, one of the connectors on the back panel broke the first day. It was a surprise from a case with such good reviews.
June 2, 2008 7:46:15 PM

halcyon said:
DO NOT GET THE COOLERMASTER COSMOS 1000. I tried that case for a ~week before I got my Lian-Li A70.

The Cosmos'...

...sound dampening foam is effective, but not well secured and prone to peeling off (noticed this w/in one week)

...side panels are a bear to deal with...quite a hassle in that they don't like to latch

...there's a lot of plastic in this case and the case is heavy with metal stands/handles. Though I tried to be extremely careful the plastic cracked near where the handles connect...ON THE FIRST NIGHT...I was a bit annoyed.

Now, I'll be honest, ...it was the quiestest case I've ever not heard...I could NOT hear dual Raptors in RAID 0 in that case. However, that pro does not outweigh the cons.

I'd recommend the Lian-Li A70 but that's more money than you want to spend. I'd stay away from the Antec P180/182, the side panel connectors are plastic and are prone to break off...read the NewEgg reviews and you'll read on this issue.


You don't need an Asus Rampage Formula if you don't want to overclock. The Gigabyte P35 boards or the Asus P5K-Pro ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) would do you well for a lot less and you'd still be able to overclock if you later decide to.

I'd say go with the 8GB of RAM and the 64Bit OS...you'll be blown away by the performance on that mated with a quad (Q6600 or Q9450). People that haven't used that setup canna know the nastiness that a quad/8GB of RAM/64-bit OS brings. You're wife will love you even more and think you're a genius for boosting her productivity.
June 2, 2008 7:46:22 PM

Thank Skittle, we use Lacie monitors for color correction and have a 22" LG LCD that she uses as her 2nd monitor where she keeps her all her tools laid out while actually working on the hardware calibrated Lacie.

Lots of good info for me here, I'm a little confused on the motherboard. I've built 2 PCs in the past but did so just making sure things were compatible and going off of reviews. Have had great luck with ASUS boards and want to stay with that brand, but not sure exactly which one.

Based on all of your feeback I think I'm going to go with the Q9450 Quad Core processor and build around that. I'll have to put together a build sheet with the parts I'm looking at and will start a new thread for feedback on that build.

As for cooling what would you suggest? Keeping in mind a normal session is 8 hours or so with heavy batch processing and HD utilization, I want to make sure the system stays cool without going overboard.

Thanks again.





June 2, 2008 8:01:42 PM

A quad, even a "slow" one at stock speeds will positively blow the doors off of what your wife has now. If you aren't going to overclock, the stock cooler will be perfectly suitable and reasonably quiet.

No need to go too heavy on the Mobo and PSU, as already suggested. I'd recommend a high quality one in the same output class you have now. It'll be way more than adequate.

Be advised - Running 4 DIMMS sometimes takes some extra tweaking: Make sure you manualy set your timings, voltages to near max recommended, Command rate 2T, and tREF setting to 54 or greater. Occasionally, you may need to bump FSB voltage a tad, as well.
June 2, 2008 8:02:05 PM

for cooling:
xigmatek s1283 is a new favorite among enthusiast and mainstream builders. Its cheap, and performs near the best of the best, not to mention you can use your own fans with it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For fans, a low speed scythe (stock low speed, or undervolted)... or yate-loon (not available on newegg, but MUCH cheaper while being just as quiet).

Honestly, with that build you dont need to worry about heat too much. Especially if your not going to OC at all.
June 2, 2008 8:07:12 PM

ASUS P5K series is pretty common as well. Most go with either the Gigabyte ga-p35-ds series or the ASUS P5K series if you go with P35. EVGA is also decent...those are the only 3 brands I have built or used, so the limit of my recommendations.
June 2, 2008 8:08:41 PM

I am a digital photographer (Nikon D200) who uses Adobe CS2 and ACR. So far, I have converted and edited each RAW image manually, and have not tried any batch stuff. I am also still using a P4 3.0 system.

From what I have seen, adobe is releasing a 64-bit version to allow people to create images bigger than 2 gigs (like large posters). What improvements it will offer for batch processing smaller files (that the 32-bit version can handle) is unspecified. It will have a lot to do with how they also implement multi-threading for batch processing in CS4. The best place to ask about it would be on the Adobe forums.

I would bet that Adobe is optimizing CS4 64-bit for multi-core CPUs. However, as other stated, your biggest bottleneck would become the hard drive. Photoshop loves having its own drive for its swap files. Reading raw files and writing the converted files to disk would be the biggest bottleneck if multiple threads are doing it at once.
June 2, 2008 8:11:27 PM

Only 2 brands I cannot recommend anymore is ABIT and obviously ECS.
2 Abit boards since January have failed, not to mention their website is SLOW.
June 2, 2008 8:41:00 PM

DXRick, the CS4 version of Photoshop that is coming out later this year is a full 64-bit application, so if you're on a 64 bit OS then you can actually use more than 4g RAM limit that a 32 bit OS has. Technically it'll use more than 4G of RAM now, but it just uses it as scratch disk space until it maxes out and has to hit one of the HDs (if your files are large enough for that to happen). The improvement for batch processing on a 64 bit application is just the time it takes. Some of her batch processes take 60-90 minutes to run and I'm hoping to cut that way down on this new system so she has less down-time waiting on her batching to finish.

Thanks again everyone for your responses. I'll put up another thread later this evening with a build to get feedback on.
Anonymous
June 2, 2008 9:05:28 PM

less down time? lol i love downtime
June 3, 2008 9:40:51 PM

johnnymac13 said:
DXRick, the CS4 version of Photoshop that is coming out later this year is a full 64-bit application, so if you're on a 64 bit OS then you can actually use more than 4g RAM limit that a 32 bit OS has. Technically it'll use more than 4G of RAM now, but it just uses it as scratch disk space until it maxes out and has to hit one of the HDs (if your files are large enough for that to happen). The improvement for batch processing on a 64 bit application is just the time it takes. Some of her batch processes take 60-90 minutes to run and I'm hoping to cut that way down on this new system so she has less down-time waiting on her batching to finish.

Thanks again everyone for your responses. I'll put up another thread later this evening with a build to get feedback on.


I know. I am a computer programmer. What I am trying to tell you is that the 64-bit version may not increase the speed of batch jobs. A single process/thread can only process one file at a time, and the processing of a 24M (size of D200 NEF) file will not cause it to exceed the 2G limit (not 4G) that the 32-bit version of CS3 has. So, to speed up the batch job, the program would need to create other processes/threads that can also convert files. Each process will read, convert, and write one file at a time to the HD. The reading of the RAW file and writing of the converted file will tax the I/O channel, since the HD is the slowest link in a computer. How many threads can do this at once, before this bottleneck becomes counter-productive is an issue.

Thus, the 64-bit version may not provide a real improvement over the 32-bit version on a PC using a standard hard drive. To realize performance gains, you may need to install a RAID 0 system to increase the I/O speeds.

So, building a new PC is a MUST! :sol:  But, upgrading to CS4 64-bit may not be, which means that going to Vista 64 is also questionable. I think that using RAID 0 would increase the speed more than having 8G of RAM.

I am on the verge of building a new PC myself. The Q9450 and new VeliciRaptor are on the top of my list. I will be using other memory hogs, like Visual Studio 2008, and plan to game too. I plan to install 4G RAM and triple boot between XP32, Vista32, and Vista64.
June 3, 2008 10:01:10 PM

DXRick said:
I know. I am a computer programmer. What I am trying to tell you is that the 64-bit version may not increase the speed of batch jobs. A single process/thread can only process one file at a time, and the processing of a 24M (size of D200 NEF) file will not cause it to exceed the 2G limit (not 4G) that the 32-bit version of CS3 has. So, to speed up the batch job, the program would need to create other processes/threads that can also convert files. Each process will read, convert, and write one file at a time to the HD. The reading of the RAW file and writing of the converted file will tax the I/O channel, since the HD is the slowest link in a computer. How many threads can do this at once, before this bottleneck becomes counter-productive is an issue.

Thus, the 64-bit version may not provide a real improvement over the 32-bit version on a PC using a standard hard drive. To realize performance gains, you may need to install a RAID 0 system to increase the I/O speeds.

So, building a new PC is a MUST! :sol:  But, upgrading to CS4 64-bit may not be, which means that going to Vista 64 is also questionable. I think that using RAID 0 would increase the speed more than having 8G of RAM.

I am on the verge of building a new PC myself. The Q9450 and new VeliciRaptor are on the top of my list. I will be using other memory hogs, like Visual Studio 2008, and plan to game too. I plan to install 4G RAM and triple boot between XP32, Vista32, and Vista64.


Turning off your pagefile...completely does boost performance. With 8GB in Vista64 it is more than possible. I've had Vista64 with 8GB w/o a pagefile for over 5 months. It is quite simply...fast. The OS has no need and no desire to page, thus a slower-than-ram hard drive is not being used for memory purposes.
THG wrote of this in an article not so long ago.
!