Dual core or Quad Core?


my boss has given me the power to purchase computers for our department, we have a need to purchase a couple high performance PCs. We will be using Adobe Production CS3 for video editing and web design. We currently have some sluggish dell computers, and are constantly receiving fatal and low virtual memory errors. Our current computers are Dell utilizing Intel core duo 2.3ghz with 2gb memory.

Here's my question: If I wanted to purchase a quad core intel processor of say...3.2, is that overkill? will Adobe ever take advantage of the quad core, or should i just purchase dual processor system? I am mainly concerned about having multiple programs open and multitasking.

any help would be appreciated.

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  1. For Adobe Production CS3, I'd go with a quad core. The program will not utilize all 4 cores of course, but the other cores can take care of background apps and such, i.e. multiple programs open and multi-tasking, as windows is designed to run on multi core cpu's (depending on what version you have). Plus, as Adobe updates their software, they will design future programs to utilize more cores. Don't forget to load up on RAM as well. The more the merrier.
  2. I'd also recommend upgrading to CS4 - Production to Production is pretty cheap between versions and it's so much better at multiple core and GPU utilisation, plus Adobe have split the 32-bit apps into multiple 32-bit processes to better make use of 64-bit systems.

    As far as your systems go, I've running certain parts of CS4 on a Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz with 2GB Ram and it's fine. Our video edit stations are Core 2 Quad Q9550 overclocked to 3GHz with 8GB RAM and Quadro FX1700 GPUs and they run through Premiere and After Effects very nicely.

    I wouldn't recommend getting a Core 2 system now as it's all end-of-life stuff so future upgrades will require whole new machines.

    If you want something stupidly powerful then go i7 920, overclock it to 3.3GHz to match the Extreme Edition i7 975 (you can do that on the stock cooler, but I'd recommend getting an aftermarket cooler anyway - Cogage True Spirit or Scythe Mugen 2 is nice and cheap and performs very well - could even clock up to 3.6GHz without worrying), bundle in 12GB 1600MHz RAM (CAS7 if you can stretch to it, or tighten some good quality CAS8 RAM) and get a pair of Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB in RAID 0 for the data drive. System drive doesn't matter too much as you want fast performance when your apps are running, not necessarily Windows and apps loading fast.

    You can scale that system down a little to an i7 8xx series on a P55 motherboard and run 8GB RAM. It'll be cheaper than the full X58 system above but will perform more or less the same - you can still clock the CPU up a bit but I don't know what coolers fit LGA1156 just yet.
  3. all good information....just a quick question. We are running windows XP professional and we have licenses for Adobe Cs3 production. If I go with a quad core is it also wise to get a 64bit system rather than a 32? I don't think cs3 is designed to work on a 64 bit system and I dont know if we will be upgrading to cs4 anytime soon.
  4. Unless you get the new computers with 3 gigs of ram, you need a 64bit OS, preferably Windows 7 as XP64 is pretty much history... For new systems that is.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong but I think the best possible way to run CS3 would be with an I7 920, a kit of 3x1gig DDR3-1333 and a 32bit OS.

    Recommended to use a 64bit os for CS4.
  5. my only dilemma now, is that since I am at a company where I am not allowed to service my computer(s) since we have a designated IT Group...is they don't offer support for windows vista or 7, they only service xp professional...maybe the way to go is MAC!
  6. Those Damn Lazy IT's !!!

    Hell I have that kind of job supporting a fair number of companies, I HATE Vista but work is work.

    You are the client you pay for support so if you run Windows 7 then they dont have a choice but to support it... Actually they will have to support it as with the arrival of windows 7 the XP Downgrade options for whoever still offers it will be going byebye.

    Dont take my post too seriously, It is partly sarcastic as I am aware that I lack knowledge about how the business you work for.

    Macs are pretty good products... I think a bit expensive but you do get what you pay for in terms of quality.
    However the issue I have with Macs is running a Half Windows Half Mac environment... Specially with a Domain Controller.
    It can work but it can be a pain in the ass.
  7. Well just called IT...don't offer support for 64 bit....hmmm guess I will stick with my Adobe Cs3 and just purchase a quad core machine and 4gb RAM...here is what i am considering purchasing. Please let me know if I should swap out something...

    Dell Precision T7500 Workstation
    Operating System:Genuine Windows® 7 Professional to XP Professional,SP3,Media,English
    Processor: Single Quad Core Intel® Xeon® Processor E5540 2.53GHz,8M L3, 5.8GT/s,turbo
    Memory: 4GB, DDR3 Memory, 1066MHz, ECC (4 DIMMS)
    Graphics: 512MB NVIDIA® Quadro® FX 580, DUAL MON, 2 DP & 1 DVI
    Hard Drive: 320GB SATA 3.0Gb/s with NCQ and 16MB DataBurst Cache™
    Optical Devices:16X DVD+/-RW
    Dell UltraSharp™ U2410 24in HAS Wide Monitor, VGA/ DVI/ DP/ HDMI
  8. MichaelCory said:
    Well just called IT...don't offer support for 64 bit...
    I used to be an IT administrator so I have some sympathy for their position. But the fact is that for heavy video editing you're going to be a lot more productive with tons of RAM - and only CS4 on a 64-bit operating system will make that possible. In addition, Adobe has stated that future versions of Premiere Pro will be 64-bit only, so the writing is on the wall.

    If I were in your position I'd go to the department head and tell him/her that for the kind of work you do a 64-bit platform is essential in this day and age.
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