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Best CPU for heavy video editing? i7 Nehalem Xeon or the Opterons?

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September 13, 2009 4:58:47 AM

I know that it'll be difficult to choose the xeons and opterons because of the different mobo's and rams. But I just want to learn what I'll lose and gain on both sides. Please enlighten me guys.

I'm currently looking at:

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

Intel Xeon E5504 Nehalem 2.0GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 4MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 80W Quad-Core Server Processor - Retail , and If xeon, I'm planning to buy two.

And oh, I'm just a poor guy trying to get his render times as quick as possible. currently using Sony Vegas 8.0c, Visionlab FX, some After Effects and usually burns some dvds.

or if you guys have better ideas I'm pretty much open to them, thanks in advance.

Update:

I'm now looking at:

Intel Xeon W3520 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Server Processor Model BX80601W3520 - Retail - thanks to obsidian86 for the suggestion.

OR

AMD Opteron 2427 Istanbul 2.2GHz 6 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket F 115W Six-Core Processor - OEM - thanks to zipzoomflyhigh

OR


Intel Core i7 860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I7860 - Retail

More about : cpu heavy video editing nehalem xeon opterons

September 13, 2009 5:06:59 AM

well, the only reason to go XEON would be for dual LGA 1366 boards for two cpus

if you have the money and your program can utilize 16 threads hen go for the dual LGA 1366

if you don't have the money or your program can only utilize 4 threads, go for the i7 920, get a good after market cpu cooler (i recommend the Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer) and OC the 920 as high as possible
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September 13, 2009 5:26:16 AM

Yes Sony Vegas utilizes all of the cores, it utilizes multithreading as well. But I don't have the money though, which of them uses less power?

Thanks for the advice on cooling, I'll consider that though I don't plan on overclocking my cpus.
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September 13, 2009 5:31:08 AM

performance wise that i7 vs that Xeon, the i7 would win (since they are both the same architecture the better clock wins)

power wise, i do believe that Xeon is an 80w TDP which could mean less power used

as a side note, i do believe you can buy a dual LGA 1366 and only use one bank of dimms and one processor for now, and get another (and put some memory in the other bank) later when you have more money
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September 13, 2009 5:36:54 AM

well, im going to bed, ill check back in the morning (a little late here in NY state, 1:35AM)
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September 13, 2009 6:32:49 AM

Thanks mate for the advice. I'm leaning towards i7 over the xeon now.

Another question, what will I get if I have 2 Xeon processors? Do I get twice the performance of one xeon cpu or are there diminishing returns?
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September 13, 2009 7:00:39 AM

on the i7 you have 8 logical cores via HT on dual xeon setups you have 8 actual cores with no HT,performance depends on what software you use if it utilises HT there wouldn be much difference, but for the price i would get the xeon w3520 liquid cooled clocked to 4ghz with a quadro fx 4800 it should be all the power you need

these are the exact equivalent to the i7's in the xeon range

Xeon W3520 SLBEW 2.66 GHz $284-i7 920
Xeon W3540 SLBEX 2.93 GHz $562-i7 940
Xeon W3550 SLBEY 3.06 GHz $562-i7 950
Xeon W3570 SLBES 3.2 GHz $999-i7 965
Xeon W3580 SLBET 3.33 GHz B $999-i7 975

they have a lil more muscle then the i7's


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September 13, 2009 7:46:59 AM

Xeon W3520 + a Quadro FX4800, wow it's a ludicrous deal. But damn, I don't use my $$ as tissue paper, too bad.

But I'll keep that on my wish list :D 

My Budget is in between $1000-$1500 so I could only afford the cheapest of the quadros.

Back on topic, so can 2 x W3520 beat a i7 940 above?

I'm really getting curious in this, I really like to laugh at the rendering times getting cut to a fraction of the times I usually get (about more than 1hr or so).
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September 13, 2009 7:49:46 AM

2 w3520's will kill an i7@ 4ghz+ depending on application
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September 13, 2009 8:20:20 AM

So for Video editing or media creation, 2 x w3520 is the way to go? Damn I need to save up on money for the 2nd cpu and mobo, thanks for that.

Besides Quadro (or FireStream for that matter) which graphics card would be best coupled with it? Since Ati has Avivo and Nvidia with Cuda I wonder which of the two is better with the software (I use Vegas pro 8, and a little After effects).
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September 13, 2009 8:30:41 AM

for vegas pro an i7 would be jus under dual xeons, vegas seems to favor nvidia on a budget under 2.5k get the i7 over 2.5k dual xeons you'll be paying a premium for a few minutes
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September 13, 2009 8:48:13 AM

Thanks for the link, I've read it, and somehow the I've understood that i7 works well with Vegas.

Hmm, now that I've realized that the w3520 is really = i7 920 I don't really know which one to get.

I wont buy 2 x w3520, I can't afford the heat and the electric bills for that >.< too bad.
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September 13, 2009 3:26:43 PM

leoblack9 said:
So for Video editing or media creation, 2 x w3520 is the way to go? Damn I need to save up on money for the 2nd cpu and mobo, thanks for that.

Besides Quadro (or FireStream for that matter) which graphics card would be best coupled with it? Since Ati has Avivo and Nvidia with Cuda I wonder which of the two is better with the software (I use Vegas pro 8, and a little After effects).


you can't use W3520's in a dual configuration, you have to use the 5XXX series for dual processors, the 3XXX series is for single processors only

so the minimum quad core Xeon for dual LGA 1366 would be your first choice, the Xeon 5504

keep in mind, if you go i7 or 3XXX series you might not have much of an upgrade path, whereas if you spend the money on a dual board, later down the line you can add another processor and some more ram (have to put some in the other bank)
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September 13, 2009 3:36:08 PM

mindless728 said:
you can't use W3520's in a dual configuration, you have to use the E or X 5XXX series for dual processors, the W or L 3xxX series is for single processors only


So does that mean I can use it with x58 motherboards? Or is there a specific mobo for this one.

Thanks for the info, I couldn't afford the power envelope of two of these anyway, let alone the price.
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September 13, 2009 3:40:21 PM

yes the w series can be used in x58 boards
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September 13, 2009 3:50:43 PM

leoblack9 said:
So does that mean I can use it with x58 motherboards? Or is there a specific mobo for this one.

Thanks for the info, I couldn't afford the power envelope of two of these anyway, let alone the price.


i don't see the point of running a Xeon 3XXXX series since they are functionally the same as the i7 (except for the server memory part)

@obsidian86 keep in mind earlier he said he wasn't going to be overclocking

though can anyone find how well the AMD 6 core stands up to any of these?

and for the quadro, you may be able to save money by getting a normal gaming card that is equivalent and looking up how to soft mod the drivers (though do this before hand to make sure it is a) the right equivalent card b) if you think you can soft mod the drivers yourself)
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September 13, 2009 3:59:58 PM

the istanbul sadly doesn hold a candle to a xeon Nehalem quad core there are also xeon hexacores out ,the only dual cpu solutions i've seen in desktops is skulltrail but thats stupid expensive you could get the i7 x58 with a 9xx i7 wait till i9 hexacore drops (save a lot rumered to cost $1500+ )
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September 13, 2009 4:03:58 PM

obsidian86 said:
the istanbul sadly doesn hold a candle to a xeon Nehalem quad core there are also xeon hexacores out ,the only dual cpu solutions i've seen in desktops is skulltrail but thats stupid expensive you could get the i7 x58 with a 9xx i7 wait till i9 hexacore drops (save a lot rumered to cost $1500+ )


i don't doubt the amd doesn't stand a chance (clock for clock) since the istanbul is the same as the PII's, though i would love to see a link if you have one

i think whats best for him is the i7 route (i think the LGA 1156 should be enough)
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September 13, 2009 4:19:40 PM

^ So the i7 860 is the way to go?
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this is the only benchmark where the 6 cores show its muscle ,number crunching


So it loses to nehalems even with 2 extra cores, physically not virtual. So it seems.

I just learned that Sony Vegas is heavily dependent on the CPU, doesn't use GPUs, makes me sad that I got excited about picking a GTX260. I guess it'll pay off with the other compositing software and overall system speed boost.

I'm considering to just wait until Christmas, seems that the 6-core nehalems and somehow the elusive larrabee are around the corner. Might as well wait for it and the ATI HD 5000 series and the nV 300 series.

Thanks for your opinion guys.

But keep giving out opinions, I'm not giving up on learning about these server class cpus just yet.
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September 13, 2009 6:06:56 PM

i can't even remember how i learned much about them, i guess just research in my spare time (im a 22yo CS major)

though interesting side note, the intel 55x0 chip set (the one on the server boards for LGA 1366) can actually support crossfire
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September 14, 2009 9:51:18 AM

^ Then I suppose some servers on sli / crossfire play games on spare time? Nah just joking.

What's the use of sli on a server if it were to run 24/7? Or are there some servers that do computational tasks as well.
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November 11, 2009 12:16:22 PM

So, just to be clear. I too am needing a better CPU for video editing. If I am not using dual MB, is the 920 the way to go vs. 940 or 860?
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