I'm posting this question that an aquaintance of mine has. I'd be interested to know the answer as well.
"Speaking about workstations for Creative/3D work - have you guys heard anything about CS5 programs (PS, AE, PR) scaling on a system in excess of 4 cores - I have to build a new workstation and i am thinking about trying an Opteron 6100 (Magny-Cours) based system. Here are the main components:
Asus KGPE-D16 Motherboard (Max memory 256GB) : $440 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
So the base system - CPU/MEMORY/MB is less that $2000 with lots of space for expansion and platform life. Now this config is generally whopped by similar intel xenon system, but the entry price is much higher:
In my opinion the big advantage for Photoshop CS4 and CS5 is a good GPU, not necessarily the amount of CPU cores (outside of the obvious benefits of any multi-core CPU). However if you were talking about Adobe Premiere Pro, I would say yes, the more cores you have the faster you could render your video. For example I have an eight core system (dual Quad cores) and this is a big time advantage when I render video from Handbrake or Adobe Premiere with all eight cores humming along.
CS5 should scale nicely with as many cores at you can through at it. The biggest boost in performance though will be running it with a CUDA-certified graphics card so you can use Mercury in GPGPU mode.
That will probably do more good for less cash than a 6+ core system.
Thanks Ender. I remember reading somewhere that too powerful of a GPU might actually slow Photoshop down, or something to that effect. Am I hallucinating?
The best place to ask that would be the Adobe Photoshop forums. I haven't read that but it is always possible - remember how years ago some PC games actually performed worse with multiple CPU cores enabled.
Note that only specific Photoshop functions are accelerated by the GPU. For more info about this and GPU support check this page;
The creative suite 5 elements are supposed to be more core efficient and the new mercury engine supposedly takes good advantage of CUDA enabled GPU's.. So, it looks like a good nvidia card is essential.. How much of an advantage the fermi architecture gives is still to be seen (if any).. However some constants with photoshop and other adobe apps are their dependency on faster storage and higher ram quantity.. So naturally SSD's get themselves selected.. Speaking about the CPU, I've not seen a heavy increase in photoshop performance moving from a dual core to quad core (no idea about premier).. But yeah, I've experienced them running more smoothly on Intel CPU's.. In my opinion, dual processor setup for photoshop will be an overkill.. But if ender's comments are to be trusted, you might not go wrong with it if premier pro is used extensively in your work process.. I however would suggest going the intel route.. Two quad core xeon's with HT enabled will also give you 16 threads..