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What's a freelancer to do with an 775 system? (re-question)

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May 12, 2010 12:11:38 AM

Hi all, this is starting to sound like a broken record here but here's the skinny.

System Specs:
Intel E8500 Core 2 Duo CPU
8GB DDR 2 1066 RAM
Gigabyte P45 Motherboard (decent one, not Micro ATX)
Nvidia 9600 GTX 512 MB
2X 22" Monitors @ 1650x1080
Windows 7 Home Premium 64

I work with Adobe After Effects (AE) primarily but use the entire Creative Suite and Lightwave 3D (LW). The current system I have is decent for animating in AE but chokes pretty easily in Lightwave when updating camera movement when there are some hefty meshes and of course rendering in both AE and LW.

The practical side of me just says to buy a Q9550 and a better video card (thinking ATI 5770 ish or Nvidia equivalent). That'll put me out about $500.

The more impractical side of me says to just get an AM2+ Motherboard, a 1090t and a video card (probably a new copy of win 7 since it may not re-activate). That'll put me out $700 and I can try to e-bay off the 8500 since it's still a good little CPU.

Or the large splurge of a full i7 930 system with 12GB of Ram, good video card 2x1TB Hard Drives and a few other nicks and knacks. I estimate about $1700 or so for that beast. I can then try to sell the old system and get $300-500 for it.

What's a guy to do?

-PDX

More about : freelancer 775 system question

a b B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2010 1:19:35 AM

Tough choice. Here's another variant just to confuse you even more ;) :

GIGABYTE GA-770T-USB3 AM3 AMD 770 USB 3.0 ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A-DATA Gaming Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HIS H577FM1GD Radeon HD 5770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$609.96

I don't think you need more RAM, the CPU is your problem.

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a b B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2010 1:26:52 AM

pdxgfx said:
Hi all, this is starting to sound like a broken record here but here's the skinny.

System Specs:
Intel E8500 Core 2 Duo CPU
8GB DDR 2 1066 RAM
Gigabyte P45 Motherboard (decent one, not Micro ATX)
Nvidia 9600 GTX 512 MB
2X 22" Monitors @ 1650x1080
Windows 7 Home Premium 64

I work with Adobe After Effects (AE) primarily but use the entire Creative Suite and Lightwave 3D (LW). The current system I have is decent for animating in AE but chokes pretty easily in Lightwave when updating camera movement when there are some hefty meshes and of course rendering in both AE and LW.

The practical side of me just says to buy a Q9550 and a better video card (thinking ATI 5770 ish or Nvidia equivalent). That'll put me out about $500.

The more impractical side of me says to just get an AM2+ Motherboard, a 1090t and a video card (probably a new copy of win 7 since it may not re-activate). That'll put me out $700 and I can try to e-bay off the 8500 since it's still a good little CPU.

Or the large splurge of a full i7 930 system with 12GB of Ram, good video card 2x1TB Hard Drives and a few other nicks and knacks. I estimate about $1700 or so for that beast. I can then try to sell the old system and get $300-500 for it.

What's a guy to do?

-PDX

Windows will reactivate, you may have to call, but it will.
If you buy new, don't buy an AM2+, they are yesterday's parts. If you buy new, buy AM3.
And yeah, that post up above would be a nice system for what you do..........
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May 12, 2010 2:36:27 AM

It just sucks to invest so much in a 775 setup just to toss it to the side, such is life with a computer I guess. I suppose I can e-bay the 4x2GB DDR2 1066 in 4GB chunks as well as the 8500.
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May 12, 2010 2:48:15 AM

The Q9550 is only $179.99 at Microcenter if you happen to live near one or know someone who does. You could grab that and a 5850 for about $500. Q9550 is still a solid processor.
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May 12, 2010 5:37:38 AM

Nope, no Microcenters in Oregon. I do know you can snag a Q9550 on Ebay if you feel like rolling the dice on a used processor. This just makes me wonder though if I upgrade to a 9550 from an 8500 that I'm spending $500 to squeeze another year out of my 775 system that already has about $1600 put into it over 4 years. I guess logically I can pump some real cash into a computer if I can make it last 4 years or so. Diminishing returns can be such a beeotch.
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May 12, 2010 9:22:35 AM

I don't see why you would need to upgrade your current GPU unless you're planning on increasing performance in games. Minimum requirements state you need an FX 5200 series card (OLD) with a recommended 128mb graphics memory for each monitor you're running. You should be OK without a GPU upgrade, I'd just go for either the Q9550 (12mb L2, 2.83ghz, $280) or the Q9400 (6mb L2, 2.66ghz, $190) and call it good if you absolutely must stay LGA775.

I'm more inclined to suggest moving to LGA 1366 and cutting your losses on LGA 775 before sinking any more money into parts for the socket though. For around $630 you can purchase a new motherboard, memory and processor, and not be stuck in a dead socket.

Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Model BX80601930 - $290
ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - $170
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9T-6GBNQ - $170

The sky is the limit with memory in a x64 based system, but I wouldn't worry about expanding that to 12gb until the price of DDR3 drops a bit. You should see a fair increase in memory performance with 2gb less in a triple channel configuration. Your real weak spot in your current build is the processor, and with an additional two physical cores and six logical cores, assuming Lightwave 3D is properly multi-threaded, you should see a hell of an increase in performance with the processor upgrade alone.

Just an idea.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2010 1:14:35 PM

Frys has the 9550 for $229. Do you live close to Wilsonville?
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May 12, 2010 1:30:49 PM

cookies said:
I don't see why you would need to upgrade your current GPU unless you're planning on increasing performance in games. Minimum requirements state you need an FX 5200 series card (OLD) with a recommended 128mb graphics memory for each monitor you're running. You should be OK without a GPU upgrade, I'd just go for either the Q9550 (12mb L2, 2.83ghz, $280) or the Q9400 (6mb L2, 2.66ghz, $190) and call it good if you absolutely must stay LGA775.

omg i has a fx5200 but it can just barely handle win7 aero
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May 12, 2010 3:22:13 PM

That 930 upgrade would be definitely interesting. I was somewhat stumped at the poor performance in Lightwave with the 9600 GTX if that were the case. The mesh was about 125K polygons with a distortion map and UV texture on it. That could entirely be processor's fault there. It was literally "move camera, wait 4 seconds, refresh." Hard to animate with that kind of feedback.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2010 3:45:44 PM

cookies said:
I'm more inclined to suggest moving to LGA 1366 and cutting your losses on LGA 775 before sinking any more money into parts for the socket though. For around $630 you can purchase a new motherboard, memory and processor, and not be stuck in a dead socket.


Nothing against socket 1366, but isn't it also a dead socket at this point?

Otherwise, the i7-920/930 is a great processor, but last I heard, the socket is scheduled to be replaced next year.
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May 12, 2010 3:52:16 PM

Lga 1366 will be obsolete soon. Same with evey single other computer or peripjeral. The week later there will always be somethinf better for a lower price. Thats just how it is. And though i see peolle alwqys buying the best to "future proff" their computers thats probsbly impossible...
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2010 3:58:46 PM

Yeah, I was just questioning the "1366 != dead" part.

Technically, AM3 is included in AMD's roadmap for next year, and I fully expect it to be off the roadmap for 2012...but unlike 1366, a replacement hasn't been announced yet.

I'd suggest:
1156 = dead
1366 = dead
AM3 = not dead yet, but lifespan is limited

Of course, this may not be relevant to the OP, unless he decides that an AM3 hex-core would be better for his purposes than an i5/7.
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May 12, 2010 4:50:14 PM

coldsleep said:
Nothing against socket 1366, but isn't it also a dead socket at this point?

Otherwise, the i7-920/930 is a great processor, but last I heard, the socket is scheduled to be replaced next year.

Sorry for being misleading. By dead socket I was referring less to future CPU upgrades, as I would think a jump to 1366 would last at least 3 years (end of life for almost any socket), and more towards easier to obtain / cheaper components (upgrades, replacements) throughout the life of his motherboard / CPU. Memory for example. Have you seen the rising cost of DDR2 vs. the declining price of DDR3?

I would have suggested AM3 if there was triple channel support, but even then for the type of work being done here even the 920 outperforms the 1090t in most situations, and at a lower cost.

Anyway, sorry for screwing up my terminology and causing some confusion.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2010 5:15:02 PM

I'm uncertain that triple-channel offers a significant improvement for this work, and I suspect that the cost for new cpu+ram+mobo is about equal between 1366 & AM3, even if you can get to a Microcenter for a $200 i7-920.

I do agree that the i7-920 is probably sufficient for the next couple of years, and with the earlier point that a GPU upgrade is unnecessary for the work being performed. And it does look like, based on some quick googling, that After Effects is not really pumping out enough threads to truly take advantage of the additional physical cores on the 1090.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2010 5:47:13 PM

I say get a Q9550 and give it a mild overclock. The CPU is your main bottlneck right now and an overclocked Q9550 won't be too far behind a 920 i7. You could get a Radeon 5770 and a third monitor, so long as it has display port or you use a display port active adapter. If you want to stick with dual monitors then I suppose just spend a little more and get a 5850 instead. Lightwave does seem to respond better to workstation cards of the nVidia variety, so it will just depend on the what work you do as to if a 5850 will be worth the extra cost over the 5770. I doubt the 5850 would have much advantage of the 5770 in After Effects since the GPU acceleration isn't that great yet, but to be honest I sparingly use After Effects.
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May 12, 2010 5:50:30 PM

Do you think that triple channel RAM makes that much of a difference? I know it helps programs like Photoshop for a reason that escapes me at the moment but in After Effects it tends to be quantity over the speed of the RAM that helps out.
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May 12, 2010 6:00:45 PM

Actually in CS5, they've made some massive improvements in the threading operation of After Effects since they jumped the program over to 64 Bit. That's what made the 1090 interesting to me.

Ultimately it sounds like 3 choices:
1) Upgrade the 775 with a 9550 and a video card update (probably a 250 now that I think about it)
2) Get a new 1366 MB, i7 930 and 6GB of RAM and possibly a video card depending on the new performance.
3) Get an AM3 MB, 1090 and 8GB of DDR3 1333 RAM.

Ultimately I would like to have a solution that I don't want to have to touch for another 3 years or so :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2010 6:12:45 PM

If your plan is to not touch it for 3 years after upgrading, I would lean towards option 2 or 3.

In 3 years, it's likely that neither 1366 nor AM3 are going to be viable anyway, so that choice doesn't matter, and it's really up to your preference, I think.

If CS5 has made improvements, and you expect to mostly be doing highly-threaded work, then the 1090T is a viable option, as the additional physical cores will help out. If you do a lot of mixed-load work (switching between multi-threaded and single-threaded), then the i7 might be a better choice. In either case, I expect you'll see a noticeable jump from your current system.

And I just don't see triple-channel RAM making a huge difference. It might, I guess, but I suspect it's one of those things that jumps out more in benchmarks more than real-world use.
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May 12, 2010 11:26:07 PM

So going on a bit of a look-see around Newegg I put together this computer. Any opinions/suggestions would be appreciated.

Case: Antec 300 Case
HD: 2x Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB
Video: SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W
RAM: 3x G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ
MB: ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
CPU: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366
CPU Fan: ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED 120mm 2 Ball Low-noise Blue LED CPU Cooler
OS: Win 7 64bit Professional

All that pieced together for $1501 including shipping.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2010 11:59:44 PM

^ Drop the ASRock and get a P6T SE. Drop the 9900LED and get a Hyper 212+. Drop down to a Corsair 650TX. You want a nVidia card if you plan to run CS4/CS5 due to CUDA acceleration for Zoom,etc.

Quote:

And I just don't see triple-channel RAM making a huge difference. It might, I guess, but I suspect it's one of those things that jumps out more in benchmarks more than real-world use.

Correct. There is VERY FEW cases where RAM bandwidth really matters now. (ie. HPC)

Also DO realize, that the LGA1366 dying/dead is not really verified. I seriously doubt Intel would kill that platform for the SIMPLE reason that there would be a LOT OF pissed off Server buyers. The LGA1366 is/was meant for server to begin with. If Intel DID discontinue the "Core i7" platform for the LGA1366, motherboard manufactures (ie Gigabyte,ASUS,etc) will probably supply BIOS updates for the "Xeon" variants of the LGA1366.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 13, 2010 3:26:04 AM

At the very least they will be releasing new sockets though.

It may languish on like socket 775 (you could build new systems from newegg with that still). But I don't think they'll do much more than what AMD is doing (releasing slightly faster CPU's at the same price) as far as new CPU releases.
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