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Mixed Use CPU - Intel vs AMD

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September 4, 2010 11:22:48 PM

A quick note - I'm not a hardware novice, but I don't keep up with the latest greatest. I do a lot of web development and could use some advice on CPU/Mobo/RAM combos and the best bang for my buck in creating an interesting development environment. Especially since I'm getting into some video work. I've decided to try to explain how I want to use my new system & am hoping for some general guidance.

I'm currently looking to build a new system, preferably one I can virtualize some test machines on. I'd like to try my hand with VMWare ESX. Anyhow, I try to mirror parts of my data center when I develop. One day I may need an Ubuntu server running an web application server like Railo (ColdFusion) and other days I may need a CentOS system for working with Asterisk VoIP. Point: I need some flexibility. The web servers I use aren't just hosting static content. There is a lot going on (dynamic code processing, caching servers, etc).

My OS of choice for coding is Windows (and because I'll be hooked into an AD environment). I run a lot of Java based tools like Eclipse and Flash Builder, as well as tools like PGAdmin and MySQL Workbench. However; what I'm most concerned with is the new video work I'll be doing with Adobe Premiere. I won't be generating massive movies or anything, but I will be putting together video tutorials and some simple commercials.

Here's the kicker, I'm trying to do all of this on one machine. Not all of it at the same time, but I will always have at least two virtual machines active simultaneously on the same hardware. I'm looking for a CPU that can keep up. Most of the server side apps I develop perform better with more RAM, but I understand video processing is pretty CPU intensive. So, I'm not sure whether an Intel or AMD base is the way to go. On a side note, there will be absolutely no video games running. I don't have time for 'em.

I'm happy to answer any further questions for anyone willing to help me out. Much appreciated!!!!

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a c 215 à CPUs
September 4, 2010 11:50:27 PM

VM's and video work both stand out to me and tell me you should look into an i7, intel recently dropped the price of the 950 down to $300 on newegg, even less at a place like microcenter, its now only slightly more than an i7 930. You are going to want like 12GB of ram for all that but an i7 950 should be able to handle it all quite well.
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September 5, 2010 12:06:18 AM

Thanks for such a quick response! I figured I'd need a lot of RAM... I'd actually been thinking along the lines of 24GB, but I'm not sure if there are really any reasonably priced motherboards available, not to mention that much RAM will probably be a pretty penny.

What's the advantage of the 950 over the 930? Honestly, a few extra bucks for the right CPU is not a big deal... anything in the $300 range sounds reasonable to me. I'm curious what the difference is though. On that note, why would you recommend an i7 over an AMD CPU?
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a c 215 à CPUs
September 5, 2010 12:15:51 AM

An i7 950 runs at 3.06GHz vs the 2.8GHz of the 930, its higher multiplier will make it a bit easier to get a high OC out of if you want to, thats the only difference between the two.

The only AMD CPU that would be comparable for stuff like VMs and video editing is a 1090T, its a 6 core instead of the i7's 4 cores with hyper threading but the i7 has the advantage because of a higher IPC so at the same speed it would beat the 1090T easily in CPU based tasks, it also has triple channel memory while all AMD desktop setups are dual channel and for CPU intensive apps memory bandwidth does count so that will give an LGA 1366 based i7 a bigger lead.
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September 12, 2010 12:20:11 AM

Best answer selected by goldglovecb.
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