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Want to Upgrade processor, need HELP!

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August 22, 2011 3:15:25 AM

Ok so i got a dell about a year ago (mistake) and have learned a lot since then, mainly that building your own PC is a better route. Anyway i want to upgrade this PC or maybe even use current parts to build my new one. The main thing i want to achieve is a faster PC. mine isnt slow right now but im just wanting the best i can get for my buck. So here are my specs:

Intel i7 860 @2.8GHz
8GB RAM
ATI Radeon HD 5670 (1GB i think)


Those are the only specs i know how to get. Anyway it takes me about 30-40minutes to render out a video thats 10min long. i know its pretty good but judging by that id like to cut that time in half. Even better if possible. I really just need someone who can guide me to either using current parts to build a new PC or upgrade this one to a better pc. Whatever is more cost efficient.


More about : upgrade processor

August 22, 2011 5:25:20 AM

hey that's a pretty nice processor. are you doing any maintenance on your system? virus scanners/spyware scanners, defragging? checking for any memory errors etc?

the video card isn't the greatest...you should download sisoftware sandra...let it run a few benchmarks on your specific components, and see what is running weak.
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August 22, 2011 5:26:24 AM

:o 

30-40 minutes of rendering for 10 minutes of video isn't very impressive. I'm willing to bet a lot of money that it's your motherboard and GPU combo. First of all - what case and PSU are you using? You say you've got a Dell (which isn't a bad manufacturer BTW), so you're probably stuck with a generic case and PSU. Luckily the i7 860 isn't a bad CPU at all. A little old, yes, but still totally powerful enough to run the newest games/programs with ease.

I would recommend:

1. A new case, as knowing Dell you're probably stuck with a generic tower. Several reasons: Firstly, you're going to need more space for a better cooler if you want to overclock your CPU (which you want). The 860's are known to run a little hot, so a Cooler Master Hyper 212+ or Cooler Master V6GT is going to be a very welcome addition. Secondly, you're going to need the ventilation of a better case for more efficient cooling. Cases to look at: Cooler Master CM690 II, Cooler Master Storm Scout, Gigabyte SUMO-ALPHA, etc. Thirdly, a smaller generic case probably won't have space for the new GPU you're going to so desperately need.

2. A better PSU. Once again, knowing Dell, you're stuck with a generic PSU. A better PSU will aid in the overclocking process as well as to eliminate noise and excessive heat. Good PSU's to look at include Silver Stone ES 500, Corsair CX500, Cooler Master GX550, Corsair GS600, etc.

Your RAM is good for video rendering (8GB is a nice amount to have for that, more isn't really going to help). I don't really know it's speed or CAS Latency, but that shouldn't make too much of a difference.

The GPU is outdated. No matter if it has 1GB VRAM, it's old and that's one thing you cannot spare on if you're trying to do video editing. If you are serious about rendering, I would recommend at least an ATI HD5850, preferably the 2GB version. I would go for the Sapphire HD6950 2GB though, as it's well priced and from a decent manufacturer. It will definitely increase your system performance and even more so your video rendering time.
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August 22, 2011 8:29:38 PM

What everyone is saying is kind of on the mark, but without knowing what program you are using for rendering many of the suggestions may be a waste of time. To make an educated recommendation it would be good to know the operating system, application being used, resolution of source and target video, etc...
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August 23, 2011 3:29:17 AM

ngoy said:
What everyone is saying is kind of on the mark, but without knowing what program you are using for rendering many of the suggestions may be a waste of time. To make an educated recommendation it would be good to know the operating system, application being used, resolution of source and target video, etc...



Thank you. you seem the most laid back and im glad you took the approach to this the way i was hoping for. i rendered my last video as an (.mp4) and its 596MB in size. I use sony vegas pro 9 to render and i render at 29.97 FPS 1280x720. I am running Windows 7. I also forgot to mention that im a frequent livestreamer of video games so i need to make sure i can keep up with that. currently i dont have many issues but whatever helps with streaming i could use more of. :-)
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August 23, 2011 3:46:10 AM

Frizzo said:
hey that's a pretty nice processor. are you doing any maintenance on your system? virus scanners/spyware scanners, defragging? checking for any memory errors etc?

the video card isn't the greatest...you should download sisoftware sandra...let it run a few benchmarks on your specific components, and see what is running weak.



i dont do any of that. i have AVG that runs and thats about it. im downloading the software and scanning now.



Post Scan Results:
i got a 696 and the test computer was at 1350. sooo ill haveta play with this to see where my issues are =/
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August 23, 2011 3:50:55 AM

Toxxyc said:
:o 

30-40 minutes of rendering for 10 minutes of video isn't very impressive. I'm willing to bet a lot of money that it's your motherboard and GPU combo. First of all - what case and PSU are you using? You say you've got a Dell (which isn't a bad manufacturer BTW), so you're probably stuck with a generic case and PSU. Luckily the i7 860 isn't a bad CPU at all. A little old, yes, but still totally powerful enough to run the newest games/programs with ease.

I would recommend:

1. A new case, as knowing Dell you're probably stuck with a generic tower. Several reasons: Firstly, you're going to need more space for a better cooler if you want to overclock your CPU (which you want). The 860's are known to run a little hot, so a Cooler Master Hyper 212+ or Cooler Master V6GT is going to be a very welcome addition. Secondly, you're going to need the ventilation of a better case for more efficient cooling. Cases to look at: Cooler Master CM690 II, Cooler Master Storm Scout, Gigabyte SUMO-ALPHA, etc. Thirdly, a smaller generic case probably won't have space for the new GPU you're going to so desperately need.

2. A better PSU. Once again, knowing Dell, you're stuck with a generic PSU. A better PSU will aid in the overclocking process as well as to eliminate noise and excessive heat. Good PSU's to look at include Silver Stone ES 500, Corsair CX500, Cooler Master GX550, Corsair GS600, etc.

Your RAM is good for video rendering (8GB is a nice amount to have for that, more isn't really going to help). I don't really know it's speed or CAS Latency, but that shouldn't make too much of a difference.

The GPU is outdated. No matter if it has 1GB VRAM, it's old and that's one thing you cannot spare on if you're trying to do video editing. If you are serious about rendering, I would recommend at least an ATI HD5850, preferably the 2GB version. I would go for the Sapphire HD6950 2GB though, as it's well priced and from a decent manufacturer. It will definitely increase your system performance and even more so your video rendering time.




Yeah a lot of what you said isnt in my terminology, im still fairly new to learning computers hence asking for advice. i understand more space for new tower etc but dont know how to check my power supply, unless i take the case apart? Also this comp is about a year old, the GPU outdated that quick? haha its always annoying having to continually upgrade parts, kinda wish id have built a custom PC to do this all with ease.

Anyway your suggestion is to use most of my current parts mixed in with some new parts and have my pc that way?

PS- how much is overclocking going to benefit me? as in amount of GHz gained etc
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August 23, 2011 5:04:17 AM

That cpu is probably capable of overclocking at least 33% more than its stock speed.

If you chunked it all and built a new system with an overclocked 2500k you can come close to doubling your current speed. If your software is capable of running a lot of threads then you could do even better with the 2600k.
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August 23, 2011 5:19:05 AM

sneakyazshiite said:
Yeah a lot of what you said isnt in my terminology, im still fairly new to learning computers hence asking for advice. i understand more space for new tower etc but dont know how to check my power supply, unless i take the case apart? Also this comp is about a year old, the GPU outdated that quick? haha its always annoying having to continually upgrade parts, kinda wish id have built a custom PC to do this all with ease.

Anyway your suggestion is to use most of my current parts mixed in with some new parts and have my pc that way?

PS- how much is overclocking going to benefit me? as in amount of GHz gained etc


I recommend getting new things you can use on a new build as well. Upgrade "in part" as you would. With regards to the GPU being outdated, it's not a case of actually being old as much as it isn't powerful. You can buy a brand spanking new Nvidia GeForce GT520, which is the newest generation card on the market, but it won't run nearly as well as a more expensive card. The 5670 is an ATI card, in the previous generation (which nothing is wrong with), but its processor, memory and bus speeds are limited. This results in a less-than-optimally performing card, meaning no matter how old or new it is, it doesn't cost much and doesn't mean much for a CPU and RAM as you have in your PC. Thus I recommend you firstly upgrade your graphics card, case (bigger graphics card may not fit in your current case) and power supply (a stronger graphics card requires a much stronger power supply) as you can use the case, power supply and graphics card all in a new build, should you wish to take that route. That means no components are "wasted" in the sense that you're going to chuck everything away on your next upgrade, on the contrary, as card like the HD6950 2GB is totally strong enough to last years to come, and should the time be right you can simply get another one (XFire motherboards are cheaper than SLI boards in general anyhow) and run two of them in SLI giving you top-notch performance from the start again.

With regards to overclocking, I wouldn't mind too much about it at this time. Your graphics card is holding back your system (it's called "bottlenecking") so rather upgrade what is needed before you spend money on a new cooler and spend time overclocking something that's not going to provide any significant gain.
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August 23, 2011 5:20:43 AM

cadder said:
That cpu is probably capable of overclocking at least 33% more than its stock speed.

If you chunked it all and built a new system with an overclocked 2500k you can come close to doubling your current speed. If your software is capable of running a lot of threads then you could do even better with the 2600k.

Actually, both options (2500K or 2600K) is completely useless if he sticks with his current GPU. You can put a V12 engine in a VW Beetle, but if you don't upgrade the gearbox it's not going anywhere faster than it used to.
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August 23, 2011 6:03:59 AM

Hi:

1) I highly recommend you keep your current setup. There's not much difference between a 2500K and i7-860. The i7-860 is a great CPU.

2) Have you tried the free program HANDBRAKE?

3) A good NVidia card, with the right software, can reduce the time however for maximum quality it should be done ONLY on the CPU. Before getting a different graphics card, try using software that processes with your graphics card and see if the quality is acceptable.

Summary:
My main advice is to:
1) Not upgrade your system
2) try different Software like HANDBRAKE
3) encode video overnight or at work
4) For graphics encoding, wait for the software to improve and then maybe get a better graphics card to help boost
5) If overclocking your CPU, buy a $30 to $50 Heatsink for your CPU. See NCIX. I have a Gigabyte board and it comes with a utility which lets me choose to overclock to 3.8GHz and it reboots and then its done. Easy! When I'm done converting video I go back to stock speeds because an overclocked CPU would not help any of my games (My CPU uses only 30% when paired with an HD5870 for video games. If I overclock by 25%, however it finishes exactly 25% faster. When I use Handbrake it uses all four cores and all four threads to 100%)
6) Many programs, like Handbrake, allow you to BATCH a set of videos to convert. I did that myself. I had to convert 22 episodes of Anime. I set things up for the first video, then basically dragged all the remaining videos over one at a time and ran it over night. I forget how long it took, probably 12 hours.
7) OpenCL (not OpenGL) is a set of tools meant to help people create software that can utilize both a CPU and Graphics card. The people that create video encoding programs that can fully utilize a CPU and graphics card are just not there yet with a quality encoding program.

I expect to see a great OpenCL program that can fully utilize not only your CPU but also a graphics card in say one to two years.

Summary:
It would cost you a lot of money to do better to replace an i7-860 with a significantly better CPU. You may have unrealistic expectations on how much faster you can convert video.

Graphics solutions will make a huge difference but the software just isn't there yet.
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August 23, 2011 6:20:21 AM

Rendering from sony vegas can be bottlenecked by any part of your system; cpu and gpu are the main factors but I'm surprised hdd has not even been mentioned. I'm also surprised motherboard was stated and I would be against changing this as it's such a minor change in render times, if any. The i7 860 is still a pretty powerful cpu in today's standard. A new cpu is not completely useless as it can speed up render times but is probably the least cost efficient and would be the last thing to change. Gpu is pretty weak and would be my first upgrade but since IDK what you're rendering to, the best option IMO would be to check cpu and gpu usage (just to make sure what you're doing is gpu accelerated). If neither are high you are being bottlenecked by your hdd, assuming you don't have an ssd as you did not state.

A new gpu would probably require a new psu since you'd probably want a 6950. If you tell me your dell model number, I could find you psu model in a few seconds (I'm guessing your pc is an xps 8000 series with a 400w psu). Alternatively, you can open you case and read the label on it. Tell us the the amps on the +12. Or just take a picture if you don't understand it.

A budget has yet been stated and am wondering how much it is. Cost efficiency is always important but so is a budget.
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August 23, 2011 6:48:04 AM

I don't have an answer to this Q but doesn't video rendering require a lot of reads and writes on the HDD?
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August 23, 2011 12:15:43 PM

k1114 said:
Rendering from sony vegas can be bottlenecked by any part of your system; cpu and gpu are the main factors but I'm surprised hdd has not even been mentioned. I'm also surprised motherboard was stated and I would be against changing this as it's such a minor change in render times, if any. The i7 860 is still a pretty powerful cpu in today's standard. A new cpu is not completely useless as it can speed up render times but is probably the least cost efficient and would be the last thing to change. Gpu is pretty weak and would be my first upgrade but since IDK what you're rendering to, the best option IMO would be to check cpu and gpu usage (just to make sure what you're doing is gpu accelerated). If neither are high you are being bottlenecked by your hdd, assuming you don't have an ssd as you did not state.

A new gpu would probably require a new psu since you'd probably want a 6950. If you tell me your dell model number, I could find you psu model in a few seconds (I'm guessing your pc is an xps 8000 series with a 400w psu). Alternatively, you can open you case and read the label on it. Tell us the the amps on the +12. Or just take a picture if you don't understand it.

A budget has yet been stated and am wondering how much it is. Cost efficiency is always important but so is a budget.



Studio XPS Desktop 8100


budget im not sure of just yet.
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August 23, 2011 12:16:57 PM

photonboy said:
Hi:

1) I highly recommend you keep your current setup. There's not much difference between a 2500K and i7-860. The i7-860 is a great CPU.

2) Have you tried the free program HANDBRAKE?

3) A good NVidia card, with the right software, can reduce the time however for maximum quality it should be done ONLY on the CPU. Before getting a different graphics card, try using software that processes with your graphics card and see if the quality is acceptable.

Summary:
My main advice is to:
1) Not upgrade your system
2) try different Software like HANDBRAKE
3) encode video overnight or at work
4) For graphics encoding, wait for the software to improve and then maybe get a better graphics card to help boost
5) If overclocking your CPU, buy a $30 to $50 Heatsink for your CPU. See NCIX. I have a Gigabyte board and it comes with a utility which lets me choose to overclock to 3.8GHz and it reboots and then its done. Easy! When I'm done converting video I go back to stock speeds because an overclocked CPU would not help any of my games (My CPU uses only 30% when paired with an HD5870 for video games. If I overclock by 25%, however it finishes exactly 25% faster. When I use Handbrake it uses all four cores and all four threads to 100%)
6) Many programs, like Handbrake, allow you to BATCH a set of videos to convert. I did that myself. I had to convert 22 episodes of Anime. I set things up for the first video, then basically dragged all the remaining videos over one at a time and ran it over night. I forget how long it took, probably 12 hours.
7) OpenCL (not OpenGL) is a set of tools meant to help people create software that can utilize both a CPU and Graphics card. The people that create video encoding programs that can fully utilize a CPU and graphics card are just not there yet with a quality encoding program.

I expect to see a great OpenCL program that can fully utilize not only your CPU but also a graphics card in say one to two years.

Summary:
It would cost you a lot of money to do better to replace an i7-860 with a significantly better CPU. You may have unrealistic expectations on how much faster you can convert video.

Graphics solutions will make a huge difference but the software just isn't there yet.



i have not tried handbrake
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August 23, 2011 9:32:10 PM

It doesn't look like Vegas 9 does GPU acceleration, 10 Pro may but only with nvidia/cuda. Someone mentioned above about hard drive writes. You need to make sure you have at least two drives for video rendering, a source and target drive. Rendering with a single drive is doomed to be a slow process. Many people setup multiple drive raid 0 arrays to speed up rendering (reading is faster than writing, so reading sequentially from a single drive isn't normally an issue, it is the writing that is slow and multiple target drives helps immensely).

So start off if you haven't already with getting a second hard drive to render to as the target. I'm unsure of the options inside of Sony Vegas for any other performance enhancing options though (you may have the possibility of a scratch drive in addition to a separate target, Photoshop has or did have an option for a scratch drive). The preferred "cheap" setup is to have your OS/program files on one drive, your source material on a second drive, and then render to a third.

If you are not able to get another drive quickly, just try using a USB 2.0 thumbdrive as a target if you have one.

Someone mentioned handbrake, which I think has GPU acceleration, and you have an ATI card, which means the AVIVO video converter supports your card also iirc. Although AVIVO seems to have quality issues even though it is supposedly faster.
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August 23, 2011 10:32:37 PM

ngoy said:
It doesn't look like Vegas 9 does GPU acceleration, 10 Pro may but only with nvidia/cuda. Someone mentioned above about hard drive writes. You need to make sure you have at least two drives for video rendering, a source and target drive. Rendering with a single drive is doomed to be a slow process. Many people setup multiple drive raid 0 arrays to speed up rendering (reading is faster than writing, so reading sequentially from a single drive isn't normally an issue, it is the writing that is slow and multiple target drives helps immensely).

So start off if you haven't already with getting a second hard drive to render to as the target. I'm unsure of the options inside of Sony Vegas for any other performance enhancing options though (you may have the possibility of a scratch drive in addition to a separate target, Photoshop has or did have an option for a scratch drive). The preferred "cheap" setup is to have your OS/program files on one drive, your source material on a second drive, and then render to a third.

If you are not able to get another drive quickly, just try using a USB 2.0 thumbdrive as a target if you have one.

Someone mentioned handbrake, which I think has GPU acceleration, and you have an ATI card, which means the AVIVO video converter supports your card also iirc. Although AVIVO seems to have quality issues even though it is supposedly faster.



I do have an external HD from Western Digital that i havent used. But ive been thinking about getting a bigger hardrive for my desktop anyway as ive used up most of my 500GB. Can i just get any harddrive to add to my desktop? then i can just record and render videos to that HD. my videos i make are what take up all of my HD space. so if i could get a really large HD to add to my desktop for space and potentially speeding up my render times then i think thats the option i should explore first =)

Are there any restrictions to the type of HD i can buy for my desktop?
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November 29, 2011 5:21:47 PM

sneakyazshiite said:
Studio XPS Desktop 8100


budget im not sure of just yet.


I dont know if you're still in this boat, but I just saw your thread, and its funny, because I went through the exact same thing, with the exact same Dell computer. I was trying to upgrade for gaming needs, but the issues were the same. Here's what I did:

- Transplanted the Dell into a new CoolerMaster case with 4 case fans -$70
- New heatsink -$50
- New GeForce GTX 560ti Oc'd to 950mhz -$250
- New Corsair 650w PSU -$80


The final piece of the puzzle was to OC the 860 to about 3.2 from its stock 2.8 but it turns out since I transplanted the same Dell Mobo, there's just no way to do this because Dell locks any OC options. So for the past couple of months I've been running it at 2.8Ghz with the above mentioned changes and it really feels like I purchased a significantly upgraded new system for a total expenditure of $400 (assuming you can do the work yourself of course). I forgot the benchmark numbers now, but my score on Furmark went up considerably and so did my FPS on my games.

Eventually I will buy a new mobo and put everything I have onto that and see if I cant get a little more longevity from this 860. I've been reluctant to do this thus far because as I understand it, if I replace the mobo that came from Dell, I will also I have to purchase and install a new copy of Windows 7 64-bit. Can anyone confirm this? Thanks.
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February 14, 2013 8:24:58 AM

I actually just started a new thread. I ended up buying a new PSU and GPU (which ill edit into that thread today after i get home). The rendering isnt needed anymore as ive switching to a primarily gaming/livestreaming setup on my pc. Im looking to maximize my current setup (if indeed it is worth upgrading rather than purchasing a new computer). If you guys are interested you can check the thread out and give me some feedback. I appreciate the answers youve all posted =)


http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...
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February 14, 2013 8:26:30 AM

berkinaslan said:
I dont know if you're still in this boat, but I just saw your thread, and its funny, because I went through the exact same thing, with the exact same Dell computer. I was trying to upgrade for gaming needs, but the issues were the same. Here's what I did:

- Transplanted the Dell into a new CoolerMaster case with 4 case fans -$70
- New heatsink -$50
- New GeForce GTX 560ti Oc'd to 950mhz -$250
- New Corsair 650w PSU -$80


The final piece of the puzzle was to OC the 860 to about 3.2 from its stock 2.8 but it turns out since I transplanted the same Dell Mobo, there's just no way to do this because Dell locks any OC options. So for the past couple of months I've been running it at 2.8Ghz with the above mentioned changes and it really feels like I purchased a significantly upgraded new system for a total expenditure of $400 (assuming you can do the work yourself of course). I forgot the benchmark numbers now, but my score on Furmark went up considerably and so did my FPS on my games.

Eventually I will buy a new mobo and put everything I have onto that and see if I cant get a little more longevity from this 860. I've been reluctant to do this thus far because as I understand it, if I replace the mobo that came from Dell, I will also I have to purchase and install a new copy of Windows 7 64-bit. Can anyone confirm this? Thanks.



Wanna come over to my new thread and post that? that way we can get feedback on it and see if itll help my current situation? Thanks bud!

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...
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