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What is better? Old I7 950, or the 8350 piledriver?

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November 23, 2012 6:48:07 PM

O.K.,

I am building a computer PRIMARILY for video rendering. The rendering I do takes my old I5 460 and its 6GB of ram, about 30 or so hours to complete (I use Adobe CS6 suite, fyi).

I am trying to cut that down, so I am building a rendering machine on a very tight budget. I WAS going with an AMD 8350 8 core system, because #1 It is Cheap, and #2 Adobe software is able to utilize the eight cores in a way that, say, games could not.

However, a friend of mine just offered me a I7 950 for free. I like free! However, I am not sure that it will meet my needs. I was planning on going with a full 32 gb of ram...something which is not possible with the I7; max is 24, @1066 (3x8 or 4x6 which is SUPER expensive...more expensive than the 32gb!!) .

What should I do? Is the difference in the two CPU's going to be so noticeable, or is the performance going to be more GPU based, than Ram/Cpu?

More about : 950 8350 piledriver

November 23, 2012 7:22:04 PM

Oh, I am getting an AMD Radeon HD 7870, if that makes any difference in this equation.
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November 23, 2012 7:38:17 PM

An i7 950 is slightly worse then an fx 8350, and is on-par when overclocked. However lga 1336 motherboards are expensive, and like you said ram is also expensive so it might be cheaper to buy an fx 8350.

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November 23, 2012 7:41:21 PM

I forgot to add: He is actually willing to give me the CPU, motherboard, AND the Ram, although currently he has 4x3 =12 gb...so I would probably end up buying the ram..
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November 23, 2012 7:45:21 PM

hafijur said:
amd are budget cpu's for a reason. Number 1 they are slow, number 2 they are power hungry. To be honest that ancient i7 950 will compete with that amd fx8350 in terms of performance per watt although the 8350 should win outright performance.

The way I see it, soon as you are looking at getting an 8350 why not try the free i7 950 and see the change in render times.

Having said that the bulldozer if you can afford the electricity bills around double intel ivy bridge for same performance then go ahead and get the fx8350.

second thoughts is the i5 460m mobile 32nm cpu. You might as well get a laptop with i7 3610qm or 3720qm that destroys any amd desktop 8 core cpu they have released on 90% of benchmarks and it is only 45w tdp or you could get a 35w 3612qm as well.

You will be using 1/3 of the energy compared to a desktop bulldozer chip.


Not concerned in the least with energy consumption. You say the I7 950 is "ancient"?

Yes, the I5 is in a laptop. I am done with laptops. I need some decent power, and a laptop with anything remotely close to what I want would be 1500 dollars plus. They are so fragile too...I have three kids! :) 
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November 23, 2012 8:53:27 PM

samuelohagan said:
An i7 950 is slightly worse then an fx 8350, and is on-par when overclocked. However lga 1336 motherboards are expensive, and like you said ram is also expensive so it might be cheaper to buy an fx 8350.


Now, I SAY Ram is cheaper... 1336 is triple channel...can you just buy 2 8gbx2 kits, and just use 3 of the 4 sticks? My understanding is that you can get 1333 mhz ram, and the 1336 board will just clock it down to 1066. Anyone know if that is accurate?
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November 23, 2012 8:59:18 PM

hafijur said:
amd are budget cpu's for a reason. Number 1 they are slow, number 2 they are power hungry. To be honest that ancient i7 950 will compete with that amd fx8350 in terms of performance per watt although the 8350 should win outright performance.

The way I see it, soon as you are looking at getting an 8350 why not try the free i7 950 and see the change in render times.

Having said that the bulldozer if you can afford the electricity bills around double intel ivy bridge for same performance then go ahead and get the fx8350.

second thoughts is the i5 460m mobile 32nm cpu. You might as well get a laptop with i7 3610qm or 3720qm that destroys any amd desktop 8 core cpu they have released on 90% of benchmarks and it is only 45w tdp or you could get a 35w 3612qm as well.

You will be using 1/3 of the energy compared to a desktop bulldozer chip.

Just his way of tryjng to say something negative about AMD. It doesn't matter to them if the chip is good they just want to down AMD every chance they get. The chip is very good for your intended purposes and should excel at since all the Intel fans claim it's no good for gaming.
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November 23, 2012 9:11:08 PM

chase3567 said:
Just his way of tryjng to say something negative about AMD. It doesn't matter to them if the chip is good they just want to down AMD every chance they get. The chip is very good for your intended purposes and should excel at since all the Intel fans claim it's no good for gaming.


I know the AMD overall is better. But with someone willing to give me, free, the I7 with the mobo, I am just wondering if I wouldn't be better off taking the I7, and investing the saved 250-350 dollars (that I would save on the Amd +motherboard) in something else: better video card, maybe an SSD boot drive, etc....
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November 23, 2012 9:49:08 PM

You're absolutely right about the clocks dropping to 1066MHz - that's exactly what's going on in my setup. And you're also right that it makes sense to take that offer. The FX could deliver slightly better performance for what you're after, but they're not miles apart. For a more recent proxy for comparison, the i7 950 is very close to the i5 2500 in performance. Why not take this stuff and give it a spin with the 12GB RAM and see how you go with it? You can always add more memory if you need to, but may find you're fine with what's there.
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November 23, 2012 9:52:27 PM

Havensdad said:
I know the AMD overall is better. But with someone willing to give me, free, the I7 with the mobo, I am just wondering if I wouldn't be better off taking the I7, and investing the saved 250-350 dollars (that I would save on the Amd +motherboard) in something else: better video card, maybe an SSD boot drive, etc....

If someone is giving that to you for free and it will save you money than go that route
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November 23, 2012 10:51:27 PM

12GB is plenty of RAM, video encoding doesn't really use all that much. Definitely use the free hardware, it should be a great upgrade.
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November 23, 2012 11:41:52 PM

twelve25 said:
12GB is plenty of RAM, video encoding doesn't really use all that much. Definitely use the free hardware, it should be a great upgrade.


How well versed are you on the Adobe CS6 suite? They recommend a minimum of 8 gb's, and on the Adobe site, there are people on their with 32 gigs complaining about maxing out their ram!
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November 24, 2012 2:12:05 AM

By way of comparison, other Cs6 users have 10 and 12 core processors, with Ram in the HUNDREDS...
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November 24, 2012 2:39:46 AM

Hundreds is an absolute waste. The only thing that can use that much is After Effects and even then Adobe recommends up to 4GB per core. The other parts of the suite aren't really ever going to use more than 8-12. I suspect you will already be getting 2-3 times the performance with the i7 and 12 GB, but if you went to 24, you'd have a huge cushion.

If you did have a dual opteron 16 core system. you could possibly make use of 128GB of RAM, but I build those servers at work for Virtualization and you are talking $10k on sale.
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November 24, 2012 2:54:48 AM

Those charts are for CPU based encoding. If you used the free processor and found a supported Nvidia CUDA video card, you could see a HUGE advantage.
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November 24, 2012 3:36:27 AM

I guess I could overclock the CPU, and have performance basically equivalent to the AMD (other than the lower ram capability...)
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November 24, 2012 8:33:04 AM

Havensdad said:
I guess I could overclock the CPU, and have performance basically equivalent to the AMD (other than the lower ram capability...)


Lower RAM clock frequency, but triple channel compared to dual channel with the AMD setup.
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November 24, 2012 5:10:02 PM

From the benchmarks I have seen, there isn't much difference. And the AMD can handle 32 gigs...where as the I7 can only take 24 gigs..
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November 24, 2012 5:28:52 PM

'Only' 24GB :-) Have you seen any benchmarks demonstrating the advantage that over 24GB gives? Or even over 12GB? I think a lot of people here would be interested to see that.
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November 24, 2012 5:34:28 PM

Havensdad said:
O.K.,

I am building a computer PRIMARILY for video rendering. The rendering I do takes my old I5 460 and its 6GB of ram, about 30 or so hours to complete (I use Adobe CS6 suite, fyi).

I am trying to cut that down, so I am building a rendering machine on a very tight budget. I WAS going with an AMD 8350 8 core system, because #1 It is Cheap, and #2 Adobe software is able to utilize the eight cores in a way that, say, games could not.

However, a friend of mine just offered me a I7 950 for free. I like free! However, I am not sure that it will meet my needs. I was planning on going with a full 32 gb of ram...something which is not possible with the I7; max is 24, @1066 (3x8 or 4x6 which is SUPER expensive...more expensive than the 32gb!!) .

What should I do? Is the difference in the two CPU's going to be so noticeable, or is the performance going to be more GPU based, than Ram/Cpu?

Free trumps the small advantage the AMD will get you , benchmarks are deceiving , what looks like a lot on the charts is not really that noticeable in person
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November 24, 2012 5:48:35 PM

sam_p_lay said:
'Only' 24GB :-) Have you seen any benchmarks demonstrating the advantage that over 24GB gives? Or even over 12GB? I think a lot of people here would be interested to see that.


Apparently you are not familiar with After Effects. On an 8 core processor, After Effects has the ability to use every bit of 32 gb of ram, plus some. And it makes an enormous difference. Professional special effects teams utilize enormous rigs, with hundreds of GB of ram for After Effects.

Have you ever done ray-traced 3D special effects in video? The last render I did, for a 2 minute clip, took almost a WEEK with my present rig (I5 460, 6gb ram). So, the more Ram, the better!

A bit of info

http://www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/products/crea...

"Indeed, given sufficient RAM (discussed earlier), After Effects CS6 is capable of running
multiple copies of itself on individual physical cores to speed previews and rendering."

"...10 cores for multiprocessor previews and rendering, you will need 30 GB of RAM installed in
addition to RAM reserved for the normal foreground copy of After Effects (8 GB), the operating system,
and any other software currently running."

Now, on a four core processor like the I7, After Effects can utilize only 12 Gb Ram + 8 =20 GB, leaving 4gb for background processes, Windows, etc. So on the I7, 24 GB is all that can be used: but it will be significantly slower than the AMD. However, as mentioned, with the money I save, I can invest in a CUDA supported video card, and by overclocking the processor I can still get nearly as good performance...for a bit cheaper.
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November 24, 2012 7:16:11 PM

Its been proven that the 8350 can overclock like a beast and it beats alot of the intel cpu's at video rendering accept the 3770k,3930,3960 and the 3820 but those are expensive and the 8350 will eat those videos alive though i will say.
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November 25, 2012 12:47:25 AM

GPU acceleration is more important than CPU and definitely more important than RAM.

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November 25, 2012 1:11:16 AM

twelve25 said:
GPU acceleration is more important than CPU and definitely more important than RAM.


"More important"? No, they are both important. A computer with a top of the line GPU, and 8 GB of Ram, is still going to be agonizingly slow on high end effect renders. Some functions in after effects are not even affected by the GPU. On the other hand, EVERY function of After Effects require rather large chunks of Ram....

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November 25, 2012 1:31:14 AM

Then get what you really want instead of asking for advice! If you already know the answer, why ask the question?



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November 25, 2012 2:02:56 AM

twelve25 said:
Then get what you really want instead of asking for advice! If you already know the answer, why ask the question?


I wanted advice. But advice based on reality. I am just repeating what the actual software information says.
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November 25, 2012 2:50:56 AM

Havensdad said:
"More important"? No, they are both important. A computer with a top of the line GPU, and 8 GB of Ram, is still going to be agonizingly slow on high end effect renders. Some functions in after effects are not even affected by the GPU. On the other hand, EVERY function of After Effects require rather large chunks of Ram....



Can't you harness CUDA cores for those high end affect renders?

A 560Ti has 384 CUDA cores and runs $200-$250; a 570 has 480 cores and runs ~$300. I don't know if Kepler 6xx cards are quite there with respect to GPU-assisted computing. Check some benchmarks that have GPGPU computing vs. 8+ core CPU power for the rendering on CS6 before you turn down free hardware that is still quite viable.
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November 25, 2012 3:12:44 AM

Havensdad said:
I wanted advice. But advice based on reality. I am just repeating what the actual software information says.


Actual software says 8GB for After effects or UP TO 4GB per core for best performance. So that's max of 16GB for the i7, which 12GB isn't that far off and 24GB far exceeds. The other parts of Premiere CS6 are fine with 8GB of RAM.

CUDA acceleration (with the right GPU) far outperforms even the fastest CPUs. Look at the benchmarks.

I'm just trying to tell you that your free solution should work good. If you want to buy something, buy a card for CUDA acceleration and max the MB out at 24GB.


Also keep in mind going over 16GB of RAM needs Windows 7 x64 Professional (or above) or any version of Windows 8. W7 Home premium only allows 16.



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November 25, 2012 3:14:10 AM

ebalong said:
Can't you harness CUDA cores for those high end affect renders?

A 560Ti has 384 CUDA cores and runs $200-$250; a 570 has 480 cores and runs ~$300. I don't know if Kepler 6xx cards are quite there with respect to GPU-assisted computing. Check some benchmarks that have GPGPU computing vs. 8+ core CPU power for the rendering on CS6 before you turn down free hardware that is still quite viable.


That is basically exactly what I am planning. I have decided to go with the I7, and put part of the money saved to a better, card: I am going with a 570 (not Ti), that not only has CUDA, but also supports adobe premiere's Mercury Playback engine.

Any suggestion on the brand of GPU (MSI, EVGA, ZOTAC, etc.)? I have been out of the gaming scene for awhile, and I know nothing about high end video cards...
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November 25, 2012 3:19:44 AM

twelve25 said:
Actual software says 8GB for After effects or UP TO 4GB per core for best performance. So that's max of 16GB for the i7, which 12GB isn't that far off and 24GB far exceeds. The other parts of Premiere CS6 are fine with 8GB of RAM.

CUDA acceleration (with the right GPU) far outperforms even the fastest CPUs. Look at the benchmarks.

I'm just trying to tell you that your free solution should work good. If you want to buy something, buy a card for CUDA acceleration and max the MB out at 24GB.


Also keep in mind going over 16GB of RAM needs Windows 7 x64 Professional (or above) or any version of Windows 8. W7 Home premium only allows 16.


If you look at the system requirements, you will notice that the 4gb per core for rendering, is in addition to the 4-8 gb requirement for the foreground copy of After Effects. From the SR:

"in addition to RAM reserved for the normal foreground copy of After Effects..."

I was planing on going with Windows 8 pro. The student edition is amazingly cheap; since I am a student, might as well take advantage. I have heard that Windows 8 tends to perform better than 7, though I have no idea if that is true.
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November 25, 2012 3:25:08 AM

EVGA 570 is a solid choice, it seems to garner some of the better reviews. I don't know what is going on with the Kepler cards, on paper they have significantly more cores than Fermi, but I think that the support is not there for GPU acceleration, and I haven't read anything that indicates when it will be.

Does SLI'ing work for GPGPU acceleration? That is, if you throw 2 GTX-570's in your rig, will the double amount of cores render ~twice as fast, or doesn't it work like that?
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November 25, 2012 3:31:09 AM

ebalong said:
EVGA 570 is a solid choice, it seems to garner some of the better reviews. I don't know what is going on with the Kepler cards, on paper they have significantly more cores than Fermi, but I think that the support is not there for GPU acceleration, and I haven't read anything that indicates when it will be.

Does SLI'ing work for GPGPU acceleration? That is, if you throw 2 GTX-570's in your rig, will the double amount of cores render ~twice as fast, or doesn't it work like that?



I have not found this information in their specs....but I would like to know! I cannot afford a second video card now, but if I could in the future... :) 
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November 25, 2012 3:36:27 AM

Nevermind: I found it. Only the "Maximus" setup works for multiple video cards. Adobe does not support SLI :( .
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November 25, 2012 4:09:42 AM

Well hey, all you need is about $3,000 for a Quadro 4000 and a Tesla C2075 :na: 
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December 1, 2012 11:02:44 PM

Best answer selected by Havensdad.
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