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AMD, hyperthreading

Last response: in CPUs
September 21, 2004 8:44:34 PM

Hi all,

I have a question regarding hyper threading. Some say that it really makes a big difference in speed. Is this for real? I'm currently an AMD fan just because they deliver great quality for excellent prices. However, I work in music production and my AthlonXP just isnt coping with some of the intensive processing needed. Would hyperthreading help with this and does anyone know if AMD has any plans to include something like hyperthreading on their CPU's (or have they already?!?). I need to upgrade, and just want to find out what the best route is. I love AMD and all, but I need some serious power for the kind of work I do.

Thanks for any help!!

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September 22, 2004 12:46:35 AM

Hyperthreading normally helps when you're running multiple applications simultaniously. AMD still has the performance advantage.

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September 22, 2004 7:20:59 PM

heya joe;

It sounds like youre doing some pretty heavy stuff, i would recommend a Dual CPU core, you can put it together fairly inexpensively, a little over twice what you would spend for a single CPU core, somewhere around $1,600.00. This would buy you 2x3Ghz Xeon 1mb cache 800FSB, a Tyan workstation board, and 2GB of ram. You can also get an Opteron equivillent workstation for around the same price.
Considering you do alot of heavy processing this would definately be a good dirrection to look.
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September 22, 2004 7:40:39 PM

I don't know about recommending a dual cpu (you said dual core) sytem for audio production. I could see if he's doing video production then dual cpus would be a decent choice.
What I'd recomment for him is a a64 3500+, msi k8n neo2, and a decent sound card, perferrably a soundblaster audigy 2 and up.

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September 22, 2004 11:20:36 PM

It's hard to tell if you would be better off with Intel or Amd. If you tell us what programs you use, will be using, it would help.
September 23, 2004 2:18:06 AM

Well when you need serious power Intel is the answer! I'm glad to see that you're learning. AMD has the Dan Rather version of Hyper-threading (Hyper-transport) built into their A64 chips. Get the real stuff! LOL! But seriously, list the programs you will be using. The P4 has a video-encoding edge but I think the A64 is better with sound and most other things. The days of inexpensive CPUs is over. Even a XP-2500+ is 100 bucks now.

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September 23, 2004 11:34:34 AM

Audio apps are generally optimized for Intel Processors, so I would recommend a P4 system for you. Cubase is the only audio app thatI know of that was optimized on the Athlon as well, IIRC.

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September 23, 2004 2:11:28 PM

(you said dual core)

What i said was "Dual CPU core" which means Dual CPU core just as i said, the definition of a core in the purest sense of the word is the center, or the central or innermost part, in the case of a computer the "core" is the Motherboard, CPU(s), and Memory.

"However, I work in music production and my AthlonXP just isnt coping with some of the intensive processing needed." - "I need to upgrade, and just want to find out what the best route is. I love AMD and all, but I need some serious power for the kind of work I do."

so as i was saying, a dual CPU core is the best answer for processing and crunching alot of raw data, which is what he does. I personally dont care wether he goes with a dual xeon or dual opteron as long as he goes dual, because its what he needs, a single CPU core just isnt cutting it obviously.
September 24, 2004 9:29:00 AM

But 'Dual CPU Core' is an extremely confusing thing to say for that meaning when a casual glance over the boards will show people saying 'Dual Core CPU' everywhere.

'Dual CPU System' or 'Twin Processors' or even 'SMP' would be a much better choice of words IMO.

Not flaming, Just saying a better choice of words might be advisable. :wink:

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September 24, 2004 11:40:12 AM

First of all hyperthreading and hypertransport are two completely different things.
Hypertransport is a chip to chip communications standard (simpley put). Hyperthreading is intels technology for keeping the CPU busy with parallel threads, if at all possible, when another thread has to wait around for something. With AMD generally the treads don't have to have around.
What needs to be understood is that a thread is not the same as a process. You need to design an application to use multiple threads (subsets of processes).
Hyperthreading will do nothing for multiprocess systems, only dual core or dual processor designs will allow this.

For music applications, memory is usually what matters, the more the better.
IF your applications are written for multithreading then a fast intel chip is what you need. If not the AMD may be a better bet, given the extra FPU grunt required for the often complex effect calculations.

Are you doing much in parallel with your software?
i.e. rendering your audio tracks in parallel with different effects (reverb, chorus, etc) or playing back multiple VST instruments??

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Stimpy on 09/24/04 10:05 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 24, 2004 9:29:25 PM

Price wise you should go with AMD. Performance wise you should go with AMD.

Thats two thumbs up for what you should do. Stay away from Intel until they get their cr*p together.
September 27, 2004 4:05:11 PM

Hi all,

Thanks a lot for all your replies!!! This is driving me nuts.

I'm working on Cubase SX 2.

My current config is an AthlonXP2600 with 1.5Gig DDR400 RAM. I'm also using an M-Audio soundcard, so I record the audio at 24bit 96kHz (hence the HUGE size of the recordings).

Upgrading from my old 512mb RAM to 1.5Gig helped a little but the processor just cant keep up with the load.

I never do anything in parallel when im working in Cubase.

Does this help? I have no idea whether Cubase is better optimised for Intel or AMD or whether it has been written for hyperthreading.

Thanks for all the help!!!
September 27, 2004 10:32:56 PM

Audio editing programs (Nuendo, Cubase, SoundForge, WaveLab, Audition etc) run better in AMD CPUs than in Intel CPUs.
September 28, 2004 10:25:54 AM

Cubase is optimised for the Athlon.
I you sure its the CPU and not the disk that is holding you back.
I run cubase myself with a lowly AMD2200+ with 512MB, however I'm using a compaq storage works array in a raid 0 configuration and have no problems, until I start using alot of VST instruments and effects only then does the CPU start hitting 100%
September 28, 2004 1:00:59 PM

Thats a good point. I never actually thought of that...

I think I'll try that and see if it helps.