840 EE and Athlon 64 X2 - Video Results

I am planning on purchasing a new computer (no, not skilled enough to build one) and have been researching heavily the AMD and Intel dual core offerings. I was leaning towards the 840EE, then read reviews raving about the 64 X2. Started leaning that way until I read the test here which made me think I need to return to the Intel plan.

http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20050603/stresstest-07.html has an unbelievable advantage going to the 840 EE for video encoding. I have seen other posts regarding this topic, but haven't found one expressly dealing with the test performed here.

Unless I am reading it wrong, the the above listed test, the Intel processor far outpassed the AMD processor.

I am looking for a computer for gaming, but I do want to do quite a bit of video editing and am sick of having to render a DVD compilation for 5+ hours only to find it crashing or hanging at the end.

Can someone shed some light in terms of whether I am misreading the data or overemphasizing it?

Also if someone could give me the name/address of some good computer resellers (with decent pricing), I would also be appreciative!

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  1. haha, THG is intel biased... the X2 skeets all over the 840EE... ALL OVER. for one thing, it won't turn your computer to a cooking stove, and it doesn't make ur electricity bill look like bill gate's pay check either. and in terms of gaming performance, the x2 will again.. skeet all over the intel. dual core will have an advantage over single cored processors in multi-thread programs, and running multiply applications at once. so if ur not gaming and encoding at the same time, that 5+ hours will probably stay the same.

    <font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
  2. It read <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=210030#210030" target="_new">this </A>

    The test was made too help the P4 look good. unless you replicate that exact same scenraio at home, you wont benefit from the 840EE!

    Asus P4P800DX, P4C 2.6ghz@3.25ghz, 2X512 OCZ PC4000 3-4-4-8, MSI 6800Ultra stock, 2X30gig Raid0
  3. That stress test came to a lot of questionable conclusions and made a lot of errors - got back a page or 2 in this forum for a very long stress-test thread and you'll see what I mean.

    In the early days of the test the Intel system had a lot of stability issues - it was overheating and shutting down regularly. Tom's finally got it working stable, but not before doing stupid things like using the wrong heatsink. Then they complained because the AMD system wouldn't shut down properly at the end of the test - it had never crashed while the Intel had crashed numerous times, and they complained it wouldn't shut down properly...

    Now for the results: The 840EE did a lot more encoding because it has HT, and the Windows scheduler gave each of the programs 1 logical CPU (makes sense - 4 programs, 4 cpus, simple task). That caused the other programs to lose a lot of performance. The AMD doesn't have HT, so the windows scheduler has to work to assign tasks to the 2 cpus. The encoding task runs at low priority (everything else runs at normal priority), so the scheduler doesn't schedule it for much cpu time, hence the extremely low 'performance'. I would go to Anandtech and look at his multi-tasking benchmarks for a little more reliable test.

    All that said, the 840EE may be the CPU for you - but maybe not. First of all is the $1000 price tag. If that's not a problem for you, and if you were going to get AMD, you'ld get the $1000 AMD (the X2 4800+), then lets talk about them:

    840EE = 3.2ghz. 4800+ = 2.4ghz. The 2.4ghz AMD single-core part runs on par with the 3.6ghz Pentiuim single core part, and your 840 only runs at 3.2ghz. So, gaming performance will be better with AMD. I think Intel still has the performance crown for encoding in general, but AMD is coming mighty close, and can even beat the Intel in some encoding program benchmarks, so I would take a look at the benchmarks for the program you use. That stress test thread (or was it a more recent one about the 820? - probably was that one - it was started by a guy named Noko) has in it a lot of links to other benchmark sites, some more or less biased one way or another. You also get to pour through a lot of garbage, but some of it is entertaining...

    Also be warned: The Pentium D series runs very hot, and can easily overheat and throttle down without your knowledge (you only get temps from 1 core, and the other can be throttling while it appears temps are OK), so care must be taken to ensure it is properly cooled. Athlon 64X2 doesn't generate nearly as much heat, so its much easier to keep cool, and it uses a lot less energy to boot.


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  4. i wouldnt get the new 3.2EE because i've heard it smells like melon's.

    The know-most-of-it-all formally known as BOBSHACK
  5. Its simple, if you fancy running 3 cpu intensive apps (or threads) while playing a game, AND you care more about the thoughput of all three background apps then you do about the game performance, AND you are too stupid to set thread priority for the DivX encoding then clearly the 840EE is your cpu of choice (do budget for watercooling though, its pretty much a must).

    However, be advised this is a $1.000 cpu, the cheaper non EEs will behave just like the AMD X2 (each having only 2 thread capability) but generally perform (significantly) slower and most people dont run 4 purely cpu bound apps (while caring about throughput of all of them) and most people can find the priority option in the menu (but probably wouldnt want to touch them anyhow).

    In short, this is what happened in THG test: they ran 4 threads (not 3, not 5, exactly FOUR) which happens to correspond exactly with the number of threads the 840EE can do simultaneousnly. As a result the 840EE spent an ~equal ammount of cpu time on each thread, regardless of chosen priority.

    On the X2, which can only handle 2 simultaneously, just like the other Pentium Ds, 3 high priority threads where juggled over 2 cores, and the fourth one, was mostly ignored by the scheduler since it had been given a lower priority, which means it will only run when a core is iddle, which pretty much never happens as three high priority cpu intensive threads where also competing for CPU time. One could say it behaved exactly like you want it to; you dont want a low priority thread (eg virus scan) to steal non iddle cpu cycles from your high priority foreground app (eg your game). If you DO want to this, you would pick equal priority for each app.

    (btw, its worth noting the X2 realized a higher total throughput than the 840EE, it just spent its time on those threads that where requested to be given priority.)

    To answer your real question: the X2 will be leaps and bounds better at gaming, especially if you intend to keep your cpu for a while and match it with a high end videocard. For videoencoding, these chips are all pretty close and DVD encoding will still take too long anyway. Id go with the cheapest cpu that is fast enough for your gaming needs, and see what you end up with. If you think a 2.8 GHz is fast enough for now and the expected life time of the machine, I might even consider the 820. If you dont mind spending a bit more for far better gaming performance, I would consider the 4200+ or if you can wait a few weeks, the upcoming 3800+. Thing is, for encoding any chip is slow anyhow (who cares about a few minutes for something that takes hours ?)

    >Also if someone could give me the name/address of some good
    >computer resellers (with decent pricing), I would also be

    I know a good one in tatjikistan if you want.. or dont you live there perhaps ? :)

    = The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
  6. The 840EE is a far stronger chip when you adjust the FSB to 266 and tighten up the memory tining. Just about every review done against the two used super slack timing on the Intel and tightest timing possible for the AMD to dumb down the Intel system.

    I will get jumped by the pack of fanboys pointing out benches like I mentioned above. Lets see them install 2GB of memory with 3-3-3-8 timing and rerun the tests. Results will change drasticly in Intels favor.

    <A HREF="http://www.xtremesystems.org" target="_new">www.xtremesystems.org</A>
  7. fugger is a chilly one.

    just up the fsb to 266 while the x2 is on stock? Oh and what cooling?
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