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Graphic Design/Gaming Computer

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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
March 29, 2002 8:08:40 PM

OK, I'm a graphic designer who doesn't believe that Macs save lives. I'm currently building a new PC and need it for graphics (Illustrator, Photoshop, Painter) video (Premiere, After Effects) 3D (3D Studio Max), and computer gaming. I've been confused over which processor to buy, unsure whether the P4's optimization for graphics has and will have any real benefit. If I do get a P4, I am planning on coupling it with RDRam or DDR Ram, but since reading benchmark after benchmark and review after review I've realized that their is very little difference between an Athlon XP or a P4 except the price. Any thoughts?
March 29, 2002 8:39:21 PM

XP represents much better value for money, undeniable, but if you are planning on overclocking, then P4 has more potential (some can get 2.4ghz out of a 1.6ghz apparently), P4 can also be used with RDram, XP can only use DDRram,

If you can wait a month, then AMD will launch its tbred core athlon XPs, which will drive down the price of existing athlons making them very good value for money

presonally i wouldnt even consider the P4

good luck

But the man in the shop said the via C3 was the best processor money can buy!
March 29, 2002 8:40:41 PM

If all you're doing is graphics work, then go for the Athlon XP.
What's your budget? How important is upgradeability?

<font color=blue>If you don't buy Windows, then the terrorists have already won!</font color=blue> - Microsoft
Related resources
March 29, 2002 8:45:09 PM

hehe I don't think athlon XP prices can get much cheaper. Athlon XP 1800+ can be had for around $120 give or take, and its an excelent performent when teamed up with kt266a and some nice CAS2 DDR ram. On the other end of the spectrum if you don't mind overclocking you can get a 1.6a northwood pentium 4 relatively cheap and that'll overclock to almost 2.4 GHz in most cases. Soon AMD will come out with its Thoroughbred Athlon XPs, and Pentium 4 will come out with its 133 front side bus pentium 4s so I would wait a couple more weeks/months to see how things play out, but no doubt about it you can save more money with an AMD system, but theres a chance an overclocked Pentium 4 can give you pretty good bang for your buck too, but not everyone is into overclocking, for a graphics design machine you want stability.

If my response is brief and vague its because the info you provided is too!
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
March 29, 2002 8:53:28 PM

Thank you for your reply, and this is the essence of my problem. I am not interested in overclocking my CPU and I've never been there yet. But with talk of the SSE 2 instrucitons optimized for graphics and video and the coupling of the P4 with RDRam, does it leave the XP way behind? Or is the difference in price not worth the performance increase?

I'm unfamiliar with AMD's Athlon but have been slowly wooed by the continuous praise for their processors and their prices. Originally I was planning on buying a P4 with RDRam, but now I hear that the PC800 has gone the way of the dodo and that the DDR333 provides results that are quite close. Do I corner myself in the limited i850 motherboards just to have an Intel P4 running with Rambus in my machine? Or will an Athlon XP give me similar results? Should I wait for the tbred core? Will it give my system any advantages over graphics? This system will be my source of money (as I am a freelance designer and work out of my house) so I'm going to great pains to insure that I have a computer that will last me sometime in a graphics intensive environment. THX again
March 29, 2002 9:02:27 PM

well, i am partial to athlons, if i were you i would buy an xp 1700 when the tbreds come out, they should be pretty cheap then, get ddr ram too. i just built a new computer for myself and got that cpu, ram and a soyo dragon+ motherboard. that setup should do you nicely. as for the sse2 instructions, i dont think you will see a difference if your just working on still graphics.

i went to the tomshardware forums and all i got was this lousy signature.
March 29, 2002 9:04:32 PM

Currently, even with SSE2 optimizations and RDRAM bandwidth, the P4 cannot decisively defeat the Athlon without overclocking; there are some benchmarks it wins and some it loses.

<i>If a server crashes in a server farm and no one pings it, does it still cost four figures to fix?
March 29, 2002 10:03:05 PM

if you are really into graphics and gaming, you would do well to get a good amount of memory (~512mb), and also (obvioussly) a good quality graphics card, geforce 3 ti200 and geforce 4 mx440 represent good value

But the man in the shop said the via C3 was the best processor money can buy!
March 29, 2002 10:18:43 PM

Please don't tell me you just recommended an MX440 :frown:

<font color=blue>If you don't buy Windows, then the terrorists have already won!</font color=blue> - Microsoft
March 29, 2002 10:32:41 PM

those things are pretty sexy. not for gaming, but i might get one so i can take up skeet shooting with my matrox g550(POS!).

I run duals because i multitask between notepad, outlook express and winamp :lol: 
March 29, 2002 10:36:20 PM

Bah, R8500 over GF3 Ti200 or MX440 any day! :smile:

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
March 30, 2002 1:15:53 AM

Yes AthlonXP will be a much better choice. I'm sorry if you didn't see too many P4 supports here. But in graphics editing, other than Mac, the AthlonXP is second to none. Its dirt cheap in price, RAM is stable priced, and mobos can't get any lower (ECS K7S5A if you REALLY talk cheap!). You would save almost 200$ with THAT combo of mobo, otherwise almost always, you will save 40-50$ with an AMD system of same model but much more performance.
No, SSE2 will not benefit much, if it doesn't make the P4 better per clock, it means it isn't optimized to run better on P4, thus AthlonXP still is better. I guarantee you won't have any troubles with it. Just get adequate cooling, otherwise Retail box is ok, but I would add 2 case fans to keep the system cool running, since graphics editing can make the CPU work a lot, thus you want stability at all time!
If you're letting a pro assemble it, do what I told you to, you won't have a single problem. The system will be cool, powered and ready to go. If you can wait a month or two for the AthlonXP Tbreds, you'll have an even COOLER system!

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
March 30, 2002 2:16:45 AM

depends how much of each kind of work you plan on doing. For graphics and gaming overall, the xp is a good deal. If you are doing alot of video, I would consider the p4.

<i>My life wasn't complete untill I tried sse-2 optimized pong</i>
March 30, 2002 2:46:12 AM

If you got money to burn, I'd go with the P4, although the XP is more power per dollar.

If gaming framerates and video are important, I'd really go with a P4, but wait until Northwood B is released in late May.
You could easily overclock a 2.4 northwood B to at least 3 ghz, using only air cooling.

<font color=blue> There's no such thing as hell, but you can make it if you try.</font color=blue>
March 30, 2002 9:03:16 AM

Whats wrong with the mx440?, i know it isnt as powerfull, but its price/performance ratio is very good (only £79 and its only just been released!), and you can tell your friends you have a gf4.

But the man in the shop said the via C3 was the best processor money can buy!
March 30, 2002 11:06:18 AM

If I were a graphics designer, I would not buy nVidia. Fdz probably owns, or will buy a kick ass 19- or even 21-inch monitor. What he needs then, and certainly if your in the graphics bussiness, is a good RAMDAC and decent output signal quality. If this were the only criterium, I'd go for Matrox, but since then you get like no 3D-power, ATI would be the next best choice, I think. Unless he goes with a professional nVidia based card (Quadro-line). Maybe those have better outputs, but I'm not aware of that.
If he goes for a DVI-signaled TFT-panel, though, I don't think these restrictions apply, since data transfer is done digitally. So I guess then nVidia would suffise.
SSE2 won't be of much use to graphics-handling. I think that kind of programs uses only integer calculations (correct me if I'm wrong), so SSE2, wich implements 64-bit floating point instructions, is of no use. Only good old MMX will improve performance here, which both P4 and XP have. Theoretically the P4 would be a good choice, since it has got a very fast set of ALU's, running at double clock speeds. But they are told to be withheld by a slow decoder and too many pipeline stalls and stuff. Though I don't know wether there will be many of those in graphics manipulations.
For the video edoting, I don't know what to think. The XP seems to be the ruler in Mpeg2 (DVD)-type video and the P4 is a clear ruler in the Mpeg4-world (DivX, Xvid and stuff thelike). But the P4 is close when coupled to RDRAM when it comes to Mpeg2.
Maybe even a dual proc setup is to be considered. The Xeon-system are bloody fast (even with DDR, look at <A HREF="http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/02q1/0203131/index.htm..." target="_new">Tom's article on this</A>, but darn expensive, too. Athlon MP's are very fond of electical current and can be used as a auxiliary heating in your room, but are very good performers, certainly in comparison to their price. If Fdz is interested in this, he might look for some older threads about this. Like <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&..." target="_new">this one</A>, or <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&..." target="_new">this one</A> and many others.

Greetz,
Bikeman

<i>Then again, that's just my opinion</i>
March 30, 2002 6:33:58 PM

matrox is excellent quality but would give no 3d power for games at all

ati is good quality/3d performance etc., but their drivers suck so badly its unbelievable, which he could not accept for graphics

thus nvidia is the only other option

I need a 1.5 Ghz Athlon + 512mb ddr ram to write emails......honestly
March 30, 2002 6:38:44 PM

Quote:

ati is good quality/3d performance etc., but their drivers suck so badly its unbelievable, which he could not accept for graphics

ATI has better driver support than nVidia. Their drivers are stable, perform well, and are not as buggy as they used to be 6 months ago.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
March 30, 2002 6:42:09 PM

Quote:
matrox is excellent quality but would give no 3d power for games at all

how do you get it then? is there any special dances or anything to summon the quality god? i've had the g550 for over 6 months now. all i do is video/2d work and i'm not impressed at all. for word/excel stuff like that it might be good.

I run duals because i multitask between notepad, outlook express and winamp :lol: 
March 30, 2002 6:48:30 PM

Quote:
You could easily overclock a 2.4 northwood B to at least 3 ghz, using only air cooling.


Could you post a link for this?

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
March 30, 2002 6:49:57 PM

2.4GHz to 3GHz doesn't seen unreasonable.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
March 30, 2002 7:17:21 PM

I didn't say it was unreasonable. It just sounded like this guy had benchmarks for the new Northwoods.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
March 30, 2002 8:03:48 PM

No but saying easily, is rather exaggerated.
A 1.6A to 2.2GHZ, 600MHZ very easily. But a 2.2GHZ to 3GHZ was hard to do without water cooling, or aircooled at its best. How the heck would 2.4GHZ, being hotter, get to 3GHZ easily is beyond knowledge. Yes he should provide proof. Had he said 1.6A to 2.4GHZ, I'd agree and find it more reasonable.

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
March 30, 2002 8:21:23 PM

Check this :
<A HREF="http://titan.spaceports.com/~bgc2040/images/overclock.j..." target="_new">http://titan.spaceports.com/~bgc2040/images/overclock.j...;/A>
Intel P4 Northwood 2.4Ghz (Locked)
QJR9ES
Gigabyte 8IRXP
KingMax DDR333 CL2.5 256MB
Leadtek GF3 Ti200
VCore 1.85V
AVC Sunflower (Air Cooling)
Windows 2000 Professional

IF THE LINK DOES NOT WORK YOU MAY HAVE TO TYPE IT IN MANUALLY INTO YOUR BROWSER, IT SHOULD WORK THEN

<font color=blue> There's no such thing as hell, but you can make it if you try.</font color=blue><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by The_MaguS on 03/30/02 05:30 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 30, 2002 8:30:30 PM

The link does not work, and even then, the astronomous cost for the 2.4GHZ is really not acceptable to get that band for the buck at 3GHZ, which uses DDR, what could be matcheable as a 2.6GHZ P4 with RDRAM. So again the thought of buying such CPU with such cost and OC it to a level that could be matched with lower components, is useless, and the 1.6A to 2.4GHZ remains the best choice.

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
March 30, 2002 8:33:41 PM

You're just angry you got schooled =(

<font color=blue> There's no such thing as hell, but you can make it if you try.</font color=blue>
March 30, 2002 9:20:30 PM

And you just demonstrated ignorance and pretty much lack of knowledge.

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
March 30, 2002 10:08:45 PM

I can get to your site, but not to that image. Eden has a point btw, the 1.6a is a better buy considering it costs $130, and the 2.4 costs $610. What I asked about though was the Northwood with a 133Mhz bus. Are you claiming to know the overclocking potential of this CPU?

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
March 30, 2002 10:10:56 PM

As he said:

Quote:
IF THE LINK DOES NOT WORK YOU MAY HAVE TO TYPE IT IN MANUALLY INTO YOUR BROWSER, IT SHOULD WORK THEN


Copy/paste it into the Address line of your browser after you get the 404 error. It will then work.

-Raystonn


= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my employer. =
March 30, 2002 10:18:34 PM

Thanks Ray, although this isn't the new P4 with a 133Mhz bus.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
March 31, 2002 2:27:55 AM

Quote:
ATI has better driver support than nVidia. Their drivers are stable, perform well, and are not as buggy as they used to be 6 months ago.


I so would not go that far amd_man, ati's drivers are the same as nvidias, not far superior, number of leaked drivers does not equal support.

:wink: The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark :wink:
March 31, 2002 2:28:28 AM

Quote:
2.4GHz to 3GHz doesn't seen unreasonable.



With aircooling it is.

:wink: The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark :wink:
March 31, 2002 2:34:23 AM

I never said far superior. :tongue: They have better driver support than nVidia at the moment. As soon as ATI finds a bug they fix it and release a developer driver. This driver then gets leaked out into the public by people. The same used to happen a lot with nVidia. But they aren't leaking as much as they used to nowadays.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
March 31, 2002 3:17:30 AM

Well you've got to admit they finally woke up on their drivers.
But they're still not up to Nvidia. Actually Nvidia is somewhat degrading, their 28.32s had little performance noticing, I had expected more...
What ATI needs to do is a unified driver system like Nvidia's exe, one exe for all cards is all you need, as well as run it and you got it updated! So easy to use, grandma can finally update drivers!

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
March 31, 2002 12:20:44 PM

They've already made unified drivers.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
March 31, 2002 7:36:58 PM

Quote:
SSE2 won't be of much use to graphics-handling. I think that kind of programs uses only integer calculations (correct me if I'm wrong), so SSE2, wich implements 64-bit floating point instructions, is of no use. Only good old MMX will improve performance here, which both P4 and XP have.

Oops, apparently I was wrong when saying SSE2 was doing only floating point arithmetic. According to <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/guides/viewfaq.html?i=112" target="_new">this FAQ @ AnandTech</A>, posted by Raystonn earlier today, it is a integer version of what SSE was:

<i>"But this is exactly the role that MMX, 3DNow, SSE, and SSE2 fill. SSE/SSE2 already do 128-bit SIMD with a dedicated 8-register flat register set <b>(SSE2 extends it to integer arithmetic)</b>, the others do 64-bit SIMD mapped onto the x87 FP stack (MMX does 64- bit integer SIMD, 3DNow does both FP and integer)."</i>

My apologies for my incorrectness ... :redface:

Greetz,
Bikeman

<i>Then again, that's just my opinion</i>
!