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  #1  
Old 07-02-2007, 01:11 PM
Aquillar Aquillar is offline
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Default Dual-core vs Quad-core, AMD vs Intel

Hi everyone,

I'm currently running Pro Tools on a Core Duo where my sessions have quickly reached their processing limit (157 D-Verbs). Now I'm looking for a new system.

I'm finding very mixed results in my research for which processor would work best for Pro Tools. I'm almost convinced that a quad system would be put to good use in Pro Tools but I'm seeing processors like the Core 2 Duo E6700 and the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ performing very close with the Quad cores--sometimes even better, so I'm not sure if it's worth all the extra money.

If I decide to go with a quad system, I'm very mixed up between where I would put my money. As always, Intels are more expensive than the AMDs. Intels are more widespread (theres more than a single motherboard for these) while AMDs only have one motherboard on the market with the dual sockets (and it's been this way for many months which makes me afraid to get one).

AMDs are very fast with memory access and math, Intels appear to be faster with file access and multimedia-related tasks. The AMD quad design leaves room to upgrade to octo-core in the future (maybe after it's out for 2 years and doesn't cost an arm and a leg?). Intels Quad design has been out longer and has more motherboards available.

Most of my chart-comparison has been done at tomshardware.com. I'm not TOO concerned with the price, as long as I'm going to get the performance I expect out of it. It's been hard to see which processor gives that performance though.

Would anyone like to provide some insight or recommendations to help me with my decision?
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2007, 02:39 PM
kafka kafka is offline
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Default Re: Dual-core vs Quad-core, AMD vs Intel

Quote:
Hi everyone,

I'm currently running Pro Tools on a Core Duo where my sessions have quickly reached their processing limit (157 D-Verbs). Now I'm looking for a new system.

Can you post a screen shot of one of your sessions? I'm having a hard time imagining anyone actually using 157 D-Verbs at once - especially since M-Powered is limited to 32 tracks.

That said, if you're really that power hungry, your best bet might be a dual quad-core Xeon. Better get a Mac Pro, because that's the only way you can get the 3.0GHz quad Xeons at the moment.
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2007, 08:13 PM
sunburst79 sunburst79 is offline
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Default Re: Dual-core vs Quad-core, AMD vs Intel

Really its all good.

In the short term you can bump your system up to the 220-240 Dverb level for cost of a QX series processor.

Its probably your cheapest way into more power and buys you some time to see what AMD will drop in august which is really the big question.

Motherboard selections for both brands are excellent. If your not finding options your not looking hard enough.

With Intel and AMD duking it out in the market place you can expect to see the balance swinging every 6 to 12 months. The last years been Intels, The next 6 to 9 months will most likely be AMDs, When Intel introduces theri next all new chip in sometimes next spring it may all change again.

Pick the brand you like and what you feels is best supported.
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  #4  
Old 07-03-2007, 01:58 AM
Aquillar Aquillar is offline
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Default Re: Dual-core vs Quad-core, AMD vs Intel

Quote:
Can you post a screen shot of one of your sessions? I'm having a hard time imagining anyone actually using 157 D-Verbs at once - especially since M-Powered is limited to 32 tracks.
I'm using a lot of virtual instruments (Reason) along with audio tracks and a variety of plug-ins (the big killer is Izotope Ozone). I'm not actually using 157 D-verbs in one actual session, that's just the D-verb test.

Quote:
Its probably your cheapest way into more power and buys you some time to see what AMD will drop in august which is really the big question.
I also heard cpu and ram prices should drop in coming weeks, as well as DDR3 coming soon..another reason to wait.

Quote:
Motherboard selections for both brands are excellent. If your not finding options your not looking hard enough.
Not for the Athlon FX-7x series (the quad system) processors. Presently there is only one motherboard on the market for it, made by Asus, and I invite you to search for yourself.

The QX series is very expensive!! I don't know if that's going to give good value for the money, I mean, it might get 220-240 D-verbs, but if you spend $500 less then maybe you'll be looking at 210-230 D-verbs? I don't know though (I don't want to be the one to find out).
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  #5  
Old 07-03-2007, 07:37 AM
kafka kafka is offline
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Default Re: Dual-core vs Quad-core, AMD vs Intel

I'd still go with a dual Xeon box. Ultimately the dual proc support will give you more room to grow, and prices will always come down. I believe the Xeon prices are expected to come down over the summer, too.
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2007, 09:15 AM
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spkguitar spkguitar is offline
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Default Re: Dual-core vs Quad-core, AMD vs Intel

Why are you looking at/comparing Athlon FX processors? Because it's the only AMDquad currently available? I honestly wouldn't even be considering them. The Opteron processors are what is being used in the current AMD "quad core" (dual-dual core) AMD systems (I have one, I know). That system uses the Tyan K8WE motherboard, but can also use an ASUS motherboard (Asus k8n-dl) as well.

The current recommendation on the AMD side of things is the Tyan Thunder n3600B (S2927A2NRF) motherboard. It will accept two Opteron dual-core processors, and when they are available you can drop a couple of the Opteron quad cores (coming later this summer) in there. 8 core AMD machine.

Then if you REALLY wanted to go all out, you could try the Tyan n3600QE (S4980) with 4 dual cores now (8 core AMD) and load it with quad cores (16 core AMD) when they become available, but that might be overkill for audio.

(special thanks to DUC user Shan for all the info)

If you want to buy something right now go with the Intel. Performance-wise, it is the best out there currently.
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2007, 11:48 AM
Aquillar Aquillar is offline
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Default Re: Dual-core vs Quad-core, AMD vs Intel

Thank you, very good advice.

I wasn't even looking at the Xeon/Opteron cpus originally, but I will put those at the top of my list.

This should be an interesting year for computers!
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  #8  
Old 07-29-2007, 10:47 PM
dave2005 dave2005 is offline
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Default Re: Dual-core vs Quad-core, AMD vs Intel

i would stick with Intel Dual core and cut down on the plug-ins. Intel is most widespread and proven product - forget the top of the line Mac unless your loaded! I used a Pentium 3 with M-powered and it worked ok - now I use a new Dual core E4500(?), 1 gb ram and an Abit ab pro mobo. Plug-ins will gum up a Mac too. I ve seen it. D
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