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comparing duel core vs. single core

Discussion in 'Motherboards' started by Joe, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. Joe

    Joe Guest

    In the spring I purchased a Dell with a core duo 2.134 GHz CPU. Now I find
    that a video editing software package I want to buy (Pinnacle Studio
    Ultimate) requires a duel 2.4 GHz minimum.

    Elsewhere I see some writers saying a minimum of a 3 GHz single core is
    needed for editing hi definition video.

    So, now I'm curious, how do you compare the numbers? My 2.134 GHz CPU is
    about equivalent to what in a single core?

    Joe
     
    Joe, Dec 8, 2007
    #1
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  2. Joe

    Paul Guest

    There is a review here. There is quite a difference in requirements
    between a 2.4GHz Core2 Duo and a 3GHz P4. The difference is a factor
    of 2.4x, which means the Corel editor doesn't need quite as much
    processor for some reason.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,133300-page,1-c,topics/article.html

    You cannot compare a single core and a dual core very readily. The
    reason is, there are different kinds of workloads (old software
    programming style versus new).

    To give an example, take a look at this AMD processor chart. AMD uses a
    rating system, a single number for each processor. If I compare one
    of their 2.6GHz single core processors, to one of their dual core 2.6GHz
    processors, both with the same cache per core, they rate one as a
    4000+ and the other as a 5000+. The implication is, the second core
    allows a 1.25x speedup, rather than a simple doubling.

    The reason for that, is the mix of software used in their benchmark.
    Something like Microsoft Office, might tend to run on one core. Whether
    it is running on a single core processor or a dual core processor, it only
    uses a single core.

    The other extreme, is software that uses both cores equally. Photoshop
    contains a mixture of filter types. Some filters only run on one core.
    Some filters run on multiple cores. When they run on multiple cores,
    the load on each core is equal. Thus, if I pick the right filters
    in Photoshop, the dual core processor finishes the task in half
    the time of the single processor. If you were a Photoshop user,
    you'd be going "that one is 4000+ and that one is 8000+".

    Now, we consider a computer game and its behavior. The other day, I
    found some results for a couple games. The games were run on a quad
    core processor. The user claimed he saw 100% loading on one core,
    while the other three cores were around 30% each. This unbalanced
    result, is because tasks spawned by the game don't have equal
    responsibilities. There might be AI, Physics, and Rendering, but
    a boss task has to synchronize all that, and that would be the one
    running at 100%. If could well be the render/boss is the thing running
    at 100%. Now, with those numbers, I would well hypothesize that the
    three 30% activities could be squeezed onto a dual core. On a dual
    core, maybe the load becomes 100% on one core, and 90% on the other.
    In other words, it is possible in that case, that the user with the
    dual core, and the user with the quad core, see equal frame rates.
    The dual core is pretty well completely used in that case, with no
    appreciable margin left over.

    So what you're asking me to do in effect, is guess at what kind
    of programming the dude at Pinnacle did. Is he a single threaded
    traditionalist ? Has he taken an Intel course on multithreading ?
    How good is he at spreading the load equally ? That determines
    how a single core compares to a dual core, and whether the dual
    should be awarded a 5000+ rating or an 8000+ rating. It depends
    on how well the software is able to use a second or subsequent
    cores.

    The other aspect is the instruction level parallelism, on any
    give architecture. If we compare a P4 at 3GHz to a Core2 Duo
    at 2GHz, then core for core they are about equal. That means
    my "single core conversion factor" is about 1.5x. That means one
    of your 2.134GHz cores, is about the same as a 3.2GHz P4. Now,
    that comparison isn't really fair, because the different architectures
    are like apples and oranges. For example, the conversion factor
    for floating point, is not nearly the same as the 1.5x I quoted
    for integer stuff. But the integer number remains the most likely
    to be applicable to a wide range of stuff.

    The single biggest improvement anyone ever gets, is by sending
    the software developers back, to recode and optimize their product.
    To give an example, when Microsoft Flight Simulator came out,
    at least some users went on a crusade to try and get acceptable
    frame rates while they were playing. They tried all sorts of
    stuff, fancy processors, SLI graphics, 4GB installed RAM, fast
    hard drives, the works. But they never really "cracked it".
    Performance remained as elusive as ever. Microsoft then came
    out with a Service Pack for the game, called SP1. That gave
    an immediate improvement over the initial product. And
    an improvement "for free".

    So at least sometimes, the right answer is to try a different
    application, rather than purchasing yet another computer. If
    an application is a pig, sooner or later, the software maker
    will receive market feedback to that effect. Another explanation,
    is that one tool is not as capable as the other, or the
    quality of the rendering is different between them. The above
    PCWorld review doesn't really use a lot of science in evaluating
    the results.

    In your shoes, I'd just buy the product and try it. There may be
    enough user adjustments, to allow you to get some use from the
    thing. I don't expect it'll fall on its face, because you're
    short by 11 percent.

    Something I like to see, is trial versions of products
    available. That is the quickest way to see if the product
    simply is not going to work out. If you don't see the trial
    on the site, send them an email and ask why not. Receiving
    email like that, will help speed the process along. Eval
    software makes a big difference to decision making.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Dec 8, 2007
    #2
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  3. Joe

    Joe Guest

    Paul, thanks for the excellent response! I liked that PC World article. I
    see that Ulead Video Studio 11 Plus requirement is: "Intel® Pentium® 4
    (equivalent) or higher recommended."

    In your opinion, given all that you've said- would my core duo 2.134 be
    comparable to the P4?

    The camcorder I'm considering is the Canon HG-10 with a 40 gig drive and it
    records to AVCHD. I believe it comes with a stripped down version of Ulead's
    Studio. Since Canon chose that software possibly it's because they know it's
    not as demanding. Now I'll have to go back to the camcorder discussion
    forums and see if people are having luck with it on less than killer
    systems.

    Joe
     
    Joe, Dec 8, 2007
    #3
  4. Joe

    Paul Guest

    Since a 2.134GHz Core2 dual core, is equal to two 3.2GHz P4 processors,
    I'd say you are in good shape for trying out the software.

    Note that the Pinnacle forums may have a few biting comments about
    their software as well.

    http://forums.pinnaclesys.com/forums/thread/66505.aspx

    "Vegas Pro does not seem to require as much CPU power as Studio"
    "Vegas Pro 8... a more complex package"

    So there are some alternatives.

    Perhaps you could ask over in rec.video.desktop as to how much
    processor the various packages seem to need.

    HTH,
    Paul
     
    Paul, Dec 8, 2007
    #4
  5. Joe

    Joe Guest

    Paul, thanks for mentioning that Pinnacle forum. I subscribe to several
    video forums which are a great way to learn the subject. Just curious, but
    are you also into video?

    Joe
     
    Joe, Dec 9, 2007
    #5
  6. Joe

    Paul Guest

    No, I'm not really a video person. More of a hardware guy who
    likes to tinker with stuff.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Dec 9, 2007
    #6
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