Finally time to upgrade?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Bill Anderson, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. I built my current system in August, 2007, and as time has gone by I've
    changed a few things so that I am currently running Windows 7 64-bit on:

    Motherboard: ASUS P5Q Pro Turbo

    Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache
    LGA 775

    Memory: Crucial 4GB Ballistix 240-pin DIMM, DDR2 PC2-8500

    Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100210L Radeon HD 2600XT 256MB
    128-bit GDDR4 PCI Express x16

    Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling ULTRA-QUIET PSU:
    SILENCER(R) 610 EPS12V

    Video capture: ATI VisionTek TV Wonder PCI Express

    Storage: Four HDDs -- 1 Samsung 1000 GB 7200 RPM SATA II, 1 Seagate
    1500 GB 7200 RPM SATA II, 2 Seagate 1500 GB 5900 RPM SATA II.

    For the past few days I've been authoring DVDs (which has involved
    transcoding video files) and it just seems to me that the process is
    taking far too long. When I run Adobe Encore my CPU usage gadget
    indicates that all four cores are constantly maxed-out for up to six
    hours straight, just to produce one DVD (ISO file). My current setup
    works -- in fact it works great -- but it just takes SO long to do the job.

    I know this sounds a lot like Allan's current query here on the
    newsgroup -- maybe there's answer to this question that will help both
    of us: Can I build a new computer (MBO, CPU, Memory, Video, HDDs) that
    will give me a significant, notable, impressive, breathtaking
    improvement in the processing time for video files? Thanks.
    Bill Anderson, Oct 15, 2011
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  2. Bill Anderson

    Paul Guest

    I think you'd be better off surfing a forum dedicated to the subject first.
    Your rendering times may depend on the resolution of the content.

    You can always find *someone* out there, with abnormally long render times
    (and no explanation as to why). The cheapest fixes for performance, are
    in the software. It's pretty difficult to fix every problem, with
    faster hardware. (Poorly written software, trumps spiffy hardware every time.)

    Hardware solutions include

    1) CPU
    2) GPU (CUDA acceleration)
    3) Third party accelerator cards, Matrox or Spurs Cell Engine or the like.

    In some cases, there is a performance crossover. With weaker accelerator solutions,
    they actually work slower than the CPU. Eventually, with enough horsepower, the
    losses going with some kind of accelerator, eventually give you enough improvement,
    to surpass a CPU-only solution.

    You have to cost these options out, and see which ones make sense.

    If you read the comments here, the SpursEngine may require a separate software
    path to get the job done. (I.e. If it isn't integrated into Encore to begin
    with, you may end up with a very screwy work flow.)

    And finally, a solution from Matrox (home of "expensive cards" :) )
    Now, the second page here, doesn't make it look that much faster.

    The Intel processors with QuickSync, can speed up processing to some extent,
    as they can do things like have enough decoding power to decode five movies
    at the same time. (5x realtime on the decode end of things).

    The trick is, to find a worthy web page, that benchmarks stuff like this,
    head to head (with same software settings in each case).


    If you didn't choose to do any more research, and just wanted to upgrade the
    CPU, I won't argue with that logic. Software using CPU is the most flexible,
    and the most likely to have fixes released for it.

    You can compute the ratio of clock rates, on the core(s) of your new processor,
    versus the old, and get some improvement. The purpose of me mentioning the other
    solutions, is so you won't have "regrets" later, that you didn't look further
    at other ways of doing it.

    2600K passmark = 9977 price = $315 USD
    Q6600 passmark = 2983

    So a new processor, gives about 3x on that benchmark. If you absolutely must have
    the best processor, Intel generally wants $1000 to $1500 or so, somewhere in that
    ballpark. (More than that, you're looking at server motherboards and server processors.)

    (Intel pricelist - see E7 series, for examples of "over the top" - 10 cores max)

    Then, it's a question of whether any other hardware solutions (CUDA or accelerator)
    can surpass that, at a reasonable price. In the case of CUDA, there may not
    be a simple proportionality between price and performance (maybe a midrange
    card gives most of the performance of a high end card, depending on where
    the bottlenecks are - a GTX260 might do just as well, as something newer).
    Also, there can be minor quality differences between the various hardware
    solutions. Obviously, a general purpose processor has the most opportunities
    to have any issues fixed - with specialized solutions, you don't know how often
    (or if ever), patches or improvements to the "microcode" will come out (whatever
    passes for code inside the accelerator type solution).

    Paul, Oct 16, 2011
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  3. Many thanks once again, Paul, for your very helpful advice. I will
    explore the possibilities. I guess long gone are the days when a
    rebuild every two years made the world right again.
    Bill Anderson, Oct 16, 2011
  4. Bill Anderson

    Paul Guest

    Bill Anderson wrote:

    Some years, it isn't worth it.


    We need AMD to scare Intel a bit more, to get things heated up again.

    This socket is coming soon, but you'll want to read some articles
    about what's happening behind the scenes, before getting too excited.
    They may not deliver on all the features. I'd especially want to
    see some benchmarks, to see whether quad memory channels actually
    makes sense.

    Paul, Oct 16, 2011
  5. Bill Anderson

    Quiet Man Guest

    Check your software. I have a similar setup but with 2 10,000 rpm
    150Gb Seagates. I use Nero 10 for most stuff and Microsoft Moviemaker
    for 2x, 4x, and 8x speedups only, moving stuff back and forth as
    needed. I don't seem to be maxing out anything.

    Of course, I spend most of my time editing to get rid of boring
    footage, hence lots of crossfade where I'm leaving out parts of clips,
    and lots of speedups to get through stuff where I have to show the
    whole process to give people a feel for the amount of work, but don't
    need the detail. Also lots of soundtrack fixup with Audacity. The new
    beta has MUCH better noise removal than the last stable version.
    Quiet Man, Oct 16, 2011
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