Hyper-threading and video production

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Stephen Orr, May 4, 2005.

  1. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    I am looking to purchase a new 3ghz+ that will be used mainly for audio/video production and dvd authoring, along with my regular net surfing, word processing and such (NOT A GAMER!) I keep seeing the hyper-threading stuff and wonder if it's something I need to keep in mind.

    Bestbuy has a Gateway computer right now that seems to be close to fitting the bill for me. I can up the RAM to 4GB, plus will be adding a few of my own upgrades like a Haugepage video card for some HT applications.

    Would I benefit from hyperthreading? or can I look for something without it? Also, if I hyperthread, will it help keep me future proof for a while?
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    I made a thread in avs testing between hyper-threading on vs off. I shaved 7-8min off a WM9 video encode with hyper-threading on. Most of the benefit though is multi-tasking. It's nice to do something really strenuous but be able to browse the web with no problems at the same time.

    And consider building your own! [​IMG]
     
  3. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Since you're looking to buy now and are already pondering the benefits of parallellism, why not look at the dual core setups?

    A dual core P4 is even hyperthreaded, which will further assist in video production and any other multithreaded applications.

    There is an article at PCWorld with a test of a dual core rig.

    Not sure what your budget is, but thought I'd point out you can do better than hyperthreading if you really want maximum performance now.
     
  4. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    Well..thanks so far for the responses. My budget is about $1,000, with the one system that I'm looking at running $800, plus I'm bumping the RAM up to 1GB right off the bat. I can't do a build-your-own unless I can get 18 months same as cash, which is what I'm waiting on right now. This is sort of a 24th anniversary present from my wife to me. Yesterday, she bought me the Samsung 19-inch 930B flat panel monitor that BB had on sale with rebate (teacher's day present). Sure beats the 17-inch MAG CRT I've had forever.
     
  5. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Definitely get something with hyperthreading because you can always turn it off if you think it hurts performance. It's a setting in the BIOS that can easily be turned on and off.

    You mention 4GB of RAM. I wouldn't bother with that. Honestly, you will see very little benefit past 2GB and may or may not notice a difference going from 1GB to 2GB.
     
  6. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    If you're dealing with big uncompressed/losslessly compressed video you'll see a difference with 2gb, but Seth is on the mark about 4gb. Don't think you'll be needing that much.
     
  7. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    People who do benchmarking often turn hyperthreading off; it actually interferes with some kinds of appliactions. Really, an AMD processor will have better performance with less power use and a longer life. The new dual-core Opteron is getting extremely good reviews, and it's basically a drop-in replacement for the single unit.
     
  8. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    You'll have a hard time convincing people AMD beats Intel for video encoding. That is unless you have over $500 just to spend on the CPU alone.
     
  9. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Most benchmarks do list Intel as the champ in video encoding. However, if you get one of the newer chips from either company it should go pretty quickly. Most benchmarks give encoding to Intel and gaming to AMD, but I'm sure you'd be fine with either.

    You also mentioned "future-proofing." To really future-proof as much as possible right now, you'd want something dual-core that can do 64-bit. Unfortunately, this will probably be well out of the price range you're looking at.
     
  10. Christo Ramo

    Christo Ramo Stunt Coordinator

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    To shop for future proof, you may want to build your own too, you can easily upgrade it back to state of the art for a fraction of the cost. For $1000 you can easily come close to mirror one of gateways or dells top machines. Seriously think about it - it is not as hard as it looks.

    www.zipzoomfly.com - free 2nd day shipping and great staff.
     
  11. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    Okay, another angle on this. I received the latest issue of Maximum PC yesterday, and my wife and I read the article on dual-core processors. What I have been able to glean from the article is 1) DCPs specifically addresses the issue of multitasking with processor-intensive applications running simultaneously; 2) DCPs are not available on consumer equipment until sometime this summer and will not be a massive roll-out; and 3) the low-end for the basic DCP is going to be $500 for the processor alone.

    Anyone working with DCPs yet? I still have to work within a budget, so I need to know if this is something I should wait for, or if I should go ahead and get a Pentium w/HT and look at DCPs about 3 years down the line.
     
  12. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I may be incorrect, but I don't think anyone is working with dual-core right now. Ron ordered one a week or so back and should be getting end of May IIRC. I don't think too many people will get them before the end of May.

    They will probably run about $500+ for the processor alone, but that's what the current top-of-the-line chips run presently.

    Chances are you'd have to either expand your budget to at least $1500 or wait until end of the year. What you might consider is getting one of the present single-core pentiums that can operate 64-bit (anything in the 600 series). If you're planning on hanging on to this computer for 3 years you're probably going to want 64-bit capability.
     
  13. Jason Adams

    Jason Adams Supporting Actor

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    Real Name:
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    Is there really a such thing as TOO much RAM? Especially for handling uncompressed video and audio?

    But yeah...I would agree to build your own for the most bang for your buck.

    BTW...what software/hardware are you using for video edting?
     
  14. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    Firewire input, edit with a variety of programs depending on the turn around I need - Adobe Premiere Elements, WMovie Maker, Ulead's Disc Creator, and I'm playing around with Video Studio 9 now. I usually burn a video file, compress the disc image with DVD Shrink 3.2, then use Roxio Disc Copier to output to 5/6 NEC 3520A burners at a time. The last time I did a job for a local high school performing arts department, I encoded, edited and burned 50 discs in about 7 hours, including the labels. I was able to pop off an additional order of 30 discs in about two hours.

    BTW. I am using Express-It from Memorex. It worked fine, until I created a text line to run along the edge of the discs. Now the program runs as slow as Xmas everytime I edit and print a new label for the DVDs I create for our church each week. Is there a better (low cost/easy to use) label program that will allow me to run print around the edge without slowing me up? Thanks in advance.
     

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