I had the Need for Speed, and boy have I been having some fun today.
I've just received my new (just off cutting-edge) Dell Precision T5500 workstation, and have moved all my drives over to it. This dual hex core 3.47 GHz Xeon X5690 system upgrades my previous dual quad core Dell Precision T5400 3.16 GHz Xeon X5460 setup.
The T5400 was no slouch, but benchmarks like Passmark showed the T5500 to be up to twice as powerful overall the T5400, so when I saw a price I liked I took the plunge.
- The processors are faster: 3.47 GHz vs. 3.16 GHz
- The processor design is one generation newer: Westmere vs. Harpertown
- There are half again as many cores: 12 vs. 8
- The T5500 has hyperthreading while the T5400 did not have it.
- The T5500 uses DDR3 RAM instead of DDR2, giving about 1.5x the memory bandwidth (both systems run 1333 MHz ECC RAM).
- Note that I have three times the RAM - 48 GB in the new system, vs. 16 GB in the T5400.
Unfortunately, the VisionTek ATI Radeon HD 7850 I had ordered along with it was defective out of the box, so for now I'm still using my prior 5670 card. But without a video card upgrade, this gives me the unique opportunity to test just how Photoshop and other operations respond to the increased processing power as well as RAM, using the same disks, same software installation, same video card and drivers. So I set out to determine just how much this upgrade would affect the Photoshop work I do, which I'm sure will be interesting to folks here...
Here's what I have found:
A few things truly do take only half as long, though most are taking more like 2/3 as long and a few are surprisingly at about the same speed (probably implying my video card is the bottleneck). All times are T5500 vs. T5400:
- Cold Photoshop CS6 x64 Startup Time - 3.2 seconds vs. 4.2.
- Cold start Photoshop CS6 32 bit - 4.0 seconds vs. 5.6.
- Second Photoshop CS6 x64 Startup Time (with most stuff cached) - 2.4 seconds vs. 3.4.
- Warm start Photoshop CS6 32 bit - 2.6 seconds vs. 3.8.
- Drag a 1.7GB multi-layer (compressed) PSB to Photoshop CS6 - 21.6 seconds vs. 34.8 seconds.
- Save 1.7 GB compressed PSB - 19.8 seconds vs. 23.8 seconds.
- Drag a layer of white dots around at 12.5% zoom - 5 frames per second, same speed as older system.
- Drag a layer of black dots around at 12.5% zoom - 4 frames per second, same as older system.
- Flatten the image: 13.8 seconds vs. 20.2.
- Stroke a 1000 pixel soft brush diagonally across the 8000 x 8000 pixel image: 1.2 seconds vs. 1.6.
- Drag a Canon 40D raw file with some development parameters already set and see the preview in Camera Raw: 2.6 seconds vs. 3.0.
- Open that Raw file into Photoshop at 6144 x 4096 pixels, 16 bits/color: 6.2 seconds vs. 9.0. I'm really going to feel this.
- Fractal sharpen the image: 1 minute 41 seconds vs. 3 minutes 30 seconds (uses Perfect Resize 7, which multithreads well).
- Open single color channel of a 10 megapixel astroimage through FITS Liberator: 4.6 seconds vs. 5.8
- The http://clubofone.com/speedtest/ benchmark with Photoshop CS6: 12.8 seconds vs. 25.6 seconds.
- The http://clubofone.com/speedtest/ benchmark with Photoshop CS5: 13.8 seconds vs. 26.2 seconds.
- The http://clubofone.com/speedtest/ benchmark with Photoshop CS4: 15.4 seconds vs. 23.0 seconds.
- Render the same 3D extrusion of the word Text (busied all 24 threads and got the fans really cranked up): 30 minutes 19 seconds vs. 45 mnutes 53 seconds.
T5500 (this was a good stress test, the system sounded like it was ready to take off):
Interestingly, disk access to my already hyper-fast SSD array has actually increased a good bit, implying the disks and controller were capable of delivering and accepting data faster than the T5400 system itself. As with many things listed above, the new system is about 1.5x to 2x faster on small operations. For example, if I select all the entries in the root of drive C:, then choose Properties, the T5400 would enumerate all 511,000 files and stop counting up in about 32 seconds, at a rate of about 16,000 files / second. The new system finishes that count in 20.4 seconds, at a rate of 25,000 files / second. This means that my already very fast file access just feels snappier for everything. My software builds now take only about 60% as long as they did before.
Looks like another week or more before I get my much faster video card, at which time I'll run through it all again.
I haven't tried stitching a panorama yet. Right now as I write this it's doing the render I listed above. The pano is next. I think the big RAM is going to help a lot with that.
Any other things you'd like me to try? I won't be able to compare directly until I get the older system back together (been spending all my time playing with the new rig).