5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 31, 2013 4:44 PM by Darren Breckles

    i7 vs Xeon

    Darren Breckles

      I'm tearing my hair out trying to decide between i7 and Xeon.  I just want a workstation with good performance for Adobe CS6 and CC, mostly Premiere Pro.  For reference almost anything would seem like good performance to me, I'm currently using a Dell Inspiron 15R with 2.26GHz Intel Core i3 350M and 8GB of RAM.  Performance is obviously painful.

        For simplicity I'll just list processor choices and get more advice later on disk config and other parts.  My budget is hopefully below 5K.


        What would provide better performance

      Core i7 3970X 3.5 GHZ 6 core 15 meg cache




      Dual Xeon E5-2667 (six core 2.9 GHZ 15m 17.2 GT/s


      I might be able to get a bit of a discount on the Xeon and would kind of like to go with them because I can get a name brand Dell Workstation vs a machine built by ADK.  I think the warranty, service and reliability might be better from the Dell but would performance be comparable?  Would the Xeon provide good performance?  I see so many people go with i7 it scares me a bit to go with Xeon as I'm not that knowledgeable about hardware.
        Any input from those of you around here that know about these things would be massively appreciated.

        • 1. Re: i7 vs Xeon
          JEShort01 Level 4



          It's a no-brainer - go with the i7 and ADK. They will likely be spec'ing out an overclocked i7-3930k for the price point your describe and it will perform very well.


          I'm not anti-Dell nor am I anti-Xeon, but at the price point you mention, Xeon is more expensive and slower (no OC'ing Dell Precision Workstations, only Dell's Alienware gamer's line allow for that). I am currently playing with a dual e5-2687w Dell T7600 and it is very fast, but cost one out and you will see what I mean about "at your price point".


          Regarding service and reliability, Dell's on-site parts swap-out is handy, but for a video editing PC the kind of support ADK can provide - they know edit PCs inside and out - ADK's service and support in my opinion would blow away anything Dell can provide. Most user's here at the forum seem to be reporting way more issues that are software, driver, 3rd party add-on, and configuration (set-up) related vs. a few true hardware issues (for high-end PCs anyway; laptops could be another story where the hardware is not as robust ).





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          • 2. Re: i7 vs Xeon
            Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

            Absolutely there is no comparison between a single Xeon and and overclockable i7.  Look at the PPBM5 benchmark results

            • 3. Re: i7 vs Xeon
              Darren Breckles Level 1

              I'm sure high end i7 would be fastest but I'm a bit leery of buying from a company in the U.S (I'm in Canada) for warranty and repair issues. I'm no expert but I've been told there are benefits to a name brand workstation.  I've also heard good things about ADK and other NLE specialists. I'm curious what the real user difference would be if I did six, eight or 12 cores but then it starts to depend on the the type of Xeon model and cost.

              My choices from Dell were:

              Pretty much out of budget unless spectacular: 2 x E52687 : 3.1GHz with 20MB Cache, 8 core.

              Cheapest, closest to my budget:  1 x E52687 : 3.1GHz with 20MB Cache, 8 core.
              Getting out of budget:  Dual 6-core:  2 x E52667: 2.9Ghz, 15MB.

              Haven't looked into i7's as much except on ADK's website, can put some of that money into other areas but stability and reliability is important as well.

              • 4. Re: i7 vs Xeon
                JEShort01 Level 4



                What are you editing and what is your workflow?


                The number of tracks (single or 5 camera angle multi-cam?), media type (SD, HD, Red Scarlet - huge differences in horsepower required), and use of third party add-ins (i.e. it seems some popular effects from Red Giant may cripple Premiere to only use a single core for renders) can all impact how the various processor choices. BTW my response to you above assumed up to HD since your current hardware did not sound up to doing much with multi-track AVCHD or RED projects.


                Do you care mostly about smooth playback and scrubbing on the timeline, or do you care more about render time out? Is your output generally to DVD, Blu-ray, or other? How much drive space do you need (that should certainly impact your overall budget)?


                Another thought to consider - you said stability and reliability are important - your 5k budget could certainly provide for a hardware parity RAID setup so loosing a drive will be MUCH less of an issue.





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                • 5. Re: i7 vs Xeon
                  Darren Breckles Level 1

                  I am editing primarily 1080p DSLR footage from Canon 6D and various Rebel's.  Normally only two or three cameras.  I do have Red Giant plugins suite and use Colorista which does kill my render times which are already horrible.   I care more about smooth playback and performance while editing than render time out at this point.  I don't usually have killer deadlines or time constraints. 
                    I'm considering  Intel - Core i7 3930K 3.2GHz 6 core 12meg cache, Intel - RAID Controller RS25DB080 (SAS) - Internal - Dual Core - 1 GB Cache with Western Digital - 8TB raid 0,5,6,10 (4x 2 TB RE4 WD2003FYYS) and GEFORCE GTX 770 4GB Stream Processor 1536 7000MHz 256 bit GDDR5 PCI Express


                    I was very impressed with ADK's knowledge and support capability.  One reason for considering Dell and Xeon is onsite warranty in Canada vs having to deal with duty and customs with ADK for example.   Most have said i7 is faster and better suited.

                    I did find a local company with this as a base system that can customize, not as many Raid options and don't get the 3 video cards:

                  Base System

                  Processor (CPU) [1]




                  Memory (RAM) [1]


                  Storage Devices

                  Hard Drive [1]

                  Hard Drive [2]

                  Hard Drive [3]

                  Hard Drive [4]

                  CD Reader (CDROM/DVD)

                  CD Writer (CDR/DVDR)

                  I/O Controller Card

                  Raid Setting

                  ound & Video

                  Video Card (GPU)

                  Video Card (GPU)[2]

                  Video Card (GPU) [3]


                    Guess I just have to decide if I want to try to risk customs and duty for the benefits ADK offer or try a less knowledgeable local reseller.  I still am a bit curious, though i7 is faster, what the real world difference would be vs high end 8 core Xeon.  I've had posts from people with Xeon but not really much about their user experience.