11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 26, 2013 5:08 PM by jasonvp

    System Build: More Cores or More Core GHz?

    jasonvp Level 3

      Hey folks -

       

      Yep, I know about the Tweaker's Page and have read through the various articles there.  There are some tests I wonder if anyone's done yet.  Specifically: throwing more slower cores at Premiere Pro vs fewer, higher-speed ones?  Setting cost aside for a moment, imagine this:

      System 1: A dual-processor 2011 board and 2 10-core 2690-V2 Xeons.  Real core count: 20.  Virtual core count: 40.

      System 2: Same motherboard above, but with a single Core i7 2011 chip, overclocked to 4.5GHz or so.  Real core count: 6.  Virtual core count: 12.

       

      Obviously, using the same motherboard in both cases would be a HUGE waste of money for System 2.  But the idea here is: to try and compare 2 completely identical systems, the only difference being the CPU and core count.  The basic question is: can Premiere Pro thread itself efficiently to that degree?  Throwing more cores at an efficiently-threaded application will generally make it run faster than just throwing GHz at it.  But, as we all know: all generalizations are false...  ;-)

       

      What are your thoughts?

        • 1. Re: System Build: More Cores or More Core GHz?
          JEShort01 Level 4

          Jason,

           

          I seem to recall you are very knowledgeable about tweaks and even hacks to get the most out of Apple hardware. Just curious, are you thinking a PC or Hackintosh could be in your future?

           

          Regarding your questions, to start with Premiere is amazing to me in how well it can utilize many aspects of our hardware, and do so simultaneously (cpu, drives, gpu, memory ALL at the same time for some things). Note too, it does depend somewhat on what version. CC for example can tap multiple GPUs to help with renders out to DVD format, whereas CS5/5.5/6 can only tap one GPU at most.

           

          Obviously some tasks require more of some resources than others. Some examples:

          - render to Blu-ray will use all the cpu it can get

          - render to DVD format will use your cpu cores, but will most likely be GPU "bound"

          - playback of multi-track high-res uncompressed will need some serious drive I/O speed

          - filters and effects that do NOT support multi-core will only care about the speed of a single "turbo" core from your cpu (a few Adobe, and unfortunately LOTs of 3rd party stuff are crippled to single-threaded performance in this way)

           

          For your dual vs. single 2011 question, my response includes several comments:

          - Heavy lifting will absolutely utilize the dual-Xeon (i.e. multi-layer 4k/5k/6k compressed)

          - Motherboards that can take the dual Xeons dis-allow overclocking, or limit it to around 5% (can base clock OC from ASUS I think)

          - An dual 8-core Xeon that turbo's to 4.0GHz would be a better choice for PPro than any of the 10-core v2 cpu options IMHO. The fastest e5-2690 v2 is 3.0 GHz all cores and 3.6 GHz for turbo on a single core whereas the ever-so-slightly less expensive e5-2687wv2 is 4.0 GHz max turbo on a single core and can have all 8/16/32 threads pumping at a minimum of 3.4GHz - not bad!!!

           

          See this thread regarding what a fast, non v2, dual Xeon, dual GTX Titan can do with 16 drives:

          http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1273580

           

          Regards,

           

          Jim

          • 2. Re: System Build: More Cores or More Core GHz?
            jasonvp Level 3

            JEShort01 wrote:

             

            Just curious, are you thinking a PC or Hackintosh could be in your future?

            Hackintosh.  Primarily to edit AVCHD footage and export to h.264 MP4, which is what I'm doing today.  I'll likely throw two GTX780s or perhaps a pair of Titans at it, too.  I haven't settled on the video cards yet.  Ultimately though, it will be to run CC.  What I'm trying to figure out is:  spend the money on a dual 2011 board and a pair of silly-expensive Xeons, or stick with a simple single 2011 board, 6-core Core i7, and over clock it?  I don't need any of the other advantages the Xeons offer such as ECC memory and whatnot.  So if I can get more performance out of the Core i7...

             

            The price of the Xeons is one concern, but if Premiere will use all of the cores, I'm all in.  From my limited testing, however, it's always seemed as though there's a significant drop-off in performance once the core count breeches 12 or so.

             

            For your dual vs. single 2011 question, my response includes several comments:

            - Heavy lifting will absolutely utilize the dual-Xeon (i.e. multi-layer 4k/5k/6k compressed)

            Right.  I'm not sure if editing AVCHD is considered "heavy lifting" in the same sense.

             

            - Motherboards that can take the dual Xeons dis-allow overclocking, or limit it to around 5% (can base clock OC from ASUS I think)

            Yep, and that's my bad.  I should have said two identical motherboards (same manufacturer), one being a single-proc with over clocking potential.  Sandy and Ivy Bridge Xeons are clock-locked.

             

            - An dual 8-core Xeon that turbo's to 4.0GHz would be a better choice for PPro than any of the 10-core v2 cpu options IMHO. The fastest e5-2690 v2 is 3.0 GHz all cores and 3.6 GHz for turbo on a single core whereas the ever-so-slightly less expensive e5-2687wv2 is 4.0 GHz max turbo on a single core and can have all 8/16/32 threads pumping at a minimum of 3.4GHz - not bad!!!

            As some heavy-duty over-clockers have found, the whole "turbo only works on one core" thing is actually a mistake.  It doesn't work that way.  If you push the CPU and it can light all of the cores up at the turbo speed, it will.  And it's  amusing to find out that the CPUs actually run in turbo mode way more than they don't.

            • 3. Re: System Build: More Cores or More Core GHz?
              jasonvp Level 3

              I should include more about the editing I do.  Each edit is almost entirely identical to the previous:

               

              1. Absorb the spanned AVCHD footage from 2 cameras (about +23 minutes, each camera)
              2. Creat new sequence off of the first camera's footage.
              3. Set second camera's footage on video track 2.
              4. Set WAVE file of the same event on the 3rd audio track.
              5. Send package to PluralEyes to audio-sync (I have to set it to "Try Really Hard" .. which I find funny).
              6. Scale second camera down to 50% of its original size.
              7. Horizontally flip second camera, since it's a rear-view mirrror sort of thing.
              8. Crop bottom 1/3 off second camera.
              9. Position second camera image appropriately.
              10. Trim, cut, etc.
              11. Export to 720p h.264 MP4.
              12. Lather, rinse, repeat.

               

              The effects I'm using are all sent to the GPU.

              • 4. Re: System Build: More Cores or More Core GHz?
                Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Jason,

                 

                I am very impressed by the new Premiere 7 PPBM preliminary testing (and maybe even some CS6 results) that I have seen on the dual Xeons.  With Premiere 5 and 5.5 we always discouraged dual Xeons as not being worth the cost with only marginal gains.  In the past you could overclock the i7's and do as well as the Xeons.  Not enough concrete data to publish yet but the signs are there where it appears CPU cores are king.  Whether it is really worth it for AVCHD media may be questionable.

                • 5. Re: System Build: More Cores or More Core GHz?
                  cc_merchant Level 4

                  I believe Harm made an effort to address this with the following statement:

                   

                  Of course, as said above, not everything is black or white, things are often a kind of grey and your editing needs may differ from one of the categories described here. If that is the case, you can relatively easy find a way to compensate for your specific situation. As an example, if you start out with AVCHD material often, but usually deliver on DVD and do a lot of rendering your timeline for preview purposes, you may want to consider a better video card as described on the Balanced Systems page. If we disregard price for a moment, a question that comes up with some regularity is 'More cores or more GHz?'. The simple answer is, it depends. It depends on whether the main editing effort is on number crunching, where more cores are most welcome, or the emphasis is on the interaction between CPU and GPU, in which case more GHz is most welcome. Typically, if the GPU is largely left out (no rescaling and no frame blending), more cores is preferred. Editing 4K material is also a typical situation where the emphasis is on number crunching and thus more cores are better. However, as soon as the GPU is involved with rescaling or frame blending, the picture changes. In these cases the system benefits more from higher GHz and memory, because of the large amount of traffic between CPU, memory and GPU. To complicate matters further, you have to realize that Xeons are almost impossible to overclock, so it is either more cores at lower GHz (Xeons), or less cores at higher GHz (i7). So the starting phrase of this paragraph clearly holds here.

                  • 6. Re: System Build: More Cores or More Core GHz?
                    jasonvp Level 3

                    cc_merchant wrote:

                     

                    I believe Harm made an effort to address this with the following statement:

                    Sorta.  He notes AVCHD and using a better video card.  That's pretty easy, all things considered.  But he never connects AVCHD editing and CPU speed vs cores.  Much like what Bill said above, "Whether it is really worth it for AVCHD media may be questionable."

                     

                    The impression I'm getting is that AVCHD editing isn't, all things considered, "pure number crunching".  Meaning throwing a bzillion cores at the problem may be a waste of money.

                    • 7. Re: System Build: More Cores or More Core GHz?
                      JEShort01 Level 4

                      Jason,

                       

                      Think about cpu/gpu performance being required for different aspects of your workflow. Also note that my comments are speaking to a purely multi-thread capable workflow and CC. So as a disclaimer, I don't know whether your use of Pluraleyes will adhere to this or break the multi-threaded abilities of the MPE.

                       

                      • Timeline work: you NEED enough or you have to render and that slows most workflows WAY down. A fast, OC'd 6-core plus a GTX 770 or better should work very well for everything AVCHD

                        Sidebar: multi-track 4k and above timeline work NEEDs even more CPU power which multi-CPU solutions can provide. For real-time RED playback, so does adding $$$ Red Rocket cards - and I thought fast Xeons were expensive!
                      • For renders to DVD format: You want more, add more GPU firepower
                      • For renders to Blu-ray (h.264): You want more, add more CPU firepower

                       

                      Since you are not doing 4k or above, a fast 6-core will work fine. But that is not the same as saying more cores would not make some things faster.

                       

                      Regards,

                       

                      Jim

                      • 8. Re: System Build: More Cores or More Core GHz?
                        jasonvp Level 3

                        Hey Jim -

                         

                        Thanks for the back and forth.  This is handy.

                        JEShort01 wrote:

                         

                        So as a disclaimer, I don't know whether your use of Pluraleyes will adhere to this or break the multi-threaded abilities of the MPE.

                        I'm not really worried about the amount of time PluralEyes spends with the footage.  It's a drop in the bucket, all things considered.  I just included it as one of the steps in my workflow.

                         

                        For renders to Blu-ray (h.264): You want more, add more CPU firepower

                        Given I'm exporting to h.264 (MP4), I wonder if that also means "more CPU firepower".  And again, does that firepower come in the form of cores or GHz?

                        • 9. Re: System Build: More Cores or More Core GHz?
                          ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                          So far Red and likely Raw/DNG is the only media where single or Dual Xeon 12 core cpu's are outperforming 6 core systems at 4.5GHz. If you have a constant Red workflow then the Xeons are worth the investment. If you dont then the 6 Cores at higher GHz are outperforming the Xeons in Premiere. AE performance is always threads and Ram so the Xeons would be preferable there regardless of the media.


                          Eric

                          ADK

                          • 10. Re: System Build: More Cores or More Core GHz?
                            Fabio Pis Level 1

                            Jason, are you sure that 2690V2 will be supported by new mac pro (and so in a future hackintosh build)?

                            It seems that mac pro will have 4/6/8 and 12 Xeon processor core in Apple site

                            • 11. Re: System Build: More Cores or More Core GHz?
                              jasonvp Level 3

                              Fabio Pis wrote:

                               

                              Jason, are you sure that 2690V2 will be supported by new mac pro (and so in a future hackintosh build)?

                              It seems that mac pro will have 4/6/8 and 12 Xeon processor core in Apple site

                              Generally, Apple doesn't support specific models of a chip, they support the entire type of chip.  So the E5 2600 V2s will be supported, since the 12-core is one such chip.  Given that, Mavericks should support the 10-core chip without an issue.

                               

                              At the moment, though, it won't.  The current .0 release of 10.9 doesn't have proper 2600 V2 support in it.  The expectation is that when the Mac Pros are finally released, a .1 version of Mavericks will accompany it.