18 Replies Latest reply on Mar 6, 2009 12:07 PM by Bill Seper

    Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4

    Bill Seper Level 1
      I'm upgrading my mobo this year and I want to make sure that what I'm buying will be compatible with CS4. I'm currently still shooting standard def DV and using Premiere 6.5

      I plan on going with the new Panasonic AG-HMC150 cam and upgrading to CS4 when I do. I'll also need to upgrade my mobo. I like using the smaller micro ATX cases as the size suit my working condition, and I don't require a lot of expansion slots. I use an Antec case. The mobo I think I'll go with is the MSI K9AG Neo2-Digital which comes with HDMI and DVI connections on the integrated video. I don't do anything with playing games or using 3D whatsoever, so integrated video isn't that big a deal. The MOBO works well with any of the Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 family chips.

      I've never had a dual core chip before, and I'm a little unsure about how to read the specs. The requirements for using CS4 says it can needs the following CPU types:

      "2GHz or faster processor for DV; 3.4GHz for HDV; dual 2.8GHz for HD"

      The AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 6000+ is rated as being 3.0 GHz. Should I take it that this is 3.0 GHz per each core? Is that sufficient for use with CS4? Can I go with a little less power? The 6000+ is $350. I can get a 5000+ for under $200 or the 4000+ for $150. Would those be enough for using CS4?

      I know a bit about this stuff but haven't a clue about dual core CPU's or how their ratings compare to single core units.


        • 1. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
          Jim_Simon Level 8
          The speed rating for multiple core processors applies to each core.
          • 2. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
            Bill Seper Level 1

            I know a dual core rated at 3ghz certainly wouldn't be equal to a single core at 6ghz? So does that mean that even though it is dual core (which I realize has more to do with multitasking than anything) that the 3ghz rating is too slow to use with CS4 since it requires 3.4ghz for HDV?
            • 3. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
              Harm Millaard Level 7
              I can't fathom why you want AMD Athlon instead of the much beefier Intel CPU's. Price/performance is way ahead for Intel and AMD is lagging far behind, especially on performance.

              If you mention a budget, maybe some of us can come up with alternatives.
              • 4. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
                Jim_Simon Level 8
                >So does that mean that the 3ghz rating is too slow to use with CS4?

                Probably not.

                Harm's right, though. For anyone building a new PC today, they should seriously have the i7 at the very top of their list.
                • 5. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
                  Bill Seper Level 1
                  Well I have found places like Tiger and PC Direct selling the 6000+ for under a hundred bucks. I don't know why Amazon lists it so high.

                  Yes, I know the Intel Core 2 is much faster (well in real world terms it isn't THAT much faster), but I really like that particular MOBO I was looking at that has the onboard HDMI connector. It also features a silent chipset. Noise is real important to me (thus the Antec case and PSU) since I do a lot of music recording too.

                  The only micro ATX MOBO I know of that works well with the Intel Core 2 is the MSI G965MDH, and it isn't much compared to the other AMD based MOBO. This one does have some CPU fan control via the BIOS (although I'm currently slowing the fan with an external fan controler that works just fine), but overall it will be much noisier than the AMD based MOBO.

                  So it appears that I can have an excellent MOBO with a bit lesser of a CPU or a worse MOBO with a better CPU. All things considered I'm still thinking the AMD is the way to go.
                  • 6. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
                    Harm Millaard Level 7
                    The Number 1 is my system

                    Do you see any AMD in that listing?

                    If you want silence, my advise is to not turn on your PC, it will save on the energy bill as well. Choosing is about compromises, either speed and noise, or slower and quieter or smaller with less expansion capabilities, etc. Nobody can decide for you. You have to figure it out.

                    If you want to edit AVCHD, forget AMD, it is too slow. Even my system is not up to that task comfortably. So what is your budget and what material do you want to edit?
                    • 7. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
                      Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3
                      I would definitely go with an i7. The 920 appears to be the price/ performance sweet spot. The i7 920 is a tad bit faster than the last generation Intel that can still be found selling on the Internet for around $1400! I just checked pricegrabber.com and the lowest price there is $294. Fry's Electronics had this processor on sale last month for around $239.

                      I've built many computers and lost count. I used to think Asus made the best boards. Now I'm leaning more toward Gigabyte. Nearly all of our Asus boards have quirky BIOS issues like all of a sudden, the hard disk priority will change for no apparent reason and the system can't find the boot disk. Easy to fix, but a pain. Also about half of our Asus boards failed within 4 years. The Gigabyte boards advertise about a 7 year lifespan due to high quality components.

                      A new i7 might be as much as 5 times faster than what you are currently using at rendering, exporting and transcoding.
                      • 8. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        Gigabyte has had a period in the past (quite a few years ago) when they has serious quality problems. That is why ASUS acquired that company and even though they are now one company, they are still marketed under their own brand name. They are currently about equal in quality but differ in features and tweakability with their BIOS settings. Gigabyte tends to lean more towards gamers and OC people, while ASUS tends to be more conservative. Both offer very good mobo's, but let your choice depend on the features offered, like the choice of chips on the supported features for NIC, audio, raid support, firewire controller, etc.
                        • 9. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
                          Bill Seper Level 1
                          "If you want silence, my advise is to not turn on your PC...."

                          Well I'm not sure that's fair. An Antec case with built-in noise cancellation materials and either using one of their own PSU units or a Corsair (both have extremely quiet fans, but the Corsair units tend to hold up longer), plus noiseless chipsets, quiet HD's, and a quiet CPU fan (and case fan if you need it) will make for very quiet operation. And you can generally slow the CPU fan down to nearly half speed without raising the temp more than a couple of degrees making it quieter yet. You have to put your ear right up against my case to even know the thing is on. I've been working with audio for nearly 30-years, so we've gotten pretty good and making things quiet.

                          "If you want to edit AVCHD, forget AMD, it is too slow."

                          How so? Are you saying that AMD can't do the job at all? I only ask because there's an overabundance of exaggeration on internet forums about everything it seems. Generally speaking, when someone uses the term "night and day" to compare two items you can bet the difference between the two are actually negligible. Secondly, it's nearly impossible to find fair and reliable benchmark tests concerning CPU's. For instance I saw an article comparing the speed of a AMD Phenom 2.4 GHz against an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 recently. At first I thought after viewing the data that the Intel unit was remarkably better, but then I realized that the reviewer had 6 gigs of RAM in the Intel chip's system and only 4 gigs in the AMD. That pretty much made the tests useless, and that seems to be the way it goes in internet land. Had both systems been paired with equal RAM I have to think the speed tests would have been about the same.

                          So what I'm saying is, if something like an i7 or Core 2 is only going to be 10% faster than a comparable AMD, that's laughable to me considering the price of both Intel chips and the MOBO's capable of using them. I'm not about to spend an extra $600 bucks to gain a 10% speed increase. What do I care if an hours worth a of video renders 5 minutes faster? If I'm going to spend all that extra money to use an Intel chip, then the ends is going to have to justify the means.

                          I'd be perfectly satisfied using an AMD based system along with a MOBO that's going to be considerably better than anything you can find at a reasonable price for an Intel chip as long as the AMD system will do what I need it to do. Also, I've found over the long haul that AMD chips seem to hold up better (although they tend to have a lot of growing pains when they first come out until they're perfected).

                          But like I say, I know very little about dual or quad cores except that they're better at multitasking. I'm eager to learn more.
                          • 10. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
                            Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                            The new top of the line Phenom II is slightly faster than a last generation Q6600 at nearly everything except Video related tasks. Adobe worked with Intel on the production and design of their latest processors.

                            A new i7 920 is a LOT faster at rendering, exporting AVI's and transcoding AVI's (for instance for DVD mp2's).

                            GZ is deceptive. Case in point. The computer I use at home uses an Asus P4C800-E Deluxe Motherboard and has an Intel 3.2GZ Northwood processor.

                            About a year ago I built a new computer for my daughter based on some bargain basement parts from Fry's Electronics, an ECS motherboard and an Intel bottom of the barrel E2200 processor running at 2.2GZ.

                            I did a speed test to compare the two systems by loading the same Release of Premiere Pro and a 5 minute AVI file. I applied a load of the same video effects to both clips and did a render race.

                            The new bottom of the barrel 2.2GZ Intel beat the older Northwood 3.2GZ system by nearly 300% in some tests.

                            BTW, The computer I build for my daughter cost under $300 to build. I used spare parts and the motherboard combo I used, I got on sale at Fry's for around $75.

                            This chart isn't exactly up to date, but it may be helpful:
                            http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-q3-2008/Premiere-Pro-CS3-HDTV,833.ht ml
                            • 11. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
                              Phil Griffith Level 2
                              the new amd phenon II processors are quad core. There are benchmark test on tom's hardware site, and for sure the I7 is faster. Still they give the I7 a good run for the money.
                              • 12. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
                                Bill Seper Level 1
                                "The new bottom of the barrel 2.2GZ Intel beat the older Northwood 3.2GZ system by nearly 300% in some tests."

                                Whoa--now that's impressive.
                                • 13. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
                                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                                  >GZ is deceptive.

                                  That confused me at first, until I kept reading. The proper abbreviation is GHz.
                                  • 14. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
                                    Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3
                                    Yes. GHz, thanks Jim.

                                    Another thing. I believe I slightly understated the performance of the new Phenom II compared to Intel's i7 lineup. Tom's Hardware should have updated charts before too long. There may be one on the Web I didn't find.

                                    One of the stated price advantages of the new Phenom II is , unlike the i7, you can upgrade to this new processor from certain earlier motherboards. With the i7, you need the processor, a new LGA1366 socket design motherboard and DDR3 RAM.


                                    My take is, Gigabyte now makes excellent motherboards. But, I don't have any stats to back that up. They've done Power supply torture tests for instance, and proven that generally, PC Power and Cooling, Antec, Corsair and a few others are the best choice if you want your system to last, but... I haven't seen any hard data on motherboard longevity.

                                    Sometimes I look at the user feedback on Newegg.com. That can be deceptive. Especially when it comes to motherboards. Some builders just can't seem to get it through their heads that even a tiny amount of static electricity can ruin a motherboard. So a low motherboard rating for one product might just be that a high percentage of dissatisfied builders either dropped a heavy tool on their board in the wrong place, overflexed the board when installing the heat sink, of zapped it with static electricity.

                                    Out of all of the computers I have build, I only had one system that gave me trouble. I believe that was because I fumbled the board during the heat sink install and most likely broke something very small.

                                    My dissatisfaction with Asus longevity may be related to the area I live in that's prone to power surges. Even though we use APC battery backup units, we don't have the APC model with AVC. If that even would have made a difference.

                                    Things can change related to corporate policy abruptly. For instance, when my wife and I bought a car, we asked a reliable person who they recommend for transmission service. They said, Mr. Transmission. We took our car there, and they fixed the problem and it didn't cost too much. A few years later, I had an issue with another car where it wouldn't shift out of 1st. gear. I went back to Mr. Transmission and they said I needed a complete rebuild and it was going to cost around $2300. I did some research and discovered that cleaning the filter and making sure the governor turned freely often cured shifting problems. The governor was accessible from under the hood. One bolt and a hold down held it in. I had it out in a few minutes and sprayed it with carbuerator cleaner and the WD40. I put it back in and the car has been shifting fine now for several years.

                                    All this to say that motherboard quality and longevity is a bit of a mystery to me. I like the idea that Gigabyte is promoting their boards based on longevity. I think there may be something to their "Ultra Durable 3" claims. But then again the reality could be marketing hype.

                                    I'm not a fan at all of Asus' marketing:

                                    • 15. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
                                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                                      I quite agree with you, Gigabyte is very good and reliable, but even though you may have had some bad experiences with ASUS, I still think both brands are quite good. One of the advantages of the take-over of Gigabyte by ASUS is that they created synergy by buying the same parts for their mobo's and gaining from the scale of their combined business. Choosing one or the other has to do with the features on each of the boards, the number of SATA connections, the NIC chip used, the audio chip used, the SATA-2 connection chip used, the raid level supported, the number of firewire ports on the mobo and the choice of the chipset used by the firewire connection, etc.

                                      In my case I had a serious look at the Gigabyte GA-EX58, but decided for the ASUS P6T-WS Pro because of the Marvel chipset for the SATA2 connections.
                                      • 16. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
                                        Bill Seper Level 1
                                        I like Asus myself.

                                        I've never had a MOBO of any kind that went bad, but I was working on my sister's a couple of years ago, and I couldn't figure out why it would suddenly slow way down in performance for no reason. Of course my first guess was that the HD was giving out although they usually have a bearing go bad and you notice that it gets louder usually. But that wasn't the case. I opened the case and put my ear near the HD and couldn't hear anything unusual, and it tested fine via Sandra.

                                        Anyhow, then I suspected a RAM module was failing, and then when that tested fine I went through this and that until I just about drove myself nuts trying to figure it out. I finally suspected that maybe a cap had gone bad on the MOBO, but they all looked fine and not burst or bloated. However, one day I heard a distinct hissing sound like air escaping somewhere, so I knew it did indeed have to be a cap. After closer inspection I noticed a small bit of the dreaded yellow dust near a set of them and realized one had blow out the bottom in such a way that you couldn't see it very well.

                                        When I went to buy a new MOBO I asked the sales guy if he saw much of this, and he said that it was one of the more common problems with MOBOs going bad. I would never have guessed that. I would think there would be all kinds of things go bad on a board before the caps went out.

                                        Maybe they don't make capacitors like they used to. I've had guitar amps 40 years old that were used constantly and they have a ton of caps in them, but seldom do they go bad. Transistors and tubes (and op-amps in newer amps) yes, but seldom caps. I mean it's common enough to change a cap in a tank circuit of silver faced Twins and whatnot to purposely alter the tone, but seldom do they go bad.
                                        • 17. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
                                          Harm Millaard Level 7
                                          Capacitors are the most common reason for mobo failure and luckily significant progress has been made on that side. Both ASUS and Gigabyte now use Caps from a reputable Japanese company, instead of Chinese, Korean or Taiwan versions. The quality of the caps should be an overriding decision factor in choosing a mobo IMO.
                                          • 18. Re: Using Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 w/ CS4
                                            Bill Seper Level 1
                                            Hmm...I didn't know that. I recall taking some electronics classes in college just for fun back in the 80's, and I either managed to wire something in backwards on the trainer or else I must have applied too much current for the circuit when suddenly a cap blew out right in front of my face. If you ever had one blow up while working on a PC board then you know it's like a fire-cracker going off. But nobody had told me that back then. I nearly fell off my chair! :-)