7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 9, 2009 12:42 AM by Mylenium

    CPU-question: 1 x Intel Xeon X5550 vs. 2 x Intel Xeon E5520?

    matsjacob
      Hello.

      We're buying a new computer for AE. Which one do you reckon is the best CPU-configuration?

      ONE  Intel Xeon X5550 --- 2.66GHz, 6.4GT/s, 8 mB, QC, 1333MHz

      or

      TWO Intel Xeon E5520 --- 2.26GHz, 5.86GT/s, 8MB, QC, 1066MHZ

      That is, one faster or two slower.

      Thanks!
        • 1. Re: CPU-question: 1 x Intel Xeon X5550 vs. 2 x Intel Xeon E5520?
          Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

          It's actually four cores or eight cores, right?

          It's hard to give a defintive answer. The nature of some composition gets along better than others with AE's strategy of spawning rendering instances for the different cores ("Render Multiple Frames Simulataneously"). In those cases, the eight core machine will be faster. Other projects may be more memory-intensive or disk-intensive than CPU-intensive. In those cases,  it depends in other factors. Even in those cases, an eight-core machine could perform better when using multiple applications at the same time, or when using the AE render engine or AME to render/encode in the background, while you keep using AE.

          In any case, remember that you need at the very least 2 GB of RAM (3 GB if at all posible) per physical core to take advantage of all cores. An eight-core machine is more likely to drown if the RAM amount is not adequate.

          Also remember that multiprocessing will provide important rendering speed-up factors in many cases, but not in all cases.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: CPU-question: 1 x Intel Xeon X5550 vs. 2 x Intel Xeon E5520?
            matsjacob Level 1

            Thanks for your answer, very helpful!

             

            You can say that it is either four or eight cores, only that it is either one faster or two slower.

             

            I wasn't sure weather AE actually could use two separate CPU:s the same way it uses one single, but I guess it does?

             

            We are going for a Win XP 64-bit with 6 GB of RAM. Eventually we might change to  Windows 7 when we know it's stable and works in our network and workflow.

             

            Thanks again!

            • 3. Re: CPU-question: 1 x Intel Xeon X5550 vs. 2 x Intel Xeon E5520?
              Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

              6 GB of RAM won't let you use four cores adequately, let alone eight. Remember, at least 2GB per core. This is, at lease 8 GB for a quad core machine or 16 GB for an eight core machine. If you won't have that amount, you'll have to set AE so it doesn't use all cores for rendering multiple frames. Of course, you can change this once you do get more RAM.

              Windows XP 64 is not officially supported. I'd try to get Vista 64 with a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it comes out.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: CPU-question: 1 x Intel Xeon X5550 vs. 2 x Intel Xeon E5520?
                matsjacob Level 1

                Thanks again. I guess it'll be 8 or 16 GB of Ram then...

                Just to make sure I understand this right; we'll probebly get more out of the machine with four cores and 8 GB of RAM than eight cores and 8 GB of RAM?

                 

                And I think the Vista-alternative over again... does it works as it should with AE now? I heard some scary stories when Vista was fresh...

                • 5. Re: CPU-question: 1 x Intel Xeon X5550 vs. 2 x Intel Xeon E5520?
                  Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                  Thanks again. I guess it'll be 8 or 16 GB of Ram then...

                  Just to make sure I understand this right; we'll probebly get more out of the machine with four cores and 8 GB of RAM than eight cores and 8 GB of RAM?

                  If you have an eight core machine and 8 GBs of RAM, you will want to tell AE to use only 4 cores for rendering. If you don't do this, the rendering instances will choke. In fact, there a number of threads in this forum from people who experience this. Even with 16 GBs of RAM, on memory-intensive Comps, you'll want to turn off a couple of cores for rendering. The same would be true with a quad core and 8 GB of RAM. Bottom line: there's no such thing as too much RAM

                  As you prepare your credit card, I want you to remember that an eight core machine (or a quad core machine over dual, etc) will speed-up things if your Comp is very CPU-intensive. If you (for example) intend to have 25 HD footage items in a Comp, hard disk power will be more of a limiting factor. Or if you plan to use 15 Megapixel stills, then moving all those gigabytes thorugh the memory pipeline may become the main issue, etc.

                   

                  And I think the Vista-alternative over again... does it works as it should with AE now? I heard some scary stories when Vista was fresh...

                  I understand it's better now with the service packs and more mature drivers. In any case, Win 7 is around the corner, right?

                  • 6. Re: CPU-question: 1 x Intel Xeon X5550 vs. 2 x Intel Xeon E5520?
                    matsjacob Level 1

                    I've learned some very valuable stuff tonight! Great!

                     

                    We mostly work in SD with "normal" sized stills and a lot of effects and motion, so I guess what we do is CPU-intensive. But of course, we do HD as well from time to time.

                     

                    I'm still a bit afraid of Vista. We really don't have the time to buy Vista and find out that it doesn't work. I've heard it's not so fond of Quicktime-renders, and we do that every day...

                     

                    But I'm glad it's not my credit card we're using...

                    • 7. Re: CPU-question: 1 x Intel Xeon X5550 vs. 2 x Intel Xeon E5520?
                      Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                      Well, any Quicktime issues are 90% caused by Apple not maintaining the software properly. The conventional CoDecs (animation, PNG) etc. all work fine and H.264 is problematic in any environment. Regarding the ongoing discussion about RAM: get more than you immediately need - always. What has been missed so far in this discussion is, that there are integration workflows that require to have multiple applications open, be it DynamicLink exchange of compositions or sequences or some simpler things like copy&pasting paths and other items from Photoshop or Illustrator. Even those get more enjoyable, when your machine is not suffocating. So, in all fairness, a few more dollars spent on a better motherboard that supports lots of RAM and actually buying more RAM than AE alone requires, would be kinda smart. And do not forget: There is a general move to 64bit, so some day there may be a 64bit version of AE that actually is able to use all that RAM without limitations. The discussion of Vista vs. Windows 7 should be none: W7 comes out on my birthday in 2 weeks and any Vista licenses are already sold with upgrade vouchers. So either wait a bit or take that as it is. Definitely forget about XP64 - nobody is developing drivers for it anymore, so either performance is impaired or new components won't run at all properly due to lack of a legacy driver.

                       

                      Mylenium