I'm agonizing over a new build for CS5. I have searched and read post after post, and am trying to avoid clogging up the board with redundant threads. I'm fairly new here and would like to do my part by utilizing prior posts first. Many thanks to Harm for his guides and others too.
My question today doesn't seem to have been addressed, concerning the advantage of having 16 GB on the LGA-1156 platform to 12 GB on the LGA-1366. One can skip the intro and go straight to the red text if this post looks too long.
At this point, I've given up the fight to hold onto my Phenom X4 system, especially as I have a Canon T2i that produces AVCHD files (thanks to all for the enlightenment on this issue). I realize too that other core programs in CS5 aren't accelerated as is PPRo with its MPE. Therefore, it only makes sense to make the jump to Intel for an editing rig at this time if I want to use my AVCHD clips straight-up without transcoding (which is something I may try for a bit before I sell my AMD rig). An AMD fan, or like myself a person with an AMD system, isn't likely to see the immediate situation change. Even the 6 core AMD 1090T isn't showing huge gains in the early benchmarks.
I teach, and what put me onto AMD was the lower platform cost. Motherboard and DDR2 memory savings added up as I put four systems into my math classroom. An oddity of trying to hold onto my AMD setup for CS5 was realizing that I could max out my DDR2 motherboard with 16 GB of memory (4 slots x 4 GB per module) and fill up all the slots to get the dual-channel performance across all modules. It got me wondering if the advantage of more memory might make up for my slower CPU. I think now probably not, that I should still dump my Phenom X4 platform for Intel.
The interesting thing is that this 16/12 GB memory consideration carries over to the LGA-1156 versus LGA-1366 platforms. It seems likely that if Harm can live with 12 GB and hit the top of the benchmark with it, then 12 GB sounds good enough for me. But still, it would be nice to have the additional 4 GB.
Maybe there is a compromise that bridges the best of both worlds?
The i7-860 uses motherboards that have 4 memory slots. Newegg has a G.Skill 16 GB DDR3 memory kit with 7-7-7-18 timings for $600 (good price, good timings). When bought as part of a combo, one can secure a decent SATA 6/USB 3.0 LGA-1156 motherboard for about $100. I like this approach a lot, as paying $200 for a motherboard just gripes me. (Which is likely stupid, as I tell myself that if I plan on using my CS5 Production Premium and my video equipment to their full abilities, I need to assemble a rig that isn't bottlenecked. Why get hung up on $300-$400 difference in platform costs when I've got thousands in the rest of the stuff?)
On the otherhand, if one doesn't economize where possible the whole thing'll creep out-of-hand quickly....
So, what say ye? Might one prefer a 16 GB i7-860 system to a 12 GB i7-930 rig, simply due to memory? Would one see a generalized difference either way? Does the i7-930 platform have an advantage over the i7-860 in some dimension that would overtake the additional memory? Or does Pr like memory so much that going from 12 to 16 GB will make a noticeable difference in program useability, as when scrubbing, such that any small loss in other areas pales by comparison? I could live with slightly longer rendering times, etc. if the extra memory would make the program more accessible. From what I read here-n-yon, going to 16 GB makes a difference. But what kind of difference? Game changing?
I notice there aren't any i7-860's anywhere near the top of the PPBM chart, which gives me pause. Also, I know about the upgradeability of the X58 'boards to the Gulftown 6 core CPU's. But I'll worrry about that after I see how my first rig works - I shoot short clips at school and don't have to edit full length movies.
Bottom line - would anyone here, if building a new rig, use the i7-860 over the i7-930 simply because the 860 uses a motherboard with 4 memory slots, thereby granting the advantage of 16 vs.12 GB memory? I'm not putting 24 GB into an x58 'board regardless, so the choice firms up pretty nicely. Slower platform at 16 GB opposed to faster platform with 12 GB memory.
Does the nature of Premiere Pro and its needs answer the question, or does the answer fall to general editing issues like render times, etc? Does anyone have cause to think the extra 4 GB will make Pr hum along better in some important aspect?