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Old 06-07-2015, 10:22 PM   #1
Themis Gyparis
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Default Processors comparison, please :-)

Please forgive my ignorance, but I've probably lost some "episodes" regarding Xeon vs i7 horsepower, so any help would be strongly appreciated :-)

I'm considering the purchase of an HP Z800 workstation, which - according to the electronic store's webpage - hosts two E5520 Intel Quad Core Xeon processors (8M Cache, 2.26 GHz), 12 Gbs of RAM and an Nvidia Quadro FX 1800 768 Mb graphics card.

Now I know for a fact that the amount of RAM could just as well be at 32 Gbs but, compared to a single i7 processor, e.g. the i7-5820 (2011-3,5 Ghz/15 Mb) is this particular dual Xeon processor horsepower superior or inferior? Or does one simply gain the Xeon stability and nothing more? Anyone with a firm knowledge or experience on the matter, please feel free to comment :-)
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:59 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by More4K View Post
This config is not very good for Edius.
Don't spent money on Quadro card- get GeForce instead with 4GB RAM and many cuda cores.
Ok, maybe I wasn't very clear regarding why I go for this particular configuration. I edit on three different NLE: Avid MC, Adobe Premiere and GV Edius, all three for different kinds of jobs. This turnkey system is a certified workstation for all of the above software and since stability is my number one priority, I thought maybe it would be a good idea to purchase, since it's a refurbished item at an excellent condition and the price is very tempting. I know all about the cuda cores the extra RAM etc but what mainly concerns me is whether this particular 8-core dual Xeon setup is faster or slower than the i7-5820 (2011-3,5 Ghz/15 Mb), whose price alone is at almost two thirds the price of the entire workstation.

Also. most of the tests I've read are based on a certain combination of hardware, so in my opinion it's not a fair comparison. I'm still waiting for a reply on behalf of the electronic store, regarding hardware additions and/or replacements, so a straightforward answer on CPU speed would be more than helpful.
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by More4K View Post
It should be faster overall, but in some scenarios it may be slower (i7 may have QuickSync for h264 encodes). Some filters/apps are not well mulithreaded, so in this case higher clock in i7 will also be better. As for Edius, dual xeon should be faster, specially things like multi-cam/layer editing, CPU based exports.
There is a thread about super system with 72 threads and this is not working very well.
32 threads should be fine.

Other than this forget about Quadro FX1800- rathet old and low spec card.
You need one with at least 2GB of RAM (or 4 for 4K) and many cuda cores, specially if you want to use Adobe.

I have mixed opinion about 'certified' workstations. Quite often they packed with expensive hardware (not necessarily most optimal) and cause as many problems as custom builds.

I can see problem with AVID support which may be unhelpful if your system is not 'certified'.
Thanks a lot for the great info. I'm very familiar with the cuda technology for Adobe software, in fact I've been involved in the built-up of many editing workstations with Premiere CC in the past. The thing is, though, this particular workstation I'm interested in probably comes as it is anyway, so I can use the Quadro for display purposes only and use a GeForce for its cuda. The whole system, refurbished and with 1-year guarantee, comes at barely 850 euros and I was thinking that spending a few more for 64 GBs of RAM total and adding an SSD array would certainly cost me less than almost 2,700 euros that are required for a proper i7-based workstation.

Another issue is the use of a Blackmagic external preview card, that according to the manufacturer's site, works like a charm with this certified workstation with both Avid and Premiere, much more with Edius.

So, it pretty much comes down to whether the money will be worth spent. If, as you say, H.264 editing will be more efficient with an i7, the Xeon option is probably not so much of a good idea, since I often get material from a Canon 5D and other camcorders that also utilize the H.264 codec. Edius and Avid have the option of converting to HQX and mxf, respectively but I can only guess native editing with Premiere would not be as easy.

I'm up against the wall here. There's a large price difference and only a few hours ago I was reading a CPU comparison between a single Xeon E5520 and an i7 5820K. What amazed me was that the 64bit geek bench for the Xeon was at 6,848 and for the i7 was at 22,725! This is a large number even for a dual E5520 Xeon system. Dead end...

Here's the CPU test results.
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Old 06-08-2015, 02:28 PM   #4
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Thank you so much for the info, I really appreciate it :-) Well, you know what they say. "You get what you pay for". I knew there was a catch somewhere when I saw the price. It's just that I was looking at the specs of the HP Z820 workstations used for "Gone Girl" the other day and I somehow thought the Z800 would be a... close relative. Obviously, it's not and a number can make all the difference. I was so much used to i7 workstations that along the way I lost track of the Xeon family evolution, despite being an editor who worked with them for years. No, my intention is not to buy something that would last for a few months, especially now that 4K is starting to become my main line of work. Perhaps I should go back to looking a custom workstation that would work, rather than dust-off refurbished machines. Again, thanks for the help :-)
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Themis Gyparis View Post
my intention is not to buy something that would last for a few months, especially now that 4K is starting to become my main line of work.
2 ways to look at this;

The xeon is cheap and fast enough for full HD.
The latest greatest i7 can just cut it to play a bit with 4k.
It's able to edit a bit but a heavy or medium project will halt it to a crawl.

The 72 core super system doesn't play well at the moment with edius so that's a no go either.

my thoughts; if you edit in HD the cheap xeon is fine for a while.
if you play with 4k now you'll need an i7 now.
get an i7 5960X and you're good to go (for a while)

you go serious into 4k you'll need a serious i7 now and upgrade soon.........

Like it or not, we are at similar crossroads as when we switchen from hdv to avchd, suddenly there was the cheap i7 2600k who could do it all.

For 4k it's still waiting for that magic chip to be released :)
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreak_HD View Post

For 4k it's still waiting for that magic chip to be released :)
We will have to see how Edius 8 uses Quicksync to accelerate 4K editing Maybe the i7 4790 will be the best choice at the moment. Who knows. I will see how it performs in a few weeks I suppose.

Ron Evans
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:58 PM   #7
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QuickSync has power to decode 1 UHD h264 stream, so don't expect huge improvement.
It's more for laptops/low spec machines where you can't even play 1 stream.
I don't know if you can use QS just for some decoding tasks, so more streams can be partially accelerated. I think this is tricky.
It may make a difference for me when I have 1 track of UHD and 3 tracks AVCHD in multicam. Now I use an identical track of AVCHD ( safety for the AX1 in low light anyway ) by disabling the AX1 track then go back and enable the AX1 track.My PC still will not play without emptying the buffer but interestingly my Dell laptop with WIN 8.1 will play a single track of AX1 file in Playmemories !!! Not sure what it does ,drop frames etc or use quicksync but not visible. Edius on the same laptop will not do any better than my main editor.

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Old 06-16-2015, 06:20 PM   #8
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The only problems I am having with 72 threads on system 4 is that Edius only currently recognises 64 threads so I have temporarily nobbled the bios to 16 plus 16 physical cores rather than the available 18 plus 18 which matches Edius at 64 threads max. Over that and Edius starts and says it can only see 32 threads. Probably fixed in V8. 15 layers of 4k HQX 25p it will handle as currently set. No improvement is seen with 4K Apple ProRes 422 25p over the previous PC which was the Z800 with two E5650 6 core CPU, but then we are talking about 32 bit Apple QuickTime's ability on Windows as the drag anchor.

All the ProDad products work with 64 and up threads with the latest update, its just NewBlue that will only work with GPU acceleration off, at 64 threads, otherwise its maximum within Edius with GPU on is 32 threads for correct behaviour. Over that and it goes into cartoon mode with every effect after an attempt at playback. Currently using NB with GPU off.

I have just made space to put a GeForce GTX980Ti (good price v performance) which takes two slots instead of the Quadro K4000 by replacing the Texas firewire PCIe card with a Sonnet Tango 3 which has firewire 800 and USB3 and has the extra internal USB3 header to enable my top of case USB3 sockets as the card reader has taken up the MB sockets. This saves a USB3 card with internal USB3 connection as well as a separate firwewire card. This is needed for older material capture as the latest MB have dropped firewire so a PCIe firewire card is needed. Will try NB again when I get the new GPU but the 980Ti has 2816 cores instead of 768 for the Quadro card so a big increase in grunt.

The Sonnet card works well with firewire and Edius using a firewire 800 to 400 cable with the standard Windows drivers.
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:52 PM   #9
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I just got the 980Ti last week and it is kick a$$. I haven't had time to ealy put it through its paces yet, but I like what I see so far.
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Old 06-17-2015, 02:38 PM   #10
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If you have the 980Ti can you try a 3840 by 2160 project 25p 0r 29.97 which ever is easier for you and add the Vitascene sparkle to the clip.

As I am interested in getting a 980Ti I am keen to see if you see real time playback with the above test or not?

(very little CPU activity is called with that filter so its all down to the GPU)

My K4000 I have now overclocked plus 500MHz on core and plus 700 on memory using the MSI Afterburner app and that is as far as it will go without giving a blank screen or little dots on screen. There is a vast difference between your card and mine for instance times 4 cores so I just wanted to check how far yours goes and that seems as gooder measure as any. Mine chokes and sits at 92% core activity and very slow playback and slow cursor repositioning in the area the filter is applied.

Mike
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