pico1180

The future for dual CPU (Opteron) setups?

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After pouring over reviews and benchmarks and using some common since deduction, I’ve concluded that a dual Opteron 244 (1.8MHz) setup will encode video at about the same rate as a PIV 550 (3.4MHz) or a 560 (3.6GHz), some where in there.

I can build a dual Opteron 244 system for about $600, give or take $80.

I can build a PIV 550/560 setup from anywhere between $323 to $560.

I understand that the only thing the Opteron would be good for would be encoding. The PIV setup will be much better at everything else.

My question is, with advent of 64 bit processing and dual core CPU’s on the horizon, would the Opteron have a longer shelf life then the PIV? Or are dual core setups different then dual processor setups?

I can spend a couple more dollars if there is more long turn benefits to the dual CPU Opteron setup, but if there isn’t, I’m leaning more towards the PIV setup.

What’s your take on this?

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Go for the cheaper P4 setup. The money saved will allow you to buy extra peripherals (like RAM, HDD, etc) or for future upgrades. Keep things simple of course.

However for encoding and rendering purposes, your machine have to be kept cool always which means good fans (powerful ball bearing types recommended) installed (also means system will be slightly noisier). A server board and ECC RAM would help a lot to keep the system stabil although may not be the fastest setup.

A good stabil system prevents crashes when rendering for long hours. :rolleyes:

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I understand that the only thing the Opteron would be good for would be encoding. The PIV setup will be much better at everything else.

199103[/snapback]

Seems to me that the Opteron is good for a lot more than just encoding. Maybe "only good for encoding" to a home user who's not going to take advantage of its high-end strengths.

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I understand that the only thing the Opteron would be good for would be encoding. The PIV setup will be much better at everything else.

What’s your take on this?

199103[/snapback]

Are you sure that this isn't a typo? I have to think the PIV would only be better at encoding (traditionally a Pentium strength), while the Opterons would basically kick it's ass in almost everything else...

Future Shock

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Well, when I said "everything" i ment gaming....

This computer will do one thing and one thing only (behond normal every day PC stuff, IE internet, email, bla bla bla), and thats encode video.

So, with that said:

Dual Opteron 244's or PIV 550/560?

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I think it's worth going for a 64-bit system (Dual Opteron, Athlon 64 or P4 6xx), since media encoding can benefit greatly when the software is optimised for 64-bit systems.

(Wrote a longer reply, but lost it, so that's the gist).

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Also long term, software is going to become more dual core/dual processor/64 bit friendly. So video encoding may yet get faster on the opterons.

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Opterons all the way. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of any reason(s) to build a PIV system these days. Even the encoding "advantage" of the Pentium is rather small, whilst it gets its ass kicked at everything else.

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On my rig, I can get around 55-60fps DivX encoding from raw DV or AVI. (DVD quality output).

However from experience, encoding is the Opteron's weak point. I also do a lot of software development, and the Opteron absolutely flies in DB and compiling work. (On my old P4@2.66GHz one project would take over 30mins to compile, on my new rig it's less than 10minutes).

Gaming, well I only really play UT2003 and Falcon4.0. Falcon4.0 (being multi-threaded and SMP aware) absolutely loves my new rig. With UT2003, max fps didn't increase, however min and avg fps increased rather nicely.

My vote (besides being a little bias) is go dual Opterons.

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Also long term, software is going to become more dual core/dual processor/64 bit friendly.  So video encoding may yet get faster on the opterons.

199143[/snapback]

Thats what I was kinda hopeing for. I guess I will go for the Opteron setup... I didn’t know how similar/dissimilar dual core v. dual processor was. It was always my understanding that if something wasn’t coded to take advantage of dual CPU’s then it wouldn’t perform any better then with a single CPU. But I wasn’t sure how that was going to pan out with the upcoming dual core. I thought maybe it wasn’t anything that needed optimization.

But I guess that answers my question. Dual Opterons it is then.

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