Event DV by Jan Ozer
These days, this is how edit-bay economics shakes out: You can get a dual-processor, 3GHz quad-core Dell Precision 690 for $5,510 or save about $1,700 bucks and get a single-processor, quad-core system for $3,321. Which renders your projects more quickly, the four-core or eight-core system? Is the eight-core PC worth the extra money? To some degree, this is application-dependent; a lot depends on how efficiently a program can divvy up a single task among multiple processors. I just performed a round of benchmark testing with Adobe Production Premium
and Sony Vegas
on a range of systems, from two to eight cores. HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what I learned. First, hereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s some background. PCs and Macs are either single-core or multicore, depending on the number of processors they house. We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t refer to software as "multicore" or "multiprocessor," but rather "multithreaded," which refers to an applicationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ability to split work among different processors. A nonmultithreaded application canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t split up the processing load, and thus runs at about the same speed on a one-core or eight-core system. My tests revealed that there are "levels" of multithreading efficiency. That is, some programs, most notably AutodeskÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 3ds Max, are nearly twice as efficient with eight cores as they are with four. Alas, both Sony Vegas 8 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 seemed more efficient running on four cores than eight, as youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see in a moment.Ã‚ read more...