CPU for pro-audio: P4 or Athlon MP?

Discussion in 'comp.music.midi' started by Geoffrey, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. Geoffrey

    Geoffrey Guest

    One forgets how fast the world of IT moves when you're stuck in
    music-making mode ...

    The last time I investigated this particular conundrum (only a few
    months ago now) the general concensus was that using an AMD Athlon of
    any kind for pro-audio or music was not recommended, and that you should
    get either a fast Intel P3 or a P4.

    The latest word though seems to be a complete reversal - P4's have some
    kind of hiccup that chews power and slows things down, and that you
    should use a nice, fast Athlon.

    So. What would the knowledgable PC musician choose, why, and do you have
    any online references to back up your arguments?

    (My first choice, of course, would be a twin-G5 Mac running Logic 6, but
    we're not all made of money :p)


    Geoffrey

    (remove EXCESS BAGGAGE to reply via mail)
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  2. On Tue, 1 Jul 2003 13:19:26 +1000, goaEXCESSBAGGAGEbrains@hotmail.com
    (Geoffrey) wrote:

    >One forgets how fast the world of IT moves when you're stuck in
    >music-making mode ...
    >
    >The last time I investigated this particular conundrum (only a few
    >months ago now) the general concensus was that using an AMD Athlon of
    >any kind for pro-audio or music was not recommended, and that you should
    >get either a fast Intel P3 or a P4.
    >
    >The latest word though seems to be a complete reversal - P4's have some
    >kind of hiccup that chews power and slows things down, and that you
    >should use a nice, fast Athlon.
    >
    >So. What would the knowledgable PC musician choose, why, and do you have
    >any online references to back up your arguments?
    >
    >(My first choice, of course, would be a twin-G5 Mac running Logic 6, but
    >we're not all made of money :p)


    AMD XP vs. P4 hyperthreading is fairly close at the same speed/
    price point. P4 boards tend to be slightly faster for more money,
    with no AMD units out which quite match it.

    So it all depends on just how fast you want to have it. AMD is
    slightly cheaper and about as fast, while the fastest machines out
    right now are P4s. If you can afford to go top of the line, I think
    that P4 is the best choice.

    Only P4 "hiccup" I know of is trying to use hyperthreading CPU with
    an app which doesn't handle that properly, in which case you'd just
    use the normal processor mode.
    --
    *-__Jeffery Jones__________| *Starfire* |____________________-*
    ** Muskego WI Access Channel 14/25 <http://www.execpc.com/~jeffsj/mach7/>
    *Starfire Design Studio* <http://www.starfiredesign.com/>
  3. stig

    stig Guest

    On the Digidesign newsgroup, the money is on the ATHLON. Apparently it does
    an amazing job with ProTools...c

    "Geoffrey" <goaEXCESSBAGGAGEbrains@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1fxf627.39bgm91dw9j1vN@[192.168.0.170]...
    > One forgets how fast the world of IT moves when you're stuck in
    > music-making mode ...
    >
    > The last time I investigated this particular conundrum (only a few
    > months ago now) the general concensus was that using an AMD Athlon of
    > any kind for pro-audio or music was not recommended, and that you should
    > get either a fast Intel P3 or a P4.
    >
    > The latest word though seems to be a complete reversal - P4's have some
    > kind of hiccup that chews power and slows things down, and that you
    > should use a nice, fast Athlon.
    >
    > So. What would the knowledgable PC musician choose, why, and do you have
    > any online references to back up your arguments?
    >
    > (My first choice, of course, would be a twin-G5 Mac running Logic 6, but
    > we're not all made of money :p)
    >
    >
    > Geoffrey
    >
    > (remove EXCESS BAGGAGE to reply via mail)
    > --
    > WARNING: mail to this address will be auto-bounced if:
    > (a) more than 10% original content appears before first quoted matter,
    > (b) quoted material exceeds 75% of total message content, and/or
    > (c) HTML is used to format text and/or embed non-ASCII items.
  4. It differs which software you tend to use actually.
    But mostly, P4 does the things faster.
    For example, Cubase notes that it has P4 optimized data converters.
    But in short time, I think (and hope) that CPU speeds are gonna go so fast,
    that you won't be able to notice the difference.
    Anyway, I still stick to P4, as it is working at cooler temp. and it is far
    more stable than Athlon.
    A friend just bought new Athlon (some 2800+ or something, I forgot), but my
    P4 2.4Ghz works better. And BTW I don't like this numbering scheme that
    Athlon is using. Kinda think that they are trying to fool the crowd...

    Cheers
  5. Ben Hanson

    Ben Hanson Guest

    I use P4's in all my machines and they scream. There are a lot more
    variables to speed than just the processor...RAM speed, bus speeds, disk
    subsystems, etc.

    And don't get me started on the G5. There has been a flame war going on in
    the alt.steinberg.cubase group for a couple of weeks now about Apple's
    "fastest desktop processor in the world" crap!

    -Ben

    "Geoffrey" <goaEXCESSBAGGAGEbrains@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1fxf627.39bgm91dw9j1vN@[192.168.0.170]...
    > One forgets how fast the world of IT moves when you're stuck in
    > music-making mode ...
    >
    > The last time I investigated this particular conundrum (only a few
    > months ago now) the general concensus was that using an AMD Athlon of
    > any kind for pro-audio or music was not recommended, and that you should
    > get either a fast Intel P3 or a P4.
    >
    > The latest word though seems to be a complete reversal - P4's have some
    > kind of hiccup that chews power and slows things down, and that you
    > should use a nice, fast Athlon.
    >
    > So. What would the knowledgable PC musician choose, why, and do you have
    > any online references to back up your arguments?
    >
    > (My first choice, of course, would be a twin-G5 Mac running Logic 6, but
    > we're not all made of money :p)
    >
    >
    > Geoffrey
    >
    > (remove EXCESS BAGGAGE to reply via mail)
    > --
    > WARNING: mail to this address will be auto-bounced if:
    > (a) more than 10% original content appears before first quoted matter,
    > (b) quoted material exceeds 75% of total message content, and/or
    > (c) HTML is used to format text and/or embed non-ASCII items.
  6. >It differs which software you tend to use actually.
    >But mostly, P4 does the things faster.
    >For example, Cubase notes that it has P4 optimized data converters.
    >But in short time, I think (and hope) that CPU speeds are gonna go so fast,
    >that you won't be able to notice the difference.
    >Anyway, I still stick to P4, as it is working at cooler temp. and it is far
    >more stable than Athlon.
    >A friend just bought new Athlon (some 2800+ or something, I forgot), but my
    >P4 2.4Ghz works better. And BTW I don't like this numbering scheme that
    >Athlon is using. Kinda think that they are trying to fool the crowd...



    When I start Cubase, it announces "optimised for Pentium" or some
    such.

    But if I had an Athlon, I suspect it would say "optimised for Athlon2.

    Some time back, Steinberg announced that Cubase was optimised for
    Athlons. This was sometimes mistakenly taken as implying that it
    wasn't optimised for Pentiums too.

    CubaseFAQ page www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
  7. David Morley

    David Morley Guest

    In article <JlKdnS1P26SwfpmiXTWJjg@speedfactory.net>,
    "Ben Hanson" <transparency_76@hotmail.com> wrote:

    > And don't get me started on the G5. There has been a flame war going on in
    > the alt.steinberg.cubase group for a couple of weeks now about Apple's
    > "fastest desktop processor in the world" crap!
    >
    > -Ben


    Go on, I´ll get you started.
    How do you know it isn´t?
    It run a better OS than a P4, that´s for sure ;-)
  8. Oogle B

    Oogle B Guest

    David Morley <520031991064-0001@t-online.de> wrote in
    news:520031991064-0001-702284.11181404072003@news.fu-berlin.de:

    > In article <JlKdnS1P26SwfpmiXTWJjg@speedfactory.net>,
    > "Ben Hanson" <transparency_76@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >> And don't get me started on the G5. There has been a flame war going
    >> on in the alt.steinberg.cubase group for a couple of weeks now about
    >> Apple's "fastest desktop processor in the world" crap!
    >>
    >> -Ben

    >
    > Go on, I´ll get you started.
    > How do you know it isn´t?
    > It run a better OS than a P4, that´s for sure ;-)


    I use P4 2.0 Ghz on a motherboard that came with a AC97 and I usually get
    a "Dropout" error message but like magic , it disappears when I bought a
    sounblaster live 5.1 . So it is not only the system but the sound card you
    will use.

    I have another setup for my church and it is only Pentium I 200Mhz
    (Dinosaur) that runs on Win98 and Cakewalk 9 and it works OK for playing
    and recording midi. But in his setup, I use a Soundblaster Awe 64.


    So between Athlon or Pentium 4 , I'd favor Pentium 4 .
  9. Ben Hanson

    Ben Hanson Guest

    First, some background...the G5 is a 64 bit processor. The P4 and Xeon are
    32 bit processors. All variables equal (or at least comparable), it is
    impossible for a 32 bit processor to outperform a 64 bit processor. A 64 bit
    processor moves twice as much data in one clock cycle than a 32 bit
    processor. End of that story.

    Intel has had a 64 bit processor on the market for almost 2 years now. Apple
    knows this, and so does everyone in the computer industry. Yet,
    inexplicably, Apple decided to test the G5 against processors of known
    inferiority, so that they could claim that the G5 is the fastest processor,
    when in fact it is not. A fair comparison would have been to compare the G5
    to the fastest Intel Itanium 64 bit, but this is not what they did. I
    propose to you that this trickery was 1.) intentional, and 2.) designed to
    prey upon the ignorance of the public that does not have the knowledge to
    realize that Apple's claims are not only untrue, but intentionally
    deceptive.

    Now, I say all that to say this. As a matter of processor performance alone,
    I make no arguments whatsoever that on paper the G5 should outperform even
    the fastest 32 bit P4, because it should. There is one huge caveat
    however...a 64 bit processor must run with software designed to exploit 64
    bit technology...and no current sequencing software is capable of this. Not
    Logic, not Cubase, not Sonar. They are all 32 bit applications. Even the OS
    itself must support the 64 bit architecture, or it will only emulate a 32
    bit processor. Not to mention all the other variables that make up "speed"
    at the application level...RAM performance, disk subsystem, etc.

    So in conclusion, the G5 processor is impressive, but useless. If your OS
    and applications are not designed for 64 bit hardware, they will run as 32
    bit programs, and will not perform any better than a P4. In lab benchmarks,
    that are misleading and fraudulent to begin with on Apple's part, the G5
    will shine. But in real life, as things are right now, it will give you
    nothing that the existing P4's will give you, except less money in your bank
    account, and the false idea that you now own the fastest computer on the
    market, when you do not.

    And about the OS...OS' are tools, nothing more, nothing less. It is what you
    make of it. I run installations of XP that are more stable and outperform
    any Mac OS my friends sequence with, because I know how to tweak it for
    performance, and they do not.

    -Ben



    "David Morley" <520031991064-0001@t-online.de> wrote in message
    news:520031991064-0001-702284.11181404072003@news.fu-berlin.de...
    > In article <JlKdnS1P26SwfpmiXTWJjg@speedfactory.net>,
    > "Ben Hanson" <transparency_76@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    > > And don't get me started on the G5. There has been a flame war going on

    in
    > > the alt.steinberg.cubase group for a couple of weeks now about Apple's
    > > "fastest desktop processor in the world" crap!
    > >
    > > -Ben

    >
    > Go on, I´ll get you started.
    > How do you know it isn´t?
    > It run a better OS than a P4, that´s for sure ;-)
  10. David Morley

    David Morley Guest

    In article <sS2dnS1DUbiwopuiU-KYvw@speedfactory.net>,
    "Ben Hanson" <transparency_76@hotmail.com> wrote:

    > And about the OS...OS' are tools, nothing more, nothing less. It is what you
    > make of it. I run installations of XP that are more stable and outperform
    > any Mac OS my friends sequence with, because I know how to tweak it for
    > performance, and they do not.
    >
    > -Ben


    This is no argument. I have friends whose PC´s crash all the time
    whereas my Girlfriends doesn´t because I look after it ;-)
    The G5 argument is a non starter anyway, because until it is out there
    and tested by end users we won´t know.
    To say it´s crap is obviously complete bull though.

    Is the $2000 for the entry level G5 too expensive? How does intels 64
    bit processor compare in price and OS-X will be full 64 bit soon.
  11. David Morley

    David Morley Guest

    In article <sS2dnS1DUbiwopuiU-KYvw@speedfactory.net>,
    "Ben Hanson" <transparency_76@hotmail.com> wrote:

    > So in conclusion, the G5 processor is impressive, but useless. If your OS
    > and applications are not designed for 64 bit hardware, they will run as 32
    > bit programs, and will not perform any better than a P4.


    If developers used this principial we´d be 8 bit.
    The G5 is useless because there are no 64 bit applications?
    Well, I guess none of the developers are thinking about that?
    Also, Ž don´t care if it´s 64 bit of 766 bit, it´ll be a hell of a lot
    quicker than a G4 (according to most of the PC community it´ll be slower
    than a P4, but I´ll wait until I can compare them both ;-)

    You don´t like apples benchmark figures. Neither do I. It´s irrelevant
    anyway as I´ll try the machine and make my mind up.

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