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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Intel Core 2 Duo vs AMD X2
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09/03/2006 10:23:10 PM · #1
Looking to build a new machine to be used for photo editing with PS CS2 as my AMD K6-2 won't cut it. Any thoughts on using dual core processors for photo editing? Is it overkill? Will it be needed for the new CS3 coming out in early 2007? I've heard the new Intels are really blazing fast and beat AMD. Or, should I save some money and not purchase state of the art? Any preferences here between Intel or AMD? Your opinions are very much appreciated.
09/03/2006 10:28:32 PM · #2
From what I understand, software has to be coded to take advantage of Duo Core Processors or Multiple processors. In that case, CS2 won't specifically gain any improvement from using a Duocore processor. However, you will see some advantages, because the OS can off-load some of the background processes onto the other core.

I haven't heard anything about CS3 involving multi-threading.
09/03/2006 10:30:11 PM · #3
The new Core 2 Duo is great for photo editing and CS2 speeds up considerably running with one of them. CS3 will obviously be optimized even more to benifit from the technology too.

I don't think you could go wrong with the Core 2, it beats AMD hands down right now. Make sure not to skimp and get plenty of memory to feed it properly, think 2GB, 1GB for each core.

You won't be disappointed...
09/03/2006 10:40:41 PM · #4
I know from experience that photoshop cs2 was about 30% faster on a dual processor machine than a single processor. (on my macs at least.) The reason for this is not because CS2 has been written to take advantage of them, but because when you have a second processor/core available, then that core/proc. can take care of 'other' tasks in the system, which in turn allows CS2 to use a proc. uninterrupted.

Maybe we'll see CS3 break this limitation and use all the power made available to us with dual, or even quad-core machines available nowadays.

And here's a novel concept... an Adobe CS product using more than 2GB or RAM!!
09/03/2006 10:45:45 PM · #5
Thanks guys for your responses. Do the Intels and AMDs dual core processors use power efficiently? I see they are both rated 65W TDP and I know this is a good number. This will have some bearing on my decision as I do not wish to have a power hungry system. I guess heat production will still be a big concern and I will have to purchase a good cooling system.

PS I don't plan on multi-tasking on this computer as it will be used soley for the task of photo editing.
09/03/2006 10:52:45 PM · #6
Originally posted by Olyuzi:

PS I don't plan on multi-tasking on this computer as it will be used soley for the task of photo editing.


By other tasks, i mean things like checking your mail, loading up DPC, even receiving a message on MSN. All of these tasks will stop your CPU processing in photoshop or anything.
09/03/2006 11:01:55 PM · #7
You will need to go with Windows XP Professional in order to take advantage of a Dual Core Processor or a Multi-Processor computer. Keep that in mind, if you are building your own computer and buying everything yourself.

I am quite happy with my AMD 64X2 processor. While I do not yet own a copy of CS2, I do own a copy of Photoshop Elements 2.0 and it works quite nicely.

Also, in Windows, once you have a dual-core setup you can do something called "Setting the Affinity" of a process/application. As far as I know, this needs to be done through the Windows Task manager and can only be done once the application is up and running.

Without doing this, Windows just handles the splitting of tasks on its own. You may or may not experience a productivity boost by doing this. I haven't bothered to test it out myself.

Get plenty of memory and things should be fine.

Either processor you go with will be a significant boost over what you have now. If price is a consideration and AMD is more cost effective, even if it is marginally lower performing, the AMD 64X2 will still be akin to a mind blowing speed up experience for you.
09/03/2006 11:18:20 PM · #8
With my understanding and what I know, Intel processor are mainly designed for numerical calculations where as AMD processor are mainly for graphical and multimedia purpose. I did notice the difference between Intel processor and AMD processor, I noticed my self that playing same graphical application on both the systems, AMD works well as compare to Intel.

09/03/2006 11:29:50 PM · #9
I guess you knew that now I'm really in the dark ages using Win98se :)
I was hoping to get away with purchasing just the XP home edition until Vista comes out. Thanks for the tip regarding "setting the affinity."

Originally posted by Nelzie:

You will need to go with Windows XP Professional in order to take advantage of a Dual Core Processor or a Multi-Processor computer.
09/03/2006 11:33:44 PM · #10
Hmmm...I'd have to question that as the Intel still has the MMX intsructions. The difference in performance between your two machines may not the result of how one or the other handles graphics. Thanks for your reply, an interesting thought and one I'll definitely look into before buying.

Originally posted by pgirish007:

With my understanding and what I know, Intel processor are mainly designed for numerical calculations where as AMD processor are mainly for graphical and multimedia purpose. I did notice the difference between Intel processor and AMD processor, I noticed my self that playing same graphical application on both the systems, AMD works well as compare to Intel.
09/04/2006 12:18:21 AM · #11
So with all the talk about CS3 ... when is it due to release? After Vista?
09/04/2006 12:36:06 AM · #12
What I've heard is that they will both be released about the same time in early 2007. Probably Vista first.

Originally posted by PhantomEWO:

So with all the talk about CS3 ... when is it due to release? After Vista?
09/04/2006 01:22:53 AM · #13
I have not looked at the specs on the two processors myself, but among gamers, intel has always been known as the more "brute force number cruncher" of the two brands whereas AMD is the more efficient and *cough cough* better. AMD's outperform higher rated intels all the time. What is more, since AMD is buying ATI, intel is in trouble since intel uses ATI chipsets in their products.
09/04/2006 01:24:31 AM · #14
Christ, for a minute I thought I was reading Slashdot.

Buy whichever is cheapest. You won't notice the few nanoseconds one or the other is going to save you in 'just the right' situation anyway. Take the extra money and load up on ram.
09/04/2006 02:57:03 AM · #15
Originally posted by NovaTiger:

I have not looked at the specs on the two processors myself, but among gamers, intel has always been known as the more "brute force number cruncher" of the two brands whereas AMD is the more efficient and *cough cough* better. AMD's outperform higher rated intels all the time. What is more, since AMD is buying ATI, intel is in trouble since intel uses ATI chipsets in their products.


Shock horror the new Intel core 2 duo (writeup here) processors are faster than AMD's best. They run at low clock speeds, don't use much power or produce much heat and love overclocking - the exact opposite of the old Pentium range. They were designed by the same Israeli team that designed the low voltage Pentium M range and have little in common with the old desktop processors.

After all Apple are now using Intel - this new fast, efficient design is why. I'm sure Apple had a close look at AMD too...

Message edited by author 2006-09-04 03:06:37.
09/04/2006 03:18:31 AM · #16
Have a play around with the CPU comparison chart at Tom's Hardware. There's a few benchmarks using Photoshop to choose from, including a multitasking one.
I found that Intel did outperform AMD at the same pricepoint ... but you pay 2 to 3 times more for an Intel motherboard, or have to take a lower performance board which kinda defeats the objective.

As for power - my new AMD X2/Asus mobo combo scales the speed down when it isn't needed so that's worth looking out for on your mobo whichever way you go.
09/04/2006 08:37:28 AM · #17
before the intel core 2 duo i was a die hard amd fan getting through loads of amd shuttles and laptops but have just made a intel core 2 duo for my main pc and it was so good i swopped my laptop from a sempron to a core 2 duo, if anybody from the uk is looking into one the £599 laptop from tesco is the cheapest / bestest one i could find for the money, very good runs photo stuff faster then my old amd athalon 64bit main pc!
09/04/2006 09:10:30 AM · #18
I use an HP with Intel dual core 2.8 Ghz. The speed is a HUGE improvement running cs2 versus anything else that I have tried. I highly recommend it for any photo, video, or graphics work.
09/04/2006 03:48:04 PM · #19
i have spent along time thinking about upgrades (i'm waiting until next year and vista and 64bit apps hit the street)

Intel Dual Core - currently fastest kid on the block for 32bit Photoshop - but remember if you go this route you won't get the extra speed when everything goes 64bit next year, where those who have bought AMD will (looking at current 64bit apps) gain 30-40% speed increase.

so while those who buy Dual Core Intels will currently have a speed advantage - that will disapear by next year when those Opteron and X2 owners gain the full advatage of their systems..

if you don't mind and are willing to spend out another load of $$$ when everything goes 64bit by all means buy an Intel Dual Core ;)
09/04/2006 03:49:14 PM · #20
Originally posted by Leok:

[quote=NovaTiger]
After all Apple are now using Intel - this new fast, efficient design is why. I'm sure Apple had a close look at AMD too...
yeah and they decided that AMD couldn't produce the volume of CPU's they needed at the cost they wanted..
09/04/2006 04:52:16 PM · #21
Originally posted by Bobster:

i have spent along time thinking about upgrades (i'm waiting until next year and vista and 64bit apps hit the street)

Intel Dual Core - currently fastest kid on the block for 32bit Photoshop - but remember if you go this route you won't get the extra speed when everything goes 64bit next year, where those who have bought AMD will (looking at current 64bit apps) gain 30-40% speed increase.

so while those who buy Dual Core Intels will currently have a speed advantage - that will disapear by next year when those Opteron and X2 owners gain the full advatage of their systems..

if you don't mind and are willing to spend out another load of $$$ when everything goes 64bit by all means buy an Intel Dual Core ;)


Yup... last Thursday I built a Dual Core/Dual Processor, 1.8T (1.2T after RAID 5), 4G RAM server for work.

Took all day to initialize and install Windows Server 2003 x64, only to find that BackupExec doesn't support IA64 processors (not even in 32bit mode)...so needless to say I ended up spending another day re-initializing and loading Windows Server 2003 x86 version.

x64 OS and Processors rock but not everything is cool with em yet.
09/04/2006 05:09:21 PM · #22
Wow I guess I shouldn't be too surprised to find misinformation about computer hardware in a photographer's forum but this is ridiculous.

Here are a couple of useful links you can learn about computer hardware on. The first is the main site, and the second link are the forums for that site. You should be able to learn a lot just from using the search function on the forums.

Couple of quick facts before I go.
#1: Yes Intel Core Duo processors are faster than AMD's latest offerings.
#2: No AMD's processors do not run 'graphical' apps faster than Intel's
#3: No 64bit won't make much of a difference in performance.
#4: Yes Photoshop CS2 should see better performance under dual core processors.

//www.anandtech.com/

//forums.anandtech.com/

Hope this helps.
09/04/2006 06:44:20 PM · #23
Originally posted by ionyou:

Wow I guess I shouldn't be too surprised to find misinformation about computer hardware in a photographer's forum but this is ridiculous.

#3: No 64bit won't make much of a difference in performance.
Hope this helps.


30-40% increase insn't much of a difference? and thats on 64bit apps running under XP64..
09/04/2006 07:39:52 PM · #24
First the disclaimer: I've been a fan of AMD for a long time. I love my Athlon in my home machine.

With that said, my employer bought a new laptop for me a few months ago. While this machine predates the Core 2 Duo, it *does* have the Core Duo processor in it. So I can expect the Core 2 Duo to only be *faster*.

I process a LOT of raw images. I love RawShooter Premium because it has a very responsive UI while allowing me to turn out good looking images, straight out of the conversion without resorting to PhotoShop.

Well... on my old laptop (Pentium-M), and on my home machine (Athlon), the conversion process, while fast compared to other raw converters, was so slow that if I had 300 pictures to choose from, and I picked about 100 and applied appropriate settings to each, I would have to then wait for about 45 minutes for RSP to finish the conversion. (in other words, the UI was responsive enough, that I could get about 45 minutes ahead of the conversion process)

On my new laptop (Core Duo), I can barely get one or two images ahead of the converter! RSP is converting images *almost* as fast as I am reviewing them, selecting them, and applying settings to the ones I want.

I am *so* wanting a Core 2 Duo for home!!!

----

Edit to say: My guess is that the "dual processor" is what allows RSP on my laptop to provide not only a fast UI but also an ultra fast converter.

Message edited by author 2006-09-04 19:42:15.
09/05/2006 01:30:00 AM · #25
Originally posted by Bobster:

Originally posted by ionyou:

Wow I guess I shouldn't be too surprised to find misinformation about computer hardware in a photographer's forum but this is ridiculous.

#3: No 64bit won't make much of a difference in performance.
Hope this helps.


30-40% increase insn't much of a difference? and thats on 64bit apps running under XP64..


First of all, that's just blatantly false, it's more like 10-15% on average. Only floating point operations see ~30% improvement. Secondly, by the time 64 bit apps become widely in use, so will both manufacturer's 64bit capable chips. On the Intel side of things Core Duo is 32-bit, while Core 2 Duo is 64-bit.
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