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Topic: Athlon 64 vs. P4 CPU Power Terms...

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  1. #1

    Athlon 64 vs. P4 CPU Power Terms...

    I would love if someone could really explain this in real world D.A.W. terms.
    Is an Athlon 64 3800+ equal in prossesing power to a P4 3.8 chip? The way AMD advertizes it is like this :
    "AMD Athlon 64 3800+ 2.4GHz Socket 939 (Retail Box)"
    Does that mean its equal in power to a P4 2.4 in 32-bit ?
    If i were to invest in an AMD 3800+ right now would it be able to handle as many VSTi`s and 32-bit float files as a P4 3.8 or a P4 2.4 ?
    Its not so clear..Any explanation would be appreaciate..Best ,Rich

  2. #2

    Re: Athlon 64 vs. P4 CPU Power Terms...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Pell
    I would love if someone could really explain this in real world D.A.W. terms.
    Is an Athlon 64 3800+ equal in prossesing power to a P4 3.8 chip? The way AMD advertizes it is like this :
    "AMD Athlon 64 3800+ 2.4GHz Socket 939 (Retail Box)"
    Does that mean its equal in power to a P4 2.4 in 32-bit ?
    If i were to invest in an AMD 3800+ right now would it be able to handle as many VSTi`s and 32-bit float files as a P4 3.8 or a P4 2.4 ?
    Its not so clear..Any explanation would be appreaciate..Best ,Rich

    yes, a amd64 3800+ is somehow as fast as a p4 3800mhz, not exactly though!
    Digital AudionetworX

    ______________________________
    http://www.digital-audionetworx.de
    mac - pc - gigastudio
    berlin - germany

  3. #3

    Re: Athlon 64 vs. P4 CPU Power Terms...

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital AudionetworX
    yes, a amd64 3800+ is somehow as fast as a p4 3800mhz, not exactly though!
    Well as i understand it the AMD`s core clock speed would be at 2.4 Ghz and the P4`s would be at 3.8 Ghz which apparently is fine for gaming.
    But what about for D.A.W Audio and Vsti`s? Doesnt that require a diff. kind of power. Theres always talk from D.A.W. builders that P4 `s are better for Audio and video...why is that? Rich

  4. #4

    Re: Athlon 64 vs. P4 CPU Power Terms...

    I asked about AMD when i first prepared to build my computer.

    I have a computer audio guru friend who claims AMD's dont seem
    to be as conflict free as P4's when it comes to ASIO etc etc.

    Something to do with the AMD chip. Im not a big enough geek to
    describe in detail. But he says P4's are better. He didnt say anything
    about the speed issue though.
    TK

  5. #5

    Re: Athlon 64 vs. P4 CPU Power Terms...

    Quote Originally Posted by toddk
    I asked about AMD when i first prepared to build my computer.

    I have a computer audio guru friend who claims AMD's dont seem
    to be as conflict free as P4's when it comes to ASIO etc etc.

    Something to do with the AMD chip. Im not a big enough geek to
    describe in detail. But he says P4's are better. He didnt say anything
    about the speed issue though.
    TK
    I`ve heard that before as well..wonder why that is though...?

  6. #6

    Re: Athlon 64 vs. P4 CPU Power Terms...

    I built several DAWs with Athlon CPUs and they have all
    been very reliable and working good with ASIO-based
    hosts.

    In the beginning, there were some VIA-chipsets as far
    as I can remember which had problems with PCI-bandwidth
    for soundboards. But I think those times are long gone...

    The advantage of the newest generation of Athlon64 is,
    that they need much less power than a P4 - which can
    help reduce stress on your ears and could keep your invoice
    for power down a little ;-)

    Tobias

  7. #7

    Re: Athlon 64 vs. P4 CPU Power Terms...

    Thats what i thought Tobias... I`ve been usiing P4`s for the last 3 years with ( knock on wood) with very few problems. Unless you get the latest nacona EM64 chips for P4 , its not gonna be 64-bit ready. Thats why I`m thinking Athlon 64 now.. I`m looking into the MSI Neo -Plat. Mobo and an Athlon 3800+ but i only has a 512 k cache and i know that can make a diff. for VSTi`s. The 4000+ has the 1mb cache but is bloody expensive. Its basically the same speed with with a bigger L2 cache for a $200 price diff.!!
    i know the L2 cache makes a diff. in P4`s but AMD has a whole diff. way of doing things and I`m not sure if the cache is gonna make a huge diff. Any more advice thoughts from experienced P4/Athlon users here would be very appreciated..Best Rich

  8. #8

    Re: Athlon 64 vs. P4 CPU Power Terms...

    I have been using AMD athlon xp (2100+ ) for protools for a few years - it was the recommended set up and the Digidesign User Conference. Right now they are testing chips between the AMD 64 3400 to the FX-55 (the users that is). I suggest you read the thread - okay, not the whole thread (432 pages as of today) - but the first with the current recommendations and a cheaper system.
    They say that the new AMD 64's are better than P4's and Mac G5. While the AMD doesn't hold the 'speed' of the P4 - something about the workload is better - at least for pro tools. I think the cheaper fast system includes a AMD 64 mobile 3400+(yes, the laptop version because it has a 1MB L2 cache) in a desktop mobo - DFI lan something or other. Great for over clocking, etc.... It's worth a look see - here's the url:

    there's no url...hmmm, we'll here's the way to get there (Ijust bookmarked the thread)

    http://www.digidesign.com/
    click on "Support" on the top right, then "User Conference" on the botton row, scroll down to "Pro Tools LE Systems and select "Pro Tools LE Systems on Windows: 002, 002R, 001, MBox, AM3" - almost there - find the thread titled "Best Desktops for PTLE". It has a lot of responses so it will be in the top 5 or 6.

  9. #9

    Re: Athlon 64 vs. P4 CPU Power Terms...

    Thanks Erik..theres some interesting info. there. Its amazing to see post s from 2002 that say that there P3` ROCK!! The system they recommend uses the 1 mb cache , so that seems to be sort of important. Its a long read but i`ll check it from time to time so see what i can gather..Thanks for pointing me there.. Best ,Rich

  10. #10

    Re: Athlon 64 vs. P4 CPU Power Terms...

    Without reading the other replies here...

    You need to ask yourself first what you are going to use the DAW for (Digital Audio Workstation).

    Recording OR composing, or Both?

    Are you using a LOT of Virtual Synths / DSPs? Or are you Using a lot of sample libraries?

    These questions will lead to: Are you streaming a lot of data in memory / disk, or are you using pure CPU grunt?

    AMDs tend to have more bang for buck, they can be overclocked better, however tend to run hotter than P4s.

    Intel P4s are better for Memory both in throughput and size of memory, a better solution if you're loading a lot of samples into memory.

    The two best motherboard manufacturers to use are ASUS or GIGABYTE. I'd recommend ASUS, most DAW owners I've spoken to are build on these.

    Your bottle neck these days is not so much CPU power, but more Memory and HardDrive access.

    Go with as fast and as much memory as you can afford. Get fast and reliable HardDrives - large caches and low seek times, and high RPMs (7200 is minimum).

    Dont' put your system/scratch drive and sample libraries on the same Harddrive. a 40 gig System drive is enough using 10 gig for scratch partition good, and optimally 2 larger drives, one for mixing / recording and one for sample libraries.

    Don't put games on your system, keep it away from the internet don't install lots of uneccessary crap on there. Reduce any fancy graphical things windows does like shading of menus, showing contents of windows when dragging windows, animation of menus..etc.
    Composer / Sound Designer / Audio Engineer
    GroovyAudio

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