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Old 07-15-04, 04:43 PM Thread Starter   #1
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General question on computing power


My father runs a graphics application that is a proprietary vector art program used to design parking permits, etc. When ganging up several thousand permits it eats the cpu alive for several minutes, durning which time he can basically do nothing else. He is thinking about buying a new system but we need to get as much cpu bang for the buck as possible. I guess what I'm asking is (without starting a war) which processor would be best with floating point calculations? Right now he has a P4 1.8 and It's not near powerful enough.

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Old 07-15-04, 04:55 PM   #2
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His best bet may be a dual CPU system. If the application is multithreaded it can use both CPUs. If it is not, it will use one CPU leaving the other free so he can multitask. I'm not sure which MP system would be best though - AthlonMP, Opteron, or Xeon.

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Old 07-15-04, 05:00 PM   #3
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How much does he want to spend?

A cheap and good setup would be a dual xp2500-M. A friend of mine got these up and running (oced to 2.5ghz) for about $400 for mobo/cpus.

Other than that, you could go for the beast and get a socket 939- that would be almost double the computing power.

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Old 07-15-04, 05:24 PM Thread Starter   #4
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939 is what I'm thinking. He's not afraid to spend so money it appears. He just wants some power that isn't obsenely priced.

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Old 07-15-04, 05:45 PM   #5
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sounds like the job for a dually, but any 939 should tear through it.

define obsenly priced please?
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Old 07-15-04, 06:08 PM   #6
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Why not dual opterons? Also, I am thinking it might also take a lot of hard drive power, so maybe raid as well?
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Old 07-16-04, 12:51 AM   #7
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I would think an overclocked XP Mobile should be plenty of CPU for almost any application. Going MP might help, but most apps aren't written to make use that kind of system. So chances are it wouldn't make any kind of difference in that particular app. You should probably take time to email the software vendor and see if that particular application can make use of dual processors.

You may have already done this, but you should also make sure that it is indeed the CPU that is the limiting factor. I've had many apps/processes that at first sight would appear to be CPU intensive, but were actually Memory/HD intensive. Same end results, (system is unusable until they end) but very different causes. It may turn out that a simple memory upgrade, or a raid controller and additional HD would be a better fix than a new CPU/MB.
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Old 07-16-04, 08:28 AM   #8
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The 1.8 P-4 is a 400 bus CPU. The 800 bus P-4's will have a huge performance increase and will have the advantage of hyperthreading. While HT is no substitute for dual procs, it will help. An upgrade to an 800 bus CPU like the 3.0C will probably require an upgrade to an i865/i875 chipset mobo too.

In reality, I suspect his trouble is more of a lack of RAM and memory bandwidth than anything. How much does he currently have? The i865/i875 chipset mobos have dual channel DDR compared to the single channel he currently has which should help a lot. Slap in 2X512 meg of PC3200 RAM and then rock 'n' roll.

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Old 07-16-04, 11:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbuster
He is thinking about buying a new system but we need to get as much cpu bang for the buck as possible. I guess what I'm asking is (without starting a war) which processor would be best with floating point calculations? Right now he has a P4 1.8 and It's not near powerful enough.

Either a new AXP 2600+M system, overclocked, or an A64.

FPU is AMD land

An old 1.8A? Yikes. An A64 3200+ would eat that thing alive, letalone in an AMD favoring type application.

Get an A64 if the program isnt vcapable of utilizing dual CPU's.

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Old 07-16-04, 11:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batboy
In reality, I suspect his trouble is more of a lack of RAM and memory bandwidth than anything. How much does he currently have? The i865/i875 chipset mobos have dual channel DDR compared to the single channel he currently has which should help a lot. Slap in 2X512 meg of PC3200 RAM and then rock 'n' roll.

Lack of bandwidth yes, but teh willy 1.8 is just terrible with FPU to begin with. An AXP 1700+ would blow it away.

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Old 07-16-04, 11:33 AM Thread Starter   #11
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Thanks for all the help guys. I have checked and it is cpu intensive and not mem or hdd. I think the A64 is the way to go in that case. Socket 939 with a 3800+ should do the trick. Would this be cheaper to build myself....he prefers to buy stuff for business use. Know any good vendors for a system like that? Alienware maybe?

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Old 07-16-04, 11:58 AM   #12
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Ack... Alienware... Ewww. Building it your self and buying the parts from Newegg would do you fine and it would be very cheap, but if he doesnt want to build it himself and cost isnt an issue then by all means just buy an alienware
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Old 07-16-04, 12:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbuster
Thanks for all the help guys. I have checked and it is cpu intensive and not mem or hdd. I think the A64 is the way to go in that case. Socket 939 with a 3800+ should do the trick. Would this be cheaper to build myself....he prefers to buy stuff for business use. Know any good vendors for a system like that? Alienware maybe?

Try ABS?

ALienware is quite overpriced.

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Old 07-16-04, 12:21 PM   #14
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The difference between the 3500+ and the 3800+ is 200mhz and $400. Drop it down a tad and save money.
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Old 07-16-04, 01:19 PM   #15
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www.Cyberpowerpc.com Thats where i bought my comp b4 i knew how to build them.
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Old 07-16-04, 03:45 PM   #16
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As others have said, you can get a HT cpu at like 3.0 ghz or so and that would be a lot better then what you have and not spend an arm and a leg as with a dual processor system. It would be comparible to one though. I dont have much experience w/ dual processors though, so I could be way off here
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Old 07-16-04, 09:35 PM   #17
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Meep?


I am so going to get kicked for this, but, if your program runs on Mac, have you looked at G5s? AKA Athlon PPC. Athlon may own FPU in the x86 world, but let's face it, x86 generally is no match for PPC. Or if you just want to go all out on the FPU, there's always Alpha processors.

No seriously. It may be worth it to see if the program runs on Mac OS X. Another thing you should also consider in the mean time is throwing that program on a 386 or a 486. That'll help you process everything faster than that P4 1.8. Lord knows early P4's couldn't process to save their worthless lives.
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