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Re: Best processor for multimedia?

On Fri, Jul 08, 2005 at 03:08:45PM +0930, Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:
> Intel Celeron D 335 - 2.8GHz  	CPCELD335  	$134.00
> AMD Sempron 3100+ Box Soc754 	CPAS3100 	$157.00
> AMD Athlon XP 3000+ BOX BARTON  CPAXPB3000  	$184.00
> Intel P4 3.40GHz PRESCOTT 1MB 	CPP43.40HT-PS 	$409.00
> Intel P4-660 (3.6GHz)LGA775pin  CPP4-660  	$841.00

My attempts to solve slow choppy movies (and in my case games) went
like this: (I hope this is helpful in some way.)

Last week I had an Athlon 2600+, 512MB (DDR 400 running at 333) with a
radeon 9600. Movies were occasionaly slow, I had no 3D support and not
much in the way of hardware 2d acceleration by the feel of it.

I figured that a 400MHz FSB Athlon 3200+ would be the best bet partly
by looking at this image:


and partly because if you have a socket A that will take it then it's
the obvious choice.

Perhaps the better change would be to get a newer graphics card, the
6600GT cards are amazingly good value now, costing about UK £100
(about Aus$235 ?)  and for me this has made all the difference as
sadly the CPU I ordered turned out to be a Barton core but with the
FSB now locked down to 333. If you can still find a 400MHz one that
might help a bit if you have RAM and motherboard to match. (I'm
sending this CPU back and holding out for the one I actually ordered!)

However, as others said, something like nice(1) might be a better
option!  On the whole though, I've found that the -vo settings for
mplayer have been more important than any other changes.

Also, I'm occasionaly hacking together a program that spends most of
it's time in a CPU intensive loop or blitting xshmimages to screen,
I've found huge 2D speed improvements with the new graphics card
(100fps -> 180fps). This is on a process that uses 100% CPU if it can
- so clearly the 2D speed has improved dramatically here.

I can now play mpegs without chopiness and even silly games: as
surprisinly I appear to have a box running -current that now plays
unreal tournament 2004 well enough to stop me having to reboot to
windows for a lunchtime fragfest! I'm still using the XP2600+ though
so I guess that wasn't my problem after all.

        Steve Roome

> That's a pretty big price range.  What's important for multimedia?  My
> understanding is that software MPEG processing needs a lot of CPU, and
> the processors here are roughly comparable (OK, the P4s may be
> somewhat faster).  But what about the other differences?  How
> important is cache?  If I take the AMD offerings, am I better off with
> the (cheaper) Sempron with a slightly faster clock, or with the Athlon
> XP with more cache?  How does the Celeron compare with either?  Also,
> is it worth paying the significantly higher prices for the P4?
> Greg
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