My first venture into Vista 64 and a new Quadcore



SatelliteGuys Master
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Supporting Founder
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Oct 13, 2003
Jacksonville, FL, Earth
Finally decided to bite the bullet here and buy a new computer. I am doing some AVCHD and high def projects now and the old duo 2 just doesn't cut it with these large video files.

I ended up buying an HP configured with a Q9300 with the faster FSB of 1333Mhz. 8Gb or DDR2 ram, 1 TB Hard drive.

I'll also have a combo optical burner with BD and HD-DVD playback feature. The second drive will be a Panasonic BD 4x sata burner.

Using Vista Premium 64 bit, this system is said to be able to play two streams of mpeg 4 video to preview window in Vegas without hesitation. Rendering time is benchmarked at 80% of the fastest 8 core system sold ( dual quadcore Q9650 overclocked to 3.87 Ghz. ) The price before software is $2200. I was designing a dream system with the dual quadcore CPU's until I saw the speed performance and the big boy was at $8500 from Dell while the Hp upgraded with ram and 4X BluRay burner was 26% of that price so went with the slower machine.

I should be picking it up tomorrow from the guy who is building it out and testing the ram.

I'll be adding Adobe Production Premium CS3 as well as Vegas Pro 8 and Sound Forge 9.

Is anyone doing Blu Ray disk burning yet?
If you're messing around with HD, you make sure you got a good enough video card?
Not sure if you are going to have a prob. But if you do it is most likely somewhere between M$ Vista or buying something from Hewlett Packard. (aka Packard Smell)

Tip on the HP. Once it is running go into the controll panel and remove all of crap. It will double your speed.
Pack in the memory. 8GB minimum 16 probably better. Vista x64 really picks up when using more memory.
Pack in the memory. 8GB minimum 16 probably better. Vista x64 really picks up when using more memory.
Scaling efficiency drops in Vista above 2GB per core, I read somewhere. No personal experience.
Unless the app itself has mem manager - what most Adobe pro packages do.

Judging by the price, it is not a server board. Hence, 4 RAM slots and 2GB per slot can be all it can handle.

If raw horsepower is of utmost importance, I'd go with Q9450, just $150 more and twice the cache.
And RAID. If more than one HD stream playback is required at the same time.

I'd guess this config can be built DIY for quite a bit less.

Most of my choices came from people actually using the hardware config in the applications I plan to use.

Vegas 8b for HDV and AVCHD codec video processing and realtime playback as well as final render times.

Adobe CS3 suite for vista x64 for compatiblility only. Didn't find any performance experience.

I considered the systems stock video card capability as adequate because the system from hp is a stock BluRay and HD-DVD playback system. Then I got personal experience from owners that it does work for HD playback just fine.

The video card is the 8800 series with 512Mb Video ram on board. Not the fastest but probably adequate for HD-DVD and BluRay disk playback at full 1080p x1920.

I currently use a Dell 24" HD monitor 1200x1920 but it is VGA connected to 4 computer systems using a KVM box. I plan to add this new system using the HDMI input on the monitor and will be using a dedicated Vegas configured keyboard. It will be a bit awkward at first but my KVM only supports 4 systems so adding a 5th can only be switched using the monitor input and separate keyboard and mouse. I'm open to any suggestions that are better and not out of sight cost-wise.

The hard drive is currently a dual 500G striped to 1 Tb. The sata bus has been reported to be adequate for dual stream AVCHD playback but I'm not holding my breath and if not adequate, I may need to add a faster hard drive system.

The processor is upgradeable but the Ram is topped out at 8Gb. Unfortunately, the next level of system performance with 16 Gb of ram is an order of magnetude more expensive, i.e. in the $6000 range vs $2000. I figure that I could buy 3 of the lower speed machines as opposed to one that would improve the performance on the tasks. Considering Vegas supports network rendering, having 3 times the system at a cost of one machine at 3 times the price but only achieves a benchmark of 36% faster rendering.

Could I build it cheaper? I tried but ended up within $150 of a system stock from hp. I also went to two other custom builders and they were even higher in price. I used to build computers for hire as a VAR for desktop publishing packages for business. It got to the point I could nolonger make a profit over companies like the mentioned Packard Bell, compaq and others. What ran the price up on this system from hp was the two optical drives that does HD-DVD and BluRay. On the faster CPU systems the cost of ECC ram is a big cost.

The system I bought as configured from hp is only one Optical drive for HD playback only and 4Gb of DDR2 ram: $1700. It uses a stock ASUS Mb.

Mike- Thanks for the link in Toms Hardware. I generally didn't follow these types of studies before, relying on user reports for pros and cons of various system configurations and using my intended applications. However, reading the link reports did help me understand my new system better and why the 8Gb Ram allows the system to perform better.

One of the studies I followed was a standardized test render file run by a number of users with varying systems from pentium to very high end quad core. The results were as follows:

1. Pentium 3Ghz 4Gb Ram WXP 32 took 11 minutes
2. Dual Core 2 Duo 3.6Ghz XP with 4 Gb Ram 3:45
3. Quad Q9300 4Gb V32 2:20
4. Quad Q9300 2.5Ghz 8Gb V64 1:45 (My system)
5. Quad Q9650 3.6Ghz OC'd 8Gb ECC DDR3 1:35 ($6000 system)

This appeared to be a sharp loss of cost efficiency somewhere between package 4 and 5 in the test studies with Vegas 8b

Later this year Vegas 8.1 or V 9 running under Vista 64bit will be released that will increase support for 8 Core systems and up to 24Gb of Ram. Many "experts" are claiming the cost of such a system is not worth it except for academic interest. IMO, it is a better business decision to add additional workstation boxes with the lower cost processors and 8Gb DDR2 ram
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Not sure if you are going to have a prob. But if you do it is most likely somewhere between M$ Vista or buying something from Hewlett Packard. (aka Packard Smell)

Are you confusing Hewlett Packard with Packard Bell? Not the same company or even remotely related to each other, other than they both made PCs.

Packard Bell made crap. Hewlett Packard machines are generally pretty good.
Re the Packard Bell debate, he probably was not aware of the existence of Packard Bell back in the 80's. I had one and must say it served me well in my chemical business for about 4 years. I had no complaints.

As for Hp- I've owned quite a few and have in my rack now 2 Sony Vaio's and two HP's. I have two hp laptops and both are running very well. A 3rd Hp Laptop is retired but saved as a viable backup for my travel now. It was replaced a year ago with a Dell XPS M1210 due to sice and capability it is the best laptop I have ever used on the road. I also have a MacBook Pro and compared to the functionality of my Hp's and Vaios and especially the Dell, the Macbook Pro was a waste of money! Not junk as it works very well in what it does but can't make me money in my business as does the PCs collection. Many here may not agree with what I posted but it is just how the performance stacks up. I decided for the Vista machine that the Hp was the best bang for the buck. Now we'll see if it performs as I expect it should.

I also just received word that FedEx has my BluRay burner but I can't get it until Monday now. I hope the drivers will work OK with V 64. Actually, I hope I waited long enough for jumping into Vista 64 with my applications to be safe.
Anyone taking bets on where the first SNAFU will be with this new system. There always is one except for my Dell which is performing flawlessly in all respects. If Vista works well I may just buy a second hard drive for it with Vista.

Anyone have experience with Vista Remote desktop in Ultimate? That may be what I would desire with Ultimate upgrade. I use GoToMy PC now and love it but that costs each year to have.

New computer is installed--

Tested both HD DVD and Blue Ray disks and it played just fine. Had a few troubles setting up the display to 1200 x 1920 as the setting wasn't listed. I finally found the resolution on this by deselecting the "Default" monitor and selecting an HD Flat screen Monitor with VGA connection. Then unchecked hide unsupported screen sizes. This brought up the 1920 selections. I checked the correct one and now the aspect ration is correct.

Getting new speaker system upgrade for DD7.1 too and that really sounds nice.

There was a drive bay for the hp media drive and I removed that connection and used the internal space for mounting a 3rd sata hard drive.
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Anyone have experience with Vista Remote desktop in Ultimate? That may be what I would desire with Ultimate upgrade. I use GoToMy PC now and love it but that costs each year to have.

Check out They have a Free version that works great. I use it for all my family that I do tech support for.
Thanks Steven. I'll check it out later.

The new BluRay Burner from Panasonic arrived on Monday and I successfulkly in stalled it. I was paranoid about drivers since this 4x burner is so new but Vista 64 recognized it immediately. HAPPY!

Now that the stock system is modified to my liking, I started to get worried anout power supply capacity. The stock one is on ly 385 watts and while I trust HP put the minimum in for cost, with my extra internal hard drive and the new BD burner, I really should upgrade the supply to something more robust. I found a good deal on an atx 800watt unit that fits nicely in the case. So with that I should be safe.

Installed Vegas 8b + DVDa 4.5 and that went well. DVDa 4.5 does not recognize the bluRay burning yet but Vegas does. Soon, hopefully, the 5.0 version will be released and that is what I will be using to burn Blu Ray disks. Given that the cost of the disks are still quite high, I plan to wait until I have a good project to test. Maybe by then the cost on blank media will come down a bit too.

So far I have had zero problems with this vista 64 bit machine and it runs very quiet and very fast.

I dont do the video stuff you do yet, but I have a homebrew QX9650 with 8gb RAM DDR3-PC10666 running Vista64 and the 9800GX2 card on a ASUS Maximus Extreme Board.

Needless to say it runs pretty fast..
Yeah I'll bet it does. I priced out a system like that and decided I could buy 3 of what I have now for that single machine.
I'm pretty sure my board will take the QX9650 but I know it won't handle the ECC memory. The spec sheet says so. Maybe mistaken, It says all Q9xxx compatible. The QX is in a different league.

What video processing are you doing with that screamer? I spoke to a few others and the call for the fast systems like that are doing the AVCHD editing in real time.

Most of my work is SD DVCAM so this new box is mostly for HDTV work which I don't do much of right now but I smell the requirements for doing 30 second spots within a year as SOP so I'm getting into it at this lower level. As the money starts rolliing in on HDTV work, I justify the 8 core system. By then Vegas will be out supporting 8 cores. It is to be in beta this summer.

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