AMD or Intel for graphic designers system?

By Otmakus · 44 replies
Dec 22, 2005

    The above thread has got me confused here, my boss asked me to build 2 systems for graphic designers in the company, due early next month. I was all set to build an AMD system (Abit KN8 Ultra and Athlon 64 3000+ Venice, 512MB x 2 corsair valueselect RAM, X300SE, Seagate 120GB), but after reading this entire thread, I got the feeling that for graphic designers, Intel is better because they do a lot of multitasking applications (Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Pagemaker, Acrobat, and God knows what else) and no games at all.

    Is this true? And if it is, can anyone give me advice on the Mobo/processor pair for an Intel system in the price range of the AMD pair I mentioned above?

    From what I heard, AMD 64 is famous for its stability and cool temperature, compared to Intel, and that's fine with me, since the systems will have to be working hard for 10 hours a day for years to come and I don't want to get any trouble (The office room is air conditioned though, that must help cooling the sytem)
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Get an AMD Athlon X2 3800+. Its dual-core and will help in graphics designing greatly, IMO. Wait around and see what others say though.
  3. Kev_Boy

    Kev_Boy TS Rookie Posts: 23

    Most graphics design programs do support hyperthreading, which only Intel has.

    However, I do not know whether a dual-core AMD will automatically be able to use that code and work with 2 cores, even if it did it would likely be a more expensive purchase compared to a single core HT Intel CPU.
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    oh yeah, forgot about that. In that case, go with a good Intel Pentium 4 HT processor.
  5. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    There's no HT specific code, it's just multi-threaded code & that works very well on HT capable CPUs but even better so on multi-CPU/CORE systems, it would work very well with an X2 Athlon64.
  6. Arcanum

    Arcanum TS Rookie Posts: 181

    Go with a P4 with HT in this case, they are better in those things than A64 because most of these applications support and utilize HT technology.
    X2 would be even better but much more expensive...

    How about a P4 630 (3.0GHz) and a board from either Asus or Abit - reliable boards and they have some cheap models in their selection with which the price of the 630+selected mobo is the same of the Venice 3000+ + Abit KN8 Ultra (okay maybe somewhat higher, but it sure is much faster in this line of work).

    After all, CPU speed in these programs plays the most important part...
  7. Otmakus

    Otmakus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    X2 processor is not an option guys, it's way too expensive for my budget. I have to settle with P4 630 3 GHz Prescott, although this is still a bit more expensive than my earlier choice AMD 64 3000+ Venice.

    I noticed that this P4 630 3 GHz only has 800 FSB, so should i go with DDR 2 667 or DDR 400 would be enough? DDR 2 is also a bit more expensive than DDR

    And how about the M/B? Which chipset do u think is the best for me? I've done a quick research and I noticed that M/B for P4 LGA 775 is more expensive than for AMD 64 939.
    Do u think this is a good buy? Asus P5LD2

    All in all, I find that going for Intel LGA 775 is more expensive than for AMD 64, I have to discuss this with my boss, but do u really think the performance benefit of LGA 775 really worth the difference in price? For the price of LGA 630 3GHz, I can get an AMD 64 3200+ Venice.
  8. Arcanum

    Arcanum TS Rookie Posts: 181

    The DDR2 would be faster, but more expensive as you said.

    Depends what kind of work your designers do? Are they freqently using large files and applying demanding effects?
    If that's the case, DDR2 would be worth it if you can afford it.

    The largest performance impact comes from the CPU - in my opinion the P4 630 is more worth it than Venice 3200+ in this case - it will be faster.

    Second most important thing for this kind of work is the memory subsystem, the DDR2 will give you a nice boost, but it's not something you must get - it isn't that substantial, if you're on a tight budget go with DDR 400 - it'll work fine.

    About the Asus P5LD2, I was thinking of recommending it if you choose DDR2 - it's cheap and reliable, I think you won't have any problems with it.

    In the end, it all comes down to the amount of money you can spend, the difference between DDR 400 and DDR2 wont be spectacular, but if you can get DDR2 - why not, it'll make the rigs also somewhat more future proof.
  9. kodrutz

    kodrutz TS Booster Posts: 110

    Venice vs. Prescott for 2D apps???

    Humm...I think you all got this wrong. Why?
    Here is the reason...
    Also, the mainboard that you have chosen is a killer one, and overclocking a Venice with AMD's cool & quiet technology is just a dream!
    You could consider more ram for those systems too, when it comes to graphics more RAM is always better. Just watch the prices and grab the best offer in town, even an Intel could be your choice for the right price, but I would go for an AMD all the way.(a last thing, before ending this post - a friend overclocked a 3000+ Venice up to ~2.55Ghz with its stock cooling and didn't got hot at all)
    Good luck @ shopping, then!
  10. Otmakus

    Otmakus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    I'm sorry, but OC ing is not an option either, this computers are office computers, and they were meant to last for years (the computers the designers are using now are P3 800 with 392 SDRAM, about 5 years old). The utmost importance of the new systems is stability, and the performance difference is not very significant, but the computers have to be reliable at all time, so I can't OC them and risk making it unstable, also the PSU, case and heatsink fan will be stock.

    More RAM will be nice, but the cost for these 2 systems is way above my early prediction, so 1 GB will have to be enough for now. I can always add more in the future.

    Actually the systems won't be used that extensively. My company is a small newspaper publisher, and the graphic designers mainly use computers to do 2D layouting, picture modifications, etc. They currently use P3 800 to do the same job (although they're complaining like hell every day, and blame me because the computers takes forever to do what they want).

    I think I prefer the Asus P5LD2 and P4 630 and DDR 2 667, although I have to discuss it first with the boss for the extra budget needed. I'm sure AMD 64 3000+ is more than enough to do the job, but everyone said P4 630 is a lot better for the job because of it's HT technology, although it will be a little more expensive too. So I guess intel has the best bang for the buck for this one.

    In the thread I mentioned in the beginning of this thread, someone said to always turn off AMD cool & quiet technology, anyone know the reason?
  11. PUTALE

    PUTALE TS Rookie Posts: 126

    actually for photo/image editing, amd system actually outperforms intel's counterparts(not that much) YOu can see the benchmark here (

    In photoshop 7, amd64 performs better than intel's system.

    Generally speaking, amd is better for photo editing and gaming while intel's cpu is better for encoding and and video editing

    I think actually you should be fine by going with either intel or amd.

    Personally, I woudl suggest get amd64 3200+ venice core as it's running at 2.0 and it performs better than intel's 630.
  12. kodrutz

    kodrutz TS Booster Posts: 110

    Overclocking doesn't necessarily means less reliable

    I must say that OC IS an option! Why?

    First, my case. I had a T-Bred 1700+@2000+ for more than 2 years now, I used two no-name power supplies so far and a regular Speeze cooler, without copper. It doesn't exceed 36 celsius degrees for a 21 room temperature after hours and hours of 100% load and I never had stability issues.

    I don't know why was said here not to enable cool & quiet technology, since that is amazingly useful for OC. The idea behind it is that the CPU runs at full clock speed only when it's 100% loaded. This saves power and also reduces heat a lot, since when you do regular design work, the load of the CPU doesn't reach the 100% peak often. Also, the ABIT mainboard that you have in your plans has a "Turbo" option in its BIOS which automatically overclocks your system within reasonable limits, without any risks.

    I think the best thing for you would be to see a Venice and a Pentium system running, maybe get one or two designers come with you and help make the choice. Keep us informed about your choices and the outcome!
  13. Otmakus

    Otmakus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    Thanks PUTALE, this URL really gave me some new insight that AMD really is better than Intel. The new systems will be used mainly for photoshop and corel draw, and an AMD rig is somewhat cheaper than Intel.

    And that "Turbo" option is a plus too, although I still don't know whether I will really use it, maybe depending on the work temperature (I live in Indonesia, and the room temperature is about 30 degree celcius). The current P3 800s have been working well for almost 5 years now at 48-49 celcius, and I expect the same from the new systems.

    I can't build one AMD rig and one Intel rig, although it will be interesting that way. If one rig proves to be faster than the other, it will only make the other jealous, and I will get chewed out by the boss for buying the slower one, although I doubt the difference will be that significant. I also prefer to have similar systems, so I can manage them easier.

    I personally prefer AMD, because I've long used it at home, and I initially chose AMD because AMD 64's performance, stability and coolness is famous among PC enthusiasts.

    I won't be buying the computers until after new year holiday, so any other opinions will be very appreciated.
  14. PUTALE

    PUTALE TS Rookie Posts: 126

    list your budget and maybe we can help out building it. BTW, I personally would recommend go for dell's system because it's cheaper for business use if you need to save few bucks. but if you want to have the option of parts and better parts, then buildng it is the best way. Look around other review sites and you will see that amd is better with photo editing than intel.
  15. Arcanum

    Arcanum TS Rookie Posts: 181

    I was really amazed to see that, is the situation the same in Photoshop CS 2.0 - I know they did some optimizations but I dont know for which side AMD or Intel?

    Sorry for the misleading info, seems Intel no longer owns the graphic design part, only video editing left now, I hope new Solos and Duos put up more of a fight than that.

    Well, with most computer shops you can manage a bargain of somekind if you're buing more PCs at one time + the support will be present and accessible, and upgrading wont be a problem - unlike what could happen if you got a Dell (not saying that it would, just that it could).
  16. PUTALE

    PUTALE TS Rookie Posts: 126

    if I am not mistaken, photoshop cs utilize multi-thread, hence intel's hyperthread will have some enhancement in CS2. Looking at the benchmark, you can see that intel's HT cpu will perform slightly better than amd's single core ( However in dual core setup, it seems like because both system is dual cored, the multithread enhancement in CS2 does not favor intel or amd, and amd seems to come on top(

    I think if you take HT off the p4, and jus comprea the raw performance, amd wins, but with HT's enhancement, p4 may slightly out-performs amd64 in CS2.
  17. Arcanum

    Arcanum TS Rookie Posts: 181

    Thought so, I knew PS CS had new optimizations - multi-threaded processing, so the P4 will actually be faster.

    I know, that it will be slower when you disable HT, but why would you do that - no reason to.

    Well, it all comes down to the budget in the end - and either of these solutions are +-5% in performance there, so you wont be missing alot no matter which you choose to buy in the end.
  18. Otmakus

    Otmakus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    I live in Indonesia, but it's no use telling u my budget, computer prices here are generally much more expensive, and my budget isn't fixed too, it's just that I initially wanted to buy a AMD 64 3000+ Venice, Abit KN8 ultra, HIS X300, 2 x 512MB corsair value select, 80 or 120 GB seagate SATA 7200, LiteOn DVD burner, plus 40$ case and PSU and it will cost around 600$. The boss has agreed to that amount, but I have to wait until after new year holiday to really buy the computer.

    But then, thanks for your advices, I made another Intel spec: P4 630, Asus P5LD2, corsair value select DDR2 2 x 512, plus the same other things above, and it will cost nearly 700$. What I want to know is does it worth almost 100$ for the extra benefit of the Intel rig?

    In Indonesia, brand name computers like Dell, HP, and so on aren't widely available, and even if they are, they are very expensive and the customer supports really sucks that almost noone buy them.
  19. kodrutz

    kodrutz TS Booster Posts: 110

    Take care!

    One thing that nobody thought of until now, or nobody talked about it, and came up in my mind with your last post - the power supply is very important!
    For the systems you want to assemble, a good 400W power supply should be enough, even a 350W one if comes from a good brand. Try to avoid buying no-name cases with built-in power supplies, you could save a lot of trouble this way.
    I would love to give you some advices, but I have no idea about the products that are available on your local market when it comes to PSUs.
  20. Otmakus

    Otmakus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    Yes, PSUs are very important, but there aren't many good brands available here, so I have to rely on my experience. Actually I plan to buy a famous local brand case and PSU, which i have used for years for tens of computers without any problems, but since it's a local brand, I mentioned it before as "no name" case and PSU. And yes, for this system the PSU must have at least 400 watt.
  21. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    man.. get a friggin FX-55 if u can afford it along with a 2GB kit of DDR500 RAM given that u can afford it.. whats the budget anyway?

    edit: sorry if im asking an already answered question.. lol dont feel like reading thru uber long posts in the thread.. are u building a whole new system? or jus getting a good CPU? and again.. whats ur overall budget?
  22. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    You're operating on a very, very low budget and may actually slow things down rather than speed them up. I'd guess that you can match the performance of the older rigs but you are not going to beat it. If your boss wants to increase production speeds then he'll have to pay for it. I'm sure that the systems they are currently using were nearer to $1400 at the time of purchase rather than $600.

    With the increase in speeds and such in the intervening 3 years you can match the performance but not beat it on a $600 budget. I'd advise you to analyze where the slowdowns are and go from there. As an example:

    Assuming that the old systems are running P4 Northwoods on a socket 478 board with 800 MHZ FSB and DDR400 RAM you can scavenge the CPU's, RAM and cases and then plug them into a newer model 478 board with a SATA controller and upgraded chipset. The CPU's and RAM probably have another 5 years of usable life in them so why replace with stuff that runs at the same speed?

    Now you have a faster chipset which you can match to modern SATA HDD's, using on-board cache, which will results in much faster HDD access time. Also, you've replaced the old HDDs before they fail. Happy designers and boss already.

    Next, purchase some quality aftermarket HSF's and Overclock the CPU's slightly (Northwoods are great O/C'ers) for a cheap CPU speed bump, say a 2.6 Northwood to 2.9 or 3.0, whatever is rock solid stable and keeps the temps at the current level. This is easily done and you may actually see the operating temps decrease!

    Now, take the old RAM and assuming it is still good, add to it. If 2 sticks of 512MB DDR 400 PC3200 were scavenged then add another two sticks of 512MB thereby increasing the RAM to 2GB. If two 256MB sticks then go up to 1GB total. 512 to 1024 will result in a huge increase in system speed. 1GB to 2GB will help with graphics editing.

    Here is the tricky part. Do they need to upgrade the graphics cards? If they are currently using integrated graphics or very poor AGP cards that will bottlenck your system then your task is really easy. Make sure your new mobo has PCIe and get a 256MB 6200 card PCIe video card. Super performance boost for $75 each. If they curently have decent AGP cards that are running well then get a AGP mobo and transfer the cards. No cost.

    Remember to match the above improvements with a suitable PSU. I would replace the PSU's just for reliability reasons. Avoid the inevitable failure. A couple of QUALITY 400 watters should suffice and can be had at a reasonable cost.

    Do a full install of windows for each "new" rig along with all the latest drivers and such. Use the old HDD's as storage if needed but don't trust them as they may be nearing their failure time.

    If done smartly, you can accomplish the above at a very reasonable cost! Probably $250- $350 per machine. This makes your boss really happy. You can radically increase system speeds which makes the designers happy. You did a very smart upgrade that utilized some good parts with a lot of life left in them and matched it all to some applicable modern technology which makes us geeks happy. You get a raise which makes you happy.

    Good luck.
  23. Otmakus

    Otmakus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    There are currently 4 graphic designers in my company, each is using very different sytem. The best rig is an Intel P4 1,7 with 512 RAM (the fastest desktop computers in the entire company, bought maybe 2 years ago) aside from the laptops which were bought not long ago, and the worst (2 of them) are P3 800 with 392 RAM. The other one used a Duron (I forget the clock speed, about 900 MHz or 1 GHz).

    The plan is to replace all 4 systems with new ones, since the systems have been used for more than 4 years (except the P4). But the first step will be to replace the 2 P3 800.

    Because they're P3 800, it's obvious I can't reuse almost everything on them, except for the optical drives and hard drives, but since the hard drives are old, I don't want to reuse them, because they must have been one step in the grave (or garbage bin) already.

    I think it's a pretty big improvement, from P3 800 with 392 SDRAM to AMD 64 3200+ venice with 1024 DDR. And I know that the budget is very low, but what can I say, I was given a budget and I have to maximize it. I have to remind u that I live in Indonesia, and here, 600$ or 700$ (multiply by 4 computers to be replaced) is a lot of money to spend on computers.

    For 2D graphic designers, I think the system I plan to build should suffice for all applications used (Adobe Photoshop, Pagemaker, Illustrator, Acrobat, etc). And for these 2D applications, is 256 MB video card really necessary? Isn't 128 MB enough? The video cards the designers are currently using are GeForce 2 MX 400 32 MB, and it's good enough for them.

    As for the PSUs, like I said, the good and reliable brands aren't available. 99% computer users in this country use local brands, and I have to rely on my experience to choose a decent one.

    And lastly, what I asked in the first place is whether it's better to use Intel or AMD CPU for my need. Going for an Intel 630 costs about the same as going for an AMD 3200+ Venice, and everybody says 3200+ is better than 630, so I decide to go for AMD, as in my initial plan. Thanks for all the opinions and advices, I really appreciate them all.
  24. Ruder

    Ruder TS Rookie Posts: 98

    I do graphics - 2D & 3D.

    Get the AMD setup, but with 2 Gigs RAM.

    For what your graphic people do - get the X300SE card. Get better monitors.
  25. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    Yep I agree, those systems are to old to fold into new rigs. Great idea though wasn't it? LOL
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...