Clock speed vs. cores? Video card RAM?

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Ben | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Jul 27 2010 7:14 AM

I'm going to replace our two aged computers with released-this-morning iMac in the next few weeks, and looking at different options.

Given a choice between a quad-core processor at 2.8Ghz vs. a dual-core processor at 3.6, is there any way to know which will do better with L4 (Mac)?

What about 512Mb of RAM on the videocard vs. 1Gb?

I've seen the previous threads on this, but wondered if anyone's done actual testing...

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 27 2010 7:56 AM

Ben,

I would opt for the Dual core at 3.6 and the 1GB video Ram (assuming you can't get the quad core and the 1GB vid card).  As I understand it you'll only experience the benefits of the quad core during indexing, though I suspect the video RAM increase will give you more bang for your buck over the daily use.

Overall I would also do what I could to max out my system RAM as both indexing and reporting in Logos are going to use the RAM heavily.

As far as actual testing, I can say that during the early beta I saw a large jump when I went from 512MB ram to 1GB in my laptop.  I also saw a large jump from a P4@2.4Ghz to a dual core AMD at 2Ghz.  But by far the largest change in performance I measured was in the video card when I moved from an NVIDIA gt 7300 with 512 MB of RAM to an NVIDIA 9800GT with 1GB ram.

Mind you, these changes were not all on the same machine so your mileage will vary, but in my informal analysis the biggest positive transformation user experience in Logos (assuming your machine falls within the acceptable specs - the new imacs undoubtedly do) would be Video card first, RAM second and CPU third.

 

Hmm Sarcasm is my love language. Obviously I love you. 

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 27 2010 10:03 AM

Ben:
Given a choice between a quad-core processor at 2.8Ghz vs. a dual-core processor at 3.6,

Because Quad-core comes with a new generation chipset with improvements for RAM & system throughput and assuming you get a model with Turbo-boost (i7 860) the maximum speed goes to 3.45 GHz, & hyper-threading gives you 8 CPU's. Testing I've seen shows that dual-core up to 3.6 Ghz rarely out-performs a 2.8/3.45GHz quad-core and real application benchmarks favour the quad-core.

Dave
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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 27 2010 10:18 AM

Ben:

I'm going to replace our two aged computers with released-this-morning iMac in the next few weeks, and looking at different options.

Given a choice between a quad-core processor at 2.8Ghz vs. a dual-core processor at 3.6, is there any way to know which will do better with L4 (Mac)?

What about 512Mb of RAM on the videocard vs. 1Gb?

I've seen the previous threads on this, but wondered if anyone's done actual testing...

The only thing I'd add to the other excellent info, is that the i3, i5, and i7 Intel processors, while very fast and efficient, run very hot. You'd want to make sure the case had an adequate cooling system and that you can typically use it in an environment where the heat can be easily dissipated from the system (e.g., not on your lap!), and the fan intake and output is always free of obstructions. I just bought 2 i7's for two of my sons heading off 1 to college, the other to seminary; they get very hot, even in sleep mode, or just setting them down on the couch or on the carpeted floor for any period of time. Hot computers don't last long.

For frequent travelers, who often use their laptops on their laps in airports, planes, etc. I'd strongly recommend a slower CPU that doesn't get as hot as these do. Better yet, get a cheapo for travel and a hi-end for home/office.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 29 2010 5:04 AM

Anyone know what exactly the extra video RAM accelerates? What part of L4 is dependent on it?

 I've typically used Logos as a reader with some minor searches, only rarely running reports and such...

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 29 2010 6:15 AM

Ben:
Anyone know what exactly the extra video RAM accelerates? What part of L4 is dependent on it?

Because L4 uses Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) for rendering output to the screen and it uses DirectX technology similar to that for 3D games the video demands have dramatically increased over the previous 2D GUI used in Windows XP and older operating systems. That basically means a faster video card with more memory is needed to provide adequate graphical performance. For some more information see

Dave
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Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 29 2010 7:18 AM

The two desktop systems that I run L4 on are both home built so I have had the opportunity to try different configurations and would say that next to having adequate system RAM the most important piece is the Video card. Don't think you have to purchase a $500 card, any of the video cards that ATI or Nividia offer in the $75-$125 range will serve you well.

As long as you have at list 2 cores, speed is more important. However, from my observations it does appear that Logos does use multi-cores for more than just indexing. My two desktops are AMD systems and my laptop is an Intel i7 system. Considering how much slower the clock speed of the i7 is compared to the two AMD desktop systems the performance of the laptop is very impressive. The duel core AMD runs at 2.8, the quad core AMD runs at 2.3 and the i7 runs at 1.6 in non-turbo mode. It does seem to run hot.

Another big factor is Hard Drive performance. I replaced an older HD with a newer one and the performance of L4 noticeably improved.

The key I think is a balanced system, any weak point such as integrated graphics, less than 3 GB system memory, single core CPU, slow or old hard drive will drag everything else down no matter how good the other hardware is.

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 29 2010 8:45 AM

 

Ben:
Anyone know what exactly the extra video RAM accelerates? What part of L4 is dependent on it?

As Dave commented, WPF is the demanding aspect on the screen and video card.  Additionally I'd note that if you're reading with Logos, and use the scroll feature built into most middle click Windows mice (center click and drag to scroll) that a faster/higher RAM video card will dramatically clean up  and smooth out the autoscroll experience. 

 

Finally, Keith's statement:

Keith Larson:
The key I think is a balanced system, any weak point...will drag everything else down...
is right on the money.

Hmm Sarcasm is my love language. Obviously I love you. 

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Paul N | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 29 2010 7:08 PM

I agree with both Keith and Thomas on the balance of the system.  The one place the information bottlenecks judges how fast your computer is.

 

Ben, in my case I have the previous gen. iMac than the one you're talking about.  I love it and there's nothing "slow" about it when running Logos.  However, my bottleneck is in the dual cores.  When they're both running 100% each during an index (or reindex) I could probably have that time back with the quad core processor.  I'll have you know I've only re-indexed once and of course the initial index is part of setup.  I also upgraded to 8 gb ram due to that being a weakness in my old computer.  I don't think Logos touches half that...  don't overkill if you don't have to! Big Smile

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Delta Austin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 14 2011 2:14 AM

Thomas Black:
But by far the largest change in performance I measured was in the video card when I moved from an NVIDIA gt 7300 with 512 MB of RAM to an NVIDIA 9800GT with 1GB ram.

When trying to find out if an increase in video RAM would make a performance difference in L4, I read that the amount of RAM on a card does not indicate its relative performance. The article went on to say: Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

"a 512MB Radeon HD 4870 or 896MB GeForce GTX 260 will always be faster than a 2GB Radeon HD 4670 or a 2GB GeForce 9600 GTS. The point is that the type of card is far more important than the amount of RAM onboard when it comes to raw performance. For a general idea about what cards are faster than others, take a look at our video card hierarchy chart."

I tried to find your video cards in the chart to try to figure out what made the performance difference, if not the extra RAM, but I couldn't find either card listed by the names given. Can you figure out why the second card was so much better than the first? I'm shopping for a new laptop, and deciding on what video card and how much RAM to get on it is my biggest holdup. One reason is, I'm also going to use a projector to project L4 from my laptop while I'm teaching. I know the projector is counted as a sort of second monitor, so I'm sure extra video something is needed to do that--but what and how much?? I know resolution also has something to do with video memory requirements. The projector has a native resolution of 1280 x 800, but can go up to 1920 x 1200 if I can find a laptop with that kind of resolution. Everything I can find online only talks about gaming which I can't "translate" into L4 experience. Can anyone with projector experience with L4 help me? Thanks.

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Bob Schlessman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 14 2011 5:01 AM

Delta Austin:
When trying to find out if an increase in video RAM would make a performance difference in L4, I read that the amount of RAM on a card does not indicate its relative performance.

This is true for the most part. But the same GPU with more RAM will run faster overall than one with less RAM. For example I have an Eforce GT240 with 1 GB of video but there is a version of the same card with 512 MB that doesn't perform as fast.

Delta Austin:
I tried to find your video cards in the chart to try to figure out what made the performance difference

The main difference between Thomas' cards is the GPUs not the memory. The 9800GT is a couple of years newer and packs more transistors on the chip. The on card bandwidth is about five times as fast as the 7300GT. This can vary depending on which version of each card you are comparing but overall any 9800GT will blow any 7300GT out of the water in performance comparisons.

Delta Austin:
One reason is, I'm also going to use a projector to project L4 from my laptop while I'm teaching. I know the projector is counted as a sort of second monitor, so I'm sure extra video something is needed to do that--but what and how much??

Not sure that you need a lot of extra anything to run a projector with a laptop. I have a five year old Compaq with very a basic GPU and only 2 GB of RAM that is shared. I have used it to do presentations on our projector at the church many times without any problems whatsoever. However running LOGOS 4 on it is a whole different story. Get as much CPU / GPU / memory / hard drive that you can afford. You won't regret it. I highly recommend the latest Intel family. That will give you the most bang for the buck.

Blessings,

Bob

 

Posts 421
Scott S | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 14 2011 12:02 PM

Delta Austin:
The projector has a native resolution of 1280 x 800, but can go up to 1920 x 1200 if I can find a laptop with that kind of resolution.

If your projector is a LCD type, you should plan to operate at its native resolution because that will provide the clearest text. The projector may be able to display at other resolutions, but the text will be blurry. 

Many Laptop PC's output video at various resolutions, both higher and lower than native. Check the specs before buying a new Laptop to make sure it will output at 1200 x 800.

Personally, I appreciate the accurate display of fonts by high-resolution Laptop displays.  1920 x 1200 would provide 133 dpi on a 17" display.

Edited.

 

 

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 14 2011 2:08 PM

Scott...

I'm guessing that your avatar is from the Johnny Question tv show?

 

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

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Scott S | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 14 2011 4:37 PM

Robert Pavich:

Scott...

I'm guessing that your avatar is from the Johnny Question tv show?

 

Okay, good guess -- you get the cookie!  I watched Johnny Quest when I was a kid 40 years ago for the Sci-Fi and action. Now, I've watched it again in the last 15 years with my sons.  They like it and it models great values; courage, ingenuity, honesty, etc.  So Dr. Benton Quest is a hero of sorts.

I see you hit the 4 kilo-post mark. Congrats and thanks for your contributions to these forums!

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 14 2011 10:19 PM

 

Scott S:
I see you hit the 4 kilo-post mark. Congrats and thanks for your contributions to these forums!

Absolutely agree

Robert, many thanks for all your input and advice.

Graham

Edit: Reposted in a separate thread

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 15 2011 3:41 AM

Thank you Scott and Graham...

too bad my 4000th wasn't something incredibly technical and challenging :)

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

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