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Pentium D 960 (3.6GHz dual core) running slower than three year old P4

Posted on 2006-10-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-09

I've built a workstation for a Structural Engineering Company to be used primarily for running 3D CAD software. This system uses a Pentium D 960 processor, 2Gb DDR2 533MHz, SATA HDD, nVidia Quadro FX1500 PCI Express graphics and Gigabyte motherboard.

Once we have the right specification, I need to build five more to replace their existing 3 year old PCs. These used P4 800MHz 3.06GHz cpus, 1Gb DDR400, SATA HDD, NVidia Quadra AGP x8 and Gigabyte GA-8KNXP motherboard.

If I run a benchtest the new PC is much faster, but if a small or large design is rendered in their CAD software it is 8% slower than two of the older ones we had available to test.

I wondered if it is the fact that the software benefits from Hyper Threading found on the older PCs and not on the basic dual core, only on the Extremes. Are there any known issues with CAD packages and dual core processors?

The only other thing I can think that may affect performance is that, the PC was required as an urgent replacement and I had to use a micro 775-pin motherboard with onboard VGA. This does have a PCI Express slot for the nVidia card and takes DDR2 memory, but the three year old GA-8KNXP motherboard used on the old systems were very advanced at the time supporting Hyper Threading, etc.  

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Mike

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Question by:mikeabc27
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17789784
I would suggest you run 3DMark05 to get an idea of where the slowdown is occuring.  A dual core should be faster than a hyperthreaded cpu any day of the week, if the clock speed is the same.  There's the possibility that your old video card is a better renderer than the nVidia Quadro FX1500.
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 17915072
No the new card is faster.

Could it be that the CAD package is slower in Windows XP SP2 than in 2000?

Mike
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Callandor earned 500 total points
ID: 17919537
There may be a slight difference, since Win2K is a stripped-down version of WinXP.  Since the Core2 Duo cpus have come out, you should consider them, instead of the Pentium-D 960.  I have the 2.4GHz E6600 and it is much faster than my overclocked 2.75GHz Opteron 148.  Here's an article benchmarking them: http://www.behardware.com/articles/623-1/intel-core-2-duo-test.html
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 17959431
I've already built an E6300 for testing which I'm loading with XP Pro, I've also built another D960 loaded with W2k and I'm comparing performance against the D960 with XP.

I'll be carrying out the speed tests next week and if the E6300 is good, I'll try an E6700.

Mike  
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 18002406
The E6300 is 24% faster than the old P4 3GHz and much, much faster than the D960. The Pentium D really are crap.

We'll be going for 5 E6600 or E6700 systems.
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