core i7 vs dual 55xx xeons


New Member
I am going to be building a new design computer and am at a crossroads. I was leaning towards dual xeons, but have talked with a few of my IT friends and they brought up valid points leading me back towards the core i7. I run flexisign pro, and adobe cs4 (photoshop more then anything). Photoshop will use multiple cores, however flexi will not. So would having dual processors actually be any advantage, or would it simply be a waste of money? With either setup I go with, I plan on going with 24 gigs of ram, on the core i7 motherboards, this will be maxed out. On the xeons, I will still be able to upgrade. I am sure I will regret saying this, becuse I remember thinking 4megs of ram was more then anyone ever needed, and 1 gig was just crazy, but for only graphic work, for the next couple years, does anyone realisticly think more then 24 gigs of ram will be needed? Sure I will always want more, but I dont for see me as needing it...


New Member
The Xeon 55XX series is basically the same thing as the i7 processor. When you are running several applications together that are all capable of multi-threading, having more than the four cores of the i7 could be beneficial. However, it doesn't sound like this might be the ideal case in your situation (right now.)

As I understand it, Flex is currently designed so that it can utilize one thread to the processor in the main application itself, one thread to send the data to the Production Manager, and one thread for Production Manager to cut/print itself. This means that within Flexi, IF you are printing from your computer as a RIP, then you can utilize a maximum of three cores currently. If you are not using your computer as a RIP then you're pretty much just using the one core. In that case, faster clock speed is better of course.

For the price of things and the way that you have described your use, I would image the money would be best spent on a faster i7 processor than two slower Xeon 55XX processors. If you are planning to run Photoshop and other applications as well as using your computer as a RIP all at once, then I may be wrong.

Asking if you will ever need more than 24 GB of RAM can be very questionable, as it all depends upon what kind of files you are dealing with and how you are using your computer. A recent article at Tom's Hardware examined and concluded that most software today still has the "sweet spot" of 4 GB of memory maximum used at all. Still, there are many other situations that a program may benefit from using more than that memory and the more the better. But needing more than 24 GB of RAM in the next few years? No, I don't really imagine that as holding you back by any means.