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AlexGraphicD

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Oct 26, 2015
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I apologize if this question has come up before but I didn't find anything related.

Can someone tell me if the following applications use multithreading or not? Is there any benefit to the i7 for simple tasks like web browsing and email if you don't use multithreaded programs?

Final Cut Pro
Photoshop
Illustrator
iMovie
Indesign
Affinity Photo
Affinity Designer
Premier Pro (I don't use it just being curious)

Thanks.
 

rawweb

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2015
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I apologize if this question has come up before but I didn't find anything related.

Can someone tell me if the following applications use multithreading or not? Is there any benefit to the i7 for simple tasks like web browsing and email if you don't use multithreaded programs?

Final Cut Pro
Photoshop
Illustrator
iMovie
Indesign
Affinity Photo
Affinity Designer
Premier Pro (I don't use it just being curious)

Thanks.

FCPX and modern adobe suite sure does. Easy way to check? When you're working on something intensive, view CPU usage in 'activity monitor'. It will show you the physical and virtual CPU cores and what they're chewing on graphically.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 11.34.07 PM.png
 
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joema2

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Can someone tell me if the following applications use multithreading or not? Is there any benefit to the i7 for simple tasks like web browsing and email if you don't use multithreaded programs?...

Those apps are all heavily multithreaded, however this by itself does not indicate whether i7 hyperthreading would have any substantial benefit.

You can see how many threads each app uses by looking at the "threads" column in Activity Monitor. I just checked FCPX on a simple project and it's use 63 threads, Premiere CC uses 43 and LightRoom 38.

A multi-core CPU is not limited to running the threads of a single app. It can run any mixture of threads from multiple apps. A typical Mac may have *thousands* of threads. Many of these are OS related which must run for your app to get work done.

However most of these threads are in a suspended or non-runnable state. They are typically waiting on user input, or a synchronization event, or I/O. Multiple cores only help when threads are in a runnable state. Even in a runnable state they may not have the characteristics which favor hyperthreading. The OS X thread dispatcher apparently tries to detect this and in some cases you'll only see every other virtual core scheduled, e.g, four cores in use on a hyperthreaded CPU with eight available virtual cores. This is because in some cases using all available virtual cores will cause "CPU cache thrashing" and actually degrade performance.

You can turn hyperthreading on and off with the free utility CPUSetter. You can Google for that but use at your own discretion. In my testing, hyperthreading improved FCP X export performance by about 30%. However it did nothing for Lightroom import/export.
 

AlexGraphicD

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I see...so I suppose since I am not a heavy video and 3D professional, an i7 wouldn't benefit me all that much other than provide me with a good feeling that I own a multithreaded processor. But that good feeling comes with a premium price which I cannot afford for now at least.
 

joema2

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Sep 3, 2013
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I see...so I suppose since I am not a heavy video and 3D professional, an i7 wouldn't benefit me all that much other than provide me with a good feeling that I own a multithreaded processor. But that good feeling comes with a premium price which I cannot afford for now at least.

The i7 CPU on the iMac runs at 4Ghz, vs 3.3Ghz on the i5. Under heavy multithreaded load the CPUs would be close to the base clock speed, not the turbo speed. So totally disregarding hyperthreading, the i7 would be 21% faster on a CPU-intensive multithreaded workload from clock speed alone.
 

AlexGraphicD

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So 20% isn't worth of the premium price that's the i7...
Thanks for the thorough explanation it was really informative.
 

joema2

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Sep 3, 2013
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So 20% isn't worth of the premium price that's the i7...
Thanks for the thorough explanation it was really informative.

Well for a well-equipped 2015 iMac 27, the i7 option is about 8-9% more money and it goes 21% faster (excluding hyperthreading). For some people that is well worth it. For specific CPU-bound multithreaded workloads where hyperthreading helps, it could be 50% faster, although those tend to be narrow cases.
 

IngerMan

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Feb 21, 2011
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Well for a well-equipped 2015 iMac 27, the i7 option is about 8-9% more money and it goes 21% faster (excluding hyperthreading). For some people that is well worth it. For specific CPU-bound multithreaded workloads where hyperthreading helps, it could be 50% faster, although those tend to be narrow cases.
But that depends on your uses. If your normal usage is Internet, email, Office, casual photos and casual videos. The i7 is overkill. It is all about your usage because the above usage listed would not equate to 20% faster let alone 50%.
 

AlexGraphicD

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But that depends on your uses. If your normal usage is Internet, email, Office, casual photos and casual videos. The i7 is overkill. It is all about your usage because the above usage listed would not equate to 20% faster let alone 50%.

Which listed usage you referring to? The one I posted at the start of the thread? Or some other.
 

joema2

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Sep 3, 2013
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....totally disregarding hyperthreading, the i7 would be 21% faster on a CPU-intensive multithreaded workload from clock speed alone...For specific CPU-bound multithreaded workloads where hyperthreading helps, it could be 50% faster, although those tend to be narrow cases.

But that depends on your uses....because the above usage listed would not equate to 20% faster let alone 50%.

That is why I stated specifically the usage -- a CPU-bound multithreaded workload. Of course if the load is not CPU bound or if the machine is just displaying a static web page, a faster CPU won't help, much less a hyperthreaded one. How is that news?
 

IngerMan

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Feb 21, 2011
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Which listed usage you referring to? The one I posted at the start of the thread? Or some other.

No doubt the i7 M395X is the best model, and recommended for professional video editing. I read that for Photo editing the i5 M395X is recommended for best bang for the dollar.

Myself I use my desktop for Microsoft Office, Cad Viewing, Internet, email, Family photos, 4-8 iMovie family videos a year. A few games.

If I was making my living on output from my computer then I would of choose the i7, but my tasks would not of benefited too much from the i5 M395 to the i7.

I would of paid about an extra $500 to get the machine I envy, but really did not need.

It is an individual decision based on needs and wants.
 

jerwin

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You can turn hyperthreading on and off with the free utility CPUSetter.

Just out of curiosity, what are the effects of running Cinebench against a desktop i7 with hyperthreading turned on, and turned off?

(The program misidentifies my i5-4690 as a "2 core, 4 thread" cpu, so I'm thinking that the parallelism in that benchmark makes some strange assumptions.)
 

joema2

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Just out of curiosity, what are the effects of running Cinebench against a desktop i7 with hyperthreading turned on, and turned off?...

Cinebench R15 on my 2015 iMac 27 with 4Ghz i7-6700K and M395X with hyperthreading enabled/disabled:

OpenGL: HT enabled: 107.76 fps; HT disabled: 108.11 fps
CPU: HT enabled: 863 cb; HT disabled: 654 cb

So for this particular test OpenGL was minutely faster with HT off but probably within the noise. This is probably expected since it's mostly a GPU test.

The CPU test was considerably better (31.9%) with HT on.
 

jerwin

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Thanks. (My machine gets 535, somewhat less what you'd expect given the slower clock. Chalk it up to microarchitectural improvements in Skylake, I guess)
 
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