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Priorities for Avid Media Composer System Build Help

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May 16, 2010 2:25:27 AM


I am building new video editing system just for use with Avid Media Composer 4 (and 5 when it is released in June) and software that comes with it such as effects generator Avid FX, Boris Red and transcoder Sorenson Squeeze 5. So I need to know what gives most bang for buck (CPU, GPU, RAM..) and I would like to understand reasoning why it gives best value with this software so I can build reasonably priced system (around $2500 or less) that avoids too many bottlenecks.

In general Avid says they offload CPU tasks to GPU for processing and they say Nvidia Quadro is needed for best results. I have seen many baseline systems mentioned so I use their general specs as starter system: CPU, Intel i7 920 2.66 GHz; GPU, Nvidia FX1800; 6 GB RAM; WIN 7 64 bit OS which Media Composer 5 is qualified for.

Avid has also mentioned they prefer FX3800 or higher GPU because they want 52 GB/s bandwidth and 192 or more CUDA processors--however many Media Composer users say FX1800 with 38.4 B\GB/s and "only" 64 CUDA processors works fine. I need to be concerned with price/performance so don't want to spend more for FX3800 unless it gains me a lot. Right now I do standard definition editing but in future will move to high definition camcorder. I don't understand if Media Composer or effects software can really use all the parallel procession features of the Quadro cards or if the software itself will be a bottleneck and restrict parallel processing.

So in order of improving rendering speed and transcoding speed what would give me the most bang for buck and why: (1) get faster CPU--what does it do in this software??; (2) upgrade from FX1800 to FX3800 and why would this help Media Composer and Avid FX for example run faster; (3) more RAM--and why?

Asking a lot I know, but I thought maybe a forum dedicated to hardware would provide more help on hardware end of things for video editing. If you can point me to reference articles explaining how Media Composer "works" with CPU, GPU, RAM I would appreciate that also--can't find anything on Avid site.

Thank you, Dennis



More about : priorities avid media composer system build

May 16, 2010 5:10:39 AM

AVID publishes VERY specific certified system requirements, on their website.

Each product/config has specifically listed components.

Get a QuadroFX 1800 if building a desk-top.

You must also satisfy partner products such as CS5 and any other toolsets.

VideoGuys sells AVID and have lots of support for valid configs ... I would actually TALK to them ... on the phone, as a pre-sales tech inquiry.

= Al =

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May 16, 2010 5:21:44 AM

And they (AVID) have that whole "Mojo" DNA outboard processing rig, too ...

Remember that MC runs on validated notebooks and I think that there are many cards below the FX1800 that would (might) prolly work ...

THIS FORUM is the LAST place I would be looking for credible advice, when it comes to AVID Pro products ... The Avid forums ARE THERE FOR A REASON ... the preisthood can be really surly, but just keep asking ... they will finally help.

Finally ... IT TOTALLY MATTERS what kind of bandwidth and rendering your typical workflow dictates ... What exact codecs ... bit-rate ... flying 3D titles? ... Lots of complex effects or long format renders ?

I'd look at FCP or CS5 ... unless you want to spend the rest of your life and money chasing solutions that should come standard. ... Just my opinion.

... Avid is for the big studios ... I really do not think that they are your friend.

You are the enemy of their biggest customers ... get that?

= Al =
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May 16, 2010 6:40:39 PM

Thank you, Al. Often good to get a new perspective outside the Avid forums and you provided that. As you mention, Media Composer directed at big studios with technical staff to manage hardware issues, so my basic questions are not the norm. Avid does provide very specific guidelines so probably wonder why anyone would like to know more about how Media Composer uses the hardware resources. Dennis
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May 16, 2010 10:57:15 PM

I have to get in one more good "DIG" ... Because the way I see it ... Those Puhtzez OWE ME over $2000 and two years of my life ...


OK ... I am just making this up (fictional) ... any similarity to actual companies is PURELY InTENTIONAL !

... Do you want to buy a system that costs too much and is over-powered ??

... Do you want to pay through the nose, for books and training materials because the product user interface is cryptic, with hidden features and proprietary icons ??

... Do you want to be abused, in the forums, because you expected something for your money?

With "them" you are only purchasing an invitation to keep throwing more good money, after bad, for years to come ... until you are broke ...

You will find it very easy to get content INTO the product ... but good luck getting anything useful out, without purchasing more (equally cryptic) partner products or hardware.

You will (prolly) find the (so called) suite of included products to be FAR worse than worthless ...

... Get ready to buy additional partner solutions to do ANYTHING ... Do you want to create a decent DVD ??? .... Bawww-haa-haaa !!! Better buy something that actually has a reasonable feature set.

... Do you want to export to other products ... get out your wallet!

Hey ... I have an Avid Express Pro Dongle and a PILE of expensive books and many gigabytes of projects that were RUINED by that flakey, unstable piece of crap! ... You can have it ALL for one plug nickle. That is all any of it was ever worth ... A total "bill of goods" ... That's what you get.

I beleive those folks only wish to bleed you dry, while denying revenue from their upstart competition.

I am with SONY VEGAS (NOW) ... Man ... It is like I pulled a rotten tooth !!

... Even the consumer version of VEGAS is WAY better than AVID or Pinnacle ....

... It just "works" ... and the output is pristine ... At like 3% of what I spent trying to wring a solution out of AVID ...

UNLESS I wanted to do group-networking and farmed-out renders and ACTUALLY LIVE in HOLLYWOOD ... AVID is not only my VERY last choice ... It is no choice at all.

... So much for the pre-amble !!! I want my MONEY BACK! (And my LIFE) (and my projects!).

AVID ... YOU SUCK !!! I will HATE YOU LONG AFTER I AM DEAD !!

= PURE EVIL = <<< The WORST KIND
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May 16, 2010 11:29:20 PM

Quote:
I am with SONY VEGAS (NOW) ... Man ... It is like I pulled a rotten tooth !!

... Even the consumer version of VEGAS is WAY better than AVID or Pinnacle ....

:lol:  True that. I use/used Vegas Pro since v6 and using v9 right now. Teaching my self AE, Premere and Final Cut CS5 a much harder learning curve that Vegas, but worth it imo.

@OP: Do you currently use/used Avid MC? Have you tried the Adobe alternatives? Is this for pro level (as in this is your job)?
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May 16, 2010 11:35:40 PM

Shadow703793 said:
Quote:
I am with SONY VEGAS (NOW) ... Man ... It is like I pulled a rotten tooth !!

... Even the consumer version of VEGAS is WAY better than AVID or Pinnacle ....

:lol:  True that. I use/used Vegas Pro since v6 and using v9 right now. Teaching my self AE, Premere and Final Cut CS5 a much harder learning curve that Vegas, but worth it imo.

@OP: Do you currently use/used Avid MC? Have you tried the Adobe alternatives? Is this for pro level (as in this is your job)?


I know your sys config is "posted" but can't read it ... I am (obviously) curious to see/hear how YOUR config is digesting the CS5 requirements ... If you have the time/inclination to respond, that is.

(no thread-jack intended ... just trying to steal 2 posts, here)

= Al =
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May 17, 2010 1:42:22 AM

Shadow703793 said:
Quote:
I am with SONY VEGAS (NOW) ... Man ... It is like I pulled a rotten tooth !!

... Even the consumer version of VEGAS is WAY better than AVID or Pinnacle ....

:lol:  True that. I use/used Vegas Pro since v6 and using v9 right now. Teaching my self AE, Premere and Final Cut CS5 a much harder learning curve that Vegas, but worth it imo.

@OP: Do you currently use/used Avid MC? Have you tried the Adobe alternatives? Is this for pro level (as in this is your job)?


Sorry, don't know conventions of this forum, but if OP means Original Post-- video editing is not my job, but I enjoy creativity of taking my camcorder (Sony VX2000) shots and adding extra dimension via editing--recognizing original content is still the main objective. I started years ago with Adobe Premiere then when Pinnacle Edition/Avid Liquid first came out it seemed to offer benefits vs Premiere so I migrated to Liquid. Liquid best fits my needs, but when Avid terminated Liquid they offered very attractive upgrade to Media Composer. I still have not committed, but at upgrade price point MC looks like something I could use to learn and expand my creative skills particularly as I migrate to HD camcorder in future.
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May 17, 2010 1:56:34 AM

Yes, OP means original poster/post ;) 

Anyways, perhaps you may want to give Adobe Premire/FC CS5 trial a spin and see how you like it. You may also want to try Sony Vegas. Then decide. Both Vegas and Premiere are fine for editing HD vids. Again, depending on what you do, Sony Vegas Pro may just do the job for ~1/10 the cost of Adobe/Avid.
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May 17, 2010 2:05:07 AM

Well ... AVID actually does tend to provide workable solutions, at some price point .... After spending so much trying to get AXP stable and playing with "work-arounds" and their laughable DVD authoring tools ...

THEN having them kill my AXP product (euthenasia) and offering even pricier invitations ... I gave up ...

... I just see a definate conflict of interest, there ... They charge their studio and TV-station customers a whole lotta dough ... Those clients do not like seeing the independents getting anywhere near that functionality, for less money (goes my reasonning).

... If you are in the thick of it, and getting great output ... on schedule ... not crashing .. losing data ... getting cold shoulder for usage support ... HEY ... by all means !

... I never got to that point ... BUT ... I will say that the edit workflow really is VERY fast and convenient ... Once you get how to proxy edit and how to switch modes quickly ... how to lock down segments and to lasso, etc ... well ... yeah ... It really is pretty cool (as a user interface) once you get a little bit of traction, with it.

... My whole gripe is their bait-n-switch deceptive marketing ... and how they (seem to) install intentional blockages, in workflow and portability, to squeeze ever more monies, that many other suites include as standard.


It has been two years, since I threw in the towel ... maybe competition has made them more honest, in the interim ...

... I WILL NEVER forgive them ... I got screwed over ... no question.

= Al =
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