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Building a "real-time" HD editing machine

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January 10, 2011 3:40:34 AM

I've been researching this for a while to edit video in Adobe's products (After effects cs5, premiere pro cs5 etc). Here's my rig right now:

Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D-E ATX
Processor: Intel Core i7 950 LGA1366
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB)
SSD(OS): Crucial 128 GB CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1
HDD: WD1002FAEX 1TB SATA Internal HDD (x2)
WD10EARS 1TB SATA Internal HDD
Optical Drives: LG WH10LS30K 10X Blu-ray Burner
LITE-ON iHAS424-98
ASUS EAH5830 DIRECTCU/2DIS/1GD5
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 ATX Full-Tower Case
Card Reader: Koutech IO-RCM621 All-in-one USB 2.0 3.5”
Power Supply: XION Power Real XON-1100P14HE
Heatsink/Fan: Thermalright U120eXtrem1366RT R-C
Webcam: Logitech C600 USB
Wireless Card: Rosewill RNX-N300 IEEE 802.11b/g/n

I've already bought and put together the machine but...

Now will a Nvidia card really improve my performance? I'm trying to edit whatever special effects in after effects and then, without rendering, just import the project into premiere and edit my video there. I also want to play back the video in realtime to see the progress rather than render it all out just to see what's going on. This video would be HD 1080i and the format would most likely be AVCHD H.264 and possibly Red4k files. Right now the video lags in Premiere. Just need advice from other people's computer's that edit in real time, tips, hardware suggestions. Adobe lists what cards are compatible and I saw the EVGA 012-P3-1470-AR GeForce GTX 470 on newegg is this any good? I know the caviar greens are slow and it’s only for storage. All my media and such are on the 7200 rpm drives.

I’ll probably play games on this eventually but I figure if I can edit high-end video I can play games.

Any help would be appreciated

Patrick
January 10, 2011 5:00:12 AM

^ Though I dont have a first hand experience with CUDA for Premiere, but have read in many places and seen many reviews that it does offer significant performance boost when using CUDA (Mercury Playback Engine take very good advantage of CUDA) Also as you want to game, the GTX 470 is indeed a very good option, which will be suitable for both,...
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January 10, 2011 3:32:18 PM

Check out the article on the new sandybridge processors. From what I remember seeing on the graphs, the new integrated graphics chip can render a lot faster than a CUDA chip, and will save you from having to buy a 200+ dollar card. I suggest go looking that up.
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January 10, 2011 6:15:43 PM

Um depending upon what exactly you're playing, it's not possible to render real time regardless of system specs, especially if you're using raw(uncompressed) footage.

Premier is CUDA accelerated via mercury engine for rendering and encoding. However, if you're using say extensive amounts of AE then doesn't matter, you're still not gonna be able to do stuff in realtime.

AE is NOT CUDA accelerated, though many addon's such as Trapcode are. Still, even with CUDA, I can't do realtime rendering on my work PC, which is an i7-860, 16gb of RAM and Quadro FX1800, Samsung SSD as scratchdisk.

If you aren't using AE, it may still not be real time, especially if you have multiple tracks and transitions going. End of the day, you basically still need to render the workspace to view at full FPS. What CUDA and mercury allow you to do, is render this a lot faster.

Also, Quick Sync doesn't do rendering, only encoding/transcoding. Plus, you can't use Quick Sync and a discrete GPU simultaneously, which makes it rather stupid.

There are some 3rd party solution being worked on, but as of now only for H67 chipset, which doesn't really help...
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