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Best video editing setup?

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April 13, 2011 8:18:58 PM

I am tryin to help out a friend who is into video editting. I see that the quick sync option on the sandy bridge setups is the best, but it seems that if you want to go that route the best you can do is the discrete graphics 3000. But I seem to remember an article on here not too long ago about a mobo that allowed for you to utilize the discrete graphics 3000 and a high end graphics card. Anyone know anything about this? Or can tell me what the best way to go for strictly video editting?

More about : video editing setup

a b à CPUs
April 13, 2011 8:51:55 PM

What types of footage is he editing, what software does he use and what's his budget?
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a c 108 à CPUs
April 13, 2011 9:56:31 PM

There are generally workflow pro's and con's in any direction you move.

There is no such animal as Discreet Graphics 3000.

Quick Sync works best from hi-rez to low-rez when output quality is not critical. There is not a big difference between HD2k and HD3k in performance. Intel's recommended workaround when you wish to add a discreet video card is to add a 2nd monitor powered off the integrated graphics engine. This will allow you to utilize Quick Sync. When multi-tasking/gaming while encoding with Quick Sync running in the background output performance will degrade.

Cuda works well when color-correction and accelerated effects are important, primarily in Premiere. Verify the specific card needed to confirm compatibility with what you wish to achieve. Quadro cards are rather pricey and some desktop cards may need to be hacked for the Mercury Playback Engine.

AMD x6 Thubans work well for the most part but some encoding software has issues with six cores. Vegas
studio will only set to 4 threads but will encode at 90%+ BUT there is an 'AVC' edit bug which is quite 'laggy'.

Multiple HDDs can help performance greatly depending upon the scope of the work.







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a b à CPUs
April 13, 2011 10:12:36 PM

Wisecracker's pretty much brought up where I was going.

I use Adobe Premiere CS5 at work and hacked some GTX 460 2GB cards to use Mercury Playback Engine in CUDA mode. Real-time editing is a joy with a fair few layers of 1080p XDCAM-EX footage and Canon 5D h.264.

There seems to be a bit of quality issue when rendering final outputs using the MPE, so I tend to let the CPU do all the grunt for final output, and as a result we opted for i7 930s with 12GB 1600MHz RAM when I built the systems about 2 years ago. Would be lovely to go 6-core Gulftown though lol but I've put in a "rendering mode" overclock of 3.8-4GHz on these systems to help final output rendering times.

I've heard great things about QuickSync in the new Sandy Bridge chips, but I've not explored that option so I don't know how viable it is to use it in professional production.


What is common though is hard drive space and access - our primary edit suites have 150GB Velociraptors for OS drives, single 500GB Samsung SpinPoint F3 for low-bandwidth files like stills and the projects, and then a 1.5TB array made up of 3 more 500GB SpinPoints in RAID 0 for all the footage and Adobe scratch discs. Plenty of space, nicely fast data rates to keep the HD footage flowing.
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a c 139 à CPUs
April 13, 2011 11:28:54 PM

There have been people using both the integrated and a discrete gpu on h67 by having 2 monitors, one monitor in each the card and mobo. Discrete graphics means an external graphics card and the intel hd 3000 is integrated, not a card. Right now there's only 2 programs that can use quicksync so a card is still recommended for hardware acceleration. Just an fyi, H67 cannot overclock and next month z68 comes out which can.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2011 12:07:28 AM

LePhuronn said:
Wisecracker's pretty much brought up where I was going.

I use Adobe Premiere CS5 at work and hacked some GTX 460 2GB cards to use Mercury Playback Engine in CUDA mode. Real-time editing is a joy with a fair few layers of 1080p XDCAM-EX footage and Canon 5D h.264.

There seems to be a bit of quality issue when rendering final outputs using the MPE, so I tend to let the CPU do all the grunt for final output, and as a result we opted for i7 930s with 12GB 1600MHz RAM when I built the systems about 2 years ago. Would be lovely to go 6-core Gulftown though lol but I've put in a "rendering mode" overclock of 3.8-4GHz on these systems to help final output rendering times.

I've heard great things about QuickSync in the new Sandy Bridge chips, but I've not explored that option so I don't know how viable it is to use it in professional production.


What is common though is hard drive space and access - our primary edit suites have 150GB Velociraptors for OS drives, single 500GB Samsung SpinPoint F3 for low-bandwidth files like stills and the projects, and then a 1.5TB array made up of 3 more 500GB SpinPoints in RAID 0 for all the footage and Adobe scratch discs. Plenty of space, nicely fast data rates to keep the HD footage flowing.


QuickSync's Final Output is slightly behind AMDs Stream (Brook+) but way ahead of CUDA (worst image quality of all the solutions).

Obviously the x86 path is the superior path and with Sandybridge things are even quicker to encode than with Nehalem. Also worth mentioning that filters can be applied properly using the x86 path... no CUDA, Stream, OpenCL etc solution (or QuickSync) can properly add filters.
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April 14, 2011 12:39:44 AM

He is not a professional, but is looking for an upgrade within $500 to upgrade his current system or go with an integrated sandy bridge setup, but considering it is limited to two programs, it doesnt seem to be an option. His current system is a quad core (Yorkfield) with some BS graphics card that will most likely be the upgrade in question. The program he is using is Sony Vegas, and he is telling me he is unable to convert his current projects to other programs. Also says he is dealing with HD footage in MPEG-2 format. I assume that the best upgrade for this program is the video card, and I have no idea if VRAM is an issue with video editting. Like should he get a 2GB 460 rather than a 1GB 460? Only using a 460 as an example since i know there is a 1GB and 2GB version.
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a c 108 à CPUs
April 14, 2011 12:55:26 AM

BloodyBonzai said:
He is not a professional, but is looking for an upgrade within $500 to upgrade his current system or go with an integrated sandy bridge setup, but considering it is limited to two programs, it doesnt seem to be an option. His current system is a quad core (Yorkfield) with some BS graphics card that will most likely be the upgrade in question. The program he is using is Sony Vegas, and he is telling me he is unable to convert his current projects to other programs. Also says he is dealing with HD footage in MPEG-2 format. I assume that the best upgrade for this program is the video card, and I have no idea if VRAM is an issue with video editting. Like should he get a 2GB 460 rather than a 1GB 460? Only using a 460 as an example since i know there is a 1GB and 2GB version.


Vegas should eat up mpg2 -- he might have a codec issue or a wacky/corrupt template/output setting (there are a gazillion, maybe more :lol:  )

I doubt you will see much of a boost with GPU acceleration in Vegas.

Arcsoft Media and mumble ... mumble (I can't recall :D  ) support Quick Sync.

Best place for yer bud to upgrade may be his disk I/O. If he is working off a single HDD he is total road-kill.


edit: I fergit ...

For questions specific to Vegas he should visit Creative Cow
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April 14, 2011 1:02:03 AM

Wisecracker said:
Vegas should eat up mpg2 -- he might have a codec issue or a wacky/corrupt template/output setting (there are a gazillion, maybe more :lol:  )

I doubt you will see much of a boost with GPU acceleration in Vegas.

Arcsoft Media and mumble ... mumble (I can't recall :D  ) support Quick Sync.

Best place for yer bud to upgrade may be his disk I/O. If he is working off a single HDD he is total road-kill.


edit: I fergit ...

For questions specific to Vegas he should visit Creative Cow


Your first line stating that vegas should eat up mpg2, what do you mean? You follow it with he might have a codec issue? He says he isnt having any problems with it. He just says that he cannot convert his projects to other programs.
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a c 108 à CPUs
April 14, 2011 1:09:21 AM

BloodyBonzai said:
Your first line stating that vegas should eat up mpg2, what do you mean? You follow it with he might have a codec issue? He says he isnt having any problems with it. He just says that he cannot convert his projects to other programs.


I don't follow ... Vegas projects are a proprietary file format *.VF that will not function in other software. He must output his project as a video, and then that video can be opened in any editing/encoding program.
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April 14, 2011 1:42:06 AM

Wisecracker said:
I don't follow ... Vegas projects are a proprietary file format *.VF that will not function in other software. He must output his project as a video, and then that video can be opened in any editing/encoding program.


Figured as much. Ive never used the software so I took his word on it. But what you said before was confusing, this is what I thought you were saying. Thanks for the info. BTW, is Vegas garbage, should he look at another program to do his video editing?
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2011 8:50:25 AM

Vegas is coming along leaps and bounds, but it's playing a lot of catch-up to the more commonplace Avid, Premiere and Final Cut.

Only if he's required to work with other editors should he consider using something else, because Vegas doesn't play nicely with others, but if he's just working to his own workflow and responsible for projects start to finish then there's no need really to change.


The only reason I brought up the 2GB version of the GTX 460 is because I make use of the RAM when using the card for CUDA acceleration in Premiere. As I don't think Vegas uses and real GPU acceleration, there's no point in getting an expensive graphics card - something basic to drive the monitors would be sufficient (but it's commonplace to have 1GB RAM on cards these days anyway).

Wisecracker's correct I think in saying your friend's issue with Vegas is some kind of corrupted or conflicting codec - Vegas should have zero problem working with MPEG2 footage.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2011 8:59:42 AM

LePhuronn said:
The only reason I brought up the 2GB version of the GTX 460 is because I make use of the RAM when using the card for CUDA acceleration in Premiere. As I don't think Vegas uses and real GPU acceleration, there's no point in getting an expensive graphics card - something basic to drive the monitors would be sufficient (but it's commonplace to have 1GB RAM on cards these days anyway).


I actually have no idea, but I will tell you that Photoshop doesn't use very much VRAM for GPU acceleration, a basic card really equals massive speedup there, even if it has little VRAM. I'm not sure if it is the same in Premiere, it's not my field.

That's my useless comment of the day.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2011 9:20:52 AM

Photoshop uses a lot of OpenGL acceleration these days so something with a bit of drawing power would help out, but it's really for productivity enhancements like canvas rotating for drawing, smooth zooms, flick-pans and pixel grid overlays.

I don't think it actually does a great deal in processing filters.


Premiere CS5 and onwards is a different kettle of fish entirely because of the CUDA-based hardware acceleration in its playback engine.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2011 9:28:37 AM

I know that, just saying it might not use up that much RAM.

I honestly can't say anything about CUDA on Premiere. I currently use AMD Radeon chips.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2011 10:13:44 AM

Ah sorry, misread you.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2011 10:47:09 AM

But hey, if you can get 2GB, get it, it shouldn't cost too much more.
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April 14, 2011 5:10:12 PM

I would go with a Core i7 2600, H67 motherboard (to use the QuickSync for video editing boost). And 8 GB DDR3 RAM.
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a c 108 à CPUs
April 14, 2011 6:33:06 PM

BloodyBonzai said:
Figured as much. Ive never used the software so I took his word on it. But what you said before was confusing, this is what I thought you were saying. Thanks for the info. BTW, is Vegas garbage, should he look at another program to do his video editing?


I'm guessing he has the 'Vegas Studio Premium Package' which includes the Sonic Foundry/Acid audio and DVD Architect. This should more than suit his needs.

I 'down-sized' to ver9 from PP2/AE/PS/Encore/Audition because I got tired of being dicked around by Adobe (after 13 years as a customer). The Adobe Empire would not provide an 'upgrade' license to 'CS' without charging me retail cost because I was using an older version of After Effects. Fook 'em.

My intention was to learn the basics and move on to Vegas Pro. Over the last few years I've grown quite happy with the 'consumer' Vegas and all it has to offer, and have 'zero' issues with integration no matter what third-party program I use outside the Vegas shell. It just works.

I can edit any media in the project outside Vegas and the update is automatic on the timeline.

The integrated motion graphics in Vegas is not as powerful as After Effects but it's pretty dang good, as is the compositing/chromakey/alpha channel functions. It's got your typical handbag of transitions and effects -- less filters and plu-ins than Adobe but that's to be expected (and there are some nice ones for Vegas out there if you are looking). Once you get the hang of it I've found Vegas to be a bit more intuitive than AE/Premiere.


LePhuronn said:
Vegas is coming along leaps and bounds, but it's playing a lot of catch-up to the more commonplace Avid, Premiere and Final Cut.

Only if he's required to work with other editors should he consider using something else, because Vegas doesn't play nicely with others, but if he's just working to his own workflow and responsible for projects start to finish then there's no need really to change.

...



I've actually been pleasantly surprised, even with the consumer version, in how it plays well with others. It takes some time to get up to speed with any tools as powerful as these (something the OP should stress to his bud). Never had issues finding workarounds either, except for that laggy-ace AVCHD editing (which I do little of, anyway). Outputting to AVCHD has not been a problem for me.

One thing I do miss, however, are the disk set-up options available in Premiere, but I seldom have deadline issues these days that demand the performance gained from stashing media across more than 2 HHDs/arrays.

And what really sealed the deal for me was the ability to install Vegas with a single key across as many rigs as you wish (as long as you do not use them at the same time). I find it interesting that the wankers at Adobe now allow a maximum '2' installations -- I guess they saw the light, partially, anyway.

I use a fast dual-core rig to edit and develop, then shut down Vegas when done. I fire up the project file in a separate encoding box over the GLAN and go on about my bidness on the main rig as the encoding box hammers away.

AND finally (if I'm wrong I apologize for this rant and hope someone corrects me :non:  ) the deactivation/reactivation process for Adobe is bull sheet. You cannot move your own legally purchased/licensed software to a new rig without paying the upgrade cost to the latest version ?? Adobe Rules (resistance is futile :fou:  ) -- even over the honest 95% of us who wish to do the right thing.
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April 14, 2011 7:58:04 PM

LePhuronn said:
Vegas is coming along leaps and bounds, but it's playing a lot of catch-up to the more commonplace Avid, Premiere and Final Cut.

Only if he's required to work with other editors should he consider using something else, because Vegas doesn't play nicely with others, but if he's just working to his own workflow and responsible for projects start to finish then there's no need really to change.


The only reason I brought up the 2GB version of the GTX 460 is because I make use of the RAM when using the card for CUDA acceleration in Premiere. As I don't think Vegas uses and real GPU acceleration, there's no point in getting an expensive graphics card - something basic to drive the monitors would be sufficient (but it's commonplace to have 1GB RAM on cards these days anyway).

Wisecracker's correct I think in saying your friend's issue with Vegas is some kind of corrupted or conflicting codec - Vegas should have zero problem working with MPEG2 footage.


I never stated he was having a problem with MPEG-2, I only said that is what he was using. I stated that he said he is unable to convert the Vegas files to other programs, which is probably true in a sense since you have to save it as another file type (MPEG-2) and then open it in another program which I am assuming he has never tried. I appreciate all your advice. Gonna have him buy two SSDs for a RAID0 setup, and also an aftermarket heatsink so I can OC his CPU which has been running on stock speed for a long time.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2011 10:18:12 PM

For anyone doing any sort of editing I would recommend they run an AMD 6xxx series or higher Graphics card as the primary card and you can add an nVIDIA GTS240+ card as a secondary card.

The reason is quite simple AMD offers better quality video playback for editing and an overall better color reproduction for HD content. nVIDIA CUDA is supported by more programs. This way you can use OpenCL (and pick which card), CUDA, Stream (Brook+ GPU) and x86.

I would probably recommend the Radeon HD 6850 1GB as the main graphics card because it does produce the best HD output of any consumer grade Graphics card on the market (6870, 6950, 6970, 6990 all being equal).

I am not sure how your friend feels about Video Editing, Transcoding and Encoding but to me it is something quite important. So Important to me that I build my rigs around this concept rather than Gaming.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2011 10:37:17 PM

Quote:
Why use 2 video cards with all sorts of driver hacks when you can use a 1 nvidia card that outperforms it? If your complaining about quality I suggest you get a quadro card then. But Amd don't have better image quality. Since 10.4 they don't. If you want better picture quality I suggest you buy a better LCD then


May I suggest you Read before misleading others? :
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/hqv-2-radeon-geforc...

As for nVIDIA outperforming AMD... err in what way? Do you mean CUDA outperforming Stream (Brook+) ??

Sure... but did you check out the image quality articles regarding final output?:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sandy-bridge-core-i...


nVIDIA nearly always cut corners in order to increase "performance" and almost always at the expense of Image Quality. This has been true since the days of 3Dfx. Sometimes it is acceptable (in fast paced shooters) and other times it is not. When you're encoding HD content... you sort of want it to be "High Definition" don't you? It kinda defeats the purpose to cut corners in order to increase performance (lower encoding times) when dealing with HD content imo.

Yep you actually SEE a difference no need for a "better LCD" as you suggested (I use three 30" Dell Ultrasharp IPS Panels btw). You can Apologize now :) 
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a b à CPUs
April 15, 2011 12:08:02 AM

Wisecracker said:

AND finally (if I'm wrong I apologize for this rant and hope someone corrects me :non:  ) the deactivation/reactivation process for Adobe is bull sheet. You cannot move your own legally purchased/licensed software to a new rig without paying the upgrade cost to the latest version ?? Adobe Rules (resistance is futile :fou:  ) -- even over the honest 95% of us who wish to do the right thing.


Mmm.
1. Connect to Internet
2. Help > Deactivate

At least that's what you do in Adobe CS5.

ElMoIsEviL said:

Yep you actually SEE a difference no need for a "better LCD" as you suggested (I use three 30" Dell Ultrasharp IPS Panels btw). You can Apologize now :) 


*hugs*

Two 23" Dell Ultrasharp IPS Panels btw ;) 
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April 15, 2011 1:12:45 AM

I only have one 30" Dell U3011, powered by a GTX 275 1792MB and a i7-860 OC'd to 4Ghz. I personally am not doing video editting tho : P
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a b à CPUs
April 15, 2011 4:55:22 AM

IPS panels are delicious. Almost as delicious as me spending what most people use to buy a Core i5 2500K to buy coloured pencils.
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a b à CPUs
April 15, 2011 9:37:45 AM

^ We said that AMD Stream's video encoding quality was better than Nvidia CUDA, abeit still vastly inferior to the x86 codepath. We said no such thing as AMD being superior in GPU acceleration in video editing applications (they suck tbh).
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April 15, 2011 11:31:31 PM

I currently have two 60GB 34nm Vertex 2 in RAID 0 and it's awesome. The onboard RAID controller is def not a bottleneck, I checked thoroughly into this setup before getting it. Are you telling me that the video editting in Vegas will not make use of the speed? Also, yes the Dell U3011 is overpriced, but I have not seen anything else on the market that compares with a 1600p 1billion+ color LCD. And yes it looks incredible, and my other LCD is a 1080p 17.6Million colors BenQ which is nothing compared to the Dell. And as far as overpriced, I would say that $1000 is a fair price for the Dell U3011 LCD when considering the prices of other displays on the market, I got mine for $1200 through a friend and most people will end up payin a couple hundred more.
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
July 26, 2011 10:09:46 PM

Don't forget guys, if your spending that much on your monitors it's really important to partner them with a calibration device...

Spyder Pro is my weapon of choice...

BTW: I though MPE and CUDA (in CS5.x) were only used for certain visual effects (Colour correction etc..) not the final render, this I thought was almost entirely done within the confines of the CPU? Must have read the Adobe site wrong!

Recommend www.videocopilot.net site for some great tut's too..

Pete
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a b à CPUs
July 27, 2011 8:00:51 AM

Necro.
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