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NPuttemans
Currently Being Moderated

Want to upgrade to CS6, but issue with AVCHD scrubbing might stop me

Jun 16, 2012 12:45 AM

I've been using the Adobe Creative Suite for years and really love it. The last version I stuck to was CS5. Premiere Pro CS5 had no problems scrubbing my AVCHD footage (mts wrapper from GH2 cameras) and I wanted to upgrade to CS5.5 when this became available. Then a problem occured: although the project files (old and new) loaded a lot quicker than before, it was no longer possible to scrub through the footage. The lag was just incredible and I can see (and hear) my drives go mad as I try to scrub through the footage. I assume this is because certain things are no longer loaded at the opening of the project, but just when you look at the footage on a timeline.

I hoped the issue would have been fixed in CS6, but after a colleague kindly installed the software for a few days on my machine (spare licence he had, since been uninstalled), it is clear that it is still impossible to use. WHY?

 

I'm happy to upgrade some of my system to try and make this work, but I need to know what the problem. My current set-up is (no longer) cutting edge, but hardly bottom of the pile either. Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Current Spec:

6 core AMD processor 3.6Ghz

8 GB of ram

Nvidia GT440 card (cuda enabled)

MTS files and project files are on a 2TB raid 0 (though windows 7, not dedicated card) (2 drives 1TB each 7200RPM sata 3)

 

Thanks for any help.

 

PS: I tried with and without cuda, moved the media cache to other drive, disabled sound whn scrubbing,... pretty much everything

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 16, 2012 1:00 AM   in reply to NPuttemans

    Try the PPBM5 Benchmark to see how fast or slow your system is. The best AMD X6 system is around 3.5 times slower than a fast Intel system, but the worst X6 is more than 32 times slower. I have no idea how your system will run, so do the test first. That will give an indication of what you should do.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 16, 2012 3:28 AM   in reply to NPuttemans

    Niels,

     

    I've seen them and will add them to the results page later today.

     

    You end up around rank #630, somewhat as expected. Your disk score is quite acceptable and reflects your raid setup. However, your MPEG score is disappointing, but that may be attributed to only 8 GB memory and the relatively meager GT 440 card. However, in comparison with other Phenom II X6 systems, nothing really stands out.

     

    Your dilemma to improve the scrubbing behaviour is twofold: You are hindered by the slowness of the Phenom II X6, and whatever you will upgrade, but keeping the AMD CPU will only marginally improve performance. If you really want to improve performance you need a completely new Intel based system, but that is costly, requiring a new CPU, mobo and memory.

     

    Upgrading memory does not look attractive, since it will not really help performance and is not portable to a new Intel system.

     

    The only things that can help IMO and that can be ported to a new system in the future are extra disks and a better video card. I would start with additional disks, see if that solves the scrubbing issues. If that still is not enough, you can consider upgrading the video card to a GTX 670 or even a GTX 560 Ti if your PSU can handle it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 16, 2012 3:50 AM   in reply to NPuttemans

    I guess not. Have a look at the Asus laptop with an i7-Q720 at rank #722.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 16, 2012 5:09 AM   in reply to NPuttemans

    I don't think its only due to your system performance. The main problem is the way how Premiere handles AVCHD. Compared to Grass Valley Edius 6 (on a same system) the speed with scrubbing is almost as fast when scrubbing AVI DV footage in Premiere CS5.5 or CS6. I noticed Premiere CS6 improved AVCHD scrubbing just a little but has troubles editing long AVCHD files so i went back to CS5.5.

     

    Actually i don't think that a better videocard will improve scrubbing with AVCHD. I have the GTX 560Ti but when i turn on the Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration i don't notice any increase speed in scrubbing in both CS5.5 and CS6.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 16, 2012 6:45 AM   in reply to NPuttemans

    If you drag the CTI from say 20:00:15 to 35:41:17 in a second, there is no system that can fetch the data from disk fast enough to give you uninterrupted preview during that single second, that is not even possible with the simplest codec like DV. The disks are the main limiting factor, but the next one is the decoding for display from all long GOP formats and that is CPU related. For fast scrubbing you need a top notch disk I/O system and a very fast CPU.

     

    Scrubbing the CTI along a timeline and the quality of the preview on the program monitor depend on the scrubbing speed and the main hardware components mentioned above.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 16, 2012 11:35 AM   in reply to NPuttemans

    Niels,

     

    Your results have been added. Turned out to be rank # 635 and more than 6 times slower than a fast Intel machine.

     

    What you are describing is the typical behaviour when a number of files need to be accessed and the disks are just not fast enough. Keep in mind that your raid volume is only half duplex, so reading and writing cannot occur at the same time. Add the highly compressed material that needs to be unpacked for preview purposes with only limited memory available and you have good chances that Windows uses the pagefile, which further complicates that half duplex channel.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 17, 2012 12:59 AM   in reply to NPuttemans

    If you compare CS5, CS5.5 and CS6 very carefully, you can find proof that the caching algorithms used in the three versions differ significantly. While there were small improvements in CS5.5 over CS5, in a number of cases it was a step back. You can clearly see that in the MPEG2 benchmark results that almost tripled in CS5.5 over CS5.

     

    In CS6 the caching algorithms were again changed, mostly to remove bugs and improve performance. Not all of these efforts were very successful, and maybe in your specific case you have stumbled on a weakness in the caching algorithms. I may come up with an idea to demonstrate the efficiency of the caching engine in CS5.5 and CS6. The crux is however to use the L key instead of the mouse to scrub at the same speed in both versions over the same length of the timeline and record the number of dropped frames.

     
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  • Admiral Cook
    169 posts
    Jul 3, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 17, 2012 1:17 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    The best AMD X6 system is around 3.5 times slower than a fast Intel system

     

    This is because Adobe optimizes their software for Intel, or...?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 17, 2012 1:28 AM   in reply to Admiral Cook

    Because AMD lacks support for the SSE4.1+ extensions.

     

    The more cores, cache and the higher the clock speed, the better. Intel processors are preferred over AMD, that lack SSE 4.1+ support, which is heavily used during CPU intensive (read AVCHD, MPEG tasks), like exporting and encoding or decoding.

     

    It is the choice of architecture that AMD made, that makes them nice for games, but not for video editing.

     
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  • Admiral Cook
    169 posts
    Jul 3, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 17, 2012 3:31 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Thanks for the reply.

     

    One of my computers is based on Phenom II hexa-core CPU, which supports instructions up to SSE 4a, and it works beautiful with Adobe. No noticable differences between the i7-950/12GBDDR3HyperX and X6-1090T/16GBDDR3ValueRAM.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 17, 2012 5:21 AM   in reply to Admiral Cook

    I looked it up for you:

     

    i7-950 at stock speed with 12 GB RAM versus Phenom II X6 at stock speed with 16 GB. Both running CS5.03

     

    Intel: 76 + 127 + 84 + 7 = 294 seconds. Rank #286

     

    AMD: 127 + 121 + 119 + 64 = 431 seconds. Rank #493

     

    That is a huge performance difference.

     

    If that is not noticeable, you have to be kidding.

     
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  • Admiral Cook
    169 posts
    Jul 3, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 17, 2012 6:33 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    I'm talking about performance and stability when editing. They are both fine. And it's not big deal for me if render time is slower for a few seconds or minutes on AMD.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2012 5:54 AM   in reply to NPuttemans

    Nice to see that i'm not the olny one with problem.

     

    I really don't understand. Last configuration:

     

    HP 8540W, 8Gb RAM, i5, Premiere pro 5 - working perfect

     

    HP 8560W, 8Gb RAM, i7, Premiere pro 5.5., 6.0. - scrubbing is killing me.

     

    So basically better laptop, same cameras (GH1 and GH2), not working

     

    Go figure.

     
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