12 Replies Latest reply on May 22, 2012 4:45 PM by rwesnitzer

    CPU or GPU upgrade... or start over?


      I currently have:  i7 920, Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R, 12Gb Corsair RAM, 1TB 10K WD disk, 2x 2TB 7200RPM WD RAID0, Pioneer Blu-ray, LG Lightscribe DVD, ATI Radeon HD 5750.  I use CS5 Premiere Pro, After Effects, Encore, and Photoshop predominately.  I do photos and videos of dance recitals in a small town -- typically about 6/year.  It is merely a hobby and doesn't pay too well; for one of the studios I don't get paid at all as we have agree that 100% of procedes will go to charity (an AIDs orphanage in Africa).  The point is that for a hobby, I don't want to go nuts in price.


      Mostly my bottleneck is in the real-time playback and rendering in Premiere, another is in the encoding through Media Encoder, and the last is in the Blu-ray and/or DVD encode in Encore.  I record from 2 camera positions using 2 Canon HF G10s, files are AVCHD 1080 60i.  I don't do much fancy in Premiere -- color correction, exposure correction, dip to black, cross disolves, scrolling titles/credits dominate, then the occassional scale or motion layer (sort of a PiP effect).  What I am wondering is where I would get the best gang for my buck?  The current setup is nearly 3 years old now and I know the two weak links are the video card and none SSD boot disk, but I am curious about the CPU.  I cannot really tell just how much better the newer Ivy Bridge CPUs are, or even if I should be thinking Xeon -- better still would an upgrade to a CUDA enabled video card bring me within spittin' distance of the newer CPUs? Another thought, would I be better served by not trying to patch and plug, and just build a new machine?


      And, lastly, I wonder if there are thoughts from all of you about DVD duplicators?  I create more than 500 discs/year on the two burners.  I hate this part the most!  I would really like to find an inexpensive way to automate this, or at least burn several at a time.


      Thank you for your thoughts.


      Randy Wesnitzer

        • 1. Re: CPU or GPU upgrade... or start over?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          To start with your last question first, have a look at http://www.rimage.com/nl/products.html


          You will definitely find a solution there, depending on budget and needs, but they deliver fantastic stuff. 500 discs is a breeze for their automated duplicators.


          To answer the more generic question, I would first buy a good nVidia 670 or 680 card. You can always port that to a new system. Agreed the 920 is no longer a top CPU, but can still do a good job and changing it for a new more powerful CPU also entails a new mobo, new RAM and the new CPU at least and that means serious $$. Xeons are out of the question, since they are hugely expensive and Ivy Bridge is equally out of the question, because of the limitations of the platform, not enough PCIe lanes.


          If you want to have a look at my new build, look at Planning and building a new PC

          • 2. Re: CPU or GPU upgrade... or start over?
            rwesnitzer Level 1

            Harm, thank you.  I will be spending a bit of time on that Rimage link you gave.


            I did a poor job of finishing my thoughts in the initial post.  My current motherboard supports the i7-980 and 990, and also several of the Xeons.  So my first thought, although poorly expressed above, was to utilize one of those as an upgrade path to the current system.  The second thought was, would this path just be an expensive bandage and I'd still be way sort of the new chips, so for a few hundred more just build new.  Having said all of that, I plan to spend a bit of time looking over your build and also the DIY 9 that I have seen mentioned in another thread you started (not your build, just a thread started by you).

            • 3. Re: CPU or GPU upgrade... or start over?
              RjL190365 Level 4

              At this point, I would not recommend upgrading your current system with an i7-980 or an i7-990X because it would have been an expensive band-aid given the relatively old CPU generation of those two CPUs.


              As for the "DIY9" system, note that the suggested configuration includes only one disk (for absolutely everything including the OS and media files). That's because Videoguys favors (and sells) external RAID enclosures, and does not really recommend more internal disks (which are definitely faster in sequential performance when RAIDed together than any eSATA-connected external RAID box).

              • 4. Re: CPU or GPU upgrade... or start over?

                We recommend using either an internal or external RAID for your video storage. Depending on your preferense and needs.  For our DIY machines we have gone to external storage so that we can easily move all our prjects and media from machine to machine. With an internal RAID, you can't easily move the drives to a new machine and maintain yor data. Most times you will have to reformat the RAID and lose all data on the drives.


                • For most of our customers a simple RAID0 will do the trick. 2 x 2TB = 4TB of space for video and media
                • For optimal results we recommend aRAID5 for redundancy. 4 x 2TB gives you 6TB of space for media, but you get the benefit of redundancy. If one drive fails, you do not lose any data.


                We ahev a complete storage FAQ on our website http://www.videoguys.com/Guide/E/Videoguys+NLE+Video+Storage+FAQ/0xc0dc681654a5dba55ca08f3 03a6c38df.aspx



                • 5. Re: CPU or GPU upgrade... or start over?
                  ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                  Harm is correct. An Nvidia card and using your current system would be the best perfrmance increase without spending a large sum of money on a new system. Since your current project laod is not extremely heavy at this point, you should be fine with your current setup and an Nvidia card. Also there is the option to use that system as a render/encoding system later if you decide to get a new one.




                  • 6. Re: CPU or GPU upgrade... or start over?
                    Gary@Videoguys Level 1

                    Eric & Harm are correct - get a new GPU.


                    For Adobe CS5 or later, upgrading to an NVIDIA GPU is the single best investment you can make. A card like the GTX570 or a new GTX670/80 will give you a dramatic invcrease in real-time layers and overall workflow in Premiere.



                    • 7. Re: CPU or GPU upgrade... or start over?
                      JEShort01 Level 4



                      1) Agree with others you should add a GTX video card


                      2) Nobody mentioned getting a good cooler and doing at least a bit of overclocking; IMHO this is a must do for a 920 quad core for Adobe Premiere Pro and AVCHD. Taking it up to 3.7GHz is a really safe bet and not difficult to do.


                      3) I moved from a quad core to a i7-970 (6-core) when I was able to purchase the newer cpu for $500 and have been very happy with the upgrade. While the latest and greatest socket 2011 cpus may be a bit stronger, the 6-core x58 cpus are no slouch. With a smaller die size (32nm) vs. your i7-920 they allow for 6 cores to run at about the same wattage and temperature as the quad cores do. I just checked eBay and it seems supply and demand may be driving the older 6-core cpus up, but if you can find a good deal on one (i7-970, i7-980, i7-980x or i7-990x) it will certainly outperform renders vs. your quad core. Check out www.ppbm5.com if you want to see how actual systems perform with various cpus and drive configurations.


                      4) Don't worry at all about not having a SSD as your boot drive. Anyone building a new system should strongly consider an SSD for the boot drive, but aside from making your system more responsive for non-Premiere work (starting applications, surfing the net, etc.) a boot SSD would not really benefit how Premiere Pro runs at all once you have opened the application.





                      • 8. Re: CPU or GPU upgrade... or start over?
                        rwesnitzer Level 1

                        Well it appears the concensus is a new GeForce GTX video card will be the biggest improvement for my current situation.  So I placed an order through Amazon for a Gigabyte GV-N670 OC-2GD for $423.95.  I have no idea what all the numbers and letters mean, other than it is a GTX 670 with 2Gb of DDR5, and I am a little disappointed in the $24 above MSRP.  However, I am excited to get it and see the workflow improvement in Premiere -- doing a recital this weekend, so I'll have work next week to test it out!


                        Thank you for all the thoughts.  They have helped me decide on the video upgrade now, and keep an eye out for a future system build path!  I will also be keeping an eye on Harm's new build.

                        • 9. Re: CPU or GPU upgrade... or start over?
                          Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Just for reference I just looked at the pricing of the basic GTX 670 at the EVGA web site.  It is available and it $400.

                          • 10. Re: CPU or GPU upgrade... or start over?
                            rwesnitzer Level 1

                            Bill, I must not know what I am doing at their site, becasue when I click the link you gave it takes me to EVGA's site and shows text (not a clickable price) of the MSRP at $399.99.  However the Buy Now link takes me to TigerDirect where the price is $479.95 plus $12.95 shipping.  I can't find how to buy it directly from EVGA for the MSRP.  Although I suppose it doesn't matter as I have placed an order through Amazon and it has already shipped -- it'll be here Monday.  I suppose I can just pretend I paid $24 for "expedited" shipping!


                            Thank you for trying to help me out... I'm just too dense to figure it out.

                            • 11. Re: CPU or GPU upgrade... or start over?
                              Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              Did you see the shopping cart with "Buy it now"


                              Sorry, but you can only have 4

                              • 12. Re: CPU or GPU upgrade... or start over?
                                rwesnitzer Level 1

                                Bill, I did go back to their site to verify -- for me, until yesterday afternoon, the shopping cart was greyed out.


                                Everyone, thank you for the suggestion of a GPU upgrade.  I received my GTX 670 today.  I have it installed and have begun working on the newest dance recital project.  I did the first 10 dances last night with the old card.  I have only managed 5 thus far tonight, but at least the play back and editing within Premiere is MUCH better.  Oddly to me, the encoding via Meida Encoder seems slightly quicker as well -- perhaps it's placebo, or perhaps it is the GPU in Premiere taking a bit of the load that the CPU would otherwise handle leaving the CPU more able to do the encodes.


                                Anyway, thank you all.  I am pleased with the results.  Ought to hold me for awhile, but I will be monitoring Harm's new project