7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 26, 2014 12:50 PM by RjL190365

    An update on my main rig software and performance, plus which should I upgrade?

    RjL190365 Level 4



      It has been a long time since I last reported my performance results on my main rig to the PPBM7 site. That rig at the time was running Windows 7 Pro and the CS6 version of Premiere Pro.


      The system's hardware consists of:


      Intel i7-3770K (Ivy Bridge) overclocked to 4.4GHz

      32GB DDR3-1600 11-11-11-30 RAM

      Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H motherboard

      eVGA GeForce 660 SC w/2GB GDDR5

      Samsung 840 EVO 128GB SSD (OS drive)

      2 x 1TB Western Digital Blue WD10EZEX HDDs in RAID 0 (media cache, previews and exports)

      1 x 3TB Seagate 7200.14 HDD (used for media and projects)


      Recently, I decided to update to Premiere Pro CC 2014 (I had already updated the OS to Windows 8.1). My rig's showing has substantially improved in large part due to CC 2014 (and partly due to Windows 8.1).


      My new results with the PPBM8 benchmark tests (as exported to my RAID 0 array):


      Disk I/O: 99 seconds (was 120 seconds with Win 7/CS6)

      H.264 Blu-ray: 134 seconds (was 259 seconds)

      MPEG-2 DVD, MPE On: 36 seconds (was 38 seconds)

      MPEG-2 DVD, MPE Off: 626 seconds (was 711 seconds)

      Total time: 269 seconds (was 417 seconds)

      RPI: 303.3 (was 405.3)


      Note that my previous result was skewed slightly by a lesser overclock to 4.2GHz. However, I repeated my test at 4.4GHz with the old Win 7/CS6 combo, and the results did not change significantly at all.


      I was going to submit my new results on the PPBM7 site. However, I got returned mail error messages.


      Now, with that out of the way, based on the results, which shall I upgrade next? Disks? GPU? CPU/motherboard/RAM? I am pretty satisfied with the way it is right now, but I am itching for something to upgrade.



        • 1. Re: An update on my main rig software and performance, plus which should I upgrade?
          RjL190365 Level 4

          By the way, I forgot to mention that my workflow involves mainly 1080i HD material, transcoded to a lossless intermediate format (such as Ut Video codec).

          • 2. Re: An update on my main rig software and performance, plus which should I upgrade?
            JFPhoton Level 3

            Hello !!    I remember seeing many posts from you during the "good old days" when Harm was here helping everyone !    It appears you are getting decent performance on the test....especially EXPORTING  to the RAID 0....your 99 seconds is close to my 96 seconds that I got using an "old" Crucial M500 SATA III SSD. The only suggestion I can think of that would also be cheap......would be to create A SECOND RAID 0 with 2 Seagate 1TB HDDs, ( currently selling for $49 each at New Egg), to place your media and project files for MUCH greater speed serving up your video files while editing. OF COURSE, the pretty fast existing 3 TB drive would be your BACKUP of that 2nd RAID 0 !!!! I am assuming that you CAN have two separate RAID 0 volumes off the motherboard....please correct me if I am WRONG !

                Another suggestion is to "tweak" your GPU, like Bill Gehrke and I are doing with our laptops. In my case, I am getting a 25% decrease in export time, when exporting a 4 video track timeline loaded with GPU accelerated effects. To do this, I am using the free MSI Afterburner to increase the memory clock speed of the GPU SAFELY......overclocking that from 2000 Mhz to 3000Mhz does the trick!....and the GPU temps stay LOW at 62-63 C  !!! The desktop cards may not have as much "headroom" because the laptop memory clock is set at a low default speed to save battery power,but, I am sure you will be able to achieve something good.

               I am wondering why you would be transcoding  any 1080 material ??...ESPECIALLY 1080i....which is much easier on the CPU than 1080P. Maybe it is the slower speed of your current 3TB drive ?? Your machine should EASILY be able to edit that material NATIVELY. Going with UT will really make it easy for the CPU,but, will REALLY put a demand on your hard drive setup....especially with multiple video tracks....to feed all that video which is LIGHTLY compressed. I am not sure how many MB/sec. is required when running multiple tracks of UT to allow for smooth playback,but, I'm sure its MUCH HIGHER than the native footage....possibly more than a single HDD can put out without stuttering.

                In any case, putting your media and project files on a FASTER drive setup SHOULD improve your performance....be it a large ,fast SATA III SSD, ( Crucial M550 or Samsung 850 Pro ONLY !!)...or, making another RAID 0....either should help !

            • 3. Re: An update on my main rig software and performance, plus which should I upgrade?
              RjL190365 Level 4



              Thank you for the suggestion. My system also had two earlier-generation 1TB WD Black hard drives (model WD1002FAEX) in another RAID 0 array in the same system when I had CS6. However, one of the drives in that array threw up a SMART warning (meaning that the drive was about to fail), which forced me to break up that array and reallocate the good single drive as storage.


              And my transcoding 1080i 4:2:0 MPEG material to an intermediate format was a carryover from my days with CS6, which did have chroma subsampling errors of such material upon import. All exports from this material came out with severe shimmering and banding, especially in the reds. In other words, this quality was much, much worse than the original material which occurred every single time I tried working "natively" with this material. I suspect that I was working with a distribution codec rather than an acquisition or editing codec with this material.


              I am trying to work "natively" with this material again, this time with CC 2014, to see whether the chroma subsampling bug is "fixed".

              • 4. Re: An update on my main rig software and performance, plus which should I upgrade?
                JFPhoton Level 3

                ...yes......editing an MPEG codec does not seem like a good idea. A few years ago, when trying to edit HD on a core 2 duo, I tried editing MPEG files that were transcodes from the original Canon .movs...which had AVC 100 inside the mov wrapper.... all running at the crippled 32 bit Quirktime speed WITHOUT transcoding!

                        Although the editing was WAY easier, the quality loss was easily visible. It is too bad you cannot work with the original source footage instead ! In my own experiments,  I found that the now FREE Cineform codec at GoPro works the best as an intermediate codec vs. DNxHD ...HOWEVER...the huge file sizes are a MAJOR deterrrent.  The recent MASSIVE improvement in the newest versions of PPro and improvements brought by Windows 8.1 have completely eliminated for me any consideration to transcode. With the Haswell CPU and my newer Nvidia 7xx series card , 24 GB memory, and all Crucial M500 SSDs....all is good.

                       Perhaps  somehow, you may be able to convince the provider of the footage to give you something BETTER to edit !!!....with world rapidly moving into 4K and beyond.....1080i seems like a FOSSIL now....although THAT is precisely what CABLE is providing as their BEST product !!!   The long ago prediction by Bill Gates of " convergence" is happening....where computers completely take over as the entertainment delivery system via the internet. With THAT development....rapid improvements in resolution, bit depths, and compression are soon to follow......with even more powerful machines needed to create the content !

                • 5. Re: An update on my main rig software and performance, plus which should I upgrade?
                  RjL190365 Level 4

                  And while we're at this, the lower end will continue to race towards the bottom. In two years I'd suspect that we might have to spend well over $10K just to get a system that can satisfactorily handle video content - while lower-end and mainstream PCs might actually decline in overall performance to the level of a high-end smartphone.

                  • 6. Re: An update on my main rig software and performance, plus which should I upgrade?
                    JFPhoton Level 3

                    Hah !!!....you MAY be right !! Commercials today show people using Photoshop and editing HD on FEEBLE and underpowered TABLETS !!.....CMON !!! Upon reading about the newer standard codecs that are going to come out...H.265 and HVEC....it appears they will need more horsepower to edit, as they are designed to LOWER the bandwidth usage on the internet while streaming,BUT,to preserve QUALITY, are MORE COMPRESSED !!! When the move to 10 bit video is factored in, I would imagine the cost to do editing may RISE significantly, as "mainstream",or, even gaming computers will no longer be able to keep up. We will have to see....hopefully....that WON'T happen ! Compared to just a few years ago, it is now EASIER to put together a machine that will edit HD smoothly...but, that COULD change in the near future.

                    • 7. Re: An update on my main rig software and performance, plus which should I upgrade?
                      RjL190365 Level 4

                      Here is an update to that original post:


                      I have just realized that an overqualified GPU offers no practical performance improvement over a cheaper GPU in my current system, especially one that has a lesser-performing disk subsystem. I have just pulled a GeForce GTX 750 Ti from my i5-2400 auxiliary system to my main i7-3770K system. I am testing my main system with my current workflow, and found no meaningful performance reduction. PPBM8 benchmark-wise, the main system with the GTX 750 Ti did score a result of 50 sec in the MPEG-2 DVD encoding test in MPE GPU accelerated mode (versus 36 sec with the GTX 660), but all of my other results (disk I/O performance, MPE software-only performance and H.264 Blu-ray encoding performance) are equal to those I had achieved with the GTX 660 that was in that rig (I had sold that card along with my remaining Fermi GPU cards a couple of weeks ago to pay for my then-immediately due utility (electric, gas, water) bills. In the one-week interim, I suffered from using solely integrated Intel graphics on both of my desktop systems until the acquisition of the GTX 750 Ti. And since my current workflow is quite reliant on disk I/O throughput and less so on GPU performance, I believe that I made the right decision there.


                      The moral of this experience is: As Harm Millaard stated on the Balanced Systems section of the Tweakers Page on the PPBM7 site, if you have budget-to-economical base components (CPU, motherboard, RAM) and a not-so-fast disk subsystem (real-life transfer speeds of less than 500 MB/sec) in your PC, it makes little sense to overspend on a GPU unless that PC will also be running games that make good use of a given higher-end GPU's performance and features. In my particular case, dropping back from a GTX 660 to a GTX 750 Ti in my main rig brings its performance (though slightly lower overall) back into balance (in relation to the PPBM7 scores of the i7-4960X/GTX 780 Ti system that delivered the best RPI on that PPBM6/7/8 results list).


                      Next, I might part out and sell off my auxiliary i5-2400 system. Or, I might keep it but add a cheapo GeForce card (likely a GT 730 or GT 740 with GDDR5 memory). Thoughts, anyone?