17 Replies Latest reply on Oct 28, 2008 4:02 PM by Bill Gehrke

    Processor Requirements

      I've recently built a new system for CS3/CS4, but am a little disappointed in its performance. I'm using a new Tyan S5396 board with dual quad-core Xeons, but I may have been a little stingy when it came to processor speed. I'm using 2.33GHz chips, and I'm wondering if dual 2.83GHz processors would bump me up to where I need to be for smoother playback. I'm editing mostly HD (much of it XDCAM, some MJPEG with Blackmagic hardware). When playing back in a Blackmagic project, I can only get one stream of video to play realtime. If using an XDCAM EX project, I get between two and three streams but Premiere usually starts dropping frames.

      I know what Adobe recommends in terms of processor speed, but that's a pretty loose way to recommend hardware since Opterons, Xeons and Core2 chips all give very different levels of performance per GHz.

      I know this is rather vague, but I'd like to know if someone could give me a 'gee, that should work fine' or 'no, you're expecting too much out of your system and should spend the $1400 on new processors' answer.

      My other system specs:
      4GB RAM (667 FB-DIMMs)
      Radeon 4750
      3TB External RAID with over 200MB/s read/write throughput
      Blackmagic Multibridge Pro
      MOTU 8pre

      Thanks,

      -Chad
        • 1. Re: Processor Requirements
          Level 1
          Are you editing off of the external drive? If so you need to go internal. You will get better performance.
          • 2. Re: Processor Requirements
            Level 1
            No, I'm using the external RAID array (I bought it specifically for cutting HD material). It's not a single drive, so I get faster throughput than an internal HD...
            • 3. Re: Processor Requirements
              Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant
              Look at the Task Manager Performance Tab and see if during the operations in question you are using 100% of all processors, if so then faster processors might help. I am not familiar with your add-on hardware but I am running the SuperMicro X7DWA-N with the same E5410 2.33GHz processors. My HDV editing probably is not as complex as yours but I have successfully temporarily overclocked my system to 3.02 GHz to run my
              Premiere Pro PPBM+v3 CS3 benchmark.

              I have found that for CS3 that a 200-300 MHz read transfer rate is ideal/cost effective for disk performance.

              While I have CS4 for a week now, performance on my benchmark so far is terrible, but being looked into by some higher powers. Since Adobe changed the architecture drastically, they are not using your RAID for for any AME encoding read operations, they are reading the Sequence 01 off your C: drive as you can see below!!!!

              C:\Documents and Settings\Bill Gehrke\Local Settings\Temp\Benchmark.prproj/Sequence 01
              • 4. Re: Processor Requirements
                Harm Millaard Level 7
                Bill,

                Your link is not correct.

                > While I have CS4 for a week now, performance on my benchmark so far is terrible, but being looked into by some higher powers. Since Adobe changed the architecture drastically, they are not using your RAID for for any AME encoding read operations, they are reading the Sequence 01 off your C: drive as you can see below!!!

                That would be an absolute disaster. I assume you have relocated your temp files to the raid? Could this be a consequence of having beta testers be allowed to use laptops only, so they never noticed?

                Chad, what interface are you using, eSATA, FW, USB on that raid?

                Going from a dual E5410 to a dual E5472 would be dubious to gain you anything. It may require a different mobo to support the faster CPU's and the 1600 FSB, it may require exchanging your sticks from DDR2-667 ECC FBDIMM's to DDR2-800 ECC FBDIMM's, it will cost you $$$ and your gain would probably be less than 15% overall in performance. It does not seem worth the investment. What is worth investing in is a very good raid setup, possibly even 4 SSD's in raid5 for a boot disk if Bill is correct (and I don't doubt that for a minute) and Adobe made such a major design mistake.

                Remember that for a noticeable increase of speed, you need around 200-300% increase. 15% is not noticeable.
                • 5. Re: Processor Requirements
                  Averdahl Level 3
                  Bill, for testing purposes with AME, go to File > Add Premiere Pro Sequence and add the Project file from any RAID disk and see if it makes any difference. I dont notice any performance boost when i try that but dont have any disks in RAID so that may be the explanation.

                  Did you see any difference? :)

                  /Roger
                  • 6. Re: Processor Requirements
                    Level 1
                    Thanks, guys-

                    That's what I was afraid of. My concern has been that my processing power might not provide enough 'headroom' for the work I'm doing, but I don't want to throw money at the problem if it's not going to help significantly. Right now, when playing back a single stream of XDCAM EX footage, all eight cores are busy and total processor load runs from 25-80%. Maybe that's average.

                    Harm, my RAID is pretty solid- I've got an Areca 1680x and six Hitachi 750GB drives connected via infiniband and configured as RAID 5.

                    Most disturbing is the performance impact I get when using my Blackmagic box. Supposedly, I meet all of the requirements for cutting HD through it, but trying to use XDCAM or DVCProHD is a real pain. Even BM's own MJPEG codec has trouble playing back on occasion. I just wish I could figure out if this is to be expected, or if I've got some sort of problem...
                    • 7. Re: Processor Requirements
                      Curt Wrigley Level 4
                      Last I checked, RAID 5 doesnt improve performance, it improves reliability at the cost of performance.

                      Curt
                      • 8. Re: Processor Requirements
                        Level 1
                        Agreed, Curt.

                        I'm not after the fastest transfers I can get, though. I need the redundancy of RAID. Even with RAID 5 though, I'm getting over 200MB/s of both reading and writing which is plenty for what I'm doing.
                        • 9. Re: Processor Requirements
                          Harm Millaard Level 7
                          The only thing that comes to mind and that might improve performance, assuming you have the 1680ix-12 and not the 1680ix-8, is to install 2 or even 4 GB cache on the Areca. While Curt has a point that raid5 does not improve performance over a raid0 due to parity calculations, it does improve significantly over single disk and I have yet to meet a single person who would prefer a 6 disk raid0 array over a raid5. Any raid5 with at least 3 disks is much faster than a single disk (at least with a good controller like the Areca), so my interpretation of Curt's remark is:

                          Raid0 with 6 disks is fastest but lacks redundancy,
                          Raid5 with 6 disks is slower than raid0 (more comparable to a 5 disk raid0) but offers redundancy,
                          Single disk in comparison is slowest by far, but was not mentioned by Curt.
                          • 10. Re: Processor Requirements
                            Jim_Simon Level 8
                            With that controller, you might look at RAID 3. It'll give you better performance as well as increased data security.
                            • 11. Re: Processor Requirements
                              Harm Millaard Level 7
                              Jim,

                              I wonder where you get that performance data, given that bit level striping is suboptimal in video editing with large files, and I wonder how you can claim increased data security with the same level of parity as raid5, albeit in a different manner, but still limited to single disk failure recovery. I would agree with level 6, 7 or 50 or even 30, but not in a direct comparison of 3 and 5. The one area where raid3 may have an advantage is in rebuilding after a disk failure.

                              Please show me some test results.
                              • 12. Re: Processor Requirements
                                Jim_Simon Level 8
                                My "increased security" comment was relative to single disk or a RAID 0 setups. I agree that RAID 5 has equal security and RAID 6 is superior.

                                But benchmarks clearly show improved performance for RAID 3 with large data chunks.

                                >"In fact, it's actually faster than RAID-5 on sequential reads and writes, and nearly as fast as RAID-0 (striping), with the advantage of data protection. This means that in applications where large files comprise all of the workload, RAID-3 is a good choice. Not surprisingly, RAID-3 is most common in applications like streaming media, graphics and video editing, in which the files are very large and the storage medium must keep up with system speed."
                                • 14. Re: Processor Requirements
                                  Harm Millaard Level 7
                                  Thanks Jim, that is the kind of data I was looking for. I'll study it.
                                  • 15. Re: Processor Requirements
                                    Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant
                                    Harm, I just checked the link here and it works for me. What are you getting?

                                    If the link is working and you go to my preliminary conclusions the second table down you can see my results with my Areca 1680i (8port 800MHz) and with 5 SAS 15k.5 drives I found that RAID 5 was faster than RAID 3.

                                    I will try to repeat the tests at a later date, but not with CS4

                                    I just tried Averdahl's suggestion and I guess it is not the fact that the file is the C: drive. I did get 10-20% better results but it is still far from the results in CS3
                                    • 16. Re: Processor Requirements
                                      Harm Millaard Level 7
                                      Bill,

                                      > Harm, I just checked the link here and it works for me. What are you getting?

                                      There was no link in your post, just:

                                      C:\Documents and Settings\Bill Gehrke\Local Settings\Temp\Benchmark.prproj/Sequence 01

                                      which obviously does not work from my system.
                                      • 17. Re: Processor Requirements
                                        Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant
                                        Here it is:

                                        http://ppbm3.com/