22 Replies Latest reply on Nov 10, 2008 3:12 PM by (stephen_gerard)

    Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM

      I am a purchaser that has been assigned the task of buying a new machine to run Premier Pro (CS4 suite was purchased).

      I will be buying a HP xw9400 but require a graphics card. What line of cards will Preimer take advantage of?

      Does Premier need a great graphics card?

      Will 4gb of ram be enough?
        • 1. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
          Jim_Simon Level 8
          Can't say how much the GPU will help with CS4. Adobe has said it will, but not to what degree or with what functions. Have to wait for some reviews on that one, I guess.
          • 2. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
            Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant
            "Important graphic card news! Elemental Technologies' RapiHD Accelerator for Adobe Premiere® Pro CS4 sets a new standard for high-performance non-linear editing. Render Blu-ray quality AVC/H.264 files in real-time. Accelerate your workflow as high-quality scaling, cross-dissolves, and transition effects no longer run slowly. Best of all, this paradigm shift runs on hardware you already have: the NVIDIA Quadro graphics processing unit (GPU) in your computer. Sound too good to be true? It's not. Elemental Technologies RapiHD Accelerator for Adobe Premiere® Pro will be available in the fall of 2008."

            Of course this does not directly answer your question about bare CS4, that only time will tell with some testing

            It should not be to long since Adobe just started shipping CS4 today!!! Guess I will have to upgrade my graphics to a Quadro and maybe start testing H.264 in my benchmark
            • 3. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
              Level 1
              if the gpu doesn't really help cs4, then
              ATI control centre software was leagues better than the nvidia equivilent for setting up maxium resolutions on multiple monitors last time I checked*
              (you get used to using 2 or 3 big monitors for prempro pretty quick)

              If you're building from scratch and are on fixed resolution flatscreens/etc, do know nvidia logos have been printed big on the retail boxes since cs2!

              *erm.. in late 2005 .)
              • 4. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                Level 1
                This helps tremendously.

                I specced a system with the NVidia Quadro cards for a Lightwave system a month back.

                Order a HP xw9400 and putting in four 500gb sata drives for the data. Any benefit to configuring in a RAID 5 config? Regarless and a NVidia Quadro chipped card.

                Again thanks for all the help.

                :)

                Cheers
                • 5. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                  >Any benefit to configuring in a RAID 5

                  What kind of media are you planning to edit?

                  (If a RAID should prove beneficial, you'd do better to use RAID 3, found mostly on Areca controller cards.)
                  • 6. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                    Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant
                    Since Quadro cards have been around for a long time, I just asked nVidia which of their Quadro cards support this new CS4 family. The answer is any QuadroFX that is CUDA enabled and was given this URL: http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_learn_products.html
                    • 7. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                      Level 1
                      nVidia just launched the QuadroCX, a GPU specifically-designed to accelerate CS4 applications:

                      http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_quadro_cx_us.html
                      • 8. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                        Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant
                        Mark, I am sure that I do not have $2000 for the CX
                        • 9. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                          Jim_Simon Level 8
                          Yeah, two grand is a bit ridiculous, especially when the technology is built into even the sub $200 cards.
                          • 10. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                            Level 1
                            worse. acording to here http://www.elementaltechnologies.com/pdfs/Elemental_RapiHD_Premiere_Pro_overview.pdf

                            it only accelerates flash and blu-ray video rendering/encoding.

                            And in the small print it says * Initial product includes encoding and rendering functions.

                            reading between the lines in a suspicious mood, won't it be same deal as the premiere pro accelerating gfx card matrox used to sell? as in not supported much, or for long.
                            (Assuming avc/h.264 is nothing to do with the Standard definition workflow)
                            • 11. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                              Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant
                              I hear you loud and clear! Anyone eager to snap up those old Pinnacle cards rusting away in my basement?

                              This is not benchmarked but a review of an HP xw6600 by Videomaker Magazine claims "and we could render a clip for YouTube (as H.264) in about double real time." Without the CX but with a pair of Xeon E5450's. Whereas the CX promises real time rendering.

                              I work with HDV and I think I will possibly look at CS4 with a $400 nVidia Quadro FX and native (CS4) video acceleration. And live with whatever performance I get.

                              CS3 encoding to MPEG2-DVD with four cores versus 8 cores on my system with my new PPBM3 benchmark is disappointing. The reason is that my testing has shown that for a good disk configuration with my 8-core system running at standard speed the MPEG2-DVD encode time is 75 seconds, disabling 4 cores the processing time only goes to 80 seconds in my I hear you loud and clear! Anyone eager to snap up those old Pinnacle cards rusting away in my basement?

                              This is not benchmarked but a review of an HP xw6600 by Videomaker Magazine claims "and we could render a clip for YouTube (as H.264) in about double real time." Without the CX but with a pair of Xeon E5450's. Whereas the CX promises real time rendering.

                              I work with HDV and I think I will possibly look at CS4 with a $400 nVidia Quadro FX and native (CS4) video acceleration. And live with whatever performance I get.

                              CS3 encoding to MPEG2-DVD with four cores versus 8 cores on my system with my new PPBM3 benchmark is disappointing. The reason is that my testing has shown that for a good disk configuration with my 8-core system running at standard speed the MPEG2-DVD encode time is 75 seconds, disabling 4 cores the processing time only goes to 80 seconds
                              Premiere Pro PPBM+v3 unpublished data . Let us all hope that things Improve in CS4!
                              • 12. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                                Level 1
                                Off topic but might raise a smile! my 4-figure £/$/you get the idea!/ rusting hardware goes into antique glass cases, as a reminder to always spend such £/$amounts with total awareness.

                                eg: monster early 90's jvc s-vhs camcorders, analogue a/v mixing desks etc. /All of which have sentimental and aesthetic value, Some of which still work & will make an awesome retro-analogue studio desk some day.

                                But anything computer related gets stamped to bits for a laugh.
                                Except the macIIsi & amiga.. they're being saved for one day being connected to a monitor, turned on, and burnt alive on a bbq.
                                • 13. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                                  >it only accelerates flash and blu-ray video rendering/encoding.

                                  "Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 can take advantage of Quadro CX to accelerate high-quality video effects such as motion, opacity, color, and image distortion. Quadro CX also enables faster editing of multiple high-definition video streams and graphic overlays and provides a variety of video output choices for high-quality preview, including DisplayPort, component TV, or uncompressed 10-bit or 12-bit SDI."
                                  • 14. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                                    Level 1
                                    For what it's worth, I spent $4,995 in 1986 for a TARGA32 graphics card, and almost a grand extra for the NTSC composite to RGB converter card. In 1991, I spent 2 grand on a Number9 GXiTC graphics card (TI34020 processor) and four grand on a 21" monitor. And I was thinking I did well for myself because Lincoln Studios, my (then) serivice bureau spent 45 grand on their calibrated monitor in their color correction lab with the Scitex system, which carried a 6-figure price tag.

                                    2 grand for a card with 192 processor cores today is nothin'! I spent 8 times that amount every year just on property taxes.
                                    • 15. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                                      2 grand for a card is a LOT when cards costing 10 times less also have CUDA.
                                      • 16. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                                        Level 1
                                        As of October 30th, 2008, on adobe's web page listing Third-party hardware compatibility for Premiere CS4 there are still no graphic cards returned when a visitor selects -

                                        Premiere Pro version: CS4

                                        Type of hardware: graphic cards

                                        I need this information in order to choose my hardware if my company invests in Premiere Pro CS4.

                                        I have to assume adobe has already tested a number of cards and platforms. It boggles me why the information isn't available.
                                        • 17. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                                          Level 1
                                          More on the subject. I would really love to see an extensive demonstration with some benchmarking information.

                                          Produce a set of benchmarks on PCs with The same specs sans GPU solutions, then show a wide range of tasks employing an intel, nvidia, and ati integrated gpu, then low end, mid range, and high end cards from the consumer\gamer line ups. Mix in low end, mid range, and high end cards from the quadro or Fire GL series.

                                          That is really what a buyer neeeds but from Adobe's track record I doubt I'll see anything approaching that kind of demonstration.

                                          I have yet to see a demo of how an adobe approved gpu will benefit a system over integrated graphics or an older low end dedicated gpu solution in RT timeline editing capabillities. Yet now I apparently need a $2,000 video card to have a complete high end system? AT least Canopus and Matrox showed us what we were buying, regardless of driver and integration issues.

                                          This bugs me a good bit.
                                          • 18. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                                            Jim_Simon Level 8
                                            The GPU (minus CUDA) doesn't seem to make a significant difference. Most any modern card should work fine.
                                            • 19. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                                              Level 1
                                              Jim,
                                              The earlier info I read on nVidia's site with regard to CUDA seemed to suggest it would run on a range of nVidia cards from the 8xx0 series on up, but that solution requires a special standalone software encoder--not the built-in Media Encoder from Adobe.
                                              Certainly if the card makes it possible to use CS4 out of the box and have many benefits (I know i'd love to encode a 2-hour h.264 movie in 6 minutes) of 192 processor cores working in parallel, then much productivity improvement can be gained. These solutions become the liberator of profits for studios whose income is limited by the number of man/machine hours available to the jobs. If employing a $2,000 graphics card will enable me to work on $6,000 of additional client work during the day, it's a no-brainer to make the choice.
                                              • 20. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                                                Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant
                                                I wonder where you got the information that the CX board and the bundled software could possibly do a 2 hour encode in 6 minutes???
                                                The Elemental info says "Render Blu-ray quality AVC/H.264 files in real-time."
                                                • 21. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                                                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                  >Certainly if the card makes it possible to use CS4 out of the box and have many benefits of 192 processor cores working in parallel, then much productivity improvement can be gained.

                                                  I guess I just don't see the potential gain as being worth 2G's. I think you overestimate it with your encoding example.

                                                  Personally, I'm just looking for a graphics card that can perform basically the same functions as something like a Matrox card (realtime acceleration and monitor output, encoding improvements are secondary), but without special drivers, codecs, presets and most importantly, without the attendant issues of Matrox.

                                                  And I want it in the sub-$200 cards, preferably from ATI.
                                                  • 22. Re: Purchasing Rig for CS4 Need advice for GPU and RAM
                                                    Level 1
                                                    Well, well. It seems that someone at Adobe finally took action about there not being any graphic cards listed on adobe's web page listing Third-party hardware compatibility for Premiere CS4.

                                                    What did they do? Thay simply copied all of the cards that were listed for CS3 without any additions or subtractions. Nice work guys. That instills a lot of confidence in the your testing methods and the claims made for gpu assisted editing.

                                                    btw- of course all of the cards are 2-3 years old, as they were tested for CS3.