23 Replies Latest reply on Aug 22, 2009 4:20 PM by HIFI COMMUNICATIONS

    Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.

    HIFI COMMUNICATIONS

      First off here are my specs


      • Mac Pro 2X2.66 GHZ Quad-Core Intel Xeon
      • 8 GB 1066 MHZ DDR3
      • NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512 MB (PCIe) Graphic Card
      • Black Magic Design - Decklink Intensity Pro Card installed (don't know if this helps in rendering or not though)


      ------------------ mac exact specs -----------------

      Model Name:    Mac Pro
        Model Identifier:    MacPro4,1
        Processor Name:    Quad-Core Intel Xeon
        Processor Speed:    2.26 GHz
        Number Of Processors:    2
        Total Number Of Cores:    8
        L2 Cache (per core):    256 KB
        L3 Cache (per processor):    8 MB
        Memory:    8 GB
        Processor Interconnect Speed:    5.86 GT/s

      ______________________________________


      I recently installed trial version of Premiere Pro CS4

      Im experiencing very slow rendering time for video.

      The rendering seem to start fast but at about 211 frames everything start to slow down with estimated time going up as high as 46 mins (for a 10min video???)

      I tried changing the Maximum Render Quality in the Sequence Settings but it's still the same.

       

      Is there something else that I need to do in order to speed up rendering time? 

       

      Thanks in advance for all support and replies...

       

        • 1. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Using Maximum Render Quality will increase render times significantly, sometimes by a factor 4 to 5. Apart from getting a faster Mac, you'll have to live with that.

          • 2. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
            HIFI COMMUNICATIONS Level 1

            Im not sure that I follow you...

            What exactly do you mean by faster mac?  Also I rendered with and without Maximum Render Quailty and did not see a difference.

             

            Any other suggestions?

            • 3. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
              Curt Wrigley Level 4

              The Intensity card wont help with rendering.

               

              What are you rendering?   Source material, project preset, effects?

               

              If you have no effects there should be no rendering.   If you have effects, then the redering time can be almost nothing to several times rt depending on the effects.  Your question is a bit broad to answer with any specifics.

              • 4. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                Jim_Simon Level 8

                There really is only one main answer to the question of "how do I speed up rendering", and that is "get a faster computer".

                • 5. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                  HIFI COMMUNICATIONS Level 1

                  Thanks,

                   

                  Case Study Scenario -

                  ____________________________________

                   

                  3 Minute Video
                  Title In Intro
                  Crawl Title in Outro
                  Custom Magic Bulltet Looks Effect Applied to entire video

                  ____________________________________

                   

                   

                  I've tested this on Mac Pro/ PC side and noticed that it was about 2 to 3 time faster?

                  Mac Pro / same setting / slow rendering....

                   

                  What can I do to decrease the rendering time.

                   

                   

                  RT Plugins are applied quickly but playback is very choppy (this is why I render)

                  • 6. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                    HIFI COMMUNICATIONS Level 1

                    Jim, Please explain to me a "Faster Computer".  I thought my Mac Pro / 8G / 2x2.66Ghz / was idealy fast!

                    • 7. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                      Jim_Simon Level 8

                      "Faster computer" means just what it says.  No matter how fast your current computer is, if you want to speed up rendering significantly, you'll need to get an even faster one.  If there are no faster computers (outside of NASA), then you can't speed up rendering.

                       

                      CPU power is the name of this game.  You want rendering to go faster, you need more of it.  Other things may tweak the speed a little, but nothing else will give you any real significant speed gains like a newer, faster CPU.

                      • 8. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        Magic Bullet Looks is the cause. It is notoriously slow when rendering. Disable and try again, then report your times with and without MBL.

                        • 9. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                          Jim_Simon Level 8

                          By the way, Harm's right about that.  MBL is notoriously slow.  Though in my view, well worth the wait for the quality it brings to the final output.

                          • 10. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                            There are always people who are continuously in a hurry and nothing can go fast enough. When they are driving from Ventimiglia to Monaco in a nice cabrio with their wife, they can't enjoy the countryside and the views, they still want to race along as if it were a Formula 1 car, which also happens to be a cabrio and is often used in Monaco, but that is about where the similarities end.

                            • 11. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                              HIFI COMMUNICATIONS Level 1

                              Harm,  no disrespect or anything.  I think the solution is in the RT Effects.  I will try rendering with and without and give RT Results.  But Im not following your analogy.  No one that I know of want to "wait" to see results in two hours if they could see them in 10 minutes.  Also no one really "enjoy" rendering.  It's just a process that must be done in some cases.

                               

                              No Harm done right?

                              • 12. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                                Harm Millaard Level 7
                                No Harm done right?

                                 

                                None at all. And you are right, nobody likes waiting, especially in front of traffic lights or in traffic jams. But it is a fact of life. That is where the batch processing of AME comes into play. Quite handy, but even more attractive would be, and I have been telling this for ages it seems, is having render farm capabilities.

                                • 13. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                                  Curt Wrigley Level 4

                                  The 3rd party Magic Bullet color corrector is definately the guilty party.  That is causing every pixel in ever frame to render.  It is a performance pig of an effect; normally applied last and rendered once.

                                  • 14. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                                    Gary Agoura Level 1

                                    If you have the trial version maybe you should ditch CS4 and get Final Cut Express.  I have almost the same Mac hardware you have and have had nothing but problems with trying to work with AVCHD files from my Sony camera.  The HD video that comes into CS4 is lousy.  On FCE, it's great.

                                     

                                    Rendering should be faster also but I can't give times because I haven't rendered in awhile.  I just gave up dealing with CS4 because nobody could provide an answer as to why the video imports lousy in CS4.

                                    • 15. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                                      Jim_Simon Level 8

                                      The 3rd party Magic Bullet color corrector is definately the guilty party.

                                       

                                      Slight correction.  Magic Bullet Colorista (the CC tool) is actually quite fast.  I find it faster than the built-in Fast Color Corrector.  It's Magic Bullet Looks that's a render beast.  But to call that a mere "color corrector" drastically understates the sheer power of that plug-in.

                                      • 16. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                                        Jim_Simon Level 8

                                        nobody could provide an answer as to why the video imports lousy in CS4.

                                         

                                        My guess on that would be because it's a local issue, one specific to your environment.  So it's difficult for others to tell you why it happens when it isn't happening for them.

                                        • 17. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                                          HIFI COMMUNICATIONS Level 1

                                          So question (of of neccessity),  what would be considered a faster computer?  Maxing out the RAM to 32GB? or is there something more?

                                          • 18. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                                            Dual W5580 with 24 GB RAM and a very good disk setup will help, but don't expect miracles. MBL will still remain a significant bottleneck and personally I wonder if the investment in a new system will be worth the possible (marginal) speed gains. I think you will profit more from only applying MBL effects in the very last stage and use the batch processing of AME.

                                            • 19. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                                              Jim_Simon Level 8

                                              I'm not even sure how much Harm's suggestion would help when using Looks.  The plug-in seems to be stuck in single thread land.  Rendering without it can use all 4 of my cores (8 virtual if you count HT) pegged at 100%.  Rendering with Looks drops that significantly.  It's just the nature of the Looks beast.  It's slow.

                                              • 20. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                                                Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                                This is a great hardware desciption--as far as it goes, but there is no mention of the disk system.  What do you have?

                                                • 21. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                                                  Jim_Simon Level 8

                                                  Using Looks, the disk system won't matter much.

                                                  • 22. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                                                    T-bird McCloy

                                                    It must hurt your pride when you've just given $3,300+ of your hard earned money to old man Steve J. for $1700 worth of Newegg parts, and people tell you the only way to get more speed is to spend $6000 instead.    I'd like to assure you that your computer is very fast.

                                                     

                                                    However, plugins that have been limping along with minimal updates since the year 2000 are not fast.  As others have said, many of these third party plugins are still either single threaded, or multi threaded poorly in such a way that 15-20 of the threads might have to wait on 1 to return data or finish.

                                                     

                                                    CS4 doesn't really work on the mac.  The only thing that made my CPU hit 100% when trying to recreate your project render settings was SpinDump and ReportCrash trying to contact internalcheck.apple.com with AME's beachball  details.  And so it has been any time I've tried to use a (fully updated) CS4 app instead of CS3.  More crashing, slower renders, more problems, more time and work lost.  I've never heard a complaint from a CS4 PC user though.

                                                     

                                                    Here are some test renders I did of the same project with identifcal settings on different platforms I've owned:

                                                     

                                                    8-core Mac Pro 3.2Ghz 14GB ram CS3: 3min35sec-3min41sec
                                                    8-core Mac Pro 3.2Ghz 14GB ram CS4:  3min57sec-4min20sec
                                                    CS3 = 22-39 seconds faster

                                                     

                                                    4-core Mac Pro 2.0Ghz 6GB ram CS3: 9min07sec
                                                    4-core Mac Pro 2.0Ghz 6GB ram CS4: 9min:51sec

                                                    CS3 = 44 seconds faster

                                                     

                                                    2-core Vista64 3.16Ghz 8GB ram CS4:  9min25sec

                                                     

                                                    CS3, at least in the After Effects realm is faster every time, and a dual-core PC with a theoretical 6.32Ghz beats a quad-core with a theoretical 8.0Ghz, so it's not a matter of Ghz alone.

                                                     

                                                    There are many smaller factors you can try changing depending on which wall you're  hitting without driving dump trucks of money to Apple. Here are some of them:

                                                     

                                                    Old busted plugins usually make per-core clock the bottleneck, so if you know you're going to have to use a ton of them, it makes more sense to buy a 4x 2.93 than an 8x 2.26.

                                                     

                                                    Rendering lots of HD without many effects applied usually bottlenecks your scratch drive.  You can try filling two of your drive bays with a competitive price point of Seagate NS.2 or Western Digital's equivalent enterpise level drive.  The easiest way to tell is the 5 yr warranty instead of the 3.  Make a Raid0 for your scratch disk.  I can usually get over 200MB/s Read/Write from this fairly cheap (non-external infini-band etc) solution.

                                                    Just make sure to back it up to something safer on a nightly basis.

                                                     

                                                    Rendering HD with effects usually bottlenecks everything, but Ram becomes a killer here.  Some programs... like After Effects won't bother using cores that it can't get at least a gig of free ram for, so 8GB should be your starting point.  Don't lose your mind though, 12-16 should be fine, especially if you're editing and not compositing or 3d rendering.

                                                     

                                                    Also I think the Nehalem doesn't switch on it's insanity Triple Channel DDR3 ram setting unless you have a fairly specific Dimm configuration in the various slots.

                                                    More on that here: http://www.barefeats.com/nehal02.html

                                                    Seems like if you have the 4x2GB stick set stock from apple, the speed benefit will be greatest if you order 2 more 2GB sticks and place them according to Barefeats or some other forum.  Increasing your memory bandwidth speed will also affect your per-core and multi-core render times.

                                                     

                                                    And finally, try CS3.  Newer isn't always better.  Post Production artists usually hiss at me when I bring up CS4.  Sometimes it's just not your hardware.  Sometimes software companies need to earn their living.

                                                    Cheers,

                                                    1 person found this helpful
                                                    • 23. Re: Looking for MAC PRO - CS4 Rendering Solution.
                                                      HIFI COMMUNICATIONS Level 1

                                                      Very Helpful indeed.  You've earned my star.

                                                      Thanks to all.