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    Hardware choices

    JayNewWeb Community Member

      Please forgive me for asking what I'm sure I can ascertain from reading through the forums here. I figure that in a few minutes you can save me many hours of reading. Please. I appreciate it very much.

       

      I'm doing my own video production for business presentations. I have a "guru" guiding me on the software aspects, who is very good. (Adobe beta tester.)

       

      I'm now upgrading my system and want to make wise choices on what to spend money on, and what not to, given my current budget limitations.

       

      The main issue, of course, is the long times it takes for processing the video. Forgive me that I'm not up on the lingo. Examples of the tasks that take lots of time waiting for the machine, as you of course already know, include:

       

      - exporting from Premiere to AVI
      - processing AVI files in Virtual Dub (noise reduction, deinterlacing)
      - converting AVI files to FLV
      - outputting from Encore to DVD or an image
      - and so on...

       

      Until now, I've been running CS3 on an HP xw8600 machine with five drives: one drive for OS/apps, one for swap, and three in a RAID 5 array for data.

       

      I've just had HP send me a new (refurb) machine because that one is limping (RAID 5 is degraded and they can't fix it).

       

      They sent me a z400 and fixed me up with the same five-drive setup I had before (though we're waiting on the controller card, HP-branded LSI 8888-ELP, and until it arrives I'll be using two drives -- one for OS/apps and one for data).

       

      The computer's specs are: Xeon Quad W3250 2.67 GHz (8-thread), 8GB DDR3 RAM. The hard drives are all SATA 7200 RPM (Seagate Barracuda). The existing video card is NVIDIA Quadro FX 580.

       

      Unless anyone here recommends I don't bother reconstructing the five-drive setup with three of them in a RAID-5 array, it will be done shortly.

       

      I will be going to Windows 7 and to CS5.

       

      I don't do anything fancy with my video. Later we may get into a little 3D stuff and HD but for now it's basic, simple video: talking heads captured from a digital video camera, with simple graphics such as images and bulleted lists... with basic dip-to-black transitions. It may get a little more elaborate, but not a lot.

       

      For me with my responsibilities right now, "time is money" is an understatement. The current budget has serious constraints, but $1,000 to $2,000 or so to substantially reduce processing time is justifiable -- if it really will save significant time.

       

      My questions are on the other hardware choices.

       

      I plan to invest in a "CS5-approved" Cuda-enabled video card "if" you think it's worth it for me. It seems to me to be worth the investment "if" it will significantly reduce the time I spend waiting for the machine to process the kinds of tasks listed above. I'm a little confused because I thought it would do that but one post I saw in a forum here said "It will speed up rendering, but the CPU still has to do all the video transcoding." I thought those tasks listed above entail video transcoding, and I thought CS5 with one of the CS5-approved Cuda-enabled cards is for exactly that -- dramatically reducing the time those kinds of tasks take to process. Please help me understand if this is the case or not so I can determine if a new Cuda card is worth it.

       

      My questions are, essentially, which if any of these are "most" worth investing in, if at all:

       

      - faster hard drive for OS/apps (it's the only one of the drives I think I'd want to spend more money on at this time; is a 1500 RPM drive worth it?)

       

      - more memory (is 16 GB RAM going to do better than the 8 GB RAM that's in there now?)

       

      - a CS5-approved Cuda-enabled card (from my reading, this seems clearly worth it, but I'm asking here for confirmation; and if so, may ask which model seems most worthwhile for my needs?)

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Hardware choices
          JayNewWeb Community Member

          I'm sorry. I had that quote wrong. It's:

           

                "All that CUDA does is free the CPU from the tasks of doing image processing - video footage however still needs to be decoded by the CPU."

           

          So, it seems Cuda will help a great deal.

          • 2. Re: Hardware choices
            Harm Millaard CommunityMVP
            faster hard drive for OS/apps (it's the only one of the drives I think I'd want to spend more money on at this time; is a 1500 RPM drive worth it?)

             

            1500 must be a typo. The slowest disks are 4200 and for an editing machine 7200 or faster is required. A modern day Spinpoint F3 is enough.

             

            more memory (is 16 GB RAM going to do better than the 8 GB RAM that's in there now?)

             

            That will benefit your perofrmance, but if it means throwing away your existing 8 GB memory, it may be expensive.

             

            A CS5-approved Cuda-enabled card (from my reading, this seems clearly worth it...)

             

            A CUDA card like the GTX-470, which currently is the most economical choice, makes a huge difference when rendering. It makes no difference at all when encoding or while using AE or EN, since only PR uses MPE.

             

            Adobe Forums: Generic Guideline for Disk Setup

            • 3. Re: Hardware choices
              JayNewWeb Community Member

              Harm,

               

              Thanks so much!

               

              I think we're 950% of the way there (the hardest part was your having kindly read through my long OP). I still am not quite clear on those three answers.

               

              Please...

               

              1. Yes, I meant to say 15000 RPM. I just now looked at the Spinpoint F3. I assume a Seagate Barracuda 500 GB 7200 RPM is equal or better, yes?

               

              2. I assume you're referring to available memory slots. I have four, and all four are currently in use. Meaning... yeah, I'd have to throw it away to double it. Is there any way to ballpark the performance improvement? (I doubt it will be a lot. Maybe I should save the money towards an 8-core machine in the near future, and/or SSDs?)

               

              3. The GTX-470 looks very interesting. DirectX 11, DDR5, 1.2GB RAM... That's all higher than the two other cards I looked at that are more expensive: GTX-285 and FX-3800. I didn't see the GTX-470 on the original Pr CS5 "approved" list for MPE/Cuda support, and I did a Google and Adobe site search for an updated list but didn't find one. I know to take your word for it, of course, that the GTX-470 is now also approved/enabled. So, the question is: can you perhaps help me to somehow, even vaguely, try to quantify the time savings when processing those key tasks that were on my list?

               

              Maybe I should accept the facts that the MPE/Cuda aspect won't in and of itself change the world for me, yet I can probably expect a "huge" overall performance increase when I consider that I'm also going to a faster processor (8-thread from 4-thread) and memory (DDR3 from DDR2), to Windows 7 from XP, and to CS5 from CS3.

               

              Yes?

               

              (And I think I read somewhere that MPE also takes full advantage of the 8-thread architecture of the processor in my new machine, too.)

               

              Thanks again!

               

              Jay

              • 4. Re: Hardware choices
                Harm Millaard CommunityMVP
                1. Yes, I meant to say 15000 RPM. I just now looked at the Spinpoint F3. I assume a Seagate Barracuda 500 GB 7200 RPM is equal or better, yes?

                 

                15K disks are SCSI only. If you have SCSI on your mobo, it is very fast but expensive per GB. Seagate is not a favorite of mine and in comparison, benchmark tests have shown that the F3 is faster, quieter and cooler, apart from being more attractively priced. I know that my thinking about Seagate is heavily biased by their 7200.11 series that resulted for me in a failure rate of more than 70%.

                 

                2. I assume you're referring to available memory slots. I have four, and all four are currently in use. Meaning... yeah, I'd have to throw it away to double it. Is there any way to ballpark the performance improvement? (I doubt it will be a lot. Maybe I should save the money towards an 8-core machine in the near future, and/or SSDs?

                 

                Correct. While testing for PPBM CS5, Bill and I have found the performance increase of 6 GB versus 12 GB to be around 30+ % on MPEG2-DVD encoding. On other tasks the performance gains were much lower.

                 

                3. The GTX-470 looks very interesting. DirectX 11, DDR5, 1.2GB RAM... That's all higher than the two other cards I looked at that are more expensive: GTX-285 and FX-3800. I didn't see the GTX-470 on the original Pr CS5 "approved" list for MPE/Cuda support, and I did a Google and Adobe site search for an updated list but didn't find one.

                 

                No official news has been released yet, but rumor has it that the 470 will be supported with the next DOT release. Anyway it appears to work quite well for people using the 'hack'.

                 

                Maybe I should accept the facts that the MPE/Cuda aspect won't in and of itself change the world for me, yet I can probably expect a "huge" overall performance increase when I consider that I'm also going to a faster processor (8-thread from 4-thread) and memory (DDR3 from DDR2), to Windows 7 from XP, and to CS5 from CS3.

                 

                Have a look here to see what CS5 and MPE can do: PPBM4 Benchmark

                 

                If you look at the Top 20 Performers chart, you can see that even my not-too-shabby middle of the road system gained hugely from the move from CS4 to CS5 and adding a CUDA card. From rank 19 to rank 1 with those changes.

                • 5. Re: Hardware choices
                  JayNewWeb Community Member

                  Thanks so much, Harm! Very helpful!

                   

                  If I'm reading that chart right, one of the most time-intensive tasks -- exporting to AVI -- is still going to take a pretty long time. Albeit less than before.

                   

                  Looking at the Top 20 Performers chart, I have to ask you: Is exporting to AVI going substantially "faster" if the MPE feature is turned off??

                  • 6. Re: Hardware choices
                    Harm Millaard CommunityMVP

                    You had a good look!. Actually, AVI export is a problem with CS5 and Adobe is aware of that problem and working on a fix.

                     

                    In my case the results dropped from 1.4 with CS4 to 2.9 with CS5 on the same hardware, and dropped even further to 5.4 with a GTX-480 and MPE on. This strange behavior has been replicated by others, including Adobe. Now we have to wait for the solution.

                    • 7. Re: Hardware choices
                      Harm Millaard CommunityMVP

                      In addition to my previous post, a one hour AVI time line takes around 70 seconds to export to AVI and write a 13 GB file. If Adobe fixes the bug, one can expect this to take around 18 seconds, at least on my system. That would not be a major bottleneck, I think.

                      • 8. Re: Hardware choices
                        JayNewWeb Community Member

                        That's a drag. (No pun intended.)

                         

                        I hope with my new overall system including CS5 I'll do better than I was with my previous system using CS3.

                         

                        Unless there are typos in your previous post, I'm in awe.

                         

                        Up until now, I've been using CS3 under XP Pro 64-bit with an FX-1700 on a Xeon Quad 4-thread machine with 8GB of DDR2 RAM, and these were my processing times based on a 1-hour video timeline:

                         

                           · Premiere export to DV AVI (interlaced) -- 21 minutes

                         

                           · Encore build DVD image -- 33 minutes

                         

                        Now, I'll be going to CS5 under Windows 7 64-bit with a GTX-470 (or better?) on a Xeon Quad 8-thread machine with 8GB of DDR3 RAM. (Same hard drive and RAID setup as previously.)

                         

                        Please tell me those times will be significantly less.

                         

                        Care to venture a guess on how much less?

                         

                        Well, I guess it's two questions. How much overall performance increase with everything else besides export to AVI? And how "bad" with export to AVI until they fix it?

                         

                        Thanks again!

                         

                         

                         

                         

                        • 9. Re: Hardware choices
                          Harm Millaard CommunityMVP

                          I would not guess at your performance increase, but you will be hugely surprised by the gain with MPEG2-DVD encoding.

                           

                          A highly complex timeline with up to 4 video tracks, consisting of AVCHD, XDCAM-EX, HDV and DV material, both interlaced and progressive, NTSC and PAL with lots of transitions and effects, a number of those with keyframed bezier curves, encodes to MPEG2-DVD around two times faster than real time.

                          • 10. Re: Hardware choices
                            JayNewWeb Community Member

                            Harm Millaard wrote:

                             

                            Seagate is not a favorite of mine and in comparison, benchmark tests have shown that the [Samsung SpinPoint] F3 is faster, quieter and cooler, apart from being more attractively priced. I know that my thinking about Seagate is heavily biased by their 7200.11 series that resulted for me in a failure rate of more than 70%.

                             

                            Well, a little research shows it's not your imagination at all.

                             

                            After looking at what I'm initially reading about Seagate 7200.11 drives, I think I better toss all the Seagate 7200RPM drives and replace them with a different brand.

                             

                            The posts I’m seeing so far are indicating that the firmware update approach is not enough. They’re just bad drives. Check out this long list of complaints on NewEgg (28% of 2,000 reviews gave it the lowest possible rating with some scathing comments – compared to 5% out of 300 giving the Samsung SpinPoint F3 the lowest rating, for instance). This link is to just the "lowest rating" reviews for the Seagate 7200.11 drives:

                             

                            http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=22-148-337&SortField=0&SummaryType=0 &Pagesize=10&SelectedRating=1&PurchaseMark=&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&Page=1&Keyword s=

                             

                            Here’s one post from that thread, posted late May 2010:

                             

                            “It's been found that apparently Seagate has been pumping these drives out with a somewhat well-known and easily-detectable design-flaw... On what appears to be the entire 7200rpm model line-up (regardless of capacity), Seagate appears to have employed a new layer on their platters to help magnetically-protect them... This layer ends up scraping off over time onto the heads, and after a consistent amount of buildup will become increasingly more unreliable. It can eventually lead to mechanical head-failures, which explains the clicking that nearly half of these reviews discuss... Since I had employed two of these drives right out of the box in a mirrored array, they had been run identically from day one... and they both failed within 5 days of one another after consistent use for 9 months... this is an obvious manufacturer defect... it effects their entire model lineup... and they've done absolutely NOTHING to resolve it. Hopefully they'll agree to a refund under this Magnuson-Moss law..:

                             

                            I've begun looking into SpinPoint, and need to find out more about the difference between "SpinPoint F3" drives and "SpinPoint F1 RAID" drives.

                            • 11. Re: Hardware choices
                              JayNewWeb Community Member

                              I ended my preceding post by saying:

                               

                              "I've begun looking into SpinPoint, and need to find out more about the difference between "SpinPoint F3" drives and "SpinPoint F1 RAID" drives."

                               

                              I looked it up and now I see it's very simple: F1 is old news; F3 is newer and better, Period.

                               

                              I'm seeing some "very" impressive things about these drives, by the way.

                               

                              Thanks for turning me onto that!

                               

                              Jay

                              • 12. Re: Hardware choices
                                Bill Gehrke CommunityMVP

                                I did not get bit by the Seagate bug like Harm did and I have 12 of the post 7200.11 disaster 7200.12 drives on my systems.  I am very satisfactorily running 8 in RAID 0 on my current PPBM5 i7-980X developmental system.

                                • 13. Re: Hardware choices
                                  JayNewWeb Community Member

                                  Bill Gehrke wrote:

                                   

                                  I did not get bit by the Seagate bug like Harm did and I have 12 of the post 7200.11 disaster 7200.12 drives on my systems.  I am very satisfactorily running 8 in RAID 0 on my current PPBM5 i7-980X developmental system.

                                   

                                  Well, that further reaffirms that the three Seagate 7200.11 drives HP sent me for this machine need to go. So, I'm just gonna go with all SpinPoint F3s in my workstation.

                                   

                                  I wonder if this issue extends to the 500GB and 1TB Seagate FreeAgent Go external USB drives I bought in the past month. Some posts on that NewEgg review site are saying it's "all" Seagate 7200 drives (extra layer of magentic shielding peeling off after awhile -- in addtition to the .11 firmware issue).

                                   

                                  I know of course that "many, many" Seagate 7200 drives are out there, and of course many are working fine. The overall gist I got from the many reviews I read on the NewEgg forum is roughly a 25% failure rate. Whether the issue is limited to 7200.11 is unclear, depending what I read.

                                   

                                  I will say I did not see many complaints to speak of about the FreeAgent Go drives, FWIW.

                                  • 14. Re: Hardware choices
                                    JayNewWeb Community Member

                                    I'm going to go with Samsung SpinPoint F3 drives. After everything I've read, they seem hands-down the best choice.

                                     

                                    Is the 32MB cache in their 1TB drives going to be even a littler faster for me compared to the 16MB cache in their 500GB drives? Or is it equal/relative (16MB per 500GB)?

                                     

                                    I'm putting three drives into a RAID-5 array for my data. Those will be the 1TB size, which has the 32MB cache. That's a simple decision for me since I can use the 1TB size there.

                                     

                                    I'm going to have a separate drive for the OS/apps, and a separate drive for the swap. The 500GB size is plenty for each of those, but it's got the 16MB cache.

                                     

                                    The cost difference is really negligble ($27 each). It's worth it to me to get the bigger drives for the OS/apps drive and for the swap drive "if" it's going to make a difference in performance (even a small difference over time is worth $54 to me.)

                                     

                                    Will it make a difference? Or is it essentially the same thing?

                                     

                                    Thanks again!

                                     

                                    Jay

                                    • 15. Re: Hardware choices
                                      Harm Millaard CommunityMVP

                                      The price difference is so small that I would personally opt for the 1 TB model. It is slightly faster because of the cache.

                                      • 16. Re: Hardware choices
                                        JayNewWeb Community Member

                                        Thanks, Harm.

                                         

                                        The other decision is the graphics card.

                                         

                                        Given my uses, I'm wondering if I'll likely see a performance increase if I spend more money on the graphics card. If I go above the GTX-470, to, say, the GTX-480 (which I assume is "hackable" and/or will be approved soon enough), or maybe FX-3800, or perhaps something else you might recommend, is it likely to make a difference for me? If so, can you maybe please help me try to quantify where the price/performance balance might make most sense?

                                         

                                        I should again point out that I'm on a conservative budget right now and in the coming months hope to be able to go for a whole new far superior machine.

                                         

                                        Thanks again!

                                         

                                        Jay

                                        • 17. Re: Hardware choices
                                          Harm Millaard CommunityMVP

                                          Jay,

                                           

                                          The FX3800 is EOL, overpriced and underpowered in comparison to the Fermi cards, that are both hackable and according to rumors the 470 may be supported in the 5.02 dot release. The most bang-for-the-buck card is the 470.

                                          • 18. Re: Hardware choices
                                            JayNewWeb Community Member

                                            Harm,

                                             

                                            Having come this far, would you mind recommending a sound card, too? I'm just doing voice and maybe some background music/effects for business presentations, so I don't know how much it really matters. (Should I ask about speakers, too, or is Logitech basic powered speakers enough?)

                                             

                                            Nothing extravagant, of course.

                                             

                                            (I was using SoundBlaster X-Fi Extreme Audio in the previous workstation, and I have a feeling you're going to tell me you wouldn't be using that. )

                                             

                                            Thanks again!

                                             

                                            Jay

                                             

                                            • 19. Re: Hardware choices
                                              JayNewWeb Community Member

                                              On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised if you said the on-board Realtek High Definition sound on this machine is fine for what I'm doing (or "not" doing).

                                               

                                              Should I get a "real" sound card anyway to help me feel out my audio? What do you think?

                                               

                                              Jay

                                              • 20. Re: Hardware choices
                                                Harm Millaard CommunityMVP

                                                Jay,

                                                 

                                                Sorry for not answering sooner, but I gave priority to watching the soccer game.

                                                 

                                                You are right, my suggestion is to use on-board sound. No sense in buying an extra card when you alreavy have perfectlly good sound on the mobo and crowding your system internally and creating more heat inside the case.

                                                • 21. Re: Hardware choices
                                                  JayNewWeb Community Member

                                                  Harm Millaard wrote:

                                                   

                                                  The most bang-for-the-buck card is the 470.


                                                  Any preference between brands? I'm mostly seeing EVGA and PNY brands available.

                                                   

                                                  Thanks again!

                                                   

                                                  Jay

                                                  • 22. Re: Hardware choices
                                                    Harm Millaard CommunityMVP

                                                    Both are good brands. EVGA somewhat more directed to overclocking models and PNY gained their reputation as being the only ones to sell Quadro cards under their name, even though they are manufactured by nVidia (the Quadros).

                                                    • 23. Re: Hardware choices
                                                      JayNewWeb Community Member

                                                      I have an HP z400 workstation that comes with 475W of power and -- believe it or not -- the power supply is "custom" and can't be replaced with an ATX power supply that's larger! (At least, not unless I can "maybe' get away with making a home-made adapter to rewire the power cabling to the system board: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/292935-33-power-calls.)

                                                       

                                                      I bought an nVidia GTX-470 and am anxious to utilize the CUDA-enabled capabilities that Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 takes pretty remarkable advantage of.

                                                       

                                                      However, the GPU says it should have a "minimum of 550W of power."

                                                       

                                                      As I said, the z400 only has 475W and it apparently can't be increased (at least not without the "possible" mod mentioned above, which I don't even know if I can do or not -- a Corsair forum admin -- who spells out he is not a Corsair employee -- said NOT to do it unless HP will "guarantee" me the system is fully compliant with the ATX 2.01+ standard, which their techs are totally unable to find any information about).

                                                       

                                                      So, now I have to ask: What happens if I try to use the GPU with the power supply that came with the machine? Will it "maybe" work okay? Is it a question of "It will either work fine or not at all, and you can only find out by trying?"

                                                       

                                                      Or, is it "very risky" in that I could seem to be working fine but then unexpectedly experience data corruption? (Which of course could also mean OS corruption and thus a massive amount of time re-installing everything.)

                                                       

                                                      Note that I want to put a total of five SATA 7200 drive into the machine, too, run by an LSI 8888ELP controller card.

                                                       

                                                      Also note that I did a partial test so far. I tried to boot the machine with the GPU installed and it did go into a boot screen successfully. I haven't taken it past that yet since there is no OS even installed on the machine yet (and I don't want to risk problems right off the bat.)

                                                       

                                                      Note that with the existing 465W power supply I do have connectors for the two PCI-Express power connectors that have to go onto the GPU. (One is achieved with a PCI-Express connector coming out of the power supply, and one is achieved with an adapter that came with the GPU that converts two molex plugs to one PCI-Express connector, which I hope is okay.)

                                                       

                                                      If needed, I'll build a new machine. But first I want to know for sure that I need to. It's thousands of dollars, and thousands of dollars in time involved.

                                                       

                                                      Thanks!

                                                       

                                                      Jay

                                                      • 24. Re: Hardware choices
                                                        Harm Millaard CommunityMVP

                                                        Jay,

                                                         

                                                        One alternative, that will definitely not gain you a design award, is this.

                                                         

                                                        Get a separate modular PSU of around 500 W that sports both a 6 pin and an 8 pin PCI Express connector. Use that externally and only use these 6 and 8 pin cables to power the GTX-470.You may have to fiddle a bit to get these cables into the case, but that will work without modifying your Z400. You can also use one 12 V cable for some hard drives or fans. That leaves your mobo connectors as they are.

                                                         

                                                        Just for fun I tried to configure a pretty loaded Z400 to see if they would increase the PSU to a more powerful model, but no, only the price increased to around $ 10 K. I tried the same with a Z800 and there the PSU was upped to 1100 W and the price over $ 21 K. Both still left a lot to be desired, but in HP country that is probably to be expected for these measly prices.

                                                        • 25. Re: Hardware choices
                                                          JayNewWeb Community Member

                                                          Hi Harm,

                                                           

                                                          That's what my original idea was, too! Novice that I am, I'm not knowledgeable enough to know what can't be done... if you know what I mean. I am usually into more elegant solutions but this is becoming too much of a drain on productivity to worry about prettiness under my desk where nobody can see it.

                                                           

                                                          I'd have to create some kind of quick-release with extensions or something, but I'm sure that's no big deal -- especially if I use a "modular" power supply!

                                                           

                                                          But every single tech person I asked said it's not doable because the power supply absolutely relies on interaction with the mother board for, well, knowing when to turn on and off for one.

                                                           

                                                          By the way, I take it from your comments that trying to us it “as is” is not a realistic idea, correct?

                                                           

                                                          So, adding a second power supply sounds like a great idea! How realistic is this to do? I would be happy to take that route at this point if it's pretty safe/reliable. As long as I'm not risking any odd power behaviors that could cause data corruption.

                                                           

                                                          So, I'm in!

                                                           

                                                          Please tell me… how???

                                                           

                                                          Thanks again!

                                                           

                                                          Jay

                                                          • 26. Re: Hardware choices
                                                            Harm Millaard CommunityMVP

                                                            AFAIK there is not much intelligence in the PSU. There is on the mobo. I think, but I may be wrong, that if the video card has power and you turn on the Z400, the logic on the mobo will determine that the video card works and will go throught the POST in regular fashion. I had a problem with a PCI Express cable recently and in testing it, we were able to use two PSU's at the same time to isolate this problem.

                                                             

                                                            Your best bet may be to either bring your Z400 to a shop, open it up and try it. It if works, great.

                                                             

                                                            The alternative is to use a 'loaner' PSU to try it at home and if it works, buy a modular one. I stress the modular, because only that way can you limit a cable mess under your desk.

                                                            • 27. Re: Hardware choices
                                                              JayNewWeb Community Member

                                                              I happen to have this 750-watt Corsair HX750W here that I wanted to use in the machine until I found out about the compatibilty problem.

                                                               

                                                              And I'm betting it supplies power to the GPU with those PCI-Express connectors just fine -- and that people who said there's more to it were just wrong.

                                                               

                                                              So, I hope I don't blow up the machine -- get back to me fast if you think I might. I'm trying it right now...!

                                                               

                                                              Jay

                                                              • 28. Re: Hardware choices
                                                                JayNewWeb Community Member

                                                                Actually, I'm going to go home to get some sleep (worked all night to sun-up -- that's how much time this has taken up searching and posting on forums).

                                                                 

                                                                In the afternoon, I'll check with a local shop and maybe an HP service center to see if they foresee a problem. I just can't possibly see how it could, though.

                                                                 

                                                                I'm actually able to go home and sleep now because I'm extremely confident you just solved the problem for me.

                                                                 

                                                                Will let you know!

                                                                 

                                                                Thanks!

                                                                 

                                                                Jay

                                                                • 29. Re: Hardware choices
                                                                  JayNewWeb Community Member

                                                                  Well, our solution is working like a charm.

                                                                   

                                                                  I’m leaving the second power supply outside the machine, on the floor behind it. That's right where the video card is anyway, at the "bottom" of the machine when it's standing on end in normal use.

                                                                   

                                                                  And I can apparently slip two 12" PCI-Express power cable extensions through an empty PCI slot (I'll know for sure when they arrive from NewEgg tomorrow). That will leave me a few inches of cable out the back of the machine to easily plug into or unplug. (Meanwhile, I just have the PCI-Express power cables from my external power supply going directly to the card, with the door of the case opened.)

                                                                   

                                                                  Corsair's website shows in an FAQ exactly which two pin positions on the 24-pin system-board plug to jump "with a paper clip" to keep the power on. (BTW, that page only comes up when beginning to create a support ticket for a power supply. It says to do that trick for “testing” to see if the power supply works.)

                                                                   

                                                                  In fact, it turns out that “any” ATX power supply can be “turned on” by using a paper clip to jump the green wire with the black one next to it (closest to the center clip).

                                                                   

                                                                  It was simple and is working perfectly.

                                                                   

                                                                  Thanks again!!! You’re the best!!!

                                                                   

                                                                  Jay

                                                                  • 30. Re: Hardware choices
                                                                    Harm Millaard CommunityMVP

                                                                    Glad to know it worked. Sometimes it helps to get confirmation that your original idea can work. Happy editing.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Hardware choices
                                                                      JayNewWeb Community Member

                                                                      Harm,

                                                                       

                                                                      Would you care to please point me to what you think is the best guidance on implementing the hack, or should I just search for it?

                                                                       

                                                                      Jay

                                                                      • 33. Re: Hardware choices
                                                                        Harm Millaard CommunityMVP

                                                                        Jay,

                                                                         

                                                                        John's answer is correct. But there is a rather simpler way.

                                                                         

                                                                        Navigate to C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and open the file "cuda_supported_cards.txt" with Notepad.

                                                                         

                                                                        Enter a new line containing "GeForce GTX 470"  exactly like that without the quotes and save the file.

                                                                         

                                                                        Open PR, go to Project/Project Settings/General and set Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration.

                                                                        • 34. Re: Hardware choices
                                                                          JayNewWeb Community Member

                                                                          I seem to have a problem. I put the GTX-470 into my new (refurb) HP z400 machine, using a separate

                                                                          power supply outside of the machine to power the GPU. I installed Windows 7 and the drivers for the

                                                                          GPU and played with feeling out Windows 7 for a day or two, leaving the machine on with the door off.

                                                                           

                                                                          I put no load on the GPU at all. Just simple looking around in Windows 7, and choosing a wallpaper.

                                                                           

                                                                          Then, on the third day, I arrived at the office to find the machine locked up solid -- with all fans blowing

                                                                          fine and nothing on the screen -- and with the GPU so scorching hot that I was surprise nothing melted.

                                                                           

                                                                          I had to reboot to get it to go back to normal operation, which it did.

                                                                           

                                                                          Some people suggested fans and air circulation.

                                                                           

                                                                          However, I've done some testing, and spoke to HP tech support (for whatever that's worth).

                                                                           

                                                                          I've decided it had nothing to do with cooling.

                                                                           

                                                                          I was using it fine for two days, and I've used it fine for now 15 hours after rebooting, and it's remained cool (mildly warm) the whole time. And before it locked up and got super hot it was idle; my testing since has involved full-screen videos and still it has remained relatively cool or moderately warm.

                                                                           

                                                                          Something caused it to lock up, which in turn is what caused it to get so hot. I'm sure of that now.

                                                                           

                                                                          So, my question is whether the cause was one of two things. I’m 99% convinced it was one of these two:

                                                                           

                                                                          A. Bad GPU.

                                                                           

                                                                          B. Incompatibility with the HP machine.

                                                                           

                                                                          It's hard to say which way to go. The GPU, and system with GPU in it for that matter, have apparently worked fine for a few days (albeit with minimal demand) except for that one lock-up (which was within 3 days of setting up the system and therefore can't be called just a fluke).

                                                                           

                                                                          One interesting piece of information I discovered is that the sound is not working on the machine, and that in Device Manager under "Sound, video and game controllers" the on-board sound is not appearing like it should -- but what is showing up are four instances of "NVIDIA High Definition Audio." This has the HP tech baffled. He's sure it has to do with the GPU, and suspects it could be a compatibility thing. That of course isn't enough to lock it up but may speak to compatibility. But once only in three days?

                                                                           

                                                                          I have to get some psychic tech support here.

                                                                           

                                                                          A or B? Bad GPU, or incompatibility between GTX-470 and HP's z400 workstation?

                                                                           

                                                                          What do you think?

                                                                           

                                                                          (And if we decide it’s not the GPU, what’s the chance I hurt the GPU with that period of extreme heat? It “seems” to be working fine since, but with minimal demand on it as yet.)

                                                                           

                                                                          Thanks!

                                                                          Jay

                                                                          • 35. Re: Hardware choices
                                                                            JayNewWeb Community Member

                                                                            I have decided to abandon the mission. With all I've read about the benefits of Premiere Pro CS5 combined with a GTX-470 (or other "approved" CUDA card), I am not about to settle for less. And I've decided that this HP workstation is just not going to properly support the GTX-470.

                                                                             

                                                                            So, I'm building a machine that will support it properly. I just closed a small funding deal and this is the first thing I'm doing.

                                                                             

                                                                            Now, to start a thread for advice on that.

                                                                             

                                                                            Jay

                                                                            • 36. Re: Hardware choices
                                                                              JayNewWeb Community Member

                                                                              By the way, when I pulled the GTX-470 out and put the original FX-580 back in, and rebooted, the on-board sound installed itself properly and works fine.

                                                                              • 37. Re: Hardware choices: GTX 480 still works in 5.02
                                                                                RamsdenM Community Member

                                                                                Just downloaded the 5.02 update. Was disappointed to see that the only the GTX 470 was listed.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Pleased though to see that going thru the above adjustments does enable the GTX 480 (what I'm using), as it did in 5.01.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Not sure why it isn't "formally" added. Basically the same hardware.  Guess it will get added eventually.

                                                                                • 38. Re: Hardware choices
                                                                                  JayNewWeb Community Member

                                                                                  As an update to my journey with all of this...

                                                                                   

                                                                                  I ended up replacing the GPU with an identical GTX-470 (actually, the factory EVGA "superclocked plus" this time), and also had HP replace the mobo and CPU for me (yes, they actually did that, on-site, in one day, under warranty). (Power for the GPU is coming from an extra, external PSU.)

                                                                                   

                                                                                  EVGA and HP techs both insisted there was no reason in the world it shouldn't work fine, and no reason there should be any hint of a heat issue.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Also, applied the simple Notepad one-line hack to add the GTX-470.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  I've been running that system for a few weeks now, and things have run smooth as silk. Perfectly. Purring like a kitten. (Knock... On... Wood...!!!)

                                                                                   

                                                                                  So, once the GTX-470 is "officially" added via an update, I wonder if it's advisable to go into the file with Notepad and remove the "extra, duplicate" line? I'll be checking into that to see if there are two instances once I'm sure the update has been installed.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Jay

                                                                                  • 39. Re: Hardware choices
                                                                                    RamsdenM Community Member

                                                                                    When I updated from 5.01 to 5.02, it removed the text file based hack for my GTX 480. You will likely find, since the 470 is now "official" that it should just work.  I had to put the 480 back in the  file to re-enable it after the update.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    As an aside, the line added for the 470 in 5.02 is exactly the same as what you'd previously done yourself.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    The only difference is the 470 has now been tested and officially approved.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Would be nice if there was a test "suite" or benchmark that could be downloaded so we could self-test our (officially unsupported) CUDA cards.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Mike

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