20 Replies Latest reply on Oct 13, 2010 10:35 PM by Harm Millaard

    Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.


      Hello, I have built a new system from scratch for our Creative Services Editor with the following:


      1- ZALMAN PROFESSIONAL GS-1000-BK Black Computer Case Aluminum- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811235014


      1- Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST3500320NS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148294


      4- SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185


      1- ASUS P6T7 WS Supercomputer "Ultimate Gamer" choose 3Way SLI + PhysX at Real X16 X58 CEB Intel Motherboard- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131390


      2- CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory (12 GB Total)- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145289


      1- Intel Xeon E5520 Nehalem 2.26GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 80W Quad-Core Server Processor- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117185


      1- PNY Quadro FX 4800 VCQFX4800-PCIE-PB Quadro FX 4800 1.5GB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI Supported Workstation Video Card- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133252


      Ok, the system has some DVD burners and a huge 120 mm fan heat sink for the processor and a 850 watt power supply as well.


      The OS 64-bit windows 7 is installed all by itself on the 500 GB Drive C.  I currently have the 4 1 TB samsungs on a Raid-0 for all project video files and other content.  After reading many of Harms posts I may just set them all up as stand alone drives and split things up a bit for performance.


      CS5 runs well with the Mercury playback engine, and when importing normal DV video from DVCAM through a Blackmagic HD/SD-SDI Decklink card off of a DSR-1800 deck works fine.  The issue I am having is when we use still images, or like when we imported some Mac ProRess 422 footage, the system will scrub through it fine but when you try and play the timeline it freezes.  I did notice an error shows up in the lower right corner saying frames were dropped.


      From everything I reaserched with this system purchase, having the Quadro FX 4800 was supposed to make everything run smooth and take out render times. This machine is supper fast for everything else but seems to have issues doing simple things with images that have been scaled in the effect controls.  If the footage is basic SD video edits no problem.  Still images are large sometimes, but nothing his old 2003 Pinicle Liquid can't handle after some render time.


      If the GPU acceleration is on, and I play the timeline, few seconds and then stops.  If I turn off GPU, and hit enter to have it Render, it plays fine after Render is complete.  Seems like something is not feeding the GPU/CPU the data fast enough.


      Any thoughts.  Is the Xeon not the right direction, should I swap for a Core i9?  Xeon rates really high on the CPU benchmark... Shows up as 8 cores due to hyperthreading.


      Any idea's would be great,


      Thank you,

        • 1. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Weird combination mobo and CPU. Look here: http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=9ca8hJfGz483noLk


          It specifically says for i7-9xx or Xeon W35xx.The socket also accepts the E55xx, but is not very clear about it. Apparently it works. An i7-930 would have been faster and cheaper. Generally the E5520 is better used on dual processor server boards in combination with ECC RAM.


          The symptoms you have may be due to the relatively low clock speed, the older architecture of the E5520, the memory speed and the CPU/RAM/GPU/VRAM latency that seems to hinder all Xeons.


          Take a look at some of the E5520 or X5550 results here: PPBM5 Benchmark


          If you look at those results, your single CPU with 12 GB memory is expected to achieve around 160 - 170 seconds on the MPEG2 test at best, and that is not very fast. Your system is slower than a i7-920 at stock speed, so you can imagine where you end up.

          • 2. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
            Daxman1965 Level 1



            last night I installed a Intensity Pro card in my system (intel xeon dual quad core 2.33 e5410,16 gig ram FX 3800 win 7 64 bit) and it does the same. before i installed the BM card it was fine. I am going to reload and reset my system as I have now tried the Matrox RT.X2 card with beta drivers and the Intensity Pro card with latest drivers and I am not happy. I would like some assitance from Harm if possible. I have space for Six drives on the mother board and I have a Sunix SATA card that can take 2 drives but I can only get one to work. the mobo has 2 x SATA ports and 4 x SAS ports.

            what would be the best configuration, I was thinking this.


            SATA ports

            1= OS 1x 1tb 7200 rpm

            2= Blu Ray burner


            SAS Ports


            1=1x 1tb seagate 7200

            2=1x 1tb seagate 7200

            3=1x 1tb seagate 7200

            4=1x 1tb seagate 7200


            Sunix SATA card


            1= 1x 1tb seagate 7200

            2= 1x 1tb seagate 7200 (I will try get it to work again)


            how would you recomend i raid the 4 SAS ports (i dont mind raid0) or should I change other things as well


            thanks in advance



            • 3. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
              Harm Millaard Level 7



              If your Sunix card is the Sunix 2100 PCI card, I would suggest a completely different approach.


              Apart from you OS disk, you have 6 1TB disks, one of which is giving you trouble to get it recognized, possibly due to this PCI card. I would have a serious look at a decent PCIe raid controller to attach all 6 disks to and configure a 6 disk raid5 or even raid3 if you choose an Areca card.

              • 4. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
                Daxman1965 Level 1

                Hi Harm


                thanks and yes it is a sunix 2100. I was trying to find a areca card in South Africa but I can't nobody has. How would you set up in the meantime while I try find one.





                • 5. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
                  Harm Millaard Level 7



                  If your mobo allows it, I would setup the 4 SAS disks in a raid0 and use the fifth disk for backup for the time being, till you get a raid controller. One nasty thing to consider, where do you leave your data when you get that controller, because all data on your disks will be lost when you create a new raid. If you get an Areca (but that likely applies to other controllers as well) the way to proceed is to make a backup to your 5-th drive, configure a 5 disk raid 5 or raid 3 (disk 1-4 and 6), and copy your backup to the new raid. Then add the last disk (5), where you had your backup, as a hot-spare and then extend your array.

                  • 6. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
                    Daxman1965 Level 1

                    Harm would this work


                    SATA Ports


                    OS = 2 x 1tb raid 0 Project files and storage for Music and so on


                    SAS PORTS SCSI


                    2 x 1tb R0 Captured video and Audio

                    2 x 1tb R0 Preview files and cache files


                    Sunix card


                    Bluray burner





                    • 9. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
                      KCWY_News_13 Level 1

                      Harm, thank you for your reply.  I went with Xeon partly because all the systems I had been looking at prebuilt for CS4 were Xeon based from HP and other TurnKey providors.  I was originally going to design the system from scratch but when I was looking at the Quadro 4800 card on Newegg there was a bundle listed for all this hardware saving over $400 with it bundled.  I did some research and everything about this system should work.  I am just surprised that I am so far over the minimum requirements, I am even over the recommended HD requirements and only working with SD footage and this doesn't work.  What gives...  How can Adobe sell a product that doesn't work on hardware 3 times faster than they recommend.


                      Does this Xeon really kill my performance for editing Video?  Would I really see a big difference switching to a i7-930? or should I just overclock the xeon as others have said they can due to it only being an 80 watt chip, where as the i7-930 is 130 watt. The fan I have on this Chip is a Huge Heat sink and 120mm fan so heat should not be an issue. I can't return the chip due to the bundle pricing and I am outside Neweggs return window. The Xeon chip can probalby be used by the IT department if I switch but I just want to see how much difference a processor would make.  Do you recommend I do the benchmark myself and see how it does?





                      • 10. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        Mark, doing the benchmark will give you a very good indication of where a bottleneck can be in your system and what the best/ most economical approach might be.

                        • 11. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
                          KCWY_News_13 Level 1



                               I ran the PPBMCS5 as suggested and found something interesting.  That project was full of HD video with tons of effects and transitions and the system played them out without a hitch. I will upload the numbers I got on the benchmark tomorrow.


                               I was trying to figure out why the content for the benchmark program and our other two news edit bays(much slower machines no MPE GPU's) were working fine with DV standard def video and the only other thing that makes sense is the Blackmagic SDI decklink card.  When using that card, and creating a project you select a BlackMagic project from the presets.  It is added when the software is installed.  So the issue the system is having is not playing the video directly on the monitor it is with feeding the output to hardware.


                               We had a similar problem on some HP laptops running CS3. There was an error when the machines were ordered, they had no iEEE 1994 ports, so we are using ExpressCard firewire adaptors, (Highly recommend against this) and they work okt for capture but when trying to play the timeline it would freeze and the only workaround we found was turn off the camera and the software stops trying to play out via hardware (did this on two different brands of cards).  This issue seems similar that the PPCS5 is having issues communicating with the SDI Decklink card.


                               Anyone else using one of these cards?  I am planning to contact Blackmagic tomorrow and see if there is a known issue or what they recommend.  It might be the PCI express card slot I have it in.  Now I only have 7 of them on the motherboard, GPU is taking two up so I will possibly need to move it down one... Not sure if that will change much but I know the 4 blue connectors on the P6T7 WS supercomputer are for GUP in SLI, maybe need to make sure I am not on the same controller the GPU is on..... any suggestions?



                          • 12. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
                            Daxman1965 Level 1



                            My system is a Intel s5000xvn mobo with dual quad core intel xeon e5410 2.33ghz and 16gig ram with a FX3800. I did some playing around when I got CS5 and got some crazy results in terms of layers and layers of PIP with CC and played back fine and only showed yellow bar. please check image. I then installed my RT.X2 card and could not even get half of the same type of numbers and it showed a red bar.  I then unistalled the RT.X2 card and installed a Blackmagic Intensity Pro card and opened a new project with BM settings. I got very nice preview on the monitor but as you say it kept on stopping and in the bottom right corner red circle kept poping up "dropped frames detected" I the went to sequenc > sequence settings > playback setting and when I pushed the playback settings a box opened to deactivate BM dropped frame notification. I ticted it and it did not stop again BUT the performance was not the same.

                            • 13. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
                              KCWY_News_13 Level 1

                              Here are the results from the Benchmark I ran on the system:


                              Commercial Production Editor;Personal or Computer ID
                              Asus ;Computer Manufacturer
                              P6T7 WS Supercomputer;Computer Model
                              497;secs Total Benchmark Time
                              ;Performance index
                              129;secs AVI  Encoding Time
                              201;secs MPEG Elapsed Time     (Harm, doesn't look like I am hitting the 160-170 you figured I would)
                              152;secs H.264 Elapsed Time
                              15;secs Rendering Time
                              ;MPE off result
                              ;MPE result
                              ;MPE gain
                              Intel;CPU Manufacturer
                              Xeon E5520;CPU Model
                              2.26;GHz CPU speed
                              1;Number of CPU chips
                              4;Total Number of Cores
                              12;GB RAM
                              5.01;Version 25 PPBM5 multitest
                              Quadro FX 4800;Graphics Board
                              Win 7 64;OSVersion
                              SATA;OS Disk Interface
                              500;GB OS Disk Capacity
                              7,200;OS Disk Speed
                              SATA;Project Disk Interface
                              1000 x 4 R0;GB Project Disk Capacity
                              7,200;Project Disk Speed
                              ;Output / Preview Disk Interface
                              ;GB Output / Preview Disk Capacity
                              ;Output / Preview Disk Speed


                              Looks like I need to tweak some settings and possibly switch to an i7-930.  I can see that used E5520's go for around $300 on E-bay.  Guess someone will get a deal as at this point the original money was spent and I just have to make it work.


                              As for the strange CPU combo, that was New Egg.  It was the bundle I found they were offering. Guess I should have researched it more before I jumped.  As far as it being cheaper for the i7-930 processor.  The bundle took almost $400 off the total price of the system.  So if I consider that is more than the Xeon cost, I am still doing ok.  I haven't tried to overclock the Xeon, posts I have read said they are usually locked and unless my MB has some great OC features it may not be possible.


                              When it comes to the Decklink SDI issue, found others having the same issue on the creative cow threads.  They all say just turn off GPU acceleration and manually Render, Kinda makes that $1600 video card a wast of money if I do that.   Have others found better luck with an AJA card?


                              I need SDI in and SDI out with embedded or AES audio.  The DSR-1800 does not have the iLink/DV/Firewire card in it, but it does have the SDI/AES in/out.  I don't need analog input or output as I can loop those in/out of the DSR and works great.  We had the analog I/O of our Pinnacle Liquid system fail and figured it would cost a fortune for a new breakout box, then I just used the deck as a converter and works like a charm.



                              • 14. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
                                KCWY_News_13 Level 1

                                Hey, nobody seems to be looking at this post anymore.  We really need a working solution here, I have not gotten a reply from BlackMagic on the Decklink card.  I want to know if I would be better off with a AJA or other card to interface my deck.  I need SD-SDI in and out with either embedded audio or AES 75ohm.  My deck supports both.


                                I don't need analog connections as the deck converts both ways (Sony DSR-1800)


                                I don't want to tell my boss that the $1600 video card that was for fast rendering of all his stuff can't be used because the playback is not smooth from the "GPU Rendered" editing.  Because this only happens when using the Blackmagic presets I think it is a card issue.  We are currently working with SD video, I wanted this system to handle the future upgrade to HD with maybe adding more memory, swapping a processor and such.  BlackMagic has a major problem here and need to get it sorted out.


                                What are you all using for SDI playback that doesn't have this issue.


                                I can find a new home for the Decklink SDI....


                                Thank you,

                                • 15. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
                                  ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                  Have you tried the 5.0.2 update yet and the new Decklink drivers?




                                  • 16. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                    I haven't included your results for the simple reason that they are not complete. You left out the MPE off figures.


                                    Your rendering time is quite normal with your video card. Your H.264 times are not bad.


                                    Your AVI times are disappointing with a 4 disk R0 setup. Your MPEG2-DVD times are worse than I expected.


                                    You may have to check the services and processes running to get better performance with this hardware. Look here: Windows 7 Service Configurations by Black Viper and Adobe Forums: Guide for installing and tuning a Vista... which also applies to Win7.

                                    1 person found this helpful
                                    • 17. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
                                      KCWY_News_13 Level 1

                                      Harm, I know I have not been on here for a while, many projects as Chief Engineer for a TV station have pushed this to the back burner. Our Creative Services guy is still using his old Pinnacle liquid system for most work as we have had to run the CS5 with GPU acceleration turned off.


                                      The tech support for Black Magic says that the reason I was able to work with the test files from the benchmark without problems is they are a compressed HD format.  Even when I am working with DV video on the Decklink SDI, it is decompressing the video on export through the card when the timeline is played. Due to speed limitations as we have already talked about with the Raid 0 on 4 1 TB drives, there are dropped frames.  They said the card is just an I/O and the PC is feeding the data to it.  I am guessing this is working the drives and the CPU both.


                                      I have purchased an i7 950 that was on sale from New Egg, even cheaper than the 930.  Our IT department will use the Xeon or I will sell as it is more expensive than the i7 due to the server market uses as dual CPU's. The only reason I got that chip is it was part of a high end bundle for graphic editing.  I had been looking at HP turnkey systems for CS4 that were using Xeon processors and didn't realize I would save a bunch to use the i7 and have better performance.


                                      I am going to install that CPU and re-run the benchmark just to see the differences on the chip.  I would then like to reconfigure the hard drives.  The motherboard has a SAS (Serial attached SCSI) support.  Would that be worth looking into?  The drives are expensive. 


                                      It has 6 SATA connectors on the internal Raid controller, I have the 500 GB C Drive stand alone, and then the other 4 1 TB drives in the raid 0.


                                      Should I split up the raid into two Raid 0 pairs and then put some stuff on one pair and some on another.  I was looking at another post and saw you saying the windows Page file should be on a separate drive from the OS, and the media Cache on another and the Project video/audio files on another to spread everything around.  How would you recommend with the current 7200RPM drives I have.  We are only working with SD video right now.  When the jump to HD happens in a few years for us, I can upgrade again then.


                                      And to answer your last post too, I have not messed with anything on the OS services. All running as a default installation, I may try taking to the tweaked settings as listed on the black viper site. This is on the company LAN and has to be secure...


                                      Thank you for your help,



                                      • 19. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
                                        KCWY_News_13 Level 1



                                             I swapped my processor with the i7-950 chip and even though the windows Experience Index went from 7.4 to 7.5 on the processor calculations per second.  My scores are Memory: 7.5, Graphics: 7.1 3D: 7.1 Primary hard disk performance is 5.9 making that the total score.


                                             I will run the benchmark again on the system tomorrow and post the results of a chip change.


                                             I have not changed the drive configuration or changed windows services yet.  I talked to black magic tech support and he said that for SD video I should be fine with 2 standard 7200 RPM drives.  He was surprised I was having the dropped frames with the 4 disk raid 0.  He said to test in another machine just to see if the card could be bad.


                                             I found a utility on the machine that is part of the black magic software that tests the hard drives.  Here are the results:



                                        Boot drive.  It is a Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST3500320NS

                                        Blackmagic disk speed test boot drive 500 GB.jpg


                                        Scratch drive Raid 0 array- 4- SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM


                                        Blackmagic disk speed test Scratch 1TB X4 Raid 0.jpg

                                        From the numbers it looks like the Raid 0 is giving much better performance over the single drive, but why am I still having the problems.  The dropped frames issue is still happening so I am going to try to move the black magic card to another PCI-e slot on the motherboard. I may have to try another brand of HD-SDI input/output card.


                                        I am going to test the card in another editor that does not have an intel processor or near the specs of this system just to rule out the card or the hardware as I found this on Blackmagic website:


                                        15 March 2010 — Number 193

                                        Asus P6T series motherboards

                                        The Asus P6T series of motherboards are currently incompatible with all x1 lane PCI Express products from Blackmagic Design. This includes the Intensity series cards as well as DeckLink SDI and DeckLink Studio. This incompatibility is being actively investigated but a possible resolution to the problem is currently unknown.

                                        This incompatibility only affects x1 lane PCI Express cards from Blackmagic Design. Our x4 lane PCI Express products work fine with the Asus P6T series of motherboards and these include the DeckLink HD Extreme and Multibridge family of capture devices.

                                        UPDATE: We have been informed that this issue has been resolved with the latest BIOS update from Asus. If you're running into issues with our x1 lane PCI Express cards and your motherboard, please check the manufacturers' website to see if there's a newer version of BIOS that you can use.




                                        Now, I have the Asus P6T7 WS Supercomputer.  I did do a Bios Update today but do not know if the issue refered to in this support notice also applies to my model of motherboard.  The tech at BlackMagic did not seem to know about this issue.


                                        Does anyone have any other idea's of what I could be missing?  If it turns out to be an incompatible motherboard I do not have a problem with changing it.  I would like to know if anyone is having a successful setup using the Decklink SDI with CS5 without any issues of dropped frames on items that are GPU rendered.  If I turn off the GPU acceleration and have to hit enter for render it isn't an issue as the "preview files" created when rendered are smaller and easier to play from the hard drives.


                                        The timelines that have issues are using still images of 3-4 megapixel sizes that are being shrunk and moved on the timeline to fit in NTSC 4:3 output.  I could probably stop the issue if I resized the pictures to 1 Megapixel or smaller and used the smaller version but the yellow bar is telling me it can do that conversion on the fly.  Why drop frames??????


                                        Thanks, (sorry for the long post)

                                        • 20. Re: Help with new editor.....Windows 7 64-Bit Xeon 5520 processor 12 GB Memory.
                                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                                          In contrast to your long post, which was very informative BTW, I'll keep it short.


                                          Resize your stills in PS to fit your project. Use an action for multiple stills. There is no sense in using 3600 x 2400 stills or similar, when the end result will be 720 x 480 (PAR 0.9), it only increases the burden on your system.

                                          1 person found this helpful