10 Replies Latest reply on Oct 31, 2010 2:23 PM by SteveHoeg

    HD Non-Performance with BOXX


      I am having trouble getting a new BOXX system to perform realtime for HD animation work.  I was using a Sager notebook system. Powerful, but limited in GPU.  So I took the plunge on a new system.  The entire tale is told in a COW thread: click on the following link to view the entire thread.


      BOXX System

      Dual six core

      12GB Ram

      4x1TB Raid0 for assets

      NVidia Quadro 4000

      Windows 7 x64


      CS5 Master Suite.

      PPro updated to 5.02 (playback GPU for Quadro came online when I did that)

      NVideo drivers updated


      When I play a 1920x1080 tiff file sequence, I get 1 second of sweet 30fps playback, then a 5 second freeze (cti still going), then 1fps to the end of the clip.


      Raid benchmarked at 420MB/s.


      I get this same playback result no matter if I:

      Play the HD tiffs from my internal Raid0.
      Play the tiffs from my system single HD.
      Play the tiffs from the G-Raid.
      Change the playback from GPU to Software on all of the above.
      Change playback resolutions (full, 1/2, 1/4)
      Change dsktop to a lower display res. (1920x1200 from 2550x1600)
      Shrink the Premier window down to minimize display area.has a similar system to mine, just a bigger Raid and an FX4800 card and he gets multi-layer HD tiff file sequence playback.


      Was ist los?!!!


      Buck Wyckoff



      The moderator on COW

        • 1. Re: HD Non-Performance with BOXX
          davidbeisner2010 Level 3

          Interesting. I'm also running a 3DBOXX system, with specs identical to yours (though I'm running a GTX285, not the Quadro 4000) and my system is a year old already. I don't have any trouble running full HD, even 4K in realtime. The biggest pro to BOXX systems, in my experience, is their support. All their support techs are well versed not only in the BOXX hardware, but also in the Adobe software that we know and love. Have you tried calling them for help? They've always been quick and excellent with their phone and remote access support for me!

          • 2. Re: HD Non-Performance with BOXX
            davidbeisner2010 Level 3

            I just read through the monster post string over at CreativeCow...


            If you're getting that kind of throughput on your drives, then you shouldn't have any trouble at all playing the HD TIFF sequence... and, as you say, you've got the CUDA enabled for that card...


            I would say that you may have an issue with the hardware in that BOXX (like a defective component), but the fact that you had the same result on your Sager doesn't help much...


            I don't do animation, so I obviously won't have any animation TIFFs to work with, but I'm going to try exporting some HD or 4K material out as TIFF files and import them into Premiere here on my BOXX and see if I can recreate your problem...

            • 3. Re: HD Non-Performance with BOXX
              davidbeisner2010 Level 3

              Ok, so I just BSODed my system doing a 1920x1080 TIFF export from REDCINE-X... I had it set to run 16 at a time, so maybe I just overloaded it? Oh well...


              I've got 86 files rendered before it crashed, so I'll start with those and see what we get...



              Ok, so it says the bit depth (set to 16-bit--highest available in REDCINE-X) isn't supported in Premiere...).


              I've now imported the RED 4K footage directly to Premiere and am exporting it from Premiere as Full HD TIFF files. BTW, the only reason I'm using this RED4k footage is because I figure it's the highest quality stuff I've got, and will push my system harder than anything else I have, and therefore give me the best possible chance of recreating your problem...


              It's telling me 19 minutes to render the timeline (33 seconds long at 23.97 fps) so I'm going to head off to lunch and pick up where I've left off when I get back.

              • 4. Re: HD Non-Performance with BOXX
                davidbeisner2010 Level 3

                Ok, here's what I've got... I get about 6-8 seconds of perfectly clear playback, followed by stuttered playback, but still workable (certainly not the kind of problems you described!) That's at full resolution playback. Same thing happens at 1/4 res playback--now, here's what I'm thinking... In order to playback (at any resolution) it's got to read the source file... And the source file is the source file, period. It can't "read" it at a lower resolution. So the fact that we've got the stuttered playback at any resolution tells me it's NOT the video card, but the drives--because we get smooth playback for a few seconds until the buffers fill up and then it slows way down as it has to pull the footage in.


                Also of note, if I hit the space bar to pause it, and then immediately hit the space bar to play again, it's smooth playback, with no problems, for 5-6 seconds and then slows down.


                FWIW, I'm running a 2TB RAID-0 SATA for my data drives, similar to what it sounds like you're running.


                Here's my suggestion--export your animation codec as SD TIFF files, do your editing, and then go back in and render out full HD TIFFs (same name as your SD TIFFs) and replace your SD files with those--basically editing proxies, though you have to do it a bit round-a-bout in Premiere.


                Good luck! Let us know if you come up with a resolution.

                • 5. Re: HD Non-Performance with BOXX
                  davidbeisner2010 Level 3

                  Ok, I think I might have a solution for you that doesn't involve proxies... I went to the "Sequence" menu and clicked on "Render Entire Work Area." After rendering the clips (bar turns from yellow to green) it plays just fine at full-resolution with no stuttering or slowdown at all!


                  Give it a try and see what happens for you...

                  • 6. Re: HD Non-Performance with BOXX
                    buck-w Level 1

                    Thanks for the responses.  I was out on a job and just got back.


                    I will strive for realtime, non-rendered performance because it is possible and gives me the most direct and efficient tie into the animation workflow and ease of editing without hassles.  It should work and does work for others (ala Lyn Norstad).


                    If you are generating 16bit tiffs I would think that would choke the system as this is overkill for video production.  I guess I did not specify, but I'm rendering to 24-bit image sequences (8 bits per channel RGB, sometimes 32-bit total when an 8-bit mask is rendered as well) for 30fps playback.  This is standard for animators working in corporate & legal video intended for computer playback and/or consumer media/monitor solutions.


                    So that we are apples to apples, my first thought is are we on the same page or are you running 16bit tiff sequences at 24fps?


                    My current performance is better than the Sager. The Sager never played a hint of it in realtime.  I don't think image sequences are pre-buffered.  Sometimes you have a tiff sequence that is a minute or more long.  Perhaps even more than one clip.  That's way too much to pre-digest.  I think the system just gobbles up what it needs to spit it out for the moment, then discards that info.  Just what it has to do and nothing more.  I see what you are saying about the stuttering, but I think something is not up to scratch as it should be.  Like I say....(or he said) Lyn plays multiple HD 24bit 30fps tiff layers a minute long in perfect realtime.  It is being done.


                    I bought a BOXX for the expertise and support.  I have had one go-round with them so far.  They hooked me up with the HD benchmark test. But as I have work piling up and no time for downtime, I'm tackling the problem on all fronts.  I still have faith in BOXX, just trying to maximize my chances of finding a solution to my problem.



                    Best regards,

                    B. Wyckoff

                    • 7. Re: HD Non-Performance with BOXX
                      Powered by Design Level 4

                      Have you ran the Premiere benchmark test to see how it handles ?




                      At least you can see how your system stacks up as to other peoples systems.




                      • 8. Re: HD Non-Performance with BOXX
                        davidbeisner2010 Level 3

                        Ah, i see... I've never worked with TIFF files before, and didn't know what you meant by 24/32 bit... I figured the 16bit files from REDCINE-X were gonna be smaller than yours. BUT, as that attempt failed, and I ultimately used TIFFs rendered out from Premiere, I'm honestly not sure what the bit rate was. Whatever is the "normal" bitrate for Premiere TIFF output, I guess. I just selected "Full HD" in the preset menu and let it do its thing.


                        I'm really honestly not that familiar with the ins-and-outs of the hardware and software--I do the creative editing and filming and let others build my systems for me--but I know a little bit and you're the only other person I've ever seen on these forums who owns a BOXX system... thought maybe comparing apples to apples might help as I also have a BOXX system.


                        Just keep on the phone/e-mail with BOXX--they'll help you out! (I even had an offer to ship me a whole new system HD last week to try and resolve a problem with my e-SATA!)

                        • 9. Re: HD Non-Performance with BOXX
                          buck-w Level 1

                          Testing is over. The BOXX kicks booty!!! I just put 5 layers of HD video up, three from a Canon 7D and two from a GoPro, all HD clips.

                          I had a background, full screen shot and the rest were scaled into the corners. Effects and fades were applied to all the insets. The entire thing plays without even the hint of a hiccup.

                          I thought since I got 5 raw SD tiff sequence layers playing in realtime I could get maybe two in HD. I cannot even get one, but that's just because the overhead detailed above is just too much to handle.  Plus I went further down this path because someone on the other forum told me they did it....then later recanted, so I wasted time thinking I should get the impossible.

                          Rendering the tiff seqs to a high quality video format is the way to go. Probably three years from now a computer will handle them raw. In the meantime, it's Codecs-R-Us.

                          • 10. Re: HD Non-Performance with BOXX
                            SteveHoeg Adobe Employee

                            This is not a problem with your computer. We read TIFF sequences pretty inefficiently but will hopefully improve that moving forward. In 5.0.2 there was quite a bit of performance work done on DPX files so this might serve as an alternative. On a suitable RAID you should be to now play a stream of 2K DPX files in realtime.