2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 1, 2011 4:07 PM by msp1518

    Do I have sufficient power to edit 1080p? Or MUST I upgrade?

    msp1518 Level 1

      Gentlemen (and ladies), my wife was able to get CS5 via her student program and we installed it on our only computer, a Shuttle XPC Prima with the following specs...


      Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

      Shuttle FX38

      Intel Core2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz

      8GB DDR2 ram

      nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512mb

      Samsung HD502HJ 500GB 7200rpm drive for OS

      WD Green drive for storage, but I am planning on buying two esata externals (7200rpm, of course).


      By no means a powerhorse via today's standards, but I am having interesting results. I did some shooting with a Canon 60D the other day, just for fun, and placed a few clips on my hard drive. While editing them on CS5 everything played smoothly. I was surprised. Of course, I now read I need to uncompress the files before editing and can't figure that out (as of yet).


      However, some files supplied to me in ProRes (I am still learning all these names and what they mean) were very choppy. They were for a project edited on Final Cut Pro (latest version). Talk about dropped frames. Yowzer!


      Some 720p clips rendered in FCP that were meant for showing people the work in progress play poorly inside of Premiere Pro as well, despite their playing fine with VLC. When opened and played back via VLC, they are smooth as silk.


      I am going to post a procedural question in another part of the forum, but for what I have, am I okay to edit in HD, even if it won't be screaming? Do I just need to use or stick to certain codecs? If I am not powerful enough, will replacing the video card be sufficient?


      I should mention I am shooting a project on Super8 late March and will have the 500T negatives scanned at 1080p. I honestly have no idea exactly what format they should be delivered to me in because this is all so confusing. Black magic was mentioned. ProRes was mentioned,. 422 8 or 10 bit was mentioned. It was mentioned that I should stay away from uncompressed since I would need a serious disc array to play back uncompressed files.


      Anyway... I could always sell my system on ebay, but I wonder what I would have to spend in its place. My budget can't really handle a new system at the moment.


      What about editing lower res versions and then conforiming/fonishing on a much faster system?

        • 1. Re: Do I have sufficient power to edit 1080p? Or MUST I upgrade?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          You correctly surmised that your system is no longer top-of-the-bill. Nevertheless, you can edit H.264 material, like from the Canon, even if it is rather slow at times. However, ProRes is an intermediate format requiring much more from your disk setup, because the files are much larger than the native format that PR uses. This means that the load is shifted from the CPU to the disks and with only 2 physical disks, one of them a green one, your disk setup is showing the limits of what it can process.


          You can't compare the performance of a player like VLC to an editing program like PR, because the former only needs to play the file, the latter needs to decode the long GOP structure for editing before playing it. It is as different as a falcon in flight and the taxidermist preparing a falcon. Of course the former is faster by a wide margin.


          1080p is a nice format for your Super8 material, but your system will bog down under 4:2:2 colorspace. It lacks the muscle and the storage capacity to handle that and it requires an additional card like AJA or BM, none seems wise with your current setup.


          What is your intended delivery format?

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          • 2. Re: Do I have sufficient power to edit 1080p? Or MUST I upgrade?
            msp1518 Level 1

            Hey, thanks for the response. Looking at what an upgrade would cost me, it is not in the cards until at least the summer. I'll have to make do for now. The question is, how...?


            My intended delivery format is as high as I can get it. The specifics is a learning curve for me. I want to be able to (if and when the money comes in) to get a 35mm print struck. That would be best case scenario.


            But of course, I do want to be able to have a digital projection in theaters that is not DVD quality, but 1080p. That is far more likely than an actual film print.


            In another thread...




            ...I am talking about editing options and the topic of converting the original 1080p source files into small, more compressed/lower-rez versions for editing as proxies, came up. Hope I am describing this correcty. That might make sense until I am able to upgrade.