6 Replies Latest reply on May 10, 2011 3:58 PM by John T Smith

    Recommendation for Graphics card?

    Captain Slocum Level 1

      Can anyone help with what graphics card I need for smooth MP4 playback?

      I have just started using mp4 files from my new Sony NEX-5 and editing them in PE and find that my computer will not play them without jerkiness (this is not really an Elements problem as I have the same problem in Quicktime and other media players). Playing .avi files is fine. Can anyone recommend what graphics card I could buy to get a smooth playback? (I have the latest driver for my old card and it is now listed as legacy).

      Windows XP Pro SP3
      Twin Intel CPUs 3.2 GHz
      3.00Gb RAM
      ATI Radeon 9600 graphics card

      Any new card would have to be compatible with my Matrox RT.X100 video card.

      Many thanks

        • 1. Re: Recommendation for Graphics card?
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Mp4 files, like AVCHD, are highly compressed and take a LOT of computing power to play smoothly, since the CPU must decompress the video frames during playback 


          That decompression is not done by the graphics card... your computer likely just does not have enough power for smooth playing... especially since this is happening with ALL players


          Also, what is your hard drive setup?


          My 3 hard drives are configured as... (WD = Western Digital)
          1 - 320G WD Win7 64bit Pro and all program installs
          2 - 320G WD Win7 swap file and video project files
          3 - 1T WD all video files... read and write files
          Trying to use only ONE Hard Drive for Video Editing
          You are a music conductor, with a baton that you use to point to various parts of the orchestra... this is like Windows pointing to various parts of the hard drive to do Windows housekeeping or to load program segments for various functions
          Now, at the same time and with the same hand... while still using the baton to conduct the orchestra... pick up a bow and play a fiddle... this would be doing something with your video file at the same time as all the other work
          You as a person cannot do both at the same time with the same hand
          A computer is a LITTLE better, in that it can switch from one kind of task to another very quickly... but not quickly enough for easy video editing
          One hard drive is not as good as two which is not as good as three

          • 2. Re: Recommendation for Graphics card?
            Captain Slocum Level 1

            Thank you for the reply.


            I have a 250 GB SATA drive for the application and a 1TB SATA drive for the video read/write.


            I should have also have said that I have a ASUS P5P800 SE motherboard with 1 AGP 8X graphics card slot and 4 PCI slots.


            So upgrading my graphics card would not work?  It is because here is not enough power in the CPUs? Can they be upgraded or do I need a new motherboard (might as well get a new computer if so).

            • 3. Re: Recommendation for Graphics card?
              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              >So upgrading my graphics card would not work?


              As I said... the CPU is what is doing the work of DE-compressing those HIGHLY COMPRESSED files... the graphics card is only showing you what the CPU is sending out... so, no, a graphics card update will not help


              A complete computer replacement would improve playback... an Intel i7 is recommended for AVCHD, and the MP4 format is not "much" less intensive of CPU power required


              I edit both AVCHD (Canon Vixia HFS100) and MP4 (wife's Flip HD) and everything is very smooth... but this is with PPro CS5 and a LOT more computing power


              If you can live with less than smooth playback while editing... what does your final output look like?


              If you create a DVD... does it play well at your TV?


              If you are just doing this as a hobby, and don't want to spend upwards of $2k for new hardware... you might just want to live with less than perfect playback... as long as your final output is OK

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Recommendation for Graphics card?
                John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                More reading...


                This message has a really good graphic about requirements... it is oriented toward PPro, but the requirements by file type are true for all editing

                CS5 Requirements http://forums.adobe.com/thread/810750?tstart=0


                Also, go to the Hardware forum



                Once there, click the drop down window just above the messages and start reading about hardware

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Recommendation for Graphics card?
                  Captain Slocum Level 1

                  Thank you John for those really helpful replies - I'm glad I didn't shell out for a new

                  graphics card before posting here.


                  The final output is fine, whether .avi, Flash or DVD so I will just learn to live with the jerky previews. The step forward one frame button works well and responsively so I can fine tune cuts without too much trouble.


                  Thanks again for your trouble.

                  • 6. Re: Recommendation for Graphics card?
                    John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    My current computer (read http://forums.adobe.com/thread/652694?tstart=0 for more) is very fast with AVCHD and MP4


                    My previous computer (link in above to a file with information) was a Pentium 4 with 2Gig ram and PPro CS3 and I only edited AVI as digitized from 8mm tape via Pinnacle Dv500


                    Editing was OK... telling Encore to create an image file to then write to DVD was an all night process


                    As long as your output is OK, just stick with what you have... at least until you save up $$ and decide it is time for more speed