9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 22, 2011 4:46 PM by Harm Millaard

    Recommend Video Card? < $200

    Suntower Level 1



      I actually have CS4... and frankly for the work I do (90% web design in DW, PS, IL) I'd happily stick with CS4 on my Windows machine with a Q8400 machine with a totally ancient Radion video card (this machine was original built for -audio- use where a crap video card is actually an asset.)  But I -am- thinking of finally getting CS5 in a few months so I'm trying to be forward compatible.


      But for -today-... I'm writing this because the the video rendering times in Encore are... as you can imagine... DREADFUL. Rendering a 15 minute H.264 @ 25fps might take 45 minutes... And people I know with a Sandybridge machine will get it done in 5 minutes.


      So I'm wondering how to get the most 'bang for buck' to render videos faster. I don't -think- I really have a -CPU- problem.

      1. Get a new Sandybridge Z68 PC with a new 'CUDA' video card? now.




      2. Stick with Q8400 (my preference) and replace video card with something that will be a serious performance boost in CS4 (in terms of rendering) -and- be forward compatible with CS5 when I get 'round to upgrading.


      I keep seeing all manner of articles on -really- good gamer video cards now for < $100 but I'm unsure as to whether or not these apply to video rendering... and that's really all -I- care about at this point.


      Sorry for going on.







        • 1. Re: Recommend Video Card? < $200
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          A video card won't help at all with CS4, nor will it help with Encore in CS5.5.  Premiere Pro offers the acceleration, but even then, transcoding itself is not accelerated.


          Get the new CPU now.  It'll be the largest difference you'll see.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Recommend Video Card? < $200
            Suntower Level 1

            Thanks the WRONG answer!


            No... thanks so much. I admit to being a total video doofus who hasn't paid enough attention over the years... but now video is becoming more a part of my day to day work so if I could ask your patience for a couple follow ups:


            How do 'big boys' render large video files so frickin' -fast-?


            I mean, if the video card isn't a part of the equation, are you saying that -everyone- without 8 cores and a 240GB SSD just -suffers- like I do?


            I often hear friends laughing 'get a Mac!' but I just can't imagine that's the issue... or that a Q8400 is -that- ancient in this regard and I read articles and anecdotes about people rendering HD videos in '5 minutes'... And I would always wonder 'how?'.Is it -Encore- that just has a slow rendering engine in Windows?


            IOW: I can't -imagine- even trying to render a 'movie' from a Premiere project on my system... and I have 4GB ram and 3 7200RPM disks. Realistically, what kind of rig would it take to render a 15 minutes video... using the Premiere 'Youtube HD WideScreen' preset in under 30 minutes?





            • 3. Re: Recommend Video Card? < $200
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Have a look at PPBM5 Benchmark to see what makes a good machine. There is one entry with a Q8400 at rank 324, near the very bottom of the list.

              • 4. Re: Recommend Video Card? < $200
                Suntower Level 1

                Thanks Harm...



                I can't try the test, since I don't have CS5, but it seems like the summary supports what Mr. Simon wrote... lots of Ram, Fast CPU (though not necessarily the highest no of cores, right?) IOW: an overclocked 4-core machine might be better than an 8 core machine?


                However, in the Background Information it says...


                "Definitely use a CUDA/MPE capable video card. It can reduce rendering  time by a factor 10 and assists with scaling on export, while improving  export quality. SLI is no consideration, since it is not supported. For  the time being ATI is out of the game and only nVidia cards with 1 GB+  video memory are worth considering."


                Doesn't that contradict what Mr. Simon wrote above?


                Or is the term -Rendering- used in a different context here?


                Just trying to be clear. What I usually do are music videos. Typically a -long- video out of dozens of -very- small clips or still images that are -highly- processed with fades/re-sizes/movement. Lots of keyframe automation.


                But right now, a client gave me several -hours- worth of crappy WMVs... and there's a LOT more coming like this. All he wants is to fix the the audio... which was recorded off a web presentation, so it's highly distorted. I figured... no problem, I'll just run the audio through a dedicated audio editor to clean it up, then import that and the original WMV into Premiere and render to H.264. That should be the -least- intensive job I've ever asked Premiere to do. But... as my daughter would say, it takes FOR-EHVER.


                So it's going from being profitable to... not so much... simply because it ties up the machine for a day. What I need is for this sort of thing to go several times faster in order to get paid.





                • 5. Re: Recommend Video Card? < $200
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  CS5 is much faster than CS4 and as you can see from the one Q8400 entry, that machine, despite having 6 GB of RAM is around 25 times slower than a fast system. With a CUDA card this system would have been faster with rendering the timeline if hardware accelerated effects and transitions are used. But even then it still would be a slow system, ending up around rank 310.


                  A CUDA capable card has no use with CS4. If you want to speed things up, you need to get a new system and upgrade to CS5.5. No alternatives. If you stay on CS4, there is no performance difference between a $ 30 video card and a $ 600 video card, so that will not help.


                  The benchmark is specifically for CS5 and not for CS4 so all the comments relate to CS5.x. And rendering is used in the context of rendering the timeline for preview purposes. Encoding, for instance to H.264 is done by the CPU and a CUDA card will not help.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Recommend Video Card? < $200
                    Suntower Level 1

                    Thanks for the typically speedy and informative reply, Harm. I dunno how you get anything done.


                    OK. So I have a 1st gen Sandybridge K2600 mobo here... H67... which I could re-purpose for use with CS5. It has a 60gb SSD but currently no other video card. I'm thinking that's the only way I can afford to upgrade to CS5 at this point. I could use the SSD for scratch files.

                    So just to be clear... I -know- I'm over-simplifying tremendously but...


                    Even if I get CS5 on the above K2600 machine, the CUDA card would -not- help with something like this scenario:

                    1. Starting a new Premiere 5 project

                    2. inserting a WMV file on track 1

                    3. insert stereo audio on audio track 1

                    4. Exporting to Encore in H.264 format.


                    BUT, the CUDA card -would- help -tremendously- if I work on a music video with lots of tracks and FX because it's the -CUDA- that helps out with all real-time processing (that I see on my monitor during playback).


                    Is this about right?


                    Also, so far... in your testing, have Z68 machines provided  worthwhile improvements over K2600?





                    • 7. Re: Recommend Video Card? < $200
                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                      Your summary is correct, unless there is scaling involved from the WMV to H.264. That is hardware assisted.


                      Go to the Model CPU tab and click on the i7-26xx series here: http://ppbm5.com/DB-PPBM5-2.php


                      Currently you end up with 66 system to make your comparison and see the impact of hardware MPE.

                      • 8. Re: Recommend Video Card? < $200
                        Suntower Level 1

                        Got it. 66 sounds -way- better than 324. I can live with that until I make more $ with this stuff.


                        I want to thank you again for putting together these specific metrics and results. It makes it -much- easier to make the right decision.



                        • 9. Re: Recommend Video Card? < $200
                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                          You must have misunderstood. There are 66 systems using an i7-26xx CPU in the current database. The best ranking system is on rank 4. OTOH, the worst system amongst these 66 systems ranks 313.