12 Replies Latest reply on Mar 26, 2012 8:23 PM by JEShort01

    GPU options for editing RED 4k via Mercury Engine

    Ross5555

      Hi Everyone,


      I've done a fair bit of research in terms of GPU options, but have yet to have found any decent information regarding specifically the RED 4k workflow.

       

      I'm currently in the process of building this workstation:

       

      i7 2600 Overclocked @ around 3.8Ghz with Corsair H80

      Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H Mobo

      16GB 1600MHZ Corsair Blue

      2x HDs in RAID 0

      1x SSD for operating system

      2x 24in Dell Ultrasharp @ 1920x1200

       

      My three options currently are:

       

       

      GTX 570 1.2Ghz @ £220 - 480 CUDA Cores - 320bit

      GTX 580 1.5Ghz @ £350 - 512 CUDA Cores - 384bit

      GTX 580 3.0Ghz @ £430 - 512 CUDA Cores - 384bit

       

       

      The sole purpose of this workstation is to be able to edit 4K R3D files at 1/2 res. Does anyone have a similar setup, if so how does it perform with R3D files?

       

      My financial situation isn't great after just shelling out £15,000 on a Scarlet, but seeing as this setup is built solely for the purpose of editing RED content it seems silly to shoot myself in the foot trying to save a buck on the GPU . The 570 is a third cheaper than the 580, but would I notice any real world difference in the editing capabilities of my workstation?

       

      Does Premiere CS5.5 fully utilise the extra 32 cores between the 570 and 580? Are there any advantages of having the extra GPU processor speed between the 1.5Ghz and 3.0Ghz when it comes to Premiere, such as being able to have more 4K streams in the timeline for instance? Are there any obvious bottlenecks in the proposed system?

       

       

      I understand that Quadros would be the best way forward for workstation acceleration, however unfortunately these cards are out of my budget.

       

       

       

      Thanks for your time.

      Ross

        • 1. Re: GPU options for editing RED 4k via Mercury Engine
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          You might want to check the results at the CS5 Benchmark http://ppbm5.com/

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: GPU options for editing RED 4k via Mercury Engine
            Ross5555 Level 1

            Thanks for sending that over John, a very useful resource!

             

            According to that site it doesn't seem like there is a great deal of difference in between the 570 and 580, although the only the 1.5GHZ version of the 580 is being reviewed.

             

            The Mercury Playback Engine performance charts (http://ppbm5.com/MPE%20Charts.php) state that there is only 0.6s of a difference in average render speed between the 570 (9.18) and 580(8.58). Strangely enough, the 570 is said to be 13.9 times quicker than non hardware accelerated vs 13.1 on the 580. Is there a valid reason for this?

             

            Although these facts are useful to know, the render times of these cards aren't as important to me as smooth playback. Does anyone have any other thoughts?

            • 3. Re: GPU options for editing RED 4k via Mercury Engine
              Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Over clocking the GPU has absolutely no performance effect.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: GPU options for editing RED 4k via Mercury Engine
                Ross5555 Level 1

                Thanks for your reply Bill.

                 

                I am a bit unclear, so is the 3.0ghz GTX 580 simply a factory overclocked 1.5ghz 580? I was under the impression that it had more memory and could therefore theoretically cope better with the GPU memory intensive 4K files.

                • 5. Re: GPU options for editing RED 4k via Mercury Engine
                  JEShort01 Level 4

                  Ross,

                   

                  In a thread from 2011 (http://forums.adobe.com/thread/883259) I posted the following test results:

                   

                  *****

                   

                  ...my test results with the RED 4.5k footage on a high-end PC that does not have any special hardware installed (RED Rocket, etc.), I've summarized my findings below:

                   

                  PC: Intel i7-970 at 4.2GHz, 7x1TB RAID 5 array, and a GTX 480 with 1.5GB GDDR5 VRAM:

                   

                  TEST 1a: Hardware MPE and un-rendered timeline:

                  - Scrubbing and playback at 1/2 resolution - perfect quality, no lag whatsoever, CPU usage around 70% (wow, that's with 6 real cores and 6 hyperthread pseudo cores!)

                  - Scrubbing and playback at full resolution - HORRIBLE, unusable

                   

                  TEST 1b: Hardware MPE and fully rendered timeline:

                  - Scrubbing and playback at full resolution - perfect quality, no lag whatsoever, CPU usage around 20% for playback

                  - Full timeline render is pretty slow - about 9 minutes for 1 minute and 20 seconds of clips on the timeline

                   

                  TEST 2a: Hardware MPE and un-rendered timeline; this time with 4 layers displayed simultaneously (each at 50% size and in a separate corner):

                  - Scrubbing and playback at 1/4 resolution - perfect quality, no lag whatsoever, CPU usage around 100% (again, wow!); also, I have to add that RED at only 1/4 resolution is still pretty stunning!

                  - Scrubbing and playback at full resolution - HORRIBLE, unusable

                   

                  TEST 2b: Hardware MPE and fully rendered timeline; same 4 layers as test 2A:

                  - Scrubbing and playback at full resolution - perfect quality, no lag whatsoever, CPU usage around 20% for playback

                  - Full timeline render is again pretty slow - about 7 minutes for 4 clips around 20 seconds each

                   

                  *****

                   

                  I'm very unqualified to tell someone how to build a system for RED, but my sense from running those quick tests was that RED taxes your CPU massively, but the GPU not so much.

                   

                  If you have not purchased your CPU yet, go for the 2600k model and shoot for a higher OC, say around 4.4GHz. I think that you will want and / or need lots of CPU "grunt".

                   

                  Regards,

                   

                  Jim

                  • 6. Re: GPU options for editing RED 4k via Mercury Engine
                    Studio North Films Level 3

                    Hi,

                     

                    Ross555

                     

                    I think you are confused regarding the two different GTX 580 models, the difference is Memory not Speed. There is a few different models that are factory OC, but this does not make any difference. The Cuda Cores is what makes the Difference.

                     

                    The New GTX 680 has just landed and cost from uk from £400 +,

                     

                    As Premiere works with Red Files natively there is no need to Render the Timeline unless using effects that require you to Render the footage.

                     

                    From my last test on RED, I had over 20 layers @ 4k, and played with no issues. Cant remember the resolution, but i think it was 1/2. ( 980x 4.2ghz, 24gb Ram, Raid )

                     

                    A fast HD Raid setup will help with Scrubbing those large files.

                     

                    My GTX 680 arrives tommorow, I will do some tests in the next few days and will retest some red footage. and be in touch.

                     

                    Baz

                    • 7. Re: GPU options for editing RED 4k via Mercury Engine
                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                      For editing RED or EPIC material, the amount of VRAM is crucial. The 680 is without a doubt the fastest card at this moment with the most cores, but it is currently limited to 2 GB . The 580 is not as fast, but is available in 3 GB versions. This difference in memory is crucial, because with memory hungry material like RED or EPIC the biggest risk is running out of VRAM. If that happens, there is a not very subtle change from hardware MPE to software MPE. Hardware MPE just no longer works at all if all VRAM is used. That is why the amount of VRAM is absolutely crucial with your specific material. Personally, I would wait for the 4 GB version of the 680 card. If you can't wait, then my preference would be the 3 GB 580.

                      • 8. Re: GPU options for editing RED 4k via Mercury Engine
                        David Zeno Level 1

                        Hi Harm,

                         

                        I'm wondering going from PCI 2 to PCI 3 with the new 680.... does that do anything for quickness in Premiere ?  I've tried to look for type of data

                        with the 680 vs the 470 ( which I have currently ) and can't find any.

                         

                        In order to take advantage of the 680, you need a new motherboard because the new 680 is a PCI 3 card, but I was told the 680 can also work

                        with PCI 2 motherboards, but... is there any point ?

                         

                        As you said, memory is what is important.  I remember seeing some cards  ( AMD ) which sport 3 gb of memory, however they are 1.5 gb each x 2

                        which I read basically defeats the purpose in Premiere, because the way the memory works is that it would just re-render or "pre-render" timeline effects,

                        so basically just using that extra 1.5 gb of ram, for no reason.  I don't remember where I saw that, but it is something that people should be aware of. 

                         

                        EDIT: what I mean about the above paragraph is that having 3 gb of memory is actually 1.5 x 2, so any effects that need memory to make the timeline "yellow"

                        would just be copied to the next 1.5 gb of memory, basically being reduntant.  This wasn't for Premiere though, as I'm sure it was an AMD the reviewer was speaking

                        about, and it may have been for gaming, - so.. I don't know if a card with memory like this, would act the same way in Premiere, ( a new Nvidia card )

                         

                        However - I don't think Premiere works with Mercury with any AMD cards, so it's not an issue I guess.

                         

                        Ok, so forgetting the 680, how much better / faster is the 580 vs the 470 in Premiere ? .. would there be a place where we can see some stats ?

                        do you know off-hand ?   I may just forget about the 680, and go with a 580, if pricing drops by $200 as a local vendor told me just last week.  A $200 drop

                        on the 580 would make that card VERY appealing..... but.... is it worth going from the 470 to the 580 ?  that is the question....

                        Dave.

                        • 9. Re: GPU options for editing RED 4k via Mercury Engine
                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                          Dave,

                           

                          If you have the same RED 4K material or even EPIC 5K to handle as the OP, the increase of VRAM from 1.2 to 3 GB would make the move from a 470 to a 580 worthwhile, but if your editing needs are more common and use only 1920 or smaller material, the gain from a 580 over a 470 will hardly be noticeable, if it is noticeable at all.

                          • 10. Re: GPU options for editing RED 4k via Mercury Engine
                            Ross5555 Level 1

                            Jim - Thanks for passing on your results. These give me a lot of hope in the setup, I think I will take the OC a bit further to get the most out of it. What hard drives were you using for your tests out of intrest?

                             

                            Studio North - I'm very keen to see how your 680 performs with RED footage. Please let me know your thoughts when you've had a play.

                             

                            Harm - Thanks, that was very helpful. As the 580 3.0 has dropped in value enormously since the release of the 680 I think that's currently the logical option for me.

                             

                            I presume I will need my hard-drives to keep up to be able to maximise my scrubbing ability. Would a pair of say 1TB WD Caviar 7200s in RAID 0 suffice or should I look for something faster, such as a 10,000RPM drive? Also, I've noticed that the Gigabyte motherboard that I am planning to get only has two Sata 6GB/s ports, with the remaining 4 being 3GB/s. As I'll have a Sata 3 SSD to run my OS (Correct me if I'm wrong but I presume Sata 3 is equivelant to 6GB/s?), would you suggest getting a mobo with more 6GB/s outputs?

                            • 11. Re: GPU options for editing RED 4k via Mercury Engine
                              Harm Millaard Level 7

                              Ross,

                               

                              It is only a first draft and before publishing it in a range of new articles, I'm still awaiting some feedback, both from Adobe and from some of the reputable contributors here, so just look at it as 'early warning'. It may change a bit, but in essence this is part 1: Planning a new system When you read it, you will notice that I prefer the Asus P9X79 WS over the Gigabyte for the exact reasons you mentioned.

                               

                              A 10.000 RPM disk will not help. The Velociraptors are pretty old designs and the newest disks with their high density platters are noticeably faster. Sustained transfer rates of 150 - 190 MB/s are pretty common with the latest and newest disks. You can almost double those figures for a (r)aid0 and then it is just enough for playing a 6 track timeline of which 1 is RED 4K material and the other tracks are different but easier codecs. Such a timeline requires more than 300 MB/s sustained transfer rates. If you have say 4 RED 4K tracks with for instance PIP effects, so all 4 tracks need to play back, the requirements for sustained transfer rates go up noticeably.

                              • 12. Re: GPU options for editing RED 4k via Mercury Engine
                                JEShort01 Level 4

                                Ross,

                                 

                                Your 2xRAID 0 setup + SSD for OS may be fine to get started, or at least if you "render" first. Check out my comments in the following thread, particularly in post #8:

                                http://forums.adobe.com/message/4151027

                                 

                                Also see Harm's post #5 regarding the PPBM6 benchmark which includes RED 4K and EPIC 4K.

                                 

                                Regards,

                                 

                                Jim