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FASTEST 4K rendering system for CS6 - Dual XEON or GPU (Cuda Cores) ?

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Ole SalomonsenFASTEST 4K rendering system for CS6 - Dual XEON or GPU (Cuda Cores) ?
by on Oct 7, 2012 at 10:40:39 am

Hi, I need to build a new POWERFUL video editing machine and could need some input as I am low on time.

The machine must be really fast in video editing/rendering, and I will be working both 1920x1080, 3840x2160 (24p) and 4K x 4K resolution projects. I work with a lot of timelapse, meaning a lot of large frames, and also computer generated frames inbetween key frames, eg. to slow down footage (Using both Adobes own, and different 3rd party engines for this).

First, I work in Adobe Creative Suite CS6 (After Effect and Premiere).

1. Should I choose a dual XEON R5 system (2630/2640), or is a fast i7 3960/3930K sufficient?
Higher end XEON E5 cpu's are really expensive, and as I understand from some sources, current models are "old" and should be replaced anytime soon, but I don't think I have time to wait. I know EVGA/ASUS have dual i7 motherboards, but are there any software (Adobe CS6) able to utilize dual i7 cpus as of today? I am unsure if there is any point in buying such a motherboard for my purpose.

2. I know some processes can be done by GPU. And I am tempted to buy the new GTX690, (and mod/hack Adobe info files so it becomes compatible with AE/PR), even if I know only a single GPU is currently supported in Adobe CS6 (giving me 1536 cuda cores), due to the possible use of the new NVIDIA hardware encoding system on newer NVIDIA cards, that may be possible (hopefully) to utilize in Adobe CS6 in the future. Or at least stand-alone.

3. What would be the overall fastest in rendering with Adobe CS6 (primarily After Effects)? Dual XEON E5-2630/2640 or a GTX680/690 card with 1536 cuda cores? (The higher XEONS above 2630/2640 are way too expensive I think, as well as NVIDIA QUADRO 5000/6000 Cards)

4. When I search about hardware/GPU rendering I now get a lot of threads about the "new raytracing engine" for rendering 3D. But I am not looking to render 3D, but 2D (What happened to "good old" mercury engine? ), and I need to do 2D rendering as FAST as possible!! I will be producing a 24 minute 4K x 4K (circular) movie for a client, as well as several "regular" 4K projects (3840x2160). I am confused why 2D rendering is not mentioned in raytracing rendering enginge.

5. Would 64GB DDR3 ram be sufficient? I am worried if I decide to overclock a little I may run into problems if going for too much RAM. Then again I may not need to overclock if the system is fast as it is.

6. Regarding Storage I could go for eiter a RAID workstatoin (RADI 5 or 6? Or other?), or a fast rendering workstation, with a slower and larger server for backup. I suppose I could use some increased write speed on the workstation as I will be rendering 4K x 4K footage in high bitrates, but I don't think the hard-drives will be the bottleneck here, but the rendering capabilites!?. Although I know choice of harddisk/storage is important in a video editing system, the other issues as with choosing Dual XEONS or i7 3930K + GTX690 (or both XEON + GTX690) for rendering is more urgent do decide upon right now.

Any input will be greatly appreciated!!

Best,
Ole


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Walter Soykaq
by on Oct 7, 2012 at 10:51:34 pm

[Ole Salomonsen] "1. Should I choose a dual XEON R5 system (2630/2640), or is a fast i7 3960/3930K sufficient? Higher end XEON E5 cpu's are really expensive, and as I understand from some sources, current models are "old" and should be replaced anytime soon, but I don't think I have time to wait. I know EVGA/ASUS have dual i7 motherboards, but are there any software (Adobe CS6) able to utilize dual i7 cpus as of today? I am unsure if there is any point in buying such a motherboard for my purpose."

I don't believe there is such a thing as a dual i7 system -- I thought the i7 lacked QPI, the interconnect necessary for supporting multiple processors.

Both After Effects and Premiere are able to use all the cores available in your system.

I'd say an i7 6-core is more cost-effective than a dual 4-core Xeon system, but a dual 6-core or dual 8-core Xeon will massively outperform the i7.

I think it comes down to a question of needs and budget: how much power to do you really need, and how much are you willing to pay for it?


[Ole Salomonsen] "2. I know some processes can be done by GPU. And I am tempted to buy the new GTX690, (and mod/hack Adobe info files so it becomes compatible with AE/PR), even if I know only a single GPU is currently supported in Adobe CS6 (giving me 1536 cuda cores), due to the possible use of the new NVIDIA hardware encoding system on newer NVIDIA cards, that may be possible (hopefully) to utilize in Adobe CS6 in the future. Or at least stand-alone."

Premiere uses only a single GPU (unless you have a Quadro/Tesla Maximus configuration).

After Effects will use CUDA on every GPU in your system for its new 3D ray-tracing renderer, but will not benefit much from the GPU outside of that.


[Ole Salomonsen] "3. What would be the overall fastest in rendering with Adobe CS6 (primarily After Effects)? Dual XEON E5-2630/2640 or a GTX680/690 card with 1536 cuda cores? (The higher XEONS above 2630/2640 are way too expensive I think, as well as NVIDIA QUADRO 5000/6000 Cards)"

My general advice for most Ae users is to get the most and fastest CPU cores they can afford, aim for 3-4 GB of RAM per core, and get an SSD to use as the cache drive.

Normal 2D and Classic 3D rendering in After Effects is all on the CPU, and the GPU doesn't factor in at all. This covers the great majority of current After Effects work.

Ae CS6's new ray-tracing renderer is CUDA-accelerated, and greatly benefits from an approved NVIDIA card. Check out Juan Salvo and Danny Princz's AE/GPU benchmarks [link] for more information on ray tracing on the GPU in Ae.

Some third-party effects like GenArts Sapphire may be CUDA enabled, but most GPU-accelerated Ae effects (like Optical Flares, Element 3D, Magic Bullet, Mettle effects) process on the GPU via OpenGL. The Ae interface itself is also accelerated by OpenGL.

There are some other things you can do besides throwing more hardware at Ae to make it a bit more efficient. See Adobe's excellent Improve Performance page [link] for more.


[Ole Salomonsen] "4. When I search about hardware/GPU rendering I now get a lot of threads about the "new raytracing engine" for rendering 3D. But I am not looking to render 3D, but 2D (What happened to "good old" mercury engine? ), and I need to do 2D rendering as FAST as possible!! I will be producing a 24 minute 4K x 4K (circular) movie for a client, as well as several "regular" 4K projects (3840x2160). I am confused why 2D rendering is not mentioned in raytracing rendering enginge."

The ray-tracer is in Ae; it traces rays of light through a scene to generate realistic-looking 3D. A 2D ray-tracer is a contradiction.

The Mercury Playback Engine is a collection of technologies in Premiere Pro aimed at increasing realtime performance of things like playback, transforms and effects.


[Ole Salomonsen] "5. Would 64GB DDR3 ram be sufficient? I am worried if I decide to overclock a little I may run into problems if going for too much RAM. Then again I may not need to overclock if the system is fast as it is."

Yes. I have 48 GB in my 12-core Z800 provided by HP and I'm very comfortable with it. A lot of my work is high-res material beyond 4K.


[Ole Salomonsen] "6. Regarding Storage I could go for eiter a RAID workstatoin (RADI 5 or 6? Or other?), or a fast rendering workstation, with a slower and larger server for backup. I suppose I could use some increased write speed on the workstation as I will be rendering 4K x 4K footage in high bitrates, but I don't think the hard-drives will be the bottleneck here, but the rendering capabilites!?. Although I know choice of harddisk/storage is important in a video editing system, the other issues as with choosing Dual XEONS or i7 3930K + GTX690 (or both XEON + GTX690) for rendering is more urgent do decide upon right now."

Disk speed will be critical for you -- perhaps not so much for writes as for reads. If you want to play back 4K image sequences in real time, you will need a fast disk subsystem to keep up with that high data rate.

I've always used external RAIDs, but the ProMAX ONE puts a high-performance RAID right in the case.

Either way, I'd consider high-speed RAID as non-optional for high-res work.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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+1

Ervin TiaRe: q
by on May 22, 2013 at 8:31:38 am

HI,

I have a similar concern.
Please see my post: Humble Monster, MacPro Upgrade ( http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/2/1037329 )

Thanks

----------
Ervz | Video Productions | WMC-AP, Philippines
https://vimeo.com/ervzman/videos


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