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Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.

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Kell Hymer
Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Oct 9, 2014 at 10:23:11 pm

Hi All,

I have seen tons of conflicting info online among video gurus (even after filtering out the gamer's opinions) about the best GPUs for Sony Vegas. I am hoping someone can shed some light on it for me as I have found that GPU rendering is unstable (Vegas crashes or render fails) or even slower than rendering with the processor alone that I no longer even try it. From what I understand, there are 2 uses for GPUs in Vegas. I list them below and some of my observations and questions.

- Rendering. A good GPU should improve rendering speeds but after running multiple tests with various settings and outputs It seems this is not always the case. Often, the rendering time increases with GPU rendering enabled which makes me think that the CPU and GPU do not work in tandem to render a file but that the CPU simply offloads the entire job to the GPU. Someone told me that if your processor is better than your GPU, GPU rendering will be slower. However, I was under the impression that both the CPU and GPU work in concert. Anyone know?

- Real time work flow. I have seen marked increases in performance when using a GPU when working and watching pre-render previews. To me, this is the more important than improving rendering times.

My questions are:

1) When rendering with the GPU, does it work in tandem with the CPU or does the CPU simply pass on the load?
2) Which NVIDIA card should I use? My options are a GTX460, a GTX660ti Superclocked, a Quadro 2000 and a Quadro 4000. I used to use a GTX460 but I currently use a Quadro 4000. after benchmarking some renders with GPU I found that the OLD GTX460 often performed better than the far more expensive and specialized Quadro 4000!

Some people say that the algorithms in the Quadro cards, despite the lower CUDA core count, are better for professional applications. However, it seems these cards are geared more for Autocad & 3d modelling than NLEs. Others have stated that the GTX4XX and GTX5XX series are better than both the Quadro cards and newer(higher) GTX cards when it comes to NLEs or Sony Vegas specifically. Ultimately, streamlined workflow is more important to me than render times so what actually is the best option?


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Mark Barton
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Oct 10, 2014 at 6:17:33 am

I use the GTX 570 and it works most of the time, but occasionally I have a problem with rendering and then I turn it off and just use the CPU (at least for the Sony rendering. I also use New Blue and BCC and those utilize the GPU also.

My recommendation is go with the Quadro 4000 if you can get it and avoid the gaming card driver of the week scenario. The Quadro series is a workstation class card and that really means that you get a better tested driver. The game cards have impressive specs, but no one really cares if a few frames are corrupted in a game. A more stable driver is much more important to preserve your time investment in video editing. As far as choosing between the 460 and the 660, I would go with the 460 as that was the architecture that Sony originally released with (400 and 500 series). I heard the 600 series uses a different architecture and even though they had more cores, each core does not perform at the same level as the previous architecture. Hence performance is not linear to the number of cores between the two architectures.


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Steve Rhoden
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Oct 10, 2014 at 11:48:33 am

Wish i could offer you some good advice here, but ive long given up
on the confusing and unstable world of GPU Cards, lol.

Steve Rhoden (Cow Leader)
Film Maker & VFX Artist.
Owner of Filmex Creative Media.
Samples of my Work and Company can be seen here:
http://www.facebook.com/FilmexCreativeMedia


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Kell Hymer
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Oct 10, 2014 at 1:55:08 pm

Thanks Steve. I am beginning to feel the same way after reading everything. There are a number of great posts and benchmarks but it seems to me that they is no distinct card that performs "best" in Vegas.


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Kell Hymer
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Oct 10, 2014 at 1:52:41 pm

Thanks for the info. I actually have the Quadro 4000 and my GTX460 seems to out perform it but it looks like much of it depends onthe codec I use according to the reading I have done here. I don't use Main Concept too much so I might try to see if my GTX660ti will work out.


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Mike Kujbida
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Oct 10, 2014 at 12:39:05 pm

Several users on the Sony Vegas forum use and like the AMD 290 card.


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Steve King
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Oct 10, 2014 at 3:54:08 pm

The Sapphire R9 280x on my new computer seems to work well. I haven't done definitive tests with and without, but my impression is that render speeds (both Sony and Main Concept) are about a third of what they are with CPU only.

Steve K
Full time writer/director
Pt. Time Video Editor


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Kell Hymer
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Oct 11, 2014 at 5:30:38 am

Thanks for the replies. It looks like there is no solid answer yet. Maybe Sony and Nvidia or AMD will get together and make a card suited for Vegas someday.


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Steve Rhoden
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Oct 12, 2014 at 7:01:58 am

There will not be a solid answer anytime soon Kell!

Steve Rhoden (Cow Leader)
Film Maker & VFX Artist.
Owner of Filmex Creative Media.
Samples of my Work and Company can be seen here:
http://www.facebook.com/FilmexCreativeMedia


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Kell Hymer
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Nov 4, 2014 at 5:49:00 am

Looks like you are right. I have seen all kinds of posts and dialog since this posting and everyone seems to have different findings based on their system. I tested the following GPUs by monitoring frame rate playback in my full res preview: CPU only, Quadro 4000/ Quadro 2000, GTX 660ti, GTX460. Of all of these cards, the Quadro 4000 performed best. However, using CPU only produced a much higher frame rate than any GPU.

I have had similar findings in the past. My CPU utilization rarely reached 60% in any test and I am not sure why Vegas did not tax it more extensively to reach the highest possible frame rate. when I previewed with the Quadro 4000, my CPU utilization was the same or more as previewing with CPU only and the Quadro utilization was very high. Despite using both the CPU and GPU, it STILL played at a lower frame rate than the CPU only. I emailed Sony about this once and they told me it was because my CPU was stronger than my GPU. This finally makes sense now. The only thing that REALLY boosted frame rates was overclocking my CPU. Maybe if I really dove into all of the intricacies between my PC, my Vegas projects, and CUDA/OpenCL I could find the "perfect" GPU...however, I could probably go to med school and become a brain surgeon in half the time it would take to figure out the best GPU. I would love for Sony to make improvement in GPU compatibility. In the mean time, I think I'll just by a better processor...

Current System: Intel i7 3820 | Asus P9X79 Deluxe | Nvidia Quadro 4000 & 2000 | OCZ Revo 480 GB PCI Express SSD | Windows 7 64 bit | Vegas Pro 12 (64)


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Malcolm Matusky
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Oct 14, 2014 at 9:09:58 pm

I have two Quadro 4000 cards, I get almost no benefit from VP13, but a big bump with Davinci Resolve 10. To put off building a completely new NLE system I am upgrading my CPU from a Quad core to a Hex core next week, perhaps that will give me more of a boost in VP13 as I can overclock the CPU as well.

Next build will be a x99 chipset with an 8 core CPU, but I would like to wait a while for prices to drop a bit. GTX7xx series cards with 4GB of Vram seem to be the recommendation for the price for Davinci at the moment, with the new build I'll get two.

M

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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Sorin Nicu
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Oct 26, 2014 at 10:38:02 pm
Last Edited By Sorin Nicu on Oct 27, 2014 at 2:51:40 am

MainConcept CUDA encoders (used by Sony Vegas) are optimized for nVidia older Fermi generation video chips.
Same happens for ATI (with OpenCL), because MainConcept development stopped in Dec 2010.

Malcom, are you using the right settings?
For the Quadro 4000, "Max Rendering Threads" should be 8 (Fermi has 32 cores per each group), the rest should be like in my pictures.







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Malcolm Matusky
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Oct 27, 2014 at 4:46:11 pm

I had always used "16" rendering threads, as I thought it was CPU setting, not GPU. I set it to 8, the rest of my setting were the same, thank you for the information!

I am thinking of upgrading one of my GPU cards to a GTX6xx or 7xx series with 4gb of Vram for Davinci Resolve.

Cheers,

M

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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Sorin Nicu
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Oct 27, 2014 at 11:37:37 pm
Last Edited By Sorin Nicu on Oct 28, 2014 at 12:09:41 am

Newer cards (nVidia or ATI) won't work well in Vegas.
See what MainConcept has on their site (well, DivX site, since they bought them):

CUDA Encoder
NVIDIA graphics card with CUDA support (Professional - Tesla, Quadro 4000-series, FX, CX, NVS, QuadroPlex; Consumer - GeForce 8, 9, 100, 200, 400-series GPUs - with a minimum of 256 MB of local graphics memory card or 512 MB for 1920x1080p encoding). CUDA compute capability support only up to 1.3 (excludes certain GeForce 8800 models - GTS, Ultra. Compute capability 1.0 works in general for encoding, but has known issues. Boards with Kepler architecture are not supported.

OpenCL
Please note that the MainConcept OpenCL H.264/AVC Encoder only works with ATI/AMD graphics hardware. For NVIDIA GPU based acceleration, click here for the MainConcept CUDA H.264/AVC Encoder.
Supported ATI Graphics Boards:
AMD Radeon™ HD Graphics
6900 Series (6970, 6950)*, 6800 Series (6870, 6850)*
ATI Radeon™ HD Graphics
5900 Series (5970)**
5800 Series (5870, 5850, 5830)*
5700 Series (5770, 5750), 5600 Series (5670), 5500 Series (5570)
ATI FirePro™ Graphics
V8800*, V7800
* - preferred as tested
** - supported in single-GPU mode

As for the age of MainConcept encoders, see in this folder:
C: Program Files SonyVegas Pro 13.0 FileIO Plug-Ins mcmp4plug2 (or the other folders starting with mc) and check the digital signatures.


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Heinrich Himmel
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Oct 30, 2014 at 8:33:23 am

I believe OpenCL works better in vegas. The HD 6970 would be the most powerful officially supported GPU. In terms of nVidia, the most powerful officially supported card is the GTX 580 (although I believe the 570 is close). I have the GTX 580 in one of my builds and it works great.

In terms of CUDA performance, I believe that the GTX 780/Ti/Titan and GTX 970/980 are the only ones that will outperform the GTX 570/580. Of those, I would go for the GTX 970.

In terms of OpenCL performance, all AMD mid/high end cards are about equal and well ahead of all nVidia cards. The 970/980 have closed the gap, but are still about 50% slower.

For rendering, you will get the best benefit from an HD 6970 (currently $125). It is hard to say which modern card is above this for timeline performance. I believe HD 7950/R9 270x and above, but I could be mistaken. I have an R9 280x in another build and that works great as well.


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Sorin Nicu
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Oct 30, 2014 at 12:44:54 pm

[Heinrich Himmel] "In terms of CUDA performance, I believe that the GTX 780/Ti/Titan and GTX 970/980 are the only ones that will outperform the GTX 570/580. Of those, I would go for the GTX 970."
Probably they won't work at all with MainConcept encoder, they are not hard encoded in it.
Sure they will work probably with some CUDA effects (and ATI won't do that), but the encoder was not updated from 2010.

I think the best nVidia is still a Quadro 6000 due to memory size and floating point performance. A Tesla from same Fermi family will probably work the same, but I didn't have any information on that.

With a quad Xeon CPU I cannot even stress my Quadro 6000 above 25% utilization... CPU cannot "feed" it fast enough.


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Kell Hymer
Re: Best GPUs for Sony Vegas Pro 12.
on Nov 29, 2014 at 6:25:27 am

Update: So I upgraded to a 4930K and have overclocked it. I have barely got it installed and have yet to test it with Vegas Pro. I have been doing tons of research on GPUs and I realize that there is no good answer. However, depending on the codec, it seems the GTX580 and the R9 290 have the most positive results reported by other users. Rendering is not a concern to me, but a high frame rate on the best preview settings is. From what I gather, Sony Vegas uses OpenCL for real-time previewing/playback. It seems the R9 290 is best for this. However, I am curious to know if anyone has had success with high end Firepro cards. These are expensive, so there is not much information specific to Sony Vegas online. These forums, among many others are flooded with GPU compatibility questions as are the SCS Support tickets. I think it will be only a matter of time before the industry responds. The demand for better NLE/GPU solutions is very apparent. We will see what Vegas Pro 14 brings to the table.

Current System: Intel i7 3930K | Asus P9X79 Deluxe | Nvidia Quadro 4000 & 2000 | OCZ Revo 480 GB PCI Express SSD | Windows 7 64 bit | Vegas Pro 12 (64)


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