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Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.

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Brian Tallant
Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 26, 2014 at 12:42:48 am

I've read some of the previous threads on buying a graphics card, and unfortunately I came away even more confused! I'm planning to build a computer, based mainly on John Rofrano's build, which can be found here:

http://johnrofrano.com/post-production/pc-equiptment/hexcore-video-editing-...

I realize that his build is a couple of years old but I feel more comfortable doing this for the first time if I have a pattern to follow.

Anyway, where I'm getting stuck at this point is the graphics card. I use Sony Vegas for editing, but I also use Photoshop a lot, and would like to start trying After Effects. NVDIA cards are apparently great for Adobe products, and John himself used the NVDIA Quadro 4000...however, he has since decided it's not worth buying, and now recommends AMD Radeon cards as the best option for Sony Vegas. And yet, I can only pick one card.

I guess what I'm asking all of you professionals in this forum is this - if you were to build a new computer right now, knowing that your primary software is going to be Sony and Adobe, what graphics card would you buy?


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Sorin Nicu
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 26, 2014 at 1:00:43 am
Last Edited By Sorin Nicu on Nov 26, 2014 at 1:13:44 am

Get any Fermi nVidia card - GTX480, GTX670... to work with the MainConcept encoders.

Personally I have a GTX480 modded in Quadro6000 (less memory but more cores) and I cannot max it's utilization out with a six core i7 (I suspect that my HDD in RAID 1 is not fast enough for it).
Also, a Quadro 4000 was probably expensive and not worth it if bought new three years ago, but now you can find on eon eBay for $200.

I guess ATI card would be fine too, but even if I had a faster card it would not help.
Lack of CUDA keeps me in nVidia court.


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Steve Rhoden
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 26, 2014 at 3:54:41 am
Last Edited By Steve Rhoden on Nov 26, 2014 at 3:57:53 am

"unfortunately I came away even more confused!"
That is because it is a confusing subject and sometimes a joke.

"of you professionals in this forum - what graphics card would you buy?"
NONE, For me personally i simply use the everyday off the shelf powerful
laptops. Im not speaking for everyone here, just my personal workflow, i
stay away from all the graphics card mess that it has become, i have had
enough of it. I am a happy trooper with this approach for tons of reasons that
are too many to be listed here.

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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Sorin Nicu
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 26, 2014 at 11:35:41 am

[Steve Rhoden] "I am a happy trooper with this approach for tons of reasons that are too many to be listed here."
I guess time is not money for you. You must be really happy... not to have a deadline breathing down on your neck.

OT: Personally I consider my time the most precious resource. Ultimately... is the only thing that money can't buy. Not even if your name was Steve Jobs.


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Steve Rhoden
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 26, 2014 at 7:49:44 pm

Sorin Nicu Graphic Cards does not let you go and render any faster
than normal using Sony Vegas, it is wise for you to remember that!

Yes i am really happy because i meet all the deadlines breathing down
my neck on a daily basis ahead of time, because i dont bog down or bottle
neck my workflow with over the top Cards that causes issues with other tools
i use also.

I am in this field for a long time Mr. Sorin, and i know what i am speaking
about and i know what works and what's hype...

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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Sorin Nicu
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 26, 2014 at 10:41:16 pm

[Steve Rhoden] "Graphic Cards does not let you go and render any faster than normal using Sony Vegas, it is wise for you to remember that!"
That's not my experience.
[Steve Rhoden] "I am in this field for a long time Mr. Sorin, and i know what i am speaking about and i know what works and what's hype..."
And I know exactly what works for a desktop. It's not hype.


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Steve Rhoden
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 27, 2014 at 1:45:40 am

Well suite yourself Mr. Sorin. You seem to be the experienced Sony Vegas
forum moderator here, not me.... All the best.

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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Dave Osbun
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 26, 2014 at 12:30:10 pm

Radeon.


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John Rofrano
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 26, 2014 at 12:42:58 pm

[Brian Tallant] "I'm planning to build a computer, based mainly on John Rofrano's build, which can be found here"
Not to go off topic but would you like to buy my computer? I'll let you have it for a very reasonable price, Quadro 4000 and all. I've move to the Mac and I really have no need for it anymore. I think I've turned it on maybe 5 or 6 times in the last 6 months so it's just sitting there unused. Contact me via my web site's about page if you are interested, no worries if you still want to build your own (it can be fun). ;-)
[Brian Tallant] "I guess what I'm asking all of you professionals in this forum is this - if you were to build a new computer right now, knowing that your primary software is going to be Sony and Adobe, what graphics card would you buy?"
There is no one card to buy. Sony uses OpenCL and Adobe uses CUDA and AMD cards excel at OpenCL but can't do CUDA and NVIDIA cards only care about CUDA and are really poor at OpenCL (although they do support it so in that respect NVIDIA has the advantage).

I think that Adobe is now supporting OpenCL because the new Mac Pro's (and most Mac's) have AMD GPU's so they are forced to. I would get an AMD Radeon R9 290x. It will perform well with Vegas Pro timeline editing. It will not, however, be used when rendering MainConcept AVC but that's the only codec that is negatively affected. Whatever you buy (AMD or NVIDIA) it will work better with one program than the other. If you think you will be using Adobe more get an NVIDIA. My Quadro 4000 has performed very well with Vegas Pro and of course works great with Adobe too.
[Brian Tallant] "John himself used the NVDIA Quadro 4000...however, he has since decided it's not worth buying"
Just to clarify, what I don't recommend buying is "workstation class" graphics cards just for video editing. This doesn't mean that workstation class graphics cards aren't good for 3D or even After Effects. Just that straight video editing doesn't benefit from them so you are paying a premium price for little to no benefit. You'd be better off with a consumer graphics card if all you are doing is editing video. Once again, it's not that they don't perform well for video editing, it's just that consumer cards can perform just as good for a lot less money.
[Brian Tallant] "and now recommends AMD Radeon cards as the best option for Sony Vegas"
This is because Vegas Pro uses OpenCL for timeline playback GPU acceleration and AMD cards are better at OpenCL than NVIDIA cards. There have been lots of posts from people who buy the latest NVIDIA cards and are shocked that they their timeline playback hasn't improved. My AMD Radeon HD 5870 has improved timeline playback significantly.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Brian Tallant
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 26, 2014 at 1:36:27 pm
Last Edited By Brian Tallant on Nov 26, 2014 at 1:38:23 pm

John, that's a very unexpected and very interesting proposition! I would like to consider that.

But before I do, I want to follow up on your suggestion to get a Radeon R9 290x. I have two questions:

1) I use Photoshop in conjunction with just about every video project I do. I guess it's hard to say which I use more, Vegas or Photoshop...they're pretty much equal in that regard. You mention AMD cards don't do CUDA. How would this negatively affect my ability to use Photoshop?

2) When I search NewEgg for Radeon R9 290x I get over 30 results! And from a number of different manufacturers. When I search for a specific model of NVIDIA card I get one result. What's going on with Radeon cards and how do I know which of these versions to buy?


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Bob Peterson
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 26, 2014 at 2:04:36 pm

I may be out of touch, but I'm having trouble visualizing how Photoshop will benefit significantly from GPU on a video card. In Photoshop, you are working with one image at a time. You will not see any delay in rendering that single image, or a variety of adjustment layers applied to that image. Conversely, Vegas deals with 30 images per second (in my world) with all of their adjustment "layers". There is no comparison. If there is a significant benefit to GPU, I think it comes on the Vegas side of your processing.


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John Rofrano
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 26, 2014 at 5:37:57 pm

Well... you did say you may be out of touch. ;-) Photoshop uses OpenGL and Open CL to render quite a few of it's filters. In fact, one of the benchmarks used to measure GPU performance is the Photoshop Gaussian Blur which seems to be much quicker with more powerful GPU's.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Bob Peterson
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 27, 2014 at 6:04:23 pm
Last Edited By Bob Peterson on Nov 27, 2014 at 6:07:10 pm

Hmmmmm, so that means Photoshop cannot render certain filters if you do not have the appropriate GPU? Or, perhaps it takes a fraction of a second longer to render the image using the CPU? If the latter, then I'm still having trouble seeing much advantage to the GPU when I'm working with one image at a time.

Since I have CS6, I will try liquify and warp to see if they work, and if I notice any delay.


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Bob Peterson
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 27, 2014 at 6:30:50 pm

John,

I did try the filters with my ancient GTX 660. Warp, liquify, paint and other filters work just fine, and, to my eye, they produce instantaneous results. I see no lag at all when I use them.


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John Rofrano
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 27, 2014 at 9:19:43 pm

[Bob Peterson] "so that means Photoshop cannot render certain filters if you do not have the appropriate GPU?"
No, it means that if you have the appropriate GPU Photoshop will take advantage of it otherwise it will use the CPU.
[Bob Peterson] "Or, perhaps it takes a fraction of a second longer to render the image using the CPU?"
We're not talking fractions of second... we're talking 10's of seconds. If you sit an edit in Photoshop all day, the difference between waiting 1 second for it to apply an FX and 15 seconds for it to apply an FX can really make a difference throughout the day. Photoshop also has a 3D engine so I'm sure the OpenGL rendering helps with manipulating 3D models for painting.

I don't think anyone would go out and buy a better graphics card just for Photoshop. But it of have one, it will speed up rendering some FX.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Bob Peterson
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 28, 2014 at 1:33:48 pm

Take it from me John, there is no 15 second delay and one does not sit for long periods of time waiting for it to kick in. I just tested this yesterday. The only reason to consider a graphics card for Adobe processing is if you are using Premiere Pro. I'm guessing most of us here are not in that category.


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Sorin Nicu
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 28, 2014 at 3:02:12 pm

[Bob Peterson] " I'm guessing most of us here are not in that category."

Well, there are situations it helps. For example when you have a short deadline for the 200-300 photos you just took at the wedding or fashion show. Or whatever...
Most of home users don't have that need.
https://forums.adobe.com/message/4289204


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Bob Peterson
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 29, 2014 at 2:43:20 pm

Based on what I saw, Photoshop uses the GPU for things like Warp, Liquify, Paint and other special functions. Perhaps you use these things for 200-300 photos at fashion shows or weddings. If so, perhaps a GPU will give you a speed boost. I suspect most photographers are like me. These functions are used rarely when there is a very special need. For the vast majority of photos, they are irrelevant. However, if GPU was used for all raw processing, or all rendering of an image, there would be a more substantial case. I did not see this mentioned in the specs I saw for functions which utilize the GPU. Perhaps someone has a link to a more comprehensive discussion of this topic?


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John Rofrano
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 26, 2014 at 5:35:47 pm

[Brian Tallant] "You mention AMD cards don't do CUDA. How would this negatively affect my ability to use Photoshop? "
According to this Adobe FAQ about Photoshop CS6:

"The Mercury Graphics Engine (MGE) ...delivers near-instant results when editing with key tools such as Liquify, Warp, Lighting Effects, and the Oil Paint filter. ... MGE is new to Photoshop CS6 and uses both the OpenGL and OpenCL frameworks. It does not use the proprietary CUDA framework from nVidia.

Your best bet is to get an AMD card because Photoshop CS6 (and I assume CC) supports OpenCL now.
[Brian Tallant] "2) When I search NewEgg for Radeon R9 290x I get over 30 results! And from a number of different manufacturers. When I search for a specific model of NVIDIA card I get one result. What's going on with Radeon cards and how do I know which of these versions to buy?"
I'm not sure what you are referring to. I just searched Newegg for "NVIDIA GTX 760" and got 83 hits! NVIDIA and AMD create the reference design and then lots of manufacturers make the actual cards.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Brian Tallant
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 26, 2014 at 6:20:21 pm

Oh, I didn't realize that's how it worked with graphics cards...remember, I'm new at this :)

I sent you an email concerning your offer, and in it I asked a question which I guess it might be okay to repeat here. If I end up building my computer I will follow your design (one change I will make is to use the ASUS P9X79 WS instead of PRO, because you said somewhere that if you had it to do over again you would use that motherboard to be able to use your case's firewire port in front). I realize it's not your job to design a PC for me, but do you have any idea if the Radeon R9 290X would be compatible with either your motherboard (if I purchase yours) or the one I'm considering? Or can you give me an idea of how to find out? Again, I have no experience with this, so even simple matters of whether or not certain parts fit together is new to me.


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Dave Osbun
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 27, 2014 at 11:56:15 am

By the sounds of your questions, I would advise finding someone to build your computer for you. If you know nothing about basic stuff like PCI Express slots, you are going to struggle with building your first system, especially making BIOS settings.

Dave


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Brian Tallant
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 27, 2014 at 1:45:05 pm

Yes, I have a friend who agreed to help me.


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Heinrich Himmel
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Nov 29, 2014 at 8:26:01 pm

I would go AMD R9 series now. There are good deals out now and they perform very well.

Adobe uses OpenCL as well. My R9 280x is about 20% slower than GTX 580 in GPU acceleration.

Photoshop runs pretty fast on all my systems... Heck it runs fast on my laptop and Surface pro. I generally only work on 1 photo/image at a time in Photoshop. Only for certain edits. For something like Wedding Photos, I use Lightroom. It is maybe 50x-100x faster workflow. Editing and exporting 1000 photos takes 3 hours vs days/weeks in photoshop...


John Rofrano's build is similar to mine, just a half generation older. It is a good start for someone looking to have a strong PC for editing. At this point, I would do x99 system with 5820K and an R9 card. No sense getting better CPU unless you have use for the extra PCI lanes (multiple GPU, RAID cards, etc...)


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Luigi Perrotta
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Mar 2, 2015 at 10:00:12 pm

I wish I could understand all the tech stuff about these video cards but I don't.
I have two simple questions: With a "better video card", will I see a difference on playback when I preview?
Will I see a big difference in the finished product?
I only edit about a dozen videos a year and I am not pressed for time.
I am using a GeForce GT 640 2 GB. I don't really see any difference from the card that came with the computer.
I am a musician, when I buy audio equipment I turn my back and let the salesman play, many times I pick the least expensive choice.
I used to edit audio using studio monitors, but then I realize that most people view my video on a TV, now I mix using small inexpensive speakers, I get better results.
I wish I there was a way to audition video cards.


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John Rofrano
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Mar 5, 2015 at 11:56:17 pm

[Luigi Perrotta] "With a "better video card", will I see a difference on playback when I preview?"
You should. There is no guarantee but in general, a good graphics card like a AMD R9 290x will improve playback performance.
[Luigi Perrotta] "Will I see a big difference in the finished product?"
No. In fact, the finished product could be worse in which case you will need to disable the GPU for rendering. Usually the finish product is the same regardless of video card.
[Luigi Perrotta] "I only edit about a dozen videos a year and I am not pressed for time."
It's not a matter of time. It's a matter of being able to edit the video without annoying stutter. If your timeline playback is stuttering badly it makes it very hard to edit.
[Luigi Perrotta] "I am using a GeForce GT 640 2 GB. I don't really see any difference from the card that came with the computer."
What card came with the computer? The encoders in Vegas Pro won't take advance of the GeForce 6xx series. They are programmed for the 4xx ro 5xx series only. Timeline playback is using Open CL which is better supported by AMD than NVIDIA.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Luigi Perrotta
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Mar 6, 2015 at 12:37:25 am

Thank you John,
I think the card that came with my computer is embedded in the motherboard.

I didn't have a stuttering problem, I had an audio out of sync and a crashing problem. The reason I mentioned TIME it is because some of the members were pressed for time. If I did this for a living, I couldn't put up with crashes I would be pressed to find and resolve the problem even if it would mean dumping Vegas, computer etc. As a musician I carry 2 PA Systems and two keyboards I double everything just in case something fails, I would do the same if I was a videographer.

Let's hope by installing a new OS and all new drivers the problem is resolved. If the problem persist then I will look for a different card, but I would like a card that in the preview would show me exactly what the finished product will look like.

I think the card you mention above, cost more then $300.

My next multitrack project will be in a few months.


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John Rofrano
Re: Sorry to start a new graphics card thread, but I'm confused.
on Mar 6, 2015 at 12:51:31 am

[Luigi Perrotta] "I think the card you mention above, cost more then $300."
You could go with the cheaper R9 290 (without the 'x') or even the R9 280. You just don't want to get a GPU that's too weak because at some point your CPU may be more powerful than your GPU adding a GPU won't matter or can even show you down.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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