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Update or replace V12 computer?

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John Beech
Update or replace V12 computer?
on Nov 28, 2014 at 8:48:35 pm

I've been reading threads about computer builds and video cards. This one was very good:

My existing machine has Vegas 12 and while I have purchase V13 upgrade, I have not installed it yet. Also, while I've used this software since Vegas 4 I do not consider myself expert Vegas-user, merely journeyman. My present machine is satisfactory but I envision future need for editing 4-camera tracks (and cutting between - like with a switcher) so I believe it is possibly time to upgrade.

Anyway, present mobo is X77, 1156-socket, i7-860 2.8GHz (Passmark=5088), Corsair water-cool, 8GB RAM (4x2GB sticks), qty-2 HD5750 video cards, qty-2 HP Z30w monitors, qty-2 Samsung 20" monitor rotated to portrait orientation). System disk is Samsung 840, scratch disk is also 840 SSD. Footage disk is inexpensive RAID0 with two 7200RPM 1TB drives connected via USB3.0

I am confident system, scratch, and source disks remain adequate. Also, 30" monitors are perfectly adequate for continued use. Ditto the two Samsung 20" monitors.

Meanwhile, I have researched and it appears socket-1156 is obsolete (no new CPU scheduled). If upgrading, the best possible CPU is i7-880 (Passmark=5688 represents minimal performance gain. However . . .

1. It's possible buying new video card(s), e.g. Radeon R9 290X makes a huge difference - I don't know.

2. It's possible buying new RAM is helpful but mobo max is only 16GB.

If group wisdom is to buy new mobo/CPU, I expect to also buy the R9 graphic cards mentioned above. CPUs I am considering are . . .

3a) i7-4970K because . . . fewer cores but operates at blazing fast 4GHz, and mature mobos readily available, and relatively inexpensive ($299), and Passmark=11,291 is slightly more than double existing.

b) i7-5930K 8-cores, 3.50GHz, $550, Passmark=13,501 (~2.5X existing), and less mature mobos (and much more expensive), but much more modern CPU with double the cores . . . I'm uncertain how to value this.

c) FWIW, previous generation Vegas machine (XP) had qty-2 Xeon 2.2GHz but was mobo-limited to 4GB of RAM. I mention this because of possibility of once using somewhat expensive workstation/server mobo and using qty-2 Xeon E5-1650 v3 ($570x2). Especially because I could buy one CPU and then in a month or two, buy another. Anyway, this CPU is Passmark 13,224, which is only a little better than i7-6930K, little more costly (both almost twice the price of 4970K). Advantage is ability to add additional CPU . . . I'm uncertain how to value this but it's appealing.

Also, if it helps to know, 99% of my editing is cuts only, long format (1-1/2+ hours), output to DVD principally. However, new work is definitely going to be cutting 4-tracks to create one track as if it were being switched live. Also, I have some upcoming work to color-correct some programs, which were created with four cameras.

Anyway, because money is never surplus, I wonder if 4070K is perfectly adequate because of very fast clock speed, or if it is wiser to move to 8-cores, or even dual Xeons once again. If it is not obvious, I only replace computer every three or four years.

Finally, while it shouldn't be a consideration, nevertheless I wonder if the existing water cooler can be reused. Also, existing case is good quality Cooler Master and the power supply is adequate (both are ATX).

Anyway, many thanks!

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John Rofrano
Re: Update or replace V12 computer?
on Nov 29, 2014 at 1:38:20 pm

[John Beech] "1. It's possible buying new video card(s), e.g. Radeon R9 290X makes a huge difference - I don't know."
That depends. I have a 2008 Mac Pro 2.9Ghz 8-Core with an ATI Radeon HD 5870 and I also have a 2010 Mac Pro 2.93Ghz 12-Core with an ATI Radeon HD 5870 (same graphics card) and my Cinebench Open GL scores for the 12-Core are 50% higher (64.37 fps vs 39.13 fps). So the same graphics card performs very different depending on how fast the computer is to begin with. Throwing a new graphics card at the problem will only get you so far. To really see a performance boost you need to keep your components balanced otherwise the slower components will drag down the faster ones.
[John Beech] "2. It's possible buying new RAM is helpful but mobo max is only 16GB."
More RAM will only help if RAM is your bottleneck. When you are using Vegas Pro, how much RAM do you have left? Are you running out? 8GB is probably enough. I doubt moving to 16GB will give you any improvement,

For video editing, more CPU power is still the best investment. I would go with more cores over faster cores but that's just me (the guy with the 12-Core) ;-)


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Heinrich Himmel
Re: Update or replace V12 computer?
on Nov 29, 2014 at 8:50:44 pm

I find that for milti-cam cut only editing, even my surface pro (no joke) is adequate and that is far below your current PC spec.

I would completely ignore passmark and all other benchmarks. They only show what the CPU at 100% is capable of. This will rarely be the case in Vegas or any software. I think you can test your system with a better GPU (sell your current GPUs and get a single R9 series card). I agree with John Rofrano however that you will not get a big boost. Ram will help you in some rare instances where Vegas needs more than 8GB or if you want to run more than 1 instance of Vegas. GPU will help your timeline editing (allow you to use better resolution).

In terms of 4790, I will recommend against that CPU for anything but gaming. An AMD 8320 build has the potential to perform on par at less money and a 5820K build will outperform it by a lot for about $100 more.

At this point, if building, go for an ~$900 AMD system or ~$2000 i7 5820K system. Anything in between will either perform about on par with the AMD and much worse than the 5820K. Depends what you are doing though. 5820K is overkill (but nice) currently for HD editing, but adequate for 4K. AMD build would be good for HD editing, but probably underpowered for 4K. I believe neither will be a "Wow!" improvement over your current system other than maybe the 5820K and only in rendering (maybe 2x boost).

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