Should I update my CPU for faster rendering from Sony Vegas 11?
Motherboard: MS-7613 (Iona-GL8E)
Processor: Intel Core i7 860
Memory: 6GB (3x2GB sticks) 4 slots available
Video graphics: ATI Radeon HD5450
Right now my speed of rendering is around 1 hour per minute of video. I render HD videos (with lots of effects) from about 30-45 minutes in length. I really don't want it to take over a day to finish rendering, that's IF it doesn't crash before finishing.
I was thinking of buying another 2GB of memory to take my memory up to a total of 8GB but from what I've read, this apparently may not help for rendering (would extra memory speed up processes in the editing stage instead?). From opening task manager when I'm rendering a video, I can see that my memory usage stays around 2.20GB but my CPU goes up to 60% and beyond and it sounds like my computer is huffing and puffing to cope.
PROBLEM: I expect buying a better processor would mean spending over £100/$150? I'm looking to spend less than that, if possible. I much preferred the idea of spending £20 on 2GB more of memory but I guess this would not provide a significant difference?
PS: My system is about 4 years old
Thank you very much for any responses!
Adding more memory would be throwing your money away. It will do absolutely nothing to improve rendering speeds. As you have seen, you're only using 2.2GB of memory now. I can't see upgrading your CPU on such an old motherboard. Besides LGA1156 processors will be very hard to find.
Since you're on Vegas Pro 11.0 one thing to try is to disable your GPU. Since your CPU is only at 60%, your ATI Radeon HD 5450 may actually be slowing you down. Go into Options | Preferences | Video | GPU Acceleration OFF. Then restart Vegas Pro and see if it renders any faster on CPU alone.
Another upgrade that may improve render performance is to upgrade your video card. The AMD Radeon R9 270 is about $150 USD. If you are using a lot of FX then this might drastically improve both render and playback speed.
Hi John, thank you very much for the quick response, you are a life saver!
Unfortunately there isn't any other option from the drop down menu in preferences apart from 'off' for the GPU acceleration.
I apologise that I know little about the workings of computers when I ask:
You mentioned my motherboard was old, would that be good to upgrade?
Do you have a cheaper recommendation for a graphics card?
Even on projects where I'm not using lots of effects, the rendering times are similarly long. I can't see what seems to be upgraded in this case if not the CPU, memory or graphics card.
[Daniel Pearce] "Unfortunately there isn't any other option from the drop down menu in preferences apart from 'off' for the GPU acceleration."That mean that your video card is too old or not powerful enough for Vegas Pro to use. Upgrading your graphics card could definitely help.
[Daniel Pearce] "You mentioned my motherboard was old, would that be good to upgrade?"No, that would mean replacing the CPU and memory because every motherboard is only compatible with certain CPU's and memory. At that point you might as well buy a new computer.
[Daniel Pearce] "Do you have a cheaper recommendation for a graphics card?"You can get a Radeon HD 6970 for around $100 USD. That's about as low as I would go. Anything less than that isn't going to give you a good boost.
This also assumes that your power supply unit (PSU) can handle a newer graphics card which might require 2x6 pin power cables. Does your PSU have this? You should have at least a 500W PSU. If your computer came with a minimal 300W PSU it might to have enough power to drive a newer GPU.
Your original question is still sound. A faster CPU will definitely improve renders in Vegas Pro. If you can find a 3.2 or 3.4 GHz CPU for your motherboard and it's not too expensive that may still be an option. I just don't think you're going to find one anymore.
I am looking to buy the AMD Radeon R9 270 after your suggestion. After searching the product however, I see listings of ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, Sapphire etc versions of the AMD Radeon R9 270. Which brand would you recommend?
I also see listings for the same model except it is the 'x' version (AMD Radeon R9 270X) - is the 'x' version much better than the original?
EDIT: Actually on reading your reply again, I've realised that my power supply may not be sufficient to be compatiable with the Radeon HD 6970?
My power supply:
"Model number: PS-5301-08HF
DC Output 300W
Continuous total DC Output power shall not exceed 300W"
The power cables that come out of the power supply only seem to have 4 pins on them, each.
Would you recommend I upgrade my power supply now too, to be compatiable with the Radeon HD 6970? If so, which one?
Or is there a graphics card you have in mind that I could use with my current power supply?
Thanks very much for your help,
[Daniel Pearce] "I am looking to buy the AMD Radeon R9 270 after your suggestion. After searching the product however, I see listings of ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, Sapphire etc versions of the AMD Radeon R9 270. Which brand would you recommend? "I have Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition and I'm very happy with it. I've also owned ASUS and MSI graphics cards. They're all pretty good. Get whichever is the cheapest.
[Daniel Pearce] "I also see listings for the same model except it is the 'x' version (AMD Radeon R9 270X) - is the 'x' version much better than the original?"Yes, the 'X' versions have more power (i.e., are clocked higher and therefore require more power it operate).
[Daniel Pearce] "Would you recommend I upgrade my power supply now too, to be compatiable with the Radeon HD 6970?"Absolutely! The Radeon HD 6970 recommends a minimum 550W PSU. So you're 300W PSU is not powerful enough. I would definitely upgrade your PSU for any new graphics card. You must also take into account how many hard drives there are in your case because they all draw additional power. Not having enough power will make your computer unstable; especially during renders.
Sorry I was mixing up the 2 graphics cards you recommended.
I was considering the cheaper option but now I'd go for the more expensive AMD Radeon R9 270.
Any ideas as to which power supply I could purchase to be compatible with the AMD Radeon R9 270? (I've heard that your motherboard needs to be compatible too) Hopefully a further problem isn't that I have a MS-7613 (Iona-GL8E) motherboard.
[Daniel Pearce] " I have a MS-7613 (Iona-GL8E) motherboard."It looks like you have an HP computer. You need to contact HP about that. A lot of manufacturers use proprietary parts so you may not be able to use an off-the-shelf PSU. You need to contact HP and ask them.
The H57 motherboard is not bad board and should render much faster than what you are seeing. I have a P55 with i7 870, with 32GB ram, and HD5770 and get somewhere just below realtime renders. Your choice of effects, compositing/layers can increase your render times significantly. Try sticking with Sony only GPU effects, and no 3rd party effects as a test. You do not really go into what codecs you are rendering from and to, this can make a difference as well. That HD5400 GPU you have is really low power, and needs to go.
What I would do first is use applications like “Speccy” & GPU-z, and verify a few items in your configuration.
Is your Motherboard BIOS up to the latest version?
Memory – what speed?
You should have PC3-1333 or PC3-10600 under Speccy> RAM>SPD>Max Bandwidth, or DRAM frequency should read 666Mhz.
Disk – Are your disks operating at maximum interface speeds?
Under Speccy> STORAGE>”your disk model”>FEATURES>you want NCQ for both BOOT and Media drives.
Is your GPU running at maximum interface speed?
Using the GPU-z application from techpower up, roll over the Bus Interface field and a popup should appear. Verify that the interface speeds are maxed for your GPU. If not, there may be a BIOS setting issue, or an addon card installed that is causing the interface to run at reduced speed. For example USB3 in BIOS turbo mode can limit 16X PCIe slot to run at 8X.
Video Drivers up to date?
Clearly the HD5400 is not optimal, make sure you have the latest drivers for whatever GPU you end up with.
Google / Verify DPC Latency:
Make sure your system does not have a bad driver or hardware item that is causing system wait.
Upgrading your machine may be an option, but for the money, buying the same R9 270 that John recommended, and installing it to Gen4 Intel system would be better spent. An off the shelf Gen4 (i7-4770) system will have faster memory, more memory, faster CPU, and PCIe 3.0. PCIe 3.0 is faster, has less operating overhead than 2.0, and would be optimized for R9 270. If you do go the whole system upgrade, you may as well get an r9 290x at that point for optimization reasons.
Windows uses memory in way that having more memory than what the application is using can actually improve render performance. Windows does huge disk cache based on the amount of free memory. It will always be faster to call render information from disk cache than from the disk itself. Upgrading to say 16GB of DDR3 1333 would be optimal for your system. You do not need to spend a great deal of cash on uber gaming memory. I have 32GB of PNY PC3-1333 cheapo memory and my system is very stable. Just make sure to get like for like memory across the slots. Keep memory same make, model, speed. ECC memory is not needed and is more expensive, MACs tend to use ECC and that is why you will see those modules listed as a choice.
Make sure the “Ram Preview” is set to the default in Vegas. Some recommend a zero setting to improve stability, but I believe this is due to other problems on the system or GPU type. More RAM preview will help Shift+B renders but, also will take away from disk cache in Windows. Zero setting on my I7-870 system increased render times greatly.
Try a different workflow for media rendering.
If shooting to AVCHD from say a DSLR. Trying rendering all Camera media to XDCAM-EX.MFX, then edit the XDCAM-EX.MXF, Render to XDCAM-EX.MXF. XDCAM.MXF editing is much more stable than editing camera source media. Use something like Handbreak to compress .MXF to .mp4, or upload the xdcam.mxf directly to Youtube, or service you are hosting to. XDCAM will also work in DVDA if you are making DVDs.
I have several PCs with different levels of performance with Sony Vegas Pro.
I have made some mods on a few, but the biggest difference I have seen is when I put a solid state drive in one of them.
It may not make a huge difference with rendering as that is a CPU, GPU process, But it does have to read and write every frame of video so there is some improvement. It does make a big difference with playing unaffected video within SVP. The preview monitor settings can be set to a higher quality and still see all or most of the frames.