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Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820

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Eli Garrett
Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820
on Aug 10, 2013 at 3:38:02 am

I recently received a HP Z820 for testing purposes as we are looking to switch from Mac pros. The Z820 has Dual Xeon E5-2650 Processors 16 Gb or ram, with a Quadro 2000 graphics card, running windows 7 Enterprises.

All of our video files are stored on a network raid array connected over a 1Gb connection using NFS protocols.

I am having an issue when rendering projects in premiere pro CC, the system is taking just as long if not longer as our old mac pros running CS6, the only difference with the file share on the macs is that it is a AFP connection but it is the same 1GB cable.

When I try to render a project on the Z820 the system shows that it is only using 6 to 7% of its processing power, and non of the Hyper threading cores are being used.

I have tried turning the CUDA processing in premier on and off but this seams to make little to no differences, I Know the Quadro 2000 is not that powerful of a card.

HP Performance advisor says that everything is set for maximum performance in premier and dose not show any issues.

My question is what can I do to take full advantage of all of the power that this Z820 has to offer? Specs wise it should be blowing my old mac pros out of the water seeing that is has double the amount of CPU cores. Also is there something I need to do to get hyper threading to work in Premier it seams to work in other applications on the computer.


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Dennis Radeke
Re: Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820
on Aug 10, 2013 at 12:52:20 pm

If you're rendering the project over the SAN, that is a likely culprit if you don't have it all set up right. To eliminate that as a possible cause, take the assets from teh SAN and copy them to a local drive or RAID array and try it again. Hopefully, you'll see a big difference.


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EricBowen
Re: Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820
on Aug 10, 2013 at 5:29:15 pm

http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro-desktop-gpus.html

QUADRO K2000 QUICK SPECS
CUDA Parallel-Processing Cores 384
Frame Buffer Memory 2 GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth 64 GBps

http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gtx-760/specifications

GTX 760 GPU Engine Specs:
1152CUDA Cores
980Base Clock (MHz)
1033Boost Clock (MHz)
94.1Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec)
GTX 760 Memory Specs:
6.0 GbpsMemory Speed
2048 MBStandard Memory Config
GDDR5Memory Interface
256-bitMemory Interface Width
192.2Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)

Even a 760GTX card has significantly better specs than the Quadro 2000. That will not help the performance. 16GB of ram is really low to feed/cache 32 threads. Using a single 1GBE network connection for work storage is really not helping. I would suggest going local or 10GBE Ethernet. A single SSD 960GB drive local would handle allot of workflows. The Media your transcoding will also decide the performance. If it's Quicktime then the performance on the Dual Xeon will be far less than others since Quicktime threads poor on Windows and is 32bit. The system wont hyper thread when the cpu load is that low. That is the OS and bios ACPI that will decide that. There is a way to turn that off in the registry though.

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager


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Paul King
Re: Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820
on Aug 11, 2013 at 11:46:57 am

Eli

Is the issue during preview rendering or export?
If it's export, try exporting to Mpeg2 CODEC, it's much better on multiple CPUs in Premiere.

Have a look at CPU while it's doing it, you should get 80% usage.
If not, you may have an issue reading and writing to the same NFS is.



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Jeff Meyer
Re: Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820
on Aug 12, 2013 at 12:54:23 am

I'll echo Dennis, your 1gig SAN connection is probably a bottleneck. If you explain a bit more about what's on your timeline we can probably tell you more about your bottleneck. If it's a higher end codec (100mbps+) the storage is most certainly a bottleneck. If it's a couple layers of any codec the storage is most certainly a bottleneck. If you're stacking effects on effects the K2000 could be a bottleneck.

Storage: Try copying media to a local drive. Ideally it will be a local RAID-0 or RAID-5, but an internal drive (7200RPM or SSD) will be enough to see if the network connection is a bottleneck. Even simply try exporting to your local desktop instead of a network drive. If you see improved performance you know you need to go to a fiber or 10gig ethernet connection.

Memory/CPU: With the number of processor cores on the system 16GB of RAM would be a bottleneck for AFX, but for Premiere it shouldn't be holding you back much, if at all. Hyperthreading is an always-on function of Intel processors. I suppose it can technically be disabled in the BIOS, but I can't imagine a computer shipping that way.

GPU: The K2000 isn't a great card in terms of price-to-performanace. Being a Quadro it's designed to be hit hard all day every day, but for the money you can find better performance in more consumer-oriented cards.


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Eli Garrett
Re: Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820
on Aug 12, 2013 at 1:43:28 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions I have worked on test and looking in to all of them.

Watching the network monitor it never caps out always hanging at a little above half usage. I moved the files local to the machine and it only made about a 2 sec differences in render time.

All the testing has been done with rendering preview files, What I found after some more testing was that premier has an issue with DPX files that come back from Speedgrade. It appears that it can not multithread this type of file? has anyone else had issue with this? This was the type of files that I had been using, I put normal AVCD flies on the timeline and all 32 threads took off without an issue as I would expect them to.

The other thing I did not mention was that this is a demo workstation a try before you by deal, the Quadro 2000 was the only card they had available for demo, we plan on going with a K4000 when it is time to get our real system.


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EricBowen
Re: Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820
on Aug 12, 2013 at 3:24:22 pm

The reason greater than 16GB of ram is important is Adobe's caching models for codecs change based on available ram. What is also a factor is how much open ram is available for the CUDA buffers in system ram. This will decide how many frames are cached and sent to the GPU ram at one time. The more threads you have the greater amount of ram you want to manage this otherwise you lose allot of the power of the Dual Xeon. This does not just have an effect in AE because you assign ram per thread. You just have more control there because of that.

Hyperthreading is a moderated function. The OS will not use it or do whats called core parking when it feels Hyperthreading is not needed or counter productive. The ACPI in the bios also effects this. Some boards currently are to aggressive to turn that off and this shows far more on Dual Xeons because they often run with far less load than single CPU workstations. If you turn the Core Parking off in the registry then that will stop the OS control on this.

DPX has far greater disk throughput requirement than AVCHD or H264 and also ram buffering. This means the data per frame is significantly higher and your network packeting will slow the entire encoding process down due to the encode and decode process. I can verify DPX multithreads fine with encoding from Red Media on local drives. This is something specific to the current limits of your config. We and other have done significant testing on major changes in Mpeg 2 encoding completely based on the amount of ram available. The encoding performance will increase by 50% when you reach a certain point on ram available and the caching model changes. Adobe has Optimized Mpeg 4 codecs with regards to ram quite abit since CS5 but the others use far more.

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager


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Paul King
Re: Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820
on Aug 13, 2013 at 5:18:25 am

The more threads you have the greater amount of ram you want to manage this otherwise you lose allot of the power of the Dual Xeon. This does not just have an effect in AE because you assign ram per thread. You just have more control there because of that.

I have 64GB of RAM and that still doesn't make a difference to multithreadedness in certain CODECs. Would this mean I need 128GB?

If you turn the Core Parking off in the registry then that will stop the OS control on this.

This is not the reason Premiere doesn't use all CPU cores when rendering. It is CODEC dependent. H.264 is bad at multithreading while MPEG2 is good. My 3D software is great at using 100% CPU. All these results are with Core Parking on.



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EricBowen
Re: Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820
on Aug 13, 2013 at 2:33:18 pm

The amount of ram has an effect on the amount of frames cached and thereby export time. Once there is enough ram for the maximum codec caching then no the performance would not change nor the threading. CPU's moderate ram so there is a direct correlation to CPU threading and ram allocation.

Yes core parking does have an effect on how much codecs multithread and I have tested it here. Feel free to test it yourself. H264 threads fine if it's not using Quicktime. If it is then the threading is poor.

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager


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Jeff Schaap
Re: Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820
on Aug 13, 2013 at 2:43:16 pm

Hey All,

Thanks for your input and thoughts, they are much appreciated. I work with Eli and am one of the "daily drivers" (editor) on our systems. We ran some tests this morning and it looks like whether we are working locally or across the RAID we are reaching hardware limitations- but RAM is not one of them.

On the Z820 I put the same 20 second .DPX clip on two different timelines. One clip is located locally on a Western Digital Blue 7200 RPM drive (on a SAS/SATA controller). The other clip is a copy of the first and is located on our RAID. We have a 1GB connection to that and as mentioned before we are using NFS and not SMB (long story).

What we saw is that when we rendered the local .DPX clip all the cores showed activity (albeit low activity) and the disk I/O topped out. The RAM hovered around 4GB of usage. The render time was 54 seconds.

When we rendered the clip from the RAID all the actual cores showed activity but the hyper-threaded cores showed no activity at all. The network connection was topping out but the RAM usage again was only around 4 GB. So, this tells me that hyper-threading probably isn't turning on because the system can't get quick enough access to the files... It seems that adding more RAM to the system wouldn't have any effect at all. If I am wrong, can someone explain why?

Here is the kicker... when I render this same .DPX from our RAID, on our Mac Pro station, that is only dual Quad Xeons (HALF the cores) and 16 GB RAM, the render finishes in 53 seconds! This makes me suspect that we are hitting a network bandwidith limitation. The only difference between the MAC and PC is that the MAC is running CS6 and the PC is running CC.

Argh. I welcome your thoughts.

Jeff


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Paul King
Re: Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820
on Aug 13, 2013 at 3:16:41 pm

Hi Jeff

Can you turn off the GPU (go to software Mercury Engine) and retest?



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EricBowen
Re: Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820
on Aug 13, 2013 at 4:00:49 pm

Yes that means the drive speed is not keeping up with the rest of the system and the CPU's are waiting on the disk. The lan testing shows the latency of data is lowering the CPU load to the point Hyperthreading stops.

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820
on Aug 13, 2013 at 6:06:36 pm

[Jeff Schaap] "This makes me suspect that we are hitting a network bandwidth limitation."

... or storage?

[Jeff Schaap] "disk I/O topped out"

[Jeff Schaap] "the system can't get quick enough access to the files..."

Couldn't agree more. Seems clear to me: move the file to an SSD or other faster storage, retest. Congrats on figuring out the bottleneck.


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820
on Aug 12, 2013 at 8:06:32 pm

[Eli Garrett] "I moved the files local to the machine and it only made about a 2 sec differences in render time. "

How fast is that local storage? Is it a single spinning HDD?

[Eli Garrett] " I put normal AVCD flies on the timeline and all 32 threads took off without an issue as I would expect them to. "

With AVCHD, does the Z820 render much faster than older Mac Pros?

Have you tried using Resource Monitor (Task Manager in Win8) to monitor network throughput and "active time" on the disks while rendering?


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Eli Garrett
Re: Premier pro is rendering slow on my Z820
on Aug 23, 2013 at 8:12:29 pm

So I wanted to get back on here and share what we found. When we moved the footage to an internal SSD with a read Speed of 550MB (OCZ VECTOR) the everything started working much faster and preforming as expected. The System chewed thought the DPX files without a problem.


Thanks for your help.


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