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DNxHD trancoding machine

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Dennis Steinkamp
DNxHD trancoding machine
on Nov 15, 2012 at 8:47:32 pm


we are about to order a new pc/mac mostly to transcode our alexa/red/phantom material to DNxHD.
I want to make sure that the machine performs well in this task so the CPU choice is crucial. :)

The question is, high core count with less clockrate per core versus lower core count with higher clockrate per core?

As far as i know AVID isn`t capable to put a lot of cores under fully load and instead seems to prefer
a higher clockrate / high IPC over the amount of cores a processor has.
Can you guys confirm that with the experience you have?

Usually video trancoding is a domain where multi core CPUs scale rather well but my experience looked totally different so far. Even back in the days of Final Cut Pro
(which we used before Final Cut X was released) video trancoding wasn`t able to put our dual Xeon X5482 under heavy stress.

Maybe it is related to poor multi core optimization in final cut and avid symphony.
How about squeeze or other 3rd party tools. Are there any programs who are better at utilising multi core processors?

I appreciate all your help, thank you. :)

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August Anderson
Re: DNxHD trancoding machine
on Nov 16, 2012 at 12:51:10 am

One thing to consider is that you don't have to use just avid to make the MXF. Redcine-X and Resolve are other possibilites that might utilize the processor(s) better. Although I don't know offhand. Resolve also utilizes the GPU, I believe.

August Anderson

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Dennis Steinkamp
Re: DNxHD trancoding machine
on Nov 16, 2012 at 1:16:08 am

Hi August, thanks for your response.
You`re right there are other program options for file trancoding.
I won`t complain about a 5% difference in trancoding performance but if its a significant difference
then we would spend some money on an extra product.

Does Resolve really utilize the GPU for general trancoding tasks or is it limited to certain formats?
It would be nice to have a kind of "fits it all" software to do the job, on the other hand Resolve light is free and offers GPU acceleration although restricted to one GPU only.
Unfortunately i can`t find good dcoumentation about the GPU accceleration part.

I am definitely not a post-production expert, my expertise is the IT stuff ^^
Is there any recommendation that you can share among all the video trancoding tools which is more or less the standard in post production?
I thought, usually people trancode the files from within the program they actually edit with.

I wanna make sure that the hardware for our new rig is choosen according to our needs.
Its annoying to have a high end multi core machine when my trancoding tool isn`t able to make use of a CPU with >4 cores for example.

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Michael Phillips
Re: DNxHD trancoding machine
on Nov 16, 2012 at 1:47:36 am

Some codecs may use GPU acceleration, some don't. I believe DNxHD is all CPU. Usually effects, color correction and such can all be done in GPU.


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Bouke Vahl
Re: DNxHD trancoding machine
on Nov 18, 2012 at 11:40:27 am

If you're expertise it IT,
then look into FFMBC / WriteAvidMXF (Ingex project on SourceForge)
That will create Avid MXF you can mediatool into your bins, and you can customize it to your liking.
No need to tie up an Avid, and get any el cheapo PC / Mac to work 24/7

smart tools for video pros

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