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Vegas render times at 6-12 times real time?

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Michael McCune
Vegas render times at 6-12 times real time?
on Jul 15, 2011 at 9:41:03 am

... Been using Vegas for years, now with 10e on an i7 quad core w/ 12 gig ram, GeForce 570 card (it has 480 cuda cores), Raptor OS drive with Vista Business 64-bit and several terabytes of storage. All updated and patched.

I have Vegas Gold support plan and have used it a lot. But a persistent problem exists with render times and smooth previews and timeline playback.

I have experimented with many variations of render and timeline options, usually using Cineform NeoScene on the timeline.

Almost always using HD input from a Canon 5D, which of course is .mov, 1080p @ 24fps. I usually convert them to Cineform for editing then render to .mp4 for flash drive-based preview by mac clients or burn directly to blu-ray. No authoring. This is not heavy-duty and complex effects and composites: rather it is color correction, basic editing and dissolves, as the point usually is to show the video as shot and cut for continuity, not as a final, refined effort.

But Vegas playback or preview is never smooth and takes, literally, about 2 1/2 seconds to click from one point on the timeline to another and have the image come up. Playback or preview stutters so confidence in transitions or lip sync verification (using PluralEyes) is weak. Then to take 6-12 minutes of render time (depending upon which from/to formats are involved) for each minute of real time has reached a point where it cannot support the work load.

This really is not a new situation but rather longer and more important projects are on the table. So taking 12-14 hours for an hour+ video to render, then to find it has some minor problem which takes minutes to fix on the timeline but another 12 hours to render, ...

Even rendered video playing from the timeline is choppy so that I have to play it using a stand-alone app such as VLC, Roxio, Media Player or PowerDVD to see it as it should play and verify effects and sync.

There has to be another way.

Vegas is supposed to utilize GPU cores but I see that a GPU monitoring app such as GPU-Z shows almost no GPU utilization--though all eight cpu cores are running Vegas at 95% +. Vegas tech support says that 6 times normal time is not unusual.

I downloaded Premiere and it seems to take about 1 1/2 minutes per minute of video to render effects or to render out to image a blu-ray. And it plays back smoothly; perhaps not perfectly with various effects to compute and going to a larger preview monitor, but far better than the Vegas delays I mentioned. The smaller preview window plays back perfectly smoothly even with effects.

I would love to be told I blew it and there is some simple solution that shows I overlooked something obvious --but I have been tilting at this for some time.

... thoughts from any pros out there???

Thanks for a great site!

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Nigel O'Neill
Re: Vegas render times at 6-12 times real time?
on Jul 16, 2011 at 1:13:01 am


I regularly edit with HDV, and I have found that in a single track edit with minimal fx, Vegas edits it like a hot knife through butter. But, alas, that is not reflective of the real world. Most of my work involves multicam footage which requires colour correction and matching, and like you, I have found that things don't go as smoothly.

I recently did a project which required me to add AVCHD onto the timeline along with my HDV footage. Preview performance dropped dramatically and I ended up editing mostly in Preview, Auto, when I would normally do so in Good, Auto. I can only attribute this to the sheer number crunching nature of AVCHD. It needs lots of PC horsepower.

I cannot say I have experienced the 2.5 second lags you have, but I do experience some stuttering. Your lags could be attributed to the highly compressed nature of the MOV footage you are using.

Perhaps you could try using Gearshift to speed things up.

Re: CUDA cores - The CUDA cores only kick in if you have Sony AVC on the timeline :-(

I notice that you are using Vista x64. The best thing I did was to ditch Vista for Windows 7. I did an in place upgrade from Vista Ultimate x64 and Windows 7 Ultimate x64. Not only were things zippier, the machine has not blue screened on me once.

Your render times are determined by a number of factors: transitions, effects, colour correction and the compressed nature of the media you are editing with, plus the target format you are encoding to. Even simple colour correction requires the whole event it affects to be rendered out, so your render times are not unusual.

You did not mention how your storage was mapped out. Are you using RAID, and if so, how is your system set up? For example, RAID 0 offers most speed but high risk as there is not redundancy. RAID 1 offers redundancy, has great read performance but no so for writes. RAID 5 offers redundancy and speed across multiple disk spindles, but is costlier as it typically requires 5 drives, of which you only have the effective storage of around 3.

Re: Choppy playback - you could try pre-rendering some events on the timeline to a lossless intermediary. I recently had to edit about 14,000 time lapse images for a 30 second segment. Each image was less than 40kb and was 00:00.00.01 in duration. Vegas absolutely was choking on this, so I did a region render in a separate project to m2t and then brought that into the timeline of a new project. Problem solved.

Hopefully you have got some useful tips out of my post.

My system specs: Intel i7 970, 12GB RAM, ASUS P6T, Vegas Pro 10 (x32/x64), Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, Vegas Production Assistant 1.0, VASST Ultimate S Pro 4.1, Neat Video Pro 2.6

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Stephen Mann
Re: Vegas render times at 6-12 times real time?
on Jul 16, 2011 at 3:30:52 am

The first thing I would do is get rid of Vista, Microsoft's second-worst O/S. My system was challenged just to do HDV previews with any F/X. With Windows 7 it's a lot faster now. By the way, hard drives are so cheap now, so go buy a 500Gb drive and Windows 7 upgrade. (There is a Microsoft approved method of doing a clean install with an upgrade disk. Just skip the step where the install asks for the product key. This will install Win 7 as a demo. Then reinstall it as an upgrade, and this time, you do enter the product key.)

"Vegas is supposed to utilize GPU cores but I see that a GPU monitoring app such as GPU-Z shows almost no GPU utilization--though all eight cpu cores are running Vegas at 95% +. Vegas tech support says that 6 times normal time is not unusual."

Vegas support of GPU for preview only applies to AVCHD on the timeline, and then if you have a decent processor, you will get better performance with the CPU only.

When you apply any effects, including color correction, which affects every pixel on every frame, then you can expect slow performance during preview because the processor has an awful lot to do.

RAM preview is your friend here.

Steve Mann
MannMade Digital Video

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Jeff Schroeder
Re: Vegas render times at 6-12 times real time?
on Jul 16, 2011 at 2:16:03 pm


After I have color corrected and applied any adjustments or effects, I turn them all off (bypass all). This makes editing much easier. It would be very nice if Vegas had a Global-off for video FX. I then edit using RAM preview when needed. At render time I turn on the effects (project,track and event levels) and I turn off (set to 0) the Dynamic RAM amount on Options|Preferences|Video tab.

I can only say for sure that the RAM setting affects MPEG renders. They start out fast and then slow to a crawl if I have RAM dedicated to preview. I think it is slowing down Sony AVC, but I'm not sure. I use very little of the rest because I don't need to.

Set yourself up a little test to render out a three minute region of a project. Do a fresh re-boot, render the normal way, then try again with 0 RAM set. Please report back and let me know what the difference was, if any.

Hope this helps,


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Michael McCune
Re: Vegas render times at 6-12 times real time?
on Jul 23, 2011 at 7:57:50 pm

Thanks Nigel, Steve and Jeff for your thoughtful comments.

Cut to the chase: I am trying Premiere Pro and it consistently renders in about 1.5 times real time; that is, one minute of video renders out to, say, mp4 or blu-ray at about 1 1/2 times the real time. And it scrubs the time line and previews at full frame rate. Same time line clips as used in Vegas but 800% faster.

For testing I have full Premiere on a one-month subscription for about $60.

I have a current Sony Vegas tech support reply which, in addition to your comments, lead me to suspect that, while there are many and various ways to try to mitigate the problem, it is really fundamental to Vegas.

That is, one can work in a reduced mode -- previews at low res, low res proxy, disabled effects, etc.--or install an admittedly better operating system--but the big and fundamental problem remains.

I wonder if Sony Vegas intends to support this end of the product line as much as its serious users might like. Sony tech support had to say they had no system available to them to test GPU utilization (!) and the best improvement they could suggest might be 30% max and likely much less. It seemed on more than one chat with them that they were relying on user reports and not their own internal testing.

They could not identify any baseline hardware that might accomplish this. Of course their rationale was that there are too many hardware variations but I suspect the more accurate answer is that they have yet to put the necessary resources into managing the problem.

Premiere has, for example, a list of cards to are known to work best and their web site has hardware guidelines.

I would love to stay with Sony Vegas but I burned a client lately with 12-hour render times--only to find an obvious tweak that could not be made due to time.

And Premiere is available to Vegas users at the promotional 1/2 price offcer, same as FCPX users.

Thanks again and if you hear of any Vegas good news in this regard I would love to hear it.


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