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$3000 machine can't edit HD

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Jake Mannion
$3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 23, 2010 at 3:42:41 am

Here's the build:

Windows 7 Pro x64
Intel i7 920 Quad @ 3.4 ghz
12 Gb Corsair PC3 12800
ATi 5850 1 Gb 256-bit
Intel P6T Deluxe V2 motherboard
2 x 128 Gb Corsair SSD drives
1 x 1 Tb Hitachi 7200 RPM SATA-II

I have Windows + Adobe + Project Media on SSD #1.
I have all scratch disks set to SSD #2.

Compiled and original raw footage resides on the Hitachi storage drive. All drivers are up to date and there is plenty (60+ Gb) free space on both SSD's.

Can anyone tell me why this system SUCKS for editing in HD? I built it specifically for that purpose, and I'm majorly disappointed!!!

720 stuff runs ooookay in the editor (some hiccups), but 1080 res stuff is atrocious. Stutters and hiccups and achieves 3-4 fps tops. It just doesn't seem fair. I nearly bankrupted myself on this build, and the main goal was smooth HD editing! I've tried everything, please help.


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mike velte
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:39:59 am

SSD drives can be troublesome with rapidly degraded performance. They need to be erased periodically to restore performance.

Here is a link to this:

http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?s=d6566c8a1e7e3a6362973853c553f8...


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Jake Mannion
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 23, 2010 at 1:26:46 pm

Thanks, I will examine that down the road. As for now, the SSD's are only eight days old.

I've seen them hit 280 Mb/s read and write on large file copies with a sustained effort around 180 Mb/s, but the most I've seen Premiere Pro CS4 be able to muster out of them is around 10 Mb/s.



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Jeff Pulera
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 23, 2010 at 5:08:35 pm

Hi Jake,

You didn't say what kind of footage you are editing, that can make a difference. HDV, P2, AVCHD, uncompressed? Any capture card involved?

Also, you said "project media" is on the C: drive, typically you don't want any video assets on the same drive as the OS, as Windows needs to access the drive and may interfere with throughput of video editing.

Also, I've not heard of editing video off SSD drives before. I understand they're supposed to be very fast boot drives, but I don't know about video editing performance.

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Jake Mannion
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:15:57 pm

Good catch, thanks. The footage is all H.264 encoded .mov files off of Canon SLR cameras. No capturing or capture board.

I agree, the footage "shouldn't" be on the application drive, but I thought it was a better choice to put it on the SSD (200+ Mb/s, instant seek) than keeping it all on the SATAII storage drive (100 Mb/s, 9ms seek). I will try putting all the project media on the storage drive and see if that improves things.


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Vince Becquiot
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 23, 2010 at 4:32:15 pm

If these are MLC drives, forget about using these for anything else than the OS. They have a very limited amount of write cycles and will die in no time if used as any type of file swap environment.

For HD playback, you will also need a RAID system. At least 3 drives set in a RAID 0 array, or 4-5 drives set in a RAID 5 array. Preview and footage (with proper backups) will reside there.

Don't use the onboard integrated RAID as it will likely depend on your system CPU. Everything else in your system looks great, assuming the BIOS was properly configured.

Vince Becquiot

Kaptis Studios
San Francisco - Bay Area


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Jake Mannion
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:24:11 pm

I think the MLC lifespan worries are myth. Maybe it was a concern back in the 1990s when the technology was still being refined, but not these days.

And it's not like they're in a web server or something thats going to get hammered with data 24/7. The biggest offender for constant writing will be virtual memory usage, if I had to guess. As long as I get 3-4 years out of them I'll be plenty happy, and I think they'll be up to the task.

Now as far as performance, I specifically got these over RAID. I didn't have a lot of room for the build, and could not foresee myself putting a half dozen SATA drives into the machine.

And that's where I hope I didn't make an expensive mistake. But on paper (and in the rest of my applications) the SSD are a dream, even stacked up against RAID configurations. I've seen them hit close to 350 Mb/s write and read, and the seek times are virtually non-existent.


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Paul Benson
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 28, 2010 at 2:05:04 am

Sorry, but I have to provide some 'insider' knowledge on the flash memory market. As they continue to shrink the memory cells, they become more and more prone to fail. What you are using now is likely, at the gate level, to be more error prone than what you used two years ago.
The way around it is that they provide better error detection and correction and extra memory cells to replace ones that are determined to be bad. With the cells being smaller, they can have extra backup cells.
Reading some of the literature, it is almost scary at how much they have to do to keep some semblance of data coherency.

Pauley



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Joe Moya
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 23, 2010 at 7:02:50 pm

The problem is likely that you need to spend another 2 thousand-ish dollars on a multi-RAID system... I use groups of RAID 0 striped setups with an ADAPTEC raid controller to find my best bang for the buck in caching speed increase.

What you want to do is break through the I/O bottleneck caused by drives. Most RAM and CPU chips aren't the problem when it used for editing(...however, if you are compositing with a layer compositing stucture like AE uses... in which case you want a really fast chip and LOTS of RAM... I use the intel i7 3.2Ghz chip and it still doesn't help that much with AE compositing speed... but, then again that seems to be a AE 32 bit application limitation).

The raid controller choice can make a big difference as well as the HD you decide to use... I use the e-sata Fujitsu 15k rpm HD's with Adaptec Raid controllers. This combo significantly helped with using/editing HD video in an uncompressed format.


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Jake Mannion
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:37:50 pm

That sounds like an awesome setup, don't get me wrong. But when I built this machine I was looking at it from an "advanced hobbyist" sort of perspective. I didn't want the space nor the power consumption of RAID setups.

Plus my budget is now shot, so hopefully I can figure out a way to make the most of what I have.

Basically what I can't understand is, let's say I have a 30 second clip (1080p, H.264 .mov) on the timeline. I press play.

Premiere then starts to draw:
  • 7-15 Mb/s off of the SSD#1 where the media is stored

  • 1-2 Mb/s overhead where the application is stored, SSD#1

  • 1-2 Mb/s off the scratch disk area, SSD#2

After about 12-15 seconds, the first line item (media data) drops off completely, as the file is completely in memory. But it still plays terribly, like, not even 1 or 2 frames per second at times. The SSDs can read/write sustained over 200 Mb/s. Even once the media finishes loading it chugs through the playback. I simply don't get it!!


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Eric Addison
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:07:38 pm

"The footage is all H.264 encoded .mov files off of Canon SLR cameras."

That's your problem...CS4 doesn't handle that format native very well. There is talk that CS5 will, but until then I'd recommend converting it to another format. I've heard that some people use Adobe Media Encoder and convert it to DVCPRO HD or P2 format and that yields a file that PPro should edit quite easily.

---Eric


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Jake Mannion
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:31:10 am

you're right. dammit! I thought h.264 would be be fine, for some reason. I should have guessed it was the encoding. Thanks


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Joe Moya
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 24, 2010 at 1:05:41 am

http://www.cineform.com

Neoscene

I just started to use it... and, for me... it is a bit flakey at times... perhaps it is because I haven't mastered how use this codec... but, then I think... why should a codec be difficult to handle for goodness sake.

At any rate, I have limited success (so far) using Cineform... but, others report good results. But, on that note... it does SIGNIFICANTLY speed up editing and compositing... but, you better have huge hard drive space available.


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Jake Mannion
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 24, 2010 at 2:31:47 am

what were you using before, Joe?

I'm converting all my H.264 .mov stuff over to P2 DVCPROHD now. Looks like filesize is going up by a factor of 4. I can live with that!

I also did a test 1080p clip and brought it into Premiere. Smooooooth as butter! Thanks everyone for all the help.


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Joe Moya
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 24, 2010 at 6:31:23 am

Before converting video source using Cineform... I didn't use Prem Pro to Edit... that pretty much solves almost every problem I have when editing... basically, if I don't use Prem Pro as my primary editing application... I don't have many problems editing.

I prefer to use Avid Liquid... simple, powerful and (for the price) offers a lot (...years ahead of it's time in it's capabilities). But... more importantly, it is WAAAAY more stable than Prem Pro.

Unfortunately, Liquid is End Of Line software that is (supposedly) to be replaced very soon with a NexGen version to be put out by AVID. In fact, as of a few days ago... Avid took it off the Pinnacle/Avid site as an option to buy. Which could mean they are about to announce that NexGen version of Liquid.

Or, it could be that AVID bought it out a few years ago to simply kill off an editing software that could have easily put AVID out of business in the prosumer category... as a result, no NexGen will be brought to the market. Personally, I think they will repackage the Liquid to fit more into the AVID line but jack up the price and water down Liquid's capacity to do things better than Avids MC. As it stands, Liquid is a product that competes against AVID's own professional level editing software but a price at about 1/3 the cost. (Note: AVID bought out Pinnacle Liquid and Studio a few years agos)

I am only using Prem Pro because I find it to be a plan "B" if Liquid is not replaced. Once you experience more stable editing software like Avid MC,Avid Liquid or Vega (and some say Edius as well). You suddenly realize what you are dealing with when it comes to Adobe editing software. That being said, I think Adobe will spend more time trying to produce a better NLE and will (hopefully) catch up to other NLE's (specially in terms of stability and multi video format acceptance and use). In fact, you just experience the instability I noted. And... to fix it you have to spend $125 to fix it in a very effective way... while with a 3 yrs. old Avid Liquid you could just drop most common HD formats into the the Liquid time line and work natively (i.e., with absolutely no re-rendering). BTW, AVCHD is not common - yet.

Now... I did experiment for some time trying to figure how to use m2t type videos formats with Prem Pro... and, I was partially successful... but, it such a convoluted method that only works sometimes makes it not worth even attempting and easier to just use cineform's neoscene. (BTW, you can probably do a search of this site and find a detail explaination of how I achieved this conversion of m2t files with Prem Pro... but, I wouldn't recommend it because it is not that effective). The key reason I use Adobe applications is for Photoshop and After Effects... and, Audition is pretty useful.... Prem. Pro just comes with the Production Studio package.


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steve martin
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Feb 28, 2010 at 5:43:00 am

H.264 is not an editing codec, you need to convert it to something else. I convert to ProRes and my laptop will then happily edit my 5DMkII footage.
Hope this helps.


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Bob Dix
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Mar 16, 2010 at 12:22:54 am

Yes, H264 is not happy in Premiere Pro, try rendering all the clips on the timeline, it takes a while, but, it works and editing is a breeze ,well smooth from a Canon EOS 5D mark II mov. clips in high def 1920 x 1080p and we need to change the Speed/Duration to suit PAL land at 25fps, cannot wait for the Firmware Update this month from Canon ? And we use only a Pentium 4 3.2Ghz Multi Processor in a Dell Series 8400 PC .

Do the obvious, defragment often, check the Drives for faults, close down any Security Program, do not save timeline with in Premiere Pro at any time automatically, click it off.

Freelance Imaging & Video
AUSTRALIA


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Jake Mannion
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Mar 16, 2010 at 1:17:00 am

yeah thanks Bob. I ended up converting all the clips to P2 format and now it runs like a champ.

what firmware update is coming for the mark II? I hope they put one out for the T1+2i as that's what we primarily use here.

also, good tip on the auto-save. thanks


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Bob Dix
Re: $3000 machine can't edit HD
on Mar 16, 2010 at 5:03:30 am

http://www.canon.com.au/en-AU/Support-Services/Support-News/EOS-5D-Mark-II-...

This is the Firmware to update the PAL video speeds of 25 fps & 24 fpsp

It is out now. Check above address

Freelance Imaging & Video
AUSTRALIA


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