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Trying to make a smart choice.

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albert trevinoTrying to make a smart choice.
by on Nov 19, 2014 at 11:45:09 am

Hi all in this great community!

Ok... going to be as brief and to the point as I can.

My wife/business partner is about to work back on a major video project that she started over a year plus ago.
All the content is in 1080p format and we will mainly be using the Cineform Codec (Converted files for keying, etc.)
The main production work will be on her computer using all Adobe CS6 applications. Mainly Premiere Pro and After Effects.
Her computer is at least 4+ years old. Here are the specs.

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit
Mobo: EVGA P55 LE
CPU: Intel Core i5 (4 core) 750 @ 2.67 GHZ
Memory: 16GB (Maxed)
OS Drive: Samsung SSD 840 Pro 120GB
Production Drive: External eSATA G-Tech 4TB (Raid 0)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650
2GB GDDR5
384 Cuda Cores
PCI Express x16 Gen2

Rating of 7.2 on the Windows Experience Index

We are bottle necked on performance of playback, encoding, etc of the files in Premiere. The current installed video card isn't on the list of cards used for MPE. I also did the edit the TXT doc hack and it kinda works on Premiere but not After Effects.

We can't afford a new computer just yet. Upgrading the video card to ensure optimum performance is one of the things I know I can do because of our budget. Looking through the list of compatible cards, the best, cheapest is the EVGA GTX 770 for only $269.99 ($249.99 after rebate)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130946

Questions:
1) Is it overkill to get a PCIe 3.0 card for the current computer specs (PCI Express 2.0 x16)?
2) Will I see a difference in performance with editing, encoding, etc?
3) Could I get slightly cheaper in price card that isn't on the list and make it work?
4) Any suggestions on other possible tweaks or upgrades I may be overlooking?


Looking for insight from those who bring experience and knowledge on this topic.


AL


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Walter SoykaRe: Trying to make a smart choice.
by on Nov 19, 2014 at 3:46:05 pm

The first thing I'd recommend on a lower-power system is turning the display quality down [link]. This will give you a more fluid editing experience at the expense of quality in the source and program monitors, but will not affect final output.

I'd also suggest that you try the demo for the current version of Premiere Pro (CC 2014.1) as it has a great many improvements over CS6.

There are a lot of misunderstandings about what specifically the GPU accelerates in Premiere. Todd Kopriva has a couple great blog posts that explain the Mercury Playback Engine (it's not just about your GPU!) and what the GPU does accelerate:

http://blogs.adobe.com/premierepro/2011/02/cuda-mercury-playback-engine-and...

http://blogs.adobe.com/premierepro/2011/04/adobe-premiere-pro-cs5-5-improve...

http://blogs.adobe.com/premierepro/2012/05/opencl-and-premiere-pro-cs6.html

It's also important to understand what the GPU does not accelerate. The GPU will not help your computer read footage from disk or decode compressed footage any faster.

You may see a bit of improved performance with a new GPU, but it could only come from the kinds of processing outlined in the links above. I suspect that the older i5 CPU is going to be your limiting factor in that system.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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albert trevinoRe: Trying to make a smart choice.
by on Nov 19, 2014 at 5:03:38 pm

Thank you for the reply.

I really wish I could just build a new computer. I do know that the new Premiere CC is an improvement. Curious if I can install the demo while I still have CS6 installed? Would it read the same plugins?

Also I did some testing and found that the CPU is running hot. Perhaps if I get a liquid cooler that would help as well.

I just want to be able to edit fairly smooth until we can afford build a new computer. I do realize that the MPE doesn't help in all areas but it would help in probably the most important at the moment for us. Plus I can carry that new video card to a new machine when we build one.

One more question regarding optimum configurations. If I got a small SSD and just used it as a dedicated drive for the Scratch Disks and Media Cache Files for After Effects and Premiere and uncheck the save media cache files next to the originals when possible... would that help in performance?

AL


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Walter SoykaRe: Trying to make a smart choice.
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 12:27:17 pm

[albert trevino] "I really wish I could just build a new computer. I do know that the new Premiere CC is an improvement. Curious if I can install the demo while I still have CS6 installed? Would it read the same plugins?"

Yes, you can have multiple major versions installed side-by-side. The workstation I'm on now has every major version Pr CS5.5, CS6, CC and CC 2014 installed.

You may need to update your plugins for CC. CC and CC2014 share a plugins folder, but I think CS6's was separate.


[albert trevino] "Also I did some testing and found that the CPU is running hot. Perhaps if I get a liquid cooler that would help as well."

I'm not surprised. How high is CPU utilization while you're working?


[albert trevino] "I just want to be able to edit fairly smooth until we can afford build a new computer. I do realize that the MPE doesn't help in all areas but it would help in probably the most important at the moment for us. Plus I can carry that new video card to a new machine when we build one."

That's why I shared those links with you: the GPU contributes to things like scaling, deinterlacing, effects, etc. with Premiere Pro, but not to media decode. A more powerful GPU may help you a bit, but there are still bottlenecks in your system.


[albert trevino] "One more question regarding optimum configurations. If I got a small SSD and just used it as a dedicated drive for the Scratch Disks and Media Cache Files for After Effects and Premiere and uncheck the save media cache files next to the originals when possible... would that help in performance?"

I have always had the caches on fast disks, so I can't say from first-hand experience how this relates to performance for Premiere. If your CPU utilization is already very high while you're editing, I doubt you'll see huge gains from a faster cache disk.

I will say that the Ae cache is totally different than Premiere's; a fast SSD makes a big difference. While I'm on the topic of Ae, a CUDA GPU doesn't matter to Ae unless you're using the ray-tracing renderer.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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