Hard drive and graphics limitations in editing with CS4 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe Creative Suite
All about the world of Adobe Premiere and its associated plug-ins.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 17th, 2008, 01:40 AM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 5
Hard drive and graphics limitations in editing with CS4

Hi people, this is my first post here as we've just moved into the realm of HD and left SD- land forever. At least that was the plan. We bought some EX1's, upgraded to CS4 and now I find that our hardware seems to be way behind. We bought a new machine based on an Intel XEON E5440 2.83GHz quad-core processor with SAS 15000RPM HDD's and the graphics card is NVIDIA PCIE QUADRO FX1500 256MB HDTV DUAL-DVI graphics accelerator. We are editing mostly 3-camera shoots in full HD mode.

We are up and running but find realtime preview playback is a problem - the preview frame is worse than jumpy, it's almost frozen. My first question is, would this be a main processor or graphics card issue? Either way, I would have thought this system could handle it. Or is there something I need to set to make this work?

The second question concerns hard drives. Premiere recommend a striped RAID array but it suits us much better to work off a standard SATA 7200RPM drive, as we have a lot of material coming through and we archive it all to hard drives so the editors need to just plug a drive in and get the edit underway. (The drives are cold-swapped into a SATA slot on the front of the machine). Copying to the SAS array and back again would be time prohibitive. We found that we can work off the SATA fine, it makes no difference. So at what stage of the process is the drive speed the critical factor?

Is it generally accepted wisdon that Intel systems can handle this sort of application or should we have gone to dedicated systems like Avid? Man the learnign curve on that woudl be immense. I like that with Premiere, you can pretty much pull in any amateur editor and they'll be productive quite quickly without anmy specialised training.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
Richard Lawrence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 17th, 2008, 02:32 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Posts: 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Lawrence View Post
Hi people, this is my first post here as we've just moved into the realm of HD and left SD- land forever. At least that was the plan. We bought some EX1's, upgraded to CS4 and now I find that our hardware seems to be way behind. We bought a new machine based on an Intel XEON E5440 2.83GHz quad-core processor with SAS 15000RPM HDD's and the graphics card is NVIDIA PCIE QUADRO FX1500 256MB HDTV DUAL-DVI graphics accelerator. We are editing mostly 3-camera shoots in full HD mode.

We are up and running but find realtime preview playback is a problem - the preview frame is worse than jumpy, it's almost frozen. My first question is, would this be a main processor or graphics card issue? Either way, I would have thought this system could handle it. Or is there something I need to set to make this work?

The second question concerns hard drives. Premiere recommend a striped RAID array but it suits us much better to work off a standard SATA 7200RPM drive, as we have a lot of material coming through and we archive it all to hard drives so the editors need to just plug a drive in and get the edit underway. (The drives are cold-swapped into a SATA slot on the front of the machine). Copying to the SAS array and back again would be time prohibitive. We found that we can work off the SATA fine, it makes no difference. So at what stage of the process is the drive speed the critical factor?

Is it generally accepted wisdon that Intel systems can handle this sort of application or should we have gone to dedicated systems like Avid? Man the learnign curve on that woudl be immense. I like that with Premiere, you can pretty much pull in any amateur editor and they'll be productive quite quickly without anmy specialised training.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
Not placing your drives in a raid is your problem. To really work with any HD content you will want the performance of a Raid.
__________________
Mitchell J. Skurnik
http://www.mjcsstudios.com/ - EX1, 4x hoodman 16GB, Libec Tripod, Sony LAV
Mitchell Skurnik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 17th, 2008, 04:52 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Brno Czech Republic
Posts: 453
Three streams of full HD put a killing strain to a single SATA drive. You would be lucky to have just two of them playing off it realtime. You HAVE to use RAID for this workflow.
Jiri Fiala is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 17th, 2008, 08:12 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Posts: 1,666
In addition to the above comments ... Cineform will soon be releasing a CS4-compatible version of ProspectHD. Once a trial of that is available I would definitely recommend you try that out - working with CFHD-codec material is way smooth, and has reduced-intergenerational-loss advantages.
Graham Hickling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 17th, 2008, 06:31 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: North Conway, NH
Posts: 1,745
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiri Fiala View Post
Three streams of full HD put a killing strain to a single SATA drive. You would be lucky to have just two of them playing off it realtime. You HAVE to use RAID for this workflow.
I beg to differ. Whilst a RAID is an optimal solution for this situation, it is not the only one. Another option is to put the video from each camera on its own eSATA drive. This will guarantee that one spindle's heads are not trying to get frames from two different cameras at the same time.

RAIDs offer three primary benefits: performance, data availability (but only for fault-tolerant systems) and storage management. How these rank depend upon the RAID "level" implemented. For your purposes, given your high performance system configuration, an external fault-tolerant RAID is worth the investment. I suggest you familiarize yourself with the technology and vendor's systems and figure out which would work best for you.
Tripp Woelfel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 17th, 2008, 08:03 PM   #6
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 5
Thanks for the replies...in fcat our SAS is a RAID but it's fully redundant so no speed advantage. I can reconfigure it as a striped array but I would be surprised if that cures the problem. As I understand it, the data rate for HD compared to SD is about 50% higher. We never had a problem with SD previewing in real time; so at worst I would expect slightly jerky motion. What we get is updates every few seconds.

Tripp, what would I search on to find out about these external arrays? I presume they would use an optical interface?
Richard Lawrence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 18th, 2008, 03:33 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Brno Czech Republic
Posts: 453
Yes, Tripp is right. You can use one disk per camera and get significant speed gain. It just seems like more work than using RAID 0.
Jiri Fiala is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 18th, 2008, 07:32 AM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: North Conway, NH
Posts: 1,745
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Lawrence View Post
Thanks for the replies...in fcat our SAS is a RAID but it's fully redundant so no speed advantage.
Actually, you will get a boost in read performance with any RAID system. Even a two drive RAID 1 will have twice as many spindles to pull data from.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Lawrence View Post
We never had a problem with SD previewing in real time; so at worst I would expect slightly jerky motion. What we get is updates every few seconds.
I just edited a three camera shoot in HDV with no RAID and while the timeline playback was not at full frame rate, I was getting probably 8-10fps playback which while not perfect was completely workable. This was on a quad core 6600 system that's clearly not as beefy as yours. It sounds like something's gone pear shaped in your system if it's only displaying a frame every few seconds. HDV should give you better performance than that since the data rate for the native HDV from the camera is exactly the same as DV. Where you really want a RAID is when you start scrubbing the timeline or playing backwards. The interframe compression of HDV needs to read up to 15 frames of video to display a single frame you want to view. I'm over-simplifying here but it gives you an idea of what your system is up to.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Lawrence View Post
Tripp, what would I search on to find out about these external arrays? I presume they would use an optical interface?
That's a good, but very broad question. You want a RAID designed to be used for video because the I/O characteristics are different than for small-block transaction processing. Some vendors will optimize their systems for the large block transfer of video.

Your RAID doesn't need an optical interface. You can get the performance you need from an eSATA interface. More exotic interfaces will increase cost and, potentially, complexity that you probably do not need.

I'll have to defer to others who have purchased and used RAIDs in their systems for recommendations since I've not bought one myself, although I get momentarily tempted on occasion. If you check with the DVi advertisers and others who sell RAIDs for video you will start to see a pattern in the specifications. I suggest you chat up a couple of these vendors. The good ones will point you in the right direction.
Tripp Woelfel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 18th, 2008, 03:04 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 1,719
I have also noticed this problem. It has nothing to do with a raid at all. In fact I have CS3 and CS4 on my system and CS3 works perfectly. On CS4 I can take the exact same media and it will not play back very well at all and this is with a single stream. I have a quad core system and in CS3 HD plays perfectly.

I have read a lot of problems sort of like this on other user forums with little to no solution to fix it. From what I can tell it looks like a gpu issue. CS4 changed the way it deals with the gpu so CS3 plays back in a different way then CS4 does. A few users seem to have fixed the problem by shifting their Nvidia drivers more to "performance" instead of "quality". A few deactivate direct3D support and that helped. I have an ATI card and so far everything I have tried didn't fix the problem.

Just to add a bit more info to this. I installed CS4 on my single core laptop with a ATI X600 video card and CS4 plays back HD much better then my quad core system. The laptop is loaded with all sorts of junk while the quad core system has a brand spanking new formated setup of Windows XP with no fluff at all.

I am going to experiment with different ATI driver versions this weekend but sadly my video card the 4670 is pretty new so I only have a few drivers to choose from. So far I have used the 8.11 drivers.

The Adobe website has a list of supported video cards with openGL support for After Effects CS4. I know it isn't Premiere but they list the ATI drivers tested and those are the 8.8 drivers. This leads me to think the 8.8 drivers may work fine. I don't think the 8.8 drivers will work with my video card but maybe other people can try this out. If you are a Nvidia user like the first person who posted here then try reducing the performance of the card to see if that helps. You may also want to check out that same AE CS4 page to see what drivers were tested by Adobe.

Hope this helps.
Thomas Smet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 19th, 2008, 11:29 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Northern California
Posts: 517
If you are editing EX footage in its native form (.mp4 or .mxf files) a single modern SATA drive should be more than sufficient for multiple streams. EX footage is only 4MB/s and a drive can sustain around 100MB/s although it isn't always that simple since I/O count and other factors have to be considered. Are you just referring to desktop playback for you performance analysis, or are you trying to go full screen to a second monitor?
__________________
For more information on these topics, check out my tech website at www.hd4pc.com
Mike McCarthy is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Adobe Creative Suite

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:34 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network