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Old September 24th, 2010, 07:44 AM   #1
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i7 980x or 24GB RAM

I currently run a i7 920 (not overclocked) with 12GB DDR3 RAM.

I edit AVCHD natively using CS5. Performance while editing is generally acceptable. What kills me is the rendering times within Encore when encoding a 90 minute DVD or Blu-ray image. (Can be about 10 hours)

What see a better performance increase on the encode times, a six core processor upgrade or going from 12GB to 24GB?

Thanks
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Old September 24th, 2010, 10:37 AM   #2
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This is a pretty difficult question, because MPEG2-DVD encoding profits from amount of memory and H.264 encoding profits from number of cores.

Encoding times of ten hours seems very long on your system. Could you do me a favor and run the PPBM5 Benchmark and send the results to Bill as instructed and also to me by PM. That will give a better feel for your performance and where to put the emphasis.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 01:31 PM   #3
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Can you export the video directly from Premiere as MPEG2 DVD and then just import into Encore? I don't use Encore so I don't know how it works but I do know that your current workflow is using Dynamic Link, which eats up ram.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 02:55 PM   #4
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Yes Steve, you can and that is what I prefer to do instead of using DL.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 04:56 PM   #5
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Hey Harm, as you noticed with my PPBM disk test, it wasn't nearly fast enough with the drive setup I have. But I figured out that the onboard SAS controller (LSI 1068E) with Raid 10 was only writing at 25MB/s. So, I ordered the new Areca 1880ix-24 to replace the 1680ix-8 and run both the 12TB video array and the 4TB render drive. When I get it installed, I'll let you know how it performs compared to the 1680. However, I was very hesitant to buy the 1880ix because it now uses Marvell chips instead of the great Intel IOP.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Hey Harm, as you noticed with my PPBM disk test, it wasn't nearly fast enough with the drive setup I have. But I figured out that the onboard SAS controller (LSI 1068E) with Raid 10 was only writing at 25MB/s. So, I ordered the new Areca 1880ix-24 to replace the 1680ix-8 and run both the 12TB video array and the 4TB render drive. When I get it installed, I'll let you know how it performs compared to the 1680. However, I was very hesitant to buy the 1880ix because it now uses Marvell chips instead of the great Intel IOP.
Yep. Something's fishy when a multiple-drive SAS RAID array is unable to beat a simple two-drive SATA RAID 0 array (like the one that I'm using) in the AVI portion of the PPBM5 tests.

And my system initially underperformed in most of the other tests because I was using a later-model WD Black for my system drive: The problems with their firmware really affected nearly all of the benchmark tests, with the results being consistently slower than are expected for such a level of CPU overclocking and memory amount (in my case, it was likely caused by the drive spinning down and accessing simultaneously, increasing the resource load). I ditched the Black altogether and switched to a Samsung F3 drive for my system drive - and with that drive now in place, my result is now one position above yours (in the PPBM5 results list). My MPEG-2 encodes dropped from a high 129 seconds to a much more reasonable 82 seconds while my H.264 Blu-ray encode score dropped from 99 seconds to 85 seconds. And that's with my current setup's backed-off overclock to 3.67GHz (my last test with the Black was with my CPU at 3.74GHz). The biggest improvement came with the MPE timeline render test: It now took 7 seconds versus 10 seconds with the previous setup.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 06:12 PM   #7
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Randall, another issue could be the PCIe slot the Areca sits in. Because there are 2 CPUs, certain PCIe slots are controlled by either CPU1 or CPU2. The HP includes software that shows all system resources and all BIOS settings, and it shows the PCIe x8 2.0 slot that the Areca sits in is connected to CPU1 and the Areca does not like the PCIe 2.0 x16 slots so the only other free PCIe 2.0 x8 slot is connected to CPU2.

The really odd thing is that I get 560MB/s write on the 6-drive Raid 5 array (using BlackMagic's Disk test), which should relate to a much quicker AVI test.
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Old September 26th, 2010, 06:32 AM   #8
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Dan,

Your results are now included and in the total ranking you come out around rank 40, but the good news is that your 920 comes out at the top of the non overclocked 920's.

Your MPEG2-DVD score is pretty good, which may show that you are using fast memory. The H.264 results are slightly less and AVI is a bit disappointing, but in your specific situation you can in practice benefit from your second raid0 array, which does not occur in the test.

I don't know where you feel the most pressing need for improvement, in H.264 encoding for BRD or in MPEG2-DVD encoding for DVD, but the H.264 results will improve from going to the i7-980, the extra cores will help in that case but will not have much impact on encoding for DVD.

If you consider going for 24 GB memory, you need to make sure that it is at least as fast as your current modules and it will result in much faster DVD encoding, but have limited impact on H.264 encoding.

Since you do not overclock, I guess your main improvement is the i7-980X because of the higher clock speed and the extra cores and continue using your 12 GB of fast memory for the time being.
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Old September 26th, 2010, 09:40 AM   #9
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Thank you very much for taking the time to conclude from my test results Harm. Seeing as there is nothing drastically wrong with setup i'll think i'll save my money for time-being. Out of interest my RAM is corsair standard 10666. When i am encoding, looking at Task manager the cpu is pretty much maxed on all cores. I have hyper-threading enabled. I have just realised too that when I am encoding a DVD the encore project files are on the same drive as the Premiere project files. Dont know if that would make a difference either way. I might try to move the Encore project to the preview drive or even another drive.

Thanks again
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