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Old January 23rd, 2011, 09:59 AM   #1
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30X Rendering times??

I'm rendering a 1-1/2hr performance to SD DVD mpeg using the AME thru PPro CS5. The project contains 1 track of 1080p avchd video from a GH2, and 2 trks of HDV from an FX-1, the 3rd trk rarely used. Most of the final footage, at least 2/3rds, is HDV. Few transitions, a little CC, not much.

I'm rendering on a Intel 9450 quadcore with only 4 gigs of RAM. Mobo is ASUS pk5c and graphics card is Nvidia 280, hacked for the MPE. (It actually chugged along in realtime with 1/2 rez during editing, yeah!)

So, should this take 30-40 hours to render? Is there anything I can do to improve performance?
( BTW, I tried rendering the project in Encore vis-a-vis the link. It worked except the transcode hung on some 'PProHeadless.exe' thing.) So I tried directly out of PPro. Seems to have the quadcore pinned at 100%.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 10:56 AM   #2
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Eric,

To avoid confusion about your terminology, rendering is used for previews of the time line. What you are doing is encoding to MPEG2-DVD.

Encoding is very much a CPU bound process, without the benefits of hardware MPE. Your CPU is running at full speed, partly caused by lack of memory.

The time indicator of AME is not to be trusted. At one moment it may say X hours remaining, then 0.5X and then in an instant goes to 2.0X hours. So the actual figure may be quite different.

Your system is around 20 - 30 times slower than a fast system, so you have to compare your 30 hour figure to a one hour figure on a fast system, which is better than real time.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 12:33 PM   #3
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Harm, thanks for the terminology correction. I wanted to check to make sure that I wasn't doing something odd, it's my first time using AVCHD. With just HDV footage these were encoding 1-1/2 - 4X project length. Big difference! And I knew that using the CS5 w/MPE was a gamble on such an underpowered machine, but it did work for th editing part and got me back to PPro from Speed Edit.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 12:36 PM   #4
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Eric,

I agree with Harm. Your system simply does not have enough CPU muscle or RAM to compete with a fast system. Also, the P35 chipset's memory controller is limited to 2GB modules or 1GB per rank. What's more, the Asus P5KC motherboard that you're using is a hybrid DDR2/DDR3 motherboard, which has its own issues: It has only two DDR3 slots but four DDR2 slots. You cannot run both DDR2 and DDR3 memory on that motherboard simultaneously. You can only expand memory beyond 4GB if you are using DDR2 memory -- but DDR2 memory modules now cost nearly double the price as an equal amount of DDR3 memory. Plus, with a maximum memory capacity of just 8GB and the almost complete lack of PCI-e lanes (in fact, the P35 chipset provides just 20 PCI-e 1.0 lanes plus the four provided by the non-R version of the ICH9 on the P5KC), the P35 chipset isn't well suited for the demands of CS5.

As for GPU acceleration, it is indeed used for resizing and scaling functions if you are encoding directly from the Premiere Pro timeline. Otherwise, in AME alone, this resizing is done entirely with the CPU. This point is moot because the GTX 280 is using only 16 of those 20 lanes -- and running at the lower PCI-e 1.0 bandwidth to boot. This means that the MPE GPU performance will suffer significantly -- in this case, about four to six times slower than a fast system with proper PCI-e 2.0 functions.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 02:21 PM   #5
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Eric,

for GPU assisted rendering try file->export from the premiere timeline and instead of clicking on "queue" after choosing your export settings, select "export". In my experience this results in 2-5x faster rendering.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 04:45 PM   #6
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Luis,

Rendering has nothing to do with exporting. Rendering is only for previewing the time line.

Exporting and thus encoding is a completely different and unrelated thing, just as washing your car and driving it are unrelated and completely different.

Exporting directly or via the queue can result in slight performance differences, but nowhere near 2 - 5 times. Sometimes it is faster, sometimes it is slower, but generally they are about the same, at least that is what Adobe wants it to be. Depending on the export format used you may get slightly better results with one approach, with other export settings it may be the other way around.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 04:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
Luis,

Rendering has nothing to do with exporting. Rendering is only for previewing the time line.

Exporting and thus encoding is a completely different and unrelated thing, just as washing your car and driving it are unrelated and completely different.

Exporting directly or via the queue can result in slight performance differences, but nowhere near 2 - 5 times. Sometimes it is faster, sometimes it is slower, but generally they are about the same, at least that is what Adobe wants it to be. Depending on the export format used you may get slightly better results with one approach, with other export settings it may be the other way around.
That does not happen in my system. In fact, in my system exporting via the queue took six times longer than exporting directly, when it comes to HD-to-SD encodes from HD AVIs. It could be something wrong with some part of my system.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 05:21 PM   #8
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I havent used Premiere Pro for a while but I have to say IF your "Exporting" Not rendering and IF you project settings are correct. With a quad core I cant see a 1 1/2 project taking more than 6 hours at the most. unless mixing the footage is causing issues. I have a i-7 quad core and I can export to BR and little slower than 1:1 maybe 1.5:1.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 08:24 PM   #9
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Call it what you will.
In my book rendering means taking data, applying mathematical magic to it and saving the resulting modified data.

Anyhow, I remember reading someplace that in CS5, adobe media encoder doesn't use the GPU for encoding but Premiere Pro does so when used by means of the export button instead of sending the project to adobe media encoder by means of the queue button. The encoding times reflect this and I can hear the fan on my gpu spin up when exporting directly from premiere. AFAIK, by means of this method the gpu is not only used for scaling and effects acceleration, but also for encoding GPU supported formats such as h.264 (I can't remember the list of gpu assisted formats, but not all are.)

In any case, I've been getting a lot more sleep ever since I found about this ;)
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 08:40 PM   #10
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From the tests I ran Media encoder when exported through Premiere does use the gpu. I only have a GTS-250 but I get about a 30 percent improvement over CPU alone.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 12:00 AM   #11
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I still have 14 hrs to go before my render finishes. So until then, I can't test on a short project. I am VERY aware that my system is 'underpowered', as well as the quirky RAM issues. it will probably be upgraded/replaced this summer.

In the meantime, regardles of terminology conflicts, the final encoding/rendering/export of the project discussion seems to be giving up some different assumptions, both as regard the export/qeue button and the involvement of the GPU. There is a clear order as to how After Effects renders its layers/effects, etc. PPro seems to be a mystery, especially with the MPE. And would/could the preview renders ever be 'applied' to the final 'encoding' assuming that the project sttings were the same through-out?
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 01:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
Luis,

Rendering has nothing to do with exporting. Rendering is only for previewing the time line.

Exporting and thus encoding is a completely different and unrelated thing, just as washing your car and driving it are unrelated and completely different.

Exporting directly or via the queue can result in slight performance differences, but nowhere near 2 - 5 times. Sometimes it is faster, sometimes it is slower, but generally they are about the same, at least that is what Adobe wants it to be. Depending on the export format used you may get slightly better results with one approach, with other export settings it may be the other way around.
Wrong. As other have pointed out, exporting directly is a lot faster than using queue.
I don't know what the correct explanation on this matter is but I've heard that when Premiere encodes timeline, it first renders the said timeline then encodes it. So, when CUDA MPE is used, it boosts overall encoding process as it offers superior rendering process.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 05:39 AM   #13
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Wrong.

Testing with three different export settings, H.264-BR, MPEG2-DVD and AVI, results in these differences,see figure below.

The conclusion is obvious: Exporting is faster than the Queue, only for AVI, for other formats Export is slower than the Queue.

Where is your "a lot faster..." ???? It just is not true.

CUDA is only used for scaling, blending and certain effects. All the encoding is done by the CPU. Of course the CPU hands over to the GPU the scaling, blending and certain effects and waits for the GPU to finish before it can start encoding. This is not normally referred to as rendering. Rendering is used to create preview files, which is not the case here. But that is more a terminology issue.

What matters is that CUDA/MPE only helps reduce the total encoding time if there is scaling, blending or CUDA effects on the timeline.

As you can see from the figure below, total encoding time is positively influenced by the scaling (MPE accelerated) in the MPEG2-DVD encoding, despite the higher quality of the encodes than software MPE.
Attached Thumbnails
30X Rendering times??-02-feb-11-12-15-33.png  

Last edited by Harm Millaard; February 2nd, 2011 at 10:50 AM.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 11:42 AM   #14
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Harm Millaard, You're wrong.

Premiere's encoding process DOES use CUDA MPE. Look at my test below and test it out yourself.

Computer: i7 860 @ 3.6ghz. 8gb of RAM, GT 240 DDR3 (It's not a DDR5 version so it's around 4-5 slower than DDR version.)
Source: 15.19 sec, 24fps, 1080p, 5d mk2 H.264 clip
Export Setting: 720p, VBR 2pass; 11mbps to 17 mbps h.264 mp4 file. Render at Max. Depth, Use Max. Render Quality On

Result:
Using Premiere's EXPORT: 20 sec. 80-90% GPU usage.
Using QUEUE: 1 min 20 sec. 4-8% GPU usage.

What does it prove? It proves CUDA MPE does get utilized during encoding process whereas Media Encoder does not use CUDA(GPU).

You already knew CUDA MPE gets involved when certain operations are requested so that it could result in great reduction of total encoding time. Given that, how can you also claim "Exporting directly or via the queue can result in slight performance differences, but nowhere near 2 - 5 times."
If you think encoding is only about encoding a native file without applying effects or scaling, your definition on encoding is too narrow and wrong.




32 sec.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 12:16 PM   #15
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Run the PPBM5 Benchmark and you will know. Your claim is utterly untrue, unbelievable, unsubstantiated and lacks all kinds of proof, for others to test.
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