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Old March 7th, 2012, 06:59 PM   #1
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Best machine for CS 5.5

I have 2 machines one is Sandybridge i-7 2600k with 8 gigs of ram and one is a i-7 920 but I am thinking of upping the chip to the 980X. For CS 5.5 AVCHD editing which is the better choice?
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Old March 7th, 2012, 08:44 PM   #2
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Re: Best machine for CS 5.5

Randy J,

Don't waste your money on an EOL platform such as upgrading your existing i7-920 to an i7-980: An upgraded CPU for such an old, obsolesced LGA 1366 platform costs way too close to an entire newer LGA 2011 platform for its own good. Plus, the i7-980X is no longer available new (officially) - and any new-in-box 980X CPUs that remain will cost you as much money as buying both an i7-3930K CPU and a good X79 motherboard together. Instead, concentrate on adding another 8GB of RAM (or replacing all of your currently installed RAM with one 2 x 8GB kit or one 4 x 4GB kit, if you are currently using 4 x 2GB modules) to your i7-2600K system to bring the total RAM amount from 8GB to 16GB.
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Old March 7th, 2012, 09:58 PM   #3
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Re: Best machine for CS 5.5

Does CS 5.5 really use that much ram for basic AVCHD editing?
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Old March 7th, 2012, 10:43 PM   #4
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Re: Best machine for CS 5.5

For AVCHD? You betcha!!

Randall is so right about this.

First off, I think you might have trouble getting an i7-980x. Reputable vendors (such as Newegg) seem to be out of stock. The plain i7-980 (no "x") is still available for around $600, but you will get better performance out of upgrading your I7-2600k.

That is, you will get a far greater performance boost with CS 5.5 by upgrading your your I7-2600k system with more RAM. Actually, you could add 16gb of new RAM, add a 448 core GTX560ti, and an additional hard drive for less than half the cost of an I7-980x and have a system that, in many tasks, will outperform a heavily equipped 980x system.

I speak from experience on this. A couple of months ago, my I7-950 system died. This was a mildly overclocked I7-950 with 12 gb RAM, a GTX 260, and a couple of raids and several hard drives for the media projects. I set-out to buy an I7-3930k SandyBridge-E system, but the chips were not available. (Intel was re-tooling the production line and the 3930ks were not available for a couple of months). Because I needed a new system right away, I "settled" for an I7-2600k with 16gB of RAM and a 448 core GTX560ti video card. The performance increase over the prior system has been dramatic even though I have not had time to do any real tuning. Also, if you check threads from about a year ago, you can find some discussions and testing by Scott Chichelli and Randall, among others, which indicated that a 2600k with 16gB of RAM could run CS 5 tasks a bit faster than a heavily equipped 24gbGB I7-980x system. See this thread.

i7 980x Now or Wait for Sandybridge?

I mentioned economics. Here is what I am talking about.

An I7-980x was roughly $1000 (maybe $875 from some of the less reputable sites on amazon and e-Bay). An I7-980 was just under $600,

1. Right now, you can buy 16gb matched set of G-Skill 4x4 Ripjaws RAM for about $90 (US$) at Newegg. Getting two 8gB chips will run between $105 and $135 depending on the RAM speed.

2. A 448 core GTX560ti cost between $280 and $320. The 384 core "standard" GTX560ti cards cost around $230 to $250. These all use DDR5 RAM. For me, with PPro CS 5.5 hardware MPE, the GTX560 tiprovided a significant boost over my old GTX 260.

3. Using multiple hard drives for video, render and transcode files will also give a significant boost to PPro CS 5.5. One TB 7200 rpm drives such as Hitachi Deskstars and Samsung Spinpoints go for about $160. Similar Western Digital "Blacks" go for about $140.

I might add that much of my editing involves multi-cam projects that mix as many as seven tracks of AVCHD and HDV. Lately, a lot of them have deadlines too short for me to run the Cineform conversions that used to be my favorite workflow. So, I'm editing a lot of native AVCHD . On my previous I7-950, doing rapid scrolling in a multi-cam timeline could quicklypush the CPU temps up over 70C but, with the current I7-960, the temps do not go above 30 C. Generally speaking, a cooler CPU is lot more efficient.

The economics strongly favor upgrading your I7-2600k unless you have multiple, large-bandwidth PCIe cards. There is one limitation that may affect future upgradability. The I72600k mobos have somewhat limited PCIe bandwidth. Right now, I am pushing those limits with the GTX560ti and a PCIe RAID card although neither of them seems to need more that 8 lanes. As Randall has pointed in various threads, including the one I linked to above, the current 16x cards like the GTX5xx series actually do not use more than 8 lanes. This may change with the upcoming replacements.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 12:03 AM   #5
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Re: Best machine for CS 5.5

Thanks for the very detailed insight. I will stick with the 2600 then I will bump up my memory and card too. I dont know if it matters but I didnt mention before that I cam using a black magic card.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 12:25 AM   #6
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Re: Best machine for CS 5.5

Jay was correct that what I stated above in my first reply is from a cost-worthiness standpoint. Basically speaking, most of the LGA 1366 CPUs are currently being phased out of production, meaning that you will have a much tougher time finding a new-in-box CPU for that socket. And the few remaining LGA 1366 CPUs left are still at their full price. That makes the i7-980x (if you can find any) by itself cost as much money as buying an entire LGA 2011 (Sandy Bridge-E) CPU and motherboard combo. And upgrading that i7-920 to an i7-980X would have at best made that system only about equal in performance to the i7-2600K unless you want to load the 980x system to the gills with a RAID card, an I/O card and multiple graphics cards (however, Adobe does not support more than one single single-GPU graphics card for MPE GPU acceleration); only then would the i7-980x system would have degraded less than an i7-2600K system would have due to the extra number of PCI-e lanes.

And if your current i7-920 system has only 6GB (or even 12GB) of RAM installed, upgrading that CPU to a 980x would still have been a waste of money (meaning that the cost would have been much greater than the benefit), IMHO. And as my own testing in CS5.5 and the PPBM5 benchamrks have shown, CS5.5 performs best with 2 to 3 GB of RAM per thread (or logical core). All i7 CPUs have hyperthreading, which results in a CPU having twice as many logical cores as there are physical cores. This is exactly the reason why I recommended upgrading the RAM on the 2600K system rather than upgrading the CPU on the 920 (and you'd still likely to have too little RAM to run CS5.5 efficiently). After all, an i7-980x with only 6GB of total RAM would have resulted in that system having only 512MB of RAM per logical core, which would have prevented CS5.5 from performing as well as it should (similar to what an i7-2600K would have performed with only 4GB of RAM).
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Old March 8th, 2012, 09:44 AM   #7
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Re: Best machine for CS 5.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Johnson View Post
Thanks for the very detailed insight. I will stick with the 2600 then I will bump up my memory and card too. I dont know if it matters but I didnt mention before that I cam using a black magic card.

You did not say which Black Magic Design device you have, but you should not have a PCIe bandwidth problem for now. My (possibly faulty) recollection is that the Intensity cards are PCIe 1x and that DecLink cards are 4x. Am I correct that you will have a GPU card and the BMD card but no RAID card?

There should be no PCIe bandwidth problem on your I72600k system whether you are using a 4x DecLink or a 1x Intensity card. I am likewise using an i/o card --- mine is a PCIe MXO2 mini i/o card . In other words, I have three PCIe devices in my I7-2600k system: the MXO2 mini, the raid card, and the GPU The set-up works fine. Actually, I've found it smoother and faster than with my late I7-950/LGA1366 system which had more PCIe bandwidth.

Here's my understanding of how things work. Your 2600k runs in an LGA1155 motherboard. The LGA1155 mobos have two banks of PCIe slots. These banks operate independently. Think of them like freeways with lanes to carry traffic.

One bank (freeeway) shares bandwidth with other system functions. It has four PCIe lanes available. (Generally, these will be the smaller PCIe slots on your mobo). You can use one of these slots for a single 4x PCIe device or use several of them to run 1x PCIe devices. In theory, you could add a 1x Intensity card, a 1x network card and a 1x firewire card. (Don't know why you would do that, but you could.) Or, you could use all that bandwidth by putting a single 4x DecLink card in one of these slot. The user manual for your mobo will tell you which which slot to use for a 4x device.

The other PCIe bank (freeway) uses the long PCIe slots and has 16 lanes available for PCIe traffic. Your GPU card goes in the number 1 slot which is the uppermost one. If there is no other PCIe device in the other slot or slots in this bank, all 16 lanes are available to your GPU. However, as noted, PCIe 16 GPU cards do not actually use more than 8 lanes and so 8 lanes will go unused. If you add another 16x PCIe GPU card to the other slot in this bank, each GPU will get 8 PCIe lanes. Same thing happens if you add an 8x PCIe RAID card. (No sense in adding another GPU to your system because CS 5.5 can only use one, but a raid card and disks can make a significant contribution to processing video with CS 5.x. If you haven't done so, check out the PPBM5 website.)

There is one potential kink in the simplicity of putting a 4x BMD card in a different PCIe bank than your GPU. Some motherboards seem to have the 4x PCIe slot so close to the #1 PCIe-16 slot that a fat GTX card blocks the 4x PCIe slot. Not a problem if you have an Intensity card, but it would mean putting a BMD DecLink card in the second PCIe-16 slot.

Either way, both of your devices will get all of the PCIe lanes they can use.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 03:48 PM   #8
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Re: Best machine for CS 5.5

Let me ask one more question btw I have a intensity pro card. The question is Cineform I have tried it in the past and not had much success. After reading your post I tried the demo again. Everytime I convert from AVCHD to Cineform the audio get messed up, its just a digital buzz. The video seems very fast and I would like to pursue this method of editing. Is the audio buzz a limitation of the demo? or am I doing something wrong? Also which product from Cineform do I need? I donwloaded NEOscenene 5
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Old March 8th, 2012, 05:09 PM   #9
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Re: Best machine for CS 5.5

I've never run into the kind of problem you describe. I've been using NeoHD and recently upgraded to GroPro Studio Premium, but I doubt that would explain your problem. Several ideas come to mind on your audio problem.

First, are you shooting with a Sony NX5 and maybe recording audio using the LPCM audio setting? Or are you using a camera that records 5.1 surround audio? If so, there is an audio plug-in you need. Sorry, I can't think of the name of it right now, but you might try searching in DVInfo's Cineform forum.

Second, I am assuming that the files play correctly from the camera but, if you have not tried that, do so because its one of the first questions anybody will ask.

Third, what are you converting the AVCHD to -- cineform AVI or cineform MOV? Can you play a converted file with WIndows Media Player? Are you having the playback issues from within PPro CS 5.5? If so, are you using a Cineform preset for your timeline or are you using a BMD preset or are you using a generic Adobe HD 1920 x1080i preset?

Fourth, you probably should post this question in the Cineform forum. I recall that there have been some compatibility issues between BMD products and Cineform software in the past and maybe somebody else has run into the same problem. Also, Cineform/GoPro folks participate in the forum and are pretty good about responding to questions during working hours. But do a search first as the matter may already have been answered.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 05:45 PM   #10
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Re: Best machine for CS 5.5

I edit huge files in Premiere and sometimes use a lot of advanced plugins and never come close to the 9GB I give PP. Check how much PP is actually using before spending the money on more RAM. GL
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Old March 8th, 2012, 06:04 PM   #11
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Re: Best machine for CS 5.5

I have 24GB of ram in my dual 6-core PC and wish I had 48GB of ram :)
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Old March 8th, 2012, 06:41 PM   #12
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Re: Best machine for CS 5.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawika Ohumukini View Post
I edit huge files in Premiere and sometimes use a lot of advanced plugins and never come close to the 9GB I give PP. Check how much PP is actually using before spending the money on more RAM. GL
If that's the case and your rendering and encoding speed is still sluggish (i.e. almost as slow as systems that are two or three CPU generations old), then a bottleneck exists somewhere in your PC.

In addition, more RAM on the i7-2600K build is needed only in combination with a very high end GPU such as the GeForce GTX 580: As Bill Gehrke found in the PPBM5 testing, the MPEG-2 DVD encoding performance degraded from 60 seconds with 16GB of RAM to about 100 seconds with only 8GB. However, with a more mainstream GeForce GPU, then the GPU will be the bottleneck since I discovered practically no difference in performance in the MPEG-2 DVD test with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM in my i5-2400 auxiliary system equipped with a 336-core GeForce GTX 560 (non-Ti).

Last edited by Randall Leong; March 8th, 2012 at 07:16 PM.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 09:29 PM   #13
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Re: Best machine for CS 5.5

Randall:

Would you provide a link to Gehrke's tests? I can't seem to find a report on the test you mentioned.

Also, I do not understand your point about RAM on an i5 system. I do not mean that you are wrong, only that I am not following the logic. I thought PPro uses both CPU hyperthreading and the GPU cores for encoding to DVD Mpeg2. Or, at least that it does when encoding from AVCHD to DVD. I also understood that the i5 has minimal hyperthreading ability. So, it seems to me that adding more than 8gB of RAM to an i5 might not make much difference to this kind of test simply because of the lack of hyperthreading and that a 336 core GPU wouldn't be enough to overcome that. (Plus, would a video editor really need to spend more on the video card than a mobo-CPU combo? Okay, you would if you bought a Quaddro, but otherwise?) On the other hand, it seems to me that, since i7 processors have considerably more hyperthreading capacity, they would need additional RAM to make use of it.

My subjective impression of my new i7-2600k system with the 448 core/560ti and 16gB of RAM seems --- subjectively --- significantly swifter that my late i7-950/12gB/GTX260 system. (I'm saying "subjectively" because I have been so busy that I have not had the time to remove the MXO2 mini from my system and try to tune the system before running PPBM 5.5.). Further, I have the impression that PPro uses RAM & CPU pretty heavily when editing native AVCHD because it is decompressing on the fly for editing. That seems like something that also would benefit from increased RAM. When I built the new system, I assumed that my projects --- many of which are multi cam edits with 3 or 4 AVCHD streams and 3 or 4 HDV streams --- would benefit from both 16gB of RAM and the extra cores of the 448-core GTX560ti. (Of course --- as discussed a couple of months ago in the thread where I asked about whether I needed a GTX 570 or 580 if I could get a SandyBridge E/i7-3930k system --- other system components like RAID setups also affect these things). So, was I off base in getting 16gB of RAM for my i7-2600k? If so, what am I missing here?

(I might also note that, for me, the cost difference between 8gb and 16gb of RAM for an i7-2600k was only about $30, so the economics are not a crucial thing. I'm just trying to refine my understanding of how these things work.)
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Old March 9th, 2012, 09:34 PM   #14
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Re: Best machine for CS 5.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay West View Post
Randall:

Would you provide a link to Gehrke's tests? I can't seem to find a report on the test you mentioned.

Also, I do not understand your point about RAM on an i5 system. I do not mean that you are wrong, only that I am not following the logic. I thought PPro uses both hyperthreading and the GPU for encoding to DVD Mpeg2. Or, at least that it does when encoding from AVCHD to DVD. I also understood that the i5 has minimal hyperthreading ability. So, it seems to me that adding more than 8gB of RAM to an i5 might not make much difference to this kind of test simply and that a 336 core GPU wouldn't be enough to overcome that. On the other hand, it seems to me that, since i7 processors have considerably more hyperthreading capacity, they would need additional RAM to make use of it.

My subjective impression of my new i7-2660k system with the 448 core/560ti and 16gB of RAM seems --- subjectively --- significantly swifter that my late i7-950/12gB/GTX260 system. Further, I have the imppression that PPro uses RAM & CPU pretty heavily when editing native AVCHD because it is decompressing on the fly for editing. That seems like something that also would benefit from increased RAM. When I built the new system, I assumed that my projects --- many of which are multi cam edits with 3 or 4 AVCHD streams and 3 or 4 HDV streams --- would benefit from both 16gB of RAM and the extra cores of the 448-core GTX560ti. (Of course --- as discussed a couple of months ago in the thread where I asked about whether I needed a GTX 570 or 580 if I could get a SandyBridge E/i7-3930k system --- other system components like RAID setups also affect these things). So, was I off base in getting 16gB of RAM for my i7-2600k? If so, what am I missing here?

(I might also note that,right now, the cost difference between 8gb and 16gb of RAM for an i7-2600k was only about $30, so the economics are not a crucial thing. I'm just trying to refine my understanding of how these things work.)
Jay,

You will have to go to the Adobe Forums to find the results in some of the threads related to building a new system or buying a new GPU.

And if I were to use Newegg's prices, you'll find that the 336-core GTX 560 costs almost the same as an i5-2400 CPU by itself (not including the mobo).
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Old March 10th, 2012, 03:27 AM   #15
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Re: Best machine for CS 5.5

I have not yet found Bill Gehrke's report, but I did find this clarifying comment from Randall from a couple of days ago and it answers the questions I posed above.:

"Unless one is going to use part of the RAM as cache, Premiere Pro CS5.5 works best with about 2GB of RAM per logical core. This means that the i5 system doesn't take much if any advantage of more than 8GB of total installed RAM. I discovered this today when I ran the PPBM5 benchmark on "Randall's Flying Pig" (my i5-2400 auxiliary editing rig) with both 8GB and 16GB of RAM. However, for an i7-2600K or 2700K system, one would need 16GB of RAM in order for CS5.5 to perform its best. And for an i7-3930K, 32GB is recommended."

Adobe Forums: What PC to build? An update...



"And if I were to use Newegg's prices, you'll find that the 336-core GTX 560 costs almost the same as an i5-2400 CPU by itself (not including the mobo). "

Quite true. Just to clarify, the point I was trying to make was about GTX 580 cards not being balanced with an i5 system. An i5-2400 is about $190, an LGA1155 mobo can be had for as little as $120, and 336-core GTX560 cards are running in the range of $180 to $200. On the other hand, a higher performance GTX580 will run in the range of $500 to $550 which is roughly $200 more than an i5/mobo combination and seems like it would be a very unbalanced system for PPro.



Regarding Kawikah's report of not being able to use anything like the 9 gB of RAM available for CS 5.5 on his system, I agree with Randall there may be a bottleneck. I just ran a couple of quick tests on my 16gB/GTX560ti/i7-2600 system to see what happens. Running playback from the multi-cam monitor with a five-camera multi-cam AVCHD theater production, I'm seeing about 6 gB of RAM in use and an average of 70% CPU usage across all 8 cores. Exporting from the AVCHD multi-cam timeline to MPEG2-DVD shows roughly 40 to 45% CPU usage across all cores and 7.5 gB of RAM being used. .

Combine that 7.5 gB with the 4gB that Win7 uses for itself, and it might seems that I could get away with 12 gB of RAM, except that you can't really install 12 gb in an LGA1155 mobo. LGA1155 mobos have only four RAM slots. Nobody is selling RAM in 3gB or 6gB sticks, so the matched-set RAM choices for an i7-2600k are limited to 8gB, 16 gB, and 32 gB.
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