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Old June 6th, 2007, 10:29 AM   #1
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Good Hardware Yet Slow MPEG2 Rendering: PPro or Windooze?

I am exporting 77 minutes of rather complicated content to MPEG2 for a DVD project this week, VBR, 720x480, 16:9, 24p. The render just finished and it took 54 hours to produce a 2.75GB file.

OUCH!

Here's the frustrating thing: I have a strong machine, dual Xeon 3.6GHz, 3GB RAM with fast disks, yet I noticed the operating system was reporting just 30% CPU and 50% memory utilization during the render! Is this a PPro issue, not asking for more CPU/RAM, or is this a Windoooze issue, not allowing PPro enough resources? I modified the operating system properties to give more priority to background processing and then started another render, but that didn't improve the numbers. It seems like the Windooze scheduler simply won't give PPro more than 30-50 percent of the system, no matter what I try...

This sorry situation seems more than a bit absurd, to have a good box yet have it so under-utilized during the most costly phase of a project.

NUTS!
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Old June 6th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #2
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did u render out to HDV or what?
Need more info..

if u were editing M2t, and output straigth to M2t or even MPG2 for dvd delivery, then im not surprised.. try outputting to an avi codec such as Huffy or cineform then reimport and render straight..

if however ur runnign a myriad of filters and rendering straight to mpg without creating a master, then not only are u rendering the filters and the like, but ur also asking it to compress those frames that are being redrawn.

in addition, prem pro 2 shoudl be using the HW of ur GFX card (if u have a compatible nvidia) which shoudl give u at least realtime output..

its nto windows, its the way in which uve set up ur render..

also dont forget, some filters in PremPro have an adverse effect on teh efficiency of the cpu.. in turn, as an example, if your wanting to use an effect, then decide to throw on a colour corrector AFTERWARDS, the CC will run like a bag of crap..
certain effect chains jsut dont work well together.. as another example, if u run old film THEN clour correct, that too will puke.. BUT if u run cc first, then old film, it runs like a dream..

Its just teh way it is..

to give u an idea as to how far out there ur issue is, i had vegas on a single core 2.4 cpu with 1gb ram and the longest render time for a 4 hour project straight to mpg2 (bypassing avi) was 27hours...

your machine should blitz this
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Old June 6th, 2007, 11:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson View Post
your machine should blitz this
I'm even more depressed now!

;-(

Moreover, the machine does have a killer (compatible) video card, NVIDIA Quadro FX4400. It does a fine job refreshing my 2560x1600 desktop; editing time lines is a breeze/pleasure, but she doesn't seem to help the render much.

FYI, here are photos of the actual hardware involved:

http://www.trentonscott.com/studio.shtml

No HDV. I simply exported directly from the project to M2v MPEG2 for DVD delivery, no master. There are several simple filters, a bunch of graphics and a small credit roll at the end, but nothing too fancy. Here's the trailer, if you want to see the content:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnxnQxjpjkw

In the future, if I initially output to an AVI codec, then re-import for another render for DVD delivery, will I loose image/sound quality? I don't want to sacrifice quality; I'd rather wait, even if it is killing me!

Regardless of what render strategy I use in PPro, why is less than half of my computer's available CPU/memory used during the render? Shouldn't it be using 80-90%? I'm not doing/running anything else...

Thanks for your input; I appreciate it...
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Old June 6th, 2007, 03:48 PM   #4
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With the info given, it seems that your HD may be the bottleneck. It is not your CPU, not your memory, nor your video card. That leaves your HD configuration.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 04:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
With the info given, it seems that your HD may be the bottleneck. It is not your CPU, not your memory, nor your video card. That leaves your HD configuration.
That's what I thought initially, but my RAID disk array is very fast, two dedicated 800GB render disks, mostly empty. The final MPG file is only 2.5GB, which isn't that big. It shouldn't take 50+ hours to write a 2.5GB file-- a few seconds normally! For example, after the rendering finished yesterday, I copied/backed-up the 2.5GB MPEG file and all the other project files to an external back-up disk and that took less than a minute...

Also, from what I've read an MPEG2 render is very CPU intensive, not disk intensive (unlike AVI, which I've been told is the opposite). In fact, my entire desktop ran smoothly during the entire 54 hours, no big slow down at all-- mainly because the system was only giving 30-40% of the CPU/RAM to PPro during the rendering.

For most of the rendering, I just leave the machine alone with the task monitoring window up; whenever I walked by, it always reported 30% CPU usage and 50% RAM usage...

Fast but not fast rendering!

The machine blows through all the other applications and work I do; there must be a setting in PPro and/or in Windoooze that will allow more of the CPU/RAM to be allocated for the render...

Or am I dreaming?
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Old June 6th, 2007, 04:52 PM   #6
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Adobe Support Says...

"Premiere Pro 2.0 was not coded to take full advantage of multiple processors. CS3 will be."

Gee, thanks!

It's good to know that my machine will remain half-latent until I shell out another pound of flesh for CS3!

Same as it ever was...
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Old June 13th, 2007, 10:54 AM   #7
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Just for the record, here's what I found; this is for others reading this under similar circumstances (exporting 70+ minutes of edited widescreen 24P content):

1. Saving as uncompressed AVI in PPro was the quickest way out for me, but this creates a really huge (5 times larger than original source video) file, so you need lots of free space. This approach is fast (disk intensive, not CPU) because it does not compress anything; it exported 77 minutes in just over 6 hours. The image/sound quality was excellent.

2. Saving as DV-AVI in PPro was the next best approach, which I think I will use going forward in most situations. It took 11 hours to save the same content, and the file/space requirements are much, much smaller. The 5-hour increase is due to the CPU compression work, and the fact that PPro does not take advantage of my multi-CPU hardware; the upcoming CS3 release will detect and schedule more compression work on both CPUs, however, so I'm hoping to see at least a 20% increase in performance. That time savings will pay for the upgrade quickly! I saw no drop in image/sound quality compared to the uncompressed AVI file.

3. Bringing either AVI file into Encore DVD was a breeze, and Encore did a great job transcoding (VBR, 2 pass, 7mb) both files in about 5 hours in the background, as I continued working on the DVD menu and slideshows. The final product looks and sounds fabulous, and everything fits (barely) on a standard 4.7GB DVD.
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