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Old December 15th, 2011, 01:53 PM   #1
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Best Old Computer for CUDA and TMPGEnc

(DVINFO ought to have an Encoding/Transcoding and Format Conversions section, but be that as it may...)

I am encoding MPEG-1 video files using TMPGEnc, and I like the results, but my old computer is quite slow, especially when I have to filter for color balance, turn up audio, brightness, etc. My volume is getting larger, too. I see that TMPGEnc can work with CUDA processing, so I wonder:

Can I upgrade my old Pentium D computer (a Dell Dimension E510) with a CUDA card and get faster encoding? Or, failing that, what would be the best used computer to get (ie, lowest price) that could take advantage of an NVidea CUDA card?

I am posting here because I cannot find any list of what computers are compatible with CUDA. All the press seems to assume you've got a new computer, but I want to spend the least money on the system to get some measure of improved performance.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 07:17 AM   #2
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Re: Best Old Computer for CUDA and TMPGEnc

DVinfo does have a specialized forum for encoding, see Distribution Center Forum at DVinfo.net.

I guess you could take advantage of a CUDA video card, but I'd like to let you know that "out of the box" TMPG is veeery slow even on my i7 64-bit machine. You will have to go under the hood and optimize the encoding speed. I recommend going to Anton Strauss's website Antons Video Productions Sydney | Video, DVD or Blu-ray Production from concept to completion and look up his optimization settings.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 07:47 PM   #3
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Re: Best Old Computer for CUDA and TMPGEnc

Thank you for that tip. I'll see if it can improve what I got now.

I've changed my mind about the idea, though. I've since learned a few things; that you can't get real improvement in performance with CUDA processing until you have at least a hundred processors, and that the cost of getting a new enough but still old computer and a big enough CUDA card to make a difference means I might as well just get a new computer. I'm going to build an i5 2500, at a cost of just under $500, using parts from the old one to complete it.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 03:03 AM   #4
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Re: Best Old Computer for CUDA and TMPGEnc

I use a WinFast PxVC1100 card in combination with spursengine and tmpgenc4 to do all my bluray encoding, I paid around 180 euro for the card, spursengine plugin and software which I think was one of my better investments considering it takes about 35 minutes to convert one hour of footage to a blu-ray format. And while the card is converting I can just continue editing without any problems. Especially for older systems such a card can do wonders. Not sure though if the spursengine templates include mepg1
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Old December 20th, 2011, 04:40 AM   #5
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Re: Best Old Computer for CUDA and TMPGEnc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Reeser View Post
... I might as well just get a new computer. I'm going to build an i5 2500, at a cost of just under $500, using parts from the old one to complete it.
I STRONGLY suggest you don*t waste your time and $$$ going down the wrong path. Building an editing workstation is a little bit of science: parts need to really work together to achieve the fastest possible editing performance, so just because parts are good it does not mean they will work together right.

Luckily some guys around here have done the research for us - the Videoguys (they are among the select sponsors of this website). Go to their website and read about their DIY editing workstations. Sure, the latest and greatest is expensive, but you might be still able to find parts for their previous one: Videoguys Blog - Videoguys' DIY7.7: Intel Core i7 with Vista 64 AND Now Windows 7

I built it two years ago; with the right shortcuts you might be able to do it for $500 or just a little more.
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Old December 21st, 2011, 07:38 PM   #6
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Re: Best Old Computer for CUDA and TMPGEnc

This is not for an editing workstation. This is simply a transcoding station for converting raw footage to MPEG-1, and burning to DVD-Roms. Occasional trimming of file ends and color adjustments.
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 03:48 PM   #7
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Re: Best Old Computer for CUDA and TMPGEnc

Out of all the steps in the video workflow, the encoding/transcoding is the most intensive... in other words, you really can*t say ˝it*s simply a transcoding station˝.

You can do the editing on any older computer, even a laptop, but for fast and efficient transcoding you need your best, most recent, most powerful computer.
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