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Old October 9th, 2008, 08:22 AM   #1
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Goodbye PC, hello MAC: Render times?

HI All'

Finally made the switch to a MacPro. My 8 core machine has 16GB ram and while I haven't set the thing up yet, my first question is with respect to Final Cut.

Does anyone know if render times are significantly faster than with Premiere Pro CS3?

At issue is my output files...takes me about 2-5hours to output 5 mins of video in PP CS3.

Just curious.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 08:41 AM   #2
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2-5 hours for 5 minutes of video? I work in both platforms, on both Premiere CS3 and FCP and don't experience that.

What format are you shooting/editing? Lots and lots of effects I'm assuming?
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Old October 9th, 2008, 08:44 AM   #3
 
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What? you made the (expensive) switch without finding the answer to this question beforehand?

I've used both a quadcore PC and an 8-core Macpro. My experience was that few of the Mac apps have been re-written multithreaded to use all 8 cores. But, a lot of how many threads it uses is dependent on which codec you're rendering to. So, having said that, I would suspect that FCP, which uses the same codecs, is about in the same camp.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 10:48 AM   #4
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Hi Craig,

Don't be so quick to dump your PC equipment just yet. While it's true that Apple-based apps typically are easier to work with than PC (based on the users own technical skills) there are some things that are still PC-only in the world of professional film and video editing and may never port over to the Mac.

With respect to render times, there are several factors that could have caused your lengthy render times in PP CS3 regardless of which platform such as the CPU speed/type/core, available RAM, FSB speeds, HDD's space/speed... the list goes on.

Switching to a Mac doesn't automatically guarantee faster renders, although as Bill pointed out 2-5 hours for 5 minutes does point to a non-standardized workflow issue, not the hardware or software.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 11:30 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input. Here's my situation:

My PC is a 3.06GHz machine with 4GB ram.
A 1 TB external HD 7200rpm
A 750GB internal hard drive 7200rpm

Workflow in Premiere is:
Capture video;
Rough edit;
Color correction;
Red Giant effects (i.e. Looks)
At this point, I make an uncompressed AVI to send to AE CS3 for text effects.

Once done, I export that comp, import the clip ( or just use Dynamic Link) into PP CS3 and I'm done.

When the clip is all done, all effects applied, all text effects done and applied, and I hit 'Export' using Adobe Media Encoder (720 x 405 frame size, 3.5mbps), it is a 2 to 5 hour render time.

The long export time on render using H.264 codec has been an issue, but the BIG issue is the RIDICULOUSLY slow playback speed when trying to watch a clip in PPCS3. Even after rendering the clip, it is notchy, jerky and annoying (video card is Nvidia 8800GTX). This is affecting the timing of my cuts to music, my effects, my transitions, etc. not to mention PP CS3 will often crash when doing complex effects without backing up my work. I'm literally pausing to save my work every 15 minutes.

I've deinstalled and reinstalled software and the O/S on my system twice. Adobe help is useless. Bought and tried programs that made matters worse (i.e. CinemaHD).

Bottom line: PP Cs3 is quirky and lacks the capability of FC on a MAC. But here's what kills me: I love PP and After Effects. When it works, it's awesome.

These factors made me switch to a MAC.

After my MAC is up and running, I'm literally removing every piece of software on my PC that isn't related to Premiere...except internet access. Then I'll see what happens.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 11:58 AM   #6
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Okay, probably out of my league, but is that a single core chip 3 ghrz ? Sounds like equipment might be a bit of an issue. And in earlier Premiere versions (Pro 2.0) I think video card was an issue too, as Premiere may utilize recsources from it. Not sure if this version is dependent on Video card resources.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 03:58 PM   #7
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Yup, a single core. Could be it then?
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Old October 9th, 2008, 05:10 PM   #8
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I can make a guess that streaming uncompressed AVI through an external hard drive is probably the bottleneck, if that's how it's being done. The issue definitely sounds like data access (hard drive related), not cpu or ram.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 06:22 PM   #9
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I haven't seen a render comparison for similar video programs for years. The last I've seen was a ridiculous comparison between Premier 6.5 on a Mac and PC in MacWorld. The conclusion was that the Mac was a slower computer then a PC. Premier 6.5 was a terrible, buggy program on the Mac but the PC version worked well. I got into a contentious corespondence with the editor when I asked why they didn't compare FCP with Premier using similar rendered effects. Never got a reasonable answer which miffed me since FCP rendered most effects faster, some the same and a few slower in my tests against a friend's PC although it was hard to compared the processors (PowerPC vs Intel).

Now everyone is using the same processors it should be easier but software programming has a lot of effect here. My older Macs get a render boost every now and then with an Apple Pro Appliccations software update. FCP 5 is slower than FCP 6 on the same computer. Certain effect render engines might be better written for one OS but others not. Your new Mac certainly beats your old PC in the processor department. Depending on the codec you are editing in, you might not need to render much while editing.
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Old October 10th, 2008, 05:40 PM   #10
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Here are my general render times if that helps:

Mac Pro 8 x 2.8 cpus/6gigs of memory and using video on an internal 500 gig drive (not the application drive)

Shooting HDV 720p 24fps from FCP Studio 1 to DVD 90 minutes BEST with BEST on EVERY SETTING is roughly 2 minutes of render time per 1 minute of footage.
Canon 24f 1080i is about 4 minutes per minute of footage.

Most of my projects are 2+ hours long and generally take 3-4 hours to downconvert (720p HDV 24fps) to DVD NTSC 24p.

I don't like 10800i. Too long GOP and takes twice as long to render for an end result that doesn't look any better than 720p 24fps source. But that's another thread. This is all assuming conversion to DVD.

I haven't used AVCHD, but since the 1080i takes twice as long and has a GOP of at least twice as much, I bet the more compressed AVCHD is sucking up more CPU time than any other bottleneck.

DVCPRO-HD from Panasonic has been a while for me, but I'm sure it would be closer to a 1:1 ratio.. but I wasn't editing DVCPRO-HD when I got my mac tower... So my 1:1 is simply a WILD GUESS.
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Old October 10th, 2008, 07:46 PM   #11
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Sounds about right for HDV. A lot of computation is going on there.

You should capture directly to ProRes and see how that renders down to DVD. Should be faster although ProRes files will eat up you hard drive.
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