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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 01:59 PM   #1
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Building a DV Work Station

I am going to build a dual Xeon processor-based PC with the CPUs running at around 3.0 GHz each, maybe faster depending on my budget. My question is about the video card. From what I read, the most of the non-linear editing programs out there donít really support hardware acceleration because most of not all of the work in rendering is done on the CPU. Some programs can like Matrox and Cannopus do however, but only with their proprietary cards. I want to know that if I am using a PC-based NLE suite like Adobe Premiere or Avid, is there anything out there that will help with rendering times. I have been using Final Cut Pro HD on Mac at school, but they can take forever with rendering. Ultimately, I am looking for a true, Real Time editing software/hardware that will give me instantaneous results with zero rendering time at full resolutions when applying effects and transitions. My productivity is always slowed down or even halted when I have to wait for render times. Is there anything out there that offers a solution to this? Or Maybe we are not there yet with technology in Video Editing? Or should I just get the Fastest CPUs and RAM available? Thanks in advance.

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Old March 5th, 2005, 03:20 PM   #2
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Hi Kiet,

Welcome to DVi!

You will probably find that no NLE is truely real-time, unfortunatly there are compromises to be made.

Even if you buy say Premiere with an RTX 100 there is a limit to the amunt of layers, and effects you can use, before the preview is no longer smooth, or if you have to render.

Sure a fast CPU (s) and a lot of RAM would help, but currently I would expect no amount of CPU and RAM would be able to cope with lots of layers of video with effects.

You could look at systems that render in the background, or, like Vegas use render farms. But even then you will probably find that rendering will take longer than real-time.

It all depends on how many video layers you wish to use, and how many effects. If you wish all 99 tracks to be viewable in real-time, then that technology is not going to gome for many years. However if its only a few video tracks and a few effects then todays technology's will probably help.

What you really want is quicker than real-time...

I hope this helps a little,
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Old March 5th, 2005, 04:15 PM   #3
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Aivd utilizes the Open Gl cards for realtime 3dpreview. Also, as to third party cards or accellerators, the MOJO will do most of what you want, but it's pricey.
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Old March 5th, 2005, 07:24 PM   #4
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Another thing to watch out for is that most systems are fast with specific filters, but not all of them. For example, only the real-time filters in Final Cut are fast- the rest are kind of slow. 3rd party plug-ins (especially Magic Bullet Editors) may also be slow.

As far as I know, Premiere pro with the Matrox RTX100 (or similar card) is like this too- it's only fast with the filters the hardware card knows how to handle.
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Old March 5th, 2005, 11:23 PM   #5
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These are just some of the most common places to start looking off the top of my head.

http://www.pinnaclesys.com/ProductPa...Product_ID=108
http://www.auroravideosys.com/
http://www.aja.com/products_kona.html
http://www.digitalvoodoo.net/products/sdrange/
http://www.media100.com/products.asp
http://www.matrox.com/video/home.cfm

Or if you are really looking for a fast system look no further than http://www.ifx.com/piranha/ it doesn't get any better than this.
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Old March 10th, 2005, 06:18 PM   #6
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If your thinking about the RTX.100 save a few bucks and go with a Single P4 3.4+ or higher. Dual's are not going to make any difference.. However if you are going to use After Effects that duals would help you..

Since the RT.X100 does some hardware rendering, you don't need the duals.. How do I know, do I have technical data..

No..

But my other RT.X100 has dual 3.2GHZ Xeons and my single P4 3.6Ghz performs much better and more stable.. Just my 2 cents..
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Old March 14th, 2005, 08:29 AM   #7
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You're right Pat, there isn't much to gain by putting an RTX100 in a dual processor system. You may see a slight improvement, but it won't be wortht he extra cost. Check out our DIY2 article. For $2,000 it'll give you killer performance

http://www.videoguys.com/DIY2.html

Gary
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Old March 16th, 2005, 10:21 AM   #8
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"my other RT.X100 has dual 3.2GHZ Xeons and my single P4 3.6Ghz performs much better and more stable"

Strange. Dual Xeons should have more processing power than a single P4 - unless the Xeons are old and lack some SSE2/3 support of course. That Xeon system probably uses a single, shared 533MHz front side bus for memory access, too. The P4 uses a 800MHz one. Thus the P4 has 1,5x the memory bandwidth... No wonder why the Xeons are slower... For simple tasks...

A dual AMD Opteron 252 system would provide dual 800MHz memory busses (one per cpu) and SSE3 support. That would indeed be an improvement - but maybe expensive. It would be upgradable to dual core later without socket changes.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 10:29 AM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ralf Strandell :
A dual AMD Opteron 252 system would provide dual 800MHz memory busses (one per cpu) and SSE3 support. That would indeed be an improvement - but maybe expensive. It would be upgradable to dual core later without socket changes. -->>>

I use an AMD 64 FX-55 at home for Premiere Pro and well..counter-strike..:)

I didn't go the AMD route here at work, because we use the RT.X100 cards and due to the nature of hardware specifics those cards need, want, have and use.. A single P4 seems to perform best with that specific hardware.

Let me clarify my statement, since we use the RT.X100's a Single P4 doesn't show any less benefit than the dual xeons. HOWEVER, if you don't have that hardware and render by CPU only, than Dual Xeon's would be a better fit. i.e. After Effects in my case.
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