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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
Discussing the editing of all formats with Matrox, Pinnacle and more.


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Old August 18th, 2005, 09:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Borden
A bit of a biased but worthwhile consideration when considering ANY computer for a professional video editing workstation is to buy from an authorized, certified integrator (Puget and Monarch are not). The reason being the most important thing this computer will be doing is Post Production, and if your integrator doesn't know what they are talking about for that specific purpose, your most important support aspect is lost.

I invite you to take a look at our systems.

The Matrox hardware is NOT NOT NOT compatible with AMD. Glenn and eeryone else, just so you know the AE Pro + Photoshop bundle is not available anymore.

As far as your questions about the video cards, my suggestion always is to match it with your software's recommendations. In this case, all Adobe software is just fine with or without a Quadro or FireGL card. Workstation class cards, however, can sometimes give you some useful features, like triple-head parhelia, or HD-output Quadro 540 Pro.
Thanks Edward. I took a look at your site, but I just felt that I couldn't customize things as much as I'd like to. I'm also not sure what you mean about Puget and Monarch not being "authorized, certified integrators." I have a feeling at least Puget has some knowledge about video editing systems, considering there is a "Video Editing Workstation" category in the custom build section. Either way, customer support is not really a big thing for me. I consider myself a serious power user, and I've rarely ever needed to call customer support for any computer I've owned.

Thanks for the solid statement on AMD and Matrox compatibility. Point taken. Guess I'm going Intel, because I really like the features of the Matrox cards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
If your video card performance matters (I don't think it does for Premiere Pro), then it's probably going to be a program that uses openGL acceleration. I would check the recommended specs for the program in question... 3dxmax and After Effects presumably benefit from openGL acceleration, which will speed up the previews a bit (but not the renders??). I don't use either program so I can't help you much there.
I think I will need to use a good amount of openGL acceleration. 3Dsmax and AE both use this, as you mentioned, and I will definitely be using both. Probably not as much as I use Premiere or Photoshop, but they are still important considerations for the system.
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Old August 18th, 2005, 09:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Ray
Either way, customer support is not really a big thing for me.
That's something I don't think I've ever heard before! First time for everything I guess.

A word about the video cards - Non-workstation cards do have OpenGL acceleration. You'll need to look at specific, newer video cards, mind you, but the days are gone where workstation cards were necessary for OpenGL work. Again, look specifically at what software you are going to use, and the recommendations for that software. It will tell you.
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Old August 18th, 2005, 10:29 PM   #18
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Your best bet is to always follow, as closely as you can, the hardware recommendations by the manufacturer of the software you are likely to use. If you want to cover yourself really well, look at Avid, Premiere Pro and Vegas and their hardware recommendations. Try to find where they overlap and stick with those parts.

I worked for 3 years for one of the bigger midwest "Integrators" of Avid, FCP and now Matrox Axio lines. They stick with certified boxes from HP for Avid, G5 recommendations from Apple for FCP and the Axio is a prebuilt setup.

Personally, I have been a certified Avid editor and a Premiere editor since the analog days with a FAST Multimedia card and version 4.2 of Premiere. I can tell you this, while Intel is more compatible, I have never had a CPU related issue and I have always run AMD when I can.

My current laptop is an HP Pavillion with AMD 64 bit 3.4GHz CPU, 768Meg of RAM, 80GB HD AND - the biggest helper, an nVidia card. Always always always go with nVidia for Open GL if you are going Avid. ATI had a few cards that used to be good but Avid is recommending nVidia these days.

My home built system, showing it's age now, is a Shuttle SN41G (mini) style case with an AMD XP 2500+ , 1GB RAM and onboard dual VGA output nVidia card. Still running Xpress Pro 4.6 on that one but the laptop is working well with Xpress Pro HD.

I have cut docs over an hour long, commercials, politicals, internal communications pieces and industrials on these and they have always done well.

HP and Avid will soon (if the scuttlebut is accurate) confirm the new xw9300 dual AMD for Avid soon.

3Ds runs well on the laptop here as well. I was big into 3Ds a few years back and even bought a Diamond FireGl for the OGL accelleration. Times have changed a bit. If you want to be out in the front trenches, look at the new PCI Express stuff from nVidia. There is a system now where you can double up the cards and get extra acceleration by slaving them together. One card then uses both GPUs. Interesting stuff. PCI Express is on the way in and will be the next big thing since AGP.

Glen, drop me a line sometime. I'm interested in the BIOS flashing for the nVidia card trick. Which cards go with what BIOS, etc. I hadn't heard this one before.

My 2 cents.

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Old August 19th, 2005, 01:57 PM   #19
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Alright, so I've taken into account the comments everyone has offered (much appreciated), and I've revised my list of potential systems. There are still eight options covering many different prices. The first six are machine built on intervals of $500 starting with $3000 and going to $5500. One of these is most likely the one I will end up with. The last two are ideal systems. The "Dream System" is my ideal system while trying to still be as reasonable as possible. The "Obscenely Ridiculous System" is exactly how it sounds.... no consideration of price, just pure performance and power. Let me know what you think.

http://www.thecarlab.com/pccomparison.html
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Old August 19th, 2005, 03:28 PM   #20
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The gaming line cards are watered down in terms of openGL acceleration, from what I've heard. That's what workstation cards are for.

I don't have one of those cards so I can't say what the speed improvement is.

2- Sean: There's another fellow on this board who was the one who flashed his card into a Quadro card. I'll see if I can dig up the threads on that.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 03:36 PM   #21
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Is there any way to get an nVidia Quadro card for less than an arm and two legs?
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Old August 19th, 2005, 05:22 PM   #22
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[QUOTE=Glenn Chan]I don't think "cable select" is a wacky thing for Dell to do, and checking the jumper settings on your drives when you install them is a fairly basic thing.[QUOTE]

In case it wasn't clear in my earlier post, my Dell will *only* reliably recognize new internal drives when the jumpers are on Cable Select, rather than on "master" or "slave." That's just silly, and it took me quite a while to figure that out. (Turns out my brother had the same problem and clued me in.) Computers I've built myself work the way I expect them to because they don't have proprietary parts or funky bioses, and if you research Dell's history you'll find they've done some pretty strange stuff. I like my Dell okay when I don't have to fuss with it, but I won't buy from them again for anything other than laptop computers (which I wouldn't fuss with anyway).

Dell tech support is indeed from India and is rather useless unless you have simple, easily defined problems, because all they do is read from their trouble-shooting scripts. It's like calling a med school for help with a health problem and all they do is look up your symptoms in a textbook. And don't ask for help with anything involving parts you didn't buy from Dell, even if the issue is potentially related to something that's their responsibility. They can't offer any real assistance, just textbook stuff.

Dell, phooey. That's all I can say.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 05:33 PM   #23
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Brent: the "obscene" system is pretty far out all right. For that price you could buy two Sony HDV cameras and a Canopus real-time HD/SD editing setup, which would knock the socks off almost anything else you can buy in terms of performance. At the low end of the scale, you can buy or build a decent dual-core computer now for well under $2000, so you don't need to spend $3K for that. But then it really all depends what exactly you want to do and what editing-specific hardware and software you might decide to buy, so you should really figure all that out before you build your computer.

My vote would be for a dual Xeon or dual Opteron system on a workstation motherboard with PCI-X slots, so you can install Canopus Edius NX if you want to do real-time HDV work. Gotta plan ahead for these sorts of things...
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Old August 19th, 2005, 05:58 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
The gaming line cards are watered down in terms of openGL acceleration, from what I've heard. That's what workstation cards are for.

I don't have one of those cards so I can't say what the speed improvement is.

2- Sean: There's another fellow on this board who was the one who flashed his card into a Quadro card. I'll see if I can dig up the threads on that.

This is a misconception. The cards are the same hardware and the newest GeForce cards are 100% OpenGL compliant. A discussion of this nature though doesn't seem to belong right here and would be extremely extensive. Since you don't have a workstation card to compare with, and this isn't a 3D board, I won't go into it.

Also, a Geforce-Quadro conversion is done my modifying the drivers - not by doing anything with the BIOS. At least not with any current hardware. It's an extensive process.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 06:06 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Borden
This is a misconception. The cards are the same hardware and the newest GeForce cards are 100% OpenGL compliant.
This is good to hear, since I really hadn't planned on spending over $1000 on a Quadro video card.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 06:30 PM   #26
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Quote:
In case it wasn't clear in my earlier post, my Dell will *only* reliably recognize new internal drives when the jumpers are on Cable Select, rather than on "master" or "slave." [...]
Dell tech support is indeed from India and is rather useless unless you have simple, easily defined problems, because all they do is read from their trouble-shooting scripts.
Kevin, that is indeed wacky.
As far as tech support goes, not all of Dell's support is in India. Their business customers, especially ones with big contracts, will get North American-based support. I'm not sure where Dell small business goes. Dell Home is probably all India.

My annecdotal evidence: My high school fell under a university contract with Dell, and the IT manager/guy for my high school was very satisfied with their support (they send on-site techs for repairs after phone troubleshooting [you may be able to go through their script really quickly]).

I don't like Dell too much personally but they can be cheaper than a do-it-yourself machine, and that's not counting your time spending building + researching your computer. To me it's tempting...

Quote:
This is a misconception. The cards are the same hardware and the newest GeForce cards are 100% OpenGL compliant.
I never said they weren't OpenGL compliant. I said that the gaming cards are crippled at openGL performance.

Some programs have recommended specs that recommend quadro/fire cards over geforce/quadros... if you fall under that category, it may be better to buy a quadro/fire card than the equivalently-priced geforce/radeon. Or it may be that some of the geforces/radeons are faster, I don't know.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 06:47 PM   #27
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Well none of the programs I need to run mention one type of card over another, so I guess it really won't matter all that much.

The "supported openGL cards" section of the Adobe After Effects system requirements even bundles GeForce and Quadro into the same group. Go figure.

http://www.adobe.com/products/aftereffects/opengl.html
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Old August 19th, 2005, 09:37 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
gaming cards are crippled at openGL performance.
There was a legitimate question in the post concerning Quadro vs. Geforce and OpenGL performance. Your blanket statement is simply not true - maybe you can clarify so that the information can be more specifically applied to a certain situation.

In the case of modern video cards, the difference between workstation and mainstream cards lies in the software/driver R&D. For example, in 3ds Max, certain functions cannot be offloaded onto the GPU unless you have a workstation-class card. Not because of any performance or crippling to OpenGL, but simply because that function is omitted in the driver set of a mainstream card so that only workstation customers will pay for and benefit from that functionality.

A blanket statement I CAN MAKE is that consulting a software developer's recommendations will let you know exactly what you'll need to look for. Those people have already done the work developing compatibility with hardware. All you have to do is look.
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Old August 20th, 2005, 12:01 AM   #29
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Sean: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=46087 is one thread that talks about modding the 6600 into the quadro version of the card. There's a risk the mod won't work (it's not supposed to).
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