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Old January 5th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #1
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What spec to get 25fps preview with Vegas?

Hi all, my question is this: if money no object what is the fastest spec PC i can get to allow 25fps playback in Vegas preview?

Context:
My original clips are from Cineform Neo HD which captures the HDV output from a Sony V1 as a 1920 x 1080 file. (These files come out larger than standard HDV files). These clips look extremely good on my 32" LCD!

To the Vegas timeline (2 video tracks and 2 audio tracks) I add dissolves at most cuts, colour curves, brightness, and some additional colour correction. I add EQ/compression to the audio - standard stuff. This looks good on the LCD but the preview frame rate has now gone down on the Vegas preview window from 25fps without FX to around 5-10fps with FX. Preview is 320x240 at medium quality.

So I conclude that my current Quad-Core 2.4Ghz 2Gb RAM PC is still not powerful enough to do 25fps with film FX on 1920x1080 10bit files.

Does this sound right to you (or do I need to tweak my preferences? And if it does sound typical what spec PC should I be running to get a better fps rate?

(I dont need a full 25fps but I dont like working at 5-10fps either. And I know I could work with Neo HDV smaller file sizes but I dont want to.)

What are you guys/gals running for editing especially if you have lots of colour/audio FX correction?

Thanks
Sherif
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Old January 14th, 2008, 12:56 AM   #2
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Preview frustration

as must admit I'm frustrated here, I just put a quadcore in to hopefully get better preview at best full quality. But no go there, even as Good Full it's jittery. Annoying, I believe it's supposed to be multicore optimised, but I noted even when putting priority under windows to the highest setting it only reaches 50% cpu utilization. So in other words its wasting half the cpu power, and as we live in a world of mpeg hardware decoders on graphics cards, why does Vegas not tap into this as part of the process??

Love the program, but it's just frustrating that even with a reasonably powerful computer you still need something like Neo to use it at close to realtime speed.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 11:59 AM   #3
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I actually took a lot of advice on this from this forum before i purchased a brand new system and I am disappointed that the advice always seems to be compromised. A 2.4Ghz quadcore 2Gb RAM PC is "passable" for Vegas but not satisfactory in my humble opinion.

Even for my simple corporate video with 2 tracks of video, 2 tracks of audio and colour correction/ audio filters, the frame rate goes down below 8fps, and the render time to create a HD WMV file is slow.

My advice to people would be to by the fastest 3+ Ghz core duo machine with 4Gb RAM on Vista and more importantly 10,500 rpm hard-disks. Anything below this is a compromise.

But the other problem is that Sony doesnt provide a stable spec of systems for Vegas - whereas Apple FCP users KNOW thats its been tested on APPLE machines and a limited range of graphics cards. I am seriously tempted to move over to FCP on OSX with a MAtrox MXO and Cinema Display - the whole h/w spec is tested with its software components. No wonder FCP is so popular.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 01:45 PM   #4
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"it only reaches 50% cpu utilization."

It sounds like you may not have the multi-core kernel of windows running. Did you do a clean install of windows when you changed to a multi-core system?

"To the Vegas timeline (2 video tracks and 2 audio tracks) I add dissolves at most cuts, colour curves, brightness, and some additional colour correction. I add EQ/compression to the audio - standard stuff."

Okay, that may be standard stuff but it is very processing intensive. Compressed HD with color correction constitutes a huge amount of work for the processor and you are adding an additional brightness then another color correction? Why are you applying brightness on top of color correction? Add in some audio effects and no computer will preview at a decent framerate. If you think that there are apple machines that can do this, you will be sorely disappointed after you spend twice the money a pc costs just to find out the apple is the same computer in a fancy box. My suggestion would be to seek out redundancies in your applied effects and eliminate that which is not needed.

Oh, and vista does not seem to have been proven faster at doing anything than XP. In fact, I have seen many reports and have had friends tell me that it is noticeably slower.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #5
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I've got no problems with my quad core pc,q6600,2 gb ram,i suggest you look at what else is running on your pc.I'm using vegas pro 8 and footage from an EX1.I've had progressive,interlaced,720,1080,slomo,fastmo and normal speed footage,all on the timeline at the same time,no problems at all.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 03:25 PM   #6
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Sherif, I feel your pain! To be honest i've done a little research on people running pc machines and working with HD footage and here are my findings:

1. Some people are using very low spec pc's and are able to work with uncompressed HD fine where as some are not

2. Some people are using the latest quad core machines and are finding editing uncompressed near impossible where as some are editing fine

What does this mean? Depending on what else is on the PC, it is going to have a major effect on how vegas will perform. This really isnít acceptable for people trying to do professional work, especially after we are promised the software is going to take advantage of so many processors etc only to find out we have just spent so many hundreds of pounds/dollars on a machine for little improvement.

Things I have found that affect Vegas' play back performance are the following:

1. Internet connection active in the background
2. Virus protection programs (can only base this on AVG)
3. Microspft office
4. windows media player active in the background
5. Wrong property settings in Vegas' preferences (although of course this is something we should be doing anyway)

Also I have noticed different brands of PCís handle Vegas slightly different, maybe this is down to a different brand of components even if they are the same speed spec. I really hope there are some clear answers soon as Vegas is a program I love and couldnít imagine giving up itís logical workflow to move to another program, but unfortunately due to my BRAND NEW PC behaving like a naughty child I have FCP 6 on its way in the post.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 06:12 PM   #7
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[/quote]Things I have found that affect Vegas' play back performance are the following:

1. Internet connection active in the background
2. Virus protection programs (can only base this on AVG)
3. Microspft office
4. windows media player active in the background
5. Wrong property settings in Vegas' preferences (although of course this is something we should be doing anyway)
.[/QUOTE]

I appreciate this, but 1-3 dont exist on my machine (i mean i have spent hours reading this forum and its great for educating a newbie on what not to do) and i wouldnt do 4. I am experimenting with 5.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 06:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kellett View Post
I've got no problems with my quad core pc,q6600,2 gb ram,i suggest you look at what else is running on your pc.I'm using vegas pro 8 and footage from an EX1.I've had progressive,interlaced,720,1080,slomo,fastmo and normal speed footage,all on the timeline at the same time,no problems at all.
Just to be accurate on my part, I dont have any "problems" either - but with 1 track of Cineform HD 1920 x 1080, 1 track of graphics (jpgs at around 2Mb size), each track with colour curves and a film fx, and 2 tracks of audio, with compression and EQ on each track...
<and most importantly Vegas set at 32 bit>
...my preview slows down to 5 fps on default quality. Try the above and would be great if you let me know you got a faster preview rate.

Now, I do get a damn fine HD or SD WMV rendered coming out the other end - not complaining about that. :-)

I go back to my point, the advice should be that 2.4Ghz Quad-core 2Gb is the MINIMUM spec if you want to do the above. You need a much better spec if you want to maintain decent preview rates at 32 bit plus filters

But there is another issue. Sony should be testing and recommending system configurations specificing brand and model that best suits Vegas - surely that also MITIGATES their risk as well. And the scarcity of information on their site is noticeable compared to Adobe's. Thats what so frustrating.

Sherif
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Old January 19th, 2008, 06:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
"it only reaches 50% cpu utilization."

It sounds like you may not have the multi-core kernel of windows running. Did you do a clean install of windows when you changed to a multi-core system?

"To the Vegas timeline (2 video tracks and 2 audio tracks) I add dissolves at most cuts, colour curves, brightness, and some additional colour correction. I add EQ/compression to the audio - standard stuff."

Okay, that may be standard stuff but it is very processing intensive. Compressed HD with color correction constitutes a huge amount of work for the processor and you are adding an additional brightness then another color correction? Why are you applying brightness on top of color correction? Add in some audio effects and no computer will preview at a decent framerate. If you think that there are apple machines that can do this, you will be sorely disappointed after you spend twice the money a pc costs just to find out the apple is the same computer in a fancy box. My suggestion would be to seek out redundancies in your applied effects and eliminate that which is not needed.

Oh, and vista does not seem to have been proven faster at doing anything than XP. In fact, I have seen many reports and have had friends tell me that it is noticeably slower.
Marcus, thanks, this is appreciated, sounds like you are suggesting i need to look at my filters stacked up - I will check this again and look at the frame rate.

I'm a newbie and am learning (fast I hope). I chose Vegas as it seems to be good value for money on a "open" cost-effective platform. But I have spent more time getting the technology right than editing since the set-up arrived. I still have irritating little crashes and freezes with Vegas. The marketing message of Vegas8+XP+PC works fine is slightly flawed. Of course for some (many pro's and non-pro's) it works great and for others it doesn't - that is so obvious - its because we're putting Vegas on PCs with large variations in configuration.

This is my fault - its common sense to me that you will get better reliability and performance (speed and up-time availability) on a tried and tested platform which limits the possible configuration variations. I was seduced, and am getting to grips with it.

But thanks for your feedback.

Sherif
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Old January 21st, 2008, 12:09 AM   #10
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All good and valid points

but a few questions, I'm using XP Pro with SP2, in my bios there's an option for operating systems that don't recognise multicores to do so. If I don't have this selected then I see only one cpu in the task manager, with it selected I see 4 cpus.
So is there any other Windows services I need to switch on to correctly recognise the multicore? It is an older version of XP so maybe I need to download a patch as I keep this machine of the net for security reasons.
And all things being equal, what sort of CPU utilization are you guys getting, I'd imagine a acceptable load would be 75% if I was trying to squeeze as much performance as possible. Not 50%.
Have any users who have the latest ATI and Nvidia cards, with HiDef hardware Decoding, found that they get any enhancements in framerate performance. Or is it truly a CPU bound application?
thanks
Adam
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