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Old June 20th, 2008, 05:59 PM   #1
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Can Vegas run on Quad Core?

I've heard that most software can't utilize quad core processors efficiently because they can't be processed in 4 streams. Can Vegas do this? Or will it be optimized to use quad core in the near future?
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Old June 20th, 2008, 06:19 PM   #2
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Vegas will utilize all 4 cores of a quad core CPU, but it will not utilize all 8 cores of two quad core CPUs at once (for example on either a dual CPU server PC or one with the Intel Skulltrail motherboard). A 64 bit version of Vegas is scheduled to be released as a free upgrade to Vegas 8 Pro, sometime between mid Summer and early Fall. My guess is that it will be able to use more than 4 cores, but there have been no announcements about this yet. In any case, for rendering HD projects in Vegas, you need at least a quad core machine or you will sitting around for a very long time during renders.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 06:21 PM   #3
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The quad cores aren't necessarily used for previewing the timeline, but they are used for renders (and selective pre-renders, which can be used for high-quality previews).
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Old June 20th, 2008, 06:45 PM   #4
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IF you put AVCHD on the timeline Vegas will use all 4 cores for the preview at about 60% on my Q9450.

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Old June 20th, 2008, 07:55 PM   #5
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Hmm... 4 core utilization... hey, that's not too bad, assuming the code is efficient and well written in the first place.

I'm currently editing AVCHD with iMovie and Final Cut Pro, and it's rather slow ingesting to either Apple or ProRes formats. It has to transcode, so it's quite a bit slower than NLEs that supports AVCHD natively.

Sadly, iMovie and FCP aren't all that efficient internally, in that they tend not to use more than 2 cores for most processes. I bought an 8 core 2008 Mac Pro w/16 gigs of ram and several thousand dollars of software, so the whole thing is driving me a little nuts. (so are the "not enough GPU power" type errors for certain effects... ack!)

Too bad Apple can't code software as efficiently as some of the freeware guys can, like Handbrake (now that thing uses cores!) I think this what the new Mac OS, Snow Leopard, is supposed to address... but it's quite aways off.

At this very moment, it sounds like you Vegas blokes are quite lucky. Especially so, if you're using of the Sony cams that can feed the editor 5.1 sound and xv color. I'd love to try it on my Mac, actually, given that I have a Sony SR12 that has features that NLEs other than Vegas can't really use.

Anyone here know if Vegas performance is good with VMware Fusion, given that it emulates only 2 cores? Or is there some sort of other "Windows in a Window" software that uses more cores?
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Old June 20th, 2008, 08:37 PM   #6
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At this point, AVCHD is going to be slower than other formats no matter what you run it on. You could always render it to an intermediate format to get higher framerates.
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Old June 21st, 2008, 10:40 AM   #7
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During my renders with Vegas 8 pro all 4 of my cores are being used from my Q6600 Quad...Runs perfectly with my Vista 64Bit Ultimate setup...

Vista Ultimate 64Bit, Q6600 2.4 Quadcore, 8Gig DDR2, 8800GTX, Vegas 8Pro, Pinnacle 12 Ultimate. Canon HG10 AVCHD Camcorder
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Old June 25th, 2008, 04:36 PM   #8
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I have a question about Vegas 7 running on quad-cores. I recently built a new machine and am using the Q6700. When running Vista 32-bit and rendering, all 4 cores would be utilized 100% until the render completed. I've upgraded to Vista 64-bit, and now when rendering, all 4 cores are utilized but they seem to only be running around 60-70%.

Is this an anomaly when running 64bit vs. 32bit, or could it be something else?

I will say, my render times are screaming since upgrading from an AMD XP2100! But I would like to see all cores cranking at 100% while it's going.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 06:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bobby Abernathy View Post
But I would like to see all cores cranking at 100% while it's going.
Not necessarily!

If all cores are pegged out at 100% it means the number crunching is the rate limiting step of the overall process. That isn't necessarily what you want.

The ability to use multiple cores depends on being able to divide the crunching into parallel processes - e.g., color correction could be divided into four quarters of the image and each core process one quadrant (assuming quad cores, of course). No program can achieve 100% parallel processing - there's always something that must be done serially - i.e., on one core. Examples would be reading the next frame from a source file or sending a compressed DV stream to a FireWire interface.

If the parallel portion is pegged out at 100% on each core, it determines how fast the whole process (e.g., render) can run. If the percentage is less, it usually means the parallel portion can comfortably process everything thrown at it with room to spare. The rate limiting step will typically be disk read/writing, previewing the video/audio etc.

So, if you get 60% on each core, then putting a faster processor in won't help. For 100%, it will.

From a programmer's perspective, it is quite trivial to write the parallel portions such that they can be efficiently assigned to the number of available cores at run time. I'm puzzled as to why Vegas (and other NLEs) is arbitrarily limited.

Regarding 32-bit vs 64-bit, 32-bit apps can benefit from running on a 64-bit OS because a lot of the code calls OS functions which often end up being executed as 64-bit. Most hardware-related stuff (rendering audio, reading/writing files, displaying graphics) can be faster on the 64-bit OS even when running a 32-bit app.

John.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 06:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by John Miller View Post
Not necessarily!

If all cores are pegged out at 100% it means the number crunching is the rate limiting step of the overall process. That isn't necessarily what you want.

The ability to use multiple cores depends on being able to divide the crunching into parallel processes - e.g., color correction could be divided into four quarters of the image and each core process one quadrant (assuming quad cores, of course). No program can achieve 100% parallel processing - there's always something that must be done serially - i.e., on one core. Examples would be reading the next frame from a source file or sending a compressed DV stream to a FireWire interface.

If the parallel portion is pegged out at 100% on each core, it determines how fast the whole process (e.g., render) can run. If the percentage is less, it usually means the parallel portion can comfortably process everything thrown at it with room to spare. The rate limiting step will typically be disk read/writing, previewing the video/audio etc.

So, if you get 60% on each core, then putting a faster processor in won't help. For 100%, it will.

From a programmer's perspective, it is quite trivial to write the parallel portions such that they can be efficiently assigned to the number of available cores at run time. I'm puzzled as to why Vegas (and other NLEs) is arbitrarily limited.

Regarding 32-bit vs 64-bit, 32-bit apps can benefit from running on a 64-bit OS because a lot of the code calls OS functions which often end up being executed as 64-bit. Most hardware-related stuff (rendering audio, reading/writing files, displaying graphics) can be faster on the 64-bit OS even when running a 32-bit app.

John.

Excellent post John, but I must ask because maybe this went over my head...

For the guy running Vegas Pro, if all things are equal and he see's 100% utilization on his 4 Cores in XP or Vista 32-bit, and only 60-70% on his Vista Ultimate 64-bit.... What does that tell us? It would sound to me as though there is a programming quirk in Vista because, while rendering, shouldn't the cores be at 90+ % ??

Jon
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Old June 25th, 2008, 07:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jon McGuffin View Post
Excellent post John, but I must ask because maybe this went over my head...

For the guy running Vegas Pro, if all things are equal and he see's 100% utilization on his 4 Cores in XP or Vista 32-bit, and only 60-70% on his Vista Ultimate 64-bit.... What does that tell us? It would sound to me as though there is a programming quirk in Vista because, while rendering, shouldn't the cores be at 90+ % ??

Jon
It could mean one of two things - one good, one bad! Which one depends on a piece of missing information in Bobby's case, namely:

Does the whole render on 64-bit Vista run faster, slower or the same as on 32-bit Vista and how does the CPU utilization compare? The process can be split into three steps: read from the source file, crunch it and write to the output file. The first and third will make heavy demands on the OS's underlying functions such as disk I/O. There will also be calls to the OS to display the rendered video in the preview window etc. The second step won't place much demand on the OS - nearly all of the code will be that written by the vendor - ideally heavily optimized.

Disk I/O on a 64-bit OS uses 64-bit drivers irrespective of whether the application is 32- or 64-bit. Same for displaying graphics etc. So, when the application asks the OS to display a preview image on the display, the actual process will be done with 64-bit code. Hence, if a 32-bit app is rate-limited by disk I/O etc, it may get a performance boost on the 64-bit OS. If the rate limiting step is the number crunching then little gain will likely be had.

So, comparing the rendering times and CPU utilization on the two OSes:

Same with same CPU utilization - no gains/losses

Same but less CPU utilization (the good) - the disk I/O etc is more efficient but the number crunching is the same. Since the CPU utilization shows the sum of all steps, the lower CPU use for disk I/O etc will lead to an overall reduction but not necessarily speed up the renderering. For disk I/O, the speed is limited by the hardware. More efficient driver code lowers the CPU use but not the speed.

Faster but less CPU utilization - significant benefits regarding disk I/O etc

Slower and less CPU utilization (the bad) - unlikely but it would mean that disk I/O etc is less efficient hence the crunching step is receiving less data to process.

John.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 10:48 AM   #12
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Lot of good stuff to process and consider there, John, thanks. I figured that the cores running 100% would mean a faster render time, but from your explanation, that might not necessarily be the case, or even something you want.

Regarding which rendered faster, the 100% in 32bit or 60-70% in 64bit, I'm not really sure. I just happened to casually notice the CPU utilization and thought it was interesting. If I get some down time (and pretty bored ;)) and decide to put my 32bit image back on, I'll run some tests and see how it goes.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 04:28 PM   #13
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XP or Vista, 32bit/64bit

So is Vista finally as good as XP for Video editing with Vegas 8 or PPro CS3?
It sounds like the 64 bit version of Vista performs bettter then the 32 bit. How complete is the driver set in Vista 64? I've always heard XP64 bit was a hassle because a lot of the hardware and software out there is not natively supported with 64 bit drivers. Has that been pretty well solved with Vista 64? If Vista, which version? What are the feature differences between them?

I was not planning on upgrading my 2 1/2 year old system until next winter, but my mobo died yesterday. I figured I still had some time to start researching new hardware and OS's, but now I need to bite the bullet fast. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks - PK

PS: Right now I'm thinking of a quad core Intel Q9450 on an Asus P5Q premium mobo. It's only DDR2, but it sounds like DDR3 is a bit fussy to deal with, and all the mobo's that have it are expensive and a bit skimpy in I/O ports, etc. Does the DDR3 really make that much difference?
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Old August 7th, 2008, 05:31 PM   #14
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Vista 64 doesn't suffer to the same extent from the problems that XP x64 has regarding driver support. This is because XP x64 wasn't a retail OS whereas Vista 64 is (the Ultimate DVD has both 32- and 64-bit versions).

You won't have any problems with a new mobo and external devices such as hard drives will work just fine. All of my hardware on my primary system has 64-bit drivers. To avoid any surprises, check with the hardware vendors to see if drivers exist.

As far as general 32- vs. 64-bit Vista performance goes, you can only benefit from using 64-bit even with 32-bit applications.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 12:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by John Miller View Post
Vista 64 doesn't suffer to the same extent from the problems that XP x64 has regarding driver support. This is because XP x64 wasn't a retail OS whereas Vista 64 is (the Ultimate DVD has both 32- and 64-bit versions).

You won't have any problems with a new mobo and external devices such as hard drives will work just fine. All of my hardware on my primary system has 64-bit drivers. To avoid any surprises, check with the hardware vendors to see if drivers exist.

As far as general 32- vs. 64-bit Vista performance goes, you can only benefit from using 64-bit even with 32-bit applications.
Thanks John,
Is there any advantage to Vista Ultimate 64, vs regular Vista 64?
As you say above, the Ultimate edition includes both 64 and 32 bit version. But, since everything works good with Vista 64, is there any need for Vista 32? Do you set that up in a dual-boot configuration? The only advantage I could see, would be for old software that V64 does not support.
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