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What Happens in Vegas...
...stays in Vegas! This PC-based editing app is a safe bet with these tips.


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Old September 22nd, 2008, 05:59 PM   #1
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Faster rendering and bullet time...

I wasn't sure where to post this one since it concerns Vegas and graphic cards...

Ok so here's the situation, I bought my PC maybe 3 years ago ( P4 / 3.2ghz / 2.5g RAM / XP ) I'm running Vegas 7 and everything is ok exept when i get into bigger projects... in lenght (rendering) in file size (HD) and also with bullet time in vegas (does not work at all) mainly because my graphic card (128mb) is directly on the mother board and it sucks. Also i need a dual monitor setup. I should mention that i don't do this for work but more as a hobby. To resume everything here's what i need to fix :
-Faster rendering (SD & HD).
-Bullet time to work in Vegas 7.
-Dual monitors for editing and output to tv to watch rendered file.

To fix these problems, i'm thinking of buying a graphic card (PCI) probably used because i think they don't make them anymore in PCI format, they sell them on e-bay for around 60$ and they normally have 1 VGA out / 1 DVI out / 1 S video out.
I now Bullet time is very sensible when it comes to graphic cards and if used for HD requires a minimum 256MB graphic card. Would any of these work?
-NVIDIA GEFORCE FX5500 256MB PCI 128bit
-PNY Verto GeForce FX 5200 256MB PCI 128bit
-ATI Radeon 9250 256MB PCI 128bit

If so Could i use the DVI output to connect my main 22" LCD screen, use the VGA output for a new 15" LCD preview screen and plug an S video cable to the TV??

Thanks!
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 12:43 AM   #2
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To increase render time in Vegas you need a faster processor. With Vegas, not much is affected by a better graphic card. It is just the way Vegas is designed. There is no getting around this, unfortunately. Just choose your new PC to have a graphic card with dual outputs, and you'll then have the ability to run two monitors.


That is where I would start.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 10:21 AM   #3
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Jeff!! a new PC!!! that's my only option?? well that's a simple 2000$ solution haha!

When you say that Vegas's render time depends on a "faster processor" you really mean the one on the mother board and not the one on graphic card right?
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 10:27 AM   #4
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Yes, and most all of the Vegas users in this forum will verify that. It is the way Vegas is designed.

Most any new $500 dollar PC will outperform your P4 processor by far. You do NOT need to spend $2K on a PC.

You should get close to or more than double with most any core duo processor. Consider an inexpensive Quad-Core machine (they are out there, just go looking) and you will be amazed.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; September 23rd, 2008 at 12:34 PM.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 09:15 PM   #5
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Yes, and most all of the Vegas users in this forum will verify that. It is the way Vegas is designed.

Most any new $500 dollar PC will outperform your P4 processor by far. You do NOT need to spend $2K on a PC.

You should get close to or more than double with most any core duo processor. Consider an inexpensive Quad-Core machine (they are out there, just go looking) and you will be amazed.
Jeff is giving you the straight info. Ya' want good timeline performance and better rendering in HD? More processor speed and a reasonable amount of RAM (2GB for XP, perhaps 3GB for Vista). Something in the $500-800 range is going to run circles around a P4 3.2.

I'm not familiar with Bullet Time. Was this a Matrix-like particle effect? It is possible that a better video card will speed it up if it offloads to the GPU - go with what the manufacturer or users say about it. But it is a little late to be spending money on a PCI-based display card.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 09:24 AM   #6
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Ok i'm not gonna debate that a new on the market processor like the quad-core can run circles around a 4 year old tecnology like the P4, that is kinda obvious and even if i'm fairly new to video-editing even i knew that haha! but seriously i'm into architecture and making house plans with Autocad as my main job and my P4 is more than enough, video-editing is really juste a hobby, maybe for you guys the choice is obvious because it's your field of work (or you just make more money than me?), but for me... spending 800$ for now (for a hobby) is kinda out of the question. As you can see my options are very limited, so i will just accept the fact that i'm stuck with an old P4 and until i update to a bigger and faster processor i wont have faster rendering, dual monitors and magic bullet... Now i know, thanks for the info Jeff and Seth.

By the way Seth, i'm sorry i meant to say "magic-bullet" instead of "bullet-time" my mistake. i just got Magic Bullet Looks 1.1 from red giant software.
Red Giant Software: Magic Bullet Suite 2008
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Old September 24th, 2008, 10:44 AM   #7
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Ok i'm not gonna debate that a new on the market processor like the quad-core can run circles around a 4 year old tecnology like the P4, that is kinda obvious and even if i'm fairly new to video-editing even i knew that haha! but seriously i'm into architecture and making house plans with Autocad as my main job and my P4 is more than enough, video-editing is really juste a hobby, maybe for you guys the choice is obvious because it's your field of work (or you just make more money than me?), but for me... spending 800$ for now (for a hobby) is kinda out of the question. As you can see my options are very limited, so i will just accept the fact that i'm stuck with an old P4 and until i update to a bigger and faster processor i wont have faster rendering, dual monitors and magic bullet... Now i know, thanks for the info Jeff and Seth.

By the way Seth, i'm sorry i meant to say "magic-bullet" instead of "bullet-time" my mistake. i just got Magic Bullet Looks 1.1 from red giant software.
Red Giant Software: Magic Bullet Suite 2008
I make my living (such as it is) from my old P4 HT 3GHz Alienware Mobile system with 2GB of DDR2 RAM on a 140GB striped RAID0. Yes it is dog slow in Vegas. The Gfx card is actually a full desktop card crammed in there (hotter than crap when it is in use) and are very good still, but that matters not to Vegas. If Vegas could implement some software DirectX calls (to make use of gfx cards) then speed bumps would be very noticeable, but that is not the direction Sony has chosen for Vegas.

I put it in perspective, I have a 6 year old Dual CPU Athlon MP system (1800+ CPUs clocked at 1533MHz w/512MB of DDR1 RAM on a 64bit hardware PCI RAID0 stripe system drive). That system renders the exact same clip/project just 3% slower than my 3GHz P4HT Alienware. So the AMD systems combined true CPU cycles of 3GHz equals the 3GHz of a P4HT system with out counting the HT.

I recently built a 2GHz Core 2 Duo system with 2GB DDR2 ram on the Shuttle Xpc Glamor mobo with a single SATA HD. If I render the same project on the Alienware as the Shuttle system, the shuttle will be 2-3 times faster despite "only" having 4GHz of aggregate CPU core speed compared to the Alienware's 3GHz (if you do not count the Hyper Threading as two cores which it is not).

The reason for such a huge jump in render speeds is because Core 2 Duo (or Quad core) is such a HUGE leap in architecture from the cobbled together HT based chips. CPU architecture made amazing progress in parallel computing (which is perfect for sequential computing tasks like video rendering) so it makes sense that speed boosts would be non-linear.

Now to the "build a new system" issue. You may be able to put a Core Duo chip (not the same chip architecture as Core 2 Duo) in your mobo to replace the P4 depending on your northbridge chipset. Consider a walk through the manual / manufacturers web site to find out. That would be a decent speed bump (possibly 50% increase or more).

There are some Q6600/C2D & Motherboard combo deals that will get you 80% of the way to a new system. You could recycle your RAM (may be), HD, CD/DVD-ROM, case and power supply and have a "basically" new system. Try this mobo and a Q6600. You can add on a pretty simple Gfx card that will do anything Vegas needs (though possibly not what your AutoCad app could make use of). All told, you could probably get a heck of a lot of horsepower for under $280 for CPU / Mobo.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 08:09 AM   #8
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Newegg offers the following 64 bit windows PC for under $500. You do not need to spend $800 dollars on a PC.
Newegg.com - Recertified: HP Pavilion A6442P(KJ304AAR) Pentium dual-core E2200(2.20GHz) 4GB DDR2 500GB Intel GMA 3100 Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
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Old September 25th, 2008, 09:20 AM   #9
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Newegg offers the following 64 bit windows PC for under $500. You do not need to spend $800 dollars on a PC.
Newegg.com - Recertified: HP Pavilion A6442P(KJ304AAR) Pentium dual-core E2200(2.20GHz) 4GB DDR2 500GB Intel GMA 3100 Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
I must warn against Dual-Core systesm. The "Dual-Core" chips were developed as a 1/2 way step between the P4 Hyperthreading and the full fledged "Core 2 Duo" which was the first chip (from Intel that is) to have all the necessary components to function with completely autonomous cores. HT and "Dual-Core" chips had scaled back architecture so that the "cores" in the chips could not function on their own, and in some circumstances actually performed worse than single core chips due to cache misses, instruction cache thrashing, and L1 cache design shortfalls.

In short, for a heavily multi threaded task like rendering, which is perfectly situated for multiple cores, a fake multi-core chip like the P4 and Dual-Core will be much less effective.

The other problem is that the Dual-Core chips have very small L2 caches (where data is actually stored so the CPU can crunch the numbers). 1MB means the CPU will spend much of its time in a wait state waiting for main memory (aka RAM) to replenish its L2 cache before it can get to work on the data in L2.

The Dual-Core chips often will not perform much better than P4 chips. See this chart for times needed to convert a 24 second MPEG2 HDTV clip to WMV9 format from TomsHardware.com

Charts, benchmarks CPU Charts 2008 Q1/2008, Premiere Pro 2.0

Notice that the Dual Core E2160 (1MB cache with CPU @ 1.8GHz) takes 377 seconds and the slowest Core 2 Duo E6320 (4MB cache with CPU @ 1.8GHz) takes 357.

20 seconds less render time just for having 4MB cache and a newer architecture. And this is for a tiny 24 second cross encode (which would take a bit more time than an encode step due to needing to decode from MPEG2 instead of working from source AVI).

If you were encoding 1hr of footage using their operation the render time difference would be potentially 50 minutes between the two CPUs (all else being equal like disk storage systems, RAM, FSB loads, etc)

But even the Dual-Core system would be an improvement over a P4 (unless it was the nearly 4GH P4 Extreme)

Last edited by Jason Robinson; September 25th, 2008 at 10:07 AM.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 09:23 AM   #10
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Ok, here's a quad core for $599

Newegg.com - CyberpowerPC Gamer Infinity 3300 Core 2 Quad Q6600(2.40GHz) 4GB DDR2 500GB Intel GMA 3100 Windows Vista Home Premium - Desktop PCs
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Old September 25th, 2008, 10:07 AM   #11
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Heh, I didn't mean to sound down on that first system. It is still a better system than my primary system, so I can't complain if I were to get it. :-) But the extra $99 for the price difference is well worth it in my opinion. It also might be interesting to know how those systems handled firewire host controllers (do all the firewire ports share a single host controller or have dedicated controllers... this determines how much data bandwidth you can use on those ports... ie only one external HD, or multiple external HDs, one for source and one for renders, etc). Same goes for SATA ports. Kind of like how back in the day you wouldn't want to put your IDE controller PCI card next to your graphics card because they shared an IRQ and woudl be fighting for front side bus time.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 10:15 AM   #12
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The point is there are inexpensive PCs out there... dell has duo core desktops for under $500, I believe. So for not much more then the cost of a graphics card, you can have a whole new PC and be able to run 64 bit later on.
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