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Old January 24th, 2009, 12:54 PM   #1
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Dispelling Rumors - Vegas 8.0 v 8.1 - Compression Tests

For quite some time now, I've been hearing how using .MOV file types in Vegas is painful. How quicktime is "crippleware" in Vegas, etc. I also knew that I was seeing results in my work that seemed to refute what I was reading.

Last week, I stumbled upon some informal benchmarking on the Sony Creative Suites forum called HDVRender Test. Essentially, the idea was to take a known .veg of generated media, and render it on various machines so people could compare performance numbers. Great idea, so I tried it. Today, I decided to take that one step further. I wanted to use that test to see how various codecs stacked up, and how the two current shipping versions of Vegas stacked up. These are my results:

Machine:

Dell Precision M6300 Laptop
2003 XPPro x64 SP2
Core2 Duo T7250 @ 2.00 GHz
4GB RAM

Vegas Versions:

Vegas 8.1 build 171
Vegas 8.0b build 217

The Codecs: Mpeg-2 HD @ 25 Mbps, Uncompressed, Lagarith, Sony AVC, Avid DNxHD, JPEG2000.

So how do they compare:



Test 1: Stock HDVRender Test

V8.0 MXF 05:46 1440x1080x32 29.970i mpeg-2 HD 25 Mbps(CBR) 48KHz16 bit Stereo 15,810Kb

V8.1 MXF 05:03 1440x1080x32 29.970i mpeg-2 HD 25 Mbps(CBR) 48KHz16 bit Stereo 15,810Kb

** As expected, the 64bit version was significantly faster.


Test 2: Uncompressed AVI HDVRender Test

V8.0 AVI 05:46 1440x1080x24 29.970i Uncompressed 48KHz16 bit Stereo 684,548

V8.1 AVI 05:03 1440x1080x16 29.970i Uncompressed 48KHz16 bit Stereo 456,809

** 64bit render only offered 16 bits per pixel! Speed was faster


Test 3: Lagarith AVI HDVRender Test

V8.0 AVI 05:49 1440x1080x24 29.970i Lagarith 48KHz16 bit Stereo 13,176

V8.1 AVI 05:04 1440x1080x16 29.970i Lagarith 48KHz16 bit Stereo 13,176

** Again 64bit only offers 16 bits per pixel


Test 4: Sony AVC HDVRender Test

V8.0 MP4 02:58 1440x1080x32 29.970i Sony AVC 20 Mbps/512 Kbps 48KHz16 bit Stereo 1,881

V8.1 Would not Render

** This was unexpected as I tried to choose codecs that were in both versions


Test 5: Uncompressed Quicktime HDVRender Test

V8.0 MOV 06:18 1440x1080x32 29.970i Uncompressed 48KHz16 bit Stereo 912,193

V8.1 MOV 03:15 1440x1080x32 29.970i Uncompressed 48KHz16 bit Stereo 912,193

** File size is larger than AVI because it offers 32 bits per pixel. Render speed in 64 bit is nearly twice as fast as 32 bit and much faster than AVI even with increased bit depth.


Test 6: DNxHD 220x 10 bit HDVRender Test

V8.0 MOV 06:01 1440x1080x32 29.970i DNxHD 220x (10bit) 48KHz16 bit Stereo 135,343

V8.1 MOV 01:50 1440x1080x32 29.970i DNxHD 220x (10bit) 48KHz16 bit Stereo 135,343

** Render time is less than 1/3 that of 32bit version and over twice as fast as any AVI.


Test 7: DNxHD 45 8 bit HDVRender Test

V8.0 MOV 06:01 1440x1080x32 29.970i DNxHD 45 48KHz16 bit Stereo 28,542

V8.1 MOV 01:50 1440x1080x32 29.970i DNxHD 45 48KHz16 bit Stereo 28,542

** Same performance gain as 10 bit version


Test 8: JPEG2000 HDVRender Test

V8.0 MOV 06:16 1440x1080x32 29.970i JPEG2000 (32Mbps) 48KHz16 bit Stereo 20,056

V8.1 MOV 03:52 1440x1080x32 29.970i JPEG2000 (32Mbps) 48KHz16 bit Stereo 20,129

** Performance abot 60% better in 64bit version.


In terms of compression:

AVI Files:

Lagarith offers a 52:1 advantage over uncompressed


MOV Files

DNx 220x offers a 6.5:1 advantage
DNx 45 offers a 32:1 advantage
JPEG2k offers a 45:1 advantage



So while this test is hardly scientific, it does seem to offer up some very interesting trends.

1. 64 bit Vegas is CLEARLY faster on the same material using the same codec as 32bit

2. 64 bit Vegas has some significant issues with .AVI files and bit depth

3. The conventional wisdom that somehow Vegas is optimized for .AVI may be true in 32 bit, but the 64bit version blows that out of the water.

So it seems in terms of rendering, that the most speed is available by working with and rendering .MOV file types in 64 bit Vegas. Which is what I've been saying for months now. If the Avid DNxHD codec is used, the render times are faster than anything else around (though I would like to test Cineform) and they can be traded off to Macs or other PCs without cost.

This test took a couple hours to run. I'd be curious to see it replicated on one of the quadcores or dual quadcores out there. Disk speed didn't seem to be a big factor as the render times didn't change much even when writing out uncompressed files versus the far smaller highly compressed intermediate files.


Comments welcome.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 01:22 PM   #2
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Nice work Perrone - I've settled with Vegas Pro after my own "non-scientific" testing of various NLE's - it appears that 64bit Vegas Pro seems to offer some clear advantages as a basic cutter type NLE, but you lose much of the ability to work with plugins compared to VP 8.0c.

Any suggestions on a dual workflow methodology?
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Old January 24th, 2009, 01:33 PM   #3
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I dont use many plugins. But basically, I work in 8.1 whenever I can, and 8.0 when I have to.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 01:39 PM   #4
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I'm beginning to wonder if my issues with Quicktime being crippleware is a result of using Vista 64? I just restored an acronis image of Xp x64 on my laptop after having given Vista 64 close to two months of using and TBH - my laptop was marginal in performance at best. I have basically the same specs as you do (Dell D620 with T7200 Core2Duo and 4GB RAM)

After restoring the Acronis Image, my laptop has sprung back to life so I have an unsubstantiated feeling that QT is sluggish on Vista 64 - at least it has been for me.

I"m going to redo my testing of the DNxHD codec after restoring my x64 XP Pro on my desktop today and see if that's the case.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 02:02 PM   #5
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Here's the test file
Attached Files
File Type: zip rendertest-hdv.zip (2.8 KB, 32 views)
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Old January 24th, 2009, 03:19 PM   #6
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CLiff, if you are going to run Vista 64 make sure the Vista goodies are all turned off so that it looks like XP then it works really well. Turn off user account control, turn off aero visual effects etc, use Classic theme and set for performance.

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Old January 24th, 2009, 03:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
CLiff, if you are going to run Vista 64 make sure the Vista goodies are all turned off so that it looks like XP then it works really well. Turn off user account control, turn off aero visual effects etc, use Classic theme and set for performance.

Ron Evans
Did all those things - Quad core Q6600, OS on separate 7200rpm Seagate sata drive, separate drives for video, audio, etc

All I can say is that after 2 months of really giving Vista 64 a shot, I don't see any benefit to using it - I think I'm going to hold out for Windows 7 and see if M$ can get its act together on streamlining their code some more.

Hard drives seek is laggy, numerous processes running that affect performance, twice as much memory being used while idle - My impressions now are that Vista is the equivalent of Windows ME - some profess it works very well for them - I gave it a fair shot and I'm left unimpressed.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 03:35 PM   #8
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Perrone,

I was the one who came up with the "rendertest-hdv.veg" file and started the thread on the Sony Vegas forum. It's turned out to be a very popular thread with over 325 responses.

I would like to suggest that you cut & paste the results from above and post it to the Vegas forum thread. I'm sure everyone there would be very interested in your results and I'm certain a few people would take the challenge of replicating your test on their dual-core, quad-core and i7 machines. Perhaps this particular test methodology deserves its own thread on the Vegas Forum since it expands on my original single-purpose test.

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Old January 24th, 2009, 03:42 PM   #9
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John,

I am not a member of that forum. Please take this post and put it over there with my blessing. I'll check in some time in the next week or two.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 05:02 PM   #10
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Has everybody been complaining about .mov timeline performance or render performance? It's been my impression others (including myself) have been frustrated with placing .mov files on the timeline and experiencing less than steller performance during the editing process.

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Old January 24th, 2009, 05:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Test 5: Uncompressed Quicktime HDVRender Test

V8.0 MOV 06:18 1440x1080x32 29.970i Uncompressed 48KHz16 bit Stereo 912,193

V8.1 MOV 03:15 1440x1080x32 29.970i Uncompressed 48KHz16 bit Stereo 912,193
For what it's worth, I just finished rendering the test file in Quicktime uncompressed in version 8.1 as an .mov file. Rendertime on my i7 clocked at 3.0Ghz took 0:53 seconds. My resulting file size however was 934,007.

the Jpeg2000 version just as yours came in at 0:51 seconds. File Size = 20,533

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Old January 24th, 2009, 05:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jon McGuffin View Post
Has everybody been complaining about .mov timeline performance or render performance? It's been my impression others (including myself) have been frustrated with placing .mov files on the timeline and experiencing less than steller performance during the editing process.

Jon
People seem to have differing tolerances for performance on the timeline. Some people are happy with AVCHD editing on similar hardware to people saying it's unusable. When I see that post houses handling multi-million dollar features are generally still editing in SD, I have to wonder what people are talking about.

If things are too slow, render proxies and work. If you want to cut online HD then buy 8 core machines like Hollywood does, and use light codecs and 8-way+ RAID like they do.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 06:41 PM   #13
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For me, editing on the timeline, is a pretty important factor. I often am dealing with multi-cam edits with 3 or 4 video streams (cams) at once previewing in Vegas and if I can't get at least 20+ fps on each clip, making cuts gets difficult and just downright frustrating. This on top of the fact that video quality has a tendency to vary greatly from sometimes crisp and clean video to other times grainy video with muted colors. Again, makes color correcting difficult.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #14
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How can you tell what FPS you are getting in the preview window? Also, what frame size (1080/720/480) do you typically edit with?

For me, cutting in SD makes sense because I don't have an HD monitor. For others, it's probably different.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 10:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
How can you tell what FPS you are getting in the preview window? Also, what frame size (1080/720/480) do you typically edit with?

For me, cutting in SD makes sense because I don't have an HD monitor. For others, it's probably different.
I edit on a dual monitor system. I work almost exclusively in 1080i HDV (1440x1080). I have dual 24" monitors running 1920x1080, so I have the ability to run my second display as a full screen preview however I find that completely unnecessary - so I set my display window to run at half resolution (720x540 - par 1.33). I find that 1/2 resolution is just.

Vegas tells you at the bottom of the window the playback rate, typically it's pegged at 29.97fps but if you start adding heavy color correction, transitions, etc, etc it can start to degrade...

Jon
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