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Old February 3rd, 2004, 10:41 AM   #1
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Hardware to speed rendering?

Apologies for what may be a naive question, but is there any hardware available that will work with Vegas to speed up rendering?
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 10:44 AM   #2
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No. Unless you count a faster computer.
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 10:47 AM   #3
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I suspected that may be the answer, having spent a fruitless twenty minutes trying to find something on the web. Nice to have an expert reply though! Thanks.
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 10:32 PM   #4
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You could upgrade your processor, which is the main factor in Vegas performance.

You could also overclock, which speeds up your processor (and get beefier cooling which will help your overclock).

Other than that there's no hardware acceleration cards or anything like that.
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 10:52 PM   #5
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I've found that hard drive speed (and I'm sure bus speeds as well) also plays a LARGE factor in render speeds. I have a firewire drive on my laptop now and its 7200 rpm drive allows rendering MUCH faster than the internal 5400 drive.
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 11:34 PM   #6
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Does RAM also sometimes affect it, or even speed? I have 1GB of PC2100 (two sticks of 512 PC2100 DDR), and 2.1GHz P4... I am guessing this should still work with Vegas?
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 11:48 PM   #7
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RAM shouldn't have a big effect on rendering speed. I haven't tried, but my guess is that it's nothing major. Changing from 2 to 4 DIMMs will affect your memory latency and bandwidth, but that effect isn't much. It also depends on a few factors (are the sticks matched, as in same brand? Are you running 333mhz or 400mhz FSB? Is the RAM double banked or single banked?).

If RAM is a bottleneck (you don't have enough) then performance will drop a lot. Vegas doesn't use much RAM at all though, so I doubt that'll happen unless you RAM preview. But you can't/shouldn't RAM preview more RAM than you have.

Hard drive speed- this could affect rendering speed if it's a bottleneck. With DV and 7200rpm internal drives, this usually won't happen.

Bottlenecks can slow you down but shouldn't be occuring in a normal desktop system.
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 11:57 PM   #8
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RAM shouldn't have a big effect on rendering speed.

i beg to differ...

more than anything, Vegas is affected by your CPU...

one way to get about a 25% increase is to run a Hyperthreading Intel, with at least 1g DDR ram, on a dual DDR mobo.

Ram is important (as is your Mobos FSB and ram clock speed) as THIS is where most of your work is prerendered before the final save.

HDD speed won't make all that much of a difference, as its only saving the bits which are rendered, so if your rendering is slow, so will your saving.

if you want indepth tech advice, head to www.austech.info and pop down to our PC Hardware forum.
They can also show you how to overclock your machine to get even more out of it.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 01:12 AM   #9
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I have 266mhz, but I overclocked my P4 2GHz to 2.1GHz, so the RAM memory frequency also changed, its around 280-290 or something, I forgot to check (usually it tells me at startup, the memory frequency in mhz). They are two sticks of the exact same brand model, Mushkin 512 PC2100 DDR. Keep in mind that this comp is 2 years ago and I will be getting/building my very own first comp later in the summer, so I am quite excited. It will most likely be a gaming/video editing/etc computer :-)

Now, I do a 7200rpm HD, so thats good news. So what you guys are saying is that the only that bottlenecks is the CPU, and the outcome of the bottleneck is 'performance factor' of the computer. Overall, it will not affect anything ON or IN the camcorder itself, but only rather the FOOTAGE produced BY the computer editing process because of the performance factors and such as errors/droputs/etc, right?

Vegas seems like a very good product to use. It is less complicating and demanding than Premiere, but still with amazing features. :)
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Old February 4th, 2004, 08:42 AM   #10
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Peter, I'll disagree with you. Drive speed DOES make a difference. Here's my real world test:

I have a 1 hour program that is done weekly. Out of this 1 hour, maybe 5-6 minutes includes titles of some sort. The timings are very consistent from week to week.

I also have two computers - a 4 year old desktop (PIII 750MHz - 256 Meg RAM) and a 1 year old laptop (PIV 2.8GHz - 1 Gig RAM) and have done this event on both computers multiple times.

For normal use, I get everything edited and then simply print to tape allowing Vegas to render only the pieces that need rendering. The desktop takes about 50 minutes. The faster laptop can do the same in about 20 minutes.

On occasion I have done a full render to a new AVI file. On the desktop, it takes about 1 hour 10 minutes. On the laptop - it takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes. The difference? DRIVE SPEED.

I recently added a firewire drive to the laptop. Testing the speed of rendering from the internal drive and the external drive, the external drive is significantly faster.

Granted, CPU speed will give you the biggest boost IF you have LOTS of effects/layers/.... But for my normal usage (multi-cam, dissolving between cameras but lots of stuff full screen at normal speed) the drive speed seems to make a TREMENDOUS difference.

Bottom line: most things will help speed up rendering. Throwing more RAM at the system (if you have a sufficient amount to begin with) is not one of those things. If I changed the laptop from 1 Gig to 2Gig, I would NOT expect a speed increase. If I changed the desktop from 256Meg to 1Gig - yes I may see a small speed increase but probably not significant.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 09:34 AM   #11
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Edward, I'll disagree on one tiny point. Any upgrade from 256MB will probably yield a noticeable overall performance improvement. So if you went from 256 to 512, you'll see it.

After that, the return diminishes unless the application specifically exploits memory. So from 512 to 1024, the improvement won't be as obvious.

This, at least, would be the situation for a computer doing nothing but running an NLE. If many applications are running, more memory definitely makes a performance difference.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 10:36 AM   #12
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We've gone through some of these issues before.

Hard drive speed on rendering:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...peed+rendering
Conclusion: the hard drive can be a bottleneck.

RAM speed on rendering:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=18841

More memory can actually slow your computer down (memory bandwidth can go down with more sticks) but it's nothing to really worry about (a few % difference). Running matched sticks of RAM is ideal.

Hyperthreading doesn't give you a 25% speed boost. With 1 instance of Vegas on complicated renders, it improves performance by about 3%. On shorter renders (which you would probably get real-time), I got about a 9% boost from HT (that render runs real-time on my machine). This is because Vegas doesn't use the second (fake/virtual/logical) processor much, so you don't get to see the benefits of hyperthreading. With 2 instances running the performance increase is up to about 15% (someone else's test). In real world situations you wouldn't want to be doing anything intensive with the second instance since it'll slow down the first.

Hyperthreading does help certain DVD/MPEG2 encoders, so it can be worthwhile to get.

How much RAM is enough?
You should have enough so you don't run out of RAM. When you don't have enough RAM, your computer will slow down dramatically since it has to use the hard drive (~60X slower) for memory. Having excessive RAM will affect performance (slight effects on memory bandwidth and latency), but won't affect performance much.

Anyways, the most worthwhile things to do are:
A- Removing bottlenecks (slow hard drives, not enough RAM)
B- Increasing the speed of your processor (get a faster one and/or overclock)
C- Shut down other programs that take CPU cycles (with winXP you can check this). Distributing clients on hyperthreading processors are not good. Background apps that take less than 1% of your CPU cycles don't seem to make a difference.
D- If getting a new computer, you might as well get hyperthreading and the 800mhz FSB since they only cost a little extra and give you a little speed boost.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 10:58 AM   #13
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>takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes. The difference? DRIVE SPEED.
>I recently added a firewire drive to the laptop. Testing the speed

One thing to keep in mind when talking about drive speed ( escpecially on a laptop ), is the amount of CPU used to access the drive and how slow the interface is. My guess is that you laptop benefits the most from the new drive because it is connected to the cpu conservative Firewire controller - thus leaving more cpu cycles for rendering.

Best regards,

Lazze Z
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