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Old July 18th, 2009, 01:38 AM   #1
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Video card upgrade worth it?

Silly question, I've got a 7600 series NVIDIA video card, running a Q6600 and V8 pro... editing AVCHD with reasonable success, but not thrilled with the preview frame rate and resolution.

I noticed a 9600 series NVIDIA card for cheap after rebate, wondering whether swapping video cards is worth it, I recall that Vegas is not typically too dependent on the video card, but with the load that AVCHD puts on the system I'm just wondering if anyone has experimented with later video cards and seen improvements in the preview screen (yeah I know, I should spec out a i7 machine, or maybe a Phenom quad core 420, with budet considerations)?

I'm not sure if the video card would just be bottlenecked by the other components, or if it would provide a needed boost?
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Old July 18th, 2009, 01:32 PM   #2
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ANY insights?

Here's my theory... since all the other apps can play back full HD files smoothly, I "think" it's just the way Vegas displays the preview window that chokes with AVCHD, so my system is "adequate", Vegas just needs to have the AVCHD preview code optimized, and so a video card upgrade wouldn't be worth bothering.

I'd like to know if I'm wrong about that though, as upgrading the video card would be cheap if it would up the quality or frame rate on playback, making editing a bit smoother (it's doable now, but could be better). I know it won't help render speeds (the other bottleneck - for that I know a faster CPU/memory are needed), but if it made editing easier, it would save time there.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 01:47 PM   #3
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Vegas doesn't use the video card GPU at all. Plugins to Vegas may or may NOT use video card GPU.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 04:24 PM   #4
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Dave, I'm in the same situation but I'm waiting just a bit because there's a new plugin supposedly coming for Vegas that handles AVCHD but only works with certain graphics cards. I don't think the 9600 qulaifies, but some 9800 cards do.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 05:28 PM   #5
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yeah, I noticed the plugin, but it's also V9 only, and I've yet to see a compelling upgrade reason at the offering price... it doesn't appear to offer anything that justifies the outlay when for the most part V8 does everything fairly well. I'll have to say that having to pay extra for a plugin to put performance in that should be "in there" in the first place seems a bit wrong too. Adding multicam is one thing - that's specialized, but good preview window performance should come in the box...

Sounds like I'll live with the low rez preview - maybe when the time comes for a CPU upgrade (which seems like might go well with a windows 7 upgrade too...) I'll get the desired perfomance increase.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 05:41 PM   #6
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Well said Dave. I just figured if you were going to buy a card, you might want to check the compatibility.

It's a shame that despite all the good things about Vegas, Sony treats it like a stepchild. Version 9 is a horrible example of 'next generation improvement.'
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Old July 18th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #7
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If your PC only processes video in Vegas, then a CPU upgrade will give you more bang for your buck. On the other hand, CUDA (the API for the NVIDIA graphic processor) is still very young, and there will eventually be more apps that take advantage of the processing power. That may not do you much good now though, so unless you need DirectX 10 support, I would say spend your money on a cheap quad core CPU...
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Old July 18th, 2009, 08:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Cascio View Post
It's a shame that despite all the good things about Vegas, Sony treats it like a stepchild. Version 9 is a horrible example of 'next generation improvement.'
This GREATLY depends on how you use Vegas. If you spend time actually working on indie film, then V9 has just taken a quantum leap forward. It's HUGE. If you don't work on film, then maybe not so much.

Vegas added EVERYTHING that was on my list for working with film. They did not add any of the things I wanted to prepare video for broadcast, but I have workarounds for those.

So it really depends on where you stand.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 07:05 AM   #9
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I would imagine that only a small percentage of Vegas users work with film, but what features were added that help you? Also, how do those compare to other NLE?
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Old July 19th, 2009, 08:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Paul Cascio View Post
I would imagine that only a small percentage of Vegas users work with film, but what features were added that help you? Also, how do those compare to other NLE?
The ability to work with DPX images (import and export) which is the primary format for scanned film is absolutely HUGE. If you need to prepare for a film-out or your film is getting scanned, this is the most likely format you'll need. The addition of OpenEXR as a format is welcome too.

But the biggie for most would be the EXCELLENT RED support. The ability to drop REDCODE files directly onto the timeline with no transcoding is amazing. The professional reviews of the Vegas workflow with RED files have been extremely positive, and a lot of the RED folks have noticed. It's currently the best RED workflow on the PC by a long shot.

The re-worked scopes in 32-bit float mode is also a large help. Though I still don't know if I trust them yet. Have to see on that. Image export from the menu and with many expanded options is also very welcome for sending files out for effects or other work.

All in all, this is a very positive upgrade depending on certain work. I can see why some might not feel compelled to make the switch though. I am sure as I dig deeper, I'll find more under the hood, but so far, I am a happy camper.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 06:57 PM   #11
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vegas add-in to use video card GPU

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Silly question, I've got a 7600 series NVIDIA video card, running a Q6600 and V8 pro... editing AVCHD with reasonable success, but not thrilled with the preview frame rate and resolution.

I noticed a 9600 series NVIDIA card for cheap after rebate, wondering whether swapping video cards is worth it, I recall that Vegas is not typically too dependent on the video card, but with the load that AVCHD puts on the system I'm just wondering if anyone has experimented with later video cards and seen improvements in the preview screen (yeah I know, I should spec out a i7 machine, or maybe a Phenom quad core 420, with budet considerations)?

I'm not sure if the video card would just be bottlenecked by the other components, or if it would provide a needed boost?
Take a look at this site DIVIDE FRAME: Software solutions for the broadcast industry
also see the GPU decoder thread in this forum
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