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Old October 11th, 2010, 11:28 PM   #1
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Which video boards with CUDA will work with Pro 10?

Is there any information on which NVideo boards with CUDA will work with Pro 10's AVC rendering? I am considering buying a GTX 470 Fermi video board but I want to confirm that it's supported by Pro 10 before I buy it.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 07:44 AM   #2
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Building a new system and curious to know this myself...
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Old October 12th, 2010, 07:46 AM   #3
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Comprehensive list here:

CUDA GPUs

I don't believe there is a distinction at the application level between Cuda GPUs - it is either supported, or it isn't.

Hope that helps...
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Old October 12th, 2010, 10:51 AM   #4
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Supposedly, there is no difference other than the Compute level they support, which indicates different supported features.

However, Adobe only lists a few that are actually supported in CS5:

system requirements | Adobe Premiere Pro CS5

The 470 is in there, so that might bode well for it in Vegas.

I seem to recall someone saying they couldn't get any GPU usage on a 470 though when encoding AVC with or without the GPU selected. Now, that was on VMS 10, and maybe the option is there but not enabled.

I would suggest waiting before lashing out on a card until something comes from Sony. Unless it's one of the $1 200+ Quadra FX 4800, which always seems to be the one used for demoing CUDA support. =)
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Old October 12th, 2010, 11:23 AM   #5
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I did a test render this morning using a GTS 250. I could see that it was being used (GPU utilization was up a bit), but I question the effectiveness - GPU was only at 15% utilization. CPU was also somewhat low - definitely less than 50%. This is on a quad core i7. Maybe a threading issue? I'll try to do some testing to see if it really helps, and by how much...
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Old October 12th, 2010, 01:48 PM   #6
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Well, I did a bit of testing, and I have to say that the results are disappointing at best. I did two tests - one upscaling 720/60p material to 1080/24p at 40% speed, the other downscaling the same material to NTSC widescreen AVC. On my card - a GTS250 - GPU utilization never exceeded 16% on either test. The HD render also did not appear to be using all 4 CPUs - maybe 3 of them though. The NTSC render used all 4 - and at least 8 threads - up to just over 70% CPU utilization. Disk access was negligible.

Software:

Windows 7 64 bit
Vegas Pro 10a 64 bit - max threads = 16
Nvidia driver 258.96

Hardware:
Gigabyte P55M-UD2
Intel Core i7-860 at stock speed
G.Skill 4GB PC 1600 RAM
Gigabyte GTS 250 1GB DDR3

As for the performance increase? Not much, although it could free up enough time to eat into your lunch break on a long render:

AVC blu-ray 1920x1080 60i, 10 Mbit
Project settings = 1920x1080 24p, source material = 720/60p at 40% speed

CPU only - 11:08
GPU if available - 8:46
Automatic - 8:46

AVC NTSC wide screen 6256 kbps
Project settings = 1280x720 59.97p, source material = 720/59.97p

Auto - 2:09
CPU only - 2:24
GPU if available - 2:09

Personally, I would like to understand why GPU utilization is not higher. It may be that this codec can only offload a portion of the render to the GPU. If that is the case, I would not go overboard on a graphic card JUST for rendering in Vegas. I can say though, that I have seen other apps that use the GPU more effectively, and those may justify a high end card. I don't think that Vegas does yet though, but I would love for someone to prove me wrong :)
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Old October 13th, 2010, 05:02 PM   #7
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I personally never understood the excitement over Sony's cuda support. It seemed very limited to begin with, and I said so as soon as I saw the details on Vegas 10. I would not purchase Vegas 10 for this feature alone, that is for sure.

I'm still waiting to hear the reviews on this upgrade. Since I only edit 16:9 SD footage and photos, it is not a particularly exciting release from where I sit.

Someone commented once that with this cuda support processor speed won't be as critical as it was before. That is almost funny now.
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Last edited by Jeff Harper; October 13th, 2010 at 11:39 PM.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 06:42 PM   #8
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Well, if you believe that the world is rapidly going h.264, rendering accel for that format would be handy! And some of the big cos. out there think that it is going that way.

h.264 is a pretty handy codec, represents the latest math thinking on compression, is usable for DI at high bitrates, is used for camera acquisition, is a deliverable format in several containers... I don't think any other codec is in use for acquisition, di, and delivery.

Not that I've drunk the h.264 koolaid, but, it is pretty versatile, but processor-cycles intensive both on the decode and on the encode.

So I guess I can see why better h.264 performance is important to Sony's thinking, and this is also why nVidia is adding hardware support for it, too.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 07:15 PM   #9
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I don't know Seth. I've done a bit of rendering with h.264 files and found my render times were fine with Vegas 9, but then I'm only rendering 90 minute projects with an i7.

I would prefer to see a focus on improving timeline preview performance with GPUs. That, it seems to me, is where the real help is needed, but that is just my opinion.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 07:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
I don't know Seth. I've done a bit of rendering with h.264 files and found my render times were fine with Vegas 9, but then I'm only rendering 90 minute projects with an i7.

I would prefer to see a focus on improving timeline preview performance with GPUs. That, it seems to me, is where the real help is needed, but that is just my opinion.
I completely agree. Mr Sony, if you're reading this, take a look at Premiere Pro CS5's Mercury Playback Engine. When you render a big job, you can just go away and do something else. Sure, faster rendering is better but faster timeline preview performance makes a HUGE difference.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 11:09 PM   #11
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Jeff & Jim, I do agree with you. I care about timeline performance above most things, too.

Haven't had space in my week to start benchmarking v10, but, I'm very encouraged by reports of great timeline performance with Canon 5d/7d files, which are h.264. Why Sony led their PR with 3d and not with improved dSLR native on the timeline I don't know. I mean really, 3d is exciting and sexy and all, but one would be extremely generous to say that it's of concern to even 1% of Vegas users (today), where something over 30% are either shooting dSLR or thinking about it? Maybe a lot more than 30%?

I'm just sayin' that Sony isn't coming out of left field with h.264 rendering improvements, there's a lot of big money that says such improvements will pay off as it gets more and more popular as a delivery codec.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 11:55 PM   #12
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It's probably a conflict of interest, when you consider that majority of the video DSLRs are not Sony. And most people serious about using video DSLRs are definitely not using a Sony. And I'd hazard a guess that the majority of Vegas users, don't own a Sony DSLR. Oh the irony. I'm just thankful to Sony they improved Vegas despite the poor showing of Sony DSLRs on the market, because Vegas 10 is looking like a great upgrade for DSLR users.
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