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Old March 5th, 2007, 04:47 PM   #1
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XL2 editing in vegas question

I thought I would ask fellow XL2 users that edit in Vegas these questions. Why does the CPU usage seem to Double when using an external monitor in vegas and DVD Architect? What will solve the problem? What is the purpose of having the ability to use an external monitor if the quality drops horribly?

I have a 3.0GHZ pentium 4 with 1gb of memory. I just ordered 2gb more of memory, but one member told me that would not help. ANY suggestions please would be great. I added this 26" LCD widescreen monitor to give myself the best picture to edit with, and so far It ain't workin. I am using a firewire cable from the pc to a small mini dv camcorder to convert to analog and then sending to the tv. Thanks.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #2
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Hi John,

When you say the CPU usage doubles, do you mean in the Windows Task Manager or somewhere else? And more importantly, doubling from what to what? Going from 10-20% for example would be fine, 40-80% would be another story.

What do you have the quality set on?

Is this a desktop or laptop? What is your Control Panel > Power Options > Power Scheme set to? I know on my P4/3.46Ghz laptop, the Power Schemes make a huge difference. The most misleading option is 'Minimal Power Management' which actually regulates the CPU based on demand waaaay up and down. The idea is the CPU will draw less power when there's less demand. But it doesn't always respond to demand properly, and sometimes underpowers my processing loads, by running at a lower clock speed than really is needed.

I found when running Vegas on my laptop and desktop (AMD Athlon XP 2500+), that using the preview monitor set above the first or second quality setting resulted in less than 30fps playback. You should get *better* playback performance via firewire than video card, because the computer just has to spit out data, and not convert and move pixel info.

Hopefully some of this is helpful? :)
-Eric
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Old March 5th, 2007, 09:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input. I am doubling from 40 to 80 or higher on CPU usage when using the external monitor in DVD Architect. I run at about 20% in Vegas until I add any effect, such as brightness or contrast and then boom, it jumps to 70% usage. Can't use Magic bullet at all and view it on the external monitor. I don't get it at all. I cannot believe that one effect should eat up the entire processor. I am installing 2GB more of ram which will give me 3GB total in a few days. I hope this will at least help the problem. When you speak of the power scheme in the control panel, what do you recommend it to be set on? This is a desktop Dell dimension 8400. In vegas, the problem only seems to happen when I try to run any kind of effect. Brightness, film look, etc. Any of them slows it way down to ultimate stuccado. (not worth viewing). I wanted the second monitor to see the results of the effects prior to rendering.

Last edited by John L. Miller; March 5th, 2007 at 10:26 PM. Reason: Adding more info
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Old March 5th, 2007, 10:48 PM   #4
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Hi John. This is typical Vegas behaviour and does not really have anything to do with the XL2. So, you could probably get more response in the Vegas forum.

I fond that the external monitor is only really useful for checking colour and brightness. If I want to check motion smoothness or for interlacing artifacts, I usually need to render to new track or render to RAM (depending on the length of the segment).

Magic Bullet is a real processor hog, and apart from being slow on playback it is v-e-r-y slow to render as well. If you want to use MB I recommend that you "crossgrade" to Magic Bullet Editors' Edition which uses the graphics card for hardware acceleration. This will playback in realtime in Vegas and it renders much faster too.

Richard
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Old March 5th, 2007, 10:56 PM   #5
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Hmm, that doesn't sound right. Where are you measuring the cpu usage? In the Task Manager or elsewhere?

What quality is your preview set at? I think that's what makes a big difference.

You can try 'Always On' for your power scheme. I always believed these power schemes were just preset names for the monitor and hard drive powerdown times. I learned this is not the case a couple of years ago, when I got this P4 laptop and wanted to squeeze as much battery power as possible out of it.

What happens if you make your onscreen monitor much larger? Do you have this same problem still?

Are you using a firewire interface on the motherboard, or on a card? Maybe you need a driver update? BIOS update?

Does it capture without dropping frames? You're basically sending the same amount of data out, that you'd be receiving while capturing. It shouldn't be much of a load on the computer compared to running a large preview window onscreen. But I think the quality setting might be affecting things quite a bit here. I don't get smooth playback using the 2 highest settings in the preview window after adding an effect.

I see that another reply came in while I'm typing this. Those could be possible problems too. In any event, the problem is not a result of your camera, it's something with the computer, or slowness in Vegas.. But just one effect shouldn't be a problem, if it's a normal effect anyway. If it's a super CPU intensive one, that's different.. But some normal basic Vegas effect should easily be possible.

Adding more RAM shouldn't really make a difference unless you're almost using all of your RAM right now.

Moving this to a Vegas forum might help too. But it sounds like a bottleneck somewhere. If increasing the onscreen preview size doesn't bog it down, it's firewire interface-related, most likely..

-Eric
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Old March 5th, 2007, 11:38 PM   #6
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It appears to be a problem related to Magic Bullet. I can use some of the sony effects such as Brightness and others without too much effect on the external view. But when Magic bullet is engaged, Wow! It takes the entire CPU for itself. I hate that, because I liked the looks. I have the Magic bullet editor that plugs directly into vegas. Someone recommended Celluloid to me, it is supposed to use much less CPU. I can only imagine the render time on a full length film. I think I will try Celluloid unless someone else has a better suggestion. Running dry, no effects, the external monitor looks beautiful. Simple sony effects are ok too. Thanks for all the input. J
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Old March 6th, 2007, 12:21 AM   #7
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Ahh, glad you tracked it down!

That's too bad it's so resource intensive.. I don't know if you have another machine you could setup as a render farm? I haven't used Vegas' render farm features but maybe there's a way to offload this to another computer?

It'd be nice to combine the horsepower of 2 (or more) machines for previewing/editing. :)
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Old March 6th, 2007, 02:08 AM   #8
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For MB, the best answer is to get the Editors Edition. It really does work. You can download the demo for free and see if your graphics card is compatible.

Richard

http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/mbe2whatsnew.html
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Old March 6th, 2007, 03:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hunter View Post
For MB, the best answer is to get the Editors Edition. It really does work. You can download the demo for free and see if your graphics card is compatible.

Richard

http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/mbe2whatsnew.html

I am using the Magic bullet Editors 2. Now you have me thinking the problem may be my video card. My video card is a 64 bit ATI DELL card. It has been an awesome card for everything else, I have never had a problem with it. But how could the video card effect the external monitor? Tell me more... Thanks.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 03:15 AM   #10
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Yeah that shouldn't affect it, if you're going through the firewire connection. But you also won't get GPU acceleration if you're not using the graphics card for display.

Does your video card have another output on it? Most newer cards these days come with 2 or 3 outputs.. Maybe VGA, DVI and S-Video.. Some combination of those. So you may be able to drive your secondary monitor with the video card, instead of the camera. I had some trouble with this, but it should work.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 04:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Eric Shepherd View Post
Yeah that shouldn't affect it, if you're going through the firewire connection. But you also won't get GPU acceleration if you're not using the graphics card for display.

Does your video card have another output on it? Most newer cards these days come with 2 or 3 outputs.. Maybe VGA, DVI and S-Video.. Some combination of those. So you may be able to drive your secondary monitor with the video card, instead of the camera. I had some trouble with this, but it should work.
I just checked and I have a Radeon x300 video card. I have not looked on the back to see if it offers any additional outputs, however, The preview screen on the PC monitor is slow and hangs with magic bullet editor 2 engaged also.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 06:55 AM   #12
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I would compare the regular Vegas bundled plugins on the on-screen preview and the camera's output, and see if there's much performance difference between them.

You won't get the speed boost with the other verison of MB, if you use the firewire output, as far as I know, because you're not running through the video card at all.

The easiest way to enable the second output under Windows (if it has one), it to plug it in the other display into that output and then reboot... or turn off and plug it in.. Windows will detect it at startup and assign it as the secondary monitor, because it already knows the one you had previously attached is your primary display.

-Eric
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Old March 6th, 2007, 07:14 AM   #13
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Old March 6th, 2007, 08:01 AM   #14
 
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I'm a long time user of both Vegas and the Canon XL2. What I can tell you is that the CPU cycles needed to produce a preview image, whether on the computer monitor or an external monitor, is a function of how large the display is and what quality settings you've selected. It's no surprise to e that your CPU usage doubles IF you're simultaneaously increasing the size and resolution settings. If you're not changing either of these, something else is wrong.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 10:56 AM   #15
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John,

I don't know if your problem is the same as the one I had but after adding a second monitor (2 outputs on graphics card) my system not only slowed down on the 2nd monitor but all realtime rendering came to a crawl.

If I simply clicked on a file, it previewed in realtime just fine. But once added to the timeline, it would skip 20 to 60 frames at a time to render the same file.

In my case, discontinuing use of the external monitor did not put the system back in original condition. I wound up reformatting and reinstalling everything from the OS up.


Here is a link to my original thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=70511

At the time, I did several things to my system all at the same time (I should know better) and could not determine which one caused the problem. But I did disconnect the 2nd monitor and changed the settings to use only one monitor, to no avail. I'm just guessing that it may be graphics card driver related.

I hope you have better luck than I did. I limped along for 4 or 5 months before my reformat. Keep us posted on your progress.
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