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Fitz Townsend January 10th, 2013 10:29 AM

General Questions about system optimization: i7, Vegas, HDD configs
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Hello all. I asked a question a couple months ago, and Panagiotis reached out to help me, but I got swamped with work and haven't been able to catch my breath until now. My original question was about IDE v SATA, but it's really expanded to general system optimization. I am hoping that some of you kind souls might be able to look at my system stats and point me in the right direction. Thank you in advance for reading, and I hope everyone has a blessed New Year!

Type of work I do:
Short video features for YouTube. Single-shot Interviews. Not much multi-cam. Transitions between musical performance and the artist speaking. Lower thirds.

My Concerns:
- I have a gut feeling that I'm not running as fast as I should be. My system slows down a lot when I have mutliple tracks running for the lower thirds (with motion graphics), even with the L3 tracks set to be at lower resolution, etc.
- My renders rarely max out my CPU cores (Windows Task Manager) and I wonder if my HDD config is to blame, but I haven't had much luck with rendering to separate disks, either -- and I realize that everyone recommends this.

These are my build specs:
i7-920 w/ aftermarket cooler
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R GA 1366
GIGABYTE - Motherboard - Socket 1366 - GA-X58A-UD3R (rev. 2.0)
6 GB Ram
Win XP (I need it for my current Pro Tools configuration)

WD Black 7200rpm 500 GB
C:\ 20GB partition OS
D:\ 450GB partition Programs and Data

- I use this config to try and keep the C:\ OS partition lean, defragged, and small. I have about 7 GB free right now. People say OS partitions are redundant now, but doing an OS image refresh to 20GB is so much easier and more convenient than a whole disk.

WD Black 7200rpm 1TB (single partition)
S:\ Video Source Files, EDL Files, renders

I attached a HD Tune test which shows my WD 7200 Black maxing out at 108 MB/s. It is 85% full, so that may have something to do with it, but I don't think it ever got much higher than that.

I realize that source files and render destination should be a different disk, but I still haven't noticed much difference when experimenting with this. I feel like processor speed is still the bottle neck during AVCHD renders. (just a gut feeling)

I use Vegas Movie Studio.
Preferences>General>Temporary Files Folder>
D:\ (adjacent partition on same physical disk as the OS)
For some reason, this ALWAYS eventually reverts to the default C:\ location. Any thoughts?

I'm open to all suggestions:
- Vegas File Locations I'm missing
- WinXP Ram too constrictive at 4GB/max?
- Separate Soure Files, Temporary Files, and Render destination on separate disks?
- Maybe a cheap SSD will give me a little caffeine boost? The 60GB models are so cheap and would work fine for a project or two at a time.

Things I'm a bit resistant towards at this point, until my workflow REALLY needs it. Want to optimize the gear I already paid for, and it's hard to justify the biz model as it is!
- Adding a PCI RAID card
- Installing Win7, which will require all-new generation of software across the board, I imagine.

And if you took the time to read all of this - thank you so much!

Eric Olson January 10th, 2013 01:33 PM

Re: General Questions about system optimization: i7, Vegas, HDD configs
Try changing the maximum rendering threads in Vegas. It can have an impact on processor utilization as mentioned in post 10 in the following thread


Update your graphics card drivers and check whether your are using GPU acceleration. Also I don't think Windows XP schedules multiple core CPUs as effectively as Windows 7.

Fitz Townsend January 10th, 2013 03:21 PM

Re: General Questions about system optimization: i7, Vegas, HDD configs
Maximum Number of Rendering Threads only allows me to go up to 4. I should have 8 due to HT in my Task Mgr, and I'm sure I've enabled it in BIOS, etc.
Wow, just googled and found this:
There is a secret / registry menu accessible by SHIFT + clicking on Preferences. This gets you to:
Ok, after doing this (I'm updating this post, as I go along), I was able to scroll all the way to the bottom and change the Max threads allowed to 8, go back into preferences and change the number to 8, and the difference in rendering is SUBSTANTIAL:

With Vegas at 4 Threads, Windows Task Manager (WTM) is showing all 8 threads at 80%.
With Vegas (hacked) at 8 Threads, Windows Task Manager (WTM) is showing all 8 threads at 99%.

THANK YOU Eric Olson for turning me on to that. (and NO thanks Vegas?)

I just posted these instructions in the Vegas forum, with a little more detail as a reference:

As far as graphics card drivers:
I thought Vegas Studio doesn't use GPU accel? I'll check, though.

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