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Best video card for HD editing

doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

It seems I cannot find a clear answer on this. I am building a dedicated editing computer for my videography business, and I have just about every component figured out that I need, except which kind of video card to use. I will be learning Sony Vegas Pro once I get it pieced together.

For the most part it will be straight forward editing from my MRC1 files (I believe they are AVCHD) and HDV from capture. This is mainly wedding based so I won't be creating really any 3D effects for the videos. Mainly just basic color effects, looks effects, old film effects, white balance, etc.

What kind of video card is recommended? I thought Quadro FX cards were the editing norm but after looking at them online I see little reviews here and there saying that your money would be much better spent on a higher end gaming card rather than a workstation card. I was looking at a Quadro FX 580 or 1800 even, but I am told that the processing cores they contain don't even match up to a decent gaming card. I know you can get a lot more bang for your buck on gaming cards - at least on the up front specs - but from what I understand the way the cards function are completely different.

My first thought before finding the couple bad reviews on the quadro cards for editing was a 2 way SLI Quadro FX 580, until I quickly realized that particular card does not suppord SLI. The 512 MB seems kinda weak, but I have never used a workstation card so I am at a loss. The 1800 is only 768MB, but the price seems more than doubled from the 580.

Now being unsure, I wonder if doing a SLI GTX260 would be better. Or even just one of the GTX 285's.

I am looking to spend $400-$500 on the video card side of this and hope to find the right choice.

Thanks in advance,

Adam


sblea's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 01/25/2010 - 10:00pm

I just put together a HDV workstation. I ended up getting the quadro fx1800. I initially got it for Adobe Premiere/CS (32-bit), which i am told is optimized forit. However, after building the computer i did not have enough $$$ for it and ended up getting Sony Vega Movie Studio 9 (64-bit). I have been pretty happy with my choice, and wish i could have got Sony Vegas Pro 9. From the research i have done, a GTX 250/260 or higher would work just as well, since Sony Vegas uses DirectX (Direct 10.X) and not OpenGL. Adobe Premiere uses OpenGL alot more and would take advantage of the FX1800. Most gaming cards are optimized for DirectX and not OpenGL. So i guess the answer depends on your NLE of choice. The FX1800 would cover most of your NLE needs though.


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 9 months 6 days ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

I am assuming what you are asking about is the computer graphics card. I am not familiar with Vegas, but with Final Cut, the NLE does not really benefit from a graphics card upgrade. All you need is something that will allow you to see what you are doing in your NLE. As you said, all you will be doing is strait cutting.

What you do need is an I/O device, such as an AJA Xena (if you're on PC), Maxtrox MXO2, or BlackMagic Design card. Those allow you to output to a broadcast monitor or TV, and that is essential in a proper edit bay


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

Alright I guess gaming card will probably be the choice then. For my budget do you think a 2 way SLI GTX 260 or 1 GTX 285 would be best? I do actually have a GTX 285 in my current computer (love it to death for non video editing), but I amy trying to separate computers here. Even though the thought of SLI with my current and a new 285 would be tempting, I really do not know the manufacturer of my current 285 (was upgraded free by alienware when my old graphics card went out.) In any case I do need to separate work with play.

As far as I/O device, I will take the point. I can see how easy it could make life. Right now I get my rough drafts down, then burn the entire disc on BD-RE to go test on my TV downstairs. It works for now but eventually I want efficiency.



doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

Yeah, not so efficient - but it works. Having to re compile the Blu-Ray every time I want to fix something is a huge time waster.


Editinglinks's picture
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 03/01/2009 - 6:49pm

Good advice from robgrauert.

My old external Blackmagic Multibridge Pro has worked wonderful for this purpose.


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

Alright, I am looking at some of the I/O hardware you mentioned and I am a bit confused. What is the real purpose for them? What big difference would having one of those over an HDMI enabled graphics card be? If it is just for monitoring, why is hardware like the Blackmagic Multibridge Pro $2000-$3000?


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 9 months 6 days ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

The difference is that an HDMI enabled graphics card is still a computer graphics card. It's generating a computer graphics signal, not a true video signal.

The reason why some of the I/Os are expensive is because they do professional quality real-time up/down/cross conversions. So while you're ingesting or outputting to tape you can upconvert SD to HD, downconvert HD to SD, or cross convert 720p to 1080i/p or vice versa.

Many are capable or transcoding on ingest/output too. So, for example, you can convert HDV tape to DVCPro HD or ProRes if your edit requires it.

Some are also capable of 2K and 4K resolutions as well.

Some also have SD/HD-SDI connections, which is an uncompressed connection and therefore ideal for monitoring. You can also convert your footage to 10-bit or 8-bit uncompressed on the ingest if you want.

You'll need to do some research and see what it is you need. For example, I have a Mac, so I'd get an AJA Kona LHi. It does all the up/down/cross conversion, but doesn't do 2K and 4K. That product is only $1200. (The AJA Xena is the PC equivalent)

The BlackMagic Extreme may be all you need, if that's the brand you are looking at. I've heard not-so-good stories about that brand though...just inconsistencies with their products and tech support not being too great. I've never heard anything bad about AJA though


Anonymous (not verified)

If you are editing HD video recorded with an MRC1, you are editing HDV (not AVCHD).

Sony Vegas relies entirely on your computer's CPU to process and manipulate video data, and does not utilize the GPU at all. Vegas will run just as well with virtually any modern video card from NVIDIA or ATI (AMD), as at will with a high end workstation graphics card. Just be sure that it supports hardware acceleration for playback of the common HD codecs (MPEG-2,H264 and VC1). If you are only using a single monitor setup, even a motherboard's built-in graphics will work just fine, so long as the chipset supports hardware acceleration of HD codecs as mentioned (like NVIDIA's 8200 for example).


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

The files that I get off of the MRC1 are .m2T files. And they show up as AVCHD in Windows. Unless this is another extension fro HDV as well, I guess I am confused.

Anyhow I went with 2 GTX 285s. Iguess I will pull one out and stick it in my gaming PC now. My bad for taking in bad information on SLI helping video edits. Lesson learned and a toy gained. So I am not too depressed about that.

Do you think SLI support would benefit such applications in the future?


jimjim's picture
Last seen: 4 years 6 months ago
Joined: 05/04/2010 - 10:24pm

all you need is a lot of ram and afastprocessor like intel i7 almost all rendering and previews are handledby the processor. so instead of buying an expensive graphics card you should get and expensive cpu.

or if you really want a graphics card then youshouldlook at The NVIDIA Quadro CX

if you are working on windows then 64 bit is a must.



doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

Here is my PC (and forget the fact that it has SLI in it, I already know that was a bad idea, but its fun anyhow)

http://vimeo.com/10594492

I have also added a 500GB 7200rpm HD for working my projects from from, and a 2x1TB RAID1 SATAIII 7200 rpm forredundancy backupup all my raw files and project saves. I have lots of NAS room and soon will have a DROBO RAID tower once I save enough for it.


composite1's picture
Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

Nice build!

I like the idea of SSD's but right now they are too small and too expensive compared to the old tech mechanical versions. When they get some 'size' on them and the prices come down, I'll be all about them. 12 cores/12GB's? Lucky bastich! If you're not doing hard core video conversion like Rob mentioned, A BlackMagic Intensity card will work just fine. I just put one in my rig and it works great! Would liked to have gotten the multibridge, but it was either that, go to NAB or get a new HD capable laptop. Laptop won out.

Keep buildin'!

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

WHen I render to the SSDs it does it a full 5xfaster than rendering to the 7200rpm drive (5 minutes for a 10 minute file compared to almost 25 minutes on the mechanical drive). Not sure why its such a huge difference but it is for sure. Even when I was running vegas from the SSD. This was basic rendering though, not layers upon layers of effects. But for small simple short videos I will render to the SSD and then transfer off later.



doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

SLI not a great idea for this computer because it is an editing only PC. From what I have been told, Sony Vegas does not use GPU rendering, and it comes 100% from the CPU. Therefore it was a waste of money to add it to THIS particular computer. But I do have a multimedia/gaming PC that I will move those to shortly, so no real loss.

Don't get me wrong, this could be the ultimate gaming PC as well. My gaming PC is 5 years old, but, in this circumstance, I need something powerful for editing because that is my only job at this time.


composite1's picture
Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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"... I need something powerful for editing because that is my only job at
this time."

Rarely doth gaming putteth food on the table as well as Editing! I can't ever remember getting a call from anyone who said, "Hey we're puttin' a crew together to got to Thailand to do some gaming...." The call for a field producer/editor happened... twice.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

I keep play and work separate. I promise! There is not ONE game on this computer. And even my other computer just gets moderate use for that, whem I have nothing else to do.

EDIT: I lied, I just found solitaire. I haven't played that in 10 years on any computer though.


composite1's picture
Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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"There is not ONE game on this computer."

I'm a bad Boss then (bad boss! bad!) 'cause I've got a modded copy of DOOM3 on our main editor. On the one hand, I put it there initially to see if we could make mini-movies for voice-over training. However, the game despite the power of the machine can't render anything out at a decent sized resolution. On the other hand, it is quite amusing taking down a platoon of 'Zsecs' armed with machine and plasma guns with just a pistol loaded with armor piercing rounds.... I eventually had to lock the game in the safe 'cause nobody was getting anything done, including me!

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

Never played Doom beyond its original which you can laugh at now. I have been tempted to install Flight Sim on this computer since that is one of the biggest benchmarks out there and I love to fly, but I am doing what I can to not install that until at least after the busy part of the wedding season is done. That is months away.


navyspecwarfare's picture
Last seen: 4 years 6 months ago
Joined: 04/19/2010 - 11:32pm

I bought an Alienware Aurora for about $1700.

Intel i7920 at 2.66ghz, (can be overclocked to almost 4ghz if you want)

9GB of 1333mhz RAM

Ati Radeon 5870 card (retails for about $400)

2 7200rpm HDs at 1TB each.

This graphic card is one of the fastest on the planet and it rips through editing .mts files (AVCHD) from my Canon HF10 in Sony Vegas. All my other computers couldn't handle it. This processor, RAM, and graphic card eat it up no problem.

Go look up reviews and ratings on the Ati Radeon 5870...it's crazy. You can crossfire it too, but I find it's not necessary and I've been editing straight up pain in the ass 24mbps HD video in AVCHD.

Smooth as can be.


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

Now that last post goes against what I am told that GPUs have no bearing on Vegas. My computer handles fine, yes, I can play back stuff pretty smoothly with no rendering in Vegas. But I don't think your GPU has anything to do with your speed in Vegas.


hughdemand's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 05/28/2010 - 12:29pm

You guys have me scared!!

I have just ordered a Dell SPX9000 with the i7- 920 processor, 12 GB RAM, the GTX260 graphics card.

I am contemplating purchasing the Sony HXR NX5U camera, which saves AVCHD files. The end product will be either a "highlights" video (hockey game) on the web and/or a DVD.

To edit this video will I need Vegas Platinum to hanle he AVCHD formatted file ? Or do I need to go vegas Pro ?

Should I be steering clear of the Sony hXR NX5U and its AVCHD format? I am using the camera primarily for streaming hockey over the internet.

Shakin' in Brockville


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 9 months 6 days ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

Hughdemand,

Buy your computer and camera. If the AVCHD files are too demanding for your computer, convert the video files to DVCPro HD.

DVCPro HD will will larger file sizes, but it's not as demanding on a computer's processor as it uses i-frame compression instead of Long GOP compression.


hughdemand's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 05/28/2010 - 12:29pm

Thanks for the prompt reply Rob. I sure appreciate it.

Computer will be delivered in 10 days, order not placed for camera yet as I am purchasing 12 of them for the league.

Hugh




doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

Still just running my 2 GTX 285s. They do their job I suppose. If I am not mistaken though, Vegas Pro 10 will actually use the GPU and not just the CPU so here's to a faster future? Of course I am not entirely clear what that is all about either. I can't really get much faster on the CPU end.

For the 8 bit setting I can render .m2t files in about half real time which is great for previewing bits and pieces. 32 bit is an entirely different ball park, but I usually just let those render over night. The quality is worth getting rid of those vertical bars that tend to show up in the rendered video.


composite1's picture
Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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Double,

I hope you're saving those 32-bit settings for final output. Unless you're whipping up a digital copy for broadcast, theatrical exhibition from an HDD or burning out to Blu-Ray their isn't much need for it. Far as Vegas 10 goes, I haven't been using Vegas much as I've been focusing more on using Premiere Pro. I still keep it on hand as it's a great back up and works seamlessly with SF and Acid.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

32 bit is for final output and I do burn to blu-ray as well. If I don't set it to 32 bit, the video seems to have a bunch of vertical bars in it. Of course I did half a dozen weddings at 8 bit beforeI figured out what was causing it. Even watching the files on computer, or less important home video I will still finalize it 32 bit as once you notice the vertical bars 8 bit gives off, you can't miss them - very annoying. Still great quality, and perfect for small sectional test renders, but never for show!

Might I add it was a bitter-sweet discovery on my end (I still have a lot to learn) - the video is much cleaner, yes, but the renders are painfully long.


composite1's picture
Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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Double,

Vertical bars huh? Sounds like interlacing. What are you shooting with? If your shooting in 1080i that's definitely interlacing and the 'deinterlacing' check box in the export settings window should be selected.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

No it is not interlacing. I will try to find a good example here and post them side by side.


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

It is really hard to get the bars to show in an internet quality viewing, but you can download the original MP4 file I just created. I DID re-render this section to try and get the bars to be a little more visible for the online view, but don't think it helped much.

What it is, is approximately 150ish vertical sections of the video that literally make stripes. It is not interlacing (these are vertical) And nothing is really "mismatched" like you might see in interlaced video. The color/contrast is just a bit off for each "stripe", making it visible. It is easiest to see in the mid tones, like the siding on the house. Again, you may need to be a little motivated to download the source file to see what I mean. This only shows up in my 8 bit renders, but never in my 32 bit renders, and that is the only setting I ever change.

http://vimeo.com/15269681


composite1's picture
Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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I couldn't see them on your posted video, but now I know what you're referring to. Yeah those come from the compression of the video in your NLE and when you use compression for final output. Do you have your NLE Workstation hooked up to a Monitor?

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


CraftersOfLight's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 02/17/2009 - 5:42am
Plus Member

I could see some color steps in the background images mostly in those areas that aredefocused. I think what you are noticing is the 8 bit shading within the colors. If it is more noticable when you have a near flat color scene then it is the shade steps created by the 8 bit formating.

Life is not a guided tour nor a destination. It is a journey. Take the time to enjoy your family, friends and surroundings. Build memories. Share experiences. Travel at sight speed not light speed. (C)


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

I have 2 computer monitors I use for editing, but no broadcast monitors. I do watch all my blu-rays on my home theater before I send them out. 8 bit renders still have the bars when I play them back on my blu-ray player - not sure what you are getting at?

Anyhow. not all video is very noticeable (the bars), but some scream right out at you. In any case I still final output in 32 bit just to be on the safe side. I never had any complaints on the videos that got away at first, but it was always a bit of a pain in my side. I was about to come to the forums here when I seemed to have fixed it myself.

So bittersweet the discovery was... It was nice rendering my videos in half real time for Blu- Ray until I figured out how to get rid of the bars and became OCD about it.


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

Just saw the other post as well - DOH! Well what you describe CraftersOfLight does make sense to me. It shows more in evenly colored areas and typically the worst in midtones.




dhudkins's picture
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 03/07/2011 - 5:59am

Am considering buying a dual-DVI card with HDMI. Currently using PPro 5.1 but would like to find out if I can view rendered material on a LCD TV. Can you run such a card as an All-In-One using it for editing as well as viewing the final rendering through a TV monitor? Or should I just buy a cheap DVD player and LCD monitor for viewing the rendered movie?

Thanks in adv.

dfh


vproducer67's picture
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: 02/01/2011 - 1:21pm

I have a 2008 8 core mac with 12 GB 800mhz DDR2-FB Dimm.Running Mac OS10.I edit with FCP6 and am learning Premiere Pro.Im looking to take advantage of 64 bit and would like a graphics card that would be a good choice for both editing systems.I currently have a Ati Radeon HD2600 with 256 mb ram.



christodoulidesd's picture
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 05/02/2012 - 10:25pm

Dear community,

I've been having some off problems lately, and i want your opinions as i suspect they are gpu-related....or not?

Here's my setup:

Sony vegas pro 11 x64i7 2600k asus-stock-overclocked at 3.4ghz, 8coreWindows 7 ultimate x648gb ram gamers edition 1600mhzmsi nvidia gts450 1gb ram ddr5normal sata-2 hard disk drives at 7200rpm, western digital

I have shot a live band playing with my Sony HVR-HD1000E at 1080-50iThe project is 2 hours long and has the following video fx:

neat video for noise reductionsony color curves for brightness and contrastsont hsl correction for desaturating the colorssony color correction

My problem is that when i render at MPEG2-Blu-ray 1080p it needs 25 hours to export the project!

During render, Cpu load is average 30-40% which is nothing and ram is 8gb-ram.

What am i doing wrong ?

I have gpu acceleration (using the latest option in vegas pro 11 and cuda cores) enabled but even if i turn it off, it doesn't change a thing. Nor does exporting to interlaced makes it go any faster.

Take a look at this Vegas Pro 11 GPU acceleration http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegaspro/gpuacceleration

Since my cpu and ram aren't being stressed at all, i imagine it's either a bad setting in the project / software or the gpu being relatively old and slow, so If i invest 660 euros to get the asus nvidia gtx680 2gb ram which is a beast, ASUS - Graphics Cards- ASUS GTX680-2GD5 http://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/NVIDIA_Series/GTX6802GD5/ will i see any worthy difference or will it be money thrown away? Would it be better strictly for video applications (i am not dealing with graphics or animation) to opt for quadro? 'Cause sony shows otherwise in their gpu benchmark site which i linked above.

Any experience with neatvideo?

I would deeply appreciate your inputs.

Thank you!Demetris


Sam I am's picture
Last seen: 2 years 4 days ago
Joined: 10/26/2012 - 12:43am

I would like to render my videos less than one hour, if possible. I'm using Adobe CS6 Premiere Pro. It takes me about 4 hours to render my videos. The size of my average file are 8 gigs, 1920 X 1080, 1 hr 45min, and i use 2pass vbr for quality. I know I can reduce the time in half by just 1 pass but I don't want to degrade quality. 

My system:

CPU AMD 8120 FX 8 core all at 4.0 GHz

Hydro Series H 100 water block for CPU

8 gb of RAM

Gigabyte 970A-D3 moterboard

2x 120 gb SSD OCZ, one SSD is my primary

1 Tb HDD

Radeon HD 5780 2gb

My cpu is running between 70 - 90% and my gpu is just chilin at 33 celcius. I am very surprise that my gpu is not under stress.

OK, I should upgrade my ram to 32gb.

Now my question is: I'm looking at Nvidia 2050 Tesla GPU and Quadro 5000. I think everyone is looking at the wrong graphic card for the job. Or i could be wrong. I do know that quadro series card are used in CAD. They can render and compute heavy load so as the Tesla card. In which the gamming gpu can not. I'm not really into a budget. I just want the best card for the job. Has anyone used these professional gpu for video editing? Can I see a big impact just by upgrading my  RAM. I am itching to buy one of these professional gpu. Please help. Thanks!