Processor options for video editing system...

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by curvature, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. curvature

    curvature Guest

    Folks,

    I have a question about video editing software and how it
    interacts with the CPU of the system.

    Assumptions (that may be right or wrong):
    --Video editing/rendering eats substantial amounts of processor
    power. It is best
    to get as much processor power as you can afford.
    --My video editor software will be doing the "rendering".
    --For some types of dual-processor systems, an application must be
    specially-written to take advantage of the extra processing power.
    --For other types of systems, the "extra" processor is "within" the
    main processor (dual core???) and the application does not need any
    special
    knowledge/coding to take advantage of the extra processing power.

    Question:
    From videohelp.com and reading this group, I have assembled
    this list of candidate video editing software:
    Adobe Premiere Pro
    Avid Liquid
    Pinnacle Studio
    Ulead MediaStudio Pro
    Vegas

    Do any of these applications/can any of these applications make use
    of the dual processor systems as listed in the available options
    listed below? In other words, which processor option should I choose
    to get the most processing power that my editing/rendering software
    can use.

    Processor Options:
    Single Processor

    1) Intel Xeon 5110 1.6 GHz 1333 MHz FSB w/ 4MB Cache & Dual Core
    2) Intel Xeon 5130 2.0 GHz 1333 MHz FSB w/ 4MB Cache & Dual Core
    3) Intel Xeon 5140 2.33 GHz 1333 MHz FSB w/ 4MB Cache & Dual Core
    4) Intel Xeon 5310 1.6 GHz 1066MHz FSB w/ 8MB Cache & Quad Core
    5) Intel Xeon 5150 2.66 GHz 1333 MHz FSB w/ 4MB Cache & Dual Core
    6) Intel Xeon 5320 1.86 GHz 1066MHz FSB w/ 8MB Cache & Quad Core
    7) Intel Xeon 5160 3.0 GHz 1333 MHz FSB w/ 4MB Cache & Dual Core
    8) Intel Xeon 5355 2.66 GHz 1333MHz FSB w/ 8MB Cache & Quad Core

    Dual Processor

    9) Dual Intel Xeon 5130 2.0 GHz 1333 MHz FSB w/ 4MB Cache & Dual
    Core
    10) Dual Intel Xeon 5140 2.33 GHz 1333 MHz FSB w/ 4MB Cache & Dual
    Core
    11) Dual Intel Xeon 5310 1.6 GHz 1066MHz FSB w/ 8MB Cache & Quad
    Core
    12) Dual Intel Xeon 5150 2.66 GHz 1333 MHz FSB w/ 4MB Cache & Dual
    Core
    13) Dual Intel Xeon 5320 1.86 GHz 1066MHz FSB w/ 8MB Cache & Quad
    Core
    14) Dual Intel Xeon 5160 3.0 GHz 1333 MHz FSB w/ 4MB Cache & Dual
    Core
    15) Dual Intel Xeon 5355 2.66 GHz 1333MHz FSB w/ 8MB Cache & Quad
    Core


    Background:
    I have been reading this group for some time and am preparing to
    buy myself a PC for video editing. I have settled on a workstation
    system from Alienware. Expensive, but I hope it will be useful for
    several years. They offer several options for processors.
    (I will probably have a separate question about disk drives later).

    It might help to know what I want to do: I am one of those silly
    people
    who will probably buy more than he needs. I am going to be editing
    a lot of home movies, but I would like to do more with them than
    just
    cut them together and add a few wipes and titles. I will also be
    buying a
    new digital camera and would like to shoot better quality images
    than
    what I've been seeing/shooting. I suppose this means I'm aiming at
    the prosumer market, but if I was being as honest as possible, I
    would have to say I'm more of a prosumer-wannabe.
     
    curvature, Aug 7, 2007
    #1
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  2. curvature

    nappy Guest

    This is true with any app.
    yes. Some apps have some GPU assist for realtime..
    it must be a multi-threaded app. That does't happen automatically.
    Programmer has to design it that way.
    nope.. Any systems with more than one core require multithread design.

    Total crap
    yes.Premiere Pro will utilize multi procs.. not sure about the Pinnacle
    crap.

    In other words, which processor option should I choose
    The fastest one with the largest cache and fastest FSB mated with the
    fastest RAM.
    That's really all there is to it.
    A waste of money. They really can't ofer anything beyond any others. They
    use commonlly available motherboards. Tey don't make any of their own parts.
    You can save money by NOT having them assemble these parts for you ..
     
    nappy, Aug 7, 2007
    #2
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  3. curvature

    Smarty Guest

    curvature,

    'Rendering' is normally the most time-consuming step in video editing, and
    high definition formats are especially time-consuming. I have owned several
    of the products you named, as well as several others you did not name, and
    have ultimately settled on Vegas, from Sony, as my choice for a variety of
    reasons. Vegas ***DOES*** make use of multiple processors and cores, and a
    number of us have actually been doing comparisons of many different machines
    (both PC and Intel Macs) to determine which do the standardized rendering
    test the fastest. You may find the thread at:

    http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/forums/ShowMessage.asp?MessageID=526098&Replies=98

    good reading, and you will see nearly 100 posts regarding how well the
    various processors perform. There is also an older thread of the same type
    using an earlier standardized test which some of us also participated in a
    while ago which can be found on the same forum.

    Vegas has a nice balance of features, performance, cost, and ease of use.
    There is a more difficult learning curve than some of the 'consumer' video
    editing suites, but the user is rewarded with a lot of very good features,
    performance, and speed when it is all said and done.

    For whatever it is worth, I should mention that a number of lesser software
    packages also do very adequate video editing for those looking for a truly
    simple and more basic approach. These are programs under $100 which can go
    from camcorder to finished, deliverable DVD or HD DVD with comparatively
    little fuss, and also require comparatively little CPU investment. I bring
    this up not to digress from your original question, but I wanted to be sure
    you may have not overlooked this option. A number of people I have worked
    with use a single Pentium 4 machine with this type of software and get very
    adequate "semi-amateur" results for a total investment of one fifth or one
    sixth the total cost of an Alienware platform with Adobe, Avid, etc.

    It really has a lot to do with what type of video editing and authoring you
    want to accomplish. So far I have seen very little about this mentioned, so
    you might shed some light on what you hope / plan to do.

    Smarty
     
    Smarty, Aug 8, 2007
    #3
  4. curvature

    GT Guest

    True, but don't throw all your money at the CPU. If the motherboard is cheap
    and nasty, then it can make an impact. Also, you want to consider lots of
    fast RAM - possibly even 2GB.
    Not 'some types', but all software has to be written to be 'multithreaded'
    to take advantage of multiple processors.
    Wrong - whether the 2 processors are separate chips or combined into 1
    physical chip, they are still separate processors (CPUs), so all software
    has to be written to be 'multithreaded' to take advantage of multiple
    processors.
    [snip - processor lists]

    The faster, the better - look at tomshardware.com for performance charts,
    but don't just focus on processor power - look at the bigger picture - lots
    of RAM, large hard disks etc.
     
    GT, Aug 8, 2007
    #4
  5. curvature

    peter Guest

    the best bang for the bucks, IMO, is a core 2 duo processor, a motherboard
    that supports overclocking, 2G of ddr2 800Mhz ram

    the total cost of the above 3 components starts at US$300. you need to add a
    case, power supply, hard disk, video card, keyboard and mouse, and OS. you
    may already have some or all of them in your parts bin.

    overclocking is a whole new hobby by itself -- it has its own newsgroups. if
    you do not want to overclock, then buy a dell or HP desktop based on the
    core 2 duo.
     
    peter, Aug 10, 2007
    #5
  6. curvature

    tonsofpcs Guest

    I would not overclock a production system. While it does make the
    system faster, it causes instability which imo has no place in a
    production environment.
     
    tonsofpcs, Aug 12, 2007
    #6
  7. curvature

    nappy Guest

    true. a game system.. fine. But anyone who thinks that these things run at a
    reserved speed is a little nuts. If they could be made to go faster with
    dependability then they would be sold that way. As an engineer I find it
    humorous that people think it is a good idea
     
    nappy, Aug 12, 2007
    #7
  8. curvature

    curvature Guest

    Original poster here:

    First of all thanks for your responses/suggestions. The conclusion I
    draw
    is that most of the software I'm thinking of *can* take advantage of
    multiple
    processors, so I should get the most processor power I can afford as
    long as I don't skimp on memory or disk.

    Starting to veer off topic:

    I had finally settled on alienware (recently purchased by Dell) as a
    decent
    supplier who would use reasonably high-quality parts and therefore
    produce
    a reasonably reliable system. Then just after the very kind
    assistance from
    this newsgroup came a report that the quality of alienware systems
    has
    declined markedly since the purchase by Dell.

    This is not a PC purchasing group, so I don't want to start a long
    thread of
    vendor stories. Briefly then, does anyone have data points that tend
    to
    verify/question the reliability of alienware systems? What about HP
    (formerly
    compaq, yes?) Any recommendations/warnings for them?
     
    curvature, Aug 13, 2007
    #8
  9. curvature

    Bob and Bob Guest

    anyone who thinks that these things run at a
    I guess they've never heard how the various speeds are graded.
    One chip from the fab line, many possible top speeds.
    They err on the side of dependability
     
    Bob and Bob, Aug 13, 2007
    #9
  10. curvature

    tonsofpcs Guest

    HP was an independent manufacturer who puchased compaq. Of their
    current machines, some stem from the Compaq side, some from the HP
    side. The ones that stem from the Compaq side tend to be crap from
    what I've seen. For video, it is probably best to get a custom system
    from a local reseller -- they tend to be cheap, offer preinstalled
    RAIDs and other options that the big companies won't and they tend to
    offer on-site or at least at-their-office (they''re local, right?)
    support.
     
    tonsofpcs, Aug 13, 2007
    #10
  11. curvature

    nappy Guest

    re: Alienware. Boxx, etc..

    As far as I am concerned these machines are al made of parts that you can
    get elsewhere. I see no reason to pay the extra dollars to buy systems from
    these folks. While pricing the Alienware and BOxx PCs I found the INtel Mac
    Pros to be cheaper and indeed faster because until recently they were the
    only suppliers of the 3GHZ quad core Xeons. Given that the Mac Pro was still
    over $1000 cheaper. Even with the faster procs.
     
    nappy, Aug 15, 2007
    #11
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