Author Topic: Graphics Cards for Video Editing  (Read 11555 times)

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n45048

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Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« on: November 03, 2014, 10:41:20 pm »
Hey guys,

I've been in the IT industry for a long time but I was never a gamer so haven't bothered to keep up-to-date on the latest stuff when it comes to graphics cards.

What I'm after is some recommendations for a graphics card suitable for video editing. I'm in the process of spec'ing up a high-end machine purely for editing videos. I mean it's going to be a beast of a thing.

We primarily use Adobe Premiere as it supports Nvidia's CUDA technology for number crunching. We also work with fairly large video files (usually 10-bit video straight out of our cameras recorded in DNxHD format @ 220Mbps) so our "takes" can be many gigabytes in size.

So far I've drafted the following spec:

Supermicro 7048A-T Workstation (Includes the Supermicro X10DAi Motherboard)
32GB DDR4-2133 ECC Registered RAM
Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620v3, 2.40GHz CPU's
OCZ RVD3-FHPX4-240G, 240GB PCI Express SSD
3x 4TB Hitachi UltraStar 7K4000 SATA Drives (configured in a RAID 0+1 array)
HP NK653AA PCI Express Firewire Controller

So I'm looking for suggestions regarding a video card? I was leaning towards the Nvidia GTX970 series. No cheap Chinese brands please.
 

Offline Tinkerer

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2014, 12:54:50 am »
I am not an expert on how individual cards will perform at one task vs another, but this site should help when it comes to comparing card benchmarks.
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2014, 01:35:58 am »
Not an expert here since I deal more with 3D than Video, but it does kind of applies.

I guess it will be a CUDA vs OpenCL since it supports both:

http://www.dslrfilmnoob.com/2014/04/26/opencl-vs-cuda-adobe-premiere-cc-rendering-test/

If going with Nvidia then decide Quadro vs GeForce:



Another consideration is the drive:

Sustained transfer rates will be important: 7K might be good enough (150MB/s single drive) but 10K drives are better and more expensive at 200MB/s or SSDs  high end ones at 400MB/s. All of those are single drive numbers

7K drives are cheap so you can get more capacity but for consider a high-end SSD for the work in progress drive and the other ones for storage. But you mentioned 3 RAID drives so that will be 450MB/s in theory.

Good article here, but do more research:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/video/tips-and-solution/hard-drive-solutions-video-editing-studios

Memory is important too, 32GB as you state should be enough even for 4K video, but make sure you can add more.

http://www.videomaker.com/article/17135-editing-in-4k-minimum-system-requirements

Of course there is plenty of more information on the interwebs.

Xeons are good processors, I can't find a good spec benchmark for video but for 3d Lenovo or Dell with Quadro cards are always on top for 3D authoring (but they suck at video games since they are designed for actual 3D production)

http://www.spec.org/gwpg/gpc.data/vp12/sw-perf.html

But that's going to be pricey.

This is an older review, so the Quadros and FirePros (professional counterparts to  GeForce and Radeons)
http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Adobe-Premiere-Pro-CC-Professional-GPU-Acceleration-502/

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2014, 08:26:37 am »
I am not an expert on how individual cards will perform at one task vs another, but this site should help when it comes to comparing card benchmarks.
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/

Those benchmarks have very little to do with video encoding. I would not use them as a guide.
There are whole host of factors involved in hardware accelerated video rendering, and none of it has to do with the ability of the card to display fast graphics.
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2014, 01:53:38 pm »
The GTX 970 is considered best value for the moment. You can also consider the 750 or 750Ti but on such a high end machine, it's probably not worth the small savings.

Gigabyte has the best 970 at this point. Asus, MSI, PNY, and Zotac are also good. EVGA had a design issue that they apparently fixed, but not much point when they're not much cheaper than the alternatives.

Something else to keep in mind is the amount of VRAM. When playing 4K video with a lot of post processing, I have seen the VRAM usage approach 2GB. The 970 and 980 all currently come with 4GB standard, giving plenty of room. Most lower end cards only go up to 2GB.
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n45048

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2014, 12:50:38 am »
Thanks for all the feedback guys.

my 2 cents on your setup will be, have a second set of raid drives in your com to backup that raid (add a hardware raid card, LSI ? ), and have a good backup for your main OS. other than that, i guess the next step up is to dual everything else (2 GPU?) ... i assume you use dual monitors for editing (or maybe triple + a broadcast calibrated?)

I plan to run it in a RAID 0 + 1 so it offers redundancy for single-drive failure but we get the performance gain from a striped array. Once a project is done, we archive the files elsewhere. We currently use single Dell UltraSharp monitors which are calibrated for video (at 2560x1600 res) and a few JVC High-res CRT Broadcast monitors.

Memory is important too, 32GB as you state should be enough even for 4K video, but make sure you can add more.

The motherboard supports up to 1TB of RAM so there is plenty of room for expansion. I specified 32GB as a minimum but may end up doubling it.

The GTX 970 is considered best value for the moment. You can also consider the 750 or 750Ti but on such a high end machine, it's probably not worth the small savings.

I think so too.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 12:52:18 am by Halon »
 

Online free_electron

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2014, 02:05:00 am »
software encoders stink.
take a look at Matrox  Mojito or CompressHD.
Those boards run circles around software encoders with GPU acceleration.
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Offline Tinkerer

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2014, 02:45:00 am »
I am not an expert on how individual cards will perform at one task vs another, but this site should help when it comes to comparing card benchmarks.
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/

Those benchmarks have very little to do with video encoding. I would not use them as a guide.
There are whole host of factors involved in hardware accelerated video rendering, and none of it has to do with the ability of the card to display fast graphics.
This is true. That site should only be used for general quick comparison on what cards are generally better compared with most others.
One of the cards being cited here as best is close to the top of the list anyway.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2014, 04:08:43 am »
software encoders stink.
take a look at Matrox  Mojito or CompressHD.
Those boards run circles around software encoders with GPU acceleration.

From what I gather, not so much, depending upon the scenario. They are "faster than real-time", but then again, so is my (pretty ordinary in the scheme of things) i7 based desktop workflow without GPU acceleration. And they are limited to certain packages you may not want to use.
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2014, 04:47:37 am »
From what I gather, not so much, depending upon the scenario. They are "faster than real-time", but then again, so is my (pretty ordinary in the scheme of things) i7 based desktop workflow without GPU acceleration. And they are limited to certain packages you may not want to use.
Indeed. And furthermore, once the cutting is done, many of us just let the computers run overnight to do all the rendering while we are sleeping. That's what we pay them for, isn't it?
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2014, 03:42:53 pm »
Dave is right, when doing video editing the GPU is often not much help because there is a fair bit of processing that the CPU has to do. On top of that, modern Intel CPUs have special instructions for video encoding that are faster than a GPU anyway.

From the first link I posted:
http://www.dslrfilmnoob.com/2014/04/26/opencl-vs-cuda-adobe-premiere-cc-rendering-test/

Rendering a 3 minute 15 second video
Software only: 18 minutes 30 seconds
CUDA & OpenCL: under 5 minutes, wih OpenCL being faster but marginally.

And the test was done with consumer grade cards, no Quadro nor FireGL, there should be an improvement with those as well.

But this applies to the software the OP mentions.
 

Online free_electron

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2014, 04:25:19 pm »
From what I gather, not so much, depending upon the scenario. They are "faster than real-time", but then again, so is my (pretty ordinary in the scheme of things) i7 based desktop workflow without GPU acceleration. And they are limited to certain packages you may not want to use.
it depends on the scenario , but , in general , when used with the big iron video tools like Adobe , Avid or Grass Valley these boards rock.

see it this way : plugging a 1 GHz active probe on a 20MHz rigol scope with 6 bit a/d doesn't do a lot. Plug it on a machine that can handle it and a whole new world opens up.

These boards accelerate also during editing. instead of relying on the cpu to decode, apply the effect and visualize the card does the decoding. sure for a simple cross fade no problem. try doing a 3 point color correction, crop and overlay it on another corrected stream with an animation playing in the background ( think a newsanchor in the studio with an animated overlay (ticker tape) in front and a picture in picture. take in video and render real time without stuttering.

these boards have no problem with that.

I have an older Matrox card to do Hi-def. the underwater color correction is done using 3 point. i have a white slate with red green blue bars. i film this slate at 5 meters depth for a few seconds. then whenever i change depth i re-film it . this compensates for the loss of color. in adobe i pick the rgb points and the hardware card recolorizes the image ( it rescales the RGB spectrum ) . it does this on 6 videostreams in real time without requiring any rendering time. try that on a quad core and it already chokes on a single stream. render time required ...
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Offline miguelvp

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2014, 04:53:17 pm »
Adobe Premiere supports Intel's "Quick Sync" instructions, and performs as well or better than high end graphics cards with them. It makes sense to get a Core i7 with those instructions, rather than a slower CPU and a separate GPU.

From the article, but I didn't do the tests nor use that software.

Quote
Here’s the system I used for these tests:

Intel i7-4770 Haswell CPU
Gigabyte GA-Z87-D3HP motherboard
32GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1600 RAM
1TB Samsung 840 EVO editing drive
CORSAIR TX750 V2 Bronze power supply
 

n45048

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2014, 10:39:49 pm »
It makes sense to get a Core i7 with those instructions, rather than a slower CPU and a separate GPU.

Intel Quick Sync is very much a consumer solution. I'd be taking a huge leap backwards from a Xeon based machine with a proper motherboard and ECC RAM. It's just not worth the hassle especially when it comes to stability. Currently, I might reboot my Windows 7 machine once every 2-3 months for updates, that's about it.
 

Offline george graves

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2014, 11:10:17 pm »
You really want to first pick your software, then find the card that best supports it.


Offline EEVblog

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2014, 11:28:30 pm »
Rendering a 3 minute 15 second video
Software only: 18 minutes 30 seconds
CUDA & OpenCL: under 5 minutes, wih OpenCL being faster but marginally.

And once again, it's highly dependent upon the video source, effects, encoding required, codec, etc.
For my videos and my needs, my stock i7 processor (no GPU acceleration) renders in better than real-time.
 

n45048

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2014, 12:32:23 am »
You really want to first pick your software, then find the card that best supports it.

Adobe Premiere CS5 & After Effects is what we currently use.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2014, 12:51:25 am »
One more thing about the professional level video cards is that they offer hardware overlays. If you ever do anything like Adobe Combustion used to do for compositing using GBuffers or other multilayer rendering output formats like OpenEXR that will track the camera and merge CG graphics, change lighting use HDR maps etc... it will pay up to have the hardware that can handle it.

Never used After Effects so I don't know if it lacks or excels compared to Combustion.
 

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2014, 02:13:14 pm »
Nvidia had NVENC since the 600 series.
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Offline Grandmastersexsay

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2014, 02:17:55 am »
EEC RAM for video editing? Are you really that afraid of one pixle for one frame being a slightly different shade? Do you know how rare memory errors are? Save yourself the money and leave the EEC RAM for the scientific community that actually have to worry about error propagation. 
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2014, 02:26:09 am »
It's more of a Xeon requirement.
 

Offline george graves

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2014, 10:23:07 am »
Adobe Premiere CS5 & After Effects is what we currently use.

Well then you can disregard all the info here and get a supported card.  Doing all the encoing in the CPU can be fast - but not as fast as if you build the right system with the right video card.

Research about Adobe's "Mercury" payback engine.  A good source for info is a site called "videoguys" - they have specs for systems that they build, test.  It's a great resource.  I built their lastiest rig about 6 months ago.  i7 overclockable, 32 gig of ram, the works - the bill was very reasonable.  With the right video card - will blow anything out of the water for video editing.

(source:  I am/was a video editor)

http://www.videoguys.com/Guide/E/Videoguys+DIY+10+++Our+wait+for+Thunderbolt+is+over/0x86959ff2ee4098c3eef68b2070f368dd.aspx



Offline Grandmastersexsay

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2014, 01:07:30 pm »
It's more of a Xeon requirement.


No it isn't.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 01:10:33 pm by Grandmastersexsay »
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2014, 04:21:52 pm »
It's more of a Xeon requirement.


No it isn't.

Although there might be some lower end Xeon boards that don't require Fully Buffered ECC memory modules, most of them do and that is the case for the OP's system:
http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/4u/7048/sys-7048a-t.cfm

Also it's a good idea to use fully buffered memory for graphics processing since it allows you to have more memory density.
 

n45048

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2014, 06:13:53 am »
Me too, and I run a core i7. I also have a Xeon based server. The i7 is not less stable... I don't know where you got that idea from.

Not based on anything more than over 15 years in IT and my experiences with consumer grade hardware (generally). By no means do I think the i7 is rubbish, far from it in fact. Xeons have a number of advantages over their consumer counterparts especially in multi-proc systems. Processor aside, there are many other combinations of hardware and software that dictate system and application stability. It's just one of those things that is hard to quantify, like why does one prefer a particular brand of car from another? We are all biased by our own experiences and knowledge. It doesn't make either of us more "right", just "different".

Since this is a machine for myself, I wouldn't use any other board except a Supermicro. I've been this way since the Supermicro P6SBA Pentium III board. Absolutely love their gear, it's top notch and the pricing is fair. The majority of their products also happen to be Xeon based.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2014, 06:28:23 am by Halon »
 

Offline sunnyhighway

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2014, 10:20:51 am »
I plan to run it in a RAID 0 + 1 so it offers redundancy for single-drive failure but we get the performance gain from a striped array.

Better go for RAID 10 instead if possible
Same performance and storage capacity for the same number of physical drives, but a better survival rate in case of a multiple physical drive failure.

Good reading on this topic:
http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2011/10/raid10-vs-raid01/
 

Offline george graves

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2014, 11:47:29 am »
Raid for video editing has nothing to do with back ups.  We dont' care about backing up media.  Media can be reloaded at any point.

Offline sunnyhighway

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2014, 08:46:10 pm »
Raid for video editing has nothing to do with back ups.  We dont' care about backing up media.  Media can be reloaded at any point.

RAID has never been a replacement for back-ups.

RAID is all about performance and/or reliability of your disk subsystem.
 

n45048

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Re: Graphics Cards for Video Editing
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2014, 06:29:30 am »
Raid for video editing has nothing to do with back ups.  We dont' care about backing up media.  Media can be reloaded at any point.

RAID has never been a replacement for back-ups.

RAID is all about performance and/or reliability of your disk subsystem.

Both correct. I don't care if my RAID array falls over on my desktop PC. I'll be annoyed because it's more work, but I won't have lost anything.

My file server currently protects me against 2 concurrent drive failures (soon to be expanded to 4) and as an absolute last resort if it all goes to hell, I have all my data on backup tape.

Some might say overkill for a home set up, but what else are you supposed to do with 10TB+ worth of data?
 


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