PC spec for 1080p video editing

BlkKnight

Member
Hi Guys

I've been tasked with the job of seeing if a PC will be up to the job of video editing.

Current spec:

Win7 Pro 64
Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H (onboard VGA)
1tb 7200 RPM disk
Intel Core i5 660
4GB DDR3 1333hz

We intend to manipulate 1080p video on via the Video Vegas pro software (came with camera).

When doing the editing, is this done on GPU or CPU?

Will the disk be quick enough - or should I look at going down the SSD / Raptor RAID route?

J
 

rob12770

Banned
Hi Guys

I've been tasked with the job of seeing if a PC will be up to the job of video editing.

Current spec:

Win7 Pro 64
Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H (onboard VGA)
1tb 7200 RPM disk
Intel Core i5 660
4GB DDR3 1333hz

We intend to manipulate 1080p video on via the Video Vegas pro software (came with camera).

When doing the editing, is this done on GPU or CPU?

Will the disk be quick enough - or should I look at going down the SSD / Raptor RAID route?

J
I would not worry about an SSD and get a propper Graphics card, and save money buy buying an AMD chip , i myself have just built a Phenom II 6 core machine look here
editing is done with both CPU and GPU..you cannot really use onboard graphics..
 
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12harry

Well-known Member
Why don't you contact the software provider.....don't ask what's the minimum spec, just tell them what you've got and ask if you will find their software is up to it.

The onboard VGA could be an issue, since these "steal" memory from the Mbd...so your "4G RAM" is not available, like it would be with a separate Graphics card. I have a 500MB video card and if it's ever an issue it can be updated. Beware the Graphics cards take extra power...a visit to your computer shop may be needed.
. . . . . . If you "just try it" let us know how it runs....it may be perfectly OK.
Of course if you are creating frames, using rendering etc. "chroma-key" for example then the RAM may be an issue., so tell the software co. what you are doing, to get a decent reply. Beware they will always want you to spend more, eg by buying more RAM, and their "pro-version" etc. etc.

I thought the graphics card only rendered the video, so the edits would be done by the cpu. You will be editing stationary frames won't you? The video isn't "like film"...it's only data and if the CPU can't cope it doesn't go mad, it just doesn't accept more data than it can process.
I know nowt about yr HDD spec, but unless the set-up is poor, I suspect it's just fine. Just don't expect to surf the internet at the same time.
Solid-stateDrives are horendusly expensive...better to spend the cash on a faster CPU, selling yours recovers some cash. Some more RAM can also help, as it's cheap now. Depends on Mbd slots. 64bit address plenty more. (4G is the limit for 32-bit, as you know).
That's my take.
 
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rob12770

Banned
them what you've got and ask if you will find their software is up to it.

I thought the graphics card only rendered the video, so the edits would be done by the cpu.
yes, but you will still have to encode.. this is uses CPU and GPU and memory, look at your task manager performance tab when you are encoding..
all my six cores are right up there when encoding, about 90 to 98 %
 

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JefUK

Active Member
When editing HD video, and I assume you mean AVCHD video, the general rule is the more powerful CPU the better, see here for a previous discussion thread, most of which is still relevant.

The i5 660 is rather marginal for AVCHD editing, it would work but with sluggish response. A better CPU would be an i7 860/870/875K/880, which would work in the same motherboard. Fluid video editing of AVCHD and encoding is all about processing power (the need to decode every field or frame before anything can be done with it).

Contrary to popular belief an advanced graphics card is not required for general video editing as the majority of graphics processing is only 2D, although using the onboard Intel HD graphics is rather optimistic. Advanced graphics cards are only generally required for some FX such as some transitions and special 3D generated effects. You should aim to get at least 512MB of graphics memory. Some video editors use nVidia CUDA for video encoding, but will fall back to CPU encoding when not present. Only the very latest version of Sony Vegas can make use of nVidia CUDA for encoding. Other than that all processing is done by the CPU.

You can add a discrete graphics card to the motherboard, and it would be best to add a lower-end card with 512MB of graphics memory. If you want to use multiple monitors, or a monitor of very high resolution, it would be best to use a card with 1GB of memory. The lower-end cards dissipate much less power than the mid range cards and do not require an additional power connector. However, you must ensure that the PSU can support the additional load. The ATI cards draw significantly less power than the nVidia equivalents, but do not support CUDA. I would suggest a Radeon HD 4650, or an nVidia GT220 as a minimum.

As an aside, the new Sandy Bridge processor architecture, released in January and February next year, will have much more powerful onboard graphics, equivalent to the lower-end discrete cards, will support Open CL, and provide very powerful hardware video decoding and encoding. The CPU's will also be more powerful by a few percent. It will be interesting to see how these work with editing applications.

An SSD will significantly reduce Windows boot time, and speed up the loading of applications. Other than that, an SSD will not offer any significant benefit for video editing. The Seagate HDD is more than adequate for your purposes. Currently, SSD's are really only justified in high performance workstations. At a lower cost than SSD, you could use Raptors, but it would not bring any significant improvement to editing, and would be relatively poor value. Similarly using HDD's in a RAID setup would not really help, and furthermore a RAID 0 array is not wise, because of the doubling of failure probability. A more powerful processor has a higher priority.

4GB of 1333MHz RAM is fine, and since most (all?) consumer video applications are 32-bit, the amount of memory they can use is limited. You will find that not all of your RAM will be used unless you are heavily multitasking - which you should not be when video editing because you want all the CPU resource for the edit processes.

The GA-H55M-S2H is a budget motherboard but will do what you want it to do. The Intel ICH does not support RAID, but I assume that this will not be important to you. Again though you could use a low cost add-in RAID card at a later date if this is required.

In summary, if the system already exists then it can be upgraded to give a good AVCHD editing experience. Start by upgrading the graphics card, and then if the editing performance does not match expectations replace the processor with an i7 8XX. However, check the capacity of the PSU before upgrading. If the system does not currently exist then choose a system as discussed in the forum thread here.

Rather than edit raw AVCHD an alternative is to convert it a less compressed format for editing - there is lots of discussion about this in the forum.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
A bit wordy but quite worthy:)
Ill put in in the FAQ:smashin:
 

rogs

Well-known Member
Rather than edit raw AVCHD an alternative is to convert it a less compressed format for editing - there is lots of discussion about this in the forum.
Converting AVCHD to a high quality intraframe format, like Canopus HQ or Cineform, allows for easy editing with a much less powerful PC. A quad core with a 'bog standard' video card will allow you to edit your HD footage as if it was standard definition DV, using either if these two formats.
Certainly an alternative to splashing out on a new computer, just to meet the demands of HD video editing!
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Converting AVCHD to a high quality intraframe format, like Canopus HQ or Cineform, allows for easy editing with a much less powerful PC. A quad core with a 'bog standard' video card will allow you to edit your HD footage as if it was standard definition DV, using either if these two formats.
Certainly an alternative to splashing out on a new computer, just to meet the demands of HD video editing!
True but it is nice to get new kit, regardless of excuse:p:D
a Bog standard Quad core can edit AVCHD in clever software like Vegas pro 10 natively though even if 1080/50p is a bit of number cruncher i7 usually even better
What you say is true though a mid range dual core will edit the AVI HQ .which setting do you use?
the downside of course is an extra step to convert and the space but quality is maintained and they are easy to edit , even as HDV
Also what do you ouput to?
 
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damo_in_sale

Well-known Member
Like a previous poster said, Cineform is great for 1080p.

Having said that, I find it introduces a lot of motion blur in 1080i footage for some reason. If anybody can help me with that I'd be very grateful.

But it converts my 1080p @ 50Hz AVCHD footage great, and works well with Sony Vegas Studio 10.

But if I was going to spend a lot of money on a new PC, then I'd certainly consider Adobe Premiere CS5 with it's CUDA accelerated Mercury engine. I haven't tried it myself, since I'm just a home user, but I certainly would if I were doing this for a living.
 

rob12770

Banned
but if I was going to spend a lot of money on a new PC, then I'd certainly consider Adobe Premiere CS5 with it's CUDA accelerated Mercury engine. I haven't tried it myself, since I'm just a home user, but I certainly would if I were doing this for a living.
im just a home user and I use CS5 and soon a Cuda card.. you dont have to do it for a living to get this software.. just wealthy or fly :smashin:
 

rob12770

Banned
Some video editors use nVidia CUDA for video encoding, but will fall back to CPU encoding when not present. Only the very latest version of Sony Vegas can make use of nVidia CUDA for encoding. Other than that all processing is done by the CPU.
have to dissagree with you slightly there..
about Adobe premiere CS5
"The Mercury Playback Engine doesn't just deliver blazing performance and a fluid editing experience. By more optimally using your entire system performance, it also accelerates rendering and encoding"
source
 
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rogs

Well-known Member
Also what do you output to?
Now that is quite a subject on it's own! :)

Although the 'natural' progression from DVD, as a final output device, would seem to be Blu-ray discs, there seems to be an increasing number of people who have decided not to 'do' the disc thing all over again.
Blu-ray is of course very good, but you do tend to restrict your options, if you have to encode your edited output to meet Blu-ray specs --and the blanks are still quite expensive!

I personally encode my AVCHD to Canopus HQ, and then edit in Edius Neo. I then output from Edius, still as Canopus HQ, and then import that file into the freebie program Virtualdub. Once there, the options are huge. There are loads of filters to apply all sorts of improvements to your footage, and also loads of output codecs you can export to.
I quite like encoding to H.264, or Xvid for example. Very good quality outputs, but not always suitable for Blu-ray writing. Which is where the media players come in.
There are loads of media players, like the WDTV range for example, which can accept HD video in lots of different formats. When connected to an HDTV via HDMI, you can easily get results comparable with the best Blu-ray outputs.

Not for everyone, of course, but another option to get good HD video results, without having to buy a new computer, and an expensive Blu-ray burner.

So, if you have at least a core duo, then go for Edius Neo as your editor, (which allows you to edit using Canopus HQ as your 'editing' format, and buy a hardware media player to play your edited outputs stright from an HDD.

Just my 2 cents, you understand.....:)
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Im with you there I do actually have CS5 ( which is brilliant) but also have an LG BD writer and discs from Here about 90p for one
but Media players are making BD less the way than DVD
I also have Vegas Pro 10 which I use more for familiarity..its output options Im undecided about:confused:
Im still playing with the output from the Canopus AVCHD2HQ Vegas Edits HDV quite fast on a Quad core
:offtopic:Interestingly I was at a home this weekend where the host ( my pal ) had just bought a £200 Panasonic BD player to replace a series of cheap and not cheerful DVD players. He was told it was a " better" DVD player than the cheap kit he had just put in the dustbin
He has a BD drive on his laptop but has never played one Bd disc and owns a 7 year old non HD LCD TV, which doesn't have HDMI...:suicide:
I told him it would have to go ..didnt go down well:blush:
CRT is still in many homes too:boring:
Conversely many of those who do own 46" 24p 1080p HDTVs are limited to Sky HD plus or PS3 as BD player by default.. most dont own a single Bd disc .
So those of us who have 3 BD players as a well as WDTV are maybe not quite Jp just yet despite the falling prices of BD media and hardware
Makes you wonder how folk watch thier Hi def footage after getting that " latest Full HD " camcorder:rolleyes:
 
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rob12770

Banned
I just bought maxell Bluray rewritables, a pack of 3, 25gb for £8 from asda at the moment, £2 off just now, normally £10 :thumbsup:
they are only 2 speed but they work well, esspecially as im just getting to grips with the writer..
Asda also do 10 memorex Bdr 25Gb for £10 at the moment, (non rewritable) also £2 off just now

also Senu, if your pal is getting a new TV, tell him to check out the Samsung LED TV's they are great..IMO..nothing humble about me..:D
 
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rogs

Well-known Member
I just bought maxell Bluray rewritables, a pack of 3, 25gb for £8 from asda at the moment, £2 off just now, normally £10 :thumbsup:
About the same price as HDD space then -- 10p per GB:

Western Digital My Passport Essential 500GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive - Light Blue: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

Add the cost of the BD burner and a BD player, as against the cost of a media player only - say £70 WDTV- HD media player - Tesco.Direct and I think the media player route looks quite attractive.

If you don't go for rewritables, I'm guessing you have to finalise a disc for each project, however small. 25GB might be a bit over the top for small projects! (although I'm guessing you'd go for a rewritable when 'experimenting')

I do like the bigger range of format options you can use with a media player though.
 

rogs

Well-known Member
Lets hope the long term expected reliability of burnt Blu-ray discs is more accurate than that for burnt DVDs!

Although I've never had a failure of a pressed DVD, the only burnt DVD format I've never had a failure with (so far!) is DVDRAM.
With all the other formats I've tried - DVD-R, DVD+R, DVDRW - I've had at least one failure. I certainly wouldn't trust DVD for archiving, and I'm not sure that burnt Blu-rays are going to be any better?
Trouble is, it could take a while to find out. And then it'll be too late!

Think I'll stick to dual HDD backup for the important stuff -for the moment anyway. Although DVDRAM seems pretty good as well. So far.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Lets hope the long term expected reliability of burnt Blu-ray discs is more accurate than that for burnt DVDs!

Although I've never had a failure of a pressed DVD, the only burnt DVD format I've never had a failure with (so far!) is DVDRAM.
With all the other formats I've tried - DVD-R, DVD+R, DVDRW - I've had at least one failure. I certainly wouldn't trust DVD for archiving, and I'm not sure that burnt Blu-rays are going to be any better?
Trouble is, it could take a while to find out. And then it'll be too late!

Think I'll stick to dual HDD backup for the important stuff -for the moment anyway. Although DVDRAM seems pretty good as well. So far.
You could have both you know I suspect BD is a rather more robust Format
Its scratch resistance and antistatic specs (DVD has none) and QC are higher ( at least ATM) and BD readers do have better error correction. Problem with them is the evolving standards for BD video where some older players may need firmware updates to play recent title's
one can have BD data discs and then use HDD for playback via media player whilst also using it as an archive
HDD can fail too and DVD RAM.. Very sensitive to scratches ect
 
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rogs

Well-known Member
You could have both you know
I couldn't see the point of buying a Blu-ray burner, just to provide a second archive path. Cheaper (and easier) to go for the second HDD as a back up. The likelihood of 2 HDDs failing at the same time (especially if one is external) is pretty remote, IMHO (you see Rob, I am humble! :))

Now that HDD and BDR prices are similar, I can't see the point of investing in a Blu-ray burner, instead of a second HDD?

Of course, when my current DVD player gives up the ghost, it may be wise to replace it with a Blu-ray player - even if I only have my DVD collection to play on it!
Or..now that the newer Media players can handle DVD ISOs, with menus, it might be an idea to put all my videos, including the DVDs, onto an HDD - backed up on a second, of course! - and forget the 'disc' thing altogether?

After all, that's what I did with my audio cassettes.......
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I couldn't see the point of buying a Blu-ray burner, just to provide a second archive path. Cheaper (and easier) to go for the second HDD as a back up. The likelihood of 2 HDDs failing at the same time (especially if one is external) is pretty remote, IMHO (you see Rob, I am humble! :))

Now that HDD and BDR prices are similar, I can't see the point of investing in a Blu-ray burner, instead of a second HDD?

Of course, when my current DVD player gives up the ghost, it may be wise to replace it with a Blu-ray player - even if I only have my DVD collection to play on it!
Or..now that the newer Media players can handle DVD ISOs, with menus, it might be an idea to put all my videos, including the DVDs, onto an HDD - backed up on a second, of course! - and forget the 'disc' thing altogether?

After all, that's what I did with my audio cassettes.......
It wasnt Rob It was i playing Devils advocate,:p
simply because I have both the HDD+ media player option and also BD .. not usual but the things we do for our "art" eh?:laugh:
In truth I watch far more off HDD than burn BD discs while continuing with the search for perfect BD MV arthoring solutions!:suicide:
 
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rogs

Well-known Member
It wasnt Rob It was i playing Devils advocate
I did realise it was you Senu, I was just reiterating Rob's comment in post #14, where he modified the more traditional 'IMHO' with 'IMO'....as perhaps we might have expected?...:)


I think there will be room for both options. Some people will like to have nicely authored and presented discs for their video collection - with jewel cases, and artwork, and labels, and....etc...etc...whereas others - like me - are quite happy to just keep everything catalogued on an HDD, ready for media player replay.

It is still possible to use menus and chapters etc when archiving video in, the mkv format for example.
And I like not being restricted to the strict DVD/ Blu-ray authoring requirements.

And when I look around my study at the several hundred CDs and DVDs already there and think - do I really want to add to all this clutter?

But as I say, we're all different...
 

damo_in_sale

Well-known Member
I've thought about creating a media centre style PC for BD and HD renders from my camcorder and hooking it up to the plasma.

The problem is that I can't see how one can get beyond the fixed frame rate output of a PC. So for example, 50 or 100Hz is good for PAL DVD but 24Hz is good for BD.

I guess it's the same with these media players that you chaps are discussing, is this correct, or is there a way around this issue that I'm unfamiliar with?
 

rogs

Well-known Member
Take a look at the list of supported frame rates for the WDTV Live media player. I think it's pretty well all of the common ones!

(There's a complete list in the small print at the bottom of the 'media formats' section, on page 2 of this document: http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/AAG/ENG/4178-705061.pdf )

And these newer models can even cope with full 1080/50p footage, which the earlier ones had problems with. They play pretty much everything (although strangely, not DV!!)
 

damo_in_sale

Well-known Member
Take a look at the list of supported frame rates for the WDTV Live media player. I think it's pretty well all of the common ones!

(There's a complete list in the small print at the bottom of the 'media formats' section, on page 2 of this document: http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/AAG/ENG/4178-705061.pdf )

And these newer models can even cope with full 1080/50p footage, which the earlier ones had problems with. They play pretty much everything (although strangely, not DV!!)

Thanks mate :)

But my question is whether these devices can alter their frame rate output to match the frame rate of the media being played.

I don't want to have to choose a fixed output frame frame, lets say 60Hz, and have 50Hz or 24p footage frame rate converted.
I can't see anything in you link to answer that unfortunately.
 
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rogs

Well-known Member
I have an early model WDTV, and that allows me to select the frame rate and resolution of the video I wish to replay -although I generally find that leaving it on 'auto' is fine!

Edit: I just had a quick look to make sure the same facility still exists on the current model, and it does. See page 142 of this manual for the current 'Live' model:
http://www.wdc.com/WDProducts/Library/UM/ENG/4779-705035.pdf
 

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