Need help on determining whether to go AMD, or get new RT editing card...

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niennumb1
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Joined: Jun 24 2005

So here's my dilema. I bought Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 and I have a Pinnancle DV500.... which consequently is now not supported for Pro 1.5 (how nice to know AFTER I bought the program and opened it up).

The program is VERY stable and I love it, but basically my video card is now useless with it (except for generic firewire capture) and besides that the video rendering now is SUPER UBER TERRIBLY SLOW. Naturally I need a new RT editing card right? Or do I?

I consulted with a video editing equipment specialist and he said my real bottlenecking is in my computer. I was looking into getting a Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme pro card (really nice one) but he said what I should do is run dual processor P4 3ghz system and it will take whatever Premiere can throw at it pretty much and just use a generic Firewire for capture and output.

I don't have the $$$$$$ to get a dual Xeon processor or any dual P4 processing upgrade, so I ask this question to you guys.

Say you had $400-$500 to spend and you were me. What would you buy? Here's my current system:

P4 1.8ghz with 1gig PC2700 RAM; Radeon 9000 pro AGP 128 4x graphics w/2 monitor output card and Pinnacle DV500plus

Should I buy:

1. Matrox RT editing card for better editing on real Time for Adobe Premiere

or

2. Brand new Asus SLI series Premium motherboard (just came out last week) with AMD 64 capabilities (fast); New AMD Athalon 64 3200+RET939 chip and dual PCI express card options; Radeon RX300 128DDR PCI Express Video Card with 2 monitor output

This is about what I have to work with here. Either I can upgarde my system with some amazing performance enhancements and opening that bottleneck in system speed and have much faster endfile video rendering, or go for the RT editing card, but still lack the speed for MPEG2 and general Video final rendering.

I always heard Intel was better for video, but from what I've been reading lately AMD has made some fabulous advances in their architecture and technology.

What are your thoughts? I know it's no dual P4 3ghz system, but is it comparable and is the option above a great move forward, or stick to the card? The video capture card dealer seemed to thing I would get nominal performance at best. Didn't sound too much worth the move toward the card.

Anyway thanks for reading and curious to know what you guys think.

RWC

Terry Stetler
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Joined: Jun 2 2002

I have two RT.X100's running on AMD systems and was a betatester for it from day one so.....

Before answering I'd need to know what mainboard you're using and the rest of your hardware specs (number of HDD's, audio card if any, NIC's etc.).

You certainly have enough memory at 1 gig, but the RT.X100 can be picky about the mainboard and chipset it uses, mainly due to the differences in their PCI-to-host memory bandwidth. Intel and SiS chipsets are notably good at this while NVIDIA and VIA chipsets are not and are therefore not supported.

Basically how much the hardware components are touted in magazines is much less important than that PCI bandwidth issue, and cost is no predictor there. I've run RT.X100's on systems as mild as an AthlonXP 2400 and a $50 SiS chipped mainboard (MSI 745 Ultra, ASROCK K7S8XE etc.) and had excellent results.

That said a faster CPU does help in how many realtime layers you can do with the software-based RT effects. It has both HW and SW effects, and which are which are fully documented. My ASROCK setup runs an AthlonXP 3000+ and rarely is the stack deep enough to require rendering and even then it only renders that portion of the timeline, and quickly.

Generically speaking it sounds to me like you would benefit greatly by using an RT.X100. Firstly it adds much to how Premiere Pro works and feels. Scrubs become much smoother and in general it acts much "snappier".

Nicities such as realtime DV and MPEG export to HDD and realtime export to IEEE-1394 including realtime chromakeys are also much apreciated. Even 60 of Premieres own effects are now realtime both on the timeline and for export.

Also neat are the several hundred organic wipes and seemingly as many realtime digital video effects. Not only are they numerous but they are also highly configurable.

Then there is the RT.X100's MediaExport module. This is a batch encoder where you can set up all the formats you want to export a project to (DVD of various bitrates, WMV, Real etc.) then walk away while it encodes 'em all in one gulp.

Neat all the way around.

Terry Stetler

Co-Moderator: Digital Media Net MSPro forum
Co-Moderator: Ulead User to User MSPro forum
Moderator: MURC Digital Video forum

niennumb1
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Joined: Jun 24 2005

Terry,

Thanks for your reply and a unique response. My chipset is an Asus p4s533 motherboard.

-I have 5 hard drives:
3x 120 gig WD UDMA 100/133 drives
1 SATA 120 HDD for my O/S and applications
1 80gig UDMA 100 drive

- Chaintech 7.1 basic sound card
- Pinnacle DV500+ (going to head to ebay soon once I figure this out)
- Pc2700 RAM 1gig
- Single layer DVD/CD writer
- Radeon 9000 pro AGP dual monitor output

Basically you're saying if I upgrade to a newer CPU and Motherboard I will get better processing, but I'll have to render everything I do to see what I'm getting. But if I do that will I REALLY be saving time or will the Matrox RT.X100 extreme give me better results?

I seem to keep getting a string lean toward the newer system upgrade than a Matrox card, yet almost EVERYONE seems to have a Matrox card and loves using it, so there must be a reason people can't be without it vs. a killer CPU/motherboard with a stand-alone Firewire input.

Thanks in advance for your response. Much appreciated for your perspective. May help shed more light on the other end of the spectrum. :)

Terry Stetler
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Joined: Jun 2 2002

As noted much depends on the chipset and mainboard.

While yours is not on the approved list it's also not on the banned list. My observations are that closely related chipsets are on the approved list, so the odds of it working with the RT.X100 are rather good.

Yes, you're going to get advise from system builders that you should upgrade your computer hardware. That, of course, puts a higer percentage of the expenses involved in their pocket than just plugging in a board and installing its software. No suprise there :)

As far as rendering speeds go Premiere has always been relatively slow. Long ago I built two identical test projects; one for MediaStudio Pro and one for Premiere 6.5

On the same system and using the same MPEG encoder (both use the MainConcept MPEG engine) MSPro was significantly faster than Premiere. After Premiere Pro came out I repeated this test and it was even slower, most likely due to it having a rather high bloatware quotient. Go figure.

The uppance is that Premiere Pro is one of those products that either needs a very, very fast system or a realtime editing card. Those with moderate systems need not apply if they want to keep their sanity.

Terry Stetler

Co-Moderator: Digital Media Net MSPro forum
Co-Moderator: Ulead User to User MSPro forum
Moderator: MURC Digital Video forum

niennumb1
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Joined: Jun 24 2005

But the one who siggested I get a faster system was from ONLY the video card supplier. He wouldn't make any money off that, he said to go with a faster system over buying his card and thus losing a sale over me. So I thought his honesty was good, but still just wasn't sure which route to go. Seemed to think the system upgrade was good.

The thing I keep seeing is AMD outperforms in many areas over Intel, but Intel seems to have an advamtage on the video end, but just HOW much more waiting would one have to do in rendering video with an AMD 64 3200+ over an Intel 3.0ghz? Is it as bad as tomshardware benchmark tests show? Other sites show the AMD smokes the Intel line (most of them)

Terry Stetler
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Joined: Jun 2 2002

When exporting DV with effects the time it takes to render depends on how many effects are used.

If you use color correction on clips, use transitions, do overlays etc. etc. this can add up to as much as 2-5x the program length depending on their complexity.

This doesn't even take into account the time spent waiting for previews to be generated where effects are applied during the edit, and most previews beyond basic effects in Premiere Pro are NOT realtime.

With the RT.X100 the vast (vast) majority of these effects will be rendered/exported/previewed in realtime, meaning the project will export at its duration time (or perhaps a bit more for very deep stacks) and you will get immediate previews during the edit with the same caveat. No small amount of time saved because of this.

Then there is the issue of how "snappy" Premiere Pro runs with a hardware assist. This is no minor difference and it's much more than just upping the CPU clock can duplicate.

Also nice is that this can all be done on a MUCH lighter system than would be otherwise necessary to run Premiere Pro at anything close to a "snappy" speed.

Also handy is that it has analog I/O (both Svideo and composite). This can be used to capture DV/DVCAM for use on the timeline or even RGB24 or YUV video. Handy when someone briings in an analog camcorder and wants you do lay it to DVD. Also handy for capturing your own analog media.

Another advantage is that you get a realtime analog output that can not only be used by the RT.X100 for previews but also by other Windows software that supports video overlay; Media Player, other video tools etc. etc. to an Svideo or composite monitor/TV

So....the question really is: how much time do you want to spend watching the progress indicator and cursing choppy scrubs and do you have a use for the analog features?

Terry Stetler

Co-Moderator: Digital Media Net MSPro forum
Co-Moderator: Ulead User to User MSPro forum
Moderator: MURC Digital Video forum

niennumb1
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Joined: Jun 24 2005

Well after 16 hours of hell I am happy report things are running great! The SATA drives are tricky with these new mother boards to configure as masters. Long story short everything's now up.

I ended up getting the faster system. Got the A8N-SLI Motherboard by Asus with the Athlon 64 3200+RET939 chip. Basically the videos load immediately with no stutter and Premiere Pro 1.5 (that used to load in at 55+ seconds on my 1.8ghz and then 15-20 secs thereafter while logged in) now loads at about 10-12 seconds max the first time round and 4 seconds thereafter. While I can view all effects in full-on real time, i Can certainly get a great look on how the filters look in almost real time with the new system upgrade. All I can say is WOW! Things sure go faster now!

ellenjl
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Joined: Aug 17 2005
matrox 100 exteme pro with amd?

Please clarify this for me :

"I have two RT.X100's running on AMD systems..."

I have not heard of the Matrox extreme pro used on an AMD system- certainly no AMD board is on their mb recommendations. I want to upgrade from my Intel D875pbz to get more onboard SATA and faster chip.
My computer tech wants me to buy an AMD64 bit but I have always been reticent because all the Matrox suggestions are intel based. He reminds me of how many problems I have encountered even tho I have gone with their recommendations...which AMD board(s) would work?

would appreciate any advise- thanks

rjpobrien
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Joined: Jul 30 2005

Hi,

More info on this would be really appreciated. I am going to be getting a new computer soon and want to add a new video editing card soon after. The RT.X100 seems the obvious choice but according to the Matrox website this will not work with an nForce 4 chipset. The system I am looking at is an AMD 64bit 3700+ (San Diego) chip with an Asus A8N-SLi Premium Motherboard and 1Gb of Corsair RAM. Any feedback on this would be appreciated (an alternate but just as good video card that will work or a comparable intel system).

It would be good if there is a way of getting the Matrox card to work in this system but I doubt thats possible. Hopefully you experts can give me some good advice.

Many thanks, Richard

Richard

harlequin
harlequin's picture
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Joined: Aug 16 2000
rjpobrien wrote:
Hi,

More info on this would be really appreciated. I am going to be getting a new computer soon and want to add a new video editing card soon after. The RT.X100 seems the obvious choice but according to the Matrox website this will not work with an nForce 4 chipset. The system I am looking at is an AMD 64bit 3700+ (San Diego) chip with an Asus A8N-SLi Premium Motherboard and 1Gb of Corsair RAM. Any feedback on this would be appreciated (an alternate but just as good video card that will work or a comparable intel system).

It would be good if there is a way of getting the Matrox card to work in this system but I doubt thats possible. Hopefully you experts can give me some good advice.

Many thanks, Richard

I would suggest you look at the systems the 'good' system builders are making.

i.e. take a look at the details for a DVC machine.

heres one example

Intel 925XECV2LK (OEM) 925 chipset motherboard, built-in gigabit LAN, firewire, audio, 2 x SATA ports, 2 x ATA
2x 512MB DDR2 400 RAM
3.2Ghz LGA775 processor for use with 925 chipset motherboards
80GB Hitachi EIDE 7200RPM UDMA (May format around 8% smaller)
250GB SATA Hitachi 7200 RPM hard drive with 8MB cache
Gigabyte PCX6600 256MB Nvidia PCI express graphic card
Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro Collection Includes; the RT.X100 Xtreme hardware, Matrox X.tools software, Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5, Adobe Encore DVD 1.5, Adobe Audition 1.5, Adobe After Effects 6.5 standard
Pioneer 109 DVD writer DVD-R/+R 16x, DVD-RW/+RW 4x, Dual Layer DVD+R/-R, 4x, CD-R 32x
Basic Pair Standard Speakers
17" TFT Samtron black and silver SM73B 1280 x 1024 screen
400W+ Standard Power Supply Unit
Matrix 5619+ Aluminium Case
Norton Anti-Virus 2005 (Recommended)
Windows XP Professional
56K PCI Internal Voice Fax Modem
PC Anywhere OEM (V11)
3.5" Floppy Drive
2x Extra Cooling Fan
Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse USB
Mouse Mat
Windows Keyboard Standard

Gary MacKenzie

sepulce@hotmail.com ( an account only used for forum messages )

Thinkserver TS140 , 750ti Graphics card  & LG 27" uws led backlight , Edius 8

Humax Foxsat HD Pvr / Humax Fox T2 dvbt

rjpobrien
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Joined: Jul 30 2005
Thanks

Ok, thanks for the advice.

Richard

Richard