SSD, RAM or Graphic Card For Render

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by zmsakarya, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. zmsakarya, Jan 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014

    zmsakarya macrumors member

    zmsakarya

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Turkey
    #1
    Hello,
    I've some questions, could you help?
    Computer
    Mac Pro Mid 2103, 2x2.4GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon (Mid 2013) 32GB 1333 Mhz DDR3 ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB
    Job
    1. Every day 2 or 3 1 hour length video in FcpX (10), 1-2 animation in After Effects
    I put intro+animation+video (.mov) in my project and render them by FcpX
    Now,
    I want to speed up espically my After Effects render time which is now 5-6 hours.
    what must i do?
    Adding 8x2 Ram, adding Graphic card and buying Samsung Pro 256 GB SSD.
    Could you please explain as, which of this upgrades speed up render time as what percent?

    ** My Graphic Card is Ati Radeon 5770, the cheapist way for me Ati Radeon 5870. Will this be enough or Nvidia Quadro -it is not suitable as price for me-?
     
  2. zmsakarya, Jan 10, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014

    zmsakarya thread starter macrumors member

    zmsakarya

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Turkey
    #2
    Hi,
    Here is my usage's while rendering, could you comment please... Here is After effects is running; FcpX is idle but opened. And i took 1-2 render before these tusks.
    When i want to import a video, my second internal HDD freeze a short while, does not respond. When i want to change the desktop, it freezes for 1-2 second too.

    CPU Usage
    [​IMG]

    Disk Usage
    [​IMG]

    Memory Usage
    [​IMG]
     
  3. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #3
    When you're talking about rendering in After Effects, I'm assuming you're referring to the final render of the comp you do through the render queue. Upgrading all of those components will certainly improve your workflow, but unfortunately rendering mostly comes down to the CPUs.

    After Effects does take advantage of CUDA in Nvidia GPUs, but that's still pretty much limited to its raytracing engine which you may not even use.
     
  4. zmsakarya thread starter macrumors member

    zmsakarya

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Turkey
    #4
    Order of The HDD and Upgrading Parts

    Thanks for your reply. i was reading many articles...
    Now, i put upgrading graphic card to the second plan. i decided as;

    1.Hard Disks
    i. SSD for main system
    ii. RAİD 0 For footage (two HDD 7200 RPM)
    iii. 7200 RPM WD Red as scratch disk (if scratch means, disk for render)

    2. Extra Kingston 2x8 GB 1333 Mhz RAM

    3. if i have money later. Graphic Card. Probably Ati Radeon 5870. Maybe Nvidia Quadro 4000 -but it is so expensive in my country-

    Upgrading CPU's costs so so much for me now. Do you think this will shorten my render time about %20...
    Thanks...
     
  5. RCAFBrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #5
    While I am by no means an expert in optimizing a system for what you are doing and know little about AE, it would seem to me from the screenshots that your HDD is the choke point since neither CPU or memory are maxed out (assuming that AE can take advantage of all those cores). This is the case for FCPX projects my son does on his iMac where rendering ProRes seems to be limited by the I/O speed of his HDD but transcoding to smaller file size for sharing using Handbrake just simply flies!

    Adding an SSD for OS and apps will make booting your computer and opening the apps very nice but I am not convinced it will do much for render times; perhaps you should consider using the SSD for scratch.

    Perhaps someone with a little more experience than I can chime in?

    Cheers
     
  6. zmsakarya, Jan 13, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014

    zmsakarya thread starter macrumors member

    zmsakarya

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Turkey
    #6
    Thank for your reply.
    You said that 'SSD for scratch'
    Should i use my disks like this?
    256 gb SSD: Event folder, Profect Folder and render destination (FcpX or After Effects)
    7200 RPM HD: For footage
    WD velociraptor (10.000 RPM): For system

    thanks...

    Far is today, not tomorrow...
     
  7. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #7
    Im curious, too what really influences rendering time.

    Ive rendered on my mac mini with 4gb of ram and a hdd.
    Compared to my rmbp with 8gb and 256ssd there doesnt seem to be any real difference.
    I think rendering is done by the cpu and gpu.
    Seems Fcp has a software glitch where it tries to do all the rendering in the ram.
    If you stop and restart this glitch gets fixed and rendering is fast.
    This supposedly also works on a macbook air with 4gb of ram.

    What are other peoples experiences. Can anyone explain the technical side?
     
  8. ManhattanBeach macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #8
    I'm in pretty much the exact same boat - debating upgrading my hard drive to SSD or from my current 4gb ram to 8gb (or 16gb).

    quicker rendering would be oh so nice.
     
  9. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #9
    In that case always get the ssd.
     
  10. mBox macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2002
    #10
    Sometimes its not about what you have or dont have for machine power.
    In most cases its your workflow and dependent on Project.
    If you work with 4K resolution digital files and spend a great deal in AE using compositing (masking areas) and layering a few other 4K clips then apply a huge blur plug-in on top off all that plus all the little plug-ins youve applied on each sub layer then yes you will need a powerful machine.
    But if you plan out your workflow and pre-render layers and re-use as layers you might save a ton of time.
    I teach After Effects (and Maya, FCPX. Premiere, Avid...) and I see this happen with students where they just throw everything in one single comp.
     
  11. salacious macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #11
    So pre-rendering vs rendering at the end produces quicker results in overal time or just a quicker export at the end but still the same time overall?
     
  12. mBox macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2002
    #12
    Again depends on your workflow.

    this holds true with templated projects in most cases.
     
  13. adamneer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #13
    4 GB RAM is useable, but basically the bare minimum for any modern video application. I suggest anyone working with only 4gb to upgrade to a minimum of 8gb (preferably 16gb). Next, an SSD is the drive you would want your applications (and system) installed on. If only using 1 drive, an SSD can also be used for cacheing/scratch disk, since it won't suffer from seek lags and they are optimal for cache databases. Another major performance factor is whether you are utilizing multiple fast disks or SSDs throughout your workflow. Ideally, your application, media files, project files, cache/scratch, and your rendering output folder will reside on separate drives. You don't want the application trying to simultaneously access media/project information while writing to an output file. Again, this is less of an issue if you are working off a large enough SSD that you can hold (at least temporarily) your media and output. At a minimum though, you want to have your project, media and cache/scratch on one drive, no slower than 7200rpm and another drive to render to, again no slower than 7200rpm. Adobe has a fairly handy info sheet on their website that gives examples of optimal drive configurations, depending on the number of drives you have.

    As far as GPUs go, everything I've heard has suggested that they do not effect final rendering nearly as much as you'd like them to. They can greatly improve realtime playback but for some reason, this is not as well translated to media encoding.

    Rendering and/or encoding relies very heavily on the processors. I see from the screenshots above that you've got 400% processor utilization during your render, which suggests at least 4 cores are being used. But your system sounds like it has 12 total cores. If you have "render multiple frames simultaneously" turned on in After Effects preferences, you should be able to allocate more cores to your rendering, which will provide a significant speed boost. If you haven't used this feature before, it will take a long time to initialize during your first render afterwards, but from then on it will be much much quicker.

    Lastly, even if you have nothing going on in FCP while you are rendering, you really should quit out of it. You want as little processes running in the background as possible. There is really no reason to have any other programs open during a render anyway, especially if you are concerned with render speed.


    One final thought - if your video is an hour long, but only has a few minutes, or even seconds worth of actual After Effects compositions, I strongly recommend you render just the AE comps separately using the animation codec with alpha channel enabled and then take those "prerenders" into your editing application to create your final mix down. Breaking your rendering up into smaller bits can take hours off rendering times. You never want to have a giant comp with hundreds of sub comps that your processor has to go back into to compile everything all at once.
     
  14. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #14
    This seems to be very good explanation.
    So the thing that really effects rendering is the cpu.
    Thats what i think, too.
     
  15. zmsakarya, Jan 25, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014

    zmsakarya thread starter macrumors member

    zmsakarya

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Turkey
    #15
    SSD and HD Drive, Render

    First of all, thanks for you post, it helps me too much.

    My situation about drives is like this:
    i am rendering with afters effects and commonly Fcpx (1 hour videos).
    i have;
    7.200 rpm WD Red 3 TB for my media (footage)
    10.000 rpm WD 500 gb
    256 GB Samsung Pro
    Now, how must i organize the hard drives? in many articles i read SSD as scratch but in a video Larry Jordan says SSD for system. i confused...

    1. Way
    WD 10.000 rpm for iOS
    256 GB SSD as Scratch
    or
    2. Way
    WD 10.000 rpm as Scratch
    256 GB SSD for iOS
    Thanks...
     
  16. adamneer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #16
    its ok to have your cache and programs/system installed on the same SSD because there is no seek latency. however, set up a special folder for your cache that is easily accessible and not buried under 15 hidden folders like the one Adobe defaults to. Cache is temporary storage and you will want to be able to delete it when you finish a project because it fills up a drive quickly and will be automatically rebuilt the next time you open the project anyway, so its safe to delete.


    http://www.adobe.com/content/dam/Ad...dfs/Adobe-Hardware-Performance-Whitepaper.pdf

    have a good read through this link for some very useful info on what hardware optimizations you can utilize in your current workflow.
     
  17. zmsakarya thread starter macrumors member

    zmsakarya

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Turkey
    #17
    Thank you. Everyday, i am learning... i will read the articles at the link. Thanks...
     
  18. Chad3eleven macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    #18
    You may want to read up more on the formats/file types and how they effect your renders.

    Example.. If you are using very hi res. stills (6000px x 4000px) and are scaling them down to 20%.. that is a big render for AE.. what I do is hop over to photoshop, scale down an image, save it, then bring it back to AE. This saves time.

    I may have missed it, but what format are you rendering you effects to? Lossless? Quicktime with Apple Pro res 422?

    Dont waste time with Lossless.. unless you fully understand where and when you need it.


    Also, are you rendering using the multi processing option? Sometimes that helps, and sometimes it doesnt. And look into your memory settings.. if you need to use your machine while AE is rendering, then you may need to leave a few more gbs of ram open for other programs.

    And regarding workflow, you may want to invest some time into pre comping/pre rendering some assets, and re importing them into a project.

    Ex. Lets say you created some animated background for graphics, and you are always reusing the same look for several comps.. Every time AE has to render that shot, it has to not only recalculate the background you made, but also any other animation that is going on. If you simply render just the background first (as an image sequence, quicktime, etc) and re import, it will save resources and let AE focus on rendering other parts.

    Certain effects are heavier then others when it comes to rendering. If you are bluring objects, dont use gaussian, use fast blur (unless you have a specific look you need to achieve) Dont use glow if a duplicated layer with a blur and an add blend mode can work.

    As for upgrades, I'd get some more memory, then an SSD for your main programs (prob need a 256gb at least) then save your pennies for a gpu.

    ----------

    I have an SSD for my main OS and programs, a 1TB 7200 for caches (my Nuke cache is on my SSD) and our footage is on a Fibre network.

    For you I would get that footage on that Raptor, OS and programs on the SSD.. Eventually you can get another SSD for a cache but that will probably be overkill and not utilized for you (we have VFX guys who have SSD raids in their rigs, but they do 3D compositing using Maya and Nuke at 4k resolutions.. they need it

    Nvidia cards work best for Adobe.. I had to switch my rig (that has an SSD and Nvidia GTX 470) to a 7200rpm and ATI 5770, and it killed me.. Premiere was so as hell..

    Once back to my current rig everything flew.

    2 x 2.4 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon, 20 GB Ram, 256 SSD, 2x1TB HDD, GTX 470
     
  19. zmsakarya thread starter macrumors member

    zmsakarya

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Turkey
    #19
    Thanks. I were rendering to loseless, then reverting it to 720p. I'll render to 720p directly.

    I do the job and then let it render through the night. So multi process is good for me.

    I am thinking of GPU. But i also have ATI Radeon 5770. And i don't think ATI 5780 will differ much, i must buy a Quadro 4000. But lots lots of pennies...
    Does 5770 nad quadro differs much?

    SSD: System + Media Cache
    7.200 RPM: My footage drive
    10.000 RPM: Scracth Drive + Captured Media

    Why do you prefer to take footage to scracth disk?

    Thank you...
     
  20. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #20
    I think you're confusing resolution and codec. Unless "720p" is a preset you're referring to.

    720 is the resolution (1280x720) and the codec is essentially the format of the file. So you can export your file at 720p in a number of different codecs. What you will want to do is export your After Effects comps in the same resolution and codec that you're editing in FCPX.

    Lossless, according to the After Effects preset at least, uses the Animation codec and produces very large file sizes. So unless you need an alpha channel, or truly need lossless quality, then you should just render out to something like ProRes instead.
     
  21. Chad3eleven macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    #21
    Yeah dont render lossless, that right there can save you time.

    You should be rendering to the same format as your footage in FCP.. so there wont be any rendering needed once you drop your AE rendering FCP.

    Im confused, you have footage, and then captured footage? Get all of your media onto one drive. I'm no expert but when you have multiple drives with footage on it, and your rig has to read and write from those drives it puts strain on the hard drive controllers..

    If anything, raid your drives together for even more speed.

    My media is on a fibre network.. and my Adobe Premiere renders/sratch/previews are written to that same network (so when a project is opened in another edit suite all the renders are there)

    I store my AE/Mocha/Nuke caches locally on my machine, on my SSD. Weekly I clean out the temp folders as it adds up.

    For you.. again.. SSD for your OS and programs. Move your footage onto the raptor, and use the other drive for overflow or cache.... again.. you need to just do tests with different setups to see what is optimal for your situation.
     
  22. zmsakarya thread starter macrumors member

    zmsakarya

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Turkey
    #22
    Ok, sorry. i know codec and resolution. But you pointed to a good subject. i am rendering 1280x720 and H.264. i render H.264 because my videos (renders) are uploading to youtube and they must be opening at different players as windows media player or vlc or ipod's etc.
    if i render them in proRess codec is this be okey for all devices or is it special for mostly to apple's?

    i Learned this (footage on one drive; and rendered files to another) from Larry Jordan's video's. He basicly says that 'Do not put footage and render work on one drive. He prefers 3 drives for renderind and editing. i will try your paln hopefully.
    Thanks for answers.
     
  23. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #23
    There's a bunch of discussion on this subject but ProRes is a high quality "virtually lossless" codec from Apple that is great for editing. That's why a lot of FCP editors use it. H.264, on the other hand, is really more of a delivery codec, meaning that it's heavily compressed and not ideal for editing.

    Now of course recent versions of NLEs are able to edit h.264 relatively smoothly. And it really only recently became necessary to do so because of the DSLR filmmaking revolution. They generally capture video to h.264 in camera. But that doesn't discard the fact that it really isn't an ideal editing codec, for a variety of reasons.

    So you'll have to answer a few questions for us to gauge your workflow. What is the format of your raw footage? What codec and resolution are you editing in, in Final Cut? I wouldn't suggest rendering to h.264 out of After Effects, when you're ultimately going to compress everything again for your final output from FCPX.
     
  24. zmsakarya thread starter macrumors member

    zmsakarya

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Turkey
    #24
    My raw footage:
    Dimensions 1920x1980
    Codecs: Timecode, H.264, Linaer PCM
    Color Profile: 1-1-1
    Kind: QuickTime movie (.mov)

    i record my lessons on Sony Nex EA50 nad take them out with ClipWarp (as you know this software only chenge the container). My 1 hour long lessos is about 8 gig.

    And i render my after effects intro
    Dimensions 1280x720
    Codecs: Timecode, H.264
    Color Profile: 1-1-1
    Kind: QuickTime movie (.mov)

    My Final render is
    Dimensions 1280x720
    Codecs: H.264, AAC
    Color Profile: 1-1-1
    Container: .mp4

    After all, when i render finally with fcpX my output is about 3-4 gig. i again render with handbrake or aimersoft, to get it to 1 gigs. is this true or could i do it with compressor?

    Thanks for all help...
     
  25. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #25
    Since I don't actually use FCPX, feel free to take the following with again of salt. I still maintain that h264 is better used as a delivery codec only. If I were you I would have FCPX optimize your video (to ProRes, or Proxy if you want to save drive space). I would create your graphics in AE at 1920x1080 and render them as ProRes (unless you need an alpha channel). I understand that your final output will be 720, but I'm not sure why you would render out of AE to 720 when you have a 1080 timeline in FCPX. Just keep everything the same until your final render. So once you've brought your AE comps into your FCPX timeline, the you can render out to your final 720 h264 file. I'm not exactly sure how FCPX's export options go, but Compressor probably would give you more control over all the parameters.
     

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