Will SSDs help me process m2v's faster?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Keebler, May 26, 2011.

  1. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    #1
    Hi folks,

    Ok. So I'm using a quad 2.66 2009 MP.

    I have the main HD (same one came with the system). I have 2 other 1 TB drives in a Raid and another by itself (drive B)

    I usually capture footage in FCP to the Raided drives then after brief editing, I output an non-self contained file to drive B then using Bitvice (b/c compressor sucks terribly), I create an m2v and ac3 file to Drive B.

    The bottleneck is still Bitvice outputting as it takes around 1 hour for a 2 hour SD file to compress. Bitvice utilizes all cores without jumping through hoops so that part is as maxed out as I could get (without getting a MP with more cores).

    If I captured to 1 SSD then output to another SSD drive, would I see increased processing times??? Or maybe keep the Raided drives, capture to those then output to 1 SSD drive? If so, I guess I'd have to know what the increased times would be to justify the cost of adding SSDs. I could always use the current HDs in an external JBOD box - I always need space it seems!


    Thoughts?

    Cheers,
    Keebler
     
  2. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #2
    No.
     
  3. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

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  4. xStep macrumors 68000

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  5. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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  6. xStep macrumors 68000

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    #6
    But why do you say no?
     
  7. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #7
    because the HDD is not the bottleneck, the processor is...
     
  8. xStep macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Based on Keebler's post I'd agree, but a simple NO doesn't say much. Certainly the CPUs spend some time with the drive IO and that could be investigated further.
     
  9. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #9
    The OP already knows the answer. His process is limited by CPUs (or efficiency of the software) not IO.

    Simple rules of thumb:
    • CPU for rendering, compressing and real-time effects (although this whole GPU fandangled stuff is throwing that all to hell)
    • IO for actually getting your footage to play smoothly (e.g. large frame sizes, or small frame sizes + multiple streams)
    • RAM: you always need more. As much as your OS + running apps together can use. Keeps the whole juggling act in the air, not shuffling back and forth from HDD to RAM.

    There is some interdependency amongst different subsystems of your Mac, but given that a lot of our time spent "working" is probably spent staring out the window thinking about lunch, Angry Birds, or the girl down the hall (who may actually be an angry bird we want to take to lunch), getting a system to perform one task 10% faster doesn't really make a whole lot of difference to the average workflow. Sometimes it's even cheaper to buy a second system and offload tasks to it.

    The brevity of my answer reflected my minimalist approach that day. In addition, his question posed in the body was phrased ambiguously with reference to the title: If I captured to 1 SSD then output to another SSD drive, would I see increased processing times???
    Pretty sure he meant "decreased" processing times (or increased speed), however to avoid any ambiguity in the answer I took the approach of quoting his title and then answering it as directly and succinctly as I could.

    BTW, "back story" means something different to what I think you think it means.

    Anyway, it's late here and I have an early start. Time for bed, said Zebedee.
     
  10. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #10
    you are correct - sorry for the ambiguity! :)

    I indeed meant increased speed and decreased processing time. ie. i want my files to finish faster...pure and simple.

    For the moment, I'm contemplating a multi-core hackintosh specifically to process m2vs for DVD. I'll wait until WWDC in a few weeks to see if any new mac pros are released, but given that I'll want a new system to only process these files, it might be more cost effective to build a hackintosh.
    I have a G4, G5, 2006 MP and a 2009 MP to do the capturing / editing. From that point of view, I'm very efficient at multi-tasking multiple captures. It's the processing time which is slowing me down.

    Yes, I can and do run files overnight or while I'm working on another machine, but:

    1. i'm spending more money on energy running my 09MP overnight

    2. still taking longer to process files period. Imagine a client handing me a pile of tapes and instead of a week turnaround, how about a day or 2? Quick service means: 1. good customer service b/c I'll be able to maintain my quality encodes and solid product and 2. fast turnaround. I know folks have been impressed with next day service so same day would be great. Not always necessary for ppl, but some ppl do leave things to the last minute.

    That all means I get paid faster and (theoretically), churn more business through.

    I saw an increase in productivity going from my 06MP to the 09 so if I can experience the same increase, I'll be a happy camper.

    Cheers,
    Keebler
     
  11. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #11
    You say you don't like Compressor, but with that many Macs I think it'd be worth your while to see if you can get it working well because of it's ability to compress across networked machines.

    Just a thought, based on no experience whatsoever.
     
  12. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #12
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Hi martin

    That's why I don't like it - it just won't work for me. I tried distributed computing to no avail. I shouldn't say that - I should say, when it works, I can get 1 file to work but trying more than 1 is futile (for me anyways)

    I have tickets issued with apple on it. It's ridiculous actually :(.

    Bitvice is a third party encoder and it recognizes all cores no problem. It, however, doesn't have distributed computing. Too bad bc it would probably work! :)
     
  13. Drag'nGT macrumors 68000

    Drag'nGT

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    #13
    I'm going to show my little understanding of this but it seems that the Macworld article backs up the idea that the ssd will improve video processing time. With apps like the new Final Cut Pro, Aperture and the Adobe line... short of the faster cpu and more ram, how much of the rendering task is handed off to the gpu vs the cpu and then it's final product being written back to the ssd? Doesn't the gpu play a significant role in this as well?

    I'm in the same boat as the OP. Finding the photo/video bottle neck.
     
  14. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #14
    No it doesn't. Couple of things, first: the article is badly written, but I'm not sure who is at fault for the most egregious error. What's wrong with it? The article originally appeared in Computerworld where no mention is made of any Macbook Pro. The system is installed in a Mac Pro. Kinda different... I'm not sure where the error crept in but the fact that it remains on the MW article even after readers have expressed confusion beggars belief. Perhaps MacWorld has hired MacNN's proofreaders.

    Secondly, the author uses the phrase "video processing" as if it means something, but it's a fairly ambiguous term IYAM. Ingesting? Editing? Compressing?

    What they actually mean in the article is that the PCI cards have sped up ingesting and enabled playback of their 4k video.
    For ingesting and playback, IO is where the bottleneck s. Chucking chips, cores, RAM or GPUs won't help if your HD can't feed the data in.

    Just like this guy said:
    IO. Not just a Jovian moon. :D

    No-one except Randy knows what FCP X is/isn't capable of. Premiere? Dunno. Maybe the Premiere users could chime in. Safe to say that GPUs will play an increasingly important role in our line of work/play, especially in real-time playback without having to render (although it looks like FCP X background renders, so that muddies the waters even more) and possibly final renders, though will that be limited to h.264 files? The OP is making m2v video so it mightn't even help him.
     
  15. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #15
    At this point, those with business experience who know something about money and customers might say something like "pay someone to set it up right, because it will make you money and you won't waste time futzing with it".

    I work for the government so I know little about customer satisfaction and less about money.
     
  16. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #16
    Your last line is fantastic :)

    I've thought about paying someone, but even the Final Cut support experts were confused. I was doing everything right. In essence, I'm paying Apple for the hardware and software (which is theirs) and won't work :) lol

    I'm waiting until next week or so to see if new Mac Pros are forthcoming then will decide. I'm very close on deciding that a 6, 8 or 12 core hackintosh is the way to go.

    I know DVDs may be on the way out, but older clients are using them now and I tried explaining the benefits of a streaming h.264 file to a client and they were dumbfounded...like I was speaking a foreign language. That's all fine...everyone is different - just means i need to keep all delivery options available.

    Cheers,
    Keebler
     
  17. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #17
    From what little I know of Compressor, it likes everything to be the same: OS, Compressor, QuickTime and Q Master thingy. If anything's out, it chucks a wobbly.

    As for streaming video (and remember I'm not a business guy) I'd offer a streaming service, not just files. Lots of CDNs popping up these days.

    I'm on a corporate intranet and I'm best buds with the web guys/gals (hey, I created the intranet they're working on. On my own. :) ) so I can just stream it whenever I can, but DVDs still get a big go. I have an 8-stack Evocept duplicator, a Primera disc printer and a thousand blanks sitting next to me, so yeah I get what you mean. For example, I have an order for 65 DVDs (and it costs them money, not me) that are to be distributed across our district to people who have access to our intranet. Every time I mention intranet to this particular guy, I get every excuse under the sun: no time, no access to PCs, too hard... Yep, I get what you mean.
     
  18. reel2reel, Jun 2, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011

    reel2reel macrumors 6502a

    reel2reel

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    #18
    Compressor distributed processing works fine for me and all the machines I work on. Sometimes QMaster gets corrupted, though, and requires a reinstall. Other than that, you need to take some time to optimize your settings. My advice is to restrict processing to the cores on your own workstation unless you've got dedicated machines with fast i/o on the network. Otherwise, you'll end up slowing your processing to a crawl.

    Also, your quicktime movies *have to be* self-contained in order to utilize the multi-core processing. A reference movie will not work.

    Don't believe the hype! A lot of this noise comes from people who aren't actually working and making a living with this stuff. I can tell you 100% that DVD's are still a normal, crucial part of workflow if you're sending out screeners, using transcribers, meeting delivery spec requirements, etc, etc. It's a proven format that works for a lot of people. Just because it isn't "cool" to the kids means squat.

    Also, don't say Compressor sucks because you're not sure how to use it. It's a powerful app that's solid as a rock. But it definitely takes some getting used to.
     

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