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    Advice on GPU choice for Vegas 10 or 12
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    5 years back I bought a Panasonic HMC-150 as a hobbyist, mainly to film my kids sports. (Main goal was to cut up hightlight reels of them or their teams. I film everything at 720/60p in the pipe dream I could even create some slowmotion hightlights someday. ) But love videotaping, so thought I'd go from that to some more ambitious hobby projects.

    I learned the hard way how naive I was, and basically 5 years later I've got dozens of hours of AVCHD footage that I never was able to edit.

    At the time I bought a top end, state of the art Vaio-all-in-one PC (even had a blu-ray burner) that the sony salesepeople swore was able to edit video. I then bought Sony Vegas 8 (specifically because it was designed to handle AVCHD.)

    But when I tried to start my highlight-reel creations, the rendered product always had a very pronounced stutter on some of the clips which comprised the total output. (Render times were also ridiculously long, which made it worse to discover the stutter.) I got super frustrated and quit trying for a couple years. Then I got remotivated and based on some advice I upgraded my duo-core PC to 4gb Ram and Windows 7 64-bit to help the stutter. I also updated to Vegas 10 64bit, but still got the stutter so I quit again.

    NOW HERE'S MY DECISION, AND ANY ADVICE IS GREATLY APPRECIATED.

    I'm ready to buy a new PC, and want to choose wisely this time. I've narrowed it down to 2 choices, both I7-3770 intel chips with blu-ray writers. One is custom built by Dell, and one is off the shelf and $300 cheaper. Both have 16 GB Ram, (slightly different speeds, 1600 v 1333)

    The choice comes down to GPU. The dell has a Nvidia GTX 660 (with 990 cuda cores) and the stock PC has a GT630 (96).

    Soooooooooo......

    Does the GPU "acceleration" of Vegas help with rendering the simple projects I work on?

    If not, I guess I get the stock PC and stick with Vegas 10.

    If so, Vegas 10 says it can use Cuda cores of the GPU, but needs the "sony AVC plug in", which I probably don't have. So does that mean if I get the Dell, I'll probably also need to upgrade to Vegas 12?

    Finally, is it possible I go through all this and improve my render times, but still get stuck with my stutter? Which means it probably has something to do with my 60p format choice all along (and I just need to abandon that and film in 24p)?

    Thanks again.




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    welcome to the forum,

    just to make sure the stuttering is cause by an under-powered computer. just as a test, can you use a video player that displays live information while the video is played back. quicktime player on windows for example, press <Ctrl+i>, it's 'playing fps' and see if it matches the video fps or is it stuttering and not keeping up.

    if it's not stable at the native video fps, you have a couple of choices.

    choosing a less cpu intensive codec for the output. like xvid, divx, dnxhd, ...etc.
    rendering a new video file with half the fps number.
    rendering a new video file with half the resolution.

    until you get the same playing fps to playback correctly and make sure you like the motion characteristic of the video file.

    if you are satisfied with any of the results, there are ways to make the render times a bit faster. and you can choose a less cpu intensive for the final output that would playback and render a bit faster.

    as for the gpu, you do not have to use sony avc at all, there are a lot of video codecs that will render a lot faster than h.264 without the help of the gpu.

    you mentioned blu ray drives a few times, do you plan on making bluray discs that can playback on a bluray player connected to a tv?


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    PJS, with caveat that I am not a computer expert (and you may be), my learning curve confirmed the importance of system configuration (GPU, CPU, RAM and even down to drivers you use) given the computing demands of editing high definition. It sounds like you have done a lot of research already and you are wise to pay attention to the GPU, but I would suggest finding a Vegas Forum and asking people on that forum for system recommendations if Vegas does not have a web page that shows that. I also recommend talking to someone in Vegas technical support (not sales) even if you have to pay for that support, and get their system recommendations. My experience comes from speccing computer for Avid Media Composer so I don't have specific Vegas sources for you. One other helpful thing I did was Google video editing computer custom builders who also were authorized vendors for the editing software. I found their prices for computers could be quite competitive with the big general computer manufacturers, and they understood needs of video editing.


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    Amr, Those are great suggestions to trouble shoot or patch over the stuttering. So once I get the new PC, if I still have that problem I'll follow your advice. Although I'm spoiled with how easy AVCHD is, and how great 60p looks, so that will kill me.

    But what's your view on the PC choice?

    *******Do I buy the stock PC and rely on the speed of the top notch CPU to do all the work thru Vegas 10?

    Or do I spend another $450 (300 price diff + 150 needing to buy Vegas 12 now) to get the dell with the same CPU but better cuda GPU (and slightly faster memory)?*****


    Again, I'm just a hobbyist so if the first choice works well enough, then I'll save the money happily. If you tell me I absolutely need the best GPU acceleration, then I choose the second.


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    Thanks Dennis. I've tried to learn through looking at the custom builders sites, or by reading forums here and on Vegas sites. But finally I figured I just needed to ask the question directly and hope for an educated evaluation of my specific choice.

    Also, one of the problems with reading too many forums is it gets confusing. I've read on some forums that the better GPU's designed for gaming actualy don't help accelerate Vegas (or SLOWS it!), so it would kill me to spend the extra money for a better GPU, and then not even want to use the "acceleration" mode in vegas. Hence the specific focus of my question on the GPU rendering option that Vegas gives its users.


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    "you mentioned blu ray drives a few times, do you plan on making bluray discs that can playback on a bluray player connected to a tv?"

    Yes, I figured since I have HD footage I would burn Blu-ray disks for the kids on the team, or for my relatives. (Haven't gotten close to having the rendered videos needed to get to that step though.) I assume they would play them back on some device connected to a tv (bluray player, playstation, etc.) Is that nonsensical?


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    Quote Originally Posted by PJS_HMC150 View Post
    Thanks Dennis. I've tried to learn through looking at the custom builders sites, or by reading forums here and on Vegas sites. But finally I figured I just needed to ask the question directly and hope for an educated evaluation of my specific choice.

    Also, one of the problems with reading too many forums is it gets confusing. I've read on some forums that the better GPU's designed for gaming actualy don't help accelerate Vegas (or SLOWS it!), so it would kill me to spend the extra money for a better GPU, and then not even want to use the "acceleration" mode in vegas. Hence the specific focus of my question on the GPU rendering option that Vegas gives its users.
    PJS, Given all your efforts to date it seems a telephone conversation with Vegas tech service person is your best bet--it may mean calling Vegas sales and telling them you want to buy Vegas 12 and have them direct you to tech service source for computer configuration--tell them you can't buy Vegas if you can't get help for configuring a computer. If you are not highly skilled video editor and computer builder combined you are right that you need a "qualified" system. Otherwise when you have problems and need tech service from whatever source you will often hear "your system is not qualified/capable to do AVCHD editing." Buying the right system will eliminate that variable from problem solving. Good luck, Dennis


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    Hi PJS,

    Not a Vegas user, nor do I have a 720p60 capable camera, but a few questions -

    1) Where did you see the stutter - in Vegas preview, or some type of delivery output? For instance on final DVD?

    2) Were you editing in a 720p60 project? I believe that if you want to take advantage of the 60p for slow motion, then you would be editing in a different frame rate, such as 30p and then you could achieve 50% slow mo with perfect fluid motion. Not sure about delivery methods for 60p anyway...for DVD, that will be 29.97 interlaced, so not delivering 60p in that case.

    3) You mentioned the possibility of switching to 24p shooting and I would caution you against that. Nice for "film makers" or wedding videographers going for a certain "film look", not good for everyday shooting and especially sports. The low frame rate makes for very choppy movement, especially during pans. Consider 1080i or 720p30 as alternatives.

    Thanks

    Jeff Pulera
    Safe Harbor


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    PJS. I had talked to Safe Harbor to build an Avid editing machine for me and they were very helpful (assuming Jeff Pulera is with that Wisconsin company that builds computers). If they also build computers for Vegas they could maybe build you a computer. I bought my GPU card from VideoGuys (1-800-323-2325) who also sell video editing software and Gary (I think it was) was also helpful in speccing out a machine at least for Avid Media Composer. Dennis


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    if the cpu comes with intel hd 4000, don't get any gpu for this time around and get the gpu in your next buy, you won't miss it much in vegas.

    as SHARBOR mentioned, if you were shooting 60p for slow motion, use a blu-ray template with 30p.

    you won't get playback issues on the blu ray player, it's designed specifically to playback blu ray discs.


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