Latest post Fri, Dec 1 2017 10:39 PM by pierreh. 8 replies.
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  • Fri, Jul 7 2017 11:32 PM

    VRAM in MC 8.8

    I'm moving up to v8.8 and will be getting a new or refurbished 27 iMac system at the same time. I'm looking at i7 quads w/ 24-32 gb RAM, but have read how Avid uses CPU/GPU differently and am a bit confused about how Radeon VRAM affects my editing priorities, which are:

    1. Snappy interface w/DNXHD36 or 115 media (already transcoded by someone else).

    2. Occasional 3-5 layer VFX or RTAS plugins, prefereably real time.

    3. Occasional H264 or MOV export (either through Avid, MPEGStreamclip or Compressor)

    4. Minimal transcoding or consolidating

    Disregarding the affect of networked vs local storage, how does VRAM amount help these tasks (i.e. 2 vs 4 vs 8 gb)? And does chip speed really matter (ie 3.5 vs 4.0 vs 4.2) for my purposes?

    Thanks!

    iMac 2015 4.0 quad, 32gb RAM, AMD 2 gb VRAM, BM Mini Monitor, OS 10.12.6, MC2018.8 [view my complete system specs]

    Mac Pro 8-core 2.8GHz Intel Xeon, 10GB RAM, 8800GT, Mojo-SDI, Startech 3port Firewire pci express card, Atto Celerity FC-41ES, Keyspan usb twin serial adapter

  • Sun, Jul 9 2017 6:51 PM In reply to

    Re: VRAM in MC 8.8

    Bump...
    To simplify my question, does Avid use the video card much for the basic type of editing I listed? Would it make a big difference whether the Radeon card had 2, 4 or 8 gb of vram?

    iMac 2015 4.0 quad, 32gb RAM, AMD 2 gb VRAM, BM Mini Monitor, OS 10.12.6, MC2018.8 [view my complete system specs]

    Mac Pro 8-core 2.8GHz Intel Xeon, 10GB RAM, 8800GT, Mojo-SDI, Startech 3port Firewire pci express card, Atto Celerity FC-41ES, Keyspan usb twin serial adapter

  • Mon, Jul 10 2017 5:57 PM In reply to

    • Isaac T.
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    Re: VRAM in MC 8.8

    @Cattle Prod:

    The short answer? Media Composer only uses GPU acceleration on certain effects.

    I'll break down your initial post into two questions:

    1. What will a CPU improve?

    2. What will a GPU improve?

     

    Improved by Faster CPU:

    Cattle Prod:
    1. Snappy interface w/DNXHD36 or 115 media (already transcoded by someone else).

    2. Occasional 3-5 layer VFX or RTAS plugins, prefereably real time.

    Likely.

    Cattle Prod:
    3. Occasional H264 or MOV export (either through Avid, MPEGStreamclip or Compressor)

    4. Minimal transcoding or consolidating

    No. That is, it won't be minimal, a fast CPU paired with fast storage will make it faster!

    Note on #3: don't bother with H.264 exports directly from Media Composer. Buggy and slow. Compressor or MPEG Streamclip all the way. More on that later.

    Note on #4: transcoding and cosolidation are life in MC. Either upfront or in the end, if it's not DNxHD or DNxHR something, it's gonna bite you. (Just confirming what you already know, I'm sure.)

     

    Improved by Faster GPU:

    Only #2. And that's a "Maybe" depending on how Avid, Red Giant, Boris, or whoever wrote their effects plugins.

     

    As far as RAM, to Media Composer's credit, it doesn't seem to use more than 8 GB while editing. But if you're using After Effects, Photoshop, and/or DaVinci Resolve, you'll want as much RAM as possible since the iMac you're considering is no longer user-serviceable.

     

    Now a question about the big picture: what other apps do you use? Basically all other apps will benefit from a beefier GPU including:

    • Compressor (wowee wow, does it.)

    • Final Cut Pro X

    • DaVinci Resolve

    • Adobe CC 2015 apps

    If you're thinking of keepin' that Mac Pro in production, which I would, I recommend buying:

    • AMD RX 580 (Reference model) - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1339298-REG/msi_r5808_radeon_rx_580_8g.html

    Note: make sure it's the "Reference" model. The other cards will work, but they all block Slot 2, which is for...

    • OWC's Accelsior Q PCIe Storage - https://eshop.macsales.com/search/accelsior%20q

    • Possibly, more RAM - also from macsales.com.

    I've made all of these upgrades in my studio, and the improvements are real.

    Here's my thread on Twitter about my time with the AMD RX 580:

    https://twitter.com/ijterronez/status/867458547004657665

    If you're interested, this Mac consultant in Minneapolis, MN has the install instructions all laid out. Reputable and fairly simple, if you're comfortable working on your Mac Pro:

    https://www.theitsage.com/install-radeon-rx-480-gpu-macos-sierra/

     

    Summary:

    1. MC and GPU acceleration - only for certain effects. Check your vendor's site for more info.

    2. MC & a better CPU - maybe?

    3. Trancoding & Consolidation - minimal? No. But a faster CPU and high-speed storage will speed it up.

    4. Better GPU for all other apps - Yes.

     

    And if you don't feel comfortable with the AMD RX 580, you can get a video card with BIOS flashed for Apple hardware here:

    http://www.macvidcards.com

     

    Enjoy!

    Mid-2010 Mac Pro • 2018 MacBook Pro [view my complete system specs]

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    Writer: The Frame.io WORKFLOW Guide - http://workflow.frame.io/

     

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  • Tue, Jul 11 2017 4:51 PM In reply to

    Re: VRAM in MC 8.8

    I will note that the RED plugin does use the GPU for increased speed on transcodes, if you ever utilize that format.

    Symphony v2019 | OS 10.13.6 • Nitris DX • 12-core MacPro (Mid 2012) • 36 GB RAM • Facilis Terrablock 24EX [view my complete system specs]

    -- Kevin

  • Wed, Jul 12 2017 6:43 PM In reply to

    Re: VRAM in MC 8.8

    Thanks, great info!

    iMac 2015 4.0 quad, 32gb RAM, AMD 2 gb VRAM, BM Mini Monitor, OS 10.12.6, MC2018.8 [view my complete system specs]

    Mac Pro 8-core 2.8GHz Intel Xeon, 10GB RAM, 8800GT, Mojo-SDI, Startech 3port Firewire pci express card, Atto Celerity FC-41ES, Keyspan usb twin serial adapter

  • Wed, Nov 29 2017 9:48 AM In reply to

    • nigelad
    • Top 200 Contributor
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    Re: VRAM in MC 8.8

    Wow! Just came across this thread. Thanks Isaac and Kevin for really useful info :)

    Nigel

    ISIS 5500, MC 18.4 & PT 18.4 on Mac OS with BMD Mini-Monitors, an UltraStudio 4K and AJA T-taps. [view my complete system specs]
  • Wed, Nov 29 2017 10:48 AM In reply to

    Re: VRAM in MC 8.8

    I'd add to this useful thread that in my experience faster CPU cores give you more in MC than more cores.

    So if you have decide on more slower cores or less faster then I'd go the faster CPU cores. As noted MC is CPU dependent and that makes it more flexible on a rnage of hardware as it's not limited by GPU grunt. So you really need as fast a CPU as you can manage/afford.

    ACI Moderator. I'm not employed by Avid or work for them. I just do this in my spare time. Normally using the current Media Composer version on My... [view my complete system specs]

     

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  • Fri, Dec 1 2017 10:17 PM In reply to

    Re: VRAM in MC 8.8

    I'd add that a solidly built Hackintosh is another way to go -- you'd get the speed, cardslots, m2 storage, and the money you'd save can be put towards a wider range of super high performance graphics cards.

    Just sayin'

     

     

    Hackintosh OC'd 4.9 GHz i7-7700k, AMD Radeon Vega 64, 64 GB RAM, SSD, 8x Fibre to Terrablock, BM SDI 4k, currently running Mac OS 10.14.5. Symphony... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Dec 1 2017 10:39 PM In reply to

    • pierreh
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    Re: VRAM in MC 8.8

    Then you may as well get a PC, it'll be simpler to put it together than a Hackintosh, and you'll have better support. Also, it seems MC performs a bit better under Windows.

    - Work: MacPro 2010 3.46Ghz 12 Cores 48Gig mem, int and ext Raids, Mojo DX, 10.12.6 - Home: MacBookPro 2.5Ghz quad-i7, 16Gig Mem and SSD OSX 10.9.5 [view my complete system specs]
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