Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

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Malcolm Crabbe

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Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostSun Jun 25, 2017 11:54 pm

Hi,

I'm only a casual hobbyist when it comes to video, making short films for family events, holidays etc, but haven't been involved much as my camera were so outdated (minDV and 4:3, no wide screen let along HD !). However in order to get back into the hobby again I recently purchased a new 4K camera, although our TV is standard HD, so mostly record in 1080P HD.

I've downloaded the free version of Resolve 12.5 and am enjoying the learning curve, but on a few occasions I've found that the clips stutter when played both in preview or from the time line (these have been pre-processed from MTS format to one that Resolve can handle). My PC is around 8 years old. Based around an AMD FX6100 six core running at 3.3ghz, 12GB DDR3 dual channel RAM, 1GB ATI Radion 7700 GPU and a couple of 500GB 7200 rpm hard drives (one for OS and programs, the other data files inc video)

I'm on a limited budget (circa £100), so replacing the system with a new i7 etc is out of the question, but would like suggestions as to where best to spend that £100 to improve my resolve experience when editing my hobby videos. If I read the documentation, Resolve uses the GPU more than CPU, so would upgrading my graphics card to a 2GB card be the better option, or to use a dedicated 120GB SSD for video files. Or would my GPU and HDD be OK and replacing the RAM with 32GB of DDR3 1333 RAM (the max the CPU / mainboard supports) work out better.

I would welcome your suggestions.

Regards

Malcolm
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jun 26, 2017 1:42 am

MTS is a bad format for post. Transcode it to DNxHD and it'll run a lot more smoothly.
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jun 26, 2017 9:47 am

Marc Wielage wrote:MTS is a bad format for post. Transcode it to DNxHD and it'll run a lot more smoothly.


Malcolm Crabbe wrote:(these have been pre-processed from MTS format to one that Resolve can handle).


I already transcode as mentioned

Regards

Malcolm
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Steve Alexander

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jun 26, 2017 10:59 am

That's a tough question. Your GPU is definitely underpowered but you also suffer from slow storage and potentially insufficient RAM. If you could figure out where the bottleneck is when your system stutters that may help you decide. Monitor CPU, disk, RAM and GPU loading during use of Resolve to determine which is likely maxing out to help you decide.

BTW - what codec and associated bit rate are your proxies (ie the transcodes from MTS)?
Resolve Studio 14.1.0.018 | Win 10 Pro Creator | i7, K4200 (385.08), 24GB RAM
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jun 26, 2017 11:38 am

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the reply. I use ClipToolz v2 to trans-code from Panasonic MTS to DNxHD with 48k 24bit sound. A 115mb test clip in MTS format results in a 1.67 GB MOV file when trans-coded.

I'm running a scan of the hard drives, but as mentioned, using the performance monitor there was nothing obvious to a layman (ie the graphs for CPU / HDD were not flat lining at 100%).

I also tested the same clips in other applications, some of which accepted MTS file format, and that too would stutter if the preview was played before it built the cache / buffer, and even then it would randomly stutter.

Strange this is that last night I imported raw MTS clips, re-transcoded them and loaded the into a default project, accepting the change of timeline to match the frame rate of the clip (all as I've done before) and it played the clips just fine !

I know that in my case using Resolve is like the old proverb of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, but I do like the look and feel of the application and would love to keep using it, even if it's on an infrequent use basis.

Regards

Malcolm
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PeterMoretti

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jun 26, 2017 9:02 pm

Malcom, I would recommend using GPU Shark to monitor your GPU usage. Also, how much is your memory usage. I've read that Resolve uses a max of 16 Gig. I don't know if that is correct, but 12 Gig does seem a bit light. That said, if you aren't using close to 12 Gig, then adding more memory will do nothing for you.

I also think that you need to really familiarize yourself with all of the various project settings. It's entirely possible that there is one that will really help you out; and it sounds like you may have stumbled across one.

One trick that I do, which I've found quite helpful is to change the timeline resolution to a clean fraction of the original resolution. For example, if 1920 X 1080 isn't playing well, then change the timeline resolution to 960 X 540. This works *****MUCH***** better than choosing Proxy Mode, which in almost all cases does nothing and can actually slow down performance, LOL!
Resolve 14.1 Studio. GTX 970 with GeForce 385.69 driver. Desktop Video 10.9.7. Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0. Windows 10.
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Dermot Shane

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jun 26, 2017 10:09 pm

Resolve ram useage .jpg
Resolve ram useage .jpg (47.1 KiB) Viewed 2677 times
PeterMoretti wrote: I've read that Resolve uses a max of 16 Gig. I don't know if that is correct, but 12 Gig does seem a bit light.


Ram useage right this minuite... feature film near completion so alot of nodes etc, the entire timeline stiched together, timeline at DCi4k, sources are mainly UHD proRez from Alexa mini's + EXR vfx elements, a fair bit of OFX in use, mainly BCC & Paul Dore.. that's 41.2 gig with nothing else running and a good reason to have at the least 64 gig, my machines have either 96 or 128...
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Dan Sherman

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jun 26, 2017 10:31 pm

Personally, I think you should just save your money until you can make a more substantial upgrade.
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PeterMoretti

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jun 26, 2017 11:03 pm

Dermot Shane wrote:
Resolve ram useage .jpg
PeterMoretti wrote: I've read that Resolve uses a max of 16 Gig. I don't know if that is correct, but 12 Gig does seem a bit light.


Ram useage right this minuite... feature film near completion so alot of nodes etc, the entire timeline stiched together, timeline at DCi4k, sources are mainly UHD proRez from Alexa mini's + EXR vfx elements, a fair bit of OFX in use, mainly BCC & Paul Dore.. that's 41.2 gig with nothing else running and a good reason to have at the least 64 gig, my machines have either 96 or 128...


OMG, that made me break out in a cold sweat!! At least I see you're running 12.5 (from the icon) and not a beta version! ;)
Resolve 14.1 Studio. GTX 970 with GeForce 385.69 driver. Desktop Video 10.9.7. Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0. Windows 10.
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostTue Jun 27, 2017 8:25 am

LOL - I'm nowhere near that level of perfection. Most of my movies tend to be a single video track with clips using the default cross fade - a title at the beginning, fade to black at the end and possibly a short intro music track.

Anyway, here's some screen captures which hope makes sense to you guys. The only time I noticed a stutter was straight after I had launched Resolver and loaded in the saved project, which consisted of three clips converted to DNxHD 1080P from a 1080P MTS file @50pfs. This was also straight after the PC was booted - By the time I had launched task manager, closed down other open application and then replayed the three clips the playback ran smooth, with only the occasional dip from 50 fps to 48 and back up.

Anyway, here's the images.

Image

This was with Chrome open running a youtube video, and Macrim reflect backing up the document partition of the same drive the video clips are on to my network drive.

Image

Task manager with only Resolve open and playing the clips from the time line

Image

This was taken with half a dozen applications open at the same time as Resolve was running the clips from the timeline.

I could only replicate the freeze / stutter of the playback once, which was by closing Resolve down, then re-opening it and quickly playing the clips whilst the backup was running.... left it for a few seconds and then re-ran the timeline and it played OK.

With regards to saving up, I can't afford to upgrade the complete system, at least to a spec that would make significant improvements. And as this is just a daily use PC and not a dedicated machine it currently suits me fine. But i would like to try and improve the video process for the occasions that I'm putting together the odd movie.

Hope the screen captures help,

Malcolm
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Dan Sherman

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostTue Jun 27, 2017 2:42 pm

what model hdd are you using?

I don't think you should be hitting 95% active time with just resolve playing back clips.
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PeterMoretti

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostTue Jun 27, 2017 3:27 pm

Malcom, I would recommend running GPU Shark to see how your video card is being utilized.
Resolve 14.1 Studio. GTX 970 with GeForce 385.69 driver. Desktop Video 10.9.7. Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0. Windows 10.
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostTue Jun 27, 2017 5:26 pm

Hi Guys,

Dan, I have a Western Digital WD5000 AAKS 500GB drive for the OS/Appliactions, and a Hitachi HDP725025GLA 500GB drive for document / file storage.

Peter, I've downloaded GPUshark as suggested. Here are the results with just outlook, chrome and resolver running. On this occasion the PC had been up for around 9 hours and the playback was fine

Image

I then thought I would try and load the system to see if it replicated the stuttering, so I opened OBS and started to record the main screen - This was the result GPUshark

Image

The graphics were very stuttery (is there such a word :-) ).. and this might show why

Image

All six cores were maxing out between 94% and 100%

I've uploaded a short video (ignore the youtube notification !), which shows the issue I get.



The strange thing is that when I last used task manager when video was stuttering the CPU didn't show the loading. So I guess that for whatever reason my FX6100 is the bottle neck as both GPU and memory checks seem to suggest that they are running with a reasonable amount of headroom ?

Looking forward to your comments

Malcolm
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PeterMoretti

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostTue Jun 27, 2017 6:26 pm

Malcom, I think upgrading the CPU would give you the best bang for your buck. Something like an 8300 should give you about a 30% increase in performance. That said, ask some other people, as I can't confirm you mobo's compatibility, etc.

Also, it looks like you're running Windows 7. I hesitate to recommend upgrading to 10, mostly for compatibility reasons. But that *might* be something to consider. But generally speaking, upgrading the CPU is going to give you the most bang for your buck if your system is not hard constrained in other areas.
Resolve 14.1 Studio. GTX 970 with GeForce 385.69 driver. Desktop Video 10.9.7. Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0. Windows 10.
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostTue Jun 27, 2017 7:24 pm

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the suggestion. How would the FX8300 compare to Intel processors, and does resolve favour Intel vs AMD chipsets

I'm a little out of the loop when it comes to Intel's processors, and I'm guessing that for each i3 / i5 / i7 range there is an overlap where say a particular high end i5 can out perform a low end i7 ?

Looking at some old refurbished machines, I'm also assuming that some of the earlier generations of i3/5/7 processors would be less of a performer than my FX6100 ?

I would welcome some guidance for a Pentium based main board that supports DDR3 memory and an i3/5/7 processor that would give a decent performance upgrade without braking the bank. I might be able to stretch the budget a little more, provided it will give a better performance.

Malcolm
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PeterMoretti

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostTue Jun 27, 2017 9:58 pm

I honestly don't know how they compare across platforms and years.

FWIW, I would probably try to find a cheap 8300, assuming it will work on your mobo and call it a day. I see them listed for between $50 and $150. Personally, I'd go for the cheaper side of that spectrum.
Resolve 14.1 Studio. GTX 970 with GeForce 385.69 driver. Desktop Video 10.9.7. Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0. Windows 10.
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostTue Jun 27, 2017 10:35 pm

Uhmmmm... I've spent the evening hopping from one website to another and found this post to someone asking if the FX6300 and FX8xxx processors are suitable for the Asus Mainboard

Support, in the sense that the chip will fit, boot, and run, yes.

Support in the sense of use for a half-decent gaming system, no. (for the FX8320)

That board will run a FX6300 at stock quite well, the problem is that to get the best out of a FX these days, you HAVE to overclock it. If you are using the system for home, personal, or business use, OK. If you want to game, render, edit, or any high-performance application NOT OK.

That board is totally unsuitable for any FX8??? chip.

As mentioned above, the motherboard lacks heatsinks on the power delivery system (VRM) and when the CPU gets going close to full load, the system with throttle down as the motherboard overheats.

If you plan on a FX8320 and are in the USA, for $75, you can get a Gigabyte GA 970a-UD3P which will handle any FX 8??? overclocked in any application.

No the G43 suffers from the same problems and is not really suitable for a FX6300, and the G46 would not run a FX8320 well.


So it could be that when I run resolve, the processors ramp up, but the board throttles back when other background applications or services increase the load ?

Maybe it's time to save up and look at getting a more modern PC. It's a shame as the machine suits my other needs just fine. Who would have thought that upgrading the video camera would be so expensive !
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PeterMoretti

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostTue Jun 27, 2017 11:00 pm

That sounds like it might be the reality of the situation.
Resolve 14.1 Studio. GTX 970 with GeForce 385.69 driver. Desktop Video 10.9.7. Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0. Windows 10.
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostWed Jun 28, 2017 11:40 am

Guys, need some advice.

I'm looking at borrowing some cash as it's clear that my initial budget of £100 isn't going to get me far, but again, I'm limited to how much I can borrow, so the latest i7 is out of the question.

One processor I've looked at is the i3 6100, ( https://www.overclockers.co.uk/intel-core-i3-6100-3.70ghz-skylake-socket-lga1151-processor-retail-cp-590-in.html ) and on this benchmark site it gives an overall increase in performance of 46% (http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-FX-6100-vs-Intel-Core-i3-6100/1984vs3511. However, most of these sites are based on gaming rig reviews etc, and as I'm really after something that will give me better headroom with Resolve wondered if the figures for MCfloat etc at the bottom of the review are more important when it comes to video editing ?

The other reason I looked at this processor is the built in graphic support, would this be better than using the ATI 7700 card in my existing PC? No doubt it would use shared memory, so that brings me on to the next question. The processor supports both DDR3 and DDR4 - would using my existing 12GB of DDR3 ram hold the performance back, and would going for 8Gb of DDR4 make any difference ?

Sorry for all the questions, but I don't want to invest a couple of hundred pounds only to get a very small improvement when using Resolve

Thanks

Malcolm
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostWed Jun 28, 2017 2:18 pm

Guys,

Looking at an ASUS B250 plus motherboard https://www.asus.com/uk/Motherboards/PRIME-B250-PLUS/specifications/, Intel i3 6100 processor and 16GB DDR4 3000mHz RAM - found some open box deals that results in some savings, but it's juts over twice my original budget. Would this be enough for basic editing as described ?

Cheers

Malcolm
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Dan Sherman

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostWed Jun 28, 2017 4:09 pm

My recommendation would be to be patient and save the money to build a machine that will last a while.

Skimping on computer hardware is one of those things that usually ends up biting you in the butt later. Yes a 6700k or 7700k build will cost more initially, but it will also still be a powerful machine capable of 4k work 6, 7, or even 8 years for now, thus saving you money in the long run. An i3 might get you through a year or two but you will end up replacing it way sooner than you will an i7.

Use down sampled optimized media when editing (use the originals when rendering) so you can get by with your current hardware, till you can afford a better one.
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostWed Jun 28, 2017 4:56 pm

PeterMoretti wrote:
One trick that I do, which I've found quite helpful is to change the timeline resolution to a clean fraction of the original resolution. For example, if 1920 X 1080 isn't playing well, then change the timeline resolution to 960 X 540. This works *****MUCH***** better than choosing Proxy Mode, which in almost all cases does nothing and can actually slow down performance, LOL!


Peter,
Just tried this and it does indeed help. Running the same clips with the timeline resolution set to 960 x 540 left the processor running at 50% with no noticeable stuttering.

Dan,
I think your right. I'll start saving and look at getting an i7 based system which should cover my needs if the hobby gets more serious. In the mean time I'll just look at ways of optimising the system when editing.

Thanks to all who contributed.

Regards

Malcolm
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PeterMoretti

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostWed Jun 28, 2017 6:27 pm

Glad that helps! And I think the advice to wait is very sound.
Resolve 14.1 Studio. GTX 970 with GeForce 385.69 driver. Desktop Video 10.9.7. Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0. Windows 10.
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Bryan Fernando

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostThu Jun 29, 2017 9:18 am

If you're just doing video editing and stuff like that, I would suggest getting a Ryzen processor instead of an i7 if you're going to save up for it anyway.
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostFri Jun 30, 2017 10:30 am

Guys

One thing that I could get that would (probably) help would be an SSD, which could also form part of the next machine when I come to upgrading.

I'm not that computer savvy, but I've been told that Windows reserves a section of the OS drive as a temp memory, presumably if all the RAM is in use. Looking at the task manager screens above, it looks like I have enough available RAM, so would I be better off using the SSD to store my clips on, or would I be better off using an SSD as the main OS / application disk to make things "suitable" for Resolve ?

Malcolm
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Michael Del Papa

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostFri Jun 30, 2017 9:27 pm

Malcolm Crabbe wrote:LOL - I'm nowhere near that level of perfection. Most of my movies tend to be a single video track with clips using the default cross fade - a title at the beginning, fade to black at the end and possibly a short intro music track.


If that is the case, you are jumping through far too many hoops (transcoding, upgrading hw, etc.) just to experience the pain of running DR on a non-workstation.

I would stick with the hardware you have and just spend $50 to $100 on a consumer level NLE which will handle your native MTS files fine and do everything you mention above plus more and not require you to spend another dime on more modern/fancy hw since you are on a limited budget.

If you need suggestions on NLEs just let me know.

my 2 cents
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PeterMoretti

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostSat Jul 01, 2017 8:02 am

Malcom, you can specify where Windows 10 places the paging file/virtual memory. So it you install an SSD, you can specify that drive for windows to use for temp memory storage, even if that drive is not your system drive.

That said, I think upgrading your PC is going to be kind of a waste, IMHO. Just try to get Resolve to work the best you can by using various settings that help with performance.
Resolve 14.1 Studio. GTX 970 with GeForce 385.69 driver. Desktop Video 10.9.7. Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0. Windows 10.
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Dermot Shane

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostSun Jul 02, 2017 3:45 pm

i would tend to agree with Michael, if the end game is to edit video's and tell stories, then perhaps look to other software choices as Resolve does have machine demands that are on the high end of the scale, and edit tools that are on the low end of the scale, seemeingly not a great fit at first glance

i do not edit in Resolve, prefering AvidMC for story telling.. they released a free version last week that might be worth a look, from the MC |First bumph;
It's a fact that over 95% of all mainstream movies released in 2016 were edited on Media Composer. And so were most TV shows, too! Media Composer | First is a completely free version of the same video editing application, available on either Mac or PC. If you are an aspiring filmmaker or vlogger looking to get a start in editing, there’s no better way to bring your imagination to life.


note that i have not tired it, and likely wil not in the short term as it cannot co-exist with a full MC install, and i already have MC on every machine i use

other options could include LightWorks and Media100, also free

then finish/grade in Resolve as needed, using Resolve's core tools to advantage?
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Paul Sangha

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jul 03, 2017 1:19 pm

HitFilm Express is another free and feature rich editing software, with some VFX and basic grading thrown in too.
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jul 03, 2017 3:52 pm

Hi Paul,

Yes, I discovered HitFilm Express the other day, and it's quite nice, ticking a lot of the boxes for items I'm looking for. I purchased the codec pack for £7 GBP so it could play the audio when using MTS files from the camera, but that's not exactly going to break the bank :-)
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jul 10, 2017 4:06 pm

Guys,

Tagging on to this I'm looking at extending my budget to get something that will give a little more head room for video editing, regardless of which applications I use. From further reading it would seem that the FX6100 processor isn't really up to much, even seen some posts reporting that it's actually just three cores bit with some fancy architecture that results in it being a pseudo 6 core. Anyway, there are two routes that I could go, one is stick with AMD and get a Ryzen processor, AM4 socket main board and 16GB ram. The other is a B250 plus 1151 socket main board and an intel i series processor with 16BG ram. The problem is that both paths have so many options, and the cost is varied. For example, I was looking at getting an i5 7400 four core four thread chip for £165, but for about £8 less I could get a Ryzen 5 1400 which is a four core eight thread processor. However with the AMD route there are really only 4 more processors above it that offer more cores and threads, where as the intel route there are more possibilities, including i7 range. There's a lot to be said for the old days when you simply upgraded from a Pentium 1 to a Pentium 2 etc :)

I don't want to throw £300 - £400 at this and end up with a machine that is more or less where I am today. Some posts I've read has said that the i5 should be avoided as it doesn't have the hyper-threading of the i7 series. Do application such as Resolve, etc use or require a hyperthreaded CPU in order to perform well? If I opted for the i5 7400, with 16GB DDR4 ram and the newer main board, would I see a significant improvement over the 6 core FX6100, 16GB DDR3 system I currently have.

The best way I tried to sell this to my other half is to use the car as an analogy. I have a V70 that is 18 years old. If i came to replace the car with another V70 I would be looking for one with more HP or a turbo version to make it more fun to use. Both still get me from A-B and both have the same level of features. I wouldn't want to get a newer car that for my money has the same performance with some features missing.

Would welcome suggestions. Yes I know the i7 7700K makes for a good performer but at £315 for just the processor it's a tad beyond the budget...

Cheers

Malcolm
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Dan Sherman

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jul 10, 2017 4:32 pm

Malcolm Crabbe wrote:Would welcome suggestions. Yes I know the i7 7700K makes for a good performer but at £315 for just the processor it's a tad beyond the budget...


Take a look at the AMD Ryzen line, the cpu's and the motherboards are significantly cheaper. Also check YouTube, I have seen several people do videos on setting up 4k Ryzen based editing machines.

I don't care much for Max, but this is a good example.


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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jul 10, 2017 7:03 pm

Thanks for the reply Dan,

OK my budget doesn't run to a Ryzen 7 1700x, but if I get the gist of the videos it would suggest that the AMD chips tend to work well in rendering and playback and at a fraction of the cost of the Intel equivalent.

So for my £300 budget I could go to a 3.6Ghz Ryzen 5 1500X (quad core, eight threads), 16GB HyperX savage DDR4 ram and an Asus Prim B350 AM4 socket mainboard. Adding my old Radion HD7770 to the mix, would this give me the performance boost for my video editing? - Bear in mind that I'm not doing anything crazy like colour blending etc, just basic transitions, titles and voice-overs, with most video being no more than half an hour / 45 minutes long
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Dan Sherman

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jul 10, 2017 7:53 pm

Malcolm Crabbe wrote:would this give me the performance boost for my video editing?


Maybe, but I would still question your gpu. hopefully others will chime in.
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostTue Jul 11, 2017 12:38 am

OK need to go to bed now... been watching so many videos I can't think straight.

As it stands I've got the following in my shopping cart:

AMD Ryzen 5 1500x processor (4 core 8 threads) at 3.6Ghz
16GB Hyper X Savage DDR4 3000Mhz RAM
ASUS prime B350 main board
Gigabyte Radion RX560 4GB graphic card (main feature is that it supports Hardware-accelerated H.265 encode/decode)

I could go for a 2GB RX550 and save around £34 which has basically the same spec as the 560 apart from half the RAM, which I could put towards an M2 format solid state drive, would this be an effective use of the money, or should I stick with the 4GB RX560 and my current normal hard drive for OS?

I assume that with most NLE software, when you import media into the bin to use in a production it copies that from the source drive? or does it pull the data from the source drive, in which case would using an M.2 drive for file storage be better with the OS on a traditional HDD ?

Again, would welcome comments...
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostTue Jul 11, 2017 2:10 pm

This is so frustrating... seeing that Dan suggested that my current 1GB GPU may be an issue I thought I would do some basic testing. I loaded up GPU Shark and the performance graphs in task manager and proceeded to preview and render the same three clips totalling 5 minutes from four different NLE applications. This was the result

Image

All files were MTS dumped straight from the camera to a folder on a 1TB SATA drive, other than the files used for Resolve which had to be trans coded into DNxHD. Powerdirector rendered the fastest using its smart render driver. I also noted that VideoPad tended to favour cores 1 and 6 of the FX6100 when previewing from the time line.

Interestingly non of the applications hammered the GPU, and whilst most hit the CPU hard wen rendering, Resolve and Hitfilm were less intensive than the other two, with Power Director maxing out at 100% for a fair chuck of the time when rendering.

So do I need to upgrade my GPU ? It would seem that all four of the applications are CPU intensive rather than GPU, so getting a 4GB DDR5 GPU wouldn't, on the face of it, make much impact. For info, the PC has been up for over 6 hours so most background services etc should have settled down by now.

Would seriously welcome your thoughts guys...
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Dan Sherman

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostTue Jul 11, 2017 2:59 pm

Malcolm Crabbe wrote:This is so frustrating... seeing that Dan suggested that my current 1GB GPU may be an issue I thought I would do some basic testing. I loaded up GPU Shark and the performance graphs in task manager and proceeded to preview and render the same three clips totalling 5 minutes


To monitor a high performance task like encoding, use hwinfo. as it gives orders of magnitude more data than resource monitor.

A good example is my gtx 1070, when I parallel(6 simultaneous files) trans-code 4k h.264 to DNxHR HQ HD using ffmpeg. The GPUs load and ram usage is low, but the video engine is pegged at 100%.

On your gpu, my concerns would be the as follows.

  • Ram controller load
  • video engine load if your gpu has one
  • bus load
  • power consumption (the gtx 10xx series for example will hit a power limit, before it hits a thermal limit)
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostTue Jul 11, 2017 4:11 pm

Dan, thanks for the continued support.

I loaded up HWInFo and opened up Power Director. I loaded four copied of the same 1080P HD 329mb MTS clip to the timeline, and made them PIP (ie one in each qtr of the screen) then played the timeline back

Hopefully the screen capture below means more to you than me ?

Image

(If its too small try http://micro-heli.co.uk/4%20track.png )

Would this still present an issue if I upgraded to the items listed in the post above minus the 4GB graphics card ?
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostTue Jul 11, 2017 4:38 pm

I also tried taking a 4K clip, converting it to DNxHD 4K and then loading that to the timeline. The output was then rendered to 1080P DNxHD 1080P 100/85/80 8 bit preset

Here's the results

http://micro-heli.co.uk/4k21080.png
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Dan Sherman

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostTue Jul 11, 2017 5:49 pm

you can close the summary window, it's generally not useful.

In the sensor window, make sure you reset the sensors using the clock button at the bottom of the screen right before you run your test.

assuming you did the above I see the following:

  • from the two screen shots, I can see you are definitely maxing out your current hard drives (maximum activery is at 100%).
  • In 4 track test your gpu is being 90% utilized, and both the core clock and ram clock at at maximum frequency, so its giving you everything it can.
  • In 4k it looks like you are using more memory than the gpu actually has, so you are probably tapping into the system memory at times.
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostWed Jul 12, 2017 3:27 pm

Hi Dan,

Well I've just placed an order, increasing my initial budget six fold !! - Hey life's too short :)

My new system comprises of:

* Asus Prime B350 Mainboard
* AMD Ryzen 5 1500x quad core 8 threads processor
* 16GB Corsair Vengance 2400Mhz DDR4 RAM
* Samsung Evo 9600 250 GB M.2 SSD (uses PCIe 3)
* Gigabyte RX550 2GB GDDR5 graphics card


I intend to use the M.2 SSD for operating system and the NLE video programs, with other applications such as office etc installed to a 500GB 7200 SATA drive. I have an under utilise 2TB SATA drive in my NAS which will get swapped out once every thing is up and running which will be my video storage drive.

I was hoping to get a 4GB graphics card but the one I wanted was out of stock when I came to pay for my shopping cart, but it would also have either extended the budget beyond what I can afford or meant that I couldn't opt for an SSD hard drive, so I compromised. Fingers crossed that now I'll have a machine that will be more than capable of handling my basic video projects.

Regards

Malcolm
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostSat Jul 15, 2017 12:48 pm

Well I thought I would update this thread should someone else be in the same situation and need to upgrade.

The build was fun to a point, and caught me out on things I overlooked. Firstly, the components look sexy, with red anodised heatsinks on the memory matching the black and red of the main board and GPU The LED lighting on the main board is quite subtle. One thing that does annoy me though is that these days all the additional connectors etc are not included. For example the board has SPDIF audio, and a header is included on the main board, but the back plane port to allow connection isn't included, and it seem the only option is to purchase a 3rd party item from e-bay.

Anyway, the only major issue is that for the life of me I could not get windows 7 to install. The reason is that as windows 7 is no longer in support, AMD's architecture means that the USB drivers are not present when installing windows 7 and thus as soon as you get to the first window you can't change the language etc as keyboard and mouse are disabled. I even tried legacy options in the BIOS and got ripped off from Maplins for a USB to PS/2 converter - which still didn't work. So I had to move with the times and resort to windows 10, which seeing that this is the operating system that AMD have designed the Ryzen around made sense. So a day later than planned I had windows 10 installed and all the "spying" options disabled. I then spent best part of the day installing the applications and over coming the issues of running old hardware (pic micro development board for example) on a modern platform, but I got there.

I have three hard drives installed. 1TB 7200rpm Video drive for my files, a 250GB partition on a 500GB 7200RPM segate drive for applications that are not performance related such as word etc, and a 250GB M2 SSD for the OS and video applications such as Resolve. - Boot time is amazingly quick !!

I've installed Resolve, Power Director 15 and VideoPad to the SSD, and ran the same test with the same three clips, and playback from the timeline was smooth and didn't hammer the resources at all. Even rendering the 1080 @50fps in DN format only hit 80-85% utilisation of the CPU... so it should be good enough for my needs. I may add an SSD for storing work in progress,and then archive the final results to the 1TB drive, but that will be something for the future as cash is a little tight, having spent a shade over £500.

So now I'm in the process of moving over the last few applications and documents etc and then I should be able to swap out the machines. I'll try and repeat the test above on the new machine in a few days and post up the results. Whilst it may not be the most powerful of machines compared to a £4000 build with top of the range components, its a million miles better than the old machine I have and will cater for my current needs when it comes to video editing needs
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Dan Sherman

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostSat Jul 15, 2017 11:57 pm

Malcolm Crabbe wrote:I may add an SSD for storing work in progress,and then archive the final results to the 1TB drive, but that will be something for the future as cash is a little tight, having spent a shade over £500.


If your motherboard supports it, 2 or 3 drives in Raid 0 is a better option for a scratch drive imo. Sequential reads & writes (what video footage uses) are just as fast as a 2.5" SSD, but you get a lot more capacity, and it's cheaper.

This is the benchmark from one of my scratch drives. 3 x 1TB Seagate Barracudas in hardware RAID 0, total cost was $150 USD.

E.png
E.png (28.97 KiB) Viewed 1936 times
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostSun Jul 16, 2017 9:16 am

Thanks for the suggestion Dan, and the board does support RAID 0 (and RAID 1 and 10), so I might look into that when funds permit
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jul 17, 2017 4:46 pm

Just downloaded Crystal Disk and ran it on both the SSD and the Sata storage drive

Image

I've not installed any drivers for the M.2 drive from Samsung, but using the default windows / ASUS support the above ain't bad !
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jul 17, 2017 5:09 pm

Now with the driver installed (and a second SATA test as well)

Image
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Dan Sherman

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jul 17, 2017 6:53 pm

If you up the amount of data being transferred to 8gib or higher, your results should start to stabilize.

Also you can squeak more performance out of the drives, by adjusting the allocation unit size, to a size appropriate for the files being stored on the disk. For example if the disk is only storing video files, you want the allocation unit size (sector size) as large as possible.
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostMon Jul 24, 2017 2:23 pm

Just wanted to post up the performance graph taken whilst rendering a 7 minute video in PowerDirector with the option to preview the video as it's rendering ticked.

Image

I'm really happy with the performance the machine has, and the ability to do normal task such as post to forums, e-mail etc whilst the video is being rendered makes for an enjoyable experience.

Thanks guys for all your contributions, and advice. If I had tried to upgrade the old PC I would have just wasted money.
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C.A.M. Gerlach

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostSat Jul 29, 2017 11:05 pm

Hey Malcolm, looks like you've got a great build there; not only for Resolve but many other tasks as well. For others looking to this thread for advice, I would offer a few recommended tweaks:

• Biggest single upgrade IMO would be spending a mere $30 more on a Ryzen 1600 (6-core) vs the 1500X (quad-core); stock clockspeeds are a little lower, but even at stock speeds I'd expect an improvement of around 30-40% in well threaded applications like Resolve for only ~15% additional cost. Further, like the rest of the Ryzen lineup, it can pretty easily be consistently overclocked to 3.8-3.9 GHz, even on a decent B350 and the stock cooler, with minimal fuss—faster than a stock 1500X even on a per-core basis, and leading to potential >50% performance gains in applications like Resolve, assuming you aren't bottlenecked by your GPU.

• Interesting that your GPU still isn't a bottleneck, but I'd imagine its because you are doing limited to no actual image processing, as you mention, and the main bottleneck is just decode/encode and general program overhead. If that was to be the case, I'd really recommend avoiding the RX 550 (and GTX 1050) and stepping up to something like the RX 460/560 or the 1050 Ti which'll give you 2x the RAM and nearly 2x the performance of the 550 in case you decide to do anything other than basic cuts. The 560 (and 570, 580, and to some extent 1060) is sold out right now due to the the Etherian mining craze, so while the 1050 Ti is a little pricer for around the same performance, it is a huge jump from the 550 relative to its cost.

• The 960 Evo is a great drive with very solid performance at a decent price and would otherwise be my top pick in the category, but I'd save my money and go for the MyDigital BPX series instead, which despite being less of a household name is recommended by many major hardware sites and offers around the same performance. Also, something with 512 GB will not only give you more room, but also much higher performance for your money, though again isn't critical.

• Ryzen likes fast RAM, so 2x8GB of Ryzen-certified, higher speed modules like the G.Skill Flare X series might help a little, especially if you're willing to tweak speeds and timings, but far from Crucial (if you'll excuse the pun). G.Skill in general is well regarded and perhaps a little less expensive than Corsair.

Overall, the ~$30 extra each from the 1.5-2x better CPU and GPU are nearly offest by the nearly $50 savings on the SSD with roughly the same performance last time I checked prices, plus perhaps a few bucks from going with G.Skill over Corsair, so I'd call that a pretty good trade. That's the beauty of building your own machine—at any point, you can sell (or return?) what you have now and replace it with the above suggestions, or something even better, without throwing anything else away. Regardless of what you do, I wish you the best!
CAM Gerlach (Christopher A. M. Gerlach)
I am not an expert; take any advice I give with a grain of salt.
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Malcolm Crabbe

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Re: Limited budget - suggestions for upgrading my PC

PostSun Jul 30, 2017 12:49 am

Thanks for the comments, however l really needed to stay within my £500 budget (which I exceeded by £77!!).

Ryzen can use 3200Mhz RAM, and whilst the Flare X listed on the same site I purchased the components from listed Flare X, they only have 2400Mhz speed in this series, so nothing would be gained. I would need trident Z to get 3200 Mhz speed to make any advantage there. Again, the supplier didn't list the SSD you mentioned, but using the Samsung Evo 500GB drive, the Trident memory, 500GB Samsung SSD and the Ryzen 1600 would have added a further £214.36 to the £577 I paid, bringing the price to just under £970... which was double my budget.

The thing is that even at this level, you could then say that in order to get the best from your recommended components a X370 based mainboard might be better, and then for the extra £60 the Ryzen 7 1700 with 8 cores and 16 threads would be worth considering, but then an 8GB 1080 series GPU would be a better GPU, and possibly upping the ram to 32GB or even 64GB....

Agreed, I appreciate that for serious editing using Resolve a high spec machine is required, possibly costing four or even six times my outlay may be required. But for me, who is doing this sort of video my Ryzen 5 based machine is proving to be more than adequate.

I guess it's all down to the level at which you work for. I'm a casual content provider, who just needed to upgrade an ageing machine that was struggling with HD format, and the machine I built meets my needs. If I was more serious, or using video work to provide a living, then I accept I would need to spend more money to have a more capable machine, and for anyone considering this then I think your recommendations make sense.

Last edited by Malcolm Crabbe on Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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