Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

Getting started with a Blackmagic product? Ask questions here about setup and installation.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

LostandConfused

  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:16 pm
  • Real Name: Brian Mosk

Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

PostWed Dec 30, 2020 3:03 pm

I'm new here, and new to video editing. It's not my background, it wasn't my hobby, but the pandemic dropped this on my lap. I've been tasked with creating videos for a church's online worship services, as they have transitioned to online only until it is safe to meet in person. My video background involved using Windows Live Movie Maker. I used that as best I could, until the complexity of the service and required cuts and insertions of video clips drove me insane. The doctor said I'd be okay, but just don't use Movie Maker for a good while. :lol:

Also along that same line of "I can't believe you were using that" is the fact that I don't have anything current for hardware. As video editing was never a concern of mine until now, I didn't have anything with enough oomph to make video processing less painful. We were recently given a used system, which is hands down better than any system we've been using, which allowed us to install the free version of DR 16. None of our other systems could even run DR 16, so it's a huge step up, for us. For you, I'm sure you'd laugh. Laugh with me, not at me please. Be gentle. We've got no budget for this, and are trying our best. :)

My question is, can I improve the performance of this system any for our minimal video editing needs?

Mobo Asus P8P67 LE
CPU I7-2600
24GB RAM
Nvidia GT 730

If I understand correctly, in order to have the GPU pick up the heavy lifting, we would need to purchase DR. My current video card would provide no benefit as it's too weak. I was looking at a EVGA GeForce GTX 1650 as an upgrade.

I'm by no means a professional at this. I'm taking cellphone and a few camcorder clips, and trying to stitch them together into a meaningful service. Target output video is h.264 1080 30fps mp4. Input clips are a hodgepodge of quality, some even shot in portrait mode. You take what you can get.

While DR works in current configuration, it sometimes runs into a scenario where rendering drops down to 10FPS and takes forever to complete. Time is money... so I'd like to see if purchasing DR and that video card would do anything for our simple needs.

I don't do color correction, denoise (video), etc. I use simple fade in / out between clips, and have only recently started using text over video. I do use the noise reduction filter for audio, as some clips have terrible atmospheric noise.

Expenses would be $300 for DR and $170 for the video card. All of these are without funding, so this is a wish list, if it is even worth it.

Any and all help appreciated. Thank you. :)
Offline

LostandConfused

  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:16 pm
  • Real Name: Brian Mosk

Re: Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

PostMon Jan 04, 2021 3:59 pm

Posting a bump...

I'd really like to get this figured out. We don't have money to burn.

Anybody got any info?
Offline

JanOudman

  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2021 4:49 pm
  • Real Name: Jan Oudman

Re: Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

PostSun Jan 17, 2021 3:18 pm

Hi, I am also new here and don't work with DR yet. I do have a background in photography and have also done video as a hobby.

As I seem to understand DR is asking a lot of the hardware for performance.
First of, you do have to understand that there are different codecs that do tax the system in a different way. Some codecs like h.264 are able to compress a large amount of data into a small file and do complex calculations to do so. These are codecs intended for distribution. Other codecs do not compress very well or not at all. These codecs are intended for editing and do not tax the system very much. The problem is that they use a lot of disk space (and a high data rate).

When editing with h.264 sources the video has to be decoded and that taxes the system. When rendering at the end you want it again in an distribution codec like h.264. The system has to decode, apply the changes and effects and encode it again. This takes a lot of resources. Intel, Nvidia and AMD have hardware accelerators in their processors that are specialized for encoding and can speed up encoding by a lot. At intel this is called Quick Sync, at Nvidia this is called NVENC and at AMD this is called VCE.

Your best bet is to hope that your Nvidia GT 730 has NVENC. You have to find out which specific architecture and design it is. The older Fermi architecture (GT 730 code name GF108) has no NVENC. The newer Kepler architecture (GT730 code name GK208-400-A) has. There is also the Kepler version with code name GK208-301-A1 that does not have it though.
your second choice should be the your i7 2600. It should have QuickSync but the availability might depend on your motherboard.

I don't know if DR can encode with these accelerators. If it doesn't, you have to render and encode it into another uncompressed codec and use a converter program that can use one (or more) of those accelerators to encode it into your distribution file.
Offline

Ellory Yu

  • Posts: 2328
  • Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:25 pm

Re: Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

PostThu Jan 21, 2021 9:22 pm

Hello Brian. Let me try to help you by advising you without going through the technicalities of things and a no nonsense approach. I am also going to be sensitive to the fact that you don't have much of a budget. But let's also be realistic that the amount of money you are projecting to spend will not cut for a system that will and can be put to good use. With that said...

I advise not to fiddle with that existing computer and spending the money to upgrade the card to a GeForce GTX 1650. Based on what you said your current needs are, you can get away with the free version of Da Vinci Resolve.

You should focus on raising $1100, realistically $1200 to cover tax & shipping. I will advise you to sell that existing computer and try to scrape up a few hundred bucks for it, maybe $500 if you can. Add the $300 you were going to spend on DR Studio and the $170 for the GPU card. Now you have $970 if you can make that happen. Then see if you (or your church) can scrape up the remaining money.

When you have the amount raised, buy the Apple Mac Mini M1 with the 512Gb storage and the 16Gb memory upgrade. This will cost you $1099 plus tax & shipping on the Apple website. That will get you well position to do your editing and a bit of a future growth in case you're doing color grading or some easy VFX and sound work. You can download the free Resolve 17.1 for the M1 (currently in beta) and then when you have outgrown it, there and then you can decide if you really need to buy the Studio version.

There's many reviews on this computer with Resolve on YT - some have good content. If you haven't made the move, this will be my recommendation to you, as well others who are not doing much heavy lifting with Resolve.

Best of luck to you!
MSI Raider X99 MB / Intel i7 5280 6 core CPU / 2 x AMD R9 390X 8Gb GPU / 32Gb 3200 RAM / Decklink 4K Mini Monitor / 240Gb SSD OS Drive / 4Tb RAID 0 SSD Cache/Scratch Drive / 24Tb 7200rpm Data Drive / Win 10 Pro 64bit / Resolve 17
Offline

mschmalenbach

  • Posts: 5
  • Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:14 pm
  • Real Name: Martin Schmalenbach

Re: Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

PostSun Jan 24, 2021 8:02 pm

Hi Brian

You're not looking to do anything too complex for your church services, so that's good to know.

First off please know that I am running DR 17 on my ASUS VivioBook 15 - I bought it second hand on ebay for about $250. It does NOT have a dedicated GPU in it, it has an intel i3 CPU, it has 128Gb of drive space and 8Gb of RAM. It can be expanded to 20Gb of RAM, and I have the extra memory on order.

DR runs fine on this setup, and when you setup proxy playback, make extensive use of optimized media etc you can get to reasonable playback speeds. Expect the final render though to be quite slow!

I have been working with DR since version 15, and at one stage was running it on a very old Lenovo Thinkpad laptop with 12Gb of RAM and no special GPU or CPU hardware. With the right proxy & other settings it was usable.

I also have a top of the line Macbook Pro 15inch i7 fully loaded with memory and dedicated GPU. It runs DR, but it too can struggle at times without switching to proxy mode and other tricks.

I also had a Mac Mini hex core 3GHz i5, 12 thread with masses of hard drive and 32 Gb of memory and an external dedicated RX 580 eGPU with 8Gb of GDDR5 memory. It was OK.

I recently bought myself a bottom of the line MacBook Air with the new Apple M1 silicon and it absolutely flies with DR 17, so at some point you might want to think in those terms. One day.

I bought this second hand ASUS laptop with limited capabilities specifically to explore using DR on a low spec machine and see what you can and can't do with it, and to document my explorations and experiments and share with others so they too can DR without spending a small fortune!

Have a look at this YouTube short tutorial - it's all about the settings you need - it works with DR17 too, I've just been through this very tutorial on my ASUS with DR17, and it works a treat.



This will help you at least stay afloat until you can do something about your hardware.

I see right now on ebay a Dell Latitude 3400 with i3 8th gen at 2.1 GHz boosting to 3.9GHz, with 500Gb of hard drive and 4Gb of RAM is around $250 with shipping. An 8th gen i3 is about as powerful as a top end 4th gen i5 from a few years ago, and can push a 4th gen mid range i7 - I know as I have an HP laptop with a 4th gen i7 quad core and my new ebay star find ASUS 10th gen i3 walks all over it!

Upgrade the RAM to 8 or 12Gb for around $25-$35. Get an external SSD drive of at least 256Gb with a USB3.1 Gen 1 connection and read/write speeds around the 500Mb/s range. You'll use this as the main working drive for DR - it will be faster than the internal spinning hard drive, by a country mile. For similar money you can get an M2.NVME SSD drive to put inside the Dell - it will have even faster read/write speeds - preferred option - for only a few $ more it could be 512Gb capacity.

When you set DR up as outlined in the video above, and make lots of use of optimized media and proxies and cache etc DR will use between 30Gb of additional space for each 15 minutes or so of footage you're working with - NOT your final finished video, just clips you're using to create the final cut. DR will love to put this on a high speed SSD if you have it, and for each project you can tell DR which drive/folder to use for these files. Your external SSD, if that's what you use, will get HOT, that's just the way things are. When you have more budget in the future you can get an external SSD that is fan cooled - I just got one of those a few days ago and it's fabulous.

The more RAM you can squeeze in to your laptop the better and a Dell 3400 can theoretically take 2x 32Gb memory sticks for 64Gb total - if you can put 2 8Gb sticks in there in time and have them properly use dual channel memory access all the time then you'll see an improvement in speed too.

With something like a second hand Dell Latitude 3400 you have the basis for a machine that you can upgrade over time as funds allow, and that along with these tricks/tips in the video I linked to, you can get some good work done - with a little patience too!

The use of proxies and optimised video speeds up the edit experience in many instances, although at times it can stutter around 10fps wherever you have transitions that have to be rendered out, but if you leave the machine alone for a few seconds - go to the bathroom, grab a drink, stretch your legs etc - when you come back it will have sneakily rendered all those transitions out to a cache and edit/playback will be practically full speed!

The render for the final cut though will be quite slow.

The GPU has 1 task - to decide what colour each pixel needs to be - all 2 million of them on a 1920x1080 HD frame. The final render is less about what colour each pixel needs to be - that's been taken care of with the editing process... it's more about how best to compress the video overall - typically it will only code in the difference between 1 frame and the next, as well as how best to compress an individual frame, and try to get the best of both worlds. That's actually not a task terribly well suited to most GPUs, discrete or integrated - it tends to be CPU core-intensive and done via software - especially in affordable equipment. And that just takes time.

It is possible to have DR render out making use of proxies and optimised media wherever possible to speed up the render process, especially those pieces of footage that have not had anything done to them or are involved in a transition between clips.

I've often rendered out using ProRes or DNxHR HQX codecs - you get a huge output file - about 10Gb per 20 minutes. But it renders out quickish and at good quality. I've then used the free Handbrake compression program available from https://handbrake.fr/downloads.php and had that do the final compression which it does very well.

As I said before, this works remarkably well given the low end capabilities of the hardware, bit with no colour grading and very little other special effects other than titles etc, the above figures/times etc are ones I've been seeing myself in the past week or so on my low-end second hand ASUS i3 ebay star find!

Good luck with it all - any questions, nudge me here!

Cheers

Martin
Offline

LostandConfused

  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:16 pm
  • Real Name: Brian Mosk

Re: Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

PostSun Jan 24, 2021 8:10 pm

Thank you both for the details. I will be sure to review these indepth and go over settings changes to make for better results!

I will update this thread with questions and results. :)

Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
Offline

LostandConfused

  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:16 pm
  • Real Name: Brian Mosk

Re: Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

PostSun Jan 24, 2021 8:12 pm

My apologies, I missed notification of the 3rd poster. Thank you all! Reviewing now and as time allows. :)

Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
Offline

LostandConfused

  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:16 pm
  • Real Name: Brian Mosk

Re: Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

PostSun Jan 24, 2021 9:40 pm

mschmalenbach wrote:Hi Brian

Good luck with it all - any questions, nudge me here!

Cheers

Martin


I've only got a 120GB SSD right now, but I can add another 120GB ssd that I could use for the proxy / cache drive. I didn't see that configuration in the video.

Is there a way to set that?

Thanks! :)
Offline

LostandConfused

  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:16 pm
  • Real Name: Brian Mosk

Re: Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

PostSun Jan 24, 2021 9:49 pm

Ellory Yu wrote:Hello Brian. Let me try to help you by advising you without going through the technicalities of things and a no nonsense approach. I am also going to be sensitive to the fact that you don't have much of a budget. But let's also be realistic that the amount of money you are projecting to spend will not cut for a system that will and can be put to good use. With that said...

I advise not to fiddle with that existing computer and spending the money to upgrade the card to a GeForce GTX 1650. Based on what you said your current needs are, you can get away with the free version of Da Vinci Resolve.


Ok, thanks for the advice. No point in spending money on a solution that won't do much to help.

The videos I'm currently producing are around 40-45 minutes in length. Pending I don't encounter an overload situation that drops rendering down to 10FPS, I can get a render done in roughly the same time. It just is a big hit on productivity when it drops and stays at 10FPS. Turning a ~45ish minute render into ~135 minutes. That usually forces my work on the video to a 2 day project. I'll try optimizing the videos outlined in another post to see if that helps us.
Offline

LostandConfused

  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:16 pm
  • Real Name: Brian Mosk

Re: Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

PostTue Jan 26, 2021 1:57 pm

mschmalenbach wrote:Hi Brian
Good luck with it all - any questions, nudge me here!

Cheers
Martin


Hey Martin,

I found where you can change the location of the cache folder. I installed a 2nd 120GB drive, and pointed it there.

I then followed step by step the video guide you posted, through step 4. Step 5 doesn't apply as I've no idea what I'm doing on color correction, so I don't ever touch that. But from what I witnessed, this appears to impact your ability to easily view clips within the editor tab of DV. I grabbed my most recent video I was working on, grabbed all the media clips in there, and told it to generate optimized media. It sucked up ~35GB of space on my 2nd drive. What I didn't really see was an improvement when I went to the render tab, and told it to start outputting my work. Once I did that, my 2nd drive, nor any of the cached optimized media files, were ever read during the rendering process to the best of my observation. Performance monitor on the disk tab never touched the drive for a read cycle.

I wasn't having a big issue (minimal hiccups at worst) with navigation of clips in DV, at least so far. I'm just struggling with the rendering step, where some unknown resource would trigger what I'm guessing is an overload state and dropping my rendering down to 10FPS for the remainder of the rendering project. While doing a render with the optimized media cached to my 2nd drive, I still encountered a point in the render process where it dropped to ~10FPS, but after moving to another clip, it did rebound to around 30FPS.

Just checking to see if I missed something, or if what I witnessed is more or less what those steps should be doing. :)
Offline

Ellory Yu

  • Posts: 2328
  • Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:25 pm

Re: Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

PostTue Jan 26, 2021 6:12 pm

LostandConfused wrote:Ok, thanks for the advice. No point in spending money on a solution that won't do much to help.

The videos I'm currently producing are around 40-45 minutes in length. Pending I don't encounter an overload situation that drops rendering down to 10FPS, I can get a render done in roughly the same time. It just is a big hit on productivity when it drops and stays at 10FPS. Turning a ~45ish minute render into ~135 minutes. That usually forces my work on the video to a 2 day project. I'll try optimizing the videos outlined in another post to see if that helps us.


Kays Alatrakchi has a nice video on the Apple M1 computer + DVR 17.1. He used a real world project for his test and review. I trust his review here. Give it a watch. If he can do some of the advance stuff with it on his project, it will be a piece of cake for your projects, and much more in the future.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=128806#p704228


LostandConfused wrote:What I didn't really see was an improvement when I went to the render tab, and told it to start outputting my work. Once I did that, my 2nd drive, nor any of the cached optimized media files, were ever read during the rendering process to the best of my observation. Performance monitor on the disk tab never touched the drive for a read cycle.


Did you check the "Use Optimized Media" checkbox on the Render/Delivery page?
From the Resolve Manual:
When this checkbox is turned on, DaVinci Resolve will use optimized media, when available, to do the final render, to save time. If your media has been optimized to the same format as the one you’re outputting to (or better), this is convenient. However, if you’ve optimized to a lower quality format than what you’re outputting to, you should turn this checkbox off to force DaVinci Resolve to process all clips using the original media, guaranteeing the best quality available.
MSI Raider X99 MB / Intel i7 5280 6 core CPU / 2 x AMD R9 390X 8Gb GPU / 32Gb 3200 RAM / Decklink 4K Mini Monitor / 240Gb SSD OS Drive / 4Tb RAID 0 SSD Cache/Scratch Drive / 24Tb 7200rpm Data Drive / Win 10 Pro 64bit / Resolve 17
Offline

LostandConfused

  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:16 pm
  • Real Name: Brian Mosk

Re: Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

PostTue Jan 26, 2021 6:21 pm

Ellory Yu wrote:
LostandConfused wrote:Ok, thanks for the advice. No point in spending money on a solution that won't do much to help.

The videos I'm currently producing are around 40-45 minutes in length. Pending I don't encounter an overload situation that drops rendering down to 10FPS, I can get a render done in roughly the same time. It just is a big hit on productivity when it drops and stays at 10FPS. Turning a ~45ish minute render into ~135 minutes. That usually forces my work on the video to a 2 day project. I'll try optimizing the videos outlined in another post to see if that helps us.


Kays Alatrakchi has a nice video on the Apple M1 computer + DVR 17.1. He used a real world project for his test and review. I trust his review here. Give it a watch. If he can do some of the advance stuff with it on his project, it will be a piece of cake for your projects, and much more in the future.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=128806#p704228


LostandConfused wrote:What I didn't really see was an improvement when I went to the render tab, and told it to start outputting my work. Once I did that, my 2nd drive, nor any of the cached optimized media files, were ever read during the rendering process to the best of my observation. Performance monitor on the disk tab never touched the drive for a read cycle.


Did you check the "Use Optimized Media" checkbox on the Render/Delivery page?
From the Resolve Manual:
When this checkbox is turned on, DaVinci Resolve will use optimized media, when available, to do the final render, to save time. If your media has been optimized to the same format as the one you’re outputting to (or better), this is convenient. However, if you’ve optimized to a lower quality format than what you’re outputting to, you should turn this checkbox off to force DaVinci Resolve to process all clips using the original media, guaranteeing the best quality available.


I'm sure that it is a nice Apple setup. I do have to admit, that switching to Apple would negate all gains made in performance in DR. I'm not versed in that OS by any means. :)

Doh! Nope, I didn't know there was a setting in there. How interesting that there is a feature to use optimized while editing, but it doesn't default to using optimized while rendering.

I've cleaned up my system in preparation for the next project that starts today, so I'll have to give this setting a toggle. Thank you! :)
Offline

LostandConfused

  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:16 pm
  • Real Name: Brian Mosk

Re: Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

PostSun Feb 07, 2021 6:31 pm

So I thought I'd drop in some observations after adding a scratch / cache drive, moving the respective drive assignments to that new drive (SSD), setting DR to use optimized media for playback in DR, and then setting DR to use optimized media during render.

Initial observation was that DR was actually slower in doing the render using optimized media. Consistently below 30FPS. I let it keep running, and came back to the initial problem I had where the render speed would drop down to 10FPS and stay there for the remainder of the render.

So, my conclusion is that using the optimized media hasn't done much to help, and has actually added time to the entire workflow. Taking the time to optimize each video to the optimize cache, and then a slower render afterwards. Still didn't negate my triggering action which causes render speed to drop down to 10FPS.

Adding the scratch / cache drive may have been a boost, as that's an empty drive, vs using my space contained C: drive.

Not sure if there is anything else to try. :)
Offline

John Mc Ilwrath

  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2021 9:50 am
  • Location: Northern Ireland
  • Real Name: John Mc ILwrath

Re: Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

PostSun Feb 28, 2021 10:40 am

My question is realated but I think the opposite. I am a newbe to DR but have used imovie and other home video editing programs. I downloaded the free version of DR17

I am not a techie so I have copied the tech stuff below and i may have got the wron name for the windows in DR

Having read the high performance needed for DR I bought:
Imac OS Big SUR; 3.8Hz 8 core i9 cpu; 72Gb ram; Radeon Pro Vega 48 Vram 8 Gb supporting metal GPU Family macOS 2;
27" Retina LCD 5120x2880 Framebuffer depth 30 bit colour
1Tb SSD internal storage; external storage Crucial XP PORTABLE 2 Tb 1080Mb/sec through usb 3/thunderbolt cable
Back up 2 4Tb western Diguital sata connected by usb.

I have 20 year old video tape 720x576 that i converted to video.

Watching youtube davinci resolve how to set up DR & how to edit I discovered that I should see a source window and a timeline window.

I also discovered that DR decides if the computer is capable of showing both.

I only see the timeline window.

Surely my setup far exceeds what DR requires, so what can I do?

Thank you.
Offline

Howard Roll

  • Posts: 1397
  • Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:50 am

Re: Can I realistically do anything with this setup?

PostMon Mar 01, 2021 7:39 pm

John Mc Ilwrath wrote:I also discovered that DR decides if the computer is capable of showing both.


On low res displays you can't have the Inspector and 2up view active as a function of minimum UI scaling, under normal conditions that setting is a user config.

2up.jpg
2up.jpg (6.67 KiB) Viewed 1280 times


Good Luck

Return to Getting Started

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests