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Any benefit of upgrading CPU in video rendering when using CUDA render

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#1
Vladimir123

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Hello,

 

Can anyone please tell me if I would get any benefit in rendering time if I upgrade my current CPU ( Intel Xeon E5620 4 cores 2,4 GHz overclocked to 3,6 GHz ) to Intel Xeon E5645 6 cores 2,4 GHz ?

Well, as far as I know these 2 CPUs are pretty much the same, except the fact that the Xeon E5645 has 2 more cores and 4 more threads compared to the Xeon E5620, so if I end up buying it I'll probably use the same overclocking settings to reach the same frequency I have now ( maybe do minor adjustments if needed ).

 

I am aware that upgrading the CPU helps a lot in the render time if using the " CPU only " as render option, but I am not sure if upgrading the CPU will help in render times when using the " CUDA " render option. I always use CUDA render because it is about 50% faster than using the CPU only option.

 

When I render a video using the CUDA render option, the CPU's load is about 40-75% while the GPU's load is about 30-75%.

I always thought that CUDA render is completely managed by the GPU but judging by the load of the CPU during CUDA render it seems I was wrong, yet I still do not understand how exactly CUDA render works, what the CPU does during CUDA render for example.

 

The software I use for video editing is Sony Vegas Pro.

My GPU is MSI Nvidia GTX 560 Ti Twin Frozr ii OC and I am using Kingston 3x4GB DDR3 1600 MHz RAM.

 

I usually edit top5/ top 10 videos so I include plenty of effects and transitions for the videos/ images and as far as I know, not every effect and transition can be rendered using the GPU, many of them have to be rendered by the CPU itself and I can confirm this after monitoring my CPU and GPU's load while rendering a video with the effects and transitions I use, when the software comes to render a part with these effects/ transitions the GPU's load goes down while the CPU's load goes up.

 

Can anyone please tell me if upgrading in my case would benefit me regarding the rendering times ?

 

Thank you very much.

 

 

 


Edited by Vladimir123, 24 November 2016 - 04:25 AM.

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#2
AlexSpoettel

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(attention : technical terms might be used very wrong here but it gets the point across :b )

 

CPU and GPU always work together when rendering video and effects. GPU accelerated does not mean GPU Only - it just means that the GPU is used for task it is optimized for :

  • some effects
  • scaling
  • deinterlacing
  • blending modes
  • color space conversions

As you can see , those tasks do not include video de- and encoding, effects that are not GPU accelerated etc. CUDA means that the GPU is split into lots of small linear rendering units that you can imagine as some sort of linear CPUs. They perfom "stupid" tasks that can be sped up by just increasing the number of parallel calculations. A CPU is fore few very complex and time consuming taks like de-and encoding which is for most parts non-linear and needs alot of power to get done. That is why alot of effects are really really sped up by approaches like CUDA - the virtual GPU kernels can outperform any CPU by just offering a sheer mass of calculation units.

 

As you can see, there are tasks that will be greatly sped up by CUDA so a better GPU always ensures faster render times if GPU accelleration in any form is involved, but for alot of tasks the CPU is still the factor of render time number 1.

 

This is why GPU based 3D realtime renderers (Marmoset Toolbag , Octane , Game Engines) are so much faster with better grpahics card. The mass of GPU calculation units perform incredibly much more raytracing operations in a unit of time than a current gen user CPU ever could - but for in depth renderings with multiple light bounces and physics simulations the CPU is the better choice.


Edited by AlexSpoettel, 23 November 2016 - 09:21 AM.

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#3
Vladimir123

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Thank you very much for your post @AlexSpoettel, you really explained it very well and I appreciate it.

 

I've also thought of upgrading the GPU too, though this is less likely to happen because I upgraded to my GTX 560 Ti like 2 months ago and in case I upgrade the GPU now I'd need to upgrade my PSU too ( Cooler Master B500 V2 500W ), simply because the software I use works better with AMD Radeon cards than Nvidia ones ( it works best with Nvidia GTX 500 series, when it comes to the newer Nvidia GPUs it just works so bad because the CUDA render templates stopped working on their optimization for Nvidia cards back in 2011, hence why it works best with the GTX 500 and 400 series ).

 

Just wondering, would you advice me to upgrade my CPU to Intel Xeon E5645 ? I am sure that I can get the same overclock as on my current one, so do you think the 2 more cores and 4 more threads is worth upgrading for ?

 

Thank you again.


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#4
AlexSpoettel

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Thank you very much for your post @AlexSpoettel, you really explained it very well and I appreciate it.

 

I've also thought of upgrading the GPU too, though this is less likely to happen because I upgraded to my GTX 560 Ti like 2 months ago and in case I upgrade the GPU now I'd need to upgrade my PSU too ( Cooler Master B500 V2 500W ), simply because the software I use works better with AMD Radeon cards than Nvidia ones ( it works best with Nvidia GTX 500 series, when it comes to the newer Nvidia GPUs it just works so bad because the CUDA render templates stopped working on their optimization for Nvidia cards back in 2011, hence why it works best with the GTX 500 and 400 series ).

 

Just wondering, would you advice me to upgrade my CPU to Intel Xeon E5645 ? I am sure that I can get the same overclock as on my current one, so do you think the 2 more cores and 4 more threads is worth upgrading for ?

 

Thank you again.

 

It really depends. If you get the same clock you have to research if your version (!!) of Sony Vegas Pro properly supports multithreading. That would be the only advantage you get. If it is limited to 2 or 4 cores i wouldnt upgrade since with 2 you would be at the same performance , if 4 are supported the performance boost will be there but not too gigantic. If it supports 6 threads for rendering the performance will go up alot. Imagine each thread as a unit of Sony Vegas that renders your project. Instead of 2 units you would have 6.

 

I personally have made great experience with upgrading my CPU but I went from a [bleep] one to an i7. I can now do things I never could before, and I am planning to buy a CPU dedicated to rendering (and not gaming like i7) very soon. 

 

I hope this helps

Alex


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#5
Vladimir123

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My current CPU already has 4 cores and 8 threads, the software does support multithreading ( it supports at least 16 threads by default ).

 

Thank you Alex, your messages are indeed helpful.


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#6
FreeBooter

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(attention : technical terms might be used very wrong here but it gets the point across :b )
 
CPU and GPU always work together when rendering video and effects. GPU accelerated does not mean GPU Only - it just means that the GPU is used for task it is optimized for :

  • some effects
  • scaling
  • deinterlacing
  • blending modes
  • color space conversions
As you can see , those tasks do not include video de- and encoding, effects that are not GPU accelerated etc. CUDA means that the GPU is split into lots of small linear rendering units that you can imagine as some sort of linear CPUs. They perfom "stupid" tasks that can be sped up by just increasing the number of parallel calculations. A CPU is fore few very complex and time consuming taks like de-and encoding which is for most parts non-linear and needs alot of power to get done. That is why alot of effects are really really sped up by approaches like CUDA - the virtual GPU kernels can outperform any CPU by just offering a sheer mass of calculation units.
 
As you can see, there are tasks that will be greatly sped up by CUDA so a better GPU always ensures faster render times if GPU accelleration in any form is involved, but for alot of tasks the CPU is still the factor of render time number 1.
 
This is why GPU based 3D realtime renderers (Marmoset Toolbag , Octane , Game Engines) are so much faster with better grpahics card. The mass of GPU calculation units perform incredibly much more raytracing operations in a unit of time than a current gen user CPU ever could - but for in depth renderings with multiple light bounces and physics simulations the CPU is the better choice.

 

Fantastic explanation AlexSpoettel :thumbsup:


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#7
AlexSpoettel

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Thanks guys, glad I can help here. 

 

@OP

If it supports multithreading the CPU is a good option to gain a performance boost. The question is if you want to get this CPU or save up for a even better one. You have to think ahead, effects and codecs will only get more performance hungry, so you would rather gear up with big jumps rather than small ones.

 

Do you have perfromance issues that cripple your workflow to a point where you cant work comfortable anymore ? - Upgrade immediately and dont do it half heartedly

 

Are you able to work comfortably and smoothly and just have the feeling that you could decrease rendertime by 5-15 minutes? -Do not upgrade immediately. Save up for when your performance does not fullfill your needs

 

To round this just my 2 cents on upgrading computers.

My personal experience with rendering and render times is the following:

 

Video Editing

Upgraded from a [bleep] GPU and CPU to good ones (at my private computer ofc). I cant express enough how much that brought back the fun into editing and cutting stuff. I work with RAW video alot from my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema , using it with DaVinci Resolve (which is actually really great at editing plus its free) and I am in love with the perfromance. The upgrade route I took was huge enough to blatantly show me how much of a difference it made. Going back to my old computer when my new one is occupied feels like stepping back 10 years in time (albait it is only 6 years old) . If you got some money left, save it and plan on some big upgrades, you wont regret it. at all.

 

3D

I did alot of 3D demolition, lighting tests , shader setups etc. Upgrading your home computer will most likely not help you too much - even on really fast machine a long 3D render eats up so much time that you are better of getting a coffee in town and do some other stuff, if you do not use a render farm render times will be long as [bleep] and 4 cores wont change anything at this.

 

Audio (a little hint about RAM)

Im making beats and film scores - I never really felt a difference with a new CPU. BUT I really felt the difference from 8GB RAM  to 32GB Ram.

 

This leads me to another tip : try to upgrade your RAM if it is below 16GB it makes incredible differences while working with alot of footage and prerenders!


Edited by AlexSpoettel, 24 November 2016 - 07:29 AM.

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#8
Vladimir123

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Well, I do not have any problems while working on the videos and to be honest the render times are not that long, it's just that in my opinion decreasing the render times let's say by at least 30% will help me a lot considering that I have to render videos every day/ every second day.

 

Anyway, my motherboard is LGA 1366 socket type and unfortunately it's a dead socket as you probably know, there are no new CPUs being produced for this socket and the best CPU I can get for this motherboard socket is Intel Xeon X5690 which is way too expensive compared to $50 Intel Xeon E5645 which performs almost the same ( when overclocked at 3,6 GHz ) as the Xeon X5690.

Upgrading my current CPU to the Xeon E5645 means the last upgrade because once I do, there wont be any better CPU to upgrade to ( well, until I change my motherboard too ).

 

As for RAM, I have Kingston 3X4GB  DDR3 1600 MHz and so far I never really noticed the need of upgrading to more RAM, the max usage of RAM I saw was about 8GB when I was rendering a video with Sony Vegas Pro, had Google Chrome open along with about 10 tabs and Mozilla Firefox with 1 or 2 tabs.

 

In the end, I have only 2 choices, either stick with what I have or do the last upgrade now ( for now I dont really consider upgrading both motherboard and CPU, it's really way too much out of my budget so this is not an option ).  


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#9
AlexSpoettel

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Well, I do not have any problems while working on the videos and to be honest the render times are not that long, it's just that in my opinion decreasing the render times let's say by at least 30% will help me a lot considering that I have to render videos every day/ every second day.

 

Anyway, my motherboard is LGA 1366 socket type and unfortunately it's a dead socket as you probably know, there are no new CPUs being produced for this socket and the best CPU I can get for this motherboard socket is Intel Xeon X5690 which is way too expensive compared to $50 Intel Xeon E5645 which performs almost the same ( when overclocked at 3,6 GHz ) as the Xeon X5690.

Upgrading my current CPU to the Xeon E5645 means the last upgrade because once I do, there wont be any better CPU to upgrade to ( well, until I change my motherboard too ).

 

As for RAM, I have Kingston 3X4GB  DDR3 1600 MHz and so far I never really noticed the need of upgrading to more RAM, the max usage of RAM I saw was about 8GB when I was rendering a video with Sony Vegas Pro, had Google Chrome open along with about 10 tabs and Mozilla Firefox with 1 or 2 tabs.

 

In the end, I have only 2 choices, either stick with what I have or do the last upgrade now ( for now I dont really consider upgrading both motherboard and CPU, it's really way too much out of my budget so this is not an option ).  

 

I see I see. 

But is it really worth then ? If you could upgrade both the motherboard and the CPU you would really have an advantage and economically you only do damage with buying an overpriced outdated CPU. Believe me, tech world is morphing so fast, buying something that is considered fast right now is a waste of money in a matter of years or even months. So logically it is pointless to buy a CPU for a dead socket.

 

If you make videos every day you will be facing alot of new stuff that requires new hardware very soon, do you have a way of making money from the videos ? If so , do it and buy yourself a new computer from it.

Are you filming or editing gaming/similar videos ?


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#10
Vladimir123

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Im a freelancer at Upwork and I edit top5/ top 10 videos for my current job, it's a long term job so I guess I'll stick with it for at least a year, though so far as a freelancer I had to edit interview videos ( sometimes multiple cameras sometimes only 1 ) and GoPro videos.

 

I get your point, I understand that technology advances so fast and I agree, but considering my PC stuff needs, at the moment I really do not see any problems caused by my old PC components not to allow me to do my job as a freelancer video editor, Im just looking forward to upgrade to get somewhat faster renders, that's all.

I work with 1080p videos so yeah I dont have any problems while editing the videos, I usually have the preview quality set to " Auto " instead of " BEST " and it's smooth allowing me to see the effects/ transitions I apply very well.

 

Im not 100% sure on what I should do in this case but I guess it wont be a mistake to upgrade my CPU, I mean it can turn out to be just good, cut the render times by a bit and only improve something not make it worse.

 

Oh, by the way the CPU is $50 ( used ) so it's not big money we're talking about, let's say that even if the CPU doesnt really help much it's not like Im gonna lose a lot of money, it's just $50, far from buying a new motherboard and CPU as well.

 

Thank you for your message again.


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#11
iammykyl

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Gday.

Just enquiring if you did the CPU upgrade and if it made a performance difference..


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#12
Vladimir123

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Hello,

 

I havent upgraded yet, I am waiting to see more feedback by people who bought the CPU ( will buy either from aliexpress or ebay, whatever seems better ).

Im sorry, I dont know how long it will take me to, but it wont be that fast considering that I'll have to wait at least 3-4 weeks for the arrival.

 

Though as AlexSpoettel explained above, I really believe upgrading will help in the render times.

I ran some tests where during a CUDA render I was monitoring the GPU and CPU load and noticed that during some specific effects that I applied to the video the CPU's load goes up and the GPU's load goes down, same goes to transitions ( pretty much every transition ) it's like all of them are made to be rendered only by the CPU.

That said, considering the amount of effects and transitions I use, upgrading the CPU should definitely speed up the renders ( by how much will depend on on how many and which effects/ transitions I use ).


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#13
Vladimir123

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Sorry, it took me a month to get my CPU and test it.

 

Here's an update.

 

Ok so, while I still had the old CPU, I did a few renders ( different projects ) and saved the render times just so I could compare with the new CPU.

That's what I've done and unfortunately I think there is no difference in the render times ( CUDA ) with the new CPU.

 

Render test 1

Video's length: 5:08 mins

Render time with the xeon e5620 ( CUDA + CPU ): 22:15 mins

Render time with the new xeon e5645 ( CUDA + CPU ): 20:46 mins

 

Render test 2

Video's length: 5:36 mins

Render time with the xeon e5620 ( CUDA + CPU ): 17:52 mins

Render time with the new xeon e5645 ( CUDA + CPU ): 14:37 mins

 

Render test 3

Video's length: 4:35 mins

Render time with the xeon e5620 ( CUDA + CPU ): 17:59 mins

Render time with the new xeon e5645 ( CUDA + CPU ): 15:52 mins

 

Render test 4

Video's length: 4:37 mins

Render time with the xeon e5620 ( CUDA + CPU ): 9:25 mins

Render time with the new xeon e5645 ( CUDA + CPU ): 7:59 mins

 

I rendered using the same settings I used before, it's the same project files so everything is same ( amount of video/ audio tracks, effects etc ) and these are the results I got.

However, after re-rendering a few times some of these videos, I noticed that the render times was nearly the same as the render time with the xeon e5620 or sometimes even a bit longer than what it was before.

For example, if I render the same video as in the 4th render test shown above, the video might take a minute less or more to render.

 

It might be because of the software and the way it works with CUDA render or maybe it's just the effects I used in the videos I used as render tests, or after all, this might be actually be supposed to be like this, I am really not sure about this.

 

When it comes to Cinebench R15 score, I scored about 540 points with the Xeon E5620 and now with the Xeon E5645 I get 841 points ( both CPUs at same frequency of 3,6 GHz ).

 

I should have ran more tests before, like renders of videos without any effects at all to see if there would be any noticable difference in the render times in such case, but I didnt think of it ..

 

Anyway, I do not regret upgrading because I am sure that the new CPU now will improve the render times when I use CPU only renders ( it happens sometimes when the software crashes during rendering because of some effects that I use and in this case I am forced to use CPU only render ).


Edited by Vladimir123, 28 December 2016 - 05:11 PM.

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