February 23, 2011

Nvidia GTX470s

I’ve been getting sluggish playback from my video system which I thought was odd, and was thinking about getting a new monster system for editing when I came across a neat little tidbit of information.

I really didn’t think about since I was able to get ok video performance from the new Adobe CS5 Mercury Engine for dealing with those HD DSRL footage files. We’ll apparently I have been using the engine in “Software” mode the entire time meaning it has not been hardware accelerated at all. Doh!

I have two high speed ATI cards in my system for the Quad display and just assumed since they are one of the two high performance video card manufacturers that of course Adobe would support them. Wrong…

Adobe is apparently in bed with NVidia so if you are not using Nvidia…and if you are not using specific Nvidia graphic cards, the Mercury engine ignores them all together. There are only two of the GTX cards supported and the rest are the grossly expensive QuadroFX models. So basically CS5 has been ignoring my ATIs all this time….fuckers…

I’m not entirely happy about retiring my 720xps just yet, so I decided to purchase a couple GTX 470s instead and see if that will hold me over until I upgrade to something faster.

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  1. What are the specs on your 720 XPS? They seem to have a nice big case for upgrades. Are you rockin’ quad-core processors? Do a lot of Adobe programs make good use of quad-core processors?

  2. The machine is a few years old now, so it has the older duo core E6750 processor in it. 2.66h, with 8 gigs of ram and Dual Video Cards, 4 internal Sata hard drives.

    It was a monster system in 07 and still an awesome machine for most things, but for video editing and VFX that require tons of overhead, it’s becoming outdated quickly.

    The Adobe suite and programs like Maya, 3dmax, Zbrush all make good use of Quad-core. Actually the high end 3d/video programs make use of machines with multiple CPU processors in them.

    I was looking at a Dell Precision T7500 workstation the last few days that had Dual (2) Xeon Six Core processors in it, 24 gigs of ram and dual Nvidia QuadroFX5800s but luckily I stopped myself and came to my senses before purchasing it. lol…

    I thought I would give these GTX470s a run just to get better performance out of my editing system a little bit longer before jumping into something like that…and I don’t really want to retire a relatively fast system for something just a little bit faster that will be outdated tomorrow.

    If I do upgrade, it will be to something like mentioned above although I’m not looking forward to the black hole it’s going to produce in my pocketbook.

  3. When you do decide to upgrade I might (possibly) be able to get you a discount through our IT guys as they are huge purchasers from Dell (If you don’t already have a connection/hookup).

    The rig you want would be like buying a new car. Six core processors are still prohibitively expensive.

  4. Thanks for mentioning this…definitely something I will need to consider for potential future upgrades…

  5. lol…that’s awesome CB. lol..

    Here is the list of GeForce cards Tim. If you don’t have one of the cards on this list, it means most likely the Mercury Engine is ignoring it running in Software mode.

    GeForce GT 240
    GeForce GTS 240
    GeForce GTX 260
    GeForce GTX 275
    GeForce GTX 285m
    GeForce GTX 295
    GeForce GTX 470
    GeForce GTX 480

    Mercury supports most of the Quadro cards since those are the expensive workstation cards. If yours is not on the list you can find resources on the net to hack files to get other Nvidia cards to work with it, but no ATI cards at all.

    Thanks for the offer CB. I’m not sure if I will buy one from Dell directly. I don’t know why, but every time I purchase a Dell direct from the factory, there is something really messed up about it.

    I’ve had better luck through resellers that have already gone through them and I can usually find much a better deals on them. I’ll probably do the same with this one when the time comes…and yeah the Xeon 6 core stuff is mad money.

    If I were to buy that system straight from dell it would be over 11k just for the box. Pretty nutty stuff.

  6. Thanks see you guys tomorrow…

  7. CB awesome video. Dynomite. See ya’ll tomorrow.

  8. Hollywood, What are you going to do with the old video cards?

  9. Not sure yet…it just depends on how well these 470s work.

    If I get the acceleration I’m looking for, then the ATI’s will probably be laying around collecting dust. If the 470s don’t work that well, then I have to make a decision as to what system configuration I’ll need and I may or may-not need the ATI’s at that point.

    It’s actually good “not” to use a video editing machine for a bunch of other stuff since everything you add to the system starts bogging it down. I have toyed with the idea of splitting my quad displays into two separate machines with a switcher for my keyboard and mouse. If I go that route, I would need to leave the ATI’s where they are and use the GTX470s in the new machine…though I would only need one of them.

    Do you need a video card? I actually may have an Nvidia floating around. I had two of them I replaced when I put the ATIs in the current system and only used one of them in the Audio/Precision machine. I think the other one is in one those plastic bins in the closet.

    Either way, I’ll probably have a free card in there somewhere.

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