Part of our 4K camera upgrade was for ergonomics – better ability to handle the camera, particularly in show floor environments – with most the other reasons centering around quality. Camera quality is superior in every technical sense, low-light and noise reduction being a major area of improvement, but working with larger files at higher bit-rates means longer render times. We can now capture up to 200Mbps (previously captured 28Mbps) at 4K resolution, and we output at 2x the bit-rate of our previous 1080p60 videos. Render times have skyrocketed, as you’d expect, and have gone from roughly video duration + a few minutes to an hour per 20-minute video.
There’s not a lot we can do about this. Adobe Premiere, sadly, does not really do much with multi-GPU. The GPUs are accelerators, with rendering still falling on the CPU for a lot of the workload. We’re becoming more thread-limited than anything at this point, and really don’t want to build an entirely new production system right now. For now, upgrading the primary GPU to a 1080 Ti will help us out a bit in Premiere and significantly in Blender.
Here’s the build log:
Ultimately, our upgrade fixed several things:
Maintenance and dust cleaning, so thermal performance improves
Removed grinding Enermax dust-free fans that were previously installed
Boosted Blender render performance 2x (render times drop from ~12~13 minutes to ~6 minutes on 2x GPUs)
Boosted Premiere performance ~1~2%
Not a big boost on Premiere, but the Blender boost is significant for rapid prototyping of animations.
We may end up moving to Xeons in the X79 socket to see if performance uplift is more significant, like with a $200 16-thread server CPU. Another option would be a dual-socket Xeon board, but we’re not yet sure if Adobe works well with such a setup. More research needed. We’re trying to avoid a complete system build at this point, as it’d take us down for a full day or two to complete.
The next upgrade is storage, since that’s presently bottlenecking us on the large files during the editing process.
More to come.
Host, Editorial: Steve Burke Video: Andrew Coleman
Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"
First world problems, Steve. First world problems.