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PC hardware upgrade advice

Community Beginner ,
Sep 22, 2022 Sep 22, 2022

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This is my current PC components:

AMD Ryzen 7 3800X Processor
ASRock B450M PRO4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard 
Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory 
Seagate Barracuda 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  (x2)
HP EX920 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6 GB Video Card 
COUGAR MX330 Mid-Tower Case
EVGA - 600W ATX 12V/EPS 12V 80 Plus Power Supply - Black
Extra cooling fans (x3)
LG Internal SATA 24x DVD CD +/-R & RW DL Disc Burner Re-Writer Drive OEM Bulk
TP-Link TL-WN881ND PCIe x1 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi Adapter 
Samsung 840 EVO 2.5" 1TB SATA SSD Hard Drive MZ-7TE1T0

I edit mostly 4kp60 in 4kp24 timeline with simple adjustments like brightness/contrast and an adjustment layer for color grading. Most of my video is around 5 minutes and I don't have any issue about exporting, which is about 1.5x or 2x the lenght of the video.

Most of the time the editing goes well. I find scrubbing and backward playback (pariticularly in high speed like 2x or 3x) a bit sluggish.

I would like to improve on that by upgrading the GPU, or CPU, or BOTH.

Can anyone tell what would give me the most bang for the buck?

#1. Upgrade GPU from GTX 1060 (6gb) to RTX 3060ti (8gb).

#2. Upgrade CPU from Ryzen 7-3800x (8 cores) to 9-5900x (12 cores)

#3. Upgrade both.

Thanks.

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Editing , Hardware or GPU

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Community Expert ,
Sep 22, 2022 Sep 22, 2022

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One great resource is the Puget Systems site's test data, which is published for all to see and updated regularly. You can see there which pieces do best not only "in general" but for specific media on specific video post apps.

 

I'd recommend checking their data as to which GPU would get you the most upgrade. The "60's" GPUs tend to be lower in vRAM than the other cards, which limits their abilities more. May not actually be a great choice.

 

Going from 8 to 12 cores can be useful if the processing speed is the same or higher.

 

Going from 32GB of RAM to 64GB of RAM would also be a good boost for certain proceses.

 

So check out the data from Puget.

 

And maybe @RjL190365  will pop in, that user is awesome for these questions.

 

Neil

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Community Expert ,
Sep 22, 2022 Sep 22, 2022

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Something you really need to consider here is that you may upgrade your computer and have essentially the same results as now. Hardware is only one aspect of video editing, and you already have an okay setup. The one thing that you don't mention is the video codec that you're working in, which is going to have as much of an impact if not more than your hardware. 4k60 in H264 or H265 is going to play poorly on almost any system, even if you pump more money into yours. Poor playback while going backwards is especially a symptom of working with delivery codecs like H264/5, which are very complex in how they are compressed and are meant to be played forward. When you put your playhead on a frame of H264/5, you aren't just looking at a single frame, you're processing a whole group of frames (hence why they are called Long-GOP codecs, for Long Group of Pictures). Those groups of pictures are loaded front to back in the group, which is why it performs worse in reverse.

Creating proxies of this kind of media or working in a proper editing codec would vastly improve your editing experience without upgrading your hardware. And again even if you do upgrade your hardware you might not see the playback results you were hoping for, since the media has such a huge impact.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 22, 2022 Sep 22, 2022

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I shoot with Panasonic GH5 and my codec is 4Kp60 mp4. I guess that would be a H.264. Am I right?

If I go thru the trouble of transcoding them into another codec, what would you recommend that would give me a smooth playback?

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Community Expert ,
Sep 22, 2022 Sep 22, 2022

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I'm assuming it would be H264, yeah. 

I would make proxies using the Low/Med Res ProRes Proxy preset that's native in Premiere. That is great for most use-cases. I pretty much use proxies 100% of the time, even though most of the footage I get is optimized to begin with.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 23, 2022 Sep 23, 2022

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Thank you for the enlightening.

I found an article in the Pugent System site:

Why cant my new workstation edit H.264 media smoothly?

I think I will hold off on spending more money on the hardware for now, well, at least until RTX 3060ti come down to earth.

I built my machine a couple of years ago to avoid the trouble of transcoding. I think I will live with the minor inconvenience (stutter) when I scrub fast, or playback fast.

 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 23, 2022 Sep 23, 2022

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Yeah, hardware is nice and it definitely helps, but at a certain point you'll never be able to completely address playback with hardware alone. As the article also reinforces, H264/5 is just incredibly complex to decode in real-time. It's really not made for post production.  

 

A proxy workflow really isn't something you should fear or try to stay away from. It's part of most professional editing workflows out there and it's super easy. On a day of shooting I come back to the computer, drop the cards, import the clips to Premiere and get the proxies going. By the next morning I'm ready to scream through the timeline. I've always said as an example that I'd rather wait 3 hours for proxies to encode and edit in one hour than spend 4 hours dealing with editing H264. I like to work fast. But the reality is that if you just build the proxy creation into your workflow then you aren't ever waiting for them anyway.

 

That's my advice, at any rate. You'll never fully be able to escape the impact of your source media and workflow. You can't hardware yourself out of that situation. It's like buying a Ferrari and putting watered down gas in it. You aren't going to get the experience you want. That's why Puget Systems - a company that benchmarks and builds specialized workstations for people - has an article in answer to why someone might have just built a powerful computer and still can't smoothly edit H264.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 24, 2022 Sep 24, 2022

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Maybe I was fooled by some youTube videos where I saw the OP was scrubbing along in their edit and it was creamy smooth. Maybe, like you said, they were doing it in more edit-friendly proxy.

I will keep your advice in mind. If the stutter really bothers me then I will modify my workflow and go the proxy route.

Thank you.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 25, 2022 Sep 25, 2022

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It started out as my search for perfection in my editing experience. In a lot of way, I was fooled by some of the Youtube tutorials where the OP scrub their clips back and forth at high speed and yet the playback was creamy smooth (now I am convinced that most of them were transcoded footages).

I built my PC a couple of years ago to make my video/editing hobby fun. And it did in a lot of way. But I was annoyed that it stuttered when I fast forward/backward and scrub the source in search of the exact moment.

It's not easy to get a full pictures of the situation and the potential scenario. But the exercise brings me to realize that I can forever chase for the perfection which may or may not be that much better than what I have.

The editing experience is a combination of . . .

  • Codec of the camera
  • Software (NLE)
  • Hareware: GPU/CPU/RAM
  • Workflow

Here is my take:

Codec: Since most of the consumer grade camera are all recording in H.264 or H.265, it is not something I can change.

Software: I have dabbled into Resolve (free version), but I am still a lot more comfortable with PPCC. I don't think I will change too soon.

Hardware: When the hype is cooled off, my current PC setup is really not that bad. I can do most of the tasks with ease. Well, if there is a good deal on the RTX 3060ti I might still jump for it.

Workflow: I built my PC because I wanted to avoid transcoding my 4K videos for editing. My current setup can handle most tasks without transcoding with the exception of some isolated clips with fast action that I wanted to pin down the exact moment. That's far and few in between. When that occurs, I am going to quickly transcode that one particular footage and do my scrubbing. I guess that's is the best of both world solution.

Thank you all for contributing to my education.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 25, 2022 Sep 25, 2022

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I just wanted to say, good for you @dmkAlex. For being open to learning and listening to what was said. This is a subject that so many people are resistant to, unwilling to learn. Maybe it's that it seems very technical on the surface and that is intimidating to people. But there is a technical aspect to what we do, and the more you understand it, the more you understand about why things happen the way they do, and how you can start addressing things, improving workflows, etc. And at the end of the day it's not that hard to understand the concept that not all media is the same. Different codecs are optimized for different things. And that is true regardless of which editing software you use. They all like similar things. True - some NLE's will utilize your hardware in different ways, some more efficiently than others, but at the end of the day the extra processing required to work with unoptimized codecs is still happening, and it's going to catch up to you, whether that's as your project complexity increases, or your editing speed/ability increases.

 

You may find that you'll come to really enjoy these new learnings and processes. I personally do. Editing is comprised of making a lot of little micro-creative decisions, and that can be mentally exhausting. I find that I really like having some of the technical, right and wrong, work that I can do in setting up a project, organizing everything, getting it ready to rock and roll. It's like a chef getting their mis-en-place together before a day of work. At any rate, it starts to feel good when you understand this new and incredibly important part of the process. Acknowledging it and embracing it and not fighting against it is taking a step further in your experience and skill level as a video editor. When you go into a professional setting these are things that are understood, accepted, and utilized daily. 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 25, 2022 Sep 25, 2022

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LATEST

This whole digital editing thing takes a LOT of learning. And even coming out of many years in professional stills, I still had some things I "knew" about high-end digital imaging that were the case with stills, but NOT the case with video.

 

So I had to unlearn and/or relearn a lot of solid professional knowledge. Because this use of professional imaging is so very different than stills.

 

I also got quite a lesson from the colorists I 'hang' with about being humble about gear/playback & stuff. They have MASSIVE systems for the most part, but still do a LOT of transcoding or proxies or 'optimized media' or whatever works.

 

I was repeatedly told that the only thing that counts for this job at this moment with this application on this machine is what works ... practically.

 

And really, that was the best thing I've learned. Figure out in a practical sense what just ... works. Do that.

 

Life is better ...

 

Neil

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Enthusiast ,
Sep 23, 2022 Sep 23, 2022

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I just dropped in to say that the video card should be skipped in Favour of a 4000 series that was just announced.  It will have an AV1 encoder, which is going to (likely) be important within the life span of the machine you're building now:  I have a 3090 and I am dumping it to get the 4090 because of AV1 encoding (and I just want the new one as I have lots of need for Cuda cores, don't hate me for that 🙂 ).

 

Lots of stuff on the internet, but this should give you a 'jist' of why AV1 is important - hopefully adobe also steps up and supports it fully (sooner rather than later).

Tested: Intel Arc's AV1 video encoder shames Nvidia and AMD | PCWorld

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LEGEND ,
Sep 23, 2022 Sep 23, 2022

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Unless you really, really need a new GPU because your current GTX 1060 isn't cutting it with your current working footage, I would hold off on the hardware upgrade for now, being that the RTX 4000 series has been introduced, and will be shipping soon. You see, the 3800x to 5900x CPU upgrade isn't worthwhile enough to justify the $400 USD additional cost (assuming that you won't be selling your current 3800x). In fact, even an upgrade to a 5950X (16 cores) does not give you a sufficient performance improvement to justify spending the additional $550 or so for. Your setup is at a point where the only worthwhile CPU upgrade would involve not only a new CPU, but also a new motherboard and new RAM.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 23, 2022 Sep 23, 2022

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In addition to my recommendation to wait, I'd strongly recommend that you replace your system's PSU:

 

That eVGA "600W", if it's just an 80 Plus white (not Bronze or Gold), really cannot handle more than about 500W maximum continuous load. And newer GPUs are even pickier about the output quality of the PSU than older GPUs did.

 

What this means that under the load of something that's even slightly more powerful than your current GTX 1060/3800x combo, your current PSU will likely shut itself down in the middle of a rendering/export job in order to protect your PC's precious core components.

 

In other words, a $50 PSU simply cannot handle the demands of even a mid-range newer GPU. You'll need to spend more than $150 USD for a PSU that can handle this demand.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 24, 2022 Sep 24, 2022

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Your comment is noted.

PCPartPicker said my current built uses 374 watts. The RTX 3060ti uses 200 watts. You don't think the EVGA PSU can handle 455 watts?

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LEGEND ,
Sep 24, 2022 Sep 24, 2022

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No. The W1 is in the F tier of PSUs, meaning "replace immediately" - while the W2 and W3 are in the E tier, meaning "avoid if you can". These PSUs cannot handle anywhere near their full 600W advertised rating at realistic internal operating temperatures (as measured inside inside the PSU housing). In fact, these 80-Plus (white) PSUs are rated to handle their advertised wattage at an unrealistically low operating temperature (of only 30°C, in this case, when the real internal operating temperatures inside the PSU can exceed 50°C even during a light load).

 

Put it this way, your ambient temperatures need to be colder than -40°C (40 below zero) just for a typical PSU to operate internally at anywhere close to 30°C.

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