How do graphic cards affect video editing on PC's

  spikeIL2 20:53 28 Aug 2007
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most people are aware of how graphics cards enable smooth fps on video games an how they contribute to screen resolution but can anyone advise on how a graphics card affects video editing and comples 3d modeling software

most pc mags show scores for game performance but i don't seem to see much grading of how graphics cards impact on video and 3d software

  holme 22:02 28 Aug 2007

In the main, the 'preview' display used by video editing applications is generally a low-res version of the underlying video being edited.

So if you're talking about editing, say, standard PAL video (not high-definition) which will be 720x576 pixels at 25fps, or widescreen equivalent, the preview window may be something like 360x288 pixels at 25fps (maximum, possibly less, depending on the machine's performance).

I don't think the graphics card performance will unduly improve on that, nor (I think) does 3D modelling affect the issue. HTH.

  spikeIL2 20:51 29 Aug 2007

thanks for that holme

what about video editing using software like adobe premiere and complex 3d modelling software, like 3dsmax or viz? how does a modern ati or a geforce card deal with those?

how does a new ati or geforce gpu - say a geforce go 7800gtx, compare to cards like firegl cards,(ati), and a quadro fx card from geforce?

do the firegl and quadro fx cards do a better job with premiere or 3dsmax?

  holme 21:13 29 Aug 2007

Frankly, this is way outside our area so we can't help in any definitive way, sorry.

But speaking from a semi-ignorant base (!), I think the job of soopper-dooper graphics cards is primarily to improve what you see on the monitor, and not what's going on within the computer.

A colleague has used adobe premier briefly and, despite the eye-watering cost, says it just seems to be a particularly capable video editing suite. He's had a look at the spec and, as far as he can see, all the extra-whizzy features are all mechanised in software and via the video rendering; he doesn't think the graphics card comes into that. But apologies in advance if that's plain rubbish.

We recently upgraded to using a GeForce 8500GT in our video-editing machine and it doesn't change anything when using Ulead's VideoStudio. But the 1900x1200 LCD display looks a lot nicer, particularly text and vector graphics which now benefit from proper antialiasing.

Can't comment on 3d modelling I'm afraid, we know nothing...

  spikeIL2 21:44 29 Aug 2007

cheers holme

so if the gpu isn't doing any 'hard work' creating the video or 3dmodel, what is?

ram, processor, etc?

thanks for the response though

  umbongo(uk) 21:57 29 Aug 2007

its a combination of both but the card takes most of the burden so to speak other elements are there as well memorey etc

what youre after is out there, you,ll just have to google and find a reveiw site using the benchmarks you wish to see


here an example of the 6600gt
click here
the full article from page one ,its just a matter of searching
click here

  holme 22:00 29 Aug 2007

Can't comment on 3d-ing, but all the extensive number-crunching for video work ('rendering' the video, trancoding from one video format to another, preparation before burning to DVD, etc) is pretty much down to the processor(s), plus data transfer between RAM and hard disc.

Interestingly, with dual processors (and presumably quads), only one processor is normally used /unless/ the in-use application is specifically re-written to make use of the extra processor(s). VideoStudio is, not many others are as yet.

So when we went from a machine with a 3.06GHz Pentium 4 to the current with 2 x 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo E6600, plus a faster SATA hard drive, like-for-like heavy number-crunching using VideoStudio v9 speeded up by a good 70%. Then upgrading to v10+ (taking the second processor into account) pushed things up by another 30%, i.e. more than twice as fast at the earlier P4 machine.

But I can't say that replacing a Radeon X1600SE with the GeForce 8500GT made any noticeable performance difference. But DTP and graphics work are much nicer to look at!

  Why wont it work 22:01 29 Aug 2007

For video editing you generally only need a mediocre graphics card. You can get the FIREGL ones etc, but they are very specialised and only have any real benefit in specific cases. The CPU, amount of RAM and Hard drive all make far more difference, especially the CPU.

  holme 22:12 29 Aug 2007

Mmm, it looks like (once again) it's a terminology problem and we and umbongo might be talking about two quite different things. I've quickly read the link articles but, by "video", they're clearly referring specifically to what you see on the monitor screen. For avoidance of confusion, we prefer to call that a "display".

Unless I'm mis-reading what SpikeIL2 is saying, I think by "video editing" he's referring to taking streams of video data (e.g. PAL video from TV, camcorders, video tape, etc) and re-working it to e.g. re-arrange it, cut bits out, add transitions, effects, titles and so on, then "render" the results into a composite result, perhaps for recording onto DVD. I really can't see how the computer's graphics card affects any of that.

But if I'm plain wrong, my apologies.

  umbongo(uk) 22:42 29 Aug 2007

the best way is to run the benchmark software yourself so you can see exactly what its doing and what result your looking for

2 suggestions sisoftsandra and 3dmark 06
hopefully you will see what the reviewers see as there are other options in the software

  spikeIL2 23:41 29 Aug 2007

cheers guys. loads to think on here. many thanks. back with more thoughts tomorrow

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