4k Editing laptop Vram vs speed in Premiere explanation

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Lensmonkey, Jul 1, 2016.

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  1. Lensmonkey

    Lensmonkey Newbie

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    Hi all! I wonder if someone could enlighten me on something I have been trying to get my head around? I need to use premiere on-the-go and I am trying to make a capable choice for (4k h264 drone footage) laptop. I have read quite a bit about cards, but there are some things I don't quite feel I understand. A card can be referred to as "fast" and a card can have a lot of v-ram. How do they relate to the time-line? I tried a 960m w/2gb vram and it stuttered. A 960m with 4gb vram has done better in two different laptops i tried. I understand a 970m is around a third "faster" (due to architecture etc) What does that "speed" mean to the time-line? I think I can see it from a gamer's perspective as it allows more computations and better quality or framerate (i think) but what does it mean for the Adobe timeline-more layers/effects before choking? How does v-ram fit in here? If the card is fast enough to render out a frame in real time-is the ram just how many frames it can cache in advance? I have heard said that one needs 4gb v-ram for 4k. In which case does it make better sense to opt for a 960m with 4gb vram-or the much "faster" 970m with 3gb v-ram? (specifically for premiere editing!) Should I find the most v-ram I can afford-How much ram is just pointless overkill for advertising specs? I understand that the CPU will do the bulk of the rendering workload; I am mostly interested in having a fluid preview for timing's sake as I edit to a soundtrack. And I know the drives need to be fast. Thanks for any and all help!
     
  2. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    You want both. A fast GPU with as much VRAM as possible on the fattest bus between them. Especially with 4K footage.

    Just like an optimized CPU+RAM combo gives much, much better productivity (i.e 'work done') than simply the fastest CPU with the minimally recommended RAM; the (optimized) GPU+VRAM combo is similar, with a fast GPU (many 'cores', 'compute units', 'stream processors', 'shaders' etc.) coupled with as much VRAM as possible on the widest bus available.

    Since you'll be running this on a notebook (meaning the GPU will be doing the heavy lifting in your workloads); get the GPU with 8GB RAM, imo. Getting a nominally faster card but with less VRAM is a tradeoff I think will leave you wanting in the long run, in your 4K editing sessions.

    Good luck.
     
  3. bloodhawk

    bloodhawk Derailer of threads.

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    To add to what @tilleroftheearth said, and from dealing with 4k and 6k footage on a daily basis, You will need a decent amount of system RAM along with a good SSD(s). SSD's arent all that important, since once the footage is cached into the memory you are good to go, but its always best to have the footage loaded on the fastest drive possible.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  4. Lensmonkey

    Lensmonkey Newbie

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    I am grateful for the advice. Could you explain the effect, ie "the job" the ram does vs. what job the "speed" attends to please? I know that sounds pretty facile but I am trying to get my head around the process-ing :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  5. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    In a nutshell; the speed of the GPU won't change with more VRAM, but it will provide a far smoother and more consistent experience the more VRAM you have (just like you saw with the 'stuttering' of the 2GB vs. the 4GB VRAM cards).

    This is especially true of the CPU and system RAM. The better (faster/more cores) the CPU has, the more RAM it can use to keep itself 'busy' without waiting for code/data to be transferred from slow storage to RAM as needed (only in RAM can a CPU do 'work'). At the very least, more RAM/VRAM will give the platform extra breathing room when you have started a video conversion (with effects, etc.) in the background and you want to do something else with the system in the meantime (in the foreground).

    Optimize all aspects of the platform as much as your budget allows (now) to get a truly balanced system with little to no bottlenecks in performance (at least for your current workloads).

    In order of importance:
    1. O/S (latest Winx64 O/S - today that is Win10x64Pro - clean install (always) with no software bloat or 'tweaks' to break the O/S and kept completely up-to-date).
    2. Chassis design (as large as it needs to be to properly house and cool off the components it can house - 'ultrabooks' need not apply... yet).
    3. CPU (usually latest generation i7's; fastest iteration, most L2/L3/L4 cache and 4C/8T or more - 'U' models need not apply).
    4. RAM (max out the RAM with the biggest capacity/fastest/least latency SoDimm modules (64GB RAM is not 'too much' for video editing) and maxing out the RAM as soon as you buy the notebook gives you the most productivity possible for the life of the system).
    5. Storage Subsystem (SSD's - of course - and always the biggest capacity too - TLC needs to be ignored, as does M.2 PCIe x4 SSD's that cannot be properly cooled in the intended chassis. Less than ~512GB SSD's are throwaway in the second half of 2016 - bigger capacities will give more performance and life expectancy - and don't forget to OP by 33% or more if you want to be able to use and abuse them (almost) any way you want).

    Hope this helps. ;)
     
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