Performance and Conclusion
It’s a bit difficult to quantify the increase of performance in video editing we see with this upgrade, but let’s take a look at how impressive we've found 40 threads of CPU can be so far.
First let’s take a look at one of the tried and true CPU benchmarks, Cinebench.
Cinebench is based on the Cinema4D rendering engine, which is popular for 3D animation work. This gives us a good idea of potential workflow for 3D rendering applications with this workstation. It also is a way to quantify peak CPU performance to compare our architecture implementations.
While we see here that the Core i7-990X actually beats our dual Xeon configuration in the single threaded workflow, most likely due to the much higher base clock of the 990X at 3.45GHz compared to 2.8GHz for the E5-2680v2’s, multi-threaded performance is drastically different. With 28 more threads available, it’s easy to see how the multi-threaded score of the Xeon system was just over 3x the rendering performance of our previous workstation.
Next we took a look at one of our existing 4K project files in Adobe Premiere Pro. This is a fairly simple project file as far as things go, with mostly one single camera with the occasional overlayed B-Roll shots.
Exporting this 10 minute composition at the YouTube 4K preset (40Mbps) took a staggering 35 Minutes and 9 Seconds on the old Core i7-990X machine, just over 3.5x realtime. When encoding this same project on the same version of Adobe Media Encoder on the new system, this time dropped by about 60% to 22 minutes and 19 seconds. While it still took longer than we are used to with 1080p video, this is a substantial time saver.
It's also worth mentioning that while all threads on the 990X machine were completely maxed while encoding this project, the Xeon-based workstation was only at about 60% total CPU utilization. This leaves us with hope of Adobe improving their encoder in the future and potentially using more of our available CPU resources, resulting in shorter encode times.
Should anyone spend just under $7000 on a workstation to edit 4K videos? Probably not. While we are squeaking out about every ounce of performance we can get out of Adobe Media Encoder, most people should be served well with a more consumer-oriented platform like X99 and an Intel Core i7-5960X.
Nonetheless, this has been a fun experiment, and it will be interesting to see over time how different programs utilize this many cores/threads and how things start to scale into the future.
Our thanks goes out to Supermicro for the help selecting the 7047A-T barebones system!!
Makes you wonder if you’ll
Makes you wonder if you’ll use another editing program that will use ALL of the resources…
Or just stick it out as is…?
I doubt other software
I doubt other software packages would provide better multithreaded support, even if they did I imagine you’d be compromising a lot of productivity options from switching from CC.
I would simply sit tight and wait for Adobe to work on expanding the multithreaded support for the encoding engine, could simply be that one format which doesn’t have enough threads available rather than the PP CC mercury engine.
If you’re only getting 60%
If you’re only getting 60% utilisation, doesn’t that mean there’s a bottleneck elsewhere on the system?
More than likely we are
More than likely we are seeing issues with Adobe Premiere's ability to access 20 cores across two CPU sockets.
Yea 40 threads isn’t exactly
Yea 40 threads isn’t exactly a normal thing out there. 😀
HI Ryan in the interest of
HI Ryan in the interest of disclosure. Did you buy these product yourself, like anyone else would
Or did you offer to do a review/placement of all the stuff in exchange for the parts for free?
Adobe for years has not been
Adobe for years has not been great about making sure that their code utilizes all the resources available to it. In our office we have done per Core monitoring and Adobe After Effects will not use more than half our systems cores even if the others are free and the preferences in After Effects tell it to use all free cores.
Its funny that barebone got
Its funny that barebone got horrible review on amazon, are those accurate?
Those reviews are odd to me –
Those reviews are odd to me – we are using SSDs and HDDs on the same controller, no issues.
Also, its true that BIOS/firmware updates are slow to non-existent on these systems. But for server/workstation hardware, that is the norm.
I wonder how something more
I wonder how something more normal would compare?
Something like any X99 based motherboard with like a E5 2696 v3 (yes it do no exist but you can get one on ebay) 18 core CPU.
you can still use ECC memory even on X99 based motherboards. you can probably find a MB that can boot from the NVMe.
you loose dual socket but how much faster is two E5-2680v2’s compared to one E5 2696 v3?
With dual processor, and 64
With dual processor, and 64 GB ram, it’s worth pointing out that there’s only 32 GB per processor. That’s just not very much.
I’d expect for some video processing that 64GB in an X-99 with 10 threads would be better than 20 threads and 32 GB each.
You’d be wrong. It takes
You’d be wrong. It takes very, very specific uses to really push for higher performance going from 32GB > 64GB > 128GB of RAM. LinusTechTips even did a test on this a few months ago testing under a similar setup and once again your maximum benefit with most Adobe products is 32-64GB of RAM. Anything higher was pretty much useless.
Video Editing isn’t that demanding on RAM either. Really depends on your case and scenario though. You can do quite a bit with just 16-32GB.
What about using the Quadro
What about using the Quadro K5200 to accelerate the video encoding/decoding it has way more cores than any CPU so what about accelerating the work on the GPU. Adobe After Effects should be able to make more use of the GPU and take the load off of the CPU cores/threads, and I would think that once Vukan/DX12 usage becomes more commonplace that more asynchronous workloads could be done on the GPU’s cores and that even Nvidia’s partially in software asynchronous not in the hardware asynchronous compute could still run circles around any CPU for heavy encoding/decoding work. Maybe Adobe After Effects is not making good use of the GPU, HSA style, for accelerated processing.
Nice build guys…….Linus
Nice build guys…….Linus would be proud….just kidding…
I’d be interested to see what
I’d be interested to see what the performance is like with hyper threading turned OFF. It’s be easy to test. Considering that Premiere is having such a difficult time using so many threads, it might be worthwhile to reduce them and see if performance improves.
60% utilization…almost a complete waste of an entire processor.
Just my $0.02.