AVS Club Gold
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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I got the ATI FirePro V8800 in today and while the installation was a bit difficult, I did finally get everything working thanks to Sony's help file info on drivers.
The first let down of the graphics card was it did not come with the necessary adapters for my two monitors. I had to go shopping and lucky me, CompUSA did carry the right adapters. I needed one to go from Display Port to HDMI and another to go to Display Port to VGA. Once I got them in I finished the hardware install. It's a big card and just clears my large case depth.
The lesson I had to learn was that to install the driver set and new version of the catalyst control software, I had to wipe clean all remnants of the older version. The installer did not do that automatically. With a clean computer and only 800x600 display on one monitor, I was able to proceed. The disk that came with the board was way too old and caused the system to lock up. I was getting a very bad feeling but decided to research the ATI website for the most recent driver and catalyst set. After several reboots to clean the system of the bad drivers, I was able to get the new updated driver and catalyst controller installed. Now on to test Vegas Pro with what I was told by Sony is the top of the line graphics card to do 3D.
The first test was with a collection of MVC 3D clips from the TD10, first butt edited and then using 2 second dissolves. I set the timeline for 29.97 fps and ran some tests. All video was stored on the new OCZ 6Gb/s SSD 120Gb. The timeline played at 29.97 fps solid until I hit the 2 second dissolve and then it slowed to 22-26 fps but kept playing and then recovered to 29.97 fps as soon as it was back to playing just a single MVC clip.
I ran a second test with two paired clips cut and dissolved. Each pair was recorded with the TD10 in 2D mode FX bit rate 23.976 FPS. The timeline played the clips at a solid 23.976 FPS completely through the dissolve. The clips had full keyframes for color balance fast and slomo and 3D adjustments. Pan and crop effects were also tested and the playback never budged off of 23.976 fps. I went back and tested the same clips on the Raid0 twin hard drives and it tried to play at 23.976 but often hesitated and the fps backed down to 16-21 fps.
Clearly, the system does need both SATA III SSD for the source clips as well as this top gun of graphics card to play the timeline with effects and dissolves at a steady 23.976 fps including dissolves. For the frame rate of 29.97, the timeline will play but when a dissolve is present the playback stutters. The FirePro V8800 just is not quite powerful enough for handling two MVC clips in a dissolve. This was disappointing. In case you are wondering, I did some testing where the MVC clips were played back at 23.976 and it still had hesitation. It appears it is not just the frame rate just also the need to decode the base/dependent file too that is the bottleneck.
Either way, I am pleased that I can now edit at real time playback at 23.976 fps and almost as good with MVC clips at 29.97 fps. Until they make an even faster card, this will have to do.
The cost of this upgrade was:
ATI FirePro V8800 $1150
Two adapters $ 32
SSD drive 120Gb $ 140