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Posted by Jordi D. Rodríguez - Contact Author

Requirements and Schemes of Hardware Configuration for 4K Video Editing, Effects Synthesis and Color Modulation

The data volume of a 4K video is at least 4 times more than that of a 1080p HD video. It brings great pressure to the storage system and the post-production. This post will analyze the calculation characteristics of each procedure of 4K footage and film post-production, thus to provide optimal and advanced schemes for your 4K video editing, special effects synthesis and color modulation.

Tips: The features of hardware configuration in 2019: #high frequency, #multi-core architecture, #greatly enhanced operations of decoding, encoding, data compression, special effects synthesis, video rendering, etc.

Lead-in

With the advent of 4K resolution era, computers are urged to brace for mass storage, multi-layer concurrent reading and writing, multi-layer real-time computing for video preview, and ultra-high-speed computing for video rendering. Hardware pieces from conventional graphics workstation are almost incompetent to achieve this without the aid of other means.

One of the main solutions currently is to drastically reduce the computing scale in each procedure by compression or through software. But a greater solution to smooth and stable 4K post processing has been realized by some professional post-production software vendors through constantly rolling out high-end algorithms and latest hardware architecture.

VideoProc developed by Digiarty Software Inc. is a leading 4K and large video processing solution. It is capable of making full use of user's hardware acceleration of a Windows or Mac computer to provide a smooth 4K video processing, transcoding and outputting.

Part 1. What is the Hardware Requirement for 4K Video Editing?


1.1 4K video data size and hardware configuration

Camera

Encoding

Resolution

Frame Rate

Size/Min

Size/Hr

Size/10 Hrs

Size/10 Hrs (plus 2 backups)

BMPCC 4K

ProRes (HQ)

2160

24

5.3GB

318GB

3.18TB

10.54TB

BMPC 4K

ProRes (HQ)

4K UHD

24

5.3GB

318GB

3.18TB

10.54TB

GH4

H.264

4K DCI

24

712MB

42GB

4.2TB

12.6TB

BMPC 4K

RAW

2160

24

12.36GB

741.6GB

7.4TB

22.2TB

As can be concluded from the table above, a 4K video takes up a large amount of memory. A high-speed IO interface is required to minimize the time needed for importing the video and exporting to the post-production workstation.


1.2 Data rates of 4K videos

According to the data in the above table, if there is no compression, the bandwidth pressure of the storage system is huge. If the video is compressed, the bandwidth is greatly reduced, but if the amount of decoding and decoding calculation is greatly improved, another layer of synchronous real-time editing, storage bandwidth pressure It has to be increased, so the read/write bandwidth of the workstation storage system is high enough to ensure smooth flow and smooth development in the later stages.


1.3 Analysis of calculation requirements from various aspects of video editing

For video decoding, multi-layer editing, real-time preview, video rendering output, compression, each link is intensive calculation and processing, involving CPU computing, hard disk read and write and architecture, the architecture of ordinary workstations can not be satisfied.

uncompressed and Apple ProRes data rates

The above table is only high-definition, 12- core test data. If it is 4K , the theoretical corresponding number of cores meets the application requirements, and the number of cores should be increased to more than 48 cores or a sufficient number of cores for a new generation of Intel CPU processors (AMD processors are hardly considered).

In order to solve the parallel computing of multi-layer video code stream, the high compression coding mode is usually adopted, which greatly reduces the video io bandwidth and the calculation amount of decoding and coding. The traditional mode is the multi-core computing architecture of the CPU , and also has the GPU super-computing capability (mainly in Rendering calculations) to help improve computing power such as decoding, encoding, and rendering.

Video clip calculation bottleneck analysis

NO.

Key stage

Main operations and calculations

1

Real-time video input of the clip interaction process

Multi-channel video synchronization input, involving hard disk io bandwidth, video decoding calculation, ensuring smooth video clips in clip interactive mode without losing frames, no card

2

Live preview

For multi-stream real-time rendering calculations, usually the editing software has two modes: CPU mode, CPU + GPU collaborative computing mode

3

Final rendering (output)

Multi-layer video synthesis calculation, code stream coding calculation, code stream compression calculation, mainly based on CPU calculation mode, some software supports GPU accelerated calculation mode in the synthesis process

Part 2. 4K Film and Television Post-software System Configuration Requirements


2.1 4K editing software hardware configuration requirements

Currently 4K editing software (latest version): Adobe Premierer CC, Avid Media Composer, Edius Pro, Sony Vegas pro

Note: Apple's Final Cut Pro X editing software , because it does not support windows or linux environment, is not discussed.

Key item

Premiere CC

Avid Media Composer

Edius Pro

Vegas Pro

Video format

  1. No compression
  2. Compression (supports multiple encoding formats)
  1. Compression
  2. DNxHR coding
  1. Compression
  2. Self-contained encoder

Compression

Video decoding, encoding

Multi-core (unlimited)

12~48 cores

  1. Minimum 8 cores
  2. Support intel built-in GPU acceleration

Minimum 8 cores

RAM

Minimum 16GB

Minimum 16GB

Minimum 8GB

Minimum 8GB

Live preview

Multi-core CPU + GPU

Multi-core CPU

Multi-core CPU

Multi-core CPU + GPU

Final output (rendering)

  1. Multi-core CPU + GPU
  2. Support OptiX light and shadow tracking acceleration technology

Multi-core CPU

Multi-core CPU

Support for OpenGL acceleration: video processing, rendering, special effects, transcoding, compositing, encoding

System disk

OS , software

SSD

SSD

SSD

Cache disk

need

no request

no request

no request

High speed array

need

need

need

need

IO card

AJA , Decklink , Blue Fish

AJA , Decklink , Blue Fish

AJA , Decklink , Blue Fish

AJA , Decklink , Blue Fish

Network port

no request

10 trillion

no request

no request


2.2 4K special effects synthesis software hardware configuration requirements

Computer special effects are the process of reconstructing the whole world with mathematical models. It belongs to the real-time generation of graphs, so the physical calculation of 3D models is large.

Typical effects synthesis software: Adobe After Effects (AE) , Nuke , Fusion 7 Studio , Flame

The most intensive calculation of special effects synthesis is the real-time rendering (preview) part. The real-time preview of the physical model is done by means of a high-frequency multi-core CPU , and the realistic three-dimensional graphics are mainly based on the graphics card.

Main configuration features

Key item

Adobe Afer Effects

Nuke

Fusion 7 Studio

Flame

OS environment

Windows

Windows

Windows

Linux

Live preview

Multi-core high-frequency CPU with GPU acceleration

Multi-core high-frequency CPU , 16 cores or more

Multi-core high-frequency CPU

Multi-core high-frequency CPU

Final rendering (output)

  1. local
  2. Support GPU acceleration
  3. Optional CPU rendering farm

local

  1. The internet
  2. CPU architecture rendering farm

local

RAM

  1. Audit: Memory capacity ratio 1:3
  2. For example: 10 cores - 30GB

Minimum 32GB

Cache disk

SSD , RAID

High speed SSD

IO card

AJA , Decklink , Blue Fish


2.3 4K video coloring software hardware configuration requirements

Currently the main video coloring software: Adobe Speed ​​Grade, Devinci Resolve, which mainly use the Nvidia CUDA architecture multi- GPU super-calculation acceleration, and single-precision performance.

Part 3: UltraLAB 4K Ultra HD Movie and TV Post Solution


3.1 Comparison with 4K video editing key items with conventional graphics workstations

For the continuous encoding, decoding, multiple concurrent high io , multi-layer real-time preview, and intensive computing rendering output of multiple video streams in the late 4K video , we have introduced a configuration scheme based on Turing graphic /computing workstations.

N0.

Critical hardware

  1. Turing Graphics Workstation

  2. UltraLAB GXP Series

Traditional graphics workstation

1

High speed storage system item

1.1

Hard disk bay

24- Ge 3.5 " bay

4 Ge 3.5 " bay

1.2

Maximum storage capacity

176TB

28TB

1.3

Number of channels

3 channels maximum

1 channel maximum

1.4

Read and write bandwidth

  1. Maximum bandwidth 3x1.4GB/s or dual 2.36GB/s
  2. Meet multi-channel 4K video concurrent reading and writing
  1. The maximum bandwidth is 600MB/s,
  2. Multi-layer video editing, insufficient bandwidth
  3. If the SSD bandwidth is sufficient, but the capacity is not enough, the cost is too high

2

Multi-core CPU

Automatic overclocking acceleration, maximum core number 36 cores(18%~50% higher than the regular , the best choice for decoding coded rendering intensive calculation) Conventional frequency

3

PCIE extension

7 Ge Pcie 16X 3 Ge Pcie 16x

3.2 Based on 4K video post-configuration recommendation

2018 hardware configuration plan

NO.

Key item

Plan 1

Plan 2

Plan 3

Plan 4

Model

GX490 14732-M528TC

GX490M 14364-M536TD

GX620M 22764-M560TD

GX620M 230128-MA88TE

Performance level

Good

Better

Best

Max

1

CPU

Intel 8 core 4.7GHz

Intel Extreme 18 core 4.3GHz

2*Xeon Gold6150 36 core 2.7Ghz

2*Xeon Gold6154 36 core 3.0Ghz

2

RAM

32GB DDR4

64GB DDR4 2666

64GB DDR4 2666

128GB DDR4 2666

3

Tuca

Quadro P4000 8GB

Quadro P5000 16GB

Quadro P5000 16GB

Quadro P6000 24GB

4

System disk

512GB M.2 Pcie 4x interface, read 3.5GB/s, write 3.1GB/s

512GB M.2 Pcie 4x interface, read 3.5GB/s, write 3.1GB/s

512GB M.2 Pcie 4x interface, read 3.5GB/s, write 3.1GB/s

512GB M.2 Pcie 4x interface, read 3.5GB/s, write 3.1GB/s

5

Data disk and continuous read and write bandwidth

  1. 28TB
  2. Single channel
  3. 1.5GB/s
  1. 36TB
  2. Single channel
  3. 1.935GB/s
  1. 60TB
  2. Single channel
  3. 3.22GB/s
  1. 80TB
  2. Dual channel
  3. Double 2.36GB/s

6

Platform

Single tower (1500w, 8 positions)

Single tower (1500w, 8 positions)

Double single tower, (1600w, 20 positions)

Double single tower, (1600w, 20 positions)

7

Expansion slot

7*Pcie 16x

7*Pcie 16x

7*Pcie 16x

7*Pcie 16x

8

Input and output outlet

  1. Dual Gigabit Ethernet, optional 10 Gigabit Ethernet
  2. 2*USB3.1, 2*USB3.0, 2*USB2.0, 8 channels
  1. Dual Gigabit Ethernet, optional 10 Gigabit Ethernet
  2. 2*USB3.1, 2*USB3.0, 2*USB2.0, 8 channels
  1. Dual Gigabit Ethernet, optional 10 Gigabit Ethernet
  2. 2*USB3.1, 2*USB3.0, 2*USB2.0, 8 channels
  1. Dual Gigabit Ethernet, optional 10 Gigabit Ethernet
  2. 2*USB3.1, 2*USB3.0, 2*USB2.0, 8 channels

9

Non-edited card

Decklink 4K Extreme

Decklink 4K Extreme

Decklink 4K Extreme

Decklink 4K Extreme

10

Monitor

24" HD, 27" 4K Ultra HD

24" HD, 27" 4K Ultra HD

24" HD, 27" 4K Ultra HD

24" HD, 27" 4K Ultra HD


3.3 Summary of 4K video editing capabilities of the recommended solution

NO.

Key item

Plan 1

Plan 2

Plan 3

Plan 4

Support 4K video sync editing layer

1.1

No compression

1 layer (8 -bit 4K UHD video)

1 layer (10 -bit 4K UHD video)

1 layer (12 -bit 4K UHD video)

2 layers (12 -bit 4K UHD video)

1.2

4K UHD compressed video (12 -bit)

3 layers

4 layers

6 layers

10 layers

1.3

4K UHD compressed video (10 digits)/p>

6 layers

7 layers

10 layers

15 layers

2

4K live preview (real-time rendering) concurrent layers

5 layers

7 layers

9 layers

12 layers

3

Final rendering computing performance level

★★★

★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★★


Turing Graphics Workstation Configuration Features

Advantage 1: CPU overclocking acceleration, multi-GPU super-computing in encoding, decoding, compressed video computing, real-time preview, rendering output, providing CPU + GPU super computing power.

Advantage 2 : Multi-channel high io massive parallel storage architecture meets the requirements of multi-channel high IO video concurrent reading and writing, which is impossible for traditional workstations.

Wrote this, many people do not necessarily agree, because the widely used Apple machines on the market, is not very good, the most important reason for everyone to choose is that its editing software FCP X is very good, but the limitations of its hardware platform, the number of cores Up to 18 cores (low frequency), dual GPU card calculation is very strong (actually mainly in rendering processing), and the storage capacity and bandwidth are obviously not high enough, and the multi-layer 4K editing hardware processing capability is obviously insufficient.

4K video editing requires a very balanced high-speed hardware architecture (high-frequency multi-core CPU + multi- GPU + high io + mass storage), from this perspective, Turing computing workstation is complete and powerful, whether you are doing multi-channel 4K video editing, or special effects synthesis Or video coloring, or need a high-speed storage center, in 4K movies, TV programs, feature videos, documentaries, studio production, news editing, high-quality post-editing, its powerful computing, storage, data input and output capabilities The ultimate in perfection guarantees the most demanding hardware requirements.

Balanced, efficient, high-speed, silent is the biggest show Turing graphics workstations, is currently on the market that can do 4K video video post-perfect graphics workstation models.

Part 4. The Logic Behind Our Choices - The I/O performance

As you see, we have listed the recommended hardware configuration, by the year of 2018, but things have been going forward. We mean, if we go back here in the year of like 2030, these recommends must be out of date and not so right. So if you want grab the skill of how to choose the recommended 4K editing hardware by yourself, keep reading and find the answer below.

When we choose the hardware for 4K video editing, the biggest feature that we need to keep an eye on is their I/O (Input/Output) performance. This is because the amount of data in 4k is more than 4 times higher than that of high-definition, which would put tremendous pressure on computing and storage systems. The computer needs to have strong I/O performance to process such a mount of data.

I/O performance simply means the input and output of data, or, the flow of data per second, however, the specific judge standard for the feature of each part of the workstation will differ a lot. So in the following, we will tell you how to decide the I/O performance of every hardware part in the computer, so you can make your own decision, not just follow the recommendation above, base on your budget and other needs.


Hard Disk

Even though the configuration performance of the computer is getting stronger and stronger, the speed of the hard disk is the weakest device, compared with the CPU and the memory, in the whole computer system architecture. So we put the hard disk in the first place.

Computer CPU + memory + hard drive + graphics card is more like a relay race combination, and the baton is the data. Often the baton is passed to the hard drive and the speed will go down a lot.

But in 4K editing, we need the hard disk in good speed. One ordinary mechanical hard disk, the speed is generally 100MB/s, and the lower one is only 30MB/S. While, editing 4K materials requires a transfer speed of 400MB/s, so we recommend you use the RAID. The RAID 5 speed can reach 420MB/s. It's enough to edit 4K videos.

Surely, SSDs are also fast, or even faster than the RAID, and the speed of SSDs is now 500MB/s. But its disadvantage is that the space is smaller. And this is the biggest factor that you need to consider when choosing between RAID and SSDs for 4K video editing.


RAM

Many people say that memory is the most important one of all computer requirements for video editing. We are not gonna deny it, and especially for the low-configuration computers, the most important part that needs to be upgraded is the memory. But how much memory do we need for 4K editing, anyway?

For 4K material editing, the memory is at least 24GB, and if your budget is sufficient, 32GB, and even 64GB would be better.

However, besides the memory size number, we may need to check more specs about the RAM

The amount of data in 4k is very large, and obviously it is also a big test for the memory. How to improve the memory to cope with the pressure of 4K editing? The high frequency and dual-channel memory can easily help with it.

Still, the RAM I/O performance

The amount of data in 4k is very large, and obviously it is also a big test for the memory. How to improve the memory to cope with the pressure of 4K editing? The high frequency and dual-channel memory can easily help with it.

1. RAM frequency

In addition to requiring large memory, it also requires a higher memory frequency. The higher the memory frequency, the better the I/O performance of the memory. The same amount of memory, such as the 8GB ones, some are much cheaper than others, and some are really expensive. One big reason is the frequency of memory. Generally, for 4K editing, it is OK to choose the 2666MHz or 2933MHz memory.

2. Dual-channel memory

The dual-channel feature can also upgrade the memory I/O performance. The benefit of dual channels is that the memory speed can be multiplied. Because dual-channel memory increases bandwidth, and hence, it improves data processing.

But you need to notice these,

1. The motherboard should support the dual-channel.

2. The CPU must also support the reading of dual-pass memory, such as 8700K, 9900K, and 3900X.

3. Obviously, you need two memories. Choose the same model of the same model of memory to avoid incompatibility.


The Graphics Card, or GPU

After the video is edited in the software, the data is transmitted to the display through the graphics card. So which kinds of graphic cards can help us edit 4K smoothly?

We still need to check the I/O performance of the graphics card. But what exact specs of the graphics card shall we keep an eye on? They are the video memory, bit width, the GPU chip, the core frequency, and CUDA cores.

1. The video memory and bit width

The size of the video memory and the bit width determine the width of the image data channel and also determine the throughput of the data.

The larger the graphics card's memory, the larger the bit width, the higher its I/O performance. The graphics card is like the bridge between the monitor and the motherboard. The tremendous graphics I/O performance can speed up the 4K previewing speed.

2. The GPU chip

Here we mean which generation of the GPU chip is. We can tell this from the graphics card model. For example, GTX 1080, 10 of which represents the 10th generation, and its previous generation is GTX 980. And normally, the newer the graphics chip, the better.

3. The core frequency, and CUDA cores

The higher the core frequency, the more CUDA cores, the better the performance of the graphics card

In 4K editing, we recommend the graphic cards with at least 6GB video memory and 192 bit width. And the GTX 1660 Ti and RTX 2070 graphics cards will be enough. If you want the high-end ones, go with GTX 1080 Ti and RTX 2080 Ti.


Motherboard

The motherboard is connected with the hard disk, the CPU and the RAM. The speed of data transferring between the hard disk and the RAM is closely related to the motherboard. The better the I/O performance of the motherboard, the faster the transferring of 4K data between the hard disk and the RAM.

And the I/O performance of the motherboard is determined by its frequency, dual-channel feature, and the chip. So when we choose the motherboard for 4K editing, we cannot miss these three characteristics.

1. The motherboard frequency

The frequency of the motherboard can be found in the motherboard description. Mostly, the higher-end the motherboard, the higher frequency it supports.

2. Whether the motherboard supports dual - channel memory?

When we see the motherboard description: memory type: 4 × DDR4 DIMM, it means that the motherboard has 4 DDR4 memory modules. And the latter DIMM (Dual-Inline-Memory-Modules) means that the motherboard supports the dual-channel memory.

3. The motherboard chip

The new generation of motherboard chip is better than the old chip model. The bigger the second digit of the chip model, the better the motherboard. For example, the H370 is higher than the H310.


CPU

All video codec work requires CPU. The CPU is the data center in the whole 4K editing. Therefore, the CPU is the same as the motherboard, which is also the bridge connecting the RAM and the hard disk. The CPU processing speed and its I/O performance affect the 4K data transferring, too.

So what features of the CPU do we need to have a look at when choosing one for 4K editing?

1. CPU processing speed

The processing speed of the CPU is related to the frequency and the cores. The higher the frequency, the faster the speed; the more cores, the more units for data calculating at the same time; and the overall processing speed is faster.

2. CPU I/O performance

The I/O performance of the CPU is the data bandwidth of the CPU, or the amount of data flowing per second. It is related to the level 3 cache and the supported RAM frequency. The larger the CPU level 3 cache and the higher the supported RAM frequency, the better the I/O performance of CPU.

And here are some CPU recommendations for your 4K editing,

1. AMD Ryzen 7 2700X

2. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

3. Intel i7 9700K

4. Intel i9 9900 KS

5. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

6. AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jordi D. Rodríguez

Jordi was an amateur tech enthusiast, but now an editor who has published hundreds of stories covering video editing, hardware acceleration, software review and how-tos. He is more like a "tech support" with adventurous soul, eagerly grabbing cutting-edge video technologies off in a professional yet easy-to-understand way. Enjoys gliding, diving, etc.

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