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Hardware Recommendation for Basic Editing?

johnmichaels
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I'm interested in producing for youtube and doing "basic" video editing in linux (probably debian or mint): probably some blur animation to censor things at times, and primarily just cutting clips and maybe some basic transitions. I plan on editing 1080p 30fps and possibly 1080p 60fps for slow-mo (not essential), avg. video time ~ 1-5 mins and occasionally longer probably never more than 10-12 mins.

I have never edited videos in linux but from the research I've done kdenlive seems to be the best investment and especially for my objective (particularly because of the blur feature). What do you think? What do you think of it compared to other linux video editors for my objective?

I'm trying to determine what laptop hardware I should purchase in order to meet the requirements of whatever software I end up using. I've heard kdenlive doesn't use GPU acceleration (I don't know exactly what that is and how it works) so does that mean I don't need a dedicated GPU and just a stronger processor, eg. i5, i7 or even an AMD chip? Should I get a dedicated GPU? How much RAM should I get? I'm trying to meet my needs comfortably (including no lag while previewing+editing 1080p) but on a budget.

What do you think? Should I just go with an intel since I've heard they're "better performers" and "more stable"? Or is AMD just fine? Does the software I will use take advantage of hyper-threading--making an i7 the best choice? Or might an i5 or an AMD suffice?

Do I need a 1080p monitor to edit 1080p videos? Are there any editing advantages of editing on a 1080p monitor? I would like to try and get a screen better for the eyes; what does that entail?

I would like a machine thats firmware is well supported by particularly debian/mint; once I bought an asus with realtek wlan firmware and it was a nightmare getting it to work on linux with a belkin access point.

Here's a couple examples of machines I'm speculating would comfortably staisfy my tasks at a good value: http://www.cowboom.com/product/1332628 @ $566

or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... s83itptt2j @ $500

The first seems stronger on the processor-sideside but weaker on the GPU-side and the second reversed--weaker on the processor-side but stronger on the GPU-side.

But I don't even know if a dedicated GPU is necessary and whether an AMD APU would suffice or even Intel HD 4000 graphics (or maybe 4000+ if haswell)? What do you think?

I'm really trying not to spend more than $650, lower is better. But if you have an idea for something nice outside of this range feel free to recommend it.

I'm going to be looking around, especially on http://wuggee.com/find-a-laptop.html to try and find a good deal.

What do you think? I greatly appreciate any advice.

Last edited by johnmichaels on Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
johnmichaels
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The information that was in this post is now included in my main post.
capslock
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Hi johnmichaels,
kdenlive supports proxy editing. Thus the HD material (which will hardly play perfectly on any high end notebook) will be transcoded into some SD file. For rendering kdenlive will use the original HD material. So you are finally editing SD material.

Having this in mind, you should do fine with some modern intel chip, like i5 or i7 with 4Gigs of RAM and intel HD graphics. The only real benchmark will be rendring. The faster the CPU and the more cores it has, the shorter the rendering will take. If you choose some chip with at least an intel HD4000 adapter, you should be fine (running a i3632qm myself).
johnmichaels
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capslock wrote:Hi johnmichaels,
kdenlive supports proxy editing. Thus the HD material (which will hardly play perfectly on any high end notebook) will be transcoded into some SD file. For rendering kdenlive will use the original HD material. So you are finally editing SD material.

Having this in mind, you should do fine with some modern intel chip, like i5 or i7 with 4Gigs of RAM and intel HD graphics. The only real benchmark will be rendring. The faster the CPU and the more cores it has, the shorter the rendering will take. If you choose some chip with at least an intel HD4000 adapter, you should be fine (running a i3632qm myself).


Thank you VERY MUCH for your reply. So does kdenlive not benefit in any way from better than HD4000 graphics or a dedicated GPU? If it does, in what way exactly?

For example, what might be the difference in performance between Intel HD4000 vs. HD4600 vs. NVIDIA GT 740M?

Are there any other supplementary applications that are common to use in media production alongside Kdenlive that would take advantage of a GPU? I'm trying to decide what kind of GPU/integrated graphics to buy.

And Kdenlive can be a 64-bit application, correct? Meaning I should get a processor more optimized for 64-bit applications instead of 32-bit, right?
capslock
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The only application taking advantage of a GPU in combination with kdenlive would be "slowmovideo" (by granjow), which allows to speed up or slow down a movie with top quality. It supports nVidia cards GPUs, but the tool does also work using the CPU. If you need high end slow motion regularly you could consider bying a dedicated nVidia card. Otherwise you will not benefit from it.

Maybe, in some future, there are filters that utilize the GPU. These filters should work with a integrated HD4000 as well - that is my understanding. You might want to do some research on "movit filters".

For me as a hobby filmer all these fancy GPU stuff does not count big points. I can do advanced editing and view the result in realtime (proxy editing) and if rendering takes 10 minutes on CPU or 8 with GPU acceleration for one or two effects that I use rarely - I don't care.
johnmichaels
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capslock wrote:The only application taking advantage of a GPU in combination with kdenlive would be "slowmovideo" (by granjow), which allows to speed up or slow down a movie with top quality. It supports nVidia cards GPUs, but the tool does also work using the CPU. If you need high end slow motion regularly you could consider bying a dedicated nVidia card. Otherwise you will not benefit from it.

Maybe, in some future, there are filters that utilize the GPU. These filters should work with a integrated HD4000 as well - that is my understanding. You might want to do some research on "movit filters".

For me as a hobby filmer all these fancy GPU stuff does not count big points. I can do advanced editing and view the result in realtime (proxy editing) and if rendering takes 10 minutes on CPU or 8 with GPU acceleration for one or two effects that I use rarely - I don't care.


Thank you again. FOR MY PURPOSES: I'm interested in producing for youtube and doing "basic" video editing in linux (probably debian or mint): probably some blur animation to censor things at times, and primarily just cutting clips and maybe some basic transitions. I plan on editing 1080p 30fps and possibly 1080p 60fps for slow-mo (not essential), avg. video time ~ 1-5 mins and occasionally longer probably never more than 10-12 mins, 5 times a week.

what do you think about this i7-3632QM :) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 79891&SID=
capslock
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The processor will be fine. Even a high clocked dualcore will do a nice job. Rendering to h.264 with 3 threads leads to 50-75% workload on the quadcore, because rendering can not be done completely in parallel. But with the load you still can work while rendering.

Unless you edit on an external screen, you might want to consider buying a display with higher resolution. Video editing on a 1376x768 screen will be very uncomfortable. I recomment 1600x900 or better full HD. Personally I prefer full HD, this gives you space for 3 video and 2 audio tracks, a 800x480 preview screen and a project view large enough to add some comments to the clips.
johnmichaels
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capslock wrote:The processor will be fine. Even a high clocked dualcore will do a nice job. Rendering to h.264 with 3 threads leads to 50-75% workload on the quadcore, because rendering can not be done completely in parallel. But with the load you still can work while rendering.

Unless you edit on an external screen, you might want to consider buying a display with higher resolution. Video editing on a 1376x768 screen will be very uncomfortable. I recomment 1600x900 or better full HD. Personally I prefer full HD, this gives you space for 3 video and 2 audio tracks, a 800x480 preview screen and a project view large enough to add some comments to the clips.


Couldn't I still fit all of that into a 768p display and it just look granier? I have not edited with kdenlive yet but could you give me a practical example of what you think would fit in an 768p display and how much less comfortable it would be?

In your example you said the i7 will only use 3 threads? Why not more like 5 threads for example? How well does Kdenlive take advantage of hyper-threading? What is the difference in performance between an i7 and an i5 please? Can you still multitask with an i5? What might be the difference in encoding times between an i7 3632QM and a good mainstream i5? For example:

i5-3230M http://ark.intel.com/products/72056/Int ... GA?q=3230m in the 14" 900p laptop http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Lenovo+-+Id ... ab=reviews

OR EVEN

i5-377U http://ark.intel.com/products/72055/ in the 15.6" 1080p IPS laptop http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msu ... .283976000

What do you think of those machines? And would you recommend IPS for for producing to youtube and other social media?
capslock
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johnmichaels, please do some research on benchmarks for the CPUs on your own.
My last hint is: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Pro ... 436.0.html
There you will find benchmarks for h.264 rendering for newer CPUs.

That's it - good luck!
User avatar Ranko Kohime
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I'll add my own experiences here.

I have a desktop with an AMD A8-6600K, which is a 3.9GHz quad-core. THAT cannot even preview 1080p at native resolution, because of the limitations in Kdenlive's backend. (melt, I think is the correct process, cannot multi-thread previews) Using a proxy clip is pretty mandatory for 1080p, even on the best machines.

The issue with a 768p display is that the Kdenlive interface takes up a minimum amount of pixelspace for each element. It has nothing to do with the preview, and a whole lot to do with scrolling just to get access to certain features, tracks, etc. There is a workaround though, though it does make things a little blurry. I have a laptop with a 768p display, and I cheat it to 1080p using this xrandr command:
Code: Select all
xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode 1366x768 --panning 1920x1080 --scale 1.40556x1.40625

That squashes 1080p into 768p. Looks bad, but it works. Alternatively, a 1080p monitor can be had in the $120 range, if you keep your eye on sales (TigerDirect, et al)

I do my rendering on the laptop, because the desktop is currently Windows-only, until I can afford another SSD. (It's a gaming rig) I have a 2.1GHz dual-core with hyperthreading, and rendering 1080p with 1 video track, (with audio included in that track), and 1 audio track, takes from 6-9x the length of the render, at 1080p. That's about 1-1.5 hours per 10 minute clip. It seems to take full advantage of hyper-threading during parts of the rendering process, but not throughout. The number of threads can be adjusted, but I have mine set to 1, and it's still multi-threading.

If you can find a CPU that's still 32-bit today, I'd love to know what it is. In desktops and laptops, I assume they are now extinct. :)

I haven't run into any feature that even uses the GPU yet, so I'd say take it off your list of concerns.

Either AMD or Intel will get the job done, but on a clock-speed basis, Intel is kinda wiping the floor with AMD at the moment, (in the CPU category) so I'd have to recommend Intel. As for the laptop models you mentioned in your OP, the one with the weaker processor also has a weaker GPU. It says "Discreet-class", which basically means an integrated GPU. AMD's integrated GPU's are the area where AMD is winning over Intel, so they're not entirely unjustified in using that silly marketing term. As for the i7 you posted later, that would certainly be a good choice.
klaatu
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I don't see anyone mentioning RAM here at all, so I'll throw out some thoughts.

What all previous posters have said about CPU and GPU, I agree with; the GPU is not so terribly important since most of Kdenlive will not utilize it in any serious way. CPU will be hit when rendering, mostly, so an i3 or AMD FX-series Quad Core, or similar, should be fine.

The thing to remember, also, is that when footage is in Kdenlive's timeline, it's in RAM. So the more RAM you have, the better and faster and more stable Kdenlive will be on either HD or very large projects. That is where I would spend a bulk of my money, were I you; choose a moderate spec computer, and then double the RAM. I have 24gb of RAM on my main Kdenlive workstation, which admittedly may be over-kill, but then again, I don't hit the timeline limits that people in my workplace experience on lesser systems (and lesser editing applications). I have 8gb in my laptop, and for normal editing, that seems to be a pretty comfortable amount.

Just my thoughts.
capslock
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I doubt that all the footage in the timeline is held in RAM, aside your project is stored in an RAM disk. Why do I doubt? Running my system with 8 Gigs and working with 40Gigs of footage in the timeline, never was a problem and never made the system use the swap, but the external disk where the project folder is located is permanently in use. Even running kdenlive with 4 Gigs is fine.
User avatar Ranko Kohime
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capslock wrote:I doubt that all the footage in the timeline is held in RAM, aside your project is stored in an RAM disk. Why do I doubt? Running my system with 8 Gigs and working with 40Gigs of footage in the timeline, never was a problem and never made the system use the swap, but the external disk where the project folder is located is permanently in use. Even running kdenlive with 4 Gigs is fine.

This. Adding to my experience above, I never noticed any major RAM usage while running Kdenlive. (It got lost in the noise that is Google Chrome, actually)
chorzo
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I edit on a samsung ultrabook 5. The display is the limiting factor of this setup. When I'm at home I can plug to a monitor and that helps tremendously. The specs on the laptop aren't overly impressive (4gb, 1.7ghz i5, small ssd that only has OS), and I don't feel like it's slow. Conversely, I have a 3.9ghz dual core AMD with 16gb of RAM and windoze 7, 256gb ssd and running power director 12 feels slower on that rig....go figure. Rendering on the laptop from 720p HD source to 720p output is about 1min:1min. Laptop will be getting another 4gb sometime soon, I expect that will help the general 'feel' improve more than anything.

 
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