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So, I've got the opportunity to buy some new piece of hardware for my PC. I do video rendering quite often, so, my question is - what piece of hardware should I replace to get a guaranteed rendering perfomance raise? I render using my GPU. Should I buy a better GPU (got GTX650Ti with 1 GB memory), or a better CPU (got Core i3 running at 3.3 Ghz), or may be more RAM (got 8 GB)?

Mostly I use Adobe Premier.

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A GPU will give you the best performance boost, but your rendering software has to be optimized to use the GPU; most is. Upgrading the CPU is the best option if your software doesn't support GPU rendering. Upgrading RAM won't give you a noticeable performance if you have 8 or more gigabytes. You might see some slight increase in performance if you have less than 4 gigabytes.

Some notes on upgrading components. With a CPU, higher clock speed isn't necessarily better. Unlike gaming, rendering can make use of as many cores as are available, so get a quad-core at least. Put your money in more cores rather than higher clocks (unless you game on the side). An Intel Core i7 or Intel Xeon is ideal. With a GPU, Nvidia is best. Most rendering software takes advantage of CUDA which is specific to Nvidia GPUs. There is immense amounts of information about 3D rendering times on different GPUs available online, use that to make your decision. I recommend the GTX 660 or 760. Quadro isn't worth the money unless you need weeks of nonstop uptime from your GPU.

  • Will buying a new CPU give me a considerable boost with GPU rendering, given that my Core i3 only supports PCI-E x16 v.2, while my graphics supports v.3? – user4551 Dec 2 '14 at 7:33
  • That would require you to upgrade your motherboard, and that would essentially require you to buy a new computer. Upgrading your CPU isn't an easy task compared to upgrading your GPU or RAM. – KC McLaughlin Dec 2 '14 at 13:47
  • I have socket 1150 I believe, so there are Core i5s which fit that socket, right? And my motherboard does support v.3. – user4551 Dec 2 '14 at 20:19
  • I'm not positive on the compatibility of parts, but if you can upgrade to a quad-core i5 or i7 that would be a significant improvement over the i3. – KC McLaughlin Dec 2 '14 at 20:49
  • If you want to increase the rendering performance during export a GPU might not bring that much of a performance boost, while GPU enabled effects are still rendering on the GPU. The encoding to the desired codec (like h264 or MJPEG) depends largely on the CPU and takes quite some time in the whole process. So far only h264 can be rendered on the GPU in Permiere but it still uses a lot of CPU and the quality can even be worse due to implementation limitations of codec on the GPU. – PTS Dec 4 '14 at 14:43
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Either buy a dedicated encoder or a better GPU (more or faster CUDA cores) if your effects and encoder support GPU acceleration (in which case the CPU will barely be used.) Upgrade the CPU if you have effects that can't be offloaded to the GPU. Don't bother upgrading memory beyond a base level unless you are hitting issues like not having enough room for RAM previews. Working on video is largely a stream operation and thus does not often have major memory constraints.

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