Thanks you guys - I appreciate your responses.
so you know:
- as far as system RAM I'm maxed out - 24G on the X58 platform. Added another Spinpoint but haven't RAIDed them yet. If my video-editing needs increase I'm sure I will RAID a few disks.
- 80% of what I do is for fun, projects for friends and family. I use Adobe Production Premium CS5.5 and Cinema 4D. Mostly editing DSLR and Compact Cam footage, some BD/DVD-authoring, making slide shows, modeling animated 3D figures (from Flash or C4D) and adding them to the movies/slide shows, adding orig audio recorded in Audacity...
Anyway...So SLI won't pool the VRAM - bummer....guess I can forget about "2G = 1G + 1G cards."
The "good news" is - if I get a better card - apparently Premiere Pro uses the GDDR cache...
from Adobe's site: Note that whether a frame can be processed by CUDA depends on the size of the frame and the amount of RAM on the graphics card (VRAM).
the 470 is a Fermi card, CUDA-enabled, which is the main reason why I bought it. Premiere Pro uses what's known as the Mercury Playback Engine, which is a CUDA-based architecture but also includes a whole series of improvements over CS3 and previous versions. The biggest one is it's (finally) a 64-bit application and multi-threaded. Since CUDA is an NVIDIA thing I didn't look at any Radeon cards.
The Mercury Engine is pretty sweet but it doesn't accelerate everything; for instance encoding and decoding are strictly CPU-bound. But the list of filters, blend modes, color conversion algorithms, etc. grows longer all the time. It really does make a big difference too. You can choose not to use it (in the Prefs) and see the difference immediately. Not sure why that's an option but whatever.
I do a good amount of 3D stuff in Cinema 4D using particle systems and loads of polygons. The Quadros, the expensive ones anyway devour that stuff and there's little if any lag on screen. My 470 maxs when I use too many particles or polygons, or render them with too much detail, too high AA, etc. Previews become too slow or even impossible to render and I think that's a function of the "small" frame buffer in the 470. 1280MB gets used up pretty quickly on a 1920x1200 monitor. And I use 2 of them - though of course the preview is only on 1.
Seems like a Quadro card is in my future. Sure wish the one I want didn't retail for $3998
though...even the 2G card is $1750.
Crazy (as in, "stupid") money for a hobbyist like me...but after I win the lottery ...
Thanks again for the info folks - I can always count on you guys - great site and a great forum!