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Switching to vMix...
Argo82
#1 Posted : Thursday, 11 January 2018 4:13:05 AM
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Hi Everyone,

We hope to be switching to vMix for our next production, however I just have a few concerns over our hardware. We have been (unhappily) using Wirecast for a few years and finally looking at purchasing vMix as it seems better suited for our needs and so far has been more reliable.

Here are our specifications:

CPU: Intel i7-5820K
Motherboard: Gigabyte x99-UD5H WIFI (v1.0)
VIDEO: Nvidia Geforce GTX 750 Ti
RAM: 16GB
BOOT/OS: 1 x 256GB Micron SSD (mSata on motherboard)
STORAGE: 1 x 1TB Western Digital Black (storage/record)
REPLAY STORAGE: 1 x 240GB Kingston SSD

INPUT: 1 x Magewell XI-400DE (First Generation) 4xSDI
INPUT: 1 x Magewell XI-200DE (First Generation) 2xHDMI
OUTPUT: 1 x Blackmagic Decklink Mini Monitor 4k (HDMI/SDI output)

This is what we need during a production:
- At least 4 cameras (1920x1080x30p)
- Record program output (mp4 at 5Mbps)
- 1 channel instant replay
- play commercials/video clips (mp4 playlists)
- display program output to Decklink Monitor 4K (for program monitors and external recorders)
- stream to 2 different locations (1280x720x30p - 2.5Mbps and 1Mbps)
- graphics
- external control (midi device and web interface)
- (multi-corder sounds nice but not required)
- maybe NDI at a later time.

Seeing that the reference systems on vmix.com are much higher than our specs, we are a bit concerned, however in testing, we have maxed out at 40% system resources and consistently been hovering in the low-mid 30s (with 4 static cameras). With less features, we were hovering around 60-80%+ with Wirecast. Also, we could not use the Decklink since it would constantly cause dropped frames with each transition.

Would our production requirements be too taxing on this kind of system, or should we be ok? Maxing out at 40%, albeit with static cameras, is much lower than what we are use to seeing, but I do not know how this system compares to the newer reference system specifications listed.

Thanks for any help or recommendations.

spencerm24
#2 Posted : Thursday, 11 January 2018 4:46:39 AM
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Argo82 wrote:
Hi Everyone,

We hope to be switching to vMix for our next production, however I just have a few concerns over our hardware. We have been (unhappily) using Wirecast for a few years and finally looking at purchasing vMix as it seems better suited for our needs and so far has been more reliable.

Here are our specifications:

CPU: Intel i7-5820K
Motherboard: Gigabyte x99-UD5H WIFI (v1.0)
VIDEO: Nvidia Geforce GTX 750 Ti
RAM: 16GB
BOOT/OS: 1 x 256GB Micron SSD (mSata on motherboard)
STORAGE: 1 x 1TB Western Digital Black (storage/record)
REPLAY STORAGE: 1 x 240GB Kingston SSD

INPUT: 1 x Magewell XI-400DE (First Generation) 4xSDI
INPUT: 1 x Magewell XI-200DE (First Generation) 2xHDMI
OUTPUT: 1 x Blackmagic Decklink Mini Monitor 4k (HDMI/SDI output)

This is what we need during a production:
- At least 4 cameras (1920x1080x30p)
- Record program output (mp4 at 5Mbps)
- 1 channel instant replay
- play commercials/video clips (mp4 playlists)
- display program output to Decklink Monitor 4K (for program monitors and external recorders)
- stream to 2 different locations (1280x720x30p - 2.5Mbps and 1Mbps)
- graphics
- external control (midi device and web interface)
- (multi-corder sounds nice but not required)
- maybe NDI at a later time.

Seeing that the reference systems on vmix.com are much higher than our specs, we are a bit concerned, however in testing, we have maxed out at 40% system resources and consistently been hovering in the low-mid 30s (with 4 static cameras). With less features, we were hovering around 60-80%+ with Wirecast. Also, we could not use the Decklink since it would constantly cause dropped frames with each transition.

Would our production requirements be too taxing on this kind of system, or should we be ok? Maxing out at 40%, albeit with static cameras, is much lower than what we are use to seeing, but I do not know how this system compares to the newer reference system specifications listed.

Thanks for any help or recommendations.



The thing that stands out to me as needing an upgrade is the GPU. its on the weak end, and likely wouldn't have a good time with the load you're asking of it. I'd look at the 970 or 1060. Replay storage is good, little small but if that works for you and you don't need a ton of replay, no sense expanding.

CPU is older, but might still get the job done for you. I'd try the current CPU and see how it works with the newer GPU, you might get lucky.
SportsNetUSA.net
#3 Posted : Thursday, 11 January 2018 5:12:47 AM
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I'd agree with spencerm24, and look to upgrade your GPU.

In regards to the CPU, check out the benchmarks of your i7-5820K (13,002) versus the i7-6700K (11,108) and the i7-7700K (12,083). As you can see, your CPU is right up there.

As a former WireCast user myself, switching to vMix has been all good.
Argo82
#4 Posted : Thursday, 11 January 2018 9:40:49 PM
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Thanks everyone for the info.

As work has been very slow lately we unfortunately cannot buy any extra equipment at this time. We do however have a Zotac Nivida GTX 1050 (can't remember if Ti version or not) that was given to us a few months ago. Would this be a sufficient enough upgrade?

Nvidia GTX 750 Ti - 3709
Nvidia GTX 1050 - 4419

If not, what would be an acceptable load for this system at this time? If we don't do the multi-cording and no NDI, would we be okay, or is there still too much going on for the GPU? Would lowering our input resolutions from 1920x1080x30p to 1280x720x30p make any difference? We usually try to use 1920x1080 for all of our cameras, but 1280x720x30p is the output requested by our CDN for streaming and recordings.

Also, I forgot to mention in my post that we use 3 windows monitors plugged into the nvidia card. One for vMix interface, a multi-view and instant replay control at all at 1920x1080.

As for the replay storage drive, we rarely have enough crew to have a dedicated replay operator, so we either have no replays or sometimes just the obvious ones, so the maximum we would have is probably 2 or 3 minutes for a highlight real for credits. Also, we only have 1 camera slaved to replays.

As for switching to vMix, we know that initially there may be some issues, as our hardware is a few years old and was not purchased with vMix in mind, however we are still very impressed by just the basics of everything working so well and the customization, which we didn't have with Wirecast.

Again thanks for the help and recommendations. Sorry for so many questions, however I just want to be prepared for as much as I can. As mentioned before, we did some testing with static cameras and our system resources maxed out at 40%, but I did not measure GPU, but will do so next time. Thankfully we still have a few weeks before our next production.

Cheers
Argo


IceStream
#5 Posted : Friday, 12 January 2018 5:00:49 AM
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@ Argo82

Although there is always room for improvement moving forward (as others have posted), I think you are not too badly placed to get started, vMix is very efficient with its use of resources, whether the latest top-of-the-line, or even older middle of the road systems. Yours is by no means "middle of the road", just a little older.
The only concern I might have is with the x99 Motherboard chipset, as discussed in this thread:
https://forums.vmix.com/...aspx?g=posts&t=8456
However, if it's working relatively well for you with vMix and/or Wirecast, you are probably one of the lucky ones and can still get some more life out of your system for the time being.
There are many vMix users that are still on first and second generation Intel i7 CPU's as well as earlier generations of GPUs (I know cuz I'm one of them). Higher clocked CPUs and higher end NVidia gaming GPUs will go a long way at keeping vMix relevant and reliable.
When Render Times get above 20 ms and Total CPU usage gets above 70%, that's when you'll know you are underpowered to do what you want to do with your system and vMix.
Resolutions and Framerates undoubtedly have an impact, as do recording formats and how many camera, NDI and video Inputs you have, hardware encoding can help a lot with easing the load on the CPU for streaming and/or recording and fortunately for you, that option is available with the GTX 750 and up.
I would encourage you to push your system to the limit in testing to know where you may need to make immediate improvements or at least know where to draw the line for actual productions, you'll never regret testing and retesting and then testing again.
Just my thoughts.


Ice
stevespaw
#6 Posted : Saturday, 13 January 2018 5:08:59 AM
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You will have random stuttering in your video with multiple SDI inputs on an x99 Motherboard.

Been there,

Steve
sinc747
#7 Posted : Saturday, 13 January 2018 7:12:46 AM
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Try it. You'll like it. The 60-day trial will give you plenty of time to learn the system.

Your PC setup will do just fine. You can always tweak it with a video card or larger replay SSD later.

Please report back and let us know how it goes. Also, ask tons of questions! We're here to help.

- Tom
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Frank Broughton on 7/03/2018
Argo82
#8 Posted : Thursday, 18 January 2018 8:48:42 PM
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Hi Again,

On this latest test, I simulated a load of what we would do in our productions. Other than the cameras not moving, this is as much as we would like to do for now.

CPU goes no higher than 40%
Here are the numbers for GTX 750Ti that we are currently using. We have a GTX1050 (not TI) that we could use instead, if it would be a noticeable benefit to us.





Thanks
Argo82
#9 Posted : Thursday, 18 January 2018 8:49:42 PM
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Hi Again,

On this latest test, I simulated a load of what we would do in our productions. Other than the cameras not moving, this is as much as we would like to do for now.

CPU goes no higher than 40%
I've attached the benchmark numbers for our GTX 750Ti under a load . We have a GTX1050 (not TI) that we could use instead, if it would be a noticeable benefit to us.


Thanks
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sinc747
#10 Posted : Friday, 19 January 2018 4:29:18 AM
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According to some of the reviews I've read (not personal experience), the 1050 can offer up to 30% better performance.

If I had one on hand, I'd definitely give it a try!

- Tom
Argo82
#11 Posted : Friday, 19 January 2018 11:26:11 PM
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Thanks Tom,

I'll pull the 1050 from one of the other machines and give it a go. We had planned to purchase vMix by now, but the events we were supposed to stream got cancelled due to weather, so our trial timed out before we could use it on an actual production. As good as the tests are going, we're still a little hesitant to put the money down until we've been through an actual show. We're going to install another trial on our other similar spec machine but we need to swap some hardware from our older encoders, so a great time to try the 1050 out.

- Mark
Argo82
#12 Posted : Monday, 29 January 2018 3:02:14 AM
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First of all a big THANK YOU to you all for helping.

We finished our first production with vMix last night and other than a few operator "brain farts", everything went very smoothly. We didn't do much more than we usually do with Wirecast this time, but it seemed to go a lot smoother with less strain on the system and less equipment needed. Just the interface alone is so much easier to understand and reliability is amazing. CPU load was averaging around 12% (peak at 40%), which included 2 streams, internal recording, 1 channel replays, external renderer, 3 monitors (multiview-vmix-replay screen), 4 live action cams and a clock cam. This type of load and even less would cause major issues with Wirecast and constantly be in the 60-80%+ range for system resources. Now that I know the system can handle the load which was a big worry last night on top of everything else, all I have to do is map out some more shortcuts and get used to the new workflow.

Not saying too much bad about Wirecast as we have been using it for years and will still need to on our smaller/simpler productions, but in most areas vMix just does things a lot differently, which in our case is better on our hardware/system resources and workflow. Also with our graphics requirements, the Title Designer is an absolute joy to use, instead of having to edit XML code to create title templates.

Again, many thanks to all
-Mark
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rowby on 30/01/2018
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