GPU acceleration for Sony Vegas Pro

KLU wrote on 11/22/2016, 8:48 AM

Hello everyone,

I'd like to ask if it's true that Sony Vegas 13 no longer provides GPU acceleration with newest graphic cards? I mean OpenCL.

I'm going to build a new PC shortly and I wanted to confirm this gossip.

If you could tell me specifically if OpenCL would work on Radeon R9 380, that would be great.

Thank you.



Nick Hope wrote on 11/22/2016, 9:47 AM

I'd like to ask if it's true that Sony Vegas 13 no longer provides GPU acceleration with newest graphic cards? I mean OpenCL.

Not true. OpenCL is still supported for GPU acceleration of video processing. AMD support is stronger than NVIDIA.

Confusion might come from the fact that GPU-accelerated AVC rendering support is not strong for newer cards, and not supported at all for CUDA since the GTX 580. But it's still there, the same as it was before.

If you could tell me specifically if OpenCL would work on Radeon R9 380, that would be great.

It should still work well on the Radon R9 380 in VP13 and 14. There has been no significant change since VP11.

The following GPUs/graphics cards have been known to work well with VEGAS Pro:

  • AMD Radeon RX 480/470
  • AMD Radeon R9 390X/390/290X/290
KLU wrote on 11/22/2016, 10:20 AM

Hey there Nick. Thank you. I didn't believe that either, but I wanted to be absolutely sure :)

KLU wrote on 11/22/2016, 11:35 AM

I also wondered why some people report that rendering with GPU acceleration doesn't make any difference or even takes longer to render with OpenCL, than with CPU only.

Any good reason for that behaviour? Maybe hardware issue?

Jumping Rascal wrote on 11/22/2016, 12:14 PM

In January, I upgraded my HD5870 to the R9 380. Before installing the new card, I rendering a V13 test project (that included Titler, Hitfilm, and many plug ins) to various formats with GPU acceleration both on and off. With the old card, GPU acceleration improved rendering times by about 30%. The new card, the R9 380, was about even with the old card in rendering performance with GPU on. Even though the new card really did not impact rendering times for me, I am happy with the new card in terms of V13 in that it reduced the number of crashes (which I suspect related to Titler Pro 3 in the majority of cases) and improved the timeline preview performance signficantly. Overall V13 runs very well with the R9 380. Also, the new card does a lot better with my GPU high demand non Vegas software such as iClone 6 and generally refreshed my system nicely. Before buying the card, I read a lot about various cards on this forum with thanks in particular to Oldsmoke.   

KLU wrote on 11/22/2016, 12:37 PM

After doing some research and watching benchmarks, I think I will go with Radeon RX 470 instead of R9 380.
Thanks guys.

animagic wrote on 11/22/2016, 3:40 PM

As has been reiterated before, Sony Vegas 13 has no support for the newer NVidia cards. This is not a rumor. I have experienced this myself (I have a GTX 1080) and has also been amply documented. When trying to enable GPU support, Vegas simplies says that there is no supported card available. GPU accelaration works with older NVidia cards (it worked with my GTX 580 for example). There is a request for Magix to add GPU support for these newer cards. Unfortunately, I need an NVidia card for certain other software, so I'm stuck. I haven't upgraded to Vegas 14 yet as there were some reports it's actually slower than 13.

NormanPCN wrote on 11/22/2016, 4:11 PM

As has been reiterated before, Sony Vegas 13 has no support for the newer NVidia cards. 

That statement as written is false.

The Vegas video engine (effects, compositing) is supported via OpenCL. The video engine is used at all time. Playback and "render as". What is not supported is GPU accel of the AVC file encoder. As others have stated Mainconcept AVC only supports up to the 5xx cards for Nvidia and the 6xxx cards for AMD.

I once had an AMD 5850 and MC AVC got accel and then when I bought a 7950 MC AVC was stuck in CPU mode.

The Nvidia OpenCL implemention does not work as well for Vegas as it does for AMD.

For the record I currently have a GTX 980.

KLU wrote on 11/22/2016, 6:00 PM

Once I saw that the guy who has a GTX 1060, was having a 4:46 render time with GPU acceleration enabled and 4:36 without it (of course with the same footage and render settings). So I'm assuming that  under Options > Preferences > Video tab he's got the card available.
Does anybody have any idea why the CPU render time is better than with GPU acceleration enabled? Does it mean that nVidia cards doesn't make any difference at all with GPU acceleration? I'm just trying to make sense out of it :) (assuming he's telling the truth about the render time results, which I can't confirm unfortunately).


Cornico wrote on 11/22/2016, 6:12 PM

I confirm this also, the reason is that only with a "weak" CPU the GPU with Cuda can benefit.

I'm not getting it why people spent so much time and effort to win a few seconds rendertime.
In the old times ( a few years back) I was used to render overnight and was happy  the next morning rendering was (almost) ready.😃😃😃

igniz-krizalid wrote on 11/22/2016, 9:34 PM

I did a few test before upgrading to RX 480 from R9 380 both 4Gb DDR5, Vegas Pro 13 showed me exact same performance in rendering time 0 gains there, but playback was a little smoother with RX 480 for sure, third party plugins like Titler pro 4, NewBlue effects benefits more from my upgrade than Vegas pro itself.

Main PC:

MSI X370 Pro Carbon, R7 1800X, OC Nitro RX 480 4Gb, 2X8GB DDR4 3200 CL 14, 850 EVO 500GB SSD, Dark Rock 3 cooler, Dark Power Pro 11 650W Platinum, Serenade PciE CM8888 Sound Card, MultiSync 1200p IPS 16:10 monitor, Windows 10 Pro 64bit

Second PC:

Z170XP-SLI, i7 6700K, Nitro R9 380 4Gb, 2X8GB DDR4 3200 CL 16, MX200 500 SSD, MasterAir Pro 4 cooler, XFX PRO 650W Core Edition 80+ Bronze, Xonar D1 7.1 Ch Sound Card, NEC MultiSync 1200p IPS 16:10 monitor, Windows 10 pro 64bit

Nick Hope wrote on 11/22/2016, 10:43 PM
The Nvidia OpenCL implemention as well for Vegas as it does for AMD.

Norman, I'd love to know what the missing bit of that says! (I'm currently writing a GPU FAQ post)

NormanPCN wrote on 11/23/2016, 1:04 PM
The Nvidia OpenCL implemention as well for Vegas as it does for AMD.

Norman, I'd love to know what the missing bit of that says! (I'm currently writing a GPU FAQ post)

Damn disconnect between my brain and fingers. Edited my original post.

The Nvidia OpenCL implemention does not work as well for Vegas as it does for AMD.

This is very anecdotal. Nothing rigorous. I've had AMD 5850, 7950 and now Nvidia GTX 980 and Vegas 12/13. I once did timing tests on Mainconcept AVC and Sony AVC with CPU/CPU, CPU/GPU, GPU/CPU, GPU/GPU. The first item being video prefs GPU control which controls the video engine (OpenCL)(effects, composite, mask, crop). The second item is the GPU option in the "render as" templates which controls the file encoder.

While it probably can be said that Nvidias OpenCL implementation is not as good as AMD. That has closed up quite a bit recently in the drivers. The promise of OpenCL is that you can write generic code and it works everywhere. This is true but maybe not optimal. To get max performance you still probably have to tweak CL code for specific architectures. That is probably why Mainconcept AVC is the way it is. Targeted to specific architectures and it has never been kept up to date for newer stuff, nor does it have "generic" to run on just anything.

The Luxmark benchamrk is one where you can see performance tweaks. Luxmark is an often quoted OpenCL benchmark. Well, supposedly Nvidia informed the developer of some things where were not doing optimally. Those things made Nvidia underperform on that benchmark. That would be Luxmark 3. Luxmark 3.1 has the new OpenCL code tweaks and both Nvidia and AMD perform better and Nvidia competes with AMD where it previous did not. You cannot compare 3.0 to 3.1 benchmark numbers. All that makes me wonder if Vegas is just not as optimal on Nvidia, like Luxmark used to be.

On my Nvidia install using 3rd party effects that use OpenGL GPU accel (NewBlue, Hitfilm) really get a performance hit on Nvidia. I do not remember this when I had AMD. Pure Vegas effects roll quite well. The OpenFX OpenCL/OpenGL bridge could very well be a bottleneck here.

Nick Hope wrote on 11/23/2016, 9:59 PM

Thanks Norman. Interesting that you feel the Nvidia>AMD OpenCL gap is closing.

I wrote an article to be linked in the near future from a pinned forum FAQs post. Did my best to summarise the situation as I understand it:  If you have comments on it, maybe you could share them here.

ByronK wrote on 11/24/2016, 2:59 AM

How much GPU acceleration also depends largely on what effects are being applied to the video to get GPU utilization.

I've owned GTX 550, 660 and now R9 390 and they all hardly use any GPU during playback or rendering with the effects I use regularly: Neat Video, Color Corrector 2ndary, Unsharp Mask, Color Curves.

Neat Video in my case is the bottleneck because when I turn it off GPU utilization increases.

jose-b wrote on 1/12/2017, 1:32 AM

Hello, this is my first day in this forum. Recently I have build a  PC with I7 6700, 16GB RAM and  AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB. I am mostly working with 4k footage from my Panasonic GX80/85 (H264). I am quite happy with vegas playback, is much faster than Resolve, I can throw a lot of Fx in and I am still getting 20fps or 22 at a good quality playback. If I wanted to have smoother  (maybe full hd playback?) will a second RX480 help me?. Couldn't find any info about multiple GPU'S in Vegas.

Nick Hope wrote on 1/12/2017, 3:50 AM

...If I wanted to have smoother  (maybe full hd playback?) will a second RX480 help me?. Couldn't find any info about multiple GPU'S in Vegas.

Unfortunately not really. VEGAS does not benefit from NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFire. I suppose if all your monitors were plugged into one card it would leave the other one free for doing the accelerating*, but a card of that power should take the running of displays in its stride, so you wouldn't benefit much. If you wanted to try that you could get away with a much cheaper card than the RX480 for just running displays, as long as it supports the resolutions you want. You probably have what is currently "the best" graphics card for accelerating Vegas (for 8-bit work).

Bear in mind the extra power, space and potentially cooling requirements of a 2nd card.

Take a look at this thread. There are lots of things you can do to make playback smoother, some of which you might not have thought of before.

* Can anyone confirm if 2 separate AMD GPUs will show up in the video preferences, if you have 2 installed?

OldSmoke wrote on 1/12/2017, 9:35 AM

I had both GPU types, 2x GTX570, 2x GTX580 and 2x R9 290. In all installations, SLI and Crossfire are not supported. Nvidia cards in SLI are slower and than a single card. When I had the two Nvidia cards in my system, it was important to select the card in the second slot for timeline acceleration, otherwise Vegas wouldn't make any use of the second card at all. For the two R9 290, Crossfire didn't slow it down but also didn't improve the timeline performance. The only time both where actually used was for NeatVideo as it can detect and utilize both GPUs, maybe even dual GPU cards. Also note that two cards only makes sense if both can run x16 mode which would mean you need a socket 2011 CPU with 40 lanes or the older 1136 with 36 lanes.

It is sad that Nvidia cards are not well supported but actually they where always used in OpenCL because that is simply how Vegas works. As you know, the MCAVC codec with the CUDA acceleration was written by MC themselves and not by SCS. SCS probably paid well for that feature and didn't want to invest again.

My current Radeon Fury-X outperformed the two R9 290 on my aging 3930K with DX79SR board.

Last changed by OldSmoke on 1/12/2017, 9:37 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

Proud owner of Sony Vegas Pro 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 and now Magix VP15&16.

System Spec.:
Motherboard: Intel DX79SR
Ram: G.Skill 8x4GB DDR3 2133 (running at 1600 and lower latency)
CPU: 3930K @ 4.3GHz (custom water cooling system)
GPU: 1x ASUS Fury-X
Hard drives: 4x 2GB WD Red in RAID 5 (with Hot Spare), 2x Crucial 256GB SSD in RAID 0 (mulitcam project drive), 1x Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD (System), 1x Crucial 64GB SSD (temp files and swap file), 1x 3.5" Hotswap Bay, 1x LG BluRay Burner
PSU: Corsair 1200W
Monitor: 2x Dell Ultrasharp U2713HM, 1x Sony HDTV 32" preview monitor

david-s9516 wrote on 3/17/2017, 1:42 PM

Thinking about building a new photo editing PC - something like this

However, I'm wondering if I should go with something like the newer Ryzen 7 1700 or an i7 or a GPU like the RX 480 or the 1060?

xberk wrote on 3/17/2017, 3:03 PM

i7-6800k seems the sweet spot for six core CPU. Should be enough for VP14 and 1080p footage .. Graphic card is still problematic with AMD cards seemly the best for Vegas at present. Nick's suggestions likely are still a good place to start your research ..

CogDiv wrote on 3/17/2017, 3:16 PM

If you want a second legacy GPU for CUDA (GTX 580) or OpenCL (Radeon HD6970) encoding/rendering, you should get the i7-6850K for the most clock/dollar and 40 PCI-E lanes.

Nick Hope wrote on 3/18/2017, 1:25 AM
However, I'm wondering if I should go with something like the newer Ryzen 7 1700 or an i7 or a GPU like the RX 480 or the 1060?

Here's a good choice of GPU at the moment. Here's what AMD have on the way.

go2ldook wrote on 6/17/2017, 8:58 AM

Looking at a new computer build for music production and video editing, and while this is not a budget computer, I was thinking I would sink more money into CPU and Motherboard.

Nick's link to New Egg shows that item out of stock. Looking over what they do have, most of the RX 480 cards are $500-$600+. Is this just what I am going to pay? I do not have a strict budget, but was hoping for a good option in the $300ish range. I am mostly doing HD video rendering with Movie Studio HD Platinum...home stuff and videos of my band playing.

I am trying to sink more of my money into CPU and motherboard...thinking about an ASUS X99 2011 v3 motherboard and an Intel i7 7700k processor.

Of course, any advice is welcome.


fr0sty wrote on 6/17/2017, 9:25 AM

I'm using a Ryzen 7 1800x. While the individual cores of the i7 have a tad more brute force, the Ryzen chips smoke the i7's at multi-threaded apps, especially apps that use all 8-16 threads... and they're cheaper, leaving more money behind for a better GPU. NVidia has some really good cards, though Vegas is still in the stone age so we can't utilize the features on those cards in the app yet. I've always found AMD drivers to be unstable. I do video projection mapping for a living and after having my Radeon HD 6870 crash and burn so bad I had to re-install windows right in the middle of a gig... twice... I gave it away and bought a GTX 970. Vegas doesn't benefit from it much, but it runs circles around my old GPU in every way, outputs to 4 monitors at once, was only $400 2 years ago (probably way cheaper now, and the 10 series cards are affordable beasts as well), and it has never once caused me a single issue.

I upgraded my old system to this setup. It's been chewing through some video encodes like they're nothing. Even with lots of effects on the timeline.


Ryzen 7 1800x

32gb 3000mhz DDR4

500gb Samsung Evo 850 M.2 system drive (3.9GBps read, 1.7GBps write)

Asus Motherboard (don't have the model handy), supports up to 64gb RAM

I added that to my previous setup including my GTX 970 GPU for a bit over 1k. It has proven to be quite powerful, I'm very pleased with the results. I will be updating the GPU next to a GTX 10 series card.

go2ldook wrote on 6/17/2017, 9:45 AM

Thanks...thoughts on the drives? I was looking at the Samsung Evo vs. Pro for the OS. I can save some money by sticking to 250GB, and I just doubt the programs/OS will require more space. Hand wringing over the Pro/Evo selection...the Pro has a longer warranty. As for storage, was looking at HGST drives, as they seem very dependable. I honestly don't NEED huge amounts of storage, because I have a QNAP NAS, so just looking at speed/durability for 2 drives that I can put in a RAID configuration. If I need to move this over to another thread I will, but while I have your ear...