Ultimate Vegas Pro PC Build

weinerschizel wrote on 11/22/2022, 2:48 PM

Back in 2016 I started a thread on another forum. We spec'ed out a editing machine build for Vegas and I built it. The build is listed below. I knew the software would take some time to catch up to the hardware. I'm now at a point where my GPU is maxed out and I need to find a new one or add a second one (if Vegas will utilize two).

My Specs:

- Windows 10 Ultimate running Vegas 20 Pro
- i7-6950x 3.0Ghrz 10 Core Processor Liquid Cooled HERE
- ASRock Fatality X99M Killer LGA2011-v3 mainboard w/ Intel X99 chipset HERE
- 1x MSI Radeon RX 480 GDDR5 8GB (2304 Stream Processor Units) HERE
- 64GB DDR4 2133 Memory
- LG IPS 4k 10-bit display model 31MU97
- Samsung 950 Pro 512GB M.2 Main Drive
- Samsung 850 Pro SSD 1TB capture scratch Drive
- Raid NAS (separate build)


Does anybody have a good suggestion for a GPU or pair of GPU's to purchase? I'm looking for something that's depreciated a bit, not necessarily top shelf but still has enough headroom to perform well with Vegas. I'm limited to something that will work with PCIe 3.0 per my build. The board also supports Nvida SLI & AMD Crossfire so two cards can be installed.

Notes on build:

The processor doesn't even break a sweat rendering. There's lots of headroom left there. However, the GPU is maxed out completely. So long as I stick to my main capture scratch drive for project there's not much issue loading up the clips... bit of buffering lag on some 4K clips captured in h.265 but other than that timeline playback at full quality is reasonably workable. Switching to file server incurs some lag, especially if anybody else is on network (typically not). I don't have a dedicated switch / line for the NAS, it shares bandwidth with other items on the line. Not explaining correctly but bandwidth is currently shared I'd like to create a dedicated 10Gbit line for the file server. The monitor was worth every single cent of $1000 I spent for it. It displays color accurate for print as well (something else I do too). I have an X-Rite calibration tool as well.

Build Philosophy:

I have a background in computer engineering and intimately aware that software lags behind hardware development. Many times hardware is designed that is never utilized in software. That said, it seldom pays to buy the top shelf components. I looked for slightly older hardware that had been or would eventually be supported in software. This saved me a bunch of money. I also originally bought a 6 core processor and recently upgraded to the 10 as they have become MUCH cheaper to buy second hand.

My original plan was to buy a second GPU but when original build was done, Vegas didn't even have GPU support when I did the original build. Now they do and I think I might be able to get a better GPU all together, possibly two if Vegas supports that.



john_dennis wrote on 11/22/2022, 11:27 PM


You and I built similar machines at about the same time. I usually do forklift upgrades of edit machines every four years. The January 2021 upgrade was delayed for reasons that don't warrant discussion. I plan to replace the machine in my signature early in 2023. I've been picking parts in this thread. If you're worried about creating e-waste, I frequently push the edit machines down through the other systems in my house. I have a machine from 2008 that is used for email and office work. My last i7-3770(k) was moved to the media server function. I don't currently have any plans for reusing this machine. I may sell the parts on eBay.

So far, my focus has been on buying more and faster cores. I may build the basic system with the i7-13700K (or i9-13900K) on-die video adapter and use it for decode. I don't currently acquire or deliver any video in HEVC. For quick and dirty renders, I use VCE, but lately I've been working old projects and rendering CPU only, I don't even decode with the GPU. It's good work if you can get it.


Bitman upgraded recently: https://www.vegascreativesoftware.info/us/users/profile/bitman/

xberk upgraded in the previous Intel generation: https://www.vegascreativesoftware.info/us/users/profile/xberk/

Hulk upgraded to an i7-12700K: https://www.vegascreativesoftware.info/us/forum/impressions-moving-from-vp14-4770k-to-vp19-12700k--133354/#ca832065


My main system:
Motherboard: Asus X99-AII
CPU: Intel i7-6850K
GPU: Sapphire Radeon RX480-8GB
RAM: Corsair Dominator (4 x 4 GB) DDR4 2400
Disk O/S & Programs: Intel SSD 750 (400 GB)
Disk Active Projects: 1TB & 2TB WD BLACK SN750 NVMe Internal PCI Express 3.0 x4 Solid State Drives
Disk Other: WD Ultrastar/Hitachi Hard Drives: WDBBUR0080BNC-WRSN, HGST HUH728080ALE600, 724040ALE640, HDS3020BLA642
Case: LIAN LI PC-90 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Case
CPU cooling: Corsair Hydro series H115i
Power supply: SeaSonic SS-750KM3 750W 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Drive Bay: Kingwin KF-256-BK 2.5" and 3.5" Trayless Hot Swap Rack with USB 3
Sound card: Crystal Sound 3 on motherboard. Recording done on another system.
Primary Monitor: Asus ProArt PA248q (24" 1920 x 1200)
O/S: Windows 10 Pro 22H2, Build 19045.2130

Camera: Sony RX10 Model IV


RogerS wrote on 11/23/2022, 12:04 AM

I'd start by looking at performance comparisons in Vegas. Here's the user benchmark (you can try with your current card and compare to users with similar CPUs and different GPUs).


Techgage also has done multiple comparisons in Vegas. They should have one for 20 soon (skipped 19).


You can also see what I chose when I completed my first desktop build this month. I also went the used/value direction given the state of the GPU market with high prices for current generation and a glut of used GPUs.
SLI/Crossfire is basically dead and never supported by most productivity apps so I'd avoid that. Newer Intel ARC GPUs need resizable bar so that's out for your system. AMD drivers have been a mess and I'd avoid them just for that even if the hardware is more reasonably priced than NVIDIA.

Last changed by RogerS on 11/23/2022, 12:09 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

Custom PC (2022) Intel i5-13600K with UHD 770 iGPU with driver, MSI z690 Tomahawk motherboard, 64GB Corsair DDR5 5200 ram, NVIDIA 2080 Super (8GB) with latest studio driver, 2TB Hynix P41 SSD, Windows 11 Pro 64 bit

Dell XPS 15 laptop (2017) 32GB ram, NVIDIA 1050 (4GB) with latest studio driver, Intel i7-7700HQ with Intel 630 iGPU (driver, dual internal SSD (256GB; 1TB), Windows 10 64 bit

Vegas 19.648
Vegas 20.214

VEGAS 4K benchmark: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Exbi4K3hbxw6snJuisR1ble-0tCPVNcIcNnx0BAtSIM/

weinerschizel wrote on 11/23/2022, 1:44 PM

Thanks @RogerS I had come across those posts. The Nvidia 2060 looks promising. It also has of the highest stream processor counts for PCIe. Only thing, I don't think it has CrossFire / supports dual cards? Then the Radeon 5700...? But quick question, does the Vegas even support dual cards?

@john_dennis I have PCs laying everywhere haha... So many I probably need to throw some of them away. My next build will hopefully be a NAS with VM support. Love that guy's performance study / those links you shared. I need to participate in that and see what other machines did. Maybe some further info to dial in my build.

My goal is more so to utilize the maximum potential of what I have. I have LOTS of headroom with the CPU, Drives, and memory. None with the GPU. My only hope is that I've not maxed out PCIe 3.0 in which case my system would be at it's max potential. I tend to buy what may be considered obsolete, more so because I know software seldom takes advantage of new architectures and I'm cheap haha Easily saved thousands on my build doing this, that said, I think I have around $5000 or more in it.

RogerS wrote on 11/23/2022, 6:02 PM

I do not believe Vegas supports dual cards or that is viable in 2022. I went with a 2080 used for around 300 US.

weinerschizel wrote on 11/23/2022, 6:39 PM

I'm leaning towards Nvidia... Any clue what Vegas favors? More stream processors or higher speed card (like 2080 over 2060)? Cause I can more easily afford a 2060 with more stream processors.

On a side note, not sure if is still the case, partly why I'm inclined to try Nvida for a change. The AMD stuff seems to always look better on paper, however, I scrapped a couple builds with AMD processors. They couldn't hold a candle to this latest i7 setup I built. I wonder if that's the case with Nvida as well, these tests seem to lean towards Nvidia.

Last changed by weinerschizel on 11/23/2022, 6:45 PM, changed a total of 2 times.

Windows 10 Ultimate Editing Machine 10 core i7-6950x CPU / 64gb ram / Radeon 480x GPU / M.2 main drive & 1tb SSD capture scratch drive

My work Real Estate Broker by day HERE / Camera Man for hire HERE / A mountain man otherwise HERE

RogerS wrote on 11/23/2022, 7:34 PM

I don't know what a stream processor is but the NVIDIA 2080 is faster clocked with more CUDA cores than the 2060. I got the 2080 Super.

In terms of what works in Vegas both brands work and the benchmark gives an idea of relative performance for playback and rendering. I'd also throw out driver maturity as a wild card that doesn't show up on benchmarks- lots of issues on the AMD side over the past year if you go through the forum. Stick to WHQL driver releases and keep an eye out for user complaints.

RogerS wrote on 11/23/2022, 8:17 PM

To respond to your question in the benchmark results- your system is performing near the top of what others with the RX480 are seeing.

If you scroll up you'll see what GPUs would likely be an upgrade for you. Do note this particular benchmark is fairly GPU intensive (lots of events moving around).

weinerschizel wrote on 11/24/2022, 1:00 PM

Thanks @RogerS. This spreadsheet / benchmark is fascinating. Thanks to whom created it. Did you create it? Very helpful!

weinerschizel wrote on 11/24/2022, 1:09 PM

@RogerS thanks! I got caught up in that driver debacle. Took me down for a month! I couldn't produce any videos. I think you helped me on that post, finally learned through process of elimination it was the driver.

RogerS wrote on 11/24/2022, 7:26 PM

I didn't create the benchmark but inherited it from JN- who I believe also inherited it and helped upscale it to 4K to keep it relevant. My main contribution was improving the data collection by integrating an automated form instead of manually cutting and pasting results from the forum which just doesn't scale.

Glad I was able to help with the driver! Drivers are the bane of my existence as well. The 5 year old laptop I'm typing on had blue screens for the past half-year without a clear cause, though often after editing with Vegas. It was hard to get anything done. Then this month the latest NVIDIA Studio driver called out my machine's exact model (out of all the models and brands and vintages in the world) for a stability fix. Haven't had one since. I appreciate that but it has been hard getting any editing done since spring when the whole system goes down and has to be restarted.

weinerschizel wrote on 11/26/2022, 7:29 PM

I cannot say how many times I've looked at the price of Premiere or even Avid. Not sure if they are as prone to crash. Although, I think the crashes are more prone to 3rd party software. Despite that I don't believe Magix is handling the exceptions (I could be wrong). I'm trying to edit professionally, all be it for my own businesses / promoting them. Stability makes it hard to do anything with regularity.

@john_dennis's thread as well has me seeing benefits of these new processors (i7+ and even AMD ones), they must have some sort of GPU acceleration / assistance in the newer CPU architectures? Anyways, maybe a bit of a Mute point for my work. My system edits really well, only crux is some frame dropping when loading next clip in timeline playback. It's like the GPU lags to decode next clip (or drive, although I doubt that).

My hope is to max out this older i7 setup and continue using it for a few more years if I can. I think I'll order a Nvidia 2080 Ti here in next couple weeks. It looks reasonably priced second hand, and seems to be the top tier for PCIe 3.0?


RogerS wrote on 11/27/2022, 4:46 AM

Yes, the new processors often come with capable IGPUs that can handle decoding of video with great compatibility on the Intel side. It's not editor specific so you would get a similar benefit in Premiere or other compatible software.

2080ti still holds own today and should be a good match for your system.

weinerschizel wrote on 12/12/2022, 8:26 AM

I have a 2080 Ti Founders Edition on order. It should come Friday. Quite excited to see how it edits, pending the card is good, it's used of course.

weinerschizel wrote on 12/15/2022, 5:28 PM

Installed, I need to rerun the benchmark. I put in a 2080 Ti. Add on eBay said it was a "Founder's Edition". No clue what that means, I couldn't find anything about that on the box.

That said, I literally just opened my first timeline with it, and playback of timeline was nearly as good as playback of a video file! I can even play at 3x and 4x and not drop frames. There's a slight buffering jump at beginning of some clips, but recovers in fraction of a second.

This should save me LOTS of time auditioning clips. I don't think I'll have to render clips to view drafts anymore either. Thanks for the recommendation!

Only issue I can see is the fans are a every so slightly noisy. I wonder if they will eventually need replaced... 😕

Last changed by weinerschizel on 12/15/2022, 5:31 PM, changed a total of 2 times.

Windows 10 Ultimate Editing Machine 10 core i7-6950x CPU / 64gb ram / Radeon 480x GPU / M.2 main drive & 1tb SSD capture scratch drive

My work Real Estate Broker by day HERE / Camera Man for hire HERE / A mountain man otherwise HERE

Howard-Vigorita wrote on 12/15/2022, 7:07 PM

Only thing, I don't think it has CrossFire / supports dual cards? Then the Radeon 5700...? But quick question, does the Vegas even support dual cards?

Vegas does support dual gpu cards but not as a team like crossfire (amd), sli (nvidia) or hyper (intel). I use dual gpu cards to split the load in Vegas between fx/timeline processing and decoding, particularly with cpus like xeons and Intel x-series that have no igpu. Vegas doesn't let you select a specific gpu for rendering, but if you mix different gpu brands, selecting between nvenc, vce, and qsv rendering can accomplish that.

I've confirmed in testing that the latest Resolve Studio does Intel hyper rendering, which teams Intel gpus and igpus for qsv rendering. And verified that Intel hyper rendering is definitely not working in Vegas.

weinerschizel wrote on 12/15/2022, 7:54 PM

@Howard-Vigorita that's awesome! I was going to get rid of my old 480FX but maybe now I hold onto it?

I'm curious though, you've mixed AMD and Nvida before in the same system before? I noticed the new 2080Ti wouldn't install until I removed the old AMD drivers from my system. I kind of thought, as the 2080 gets even cheaper I might snag a second one.

Howard-Vigorita wrote on 12/15/2022, 8:53 PM

I had an rx580 in a Xeon machine with an Nvidia 1600 before I upgraded the amd to a 5700xt. It's common to have to remove the old drivers and reinstall from scratch to keep the old and new from colliding. Suggest you time rendering one of your projects before and after installing the 2nd gpu to see if load-splitting increases performance. It has on all of my systems except a really old one with a 980x cpu.

RogerS wrote on 12/15/2022, 11:22 PM

I resorted the benchmark so you can see where you stand. Given the age of the CPU this is a very strong performance. There is no CPU of this generation faster than you. You're only 10 seconds off my time with a 13th generation CPU and significantly faster ram, etc. You are also about 40% faster than your computer was before.

If you want to improve your time slightly try putting dynamic ram preview back to the default setting.

I wouldn't bother with a second NVIDIA card (if you want better decoding in Vegas, try Intel ARC) as there's literally no benefit, and would sell the AMD unless you have another machine to put it in. Adding GPUs means ensuring adequate power, bus bandwidth and cooling. Mess up on any of those and it will be slower than you are now.

weinerschizel wrote on 12/16/2022, 12:11 PM

Thanks for the help! You guys really made a big impact on my system & workflow! I'll look into a second inexpensive GPU.

I'm assuming the second GPU would simply run the monitor to free up power for the main render / Vegas dedicated GPU? That be the case, why Intel; would a inexpensive Nvida card do the trick just as well?

Last changed by weinerschizel on 12/16/2022, 12:22 PM, changed a total of 2 times.

Windows 10 Ultimate Editing Machine 10 core i7-6950x CPU / 64gb ram / Radeon 480x GPU / M.2 main drive & 1tb SSD capture scratch drive

My work Real Estate Broker by day HERE / Camera Man for hire HERE / A mountain man otherwise HERE

RogerS wrote on 12/17/2022, 6:46 AM

Intel QSV decoding is in another class from NVDEC in Vegas and it's cheaper anyway. https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/What-H-264-and-H-265-Hardware-Decoding-is-Supported-in-Premiere-Pro-2120/

weinerschizel wrote on 12/17/2022, 10:46 AM

I thought Quick Sync was in CPUs? It's now in the Intel GPUs too? I was surfing looking for low profile fanless GPU solution to run monitor. Maybe that's the wrong track? I need to look for something else?

RogerS wrote on 12/17/2022, 7:02 PM

You already have a GPU to run the monitor.

Howard stated

I use dual gpu cards to split the load in Vegas between fx/timeline processing and decoding, particularly with cpus like xeons and Intel x-series that have no igpu.

Intel Arc cards can do that. Your AMD card can do that.

weinerschizel wrote on 12/17/2022, 10:18 PM

Sorry I'm a bit confused. So there's a way to split the workload between two GPUs when playing back the timeline? GPU 1 Timeline playback GPU 2 FX processing?

How do you configure that? Is it in the preferences somewhere?

RogerS wrote on 12/18/2022, 6:12 AM

You configure the GPU(s) in preferences/ video and preferences/ file io.

Vegas splits timeline & FX processing from video decoding.

Video encoding is configured separately through the render settings so you have 3 places to define GPU usage.

Take a look at the schematic here as this isn't unique to Vegas but how GPUs are designed: https://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-video-codec-sdk