Sunday, 6 March 2011

The author in 64 bit video editing land

The continued story of migrating to 64 bit computing for video editing...
In earlier posts I described the decision to use PowerDirector video editing software to help make promotional material for my book series. I'm now just starting to cautiously tip toe into that arena as the Microsoft Windows 7 (64 Bit) install disk whirs into life in the DVD drive of my PC. If things go wrong I might lose a whole computer load of programs and data. The process is amazingly simple. Just one question about whether I want to reformat the disk? No way! I want to keep years worth of data thank you.

The Win 7 Professional install went smoothly, but few of the original application showed on the screen. Remember I'd chosen a fresh install (but no reformat) so the process would not look for and activate existing applications. Time to get the Laplink PC Mover into motion.  I found the PC Mover install file and installed it. Within a few moments it was hard at work rebuilding the application software links from the earlier created "Moving Van" file. When the Microsoft Win 7 install was in progress it had found the earlier windows installation and moved the relevant files to a folder called windows.old. PC Mover was digging into the old windows folder to find the applications. I did not need to intervene except to de-install the Kaspersky anti-virus software to prevent it interfering with the software rebuild (I re-installed it later).

Within a couple of hours my PC was back and working. I deleted the trial version of Cyberlink's PowerDirector 9 that I'd installed under Vista 32 bit then re-installed it from the original install file. The install software recognised it was in working in a 64 bit operating environment and installed a 64 bit version of PowerDirector 9 which was fully capable of addressing as many gigabytes of main memory as I could cram into my PC motherboard. Increasing the available amount of memory greatly improves the video rendering time.

I shut down the PC and opened its casing to install the new video card I'd purchased. I'd purchased a cheap (£40) Asus ENGT220 card. It comes with a gigabyte of its own memory and also 48 processors using CUDA technology. It was possible to buy a much more powerful card, but that would cost in the region of £200 and put a greater load on the power supply of my PC. I chose to avoid the expense. The key thing is that the PowerDirector 9 software can make use of the CUDA technology and offload some of the graphics processing work from the main processor on the motherboard to the 48 processors embedded in the video card. Hence even faster video processing.

When I restarted the PC Windows 7 recognised the new video card and started without major problems though the screen image quality could be better. Using the software driver install program supplied on the CD accompanying the new video card soon fixed that problem. Now any heavy graphics applications like internet TV are noticeably faster on my PC.

The PowerDirector software works fine on the upgraded PC and recognises the new video board. Editing videos is noticeably faster over the trial version running under Vista 32 bit with limited memory in the PC. One small snag arose in that my microphone had stopped working in PowerDirector. It was a basic microphone plugged in to the pink socket at the back of the PC. Some investigation (really geeky) led me to realise Windows 7 had installed some generic 32 bit driver software for the sound processing chips installed on the motherboard. A search on the manufacturer Foxconn's website revealed some 64 bit driver software for the sound processing chip. It was easily installed and the problem went away.

So there it is all complete; a powerful video editing configuration on an upgraded PC for a couple of hundred pounds sterling.  I did have some problems with my Adobe products as a result of the upgrade, but more about that later.


No comments:

Post a comment