Hardware upgrade path?

Hello everyone,

I’m new to using Shotcut, having only used it for a couple of months. I’m currently running it on somewhat of a dinosaur desktop computer: AMD FX6300 CPU, 8 GB RAM, and 1 GB GeForce GT430 video card.

Most of what I do is editing video from youth sports, pulling together several game clips and adding some simple filters to provide persistent on-screen information like scores - thus there is almost always one or more filters to be rendered at all times throughout the timeline. I am using proxy editing with 360p preview videos to make the editing process more manageable.

When I render a 40-minute 1080p 60fps video, using MP4/H.264 and CRF 20, Shotcut is taking about 5-6 hours to complete the export. (For what it’s worth, DaVinci Resolve takes a similar amount of time, but ends up with a file more than twice as large as Shotcut.)

Question: which hardware upgrades will most directly reduce rendering time? Since I am on a budget, I was considering either a faster “budget” GPU (~4GB, maybe something like GT1050 Ti or Radeon RX 570), or an upgrade to my CPU and RAM to something more like an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 with 32 GB DDR4 RAM.

This is only a hobby for me, hence the reason I am not going all-in to spend a ton of money on a fully-loaded setup. I’d appreciate any insight from the community about which upgrade(s) will provide the best bang for my amateur buck.

The linked thread below should provide a good understanding of Shotcut internals so you can decide what hardware best fits your editing and encoding needs. TL;DR on the GPU is that I would personally not recommend a 10xx GPU for Shotcut under any circumstance. It will barely get used during editing, and its encoder is worse than a GTX 1650 Super.

Hi Austin,

Thanks for the reply. I glanced through the linked thread, and it looks like there is some useful information in there. If nothing else, I might try changing from the bicubic to the bilinear algorithm, since my source material isn’t all that high quality to begin with.

I appreciate the passion and interest that a small but dedicated community can provide!

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I am also running a dinosaur, an AMD A8-5500B with a GeForce GT 710 GPU. Mine is about 10% faster, you have two more cores.

I doubt if your GT430 processor is doing anything for you. When I was in the market for a GPU on a severely limited budget (back in the heady days of the lightning fast and notoriously unstable Shotcut GPU filters), I looked at the 430, but rejected it based on comments that a certain generation of CUDA cores were needed, and that the 430 was a generation too early. So I spent twice as much ($50 instead of $25) on the GT710.

My current upgrade path is first the 16 GB of DDR3 memory currently in a package on my desk (mostly so I don’t run out of browser memory), and the AMD Athlon X4 760K cpu which is also sitting on my desk and is the fastest CPU ever made for the FM2 socket, which should give me a 10% increase in speed.

After that, next is a GTX 1650 Super, based on @Austin’s comments in the other thread. (I have found the GTX 1650 Super available online for just $150, after much price-searching.)

In the long run, it will be a whole new box, with either (probably) the fastest AMD 12-core AM4 cpu, or (maybe) a 12-core, fast, Threadripper.

Until the GPU integration is more extensive, on a new machine I may turn hardware encoding off and rely on seeing how many fast cores Shotcut can consume in CPU-only mode.

Then you don’t need the 1650 at all! Just saved $150. :grin:

Quality hardware encoding is the primary thing that card brings to the table.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

We shall see.
Perhaps there will be a breakthrough in parallel processing.
Perhaps a fantastic unifying library for AMD and Nvidia GPUs in Windows, Mac OS and Linux will appear.

The future will determine the path.

If there is, it may require more CUDA cores and VRAM than the 1650 has. That could influence the decision too.

…it will mean I don’t need a GPU at all, I need a 64-core Threadripper.

That kind of parallel processing.

I’d love to know where you found this card for $150 - my searching skills have not turned up anything that low, unless it’s in the (way too) early phase of an eBay listing. Faced with the alternative of spending almost $400 on a new mobo, CPU, and RAM, I might be inclined to see what a GPU upgrade could do - especially since the GPU would migrate to an eventual mobo/CPU/RAM setup.

The other thing I have not tried is just closing as many other apps as possible when rendering. I’m certain I am not helping things by leaving Chrome open while it’s got ~1 GB of RAM held hostage.

Alas, the listing has vanished.
I was afraid when i saw it that I would miss out; it had that “only a few left” tag.
It was an online retailer I had never heard of before.
These prices change from day to day; the best I found this morning were around $180.

Well, I ended up trying the inexpensive route for now: I found a 2GB GT710 on eBay for $29 and am going to see what kind of improvements I can get that way. If it doesn’t pan out, I can always re-sell it, but for now I’m looking forward to installing the new card and playing around in Shotcut.

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Hard to beat that price. I think you will be happy with it, especially with the performance improvements from Shotcut 21.01.29

I ran a comparison…

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