Sony Vegas Pro 11 Review: Now, With Graphics Acceleration

PC World by Alan Stafford

If there's one thing that stifles creative energy with deadly effectiveness, it's having to wait. That's why the new GPU-accelerated features in Sony's Vegas Pro 11 video-editing application ($600 as of January 3, 2012) are more welcome than pretty much anything else Sony could have done for this application.

Speed Me Up, Scotty

Vegas Pro 11 can use your system's graphics card instead of its CPU to accelerate certain playback and rendering functions. Altogether, 36 video effects and 10 transitions, as well as output rendering, are GPU-accelerated; in contrast, Vegas Pro 10 accelerated a single function. Sony claims that Vegas's GPU acceleration can speed output rendering by as much as a factor of four, depending on the type of project involved, the effects and transitions you use, and your system and its graphics card. If your system has a puny CPU and a powerful graphics card, for example, you might see more improvement than if the quality of those two components were reversed.

Your graphics cards must support OpenCL (Open Computer Language), but such cards are now pretty common, and you can buy them from either AMD or Nvidia (Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 supports GPU acceleration only with Nvidia cards). Your system must use a graphics driver that supports it, too. This requiremnet led to an odd glitch in my testing: I discovered that my graphics driver, even though it was only a few weeks old, caused Vegas not to offer GPU acceleration. I had to dig around on Nvidia's site to find an even newer driver; and though it wasn't listed as the recommended driver, it enabled the option for GPU acceleration once I installed it. read more...

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