Thursday February 07, 2019

The 16GB of HBM2 on the Radeon VII Is Needed for Real World 4K Video Production

Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter brought to light an important real-world use case for the 16GB of HBM2 on the AMD Radeon VII. 4K video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro needs lots of GPU memory to export video when mixing several 4K streams and using taxing transitions. He said that Digital Foundry had upgraded all of their 6GB and 8GB GPUs to 12GB cards in the past as video cards like the RTX 2080, RTX 2080 Ti, GTX 1080 Ti, etc, lack the amount of GPU memory necessary to export 4K video in their everyday workflow. He documented an example of this at the 5:00 mark of the video below.

In this real-world use case, the 12GB NVIDIA Titan X Pascal would crash during the export phase of head-to-head 4K video production when mixing six 4K video clips on a timeline and using 3 taxing transitions. This "Accelerated Renderer Error" was 100% due to a lack of GPU memory according to Mr. Leadbetter. But when the exact same task was presented to the AMD Radeon VII; there were no problems. The pro-level, 16GB of HBM2 video memory on the AMD Radeon VII powered through the task without breaking a sweat! These GPU related "out of memory" crashes have dogged his production team in the past and has even made some of their content late. He goes on to explain that producing 1080p video with 4K assets will cause the same crashing issue if the production team tries to use too many fancy transitions. Special thanks to Jason Evangelho of Forbes.

But for those of you producing hi-res video now or entertaining it in the near future, AMD may be onto something here -- like opening more doors for amateur producers on a budget. I also suspect that certain compute workloads may see considerable benefit from the hefty amount of HBM2 and the corresponding 1TB/second of memory bandwidth.