Question / Help 120 fps 1080p video capture card

Mathias2k

New Member
Hi,

first of all I want to apologize for my poor English and my question might not be related to OBS exactly but I am not sure where to ask this question.

A friend of mine want to get rid of a server that I might take at my house for my personal use. It has 2 x quad core xeon processor and I want to take advantage of it. My first question is would it worth getting a capture card to transfer the load on my work/gaming PC to the server instead.

If yes, I am looking into recording high quality video in 120 fps, I want to make really fluid video which I can reduce speed and still have fluid quality video. I saw some high end capture card on the internet but the price tag are ridiculous.

I wanted to know your opinion on the matters and some guidance because if I am going to invest into this project I want to make sure I take the right path to do it. Some people might think it overkill but the server is not just used for that, but if I can use it for this also it be nice.

Thank You,
Mathias
 

FerretBomb

Active Member
Not worth it at the moment. At all.
Yes, the capture cards exist, and yes, the prices are generally insane. There is no budget 1080@120 option; even 1080@60 options tend to be pricey for ones that perform well (eg: not Avermedia).

That said, I have a dual quad-core Xeon machine (a Dell Poweredge 2850). The CPUs I have are slow, server-oriented chips that are next to useless for real-time video encoding. I would not personally bother buying a 1080@120 capture card for this machine, as it would be a waste. In a few years as the mainstream moves forward, those higher end cards will become more common, costs will drop in price, and I'll likely re-evaluate. I cannot recommend going forward on that at the moment; it's burning money outside of some technical rules-of-thumb (namely, always capture at double your source framerate, to ensure every frame is captured).
 

Boildown

Active Member
I managed to get one of these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Datapath-VisionDVI-DL-Dual-Link-Video-Capture-Card-/182018340473 on Ebay for around US$600, and it can do 1080p120. It doesn't carry audio, just video, and requires a 4x PCIe slot. Datapath capture card OBS forum thread: https://obsproject.com/forum/threads/unsupported-datapath-vision-capture.12503

Whether your plan is worth it? That's less certain. I consider it a hobby where price/performance justification is... less important.

Another potential problem is using a server with two physical CPUs. I've read on these forums in the past that people have had problems getting x264 (software encoder used by OBS) to actually run on both of them. FerretBomb can probably speak to that better. But if its as bad as it sounded and only one of your quad cores was actually usable, then your server would be no better than a generic i7.

For local recording, the CPU speed doesn't even really matter, as you can just increase the bitrate to make up for mediocre quality per bitrate settings. CPU speed is only really a big deal when you're doing live streaming. So in this respect your server performance might not even matter that much.

Which brings me to your next point, for OBS recording, your server will need a GPU that isn't terrible. I for one use a GTX 750 Ti, and it works admirably. I can use the NVEnc encoder and the CPU impact is minimal. Haven't tried it at 120Hz recording though, I input 120Hz and record at 60Hz.

So to sum up, if you're not streaming, just recording to disk, your server doesn't have to have a lot of power. If you're going out of your way just to use an uber server you were gifted, and you're not streaming, don't bother. The real factor is whether you want to spend money on a high-end capture card. I think if you're not planning to use it for a long time, then it isn't worth it. If this is something you're going to do for a few years, then maybe.
 

dping

Active Member
Not worth it at the moment. At all.
Yes, the capture cards exist, and yes, the prices are generally insane. There is no budget 1080@120 option; even 1080@60 options tend to be pricey for ones that perform well (eg: not Avermedia).

That said, I have a dual quad-core Xeon machine (a Dell Poweredge 2850). The CPUs I have are slow, server-oriented chips that are next to useless for real-time video encoding. I would not personally bother buying a 1080@120 capture card for this machine, as it would be a waste. In a few years as the mainstream moves forward, those higher end cards will become more common, costs will drop in price, and I'll likely re-evaluate. I cannot recommend going forward on that at the moment; it's burning money outside of some technical rules-of-thumb (namely, always capture at double your source framerate, to ensure every frame is captured).
There has been tests where the dual xeon 5400 series would encode about as fast as an FX8300 series of the same clock. the X/L5400 series was basically core 2 quad which is similar to how the FX8300 series processes minus the AVX extensions.
 
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Mathias2k

New Member
Thank you for everyone answers, really helpful and make me rethink about my decisions. If I can't take the advantage of the 2 physical CPU it might not worth it. I believe the clock is not extraordinary either 2.8 GHz if I am not wrong. I don't plan on buying a GPU to do the job. Maybe going down the way for a 1080p 60 fps might be the road I will take.

Not worth it at the moment. At all.
Yes, the capture cards exist, and yes, the prices are generally insane. There is no budget 1080@120 option; even 1080@60 options tend to be pricey for ones that perform well (eg: not Avermedia).
Here some card that claim to be 60fps 1080p Avermedia 250$ CAD (I know you mention this one, just making a list) DeckLink 201$ CAD Elgato intern/extern, skynet monster XX (did not found a link to buy quickly) and prob more.

I'm looking for opinions of anyone who used those card and record in 1080p 60fps or any other card that might achieve the same goal.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I might need 100-150 ft cable length to reach the server that is in a other room, I believe that might also impact the performance of some type of connectors.

Thank You,
Mathias2k
 

dping

Active Member
Thank you for everyone answers, really helpful and make me rethink about my decisions. If I can't take the advantage of the 2 physical CPU it might not worth it. I believe the clock is not extraordinary either 2.8 GHz if I am not wrong. I don't plan on buying a GPU to do the job. Maybe going down the way for a 1080p 60 fps might be the road I will take.

Here some card that claim to be 60fps 1080p Avermedia 250$ CAD (I know you mention this one, just making a list) DeckLink 201$ CAD Elgato intern/extern, skynet monster XX (did not found a link to buy quickly) and prob more.

I'm looking for opinions of anyone who used those card and record in 1080p 60fps or any other card that might achieve the same goal.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I might need 100-150 ft cable length to reach the server that is in a other room, I believe that might also impact the performance of some type of connectors.

Thank You,
Mathias2k
a dedicated dual quad core might not be able to do a 1080@60 encode as well as you think. local recording might be alright but just dont talk up the hardware's capabilities. 1080@120 most super high end systems would have trouble with and even with 1080@60 being more realistic, we are still talking a good good system


There are some dual socket LGA1366 server/workstation boards out there that will take x5600 series CPUs. I have a single x5690 overclocked I use in my gaming rig. It does 720@60 med preset while gaming. I would imagine that 2 x5690s dedicated could get you quite a streaming/recording rig as that would be 24 threads running at 3.46GHz. There is also the unmentioned need of a dedicated GPU, especially if you plan on downscaling or using a capture card. OBS uses the GPU as a memory bank for scenes.


The second issue is of course your capture card which, if you can get one, a PCIE is almost always the way to go but I am not the person to advise about capture cards.
 

Boildown

Active Member
Anyway you cut it, you need a GPU in your encoding PC, if you use OBS. OBS needs certain graphics features, its not solely done on the CPU.

A GTX 460, GTX 550Ti, GTX 650, or above should be fine. Not sure on the AMD side, but the equivalent to those. Rule of thumb would be whatever cost more than $100 when it was new, or better. I always say that if you don't have one of these in a parts bin and have to get something new, get a GTX 750 Ti, should cost around $100.

1080p60 capture devices are still harder to find cheap, and you want to get a PCIe version, not USB. If you must get USB, get something USB 3.0, but we know that you have the option to get PCIe, so do that.

Again I'll plug Datapath as one that can do 1080p60 easily. Here's one that ships internationally on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Datapath-Vi...-PCI-E-Premium-Full-HD-PC-Apple-/121756494901 . Would have to route audio separately though with this card.

IMO your biggest problem will be finding an HDMI or DVI cable that's 150ft long. Now that I see that requirement, I think you might not be able to pull this off at all. See if this may work for you instead: https://obsproject.com/forum/threads/guide-two-pc-configuration-without-capturecard.6757
 

FerretBomb

Active Member
Well, you could always do HDMI-over-Cat5e with boosters on either end. But that gets expensive too. 150' is pretty ridiculously far in a single house, unless you have some really, REALLY twisty routing or an enormous place. Might be able to run 50'-100' on a decent Redmere cable though.

Yeah, I wasn't talking about using my server for video encoding, I'd meant it either as a dedicated NMS machine or to rack it in a local datacenter on an unmetered 10mbps connection for a truly secure VPN with direct backbone access to make my routing as close to bulletproof as possible, as well as have more robust anti-DDoS measures than my current setup allows. I'd only mentioned it as it sounded like he might be using similar, and it's not the gruntiest bit of kit. Now I'm thinking about using it for passive conversion though; set it up with a script to watch for video dropped into a network share, suck it up and crunch it down for archive storage, then toss it onto a RAIDed disk dock.

The downfall being that I forgot just how loud "real iron" runs, and that slabs expect hot/cold aisle setups rather than a singles rack in a closet. (Or worse, a vertical mount.) So now it gets to sit in my closet and scare people who come to visit thanks to the joys of wake-on-LAN. :D
 

Mathias2k

New Member
Thank you guys for the comments. It might not be as far as I expected more like 50-80 feet but that not my issue, I'm looking for a 1080p 60 fps internal capture card. It is not for streaming but for video record more then anything else. Was wondering if the transfer of data could be done via networking instead of capture card.

Now I'm just wondering if this technique is as efficient as a capture card. My primary goal is to be able to video record my games on my main PC while reducing most of the load on it. I really lack in knowledge in this area and you guys to seem allot, I've learned so much from your replies so far, by the way thanks again for all of it.
 

FerretBomb

Active Member
And I wouldn't want to run another cable for audio too, so that eliminates any of the "cheap" Datapath cards on ebay, you'd have to get something from the AV line, and probably pay full price for it. May as well get the Micomsoft one instead.
Could always run audio over HDMI, and use a splitter or matrix with RCA breakout on the capture end. Though that'd probably be WAY more expensive than running a shielded RCA source along with the HDMI cable.

The capcardless method does work, but it does impose SOME overhead. Also, in the case of games that can't be captured via standard means (usually anticheat hooking that hasn't whitelisted OBS yet). Or if a game reacts badly to game/window capture (I know some will crash, artifact, or otherwise have issues when hooked). Otherwise, it tends to be very low impact on the gaming system as you can use Ultrafast for near-zero load, and just throw a mountain of bitrate at it... even if you aren't on gigabit, 60mbps fits nicely over a 100B-T network. Just don't do it over wifi... but then, you should never stream over wifi anyway.
 

Boildown

Active Member
The thing is, if you do the two PC without capture card method (over network), but you don't intend to stream, you may as well just do single PC encoding. You gain nothing with that if you don't stream it.

Honestly I feel like you're looking to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to avoid the miniscule CPU hit from local recording. You don't need to use intensive presets if you don't stream it out, you can just make up for poor quality per bitrate with high bitrate. The only other reason would be if you use SLI, as OBS Classic doesn't work right with SLI. You're increasing your complexity and cost immensely here for hardly any gain at all. Just do single PC if you don't intend to stream.
 
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