Recently I upgraded my main PC CPU from a 2 core Athlon II X2 240e to a Phenom II X3 710. The main reason why I did this even though the Athlon II X2 is clocked 200Mhz higher then the Phenom (2.6Ghz vs 2.4Ghz) is that the Phenom has a large L3 cache (6Mb for the Phenom Vs 0Mb for the Athlon X2) and an extra CPU core. The Athlon X4 was more expensive and it doesn’t have a L3 cache.
The reason why I wanted the extra cache and CPU core is video editing. Even though Linux has made my old PC a lot faster (well old by modern standards but still very usable) it was still a bit chuggy when it came to the timeline on Kdenlive.
During my investigations after I installed the Phenom II X3 I installed a bash utility called htop on my system. This is a good way to see what your system is up to for RAM usage and CPU core utilization. To insall htop on your linux system just type the following into a bash prompt
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install htop
Once it is installed just type htop. I wont get into configuring the utility but its very easy to work out, I have it set up like the following :-
As you can see, it clearly shows the 3 CPU cores in the Phenom II X3 and the ram usage as well (I have 8Gb installed)
When I was doing a test render in Kdenlive, I fired up htop and it only showed 1 CPU core was at 100% while the rest was sitting at idle. This was no good. After looking into this, I have found that you need to set the amount of CPU cores it uses every time you render a video, and the default is 1.
So I did 2 tests, one with just the 1 CPU Core being used, and 1 with all 3 being used. The video is approximately 30 mins long. The single CPU core took 45 minutes to render the file while the 3 CPU cores took just over 30 minutes, so a saving of about 15 minutes.
As I want a very simple setup on my Linux machine where I don’t have to fiddle with the settings every time I render a video I started to look at other Video Editing software on Linux.
One program kept getting reccomended on the Internet, and that was Openshot. So a quick visit to the Linux Mint Software Manager and Openshot was installed. When I first booted openshot it asked for some other packages to be installed, i just did a quick search in the Software Manager and installed the requested packages as well.
One reboot of Openshot later and I was editing the same video source as I did in Kdenlive. As this was a simple video edit (cut a video and add a new video clip to it) I didn’t change any of the default settings and rendered it out like I did with Kdenlive.
Checking htop while it was rendering it was using all 3 cores of the CPU and rendered it at 30 minutes again.
After a couple of days I needed to render a video for my YouTube channel so I fired openshot up and started to work. It took me about 5 minutes to get used to the interface (its a lot easier than Kdenlive) and had a few crashes on the way, but as I save regularly it didn’t propose a real problem (Kdenlive did the same thing to be honest). I rendered it out like I did last time and as you can see by the screenshot below, its using all 3 cores again.
So all in all, I am happy with openshot, It would be an top notch program if they could just sort the crashes out (it crashed 3 times while editing that video) The crash is usually when I am scrolling the timeline and there is a bug report about this so its not my system, lets hope they sort it out soon.
Even with that bug I can recommend Opensot as a decent video editor for Linux Mint.