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konioa
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building a windows pc for after effect purposes. can u help me?

Mar 19, 2012 7:13 AM

Hello all,

I need to build a windows pc for my office. I work with a#fter effects, photoshop and premiere.

I have the master collection 5.5 and my operating system will be the windows 7 64bit.

 

What do I have to notice the most?

What limitations do I have?

What graphic card do I need? openGL or Direct3d? Does this matters?

What processor do I need and why?

How much #memory and why?

How many disks do I need? SSD, 7.200 or 10.000rpm disks? What size is the best?

etc....

 

In general, tell me anything I need to know, to get to the maximum of this machine.

 

Thanx

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2012 10:09 AM   in reply to konioa

    See this page for information about hardware for After Effects: http://adobe.ly/pRYOuk

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2012 10:09 AM   in reply to konioa

    Think in terms of building the equivalent of an HP Z800 workstation, the more cores the better.  24 gigs of memory is good.  Dual computer monitors are extremely helpful, and an external video monitor for editing is very valuable.  You'll need a special card for that monitor.

     

    For editing video, you'll benefit a LOT from having a fastest-connection-possible external RAID 0 or RAID 5, 4TB accessible storage minimum.  Access to 8 TB would be better; it's tough to have too much storage.  It's also good to have a couple of internal hard drives. In my machine I have one 500GB and one 1 TB, and they do the job for me.  Don't forget about backup; there is no worse feeling than having a drive go south on you.

     

    Look at what Adobe recommends in the Nvidia line of cards for Premiere; they're great for Premiere.  How about a card for AE?  It's pretty much irrelevant.  You get a hot card for your OTHER applications, and not for AE (hint: never use Open GL to accelerate AE rendering).

     

    That oughta get you started.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2012 11:49 AM   in reply to konioa

    SSD and Video Editing http://forums.adobe.com/thread/902915?tstart=0

     

    Some ideas for a Desktop Video Editing PC

    http://www.adkvideoediting.com/

    -and Build http://forums.adobe.com/thread/947698

     

    UK http://3xs.scan.co.uk/Category.asp?SystemMasterCategoryID=14

     

    This message has a really good graphic about requirements

    CS5 Requirements http://forums.adobe.com/thread/810750

    Build it Yourself http://forums.adobe.com/thread/815798

    About Requirements http://forums.adobe.com/thread/618058

    Disk Configurations http://forums.adobe.com/thread/878419

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2012 7:58 AM   in reply to Dave LaRonde

    Dave LaRonde wrote:

     

    You get a hot card for your OTHER applications, and not for AE (hint: never use Open GL to accelerate AE rendering)

    Why do you say never use OpenGL to accelerate AE?

     

    Roy

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2012 8:50 AM   in reply to illucine

    Please note I wrote never to use Open GL for RENDERING, okay?  Previewing is a somewhat different story.

     

    First, AE only supports a fraction of the total Open GL instruction set.  So it's hamstrung from the word Go.  There's a list of effects in AE that work with Open GL, but it's pretty short and I don't even know where it is.  You can't combine a Good AE effect and a Bad AE effect -- on a layer or in a comp -- and expect Open GL to work.  And what do people do regularly in AE?  They stack effects, and use the effects they need to get the job done.  I challenge anyone to make a comp of any kind of complexity and not run into Open GL trouble.,

     

    Second, there are a handful of third-party plugins that DO make good use of Open GL.  Again, they must be used in isolation or with the Open GL-friendly AE effects alone.  Like that's gonna happen.

     

    Third -- and this is possibly the most telling reason -- Adobe employees don't use Open GL to accelerate their AE renders.  This is a fourm on the Adobe web site.  Adobe employees visit here, too.  Thus there are tons of qualified people who will hasten to correct me if I'm lyin' about this, y'know?

     

    Long story short, there are certan things in AE that you just don't do to help make life easier.  You don't allocate all your system RAM to AE.  You don't use footage with interframe-compressed codecs if you're messing with time, frame rates or Warp Stabilizer.  You don't use 18 lights in a 3D comp when 3 will do.  You don't use compressed audio like mp3's.  And you don't render using Open GL. 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2012 9:55 AM   in reply to Dave LaRonde

    Thanks for the clarification, Dave.  That's a very good explanation.  You also mentioned another don't that I hadn't realized, but probably would have if I thought about it a bit: don't use footage with interframe-compressed codecs if you're messing with time, frame rates or Warp Stabilizer.  So I assume if I want to use Warp Stabilizer on AVCHD footage I should transcode to something else first, right?  What would you suggest as a good codec (visually lossless, relatively small file size) that doesn't use interframe compression?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2012 10:15 AM   in reply to illucine

    illucine wrote:

     

    What would you suggest as a good codec (visually lossless, relatively small file size) that doesn't use interframe compression?

     

    Once you're working in AE, the terms "lossless" and "small file size" are mutually exclusive.  I'm a quicktime guy, so I'd choose a quicktime movie in the PNG codec; it's 10-bit, supports alpha channels and it's lossless.  If you're a Windows kind of guy, you're on your owwn on that one.  Sorry.

     

    I use quicktime almost exclusively, even on my Windows machine at home.  You'd have to hold a gun to my head to get me to use Windows-centric media.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2012 10:44 AM   in reply to Dave LaRonde

    Thanks.  I've used PNG file sequences before but hadn't realized there's a PNG codec for QuickTime.

    Dave LaRonde wrote:

    I use quicktime almost exclusively, even on my Windows machine at home.

    I've heard there's not a 64-bit QuickTime on Windows.  Do you have any problems using QuickTime with AE or Premiere (which are both 64-bit apps) on Windows?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2012 10:49 AM   in reply to illucine

    > I've heard there's not a 64-bit QuickTime on Windows.

     

    Not on Mac OS, either.

     

    We created a helper application to talk with the 32-bit QuickTime so that you can still import and export QuickTime movies with 64-bit After Effects and Premiere Pro.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2012 10:58 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Todd_Kopriva wrote:

     

    Not on Mac OS, either.

    Oh, I didn't know that.

    We created a helper application to talk with the 32-bit QuickTime so that you can still import and export QuickTime movies with 64-bit After Effects and Premiere Pro.

    I assume this is built-in to AE and Premiere?  Are there disadvantages to using QuickTime with AE & Premiere (e.g. slows things down)?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2012 11:18 AM   in reply to illucine

    Until I get irrefutable proof from a unimpeachable, globally-known and universally-respected source in the digital video postproduction community that:

     

    1) Quicktime is dead and won't come back... and

    2) there is a far superior and infinitely more robust version of a multimedia container immediately and freely available to all current video applications... and

    3) the future's so bright for this new multimedia container that the developer's gotta wear shades...

     

    I'm stickin' with Quicktime.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2012 11:41 AM   in reply to konioa

    konioa wrote:

     

    My budget will not be more than 2.000€

     

    Well, let's summarize:

       You have the Master Collection, which contains FAR MORE than AE, PP & Photoshop...

       you intend to do video editing...

       and your budget maxes out at 2000 Euros.

     

    I'd say the next question would be, "How much quality do people expect you to produce with this new machine, and with what speed do they expect you to produce it?"

     

    If the expectations are very low, you can limp by on your existing budget.  You won't be able to do much at all with this hamstrung machine that costs less than the software running on it.

     

    If the expectations are somewhat higher than posting company videos on YouTube, that budget limitation is totally unrealistic.  Multiply your current budget by a factor of  6 or 7 and you're getting in the ball park.  No fooling.

     

    There's an old saying in the video production business:  You can have it good.  You can have it fast.  You can have it cheap.  Pick any two.

     

    It's an old saying, but it still holds true.  Doing a wide variety of multimedia projects and doing them quickly requires a system carrying a price tag that ain't for the faint of heart in the accounting department.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2012 11:59 AM   in reply to Dave LaRonde

    I think that you can get a decent computer for video work for that budget. My personal home computer (an HP) cost me about 2,000 euros (2,700 dollars), and it has 24GB RAM, dual quadcore processors, an OK GPU, and a couple of fast internal disk drives. That price doesn't include the monitor, which I already had.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2012 12:14 PM   in reply to konioa

    Look at the Economical model here: Adobe Forums: What PC to build? An update...

     

    It fits your budget and will do quite well for your purposes.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2012 12:22 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    I'll agree that getting the computer alone can be done.  You and I have similar machines.  I paid more for mine because I'm a mere user with no experience in putting a system together.  Cripes, I'm still learning the ins & outs of the OS.

     

    But the OP leaves out important information about how iit will be used.  Without it, one can only speculate on the total cost of system hardware.

     

    Serious about cutting in Premiere?  Really serious?  I see an external RAID, video monitor, video card and an Nvida Quadro.  A good set of speakers wouldn't hurt, either.  Easily four figures right there, if not five.

     

    That's just the computer peripherals; camera(s), mikes, lights, camera support and a decent place to shoot are a separate discussion.

     

    When you come down to it, the price of the box itself, while substantial, is just a piece of a pie chart.  At the moment, there's no way to tell about the rest of the pie.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 21, 2012 8:19 AM   in reply to konioa

    Please don't worry about your English.  It's much better than quite a few native English speakers who post here.

     

    You've gotten links to valuable information about hardware, and it's better than what I could ever give.  Before you can make the final decision, you should examine very closely precisely what you will be doing with this new machine.

     

    You mention commercials.  That's the only concrete information we have on how you will use your machine.  Here are some of the questions I would answer before I started building a computer:

     

    Are these commercials for broadcast, the web or both?  How quickly must you prepare them for delivery?  What technical standards must you meet for delivery?   In what form are these commercials delivered?  What is the nature of these commercials: are they for local businesses or large corporations?  Are they simple to produce or are they loaded with special effects?  How are you acquiring the footage; do you shoot it yourself or hire a photographer?  Are there any considerations you must make for recording, editing and processing audio?  Do you use the services of other companies to help you produce elements of these commercials?  Will you do work for an advertising agency? 

     

    The nature of the work you will do with your machine determines how you will build the machine. 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 21, 2012 8:58 AM   in reply to konioa

    Now that we have a better idea of how you will use your new machine, I would agree with your conclusions. 

     

    Don't forget to look at the links in this thread!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 23, 2012 1:37 PM   in reply to konioa

    Hi konioa,

     

    I may be throwing a wrench in the whole conversation (as usual, lol), but in summer 2009 I was in the same boat, I wanted to build a PC for editing after getting the CS4 Production Premium Suite. Harm and others on here were patient and a huge help, in fact, he's already provided you with a good link. I started with a simple i7-920, 6GB ram, GTX260 and a few drives, but I quickly outgrew that. So I started selling components and upgrading. Here's my list o' parts that makeup my current PC, which works quite well for my smaller DSLR video projects (note that I might have made different choices knowing what I know now, but overall I'm happy... the case and PSU abd BDR drive and some hard drives are still from the 2009 build). I'd be happy to supply specific model numbers but that isn't too important, the point is that you can see general parts that you can Google for as you plan your system vs your budget. My rig with NOTHING overclocked or turned up (not even with XMP turned on with the RAM) landed at #61 a few months back  on Harm's PP Benchmark site, so it isn't too bad of a rig for a smaller setup:

     

    Component/Price (what I paid roughly at the time)

    • Antec 1200 Case $159.00
    • Side Fan $20.00
    • Corsair 850w Power Supply $130.00
    • EVGA X58 Motherboard $265.00 (1st generation, there are better and cheaper models now)
    • Intel i7 980 CPU $580.00
    • 24gb Mushkin Ram (2x12gb) $300.00
    • Noctua ND14 Cooler $85.00
    • EVGA GTX570 Video Card $300.00
    • 3Ware 9750 RAID Card + Header Cable $350.00
    • WD 300gb 10K HD (OS & App Drive) $170.00
    • 2x WD RE3 1TB HDs (RAID0 for assets) $300.00
    • WD Caviar Black 1TB (Scratch & Cache Disks) $100.00
    • WD 2TB Caviar Black (Project Files, plus my still photos) $200.00
    • Pioneer Blu-Ray Burner $180.00
    • LG DVD Burner $20.00
    • Card Reader $15.00
    • 8-Pin CPU Power Extension Cable $15.00
    • Arctic 5 Silver Thermal Paste $10.00
    • Windows 7 64-Bit Professional Sys Builder $135.00 (This is the perfect OS to use, Ultimate doesn't gain that much for editing, but somebody correct me if I'm wrong)

     

    Have fun building!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 23, 2012 1:43 PM   in reply to PaulieDC

    BTW, this rig price-wise will fall between Harm's economical and Warrior models. ;-)

     

    Also, with a bigger power supply, your battery backup needs to be able to handle the load, so get at least something like this one: http://www.amazon.com/CyberPower-CP1350AVRLCD-Intelligent-LCD-Green/dp /B000OFXKFI/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1332535333&sr=1-1

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 8:21 AM   in reply to konioa

    > After viewing all these videos...

    I understand that everybody propose a quadro.

     

    No, you don't need to get a Quadro. I don't understand why you got that idea from watching the first video that you linked to. It doesn't mention Quadro cards at all.

     

    Many of the GTX cards perform quite well, but the Quadros are supposed to be more durable under heavy use and have some other useful distinguishing features. For After Effects CS5.5 and earlier, the choice of graphics card really doesn't matter that much. For Premiere Pro, see the resources here, especially the PPBM5.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 11:35 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Todd's exactly right. Getting a Quadro is like buying a Ferrari to go grocery shopping IMO. Fancy, fast, but is the added cost worth it? (Actually, YES, I'd love to drive one of those every day, lol!).

     

    But seriously, I use a $300 EVGA GTX 570 and the i7-980 CPU with Premiere, and I forget that there was a time when video was choppy. Granted, I'm not cutting 4K raw footage with 27 MBL effects applied, but for your standard video project (if such a thing is possible), a GTX570 will serve you well. It's assumed you;re going to have several drives to separate OS & Apps, Scratch Disks, Project files and assets (with assets on some form of faster RAID). Don;t blow your bankroll on a $2000 video card, get that later if your work takes you there.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 12:39 PM   in reply to konioa

    By the way, you asked about processors and drives, and you'll get lots of answers about THAT. As far as disks, remember this rule: the more the better. Yes, we have 10K drives and RAID arrays and SSDs and all that, and they are a big part of you planning your rig, but I dare says it's better to have 4 or 5 regular 7200rpm drives to spread the workload around than to have one SSD or one big RAID set, etc. The first thing you should do is hunt down Harm Millard's post where he explains all about that. My drive setup is simple, I'm not saying it's the best, but it's a way to get going with not a lot of money:

     

    • WD 10K rpm Raptor 300GB - The only thing on here is Win 7 64 bit, my Adobe Production Premium Suite and plugins, plus my two utilities: O&O Defrag and RegistryBooster. I don't have a RAID set nor an SSD for this OS drive, the 10K Raptor works well. You can always upgrade later (please remember that statement).
    • Two WD RE3 1TB drives in RAID0 - this is where assets go, all video and audio files. That's it. I chose RAID0 because it only requires two drives, and I BACKUP ALL THE TIME. The RAID0 set can bust if it wants to, I'm covered. RAID0 is a great way to gain speed for reading assets, but be aware that on-board RAID controllers usually perform terribly. I did buy a $329 LSI 3Ware RAID card (9750-4i I think) and never regretted the purchase, what a difference a RAID card makes.
    • WD 2TB Caviar Black - Project Files, all of the bits that Premiere creates. I also use that drive to store all of my photos (I shoot stills a lot). I keep that drive defragged OFTEN with O&O Defrag so my project files don't get written all in and around my photos.
    • Cheap WD Caviar Blue 320GB - Scratch disks, Media Cache, Windows Page File (don't keep your Page File on your C drive, that defeats the purpose). Yes, this is a cheaper drive I had laying around, and I don't endorse the WD Blue series, go for Black when you can. But in this case I had the drive and dedicated it to dealing with all of the thumbnail cached files and scratch disks and all that from my Adobe software.

     

    I also keep a 1TB WD drive just for non-video files such as program installers, etc. I also create My Docs and My Pics and My This and That folders and keep them on this extra drive and put any approriate files there. I do NOT use the My folders that are defalt, they are part of your Wndows profile and will bloat your C drive. Windows 7 offers Libraries: you make one, name it My Documents, then point it to the My Docs on your extra drive (do that for all My folders), and that keeps your C drive lean.

     

    CPU: The new i7 Sandy's are speed monsters, take your pick. I spent $599 on the six-core i7-980 last October because I already have an X58 motherboard with the right kind of RAM to fit it, and the 980 is an X58 format CPU. But for you who are starting out new, you can get either an i7-2700K (LGA 1155) or an i7-3820 (LGA 2011) for a little over 300 bucks and you'll get roughly the same CPU power for half the price. Please note that the i7-3820 is the newer LGA 2011 format so the motherboards will be more expensive, $250 and up. I say get an i7-2700K and a $150 LGA 1155 mobo and later you can learn how to overclock the thing. BTW, I use a Noctua ND14 cooler on my CPU and I idle in the low 20's C. Don't think you need water cooling if that was a thought. When all 12 threads are hammered at 100% on my CPU during encoding, I barely hit 50C usually.

     

    Ram is cheap right now and it may not be in a year, so get as much as you can, period. 16GB Dual Channel kits that fit the LGA 1155 can be gotten for under $100. If your mobo supports 32GB ram, spend the money and get it now so it's done an over with.

     

    And REMEMBER, this is just one man's opinion, please don't think my bullet list is the end-all be-all way to go, this was all just meant to get you in the right direction. I studied forums and reviews for a full MONTH before I ever purchased a single component during my first build in 2009.

     

    In closing, I started with an i7-920, 6GB ram, two hard drives and a GTX 260 video card, and there was no Mercury engine in Premiere. I've upgraded the CPU and Video card twice since then, and ram went from 6 to 12 and then eventually 24gb when the price dropped last year. You can always upgrade and add drives, but for now, spend time as you are posting questions and researching and reading forums. Then throw away 75% of what people tell you because it's usually rubbish.

     

    But not here in the Adobe forum, lol! When someone hops on talking nonsense, they usually get leaped upon and correctly fairly quickly.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2012 12:51 PM   in reply to PaulieDC

    Oh, last thought: if you build a rig, by all means get onto Newegg and get the OEM Win 7 64 bit Professional for System Builders for $139. It is legal for you to buy that version for the system you build. The reason it's cheaper is that it's a sys builder license which means the builder of the PC must provide support for Windows to the person who buys the PC. In your case you are both, but if you have an issue with Windows, you can't call Microsoft for advice without paying for the tech support call. Who cares? We Google everything we need anyway! But as a certified Microsoft Software Developer, I was concerned about legality so I contacted Microsoft Licensing and they did confirm we can use that cheaper version of Windows for a PC that we will build and use.

     

    And to confirm, Premiere leverages CUDA technology, that's why you must buy an NVidia card witg CUDA support. And you only need one, Premiere as this stage of the game has no clue that SLI exists.

     

    OK, I think I'm done!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 29, 2012 1:08 AM   in reply to konioa

    I think that's a great setup, go for it. Others may have some suggestions, but what you have would work for me!

     

    BTW, the Quado 2000 isn;t even in the same zip code as the GTX570 SC. Have a look at the specs (surprised me too!)

     

                                   EVGA GTX 570 (012-P3-1572)       Quadro 2000

    CUDA Cores            480                                             192

    Memory Bandwidth  156 gb/sec                                   42 gb/sec

    Memory Interface     320-bit                                         128-bit

    RAM                       1.28GB DDR5                               1GB DDR5

     

    Isn't that amazing? The 570 smokes it! The Quadro that compares in spec to the 570 is the 6000. Specs are the same except that the 6000 does have 6GB of ram. Oh, and a price tag of $3,998.00 at Newegg. Wow!!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 29, 2012 8:16 AM   in reply to PaulieDC

    Paulie,

     

    As I have stated in several threads, the Quadro 2000 is a waste of money. In fact, it's just an underclocked GTS 450 with a stonkin' big heatsink and a price tag that's about four times higher than the "regular" GTS 450.

     
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