7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 20, 2012 1:43 PM by jeffreyc44328617

    building a workstation, advice welcomed


      Ok, so I'm contemplating the custom workstation route.  I'm a long time Mac based video editor/motion graphics artist in need of a new workstation and I think I'm ready to move back to Windows.  I'm usually pretty good with any technical and hands on type of stuff, but I've been away from Windows for so long and have no experience with building PCs other than watching a few friends do it back in college.  So I'm hoping that I'm not entirely in over my head here.  Any advice would be welcome.

      Here is what I have so far.




      My thinking on the CPU side of things was I would ideally like to run a dual CPU configuration, but it's just not in the budget right now.  So I was hoping to run a single 2687w on a dual chip board and then upgrade down the road.  Again, I'm not that familiar with how all of this works, so I'm just going by the limited info I've read so far in various forums.


      I'm questioning my motherboard choice the most since there are no reviews posted yet.  I suppose other options would be the ASUS or SuperMicro.


      So please let me know what you think.  Along with running the Adobe suite, I'll be doing a lot of 3D modeling and animation so that's why I'm leaning towards the Xeons and the potential to use 2 chips in the future.

        • 1. Re: building a workstation, advice welcomed

          Nice looking parts list!  Here are my thoughts:


          For just a few $'s more, I would upgrade to the AX PSU line from Corsair.  More efficient...less heat generated...which you can translate into quieter environment


          If you really want/need a dual socket board, you are pretty limited in choices, ...but I would go with the EVGA also.  But do you REALLY want to go dual socket?  These Xeon CPU's can not be overcloced much at all (5% I believe), so until you get a second CPU, you will be working with a 3.1 GHz processor for almost $2 grand, when you could have opted for a 3960X for almost $1,000 less and then overclocked it to about 5GHz.  Plus the motherboard would have been cheaper also.  Tough decision to make, for sure.


          If you do switch to a single socket board, check out the Asrock Extreme 11.  Supposed to be released next month.  By far the most feature packed motherboard released....ever.  Ever. 


          If it were me, I'd probably go with a 680GTX over the Quadro.   Less costly, more powerful.  But both are good cards.


          Good luck, and update the post with what you buy!




          Message edit by cpachris_1969:  clarified release date for Extreme 11 as NEXT month. 

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: building a workstation, advice welcomed
            RjL190365 Level 5

            In addition to what cpachris_1969 stated, that wish list does not have anywhere near enough disks. As listed, you have only a single disk plus the OS disk - barely sufficient for even standard-definition DV AVI work, let alone high-definition work. You will need at least three more identical disks in addition to the one that's already in your wish list if you're going to work with HD video content. This is because all NLEs, Premiere Pro included, decompress (unpack) video to full uncompressed on the fly for display, and full uncompressed (even unpacked for a brief moment) require a ton of disk I/O throughput to even edit video smoothly. No single hard disk can even deliver average transfer speed that matches even the minimum throughput that's required of uncompressed HD video. And if you edit on a disk system that's below the minimum requirements of the video content, the playback will suffer from dropped frames big time.

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            • 3. Re: building a workstation, advice welcomed
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              This is a lob-sided system. Overkill on the mobo and CPU, underpowered on memory and disks, wrong PSU, too small a case, wrong video card and suboptimal CPU cooler. You should be able to do way better for that amount of $$$.


              Either go all the way ($ 15K) or stay within this budget range and choose a better balanced system. See Adobe Forums: What PC to build? An update... or Adobe Forums: Planning / building a new system. Part 1

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: building a workstation, advice welcomed
                jeffreyc44328617 Level 1

                I realize that I was under on the disks.  My goal in the listed configuration was finding compatible CPU, mobo, GPU, psu first.  The disks were kind of thrown in there as placeholders as well as the RAM which I was probably going to bump up to 32gb.  And I had also forgotten to get rid of the incompatible case and cooler. 


                Anyway, as for the other problems you pointed out... I realize that I'd be paying a premium for the extra 2 cores, but would I not see significant performance gains?  Aside from straight up editing, I'll be doing a lot of work in Maya.  As for the video card, is it wrong or just not recommended.  I chose the 4000 because of a lot of others experiences with it and Avid's hardware recs.

                • 5. Re: building a workstation, advice welcomed
                  cpachris_1969 Level 1

                  I would guess that a six core 3960X overclocked to anywere between 4.5GHz and 5.0 GHz would outperform a stock 8 core Xeon.  However, if you really plan on getting the second CPU at some point, what your planning is pretty sweet. 


                  I'd get the GTX series video card if it was primarily Adobe software, but would stick with your initial Quadro if you are using a lot of programs where the drivers have been optimized for the Quadro series. 

                  • 6. Re: building a workstation, advice welcomed
                    RjL190365 Level 5

                    The truth about the Quadro 4000 is that Adobe Premiere Pro does not take anywhere close to full advantage of the card's enhanced OpenGL capabilities. As such, to Premiere it is only about equal to a far cheaper GeForce GTX 460 SE. However, Avid does take at least some advantage of the Quadro's capabilities, and thus tend to perform faster than an otherwise comparable GeForce in such an app.

                    • 7. Re: building a workstation, advice welcomed
                      jeffreyc44328617 Level 1

                      So I've updated my parts list.  It still has only one hard drive in there, but as I said earlier that is only a placeholder for now.  And it still lacks a case, since I'm still looking at compatible HPTX cases.


                      I do appreciate all of the advice here.  Again, my reasoning behind the Xeon and Quadro are because I will be doing a lot of Maya animation/modeling/rendering, editing with Media Composer, and motion design in After Effects. 


                      My concerns with going with an overclocked i7 is the stability.  I know there are an overwhelming amount of users out there who have no issues, but is it a valid conern of mine knowing my particular usage, especially with those render periods of hours and hours at a time? 


                      Also, going with the dual socket board will give me the opportunity to upgrade to a dual cpu system. 


                      But please let me know if you still think this is simply overkill even with the software I'll be using.  I'm open to all suggestions.