12 Replies Latest reply on Jan 8, 2013 5:49 PM by Alex - DV411

    Need Opinions on CS6 Edit Computer Proposal?

    jct2012 Level 1

      Hello all,

       

      I am a veteran film/video producer/director.  I am soliciting proposals for a PC Edit Workstation (finally retiring the XP box).  The hardware choices are bewildering to me.  I found a local company, recommended by another editor.  I told them I want a machine between 2 and 3k that will run all programs in CS6 master collection.  This is what they came back with for 3k.  What do you think?  Thanks in advance.  John

       

      Zero PRO Enterprise Video Editing

      Workstation UP

       

      Intel Workstation Pedestal Chassis

       

      Featuring an Intel S1200 series

      Workstation Class ATX Motherboard

       

      Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 3.3GHz Quad

      Core Processor w/ HT (8 Processing

      Threads)

       

      16GB DDR3-1333 Registered ECC Memory

       

      256GB SSD Boot Hard Drive

       

      2x 1TB Western Digital Enterprise

      Class Hard Drive in RAID 1

       

      NVidia Quadro 4000 GPU

       

      Dual Layer Blu-Ray Burner Optical

      Drive

       

      Card Reader

       

      Audigy Sound Card

       

      USB 3.0

      eSATA

      Firewire 400/800

       

      Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64bit

       

      3 Year Labor, 1 Year Part Warranty

      against manufacturing defects

        • 1. Re: Need Opinions on CS6 Edit Computer Proposal?
          Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

          My suggestion to you is get Eric at ADK to build you a proper video editing system.  Do you have a 10-bit monitor?  If not forget the Quadro 4000, and if you do get an up to date Quadro card.

          • 2. Re: Need Opinions on CS6 Edit Computer Proposal?
            jct2012 Level 1

            Bill,

             

            Just checked out ADK's site.  Will call tomorrow.

             

            I do not have a 10 bit monitor.

             

            What didn't you like about this proposal besides the Quadro 4000. 

             

            Which card would you suggest?

             

            Thanks, John

            • 3. Re: Need Opinions on CS6 Edit Computer Proposal?
              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Go look at the results at the CS5 Benchmark http://ppbm5.com/ site to see what is fast

               

              This is a build it your self list, for just about $2,200

               

              A business does, of course, have to make a profit... but NOT based on a Xeon CPU for video editing

               

              Intel i7 3930k CPUhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116492
              Motherboardhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121552
              32Gig Ramhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231507
              Full Tower Casehttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119225
              1000w Power Supplyhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171056
              500Gig Drivehttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136769
              500Gig Drivehttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136769
              1Terabyte Drivehttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236339
              1Terabyte Drivehttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236339
              GTX670 2Gighttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130782
              Keyboard & Mousehttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823109232
              BluRay Writerhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106369
              CPU Coolerhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099
              Win7 64bit Prohttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116992
              Use Win7 64bit Pro to use more than 16gig ram
              Premiere Pro drive configuration - NOTE that I do NOT do raid
              500Gig #1 for Windows and all software
              500Gig #2 for Projects and all temp files
              1T #1 for all source media (video and sound)
              1T #2 for all exported media IF you have 4 drives
              • 4. Re: Need Opinions on CS6 Edit Computer Proposal?
                Alex - DV411 Level 2

                Hi John,

                 

                $2-3K is a fairly small budget for decent "pro" grade video editing system, but still feasible.  Eric/ADK will certainly set you up with a good system for $3K; systems I sell start around $4K.

                 

                Concerning the proposal: Intel S1200 seems to be a "microserver" platform optimized for power efficiency, not performance, I'd stay away from it.  The motherboard they use is most likely S1200BTL: no 16x PCIe slot, very slow CPU options.  Not suitable for video editing unless that editing is very, very light duty - like two hours a week.

                 

                Most popular choices among mid- to heavy-duty editors:

                1. DIY systems - mostly for tech-savvy people. "Sweet spot" (most performance and value for the money) - around $1.6-2.5K. Benefits: price, customization.
                2. Custom systems from integrators like ADK, Puget. Sweet spot - $3-4K. Benefits: price (sometimes), performance, application-specific support. Eric does know his stuff.
                3. Custom systems based on Tier 1 models such as HP Z820, Z420, some Dell models.  Sweet spot - $4-6K.  Benefits: on-site 3-year warranty, component quality, single point of hardware support, resale value, everybody knows what a Z820 is.  Application-specific support is there as well, if you get such a system from a quality integrator.

                 

                It seems that you are in the (2) and (3) group; Eric will help you with (2); let me know if you have any questions about (3).

                • 5. Re: Need Opinions on CS6 Edit Computer Proposal?
                  Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                  The Quadro 4000 is overpriced for the performance and it is old generation design.  Since you do not have a 10-bit display go for a GTX 6xx series GPU.  Even a mid-range GTX 660 or a little better the GTX 660 Ti will outperform the Quadro 4000 and save a lot of money that you can use other places in your system. 

                   

                  I did not pick up the Intel board and a single Quad core chip.  Try to go with an Hex-core i7 chip.  As John said, look at our PPBM5 benchmark database of performance data on (today) 1109 results submitted. 

                   

                  Also you did not tell us what media you work with or plan on using, the project sizes and delivery format.  Those  are the first questions that should be asked when reviewing any design.

                  • 6. Re: Need Opinions on CS6 Edit Computer Proposal?
                    jct2012 Level 1

                    Media - many sources: sd & cf cards, p2 cards, old sd footage, .mov, .avi, some red footage (2k) ocaisonally.  Majority of my work is tv spots and the rest is longer form 10 to 60 minute corporate/industrial productions.  TV spots are uploaded to station servers.  Longer programs are usually delivered in sd dvd, some bluray.  Some customers want their original footage delivered on a drive.

                     

                    I really appreciate everyone's thoughtful feedback.  I was almost ready to pull the trigger and now am back to research mode.

                     

                    Thanks, John

                    • 7. Re: Need Opinions on CS6 Edit Computer Proposal?
                      RjL190365 Level 5

                      John,

                       

                      You are lucky that you have rethought your plans. That is because the original "build" that you listed would not have worked together at all. The LGA 1155 E3-series Xeons do not support registered memory at all - they support only unbuffered memory (with or without ECC). And as Alex stated, the S1200 series motherboard does not have a true PCI-e x16 slot (sure, there is a PCI-e x16-length slot, but it only runs at x8 bandwidth).

                       

                      The reason why registered ECC memory was the only available choice for that build was because the system builder itself believed incorrectly that all Xeons required registered or fully buffered memory. No wonder why that particular builder might be having a relatively high return rate from DOAs and/or stability issues and/or data corruption (when it was really that the memory is completely incompatible with the CPU's memory controller). The only current-generation Xeon line that supports registered memory is the far more expensive LGA 2011 E5-2xxx series. (I did not include the large server Xeons because they are still based on the older Nehalem architecture.)

                      • 8. Re: Need Opinions on CS6 Edit Computer Proposal?
                        John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        I build my own, so the hardware list I posted is my current "someday" wish list... no time soon, since my current computer w/CS5 does everything I need

                         

                        If you do not want to build your own... go with ADK for a computer that is custom built to match your editing needs and budget

                        • 9. Re: Need Opinions on CS6 Edit Computer Proposal?
                          jct2012 Level 1

                          Thanks to all for your responses. 

                           

                          The vendor will soon update their proposal and provide a rebuttal to some of the arguments.

                           

                          John

                          • 10. Re: Need Opinions on CS6 Edit Computer Proposal?
                            RjL190365 Level 5

                            jct2012 wrote:

                             

                            Thanks to all for your responses. 

                             

                            The vendor will soon update their proposal and provide a rebuttal to some of the arguments.

                             

                            John

                            One thing that the vendor would not successfully rebut would be the RAM compatibility: The fact that the LGA 1155 E3-series Xeons support only UDIMMs (unbuffered) and not RDIMMs (registered) came straight from Intel itself. Remember, the memory controller is on the CPU itself, not on the motherboard!

                            • 11. Re: Need Opinions on CS6 Edit Computer Proposal?
                              edwardc@gigaparts.com

                              Gentlemen,

                              I’d like to say that the amount of feedback offered from the community on the Adobe Forums is simply amazing, and we can definitely appreciate everyone’s input and recommendations on putting together a great video editing workstation.   While opinions may vary from vendor to vendor on what hardware spec to use in any given configuration, I’d like to take a second to shed some light on the spec listed above, and what pushes us to make the recommendations we make when configuring anything for a client at GigaParts.

                              First- Mr. Gehrke brings up an excellent point concerning a 10-bit monitor for video editing, but keeping in mind that the whole editing path needs to be 10-bit capable- from digital image file all the way to panel depth- it becomes hard for us to recommend a GPU that isn’t.  In regards to a more up to date Quadro, a K5000 (the only Kepler based Quadro card currently released) is nearly 3 times as expensive as the Quadro 4000, and doesn’t really fit into the customer’s budget.  For a little more in-depth description of the 10-bit path we’re referring to, please see the following article:

                              http://www.imagescience.com.au/kb/questions/152/10+Bit+Output+Support

                               

                              Second- Mr. Gerulaitis and RjL190365 brought up valid concerns about the motherboard included in the spec that I’d like to clarify.  The actual motherboard is an Intel S1200BTLR, which is in-fact an entry level server grade motherboard- something we highly recommend in every spec that may see anything close to 24/7 use.  In our experience over the last fifteen years(and we’ve gained a little being nestled here in Cummings Research Park working with some particularly demanding clients) server and enterprise grade components consistently outlast their consumer-grade counterparts, at the same time providing support options from the manufacturers that simply aren’t available with their consumer-grade lines. Now make no mistake- the concern that the motherboard has a x16 PCIe slot operating at x8 capacity initially seems absolutely valid, but the concerns about it being a “microserver” board optimized for power efficiency and not being suitable for video editing are misplaced concerns that can be clarified with a quick peek at the following links:

                              http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/motherboards/server-motherboards/server-board-s1200 bt.html

                              http://ark.intel.com/products/67494/Intel-Server-Board-S1200BTLR

                              As far as having a GPU in a x8 lane vs. a x16 lane, it’s a common misconception that you suffer a HUGE performance loss, when in reality it’s somewhere around 1-2%, and we’ll trade a 1-2% decrease in performance any day of the week if we gain the reliability and support options provided by Intel.  You can find illustrations of this by googling , or testing it out yourself and getting  results similar to what you’ll see here:

                              http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pcie-geforce-gtx-480-x16-x8-x4,2696-3.html

                              http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Intel/Ivy_Bridge_PCI-Express_Scaling/23.html
                              http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/277646-28-future-proofing

                              Third- Mr. Gehrke reiterated his concern that a Quadro 4000 isn’t what he would recommend in a lower cost video editing workstation, and stated he would opt for a GeForce Kepler based GPU.  While we agree that the Kepler GPUs are stout performers, we also have to keep in mind the benefits of using the Quadro- which is in no way a slouch of a performer by any means.  Besides being subjected to a much stricter manufacturing standard than their GeForce counterparts (Which in our minds puts them on par with server boards and enterprise grade hard drives), the NVidia Quadro division also offers a bit more in-depth support from their engineers- including dedicated driver support- which is a big deal when supporting your customer is paramount to anything else. We also like to focus on the unique feature set that becomes available only to customers using the Quadro line- features like the new real-time pro color grading available with Adobe Speedgrade in the CS6 suite.  You can read more about them here:

                              http://www.nvidia.com/object/adobe-cs6.html

                              Fourth- RjL190365 points out a very important fact concerning memory in conjunction with the E3 series Xeon Processors from Intel, and sadly he is also correct that many system builders make this fatal mistake.  We’d like to clarify that the memory quoted was in-fact unbuffered, not registered, and have re-trained our sales associate on the importance of ‘copy and pasting’ information- it cuts down on typos!  The only memory we authorize for use in our workstations and servers are all Intel validated kits- It insures Intel’s support with their hardware, and that’s a value we pass along to our clients.  We’re also proud to report that it is one of the standards in place that has helped keep our return rate at GigaParts below 3% for nearly 5 years!

                              Again, everyone’s opinions and insight into what should go into a great system is very much appreciated, and a valuable learning tool for custom system builders everywhere. Thanks for the input!

                              • 12. Re: Need Opinions on CS6 Edit Computer Proposal?
                                Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                The actual motherboard is an Intel S1200BTLR, which is in-fact an entry level server grade motherboard- something we highly recommend in every spec that may see anything close to 24/7 use.  In our experience over the last fifteen years(and we’ve gained a little being nestled here in Cummings Research Park working with some particularly demanding clients) server and enterprise grade components consistently outlast their consumer-grade counterparts

                                Do you foresee your client using the system 24/7 in the same way servers are?

                                 

                                With all due respect, while server COTS components are indeed usually more reliable than their desktop counterparts, they are also rarely suitable for video editing - which is very much a single user desktop, and not a server application.  It's a different balance of performance, service, reliability and support priorities, evidenced by the fact that vast majority of editing systems are workstation-class systems, and not servers.

                                 

                                In Premiere Pro specifically, unrestricted GPU bandwidth is one of the top priorities and restricting the GPU to an 8x PCIe throughput is not advisable.

                                 

                                If you are looking for a system that offers server-like reliability and support, consider SuperMicro workstation components, or HP Z-series (Z420 and Z820) systems as a good starting point.