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While building your own PC can be fun, less expensive, and potentially faster than a factory built machine you're facing the challenge of matching all of your hardware, drivers, and systems from a nearly limitless combination of components. This can be good, but it can be an awfully painful and time consuming process. If you are charging for your services and reliability and support are a concern I'd probably go with a manufactured box with about these same specifications from a company that gives you great 24 - 7 customer support. Missing the deadline and possibly not getting paid for job is way more expensive than the extra cost of a fully supported system.
If, on the other hand, you are willing to take the risk it sounds like you have done quite a bit of research. I'm not going to take the time to check your components against Adobe's recommended hardware. You seem to be doing that already. I don't know if I'd spring for SSD drives as a boot drive. There have been reports of sudden complete failures and a good 2 or 3 drive standard array is going to give you about the same speed, redundancy, and clicking noises before any of the drives fail. SSD is probably good for cache.
The only thing I see lacking is a good system to store your source footage. Source footage should not be on your boot drive and should not be on a cache partition unless you're limited on space or capability. Any job I get of any size I buy new hard drives for. When the job is done, the drives go in a safe. Every couple of years I make sure the data is still there and transfer it all to another drive. I would set up a hot swappable external drive system for media storage.
Good luck. Think carefully about how the lack of excellent customer service and support may effect your business.
Thanks for the input. I actually worked for a 3rd party Apple supplier setting up edit bays, SAN networks, and doing a variety of video jobs with FCP and Mac computers. I am a bit of a tehnophile so I actually prefer the time investment into the custom machine. The specs I had are way overboard but I hate having to transfer over so I want this machine to be set for the next few years. I have a multitude of Hard drives and external projects that need to be switched to Fat32 so that is all set up.
I would rethink the SSD though. Using that as purely your boot and application drive not only makes things faster, it's a great organization tool as well.
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You have obviously been thinking and reading a lot to have a build list that seems both strong and balanced.
- Definitely go with a SSD boot drive and consider scaling back to a 128GB; also get rid of Win7 hibernation which would otherwise take a 64GB chunk of space from your boot drive (size = RAM size)
- Get a good cooler and overclock to at least 3.8, 4.2 if you get slightly involved in the OC process, and 4.4 or so if you are really into the technical ride that is overclocking
- RED 4k is really taxing; this system is indeed not overkill if you ever plan to edit that or more
Thanks for the points Jim! Have you tried renting a RED Rocket and throwing that in your machine temporarily? We require that for some jobs now if time is of a real issue. But yeah, that's why I went as high as I could. And imagine, 4K footage is starting to seem small now when you look at what some of the EPIC systems can do. What are we going to be shooting in 3 years?
Why should I scale back with the SSD? I am going to be running Windows 8, as the OS really isn't a big deal to me so I might as well get the best possible.
I never really overclocked stuff before, but the case I have will be capable of it at some point. I think I might leave it normal and test that out, and only reserve it when the needs arises.
The big question I now have is in comparing workstation video cards with gaming video cards. I understand that the workstation cards are better suited for the longer workload, but if I just buy a gaming card temporarily and save up for an upper card will that matter? I know that video and AE are not that taxing on video cards, but I find myself running a bit of 3D through Blender every now and then so it would always be a bit of help.
Again thanks for your advice!
You're most welcome!
I don't shoot or edit RED currently, I've only played with some clips on a timeline, including up to 4 layers. RED is so gorgeous! RED also brings my pretty fast edit rig to its knees.
Regarding the RED Rocket, my understanding is that it only helps with debayering for playback and a separate RED Rocket is required for each layer. So, I would think that investments in CPU(s) would be wiser for all aspects of the editing process and also for long term compatibility.
With my older gen 6-core (overclocked i7-970) and CS5 single layer 1/2 res. RED 4.5k played back and scrubbed seamlessly. When testing with 4 layers, I pretty much had to render the timeline before I could do anything, but after that had completed full res. playback and scrubbing worked fine and cpu utilization during playback was only 20%.