Dear Premiere Pro users,
I am in need of some technical insight, I am in a situation where I cannot afford a Red Rocket or Red Rocket X neither am I in a position to buy a new Mac Pro (as the new one isn't out yet nor can I afford it immediately). But I am about to upgrade my current system to the best of its compatability (I have lots of work coming in soon which has lots of demanding footage such as 2k ProRes4444 and r3d 4k to 5k so I want to be ready) and thus I want to be able to playback (without rendering) at 1/2 resolution at minimum (downsized and downsampled to a temporary 1080p timeline):
Mountain Lion 10.8.4
Mac Pro 3,1 2x 2.8 Ghz (8 Core)
32 GB 800Mhz Crucial RAM ECC
Gigabyte Nvidia GTX 770 OC Edition 4GB VRAM (macvidcards) (I will have a total of 4 screens attached to this card which I'm not certain if it would strain the performance of r3d playback)
Crucial M500 240GB SSD - OS X Boot & Applications Drive (Unfortunately max speed is limited due to Mac Pro 3,1 being SATA II only, though its still good - 250mb/s read 270mb/s write)
3x RAID 0 via DiskUtility Western Digital Black 4TB (12TB total), this I use for storage, cache, auto-save, render, etc. files. - expecting it to be around 250-300mb/s read&write on SATA II.
Tempo SSD Pro with 2x RAID 0 Crucial M500 960GB (1920GB total) - expected to be 960mb/s read and 810mb/s write, this I would just use to actually work off from when accessing the footage in premier pro, once a project is finished, I move it to a regular harddisk drive and wipe for next new project. - Most projects I do are below 2TB, short films, music videos and web commercials.
There are other external drives, hardware, etc. which are irrelavant to this query.
My questions are:
Will ProRes and especially R3D playback performance be improved by these specs and usage? Or should I look into anything else, such as an extra GPU (if Premiere Pro would smartly use it?). Also what are the comparison on playback between ProRes and R3D precisely, whats the hardware that matters most for each codec? - If you have any of this hardware please share me your experience with them.
Thank you for your help.
Pro Res will play fine with that configuration including likely the 4K version. However R3D requires the most CPU threads and will push that system beyond what the CPU's can handle for 1/2 resolution most likely especially if you get beyond 1 layer. You are likely going to have to drop to 1/4 resolution to get the playback you want without rendering if you cannot get the Red Rocket card. Either that or wait for Red to get the debayering GPU accelerated and hope that will get added to Premiere at some point.
Thank you very much for your feedback. Nice to know I could even playback ArriRaw as you say (if that's what you meant). I hope that Red and Adobe make that a new feature in the coming months; I know Red are releasing GPU acceleration debayering on RedCine-X Pro soon; so shouldn't be too much to ask for.