6 Replies Latest reply on Oct 15, 2014 12:04 PM by TaborR

    New build opinions - cpu gpu raid

    TaborR

      Hi all,

      I'd love to get some advice on my new build, right now I am considering 2 different configurations.

       

      My work load is:

      75% AE (100's of layers with a ton of effects) 1080p-50% of the time 4k-30%, sizes up to 7k-20%

      Priority is RAM preview speed and timeline responsiveness over render speed.

      12.5% 3D rendering (C4D, Vray and Vray RT)

      12.5% Unity 3D (which I basically end up using as a real time render with scripted interactions)

      And, of course, PS and AI and AME all the time.

      Also a huge gamer(would love to be able to run 4k at high settings)

       

      BUILD 1BUILD 2

      CPU: 2x Xeon 2687W v2

      MOBO: GA-7PESH3

      RAM: Crucial 256GB (8 x 32GB) ValueRAM

      CPU: i7-5960X (OC to 4.5)

      MOBO: ASUS Rampage V Extreme

      RAM: 64gb (8 x 8GB) DDR4

       

      Same for both builds

      3x GTX980


      3x 1TB Samsung 850 Pro Series SSD

      C: OS + APPS

      D: User folder, Games, Database

      Z: Disk Cache

       

      F: MEDIA/PROJECTS

      LSI MegaRAID SAS 9265-8i (8-port, 6 Gb/s, 1GB DDR3, PCIe x8)

      Raid 5

      6x 4TB Seagate Constellation SAS 6 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 128MB cache

      @

      My current impression is:

      Build 1 will be only be slightly better for AE

      Build 1 will be way better at 3D rendering

      Build 1 will be at least 6k more

      Build 2 will be better at gaming

       

      I'd really love feedback on all of the above.

      Build 1 is my top price and I am trying to weight the saving vs performance if I were to go with Build 2.

       

      THANKS!

        • 1. Re: New build opinions - cpu gpu raid
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          My current impression is:

          Build 1 will be only be slightly better for AE

          Build 1 will be way better at 3D rendering

          Build 1 will be at least 6k more

          Build 2 will be better at gaming

           

          And tomorrow NASA will call and snatch your computer for their Mars mission.... Sorry, this is once more one of those "Edsel" cases where you are trying to build a seriously over-equipped system with zero realworld value. What would you even do with 3 GTX 980 cards when, as per your own words, you only do 12.5% 3D? Unless you plan to build a render farm for Octane or another GPU renderer, that is a waste of money. I'm not aware of a single AE plug-in or feature that remotely would fully use the power of a single GTX 980, not even the upcoming Element 3D v2 and neither does Cinema 4D natively use any of this. It's probably even overkill for VRay RT, since it uses both GPU and CPU and double-decking out both parts most definitely doesn't improve performance beyond a certain point. Likewise, throwing more than 64 or at best 128 GB at a dual CPU system is a waste. Even if in your Build 1 scenario you might be able to theoretically use 32 AE processes for MP rendering, the overhead in managing those would far outweigh any speed gains except for the most heavy VFX renders. You know, AE even struggles with synching 8 processes, now imagine the mess when you try to RAM preview a 10 second piece. By the time those 32 BG processes are ready, you could long have rendered it with just one process. And of course the same old limitations that may actually not use MP still apply - OpenGL, incompatible CoDecs, temporal evaluations. And for 3D programs those considerations are even less relevant - I juggle 20 million polygon CAD scenes just fine on a 32GB system. The same considerations apply to cache drives and what not. It simply seems excessive and those resources will at best be only used partially. You seriously need to take it down not just one notch, but two. You're right about one thing: A core7i system makes more sense, not just for gaming, but otherwise it feels to me like you're planning based on a lot of wrong assumptions.

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: New build opinions - cpu gpu raid
            TaborR Level 1

            Hey Mylenium,

             

             

            Thanks so much for your considered response.  Here's a few questions and comments. It is very possible that I may wrong about some things and may be going overboard, but hopefully this will help explain my mind set and help with advice.

             

             

            I almost never use MP but my understanding it that AE will still make use of all cores when MP is off.  Really fast ram previews in complicated comps is what I am looking for.

             

             

            A recent project for example was a 14 screen video wall. The comp was 7k x 7k with maybe 600 layers, most of which had multiple effects or layer styles, it also included 2 4k videos.  My goal is to be able to work on a project like this with instant ram previews and a responsive timeline.

             

             

            It is true that 3d rendering is one of my lower priorities. But in the next 6 months I will be working on a project where I will be rendering about 20 min of 6k footage on vray (9 screen video wall).  I'd love to keep GI on and not be rendering for weeks.  I'm thinking I could pay a render farm $5k or i could put dual xeons in my system.

             

             

            From everything I have read, anything less than 128gb ram on dual xeons is not enough for each core to do its best.  Maybe I'm wrong.

             

             

            And regarding the i7 build: my current system has 32gb ram and it is almost always being fully used when I'm in AE so 64gb is something I'm 100% sure about.

             

             

            Regarding the 3x gtx980.  I understand that AE and C4D don't really benefit from multi gpu setups.  My hope is that they would fulfill the needs of my production work and help me live my 4k 60 fps ultra high gaming fantasies when I'm not working.  But if there's another GPU that'd be slightly less good for gaming and way better for work I'd like to hear about it.

             

             

            Hopefully this is helpful for anyone trying to imagine what I am doing and what components would fit best.

            • 3. Re: New build opinions - cpu gpu raid
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

              A recent project for example was a 14 screen video wall. The comp was 7k x 7k with maybe 600 layers, most of which had multiple effects or layer styles, it also included 2 4k videos.  My goal is to be able to work on a project like this with instant ram previews and a responsive timeline.

               

              Won't happen. This is nothing you can fix with throwing hardware at it. AE is buffer based, meaning each operation has to happen in consecutive steps building on the previous operation's result and unlike in node-based systems operations are not concatenated and dynamically processed in parallel. This is something that next years hinted at performance enhancements may improve considerably, but all the same, even in a node based system processing 600 blend/ mix operators would be quite a mouthful to chew on. For the time being honing your skills and learning to optimize things based on understanding the AE render pipeline can do more for you.

               

              It is true that 3d rendering is one of my lower priorities. But in the next 6 months I will be working on a project where I will be rendering about 20 min of 6k footage on vray (9 screen video wall).  I'd love to keep GI on and not be rendering for weeks.  I'm thinking I could pay a render farm $5k or i could put dual xeons in my system.

               

              A render farm is way to go. Even if you outfit your machine with the best Xeons there are, it will still take a while and you wouldn't want to do nothing while your workstation is rendering? And same as for AE - you may get much better bang for the buck by learning how to optimize VRay's GI settings and materials and using a radiosity cache than trying to solve things with brute force. In fact you might even get away with GI all together, depending on what the scene looks like and you may be able to mimic the whole look with a handful of more lights and shadow maps combined with a bit of low quality ambient occlusion that you blur in AE. Really depends.

               

              From everything I have read, anything less than 128gb ram on dual xeons is not enough for each core to do its best.  Maybe I'm wrong.

               

              And regarding the i7 build: my current system has 32gb ram and it is almost always being fully used when I'm in AE so 64gb is something I'm 100% sure about.

               

              Fair enough. If your experience tells you so, then more RAM is way to go.

               

              Regarding the 3x gtx980.  I understand that AE and C4D don't really benefit from multi gpu setups.  My hope is that they would fulfill the needs of my production work and help me live my 4k 60 fps ultra high gaming fantasies when I'm not working.  But if there's another GPU that'd be slightly less good for gaming and way better for work I'd like to hear about it.

               

              I'm not much into gaming, but I think only a handful of games even use multiple GPUs. Currently they all seem to go crazy on 4k textures and cards with 6GB or 8 GB VRAM. And as I said, outside a handful of GPU renderers or specialized plug-ins like Turbulence FD I'm not aware that even a single card would be maxed out, much less 3 of them. In the end you might end up buying some expensive heating bricks...

               

              Mylenium

              • 4. Re: New build opinions - cpu gpu raid
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Instead of spending a huge pile of money on the ultimate box for AE I'd spend a reasonable amount for a professional system and get two of them so one could be rendering at maximum speed while the other is being used for design. Trying to build everything while previewing at 100% and Full resolution is a complete waste of time even on a machine that you've spent a years profit on because you'll be more profitable and more productive with a good workflow than you will ever be with a Maserati. If you want to drive a really fast Italian sports car you must be man enough to realize that you are spend a lot of money on your ego.

                • 5. Re: New build opinions - cpu gpu raid
                  ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                  Actually the X99 build will perform better right now with AE on average because of the DDR4 bandwidth. DDR3 bandwidth choked out with ram above 1866 with a marginal 3% increase in performance beyond that. DDR4 has really opened that up showing far greater improvement especially with GPU acceleration applications with ram clocked at 2666 and higher. The 5960X will outperform the Dual Xeon 8 cores since it's 8 core with far higher clock speed in most situations in AE. It will definitely outperform the Dual 8 Core Ivy E Xeons since it's Haswell E and far higher clock speed with GPU acceleration applications such as VRay. Clock speed is extremely important with GPU acceleration because of the entire latency of the processing pipeline is reduced by the clock speed of the CPU and how fast its able to create and manage buffers for the GPU. The up side for both performance and price is with build 2 based on your workflow. I suggest you go that route either way. The X99 workstation price range is more than reasonable enough to justify the cost for the performance capability which opens up workflow options and decreases time sink issues. The X99 is the best overall solution right now with the price point more than reasonable for what the performance gain is.

                   

                  Eric

                  ADK

                  • 6. Re: New build opinions - cpu gpu raid
                    TaborR Level 1

                    Very helpful response, Eric. Thanks.