2 Replies Latest reply on Nov 29, 2014 11:32 AM by melf3182

    X99 5930 PC Build Critique and Questions!

    melf3182 Level 1

      Hey,

       

      was going to get a mac, but have since been persuaded by various posts/videos to seriously consider a custom built PC.

       

      Projects/Workflow:

       

      Short docs, events, EPKs, behind the scenes type stuff: Panasonic GH4/Canon C series, Blackmagic. Edit, grade (usually in-NLE), mix and output. Usually to pro res. Currently transcode but would like to work native where possible.

       

      Indie Features: Offline editing of 2-4k material (pro res LT mostly, maybe also some DXNHD). Temp colour grades, temp VFX, stabilization etc. Possible online prep. But any serious grading done at a proper shop.

       

      Majority of workflow Adobe CC. Some possible Avid. Some Davinci for personal stuff. Occasional  FCP7 and FCPX, but I'll also have a high spec Macbook pro. 

       

      So here is my build, mostly based on the specs from a similar ADK build on their website and information from the Tweakers page.

       

      I'll be getting this built for me by NCIX Canada for $75 which seems worth it to me. Includes years warranty from them and the parts manufacturers. 

       

      Disk Setup: SSD for C drive. SSD for preview files and media cache. Will also add a RAID, questions on that below…..

       

       

       

       

      CPUIntel Core i7-5930K 3.5GHz 6-Core$636.98
      CPU CoolerZalman LQ-320 Liquid$79.99
      MotherboardAsus X99-DELUXE ATX LGA2011-3$418.98
      MemoryCrucial 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2133$459.95
      StorageSamsung 850 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" SSD$108.98
      Samsung 850 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" SSD$168.98
      Video CardEVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB Superclocked ACX 2.0$399.00
      CaseFractal Design Arc XL ATX Full Tower$136.05
      Power SupplyEVGA 1000W ATX12V / EPS12V$189.98
      Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 8.1 (32/64-bit)$108.51
      CustomThunderbolt 2 adapter$92.40

      Total $2800 CAD

       

      This will be my first time using a PC in a very long time so I have a few questions:

       

      1) How does this build look? Anything I should swap?

       

      2) How much faster will this be vs a 6 core mac pro, 32GB ram and D500s? I have found an 8-month old one for sale for $3600. Kinda tempting. The build above will cost me just under $3100 once I've paid GST and build costs, so only a difference of $500. As long as the mac is fast enough for what I do it might make more sense given my workflow (see more below). I know its not future proof but thats OK. Buying used, writing off against taxes and selling in 12-18 months works out at a very low cost of ownership anyway.

       

      3) Drive set up. 2 drive RIAD 0+backups. If possible I would like to make this work with an external enclosure such as the OWC Thunderbay connected to the Thunderbolt 2 card. The reason I am considering an external solution is because I frequently edit on my macbook pro on location and other macs at other studios.

      Is much difference in speed between an internal and external TB2 Raid 0? And even if there is, could an external TB2 solution still be fast enough? I guess this is another reason why I'm still tempted by the Mac - I can use SoftRaid with the OWC Enclosure for either a fast RAID 0 or Raid 5. Of course I can get a hardware controller for the PC for max speed but then I lose the flexibility of an eternal solution.  

       

      4) Compatibility: Speaking of an external RAID enclosure. Will I have any problems using the same external RAID on both Mac and PC? I know I can install macdrive, paragon or what ever else might be necessary to read eat format but will there be any issues actually recognizing the RAID and not seeing it as separate drives?

       

      5) Pro Res. I'll be working with a lot of pro res. The majority of my clients over the last year wanted pro res masters. I've seen various recommendations for alternatives or encoders. But I don't know how convincing they are. In the end, will the faster speed of the PC be made obsolete by extra encoding time and possible reliability issues?

       

      After writing all this out it seems to me that maybe the simplest solution is to get the used mac pro. Might be a bit slower (?) but in the end I'd be able to edit on all platforms, output pro res without any work arounds and use an external enclosure for drives, maintaining 100% compatibility with other machines I'll be working on. However I've read so much about PCs being MUCH faster for premier and I love the ability to customize and expand as I progress in my career so I am more than happy to be told I am reaching the wrong conclusion! 

       

      Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. 

        • 1. Re: X99 5930 PC Build Critique and Questions!
          JFPhoton Level 3

          I have seen Eric at ADK mention LATENCY differences between using internal drives vs. Thunderbolt and USB 3 drives. However, I do not know at what point this would show as an issue...I am currently using a cheap, high speed PNY USB 3 " Turbo" 128 GB thumb drive with my Haswell laptop for all previews and cache files.....which PPro will easily recreate if lost, or, unavailable. I have not noticed any issues thus far...this drive only cost $50 and reads at around 200 MB/sec. Write speed is well over 100 MB/sec.

                Bill Gehrke, here on this forum, is using HIS PNY for the media and project files ....editing 3 camera shoots on his laptop with no problem ! I am NOT sure if you could use an external Thuderbolt RAID array on BOTH a Mac and a Windows machine......I would think NOT...because they use two different " file systems"....NTFS for Windows and something ELSE for Macs......I could be WRONG, however....worth it to check out!

               The GENERAL idea to move over to PCs and Windows is something many have been doing to eliminate software compatibility issues between the Mac OS and PPro, and to have greater flexibility in choosing the fastest and best hardware components. The options .....especially NOW.....with Haswell E, on Windows machines, allow for building a rig ready to handle 4K and OTHER soon to be released codecs which are engineered to lower internet bandwidth while streaming, BUT, may be EVEN MORE compressed and more difficult to edit without a POWERFUL machine !! This is what it was a few years ago, when editing HD was difficult because most computers were WAY underpowered.

          • 2. Re: X99 5930 PC Build Critique and Questions!
            melf3182 Level 1

            That's what im wondering-  I'm sure external drives are slower than internal, but the speed of external might still be good enough (the thunderbay 4 with softraid on mac looks very quick according to Larry jordan). And having the flexibility of picking up drives and plugging them into different machines means I can work the way I want 

             

            Right now now I have all media stored on lacie raid drives. If I built a pc I would love to just be able to plug these in and get working. The ntfs/Mac OS formatting isn't a big deal. You can install drivers so each system can see the files. I believe the bigger issue is recognising the raid as a raid and not 2 seperate drives.

             

            IF thats the case it would mean getting another usb3 drive to transfer all my media on to and then transferring from there onto the internal raid on a pc. Depending on how often I have to do that it could offset the speed advantages of a pc. Might spend less time rendering but now I have all this extra transferring time and extra lexternal USB drives and internal raid.

             

            I had pretty much convinced myself to build the pc (hence the time I put I to researching the build above) but then when I started looking into storage and considered my workflow a bit more (drives, shared projects, pro res delivery) - well things start to get a little less straight forward.