9 Replies Latest reply on Jan 26, 2016 11:38 AM by geoffreym8050711

    New PC Build for 4K Editing - Is this enough?


      I just put together a new PC based on some recommendations of a friend, looking for what could be upgraded and more importantly how to handle media cache as best as possible:


      X99 Deluxe Motherboard with M2 slot and came with an additional PCI adapter for a second one.

      1x Samsung 512GB 840 SSD

      1x ADATA 480GB SSD

      2x Samsung 512GB 950 Pro NVME Drives

      64GB DDR4 RAM - Can find timings if needed

      Intel Xeon E5-2670 v3 12 Core CPU (Bought used on eBay, this thing is great)

      2x 4tb 7200 rpm Internal Drives - Current projects and Data

      Several external HDD's for backups, no editing is done from them

      1x Galax Nvidia 960 Exoc 2GB 1367Mhz Boost Clock (I am pretty sure this might be my weakest link so far)

      Thermaltake Suppressor F31 Case


      I got this up and running this weekend and have done some minimal 4K editing so far.  It's handling it pretty well but still lags a bit on an easy edit.


      So basically my setup is this: one Samsung 950 Pro as the OS drive - not sure if I see much difference in boot times or applications loading from a regular SSD yet. Speed tests show it at 2500 read and about 1500 write.

      The other 950 Pro came in today and would just be used to store raw video files for current projects. After reading through this forum a bit I am now starting to question where my media cache files should go.  The other 480GB and 512GB SSD's are currently set up for current project footage, but one is empty and could possibly be used for a media cache, as long as I clear it out when projects are done and it gets close to full.  Would that prevent some bottlenecking? Currently one of the big 4tb HDD's is set up for cache files. I've never thought about those being the bottleneck.


      Is there anything else I could try or upgrade? Are both Samsung 950 Pro cards better suited for other use?  My video card should be good enough. I don't do super heavy editing or effects.  I am open to suggestions or critiques.  The friend who helped me build this wasn't super familiar with Premiere Pro or video editing needs, but knows computers and gaming needs.



        • 1. Re: New PC Build for 4K Editing - Is this enough?
          RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

          ah, the thermaltake copy cat case of the original fractal design cases. that was quite the scandal, and involved several case mfg cases being copied. i never heard if the guy at thermaltake was fired for that or not.


          anyways, your build looks like its mostly on the right track, but may need some tweaks. the gtx 960 is somewhat powerful, but your version is the 2gb model. 4gb is recommended for 4k frame buffering, and the gtx 970 for a bit more money would have been a better choice. some people using very gpu intensive plugins or separate programs even go for the 980 ti, but that depends on each persons projects and needs.


          storage setup may be the biggest variable. the os/apps drive doesn't need more than a sata ssd, not the pcie/m.2 samsung 950. the samsung 950 is fast enough to hold everything, os/apps/cache/media/projects/export as a single drive, but the limitation comes from capacity. many people need more than 512gb. so below are some examples of what you could do below.


          drive 1: Samsung 512GB 950 Pro  -  os/apps

          drive 2: Samsung 512GB 950 Pro  -  cache/media/projects/exports


          or more commonly seen here


          drive 1: Samsung 512GB 840 SSD  -  os/apps

          drive 2: 2x Samsung 512GB 950 Pro  -  cache/media/projects/exports

          (optional, if you just want to use the adata drive or 1tb of capacity isn't enough for cache too, then use the adata ssd for cache.)


          or if you need more space than 1tb for media then something like this

          drive 1: Samsung 512GB 840 SSD  -  os/apps

          drive 2: ADATA 480GB SSD  -  cache/export

          (the samsung 950 could alternatively be used for os/apps/cache/project)

          drive 3 2x 4tb 7200 rpm  -  media/projects ( only media if using the samsung 950 for project files)


          the 2xsamsung 950 to be raid 0 would have to be done with windows disk management, or another software raid program. you could also choose to just leave them separate drives and manually spread media/projects across the two drives. the next gen motherboards are supposedly going to support raid with m.2 drives, but currently mbd raid is limited to sata drives. the 2 4tb hdd's could be done with raid 0 from the motherboard, and that is generally better than windows raid. some opt for the windows raid, since its supposedly if the mbd failed it could be transferred to another computer. where as mbd raid usually doesn't transfer. however, any raid should have multiple backups, so it shouldn't be a big deal.

          • 2. Re: New PC Build for 4K Editing - Is this enough?
            geoffreym8050711 Level 1

            Thanks for the feedback! I had no idea there was a scandal in the computer case world. I'm going to look that up!


            Do I gain anything from dual GPU's in video editing?  Does a GTX 970 as a main GPU with a 960 helping it out do anything (I know that it takes the power of the lower quality gpu, but each would have less work to do) - or does that not matter since the 960 is 2GB and that can't pull its weight?  I may be in the market for that 970 sooner than I thought. The 960 is the only major remnant of my previous build.


            Thanks for the options of the SSD drives as well.  I don't need too much storage for media. I finish current projects fairly often and can clear out the SSD drives (and clean out the cache as well every few months) - everything also lives on my HDD drives as backups in case I ever need to dive into a finished project after the fact.  I still have my 256GB Samsung 850 in the PC that has my old install from before the weekend on it that I can switch over to easily.  I may not need the 950 Pro for my OS, I haven't noticed many gains from that - so two of those as is could be great for media storage.  Do you think using one of those as a cache offload is any major difference over a regular SSD?


            I am mostly getting choppy playback viewing timelines while editing, everything else runs pretty smooth.  So maybe that's my GPU? Exporting runs pretty quick with everything I've tried so far. But that's CPU based I believe - which I still need to mess around with in the overclocking menu.


            Thanks again for all of your feedback!

            • 3. Re: New PC Build for 4K Editing - Is this enough?
              RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

              from a few people reporting here with mixed gpu's, the slower one does seem to hold back the faster gpu. it wouldn't help the 2gb vram on the 960 either. you can use gpu-z to get a better idea of what kind of workload the gpu is under and its memory usage.  you can also look at windows task manger to see what the cpu usage is doing. there is also a benchmark test for premiere, ppbm7.com has and you can post your results here.


              for db cache, the testing bill (forum member that runs ppbm7.com) has done shows no improvement with the 950 pro over a sata ssd. if you are getting into lots of high bitrate/uncompressed rendered preview files for premeire and/or disk caching from AE, then there may be some improvement over a sata ssd. many people do not need more than a few sata ssd's and the samsung 950 pro is a way for them to avoid multiple disks and/or raid controllers. the speed of the 950 pro is most beneficial for very large frame and bitrate media (raw), which is also so large that it would take many TB for even a small project to fit on. for those folks, they would have to turn to several of the 1.2tb intel 750's or expensive enterprise pcie ssd's which are over 2tb per drive.


              what kind of media are you trying to edit with? and are you doing any multi-cam or have any effects on the timeline? some codecs like h.264/5 will take more effort from the cpu to decode. the cpu is not designed for such work, but its the nature of the most current NLE's until they modernize their software. the xeon you have is pretty good/powerful, it should be able to handle a few streams and effects in real time. as for overclocking, i guess some xeons are unlocked and can be overclocked, but im not sure about your specific xeon.

              • 4. Re: New PC Build for 4K Editing - Is this enough?
                JFPhoton Level 3

                ...you may want to seek out Bill Gehrke here on this forum. That is because he has successfully implemented 2 Samsung PCI SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration to achieve a 1 TB total capacity and BLAZING speed !!! He has written about it on this forum.


                He also runs the PPBM7 website which is a benchmark test that you can run to compare your machine to others while running premiere pro....it is a video editing performance benchmark test.


                You mentioned that you have a Samsung 850 Pro SSD from another machine available. That would be ideal for you to put your OS, Programs, and Windows page file on. Although the 840 Pro is very good, the 850 Pro is even better...use THAT one for your "boot" drive.


                Bill has found that it is NOT necessary to place the media cache and cache files on the fastest drive available.  It has made NO difference in his extensive testing. He places them, for convenience, right on the boot drive so he can easily get rid of them after completing a project, ( PPro will quickly recreate these files if ever needed again in the future ).


                It is NOT necessary, or even beneficial to have your OS and programs on the 950 Pro PCI SSD......the OS and programs once loaded become "memory resident".


                ALL other files should go on the NVMe PCI SSD, or, the RAID 0 of two of them, if you create it. That includes : media, project files, previews, and exports.


                The reason for this is because these PCI SSDs not only are screaming fast, they are BI - DIRECTIONAL....they read and write at the SAME TIME, unlike drives connected via the SATA inteface which are "half - duplex" and can only read OR write....not both at the same time. This means additional PERFORMANCE and far less latency !


                For BEST performance, you must have your media files on the fastest drive volume available...that means on your one,or, two  950 Pros.


                Your video card IS weak compared to all the other parts of your computer.  Again, Bill Gehrke can advise you in the use of using two DIFFERENT NVidia GPUs at the same time.....he has done this. I believe that as long as they are using the same driver, it is beneficial, ( WITHOUT  SLI), for certain operations. I am NOT sure if the less capable card would HINDER anything in any manner...Bill would know.


                The 970 with at least 4GB of video memory would be a good choice....the 980ti even better... I THINK !!...( that is if your CPU and memory is fast enough to feed that card...Bill or Eric Bowen at ADK Computers would know exactly ).


                Make sure that your power supply is strong enough to run everything to avoid problems.


                The advantage of your CPU is the many additional cores and the potential to use a huge amount of system memory, along with large caches on the CPU.  The disadvanage is that the clock speed, even at full turbo, only goes up to 3.1 Ghz, while a 5960X can reach over 4.5 Ghz overclocked. However, all those 4 extra cores should easily make up for the difference using PPro.


                In summary, for best performance put OS, programs, Windows page file, media cache, and cache on the Samsung 850 Pro. Then, put ALL ELSE on the 950 Pro,( or, Pros in RAID 0 ) !!!  Then, use your other drives as backup drives ,or, for archiving....you MAY want to consider placing the two 4 TB drives in a RAID 1 mirror to serve as a secure  backup for all your precious original media,OR, get an "Enterprise level" large HDD for that purpose. Seagate makes a 6 TB model with a 128MB cache that runs at over 200MB/sec. Don't forget to get another, more powerful NVidia GPU like the ones mentioned to complete your upgrading !

                • 5. Re: New PC Build for 4K Editing - Is this enough?
                  geoffreym8050711 Level 1

                  Great points.  I think the full upgrade to the 970 should be a worthy investment.


                  I have the Sony FS5 camera that shoots 4k at 100mb/s XAVC-L (Long GOP) which is pretty processor heavy.  I also back that up with the A7RII that uses an XAVC-S 100mb/s for 4k.  The XAVC-S runs a lot smoother than the new Long GOP XAVC-L, which is what gives me the most fits.  I do a lot of two camera interviews, but not any nested multicam sequences.  I have both clips on my timeline one above the other and just cut out one when I need the other.  Hardly ever more than 3 or 4 cameras for other projects, and those edit the same way.  Haven't gotten comfortable with the multicam editing feature, so I just do it all manually.  Minimal color correction or other effects as well.  I try to get my edit done in the timeline first and then go back and correct, so playback is usually just the raw files.


                  I had my CPU overclocked a little bit but reset the options in the BIOS trying to get the 950 Pro drive to read as my OS drive.  Haven't tinkered with that any more since then as I ran out of play time.


                  I just downloaded CPU-Z and that checked Task Manager while running some footage in Premiere in a fairly basic timeline.  CPU never gets above 50% and hovers around 40%.  GPU memory used hovers around 1.5GB which makes sense.  Not sure what other measurements on GPU-Z are important but GPU Load is around 17% and memory controller load is around 15%.

                  • 6. Re: New PC Build for 4K Editing - Is this enough?
                    JFPhoton Level 3

                    ......just to recap a little. If you currently have your video footage and project files on any of your spinning HDDs, you may experience slow performance and lagging, especially with 4K footage.  Using the 950 Pro as your boot drive is really a waste of its performance....it really needs to be the drive that holds all your media, projects, and exports for best performance. Make that spare 850 your boot drive.


                    The spinning HDDs will really slow your performance.......as an example, Bill Gehrke posted the test results from a new laptop he bought on the PPBM7 website. As originally configured, that machine had a 1TB spinning HDD in it. When Bill re-tested that machine with a new SSD in it, the test results increased DRAMATICALLY !!


                    I am not aware that a Xeon CPU can be overclocked......I do not think it is supposed to be.


                    Changing your drive setup and adding another GPU should DRAMATICALLY improve your performance on your Xeon rig ! Go test your machine before and after on the PPBM7 website....good luck !

                    • 7. Re: New PC Build for 4K Editing - Is this enough?
                      geoffreym8050711 Level 1

                      Thanks for the recap! I think tomorrow after the shoot I have scheduled I will go reinstall the Samsung 850 SSD as my OS and applications drive.  Clean the 950 up and use it for media storage.  I haven't been using the spinning HDD"s for any 4k projects so those are mostly redundancies and backups at this point, with another backup on an external HDD for archiving.


                      The XEON's can be base overclocked, but not significantly.  I may just leave it be for stability sake.  Seems like I won't get as much improvement from that as I will from everything else.  I just ran the PPBM7 test but when I tried to run the script at the end for the results Windows gave me an error message and a file not found issue within that message.  Weird. A little late to dig into that tonight though.


                      So now my question is - GTX 970 or 980ti, and then within those which versions? I know the 980ti has a 6GB version, which would probably be the best choice.  What factors do I need to find on my RAM to know if it can handle that?  I bought 64GB of this: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 32GB (4 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) Desktop Memory Model 994199T - Newegg… and I can find info on the Xeon.  I wouldn't mind plunking down for the 980ti if it'll get me where I want to go and a little piece of mind.

                      • 8. Re: New PC Build for 4K Editing - Is this enough?
                        RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                        thanks jfphoton for further explaining what i said, and adding a few new points.


                        to geoffry, your gpu usage/stats from gpu-z look good, memory getting close to the 2gb max, and cpu usage not bad at 40-50%.  there are several factors that may not present themselves in those performance monitoring programs. eric has said on here a few times that the cpu cores should be 2.6ghz or higher to actively feed data to the video card fast enough for smooth real time playback. that process also relies on fast ddr4 memory as well as the memory interface & bandwidth of the gpu. the gtx 970 is double that of the 960, and the 980 ti is 3x of the 960. there are many factors at play, and i would hate to recommend just buying a new card without knowing it will fix the issue. if you can borrow a gtx 780 or higher, or gtx 970 or higher, or amd r9 390 or higher, from another computer or friend to test, you can confirm or rule out the gpu as the problem.


                        another test would be if you transcode some of your footage to dnxhr mxf. if there is some issue with the source footage's h264 format/codec, like with the long gop, the edit friendly dnxhr codec will perform much better. if dnxhr mxf on a samsung 950 pro still has problems, perhaps there is some bottleneck with the cpu/ram feeding the gpu fast enough, or the gpu bandwidth/memory itself.


                        gtx 970 vs 980 ti:

                        the gtx 970 4gb is commonly recommended here for 4k systems as its plenty fast and has enough memory for premiere pro. if you plan on using any gpu heavy plugins like neat video, or rendering programs like octane, or color grading software like speedgrade/resolve, then the gtx 980 ti will be a better choice. depending on which software you use, many support dual video cards. so even if you did go with the gtx 970 and wanted more power later, you might be able to add a second one. premiere pro, neat video, octane, and resolve studio support dual gpu's. according to bill, the gtx 900 series do not benefit from overclock gpu cards when using cuda. so you don't have to worry about special super/overclock editions, just pick a good base version. asus and gigabyte have had some of the lowest failure rates for all their various pc parts.

                        • 9. Re: New PC Build for 4K Editing - Is this enough?
                          geoffreym8050711 Level 1

                          Thanks both of you for being so patient and educational.  I went to Fry's and bought the GTX 970, which should be plenty for me.  I am not doing anything with heavy plugins or too much color grading.  I do a lot of stuff for the web, not commercial or features.  I am also cloning my previous 840 SSD to a larger 850 Evo to run the OS and then the 2x 950 Pros along with the ADATA 480GB SSD will hold content with the HDD's backing up and storing regular data for clients.  I'll update you once I'm up and running and see how smooth it all is!