12 Replies Latest reply on Jan 19, 2017 4:07 PM by RoninEdits

    New HP 640 Workstation for AE, PP, C4D. Mistake?

    Smith.Brandon

      Hi Adobe folks. New here. Could use some hardware advice. I work alone as a video producer for a big company. I do everything from video conception, script writing, storyboarding, directing (stage, light), video editing, and most recently: post production effects. In the past 6 months I've started to use After Effects for many projects, but my old system had trouble keeping up with the RAM required to run things like Element 3D and multi-layered elements in timelines. The old hardware specifications:

      1. OS: Windows 7
      2. OS HDD: 7200 500GB
      3. RAM: 32GB
      4. CPU: i7-3930K @ 3.2GHz (12CPUs, ~3.2GHz)
      5. GPU: 2x Nvidia 660 Ti
      6. HDD: 6TB Media Storage (Old HDD was moved)
      7. PC Mark: 5,327

       

      The old system is custom built. However, since I've been hired. Our IT department has stopped by multiple times to remind me that my next system needed to be an HP system since our company is an "HP House" and 100% of all systems are HP. So, 11 months ago, I filed a request for a new editing system. HP Spec'd the system for me, and our IT department finally delivered it to my desk after all this time. Here is the specifications on my new system: 

       

      1. OS: Windows 7
      2. OS SSD: PCI-E 512GB HP
      3. RAM: 64GB
      4. CPU: Intel Xeon CPU E5-1680 v3 @ 3.2GHz (16GBs, ~3.2Ghz)
      5. GPU: 2x Nvidia Quadro M5000
      6. HDD: 6TB Media Storage
      7. PC Mark: 6,153

       

      It takes my old system 30 minutes to render a 2 minute 2D After Effects animation. My new system? 42 minutes. Here are my questions:

      1. Why is this slower? The old & new CPUs are clocked at 3.2GHz. Do the GTX 660 Ti's in the old system operate better in an adobe environment?
      2. Should we file for a return on this system? If so, there is a 50% chance I'll need to purchase another HP system, but they do not carry "consumer" grade components like the GTX Titan, i7s etc. There is a 50% chance that I could purchase another custom system which I may explore with my boss depending on the comments I receive here today.
      3. I have not tested 3D Applications yet, mainly because they aren't installed, but should we see performance gains in any areas with our new system with Adobe Programs like AE, PP?

       

      Thank you for your time.

        • 1. Re: New HP 640 Workstation for AE, PP, C4D. Mistake?
          JFPhoton Level 3

          Although many users here will be able to help you better than me, I can mention a couple of items :

          1. Microsoft today urged users to get on Windows 10, as they will not be supporting Windows 7 at a certain point.  Why would a brand new computer come with the OLD Windows 7 when you should have Windows 10 Pro ?

           

          2. After Effects uses ALL the memory you can throw at it...certainly 64 GB is far better than 32, however, in a Xeon system, you can increase the memory to 128GB and much more for better AE performance, { in settings you must allocate the proper amount of memory per "core"....or, thread,really ). 16 x 3 = 48 GB of 64 total to be assigned to AE at minimum, which is 3 GB per thread.  With 128 GB of system memory, you could easily place 6 GB per thread for AE, ( 16x 6 = 96GB ) for even better performance.

           

          3. Although the fixed frequency of the Xeon does not allow overclocking, compared to the "K" versions of current i7 CPUs, it DOES at least "turbo" under load up to 3.8 Ghz, which is not too bad, but, FAR below the performance of an overclockable 8 core Broadwell E CPU which is far less expensive than the Xeon. Checking the per cent usage of the CPU during rendering using system monitor will show if your machine is " CPU bound", if all cores are maxxed to 100%. Not much you can do about that without getting a faster Xeon CPU.

           

          4. The speed of the drive which contains your video clips and project files is EXTREMELY important to performance !! These files MUST be on your fastest drive to avoid a "bottleneck", where all the components are WAITING on a slow disk drive to serve up the data. I see you have a 6 TB storage " device" in your system. If that drive is slow, move copies of your clips and project files to the PCI SSD, which HOPEFULLY is a fast SSD....cannot tell which model it is. You would also export to that same SSD to improve performance if the 6TB device is slow. If the 6 TB device is slow, use it ONLY for archiving and backup and NOT for any ACTIVE editing,or, creating.

           

          5. The two expensive Quadros should do ok, although they are not as powerful as the consumer G Force GPUs.

           

          You may want to test the performance of your machine at PPBM7.com, where forum member Bill Gehrke has created a benchmark test for users of Premiere Pro.

           

          **  I have read that newer versions of After Effects CC have ABANDONED the former ability to " render frames simultaneously" and THIS has caused a drop in performance, as some users have reported. You may be seeing this yourself and this could explain the lack of improvement in render speed, along with newer,or, more difficult video codecs or poorly threading plug ins in use.

          • 2. Re: New HP 640 Workstation for AE, PP, C4D. Mistake?
            Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

            Running the Premiere Pro BenchMark (PPBM) should show us why your old system is faster than the new.  One possible reason is that OEM's like HP many time load unnecessary processes and programs which may be using CPU cycles.  Have you tuned the system?

             

            Test that SSD with CrystalDiskMark and show us the results.  Think it would be possible to add another HP PCIe SSD to that system?  Does it have an empty PCIe x4 slot?  What are the size of your projects.  Here are the results of my Samsung 960 Pro 1 TB PCIe x4 M.2 drive which shows you what the current state-of-the-art is in storage systems.  If you were to clone the OS/Applications from the PCIe  device to another device even a SATA III SSD and then make the whole 512 GB  PCIe SSD available for Projects you would be way ahead in performance

             

            You have your old 6 TB hard drive which is probably filling up and therefore it is slowing down as it fills up, that drive is fine for archiving and backup but not good for editing

            • 3. Re: New HP 640 Workstation for AE, PP, C4D. Mistake?
              Smith.Brandon Level 1
              Lots to get to. Thanks everyone your your replies, and I'd like to address each of your comments individually. First up, Bill.

               

               

              Hi Bill,

              Thank you for the Benchmark link. I did not know this existed, and here are the results from both systems:

               

              New System:

              • Benchmark: Disk I/O Time: 25 Seconds.
              • Benchmark: Disk Write Rate: 1483.68 MB/second.
              • Benchmark: Time to Encode H.264 Timeline = 64 Seconds.
              • Benchmark: MPE Gain: 316/13=24.3
              • CrystalDiskMark:
                • Seq Q32T1: Read: 2170. Write: 1499
                • 4K Q32T1: Read: 317. Write: 267.2
                • Seq: Read: 1583. Write: 1466
                • 4K: Read: 45.51 Write: 144.0

               

              Old System:

              • Benchmark: Disk I/O Time: 754 Seconds.
              • Benchmark: Disk Write Rate: 49 MB/second.
              • Benchmark: Time to Encode H.264 Timeline = 150 Seconds.
              • Benchmark: MPE Gain: 515/37=13.9
              • CrystalDiskMark:
                • Seq Q32T1: Read: 499.6 Write: 258.4
                • 4K Q32T1: Read: 126 Write: 119.8
                • Seq: Read: 492.6 Write: 117.2
                • 4K: Read: 22.55 Write: 48.21

               

              Results:

              • New system has a much higher disk I/O time. HUGE difference. Big difference between old OS SSD and new OS PCI-E SSD.
              • New system should have been slower based on the results of my previous test. I found the problem:
                • New system had project file loaded from old HDD media drive. Old system had new copied SSD project file.
                • Old system gave false impression it was faster, but in reality, it was just rendering off of an SSD whereas the new system was rendering off of an HDD.
              • I reran original 2D After Effects Animation Test render times:
                • New PC: 29 minutes 20 seconds.
                • Old PC:  30 minutes 14 seconds.
                • The new system is officially 2.97% faster. Yay, I guess. Beats being 25-45% slower.

               

              Answers to your questions:

                • New system does not have additional empty PCIe x4 Slot.
                • Size of After Effects project in this test sample:  239MB (95% of assets are solids). Size of biggest Premiere Projects: 300GB. Size of 3D model sizes: 800MB.
                • Good idea on making a basic SSD the OS drive and the PCIe SSD for projects. Except we have no additional SATA slots on the New PC's motherboard to purchase a new SSD for the OS.
              Hi JFPhoton,

              • If this system is kept, I will move forward on getting Windows 10. Currently the old/new systems are the same OS. Once I establish apples/apples comparison, I'll upgrade the new PC's OS.
              • Great to know about 128gb memory. Unfortunately, this new system does not have any additional RAM slots.
              • As for "Edit > Preferences > Memory," 63.9GB is the amount of available memory with 6GB allocated for other programs. Dumb question, but should the amount allocated for other programs be 15.9 so that the amount of available ram is 48GB so 3GB can be per-core?
              • CPU usage on both systems during a 2D Animation After Effects render averages ~84% on both the old and new systems.
              • You were correct about the speed of the drive. If you notice above from my reply to Bill. I made the mistake of rendering a project from the moved HDD on my new system and the SSD of my old system. So rather than my new system being 25-40% slower, it is now ~2% faster. I expected much more to be honest, but it beats what I had!
              • You mention the quadros are not as effective as the G Force GPUs. Which is better for AE, Premiere Pro, and potentially 3D animation/CAD programs like Cinema4D, Keyshot, Creo, etc? We haven't gotten into animation/CAD yet, but if I request that this new system get returned for a refund, I need to make sure I'm not throwing away a good thing with these Quadros for a GTX 1080. If I did get a new system, would two G Force cards be better, or will only one really be utilized?

               

              One final question for anyone: With this "new" HP system being slightly faster now than my old system, is it of your opinion that I request a refund for a more consumer based (i7 6900K, X99 Motherboard, PC3200 Ram, 1x GTX 1080) system instead of a workstation such as this for working in After Effects, Premiere Pro, Cinema4D?

               

              Thanks!

              • 4. Re: New HP 640 Workstation for AE, PP, C4D. Mistake?
                Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                Is this your new computer?

                 

                If so talk to your HP salesman and see if they can upgrade that computer for you.  Your CPU is an 8-core CPU that is the maximum for the Xeon E5-1000 series for single Xeon based systems.  If you could talk HP and your boss into a 10 or 12 core CPU (the Xeon E5-2000 series is really designed for a 2 CPU system) but would work perfectly fine as a single processor in your system, actually your system could use a plug-in second CPU card but would require a change in your CPU to one of the Xeon E5-2000 series   It will be expensive

                • 6. Re: New HP 640 Workstation for AE, PP, C4D. Mistake?
                  Smith.Brandon Level 1

                  Yes the HP640 was the framework I started this PC off as. I haven't purchased a PC through a brand name supplier once in the past 17 years, so their branding is a little confusing to me because the hardware was chosen for it. So I take it your recommendation is built on the idea that if I had to stick with HP, attempt to find a way to replace the CPU with a higher end CPU? Could you recommend any one of those available CPUs on their "Customize" page that would be most well suited for our needs? There is a lot there and frankly I don't know Xeons very well.

                  • 7. Re: New HP 640 Workstation for AE, PP, C4D. Mistake?
                    Smith.Brandon Level 1

                    From what it looks like in that article, having two CPUs is not beneficial and towards the bottom of that article they link another one comparing i7's to Xeons, and it looks like if managed to get a custom system, the 6700K eeks out ahead of the 6900K.

                    • 8. Re: New HP 640 Workstation for AE, PP, C4D. Mistake?
                      Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                      Click for underline:

                       

                      From what it looks like in that article, having two CPUs is not beneficial and towards the bottom of that article they link another one comparing i7's to Xeons, and it looks like if managed to get a custom system, the 6700K eeks out ahead of the 6900K.

                       

                      From what it looks like in that article, having two CPUs is not beneficial and towards the bottom of that article they link another one comparing i7's to Xeons, and it looks like if managed to get a custom system, the 6700K eeks out ahead of the 6900K.

                       

                      it looks like if managed to get a custom system, the 6700K eeks out ahead of the 6900K.

                      Yes that is true but I doubt you could get one from HP and if you get it replaced HP will probably not support it.

                       

                      My older i7-5960X at 4.5GHz is faster than that new Xeon that you tested and at much less cost.

                      I would look at a Xeon E5-2690 v4 14 cores 2.6 GHz

                      • 9. Re: New HP 640 Workstation for AE, PP, C4D. Mistake?
                        RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                        adobe has several problems with their software, so there isn't a simple answer to cpu core count, especially with AE. the puget AE article shows several different tests, most only using between 2-6 cpu cores, but a couple hitting 12-14. if you want to test your new 8 core machine out, then you should see if any of your projects will get the cpu usage to 100%. if they don't, then there isn't really a reason to upgrade to more cpu cores. if you are able to get 100% cpu usage fairly regularly and want more cpu cores, the E5-2687W V4 (12 cores at 3.0ghz) is probably the only xeon worth upgrading to. the other xeon's with lower clock speeds would have a bigger performance penalty when any software you are using isn't able to use all cpu cores.

                        • 10. Re: New HP 640 Workstation for AE, PP, C4D. Mistake?
                          Smith.Brandon Level 1

                          Thank you guys for the replies thus far. Well for better or for worse, it's looking like a 90% chance of getting a custom system should we decide to get a return on the current system. Once a return gets finalized, we'll start looking into computer hardware. I've already come up with a few dozen solutions but I'm assuming I'll just return here once I have confirmation that we'll be moving ahead with a non-HP based system.

                          • 11. Re: New HP 640 Workstation for AE, PP, C4D. Mistake?
                            Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                            Click for underline:

                            . if you are able to get 100% cpu usage fairly regularly and want more cpu cores, the E5-2687W V4 (12 cores at 3.0ghz) is probably the only xeon worth upgrading to.

                            Unfortunately HP does not offer the "W" versions.

                            • 12. Re: New HP 640 Workstation for AE, PP, C4D. Mistake?
                              RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                              when i visit hp's website i can choose workstations with both the i7-6700k and the E5-2687W V4...