39 Replies Latest reply on Mar 6, 2008 4:10 PM by Harm Millaard

    The "Perfect" System for CS3?

    Level 1
      Does anyone have a recipe for a workable or "perfect" hardware configuration to run CS3 Production Premium? I am thinking about building a new edit sys from the ground up that will be dedicated to CS3, emphasizing editing. My initial requirements are that it run a quad processor and be SLI compatible. Please be specific (qualitatively and quantitatively) for at least the following:

      o EXACT PROCESSOR (which exact one):

      o EXACT MOTHERBOARD (Intel or Asus):

      o TYPE AND AMOUNT OF MEMORY:

      o VIDEO CARDS Sufficient to extend the desktop over 3 monitors):

      o I/O ANALOG/DIGITAL DEVICE (capture card or media converter):

      o HARD DRIVES:

      Thanks,

      James Jaeger
        • 1. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
          Level 1
          2 Quad Core Xeon's

          Any board supporting 2 Quad core Xeon's

          4GB DDR 1066Mhz

          Graphics cards are a debate on this forum, get 2 Nvidia's and ignore SLI. SLI only allows 1 screen and is useless for editing.

          RAID array made up of 4 500GB drives.
          • 2. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
            (C._David_Young) Level 1
            I recently built a system for editing with CS3. Here is what I ended up with along with the Newegg part numbers. I am very happy with it although everyone has their own preferences.

            23-126-033 KB&MS LOGITECH|920-000264 RT
            22-136-131 HD 750G|WD 7K 16M SATA2 WD7500AAKS
            17-341-011 PSU|S75CF 750W RT
            14-130-071 VGA EVGA 640-P2-N821-AR 8800GTS R
            13-127-030 MB ABIT IP35 Pro 775
            21-103-203 FD 1.44MB|SAMSUG SFD321B/LBL1 %
            33-315-041 WRLSS LAN EDIMAX|EW-7128G PCI RTL
            20-148-076 MEM 1Gx2|CRUCIA BL2KIT12864AL804 R
            19-115-027 CPU INTEL|C2Q Q6700 2.66G 65N 8M R
            35-186-134 CPUCOOLER|ARCTIC P4|ACFZ7-PRO R
            22-136-011 HD 150G|WD 10K 16M SATA WD1500AHFD
            35-185-004 FAN SCYTHE|S-FLEX SFF21D(800rmp) RT
            11-129-154 CASE ANTEC|P180 SIL RT
            12-186-012 CABLE SYBA|SD-DVIHDMI-MM-6 RTL
            27-106-072 DVD BURN LITE-ON|LH-20A1L-06 LS RT
            Subtotal $2,478.83
            Tax $0.00
            Shipping and Handling $51.39
            Amount Paid $2,530.22
            • 3. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
              Curt Wrigley Level 4
              The answer is highly Dependant on what you will be editing.

              SD, HDV, HD and if HDV how? Native, 3rd party codec; HD uncompressed, Analog legacy?

              Curt
              • 4. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                Level 1
                I'd imagine he wants a system now while he has money and wants to "go big".

                :-)
                • 5. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                  Harm Millaard Level 7
                  2 X5365 quad core Xeon CPU's with 1333FSB
                  4 GB RAM, DDR2-667 ECC
                  WD Raptor boot disk, 150 GB
                  8x Hitachi 500 GB in Raid5
                  2x Hitachi 500 GB in Raid0
                  2x Nec-AD7173S Sata DVD burners
                  nVidia 8800 GTS 640NB video
                  Areca Arc 1231-ML controller with BBM and 2 GB cache

                  just to start with....
                  • 6. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                    sorry for interrupting, i have posted before, a similar topic but it seems it disappeared because i can't find it any ware. What if i want more than 4Gb's of ram?
                    Mr. Harm Millaard :) had the kindness to respond then. Is ''Memory Mirroring supported'' what you were talking about? Can you suggest a specific model please?
                    Does anyone knows if adobe premiere will run under Windows Server 2003?
                    • 7. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                      Harm Millaard Level 7
                      First, the OS. My suggestion is to use WinXP Pro, not Server 2003 or 2008, nor Vista. If you follow that suggestion, there is no sense in using more than 4 GB of Ram, because it is not supported. If and when WinXP-64 is supported, it may be feasible to upgrade to 8 GB or even more.

                      Suggestion for specific hardware: Supermicro SC745TQ-800 chassis and Supermicro X7DAE+ mobo, plus the components mentioned in my earlier post.
                      • 8. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                        Level 1
                        >2 Quad Core Xeon's

                        Which ones? There are number of selections.

                        >Any board supporting 2 Quad core Xeon's

                        This is the crux of my question. There are quite a few motherboards out there. Which one do you feel is best or do you feel they are all the same. For starters, do you feel an Intel board is best or go with Asus?
                        • 9. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                          Level 1
                          Thanx a lot Harm, you 've been very helpful.
                          • 10. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                            Level 1
                            > 2 Quad Core Xeon's
                            Which ones? There are number of selections

                            The top of the range!! Use your own sense here, how much money do you have? Buy the best you can find, and afford.

                            As for mobo's I'm sure other people here know better than me. I would be happy with the latest Intel board I could buy, with the latest chipset.

                            How much do you wanna spend?
                            • 11. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                              Level 1
                              Thanks for the below parts. I went to new egg and checked out each one.

                              I like to read the negative comments, such as the following about the
                              Intel motherboard (13-127-030 MB ABIT IP35 Pro 775) Any comments on the comment

                              "This board is a nightmare. I built a new system with a new 8800GTS, 4GB Patriot RAM, and 3.0 ghz Intel Core 2 Duo. Had problems all the way (see cons above) including blue screens. Initially thought it might be Windows Vista 64-bit so I tried XP Home. Same/similar problems. I suspected the graphics card and had it RMA'd - no luck. Then I thought perhaps my old 600W power supply was the problem so I got a 700W one. Same problems. I never suspected the motherboard because it seemed to work just fine with my old 6800GS graphics card (and old power supply). Bought a new motherboard with the 650i chipset instead, and magically everything worked 100% perfectly start to finish including dual booting both OS's. Unfortunately, due to the long RMA ship times and processing at newegg and the fact that I thought the video card was the problem, I sent in my motherboard rebate and voided any chance I have of returning this thing to newegg or getting a new replacement. I hate abi"

                              23-126-033 KB&MS LOGITECH|920-000264 RT
                              22-136-131 HD 750G|WD 7K 16M SATA2 WD7500AAKS
                              17-341-011 PSU|S75CF 750W RT
                              14-130-071 VGA EVGA 640-P2-N821-AR 8800GTS R
                              13-127-030 MB ABIT IP35 Pro 775
                              21-103-203 FD 1.44MB|SAMSUG SFD321B/LBL1 %
                              33-315-041 WRLSS LAN EDIMAX|EW-7128G PCI RTL
                              20-148-076 MEM 1Gx2|CRUCIA BL2KIT12864AL804 R
                              19-115-027 CPU INTEL|C2Q Q6700 2.66G 65N 8M R
                              35-186-134 CPUCOOLER|ARCTIC P4|ACFZ7-PRO R
                              22-136-011 HD 150G|WD 10K 16M SATA WD1500AHFD
                              35-185-004 FAN SCYTHE|S-FLEX SFF21D(800rmp) RT
                              11-129-154 CASE ANTEC|P180 SIL RT
                              12-186-012 CABLE SYBA|SD-DVIHDMI-MM-6 RTL
                              27-106-072 DVD BURN LITE-ON|LH-20A1L-06 LS RT
                              Subtotal $2,478.83
                              Tax $0.00
                              Shipping and Handling $51.39
                              Amount Paid $2,530.22
                              • 12. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                Harm Millaard Level 7
                                James, see post #7.
                                • 13. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                  In terms of working times, what kind of performance improvement do two quad Xeons give over one? A direct doubling of performance?
                                  • 14. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7
                                    I'm currently building one with slightly slower CPU's (E5345) and the next one will probably be in around three weeks with X5355's. I'll run Cinebench and post this in the benchmark thread as well as on Bill Gehrke's site with PPBM+ results when the CS3 version is out.

                                    I would not expect a doubling of performance, since there are other bottlenecks that are not doubled, like the FSB, video, hard disks, memory etc. But currently this about the best money can buy and run CS3.
                                    • 15. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                      Level 1
                                      Harm, I'm confused nowadays about just what a Xeon is. I assume the soon to be released Yorkfield QX9650 is not a Xeon, right? I took a look at Wikipedia on this and am still confused (severe "lysdexia" makes my relationship with large bodies of words a bit fiddicult). Assuming there's is a difference between Xeon and "non-Xeon" CPUs, can you thumbnail that for me and explain why I might want to go Xeon...or point me to a concise link that discusses the differences?

                                      Thanks, Michael
                                      • 16. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                        Harm Millaard Level 7
                                        A Xeon is a CPU that comes in different flavors, DP for dual processors and MP for multiple processors. I am talking about the DP version. That allows two physical CPU's to be installed on one mobo. A Qxxxx CPU is still ONE physical CPU. Every CPU may contain multiple cores. The Q version is only possible in a single CPU configuration, but contains 4 cores. A Xeon can be mounted on a mobo with two of them side by side, so when you use quad cores, you effectively end up with 8 cores.
                                        • 17. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                          Level 1
                                          Okay, the DP info clarifies some of it for me. A question remains. If I am definitely not going to use eight cores (still unsure), but just four, is there a meaningful advantage to going with a Xeon chip instead of a non-Xeon at equal clock speeds? Specifically, if I were going to get a QX9650 after it releases on the 12th, overclocked to 3.66GHz, would I be better off with a Xeon alternative?

                                          Hmm...one other thing. Can PShop CS3 use eight cores, or is their advantage only in HD video editing?

                                          Much appreciate the help, Harm.

                                          Michael
                                          • 18. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                            Harm Millaard Level 7
                                            CS3 supports up to 16 cores.

                                            A single Xeon processor can not match a single QX9650, especially overclocked. The raw clock rate of the X5365 is only 3.0 GHz and the mobo X7DAE+ is a professional board, not very tolerant of overclocking. However, the fastest machines in the PPBM+ database are all dual Xeons and that was with CS2, which was not optimized for multicores. I expect with CS3 that the advantage of 8 cores versus an overclocked 4 core to be even larger.
                                            • 19. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                              Level 1
                                              That handles the last of my questions very nicely . . . except now I'm torn between one quad Xeon on a two socket board with the possibility of adding a second later, or assuming I'll never need a second chip and going for the faster single OC'd QX9650. I do hate decisions like that. Well, I have 'til after the 12th to think about it.

                                              Much appreciate your input, Harm!

                                              Michael
                                              • 20. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                Level 1
                                                I have used Supermicro cases and motherboards for years - no problems.
                                                • 21. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                  Level 1
                                                  We're building an new system to run CS3 Production Premium. Does anyone see anything wrong with the below elements from NewEgg:

                                                  Asus P5n Nvidia Nforce 65 SLI system board . . . . $124.99
                                                  Intel Q6600 2.4GHz Quad Processor . . . . . . . . 284.99
                                                  Corsair XMS2 2GB DDR2 Memory . . . . . . . . . . . 98.00
                                                  PNY 8600GT Video card 256 SLI ready . . . . . . . $119.99

                                                  Should the above video card or an Nvidia video card which is SLI-ready? I understand Nvidia has been recommended by several here and SLI is desirable. To use SLI/Nvidia, I am under the understanding one must use the ASUS motherboard, thus I am migrating from an Intel motherboard to the ASUS mostly so I can accomodate the Nvidia video cards with SLI. I will be running 3 monitors on this system, so I will need 2 video cards. Any suggestions?

                                                  Thanks,

                                                  James Jaeger
                                                  • 22. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                    Harm Millaard Level 7
                                                    SLI is great for gamers, not for NLE. Don't install Vista, use XP or double your memory. Check the chipset for compatibility issues using Google or search here.
                                                    • 23. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                      Level 1
                                                      I prefer to have a separate video and sound cards.

                                                      Also, Make sure the mobo has room for two processors and plenty of sata-2 connectors. This way its easier to scale up when you need to.

                                                      There are so many different configurations its hard to tell you what will and will not work. Just stick to the adobe specs (in general) and do as much research or searching for systems that users have identified as successful.

                                                      One good thing to do is to go to certified adobe turnkey system integrator sites like, the Video Guys: http://www.videoguys.com/DIY5updateNAB07.html , and see what kind of systems they are putting together. Some of these sites get pretty detailed about what components they are using.
                                                      • 24. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                        Level 1
                                                        >SLI is great for gamers, not for NLE. Don't install Vista, use XP or double your memory. Check the chipset for compatibility issues using Google or search here.

                                                        Thanks Harm. If SLI isn't in the picture, would you recommend Intel boards over ASUS?

                                                        My understanding is the Nvidia video card is the best video card for NLE and it WILL run on an Intel board in a regular PCI slot.

                                                        James
                                                        • 25. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                          Harm Millaard Level 7
                                                          Both Intel and Asus in general deliver good and reliable mobos, although Asus has taken some reliability hits in the past year. I'm not sure how their QA/QC has improved recently.

                                                          > regular PCI slot.

                                                          Are you really talking about a PCI slot, not about a PCI-e slot or even a PCI-X slot? PCI dates back to before AGP.

                                                          For a new video card I would have a serious look at nVidia 8800 GT, which will appear on the shelves shortly with 512 MB for around $ 240 and outperforms the 640 MB GTS, approaching the much more expensive GTX.
                                                          • 26. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                            Level 1
                                                            Thanks Nelson.

                                                            What motherboard, ASUS or INTEL, and processor do you prefer?

                                                            Can Premiere Pro take advantage of Quad processors yet, or are they a waste of money?

                                                            James
                                                            • 27. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                              Level 1
                                                              >Both Intel and Asus in general deliver good and reliable mobos, although Asus has taken some reliability hits in the past year.
                                                              I'm not sure how their QA/QC has improved recently.

                                                              So maybe it's best to stick with Intel, which is what I have used over the years. I DO like the over-clocking ability of the ASUS boards however. Does this translate into a better editing experience with Premiere?

                                                              >Are you really talking about a PCI slot, not about a PCI-e slot or even a PCI-X slot? PCI dates back to before AGP.

                                                              I don't know. I'm talking about a PCI Express vs a PCI slot, whatever comes with today's motherboards.

                                                              >For a new video card I would have a serious look at nVidia 8800 GT, which will appear on the shelves shortly with 512 MB for around $240 and outperforms the 640 MB GTS, approaching the much more expensive GTX.

                                                              It sounds like a nice card, but since I need to run 3 monitors, need to purchase two video cards. I don't really feel like purchasing two cards costing $240 each. I would like to be closer to the $120 or less range per card.

                                                              James
                                                              • 28. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                                Level 1
                                                                I'd go with what Harm suggested: Supermicro chassis and the Supermicro X7DAE+ mobo and if you have the bucks - two xeon dual or quad processors.

                                                                Although i would check with the supermicro site to make sure the mobo is still current or if there is a newer one. You could also call them. They have good tech. support and can guide you to the right board.

                                                                i "Can Premiere Pro take advantage of Quad processors yet, or are they a waste of money?"

                                                                I believe it can but check the adobe system requirements page.
                                                                • 29. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                                  Harm Millaard Level 7
                                                                  James,

                                                                  CS3 can use up to 16 cores. Overclocking is a dubious proposition IMO, since you need to plan for a good power supply and good cooling. Often this is where problems occur. If your case can accomodate a proper CPU cooler (Thermaltake Ultra 120 Extreme for instance) and a couple of 120 mm Scythe S-FLEX fans and you invest in a proper power supply, there should not be any difficulty in overclocking a bit, but my preference would be to use a dual socket mobo with 2 quad core chips.
                                                                  • 30. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                                    Level 1
                                                                    Harm is correct about the PS. My supermicro system has a triple redundent 600 or 700 watt PS. I can't remember. And 600 watts should be your minimum especially if your going to put multiple drives in the case like i have.

                                                                    I have the following drives in the case:
                                                                    1 - system sata2
                                                                    1 - cache sata2
                                                                    2 - storage raid 0 sata2 (2x500)
                                                                    4 - a/v raid 0 u320 scsi (4x75)

                                                                    The case has 3 fans behind the drive bays, 2 cpu fans and 1 case fan in the back.
                                                                    • 31. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                                      Level 1
                                                                      >For a new video card I would have a serious look at nVidia 8800 GT, which will appear on the shelves shortly with 512 MB for around $ 240 and outperforms the 640 MB GTS, approaching the much more expensive GTX.

                                                                      Will this video, the 8800 GT improve video RENDERING times?

                                                                      James
                                                                      • 32. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                                        Harm Millaard Level 7
                                                                        Rendering is a CPU dependent task, not a GPU task. So, in short, the answer is NO. It will improve previews in performance however.
                                                                        • 33. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                                          Level 1
                                                                          Thanks Harm.

                                                                          JAmes
                                                                          • 34. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                                            Level 1
                                                                            I've never seen a motherboard that has space for 2 chips. Does ASUS make such a motherboard ? and can you put in non-xeon chips ?

                                                                            Dave

                                                                            Harm Millaard - 2:58pm Nov 6, 07 PST (#29 of 33)

                                                                            James,

                                                                            CS3 can use up to 16 cores. Overclocking is a dubious proposition IMO, since you need to plan for a good power supply and good cooling. Often this is where problems occur. If your case can accomodate a proper CPU cooler (Thermaltake Ultra 120 Extreme for instance) and a couple of 120 mm Scythe S-FLEX fans and you invest in a proper power supply, there should not be any difficulty in overclocking a bit, but my preference would be to use a dual socket mobo with 2 quad core chips.
                                                                            • 35. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                                              Harm Millaard Level 7
                                                                              Dual socket mobo's are based on the 771 socket for Intel Xeon CPU's. Asus has some in their product line, but Intel, Tyan and (my preference) Supermicro are well known for their dual socket boards. If I were to buy one now, it would be the Supermicro X7DWA-N.

                                                                              For AMD there are also dual or even quad CPU mobo's, but I don't know the specifics for them.
                                                                              • 36. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                                                Level 1
                                                                                Hello Harm,

                                                                                This is a very interesting prospect. I have never thought of going with a 2-chip new system for my editing suite.

                                                                                If the motherboard is not that much more expensive than a single cpu chip motherboard, and if you chose a quad core, around the $300 range, this would not break the bank for me.

                                                                                I'm very interested in this. Do you or anyone here use this type of system ? and will adding in a 2nd cpu chip to the mix really speed up the rendering of any video you rendering out ?

                                                                                For example, let's say a 30 min segment of hdv took a single quad core system 5 hours to render,,, would a dual-cpu system take 2-1/2 hours to render ? ,, or does it not work this way in reality ?

                                                                                Thank you,

                                                                                Dave.
                                                                                • 37. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                                                  Level 1
                                                                                  I checked into the board that Harm suggested : Supermicro X7DWA-N
                                                                                  which is a different model than the one he suggested back in November, so at this point I'm guessing this is a new model ?

                                                                                  Price is pretty steep for this model, sit down before checking into it.

                                                                                  The BIG question still remains,,, will 2 Xeon cpu chips outperform a single cpu chip setup by 2x ?

                                                                                  That's really the question. I don't even understand how a dual cpu setup even works, that would also be something interesting to learn about.

                                                                                  Dave.
                                                                                  • 38. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                                                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                                                    The performance improvements rarely equate to a 1:1 boost. Maybe expect a 70% improvement or so.
                                                                                    • 39. Re: The "Perfect" System for CS3?
                                                                                      Harm Millaard Level 7
                                                                                      Dave,

                                                                                      You are correct that in November I suggested the X7DAE+, which has now been replaced by the X7DWA-N, which supports the latest Harpertown CPU's with a 1600 FSB, has on-board 1394 connectors, the Seaburg chipset, etc. Even though I did not mention it in this thread, but in numerous others, I have been a strong advocate of the Areca ARC 12x1ML raid controllers, but may reconsider in favor of the new Adaptec series 5 controllers, specifically the 51245 model, due out this month with the IOP348 chipset. That may be even more powerful than the Areca line. We will have to await the first benchmarks.

                                                                                      Doubling CPU's does not double performance, which is also dependent on RAM, disks, FSB, GPU, etc. I agree with Jim, 70% increase in performance seems reasonable.