1 2 Previous Next 48 Replies Latest reply on Jul 8, 2009 5:37 AM by Harm Millaard

    Help me decide!

    Mr_fps

      Great forum... a good read around and here I am posting my first and asking for help...suggestions. I am embarking on a new build to be heavily used for video editing, lots of AE, PS CS4, and all in HD. The options are high end and are as follow:

       

      OPTION A: Intel Single Quad Processor Workstation (heavily overclocked) ~ $5,000

      ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 (or the new ASUS P6T7 WS Supercomputer ?)
      CPU i7 975 Extreme Edition
      RAM 12G DDR3

      3ware or Areca raid card

      OS HDD x 2 (cheetah sas 15k) striping
      BD burner
      DVD drive
      Video Card Quadro FX 580

      [existing external G-RAID striping eSATA drive for project files]

      [exisiting external RAID6 stack for storage]

       

      OPTION B: Intel Dual Quad Processor Workstation (stock speed or lightly overclocked) ~ $8,000

      ASUS P6T Deluxe V2

      ASUS Z8PE-D12X Motherboard
      CPU Xeon 5580 x 2

      RAM 24G DDR3

      3ware or Areca raid card

      OS HDD x 2 (cheetah sas 15k) striping
      BD burner
      DVD drive
      Video Card Quadro FX 580

      [existing external G-RAID striping eSATA drive for project files]

      [exisiting external RAID6 stack for storage]

       

      I am quite uncertain about any additional graphics card or outboard box that can assist in any sort of hardware acceleration. In the end I am asking for your input and experience.

       

      Thank you.

      Mr_fps

        • 1. Re: Help me decide!
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          3Ware or Areca raid controller. i7-975 is a waste of money, an i7-920 OC'ed to 3.6 or 3.8 GHz may be the more attractive one.

           

          On both systems, why an Areca controller and only two striped disks? You may need much more storage to benefit from the speed of the system. Look carefully at my configuration, mentioned in these guides, maybe you can get an idea from my setup.

           

          How to get the best from a PC? Some guides...

          • 2. Re: Help me decide!
            Powered by Design Level 4

            ASUS P6T Deluxe V2

             

            I think they got rid of the SAS on V2 of that board, V1 has it.

            • 3. Re: Help me decide!
              Jim_Simon Level 8
              OS HDD x 2 (cheetah sas 15k) striping

               

              Lose that.  It's drastic overkill for a System drive and dangerous to boot.  You only want to stripe drives you can afford to lose data from.  (Media drives for example, where you could recapture everything in the event of a drive failure.)

               

              [existing external G-RAID striping eSATA drive for project files]

               

              Lose that also.  If one disk goes down, you lose everything on both.  Bad way to work with project files.  If you want a RAID here, make it 1, 3 or 5.

               

              Other than those two modifications, both systems will absolutely scream (at least compared to what I have).

              • 4. Re: Help me decide!
                Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                I hope that your Quadro FX card choice is better than the lousy results I had with the Quadro FX1700.  I downloaded at the latest driver at the time I installed it in my Supermicro X7DWA-N board and on my disk intensive Premiere Pro benchmark it doubled the time.  Some of the newer graphics cards are also know to monoplize the PCIe bus and not allow other devices to have good access.  My disk array is on an Areca controller--on the PCIe bus.  Needless to say I removed the Quadro FX1700 and reinstalled my nVidia 8800GT board.

                 

                I have a SAS array of five 15,000 rpm drives with a single VelociRaptor OS/applications drive (plus many other drives)   I would not do the SAS array again it is not cost effective.  If I were to build a new system I would do like Harm and have a few more SATA drives to provide the same performance with redundancy.  If you go with striping on the OS/Applications drive you have less chance of recovery because most recovery tools will not work the arrays.  Your OS/Applications disk is not the prime bottleneck in editing, it is your project disks

                • 5. Re: Help me decide!
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  Bill,

                   

                  If I were to build a new system I would do like Harm and have a few more SATA drives to provide the same performance with redundancy.

                   

                  I already have 17 drives internally, 1 Velociraptor for OS and 16 x 1 TB for storage in various configurations. You would like to have a few more SATA drives??? Now you are making me curious. Maybe it is time to get some external 19" rack cages in that case.

                   

                  On a different subject but related, have you seen the HD Tune performance on my raid30:

                   

                  HDTune_Benchmark_Areca___ARC-1680-VOL#000.png

                   

                  The most striking thing is absolutely no performance degradation at the array fills up.

                   

                  To the OP: Choose your disk setup carefully, it may give you the extra edge in performance.

                  Do not go for the CPU with the highest clock rate, but choose the one below that and spend the money saved on a better disk setup.

                  • 6. Re: Help me decide!
                    Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                    Harm, of course I did not mean that you need more drives!  I was just making a performance/cost comparison of for instance my 5 drive SAS array could be replace by probabley with 8 much larger SATA drives at much less total cost and much, much less cost per Gigabyte.

                    • 7. Re: Help me decide!
                      Mr_fps Level 1

                      Great guide Harm!

                       

                      I completely agree with the value of having a good disk setup, but I am not sure I can let go of the serious advantage the i7 975 will give my work. Let me explain. I am going to spend money in getting the right disk configuration, but no matter how redundant and/or how fast the scratch/media arrays can get, one has to be careful that the bottleneck does not become the cpu, memory, and anuthing affecting the overall tune up like tempretures etc. Ithe 975 is way superior to the 920 in that it actually has (1) much higher QPI of 6.4 GT/s (2) supports DDR3 2000 (3) unlocked multiplier hence greater felixibilty (4) base stock speed of 3.33GHz (5) easily overclocked to 4.5-5.5 without really temperature problems according to tests so far. It costs but it is great engine power. It will give me the edge when rendering or transcoding etc.

                       

                       

                      On the hard drive configuration I want to go with the ARC-1680iX-12 (the 2G version) as you have pointed out in the forum also. I will report back later. Thank you!

                      • 8. Re: Help me decide!
                        Mr_fps Level 1

                        Bill,

                         

                        I agree with you, namely that the graphic card hardware have not really matured to work as real hardware accelerators yet. Hence I go for the base model.

                        • 9. Re: Help me decide!
                          Mr_fps Level 1

                          Harm - One question with your setup... What case are these 17 drives in? Does heat ever concern you?

                           

                          Any how let me share with my plan for drive configuration:

                           

                          OS: 500GB Western Digital RE3 (off the motherboard)

                           

                          On Areca ARC-1680iX-12:

                          Media (working drive): 4 x 500GB Western Digital RE3 all in RAID 0

                          Storage: 4 x 1TB Western Digital RE3 in RAID 5

                           

                          My exisiting 1.5TB Seagate can do daily image backups of the OS and the working drive

                           

                          All work and projects are saved on the RAID 5

                           

                          I do not think anyone has to care about page file if they have enough memory.

                          • 10. Re: Help me decide!
                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                            You have nicely summed up the advantages of the i7-975 over the i7-920 and you are correct in every aspect. Well, maybe 5 GHz OC is somewhat optimistic on air cooling (just a guess from my side), but 4+ should definitely be quite doable. What nobody can decide for you is whether the price differential is worth the extra performance. If you go that route, please consider carefully the PSU requirements, as OC'ing will increase requirements quite significantly. A link to a good PSU calculator is in the PC buying guide. Your system B, with two W5580's would be the best money can buy at this moment IMO.

                             

                            When you have decided and built your system, I look forward to seeing your PassMark results. Good luck.

                            • 11. Re: Help me decide!
                              Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                              I have one question on your disk configuration.  Why go with the 500 GB WD for your OS when the 300 GB VelociRaptor is so much faster?

                               

                              For your mechanical configuration take a look at the Supermicro CSE mobile racks.  They are a nice way to do your archiving, five removable drives in three half height slots. Or for a whole case solution they have a new quiet 743 series that has 8 removable drives plus room for two internal drives and it has a noise spec of 28 dB!  It has an 865 watt high efficiency power supply.

                              • 12. Re: Help me decide!
                                Mr_fps Level 1

                                Bill thanks for the tip on Supermicro. I am really scratching my head to find the right case. Originally I was thinking about COOLER MASTER ATCS 840 and now with the number of drives I am looking at something like LIAN LI PC-A7110B.

                                 

                                On the OS drive note I guess from my experience if you are focusing on video editing and like applications the boot drive or the drive that you launch the applications from does not make anything faster other than the initial launch itself. Once the program is loaded into memory everything else weighs upon your memory, cpu, and the speed of the media drive.I was going to use a raid again but I dropped it. What matters most is the media and/or your working drive, hence my 4 HDD RAID 0. I have used raptors all the time even in RAID OS setups. I must also mention, that a faster OS drive will also increase the cold boot time, but again when you are dealing with a Workstation you got RAID cards that initialize and all sorts of things that you don't really care if it takes an extra 1 minute to boot up. What you want to make sure is that when the system is up and running it runs fast, it can handle several streams of HD layers, etc. etc.

                                 

                                Again, all based on empirical experience and don't have numbers to back it up! Look at my initial config. Its so easy to get trapped in the illusion of the rocket speed OS drive setup, pagefile setup, etc. The 7,200 rpm SATA drives they build nowadays are pretty fast.

                                 

                                The other factor that many miss is also the fact that there is no one prescription for the media array. I am talking now about how fast that RAID 0 needs to be. I work out the PC backwards from the camera, not the other way around. i.e. First figure out what file formats you will end up working with -> camera saves the files in specific HD formats -> what is the highest rate (the more uncompressed the bigger interms of "A" MB/s) -> "Number" of simultaneous layers of "A" MB/s you will be editing at one time -> Here you get "Number" times "A" - > You have just defined what is refered to as required disk transfer rate -> based on these MB/s -> define RAID array throughput. this can range from a single drive to my 4 x HDD to 10 x SAS.

                                 

                                I hope this explains things further, but then again I am still learning things, because every year I come back for an upgrade stuff has changed!!!

                                • 13. Re: Help me decide!
                                  Ulf Laursen Level 1

                                  Hi Harm

                                   

                                  Can I ask, what kind of case and PSU du you have for all theese drives internally?

                                   

                                  Thanks.

                                   

                                  /Ulf

                                  • 14. Re: Help me decide!
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                    It is all documented in the picture below:

                                     

                                    PCResults.jpg

                                    • 15. Re: Help me decide!
                                      Ulf Laursen Level 1

                                      Thanks Harm.

                                       

                                      /Ulf

                                      • 16. Re: Help me decide!
                                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                                        I'm sorry I overlooked your question, or assumed you did see my setup when reading the PC buying Guide, since at the bottom there is a link to the picture detailing my system, including PSU and CPU cooler.

                                         

                                        Anyway, it is a Lian Li PC-A77B case, currently populated with 17 internal disks and 2 BR burners with room for one more disk if I need it. If I exchange some drive cages for the Supermicro cages Bill pointed you to, I may even be able to add a further 2 disks, bringing the total to 20 max. internally.

                                         

                                        A further remark, after hitting the "Return to original post" link at the bottom of this thread, I saw your selected mobo for system B and noticed something I missed earlier. I suggest to have a look at the Supermicro X8DT series motherboards. For workstation/server type eATX mobo's (dual Xeon Nehalem's, like the W5580) my favorite is clearly Supermicro.

                                        • 17. Re: Help me decide!
                                          Xoomtell Level 1

                                          Hi Harm

                                           

                                          What a rig you´ve got there! As you might have noticed elsewhere I have followed your advice and ordered the i920. I see you OC it - I have only bad experiences in OC my old Q6700 despite a lot of folks writes it is possible - even with the stock cooler. My system crashed all the time after just a little OC, but i920 seems to be easy and stable to OC? What must I take care of if I want to OC the i920 but still have a stable production rig for PPro CS4? I want a system that does not make to much noise either - because I record sounds as well. I have ordered the Scythe Muggen 2 cooler: http://www.xsreviews.co.uk/reviews/cpu-coolers/scythe-mugen-2/ as well.

                                           

                                           

                                          • 18. Re: Help me decide!
                                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                                            I saw your post and the savings you realised. That is great.

                                             

                                            On my system, Asus P6T-WS Pro, I set my BCLK to 172 and my PCIe bus to 110 for my standard use in the BIOS. This results in a CPU clock rate of 3612 MHz. I leave all the voltages at auto. This is great for all my everyday use. No problems whatsoever. In addition I have overclocked my video card, an ATI HD4870 to 800 MHz GPU and memory to 1020 MHz. This gives me a PassMark rating of 4014 with this 'run-of-the-mill' system.

                                             

                                            This is very stable, even when running long encodings, extensive benchmark testings (these can be taxing) or running PRIME95. And the temperatures in the case remain at very acceptable levels. I haven't had a single problem at a clock speed of 3.612 GHz.

                                             

                                            I haven't yet encountered the NEED to overclock more, but I tried it at various levels.

                                             

                                            Setting 183 BCLK and 120 for the PCIe results in a CPU clock rate of 3843 MHz, but then I increase the DDR voltage to 1.60V instead of auto. These settings allow me to work for several days, but then I may encounter an anomaly that requires a reboot or that results in a spontaneous reboot. It is always difficult to pinpoint the culprit, but usually this is the video card that is overtaxed.

                                             

                                            When I set the BCLK to 202 with PCIe to 120 and increase DDR voltage to 1.65 that is around the maximum I get relatively stable performance. This means a CPU clock rate of 4239 MHz. For video editing I get completely normal stability, but when taxing the system heavily with benchmarks or PRIME95, I get instability, much higher voltage on all components, again usually caused by the video card. With these settings I get a PassMark score of 4733.8 which I think is extraordinary.

                                             

                                            If you limit yourself to around 3.6 to 3.8 GHz for a i7-920 with good cooling, you should be very stable and gain quite a lot in performance.

                                            • 19. Re: Help me decide!
                                              Xoomtell Level 1

                                              Thx Harm. That was very informative. I´ll try a bit of OC when I get my new PC.

                                              Don´t you think that I (with the i920 and the GTX 260, 12 GB 1333 ram and 2 X 1,5 Seagate 7200 rpm disks) will be editting my AVCHD files (.264, 720P 50) smoothly? Also with some transitions and effects turned on?

                                               

                                               

                                              • 20. Re: Help me decide!
                                                Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                I have never edited AVCHD material, so it is difficult to give a well-founded answer. If anything about your new system is to be criticized, it is the number (and possibly brand) of disks. Let me try to explain.

                                                 

                                                I use a NAS with 7 x 1.5 TB Seagate disks and it has been a continuous disaster. Nearly every day one of the disks showed problems, ultimately resulting in exchanging 5 out of the 7 disks to finally get it working reliably. That took two returns to the supplier, extensive testing and much delays. It has been corrected and the NAS now works fine, but a failure rate of 5 out of 7 is not good IMO.

                                                 

                                                With my 16 Samsung Spinpoint F1's I had to exchange 1 disk because of a failure and I am suspicious about another disk, but even then the failure rate is better than with Seagates.

                                                 

                                                Disks are cheap today. The more disks you have access to at the same time, the better for performance. With AVCHD, PR will continually be busy with decoding that signal, which is heavily compressed by nature, and needs to store it somewhere in temporary files. Of course the bulk of the work is decoding, which is CPU intensive, but the results of all the decoding needs to be stored somewhere. It may be wise to get a couple of extra disks in your new system.

                                                • 21. Re: Help me decide!
                                                  Ulf Laursen Level 1

                                                  Thanks Harm for all this very usefull info.

                                                   

                                                  Have read your other thread about storage as well, and I am going to do some changing on one of my systems according to your advice.

                                                   

                                                  Sure a nice rig you got :-)

                                                   

                                                  /Ulf

                                                  • 22. Re: Help me decide!
                                                    Mr_fps Level 1

                                                    Harm - Thanks again. On the Motherboard, Supermicro does not allow for overclock, but Asus does. Not expecting much overclock from a dual Xeon system really though. I am wondering if I should just stay with the 975 now? Let's say if I did go with the Xeon, should I go with 6GB per CPU making the the total memory 24GB? the other difference between option A and B is in A I can get DDR3 2000 but in B the best I can do is DDR3 1333. I guess more stability comes with a price.

                                                    • 23. Re: Help me decide!
                                                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                      Back in the past, when the financial crisis had not hit us and my budget had not yet been limited, my personal intention was to go for a dual E5472, which at that moment in time was the top performer. Then the financial crisis hit us and by consequence, my budget.

                                                       

                                                      Then the new situation hit me, as it did numerous other people and to put it plainly, my budget just did not allow me the extravagance of dual E5472's. So what do you do? I opted for a sub-optimal solution, performance wise, but budget-wise a far better solution and decided for the i7-920 but overclocked. Till now I have not been sorry for this decision. It runs quite good and stable.

                                                       

                                                      When I was condering a dual E5472, or as the situation is now, a dual W5580, I would not mind foregoing OC since the system is fast enough as it is. However, when I have to downgrade to a simple i7-920 for budgettary reasons, which is so easilty overclocked, I did use that measure to achieve around similar performance as the much more expensive alternative I had.

                                                       

                                                      As an example. if you look at the PassMark results as of today, my OC-ed system is still ranked number 3, with a score of 4733.8 and my normal (3.6 GHz) score, which is not listed because of other results, is at 4014, which is around the same as a dual W5580 system with a score of 4016. These results lead me to believe (biased as I may be) that my budget driven decision was not bad at all.

                                                      • 24. Re: Help me decide!
                                                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                        The fundamental difference in memory between option A and B is that option A is DDR3, whereas option B is FBDIMM DDR3 ECC.

                                                        As I said in the PC Buying Guide it is often better to get as much memory as you can, instead of the fastest you can get. Now, we are coming from a situation where 2 or 4 GB where the usual amounts of memory, just lately are we expanding that to 6, 8, 12 or more, as more people are starting to use a 64 bit OS.

                                                         

                                                        In your case I just don't know what to advise. For most of us, 12 GB would be the right amount. But if you use 3D applications (Maya, Vue, Autodesk and the like), are into multi-tasking, a heavy user of DL then maybe 24 GB is your right choice. Another complication comes into the picture. If you opt for a 12 slot memory mobo, you have to check what effect it will have if you only populate 6 slots to start with (12 GB= 6 x 2 GB). I haven't looked into that yet. OTOH, memory is rather cheap today (possibly with the exception of DDR3 FBDIMM with ECC) so getting 12 sticks of 2 GB each may be a good solution.

                                                         

                                                        As I tried to explain in the PC Buying Guide, IMO it is as waste of money to go for faster memory than your FSB allows. DDR3-16000 is way more expensive than DDR3-10500, may not utilize the higher clock frequency and it not by definition faster than the slower rated memory. Look at the clock ratings at normal FSB speed. CAS is the major issue, but don't neglect the other timings as well. I prefer DDR3-10500 @ 6-6-6-18 timings over anything DD3-16000 with 9-9-9-27 timings.

                                                         

                                                        Hope this helps.

                                                        • 25. Re: Help me decide!
                                                          Mr_fps Level 1

                                                          I am starting to feel that the dual Xeon is not going to change much and I might be disappointed after a huge investment. Why? Beacuse the more I look into this it is showing me that not all applications really take advantage of the dual cpu setup. I know about having affinity assigned tasks, but apps should take advantage of the user's hardware "automatically" and efficiently.

                                                           

                                                          My gut feel: Wait another year until video editing and graphics applications mature to a state that a dual cpu configurations are ptoperly utilized. The same applies to the graphic cards as there is too much hype about this as well.

                                                          • 26. Re: Help me decide!
                                                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                            The continuous dilemma, should I wait or buy now?

                                                             

                                                            Nobody can answer that but you. Just realize that waiting implies you have to use your current setup until you buy, which may no longer be very fast or efficient. You likely lose some productivity now, but OTOH by waiting you may get a better price/performance by dropping prices or technological improvements.

                                                             

                                                            Not everybody is in the lucky situation that the current setup dies and you have no choice but to buy now.

                                                            • 27. Re: Help me decide!
                                                              Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                                              Mr_fps wrote:


                                                               

                                                              "My gut feel: Wait another year until video editing and graphics applications mature to a state that a dual cpu configurations are ptoperly utilized. The same applies to the graphic cards as there is too much hype about this as well."

                                                              Has anyone seen any application ever really mature?  By then versions change and there are new bugs and problems.  I personally would never wait another year unless I was fairly satisfied (equipment probably less than two years old) with status quo!  Go with something likes Harm's great suggestion and be happy during the next year.  I have waited a few times for a few months but that is the limit of my patience.

                                                              • 28. Re: Help me decide!
                                                                Mr_fps Level 1

                                                                Update on the CS4 Video Editing System.

                                                                 

                                                                After reading everyones advice and scratching the head I finally pulled the trigger. I went for single CPU system as it would best suit my extreme performance and productivity expectations. Over here in Canada Father's Day sales were happening so here is what I ordered:

                                                                 

                                                                CASE: LIAN LI PC-A77B
                                                                HOT SWAP ENCLOSURE: 3 x SUPERMICRO CSE-M35T-1B
                                                                FAN: 3 x Noctua NF-B9-1600 to replace the fans inside the CSE-M35T
                                                                POWER SUPPLY: Corsair HX1000W CMPSU-1000HX
                                                                MOTHERBOARD: ASUS P6T7 WS Supercomputer
                                                                CPU: Intel Core i7 Extreme 975
                                                                HSF: Noctua NH-U12P SE1366
                                                                MEMORY: Mushkin Redline DDR3-1600 CL6-7-6-18 998691
                                                                RAID CARD: areca ARC-1680IX-12-2G + areca ARC-6120 Battery Module

                                                                HDD: 300GB Velociraptor (OS)
                                                                HDD: 13 x Caviar Black 1 TB (MEDIA 12 on raid array + 1 hot spare)
                                                                HDD: 1 x Caviar Black 1 TB (RENDER BIN)
                                                                HDD: 2 x Caviar Black 1 TB (STORAGE on raid 1)
                                                                VIDEO: PNY  Quadro FX1800
                                                                EXTERNAL DVD: LITE-ON DX-20A4H-16-B
                                                                misc: 2 x Scythe 120mm 3000 rpm fans (just in case the case needs a boost on air intake) + 8087 fanout cables

                                                                I am planning to put the three hot swap cages in the front, but leaving one 120mm fan in tact for air intake.

                                                                 

                                                                This stuff will be arriving next week after which I'll be updating on the progress!

                                                                • 29. Re: Help me decide!
                                                                  Ulf Laursen Level 1

                                                                  Congrats! Sure looks like it will be a nasty beast :-) - how much did have to pay for this over there?

                                                                   

                                                                  /Ulf

                                                                  • 30. Re: Help me decide!
                                                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                                    Copycat.

                                                                     

                                                                    I should not complain, since this is about the same as my configuration. GREAT. Let us know if you have any difficulties (I hope not) and what your PassMark and Cinebench R10 scores are. Have you decided on the raid configuration yet?

                                                                     

                                                                    Congrats.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Help me decide!
                                                                      Mr_fps Level 1

                                                                      The bill for the parts came to about $7,500 CDN including taxes, shipping, etc. (~ $6,500 USD) but I had made that decision before and this time I did not want to cut any corners and get top components (I have made that mistake and you always end up paying for it). I had also received a few quotes from brand names which were much higher (for much less than my configuration). I got 15 hot swap trays, workstation grade components with a CPU and a motherboard that can easily go to 4.2 (may be even more). So, I am happy with the route I took

                                                                      • 32. Re: Help me decide!
                                                                        Powered by Design Level 4

                                                                        Once you get all the items gather them up and take some build pictures.

                                                                         

                                                                        Maybe even video it.

                                                                         

                                                                        I love seeing a good build go together.

                                                                         

                                                                        You could even use time remapping and speed it up.

                                                                         

                                                                        Make it fun.

                                                                         

                                                                        Enjoy:  Glenn

                                                                        • 33. Re: Help me decide!
                                                                          Mr_fps Level 1

                                                                          Yes indeed Harm... I should tell you that after researching for a case and for the raid card that would accommodate my components and perform top notch, the A77 was the only one that could do that. The Areca won the battle over Adaptec in the end as well. Much credit goes to you as did your homework well before buying, and goes without saying that your guidance is by all means appreciated My workflow requires such setup same as yours! A big and fast media drive, a good OS drive, a place to write the renders, and a storage container to store finished material. (although I don't really see a need to do any fancy footwork for windows page file these days)

                                                                           

                                                                          As for the raid goes (I knew you would ask), I am thinking about it until the components arrive:

                                                                          1) Raid 30 looks great

                                                                          2) Raid 5 is still there (my future plans are to build a storage server to back everything up so speed trumps fault tolerance)

                                                                          3) Raid 10 (if I become paranoid until my components arrive)

                                                                           

                                                                          Stand by (ground shipping).I will update soon again.

                                                                          • 34. Re: Help me decide!
                                                                            Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                                                            What you want to do is benchmark the disk array on your new "beast" and make sure that the FX1800 does not do what the FX1700 did to my system.  It slowed disk intensive operations down terribly on my Areca controller.  I moved back to my 8800GT and regained significant performance.  Apparently the FX1700 hogged the bandwidth of the PCIe bus.  I am not home now so I cannot give you the driver version number that I used, I did post it previously.

                                                                            • 35. Re: Help me decide!
                                                                              Mr_fps Level 1

                                                                              Bill - Last night after much debate and "controversy" I decided to cancel the Quadro FX 1800. There are other cards that utilize the so called CUDA and also within CS4 that are not a Quadro card. It is just too premature.

                                                                               

                                                                              I ordered the GTX 275 (great card + also pocketed a few Dollars).

                                                                              • 36. Re: Help me decide!
                                                                                Jim_Simon Level 8

                                                                                There are other cards that utilize the so called CUDA and also within CS4

                                                                                 

                                                                                My understanding is that a special driver is required to enable CUDA, and that driver only comes with the $2,000 Quadro CX.  While other nVidia cards do have CUDA capabilities, there's no way to access that capability without that driver.  And you can't get the driver without buying the CX.

                                                                                • 37. Re: Help me decide!
                                                                                  Mr_fps Level 1

                                                                                  JSS1138 wrote:

                                                                                   

                                                                                   

                                                                                  My understanding is that a special driver is required to enable CUDA, and that driver only comes with the $2,000 Quadro CX.  While other nVidia cards do have CUDA capabilities, there's no way to access that capability without that driver.  And you can't get the driver without buying the CX.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Not quite... have a look here:

                                                                                   

                                                                                  http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_learn_products.html

                                                                                  • 38. Re: Help me decide!
                                                                                    Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                                                                    JSS1138 wrote:

                                                                                     

                                                                                    There are other cards that utilize the so called CUDA and also within CS4

                                                                                     

                                                                                    My understanding is that a special driver is required to enable CUDA, and that driver only comes with the $2,000 Quadro CX.  While other nVidia cards do have CUDA capabilities, there's no way to access that capability without that driver.  And you can't get the driver without buying the CX.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Jim is right, but his statement should really say, "My understanding is that a special driver is required is required for Premiere Pro CS4 to fully enable CUDA.  I suspect that if someone had the resouces to benchmark Premiere Pro with the CX versus the new i7, especially a pair of Xeon i7's that it would turn out that the new CPU power that is now available for much less than $2000 would blow the CX out of existance.  You will notice that the only benchmarking of the CX was and is against old CPU products.  I would actually guess that Harm's overclocked 4-core system would beat a CX system

                                                                                     

                                                                                    I think that you will be very happy with your decision to drop the Quadro

                                                                                    • 39. Re: Help me decide!
                                                                                      Jim_Simon Level 8

                                                                                      his statement should really say, "My understanding is that a special driver is required is required for Premiere Pro CS4 to fully enable CUDA.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Sorry.  That is what I meant.  I assumed that would be taken for granted since we're in the Premiere forum.  I know other Adobe apps also make use of CUDA, but for Premiere, you need the CX.

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