20 Replies Latest reply on Mar 12, 2010 9:23 AM by Bill Gehrke

    Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4

    BrownChiLD03 Level 1

      Hi guys

       


      I was tasked to put together the best machine (machines) for video editing / rendering .. money is not an issue.

       

       

       

      My client is a TV broadcasting network and they do lots of videos everyday .. They want to render their work as FAST as possible because sometimes they have tight deadlines and rendering and re rendering (if there are mistakes) has cost them .. so now they're serious about getting the best technology to achieve best rendering time possible, but in a bit of practical sense of course.. i mean there's no sense spending 1000USD or more for a piece of technology that offers under 10 second faster rendering only ..

       


      What they do and want

       

      - edit/put together/ sequence lots of videos constantly, under premiere cs3 (will upgrade to cs4 on the new machine)

       

      - use affter effects for some effects and 3D stuffs.. but not that much.. but increasingly as time goes by and their video editors get more affter effects training..

       

      - needs really really fast rendering!! Right now it takes them typically 1-2 hours to render stuffs, and what to cut this time by half or more..

       

       

       

      Existing Setups on work stations:

       

      Intel QuadCore (Q6600, i7, Q9550, Xeon x3220, and the likes)

       

      4GB RAM DDR2 1066mhz

       

      Highend motherboards

       

      GeForce 9500GT , 9800GT, and GTX 260 216sp

       

      GSKILL Falcon 64GB SSD Drive as primary

       

      1TB Western Digital BLACK edition drives for storage

       


      Software:

       

      Windows XP 32 bit

       

      Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 (80% of all their work done here)

       

      AE CS3

       

      etc..

       

      Running NOD32 Antivirus

       

       

       


      I am an somewhat of an expert in Hardware and stuff, i build custom PC's machines most of my life but i have limiited knowledge on optimizing hardware for VIDEO EDITING stuffs.. so i turn to you all.

       


      I do understand that w/ video editing CPU is the most important, followed by RAM, and ofcourse by HDD for disc caches and stuff.. and where videocard may come to an advantage as well. and normally i'd suggest the fastest components available . i7 , extreme processors, skulltrail dual quad setups perhaps? RAID 0 SSD Drive? etc.. but I do not know w/c gives the most advantage, and w/c is a waste of money..

       


      I also read about quadro cards offering really big performance improvements using CUDA tech etc..

       


      again im not the expert at this type of requirment.. so i need your advises..

       


      with unlimitted PRACTICAL budget given to me to come up w/ a solution I initially thought a rendering farm would be the solution, but upon reading around it seems there's no rendering farm solution for PP CS4.. just the adobe after effects part.. so i had to go back to the drawing board and suggest really powerful work stations instead..and perhaps have them migrate to 64bit OS for that "extra" performance.. i myself am on win7 64bit and it's looking mighty good.

       


      1) is this the right move?

       

      2) is it still worth it to put together rendering farm for AE renders only? or might as well concentrate funds on the machines/workstations?

       


      Also along the PRACTICALITY LINE, would it be practical to maintain all the existing machines, and instead build a manned RENDERING MACHINE w/ PP and AE (basically desktop or Server if they are faster at rendering w/ the best specs for the purpose etc) where they can just throw the workload to some guy there for rendering? Atleast the editors can continue using the workstations while the rendering machine guy is at work? and even perhaps setup a gigabit lan network where the RENDERING MACHINES can dynamically pull the work load via the network , not needing to transfer the files to the rendering machine first ? etc

       


      as you can see im not only looking for the best machine, but the best STRATEGY for my client.

       


      Good suggestions would be much appreciated.

       

       

       

      regards to all

        • 1. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          First have a look here: How to get the best from a PC? Some guides...

           

          This obviously is geared to single workstation solutions. As you rightly mention, PR has no render-farm capability. I have submitted requests for that for years, but still no dice. It must be low on their priority list, although with AME it should not be too difficult to achieve. Maybe CS5 or 6 or 7 will finally bring that capability. In the meantime, you could DL the hard parts of PR to AE and use the AE renderfarm capability of AE. But if that is feasible, I suggest you use teamed NIC's to increase your network speed to 2 Gb. Fibre is cost prohibitive.

           

          I would definitely only use Win7 64 for OS and I would equip all workstations with hot swappable bays. That way you can use a single disk for one project, take out the disk and bring it to the render guy on a dedicated workstation for rendering only, while the editors can go on to the next project.

          • 2. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
            BrownChiLD03 Level 1

            Hi Harm

             

            I must say w/ your short post you answered a lot for me It's good to know i have a sort of good handle on things .. im just driving through it w/ my existing knowledge of PC stuffs and good old common sense hehe

             

            I've also have had a good read on your other posts.

             

            I am baffled however that SOny Vegas has had rendering farm support for years while PP still refuses to budge.. i guess they concentrated their efforts on CUDA support.. geared towards individuals and small creative media outfits...

             

            About using teamed NIC for 2GB Network BW on FARM RENDERING or DEDICATED RENDERING unit Strategy

            - so 1GB LAN is not sufficient/bottleneck? did you mean this for realtime over the network rendering? (render station working on files over the network) ..

             

            Coz we may just go old school on this if ever we take the DEDICATED RENDERING unit way, throw the resources required onto the master unit over the network, and open it from there.

             

             

            I'd like to re-open the topic of using CUDA/Quadro CX technology, in your articles you mentioned that there is really no significant benefit from it and that it's all hype.. I thought so too. But further reading about QuadroCX and comparisions they do show huge rendering performance increases w/ its RapiHD technology, but sadly is limitted to presets output in the H.264 codec. - or at least that's how i understood it. what a waste if it realy is.. And if it is, what then is the most reasonable videocard? still the GTX260 216sp? what about the new 5870?

             

            and finally, since we're looking at a single, powerful rendering unit instead of a farm, lemme throw this question at you directly, if you had unlimitted budget, yet staying "somewhat" practical , how would you configure this unit to be?

             

            my idea was to have dual xeon type setup, scsi or raid-0 SSD's, etc etc.. but i wana see what you'd pu together yourself given my situation..

             

            my client simply wants the FASTEST rendering time achieavable even if he has to spend a million bucks on the single/multi-part solution.. so long as it cuts down their "wait" time significantly.. they're desperate for rendering performance.. and im really close to just say go SONY VEGAS and setup rendering farm.. DONE. but i'd like to give em a CS4 solution.    

            • 3. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
              BrownChiLD03 Level 1

              ummm.. i'd like to revisit this topic.. still havent found a solution..

               

              what about going totally the other way, getting a video editing package like

               


              Sony AVID Studio w/ their specific hardware like Avid DS Turnkey System
              like so
              http://www.avid.com/products/DS/specs.asp

               

              what are the quick pros and cons w/ this alternative?

               

              would this be a more straight forward solution and better solution? I wonder coz nobody seems to have suggested this to me

              • 4. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                JCschild Level 3

                HI,

                first let me say this i love Adobe and Final Cut i hate Avid. (too many reasons)

                 

                 

                however TV stations really should have Avid Unity etc etc as its the only software that allows multiple users to work on the same projects

                together (share meta file) (Several 100k setup to start)

                 

                now if this is more a PEG type station and they can assign parts to various employees and have another guy assemble the segs. and they dont need to "Share" anything then Abobe would always be my first choice.

                 

                a TV station needs to seek professional advice.

                 

                Scott

                ADK

                • 5. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                  BrownChiLD03 Level 1

                  hi. thanks very much for your thoughts..

                   

                  Collaborative working and other features aside, is AVID w/ their turnkey system faster @ than a fast i7, GTX260 or even quadro type card?   im looking for the one that'll give the fastest render time.

                  • 6. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                    JCschild Level 3

                    in a nut shell no. if you do not have to "Share" then Avid is pointless Adobe is a far better answer.

                    Avid solutions still need a computer. The Mojo.Nitris are a joke and Avid no longer provides computers even the Symphany comes with your choice of Apple Mac Pro or HP 800. (Dual Xeon)

                    there are better "hardware" answers that what Avid sells for Adobe. Decklink, Aja to name a few.

                     

                    if you have to share then you have no choice. this is the one area Abode does not lead.

                     

                    renders have to do primarily with 2 things CPU power (Xeon will render faster than single i7)

                    and Drives. the faster your drive set up the faster the render. Memory does play a part and so does the video card depending on what codec and to what

                    it also depends on WHAT you are rendering and from what for the HDDs.

                     

                    without knowing your work flow format and codec its impossible to suggest something.

                     

                    in terms of rendering

                    Core i7

                    Dual Xeon (faster unless still doing DV/HDV thru firewire)

                    Sonnet raid array

                     

                    Scott

                    ADK

                    • 7. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                      Scott,

                       

                      With your suggestion of Sonnet, you are aiming at MAC users, right? Or do you also suggest something like that over an Areca card?

                      • 8. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                        JCschild Level 3

                        HI Harm,

                        you recall the system i liked to yes? so you know i like internal raid especially for the $

                        however

                         

                        even with an Intel (i prefer over areca) or Areca you cant build a raid array as fast as Sonnet or some of the others.

                        Sonnet uses Atto and i tried to duplicate thier thruput with Atto as well. close but nope.

                         

                        i mostly mentioned the Sonnet as its easier for a noob then attempting to build a system with a serious raid.

                        i am guessing they will not seek professional help so.....

                         

                        Scott

                        ADK

                        • 9. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                          Scott, I sent you a PM in order to not get too far OT here. BTW, how many noobs will spend $ 11 K+ on such a system?

                          • 10. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                            BrownChiLD03 Level 1

                            Thank you very much scott, you really helped me get a sense of it all. See my client wanted to get "professionalized" and they think going SONY AVID and their solutions is the PROFESSIONAL way.. vs the system i planned for them, w/c is RAID 0 SSD Drives .         

                             

                             

                            thanks a bunch

                            • 11. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                              Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                              I took a look at the Sonnet array and grabbed this from thier site "The Sonnet PCI Express RAID controller, featuring ATTO RAID technology, is based on the latest-generation Intel® IOP348 RAID processor running at 1.2 GHz..."  Intel no longer manufactures the IOP processors.  They sold the whole thing to Marvell who are now manufacturing the chip.  It is not a very flexible chip and cannot be reprogranmmed in the field it requires a new chip design to make changes. Areca is now abandoning the IOP 348 for new designs because of it's limitations.  Areca's current RAID controllers with that chip are not compatible with most SSD devices.  Their new ARC-1880 will have a brand new Marvell designed chip.  It should be available within the next couple of months.

                               

                              This is not to say do not buy the Sonnet as it is most likely a great piece of equipment.  This is just a technology/informational update.

                              • 12. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                                fredsky2003 Level 1

                                hi!

                                you 're lucky because, i'm working in video and broadcast everyday, plus i build workstations, plus i use PS CS4, premiere cs4 and a good friend use AE cs4.

                                 

                                so...

                                easy answer for the OS. you MUST use windows 7 x64. that's all.

                                forget XP32 as it can only use 3GB or ram.

                                 

                                for AE the 3 mains points for speed are :

                                - memory. must have at least 2 GB of RAM per physicall Core. i tested /benchmarked AE onto DELL R410 with 2x4cores (16 with HT) + 12GB RAM... it was ram limited. use only RDIMM dual ranked dd3.

                                - processor : the more cores you have, the more speed you'll get on the AE render. and the more Ghz to

                                - you HAVE TO use CS4. CS3 does NOT take advantage of the cores!!!

                                - disk : if you do HD uncompress stuff, you HAVE to use RAID5 for having at least 300MB/s througput. the VERY BEST card are Areca. but the one find on DELL or HP machine does works too.

                                 

                                for PS :

                                - the scratch disk is the key point, because the RAM will be full sooner or later even with >12GB. you must use a SSD as primary OS + PS scracth disk. the best available today are based on sandforce. owc mercury 100GB for 400$. or put 2x50GB in RAID0.

                                 

                                for video I/O

                                the best cards are AJA, but for the same quality you take blackmagic studio and voila.

                                i don't know what codec you use for your footage. but in HD, on PC the very best is Cineform. works only with AJA cards. it will avoid you to run high end RAID5 storage.

                                 

                                for RENDERING machine.

                                unfortunatelly AE CS4 does no more use other machines on the network, neither PS. you have to have 1 workstation per guy. you CAN make a NAS to share you're footage with others. it works very nice.

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                pre build systems :

                                go for a DELL precision T7500 or HP Z800. HP do have a support of AJA and blackmagic, NOT dell.

                                if you take this, it will cost you about 8000$ per machine.

                                 

                                 

                                but the real thing will be :

                                supermicro 4u chassis with expdander (SC846E1). you have to REPLACE the fans with low noise ones !

                                supermicro high end workstation motherboard X8DAH+

                                2xE5560 intel nehalem xeons

                                8x2GB  RDIM dual rank RAM

                                OWC sandforce 100GB with 2 partions (OS and PS scratch) on Areca

                                Areca 1680ix-12 with 4GB cache  (i you can wait, get the upcoming 1880ix-12)

                                some SAS 7200rpm harddrive like seagte ES.2 - SAS not SATA. 6x500GB for uncompress HD.

                                 

                                --- you can have so much storage on this that i will become the NAS and  workstation ----

                                 

                                for other machines, you can take the normal 8HHD chassis sc-747 /745 /743 and litlle areca like 1680ix-8

                                if you don't need raid5. take the ICH10 from the mother board and WD RE3 drives to build RAID0 storage.

                                 

                                 

                                and oh i forgot the graphic card.

                                it's ONLY marketing here. because premiere = doesn't use ANY accelerator from it. AE and PS does use openGL only, and only for some effects. so any card like ATI 5670 will do the same stuff as a fireGL / quadro card. take 1GB RAM.

                                 

                                my email : fred.sky@laposte.net. i'm located in montreal, canada.

                                • 13. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                                  Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                                  Make sure that they keep a copy of CS3 available on a machine for re-visiting/editing/exporting existing CS3 Premiere projects.  Adobe made major changes to Premiere from CS3 to CS4 (I think even some video aspect ratios were changed slightly).  We have found that CS3 projects opened and re-edited with CS4 have many issues that become VERY frustrating.

                                  • 14. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                                    fredsky2003 Level 1

                                    yes indeed keep cs3.

                                    we do have in production a machine with both CS4 and CS3 installed that works.

                                    for AE cs3, a great plugin to use ALL CORES in your machine is gridiron nucleo pro 2.

                                    so perhaps the best and easy thing to test right now on your production machine is a demo of nucelo on AE CS3. divide render time by 2 easily.

                                    • 15. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                                      Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                      Of course anyone buying a new card now would stay away from buying an ATI card as regular readers of this forum know that when CS5 is released it will be heavily tuned with the new Mercury Playback Engine to use the GPU processing of the nVidia CUDA technology.  This is in just a month or two so you would be better off going with one of the five cards that we know will be supported.  Or temporarily using any old card until they fully announce the supported and/or new versions.  Even at only $100 for the 5670 it would impact some forum some of us forum users on a budget.

                                      • 16. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                                        fredsky2003 Level 1

                                        thanks for the info

                                        a impressive demo for premiere CS5 is there

                                        http://tv.adobe.com/watch/davtechtable/sneak-peek-at-the-new-adobe-mercury-playback-engine -technology

                                         

                                        but right now a card at 100$ is much than enough.

                                        • 17. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                                          fredsky2003 Level 1

                                          sorry i made a mistake about network rendering, it does work with CS4

                                          http://help.adobe.com/en_US/AfterEffects/9.0/WS3878526689cb91655866c1103a4f2dff7-79a2a.htm l

                                           

                                          i don't know about the speed, especially if your source footage have high bitrate (uncompress HD).

                                           

                                          best to have as "many cores" as possible on 1 machine.

                                          • 18. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                                            John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            >This is in just a month or two (discussing MPE on nVidia)

                                             

                                            So... you are saying that CS5 will be issued in April or May... and that it will include MPE?

                                             

                                            Added

                                            Message in another forum, discussing CS5 books that are supposed to be available in July http://forums.adobe.com/message/2655054

                                            • 19. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                                              Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                              Here is a rumor.  Of course there is no confirmation of the date or MPE.  But if MPE is not included a whole lot of people will not be upgrading.

                                              • 20. Re: Pls help putting together the BEST SOLUTION for PP and AE CS4
                                                John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                Well, that "rumor" is dated Jul 3rd, 2009 so hard to tell how accurate it will be this year

                                                 

                                                But, as I added, another message includes a link with listings for several CS5 books due out in July

                                                 

                                                I don't know if CS books usually come out after or with the software release... but it does look like CS5 may be released fairly soon