5 Replies Latest reply on May 14, 2010 11:47 AM by moroccodriver

    CS5 custom build with GTX 285 for long-form 4k projects

    • I've been researching nonstop for several days, and it's time to ask for your expert opinions.  I would appreciate any help.


      I'm ordering a new system for Production Premium CS5, and mostly I will use Premiere Pro CS5 to edit long-form projects (huge timelines with thousands of clips) of Red 4k footage.  It's a feature film with only a few F/X shots, but we'd like to do as much F/X, sound mixing, and color correction in CS5 as possible.


      Here is what I'm considering:


      CUSTOM BUILD from CYBERPOWERPC (about $1950 including items not listed):

    • OS:  Windows 7 Professional x64
    • CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-930 2.80 GHz 8M Intel Smart Cache LGA1366
    • HDD: 1TB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (Single Hard Drive)
    • MOTHERBOARD: * (3-Way SLI Support) GigaByte GA-X58A-UD5 Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Ultra Durable™3 Mainboard DDR3/1600 ATX Mainboard w/7.1 Dobly Audio,eSATA,Dual GbLAN, USB3.0, 2 x SATA-III RAID,IEEE1394a,4 Gen2 PCIe,2 PCIe X1 &1 PCI [+132]
    • MEMORY: 12GB (2GBx6) DDR3/1600MHz Triple Channel Memory Module [+219] (Kingston HyperX)
    • SOUND: Creative Labs SB X-Fi Xtreme Audio 24-BIT PCI Sound Card [+48]
    • VIDEO: Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 (I will have to take out their card and install this myself for GPU acceleration)

      1.  Do you see any poor or strange decisions?


      2.  I liked that mobo because of the chipset's possibilities and because it has 1394 for old-style DV capture.  Plus it has 8 SATA 2.0's, 2 SATA 3.0's, 2. eSATA 2.0's, and 2 USB 3.0's for huge/fast storage options in the future.  Is there some better alternative if I'm keen to have at least one of each of these formats?


      3.  I'll clone their 1TB OS drive onto a smaller 250GB drive to use as the OS drive, then use their 1TB drive as part of a 2TB RAID 0 video storage.  Will using the mobo's raid controller or some type of virtual RAID (like I did in Xp64) be fine, or do I need a separate RAID controller (like I had in the late 90's).


      4.  What do you think about that processor and RAM for what I'm doing?  Any reason to prefer 2 Quad-Core's (if dual processors are even compatible with CS5)?  Please let me know if the current configuration will lag with huge timelines with thousands of 4k clips.


      5.  Maybe I don't need the Creative sound card and could just use the mobo's sound?


      6.  Will it be simple for me to remove their graphics card and install an Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 myself?


      7.  The Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 seems like a good fit for GPU acceleration for me since I'm not expecting to have 4+ layers of videos, though I will be doing multiple effects on 1 or 2 layers.  Would having a Quadro FX give any advantage over the GTX 285 for huge timelines with thousands of 4k clips?  Or any advantages for any other use?


      8.  The GTX 285 has 2 DVI's as its only connectors (plus something that looks like S-video).  Can I use one DVI for my workstation and one DVI for monitoring video in realtime on an HDMI/DVI-equipped LCD TV or professional HD video monitor.  Any problems with viewing/outputting my 4k video in HD in realtime?  What is the best setup to view your video on an external monitor?  Back in the CS2 days I used a 1394 through a camcorder into an analog professional monitor, but that's not going to be HD, plus I heard there's a sync problem these days.


      Thanks for your advice.

        • 1. Re: CS5 custom build with GTX 285 for long-form 4k projects
          Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

          To start with I have no experience with 4k or thousands of clips but just a couple of quick comments.

          • Drop the video card and use the motherboard
          • Personally I would install a GTX 480 and it is nothing to taking a card out and installing a new one if you have the correct power supply with correct connectors available.  If this really is CUSTOM BUILD why can't you specify the card?
          • Unless you plan on overclocking (which is perfectly safe with this generation of processors) you should seriously consider something much  faster for your CPU
          • Do not consider dual processors they are not worth the cost for CS5 see this set of benchmarks.
          • Your idea of a smaller OS disk is good but I would suggest a WD 10,000 rpm Velociraptor drive
          • Some on this forum would suggest two each multiple (2 or more disks) RAID arrays and then there are some who suggestone much larger array with 8-12 disk drives.with the redundancy for safety of your large project.
          • I suspect that a logical suggestion of breaking your project into smaller segments and then recombining them should also be made.
          • Yes you can use one DVI output for your workstation monitor and one for an ouput display, but to properly viewing 4k material I will have to leave that ot 4k experienced people 


          Message was edited by: Bill Gehrke P.S.:  You do not under any condition want a virtual (software) RAID setup

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: CS5 custom build with GTX 285 for long-form 4k projects
            Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

            Pushing around lots of Red files + large projects require a well tuned system with quality parts. I would max out the RAM, and go for overkill related to the power supply.  Get a quality power supply, around 1000w that has a high rating (stable voltage outputs). You may want a raid setup.  Perhaps Harm will direct you to his useful information regarding that.  Also Scott Chichelli has experience with hardware related to working with Red files.  He has an impressive list of clients on his Website, including Lucasfilm.


            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: CS5 custom build with GTX 285 for long-form 4k projects
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              For long form Red 4K material, consider 24 GB of memory, instead of 12. Also consider the i7-980X instead of the 930, because of the load with long form projects.


              Definitely get at least 3 additional disks, apart from the OS disk and refrain from partitioning. A solid raid setup may be wise.

              • 4. Re: CS5 custom build with GTX 285 for long-form 4k projects
                ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                Everyone's advice here is very good. I did the R3D 4K 24P benchmarks that Bill listed. I will explain my observations. The 4K material was extremely intensive on the CPU with playback. If you even tried to playback the sequence at 1/2 resolution without rendering with anything more than 1 layer with an effect it maxed the I7 980 out even with it overclocked to 4K. However it also pushed the Dual Xeons 5660's to 75 to 80% and the playback was no better. What this means is you will either have to play the material back at 1/4 scale while editing as most are doing or you will need to render out any sections with more than 1 layer if you want to play back 1/2 or full scale. If you render the sequence, the R3D could playback full scale without hardly pushing the CPU or GPU  above 10% and that was with the 285GTX or Quadro CX. Mind you though neither video card can output 4K resolution. So at most you would be monitoring the material Full Screen at 2K on a 30inch display that can handle 2K resolution which is 1/2 scale. The Raid 0 will be enough for up to the 4 streams I tested with. It was getting close though to what the raid could handle at some points. If you edit more layers than that often, you might want to look at adding a 3rd drive in the raid 0 especially since you will have allot of material on that array it sounds like. If you will be editing any audio or recording voice or composing, then the creative card is a bad choice. If you are on a budget then look at M-Audio's Fast Track Pro or Fast Track though the Pro is really the minimum that you want. If you are just monitoring audio and not filtering then I would just use the onboard. The creative card is really meant for Gaming with EAX. The benchmarks were run on a system with 12GB of ram with the 980X and I did not push that until I exported the file. Then it went into the swap file space big time at the end when it writes the delivery file. Mind you, that was with 30 Second video on each track. If you are doing 1 to 5 minute segments, The ram usage will likely be allot higher than the 7 to 8 GB it used during editing in the benchmarks. Once again though, rendering will alleviate some of that.

                • 5. Re: CS5 custom build with GTX 285 for long-form 4k projects
                  moroccodriver Level 1

                  Thanks for your advice, everyone! 

                  I'm gaining a lot of knowledge, but I have some followups so I'll break it down into subcategories and hopefully you can chime in on one or more topics.


                  To give more info about my daily use and purpose:

                  --smoothly edit huge amounts of RED 4k footage/clips and view the video externally in as high a resolution as possible (2k or minimum of 1k).

                  ---no reason to have more than 3 layers visible at a time.

                  --the vast majority of the time only 1 video layer (with video effects) will be visible, with perhaps a handful of fades/dissolves during the entire 2-hour feature. 

                  --I don't mind if it takes slightly more time rendering DPX files at the end, but I don't want any hiccups and never want to render during day-to-day editing and monitoring.



                  GRAPHICS CARD and VIDEO MONITORS

                  1.  I'm pretty much set on the GTX 285, but I wondered if for my purposes I'd get any significant benefit from the Quadro FX 5800 (+$2000-$2600) or the GTX 480 (+$100)?  Either in speed of playback or in output to external video monitors. The 5800 has 4GB RAM versus the GTX 285's 1GB, and the GTX 480 has 1.5 GB.   Does this RAM matter for what I'm doing or are the cores much more important?  Also, if I chose the GTX 480 then I'd have to pray that everything would be stable with a MPE/CUDA/GPU-acceleration hack, or hope Adobe comes through with full support of that card.

                  2.  What is the 3rd output on the GTX 285?  There are two DVI outputs and then something that looks like S-Video.  Is it S-video out? Or an HD audio out that travels alongside the DVI output to an external video monitor?

                  3. Does it slow down the system to send the video at 1k or 2k to an external video monitor since you'd be using both DVI outputs simultaneously?



                  RED 4k PLAYBACK and RAM vs CPU

                  1.  For day-to-day editing, I'm fine scaling to 1/4 resolution if necessary and monitoring video externally at 1k or 2k.  Would my current system already achieve that smoothly?

                  2.  From what I've gathered here and elsewhere, for better 2k or 4k playback it might be better to spend extra on CPU rather than RAM.  I could spend

                  --$1000 more for 24GB RAM (instead of 12GB)

                  --$290 more for an i7 975 Extreme 3.33 GHz 8M Cache

                  --$686 more for an i7 980x Extreme 3.33 GHz 12M cache.

                  Given my needs and the current total system cost of $1950, which of these 3 would you choose?  Or should I stay with the cheaper i7 930 2.8 GHz and overclock (which I've never done before).



                  It sounds like you've used a system similar to what I'm buying to playback RED 4k on a timeline in full, 1/2, and 1/4 scale.  I'd greatly appreciate if you could clarify YES/NO for which are possible to have SMOOTH PLAYBACK with your 980x/12GB RAM/GTX 285 system.  I know it's a lot to ask, but it would make me feel so much better about this big purchase:


                  -full scale 4k of 1 layer with 0 video effects

                  -full scale 4k of 3 layers with 0 video effects

                  -full scale 4k of 1 layer with 3 video effects

                  -full scale 4k of 3 layers with 3 video effects (NO, right?)


                  -1/2 scale of 1 layer with 0 video effects

                  -1/2 scale of 3 layers with 0 video effects

                  -1/2 scale of 1 layer with 3 video effects

                  -1/2 scale of 3 layers with 3 video effects


                  -1/4 scale of 3 layers with 3 video effects



                  RAID CONTROLLER

                  1.  I won't use the virtual/software controller.  The GigaByte UD5 says it has RAID 0, 1, 5, 10.  Does that mean it has an onboard hardware controller that I can configure in Windows 7 or using some software supplied with the mobo?