My first post, so bear with me if it's a stinker. My situation is common to casual users, students/teachers, and those on tight budgets. I'm looking for a "cheap" setup to run CS5 PPro.
I teach high school math at an alternative school. Excepting present company , most folk recall math to be their least favorite course. Add to that my kids' behavior issues and I've got work to do in keeping their interest up. My approach has been to shoot video of them doing their thing, which has been successful enough that I've bought CS5 Production Premium. I'd like to start cranking out some really spiffy math vids.
I put four computers into my room this year to shoot video and make screen captures. Vis-a-vis typical educational needs, these are rockets:
AMD Phenom II 955BE quad core CPU
1 TB WD10EADS WD Caviar Green 7200 RPM disk
4 GB PC1066 DDR2 RAM
GTS 250 video card
Asus M4A785-M motherboard
Win 7 64-bit Home Premium
My camera and video device, just received and not yet used, is the Canon T2i. I think this unit shoots AVCHD, and if I am correct on this, the high compression will be a bit of an issue with the AMD CPU but perhaps not the hard drives.
HERE IS MY QUESTION - If I cannibalize two of these, I could make a unit with 8GB RAM and set up 2 or 3 disk RAID array, run off the motherboard controller. Would this machine be worth the trouble?
I keep up with current tech info and know where all these parts rank. I've been doing my homework on these forums for over a week and have some background on the software, CUDA and MPE, and the high bitstream needs of both decoding and playback. I am aware that an 8GB motherboard max on RAM will be a bottleneck and that these aren't the fastest disks, nor is the AMD CPU in league with the i7-930.
But, since the GTS 250 has been shown to CUDA accelerate the MPE, I am sitting on parts that will technically run the software. I've already blown most of my paychecks for the year on this stuff and would just as soon see what I can get done with what I have. The AMD/DDR2 platform is considerably cheaper than the Intel 860/930 route.
So - anyone have an idea what an AMD 955/8GB/GTS 250 setup might do with a modest RAID setup? I mean, has anyone actually seen a machine of similar design try to handle a few AVCHD files at once? Choke up or manage it within reason?
I don't intend to be demanding by asking for hands-on knowledge, but the lower cost of the AMD platform will mean a lot to students and teachers. If it works, perhaps not beautifully but functionally, this is important info. Yes, we get a great discount on the software but even with that, we're looking at $1,200 to $1,500 for the outfit on the AMD parts. If CS5 truly requires an Intel platform, that'll push the cost up another $300 to $400.
We all have to deal with the cost of the thing. I'm simply thinking of what the bottom-line configuration might be, and imagine that the first consideration is whether the AMD Phenom II/DDR2 can cut it.
Lastly - I've never set up a RAID array and know little about it, other than the basic benefits of RAID. Would this entail formatting the disks and re-installing the OS? If so, I've got to wait until the year is over.
Thanks all for the feedback.