25 Replies Latest reply on Aug 18, 2010 1:55 PM by able123

    Dream Computer Builds


      My company is having me build a new workstation for CS5 with the emphasis on After Effects and Premier.


      The boss isn't worried about the budget but he does want to future proof it as much as possible.  And we would like to have


      two sets (arrays) of drives for editing the video.  I have very little experience in this area. Can you help me?

        • 1. Re: Dream Computer Builds
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Build or buy? Budget? $ 5 K, 10 K, 25 K? Rack or stand alone? Networked? NAS or SAN? Material, both source and output? Ingest method? Storage requirements?

          • 2. Re: Dream Computer Builds
            Baz R Level 3



            these threads make me laugh a little.


            go for a evga sr2 with the latest x5680,



            • 3. Re: Dream Computer Builds
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Not necessarily Baz. We have found that dual X56xx systems are top-of-the-bill for MPEG encoding because of the number of cores and amount of memory, but lack in H.264 encoding, due to the latency introduced by the dual processor setup.

              • 4. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                Baz R Level 3



                there is also mpeg alternatives rather than using h264/bluray. And if the premiere exporter was used rather than ame, the gpu should have a performance advantage.



                • 5. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                  Harm Millaard Level 7



                  The direct Export button in PR when exporting to MPEG takes about 2 -3 times as long as AME.

                  • 6. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                    Baz R Level 3



                    that is strange ???


                    I now work with XDCAM EX footage, And when I export to mpeg 2 dvd or mpeg bluray, I find that the direct exporter is mutch faster.


                    I exported a recent 1 hour 30 min project to pal SD maxium render ON, vb2. and took aprox 20 mins. (will confirm this tommorow). with ame it was going to take over 1 hour.









                    • 7. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                      Harm Millaard Level 7



                      Both Bill and I noticed the same thing, maybe you can test it as well (you know what I'm talking about), but


                      Disk Test using Export completes in 18 - 19 seconds, with AME in 72 - 75 seconds


                      MPEG2-DVD using Export completes in 180 seconds, with AME in 73 seconds


                      H.264 completes in 80 seconds, no difference.

                      • 8. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                        DigitalTechnician Level 1

                        Either  build or buy. Budget; $5,000  to $15,000. Standalone case would be highly preferred (full-size tower  for cooling), but rack is an option. Storage requirements: Whatever  $15,000 can buy us with performance taking preference over storage  space. While not discussed, I think finished projects will be backed up to bluray discs. The computer will have network access. Currently, we do  not have a NAS or SAN.


                        Material, both source and  output?

                        Sources: HD camera with SD drives. SDI outputs from camera to the computer.

                        Output: Bluray discs, HD television, Quicktime/AVI files


                        Currently, we will use the h264 codec, but this can change in the future, and we would like to be somewhat futureproof for other codecs.


                        Ingest  method?

                        Could you explain what you mean by ingest method?


                        Thank you gentlemen for any and all assistance!

                        • 9. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                          Level 4


                          Build or buy? Budget? $ 5 K, 10 K, 25 K? Rack or stand alone? Networked?  NAS or SAN? Material, both source and output? Ingest method? Storage  requirements?



                          Harm, any suggestions for a system that can be had in about 8 months from now....with a total price tag of around 20K, bought probably from a custom comp builder, for one workstation ( maybe an option to add network later with nas server...if another workstation is added in a client server config ? )...rack esata drives...


                          eg. http://www.cooldrives.com/quad-drive-sata-removable-enclosure-external-sata-case1.html  ??


                          with 4 internal esata drives raid....if in fact raid is the best choice...


                          material would be hard drive delivered but I dont have specs on that drive yet  (i/o) ...from genesis camera type workflow ( pro res 422 )

                          hdcam sr ?  hdcam hd..

                          I think material from arri alexa too ( memory card) ..no specs on that yet unfortunately


                          need to input / ouput from graphic card(s) / capture card  (from camera or deck) to broadcast monitor(s) using bnc dual hd sdi ( 4:4:4) ..and 3gbs


                          sound = enough power to mix if necessary but highly unlikely I would do it..probably someone else on same machine or send to mixer.


                          I am only now getting my head around what I need and if you could give me your suggestions in a GENERAL overall sort of OUTLINE...don't wish you to ask for your time on specifics   ( heh...until I know more specifically what I need that is...)


                          Thanks !


                          • 10. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                            With that budget, start with:


                            Mobo: EVGA Classified SR2

                            Case: EVGA Classified http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1324/1/

                            PSU:  EVGA 1200 W, same link as above or even 1500 W

                            CPU: 2 x Intel X5680

                            Memory: 12 x 4 GB ECC sticks, total 48 GB

                            Video: GTX-480

                            OS disk: 2 x 160 G SSD in raid0

                            Pagefile & temp: 4 x 250 G SSD in raid0

                            Storage: 10 or more x 1 TB WD RE4 or Samsung F3 in Raid30

                            Raid controller: Areca ARC-1680iX-24 with BBM and 4 GB cache or 1880iX when available

                            BRD: 2 x LG GGW-H20L or similar

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                              Level 4

                              Harm...thank you !!   saved info



                              • 12. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                                Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                You also might want to look at Tekram, all their products feature and/or work well with Areca products.  They are a PREMIER NORTH AMERICA DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL for Areca.


                                P.S. I just called Tekram and asked the sales person when the 1880 products might appear and he said he honestly does not know.  He guesses that it will be "before the end of the year".


                                Message was edited by: Bill Gehrke

                                • 13. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                                  Level 4

                                  Bill..thanks...saved it as a doc file with the link...


                                  it's weird trying to think and plan so far ahead...6-8 months and not drool now....



                                  • 14. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                    Of course in 8 months time we will have the option to upgrade to the new octa-core Xeons...

                                    • 15. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                                      Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                      I will have to put on my old work cap.  One of my frequent tasks at my engineering job that I retired from 12 years ago was to forecast where technology would be at anywhere from 1 to 5 years in the future.  When we worked on proposals for major government system procurements it was necessary to "think ahead" to have success in winning contracts where there was a lengthy development cycle before you actually chose the final hardware.

                                      • 16. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                                        Baz R Level 3



                                        I  think it would be best to wait and see what is out near the time, when you are ready to purchase. As if you start now, your spec will keep changing and changing. better products are always coming out. you have a good budget, I am sure you can build a very good spec machine.





                                        • 17. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                                          Dailey Pike Level 1

                                          If you want to work one on one with a person/company that builds systems for a living I recommend Scott Chichelli of ADK Video Editing.


                                          He is a respected contributor to these forums with expertise on a variety of subjects.


                                          I was under educated with regard to a proper computer to edit both HDV tape & CF .MOV tapeless footage.


                                          As we worked together over the period of a couple of weeks building/tweaking my system I gained a lot of valuable knowledge.


                                          Only after I had started working with him did I find him on these forums.


                                          My system is i7 980X, 285 GTX, 24GB RAM, Windows 7 Pro, Adobe CS5 Production installed and tested, 1 TB OS drive, 2 TB RAID 0 source drive, 2 TB RAID 0 render drive, LG Blu Ray, lifetime support.


                                          Had it two months and not a hint of a problem.


                                          For the record, I have no affiliation with him other than as a extremely satisfied customer.

                                          • 18. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                                            Level 4

                                            Thanks Baz

                                            thanks yeliad, saved that info..Rod

                                            • 19. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                                              DigitalTechnician Level 1



                                              The Areca ARC-1680iX-24 is for SATA too, correct? I'm seeing the card listed as a SAS card and am trying to figure out how the 10 or more x 1 TB WD RE4 drives are going to be set up when they are SATA. Is it just a matter of having SAS to SATA cables?

                                              • 20. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                                                Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                It works as a SATA/SAS card, meaning that the supplied 8087 multi-lane forward breakout cables connect on one side to a connector on the card and at the other side to 4 SATA disks with normal connectors.


                                                Let's say you have 14 RE4 drives to connect to the 1680iX-24. You need four connectors on the card with four 8087 cables, each carrying 4 SATA connectors. You use 14 SATA connectors, but with four forward breakout cables, you already have 16 connectors where you only need 14, so two are dangling in your case. One cable per four disks. Easy cable management. Look here: http://www.webconnexxion.com/raid/product_info.php?cPath=35&products_id=712

                                                1 person found this helpful
                                                • 21. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                                                  DigitalTechnician Level 1

                                                  Hello Harm,


                                                  Thank you for the information in regards to the breakout cables.


                                                  Was there a reason SATA drives were recommended over SAS drives? Do the SAS drives offer better performance?

                                                  • 22. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                                                    Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                                    For some strange reason Harm lost his ability to log into the forums, so I will try to answer for him.  15,000 rpm SAS drives are of course better that 7,200 rpm SATA drivesand for areal dream (no money limits) yes they would perform better.  I have one system here that has 5 older SAS drives on an Areca  and they are performing beautifully.  The reason they probably wer not mentioned was they are not thought of here as they run easily 10 GB times the cost per GB that we are used to dealing with.

                                                    • 23. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                                                      ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                                      SAS Drives are not considered because at that cost, you might as well look at SSD Drives. Granted SSD's are more expensive but if you are considering the expense of the SAS drives, SSD drive's are a far better investment for the money involved. Raptor drives are somewhat in the same comparison but their size options are large enough and their cost low enough to justify them for larger raid arrays. This transition from mechanical to SSD drives will still take another couple years as size finally increases and cost comes down more. Until then the standard SATA drives are a better investment and their peformance is good.




                                                      • 24. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                                                        Blaine Holm

                                                        Get as much RAM as you can, and at least a GTX285 or 480. Quadro's seem to function about the same with the Mercury Playback engine.


                                                        If you choose a single Core i7, only use the X58 chipset, and 900 series CPU's. This is because that chipset supports triple channel memory, which offers substantially more bandwidth over dual channel chipsets (and supporting Core i7, i5 CPUs).


                                                        If you select a Dual XEON based system, then don't even bother with any CPUs other than the 5650 and up, along with the 5520 chipset. Slower XEON CPU's are actually not much faster than a single Core i7. The 5650 and above run at 6.4QTI, are 32nm based, and offer 1333GHZ for the memory across 6 channels. The 5650 and above are also Hexa Core CPUs, so you 'll have a system that shows 24 processing cores with hyper-threading enabled.


                                                        If you'd rather just get a completely configured turnkey system, you should check these out here:




                                                        • 25. Re: Dream Computer Builds
                                                          Level 4

                                                          thanks Blain, saved your mssg and stuck into "new computer" folder on my desktop...  appreciate it !