8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 12, 2011 8:37 AM by Harm Millaard

    Could I get some help second guessing myself?


      Hi I am building a set of new systems for work.

      We  are a small graphics and animation house with 3 animators. Earlier this  year we lost our 2 editors, one to retirement and one who decided to go  do his own thing.


      So at the moment things are relatively  good as we are getting a good deal of 2d and 3d animation work. I was  tasked by my boss to come up with new systems that would "for now"  bridge the gap for company that would be 3 all a round systems for 3 all  a round broadcast generalist.


      Our core software that we  use is Autodesk Max/Maya and the CS5 production suite. Our use breakdown  is around 50% 3d and 50% compositing/editing per job. Our editing  demands are not full 24/7 editing but mostly rough cuts for compositing.  My boss would like us to strech ourselves even a little bit thinner  than we are and for us animators to be able to do unsupervised edits and  in our 2 edit suites still hire full freelance editors on a per project  basis until we can hire a new editor(s).


      Here is what I can up with and a few notes. PLEASE any thoughts are welcome.


      OS: Windows & professional 64  bit



      Supermicro  H8DGi-F


      CPU's: (x2)

      Opteron X12 6134 G34 2.3G

      Notes 16 cores total the most that Adobe and Mental Ray under Max and Maya I think will handel



      PNY nVidia Quadro  4000

      Had  to got *pro card here it's not the fastest but unfortunatly the drivers  for 3d are important to us, to the point we just could not pass them  up.



      G.SKILL 4GB 8 kits (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin  DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333


      32 Gig total that means we should be able to support 9 fully funded cores for HD 1080 work for rendering in AE/Premier correct?


      Corsair Professional Series Gold  High Performance 750-Watt Power Supply CMPSU-750AX

      Needed for the pin outs for the AMD motherboard. I think I got enough voltage if I did my math right yes/no?


      OS Drive:

      Revo Drive 120 GB PCI Express solid  state RAID drive

      Used  this drive so as to not take up a Motherboard SATA slot so I can  squeeze 1 more drive into the raid and still have a DVD/Blueray burner.  Given that it should act speed wise in parity with the raid as well  seemed like a great option...or was I wrong?


      Raid Drives:  (x5)


      Seem  like the most common raid drives atm from what I have seen. A vendor we  are working with suggested instead that we use the Seagate  Constellation™ ES drives but I am unsure. I was also told that yes even  though motherboard raid controllers are bad that 5 of either of these  drives should be able to play back an uncompressed HD 1080 stream. is  this correct?



      LITE-ON Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X  DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM

      anyone know if this drive is compatible with encore I cannot seem to find the encore compatibility list?


      Audio Card

      ASUS Xonar DS 7.1 Channels 24-bit  192KHz PCI Interface Audio Card

      included for compatiblity sake here just in case someone has used this card and has had problems.


      Monitors (x2)

      Dell UltraSharp U2211H 21.5"W  Monitor

      IPS panels with display ports...they don't have the highest refresh rates  but most ips panels don't, from what I see should I go with PVA Panels  instead here? Still will need a display port hook up if I don't as the  Quadro 4000 only has one DVI and I hate non native connectors.


      additional questions: \

      I  see all the top performers in Harms' list are in the 980x camp and I  would like to explore this option but intels hold such little amounts of  ram. I know that a lot of the premier performance is on the Cuda side  now for simple things, but for more complex tasks I thought 1080p HD  required 3 gig per core to process a frame. I look at the pass mark  scores and just don't see them doing as well as they do if given a 12  Gig system, what am I missing?


      The  reason I am posting this system here is frankly of all the disciplines we  cover at work I know the least about editing and Premier. I know for 3  the purposed system is A level and on the compositing side still in the B  level because the disk perf and ram are in order with the CPU's but is  this system ok for editing tasks?


      Our  budget is around $4500 per system given that our demands are pretty  steep covering 3d/2d/compositing and some editing how did I do?



      second guessing myself like crazy because as a company we need to hit this nail on the head.

      *edited for spelling mistakes

        • 1. Re: Could I get some help second guessing myself?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          We have one dual AMD Opteron 6128 system in the PPBM5 Benchmark


          Despite 40 GB of memory and a MPE enabled GTX 465 (about similar to the Quadro 4000) it is no more than a mediocre performer (379 s). AMD sorely misses SSE4.1+ support, even with all those cores. This observation is the first 16 core machine in the benchmark, but the performance is around 3 times slower than a fast Intel system. The 6134 will not do much better.


          To put it bluntly, AMD is far from ideal for video editing. Maja may give different results. The raid system should be used only with a dedicated controller, not on the mobo. Instead of F1's go for F3's. They are faster, more reliable and easier to get. If possible, get rid of the additional audio card, use on-board audio if possible.


          If you need to skimp on the budget, consider Samsung SyncMaster F2380 PVA panels. You can use the savings for the raid controller, for example the Areca ARC-1880iX-16 with BBM and 2 GB cache.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Could I get some help second guessing myself?
            C_BRAUN Level 1

            Thanks Harm you confirmed my fears , I put together a new build based on your concerns.

            with a i7-970

            raid made of 6 F3s

            an asus P6x58D-E Motherboard

            24 gig of DDR3 1600 ram

            the Arecr ARC-1880IX-16 (you suggested)

            Dumped the OCZ Revo due to cost and not needing the slot

            but still am vexing the Quadro 4000 vs. a 470 due to cost and ammout of ram...3d loves video ram in iray and in general.

            The whole thing is right at $4500 with the Quadro but need to add monitors. So it will be tight but should fit.

            One last question if you don't mind?

            Called Adobe but they coud not give me an answer.In 3dsMax under Iray I can put in 2 470 cards to double my rendering performance in IRAY (NOT in SLI mode just both in system). I know this will not work in Premier or AE but will it cause any other problems like my systme not being able to boot or use Cuda under Adobe apps?

            Thanks for the tips very much apprichiated...your on my free drinks if I see you at siggraph list .


            • 3. Re: Could I get some help second guessing myself?
              ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

              2x 470 cards should not cause problems with Adobe.




              • 4. Re: Could I get some help second guessing myself?
                RacerX2oo3 Level 1

                Mulitple GTX 470 shouldn't cause any problems running in Premiere Pro CS5, although as you seem to be aware, they will not offer any additional performance improvements within Premiere.  They will provide very good performance with iRay under 3DMax, although you should be aware that Geforce cards do not support the 3DSmax performance drivers and will perform poorly compared to the Quadro 4000 you mentioned in both Max and Maya.




                Sean Kilbride

                Technical Marketing Manager, NVIDIA

                • 5. Re: Could I get some help second guessing myself?
                  C_BRAUN Level 1

                  Thanks RacerX I have to watch my words here, I wish I could send you an email with my thoughts on what you said, to ask you to clarify some things you said, but I cannot via these forums and the questions I would ask are sensitive ones and I have a very friendly relationship with both Autodesk and nVidia that I don't want to change:).


                  What I can ask is since 3dMax uses either Maxstream drivers or Direct X drivers if I have the OpenGl using suiet open do the nVidia CUDA processes get interupted if I would do the following workflow.

                  I like to set up proxie composites in Affer Effects or  while my 3dsMax projects are rendering locally (for argument say in iRay) as I work in broadcast for say some nice 3d flying reflective text. Will I have to have Default CUDA accel off (I will have to start it manaually) for the Adobe suiet as the CUDA process is rendering iRay and I don't want to corrupt the render?

                  Thanks again.


                  • 6. Re: Could I get some help second guessing myself?
                    Harm Millaard Level 7



                    Click on the avatar for Racer or his name and send him a private message (PM). That way you can keep your question confidential.

                    • 7. Re: Could I get some help second guessing myself?
                      C_BRAUN Level 1

                      Awesome Harm, thanks again, sorry I am new to these forums and missed that. BTW Harm any reason for the areca ARC-1880ix-16 you suggested over the cheaper areca ARC-1880ix-12 for an 8 drive raid. I see they also have an basic 8 port card (ARC-1880ixl-8/12) under this series as well but somethings just did not seem as top end about it. I want to get something that will fix in a full tower case. Also, as far as the BBU we have large full ups for all the systems, you think we will need the BBU's as well?


                      • 8. Re: Could I get some help second guessing myself?
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        You can always use extra disks, so the more ports, the better and the price difference between the 12 and 16 port versions is marginal.


                        I currently have the 12 port version, but I can easily add 2 more hard disks to my system (increasing the internals to 19), but currently all the ports are occupied, so for me the extra 4 ports would be a significant advantage.


                        The 1880iX-12/16/24 have the possibility to increase the cache memory from the standard 512 MB (as on the 8 port model) to 4 GB max and that gives a noticeable performance boost.


                        With a UPS, there is no need to get a BBM.