16 Replies Latest reply on Apr 19, 2011 1:27 PM by gero9mo

    CS5 Workstation Build

    gero9mo Level 1

      HI,

       

      I am building a "CS5 Workstation" for a customer. I have been back and forth with dual Xeons (E5620/E5645) 980X, 970, 950, i7 2600K for days now. Memory capasity, CPU power, MB, Storage and the bits and parts needed have been evaluated, as well the future with Ivy Bridge. After a while I came to a conclusion of asking my customer to go for a Sandy Bridge platform now and upgrade to SB E /Ivy Bridge when it becomes available later this year. This instead of spending quite a lot of money on dual xeons and possibly EVGA SR2 now and only to see that platform be beat by a good Ivy Bridge set up.

       

      I believe an SB platform with P8P67 Pro/Evo and i7 2600 K will fare well with my customers needs, even though we for now only get 16GB memory...it will cost just a tiny bit more that a i7 950/1366 set up. I know the advantages i get by more PCI lanes and mem capasity on the 1366 socket, but then again when 8GB sticks are available i get up to 32GB anyway, in case i need to boost the system before Ivy Bridge is launched. I also believe the i7 2600K is a better CPU than i7 950, and it will be easyer to sell when i upgrade the system. With this in mind i am on my way to go for a SB set up.

       

      But, I am not quite comfortable yet. The 950 + 24G of memory and a balanced system kick quite good in the PPBM5 benchmark and it might even cost less than a SB platform. I am not a experienced builder, this is actually my first build of this kind. I only know my customer is gona push Adobe Premiere Pro to its max. With this in mind, i gotta go ask the pros around here hehe

       

      What is your recommendation? 1155 or 1366?

       

       

      CPU | Intel Core i7 2600K LGA 1155

      CPU Cooler | Corsair H70

      MB | P8P67 EVO/Deluxe

      RAM | Corsair Dominator 1600Mhz 16GB, 4x4GB

      System HDD | Crucial Real SSD C300 256GB

      Raid HDD (x2) | Samsung Spinpoint F3 2x 1TB R0

      A good raid controller will be added

      Video Card | GTX 580 or Quadro 4000

      Case | Corsair Obsidian 700/800D

      Power suply | Corsair AX 1200W

      Dvd/Blueray Combo

       

       

       

       

      CPU | Intel Core i7 950 LGA 1366

      CPU Cooler | Corsair H70

      MB | P6X58D-E / X58 Sabertooth

      RAM | Corsair Dominator 1600Mhz 24GB, 6x4GB

      System HDD | Crucial Real SSD C300 256GB

      Raid HDD (x2) | Samsung Spinpoint F3 2x 1TB R0

      3ware Internal 9750-4i SATA/SAS 6Gb/s PCI-Express 2.0 w/ 512MB onboard memory

      Video Card | GTX 580 or Quadro 4000

      Case | Corsair Obsidian 700/800D

      Power suply | Corsair AX 1200W

      Dvd/Blueray Combo

       

       

      And my last question, do any of you agree with me on my choice of paying less now and instead upgrade to SB E/Ivy Bridge when that platform is available - is that a "wise" move? Or should i go all-in and pay heavy for Dual Xeons with SR-2... I can max afford the E5645...even that will push my budget to the limit.

       

      This is my first build, I need to make it a good one

       

      (Budget is $4-5K)

        • 1. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Check http://www.adkvideoediting.com/ for a Desktop Video Editing PC if you are AT ALL unsure about building yourself

          • 2. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
            gero9mo Level 1

            Hi,

             

            I've been on ADK's site quite a few times. And it's one of my refferences when setting up the system. I live in Norway and can't have a build from them shipped. I feel it's wrong to call them and ask for help if im not buing anything from them. And the specs they recommend doesen't answer my question about waiting for Ivy Bridge or not.

             

            That why i seek advice here.

             

            I can set up many configurations based on the budget i got, but i need t tink "future" demands and having the best set up for my customer even a year from now. He needs it ready by easter and i need to temporary provide a system that bangs enough to power him for 6-8 mnths and then we upgrade to Ivy Bridge. With double up with PCI lanes, 20%CPU performance gain, double up with mem capasity i think Ivy will beat even a 56xx Xeon platform...or do you/or any disagree on that?

             

            BTW, i totaly missed out on my HDD options in the descriptions above. I will most likely use 4 or 5 disk in raid. Still evaluating the recommendations from

            Generic Guideline for Disk Setup

            • 3. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
              JEShort01 Level 4

              For your target price point, this will be a VERY sweet PC.

               

              My pick if I were tasked with doing a build-it-yourself $4100 system today, based on USA Newegg pricing, it would include:

               

              Case, PS, OS: $600

              HAF-X, Corsair AX1200, Win7 Pro 64-bit (OEM for system builders)

               

              Video: $200

              MSI GTX 460 Hawk 1MB (OC'd to 850 using MSI Afterburner utility)

               

              MB, CPU, RAM, Cooler $1300

              Gigabyte GA-X58a-UD5, Intel i7-970 6-core, 24GB G Skill (6x4GB) 1600 RAM, Prolimatech Megahalems w/ Noctura 120mm

               

              Boot, optical drives $400

              Intel Elm Crest 510 series 120GB, LG Blu-ray 10x burner

               

              RAID $1600

              Areca ARC-1880ix-16 w/ 1MB cache, 6x2TB Hitachi 7200rpm 7k3000 64MB cache SATA III drives

               

              Grand Total w/o KB, Mouse, monitors (not included) = $4100

              Or, substitute i7-990x for the i7-970 = $4500

               

              If you feel like you need to spend still more, go with an EVGA GTX 570 for another $150, total = $4650

               

              And if that does not get you close enough to $5000, add 2 more 2TB drives for the RAID, another $250, total = $4900

               

              Since replacing the MB, CPU, RAM and cooler would necessitate dumping components worth about a third of the price of this system, I would suggest that your client only change to the new series Intel CPU later this year if this system is not really making them pretty happy already.

               

              Do not even think about a dual Xeon at this price point, as to reach this kind of performance a dual Xeon would be thousands of dollars more.

               

              I am a hobbyist, not a pro, but I did have some fun building a fast i7-950 (JES3 on PPBM5) .

               

              Jim

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
                gero9mo Level 1

                 

                Hi JEShort01,

                 

                First of all, respect for your great result on the PPBM5 Bench

                 

                ...and sorry for the late reply on your answer to my post

                 

                After much back and forth, i decided for an SB platform. It will be a lot easyer to "learn" my customer to OC a SB platform than a Nehalem platform (I will ship it to him OC'd to 4.5). I OC'd my own 2600K to 5.3 GHz last weekend and i honestly believe it's possible to run 24/7 on 4.5/.7 OC on my customers CPU as well (mine has been at 4.7GHz 24/7 for two months now). Another thing is that it actually runs stable with "all" features of the CPU enabled as opposed to a Nehalem where you gotta turn of functions like EIST etc etc, making it not utilize features that is supposed to make the CPU both live longer and work faster. With SB, the turbo kicks in only when you need it and though it does that on the Nehaleem as well, the Turbo 2.0 on SB is better than the Turbo on Nehalem...according to Intel and my own experience.

                 

                Here is my setup wich i intend to throw at PPBM5 when it's ready in a few days:

                 

                Case, PS, OS:

                HAF-X, Antec High Current Pro HCP-1200W, Win7 Ultimate 64-bit (OEM for system builders)

                 

                Video:

                ASUS GTX580 1536MB PCI-E 2xDVI/HDMI/DP HDCP PhysX CUDA DDR5 DirectCU II Fan

                 

                MB, CPU, RAM, Cooler

                ASus P8P67 Deluxe, Intel i7-2600K (OC = 4.5/7GHz 24/7), 16GB Kingston (4x4GB) 1600 RAM, Coolermaster V8

                 

                Boot, optical drives

                Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB, LITEON 12xBD Writer Blu-ray SATA Bulk

                 

                RAID

                RAID Controller (not decided yet, it's a real tuff one because it's so hard to find a good one within my budget), 4x1TB SAMSUNG 1.0TB 7200RPM SATAII 3.0Gb 3.5" NoiseGuard SilentSeek 32MB Spinpoint F3.

                 

                 

                 

                Any advice on the Raid controller JEShort01?, exept for the Areca that you mentioned...wich is way to expensive for me (max is 450 bucks). And do you have any notes to my current setup?

                 

                Thanks for your help in this

                • 5. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
                  RjL190365 Level 4

                  gero9mo,

                   

                  Be advised that any x8 RAID card used on the P8P67 Deluxe or in most other Sandy Bridge systems will drop the primary graphics card PCIe-x16 slot to x8 bandwidth. This can (and does) affect MPE performance. I have seen a PPBM5 result from such a system in which the MPE (timeline rendering) performance at x8 is over twice as slow as the MPE performance at x16 with the same GTX 560 Ti GPU (23 seconds at x8 versus 10 seconds at x16). As a result, you might be limited to a PCIe-x4 RAID card which may use a software RAID solution that might perform no better than the onboard Intel PCH RAID controller (as a general rule, most RAID controllers in the $200 range are software controllers).

                   

                  At least the P8P67 Deluxe incorporates a PLX chip that allows you to run the PCIe-x4 slot at its full x4 bandwidth without having certain other onboard PCIe devices disabled.

                  • 6. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
                    JEShort01 Level 4

                    RjL190365 wrote:

                     

                    (Dropping PCIe to x8 )... can (and does) affect MPE performance. I have seen a PPBM5 result from such a system in which the MPE (timeline rendering) performance at x8 is over twice as slow as the MPE performance at x16 with the same GTX 560 Ti GPU (23 seconds at x8 versus 10 seconds at x16)

                     

                    Randall,

                     

                    And I have concluded from another PPBM5 result, JES1 (where the net MPE render time result was only 6 seconds, and 5 seconds after subsequent tweaking), that running both a video card and controller card both at x8 seems to work just fine and certainly does not appear to be a "twice as slow" limiting factor at all.

                     

                    [you are saying "I have seen" x8 causing a slowdown of 13 seconds (vs x16), any I'm saying that the whole test only took 5 seconds total - so, how could x8 possibly be a truly limiting factor BY ITSELF?]

                     

                    Please provide more details about your testing (or someone elses that you may be quoting) as it really might help us all to better understand how to build PCs for CS5 as smartly as possible. It's not that I'm disbelieving any test results, I just can't accept the your "more than twice as slow" conclusion of x8 as it stands!

                     

                    Also note that all x16 x8 etc PCIe motherboard designs are not created equally - some are Intel reference designs, where others use additional features to gain more and faster flow capabilities, such as nVidia's NF200 bridge (used in many MEGA high end motherboards). Possibly the "over twice as slow" result is caused by some kind of timing issue, subtle incompability, interrupt problems, or something else?

                     

                    Thanks,

                     

                    Jim

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
                      RjL190365 Level 4

                      Jim,

                       

                      It might be due to something else, such as too many processes running in the background. Also, a couple of the clips could have been offline.

                       

                      And your results have shown that most of the current Nvidia GPUs show little to no performance improvement when run at x16 compared to x8, contrary to what Harm had stated.

                       

                      Randall

                      • 8. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
                        gero9mo Level 1

                        Hi and thanks to both.

                         

                        I am still unshure on the Raid card, some say this, some say that...maybe it's best to just stick with 2x raid0 and the onboard raid controllers. At least i wont have an issue with PCI lanes then...if adding another card on the Deluxe decreases performance, i gotta see it to believe it. Looking forward to start testing the upcoming week. But if anyone can recommend a raid card that bangs more than the onboard controllers, please tell. I am thinking of using maximium 6 HDD's. Backup will be done via eSata to an external LaCie 2big Quadra.

                         

                        One thing that makes me wonder is why Harm and a few others say that SB 1155 is a "not so good" platform compared to Nehalem 1366, when more and more SB platforms are performing great on the benchmark test. To be honest, I think many will agree that CPU OCing has a great advantage when using CS5...wouldn't it then be best to offer a system that most possibly gives a "noob" customer a chance to increase the CPU power by using a great UEFI bios that don't scare the crap out of people who doesent OC on a daily basis? Instead of feeding them with an 970 that they most often wont be able to overclock and keep stable because of the extra adjustments needed to be donne on prev-SB platforms when it comes to OCing. This is the way i feel it, better to have a overclocked 2600K than a non-overclocked 970, even though it has 6 cores....but then again, this might be wrong. I am learning every day. Biggest concern now is the number of PCI lanes on SB...amount of memory is no probs as it sooner or later will be 8GB sticks available making it possible to ad 32 GB total, wich will crush any current 1366 platform when it comes to amount of RAM.

                         

                        The rig is coming nicely together, attached an image and would be happy for any feedback

                        • 9. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
                          RjL190365 Level 4
                          function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

                          function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

                          gero9mo wrote:

                           

                          Hi and thanks to both.

                           

                          I am still unshure on the Raid card, some say this, some say that...maybe it's best to just stick with 2x raid0 and the onboard raid controllers. At least i wont have an issue with PCI lanes then...if adding another card on the Deluxe decreases performance, i gotta see it to believe it. Looking forward to start testing the upcoming week. But if anyone can recommend a raid card that bangs more than the onboard controllers, please tell. I am thinking of using maximium 6 HDD's. Backup will be done via eSata to an external LaCie 2big Quadra.

                           

                          One thing that makes me wonder is why Harm and a few others say that SB 1155 is a "not so good" platform compared to Nehalem 1366, when more and more SB platforms are performing great on the benchmark test. To be honest, I think many will agree that CPU OCing has a great advantage when using CS5...wouldn't it then be best to offer a system that most possibly gives a "noob" customer a chance to increase the CPU power by using a great UEFI bios that don't scare the crap out of people who doesent OC on a daily basis? Instead of feeding them with an 970 that they most often wont be able to overclock and keep stable because of the extra adjustments needed to be donne on prev-SB platforms when it comes to OCing. This is the way i feel it, better to have a overclocked 2600K than a non-overclocked 970, even though it has 6 cores....but then again, this might be wrong. I am learning every day. Biggest concern now is the number of PCI lanes on SB...amount of memory is no probs as it sooner or later will be 8GB sticks available making it possible to ad 32 GB total, wich will crush any current 1366 platform when it comes to amount of RAM.

                           

                          The rig is coming nicely together, attached an image and would be happy for any feedback


                          Yes, SB 1155 is "not so good" of a platform simply due to the insufficient number of available PCIe lanes. And yes, a PCIe-x8 RAID card would drop the main graphics card x16 slot to x8 (which is what I noted earlier). However, most current Nvidia GPUs have shown little to no performance improvement when run at x16 versus x8 (as Jim's testing has revealed). That may change in the future.

                          • 10. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
                            gero9mo Level 1

                            Well, what is the problem with SB and the number of PCI lanes when you also say that:

                             

                            "However, most current Nvidia GPUs have shown little to no performance improvement when run at x16 versus x8 (as Jim's testing has revealed)."

                             

                            And how come the fact that many SB platforms, when tuned well, compete really well against any 950/970 build on the PPBM5 bench...how can it be "not so good" as an 1366 platform. Maybe its because it doe's a lot of other stuff better than the Nehalem platform...or maybe not.

                             

                            Makes me confused, sorry

                             

                            UPDATE: As I see now there are no SB setups on the PPBM5 bench that use a PCIe raid card. Maybe it's best to just stick with the onboard Marvel and Intel raid controller. I really look forward to start testing the rig because I gotta see results for myself after using the benchmark on it...then it's easyer to get more comfortable with my choices so far. It's not easy to get things right the first time i guess, for a build like this...but i love my job so this is all fun and i am truly greatfull for any input and lesson

                            • 11. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
                              RjL190365 Level 4

                              There is a system on the PPBM5 list that uses an LGA 1156 CPU on a P55 motherboard that has an Areca RAID card. This one's an overclocked i7-860, the predecessor to the new SB platforms. And it turned out to be the highest-ranked 1156 system on that list. In fact, that is the exact system that Jim submitted to the PPBM5 site.

                              • 12. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
                                gero9mo Level 1
                                There is a system on the PPBM5 list that uses an LGA 1156 CPU on a P55 motherboard that has an Areca RAID card.

                                 

                                 

                                Thanks for the info

                                 

                                I think i'm either going for a Raid3 on an Areca 1210 controller or Raid5 using the onboard controllers...which one would you go for? (you don't have to answer that of course, but i am glad for any feedback you might have on it)

                                • 13. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
                                  gero9mo Level 1

                                  ....deleted original content of this reply. Reason: Not necesarry to mention what i said.

                                  • 14. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
                                    RjL190365 Level 4

                                    In this case, get the Areca 1210. RAID 5 on the onboard Intel controller is extremely sluggish. If you must use the onboard Intel RAID, it's really only good for RAID 0, RAID 1 or RAID 10. In fact, I tested RAID 5 on the onboard Intel controller, and the AVI disk I/O performance deteriorated from roughly 65 seconds with a two-disk RAID 0 to a whopping 480 seconds with a four-disk RAID 5. The problem with RAID 5 on that onboard Intel PCH or ICH is that the PCH or ICH had to perform multiple tasks, not just controlling the drives - and there is far too much back-and-forth switching going on within that PCH or ICH. What’s more, the onboard Intel PCH RAID controller must perform double duty as the controller for the non-RAID OS/Programs disk, which results in even more back-and-forth switching going on. That results in the PCH or ICH becoming overburdened with the amount of traffic. Think of the PCH or ICH as an interchange between two highways that's designed to handle only a certain amount of traffic. And when too much traffic tries to go through the interchange, you'll inevitably get traffic jams and congestion.

                                    • 15. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
                                      gero9mo Level 1

                                      Werry helpfull and informative, thanks a lot

                                       

                                      I am now also reading Harms "To Raid or Not To Raid" topic http://forums.adobe.com/thread/525263 and i am learning a lot from that great post as well. I will be back with my descission after a bit more info from that and other posts, but i am leaning towards R3 and Areca.

                                      • 16. Re: CS5 Workstation Build
                                        gero9mo Level 1

                                        Hi again,

                                         

                                        I haven't bought any card yet, still considdering what to use. I see on the benchmark that a lot of the tests are donne with raid0.

                                         

                                        Would it maybe be just as good to set up a raid0 and do all backups to the external LaCie box? The thing that worries me most is the PCIe lanes i "loose" if i put in another card, or the fact that the CPU and memory will have more to do if i use the onboard. I guess to Raid5 or 3 on a dedicated controller or onboard with raid0 is the question right now...and wheter to use the onboard controllers versus a dedicated controller...that can handle raid3. Or maybe raid5 is better or just as good as raid3, wich again will make it possible to buy a cheaper raid controller.

                                         

                                        ...sorry if this made you "dizzy" (I just want to set up the best possible config from the components i got).

                                         

                                        Help and tips are more than welcome