26 Replies Latest reply on Apr 6, 2011 1:51 AM by Harm Millaard

    Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase

    Nikon D90 Gent II

      Gents:

       

      Based on recent developments, I’ve finally decided to have a PC specifically built to for an upcoming upgrade from Premiere Pro CS3.2 to CS5. Since I can’t build it myself, would you please be willing to offer some recommendations for online solutions that are: safe, reliable, reputable, reasonably priced, fair and offer some kind of a guaranty or warranty?

       

      I’m thinking that a custom configured system from one of the major manufacturer would be overly pricey part per part and offer limited choices. My budget is roughly $1,000-1,200.

       

      For parts, (considering I don’t want to spend $1,500 or $2,000 for a top of the line or upper end machine) please list in detail what combination would you choose if you were in my shoes that would meet the following goals/criteria:

       

      It doesn’t have to have the best and speediest components, just be reliable, stable, yield  smooth playback quality and render well at a reasonable speed. I’m not a power user by any means so it will receive moderate use, the CPU won’t be maxed out.

       

      What questions should I have asked or important considerations that I should keep in mind when making my choice?

       

      Another objective is not only to buy a full-fledged & dedicated CS 5 machine for myself but another unit with lesser firepower that my wife can use and also function as acceptable back-up in case something goes wrong with the first.

       

      I noticed “Dell 7 days of deals” started today. I’m not yet attracted to what they have but wanted to just list the core specs of a couple of their “deal” systems and leave them to you experts to critique and offer suggestions as to what I should do, not do, why and steer me along the right path.

       

      1)      Studio XPS 7100: AMD Phenom II X4 945/ATI Radeon HD5670 1 Gig VRAM/8 gigs memory.

      2)      Studio 8300: i5-2300 @ 2.8ghz/ATI Radeon HD5450 1 gig VRAM/6 gigs ram

       

      Are ATI Radeon cards up to the demands of CS5 or are Nvidas card the way to go? How does one differentiate on card from the next within NVIDA?

       

      I was wondering how a variation of or an upgrading of these key components would potentially fit my needs, expectations and budget. I had asked a similar question about 6 months ago however the parts market and choices has changed,

       

      Thanks for any and all help offered. Please contribute and get this discussion started!

        • 1. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
          Jay Knobbe Level 1

          What are you doing with CS5?

           

          What kind of videodo you edit?

           

          Tell us more about your intended use.

           

          Forget the Dell idea.

          • 2. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
            Nikon D90 Gent II Level 1

            About 2.5 months ago I just bought a Canon A1s HDV camcorder. I use this along with an older A1 and film church services for broadcast on cable.

             

            Currently I cannot export the finished project to tape.

             

            Rendering time with AME for a 45-55 program takes hours.

             

            The end product goal is to get the highest possible (within reason) quality 16:9 master to store externally and get a excellent MPEG-2 file.

             

            Thanks for asking.

            • 4. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              HDV is a pretty easy codec. Look here: Adobe Forums: System requirements for CS5

               

              Look at a X58 mobo, for instance Asus Sabertooth, i7-930+ CPU, GTX 450+ video card and at least 3 x 2 GB or 3 x 4 GB memory, a 320 GB Samsung F4 boot disk and two 1 TB Samsung F3 disks, Win7 64 Pro OEM, a large case and a good PSU and CPU cooler should fit in your budget.

               

              Look around at some threads about systems and look at the Overview tab and the articles to be found there.

              • 5. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                sagepost

                I'm in the same position - looking for a new computer to handle CS5.

                 

                I've read many of the posts in these forums.  Do yourself a favor and go to a video production house that specializes in selling editing computers that use Adobe premiere pro cS5 and sells many of these computers - I believe there is a post on this thread with a link to one of these suppliers.

                 

                What I have learned is that Adobe has not stepped up and offered an explanation of how their software works on hardware components and what is required from a hardware standpoint to run it properly based on the type of data source you are editing.  For example, do you need 3 hard drives - one for the operating software, one for editing, and one for rendering?  Do you need a 3.0+ GHz four core processor with 4 GB of ram per core and at least 6 GB of cache?  Do your hard drives, if external, have to run off of eSata cables and spin at least 7,200 rpm?  What type of video card do you need and what will higher grade video cards deliver in terms of software performance?

                 

                The min system requirements listed on the Adobe site will not work if you plan on using HD video and adding transitions to your edits and titles/closing credits to your videos.  Information offered in these threads by individuals that do editing essentially suggest that more is better but offer no price value tradeoffs because no one really knows how the software uses the hardware and where the chokepoints of data streams occur within the hardware system.

                 

                Adobe, please step up to the plate and provide better systems requirements definitions for your software!

                 

                I'll be editing avchd video and anticipate I'll need to spend $1,500-$2,100 depending on the number of hard drives I need

                • 6. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  I suggest you do some more reading, because there are many suggestions on different configurations, there are suggestions on BFTB systems, there are numerous comparisons on what works and what does not. Just study ALL of the pages here: PPBM5 Benchmark

                   

                  With more than 330 systems tested in a consistent way, you can find a wealth of valuable information.

                  • 7. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                    sagepost Level 1

                    With all due respect to your 14,000+ posts, why should I have to do all that work and then still guess at what is right for me?

                     

                    Adobe should summarize this information on one page for anyone and everyone interested in purchasing and using their software.  The people that can afford to use this software and hardware earn $$/hour.  Is Adobe really asking its potential customers to spend $$/hour times 4 hours to learn (and still guess about) what hardware they need to purchase to use the Adobe software?  That is unreasonable.

                    • 8. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                      sagepost Level 1

                      http://www.adkvideoediting.com/systems/system_review.cfm?saved_id=24962

                       

                       

                      Above is a quote I received from the ADK video production company listed in this thread.  After talking with them on the telephone they seem very knowledgeable about what is needed to work with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.  This is the top contender system for me.  Cost of hardware $2,400.

                       

                      I'm also looking at a HP option at $1,700 ($1,400 plus $300 for an external hard drive with an eSata connection).  The downside of this option is a slower 3.2 GHz six core Intel CPU.

                      • 9. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                        Nikon D90 Gent II Level 1

                        My first quick follow-up is to ask a couple of questions.

                         

                        Thanks to all of the extensive comments, suggestions and personal experience offered to date which was generous, helpful and greatly appreciated.

                         

                        As I digest this and other material more questions may arise because I want to get it right the first time!

                         

                        1) Keeping in mind I'm not a power user, can I get by on a secondary system for now with an:

                         

                        Dell XPS 9100 system with an i7 930  (2.8 ghz/ 8 Mb cache)

                         

                        8-12 gigs of ram

                         

                        Only 2 hard drives total will fit into the case not 3. I'd have to install/buy the second seperately.

                         

                        525W power supply- Dell choice

                         

                        ATI Radeon HD5670, 5770 or 5870

                         

                        2) Is there a chart somewhere online where I can directly compare the equivalent models from Nvidia and ATI Radeon? Does one exist? What Nividia model be equivalent to the 5770 or 5870?

                         

                        3) How vital is having that 3rd hard drive as opposed to being limited to two?

                         

                        Would the above system run acceptably as it's only intended to be my secondary and back-up workstation?

                         

                         

                        More to come.

                         

                        Thanks so much.

                        • 10. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                          For a secondary system it may be marginally OK, provided it does not cost more than say $ 700. No overclocking, lousy PSU, crippled Bios, inflated prices, no expandability, wrong video card, etc.

                           

                          Look here: PPBM5 Benchmark

                          • 11. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                            Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Nikon D90 Gent II wrote:

                             

                            2) Is there a chart somewhere online where I can directly compare the equivalent models from Nvidia and ATI Radeon? Does one exist? What Nividia model be equivalent to the 5770 or 5870?

                             


                            Nobody in his right mind would choose any system for Premiere Pro CS5 with an ATI board if they have done any research on this forum.  Does that help?

                            • 12. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                              sagepost Level 1

                              I purchasing my first system also, so I am no expert.  When I contacted they recommended the following as a base system for beginners/hobbyists:

                               

                              http://www.adkvideoediting.com/systems/system_review.cfm?saved_id=24962

                               

                              In my opinion, it is very expensive at $2,400 but I also need a new business computer too so I may purchase this model. If I do go this route I'll only get 2 hard drives and use an eSata cable connection to an external G-Tech hard drive (see below).  Total cost of this set-up would then be $2,500.

                               

                              I am considering another model as well for $1,824 + $235.  That is a high end HP consumer model from their website with I7 quad core 3.2Ghz intel processor, 8GB cache, 16GB ram, two hard drives, the best video card upgrade I can purchase with that system - Nvidia Geforce 460, and an eSata (fast) connection to an external G-Technology 2TB G Drive ($235 on Amazon).  What concerns me about the HP unit is the the lower 3.2Ghz of the processor.  Interestingly, when you jump from 3.2GHz to 3.4GHz the price of the unit jumps by $500!  From what I've learned, you need to be north of 3.4GHz to pass all the data for HD video editing.

                               

                              I'm concerned that anything less than a 3.4GHz Intel quad core processor will run rather slowly.  So, I'm really debating about stepping over to the slower HP processor or jumping to the $2,500 price point for the faster processor....

                               

                              Decisions, decisions....

                              • 13. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                                sagepost Level 1

                                I did see a computer on Tigerdirect.com that seemed to have good specs - 3.4ghz intel quad core, good ram, HD, etc. - and I believe the cost was $1,100.  And, it had a good video card too.  But, I don't know anything about the brand which is Lenova.

                                • 14. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                                  Nikon D90 Gent II Level 1

                                  Harm,

                                   

                                  How can I sort and analyze the data on your CS 5 benchmark page?

                                   

                                  Do you have it say in excel format?

                                   

                                  That way I can sort the results as reported by processer,graphix card etc.

                                   

                                  Thanks!

                                  • 15. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                                    sagepost Level 1

                                    Please copy me on this information if you get it.  I'd like to rank sort it as well.

                                    • 16. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                                      Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      We provided for you the capability of looking at sorted data, have you used that feature?

                                      • 17. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                                        Nikon D90 Gent II Level 1

                                        Bill,

                                         

                                        That makes no sense to me.

                                         

                                        Any "sorted data" available is extremely limited.

                                         

                                        I'll write Harm and ask.

                                        • 18. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                                          sagepost Level 1

                                          In doing some additional research using other sources - www.lynda.com training videos - I learned that with Premiere Pro you really have to have a graphics card with GPU (Graphic Processing Units).  The GPU of the graphics card takes a good portion of the burden off of the CPU when processing HD data streams.  Check out the GeForce video cards website.  There is a chart there that will tell you about the GPU's of each video card in their lineup.

                                          • 19. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                                            John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            For a list of supported nVidia CUDA cards go to the FAQ
                                            http://forums.adobe.com/community/premiere/premierepro_current/cs5_faq_sheet


                                            For "some" others, with at least 1Gig of video ram, the nVidia Hack http://forums.adobe.com/thread/629557?tstart=0 - which is a

                                            simple entry in a "supported cards" file

                                            • 20. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                                              Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                              Any graphics card has a GPU (Graphics Processor Unit) , there is no such measurement called Graphics Processing Units.  And you are correct in that you should have an nVidia card (GeForce or Quadro) with CUDA technology to assist in some functions that are built into Adobe Premiere that the Mercury Playback Engine assists.  See this link for Todd Kopriva's excellent intro to MPE

                                              • 21. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                                                Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                There is a lot of truth in your remarks about the ability to select fields for sorting all the results in a way you like.

                                                 

                                                There are limitations to what Bill and I can do - in our 'free' time - however. Let me try to explain the difficulties we encounter in making that work.

                                                 

                                                There is a whole bunch of logic in the spreadsheet we use, not only with conditional formatting, color grading and statistical formulas to designate entries as 'Top', 'D9' or 'Q1', but also dependencies between various sheets to automatically update the various charts, check for sufficient number of observations to be included in the MPE gains chart, checking market prices of components to be reflected in the BFTB chart, consistency checks in spelling, etc.. For instance the literal text:

                                                 

                                                "GTX-480" is completely different than "GTX 480" because of the minus sign instead of the space. This corrupts the count of the number of observations to be included in the MPE Gains chart.

                                                 

                                                All the checks and balances we have included in the spreadsheet up to now to safeguard consistency, the logic used to import submitted data and add the separate Output.txt and Output-MPE.txt files figures in the correct places, the logic to translate the different fields filled out about rated disk capacity, raid level and number of disks in the raid to get from CSV format of:

                                                 

                                                "1000"     "Raid 5"    "4"

                                                 

                                                into something like: "1,000 x 4 R5"

                                                 

                                                all that must be transferred to a SQL database programmed in .ASP or .PHP and the major hiccup is the conditional formatting. The database itself is not difficult, it is the dynamic way that the formatting and color grading is applied. Then a number of practical issues: Do you need to be a registered user, who has submitted data, before you are allowed to sort to your liking, are there limitations based on your user status, on how many fields can you sort, what predefined selection criteria can you select, etc.

                                                 

                                                In short, your request is quite logical to make. The practical feasibility to make this happen for two nitwits like Bill and me is not realistic. If you realize how many weeks/months it has taken us to design the site, create the data submission form and the auto reply mechanism, the spreadsheet with all it's formulas, and keeping up with new submissions and providing feedback, while investigating a new test setup and expanding the current test for more source material, more tracks and better statistical accuracy, I do not see it happen in the next few months. I have been investigating the porting to a SQL database, but the complexities are staggering if you do not want to lose the conditional formatting, that are a real benefit (at least IMO) now.

                                                 

                                                If we were to get help from people experienced in web design and SQL databases and .ASP or .PHP programming, we would certainly welcome that. Just know that the PPBM5 website was the very first website I ever developed and I think I did a pretty decent job of that. It was my first experience with DW and the .html, .css, .js, and .php files related to each page.

                                                 

                                                Hope this explains why I feel the logic of your request and the currently unattainable nature of it.

                                                • 23. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                                                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                  In addition to my previous post, let me add the following remarks:

                                                   

                                                  Bill and I consider this a bit as 'our baby' and while we use an Excel spreadsheet, we want to keep the logic behind it as our 'intellectual property' and do not want to share all the macros, programming, formatting and formulas in the sheets. We simply have invested too much time and effort to distribute it. Keep in mind that this is something we have done and continue to do free of charge for all you users.

                                                   

                                                  This is not rocket science we are talking about, but for the ease of use of the test, we have made the decision to allow users to enter the specifics about their system themselves, instead of needing to scroll down through pages of pre-filled options.

                                                   

                                                  Consider for instance the entry of the CPU. Let's take four different users submitting their data and they all use an i7-2600K CPU. The submitted results may be:

                                                   

                                                  Case 1: I7 2600k

                                                   

                                                  Case 2: i7 2600K

                                                   

                                                  Case 3: i7-2600k

                                                   

                                                  Case4: i7-2600K

                                                   

                                                  Here we have four different spellings, different capitalization and different - or spaces but they all mean the same. If you were to sort on CPU, how do you distinguish them, or better, how not to distinguish between them, since they are effectively the same? See the complexity? One submits his mobo as 'asus', the next one submits it as 'ASUS' and the next one as 'Asus'. You can't sort or select with these different spellings.

                                                   

                                                  That is one of the reasons that data submission must be checked carefully and is so time consuming, btw.

                                                   

                                                  If we were to go for a SQL database, would we require logging in for registered users? Would we differentiate between users who have submitted data and casual visitors in access rights, would we differentiate between users and people who have made donations for our efforts, would donators be given more options, would we ask for a yearly contribution and how would that be administered, would we have to have a Pay Pal account or accept credit cards, etc. How will the user database be maintained, how to handle changing mail adresses, updating passwords, setting different cookie expirations and on and on.

                                                   

                                                  Admitted, there are always improvements possible, but it has to be realistic, deliver value for the users and sometimes you have to say no, this can't be done, it costs too much time and effort. That does not mean we don't think about further improvements and we welcome suggestions like yours to keep us sharp and on our toes, but it is just like CS5. PPBM5 is way better than PPBM4 ever was. CS Next will again be a huge step forward and we hope to do the same with PPBM Next. The difference is that Bill and I do not have the resources that Adobe has and neither of us are software experts to develop websites and SQL databases.

                                                  • 24. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                                                    Nikon D90 Gent II Level 1

                                                    Thanks for your at lengthy,thoughtful and comprehensive reply and for the time it took.

                                                     

                                                    I guess it was the accountant in me which triggered that inquiry!

                                                     

                                                    I do appreciate all of the work that's behind the scenes.

                                                     

                                                    If it may be asked, I've never heard fo "CS Next", what do you know about that?

                                                     

                                                    Should I hold off from buying CS5?

                                                    • 25. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                                                      Nikon D90 Gent II Level 1

                                                      Please bear with me as I continue trying to fine-tune this adventure & thanks for pitching in with valuable contributions as things progress.

                                                       

                                                      Can’t but help wondering why Adobe certifies so few cards considering all the models that Nvidia makes by themselves which leads into the following questions:

                                                       

                                                      1) Do all of their cards (except for a select few) require the hack, can a relative novice/non techie do it themselves or is there a software program that one can launch and let it roll? Do the 4xxx and 5xx series require the hack too?

                                                       

                                                      2) Is it mandatory to have a GPU accelerated card to effectively use CS5 or can a non-certified or hacked card successfully run “software” only mode? What is the difference in rendering/ encoding speed between those 2 modes?

                                                       

                                                      3) Even within any given card model, if you type it into Amazon.com for example to compare prices, dozens if not hundreds of choices pop-up. How do I know which variation to choose? What are the considerations here?

                                                       

                                                      4) Which of these 3 CPU’s would you buy and why? What is the prime advantage?

                                                       

                                                      a) i7-2600k-3.4 Ghz

                                                      b) i7-930 at 2.8 Ghz

                                                      c) i7-950 at 3.06 Ghz

                                                       

                                                      hich of the above offers the best price to performance ratio? Is there much of a material difference?

                                                       

                                                      5) Where can I find the so-called “long Nvidia card” thread?

                                                        

                                                      6) How much maximum should I pay for 12 gigs of DDR3 memory? Preferable brands or specs to keep in mind??

                                                       

                                                      7) In regards to the power supply and PC case/housing what recommendations and suggestions would you make that are reasonably priced, reliable will have enough room for air circulation and could handle 3 internal hard drives, firewire card and a burner?

                                                       

                                                      8) Is it essential or a luxury to have a video card that has dual cooling fans and is

                                                      overclocked? How much more performance is squeezed out by overclocking?

                                                      Not to be omitted is the motherboard. What did you buy and what factors are important?

                                                       

                                                      Sorry for the question barrage however I’m still negotiating the learning curve. Thanks!!

                                                      • 26. Re: Newbie solicits advice for the right CS 5 PC build/purchase
                                                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                        Bruce,

                                                         

                                                        1) Do all of their cards (except for a select few) require the hack, can a relative novice/non techie do it themselves or is there a software program that one can launch and let it roll? Do the 4xxx and 5xx series require the hack too?

                                                         

                                                        Yes and as long as you can open the file 'cuda_supported_cards.txt' with Notepad and enter a new line of text and then save the file, you have effectively 'hacked' the card. For instance to 'hack' the GTX 480, you enter a new line stating:

                                                         

                                                        GeForce GTX 480

                                                         

                                                        and then save the file. Even a newbie/non techie should be able to do that, I guess.

                                                         

                                                        2) Is it mandatory to have a GPU accelerated card to effectively use CS5 or can a non-certified or hacked card successfully run “software” only mode? What is the difference in rendering/ encoding speed between those 2 modes?

                                                         

                                                        No, it is not mandatory. In general the performance difference is about tenfold. What takes say 10 seconds in hardware MPE mode will take about 100 seconds in software MPE mode. Look at the figures in the PPBM5 Benchmark and see the different results in the MPE on and MPE off columns.

                                                         

                                                        3) Even within any given card model, if you type it into Amazon.com for example to compare prices, dozens if not hundreds of choices pop-up. How do I know which variation to choose? What are the considerations here?

                                                         

                                                        First model, the higher the number of the card, the more capable the card is. For instance the 450 is less capable than the 460, which is less capable than the 470, which is less capable than the 480. Second the amount of memory on the card. More is better. Then price versus warranty.

                                                         

                                                        4) Which of these 3 CPU’s would you buy and why? What is the prime advantage?

                                                         

                                                        The choice of a CPU can never be made in isolation. It has to be considered in combination with the motherboard, the chipset on that motherboard, the number of memory slots, the features of the mobo, the disk requirements, etc. I suggest you click on the Overview tab at the top of the hardware forum page and start reading from the list of articles to get a feeling for what comes into play here.

                                                         

                                                        All your other questions have been answered in previous cases and can be found on this forum by reading posts or the articles mentioned above. A lot of the information can also be found on the results page of the PPBM5 benchmark.

                                                         

                                                        Happy reading.