13 Replies Latest reply on Nov 3, 2011 6:51 AM by Scott Chichelli

    Help Build a NLE Workstation for $4000 Budget or LESS!

    dreinz Level 1

      To all NLE workstation contributors:

       

      I need your help to build a NLE workstation with the latest technology. I edit AVCHD footage and going to be upgrading to CS5.5 using Premiere Pro and After Effects for lower third animations/text animations and colour correction but may start doing more quick colour correction through Premiere Pro. I'd say about 70/30 ratio in terms of usage of each application. 90% of my work is short format 1-5 minute business videos with final output to WEB with H.264 codec.

       

      The budget is $4000 for the workstation and monitor. Please help me put together a system that will perform fast/efficient for my workflow.

       

      ===========================

       

      MOTHERBOARD?


      CPU?

       

      CPU COOLER?

       

      GRAPHICS CARD?


      MEMORY?

       

      CASE?


      INTERNAL RAID or EXTERNAL? Which Hard Disks? SSD FOR BOOT? Also, need an archiving solution for client projects for up to 1 year before deletion.

       

      PSU (POWER SUPPLY UNIT)?


      30" Monitor?

       

      I am also looking for a more effective voice-over workflow. Currently, using Rode Video Mic Pro, recording to Zoom H1 and using card reader onto my computer. What do I need to improve the workflow?

       

      ===========================

       

      If there is anything I may have over looked or you may might think will be beneficial to my workflow, please let me know.

       

       

      Thanks in advance to everyone's generous contribution and I hope others may benefit from this posting as well!

        • 1. Re: Help Build a NLE Workstation for $4000 Budget or LESS!
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Start reading in the FAQ section under the Overview tab at the top of the forum. When you have done your homework, report back with details.

          • 2. Re: Help Build a NLE Workstation for $4000 Budget or LESS!
            dreinz Level 1

            Thanks Harm but I have given very specific details as to my workflow and budget. I'd really appreciate someone's input based on my specific criteria. I'm sure anyone here that is in the loop and has experience with NLE workstations can very quickly give me the correct answers to my questions.

             

            I have already spent days doing homework and reading your articles. There is just so much information out there and I need direct answers for my specific situation. General information just won't cut it.

             

            I understand if you are not willing to help. You seem overworked on this forum and that is your choice.

            • 3. Re: Help Build a NLE Workstation for $4000 Budget or LESS!
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Benchmark Results is a good place to get an idea of what works. If fact all your questions have been answered in many posts here, there is a wealth of information available by just reading some posts. I just don't feel like I should be doing your homework. There are many roads that lead to Rome, but you are the one to decide whether you want to take the Via Appia or another road. Then we can tell you about traffic jams, road work in progress, etc.

               

              Your first choice should be the platform, X58, SB or X79 and that choice depends on what you want or need. It is similar to saying I have a budget of $ X and I need a car to bring me from A to B and back. That says nothing about whether it should be a convertible, a MPV, a sportscar, a hybrid or whatever.

               

              You can start with a $ 2K system or a $ 3K system and end with a $ 4K system, depending on your willingness to part with the money and your willingness to make concessions to perfomance. Your workflow does not tell that.

              • 4. Re: Help Build a NLE Workstation for $4000 Budget or LESS!
                dreinz Level 1

                I don't know what else I can tell you about my workflow? I thought I was pretty clear? My wants and needs are something that is fast/efficient enough to handle this workflow with optimal results for under $4000.

                 

                - I edit AVCHD footage from my GH2

                - going to be upgrading to CS5.5 Production Premium
                - Mainly using Premiere Pro (70%) and After Effects (30%) for lower third animations/text animations and color correction, although I may start doing more quick colour correction/noise reduction through Premiere Pro, reflected in the 70/30 ratio.

                - 90% of my work is short format 1-5 minute business videos with final output to WEB with H.264 codec

                - Currently, using Rode Video Mic Pro, recording to Zoom H1 and using card reader onto my computer for my voiceover workflow

                 

                Like I said I have been researching for days, if not weeks now. Read all your articles. I'm not asking you to do my homework. Again, it is your choice if you want to bestow your knowledge, which it is evident you have much of in this area of expertise. And I am sure you can answer all my questions in the next reply if you choose too and not turn this into such a tedious road block.

                 

                Again, your choice but please don't reply if you are going to keep badgering me about figuring out how to answer my own questions. This is not the reason I started this thread.

                 

                Thank you

                • 5. Re: Help Build a NLE Workstation for $4000 Budget or LESS!
                  dreinz Level 1

                  I received this straight forward answer from a veteran member at Tom's Hardware. Any comments?

                   

                  ===================================

                   

                  There is something to be said about having a multi CPU solution, but generally you also want fast single cores, so in this budget range going with a single fast CPU is the way to go. This makes is much easier to handle the case requirement as pretty much any case will do. Memory performance does have an impact

                   

                  Generally this project sounds perfect for the new intel LGA2011 CPU's and the X79 chipset. Which unfortunately is not out yet so I'll base my recommendation on a similar currently available setup. With it you can get an unlocked CPU with 6 cores and nice amount of cache for about $500 and then generally you get mobo's that support 8 DIMM slots for memory, so you can get 32GB with 8x4GB dimms. This most likely would be the perfect way to go.

                   


                  CPU: i7 2600k $315
                  Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-V / Gen3 or similar with Gen3 support ~$200 / ASRock Z68 PROFESSIONAL GEN3 $255
                  Memory: 4x4GB 1.5V CAS9 1600Mhz ram ~$100 ( 4x8GB would be great, but at over 300 for 16GB it's very hard to justify the price.

                   

                  CPU cooler: You probably want a good cooler for moderate overclocking on the i7 2600k.
                  Scythe mugen 3, Cooler Master 212 EVO $35-50.
                  While you might get a small improvement with either of the above.

                   

                  Graphics card: NVidia GTX580 conservatively about $500

                   

                  OS drive:
                  This really depends on how much your applications take. If they fit to 120GB with the os, then
                  OCZ Vertex 3 120GB for example is an excellent solution ~$200
                  If more is needed then you are looking at either two of the above or ~$400 or so for a 240-256GB SSD's.

                   

                  Temp / work drive: Well you can get a fast SSD like the above, or a fast HDD. Or put in a raid setup.
                  Heavily depends on how much space is required. If 120GB will do then the SSD would be great.
                  If not then get a HDD Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB x2 for example and use Raid 0 $200 for the SSD

                   

                  Data HDDs:
                  One HDD for source. Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $60 - or multiples if you want a raid config
                  One HDD for result. Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $60 - or multiples if you want a raid config

                   

                  Total for HDD's & SSD's about $350-$500

                   

                  This will minimize cross reads/writes in the HDD's. So a single drive should only be doing one thing.

                   


                  Optical: You probably need a bluray burner, so about $120 bucks for that.
                  Case: Silverstone Fortress FT02S $230
                  PSU: Seasonic X750 or one of equal quality currently $125 on sale at newegg

                   


                  As for backup. Some kind of an external NAS unit with Mirrored disks would be best.
                  With 5400 rpm 2TB disks.

                   

                  So:

                   

                  CPU: i7 2600k $315
                  CPU cooler: Scythe Mugen 3 $50
                  Mobo: ASRock Z68 PROFESSIONAL GEN3 $255
                  Memory: Gskill 4x4GB 1.5V CAS9 1600Mhz $100
                  GPU: NVidia GTX580 1.5GB $500
                  OS Drive: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB $200
                  Work drive: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB $200
                  HDD source: 2xSamsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Raid 0 $120
                  HDD result: 2xSamsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Raid 0 $120
                  Optical: Bluray burner $120
                  Case: Silverstone Fortress FT02S $230
                  PSU: Seasonic X750 $125
                  Monitor: HP ZR30w $1175

                   

                  Total without monitor: ~$2335
                  Total with monitor: ~$3510

                   

                  Leaves about $500 for the backup / nas solution.
                  Which should be doable. Depending on the space requirements.

                   

                  Total: ~4000.

                   

                  The above are estimates and you can probably find many deals to get the price down.
                  Once the X79 comes though, I would highly recommend giving it a try instead, as it seems more suited for your situation.
                  While it will be slightly more expensive, it could still fit roughly into the price range.

                  • 6. Re: Help Build a NLE Workstation for $4000 Budget or LESS!
                    Scott Chichelli Level 3

                    NO SSD especially OCZ!

                    580 is probably overkill 570 with 2.5G ram would be better

                    i would not touch asrock anything

                    OS

                    2 drive raid 0 (media etc)

                    2 drive raid 0 Export

                    a good NAS raid 5 preferably

                    no other drives needed.

                     

                    the ZR30 is a very sweet monitor but not needed for work going to the web

                     

                    Scott

                    ADK

                    • 7. Re: Help Build a NLE Workstation for $4000 Budget or LESS!
                      dreinz Level 1

                      Hi Scott,

                       

                      Thanks for the reply. Appreciated!

                       

                      You wouldn't recommend the SSD for the boot drive? What would you recommend instead?

                       

                      Would you recommend the upcoming Sandybridge E Bridge motherboard and the Core 3930K?

                       

                      What hard disks would you recommend for the RAID 0 set-up?

                       

                      Why RAID 5 NAS over a RAID 1 NAS for archiving/back up? Which NAS enclosure should I be looking at? Are 5400 RPM drives good enough?


                      What 30" monitor would you suggest for work going to the web?

                       

                      Thank you!

                      • 8. Re: Help Build a NLE Workstation for $4000 Budget or LESS!
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        1. Samsung Spinpoint F4 320 GB plus Intel 311 SSD using SRT on the Z68.

                         

                        2. Maybe if the price of the mobo and CPU are right, but we are still in the dark here.

                         

                        3. For raid0 WD Caviar Blacks are OK, as are the Samsung F3's.

                         

                        4. Why duplicate duplicates with a raid1? If you are worried about redundancy, either use raid6 or a raid5 plus a hot-spare. Thecus or QNAP. Yes, since you will only be using iSCSI over a single NIC.

                         

                        5. Have you considered 2 x 24" dual monitors instead? A lot more real estate and gives you the opportunity to edit on one and preview your web-results on the other, while reducing the costs.

                        • 9. Re: Help Build a NLE Workstation for $4000 Budget or LESS!
                          dreinz Level 1

                          1. Samsung Spinpoint F4 320 GB plus Intel 311 SSD using SRT on the Z68.

                          - This looks great! The x79 chipset will have RSTe aslo, so will this set-up work on it?

                          3. For raid0 WD Caviar Blacks are OK, as are the Samsung F3's.


                          - I guess to pick to one with higher warranty

                           

                           

                          4. Why duplicate duplicates with a raid1? If you are worried about redundancy, either use raid6 or a raid5 plus a hot-spare. Thecus or QNAP. Yes, since you will only be using iSCSI over a single NIC.

                           

                          - Here is some of the parts and numbers I put together. The RAID 5 seems a bit expensive for just backing up files? I know I get 1TB more with the RAID 5 for space. And RAID 6, I need an added hardware controller for it to work? And if I remember correctly, you mentioned only a Areca Raid controller $700+ is where one should be heading towards, anything under this isn't worth it?

                           

                           

                          Thecus N4100PRO Diskless System NAS Server | $349.99
                          http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822102026

                          Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EARS 1TB 5400 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" | $119.99 X 4 | $479.96

                          http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136490&Tpk=Western%20Digital%201T B%20Caviar%20Green%205400rpm

                          Total: $829.95 – RAID5 Set-up

                          D-Link DNS-320 | $109.97
                          http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=149536&CatId=267 0

                          Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green 5400rpm SATA II w/ 64MB Cache | $129.99

                          http://www.memoryexpress.com/Produ [...] 5(ME).aspx
                          OR

                          SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" | $159.99
                          http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822152245

                          Total: $369.95 (with WD drives) 2TB RAID 1 Set-up

                           

                          5. Have you considered 2 x 24" dual monitors instead? A lot more real estate and gives you the opportunity to edit on one and preview your web-results on the other, while reducing the costs.

                          - I've read a lot about it. Some people swear by 1 large monitor and others by dual monitor set-ups or more. I was thinking of playing it safe and go with 1 large monitor since I currently edit off a 27" iMac and have never used a dual-monitor set-up.

                           

                          Thanks for the reply!

                          • 11. Re: Help Build a NLE Workstation for $4000 Budget or LESS!
                            dreinz Level 1
                            55299  ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA1366 DDR3 CrossFireX SLI 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 PCI USB 3.0 Motherboard  [SABERTOOTH X58[Reg. $216.41] 1 $209.99 $209.99
                            62522  Intel Core i7 980 6 Core Processor LGA1366 3.33GHZ Westmere 12MB L3 Cache 130W 32NM Retail Box  [BX80613I7980[Reg. $674.04] 1 $639.99 $639.99
                            60445
                             
                            Crucial M4 SSD Micron C400 128GB 2.5IN Solid State Disk Flash Drive SATA3 6Gbps  [CT128M4SSD2[Reg. $232.53]

                            56629
                             
                            PNY GeForce GTX 580 Fermi 772MHZ 1536MB 4GHZ GDDR5 2xDVI Mini-HDMI PCI-E DirectX 11 Video Card  [VCGGTX580XPB[Reg. $539.99] 1 $499.99 $499.99
                            56934
                             
                            Western Digital RE4 1TB SATA3 7200RPM 64MB Cache 3.5IN Hard Drive OEM  [WD1003FBYX

                            62827
                             
                            Corsair Enthusiast Series TX850M 850W ATX Modular Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan 5 Year Warranty  [CP-9020004-NA[Reg. $140.76] 1 $119.99 $119.99
                            62879
                             
                            LG BH12LS38 12X Blu Ray Rewriter SATA Black Lightscribe 3D Playback  [BH12LS38[Reg. $115.21]

                            41137
                             
                            Lian Li PC-A70F Black Aluminum E-ATX Full Tower Case 5X5.25 1X3.5 10X3.5INT No PS USB Audio 1394  [PC-A70F[Reg. $187.15] 1 $164.99 $164.99
                            57080
                             
                            Corsair Vengeance 12GB 3X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 XMP Triple Channel Core i7 Memory  [CMZ12GX3M3A1600C9[Reg. $90.25] 2 $74.99 $149.98
                            54360
                             
                            LSI MegaRAID 9240-4I 4 Port 6Gbps PCIEx8 Low Profile SAS/SATA/RAID Controller Card with Cables  [LSI00203[Reg. $254.22] 1 $232.50 $232.50

                             

                            1 Crucial SSD for you boot drive and applications, 1 Crucial SSD for a scratch disk, and 4 1TB Western Digital RE4 drives for storage
                            RE4s in a RAID 5 array using the LSI card

                             

                            Any thoughts on this set-up?

                            • 12. Re: Help Build a NLE Workstation for $4000 Budget or LESS!
                              Harm Millaard Level 7

                              Looks good, but the date that SB-E will be introduced is coming closer and closer. Maybe wait a couple of weeks before deciding if you have that time.

                               

                              The only weak point is the PSU. Instead of the TX I would suggest the AX gold label PSU.

                              • 13. Re: Help Build a NLE Workstation for $4000 Budget or LESS!
                                Scott Chichelli Level 3

                                at the risk of being blunt

                                anyone buying /building an X58 platform at this point is nuts. its EOL slower than either sandy and cost more than the budget sandy.

                                as Harm mentioned the new Sndy E launch on Nov 14th

                                 

                                and drop ALL SSD

                                 

                                Scott

                                ADK