10k After Effects System

I have about a $10,000 budget to build/purchase a workhorse computer for our work. This computer will primarily run After Effects, Premiere Pro and Cinema 4D.

* APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within 6 months
* BUDGET RANGE: 8000-10000
* SYSTEM USAGE: crunching graphics and AV production
* PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, display. Planning on 64-bit Windows 7.
* PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com
* COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

Adobe Production Suite (After Effects, Premiere, Photoshop)
Cinema 4D

I was thinking of spending more on fast drives and RAM then anything else with the primary use being After Effects. RAID setups are a consideration or a small render farm. We are considering everything and anything in order to make our production workflow the fastest possible.

Thanks for the input!
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  1. Frankly, this is literally the most expensive thing I could come up with, and it would be insanely fast. Better take out insurance on it though...

    CPU: i7-980X Likely $1,000 (it's not out yet, but will be very soon)
    Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium $310
    RAM: 2x Mushkin Enahnced Blackline 3x4 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 9 $1,550 (24 GB total)
    GPU: Workstation GPU (ATI's Fire or nVidia's Quaddro line)
    SSD: 3x Corsair Nova 128 GB $957 (RAID 5)
    HDD: 4x Seagate 7200.12 1 TB $360 (RAID 10), if you need that much storage. If not, leave all but one or two out.
    PSU: OCZ Z Series 850W 80+ Gold $170 after rebate
    Case: LIAN LI PC-A70F $200
    Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $23
    HSF: Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B $85 (with 2 fans)

    Total: $4,655 w/o GPU. Throw in a couple of RAID controllers.
  2. I really want to get the i7. Just need to see how it works with After Effects. Just looking through this setup has me excited on how fast she will be! :) Thanks for the input Admiral.
  3. Alternatives if you want to throw more money at it:

    Add a 4th SSD and go RAID 10.
    Change the 1 TB drives to 2 TB drives.
    Change the DVD burner to a Blu-ray burner.

    Otherwise, there's not a lot more you can do without changing to a Xeon workstation build.
  4. Maybe crossfire x4 5970 and a PSU with 1500w.
  5. Userremoved said:
    Maybe crossfire x4 5970 and a PSU with 1500w.


    It's not a gaming system, so no.
  6. MadAdmiral said:
    Frankly, this is literally the most expensive thing I could come up with, and it would be insanely fast. Better take out insurance on it though...

    CPU: i7-980X Likely $1,000 (it's not out yet, but will be very soon)
    Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium $310
    RAM: 2x Mushkin Enahnced Blackline 3x4 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 9 $1,550 (24 GB total)
    GPU: Workstation GPU (ATI's Fire or nVidia's Quaddro line)
    SSD: 3x Corsair Nova 128 GB $957 (RAID 5)
    HDD: 4x Seagate 7200.12 1 TB $360 (RAID 10), if you need that much storage. If not, leave all but one or two out.
    PSU: OCZ Z Series 850W 80+ Gold $170 after rebate
    Case: LIAN LI PC-A70F $200
    Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $23
    HSF: Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B $85 (with 2 fans)

    Total: $4,655 w/o GPU. Throw in a couple of RAID controllers.

    lol, over kill build?

    At any rate, beware that if you add SSDs in RAID you CAN'T use the TRIM feature (yet).

    If I was the OP, I'd build a 2P system, not single CPU system especially if doing renderings.
  7. Ok something that makes more sense than my my first suggestion x1 5870 and i7 930 with a 850w PSU.
  8. Again, OP isn't a gamer. The gaming GPUs (every GPU you know of) will not be good for the OP's uses. For what he's doing, a workstation GPU would be a lot better than a gaming card. The difference is that gaming GPUs essentially use the brute force method. They pound out frames as fast as possible, but at a lower quality per frame. Workstation GPUs focus on quality more than quantity. In addition, workstation cards are tested more, so the odds of having problems is very, very low. Not only that, you get better customer service with the workstation GPUs.

    @shadow: It's only overkill if you can't afford it. Besides, since it's a workhorse system, it can never be too fast.

    coldsleep said:

    Add a 4th SSD and go RAID 10.


    Forgot to comment on this earlier. I picked RAID 5 for a reason. I choose RAID 5 because if a drive fails, you can keep working with only a low down until you fix it. RAID 10 would be great for data back up, which is why I choose it for the 1 TB drives. I personally think the OP would get better use out of RAID 5.
  9. Hey...if you want to go with cheap homebuilds fine, but here is what I would get...a bit more on the expensive side and should be reaching your budget limit but IMO much better suited for your work.
    CPU:2x Intel Xeon W5590
    MOBO:SuperMicro MBD-X8DTH-6F-O
    GPU: Nvidia Quadro FX 5800 (You can get two of these but your money lies with the dual socket mobo and 2 xeon 5590's for a true 8 core system and if they have HT then you will have 16 virtual cores.
    SSD: Intel X25-E 32GB for OS
    HDD: HP SAS 6GB/s 15K 600GB
    RAM: 2x Patriot Signature 12GB (3x4)
    PSU: 1200Watt PC power and Cooling Modular
    Case: Any big server chassis.
  10. MadAdmiral said:
    Again, OP isn't a gamer. The gaming GPUs (every GPU you know of) will not be good for the OP's uses. For what he's doing, a workstation GPU would be a lot better than a gaming card. The difference is that gaming GPUs essentially use the brute force method. They pound out frames as fast as possible, but at a lower quality per frame. Workstation GPUs focus on quality more than quantity. In addition, workstation cards are tested more, so the odds of having problems is very, very low. Not only that, you get better customer service with the workstation GPUs.

    @shadow: It's only overkill if you can't afford it. Besides, since it's a workhorse system, it can never be too fast.


    Forgot to comment on this earlier. I picked RAID 5 for a reason. I choose RAID 5 because if a drive fails, you can keep working with only a low down until you fix it. RAID 10 would be great for data back up, which is why I choose it for the 1 TB drives. I personally think the OP would get better use out of RAID 5.

    Oh!You a mean workstation GPU. Ok sorry
  11. MadAdmiral said:

    Forgot to comment on this earlier. I picked RAID 5 for a reason. I choose RAID 5 because if a drive fails, you can keep working with only a low down until you fix it. RAID 10 would be great for data back up, which is why I choose it for the 1 TB drives. I personally think the OP would get better use out of RAID 5.


    Theoretically, you can have 2 disks fail in RAID 10 and keep working. As long as they're the right two disks. You can have one fail no problem though. Large businesses that aren't strapped for cash tend to use RAID 10 for critical databases so that they get the benefits of RAID 0 while still making sure that their data is mirrored.

    The reason RAID 10 isn't used more is that you don't get the additional capacity that you would with RAID 5. RAID 10 is generally the fastest at reads and writes, while offering the most data security. It's just more expensive for less capacity than RAID 5. :)
  12. If you've got the budget, grab a few of these Vertex LE's to throw into a raid 5 or 10

    $429 each, but they'll beat even Intel's X25 G2 drives.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227508&cm_re=vertex_le-_-20-227-508-_-Product
  13. Quote:
    @shadow: It's only overkill if you can't afford it. Besides, since it's a workhorse system, it can never be too fast.

    lol true that, not sure how After Effects respond to more cores, but you may be better off with a Nehalem based 2P system.
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