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$1500-$2000 build for HD rendering through Adobe Premiere CS4

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June 6, 2010 6:09:51 AM

Hi,

I am definitely behind the curve on the latest and greatest computer for rendering HD video through Premiere CS4. I do the purchasing for a school that has a video class that uses a Canon 5D for HD video. This past year the class used a Quad 4 Q6600 with 4MB of memory and NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT. The ratio of rendering time of full HD compatibility of the camera to recorded time was 4:1 which made projects painfully slow to work on. Also the video lost a lot of its wow factor going from camera to computer. I would assume this had something to do with the video card.

We have up to $2000 to purchase a computer, minus monitor. Virtually everything we have is Dell and we would prefer to keep it that way or purchase from another reputable company. Does anybody have a suggestion for getting the best bang for our buck? Also any ideas what we could get the rendering time down to?

Thanks,

Wendy
a b à CPUs
June 6, 2010 8:21:55 AM

Going for a prebuilt system from Dell or another company is not the best value for money.

You could consider these specs:

Processor - AMD Phenom II X6 1090T
Motherboard - ASUS Crosshair IV Formula
Graphics - Nvidia Quadro FX 3800 1GB 256 bit GDDR3
Memory - CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (4 x 2GB)
Storage - for OS & applications - 2 X Intel X25-V 40GB in RAID 0
for media - SAMSUNG EcoGreen F2 HD154UI 1.5TB

Total ~ US $ 1950
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a c 81 à CPUs
June 6, 2010 8:52:41 AM

Since its not for personal use, a pre built workstation is a good option because of support (although you can get better performance at the same price if you are ready to go custom built route).. You require good processing power out of the box (since am assuming overclocking is out of question) and a decent video card.. Do let us know if you are willing for a custom build.. If so then my recommendation will be to go the intel route (since they perform better with adobe apps).. If you are only towards pre built workstations then try getting a dual xeon workstation..
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a b à CPUs
June 6, 2010 3:21:24 PM

The big problem with 5D footage is that it's recorded in H.264 and that's not an editing codec. You shouldn't have a drop in quality moving to the computer though because you're not "capturing" anything - just copy the files directly off the SD card and you're away.

I would definitely have some kind of RAID drive for the storage so you have sufficient throughput to handle the 5D footage's high bitrate, but Premiere CS4 doesn't do a wonderful job of handling 4D natively.

I built a i7 920 system for 5D editing in CS4 with 3 500GB Samsung SpinPoint F3s in RAID 0 and it's fine for a single video track, but when you start layering and editing things start to grind. With that much processing power available though you should be able to get a good piece of software for converting the 5D into a more usable format (and if you can find one with CUDA or ATI Stream transcoding support then get a good graphics card to go with it).

Also, something like the Quadro FX 3800 mentioned above sets you up nicely for using CS5's Mercury Engine in CUDA mode, which will help 5D footage no end.
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June 9, 2010 5:51:20 PM

Emperus said:
Since its not for personal use, a pre built workstation is a good option because of support (although you can get better performance at the same price if you are ready to go custom built route).. You require good processing power out of the box (since am assuming overclocking is out of question) and a decent video card.. Do let us know if you are willing for a custom build.. If so then my recommendation will be to go the intel route (since they perform better with adobe apps).. If you are only towards pre built workstations then try getting a dual xeon workstation..


OK lets us say we give the custom build a shot. Reading up on the Nvidia Quadro FX 3800 it would definitely meet our needs. We just need to be spot on with the components for the build to insure everything was compatible. Also we feel more comfortable going with the i7. Our budget is $2100.
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a b à CPUs
June 9, 2010 6:39:24 PM

For an i7 platform, you could consider this:
Intel i7-930
Gigabyte GA X58A UD3R
Gskill 2 X 6 GB (3 X 2 GB) 1333 - Total 12 GB memory
everything else remains constant
Quote:
Graphics - Nvidia Quadro FX 3800 1GB 256 bit GDDR3
Storage - for OS & applications
- 2 X Intel X25-V 40GB in RAID 0
for media - SAMSUNG EcoGreen F2 HD154UI 1.5TB


Total US $1979
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a c 81 à CPUs
June 9, 2010 8:15:31 PM

whipnm said:
OK lets us say we give the custom build a shot. Reading up on the Nvidia Quadro FX 3800 it would definitely meet our needs. We just need to be spot on with the components for the build to insure everything was compatible. Also we feel more comfortable going with the i7. Our budget is $2100.


Good choice on going the custom build route (even if the decision is still pending).. Now lets try and build a powerful and stylish, yet silent rig.. My recommendations would be -

1. CoolerMaster Cosmos S Full Tower Desktop Case

2. Corsair HX 750W PSU

3. Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R ATX Motherboard

4. Intel i7 930 Processor

5. Nvidia GTX 285 Video Card

6. 12 GB Kingston DDR3 1600 Hyper-X T1 Memory Modules

7. Intel 160 GB G2 SSD (OS and application drive)

8. Two 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 drives for backup (one drive can be used for OS backup and other drive for file backup and storage)

P.S. - Optical drives and other components (if any) are not mentioned.. The GeForce drive is recommended over the quadro because of lower pricing and no significant performance difference.. Have not calculated on total pricing but hopefully It'll be well within your budget.. Any extra money can be spent on upgrading the CPU towards an i7 980X EE or for more faster storage by employing SSD RAID 0 configs..
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