Graphics card for CS5 production suite

Hello,

I am a student looking to get more into video editing and other post production as a possible career path rather than a hobby. I currently use my school's lab computers for all my post production needs, but am working on building my own computer. But when it comes to graphics cards, I have no clue. I've found so many different places saying so many different things on what and what not to use. I will be doing a lot of work in photoshop, premiere, and after effects. Any suggestions?

Thanks
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  1. What is your budget?

    All I know that nVidia GPUs which support CUDA can help accelerate the Mercury Playback Engine in Premiere Pro CS5, although I'm not sure what that would be used for specifically.
  2. Adobe has worked closely with NVidia so I would stick with NVidia cards (Quadro FX 1800 --> Quadro FX 5800). In CS4, Adobe began using the GPU more, and optimized this even more for CS5 -- particularly for video.

    That being said, get the maximum amount of RAM that you can afford (64bit Win 7), fast CPU, and (I'm a PhotoShop user) at least two HDs, preferably 3. HD1 should be large enough to hold your OS and all programs -- two SSDs in Raid 0 would be the way I'd go. HD2 is for your data storage -- multiple HDs in Raid 1, 5, 6 or 10. If you can afford it (or your computer allows it), HD3 would be your scratch disk (I'd also put a copy of my backup image of HD1 on this as well).

    Then there's your choice of monitors: Eizo or LaCie if your budget allows.

    If money is no object, look at the workstation offerings from Colfax, Boxx, or Xi. Particularly the PCoIP option that Boxx has. (PCoIP allows you to park your workstation in your data closet and network it to a zero client in your work area, where you monitors, keyboard, tablet, and mouse would reside.)

    And if you're into video -- are you planning to have a rendering box?
  3. You defenetely need Nvidia card for mercury acceleration. Given the quadro costs about 10x more than equivalent geforce card I would suggest to go with geforce series. As someone from adobe has said they will support gtx285 card (lighting fast and affordable) I would suggest that one. If you happen to have more money then go with gtx295 (dual gtx285) or new 470/480 (fermi architecture) cards.
  4. I forgot to include this in my previous post:

    If this is truly going to be your WORK station. Plan to have another computer to do all your email and net surfing. Basically, protect/isolate this box as much as you can. Except for occasional checks for OS/software updates, I'd leave it of the network as much as possible. The best defense against viruses and malware is to keep your computer from being exposed at all.
  5. hko45tom said:
    Adobe has worked closely with NVidia so I would stick with NVidia cards (Quadro FX 1800 --> Quadro FX 5800). In CS4, Adobe began using the GPU more, and optimized this even more for CS5 -- particularly for video.

    That being said, get the maximum amount of RAM that you can afford (64bit Win 7), fast CPU, and (I'm a PhotoShop user) at least two HDs, preferably 3. HD1 should be large enough to hold your OS and all programs -- two SSDs in Raid 0 would be the way I'd go. HD2 is for your data storage -- multiple HDs in Raid 1, 5, 6 or 10. If you can afford it (or your computer allows it), HD3 would be your scratch disk (I'd also put a copy of my backup image of HD1 on this as well).

    Then there's your choice of monitors: Eizo or LaCie if your budget allows.

    If money is no object, look at the workstation offerings from Colfax, Boxx, or Xi. Particularly the PCoIP option that Boxx has. (PCoIP allows you to park your workstation in your data closet and network it to a zero client in your work area, where you monitors, keyboard, tablet, and mouse would reside.)

    And if you're into video -- are you planning to have a rendering box?



    Thanks hko4stom, I will take your advice into account. Although I should have mentioned that my budget is $2000, so a lot of your suggestions will be out of my price range. Also, I am really new with most of this stuff (having a friend help me build the computer), what exactly are SSDs used for?
  6. Quote:
    You defenetely need Nvidia card for mercury acceleration. Given the quadro costs about 10x more than equivalent geforce card I would suggest to go with geforce series. As someone from adobe has said they will support gtx285 card (lighting fast and affordable) I would suggest that one. If you happen to have more money then go with gtx295 (dual gtx285) or new 470/480 (fermi architecture) cards.



    thanks, I was leaning towards the 470, so you think that would be sufficient?
  7. You can get a reasonably good system for $2K. Again: get as much RAM as you can. Get the fastest HD you can for HD1 (your OS and programs). Avoid putting any data on this disk. All your data should be on your storage disk. If you can't afford the scratch disk, just assign it to one of the two. A major reason for putting only OS and programs on HD1 is that you can run an image on that disk (Acronis) and restore it quickly without having to worry about stale data.

    One one thing you should be practicing on your system is getting your workflow nailed down. I.e., how do you get from your raw stock to your finished clips? So it's important that your computer be able to let you do this. In other words, get the right software and basic hardware to begin with -- otherwise you'll be picking up bad habits and unnecessary work-arounds. (Your learning curve is the most important/expensive investment you'll be making.)
  8. hko45tom said:
    You can get a reasonably good system for $2K. Again: get as much RAM as you can. Get the fastest HD you can for HD1 (your OS and programs). Avoid putting any data on this disk. All your data should be on your storage disk. If you can't afford the scratch disk, just assign it to one of the two. A major reason for putting only OS and programs on HD1 is that you can run an image on that disk (Acronis) and restore it quickly without having to worry about stale data.

    One one thing you should be practicing on your system is getting your workflow nailed down. I.e., how do you get from your raw stock to your finished clips? So it's important that your computer be able to let you do this. In other words, get the right software and basic hardware to begin with -- otherwise you'll be picking up bad habits and unnecessary work-arounds. (Your learning curve is the most important/expensive investment you'll be making.)


    OK, so focus on RAM...I was shooting for 8GB, would you recommend more? I'm not sure if my budget will allow for the multi hard drive system you are proposing, but I'll see what i can do. Also, do you have any advice/recommendations as far as major components go?

    Here is what i have picked out right now:

    Video card:
    ASUS ENGTX470/2DI/1280MD5 GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    motherboard:
    ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    Item #: N82E16813131641

    CPU:
    Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920

    RAM:
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL X2

    Thanks again for your help
  9. I'd always recommend more RAM, but I think having at least two disks has to be factored in.

    Since you indicated that your primary interest was video, you need to check out what requirements a rendering box would impose on your graphics card selection. I know that your budget doesn't permit a separate rendering box right now, but is this on your near term horizon? If so, then you need to make sure that the GeForce card will work with all of the Quadro FX cards that will be in your rendering computer. As I said in my earlier post, don't let your constraints now force you to make some more expensive adjustments in the near future.

    As for the other hardware choices, I'm sure others have greater expertise. At least one thing with the CS5 products, they'll make good use of the CPU's multiple core and hyper threading, as well as GPU capabilities.

    BTW: I just thought I'd ask -- do you see yourself using Avid at all?
  10. I'd probably say no on the render box, as I am a college student...not much money to work with. I've used Avid quite a bit before and liked it, but i decided to go with the production suite because of the addition of photoshop, after effects, etc. Also, i want to get the student price while i still can...graduating in 6 months.
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