I am so tired searching through internet, all I get is partial data needed for my project. I will ask once and maybe this thread will become a place to solve all major questionions. Get ready to read some wall
Ok, I am going to buy new workstation. First - I am creating content in Adobe CS5 and starting in 3d. Mainly (as follows): AFTER EFFECTS, FLASH, PHOTOSHOP, ILLUSTRATOR, for 3d content it's Blender (let's go with Maya also - for models and implementing them in Papervision3d and then putting into Flash on websites and apps.
Now, when You know for what it will be - let's get started.
My budget - 5, mayby 5.5k bucks. Now, for cpu I choosed i7-950 (I am experienced in OC, so I will rape it as much as I can on LC , Asus SuperComputer mobo with 24Gigs of HyperX 1600MHz rams (oc'd to 2000MHz) - as AE will need it as much as it can eat. HDD - OCZ RevoDrive for system. Monitor: NEC PA241W P-IPS. Other components choosed also good . Most important - GRAPHICS CARD. But let's leave it for a second.
First - would it be better to choose EVGA SR mobo (which has 12 slots for ddr) and put 48 Gigs and put 2 xeons (5620) and oc them? It's over 1,3K bucks more. Why I ask? Some people wrote on forums that they had problems with allocating cores for AE. That max is 4 cores for it to handle. How much true is in it? I kno it supports multithreading - so it's up to 8 threads on i7-950. But if I buy 2 xeon - will EIGHT PHYSICAL cores be supported? Or maybe go with i7-980x? (Thus price of it makes the difference of putting money to EVGA mobo and 2 xeons). Buying 48 1333MHz rams is 300bucks more expensive than 24 KINGSTONE HYPERX rams.
Now second and most important: GFX card. I know that Premiere use MPE that GTX480 supports (I won't buy quadro - you will know in couple of text lines belov why . But for me it's AE most important. It supports OpenGL as always, but will it give me better performance than for example FireGl card?I have softmodded my laptop's good old hd2600 card into fireGl v3600 and it's blazing fast for Maya - actually faster than any quadro card from what I have seen in specviewperf10 test. 142points on old core2duo t7100 with fire gl vs more less 90 on quadro 4000 fermi gave is a damn something to think about.
As AE supports OpenGL and FireGl - can I think that performance of this card in AE can be compared to GTX480 that IS SUPPORTED BY ADOBE CS5? I know that for Premiere FireGl is crap, but I don't use it! And because I can buy cheap and softmod 3870 or 4xxx cards into powerful FireGl's that runs faster than Quadros in 3d application used by me - is it worth? This bothers me all the time, everytime when I try to learn something about gtx480 in AE tests - I find nothing but CUDA in Premiere this, MPE with nvidia in Premiere that. DON'T NEED THIS! AE don't use MPE, but will gtx480 accelerate it anyway beacause it is SUPPOTED? I want to know how actually this affects previews and overall acceleration in AE!
Phew, a lot of writing, but those questions are crucial for me as I am going to spend so much money - I want to spend them right. Because if GTX is supported and it's worth buying just for AE - I will put it with FireGl into one rig. This gives me another question but enough for now - please, advanced users godblessed with workstations - HELP!
Ok, let address some of your questions and concerns, granted by now you havn't already made a purchasing descion.
1. Go with EVGA SR-2, load it with ECC DDR3 memory. Start out with 24 gigs and see how that fairs for you. You can always add the additional memory later. The reasoning for the ECC memory is for the stablity. As an avid OC'er you will know the pros and cons of changing the clock speeds on a processor depending on the usage. For gaming and so forth OC an I7 is the way to go. However since you will be rendering scenes and will proabbbly not want to re do some redering tasks stick with a Dual CPU setup.
2. Although the prices of the 470/480 will start to come down with the intro of the 580 series, stick with a SLI setup. I'd look at using two GTX 470's for the money. If power is going to be a concern you can look at the newer GF110 Femi that the GTX 460 has been implemented with. Actually two GTX 460's in SLI will beat out a new GTX 580 single GPU in many permormance areas.
3. SAS and what it's going to mean to you for rendering and viewing your work. Get 3-4 SAS Raid 0 for doing your production work. Once you have gold files, place them on a 5th SAS drive for backup.
4. The SR-2 advantage with Nvidia or ATI cards in SLI. You can also use your workstation for one killer PC for games as well.
Let us know what you decided! Sorry for the spelling was in a hurry!