Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Rendering/Video Editing Station -- First Build

Tags:
  • Homebuilt
  • Build
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
Share
September 15, 2011 10:04:51 PM

Hello All,

I'm a film student looking to build my first PC for running Cinema 4d, 3ds, Maya, Vray, and the Adobe Production Suite. I rarely game, but I'd still like to invest in a decent video card just in case. My budget is around $1200-$1700 (pretty lenient).

I began researching parts with little knowledge about the guts of a PC, so the parts I ended up selecting are mostly from 'Guru of 3D' recommendations.

My current build is as follows:

Processor
Intel Core i7-2600K: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Fan
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Please lend me your wisdom on motherboards. It looks like the easiest part to screw up.

Storage
OCZ Agility 3 SATA III SSD (120GB): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
&
Seagate Barracuda 1TB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory
G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card
EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Not confident about this one either. Adobe certifies cards for GPU acceleration, so I just snagged one from the list here: http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/tech-specs.html

Chassis
Corsair Carbide Series 400R: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V v2.2:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If anything immediately presents itself as a poor choice, please let me know. I tried to make sure the parts here are compatible with the i7 2600k, but I was confused by some of the jargon associated with motherboards, video cards, and memory.

Thanks!

Cyrus







More about : rendering video editing station build

September 16, 2011 12:54:58 PM

cyrus001 said:
Hello All,

I'm a film student looking to build my first PC for running Cinema 4d, 3ds, Maya, Vray, and the Adobe Production Suite. I rarely game, but I'd still like to invest in a decent video card just in case. My budget is around $1200-$1700 (pretty lenient).

I began researching parts with little knowledge about the guts of a PC, so the parts I ended up selecting are mostly from 'Guru of 3D' recommendations.

My current build is as follows:

Processor
Intel Core i7-2600K: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Fan
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Please lend me your wisdom on motherboards. It looks like the easiest part to screw up.

Storage
OCZ Agility 3 SATA III SSD (120GB): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
&
Seagate Barracuda 1TB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory
G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card
EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Not confident about this one either. Adobe certifies cards for GPU acceleration, so I just snagged one from the list here: http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/tech-specs.html

Chassis
Corsair Carbide Series 400R: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V v2.2:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If anything immediately presents itself as a poor choice, please let me know. I tried to make sure the parts here are compatible with the i7 2600k, but I was confused by some of the jargon associated with motherboards, video cards, and memory.

Thanks!

Cyrus



My friend, You have a long row to hoe. I work in the 3D industry, film production. I consult for a studio in China and one in Vietnam at present. Both run 3Ds Max and Maya with an array of plugins which I am sure you are familiar with as a film student. First, it ain't cheap! So save your money and do it right. You go down the cheap road and you will not get results and end up either giving up or, worse yet, spending tons of cash trying to make your configuration work and eventually chasing your tail. After sharing a brief tale of woe, I'll give you specific recommendations.

My client called me to render 10 seconds of animation, volcano effect, smoke fire and fog. Eight days, they told me for them to do it. That's a long time to tie up a PC in a small studio. Now, your proposed system will run the programs fine and accomplish the graphics work you need to get done, but forget rendering. Either send your files out for rendering or build the proper machine to do it all.

First off, CPU's don't do rendering well but you still need their raw horse power for processing the mundain stuff. I like the Tyan boards; I've been very happy with the S7025WAGM2NR. You can use one 4 Core Intel Xeon E5520 for a while with 4GB of DDR3 RAM and later upgrade to two (I have 2 Xeons and 32 GB in this machine but I started out with one and four). The board has 4, PCIe 16 double wide slots which you will need, if not now, later. It has QPI for the memory and bus interface. You can read the benifits of QPI vs Front side bus on your own. You will need a huge power supply for all the additions you are going to make later, I use a Power Bird- TOP1300W from TopPower. Then you need a case to handle the EATX mother board. Caution, DON'T go "PRETTY". This is an industrial strength machine! Your main goal is to keep this turkey cool! SuperMicro has some excelent cases, if budget is no concern. I chose a Chenbro SR107 for price and availability (I'm in China and I have three of them in different configurations). Don't use stock fans for the CPU or for Chassis cooling or your machine will sound like a wind tunnel; forget water cooling, look at Noctua fans; they are quiet and efficient.

Now you have the basic machine sans graphics. At present you have a VGA connector and that's it. I hate ATI so nVidia is my choice and serves me well. The Quadro Cards are really cool but low and midrange cards won't cut it for you. I used a Quadro FX 1800 but it is not up to the task. You will need at least a Quadro 5000 (it does SLI has 352 CUDA processors and 2.5GB GDDR5 RAM). This is what I was refering to in the last paragraph CPU's don't do rendering well. Rendering requires floating point operation, and a lot of it. This is off loaded to the GPU's, in this case the more the merrier and a bunch of memory for cache. This is where your rendering takes place.

As I mentioned before, the motherboard has 4 16x PCIe slots. This is where they come in handy. You can add 3 Tesla C2050 or 3 Tesla C2070 GPUs to add 3x448 CUDA Cores ane 3 to 6GB Video RAM to boot! So your minimum configuration with the Quadro 500 has 352 GPU cores, each additional C2070 adds 448 GPU cores for a total of (if all is full) 1696 GPUs with a max memeory of 20.5GB and this is accessed on QPI not Front Side Bus.

Now you are going to need a disk sub system. Don't choose SSD for an OS, although the speed of boot up is fast the cost is higher and you can wait for a minute more on boot. The Chenbro case has a 3" disk on top and to the left side, it has 8 drive bays for your data. I prefer hot swap, but this is discresional, optional and costs extra from Chenbro (but it looks cool and swaping drives is fantastically easy. Optional Raid Controller. I use RAID 5 on 4, 1 TB drives, and RAID 0 on 4, 1 TB drives (I could use smaller drives but cost is a small factor on storage) for faster disk access while rendering (page files to be kept here, not on C Drive). The rendered files are kept on the RAID 5 array for redundancy/safety. The RAID 0 array is erased and clean for the next render session.

Sound? Get a basic Aduio card from Creative or anyone else. They are all at least 5.1 or more. Monitors, I prefer 1980x1600 HP LEDs. Cheap and effective. Get 2 at least 23". Wacom has some nice tablets, a good basic mouse and keyboard and you are in business!

You are going to pay a boat load for software. Win 7 Ultra or Professional. You should run 64 bit on the OS. Don't pay less for the machine! You can scale the system I've spelled out above to help with inital cost but it will last quite a while and you should be able to add components for at least a few years. Forget the i7. Buy the case, motherboard, 1 CPU and memory, the Quadro and a couple of disk drives to begin. Add the rest as needed. I'm a hardware/software junkie (just ask my wife) but film is my business and it's really hard to be an artist in a digital field.

m
0
l
September 16, 2011 1:15:41 PM

cyrus001 said:
Hello All,

I'm a film student looking to build my first PC for running Cinema 4d, 3ds, Maya, Vray, and the Adobe Production Suite. I rarely game, but I'd still like to invest in a decent video card just in case. My budget is around $1200-$1700 (pretty lenient).

I began researching parts with little knowledge about the guts of a PC, so the parts I ended up selecting are mostly from 'Guru of 3D' recommendations.

My current build is as follows:

Processor
Intel Core i7-2600K: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Fan
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Please lend me your wisdom on motherboards. It looks like the easiest part to screw up.

Storage
OCZ Agility 3 SATA III SSD (120GB): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
&
Seagate Barracuda 1TB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory
G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card
EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Not confident about this one either. Adobe certifies cards for GPU acceleration, so I just snagged one from the list here: http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/tech-specs.html

Chassis
Corsair Carbide Series 400R: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V v2.2:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If anything immediately presents itself as a poor choice, please let me know. I tried to make sure the parts here are compatible with the i7 2600k, but I was confused by some of the jargon associated with motherboards, video cards, and memory.

Thanks!

Cyrus



BTW your list of parts here will never work well. You must be anticipating of running a 64bit OS as 32 bit will not recognize 8GB of RAM. Why on earth would you want to pay the extra dollars on an SSD, even though it is great technology? The i7 is a good choice for basic 3Ds Max and the other programs but won't render worth a tinker's damn. The GTX card, like the i7, will work for the basic stuff but not for rendering. ASUS motherboard? I'd use Intel, Supermico or Tyan, everyone else I've tried has screwed me when I run the Apps we are looking at. I love SSDs, they are fine for laptops but just not big enough, as yet, for workstation service except for OS but they have to be constantly monitored for bloating.

It was largely an accident that I read your post, but I sympathise with you. I've been exactly where you are now, back in the 80's when this wasn't possible. I wish you well in our industry! I hope I've not disappointed or discouraged but it's hard to find these answers on line. I hope you can tell us how this works for you or not.
m
0
l
Related resources
September 19, 2011 1:16:01 AM

Thank you so much for the extremely helpful feedback. I've looked into every component you recommended, and this looks like an extremely well-engineered workstation.

I'm strongly considering the S7025WAGM2NR motherboard you've recommended for scalability, and you've sold me on the quadro 5000 or 4000 (I'll scour ebay for these). I'll also take your advice on the sub disk system and chassis.

I've now spent hours researching the whole high-end consumer level vs workstation level video card debate. I'm committed to the quadros in that they are clearly optimized for the software that I intend to use. However, it's very difficult to find recent benchmarks comparing them to high-end consumer level cards such as the GTX 580. Do these cards really offer enough bang-for-the-buck to justify the price hike?
m
0
l
September 19, 2011 1:38:53 AM

Hey all,

I am considering a machine almost exactly the same as what Cyrus mentioned initially with an i7 2600k and GTX 570. I want to edit HD video from HDSLRs smoothly and do some graphics and CG effects in After Effects. I don't do animation and would primarily just be using Adobe CS4 Production Premium with Premiere and After Effects etc. (hopefully CS5.5 or 6 when I have money to upgrade.)

I don't have a very big budget ($2,000 max) and I do want the system to be able to play new games well. I have a 1920x1080 monitor and don't foresee going any higher in resolution.

Benog, can the system Cyrus mentioned initially be enough for my purposes? My work is non-paying and it is just a hobby, but should I really be looking into a quadro card?

Thanks!
m
0
l
September 19, 2011 2:17:28 AM

From what I've read, there are fewer benefits to the quadro cards for use in Premiere and AE (and I hear the GTX 570 will be more than sufficient in most cases). Moreover, they're clocked at lower speeds than the GeForce series and are therefore not as desirable for gaming.
m
0
l
September 19, 2011 2:22:03 AM

So because I do a decent amount of gaming, I am probably better off with the i7 2600k and GTX 570 card rather than a workstation. Yeah, I think that works for me.

Cyrus, are you proficient in those programs you listed like Maya, or are you just learning them now in classes or on your own?
m
0
l
September 19, 2011 2:51:29 AM

That sounds like an great build for you're doing!

I haven't taken any physical animation courses, but Cinema 4D is very easy to pick up and I've been pegging away at Maya with the help of Digital Tutors.
m
0
l
October 21, 2011 4:56:01 PM

cyrus001 said:
That sounds like an great build for you're doing!

I haven't taken any physical animation courses, but Cinema 4D is very easy to pick up and I've been pegging away at Maya with the help of Digital Tutors.


There's a very illuminating thread with hundreds of posts that would be a good starting point
for a quick tutorial with a couple of people designing their systems and having them evolve
as advice is given - the bottom line however is to match your hardware to your intended
software applications and hanging in specific forums to find out what the pro's are using.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/300314-31-high-person...

To add my 3 cents worth, I went for the highest spec I could afford and have now accumulated
a little experience with with a dual cpu, 24GB RAM and GTX460 2GB based workstation.

I bought a server board for the end life scenario for this unit. I could have done with less as
a workstation or value added with an equivalent but over-clockable EVGA SR-2 but reducing
the RAM availability when it morphs to a server role. (Supermicro X8DTH - 6F).

I put 24GB of ECC triple channel RAM occupying half the slots and giving 12GB to each
quad core processor (Xeon E5620). So far even with three linux virtualizations running
I haven't exceeded 16GB usage.

Apparently none of my software for digital image processing or 3D work uses CUDA or even
turns my low end GTX 460 on past 12% usage. I'm not a gamer though.

Having the QPI connections to ramp up the 16 threads my CPU's deliver is at times awesome.
Pegging my CPU's to maximum and having batch processes melt like a slab of butter encountering
an extremely hot knife is gratifying to say the least.

In the end however, if you are starting out you could do worse than read the thread on high-end
workstations because technology is moving forward quickly and more cost effective solutions can
be had without breaking the bank and leaving upgrade options open to deal with any missed
issues or new paths that occur.
m
0
l
!