Video editing After Effects build help $2-3k

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: 2-3k

System Usage from Most to Least Important: After Effects, Avid and Premiere Pro, Adobe Media Encoder or equivalent, Photoshop/Illustrator, Cinema 4d, Adobe Lightroom, NO games

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: anything trusted

Country: (e.g.: India) no preference, anything trusted

Parts Preferences: no preference

Overclocking: Maybe?

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe?

Monitor Resolution: 2048x1152

Additional Comments:
Hi all,
First off, I just want to say thank you for taking the time to read this thread and if you reply I greatly and sincerely appreciate your effort.

Basically, at my previous workplace I was using prebuilt 8core and 12core Mac Pros which worked great. Now, I am full-time freelance and am currently using my 2008 Macbook Pro, 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB DDR2 667 SDRAM (not unibody) for HD video editing and After Effects motion graphics for the past few months and I've just about had enough. I have a need to upgrade and to do it soon because I'm having a hard time keeping up with the workload I'm receiving. I'm tired of having to set my laptop to After Effects render while I sleep and waking up in the middle of the night to compress the files so that in the morning I won't be twiddling my thumbs for 2-3 hours instead.

I thought about purchasing an 8core mac pro with 3k and leasing the rest but then I thought why don't I save some money and possibly build something even faster. Or maybe even a hackintosh? I'm so well versed in Final Cut Studio that I have nothing left to learn in it and with its abandonment and joke that is Final Cut X I'm ready to move on and start diving into AVID and PP. I understand that building a workstation comes with certain risks and that prebuilt usually means reliable with warranty but, well, I'm stubborn.

I haven't built a computer since high school(over a decade ago) and although I understand the fundamentals I have a lot of brushing up to do. Although my main use will be video editing and motion graphics animation, I've already started learning Cinema 4d and will continue to get more serious about it. However, I know the cost of gfx cards can get pricey and so I may skimp on this for now. I don't play any games. Here are some questions I have.

1.) What build do you suggest for me?

2.) i7 vs xeons? and why? i keep getting mixed answers in my searches but my guess for my type of work would be xeons? What about Sandy Bridge E's?

3.) How reliable, cost efficient, and performance yielding would a hackintosh be?

4.) SSD? Right now I work off of 4 x 1tb external HDs at 7200 rpm. I'd like to keep using them now and worry about getting internal HD's later.

5.) Is there any new technology coming out soon that I should hold off for? Even if there was I don't think I could wait long I need something soon.

Note: Of course I'd like to save as much money as possible but if it's better to spend a little more to make my system more future proof then I would do so.

Again, thank you for your time.
6 answers Last reply
More about video editing effects build
  1. The only new computer parts technology coming out within a month or two I'm aware of would be AMD's new Radeon 7000 series video cards. Intel's new CPUs and Nvidia's new video cards are supposed to come out later in 2012.
  2. For video editing you might want to take a look at a Z68 chipset/mobo for Sandy Bridge.
    It can use the GPU inside the processor to encode video fast, if your editing software supports it
  3. Nvidia's GPUs might be able to top Intel's integrated HD 3000 graphics for applications that are GPU accelerated like encoding. I doubt any affordable Radeon can do this because Radeons just aren't as fast when it comes to GPGPU acceleration but the 7000 series seems to have made huge leaps in this field, who knows it might be a contender.

    I don't know how each GPU (Intel, Nvidia, AMD) stack up against the others so I can't make a recommendation on which one to use but I can say that research may be in order here.
  4. According to another forum the HD 3000 is faster at transcoding than GPGPU stuff like CUDA too.
  5. The HD 3000 accelerates encoding but it doesn't accelerate the general effects of editing (transitions, color correction etc) which is what most of the render time for Premiere ends up being.

    Premiere Pro's GPU acceleration is CUDA based and thus won't work on an ATI graphics card.
  6. Yeah AMD cards aren't as good in GPGPU situations as Nvidia cards are.

    You could get an H67 or Z68 motherboard and use Intel's QuickSync, allowing you to use the HD IGP of the CPU for encoding/transcoding stuff and use a discrete video card for other stuff.
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