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Xeon Workstation for AVID and Podcasting

Last response: in Systems
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July 25, 2012 12:19:26 PM

Hi,
This is my first post on the website, but have been using tom's hardware for a few weeks now and I think that this community is fairly switched on when it comes to efficient builds.

This is designed to be a workstation, and as such will not be used for any internet or gaming applications.

Approximate Purchase Date: Before the end of August, depending on funds.

Budget Range: approx. $2,000 - $2,500 for workstation / approx. $3200 for all components.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Video Editing, Minor Colour Grading (Contrast and levels), VFX and Word Processing

Are you buying a monitor: Yes, I am buying 2x Dell S2330SMX 23 inch LED monitors.



Do you need to buy OS: No - Will wait for the service pack updates on windows 8.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Have been shopping around, but there are physical stores near where I work - www.pccasegear.com and www.scorptec.com.au

Location: Melbourne, Australia.

Parts Preferences: Intel Xeon

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe - if two quadro 600's are better than one quadro 2000

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Also this will be built as a quiet PC, noise level is an important consideration for long working hours.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Building a dedicated workstation.

The List of component parts for this station is as follows:

Chassis: Lian Li PC-9FB $165.00
<http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...;

Powersupply: Cooler Master 720w Silent Pro M2 $135.00
<http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...;

Chipset (LGA 1155)/Mobo: ASUS P8C-WS Motherboard $315.00
<http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...;

Chip/CPU: Intel Xeon E3 1225 v2 $245.00
<http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/45938-bx80637e31225...;

Memory: Corsair Vengeance CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 $140.00
<http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...;

Video Card/GPU: Leadtek Quadro 2000, 1GB GDDR5, PCI Express, Dual DisplayPort, DVI $609.00
<http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/39662-quadro-2000&g...;

or

2x Leadtek Quadro 600, 1GB GDDR3, PCI Express @$250.00 ea
<http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/39663-quadro-600&gt;

HDD #1 (OS): Intel 330 Series 120GB SSD $130.00
<http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...;

HDD#2 (Storage): Seagate Barracuda 2TB $115.00
<http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...;

Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 24x SATA DVD-RW Drive OEM $22.00
<http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...;
[NB: Selected because it was the cheapest available]

Keyboard: Leopold FC500R Mechanical Keyboard (Cherry Brown) $109.00
<http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...;
[NB: It seems as though I would make more typos with a cherry red]

Webcam: Logitech C910 HD Pro Webcam $82.00
<http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...;

Audio Hardware interface: PreSonus AudioBox USB Audio Interface $170.00
<http://www.soundcorp.com.au/presonus-audiobox.html&gt;
[NB: would prefer the firewire option if I can find one for a similar price]

Microphone: Rode Procaster Broadcast Quality Dynamic Microphone 2x $180.00
<http://www.videoguys.com.au/Shop/p/3868/rode-procaster-...;

Microphone Stand: Rode PSA1 Professional Studio Arm 2x $115.00
<http://www.new-media.com.au/Rode-PSA1-Professional-Stud...;

Microphone Accessories: Rode SM6 Stand Adaptor Shock Mount with Pop Filter 2x $52.00
<http://www.videoguys.com.au/Shop/p/22904/rode-sm6-stand...;

Cables: Australian Monitor ATC7005 2m Mic Cable 2x $20.00
<http://www.soundcorp.com.au/australian-monitor-atc7005-...;

TOTAL Spend: $AU3,270.00

FUTURE Upgrades:
Another Fan for the top of the chassis
Possibly another Quadro, maybe a 4000

Thanks for reading!
I would love to know what others think of this setup, and whether they think it can be improved for the price range.
July 25, 2012 7:10:00 PM

I think your spending WAY too much money. This workstation will do almost anything, like medical graphs and just plum crazy stuff. I think you could get buy with something closer to $1500
July 25, 2012 7:57:34 PM

Thanks Jeffery,

The allure of gear!
I will do some more research...

Just out of interest, what would you change?
Related resources
July 25, 2012 9:05:28 PM

Well first, I think you got too much money into the video cards... Look at this CPU chart, http://cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html , it will show that the CPU you got is beaten out by several non server CPUs at better prices.

What are you going to use it for? I know you said video editing, but unless your doing live video I feel like you could give up a little and just save some money.

Tell me what you are going to be doing with it, and I will sudjest a more friendly build.
July 25, 2012 9:54:59 PM

I plan to be editing large volumes of HD Footage and moving into the future 2K footage, which doesn't seem like a big deal until you get to the render process. Typically I need to do a minimum two pass render but often with colour grading and VFX it can run up to a four pass render, so I am willing to spend more money if it saves me time there.
I am aware that there is a big debate about the i7 vs Xeon capability, and the ivy bridge vs sandy bridge - some of which I admit is over my head - but if history is anything to go buy, Xeons provide stability under stress - again large volumes of footage, rendering, compositing, photoshoping.
Also there are times when I need to have multiple projects open at once, which impacts upon performance.

I have been using high-end GTX cards for a number of years now and the more I develop my skills the more they are letting me down.
I have looked into the ATI Cards (The FirePro's) and they get negative reviews from the NLE community across the board - I was considering a matrox or maybe a black magic (like a decklink or something) but then I thought that I would be better off going a Quadro now and then expanding to a MOTU HDX-SDi external card.
From there, depending on the need of course and the money, I would start to build a render farm aiming for a 4U rack set up - but this is speculation at this point.

The important thing is power under the finger tips so that I don't have 20 hour renders that fail at 90%.

[I figure that if the comp is capable of all this then it should breeze through digital audio recording :)  ]

Also who knows, since you have mentioned that this workstation will be capable of medical graphs there could be a moonlighting oppertunity ;)  jks.
July 27, 2012 5:18:28 PM

Well it just so happens that the i7's were made for just this... They excel when it comes to video codeing, more than half of their design was based around this. If your sticking with Intel, I would sudjest going with Nvidia Video Cards.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
This is a good pair... But honestly I wouldnt be into server parts. I would just get high end desktop parts and roll with it... I still believe that only people that should be using server parts is businesses... And they dont typically build their own.

Regardless, I honestly dont see the reason to get the CPU tho, just get a regulard desktop CPU and a normal video card.
!