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Andre Monteiro
AE optimized workstation build needing advice
on Apr 19, 2016 at 8:12:08 am
Last Edited By Andre Monteiro on Apr 19, 2016 at 8:12:57 am

Hi all
I'm customizing a new workstation and need advice so I'll put down the configurations bellow and ask a few questions about it

Mother board: Supermicro X10DAi
2 Xeon E5-2630v4 (10Core/2.2GHz/25MB/QPI 8GT/85W)
8 16GB DDR4-2400 ECC Registered
1 NVIDIA Quadro M5000 (8GB GDDR5/PCIe3.0)
1 Intel 535 180GB (SSD/SATA6G/MLC/7mm)
2 HITACHI 0S03842 (6TB/128MB/SATA6G)
2 Intel SSD 750 800GB (NVMe/PCIe3.0)
2 Intel TS13X Liquid Cooler
PSU 1200W Modular/80PLUS Platinum)

My thought is to use the 180gb SSD for the OS and apps (i have practically nothing other than Adobe Ae,Pr,Ai,Au and Ps).
Then one of the pcie for current assets and cash and the other pcie ssd for current projects. I'll have the 2 6tb HDDs in Raid1 for temporary storage.
I work mostly with vfx and motion graphics for 15 to 30 sec tv commercials so my source load is not really big.I use Ae 80% of the time and my most used plugins are Trapcode bundle,Element 3d and Magic Bullet.
With this new rig,I'm hoping to be able to improve my workflow with 3d like Element3D and Particular,4k footage and jump into VR stuff.

So is this a good setup? Would it be better to change something or add something? I'm going to spend about 10k on this and the last time i bought a workstation was seven years ago so I'm completely unaware of the technology today. (I know,I know..should have made my home work)
I'm filling only half the RAM slots for now so i can upgrade later to maybe 256gb but i've heard you get better performance with all the slots filled. Is that right? If not, what about filling 4 slots with 32gb each?

So I kindly ask for anyone's expertise to help me out on this big future endeavor.

Andre Monteiro


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Walter Soyka
Re: AE optimized workstation build needing advice
on Apr 19, 2016 at 2:30:57 pm

You do not need to dedicate an entire SSD to project files. I'd put project files and assets on one drive, and the cache on another.

The Quadro M5000 is very probably overkill, unless you need a Quadro-specific feature. Consider high-end GeForce cards.

The performance difference between the memory slot configurations you're discussing is negligible. The quantity of RAM is more important if you're doing a lot of high-res, high-frame rate work. Planning for expansion as you are is smart.

Ae CC 2015 has a lot of interactivity improvements over 2014, but it doesn't yet have the same level of multi-CPU support for renders. I suggest installing both 2014 and 2015, working in 2015, and rendering with 2014.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Andre Monteiro
Re: AE optimized workstation build needing advice
on Apr 20, 2016 at 2:39:13 pm

Thank you for your response Walter.I was planing on getting a Titan X before especially for the CUDA since i work a lot with Element 3D but I've heard it doesn't support 10bit and as I've mentioned, my company wants to start implementing RAW footage from our new Black Magic Ursa. I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make to color correct RAW footage without 10bit output.So the reason i opted for the Quadro M5000 is that it supports 10bit output and also has a fare amount of CUDA cores. Uh decisions!

So you'd say that getting 4 32gb cards would be a good idea instead of 8 16gb?

That's a great tip about CC 2014. I'll check if i can download it from my CC account.

One more thing. I've read that Windows uses part of the primary hard disc memory for ram memory paging and if you have a lot of ram it is recommended to get bigger ssds. Do you know anything about that?

Again thanks a lot for your help Walter. The world needs more people like you!

Andre Monteiro


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Walter Soyka
Re: AE optimized workstation build needing advice
on Apr 20, 2016 at 5:19:12 pm

[Andre Monteiro] "I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make to color correct RAW footage without 10bit output.So the reason i opted for the Quadro M5000 is that it supports 10bit output and also has a fare amount of CUDA cores."

I hear you. I have a Quadro for 10-bit output, too. Which monitor are you looking at?


[Andre Monteiro] "So you'd say that getting 4 32gb cards would be a good idea instead of 8 16gb?"

If you intend to upgrade, it's entirely possible that replacing all the memory later will be less expensive than buying the higher-density RAM now. Not sure this matters too much.


[Andre Monteiro] "That's a great tip about CC 2014. I'll check if i can download it from my CC account."

You can. CC subscribers are entitled to all versions of Ae going back to CS6.


[Andre Monteiro] "I've read that Windows uses part of the primary hard disc memory for ram memory paging and if you have a lot of ram it is recommended to get bigger ssds. Do you know anything about that? "

You can move the page file to whichever drive you like, or even disable it entirely on a high-memory system.

http://www.howtogeek.com/126430/htg-explains-what-is-the-windows-page-file-...


[Andre Monteiro] "Again thanks a lot for your help Walter. The world needs more people like you!"

Thanks for the kind words, Andre. A lot of people helped me early in my career, so I'm just paying it forward. I'd invite anyone to do the same.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Andre Monteiro
Re: AE optimized workstation build needing advice
on Apr 20, 2016 at 6:27:30 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I hear you. I have a Quadro for 10-bit output, too. Which monitor are you looking at?"

The monitor will have to wait a little so at the moment, none. Any suggestions? I've been using an Aquos HDTV 40 inches for a couple years and love it for it's size. Most of my projects are broadcasted on tv and when I get to watch them,i've never felt like i could have done anything better if I had a proper monitor.(I work at a small production company though) So getting a 4k tv crosses my mind some times. Or maybe I'll keep using my tv and add a 4k monitor just for 10bit stuff.

[Walter Soyka] "If you intend to upgrade, it's entirely possible that replacing all the memory later will be less expensive than buying the higher-density RAM now. Not sure this matters too much."

I think you're right on that. Although the 4 32gb cards are slightly more expensive than the 8 16gb ones,they say 4 cards for each CPU is recommended and I don't have the budget to get 8 32gb cards.

That article about the paging was a mind opener. Thanks a lot!

I'd like to ask you what are your thoughts on water cooling? The station I'm building was originally configured with air only. I hear various opinions about it and got curious on what you might think.


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Jon Simpson
Re: AE optimized workstation build needing advice
on Apr 25, 2016 at 1:08:11 am

Water cooling is always a better option but as AE is highly RAM intensive, that is your best focus at this point, given your expense limitations. Your CPU will not be bearing nearly as much load as your RAM will be.


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