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sean pollaro
buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 25, 2014 at 8:06:46 pm

Looking to buy a new machine and really need some advice on where to start. Firstly, I'm an editor not a Computer wiz. I've never built a computer in my life and have no idea how to or even where to start. My ignorance of the inner workings of the machine has made my life as a video editor and part time colorist a challenge indeed. So, I need help. On my new machine I will be running Adobe Premiere and resolve 11.. Productions will have final deliveries of both 1080p and occasionally 4k. the footage I edit is primarily 5k R3d and sony xavc 4k but need to be prepared for whatever's thrown my way. for the past 4 years, I've been banging my head against the wall with a mid 2010 dual 6 core mac with only one quadro 4000 and an oldschool red rocket (lack of GPU being due to pcie slot limitations). This system never lived up to my expectations and has never given me close to real time playback of anything 4k in resolve and had mixed results in premiere. a lot of hanging on clips, choppy playback and frequent crashing.. Let me be clear, first and foremost I need a system that WORKS! Does this exist? Every machine I've had thus far has worked about 30% of the time. The rest of the time was spent scouring through forums at 3am.. I need my computer to work and to be lightning fast and able to handle multiple nodes of intense grading while maintaining realtime 4k playback. I need the ability to SEE what I'm grading and editing move in realtime (for God's sakes!) My understanding is that speed has less to do about CPU and is almost entirely about GPU and raid speed. So my main question is what platform?

Macintosh, Hackintosh, Windows or Linux?


I've always worked with macs but I'm willing to make the switch if I have to. At this point I just want the smoothest and fastest system possible at my budget which I'd like to keep under 8k if possible.. Ive seen mixed reviews online about the new Mac Pro but I'm skeptical firstly because of the GPU limitation, is the dual d700 enough juice for what I need? and secondly, I went that route in 2010 coughing up thousands of dollars on a machine that in my opinion greatly underperformed.. If the new Mac Pro is what i need to get realtime 4k playback in resolve with heavy processing applied then this makes my life very easy. I like the idea of a Hackintosh because i could beef up the GPU and stay on the familiar platform at a fraction of the cost but I dont know anybody who can do this for me and frankly like I said earlier I need a system that WORKS.. My fear is that I wont know how to troubleshoot it and if its not set up properly I could have another 6000+ dollar paper weight on my hands with no support. Windows seems like a decent idea on the GPU side but what I heard from Larry Jordan is that you need at least a thunderbolt 2 8 raid in order to get realtime full quality playback of 4k footage. Does thunderbolt 2 operate with windows? I dont even know this! will Resolve work well with Windows? Finally, Dont know anything about Linux or what it costs but it sounds like a good move for optimization and stability purposes which is what I'm mostly interested in..just dont know that I will have any idea how to move around or how to troubleshoot when the time arises... Thing is that I'm very busy with work and relearning things will definitely slow me up.. Any advice on this is greatly appreciated.


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sean pollaro
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 25, 2014 at 10:48:49 pm

bump


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Juan Salvo
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 26, 2014 at 12:08:17 am

Have you looked at the resolve config guides?

http://JuanSalvo.com
http://theColourSpace.com


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sean pollaro
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 26, 2014 at 12:20:29 am

yes I have.. I guess what I'm looking for is some examples of systems that people are using in the real world that are working well. I'd like to hear what people are experiencing before I jump in and start making decisions.. I read the mac configuration guide that gave the thumbs up on the new mac pro and then went online and read post after post of people having problems with the d700 cards.


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Juan Salvo
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 26, 2014 at 2:53:55 am

Well keep on bumping, maybe something will turn up. ;)


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Margus Voll
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 26, 2014 at 8:21:34 am

I have to see that there are many different ways for 4k.

4k in red file that you use on HD timeline and 4k in DPX or some sort of raw.

The workflow determines what kind of machinery you need.
First option you could do on desktop level so to say but real full 4k need more kick in the machine,
array and budget.

Resolve guide is really good starting point as Juan pointed.

All the way 4K is expensive.

--

Margus

http://iconstudios.eu
https://vimeo.com/iconstudioseu/videos

DaVinci 10, OSX 10.8.5
MacPro 5.1 2x2,93 24GB
GUI 4000 / GPU GTX 780
DL 4K
Eizo Color
Scope Box
Full Ligthspace CMS


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Todd Jaspers
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:38:30 pm

The only true 4k system, IE something that can do 4k DPX in realtime, in Resolve, has been on LINUX. Quantel and Baselight do 4k, but use a little DIFF technology to do so.

You can't just go buy a Resolve LINUX system, it has to be build for you. And with TESLA and INFINIBAND, your price went up to about 150k+++ depending on storage.

If you did want to be a Maverick, for an off shelf system, it would be Windows Only with 4+ of whatever the fastest cards you could fit in there, TITAN BLACK, whatever, faster=better, and the fastest CPU chips possible. Even then I would imagine lots of hiccups and bumps if you where truly doing 4k, which means 4k timeline and 4k monitoring and lots of grades and OFX fx, and doing it with 4k DPX.

Just put it this way, buy the fastest PC computer on the market today, with four+ of the fastest video cards that exist, a true 4k monitoring card, and you should be good to grade in Uncompressed 4k timelines, a bit, but imagine a big growing curve with lots of hiccups.

Or wait??

Personally, I don't think 4k is there yet, their are LOTS of limitations, CPU limitations, bus and storage limitations in current Desktops. ALso lots of codecs do not work correct or at all in 4k.

Anyway this is all changing.. but if you are super eager to really have a stable 4k system, you would have to experiment with your own build or go big with a 200k custom system like Resolve Linux.

I wouldn't trust someone saying they have a really stable 4k resolve Mac or PC system, its all just tooo buggy at the moment.

but don't take my word for it, prove me wrong, I honestly would love to see the build.. if I didn't have to pay for it.


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sean pollaro
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:51:25 pm

Thanks for this. I feel like it's the most honest and knowledgeable advice I've heard. They really have created a mess with this 4k shit haven't they? My company bought right into the hype buying all the latest 4k cameras and now post production has gone down the toilet. I feel pretty confident in going forward and building a monster PC. either that or we may just have to put our 4k cameras up for sale and come running back home to good old 1080p. Thanks!


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Marc Wielage
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 27, 2014 at 2:28:31 am
Last Edited By Marc Wielage on Oct 2, 2014 at 5:25:52 am

[sean pollaro] "My company bought right into the hype buying all the latest 4k cameras and now post production has gone down the toilet. I feel pretty confident in going forward and building a monster PC. either that or we may just have to put our 4k cameras up for sale and come running back home to good old 1080p. "
There are ways to handle it, but you have to have reasonable expectations. A lot depends on your final delivery and the types of programming you're working on. If it's commercials, it's not that hard; if it's half-hour episodic TV shows, it's doable. If it's complex two-hour features, it's a lot harder.

One of the big tripping points is just the output renders. If you have a fast network and fast drives, it would be possible to share projects on the network and just make one workstation nothing but a rendering/delivery machine. This would free up your color-correction station from rendering, and allow you to move on to new projects (assuming access to the same files and duplicate projects on the network). Even if the 4K render took 10-12 hours, you could use that time by moving on to other work and not be delayed at all.

I'd look very carefully at the need for 4K delivery and find out if this is something actually being requested by your clients and distributors. This may be a case where what they want today is just 1080, but there's a chance of a UHD delivery a few years from now. If they absolutely must have 4K today, then you'll need to implement a much more complex (and expensive) solution to handle it. It's possible to do it at an affordable cost, but I'd say an 8-GPU Linux box would be the best way to go.


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Juan Salvo
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 27, 2014 at 3:14:51 am

As per the resolve config guide, the d700 / 12-core MacPro, can get it done. Particularly with none raw formats, like prores 4K files. OTOH, those would likely not perform as well and be more troublesome on a windows system. But as per the resolve config guide, something like a 24-core z840 with a few Titans/cubix, would certainly fare extremely well with most raw formats, including red, sony, alexa. But not particularly well with quicktimes. Linux can be configured to do well with all of them, but is MUCH more expensive. There's also a resolve config guide for linux as well... I think my point here is that these and many other questions have been helpfully answered for you, in the Resolve Config guide.


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sean pollaro
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 27, 2014 at 6:16:58 am

this really helps Juan. Thanks for the advice


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Peter Chamberlain
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 27, 2014 at 10:39:08 am

"You can't just go buy a Resolve LINUX system, it has to be build for you. And with TESLA and INFINIBAND, your price went up to about 150k+++ depending on storage."

Not correct. We publish the guides so you can build your own Linux system. If however you're not Linux and StorNext experienced you might be better to purchase a turnkey system from someone with experience.... And these don't need to anywhere near US$150k.

The guide is the key.


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Margus Voll
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 27, 2014 at 11:01:35 am
Last Edited By Margus Voll on Sep 27, 2014 at 11:02:13 am

Whats the lower end estimate Peter?

--

Margus

http://iconstudios.eu
https://vimeo.com/iconstudioseu/videos

DaVinci 10, OSX 10.8.5
MacPro 5.1 2x2,93 24GB
GUI 4000 / GPU GTX 780
DL 4K
Eizo Color
Scope Box
Full Ligthspace CMS


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Teo Rižnar
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 27, 2014 at 1:05:35 pm

We are just upgrading our DaVinci system. With intention to maybe sometime use it under Linux licence (we do not own BMD panels that are required for Linux DaVinci version). Anyway let me tell a bit about config:

It is all about news E5 v3 xeons, we were waiting for them, there will be 2x CPUs: E5-2643V3 6C 3.4 Ghz, 32 RAM DDR4, all that will be put on new SuperMicro motherboard X10DAi. Similar price performance would be done with SuperMicro SuperWorkstation 7048GR-TR that is in DaVinci config guide. Just that that SuperMicro workstation is very loud system, so our will be custom build, water cooled so it can stand next to the desk in DI room. Regarding the GPUs we are planing 3x 980 GTX but are waiting for 8GB version to come out later in a month or two. PCI SSD wit 1800 MB/s should handle 4K DPX but 240 GB will not be enough. Existing Areca RAID will be put in but with 600 MB/s it just will work for 2K stereo probably but 4K DPX not.

Biggest help in building this system was actually a local reseller of PC parts (regional SuperMicro reseller). We were planing and checking all the details for more than a month now, and finally got all the pieces together.

But all that will be hooked to 2K viewing environment so no big plans for 4K, that is the biggest issue for me with 4K what I can render out 4K for clients archival or whatsoever, but do not offer 4K system if I can not monitor it under true 4K. That is the biggest misleading people are treating 4K. From my point of view.

Color grade reel:
Cofounder of http://nuframe.si postproduction


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sean pollaro
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 28, 2014 at 4:11:05 am

Is that your reel!? My God Amazing stuff! Grades are absolutely beautiful.. If you dont mind me asking was the outdoor stuff at the beginning shot in a studio or was it actually filmed in daylight? Reason I ask is we shoot outdoors on a red epic with master primes frequently and have never came close to this level of color depth and crispness. We rarely have budget for a lighting crew so we usually have to get creative with available sunlight and whiteboards. Is it just incredible lighting or was this look more generated in post with the grade? or is it both?


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Pedro Ricardo
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 27, 2014 at 11:14:54 pm

I'm running a 12 core MacPro with Dual D700s and it handles 4K without a problem. We are running a Sonnet PCI expansion chassis that allows extra GPU cards etc. to be fitted.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/video/news/plug-your-mac-pro-new-sonnet...


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sean pollaro
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 28, 2014 at 4:14:18 am

Dude that thing's sick! Great to know this is an option. Thanks for posting!


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 28, 2014 at 4:42:51 am

Hang on. You cannot add external GPUs to a MacPro over Thunderbolt with the Sonnet PCIe extender. You can a large variety of cards for sound, storage, video capture but not GPUs. Not under MacOSX anyway.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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Marc Wielage
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 28, 2014 at 7:57:25 am

I believe Neil is correct. Nothing in the Sonnet tech information about adding additional GPUs under Thunderbolt 2.


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Pedro Ricardo
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 28, 2014 at 9:28:29 am

Odd, replied earlier, but the post has disappeared. I'll repost below roughly what I typed befire.

Sorry, I should have been more clear.
In our case, we are using it for RED ROCKET and fibre channel networking, and for an SSD array, not for extra GPUs, as we haven't had a need. The 12 Core with Dual D700s has been fast enough to keep us realtime without having to resort to extra GPUs.

We assumed it would work, just at reduced speed (similar to PCIe 4x) due to the limited bandwidth of thunderbolt2, but that wasn't what we purchased it for, and we haven't had a need for extra GPUs yet.

Thanks for the heads-up though, good to know as we just assumed it would work, as every other PCIe card we have thrown at it has worked fine.

The expansion chassis works great for what we need and allows us to use compressed footage from the REDs in realtime without having the CPU load.


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Malcolm Matusky
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 28, 2014 at 10:32:36 pm

http://www.mediaworkstations.net/

Call these guys, a friend of mine went to them, but decided to go the New Mac Pro route, at least they are knowledgeable about what you are trying to accomplish.

Good Luck

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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Elliot Thomas
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 28, 2014 at 10:58:57 pm

I was told the X99 system with either the 5960X 8 Core clocked at 4.5GHz or one of the E5 V3 Xeons is the way to go now for GPU acceleration applications. From what I was told DDR4 is making a large impact on performance especially GPU and the load a cpu can put on them. Someone suggested 64GB of ram because 2666 seems to be the peak of where DDR4 stability is right now. Also I heard that waiting on the new 980GTX cards may be a good idea versus the Titan cards. Thats because of the updated HDMi 2.0 output options.


I have a few questions for all of you regarding upgrading. Is it best to wait if he is wanting a new system for realtime 4k? I mean im hearing rumors about Thunderbolt 3 now coming sooner than expected. Also new cards with HDMI 2.0?? Also Displayport 1.3?? Not to mention USB 3.1C coming out soon as well. What is the most reliable route to go? It is getting really confusing. MAC or PC? What will be most beneficial for the next TWO years before he has to upgrade again??


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Todd Jaspers
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Oct 1, 2014 at 4:48:35 pm

I think someone needs to standardize what 4k your talking about. You can currently do 4k on a MacPro using a Compressed codec like ProRes using Apple Final Cut Pro Color X fx or whatever its called, but that is not the same 4k as someone doing Uncompressed 4k DPX in realtime with multilayers Cross desolves, OFX effects and 30 Nodes Deep of Layers of Keys and Grades on Resolve.

Figure out your workflow and what you want to do. Its 4k so you can sell the idea of 4k to a bunch of prospective clients? Or is it do deal with your current 4k workflow and client needs for archiving and backup and 35mm film outs.

I think the new MacPro's are pretty trash cans, i would buy one for the home, but they took a 10 year jump backwards with Thunderbolts replacement for PCI. Thunderbolt is a great replacement for Firewire and some external connections, but it is not a replacement for a real PCI bus. The fastest the Thunderbolt can do is 4X, you will not and can not do good GPU expansion with 4x, at least not to deal with 4k, their is way too much bottleneck. Even if thunderbolt 3 gets secretly released it could only be 8x max.

That being said their is no reliable route, its more a route of what you want, and what you want to do. You want the 4k BEST OF BEST on all Platforms and all workflows. well that doesn't exist.

Great that LINUX for Resolve is more Open, maybe thats the route you want to take, but OpenSource Quicktime is horrible, so you would have to do DPX.

As for new HDMI, Displayport and USB, those are just connections and don't really define a 4k workflow, more just ways to connect a monitor or device.

I have a few questions for all of you regarding upgrading. Is it best to wait if he is wanting a new system for realtime 4k? I mean im hearing rumors about Thunderbolt 3 now coming sooner than expected. Also new cards with HDMI 2.0?? Also Displayport 1.3?? Not to mention USB 3.1C coming out soon as well. What is the most reliable route to go? It is getting really confusing. MAC or PC? What will be most beneficial for the next TWO years before he has to upgrade again??


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Malcolm Matusky
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Oct 10, 2014 at 12:51:41 am

2k, 4k, 8k, ugh!

I just completed a "minor" upgrade to my system and will try to wait out the new x99 chips to see what the true performance is. Everything I shoot is still HD, and hopefully will be for a while, as upgrading my entire system from camera to computer to storage is quite expensive, and for the work I do is unnecessary as clients would not pay for it.

I am just getting started with Resolve 10, soon 11, as soon as I'm done grading a current job, not wanting to upgrade during a project!

Why not grade in 2k and then render out a 4k if needed by linking files?
An offline/online workflow used to be standard procedure. Is there a significant difference with grading 4k material at 4k on your monitors and in real time? Perhaps someone who has done this could post a few comments.

I have found that noise reduction bogs my system down, but not color nodes, so I'll be turning off NR till my last pass and then enable for render. A cheaper solution than new graphics cards and a CPU, but then I generally do not have clients in the room wanting it done "right now."

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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Malcolm Matusky
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Oct 25, 2014 at 6:50:45 pm

Just finished upgrading the CPU to a xeon 5680 with 24Gb of ram. I have noticed a boost in performance with my system. Next up is to install a 3 drive raid0 for boosting playback performance. Next year a Mother board & CPU upgrade, but not for a while.

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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sean pollaro
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 29, 2014 at 3:22:04 am

Thanks Malcom! I'll check into this


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Elliot Thomas
Re: buying a new system for realtime 4k in davinci resolve
on Sep 29, 2014 at 9:28:26 pm

Any feedback on what I said above? I think I made some good points. Lots of questions that I hope the more technical guys can answer..


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