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Post production

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Karl Dixon
Post production
on Mar 5, 2017 at 5:32:35 pm

Hi again everyone, wjat are the systeme requirements and specs of the workstations you use for postproduction when shooting with an Arri Alexa. I ve seen a lot of mumbo jumbo pretending the big studios all use HP Z800 series for post but since it's not even mentioned in this forum I am thinking it may not be what what you use in reality.
Anyway , putting it clearly: when you invest in an Arri Alexa what do you have to expect to invest in for post?
Thanks again everyone. Have a great day.

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Sejin Kim
Re: Post production
on Mar 19, 2017 at 8:17:27 pm

It depends on what kind of performance you're looking for. In all honesty, you could edit on a cheap laptop, but you wouldn't be having a very satisfactory experience.
The things that impact smoothness in post the most are storage speed, RAM and graphics processing power.
For storage speed, an SSD (solid state drive) is the first thing that will immediately boost timeline scrubbing performance and eliminate many of the bottlenecks, although you'll almost never find it mentioned in any minimum system requirements spec sheet.
Graphics processing power comes second. If you have a somewhat modern graphics card from AMD or Nvidia, you should be okay. If this is a critical project, you may want to invest in workstation cards (AMD FirePro or Nvidia Quadro), and even accelerator cards (Nvidia Tesla or Intel Xeon Phi).

The reason many post houses have HP Z840s is because these machines come with top notch hardware that has been validated for operation with that set of hardware. The high end workstations will come with workstation-class hardware (Intel Xeon processors, Nvidia Quadro graphics cards), because those machines simply cannot fail. If they do, the entire business can shut down. If you're editing as a freelancer or for a small house, you'll want to have your systems powerful enough to smoothly edit, but not overly powerful that you're just throwing money away.

For a decent computer to be able to edit Alexa material, you're looking at about $2500 for one editing system. To break everything down:
-Processor: Intel Xeon E5 v3 or v4 or higher
-RAM: at least 8GB, 16GB or higher for best operation
-Graphics: AMD FirePro W7000 or higher, or Nvidia Quadro M4000 or higher
-Storage: if you're not already using networked and RAIDed media, you should be; check the NAS section of CC website for suggestions

If you have any questions or want suggestions, reply to this response and I'll do the best I can.

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