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Advice for Graphics workstation

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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Advice for Graphics workstation
on Jun 6, 2011 at 12:52:51 pm

Gents, I need your help in figuring out my best options for a new graphics workstation. I know this topic comes up once in a while, but since the technology changes it needs fresh feedback.
Here are the prerequisites:

Windows 7 64 bit system
Best for CS5 (5.5 soon)
Lots of AE graphics work and Premiere in HD 1080 50i/25p
Budget is not an issue.
The tricky part - it's preferable that I get a pre-built system from one vendor (for use in Europe).

Any suggestions are much appreciated.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Walter Soyka
Re: Advice for Graphics workstation
on Jun 6, 2011 at 1:33:13 pm

I'll quote Todd Kopriva from a previous thread on performance[link]:

Regarding the high end...

In our testing, we see a performance plateau around 8-10 rendering processes. (Things like I/O and RAM bus speed start to emerge as the bottlenecks.) So, if you have a machine with 24 logical cores, you'll get maximum performance only using half or fewer of them for background rendering processes. If you put 48GB of RAM in such a machine and left a third of it for other applications, After Effects would have all that it needs.

As for single-source vendors, HP might be nice if you want the DreamColor displays -- and the Z800 is a very nice workstation.

BOXX Technologies is a really nice vendor in the US that purpose-builds machines for VFX and 3D work. They may have a European reseller in your region.

[Tudor "Ted" Jelescu] "Budget is not an issue."

So refreshing to see this -- instead of the usual "I want supercomputer performance, but I can afford a calculator watch."

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events

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Todd Kopriva
Re: Advice for Graphics workstation
on Jun 6, 2011 at 1:59:22 pm

I agree with Walter about the Z800.

Be sure to not neglect the disk drives: multiple fast local drives really help.

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support

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Brian DeViteri
Re: Advice for Graphics workstation
on Jun 8, 2011 at 3:36:25 pm

Look at CalDigit HDPro's. I use them on my MacPros and love them. Reliable, RAID-5, and great performance. You will notice increased performance almost immediately.

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Jon Bagge
Re: Advice for Graphics workstation
on Jun 8, 2011 at 5:00:25 pm

I'm very happy with my Dell T7500. I don't know how it compares to the HP's, but it works for me.

It's very solidly built and has lots of room. I have a dual 3.2Ghz Xeon 5580. The new ones come with 5600 intels.

I have 5 hard disks in mine. You can probably fit in 6, but it officially supports 5.

My main reason for buying it instead of the T5500 is that the T7500 has 12 memory slots. So I can have 48GB using only 4GB modules. After Effects is very happy with 48GB..

Jon Bagge - Editor - London, UK
Avid - FCP - After Effects

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