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Building Adobe workstation, performance questions.

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John CuevasBuilding Adobe workstation, performance questions.
by on May 18, 2012 at 4:16:16 pm

With the release of CS6, I've decided to upgrade my current setup and have a few questions relating to performance and some of the different variables in configuring a system(I see minimum specs at Adobe, but no recommended specs for a screaming fast system).

First question is how much of a difference do processors make? I'm looking at Dual Intel® Xeon® E5-2630 2.30 15MB 1333 6C, but would a Dual Intel® Xeon® E5-2660 2.30 20MB 1600 8C make a large difference?

The 2nd variable is the graphics card. I'm considering the NVIDIA Quadro 4000 2.0GB Graphics(in the middle of the recommended specs), but should I consider a NVIDIA Quadro 5000 2.5GB Graphics?

I don't want to overbuy for incremental improvements in performance, but I also don't want to be penny wise and pound foolish either.

Thanks to anyone who can help educate me.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Kevin CampRe: Building Adobe workstation, performance questions.
by on May 18, 2012 at 5:14:57 pm

yeah i'm starting my plea for some upgrades at my work and have the same kinds of questions... hopefully someone will chime in (todd, walter, roland...)

from what i've found, it sounds like cpu is still king, with the exception of the gpu raytracing acceleration. and thus ram is still very important.

what i'd love to start to find are some gpu raytracing benchmarks comparing a some gtx gaming cards to quadra cards. my gut tells me that a gtx card with a comparable number of cores and clock speed will perform similarly to the pro card, but i'd also like to hear how a gaming card handles heavy usage.

the new gpu acceleration does open up the interesting question now of faster and/or greater cpu cores or faster and/or greater gpu cores... or is a balance better to lessen bottlenecking of data from gpu to cpu...

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Walter SoykaRe: Building Adobe workstation, performance questions.
by on May 18, 2012 at 5:25:43 pm

[John Cuevas] "First question is how much of a difference do processors make? I'm looking at Dual Intel® Xeon® E5-2630 2.30 15MB 1333 6C, but would a Dual Intel® Xeon® E5-2660 2.30 20MB 1600 8C make a large difference?"

The extra 2 cores (4 threads) on the E5-2660 will make a noticeable difference for AE rendering with multiprocessing -- if you are also willing to purchase enough RAM to keep all processes running.


[John Cuevas] "The 2nd variable is the graphics card. I'm considering the NVIDIA Quadro 4000 2.0GB Graphics(in the middle of the recommended specs), but should I consider a NVIDIA Quadro 5000 2.5GB Graphics?"

The Quadro 4000 has 352 CUDA cores [link] compared to the 4000's 256, and it does perform a bit better in Pr (see below).

Of course, the GTX580 has 512 CUDA cores...

Here's the argument for a Quadro 5000 over a GTX580: the Genesis Project: NVIDIA GPUs and What They Mean for Premiere Pro [link].

Here's the argument for a GTX580 over a Quadro 5000: a $1300 price difference.

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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John CuevasRe: Building Adobe workstation, performance questions.
by on May 18, 2012 at 6:03:42 pm

The extra 2 cores (4 threads) on the E5-2660 will make a noticeable difference for AE rendering with multiprocessing -- if you are also willing to purchase enough RAM to keep all processes running.

How much more RAM is enough would be needed. In my initial build, I was thinking 32gigs, but now I'm suspecting that 48 or even 64 might be what's needed to optimize the CPU's.

Thanks for taking the time with me on this Walter & Kevin, I know how to use AE/Avid, but I haven't spent much time learning about the machines that run my software.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Walter SoykaRe: Building Adobe workstation, performance questions.
by on May 18, 2012 at 6:16:17 pm

[John Cuevas] "How much more RAM is enough would be needed. In my initial build, I was thinking 32gigs, but now I'm suspecting that 48 or even 64 might be what's needed to optimize the CPU's. "

What's your RAM utilization like now during render?

I've got 48 GB for 12 cores -- but I do a lot of large-raster work. You could probably be comfortable in 32 GB. What's the price difference? Can you buy 32 GB now and leave room to upgrade later if necessary?

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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John CuevasRe: Building Adobe workstation, performance questions.
by on May 18, 2012 at 6:37:54 pm

The price difference in the RAM is actually negligible(looking at the HP 820Z, so I could get 32GB and add later), RAM prices have dropped some.

It looks like the pricing decisions I'm going to have to make for this box will be the video card and the processors.

Thanks for the links Walter, I'm working my way through them, just don't want to make a decision that will burn me later.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Building Adobe workstation, performance questions.
by on May 18, 2012 at 7:00:43 pm

Your storage capabilities is going to be a huge bane or boost on your productivity with CS6. An SSD is a must-have for your cache files. If you can get two SSDs, then use the second for active projects. A 3rd or 4th drive, at least 72K RPM (preferably RAID if you're inclined to use PPro or an NLE often) for additional projects, preview files (PPro) and stock footage etc is obviously a must too.

I've got an SSD for my OS, most of my apps and my cache. I'm looking for a 2nd SSD for my active projects.

As for memory allocation, here's something very useful from Todd on memory allocation
Customizing RAM Allocation Per Background CPU. You should take note that you cannot lengthen the list - ie. the list maxes out at 6 items. Therefore, you will need to change the values after the = sign.

The costs of Quadros where I'm at is ridiculously expensive compared to the US. Steve's Forde recently mentioned that ray-tracing support for nVidia's Kepler cards are definitely in the pipeline. This means that the GTX680 is also something you may want to look at with the caveat that you'll have to wait for the required support to come through.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


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