ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS: Forum Expressions Tutorials Creative Cloud

After Effects CS 6 Workstation

COW Forums : Adobe After Effects

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Brian Betz
After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 2, 2012 at 9:13:12 pm

Just about his time last year, I made a post about purchasing a workstation for After Effects. I received lots of great advice, but for a number of reasons, I did not go through with the buy. I have been hobbling along with my work laptop, which is a pretty bad situation. Thus …I am ready to buy!

For the most part I make rather short videos, but rely heavily on After Effects. I also use Premiere and Photoshop. I have been researching and know the basics. (After Effects likes lots of RAM…minimum 2 gigs per CPU, multiple drives are needed, and you need to have a system that is balanced …GPU, CPU, HDs, etc.)

It appears from what I can find online that you should have a system the following drives:

-system drive (SSD)
-RAID drives for media
-export drive (SSD)
-With the Global Performance Cache it seems that another separate SSD is needed for the Cache?

I have been looking at the Z820 as it appears to have a pretty good reputation, but will do some comparison shopping with Dell etc. I do not want to build my own system, but, as I get an educational discount, will load my own software. I am thinking of somewhere in the $4,000 to $5,000 price range.

Any tips and/or resources would be most appreciated. I have done a pretty good job searching for information online, but if anyone has advise, please pass it along.

In addition, any suggestions on getting ahold of a good salesperson would also be appreciated. I simply have not had good luck on this account. After a couple emails back and forth with people I often find they are often not that knowledgeable. As I am particularly interested in HP, if anyone has any suggested contacts, please let me know.

Thanks
Brian


Return to posts index

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 2, 2012 at 10:53:11 pm

Try these:

http://www.boxxtech.com/

http://www.originpc.com/

http://www.falcon-nw.com/

I got my money's worth though from a Dell XPS H2C though- still have it after 5 years and with an updated card I am still doing work on it.
The Alienware I use at work is not bad- the newer ones have better specs.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


Return to posts index

Brian Betz
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 3, 2012 at 12:02:30 am

Thanks Ted I will check these out! Always good to have a number of possibilities.

Brian


Return to posts index


Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 3, 2012 at 8:25:06 pm

[Brian Betz] "-system drive (SSD)
-RAID drives for media
-export drive (SSD)
-With the Global Performance Cache it seems that another separate SSD is needed for the Cache?"


I don't think an SSD is needed for your export drive. It could be a regular mechanical drive, or you could export directly to your media RAID (I do).

I do advise an SSD for the global performance cache, and an SSD for the system can be quite nice, too.

Also new since last year: the GPU matters in Ae. If you're going to use CS6's new ray-tracing renderer, you really want a CUDA-enabled NVIDIA GPU (see the official supported list here [link]).

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


Return to posts index

Brian Betz
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 3, 2012 at 10:03:54 pm

Thanks Walter,

That is very helpful! Great idea just to export to the RAID. With SSD being a bit less expensive than what they once were it would make sense to have the system and, it appears, one for the cache is also beneficial.

I guess I will need to price out a CUDA-enabled NVIDIA GPU. This is my "once in a very long time" purchase...the last workstation I bought myself was a Polywell around 2004, which has long since been retired. I would hate to skimp on a feature and later wished I wouldn't have.

Thanks again.

Brian


Return to posts index

Tom Daigon
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 4, 2012 at 12:19:10 am

Brian, I purchased the TOTL Z820 last July and I have been very impressed with its performance with CS6.

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


Return to posts index


Brian Betz
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 4, 2012 at 1:41:36 am

That's great news Tom as it is exactly what I am looking to use my new workstation for...thanks!

Brian


Return to posts index

Tom Daigon
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 4, 2012 at 2:41:02 am

Brina, the only things that I added to supercharge it for use with CS6 was the Nvidia PNY GTX 570 (I got the workstation with the cheapest graphics card available and substituted this one) and the Dulce raid for read/write speeds of about 1000MB/sec. Those are important enhancements for the Mercury Playback engine that powers CS6.

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


Return to posts index

Brian Betz
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 4, 2012 at 7:24:19 pm

Thanks again Tom. I specked out a system last year and remember that the graphics card was one item I was going back and forth on....but yes I've heard that Mercury Playback is an important issue.

I would like to just get everything from HP and swap parts our latter on down the road, but may go your route, if it will save considerable money. The ideal situation would be first get a workstation that is good to go from day one. Hopefully when I'll get someone at HP who is fairly knowledgeable.

Brian


Return to posts index


Tom Daigon
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 4, 2012 at 8:16:28 pm

Dont rely on HP being reliable on knowing what you need for an editing workstation. That has not been my experience. Get their cheapest card and replace with your own, otherwise your will pay a lot for a card that does not perform as well. FYI.

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 4, 2012 at 8:25:38 pm

That's some good advice from Tom.

If you want an HP and want to talk to someone in sales who knows video, find a good VAR that deals HP -- maybe ProMAX or DV411.

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


Return to posts index

Brian Betz
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 5, 2012 at 1:34:26 am

Thanks Tom and Walter...yeah that was one of the reasons I decided to wait last year as the salesperson just didn't seem to be all that knowledgeable and it was the time HD prices were on the rise....I will check out ProMAX or DV411 and see what I can figure out on my own. Funny that sales would be so weak on this system. I'll have to see what I come up with.

Brian


Return to posts index


Brian Betz
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 16, 2012 at 6:54:30 pm

First off thanks for so much great advice! After doing some searching around below is what I’ve come up with and please do not hesitate to offer suggestions. I am trying to keep my price manageable and figure I can add to the system at a later date. I have points next to components and questions follow:

P Z820 Workstation
Windows 7 Professional 64
HP Z820 1125W 90% Efficient Chassis
Xeon E5-2609 2.40 10MB 1066 4C (My understanding is this not hyper-threaded and thus only 4 core. I noted on the HP website that the Xeon E5-2630 (2.30 GHz, 15 MB cache, 6 cores) was hyper-threaded and thus may go with this instead.
HP Single Processor Air Cooling Kit
NVIDIA Quadro 4000 2.0GB Graphics (I may take Tom’s suggestion and buy a PNY GTX 570 card and install myself.)
24GB DDR3-1600 (4x4GB+4x2GB) 1CPU Unbuffered RAM
256GB SATA 1st Solid State Drive (This would be the system drive)
256GB SATA 2nd Solid State Drive (Cashe drive for After Effects)
500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3rd Hard Drive
500GB 7200 RPM SATA 4th Hard Drive (These 2 drives would be the media drive set to RAID 0 – I know there is no redundancy, but may be my price point for now.)

A few questions below:

1. Any thoughts on the processors? I typically make short videos but use After Effects heavily and thus I don’t think the 4 core will be enough.

2. In terms of the graphics card, I do see you can save a lot by doing what Tom suggested (going with a Nvidia PNY GTX 570 instead of a Quadro. I also may be able to get a good deal on the GTX… But I am a little nervous getting a new system without a card and having to install. I use to do more of this in the past.

3. The HP rep told me that “RAID can only be factory installed when the primary hard drive is included in the RAID. In this instance it is not. You would have to go through the BIOS and select which hard drives you want in what RAID setting.” Thus, again something I would need to do….and yeah I once did this type of thing quite regularly and have just gotten away from it.

Any thoughts or suggestions are most appreciated!

Brian


Return to posts index

Tom Daigon
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 16, 2012 at 9:27:43 pm

I personally feel its important to maximize the potential of the machine you purchase by getting the most powerful one you can afford.

Also I think getting dual 8 threaded processors which give you a potential of 32 hyper threads is the best way to go when using the CS6 software.And in line with that, getting the fastest processor speed as well.

My philosophy was to get a machine that could handle any codec / project needs that were thrown at it.

I also feel the new generation of PCI-E external raids is the way to go. I get about 1000MB/sec read/write speed on my Dulce DQg2 system.

All these choices serve to fortify the performance of the Mercury Playback Engine . And that means good things for you.

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


Return to posts index

Brian Betz
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 17, 2012 at 12:16:50 am

Thanks Tom....Yes the dual 8 threaded processors and the Dulce do look nice. I just don't think I can spend that much at this point. I guess trying to keep this under 5 K can be very difficult. Trying to get the basics so that I can add on later. I had thought about adding an external RAID sometime in the future.
Brian


Return to posts index

Tom Daigon
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 17, 2012 at 12:19:03 am

I know it does end up being costly. If you dont anticipate editing a lot of Red or 4K stuff I would suggest talking to Eric at ADK. He know a lot about Adobe software and designing the best system to fit your needs.

http://www.adkvideoediting.com/choose.asp

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


Return to posts index

Brian Betz
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 17, 2012 at 12:36:34 am

Tom,

No Red or 4K....not anytime soon. Thanks for the tip...I will give him a call. I have heard good things about ASK. I may go with the HP system with some modifications, but it is making my head swim a bit.

Brian


Return to posts index

Brian Betz
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 19, 2012 at 12:43:16 am

I just wanted to thank everyone for all the assistance in helping me with my workstation selection. A special shout out to Tom as I decided to finally go with ADK and got the ADK 3900 Core i7 model. Nevertheless, all comments made were very helpful in learning about my options and what makes the most sense in line with my budget and need to optimize for After Effects CS6. I did call around a bit, but just felt very comfortable with ADK. I spoke with a Dave and as I would ask a question he would anticipate what my next one would be…thus he seemed very knowledgeable. This is a great forum and I really appreciate all the help!

Brian


Return to posts index

Tom Daigon
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 19, 2012 at 12:51:09 am

Brian, Im glad you found a system you feel good about.Congrats.

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


Return to posts index

Brian Betz
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 19, 2012 at 1:09:33 am

A true "relief" to finally make a decision...I went through this last year and bailed, but feeling good about this one.. Thanks again Tom!

Brian


Return to posts index

Tom Daigon
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Dec 19, 2012 at 3:13:58 pm

Glad to help. Keep us posted on how things go.

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


Return to posts index

Aaron Kent
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Mar 11, 2013 at 6:25:01 pm

Just wondering since this is a good thread when would be the best time this year to buy, if you were considering a higher end z820 (given Intel factors, new mac pro factors, nvidias new card offerings etc)

Cheers

AK


Return to posts index

Tom Daigon
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Mar 11, 2013 at 6:38:47 pm

I would say now is as good as any. The Sandy Bridge dual Xeon platform was just released last summer so thats not going to change for a while.

And I would avoid the Quadro series of cards HP sells with them (get the cheapest Q2000) and swop in a GTX Titan for more power. And that was just released.

Do it thru the internet and you could get around 30% discount. Dont forget to get a good external raid if you will editing in an NLE as well as using AE.

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


Return to posts index

Aaron Kent
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Mar 11, 2013 at 6:45:24 pm

Thanks Tom, I'll look into the card options a bit. I run AE and Softimage primarily on my bootcamped towers, so I have to make sure I cover the bases with a good card to handle all software packages.

AK


Return to posts index

Tom Daigon
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Mar 11, 2013 at 6:50:34 pm

I understand Aaron. In my working with Element 3D I found I needed to learn Blender to prep models for using in E3D. I was so blown away by Blender 2.66 that I started learning all facets of it. I found that its can utilize the CUDA on my Nvidia GTX 570 card instead of CPUs. Which speed up display and rendering in the Cycles (photo realistic renderer) about 4X. So the GPU card can really make a dramatic difference in software use.

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


Return to posts index

Aaron Kent
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Mar 11, 2013 at 6:54:29 pm

Yes, I was wondering why you were pointedly against the quadro series? Is it largely cost? On the mac side of things the q4000 ran great with AE. I haven't owned a full "windows" system in a while so I realize I need to figure out the best card. More CUDA seems to be the way to go.

AK


Return to posts index

Tom Daigon
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Mar 11, 2013 at 7:01:25 pm

Over priced and underpowered (compared to GTX line). It has 10 bit output for display if you need that. I use a Kona 3 sending HD-SDI to an engineering monitor so I dont.

Google the specs and prices for the Quadro series then compare to the GTX models. I think you will understand my perspective on them better.

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


Return to posts index

Aaron Kent
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Mar 11, 2013 at 7:49:36 pm

Thanks for the intel, Tom, very helpful. One final question. When you say buy it online you mean NewEgg or some outlet like that or straight from HP? I bought a XW workstation from HP years ago and remember it was a good deal / experience, I believe they even threw in a pair of passable monitors as part of the deal back then.

AK


Return to posts index

Tom Daigon
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Mar 11, 2013 at 7:53:38 pm

I bought mine straight from HP. Got about 30% off and free next day delivery after it was assembled.Gabe Lucero was very helpful. 1-855-707-0285

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


Return to posts index

Brian Betz
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Apr 11, 2013 at 4:14:09 pm

Hello all,

FYI I've been working with my ADK workstation for a few months now and very happy....ADK a great company and excellent tech support. Much thanks to Tom for the info on the company.

Brian


Return to posts index

Tom Daigon
Re: After Effects CS 6 Workstation
on Apr 11, 2013 at 4:18:47 pm

Brian, Im happy things worked out for you. Glad to help.

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]