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Very HI-end CS6 Workstation

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Jean PicheVery HI-end CS6 Workstation
by on Jul 3, 2013 at 5:48:57 pm

Hello community,

Moving over to PC after decades on Mac.

Possibilty:

Dual Xeon 8-core (E5- 2687W) @ 3.1Ghz, liquid cooled (32threads)
128Gb RAM 1600Hz
256 SSD boot/app drive
64Gb flash cache
14Tb external array
Nvidia GTX780, 3GB graphics
CoolerMaster HAF XB case
System comes in under 10k$

Questions:

Is this overkill for CS6 (+ Touch Designer) under Windows 7?
Is there something I could do better?

Thanks all in advance!

jp


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Dave LaRondeRe: Very HI-end CS6 Workstation
by on Jul 3, 2013 at 5:57:04 pm

Sounds like a nice machine! I'm jealous.

I presume the "256" for the SSD means GB... darned good, but you might want more if you aim to do really long stabilizations.

And how is the external array connected to your machine? At LEAST Firewire 800, and preferably something even faster?

I hope that helps, but people can give you a better estimation when they know the types of projects you want to undertake.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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John CuevasRe: Very HI-end CS6 Workstation
by on Jul 3, 2013 at 6:15:40 pm

I like to have SSD drives for my source footage/render drives, but that looks like a great machine.

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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Alex GerulaitisRe: Very HI-end CS6 Workstation
by on Jul 3, 2013 at 6:47:54 pm

[Jean Piche] "Is this overkill for CS6 (+ Touch Designer) under Windows 7?"

Generally it's a great system; other than that - hard to say without looking at your workflow demands. Are your workflows CPU clock or core intensive? Do you anticipate using more than 64GB RAM? (I assume it's 16x8GB Reg ECC memory?)

How's your array configured (drives, controller, RAID level)?

[Jean Piche] "Is there something I could do better?"

E5-2600 V2 Xeons with up to 12 physical cores are supposed to ship this quarter, compatible with current motherboards. Other than that, it's always about analyzing what's most important to you (i.e. addressing potential bottlenecks for your workflows). What worked well (and what didn't) on your last / current system?

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Engineer
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Walter SoykaRe: Very HI-end CS6 Workstation
by on Jul 3, 2013 at 6:56:26 pm

Depending on the sort of work you do, you may not actually need that much RAM. It won't hurt, but there will be a point of diminishing returns in terms of price/performance.

I don't think SSDs are necessary for source/render if you have a fast RAID array.

I might suggest a larger SSD for the cache. 64 GB can go pretty quickly.

If you're open to freelance work, please feel free to get in touch with me sometime -- I don't have any projects that need it at the moment, but I'm very interested in meeting some smart Touch Designer users.

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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Ian MaplesonRe: Very HI-end CS6 Workstation
by on Jul 3, 2013 at 7:02:24 pm

Jean Piche writes:
> Dual Xeon 8-core (E5- 2687W) @ 3.1Ghz, liquid cooled

Sweet setup! 8)


> 256 SSD boot/app drive

I hope you have some kind of backup strategy for this. At
the very least, backup to a mechanical drive somewhere
using Macrium Reflect or something.

As for the SSD itself, I recommend the Samsung 840 Pro,
OCZ Vector or OCZ Vertex4. If pushed for one, I'd say
go for the Samsung, though I'd be happy with any of them.


> 64Gb flash cache

(this is for the AE cache, yes?)

Only 64GB? Get at least 128GB, there's a definite
performance advantage, and longer term write indurance.
Personally, I'd just get another 256GB.


> 14Tb external array

Is this a SAS setup? If not, try and get Enterprise SATA
if possible, or at the very least the more reliable versions
of normal SATA (Seagate models with NS, or others marked as
24/7 editions; definitely not any eco model). Recommend you
use RAID10 (not RAID5!!). Don't use RAID0, too risky.


> Nvidia GTX780, 3GB graphics

Given the cost of this, I think it's a better idea to have
two or three used GTX 580 3GB cards instead, which would be
cheaper (for 2) or about the same (for 3) and much faster.
Unless of course you want to buy all-new parts, but I've
always been one for sensible cost savings where possible.

With additional initial performance, perhaps this would
enable you to scale up to multiple Titans/Teslas later.


> Is this overkill for CS6 (+ Touch Designer) under Windows7?

Nope, one can never have enough compute power for AE. :D


One question: what mbd will you be using? How many PCIe
slots does it have? Would be good if you could use a board
that allowed you to expand up to 4+ GPUs in the future.

Ian.

SGI Guru


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Cassius MarquesRe: Very HI-end CS6 Workstation
by on Jul 4, 2013 at 12:13:41 pm

If you end up seeing less than half that space on the SSD after a clean Windows installation it's because of the hibernation feature. You should check that off otherwise the OS will save up 128GB for nothing.


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Ian MaplesonRe: Very HI-end CS6 Workstation
by on Jul 4, 2013 at 12:32:40 pm

Also disable drive indexing. Full guide here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-performance-tweak,2911.html

Ian.

SGI Guru


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