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Parts for VFX / 4K Editing Computer

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Josh FrackletonParts for VFX / 4K Editing Computer
by on Jul 30, 2015 at 6:12:27 am

Hey guys,

I'm buying parts for a 4k editing and VFX computer. I work mostly in After Effects and Premiere. I dabble in 3D, but it's not my priority. Ideally I want something that can handle 4k video files, even up to 6k (I work mostly with the RED Dragon). I'd like to online edit, but my budget cap is about $4.5k so I unfortunately can't go too crazy. With my current machine, I mostly suffer in After Effects (rendering and playback quickly becomes very slow).

Here are the parts I've chosen. I'm mostly wondering if these are 1. good parts for my intention and 2. totally compatible. I've done my research, but am no expert. I'm going with SSD Hard drives for Cache + Boot Drive, 2 4 tb internal hard drives for media, Dual Processor 6-Core w/ dual processor motherboard with Multi-GPU compatibility. 32 GB DDR4 ram. GFX card is quite expensive, but I figured this an 8 GB Quadro was a good idea.



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Jacob FergusonRe: Parts for VFX / 4K Editing Computer
by on Jul 30, 2015 at 6:43:31 am

You will need two coolers for two CPU's and (possibly) a larger case. Also, those Xeons aren't going to be over clocked or running crazy hot, so that liquid cooler (though nice and will keep it very chilly) is a bit overkill.

Try 2 Noctua NH-U14S's ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608041 ) and the Be Quiet! Silent Base 800 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA68V2CX7307&cm_re=silent... ) which is pricey for a case but super quiet and very professional looking.

Unless you just want your computer to look cool, those case fans could be better, something like the noctua NF-F12 or Fractal Design Silent series.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608026&cm_re=nff12...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835352006&cm_re=silen...

As far as SSDs, go with the Intel 750 PCIe ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167300&cm_re=intel... ) for your boot/programs drive and a samsung 850 pro ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA3FA2152816&cm_re=850_pr... ) for your cache.

Try and find that Quadro lightly used, open box, or refurbished and buy a warranty for it, that will save you a few hundred. Or just something like a GTX TITAN, it really depends on the workflow you have and the programs you use (other than AE of course).

Also, if you have never built a computer from scratch before, try and get someone experienced to help you out. Something this high end needs to be taken care of in the build process.


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Josh FrackletonRe: Parts for VFX / 4K Editing Computer
by on Jul 30, 2015 at 10:14:59 pm

I can probably afford those SSDS. Just out of curiosity, why should I choose these. Also, do you have suggestions for my media hard drives. I chose the 4 tb SATA 7200 RPM WDs, but maybe I need something better. I figured I could have designated media drives internally in my computer which I could copy media off portable external drives onto.


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Walter SoykaRe: Parts for VFX / 4K Editing Computer
by on Jul 30, 2015 at 9:57:02 am

You don't need that Quadro for Ae (unless you have a 10-bit monitor and want 10-bit output). You do need more RAM.

On CPU choice, give this a read:
https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/1048903

Maybe you want to talk to someone like Eric Bowen from ADK.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Josh FrackletonRe: Parts for VFX / 4K Editing Computer
by on Jul 30, 2015 at 6:02:48 pm
Last Edited By Josh Frackleton on Jul 30, 2015 at 6:06:38 pm

I also use Premiere and Element 3D, and would like to have capabilities to color grade in Da Vinci. The computer's primary purpose would be for cutting and compositing, but if I could also use it for finishing, that would be amazing.

The 4 GB Quadro is nearly a grand cheaper, I could definitely save money there and allocate it elsewhere.

I assumed because I was using graphics intensive software I needed a powerful graphics card, what is gfx card used for?


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Walter SoykaRe: Parts for VFX / 4K Editing Computer
by on Jul 30, 2015 at 6:12:08 pm

[Josh Frackleton] "I assumed because I was using graphics intensive software I needed a powerful graphics card, what is gfx card used for?"

In Ae, not very much [link]. In Pr, a bunch [link]. In Resolve, everything.

Quadros are great cards, but you will pay a lot more for them for a lot of advanced features that Ae, Pr and Resolve do not need. Consider a GeForce card instead; you can get a lot more VRAM and CUDA cores for less money.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Chris WrightRe: Parts for VFX / 4K Editing Computer
by on Jul 30, 2015 at 11:45:51 am

if you have the fastest computer on the planet(10ghz) and a slow media/cache system, you'll never get realtime playback. 4k requires 1200mb/sec not even including multiple layers and color management. you'll need raid 5 on both separately.

a little known fact about low end non-Pro asynchronous ssd's. they usually publish only the compressed speeds of 500mb/sec, but uncompressed(ie. no mp3,zip) they are 200mb/sec or lower!)

also, disable SATA power management and enable ahci, in your bios to speed things up. enable trim in OS. Do NOT defrag ssds.

the Windows Write-Cache Buffer Flushing disabled will increase speed too vs reliability.

look for uncompressed random benchmarks vs sequential because image sequences will copy much slower compared to video. 128k block size format too.

and please get samsung pro vs non-pro if you use red vs gh4 mp4 footage.

the non pro fall apart with larger file sizes.

use the Blackmagic Speed Test. SLC vs MLC. ssd drives filled up with MLC=slowwww.


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Josh FrackletonRe: Parts for VFX / 4K Editing Computer
by on Jul 30, 2015 at 5:59:27 pm

I was planning on using the 4 TB Western Digital 7200 RPM drives for media storage. Is there a better hard drive you'd recommend for storing those R3D files?


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