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Computer Builder: Proper Components of a DIY NLE

Discussion in 'FILMMAKING, INDUSTRY, TECHNOLOGY' started by vince, Aug 23, 2012.

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  1. vince

    vince Well-Known Member

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    DIY NLE Building: Proper Components Of A DIY NLE

    There are separate requirements for PCs used for normal home tasks, for gaming and for heavy content creation usage. These requirements differ on the amount of task load placed on each system. In here we'll be sticking to the content creation work load.

    In your opinion what are best components to get when building a DIY(Do It Yourself) NLE that can get the job done without having to go all out for workstation components which are pricier? We need some good suggestions from experienced systembuilders in here to those who are intending to build a DIY NLEs in the not too far future.
     
  2. Sola

    Sola Administrator
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    Practically any modern computer can handle video editing these days, unless you're trying to edit HD. Then you'll need a fast multi-core processor and all the RAM money can buy.
     
  3. vince

    vince Well-Known Member

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    Are there still people doing SD editing? Can one do without HD editing nowadays? Everybody is already in on it now. It is the in thing since the big boys of the industry have moved on to bigger and better 2K to 4K editing.
     
  4. vince

    vince Well-Known Member

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    And i really need to add that for whomever is looking to get a pre-built computer from the malls for editing or meaning to build a customized DIY editing system for him/herself, HD editing compatibility is a must.
     
  5. Sola

    Sola Administrator
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    It really boils down to what job you're doing or what your distribution channel will be. If it is DVD for instance, its still coming down to the common denominator.
     
  6. vince

    vince Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but no matter which medium you'll be distributing on you will still have to shoot HD sooner or later. Besides down-converting HD video images to SD for distribution will always give you superior looking DVD image quality.

    Moreover, for those looking to play a big part in the new Nollywood, shooting and editing HD cannot be overlooked.
     
  7. grafikdon

    grafikdon Well-Known Member

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    For the sake of your sanity, you probably shouldn't be pulling your punches on some of the components while putting together the DIY workstation. With just about $1500/$1800, you can put together a ''mini beast'' that can handle HD fairly (read my ''fine prints'' at the bottom of the page :biggrinsa).

    However, it is advisable to ''future proof'' your workstation, just in case you are constantly swamped with HD projects and you have access to those crazy plug ins that bite big chunks out of system resources. This will cost you precisely $2800.00, with plenty of room for future upgrades (RAM, GPU etc).

    So what are the components of this $2800.00 beast?

    The six-core 3.2 GHz i7-3930k processor
    Corsair H80 Liquid cooling system (you can opt for air if you're not comfortable with liquid)
    16 GB DDR3 Quad channel memory
    ASUS Motherboard P9X79 Deluxe (4 PCI Express slots, max 64BG memory support..etc)
    NVIDIA Quadro 4000
    120 GB SSD
    120 mm dual case fans
    Hard drive fan (the ''fanless" types)
    ASUS Xonar DS 7.1 sound card
    14x Blu-ray reader/writer
    300MBs PCI e wireless network card
    Memory card reader
    1000W power supply
    Antec Sonata III case or Cooler Master HAF-912 (or whatever case that floats your baloon)

    Note that I use Premiere and After Effects extensively but this config will probably work for other PC based software.

    You can even downgrade the motherboard, sound card, blu-ray reader/writer, cooling system and save another $200.00 0r $300.00 without a massive dent on system performance.


    Monitor, keyboard, speaker, mouse and operating system not included :p
     
  8. vince

    vince Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for that big contribution, Grafik. That config looks pricey, alright. On that Asus sound card, it represent a problem in that it does not support win7. I wanted to buy it for my new rig but i had to switch to Creative soundblaster Recon 3D just because of the compatibility reason, even though i think the Asus specs are great.
     
  9. grafikdon

    grafikdon Well-Known Member

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    Recon 3D is no child's play. The ''cute'' design is on another level of awesome. There are some good alternatives out there. A little shopping around will take care of that.

    Okay let's trim down the config without a very huge dent on system performance. I wouldn't compromise on the CPU, GPU and RAM though.

    I'd stick with i7-3930k processor (6 cores). You can downgrade to the quad core i7-3820 and save like $300.00 but I'd rather embrace the extra muscles of the 3930.

    So let's assume you're going down to i7 -3820 (wouldn't really recommend that but you'd save $300.00)
    Leave the memory at 16BG
    Downgrade the MOBO to ASUS P9X79 (saves you about $135.00)
    Wouldn't touch the sound card. Something decent from ASUS or Creative Labs will work (Price range $70-$100)
    Downgrade to 700 watts PSU (you save $60.00)
    get rid of the Blu-ray drive and get a good ol' DVD reader/writer (Savings; $60.00)

    Quadro 4000 is what's really driving up the cost here ($590-$1000.00 for a brand new card). Unfortunately, you can't pull your punches on CPU and GPU without dire consequences, especially if you're going to be running Premiere or After Effects. I believe there are decent cheaper alternatives, maybe those GTX gaming cards. Matrox has some affordable solutions but I have no experience with Matrox cards and cannot base my recommendations on ''research''. There are also ATI cards but I stopped using ATI in 2004. I am really stabbing in the dark here (with AMD ATI)
     
  10. grafikdon

    grafikdon Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to mention if you're on XP, you probably can do without all the excess ''muscles''. You can still get the job done with a $1300.00 DIY rig. Sandy Bridge 2600k, 8Gigs of Ram. 90 GB SSD for OS and program installation, Creative Labs Sound blaster, NVIDIA/AMD ATI card, ASUS/MSI/Gigabyte MOBO, 650/700 watts PSU etc.
     
  11. vince

    vince Well-Known Member

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    The Recon is good. I bought the PCIe card, though, for about 70 bucks. There are quite a few versions the Recon comes in, including as a USB version. Why is the onboard sound card not enough, though? What's your view on this?
    I agree on that. You can add the mainboard to that mix too.
    That CPU caries a pricetag of about €580 in this parts, Grafik. I'd rather spend that amount on a GPU, tbh. I don't value CPUs that much to spend that kind of cash on them. GPUs are growing in relevance in the DCC sector as more and more application are shifting their number crunching workload over to the much faster video cards. 300 bucks is as much as i'll spend on any 1 CPU, personally.
    Quadro 4000 goes for about 800 bucks around here and the GTX 600 series gaming cards aren't far behind that price either with the top of that line,GTX 690 dual GPU card going for about 1K. I think the 800 invested on a quadro 4000 will be money better spent. I know that you are a 3D modelling man so there is no other way for you but the quadro way.

    ATI cards are very comparable to their nvidia counterparts. It all depends on personal preference. I am a red man all the way so i stick with AMD/ATI cards. I don't venture into the 3D modelling myself 'cos i don't feel it is something for me even though i still play around with Blender from time to time. So i stick with the Radeon cards which are more than capable of handling anything else that have little to nothing to do with 3D modelling.
     
  12. vince

    vince Well-Known Member

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    True, but as long as the XP is a 64bit. This is very important. My old rig is still running on a 32 bit XP and will not see 8 gigs of RAM.
     
  13. vince

    vince Well-Known Member

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    Proper ventilation is a must for DIY NLE also. This should not be forgotten. Keeping the system components cool is almost as important to a content creator as it is to a gamer. And even more important to a content creator is the silence of the system. Noise level shouldn't be above 25db for a quiet DIY workstation necessary for an editing studio. The last thing you want is having an obtrusive sound level irritating in the background while you work.
     
  14. grafikdon

    grafikdon Well-Known Member

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    @Vince,

    I forgot you Euro guys have different pricing structure. Kinda mind boggling when you consider we get better deals here. There's a dealer in Ohio who gives me great deals when I buy a handful of components. About the USB Recon, I believe it is for those who have very crappy on-board card or an alternative to the PCI e version. I wouldn't imagine having both in one system. Looks to me like killing a cockroach with a missile.

    I once dabbled in GPU rendering a few months ago but my enthusiasm was heavily dampened. There were so many issues I could not live with. I had this idea of buying two systems with maybe bottom line Sandy Bridge chips and load them up with multiple GTX cards that would amount to thousands of Cuda cores. By my calculations then, I'd achieve more (rendering) with the two GPu based rendering system than I could with about five more expensive CPU based render farm.

    Back then, Octane the new GPU rendering program had a huge sale (I think $100.00 or less) so I jumped the GPU bandwagon. I got burnt to crisp in that process. While the program was awesome with some jaw dropping features and blazing rendering speed (with the right GPU) it lacked a lot of time saving full production features. Awesome for rendering stills but not very convenient when you have hundreds of frames with deformed and moving objects. A lot of people still manage to get something decent out of it but it takes a lot of rigorous procedures that seem to me like faffing around. I am not ready for that kind of commitment.

    For now, I'll wait for them to work out the kinks because honestly, from my months of ''dabbling'' and ''fiddling'' GPU appeared to be a cost effective and faster precessing method, especially for rendering (assuming they work out most of the kinks). I'll be relying on the multi core CPU muscles as well as the Quadro GPU series until maybe 2015 when I believe the ground will be ripe enough for me to make a total GPU switch.

    For cooling I'll recommend the Cooler master V6GT. I've had for almost 2 years in one of my rigs and so far, it has performed as advertised. Do not forget that I run my systems 24/7, from January to January and the V6 is still holding the fort. Noise level isn't bad at all and this thing actually blows cool air when you place your hand above the vent. I do this occasional and not once did i get any blast of hot air, unlike one cooler I had in my old workstation that blew enough hot air to roast a turkey.

    Whew! This is way too long. Jesus wept!:shock
     
  15. vince

    vince Well-Known Member

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    We usually pay more for this components than you guys do(speak the exact same price in euros despite dollar being the weaker currency) at the beginning, then that gets corrected later on to the same price as you guys.
    I stuck with the pcie card that i can install into my rig.

    I always have the belief that it is software apps that the GPU rendering quality depends on. Some software can use the GPU muscle better than others.
    For workstation like yours, this is what i recommend. Specially made for 24/7 workload. It was the one i bought for my rig but, unfortunately, the RAM sticks were too tall for it to sit on the board, so i had to change it for another one.
     
  16. vince

    vince Well-Known Member

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    @ Grafikdon, have you ever tried using a portion of your RAM memory as RAM cache or RAM disc on one of your systems before? If yes, how was the system performance like?
     
  17. vince

    vince Well-Known Member

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    R-ATX and V-Airflow

    Something new arrived on the system building scene this year in the enclosure bizness. PC case builder AZZA came out with a brand new case with utterly different and new case configuration in their newly introduced full tower, GENESIS 9000.

    Quite interesting stuff. I would like to test the effectiveness of this new config. since i am big on airflow and cooling.
     
  18. Field Marshal

    Field Marshal ABSOLUTE SUPREME RULER

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    I hope you don't plan on buying GENESIS 9000 case and transferring the innards of your just newly built computer into it?
     
  19. vince

    vince Well-Known Member

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    Lol! FM, there is no fear of that happening because AZZA has no presence in the European market, anyway, so i can't get it even though i find the case and it's concept very interesting, indeed. If AZZA do finally find their way into Europe, i will deffo buy the case for my second rig.
     
  20. vince

    vince Well-Known Member

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    Fan Controllers

    Still on system cooling. What are fan controllers and what are their functions? Does a user need one? After all, the user can attach his case fans to the motherboard and control the fans from the BIOS settings of his PC. While users have that option and can always use it, a lot of users do prefer the hands on control of their case fans external fan controllers give them.

    The function of external fan controllers is to monitor and regulate the temperatures inside the chassis, as well as, those of the components while offering the user an instant hands on control without having to go into the BIOS and fiddle about in there.

    External fan controllers come with different counts of fans they can control called channels. 4 channel controllers offers the control and monitor of 4 to 8 fans with two fans per channel if there is enough power handling capability per channel, that is. In the market it is possible to find controllers that offer up to 12 channels.

    The controllers also differ in the way they carry out their tasks. Some are manual only while others are both manual and automatic. The latter are probably most interesting, even though they usually have less wattage handling per channel than their strictly manual counterparts. They also differ through their style of control; some are through dial knobs(a knob per channel), while others employ touchscreen.

    Here are images of some of the fan controllers in the market.

    IMG_4798.jpg
    NZXT Sentry LX - 5 channel fan controller; offers manual and automatic control; dual 5.25 slot installation; 6 watts per channel; touch-screen control.

    nzxt_sentry 2.jpg
    NZXT Sentry 2 - 5 channel fan control; 10 watts/channel; manual/auto; single slot; touch-screen.

    aerocool touch_2000.jpg
    Aerocool Touch 2000 - 4 channel fan control; 6 watts/channel; manual control; dual slot; touch-screen.

    kazemasterpro.jpg
    Scythe Kaze Master Pro - 6 channel control; 12 watts/channel; manual; single slot; dial knob control.

    Kaze-Master-Flat-front.jpg
    Scythe Kaze Master Flat - 4 channel control; 12 watts/channel; manual; single slot; pressure button control.

    Not to forget, all these kinds of controllers do come with temperature probes to attach to heat sources in front of each case fan like; video cards, CPU heatsinks; HDDs; memory DIMMs; chassis, etc. The heat measured by the temp probes will used by the controllers to both monitor and regulate the rotation speeds of the fan ventilating these components.

    These controllers also come with alarm function to alert users when the set maximum temperature of each component has been surpassed.
     

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