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Old May 19th, 2008, 07:18 PM   #1
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Best processor/motherboard/OS for ProspectHD

Hi!

I need to update my system (Dual Opteron 280/Tyan Thunder/4gb RAM). I use ProspectHD / Adobe Product Premium CS3 for editing, compositing & FX, sound processing. Have already a Quadro 1500 video edition card. XP 32. I work with HDV 1080p (Canon XH A1/HV 20), im reaching its limits...

My choice to go:
dual Xeon E5430 (771) with
Supermicro X7DWA-N Dual LGA771 Xeon or
Tyan Tempest i5400PW (S5397AG2NRF) Dual LGA771 Xeon
Migrate to XP 64 (not Vista?) to reach 8g ram

Perhaps start with only one 5430 and then when the prices drop, check 2 5460īs, the same with the ram (i have 2300 $)

Please some suggestions, im not a technician, just made some research

Thanks!
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Old May 19th, 2008, 10:50 PM   #2
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Hi Hernan, others might also have some useful input. But from CineForm's standpoint re CPUs a single E5430 (2.66 GHz / 1333 FSB) should get the job done for you. Certainly a pair of them will be very nice. We don't recommend lower than a single-chip dual core at 2.66 GHz for PHD.

We no longer characterize motherboards - most of our work is done on off-the-shelf Dell and HP workstations, but many of our customers build their own machines. I'll let them chime in about this.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 01:06 AM   #3
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OS for new PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hernan Vilchez View Post
Hi!

I need to update my system (Dual Opteron 280/Tyan Thunder/4gb RAM). I use ProspectHD / Adobe Product Premium CS3 for editing, compositing & FX, sound processing. Have already a Quadro 1500 video edition card. XP 32. I work with HDV 1080p (Canon XH A1/HV 20), im reaching its limits...

My choice to go:
dual Xeon E5430 (771) with
Supermicro X7DWA-N Dual LGA771 Xeon or
Tyan Tempest i5400PW (S5397AG2NRF) Dual LGA771 Xeon
Migrate to XP 64 (not Vista?) to reach 8g ram

Perhaps start with only one 5430 and then when the prices drop, check 2 5460īs, the same with the ram (i have 2300 $)

Please some suggestions, im not a technician, just made some research

Thanks!
Hernan,
I am also considering a new PC for getting better "throughput" with my new camera - Sony EX1. I am mostly shooting 1080p25 within, which is quite a challenge for my old Pentium D, 2,8Ghz machine.
A friend of mine is running a university lab, where they are deeply testing various PC hardware on performance. Since short, they also testing the configurations on video performance using After Effects and CS3 rendering jobs on high resolution files (not with Cineform though)
They have very good test results with the Supermicro board, which you mentioned...

A question to David from Cineform:
I was testing the Prospect HD product for a while... it looks very nice and image quality is great especially when doing lots of post-pro jobs afterwards. However I feel, I would like to have more RAM in my PC than todays 2Gb - I think to even use 8Gb or more. This is useful if you are working within Production Premium using After Effects, Premiere, Photoshop and even Encore at the same time (via Dynamik link). It is quite often to use three programs at the same time, which is not efficient working any more with 2Gb...

I have read somewhere, that for the moment Cineform does not recommend to switch to Vista at this moment... Right ?
So should we change to XP 64bit instead ? I would rather prefer to switch to Vista, as it is the newer OS... This is some question, Hernan had as well, I think.

Any advice ?

Thank you.

Ulli
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Old May 20th, 2008, 06:27 AM   #4
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What Ulli said - need better post-processing speed for After Effects etc, limited by 2Gb memory on Win XP x32 now, so the idea may be to move to Win XP x64.

How's Prospect HD/PPro/AE on it?
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Old May 20th, 2008, 08:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Raskin View Post
What Ulli said - need better post-processing speed for After Effects etc, limited by 2Gb memory on Win XP x32 now, so the idea may be to move to Win XP x64.

How's Prospect HD/PPro/AE on it?
If you have total 4GB installed you can use the 3GB switch to enable programs to us an extra gig, ths allowing 3GB.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l.../bb124810.aspx
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Old May 20th, 2008, 08:33 AM   #6
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Christopher, looked at the article you've referenced, but it seems like Microsoft does not have such switch for Win XP.

Quote:

Before you perform the procedure in this topic, be aware of the following:

The /3GB switch is supported only on the following operating systems:

* Windows 2000 Advanced Server
* Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
* Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition
* Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
* Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition

End Quote.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 09:13 AM   #7
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You should know also, that the /3GB switch is somewhat dangerous and can crash some configurations. If you try it, use it with extreme caution! Some people have no probs, but others have blue-screened to oblivion.

If you use XP x64, you'll probably be much happier, as you'll access more memory, it's more stable and it's faster. In case you haven't been following things, many MAJOR corporations are dumping Vista, buying it, but down-scaling back to XP! Many are waiting for Windows 7, which will be a long time coming yet.

We've got workstations here running side by side, using CS3 with both XP 32bit and XP x64. The x64 setup is definitely better (with an up-to-date board), even with the same 2.4 quad's, 4 GB RAM, and same RAIDS running on each. With AE, the differences are quite large, with the x64 running circles around the 32bit setup. Forget the additional memory above 4 GB unless you run lots of concurrent programs. If you mostly just do PP3 editing, 4 GB of fast memory with a good mb is plenty. But if like to have Photoshop open, or AE, or other heavy memory users, the extra RAM is nice. Especially for previews in AE, and lots of undo's.

ASUS and Gigabyte both have some very nice motherboards out there. Their faster ones for gaming are proving to be quite nice for editing use as well. Both uses need big I/O pipes to memory. A good RAID 0 or 5, will feed your multilayer video previews very nicely. Just know that many onboard RAIDs are much slower, while good RAID cards can keep that hungry pipeline fed.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 09:50 AM   #8
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Stephen, thanks - great post!

I was thinking the following config:

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 3Ghz, E8400 overclocked to 3.6Ghz $195

Motherboard: evga 780i mobo $240 (has lots of PCI-e x16 slots, need'em for RAID controller and external video input like Intensity Pro, Decklink etc. - this mobo reported to work well w E8400 proc - but otherwise I'm open to alternatives?)

RAID card: Areca ARC-1220 $440 with 4x750Gb WD 7500AAKS drives ar Raid 10, and 4x1Tb Seagate Barracuda drives, NS (server version) in another Raid 10.

Memory: two of OCZ Reaper 2Gb 1333Mhz, total 4Gb, $400

Win XP x64 OEM: $140

------------ $1420 (I already have cases, fans, HDDs, PSUs...)

What do you think?

The idea is to:

- Prepare for the possible upgrade from Aspect to Prospect HD
- Increase speed of rendering in AE

(current system: two Intel Xeons 3Ghz HT running on Supermicro X6DA8-G under Win XP Pro SP2, 2Gb memory)
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Old May 20th, 2008, 10:44 AM   #9
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I found newer info on Technet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Raskin View Post
Christopher, looked at the article you've referenced, but it seems like Microsoft does not have such switch for Win XP.

Quote:

Before you perform the procedure in this topic, be aware of the following:

The /3GB switch is supported only on the following operating systems:

* Windows 2000 Advanced Server
* Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
* Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition
* Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
* Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition

End Quote.
I went to Technet to check this out and it appears that beginning with SP2 XP does support the /3GB switch:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/811113

But....
There does appear to be more to it than just setting the switch. A more indepth discussion can be found here:
http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/arc...fying-3gb.aspx

It sounds to me like this is a question of how the applications you use are written and whether or not there is any advantage under the 32 bit XP OS.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 10:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Raskin View Post
Stephen, thanks - great post!

I was thinking the following config:

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 3Ghz, E8400 overclocked to 3.6Ghz $195

Motherboard: evga 780i mobo $240 (has lots of PCI-e x16 slots, need'em for RAID controller and external video input like Intensity Pro, Decklink etc. - this mobo reported to work well w E8400 proc - but otherwise I'm open to alternatives?)

RAID card: Areca ARC-1220 $440 with 4x750Gb WD 7500AAKS drives ar Raid 10, and 4x1Tb Seagate Barracuda drives, NS (server version) in another Raid 10.

Memory: two of OCZ Reaper 2Gb 1333Mhz, total 4Gb, $400

Win XP x64 OEM: $140

------------ $1420 (I already have cases, fans, HDDs, PSUs...)

What do you think?

The idea is to:

- Prepare for the possible upgrade from Aspect to Prospect HD
- Increase speed of rendering in AE

(current system: two Intel Xeons 3Ghz HT running on Supermicro X6DA8-G under Win XP Pro SP2, 2Gb memory)
The Prospect HD move seems like an especially a good move to me, as anyone with HDV can bump it then to square pixel HD. If you plan to use your final output in a variety of ways (Blu-ray, DVD, downloadable HD, Flash output, etc.), the square pixel formal gives very nice downsizing results and is ready to go for blu-ray. A biggie too, is that it's less problematic for conversion. All pretty good reasons to use it.

I think if you have checked out mb's being used in reallife video editing, it's not as much of a critical area. Most major suppliers have very good mb's out there and they seem to run quite closely as to their performance. If they are not a major player, I'd shy away. Major players update their drivers regularly and their feature sets are quite complete.

Areca RAID controller's are certainly a proven good choice and just about any good, fast SATA II's HDD's in a RAID config with that board will run nicely.

How do you plan to backup our data? Sometimes it's better to size down the HDD's in the RAID to allow you to buy a good backup solution. TB drives are pretty cheap and eSATA NAS's or even single eSATA drives are a good way to back up all that stuff. Until the TB sized optical comes along, HDDs seem to be the best cost/benefit solution.

To me, the Prospect HD upgrade would be a move you won't regret. You can scale things up and you'll not only preserve your output, but have less trouble with it in the long run.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 10:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Armour View Post
How do you plan to backup our data?
Well, that's why I'm running Raid 10 :)

It is the same as Raid 1, which mirrors data on the fly (backup), but then I have two Raid 1's striped together as Raid 0.

So the result is secure (Raid 1) and fast (Raid 0) = Raid 10.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 12:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Raskin View Post
Well, that's why I'm running Raid 10 :)

It is the same as Raid 1, which mirrors data on the fly (backup), but then I have two Raid 1's striped together as Raid 0.

So the result is secure (Raid 1) and fast (Raid 0) = Raid 10.
I understood the RAID 10 part, but are you planning to maintain all your work on those RAID's?

I guess in my mind is a need to transport/offsite work. Maybe that is due to the nature of our type of productions (med length, long term , multi-target HD).

What would you do if a fire/lightning bolt/thief struck? If your productions are like ours, that could be an issue. If they are mostly short, "once-out-the-door-then-forgotten" types, and only needed later for demoing your work to clients, I guess a large, secure RAID setup is certainly enough.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulli Grunow View Post
I have read somewhere, that for the moment Cineform does not recommend to switch to Vista at this moment... Right ?

Ulli
Ulli, we do not recommend Vista 64 at the moment - we are not supporting it. We realize we will have to support it soon but there are lots of problems right now.

We have done a lot of work on XP 64 recently because Prospect 4K (with 4K images) likes the extra memory space available. You should be good with XP 64.
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