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Old November 20th, 2007, 06:42 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Mike McCarthy View Post
While I agree that the dual Harpertown with Seaburg system speced above is the fastest possible system (If money was no object) it is TOTALLY UNNECESSARY.
Maybe that's a good point. If I just went with a single Intel Quad Core processor system I'd have a LOT of money spare with which to buy something like the RAID controller or one of those cards like the Xena. I already have a 24" BenQ HD monitor and a 52" Full HD Bravia connected for previewing, so monitor-wise I think I'm set forever, give or take.

I'll be working with the EX1, which has HD-SDI output, so maybe I could look at a card for capturing live from the camera via HD-SDI. Is there a card someone can recommend that can be used with Prospect HD? It gets way too confusing for me when we start getting into this territory.

Can someone also confirm that it's worth doing this if I don't actually have an HD-SDI monitor to view the material on? Let's assume that the target screen is the Bravia.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 01:51 PM   #62
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Yes, the AJA XenaLHe will also allow you to capture directly from the camera over HD-SDI, live or from recorded material. Prospect can encode the SDI input to Cineform AVIs in real time. Capturing SDI live from the EX1 will bypass the 35Mb encoding, and while I have heard rumors that it might support true 10bit color, I wouldn't bet on it. If it did, Prospect would support it for realtime direct-to-disk capture.

If going with the Xena Card, you will want to be careful if you go with a single Core2Quad. Certain consumer Motherboards have issues with the Xena. AJA only supports it on dual proc workstations. An XW8400 is my recommendation if you want to do the Xena route, which makes sense if you so many monitoring options.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 05:42 PM   #63
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Yes, the AJA XenaLHe will also allow you to capture directly from the camera over HD-SDI, live or from recorded material. Prospect can encode the SDI input to Cineform AVIs in real time. Capturing SDI live from the EX1 will bypass the 35Mb encoding, and while I have heard rumors that it might support true 10bit color, I wouldn't bet on it. If it did, Prospect would support it for realtime direct-to-disk capture.

If going with the Xena Card, you will want to be careful if you go with a single Core2Quad. Certain consumer Motherboards have issues with the Xena. AJA only supports it on dual proc workstations. An XW8400 is my recommendation if you want to do the Xena route, which makes sense if you so many monitoring options.
That HP workstation is extremely pricey over here to get it kitted up to 4GB of RAM and enough HDDs to make it worthwhile (and I asusme I'd need a hardware RAID controller to capture live? And it's only got a pair of dual core processors - why no quad core?

The Xena card sounds great but it sounds like I'd be paying for all the other functions too - the audio ins and outs, the SDI outs, the VTR control, all of those inputs are not needed for me.

How about the Blackmagic Intensity HDMI card with one of those HD-SDI to HDMI converters? I'm pretty sure Prospect can capture through that path (I think) and as for monitoring, I don't need any extra solutions because I'll have dual graphics cards and I can just use one of the four outputs from those.

How much of an improvement am I really going to see if I capture live? I'm so blown away by the Z1 footage that I don't know if I could be much more impressed. Sure it may be technically of higher quality, but is it something that I'm actually going to see clearly?
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Old November 20th, 2007, 06:04 PM   #64
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How much of an improvement am I really going to see if I capture live? I'm so blown away by the Z1 footage that I don't know if I could be much more impressed. Sure it may be technically of higher quality, but is it something that I'm actually going to see clearly?
Maybe while you're editing it, but consider how the finished video is going to be distributed: chances are no one will ever see it at better than HDV quality. And if you'e delivering on standard-definition DVDs, any visible difference between HDV and uncompressed HD capture will likely be lost. Unless you really need the uncompressed capture, just record standard HDV and enjoy!

P.S. In case I didn't say it already, for me the ultimate editing computer is a fast laptop. Desktops aren't necessary these days for basic editing tasks.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 09:09 PM   #65
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Maybe while you're editing it, but consider how the finished video is going to be distributed: chances are no one will ever see it at better than HDV quality. And if you'e delivering on standard-definition DVDs, any visible difference between HDV and uncompressed HD capture will likely be lost. Unless you really need the uncompressed capture, just record standard HDV and enjoy!

P.S. In case I didn't say it already, for me the ultimate editing computer is a fast laptop. Desktops aren't necessary these days for basic editing tasks.
I've thought of that too but I don't really need the portability, and I already have lots of the components that would suit a desktop so I just want to stick with that.

I guess all this discussion has taught me lots about computers and what can be done with what specifications, etc... but I think I need to get back to the essentials...

Yes, I'm prepared to spend as much as is required, but I don't want to spend unneccessarily.

I plan to run CS3 with Magic Bullit Looks in Premiere with the 35Mbps EX1 footage and want a computer optimized to run this well. It sounds like I don't need dual Xeon processors, but it would be advantageous. I don't need the Xena card, but it could be a benefit. I don't need a RAID card but it sounds like it's highly recommended.

Shortly I'm going to post what I think is appropriate for this task and see what you all think.

Thanks so much for all your help and advice! I really do appreciate having a forum where I can get such expert advice from people - otherwise I'd just be stuck with the salespeople in the retail stores!!
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Old November 20th, 2007, 11:33 PM   #66
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I plan to run CS3 with Magic Bullit Looks in Premiere with the 35Mbps EX1 footage and want a computer optimized to run this well... I don't need a RAID card but it sounds like it's highly recommended.
RAID shouldn't be necessary for editing the footage in its native format unless you do a lot of heavy multi-layer compositing. 35 Mbps is less than 5 MB/sec per video stream, which means you should be able to run several layers off a single modern hard drive. Don't use RAID just for the heck of it, since it introduces maintenance complexities.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 12:18 AM   #67
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RAID shouldn't be necessary for editing the footage in its native format unless you do a lot of heavy multi-layer compositing. 35 Mbps is less than 5 MB/sec per video stream, which means you should be able to run several layers off a single modern hard drive. Don't use RAID just for the heck of it, since it introduces maintenance complexities.
What about running RAID through the BIOS? Is that a waste of time too?
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Old November 21st, 2007, 08:03 AM   #68
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What about running RAID through the BIOS? Is that a waste of time too?
If you're going to do RAID I'd say to buy a decent hardware-based controller for optimum performance. The main reason I could see to use a BIOS-based RAID would be to do a simple mirroring for backup purposes.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #69
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If I get a single Quad Core Intel processor - the QX9650-45nm, 3GHz CPU, there are no nVidia chipset motherboards that support it (that I can find) according to this list.

ASUS Motherboard Support 45nm Processors

So it looks like I'm stuck with ATI graphics. Am I right?

If so, what's the best ATI graphics card I can get? I've always used nVidia and was planning to do so again.

Have I just overlooked a board that supports this processor as well as nVidia graphics (I need two graphics cards by the way).
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Old November 25th, 2007, 09:14 AM   #70
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With the number of components you indicate, but with a single video card, the recommended power supply is around 800 W with 30% capacitor aging.
Just looked at this again and was wondering about the consequences of having too many devices plugged in - ie: over-using your PSU.

I currently have an A8N 32 SLI board with 3 HDDs, 2GB Ram, an AMD 4400+, a 7800GT, an 8600GT, DVD Burner, Blu-Ray Drive & HD-DVD Drive.

All attached to a 450 watt power supply in my Antec Sonata II case.

The performance of my computer is so pathetic that I simply cannot accept it any longer (hence this thread). I have no way of narrowing down the cause because I simply don't have the knowledge.

My processor does all sorts of strange things. Sometimes its performance varies from 0% to 100% every three to four seconds, sometimes the computer freezes and the processor says 0%.

It's just so random I can't understand it. I plan to upgrade the processor but don't know whether it will fix anything really.

Is it possible for an insufficient power supply to cause performance problems?
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Old November 25th, 2007, 09:30 AM   #71
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John,

An overtaxed power supply can cause all kinds of erratic behavior. I've had three PS's quit on me and I did not enjoy replacing them. It is the backbone of your system, not one of the fancy components, but incredibly important to your system and it's stability.

I think your approach to have a look at the Penryn generation of chips is very sensible. It uses less energy and has the SSE4 extensions, apart from other benefits. Although some posters have indicated that a dual Harpertown setup may be way too powerful, I think that with your extensive intended use of Magic Bullet Looks, you can use all the processing power you can get. MBL is VERY CPU hungry when it comes to rendering.
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Old November 26th, 2007, 12:33 AM   #72
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If I get a single Quad Core Intel processor - the QX9650-45nm, 3GHz CPU, there are no nVidia chipset motherboards that support it (that I can find) according to this list.

ASUS Motherboard Support 45nm Processors

So it looks like I'm stuck with ATI graphics. Am I right?

If so, what's the best ATI graphics card I can get? I've always used nVidia and was planning to do so again.

Have I just overlooked a board that supports this processor as well as nVidia graphics (I need two graphics cards by the way).
I am not certain, but I believe certain NVidia boards support the 45nm CPUs. If not, NVidia is supposed to be releasing a new chipset soon (the 780i). I was planning on buying one until I figured out the economics of the XW8400 solution. Regardless, you do not need Nvidia SLI in order to support more the one NVidia card. Actually, SLI does not support more than one DISPLAY. Many other motherboards (with dual x16 slots) will support to independent Nvidia graphics cards. I recommend NVidia GPUs over ATI.
Also, why do you need the Q9650? It is neither required nor economically feasible, (unless you have some way of getting the chip for under $1K.) The Q6600 or Q6700 will offer similar performance for much cheaper.

Also, I still don't understand why none of you can find the quad cores on HP's site, maybe it a is a foriegn limitation, since everyone who is having that issue is from outside the US. I assure you that HP makes dual socket quad-core systems, I intend to purchase one that way.

As far as Raids go, the "bios" raid is a hardware raid, and can be effective in Raid 0 to increase speed, but puts your data at more risk. I use a single drive for my OS and Apps, and a 2 disk Raid 0 for my media, to edit compressed HD. Editing XDCam and or Cineform conversions only requires a single spindle, but a simple Raid) can increase performance, and it is cheap. No need to buy a dedicated RAID card for Raid 0, as it requires no significant processing. Using Dynamic disk (software) Raid0 will tax the CPU slightly, but should still be effective. Many dual channel hardware Raids (Raid 50) do the striping in the CPU through windows.

You seem to be having a great deal of trouble figuring out what you really want. I reccommend you set a budget for yourself for your new system, and post that number along with your suggested specs to keep the advice directed in ways you actually realistically plan on going. For example under $2K I reccommend a Q6600 based system with 4GB. one hard disk for the OS, and two disks for the media in Raid 0. No Xena, and use your current video cards if desired. I don't know a specific MB off the top of my head, but look for dual x16 slots, quad compatibility, onboard SATA Raid 0.
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Last edited by Mike McCarthy; November 26th, 2007 at 02:09 AM.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 03:42 AM   #73
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Attached is a quote given to me by my builder of choice.

Here's what he wrote to me about Harm's Dual Quad Core Xeon system:

Iíve reviewed the parts and pls note that the CPU and the Board is not available at the moment. The CPU is due to be released in first quarter of next year.

In the meantime Iíve prepared a quote based on Intelís Quad core XEON CPU that runs on 1333 FSB. Also the graphic cards will not be running at full 16x speed as the Intel server board will only support x8 signal


So he's spec'd a single 2.66GHz Quad Core Xeon with the components as listed.

Is it a good system? Please remember $ are in AU.

I figured that if I only went with a single Quad Core processor I would just get a Core2Quad. It would be cheaper (I think) and the GPUs would run at 16x on a regular MB. I just still can't narrow down my options well enough.

You're right Mike - I'm not certain about what I want. I guess it's tough because I really am not terribly phased by price, so long as I know I'm getting the best system appropriate to my workflow. I don't want to overdo it for no reason, so if I can see money going towards a RAID card that is unneccessary I simply won't spend it.

But I'm not prepared to buy a system that is the "Minimum Requirement" ever again. It's a dead loss.

I guess to make it easier, I'm prepared to pay $5000 to $6000 A\U.

I guess that's the equivalent of about 4-5000 US$.

The systems this guy quoted and the one Harm suggested are much more than this, but I can always do without the RAID and the expensive case.

Anyway, let's say $6000AU max ($5000 US max).
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Old November 27th, 2007, 06:21 AM   #74
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Just a question, the PC spec'd in this thread is, I guess, at the more 'consumer' end of things and is designed as an HDV editing system. With some of the suggestions made in that thread (and what would probably be a 3GHz Core2Quad CPU, would it be appropriate for HD as well? And Magic Bullet in Prospect HD?

I guess if I just knew opinions about a good starting point like that I can build upon it or remove from it...

I'm thinking that if the dual Xeons is excessive and that a single Quad Core Xeon offers no real benefit over a Core 2 Quad I'd rather go with a Core 2 Quad for a few reasons. Heat and noise are apparently less of an issue. Therefore motherboard and case selection are less of an issue.

I'm probably learning towards the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 Quad Core CPU, 3.0 GHz, FSB 1333MHz or maybe the 6950 but as you say Mike, the benefit of it may be minimal, particularly over the 6850.

Thanks,

-- John.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 03:01 PM   #75
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Here are my notes on your Dual Xeon config:

Good CPU choice
Makes sure that the RAM is 4 sticks that are 1GB each. 4 sticks are required for optimal performance with the 5000X chipset. $900 seems a bit high, but not unreasonable.
Raptor is a good choice for OS drive, I have the 74GB one.
Are you planning to run Raid 0 or 5? Samsung 500GB should be fine (1.4-1.8TB total) but the Raid card is a bit over the top, but for Raid5 might be helpful. I have had problems with a 3ware controller in the past, and the drivers leave a bit to be desired. I would at least reccommend at least considering other manufacturers.
I would recommend a better video card. If you aren't going to get a Quadro card, and you are going for a Geforce8 card, at least invest in an 8800 varient. The GT as probably the best value, but hard to find. The GTS320 and the GTX are both great as well. A high end VGA card should help if you are planning to use it to power multiple displays at higher resolutions. If you use AE, you will also see performance benefits in 3D. Weren't you planning to get 2 VGA cards?
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