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Old March 31st, 2013, 11:58 PM   #1
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How much did you spend on you workstation?

I'm saving up for a new workstation to edit. How much do you estimate I should spend for a good workstation? $2500? And does anyone use a Raid configuration?
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Old April 1st, 2013, 02:58 AM   #2
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Re: How much did you spend on you workstation?

That's more than enough of a budget to be fair.

I don't work in RAID, a SSD for your OS / Installations and a Mechanical drive suffices in my opinion.

I keep external drives to back up on to, which I plug in and out when needed via USB 3.0

I spent 1200 on mine approx $1800
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Old April 1st, 2013, 03:20 AM   #3
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Re: How much did you spend on you workstation?

It depends which NLE you are going to use as some have bigger system requirements (like Adobe), I spend about 2200 dollar on a pc 2 years ago, it has 6 internal drives and that already takes a chunk out of the pc budget, as I use Edius I don't need a high end nvidia or ati card so that saves some as well.

About having a ssd for your os, I do have a samsung 840 pro ssd now and had a 150gb wd raptor before, honestly if I could buy again I"d get a 1tb wd raptor which is about the same price as a 128gb samsung pro. I bought the ssd because I see people raving about how fast it is but I don't see that much difference in daily operation, yes programs do start up faster but not "that" faster. Even my pc doesn't start up that faster because it has to initialize all 6 drives first before it boots. Once I"m working with programs I don't see any benefit at all. The 1tb raptor is much faster then the 150gb I had and eventhough it's much slower then a ssd waiting 4 seconds instead of 2 to open a program won't make a difference to me so I rather have 1tb of space where I don't need to worry how many programs I install or how big they are.

ssd also have a more limited life span then harddrives, I have a 10 year old 75gb wd raptor that still works but I don't think you can make such a claim for a ssd. Not saying a ssd is not good but if you want space and save some, get a 1tb wd raptor instead.
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Old April 1st, 2013, 04:02 AM   #4
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Re: How much did you spend on you workstation?

I'm currently running on Macs so my values won't really apply.

I do have a couple of windows PCs sat in the corner not being used though ;) They are 4.4Ghz o/c i7, each with 4x2TB HDDs, the first is the boot O/S and the others are RAID 0. External 'backups' on to other HDDs (run via sync software so multiple computers have complete copies of the projects) and longer term archiving on to LTO. Each PC also has 16GB of 1600Mhz ram and they only cost around 1200 to put together without HDDs, but including the GPU.

Since Adobe have Pi**ed me off twice now, once with their buggy Mac software (which made me use PCs for a while) and then with their AVCHD bugs, I've now gone back to the Mac because I find I can work much faster in FCPX. So again, not really applicable to PCs.

Not designed to start a Mac/PC debate / war/ Both do an awesome job and it's really down to the software you want to use. Edius is great software but I never really go in to using it.

Noa, if you're PC is only a couple of year old, why are you already feeling the need to upgrade? BTW I agree on the SSD. I have a couple and while they are faster to boot on PCs without lots of HDDs, that's about it.
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Old April 1st, 2013, 04:08 AM   #5
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Re: How much did you spend on you workstation?

I"ve only upgraded the OS drive so far and that was because the wd raptor would be used in another system. I thought, why not give a SSD a try. But beside that I never upgrade anything, I replace my pc's about every 4 years and also never get a high end one.
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Old April 1st, 2013, 05:13 AM   #6
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Re: How much did you spend on you workstation?

See, having that many internal drives, I just don't see the point?

Your obviously storing data, but question is, how often are you accessing it ? cheap external drives that you can fill up and store away in a cupboard is better if you ask me.

Why would I want to load up 6 drives everytime I switch on the PC. Keep the system sweet and simple and buy a high end CPU, Good Graphics Card & Lots of Ram, USB 3.0 and you'll be fine. And then spend money on external storage as and when needed.

This way, your wallets happy and you also get the performance you need.
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Old April 1st, 2013, 08:03 AM   #7
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Re: How much did you spend on you workstation?

James, external drives are all well and good, but they don't offer the same kind of performance that an internal RAID 0 does (360MB/s+), nor do they offer the same level of protection you could get from an internal (or external) RAID 5 for example.

I'm sure we all have multiple HDDs sat on a shelf, but I can't ever bring myself to rely on them working next time I power them on because I've had far too many (60+) fail over the (30+) years when I next came to power them on and use them.

Having said that - I totally see the benefit of small systems with external drives, which is what I use with my MacBook Pro.
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Old April 1st, 2013, 08:27 AM   #8
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Re: How much did you spend on you workstation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Manford View Post
See, having that many internal drives, I just don't see the point?

Your obviously storing data, but question is, how often are you accessing it ?
All the time during the year.
All my drives are full at the end of the year (currently 8TB) with work projects and at the beginning of each new year they are either cleared or partially moved to several external drives depending on the type of projects. Internal drives directly connected to a sata connector give the fastest performance and I need that in the middle of a work season when I move data around because projects can be between 60 to 200gb, usb 3.0 is too slow for my use and only ok for backing up data externally. If I"m on a deadline and if I have a project that requires multicam and heavier grading I might work with Edius HQ AVI, filesize is 3-4x compared to the native files but workflow is much faster, I can export 1 hour of footage (doesn't matter what the original codec was) to a separate internal drive in about 8-9 minutes on my 2 year old system. I also always export to a hqavi file, even if I edited with the native files and those exported files are large as well but give a smooth as butter handling in tmpgenc authoring works afterwards.
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Old April 1st, 2013, 10:55 AM   #9
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Re: How much did you spend on you workstation?

Fair enough, with your level of workload it makes perfect sense then.

My weddings usually have around 50-60gb of raw data for me to shuffle through to create my film.

Once complete and the client is happy, I transfer the 'edited' version on to an external copy to keep for life/as long as the drive survives just incase the client wants to buy additional copies in the future ...

I don't keep raw files / projects once i've made the film and the client is happy. So im always deleting once i've had confirmation.
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Old April 1st, 2013, 12:32 PM   #10
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Re: How much did you spend on you workstation?

$1800 for custom built computer a few years back from avadirect.com. Additional $750 for copy of Edius NLE software and HD spark realtime output card to HDTV. Priced out an ivy-bridge system today from the same vender with far superior specs for about the same price.

Edius 5.5, HDSPARK, Asus P6T Deluxe mobo, i7-920 processor, Antec 900-2 case, Corsair 650 watt p.s., Corsair 6GB XMS3 PC3-12800 DDR3, Sapphire HD4830, WD 160GB Caviar system drive, 1TD WD Caviar Black video storage drive, Lite-on IHAS324, Sound Blaster X-FI Titanium, Vista 64 bit, Amtron P2 card reader, Samsung LN19A330 HDTV.
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Last edited by Mark Williams; April 1st, 2013 at 01:15 PM.
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Old April 1st, 2013, 05:07 PM   #11
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Re: How much did you spend on you workstation?

Can you tell me more about why Raid is important Dave?
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 08:11 AM   #12
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Re: How much did you spend on you workstation?

usb 3.0 is too slow for my use

I'm surprised to read that. I use USB 3 all the time, even for editing big long multicam projects direct on external drives. The actual transfer rates vary depending on the type of data - large files being faster than multiple tiddlers - but I easily get 5x the USB equivalent. With Windows 8 you get a meter showing the transfer speed whilst copying is in progress.

There will be failures inevitably with any drives so rigorous backing up is of course essential. Seatools downloadable from Seagate is very effective in fixing their line of drives.

I do prefer the security of externals because of the risk of fire or theft when you have much of your work within one workstation. Also you can do things like edit on your main workstation then put the external onto a laptop and leave it rendering.

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Old April 2nd, 2013, 10:08 AM   #13
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Re: How much did you spend on you workstation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
usb 3.0 is too slow for my use

I'm surprised to read that. I use USB 3 all the time, even for editing big long multicam projects direct on external drives. The actual transfer rates vary depending on the type of data - large files being faster than multiple tiddlers - but I easily get 5x the USB equivalent. With Windows 8 you get a meter showing the transfer speed whilst copying is in progress.

There will be failures inevitably with any drives so rigorous backing up is of course essential. Seatools downloadable from Seagate is very effective in fixing their line of drives.

I do prefer the security of externals because of the risk of fire or theft when you have much of your work within one workstation. Also you can do things like edit on your main workstation then put the external onto a laptop and leave it rendering.


Pete
A list of pro's which I couldn't be bothered to mention - thank you!

To the OP
Basically what I suggested in my post above was if you have a budget.

If your happy to spend money, then by all means go all out. I would of done the same if money was no object for me.
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 10:54 AM   #14
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Re: How much did you spend on you workstation?

To be honest, I don't understand why you would be editing of several usb 3.0 drives when you can have a faster setup using the sata connectors from the motherboard with the drives build in. Then you could just use any extenral drives connected to usb 3.0 to run a daily backup batch for whatever you want to safekeep, I use syncback pro for that.
I would understand if you have a laptop that does have limited expansion possibilities inside but a workstation? internal data transfer from drive to drive is almost twice as fast then usb 3.0 on my pc.
Another advantage is that you could build a raid5 setup if you want to combine speed with safety but it is not absolutely necessary, you can use your drives separate as well but then you need to have a good backup plan.

Last edited by Noa Put; April 2nd, 2013 at 12:04 PM.
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 01:00 PM   #15
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Re: How much did you spend on you workstation?

There's a ton of conflicting "evidence" online as to which is quicker and in what circumstances but the fact remains that they are both extremely fast. I'll regularly return from shoots with well over 100gb of data but it still only takes a few minutes to copy over so i don't feel any real world bottleneck.

I prefer the simplicity of externals rather than f**ting around connecting internal drives. One of my drives is eSATA n.b. external but frankly its a pain because I cannot hot swap it on my main desktop even though I can on my laptop. Correcting that needs registry editing :- ( Another factor in my case is that I already have a GTX570 card in the PC case and that hogs a lot of space; I had to use a hacksaw to make enough room for it!

I don't trust RAID or automatic once a day backups either. Sometimes I backup every few minutes with complex projects. I have plenty of photographer colleagues who thought RAID was their backup or who neglected to grandfather their auto-backups.

We'll have to agree to differ Noa :- )

Pete
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