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edrhine

AE & C4D Rig -- Dumping Mac and moving to PC

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I know that this is covered often but not specifically my questions and google is not really helping me all that much to find an answer. Our studio is leaving Apple the way of the dodo and building out some new workstations. I am primarily considers a dual Xeon E5-2630 or higher, with 64+ gigs of ram and the rest of the bells and whistles. The other option would be the i7-3970X. I know one is more of a desktop and one more a workstation.... for example... BOXX tech used all Xeons in their high end systems. I guess what I am really looking to do is make the best choice for the money and what I really want is the top snappiest performance in terms of AE timeline speed and C4D viewport that I can get for between $4-5K.

 

Any thoughts much appreciated.

 

 

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Make sure you get an SSD for Windows and a second normal hard drive for local data.

 

The viewport and timeline speed is mostly about the video card. The Nvidia GTX range is generally accepted to have the best 'bang for your buck' for motion graphics work.

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If all you need is "interactive" performance, a core7i will be much better. Most operations in AE or C4D are not that well threaded, anyway, for mathematical reasons or because of programmers laziness.... Of course things skew in favor of a dual processor machine the more you use your workstation to render....

 

Mylenium

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Thanks guys -- appreciate the input, especially from the two of you. So here is what we have already at the studio. 12 core mac pro 2.66 // 8 core mac pro @ 2.2 // PC - i7 2.5 quad corre // small render farm of 3x i7-3770K 16gb ram for C4D.

 

This year we have budgeted to purchase another 5 of the i7-3770K render machines for cinema.

 

the idea with these is really to have very responsive work stations that also render. That being said... we do a ton of After Effects versioning where we may send network clients 3-5000 movs in a few months, so we are also looking for a NET Render type solution for AE as well.

 

Thanks again for the advice.

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Wooh, nothing makes me happier than to read threads like this :D

 

havent been keeping up with hardware too much.

 

But yeah, don't waste money on quadro cards. They have little affect on c4d. (sometimes adverse)

And go Nvidia, hear nothing but problems from people with ATI cards.

 

And you get CUDA rendering if you choose to go that way.

 

And hardware acceleration on Adobe products.

Edited by vozzz

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I second getting the i7-3770k over xeons. You will save thousands and have faster in-program performance.

 

If you need to render a lot, take some of the money you saved and make a render farm out of micro-atx boards. You will still save thousands, and completely free up your workstations.

 

Also, be sure to get a SSD for your OS, normal 7200rpm drives raided 1 for your work directory, and a smaller SSD for your application cache.

 

Don't get quadro cards. Complete rip-off. Any kepler-based GTX card will do you more than fine for a while.

 

You could build each machine for under 2k, and possibly save more money by searching for lot / bulk deals on ebay depending on how many workstations your building out in the shop.

 

The tricky part is the AE render farm. The most problematic thing is connection speed when referencing all of the larger assets involved with After Effects projects. The most cost-effective solutions would be to use those micro-atx boards for your c4d render farm and connect them either all via USB 3 or 1000 gigabit ethernet to a NAS. Something like Deadline or Royal Render will manage your AE renders from there.

 

 

I just built a new machine using the 3770k, with watercooling so its overclocked to a very stable 4.7ghz. It shows up as 12 cores when multi-threading, and it Cinebenches 12.8 (faster than a 12 core mac pro).

Edited by AromaKat

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hahaha... not calling my 12 core an eyesore, it will be an employee workstation, but sadly Apple is taking a proverbial dump on my face and I am just tired of it. Also the finder is getting crappier IMO as the OS updates but whatever... onto the PC world

 

So what I am thinking for the build over all is:

 

i7-3970X processor

ASUS MB - LGA 2011 socket with dual gigabit lan and quad SLI/RAM

64 GB PC 1600 RAM

256 GB SSD boot drive

10000 RPM Raptor cache drive -- (as I have read that SSD for cache has performance decline over time)

1TB WD caviar black HD for general storage)

NVIDIA Geofore 670 GTX OC video card

 

Then a beastly case and liquid cooled and a 1000W power sup

 

Thoughts?

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So what I am thinking for the build over all is:

 

i7-3970X processor

ASUS MB - LGA 2011 socket with dual gigabit lan and quad SLI/RAM

64 GB PC 1600 RAM

256 GB SSD boot drive

10000 RPM Raptor cache drive -- (as I have read that SSD for cache has performance decline over time)

1TB WD caviar black HD for general storage)

NVIDIA Geofore 670 GTX OC video card

 

Then a beastly case and liquid cooled and a 1000W power sup

 

Thoughts?

 

Dont get the extreme. Not worth 2x the price.

 

Mobo - Not enough info really. Just make sure you have the number of PCI, USB, firewire, etc ports.

 

64 GB of ram - Prob overkill. You can save money there. You won't see much difference after 32.

 

256 GB boot drive - good. Just be sure its Sata III 6gbps and connected to a Sata III port

 

1000 RPM raptor cace drive - mmmm..... Probably a lot more storage than you need, and a spinning disk is a spinning disk. Your trying to just ooze out that data on demand. Just get a SSD.

 

1TB drive - Make it 2TB and get 2 so you can make a redundant raid 1. You don't want to lose all your data due to a drive failure in the middle of a project

 

Geforce 670 - go with a 680 instead to be on the newer kepler architecture

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is anyone running Windows 8 on their workstation? If so, how is it? Planning to stay with Win7 on a build but, wondered about 8.

 

We have 8 on our laptops with c4d, ae, etc. No problems, ever. Some more OS-invasive applications don't work, like partition magic, but it has been surprisingly awesome thus far. That said, when I built my new primary workstation I still took the safer route and went with 7 pro.

Edited by AromaKat

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hahaha... not calling my 12 core an eyesore, it will be an employee workstation, but sadly Apple is taking a proverbial dump on my face and I am just tired of it. Also the finder is getting crappier IMO as the OS updates but whatever... onto the PC world

 

So what I am thinking for the build over all is:

 

i7-3970X processor

ASUS MB - LGA 2011 socket with dual gigabit lan and quad SLI/RAM

64 GB PC 1600 RAM

256 GB SSD boot drive

10000 RPM Raptor cache drive -- (as I have read that SSD for cache has performance decline over time)

1TB WD caviar black HD for general storage)

NVIDIA Geofore 670 GTX OC video card

 

Then a beastly case and liquid cooled and a 1000W power sup

 

Thoughts?

The cache SSD should perform at top speed until it is near the end of its life. SSD memory can only be over-written a finite number of times and since caches are updated frequently you're going to hit that limit a lot faster than you would with a general data drive that might hold data for days/weeks/months. As parts of the drive become unusable the controller will need to hunt around to find good memory so that will slow things down.

 

I haven't seen any data on how long a cache SSD lasts on an average motion graphics computer, but if it's more than a year I'd happily swap one out yearly in exchange for the speed boost they provide.

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The most brandnew SSDs have read/write cycles about 1 million per block. Still measly compared to 100 millions on magnetic drives, but enough to last you a while.

 

Mylenium

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The 3970x is just overpriced, get the 3930 instead. Thats what i got for some workstations here @ Maxon.

Quadro cards have no performance advantage in CINEMA 4D, they do however have much more stable drivers. For the same performance as a gaming card you pay a premium though.

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for processors, look up cinebench scores to assess the difference in performance. the top ones give tiny speed boosts and often double or triple cost. If your liquid cool and really want the speed, you can ussualy just overclock a lower end one.

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for processors, look up cinebench scores to assess the difference in performance. the top ones give tiny speed boosts and often double or triple cost. If your liquid cool and really want the speed, you can ussualy just overclock a lower end one.

 

But research what processors over clock well, and to what speed

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Based on TomsHardware benchmarks link (not overclocked)

i7 Cinebench multithreaded - 10.5

dual Xeon E5 Cinebench - 25.5

 

Benchmarks definitely depend on what you are doing though and how efficient the program is in using all the threads. Look at the AE 5.5 benchmarks and you'll see the i7 are actually faster than Xeon most likely because the higher clock speed. As others have mentioned it's also about price/performance ratio and the highest end Xeon chips are double the price (or 4x for dual CPU config).

 

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-performance-comparison,3370-14.html

 

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/xeon-e5-2687w-benchmark-review,3149-8.html

Edited by superegophobia

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So the rig is built and working and I am stupid happy with it so far.... have the build above with an ASUS workstation board and a zotax 670 GTX 4gig video card. Its just cranking through working in AE and so so much more responsive than the 12 MP I am used to working on... overall just all smiles here

 

What I need to figure out are some of the little nicities of the finder that I am used to. I have checked out some programs for tabbed windows folder, colored folder and syncing folders (like Chronosync) but would love to hear what peeps have found to be kick ass on the windows side for orgaization and productivity. Thanks all

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i need to make a tutorial on how to customize windows for proffesional work. There are actually a lot of stuff to customize on win7 out of the box.

 

for syncing. sugarsync is pretty sweet, coz its designed to sync stuff between multiple computers and unlike drop box you can pick any folder on your computer and then sync it onto another computer.

 

colored folders is another case. just drag the folders you use to the favorites list on the right. Also remember that you can now copy and paste paths to folders. Something that mac lacks.

 

oh yeah, get a program called "katmouse" it helps with scrolling. so whatever is under your mouse scrolls.

 

for anti-virus i reccomend using microsoft security essentials. it doesnt slow down the system unlike other anti viruses and its free :)

 

Rainmeter is great for adding widgets to your desktop if you are into that.

 

right click on start menu. And make icons small, and turn off combining.

 

Oh yeah and one of the most important things: right click desktop> personolize >windows color> advanced appearance settings . select border padding. And change the value to 1. that gets rid of the thick borders around the windows.

 

I think for now that's about it off the top of my head.

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So the rig is built and working and I am stupid happy with it so far.... have the build above with an ASUS workstation board and a zotax 670 GTX 4gig video card. Its just cranking through working in AE and so so much more responsive than the 12 MP I am used to working on... overall just all smiles here

 

What I need to figure out are some of the little nicities of the finder that I am used to. I have checked out some programs for tabbed windows folder, colored folder and syncing folders (like Chronosync) but would love to hear what peeps have found to be kick ass on the windows side for orgaization and productivity. Thanks all

 

Since you come from a mac, I thought I'd mention that this weekend I've been trying using an Apple keyboard with Windows. One thing that I always thought was better, was using the thumb for the modifier, or just generally the order of the Apple keys. So I found a little app that you can remap keys and I'm liking this setup a lot more than the PC keyboard setup. I need to figure out how to change what the actual shortcuts are though, so I can make the CMD+TAB functionality like in OSX (windows is ALT+TAB), haven't found anything so far that isn't confusing as shit.

 

A few things I've found: in the windows search thing, type "change how your keyboard works" and at the bottom, turn on "Prevent windows from being automatically...", basically turns off that annoying snapping to the edge of the screen. I think I turned off all the sound effects. WIN+E = new finder window, WIN+D = Desktop.

Edited by Grundly

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Thanks all! Those are some super good tips for getting back into PC land. I am still so super pumped right now its unbelievable.... the workflow in AE is so freakin fast and responsive, I cant believe I did not switch earlier. Everything else is falling in place too.

 

Vozz -- thanks for the MSE tip.... looks great. I opted for FreeFileSync as that is more like a version of Chronosync that I am used to working with on the mac side.

 

I have also found a programs call Clover, that creates tabbed windows explorer with bookmarks up top (just like a browser)

 

still going to figure out that folder color thing somehow and will post.

 

Grundly -- thank for that snapping tip -- super annoying.... well back to work

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i need to make a tutorial on how to customize windows for proffesional work. There are actually a lot of stuff to customize on win7 out of the box.

This would be really cool. I'm Pretty much in the same boat as edrhine getting in some PC workstations after only really working on Mac for last few years and would love something to get up to speed on best ways to use Win OS for our kind of work.

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