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CareyD's Post Production Machine Parts List

C. Dissmore
The list author says: "I'm actually biting the bullet and moving primary post production to, gasp! a Windows machineÂ…with the caveat that this rig might just do the hackintosh thing adequately.

At last count I use about 20 applications regularly in the course of production, but when I look at which ones are in constant daily useÂ…identifying which ones really put the highest demands on the computing hardware/storage infrastructureÂ…I get it down to 3 or 4. The goals of this build are to enable my most demanding applications to operate at high performance, with very fast local storage, global performance caching, etc. If these run well, so should everything else. With a tight reign on the purse-strings, I figured this build out.

Editing: Adobe Premiere Pro CS6
Encoding: Adobe Media Encoder and to a lesser degree Episode Pro
Motion Graphics: Adobe After Effects CS6
Color: DaVinci Resolve 9 full version and Adobe SpeedGrade

I'm going with the 3930K i7 6-core 12-thread CPU. Xeon's are just not in the running at this time, even though I've been driving Xeon-powered Mac Pros for years. The extremely vertical pricing of the latest gen, combined with lack of overclockability has created the following reality: You'd have to spend at least 10K on a Xeon-based configuration to beat what this machine can do for ~4K (not incl BMD hardware). when it comes to running Premiere Pro, After Effects & Resolve.

Today's Xeon pricing is unfortunate as it is relegating Xeon's exclusively to the money-no-object crowd. How much production falls into that category? Some. But less and less. High Xeon costs have driven sales volume down to almost nothing! This, in fact could be one of the reasons why Apple has stepped away from Mac Pro refreshes. Just how many 7K to 10K Mac Pros can they sell? Why not offer an i7 tower?

So this is what I'm doing this time. But hey, that's me. I'm kinda fearless. This path isn't for everyone and I recognize that.

NOTE my detailed comments on each item."
Cooler Master Cosmos II - Ultra Tower Computer Case with Aluminum and Steel Body (RC-1200-KKN1)
Cooler Master Cosmos II - Ultra Tower Computer Case with Aluminum and Steel Body (RC-1200-KKN1)
"I already got this case so I could look it over in person. Very high build quality, but it's friggin' huge! I like the built-in SATA hot swap bays. Cleaner approach than my toaster docks currently used w/Mac Pro. Room to grow too. But my goodness is this thing huge."
Gigabyte LGA 2011 DDR3 2133 Intel C606 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Motherboard GA-X79S-UP5-WIFI
Gigabyte LGA 2011 DDR3 2133 Intel C606 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Motherboard GA-X79S-UP5-WIFI
"Debated this new board vs tried & true 1 yr-old Asus P9X79 Deluxe. Ended up going for this one. The extra SAS/SATA support is attractive. (I plan 3 SSD's, 4 hard drives, 1 optical, plus two hot-swap SATA bays for clones/archives. 10 SATA ports desired. Asus has 8. This has 14. Uses much cooler, digital PWM. But how well it will overclock? Stability compared to tried and true Asus P9X79 Deluxe?"
Intel Core i7-3930K Hexa-Core Processor 3.2 Ghz 12 MB Cache LGA 2011 - BX80619I73930K
Intel Core i7-3930K Hexa-Core Processor 3.2 Ghz 12 MB Cache LGA 2011 - BX80619I73930K
"This CPU has been around about a year, but until there is an Ivy Bridge E 8-core with soldered heat spreader, this will be my CPU of choice. Realistically we could still be a year away from a CPU like that. How well will it overclock on this board? w/64GB RAM?"
Corsair Vengeance 64GB (8x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory (CMZ64GX3M8A1600C9)
Corsair Vengeance 64GB (8x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory (CMZ64GX3M8A1600C9)
"Picked this because it's sold as an 8-pack 64GB set. The thought here is that perhaps when sold as a kit the sticks are better matched to work together in harmony? I plan to overclock the CPU & would prefer to use higher speed rated RAM. Not sure how much overclocking RAM impacts AE + PPro and Resolve compared to the grunt of CPU overclocks."
Corsair Hydro Series H100 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (CWCH100)
Corsair Hydro Series H100 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (CWCH100)
"Should provide an easy turnkey closed-loop watercooling solution to get the CPU up to 4.5ghz or higher. I was briefly tempted to also watercool the graphics cards (with another radiator) but since a) I plan frequent upgrades and b) since I'm moving the machines to another room...noise won't be an issue. Nevertheless I don't expect this machine to be very noisy."
EVGA GeForce GTX 680 FTW 4096MB GDDR5, DVI, DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort, 4-way SLI Ready Graphics Card (04G-P4-3687-KR) Graphics Cards 04G-P4-3687-KR
EVGA GeForce GTX 680 FTW 4096MB GDDR5, DVI, DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort, 4-way SLI Ready Graphics Card (04G-P4-3687-KR) Graphics Cards 04G-P4-3687-KR
"BUY TWO OF THESE. Not sure if the $40 higher per card ($80 total) higher clock speed of these cards is worth it for Adobe After Effects and Resolve, but I popped for these anyway. I'm trying not to spend too much on non-performance-related things, so I hope these perform."
OCZ Technology 128GB Vertex 4 Series SATA 6.0 GB/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SSD) With Industry's Highest 120K IOPS And 5-Year Warranty - VTX4-25SAT3-128G
OCZ Technology 128GB Vertex 4 Series SATA 6.0 GB/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SSD) With Industry's Highest 120K IOPS And 5-Year Warranty - VTX4-25SAT3-128G
"BUY TWO OF THESE. 1 of these for Windows 7 Pro 64 boot/apps drive, the 2nd one for Mac OS Hackintosh boot/apps drive.” Actually, if you are like me and want a bootable clone of each system drive, buy 4 of these."
OCZ Technology 256GB Vertex 4 Series SATA 6.0 GB/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SSD) With Industry's Highest 120K IOPS And 5-Year Warranty - VTX4-25SAT3-256G
OCZ Technology 256GB Vertex 4 Series SATA 6.0 GB/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SSD) With Industry's Highest 120K IOPS And 5-Year Warranty - VTX4-25SAT3-256G
"An SSD dedicated to caching? Twice the size of the boot/apps drive? You bet!   Debated between this SSD and the Samsung 840, which isn't shipping yet. Got this. This drive will be dedicated to cache for After Effects and Premiere Pro. Will make sure it's on a 6Gbps SATA port."
Seagate 2TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST2000DM001)
Seagate 2TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST2000DM001)
"BUY FOUR OF THESE. They will be configured in a RAID-0 that should benchmark well over 500MB/sec for video media. These will use 4 of the SAS/SATA ports on the motherboard, with room to grow. No real cost/benefit to going with SAS native drives for this internal RAID application."
LG Electronics 14x Internal BDXL Blu-Ray Burner Rewriter WH14NS40 - Bulk Drive - Black
LG Electronics 14x Internal BDXL Blu-Ray Burner Rewriter WH14NS40 - Bulk Drive - Black
"May as well have Blu-Ray burning in the arsenal. I will need to look at getting some Blu-Ray playback software as well. I think Encore will be my default authoring app for now. This drive reviews very well."
FirePower ZX Series 1250W 80Plus Gold Fully-Modular High Performance ATX PC Power Supply ZX1250W, formerly PC Power & Cooling
FirePower ZX Series 1250W 80Plus Gold Fully-Modular High Performance ATX PC Power Supply ZX1250W, formerly PC Power & Cooling
"This PSU seems to have the performance, connections I need and is well reviewed at a price point 90 bucks lower than the corsair Ax1200"
Logitech G19 Programmable Gaming Keyboard with Color Display
Logitech G19 Programmable Gaming Keyboard with Color Display
"This is a bit of an indulgence. I like the idea of the screen--most time I would run temperature/CPU/GPU and core/thread load software display on it.... I debated going with this "big and capable" unit against a simpler, streamline illuminated wireless Logitech keyboard. I already have a nice wireless mouse. For now, Ended up going with this. Might change my mind once it's on my desk. Hmm."
Syba Low Profile PCI-Express 1394b/1394a (2B1A) Card, TI Chipset, Extra Regular Bracket SD-PEX30009
Syba Low Profile PCI-Express 1394b/1394a (2B1A) Card, TI Chipset, Extra Regular Bracket SD-PEX30009
"To support existing population of FW 800 drives and those coming in from clients...coupled with Macdrive Pro software to mount mac formatted drives Read Write. Even Apple Disk Utility RAIDs. I have no idea if the machine could boot from a connected FW800 drive on this card but I kinda doubt it."
Transcend USB 3.0 Super Speed Multi-Card Reader for SD/SDHC/SDXC/MS/CF Cards (TS-RDF8K)
Transcend USB 3.0 Super Speed Multi-Card Reader for SD/SDHC/SDXC/MS/CF Cards (TS-RDF8K)
"If it's not already on hard drive when it comes to me, most footage now comes in on CF cards, SD cards or P2 cards. This will handle the first two at speeds better than I've gotten any other way. Sadly won't replace my stupid overpriced $400 Panasonic slower-than-molasses USB 2.0 P2 reader though. I may swap this for something I can mount in a bay."
Blackmagic Design DeckLink HD Extreme 3D+
Blackmagic Design DeckLink HD Extreme 3D+
"I already own this card. I'll be moving from Mac Pro... but it's listed here for completeness. This is the officially favored card for Resolve and works well with Adobe stuff too."