So I've been perusing these forums for the past few days trying to collect the information necessary to figure out the components needed to build a new workstation. I've used Mac Pro's my entire career thus far, but my 2008 Mac Pro is showing it's age and now that I've fully moved from FCP to Adobe, I'm not locked into the Apple Infrastructure anymore, which means I realize that I can really put together a serious machine that will give me more bang for my buck. Not that I don't love Apple, but regardless of when and if new Mac Pro's are released, I'd just like to have more options regarding expandability, especially in the GPU department.
So using the information mostly offered by Jeff Kilgore on these threads, I listed what I think seems to be a pretty decent system, and just wanted any advice regarding it or any suggestions for something I may have forgotten about. Also thought a thread pulling in some of the current information spread out through other threads may help people in a similar situation (unless there's already another thread like this that I may have missed, which is possible).
In my case, we're trying to avoid a Red Rocket. I know that if I want smooth 4k playback I should just get one, but, the pricing just doesn't fit in my budget. I'm trying to work under the $9,000 range as much as possible so it doesn't work, and I think I can get along fine without it. At least, that's what I gather. I also don't deal much in color grading apps. I've never touched Resolve and probably won't in the near future. I'm interested in Speedgrade, but generally I stick mostly to Premiere and After Effects. My production company mostly produces corporate stuff and films. For our corporate stuff we just do basic color correction and for our films we tend to have it done professionally after the edit. Up till now, I haven't had a CUDA enabled card in my system so since moving to Adobe I haven't been able to take advantage of the Mercury Playback Engine. And having worked most of my life in Final Cut, I haven't had the need to have tons and tons of RAM. That's changed now. I edit native R3D's (mostly 4k) in Premiere and do motion graphics in After Effects, but I don't have good knowledge of GPU's and that stuff. Honestly, I'm a creative director so I don't really even have any experience building PC's (although I built my own HTPC at home, but that was a fairly simple machine I built for less than $400). So all of that is to just say, I'm an intermediate at best with this stuff. Be gentle.
So here's the setup:
1. MOBO: SuperMicro Super X9DAi Motherboard
PRICE: [Included with Chassis]
2. CPU: Dual Intel Xeon E5-2687W 3.1GHz 8-Core
3. GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX580
4. RAM: (2) G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 128GB (8 x 8GB) 600 (PC3 12800)
5. CHASSIS: SuperMicro SYS-7047A-T 4U (Pre-Wired with X9DAi Mobo)
6. SSD: OCZ Vertex 4 512GB SATA III MLC Internal
7. OPTICAL DRIVE: LG Black 14X Internal Blu-Ray Burner
8. OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
9. MONITOR: Dell Ultrasharp U2711 27” Monitor
Couple of notes: I realize that SuperMicro is a little touchy with their RAM and they have suggestions on their site. I saw that Jeff was looking at those G.Skills so I used them mostly as a price-reference, but I wasn't sure if they would work or not.
Also, I'm extremely interested in the GTX 690 more than anything but I realize that Adobe is still working on supporting the Keplar architecture on CS6, so I wasn't sure if I should count on it or not. I noticed that Jeff had one on order, but haven't noticed any comments that he had it yet and had tested it. If I wait on anything, I think it would be to evaluate the potential of using that card, because at that price-point ($1k-$1.5k) I definitely would want to get it in place of the gtx580. Would anybody confirm that's wise? Or at least the 680? I know that's generally in the same boat as the 690, but having not used any CUDA cards, I don't know if the boost from 500 CUDA cores to the 1500 or even 3000 would be significant (common sense is telling me that it would).
P.S. I'm also interested in a RAID config with the hot-swap bays on the chassis. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can create an internal raid using the X9DAi. Is that wise working with 4k files or should I definitely plan on getting and adapter card?
So anyway, thoughts, comments, concerns. I apologize in advance if I've wasted anybody's time with this thread. Thanks