Everyone knows, time is money and that is especially true in production. Go over your tentative shoot schedule, you’ve got overages.. Yes we’ve all got contingencies in our budgets to cover this, but the one thing contingencies don’t cover is the relationships with clients that can be strained due to delayed deliveries of materials.
As we produce original content, we have a massive archive of footage, backing it up and having it all readily accessible. Once a project is sound/picture locked and ready to be sent to our post house in Los Angeles, it first needs to be rendered. And that is no easy task. 44-90 minutes of High Definition content with 9-11 tracks of audio, graphics, effects, filters, all compiled into one file. We’ve usually distributed this workload amongst our bevy of workstation grade laptops. We run the lot from Asus K series to Dell XPS’ to Sagers. However, it was definitely time for a dedicated workstation. The specs are:
- Intel 3970 Extreme edition process
- 64gb DDR1600 Ram
- x79 Asus motherboard
- Water cooled (Corsair H110)
- Nvidia GTX680
- 1050 watt PSU
- 480GB OS drive (SSD)
- 5tb Scratch drive (Raid 0)
The system is very lightly overclocked at 4100Mhz and although it can go way higher (it’s an Extreme edition chip!) the software we use is bottle necked by hard drive speeds. Avid DNXHD based renders that took 16-18 hours now take 6 hours! Time is money and we’re saving metric boat load on rendering times now. With clients demanding various versions of our programs, from XDCAM to Avid encoded MOVs, this system just chews up anything we throw at it and spits out a finished file in no time!
Those of you who know me know I despise using any Apple product professionally. Sure they’re great products, but you would NEVER find a system from apple that is built to such high and exacting standard as this workstation that we built, part by part. Total cost for the build was a little over $3500 and I have nothing but the highest praise for the top of the line component products from brands such as Asus, Intel, EVGA, Corsair, Seasonic, Coolermaster. Anyhow, time for some pics! Ladies and gentlemen, START YOUR RENDERING!!!