$4000+ AE/C4D Dual Xeon Workstation

Hey all, 

I am looking to build a workstaion, somthing simialr to http://youtu.be/7Tyudcr1uLY . No gaming, I have a rig at home for that; This is a pure workstation for my office. I work in motion graphics and animation in After Effects and I am looking to get into more serious 3D stuff in Cinema4D and Blender. I am shopping in Canada.  


I have already started to buy parts and put them into my existing setup (FX8350 + GTX760...). Here is what I have bought and what I plan on buying: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/user/Dr.Strangelove/saved/wyKkcf - I don't need a monitor or anything.  


I am looking for some advice on the GPU, CPU and MOBO. I am thinking Firepro W7000 / W7100 or W5100. For the MOBO I am going with the Asus, but there are so many bad reviews on this board I am trying to find some alternatives. Also, just give me your general opinions / flames.


 EDIT: I am now considering the R9 290X over the Firepros. They seems to have some serious OpenCL performance. 

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/fCkM6h I do like the idea of a duel xeon station, but the price to performance of a single 12 core xeon on 2011-3 with ddr4 which should help C4D a lot. Your getting 100mhz less per core but ddr4 and the architecture improvements should make up for it plus more. Also do you know if you need a firepro or would a gaming card suffice? Dual 290's would give a hell of a lot of stream processors to play with if you don't need the validation.  

From looking around online, you should be fine using a gaming card. I edited the build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/VKggpg Bigger power supply and R9 295x2. About 4 times the stream processors with the same amount of memory on a wider 512 bit bus. 

Quick question, how much ray tracing do you do in After Effects or do you offload onto a plugin? If that's a big part of your workflow you're going to want to look at an Nvidia card as that aspect happens to be built on Nvidia libraries.

PS: Thank you for including the 3 drive (OS/Cache/Media) setup! Most users I see tend to forget this in their builds.

Have the fire pro w7000 in one of my workstations for 3d and its complete crap .. It preforms OK in numbers but my old 560ti visually out preforms it amd throws artifacts left and right for some reason (not noticable in video editing only 3d if that matters).. Go with a k4000 or a k5000 or titan black 

Thanks, I like the looks of that build, and I have considered going Haswell-E but that CPU is over $2K in Canada. All of the new X99 stuff is stupid expensive in Canada. Also, I have already bought RAM and 2 noctua coolers. 

I should explain that my business received $4000 in the form of a government grant to upgrade my workstation, thank you Canadian tax payers. The grant comes in 2 installments and I have already spent around 1300. The remainder needs to cover CPU MOBO and GPU, with some investment from myself.  

I really hate the ray trace engine in AE. It really sucks. I use Element 3D for all of my 3D work. The new version of E3D has a new OpenCL raytracer. I am pretty sure AMD has really great OpenCL compute performance considering the price, so thats why I am leaning toward that. But as time goes on, gaming GPU's are becoming more attractive. 


PS: Lol, thanks. It isnt well known that AE needs this setup to perform well. 

Thanks for the tip. I am starting to realise that the Firepros are very over rated. It is only worth the money if you need that accuracy in CAD. What do you think of the R9 290x for OpenCL Raytrace? 

Before you buy all that stuff I'd consider Haswell-EP again. If you go with the 2620 v3 (Haswell-EP) instead of the 2620v2 (Ivy Bridge-EP) you'll save almost 200 $ per CPU AND get the newer architecture AND DDR 4.

The matching Motherboard would be the ASUS Z10PE-D8 WS.

By the way, are you sure you can fit all that in a Define R4? I'd doubt it.

Ill have a look, All of the new Haswell stuff is more expensive in Canada. As for the case, Check out the video in the OP, Wendell crams the system into the Define R4. 

On second look, you're right. Ill get the DefineXL. 

the only reason why I hate working on amd cards is because of there drivers - there gaming cards aren't so bad but they still mess up vector work. For other then render boxes I do not recommend amd. But in your case it sounds like your doing more editing then 3d work. allot of people I know go for the titan series they preform about the same as a k5000 or k6000 on the opencl and raytrace, but really shine in gaming. personally I am not sure what the best thing to do is because nvidia is allot more money but the bugs I find with amd make it worth it. (ps I went through allot of amd cards with a rep a few months ago and they all had the same glitches when it came to 3d)

I don't do a ton of video editing, mostly some colour correction here and there for clients. For my 3D work Its mostly light 3D in After Effects with Element 3D plugin, which is a OpenCL based raytracer. The majority of AE rendering is done on the CPU, but the point of upgrading now is to increase my company's 3D capabilities.

I have a GTX 760 now, and it does ok for AE stuff but is way too slow for blender or C4D rendering (viewport is fine). I was hoping to keep the cost of the GPU less than $1000, I'm still shopping around for the best solution. Canada really has the worst prices for GPU's.    

lol, on a third look, Logan mentions the case is the Define R4, but it looks like the XL. I got mixed up, it sucks I already have the case. 

Rendering is mainly your chip so you should be fine with your 760 until you find a good deal you can't pass up.. One of my computers is still rocking a 2600k with a 560ti, I use it as a little render farm if needed. 

If your not working in wireframe mode or handing vector work you might be very happy with amd. The w7000 dosent crash it just creates some funny visual issues 

Good point. I might just put my GPU budget into Haswell CPUs and keep the ol'760 for a while longer. 

You're right. I don't know what I saw there. The Haswell is like 40$ more. I would still say that premium is reasonable.

It is, Looking at the numbers I save about $300 on the cpus going to haswell. But, the ram and mobo are a little more. The 2 cpus and modo come to $2003 with shipping, so thats not bad at all. I think this is the way to go, thanks for your help. 


But you are totally right about the case.. .

Here's what I'm looking at for a video-ws build that I might want to do next year. It's pretty similar. Prices are in Euro though. The total converts to around 5200$ CAD, but including the two monitors and all the peripherals, which I think is pretty decent for that kind of power.


How big are your rendering batches? If it will be running for hours you may want a FirePro for the ECC memory.