Video Editing Server Build

So I’m new to Level1Techs/Wendell and I am working with a friend who does post-production work. I have a budget USD $5000 and our goal is to build the fastest NVMe SSD server for the budget.

Here are the requirements:
*15TB of storage minimum

  • it will need to backup to Dropbox.
  • Needs 8 clients editing in Premiere Pro simultaneously (4K footage with proxies)
  • okay with used gear
  • looking for deals
  • fastest possible

-What ideas are we looking at for processors? Dual CPUs?
-Will we saturate a 10G link to each client thus needing 10G NICs or are 1G NICs okay?
-Is FreeNAS the best option?
-Any and all recommendations are welcome besides asking for more budget :slight_smile:

If you want speed, this is probably the best way to get it.
The ASRock rack board in the above list has 2x 10Gig ethernet ports, but it also has the AST2500 controller that can remove the need for a GPU, hence saving you precious pcie bandwidth to add the highpoint/liqid AIC ssd. As for the cpu, a used 3900x/3950x or even a new 5900x is probably a good deal and can handle the file transfers.
Since the pcie x8 slot won’t be used, you can add a 10gig nic which can give you 2 more 10gig ports(?)

Cheap NVME is about $100/tb, and large size NVME’s are closer to $200/tb. So unless you are planning on not doing redundancy, the majority of your budget would be going to the drives themselves. For example, the sabrant rocket 8tb is about $1300 these days, so for a RAID 10 setup (for ~16tb usable) would be $5200.

So NVME only might not be really realistic unless you find a great price on drives.

Dual CPUs would not be required at this budget/level of system. The more important thing would be PCIe bandwidth.

A hard drive (in the right conditions) can saturate a 1G connection. 10G is definitely the way to go.

Dual 10 gig sounds like business. depending on what bit rate these 8 clients needs, they may even saturate dual link 10 gig’s.

to be safe go 40 gig interface. but then again budget is what gets too tight.

this is what i can gather on from the information i have been able to collect over the years. no first hand experience on other than saturating 1 gig interface way too many times.

We wouldn’t need any redundancy IMO since we will not immediately format the SD/CFAST cards and will be backing up to Dropbox.

So what’s your plan if one of the drives goes? Are you planning on having a hot spare to drop in the system? 8 clients is a lot of time (and money) wasted if you are down for a couple of days getting a new drive, rebuilding the array, and downloading all your data from backup.

If you are planning on keeping only the original footage on the server, and each editor has a local copy that they work off of, it’s really not an issue, as everyone can keep working. If they are keeping the projects on the server, it seems like it would be an issue IMO.

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