The beat . A blog by premiumbeat

May 1, 2013
RoundupsVideo EditingVideo Production

Build A Monster Computer for Video Editing & Post Production

If you’re looking to create your own monster post-production machine for less then you’ll definitely want to check out these links!

With the frustratingly long wait on the Mac Pro update only continuing (Apple CEO Tim Cook vaguely promised ”something great in 2013“), many of the more tech savvy post production people are extending their reach by building their own monster machines, either as Hackintosh’s or as straight Windows PCs. Here is a quick round up of some great resources on building a machine that will handle all your HD video needs, whether editing, grading or creating complex motion graphic and 3D work.

building a davinci resolve machine

Building a Powerful Windows Machine

If you’re after a great windows machine geared towards DaVinci Resolve and can make your way around a straight forward parts list you might want to check out this list from YegFilm which is based on the DaVinci Resolve 9 configuration guide from Blackmagic Design.

If you watch the videos below you’ll see a shout out to Harm Millard who has build a blazingly fast machine geared towards Premiere Pro. For a detailed run through of each of the component parts check out Harm’s NLE build site here.

building a monster edit machine

Dave Dugdale from Learning DSLR Video walks you through just how he created his first monster post production machine with Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve Lite in mind. These videos are quite long but if (like me) you really want to understand what you’re doing before you dish out your hard earned cash then they’re definitely worth a watch. To build a machine like Dave’s will cost you $2385. If you just want a parts list – jump here!

Handling RED RAW

Speed Tests

Building The Monster

Understanding Disk Setup

Building a Hackintosh

If you’re wedded to your Mac, but you can’t wait for the next mysterious Mac update, then building your own hackintosh tower is a viable option. Obviously you don’t have any warranty or support, but you are going to save a lot of money. Danny Greer previously blogged about it here on Premium Beat with some really great links to LifeHacker and No Film School which are definitely worth checking out. Also Apple Insider has a great piece on the state of Apple and the future of the Mac Pro here.

There is also a healthy technical and business orientated discussion going on between several working colourists over on the Life Gamma Gain forum about whether a hackintosh represents a viable option to run a business on.

Last weekend however I put together a 3770K/GA-Z77X-UP5 TH/GTX 660 Ti build and it’s running great. No graphics injection, no DSDT, or strange kexts to install. I installed 10.8.3 and it was fully functional within the hour. I’ve even gotten my Promise R4 to play nice with it. I was in the market for an iMac but when I read about this build it make a lot of sense to go hack.

building a hackintosh edit machine

What kind of system are you running for your video editing and post production work?  Have you given up hope that Apple will release future versions of a Mac Pro tower?  Share your thoughts and advice in the comments below!

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  • Gary Bettan

    Don’t forget Videoguys DIY guide for building an NLE Workstation

    Including Budget builds for around $1,500!!


    • Danny Greer

      Thanks for sharing, Gary!

    • Danny Greer

      Thanks for sharing, Gary!

  • Kyle Edmonds

    Just wanted to comment on Dave’s disk setup. You are proposing 4 different drives, and 3 are dependent upon each other for the system to work without you experiencing major data loss; not to mention the natural computer security issues created. Solution HARDWARE RAID 10 WITH SSD READ CACHE. Raid 10 (redundancy; speed, and no parity calculations (i.e., reduced chance of errors/failures) 4 HDD with an ssd or two or four (if your wallet is fat) incorporated into the mix as a read cache; consider Adaptec (requires add’l software; which adaptec provides) memory on raid card is ECC, unlike some other offerings, and greatly improves your security. Your current setup bottlenecks as low as 250 iops (or worse) assuming you have a very fast HDDs. My suggestion: a low of 2500 iops, and top out around 30-40,000iops; 600 MB/second to 900 MB/second sequential data transfers; data redundancy; SAS interface possible (dedicated two way data traffic) often eliminates SATA bottleneck. Mine has been up for nearly three years, 24/7, and functions as a workstation and server. Purchase price is the only real problem; that and the computer support technician at the businesses nearest you might be jealous.

  • camillejhon89

    Thanks for a great post..

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