My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 04, 2015 5:02 pm

EDIT: My blog about building my PC (finally!), a work in progress:
https://herefortheweather.wordpress.com ... indows-pc/

EDIT 7/23/15: If you want, you can skip ahead in this thread to read about the components I actually ended up ordering today -- months after starting this thread -- quite a different list compared to the one in this first post. See:
viewtopic.php?p=219445#p219445

[EDIT: I belatedly found an earlier thread which covers much of the same subject matter as this one. The previous thread includes a lot of very good info, especially for people who want to edit 4K or higher for a 4K finish. See: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=27748 ]

I'm considering building a Resolve 11 Window PC system for editing/grading BMPC-4K video, primarily ProRes 4K UHD & 1080p, and occasionally the cam's 4K RAW -- always for a 1080p finish.

I won't view or edit in 4K, I just need to be able to work with the files in a 1080p timeline at up to 30fps relatively smoothly. My edits & grading will be very basic -- I don't hire myself out as an editor -- I just want to be able to edit/grade some of the 4K footage I shoot. Most footage I shoot is edted by others on various systems.

I've read the Resolve 11 config guide. I'd appreciate anyone's comments/suggestions about my potential shopping list. Folks over on BMCuser have been very helpful, but additional suggestions/corrections are welcome.

Note: Items marked with a checkmark (√) are components I need to buy. Items marked “Already own” I don’t need to buy because, well, I already have them. :-)

Based on suggestions here & BMCuser, below is the 9th revision of my shopping list:

Image

PDF: https://herefortheweather.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/resolve-4k-win-pc-build-v9.pdf

A simpler, less-capable, less-expensive configuration is descibed in another post further down in this thread:
viewtopic.php?p=189627#p189627

Changes:

An 8GB version of the popular GeForce GTX 970 or 980 GPU card is expected “soon”, but there’s no way to know when, or how much it’ll cost compared to the current 4GB versions. Instead of waiting for what may be a relatively expensive card, my shopping list now features two Sapphire Radeon Vapor-X R9 8GB cards for use as Resolve 11 GPUs. The Vapor-X R9 is reportedly very fast with Resolve 11 (see posts below), and its 8GB memory apparently a good match for 4K in Resolve 11, too. I’ve decided to start with two Vapor-X R9 cards now rather than add the 2nd card later.

One of the Vapor-X R9 cards in this configuration would serve double-duty as both a Resolve GPU and as the GPU for the Resolve and Windows GUI using the Resolve Video I/O and GPU preference setting, "Use Display GPU For Compute". Later I plan to add a 2nd 1080p monitor, or just use 1 large higher-res monitor.

Each Vapor-X R9 card requires “2.5 slots” of space.

Originally I had a "ASRock X99 Extreme4 LGA 2011-v3" 6-slot motherboard on my list, but if two "2.5 slot" Vapor-X GPUs are installed, there'd be no room for any additional cards. So, in revision 9 of my list I replaced the ASRock MB with the slightly more expensive "GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4 LGA 2011-v3" 7-slot MB.

Ideally I’d like to have two relatively small (approx. 21″, 1920 x 1080) monitors for the Resolve and Windows GUI to keep the text size relatively big compared to using only one GUI monitor approx. 27″ 2560 x 1440. I already own a 21″ 1080p HDTV monitor, and adding a 2nd one can be inexpensive. TBD. However, initially I’ll make do with only one 1080p monitor connected to one of the Vapor-X R9 cards.

I’ve put two “SanDisk Extreme Pro 960GB SSD SATA 6GB/s 2.5” 7mm[H] #SDSSDXPS-960G-G25″ on my shopping list because they're the least-expensive ~1TB SSD that BMD currently recommends for shooting 4K RAW in my BMPC-4K. The two SSDs would be configured as a RAID-0 array for maximum speed and a total capacity of ~2TB. Eventually these SSDs can be "repurposed" for use in my camera, after the ones in the PC are inevitably replaced by larger SSDs at some point in the future.

As with any RAID array regardless of type, it’ll be critical that I properly backup my active edit project files frequently. I’ll use bare >2TB HDDs via the external Voyager-Q USB-3 drive dock to make backups.

My list also includes a 3TB HDD for storage of misc. non-active Resolve 11 project and other data. Windows 8.1 Pro and a small number of applications (including Resolve 11) will be installed on a 240GB SSD that I already own.

This configuration includes 16GB of system RAM to start. At some point I’ll add more RAM by removing the 16GB and replacing it with 32GB or more.

To be on the safe side with two power-hungry Vapor-X R9 GPU cards plus disk drives, etc., in this revision of my shopping list includes a 1,300-watt power supply.

It’ll be interesting to see workflow/performance results using the above hardware when working with BMPC-4K RAW 4K, ProRes HQ UHD, and ProRes HQ HD at 24p & 30p.

Update 1/29/15:

Sapphire has announced a new 8GB GPU, “Tri-X R9 290X 8GB GDDR5 OC(UEFI)”, that will supposedly sell for somewhat less than their "VAPOR-X R9 290X 8GB GDDR5 PCI-E TRI-X (UEFI)". The new card has similar specs, and yet is slightly thinner (“2.2 slot” instead of “2.5 slot” width) compared to the previous card. See brief article and product info:
http://www.maximumpc.com/sapphire_adds_ ... _cost_2015
http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentatio ... id=1&leg=0

I haven’t decided to pull the trigger on building this Win PC system yet. I’m still in research mode!

Additional suggestions/corrections are welcome!

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Last edited by Peter J. DeCrescenzo on Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:21 pm, edited 34 times in total.
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Adam Simmons

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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 04, 2015 5:07 pm

I don't see any card in there for the RAID. Software RAID 5 is appallingly bad and can work out slower then just having the drive on their own.
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 04, 2015 5:14 pm

Thanks, Adam! That's the kind of detail I need to know.

I should mention I'm something of a Windows newb (I've mostly been a Mac & FCP user*), but years ago I built a few PCs.

I'd appreciate suggestions for a relatively inexpensive (?) RAID-5 card appropriate for my use as described above.

Thanks again!

* FCPX is not an option for me. I hate FCPX's UI compared to FCP 7.

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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 04, 2015 5:26 pm

Well a decent hardware RAID 5 card doesn't tend to be cheap. I've always found Adaptec cards to be reliable, something like the Adaptec 8405 for a 4 port or 8805 for an 8 port, or the LSI cards such as LSI MRSAS9260-4I/SGL MegaRAID
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 04, 2015 5:49 pm

For example, a RAID card such as these?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

Stupid questions:

For my use as described in my post above, is a RAID actually necessary? Is it something I can add later, and in the meantime just use one/two/three/etc. 7200rpm SATA-3 int. drives (JBOD), and still get work done "faster than a laptop" so to speak? Or does working with 4K source files (even in a 1080p timeline) pretty much mandate using a RAID?

In this two-GPU (2 GPU cards) system, where each card needs "2 slots" of space, how can I tell in advance if there's physically enough room for the 2 GPU cards, plus a RAID card, plus possibly a cheap/basic 3rd GPU card for Resolve's UI (if necessary)? Is "full size ATX" all I need to know, or are some motherboards too small? What about the mboard on my list?

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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 04, 2015 5:55 pm

You could stripe the drives together (RAID 0) and that would help increase the speed, although you may still find that 3 drives striped may not be fast enough to play back 4k RAW footage, and if 1 drive fails you lose everything on the stripe set. It's mainly RAID 5 that tends to be rubbish in software mode.

Another thing to bear in mind is that unlike Solid state drives mechanical drives get slower as they fill up so the read/write speed you get when they are empty will be a lot higher than when the drives are full.

As to the motherboard you have to look at a picture of the board and look at where the slots are and what each slot does. The board you are looking at looks like it might work quite well, although you wouldn't know until you actually tried it. You'd put 1 GTX 970 in the top slot, a cheap single height GUI GPU in the next one down or the RAID card in that slot, then the second GTX 970 in the third slot down which would leave you the bottom slot for either a RAID card or the GUI GPU. Personally if it were me I'd put the GUI GPU in the second slot and make sure to buy a PCI-E 3 RAID card (like the Adpatec) and put that in the bottom slot as that will give you the ability to use faster SSD's on the card with higher bandwidth in the future.
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 04, 2015 6:10 pm

That makes sense concerning RAID 0 vs. RAID 5.

I'm usually very good about making frequent, redundant & offsite backups, but I don't know if that makes a practical difference in terms of RAID 0 vs. 5. I do know that the redundancy in RAID 5 is not a substitute for proper backups. If I make multiple intra-day backups while using RAID 0, can that be a reasonably safe way to work?

Cheers.
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 04, 2015 6:14 pm

That would work, as long as you have a backup then it's not such a problem if the RAID fails
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 04, 2015 6:32 pm

Very interesting. Thanks again, Adam!

Anyone else see any glaring errors or omissions?
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 04, 2015 7:56 pm

Graphics cards don't really have enough RAM. Need >5.5GB according to a test done in this thread...
http://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14940&p=98803&hilit=5.5gb#p98803

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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 04, 2015 8:14 pm

Thanks for pointing me to that thread, Jules.

Apologies in advance for asking newb questions, but just to confirm:

Even in my case where I'll only use 4K UHD source files in a 1080p timeline for a 1080p finish, and only basic editing/grading, does Resolve 11 still require 4GB or more memory per GPU card?

On a related note, and in the interest of spending less money (compared to the cost of Titan cards), is the Sapphire Vapor-X R9 card a possible solution for my needs & budget?
http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentatio ... id=1&leg=0
viewtopic.php?p=186691#p186691

(The Vapor-X R9 requires "2.5 x slot" per card. Will 2 of these cards physically fit in the MB on my list?)
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 04, 2015 11:21 pm

You'll be able to put 2 cards in but nothing else as the other slots will be covered.

Of course you could just wait for the release of the GTX 970 with 8GB of RAM that's due soon
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostMon Jan 05, 2015 12:08 am

Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:Thanks for pointing me to that thread, Jules.

Apologies in advance for asking newb questions, but just to confirm:

Even in my case where I'll only use 4K UHD source files in a 1080p timeline for a 1080p finish, and only basic editing/grading, does Resolve 11 still require 4GB or more memory per GPU card?

On a related note, and in the interest of spending less money (compared to the cost of Titan cards), is the Sapphire Vapor-X R9 card a possible solution for my needs & budget?
http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentatio ... id=1&leg=0
viewtopic.php?p=186691#p186691

(The Vapor-X R9 requires "2.5 x slot" per card. Will 2 of these cards physically fit in the MB on my list?)


Yes the Vapor 8GB card will give better performance for 4K in Resolve, however you may want to select a motherboard with more usable slot space, so that you still have room for other cards.
RAID0 is fine if you run backups as you described, and it also works fine in software, no need for a dedicated card if using RAID0.

The 8GB NVidia cards are supposedle coming soon, but there is no guarantee they will actually arrive, and my gut feel is that only the 980 will get the 8GB treatment anyway, and will probably be very expensive, so the R9 card with 8GB looks like the best value at the moment for Resolve.
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostMon Jan 05, 2015 4:28 am

Thanks for the follow-up, Peter_r.

I've revised my list above. Cheers!
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostMon Jan 05, 2015 8:23 am

Whichever normal ATX board you use you will lose 6 slots if you go for 2 of those 2.5 height cards. The one you have at the moment will allow you to have 2 of those cards with the very bottom 8x slot left over
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostMon Jan 05, 2015 10:08 am

Hi :)

I hope I can help :)

The AMD R9 extreme fast card for Resolve.

My latest test:

Asus Z9PE-D8 WS 2xE2690 Xeon 64GB RAM

Test file: BMPC 4K RAW - Full debayer, Timeline resolution 4000x2160

Single Asus R9 290 4GB smooth 24 fps playback BMPC 4k file 3-4 simple node

DNxHD 10bit export 25-30 fps

Spatial NR: 10 - the fps drop 9-10 fps

Dual R9 290 4GB:

DNxHD 10bit export 60-100 fps

Spatial NR: 10 - 20-22 fps playback

The BAD:

-The AMD GCN architecture very power hungry, the single card power consumption almost 300W :(

-The AMD OpenCL driver less robust than nVidia CUDA, and the nVidia card much better relative power/performance card especially maxwell architecture 970/980.

The 4GB memory not a big problem, only 5k or 6k RAW, or extreme node number.

BMPC 4K RAW memory requirement - RAW debayer setting, 1 node white balance, 1 node color balance, Spatial NR: 10 = 3,3GB VGA memory (my settings)


...sorry my bad english
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostMon Jan 05, 2015 4:51 pm

Thanks for the tests, Ferenc. Very interesting info!

You may wish to add the results above to the thread below, too, to keep all the info in one place:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14940&p=98803&hilit=5.5gb#p98803

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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostMon Jan 05, 2015 5:49 pm

Ok, I make an extended version :)
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostMon Jan 05, 2015 6:38 pm

Adam Simmons wrote:You'll be able to put 2 cards in but nothing else as the other slots will be covered.

Of course you could just wait for the release of the GTX 970 with 8GB of RAM that's due soon

If the slots are covered, you can always use a riser. I've done this a few times with extra cards I needed to connect, like SCSI cards etc.

The disadvantage is that the longer the cable the more the signal deteriorates, and you can only really use at most for x4 speed cards.

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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostTue Jan 06, 2015 1:53 pm

Hello,

in my personal research to build a PC for my BMPC 4K i was thinking about:

-Asus X99-E WS ( Workstation class with PLX chip that adds 48 Lanes)

http://www.asus.com/Commercial_Servers_ ... fications/

-Intel 5820K
-2 Asus Strix GTX 780 6 GB ( i use Blender that works better with Nvidia GPU).
-32 GB DDR4
-SSD 500 GB ( System)
-Blackmagic Multidock
-Philips BDM4065UC

So at the end i would suggest the Asus X99-E WS as motherboard.
BMPC 4K
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostTue Jan 06, 2015 2:19 pm

Why on earth would yo buy a board with PLX chips, they can cause issues with realtime capture and playback. There's no point buying a board like that, massively overpriced for what it does especially as there's no need for it as you won't be able to access the extra slots as they'll be under the GPU's

Also the CPU you are using only has 28 lanes so you are funneling 48 lanes through 28. Makes much more sense to spend the money on the 40 lane CPU and a board that doesn't use switching. As it stands the Asrock board the OP originally quoted is a much better option as it has 40 lanes on the CPU and 4 lanes through the chipset, and will also handle the 2 2.5 height cards as well as leaving 1 8x slot for something else
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostTue Jan 06, 2015 3:23 pm

Own my tests I did not see a difference between PCI-E 8x and PCI-E 16x slots speed.
(2x E2690 8 core Sandy Bridge E with 40 PCE ex lane)

Much more speed to a dedicated GUI card

2x Titan rendering speed without GUI card - 55-60 FPS export to DNxHD minimal grade

2x Titan rendering speed with GeForce GT730 GUI (80$ card) - 95-100 FPS export to DNxHD minimal grade
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostTue Jan 06, 2015 3:56 pm

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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostTue Jan 06, 2015 5:11 pm

Adam Simmons wrote:Why on earth would yo buy a board with PLX chips, they can cause issues with realtime capture and playback. There's no point buying a board like that, massively overpriced for what it does especially as there's no need for it as you won't be able to access the extra slots as they'll be under the GPU's

Also the CPU you are using only has 28 lanes so you are funneling 48 lanes through 28. Makes much more sense to spend the money on the 40 lane CPU and a board that doesn't use switching. As it stands the Asrock board the OP originally quoted is a much better option as it has 40 lanes on the CPU and 4 lanes through the chipset, and will also handle the 2 2.5 height cards as well as leaving 1 8x slot for something else


I have choosen 5820K after watching this video:



So it seems that the 28 lanes of the 5820K are not limiting 2 GPU with PCIE 8X

I have read very good review about the Asus X99-E WS and should be a very good motherboard following the specifications:

28-Lane CPU-
7 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (single x16 or dual x16/x16 or triple x16/x16/x16 or quad x16/x16/x16/x16 or seven x16/x8/x8/x8/x8/x8/x8)

Source:
http://www.asus.com/Commercial_Servers_ ... fications/

The official Blackmagic guide suggest the ASUS P9X79E-WS ( that use PLX chip too):

"The ASUS P9X79E-WS motherboard is ideal for DaVinci Resolve users who want to build a powerful and yet low cost editing and color grading system, particularly for HD work."

Source:
http://documents.blackmagicdesign.com/D ... -06-24.pdf

So i previously suggested the Asus X99-E WS thinking was honestly a good board as successor of the P9X79E-WS.
Sorry for the long post, i just wrote my personal opinion, good continuation.
BMPC 4K
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostTue Jan 06, 2015 6:38 pm

But as I said there's no need to risk using PLX chips when the Asrock board the OP originally posted already gives 44 bus lanes.

I never put that much store in the motherboards on the recommended list, I've made comments about this before that they are unnecessary and are probably only tested because the manufacturer sent them in. If you also read that guide they say that board is fine for HD but you should buy a dual CPU system for 4K, but then recommend the single CPU system for 4K on the Mac which makes no sense as they are essentially the same hardware, and if anything you can get a better single CPU PC than you can a Mac Pro
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostWed Jan 07, 2015 9:04 am

I've revised my shopping list in the 1st post above again. It now includes two Sapphire Vapor-X R9 8GB GPU cards instead of one.
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostFri Jan 16, 2015 5:47 am

Let me know what kind of performance you get with 1 GPU vs 2 GPU of the 290x. I saw the earlier post of the 290 and want to see it compared to the 290x
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostFri Jan 16, 2015 10:56 am

Adam Simmons wrote:But as I said there's no need to risk using PLX chips when the Asrock board the OP originally posted already gives 44 bus lanes.



Please help me to understand this Adam.
What exactly does that PLX chip doing, and how is the Asrock different.
From my understanding, the PLX is more a bridge (to connect USB3 to PCI) than an actual switch.
If it is a switch on the Asus board, what is it switching?

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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostFri Jan 16, 2015 2:57 pm

The PLX chips allow you to have more lanes by 'switching' between the different sockets, so you may have only 28 lanes on the CPU but by 'switching' between the different sockets it allows you to have more 16 or 8x sockets than you should so according to the specs of the Asus board it gives you 48 lanes even though the CPU only supports 28, although it still only gives you 48 even if you have a 40 lane CPU installed. Whereas the Asrock board will only give you 28 lanes through the CPU plus 4 through the chipset if you have a 28 lane CPU, and 40 lanes through the CPU and 4 through the chipset if you have a 40 lane CPU, so not 'switching' between sockets as it handles those 32 or 44 lanes natively
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostFri Jan 16, 2015 9:01 pm

Frank Glencairn wrote:What exactly does that PLX chip doing, and how is the Asrock different.
From my understanding, the PLX is more a bridge (to connect USB3 to PCI) than an actual switch.
If it is a switch on the Asus board, what is it switching?


The PLX series of bridge devices are used for a different function than the PLX series of switches.
The bridge devices are for connecting (bridging) between different interface types, such as PCIe to PCI, PCIe to PCI-X, PCIe to USB, etc.

The PLX PEX switch architecture is classified as a switch, but it isn't a simple switch in the classical sense.
What a PEX does is multiplex (MUX) a lower number of PCIe Lanes on the processor side, to a higher number of PCIe Lanes on the slot side.
For example, effectively "fanning" a 28 Lane processor out to a full 64 Lanes on a four PCIe x16 slot motherboard (four x16 slots = 64 lanes).
This is all done with non-blocking, low-latency, and fully buffered technology.

In a PEX based system buffering latency would occur if you are exceeding the data throughput of the number of physical processor lanes. On a typical computer system, this may only occur occasionally in short bursts.

The buffering latency will only be a problem with firmware or software that is incorrectly/badly written that relies on absolute timing intervals (a strict no-no on the Windows platform except for specific scientific software). To date I have not seen or found one documented issue with PEX, other than a couple of motherboard Firmware (BIOS) issues on earlier motherboards.

The PCIe 3.0 data throughput is 985 MB/second per Lane.
So this is roughly 28GB/s for a 28 Lane CPU and 40GB/s for a 40 Lane CPU.

For reference, SATA3 is only 600MB/second, and most SSD drives are below that in transfer rate.
So even if you were stream-playing from or stream-recording to multiple SSDs through multiple PCIe slots, you can go up to 28GB/s (28 Lane) or 40GB/s (40 Lane) before the system would start to encounter buffering latency.

A 40 Lane processor is not that much more money than a 28 Lane processor. So regardless of whether the motherboard was PEX based, if the system was running two or more PCIe x16 GPUs, the 40 Lane processor would be a good investment.

If you were assembling a massive data streaming system that actually was able to continually exceed 40GB/s across all of the lanes, continually, then you should probably look at moving to a dual CPU 56 Lane or 80 Lane system instead.


Technical information can be obtained from the PLX website:
http://www.plxtech.com/products/expresslane/switches


MUX style technology like the PLX PEX has been used for well over a decade.

Have you seen all of the Dual-GPU video cards over the past years?
NVidia often names their models with GX2, AMD often uses the name suffix X2.
How do you suppose they get two x16 GPUs connected to a single x16 slot connector?
Typically a PEX or similar device is used. So PEX use is not limited to just motherboards.

Regarding the use of PEX based motherboards, they have been around for years, and currently they are used in about 25% of all workstation and high-end gaming motherboards, with the number of PEX-based systems increasing every year. I would expect to see that number increase to 50% of all workstation and high-end gaming motherboards within the next two years.

The BlackMagic Design "Certified" workstations for use with their hardware, including their Decklink multi-port capture systems, includes PEX-based workstation computers.
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSat Jan 17, 2015 12:24 am

David Green wrote:... Have you seen all of the Dual-GPU video cards over the past years? NVidia often names their models with GX2, AMD often uses the name suffix X2. How do you suppose they get two x16 GPUs connected to a single x16 slot connector? Typically a PEX or similar device is used. So PEX use is not limited to just motherboards. ...


On a related note, unless I'm misunderstanding your post, for my purposes (as described in the OP above), would it make sense for me to use just one dual GPU processor 8GB card such as the "SAPPHIRE R9 295X2 8GB GDDR5" instead of one or two 8GB "VAPOR-X R9 290X 8GB GDDR5 PCI-E" cards?

http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentatio ... id=1&leg=0
http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentatio ... id=1&leg=0

The dual-GPU card doesn't cost much more than the card with a single GPU. Or is it generally better to have 2 GPUs, but 1 per slot?
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSat Jan 17, 2015 12:27 am

Ahhh, got it.

Thanks guys.
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSat Jan 17, 2015 12:54 am

Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:On a related note, unless I'm misunderstanding your post ...


That information was simply in reply to Frank's question regarding the use of PLX PEX switches in computer hardware.

Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:for my purposes (as described in the OP above), would it make sense for me to use just one dual GPU processor 8GB card ...

The dual-GPU card doesn't cost much more than the card with a single GPU. Or is it generally better to have 2 GPUs, but 1 per slot?


You are usually better off with two individual GPUs, and a processor that supports 40 PCIe Lanes.

If you were planning on a quad-GPU system, then it would not make much difference whether you used a PEX-based motherboard or two dual-GPUs, with regards to the inclusion of the PEX hardware, since both scenarios would be PEX-based.
The only difference is the two dual-GPU setup would only require two PCIe slots versus four slots.
If you wanted four individual GPUs, a dual-CPU 80 lane setup would be ideal, but that is usually out of the budget range of most people, so they would typically go with a PEX based workstation motherboard instead, in order to get the four PCIe x16 slot capability.

Frank Glencairn wrote:Ahhh, got it.
Thanks guys.


You're welcome.
If you had any questions feel free to ask.

A good number of motherboards also use PEX units on the Chipset PCIe 2.0 Lanes, to increase the total lane count for onboard peripherals and to increase the number of motherboard PCIe 2.0 x1, x2, and x4 slots.

It is becoming increasingly more difficult to find motherboards without some type of PCIe lane multiplexor somewhere on the board. If a non-PEX motherboard will provide everything that is required for peripherals, then that would be the best route to go of course.

As to how the PEX multiplexes, that varies somewhat by the implementation, typically it simply routes the data to the requested I/O device using FIFO (First In = First Out) flow control. During heavy traffic it will perform round-robin flow control, basically cycling around through all requested data packet transfers from/to the slots.
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSat Jan 17, 2015 4:32 pm

Thanks for the additional info, David.

I'm still unclear if Resolve 11 requires 3, 4, 6, or more GB of VRAM per GPU to handle the BMPC-4K cam's ProRes 4K UHD & RAW video.

I see a lot of back & forth in the following thread & elsewhere ...
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14940&hilit=5.5gb

... but I'm not sure if I've seen a definitive consensus. Confused.
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSat Jan 17, 2015 4:53 pm

Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:Thanks for the additional info, David.

I'm still unclear if Resolve 11 requires 3, 4, 6, or more GB of VRAM per GPU to handle the BMPC-4K cam's ProRes 4K UHD & RAW video.

I see a lot of back & forth in the following thread & elsewhere ...
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14940&hilit=5.5gb

... but I'm not sure if I've seen a definitive consensus. Confused.

I will say 4 minimum and 6 recommended
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSat Jan 17, 2015 5:54 pm

+1 Walter.

4GB per GPU would be the minimum to run 4K.
Even if you purchase a 4GB video card, you may be limiting what you can apply, now or in the future.
The result of which is either an out of memory error, or a noticeable performance drop while blocks of data are synchronized between CPU memory and GPU memory or read over the PCIe bus.

I would recommend 6GB or more memory per GPU. The price difference is often not that much.
Even if you do not use it all in your current workflow, it will provide some future-proofing.
From what I have seen, a number of effects such as 4K NR will require 6GB memory.

*edit*

I assume you are still getting the ASRock X99 Extreme4 motherboard.
Be sure to only use a 40 Lane CPU with that. A 28 Lane CPU will not provide sufficient lanes for good performance.

I personally would not do the 4*Seagate 1TB RAID-0 that you have planned.
But that may be more dependent on your budget.
Last edited by David Green on Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSat Jan 17, 2015 6:15 pm

It's good to see we at least have consensus here. :-)

I've updated my shopping list for a "mid-range" system in the OP at the top of this thread:
viewtopic.php?p=187283#p187283

Meanwhile ...

Having given all of the above more thought (not trying to "over-think", but rather to learn & understand), my current plan is a simpler, less-capable, and less-expensive “starter” version of my DIY Windows PC build for Resolve 11.

Image

PDF: https://herefortheweather.files.wordpre ... er-vs9.pdf

This starter version simplifies my initial build and lowers its cost. The main difference between this starter system and the one described in my OP above is the number of GPU cards and drives.

This starter system includes the same motherboard, CPU, SSD system/app disk, power supply, and case, but only one GPU card (instead of two) and only one SSD drive for active Resolve projects (instead of two).

Starting with fewer components will make it easier for me to figure out how to assemble it properly, simplify inevitable initial hardware and software troubleshooting, and help me decide ASAP which components (if any) need to be immediately returned/exchanged for a different make/model or added-on — such as a 2nd GPU, and the quantity and type of additional disk storage, and so forth. The CPU has 40 lane support if I decide to add a 2nd GPU card later. Likewise the 1,300w PS should be able to handle later expansion.

Note: Each Vapor-X R9 card requires "2.5 slots" of space.

Originally I had a "ASRock X99 Extreme4 LGA 2011-v3" 6-slot motherboard on my list, but if two "2.5 slot" Vapor-X GPUs are installed, there'd be no room for any additional cards. So, in revision 9 of my list I replaced the ASRock MB with the slightly more expensive "GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4 LGA 2011-v3" 7-slot MB.

For testing purposes, until I acquire more 1TB SSDS, I'll use the 1TB SSD to shoot a few minutes of 4K RAW footage, put the 1TB SSD in the trayless drive bay in the PC, make 2 backups of the footage to HDDs in the external USB-3 drive dock, and then edit a project directly from the 1TB SSD in the trayless bay (@ SATA-3 speed). I'd frequently backup project & related files to external HHDs as I'd go along, eventually transferring everything off the 1TB SSD to HHDs so I can reformat the SSD to shoot more footage. I already own a few smaller SSDs that I can use to record 1080p & 4k UHD ProRes in my BMPC-4K cam.

As for why I've selected this particular SanDisk SSD instead of a different brand/model: The SanDisk Extreme Pro 960GB is the least-expensive ~1TB SSD that BMD currently recommends for shooting 4K RAW in my BMPC-4K. So these disks can be used in my camera, too, especially later after bigger/cheaper SSDs inevitably replace the ones in the PC.
http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support/faq/59007

It’s fairly certain I’ll add more system RAM later. It should quickly become obvious if I need a 2nd GPU or not. Over time I can test real-world performance differences using a single SSD for project data vs. using a SSD based RAID-0 array.

Update 1/29/15:

Sapphire has announced a new 8GB GPU, “Tri-X R9 290X 8GB GDDR5 OC(UEFI)”, that will supposedly sell for somewhat less than their "VAPOR-X R9 290X 8GB GDDR5 PCI-E TRI-X (UEFI)". The new card has similar specs, and yet is slightly thinner (“2.2 slot” instead of “2.5 slot” width) compared to the previous card. See brief article and product info:
http://www.maximumpc.com/sapphire_adds_ ... _cost_2015
http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentatio ... id=1&leg=0

Again, I haven’t decided to pull the trigger on either configuration yet. Research (and gradual comprehension) continues!
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSat Jan 17, 2015 7:01 pm

Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:It’s fairly certain I’ll add more SDRAM later.


Keep in mind that when installing more than 4 DIMM modules onto an i7 CPU (which does not support RDIMMs), the load on the memory controller will be quite high. Good cooling and airflow will be required as the CPU temperature will increase, plus additional heat from the 4 additional DIMMs.

If you add memory later, the two quad-channel DIMM sets should also be matched if at all possible. Using unmatched DIMM sets may cause grief.
So chances are, depending on if or when you upgrade the memory, if the same RAM is no longer available you may have to pull the current 16GB and install a complete new 32GB matched set.

Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:I can test real-world HDD vs. SSD based RAID-0 storage performance differences ...


IMHO You will probably have better results with a large SSD or a SSD RAID-0 setup.
Alternately, enterprise-level 15k SAS (eg. Cheetah) or 10k SATA (eg. Velociraptor) drives may get you close to what you want.

A few years ago I installed a 15k SAS RAID-0 with expensive SAS RAID Controller in one of my workstations, and that kit just reached transfer rates of what a current single high-end SSD can do.
I pulled that SAS kit two months ago and replaced it with a large SSD, mainly because of the SAS kit's high level of noise and heat (it required its own pair of fans).
Please note that I am not doing 4k either.

Just be sure to always back up all of the data on the RAID-0.
I use mainly Robocopy scripts that I wrote to mirror all of my data on my workstations and servers quickly and easily.



One other thought:

I know that most people do not do this.
Personally, I install an equal size drive for an OS Clone drive (using Acronis free) on all of my computers. This allows for zero down-time should the OS drive fail.
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 18, 2015 1:28 am

If it's possible to install 16GB worth of system RAM with as few as 1 or 2 modules on the ASRock X99 Extreme4 MB, that would be nice, or must the memory be installed in groups of 4 (preferably identical) modules? If it must be in groups of 4, then I'll probably start with 16GB, and sometime later remove it to install 32GB, etc.

Thanks for the info about the practical benefits of a single ~1TB SSD vs. single HDD or 4 drive HDD RAID-0 array.

I'm now thinking I'll start with a 1TB SSD with an eye to possibly later adding more SSDs in a RAID-0 array as funds allow. I've modified my previous post accordingly.
viewtopic.php?p=189627#p189627
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 18, 2015 2:19 am

Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:If it's possible to install 16GB worth of system RAM with as few as 1 or 2 modules on the ASRock X99 Extreme4 MB, that would be nice, or must the memory be installed in groups of 4 (preferably identical) modules? If it must be in groups of 4, then I'll probably start with 16GB, and sometime later remove it to install 32GB, etc.


You typically want to install DIMMs in one or two sets of four modules aka "quad channel" with the LGA2011-3 and i7.
The DIMMs should also be as a packaged matched set, which are factory matched to have close timing specs on all of the modules.

Attempting to mix unmatched pairs or sets, if they do work then the system may run at slightly looser timings, you may suffer stability or performance, or you may simply encounter outright system failures like BSODs.

The only way to get a proper 32GB 8xDIMM matched set is to purchase them as a complete 32GB 8xDIMM packaged set, instead of two 16GB 4xDIMM sets.

The ASRock motherboard does list support for some single-channel and dual-channel configurations, but you may take a noticeable performance hit doing so. And any memory upgrades would mean pulling those for installation of proper matched sets.
http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/X99%20Ex ... cat=Memory
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 18, 2015 7:31 pm

Thanks, David. What you posted is what I'd already mostly figured out, but it's good to get confirmation since a lot of this is new to me.

Now I only have to figure out how to pay for it ... other expenses are unfortunately more pressing at the moment. I don't want to wait, but since I have to, prices might continue to trend down, hopefully without component specs/compatibility changing radically. Maybe new, lower-cost >4GB VRAM GPU cards will be released "soonish" (lower power consumption & less slot-width would be nice, too). We'll see.

Thanks again!
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostSun Jan 18, 2015 10:57 pm

David Green wrote:One other thought:

I know that most people do not do this.
Personally, I install an equal size drive for an OS Clone drive (using Acronis free) on all of my computers. This allows for zero down-time should the OS drive fail.


I second that.
I install the OS and programs, delete or disable everything I don't need/want, hand massage the whole thing till it runs like a swiss clockwork and mirror that drive.
Once a month (yes I'm paranoid) I swap drives (toolfree swap bay) and make a new copy, so I always have a pristine one as backup.

I do this since years - actually since I do it, I only had to use it once - it's like when you bring an umbrella, it never rains.
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostMon Jan 19, 2015 7:29 am

Personally I just make a backup using the built in Windows backup software and image that either back to the original drive if the software has become corrupt or onto a new drive as and when I need it. Especially with Win 8.1 we had issues with Acronis, not sure if they've since fixed it, but as the built in Windows image maker works perfectly never found the need to go back and find out.
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostMon Jan 19, 2015 8:27 pm

Adam Simmons wrote:Personally I just make a backup using the built in Windows backup software and image that either back to the original drive if the software has become corrupt or onto a new drive as and when I need it. Especially with Win 8.1 we had issues with Acronis, not sure if they've since fixed it, but as the built in Windows image maker works perfectly never found the need to go back and find out.


I agree.

I was using the Windows 7 Backup and Windows 8 File History on a couple of my workstations that have files in the user account folders (email etc.). All other standard data files are stored on a drive other than the OS, or on the network servers.

I changed the use of Backup/History to Robocopy scripts that I scheduled and also manually run. The only reason I did this was because I found it quicker and easier for myself.
However, most people are not comfortable with batch files, so I completely agree that using the Windows Backup/History is more than ample for the majority of people's needs. I would never waste the money on a third-party backup solution.

Regarding drive cloning and Acronis with Windows 8.1. I had to download the Acronis free (WD) version 16 to get Windows 8.1 compatibility. The previous version on their website (v14) was not 8.1 compatible.
I have personally not had any issues so far with v16 on any of my 8.1 systems. Although I do not care for the user interface layout on the Acronis v16 software.
I would never pay for Acronis. If the free version stopped being available, I would just use the existing tools in Windows.

The reason behind why I started putting OS clone drives into the main workstations was so that in the case of a boot drive failure, it is a simple reboot and choose the clone drive in the BIOS boot menu. So downtime from a hardware failure is only a few seconds versus the time spent to re-image a drive from a backup.
Since the drive prices are so low, the cost to do this is minimal.
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostWed Jan 21, 2015 10:24 pm

Looking at the photos below, might the layout of a Gigabyte GA-X99-UD4 motherboard be a better match in terms of slot space (to fit two Sapphire Vapor-X R9 GPU cards @ "2.5 slots" each) compared to the ASRock X99 Extreme4 MB in my OP?

If two "2.5 slot" cards are installed on the Gigabyte MB, will more room be available for adding a small 3rd card, compared to the ASRock MB?

This Gigabyte MB can fully support two Vapor-X GPU cards @ x16 lanes each, correct?

If the above is true, are there any notes of caution I need be aware of concerning this Gigabyte MB? It's about the same price as the ASRock MB.

Gigabyte GA-X99-UD4:
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/produc ... id=5284#ov
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

ASRock X99 Extreme4:
http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/X99%20Ex ... dex.us.asp
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 38566&SID=

Image
Image
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostWed Jan 21, 2015 10:53 pm

We use the UD4 all the time, no problems with it, just a shame you lose the extra slots with those GPU's, if you still had access to the bottom slot you could add in a Gigabyte Thunderbolt 2 card.

And yes you do get 2 16X slots, slot PCIE1 and PCIE2, and in theory the middle PCIe 1x slot should still be accessible
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostWed Jan 21, 2015 11:05 pm

Thanks, Adam.

So, looking at the MB photos, does the Gigabyte have more room (slot width) available for a 3rd card after installing two 2.5 slot Vapor-X GPUs compared to the ASRock?
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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostWed Jan 21, 2015 11:12 pm

The Asrock only has space for 6 slots so 2 GPU's in the 16x slots will cover all the slots, the Gigabyte has 7 slots, so you put 1 GPU in the top slot and the other in the one marked PCIE2 (5th slot down) that leaves the PCIE 1x slot free between the 2 cards
DVC Built Clevo P775DM3-G Laptop with UHD screen, 7700K CPU@4.9Ghz, Geforce GTX 1060 6GB GPU, G-Sync UHD screen, 500GB M.2 Primary, 1x 480GB SSD, 1x1TB M.2, 1x 2TB Video drives.
Building Bespoke Video Editing systems for over 16 years
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostWed Jan 21, 2015 11:18 pm

Ah, that "7 slot" vs. "6 slot" difference is what I wasn't grokking.

Looking at the manufacturer's specs those numbers weren't jumping out at me because I didn't know what to look for. Thanks!
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PeeKay

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Re: My Resolve 11 Win PC build list for 4K video

PostFri Jan 23, 2015 12:14 am

Hi Peter,

Thanks for posting this thread - shame I found out about it after I've just built my own new Resolve workstation :D

The good thing is my spec for the core system was almost the same as what you've specified, just that I'm re-using an old GTX 770 card for now.

One big consideration I took into account that I can't seem mentioned was to make sure my mothboard had the latest M.2 x4 Gen 3 interface. This gives up to 32 Gb/sec throughput - so a LOT faster than SATA 3.

Once the prices come down a little more I'll go for a 512GB M.2 SSD as my work disk, this should mean I have absolutly no I/O issues from reading data once I go up to 4K files.

Spec.

    Intel Core i7 5930K (LGA 2011-v3, 3.50GHz, Unlocked)
    AsRock Fatal1ty X99X Killer (LGA 2011-v3, Intel X99, ATX)
    Crucial Ballistix Sport Series (2x, 8GB, DDR4-2400, DIMM 288)

Phil
https://vimeo.com/philkerr/
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