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  • Tue, Feb 2 2010 11:15 PM

    • vpcmike
    • Top 50 Contributor
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    • Baltimore, MD
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    Would like your opinion - don't want to start a flame war . . .

    Please take a moment to read the thread below, then my comments.  I am curious as to the communty's opinion on this.  And please keep it civil - I am looking for honest answers without trashing someone whose opinion you don't agree with.

    http://community.avid.com/forums/t/79889.aspx

     

    I have always been in the camp that Avid is a very powerful, specialized program and that the specs are published for a reason and should be followed.  When someone comes in saying how well it will run on completely uncertified hardware, it makes me take a pause, since that is undermining what most experienced users preach – used certified hardware.  Flaunting the fact that he uses an uncertified OS and hardware just makes it harder to keep on message about following Avid’s tested specs.  Most editors aren’t computer experts and they start believing that Avid will run on almost anything, without realizing the hours the hobbyists put in to finagle it.

     

    On the other hand, it is opening up the Avid platform to people who are too lazy, not knowledgeable enough, or can't afford some of the equipment, to read the specs and readme doc’s that come with Avid.  But should these people be encouraged into thinking that Avid will work for them?

     

    I have spent a fair amount of time in the Mac forums as well just to see what is going on, and even on approved hardware (since there are fewer hardware options on Mac’s) there are a lot of issues due to the complexity of Avid.  Should people who use unapproved hardware and software be encouraged to flaunt it and add more posts from users who think the specs don’t apply to them?

    I am curious as to how everyone will respond.

    Thanks,

    Mike

     

    System #1 - Mac Pro 12 Core 2.93, 24 GB RAM, 16 TB ISIS 5000 System #2 - Core i7 2600k, Windows 7, 16 GB RAM, Quadro 4000 System #3 - Dell Precision... [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Feb 2 2010 11:51 PM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion - don't want to start a flame war . . .

    Most of you know me here as one of the "preachers of the faith" that Mike alludes to. Personally, I would never run anything but either a certified system or a computer as exact to Avid spec as I could get, mainly because I don't want to sit around with a lot of down time and trouble shooting instead of earning money. Stability, reliability and peace of mind are very important to me.

    Now that being said, it is clear that there are a number of users out here that are successfully running "off profile" systems, including some seasoned veterans. And considering how expensive some of the qualified boxes are, it's no wonder some people with a high level on hands on experience with the guts of a computer are motivated to try DIYs. Or put together an off profile box they believe will work. As long as people in that category fully understand the 50/50 roll of the dice they're about to throw and the risks of non-support up front, it's their decision whether or not to go for it. But IF THEY DO and it all goes to hell in a handbasket, don't come cryin' here to us!

    I don't get the sense that off profile users are flaunting their systems as an alternative to the system requirements. I think they're just pointing out that some have been very fortunate with their particular configuration. What are the odds? I suppose we could do a poll asking off profile users whose systems have been running reliable and stable for a least one year, to list their profiles. That way, we could get some idea of how many there are and if cross comparisons of specs would show patterns of success. Could be an interesting experiment, but probably a topic for another thread.

    Newscutter Nitris DX 9.5.3.5 * Media Composer 5.5.3.6 (At Home on PC running XP Pro) * Symphony 6.5.2.1 (At home on MacBook Pro3,1 running 10.7.2) * Interplay... [view my complete system specs]

    Larry Rubin

    Senior Editor

    The Pentagon Channel

    www.pentagonchannel.mil

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 12:17 AM In reply to

    • carlgmi
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Western Australia
    • Posts 754
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    Re: Would like your opinion - don't want to start a flame war . . .

    Larry Rubin:
    As long as people in that category fully understand the 50/50 roll of the dice they're about to throw and the risks of non-support up front,

     

    If you do your homework, its not a 50/50 roll of the dice...

    Larry Rubin:
    I think they're just pointing out that some have been very fortunate with their particular configuration.

     

    Its not fortunate when the specs are researched and then applied to a custom system.  That means finding out what chipset is in that certified HP box, what RAM they use etc etc.  But then as you point out, many of these systems are as, or more expensive, than the certified boxes - my system being a case in point.  I think DIYers fall into several catagories too - save money, like experimenting, want better than certified (by that I mean, control the components going into the system and therefore how to fix it when it has problems).  In my case, being long distance from any HP support, a DIY box, that I have built, gives me quicker repair options if there is a hardware failure - and I understand how it all goes together.

    The trick is to understand that building your own has more to it than  just "speed" - my gaming rig at home is faster.  Its about BIOS, Firmware, PCI buses, drivers, conflicting software, card interaction, chipsets, PSU, cooling, noise, expansion... building the box to do 1 thing - edit with Avid - not a multi purpose machine, that is a bonus if it works out.

    On a reliability front, this box is 110%, no issues after 12 months operation nearly (my older Xeon has 4+ years with no rebuild/reinstall and runs like clockwork).  Small soundard/vista/driver issue on build but then I've seen the same reported by users of certified boxes too, so no gain there.

    The final point is DIYing isn't a "quick" fix if you do it properly - you've got to be committed, especially if your business depends on it working.  But when it does work (and I know it will), it is very rewarding and I enjoy the challenge it provides!

    MC8.10 Win 7 64 with Dongle, Dual 10 core Xeon, Quadro K4000, Adaptec RAID 5-8x3TB, External TB2 4x3TB, 64G RAM, BM Intensity Pro 4K. NewBlue Titler 6... [view my complete system specs]

    Vote 1 - Dongles.

    UME an old engine, now with 4K, mags and furry dice....

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 12:43 AM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion - don't want to start a flame war . . .

    "... On the other hand, it is opening up the Avid platform to people who are too lazy ... to read the specs and readme doc’s that come with Avid. ..."

    This is one of of things that frustrates me most on this forum.  People post about issues, that are detailed in the System Requirements, ReadMe, or stickies at the top of the forum page.  Their answer was easy to find, had they taken the time to look.  Meanwhile, if we choose to be regular participants here, we have to tolerate it.  Personally, I like to add a note as to where the info could have been found, if the OP had looked for it.  Hopefully, they'll take note of that, and do a little more searching next time.  However, in all fairness, not all the info a person seeks is in those docs.  If it is on the Avid website or KB, I'm a lot more sympathetic.  I've been providing support to the Avid community since 1994, and I still can't readily find some things.

    Getting back to the primary topic of supported systems .... again, we have to be tolerant, to a degree, of some unsupported gear.  Many of us have been there.  The first system I built for Xpress DV was nowhere close to supported.  It worked though.  Also, as a computer expert, and thrill-seeker, I could have probably resolved issues if they had come up.  My current system is (mostly) Avid qualified.  I'm still a thrill-seeker.

    As for providing support to forum members, I think we need to find a balance.  We definitely need to stress the importance of qualified systems.  However, the reality is, many can't afford a fully qualified system (or don't think they can).  We probably need disclaimers, e.g., "I"m a hobbyist" or "I derive my income from this system".  But I agree, boasting about running non-qualified might be a bit much.  These posts too probably need a qualifying statement about the suitability of any system for professional vs hobbyist use.  I do recognize that there are some on these forums who are pros, derive their income from their Avid, and run with unqualified systems.  Luck or science?  you be the judge.

    Symphony 8.8.x w/Avid Nitris DX, HP z420, Windows 10, QT v7.7.x, Hexa Core 3.2GHz, 16GB RAM, nVidia Quadro Series 2000 w/353.82. 2TB Boot, 2 x 3TB internal... [view my complete system specs]

    "There are few technological barriers.  You can fix almost anything if you throw enough money at it."
    *******************************
    Randall L. Rike, ACI, ACSR Mac*Win*Unity*ISIS*DS
    Systems Engineer @ BET Networks [a Viacom company]
    (wwld)

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 12:48 AM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion - don't want to start a flame war . . .

    "... If you do your homework, it's not a 50/50 roll of the dice ..."

    I suppose now we need to qualify the various levels of DIY'ers.  Some are computer experts, while others are just looking for the "best deal".  Many don't have the computer skills to fully understand the specs of a system they are considering.

    Symphony 8.8.x w/Avid Nitris DX, HP z420, Windows 10, QT v7.7.x, Hexa Core 3.2GHz, 16GB RAM, nVidia Quadro Series 2000 w/353.82. 2TB Boot, 2 x 3TB internal... [view my complete system specs]

    "There are few technological barriers.  You can fix almost anything if you throw enough money at it."
    *******************************
    Randall L. Rike, ACI, ACSR Mac*Win*Unity*ISIS*DS
    Systems Engineer @ BET Networks [a Viacom company]
    (wwld)

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 1:20 AM In reply to

    • carlgmi
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Western Australia
    • Posts 754
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    Re: Would like your opinion - don't want to start a flame war . . .

    Randall L Rike:
    Luck or science?  you be the judge.

     

    Luck = I threw this together, I hope it works, wow it does! Or perhaps, ATI, AMD, should work, I'm going to give it a try, wow, it does!

    Science = Research + time + right components + be ready to de-bug = WILL work.  There is nothing magical about a HP box that makes it work with Avid.

    Everyone has a choice, everyone can go either path, but if you are not computer/hardware litterate, go certified and reduce the issues.  Reduce them further and get support with the certified so someone else sorts it out when it all goes wrong.

    And even on certified, a bad PSU, unstable HP box, whats wrong?  Could spend days chasing around software issues before you arrive at that little component.  Drive failing, another common problem, overheating because of dust or poor ventilation.  In all these certified cases only a return to HP/supplier option will get you out of trouble, or with time spent looking at it yourself and posting here.

    Horses for courses!!  No right or wrong answer but I think some are more suited to a path than others and recomending certified is a wise piece of advice!

    MC8.10 Win 7 64 with Dongle, Dual 10 core Xeon, Quadro K4000, Adaptec RAID 5-8x3TB, External TB2 4x3TB, 64G RAM, BM Intensity Pro 4K. NewBlue Titler 6... [view my complete system specs]

    Vote 1 - Dongles.

    UME an old engine, now with 4K, mags and furry dice....

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 6:09 AM In reply to

    • Jayanta
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Fri, Jul 6 2007
    • India
    • Posts 1,504
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    Re: Would like your opinion - don't want to start a flame war . . .

    Carl is right with a standard PSU you pop in few hard drive and the power imbalance causes all sorts of error and access violation.

    AndEditing is all about Storage no amount of TB is suufficient i guess.Stick out tongue

    All Sorts of System as I am a freelance Editor [view my complete system specs]

    "Out of mud the lovely Lotus Blooms, Out of Strife something higher vies "

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 7:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion - don't want to start a flame war . . .

    "... In all these certified cases only a return to HP/supplier ..."

    HP "Workstation" systems include a 3-year onsite warranty, next business day.  For only $249 you can upgrade that to a 4-hour response time.  After a diagnostic session, either online or by phone, the field rep brings all parts necessary to do the repair ... onsite.  What was that DIY warranty again?  I'm just sayin'.  Confused

    Symphony 8.8.x w/Avid Nitris DX, HP z420, Windows 10, QT v7.7.x, Hexa Core 3.2GHz, 16GB RAM, nVidia Quadro Series 2000 w/353.82. 2TB Boot, 2 x 3TB internal... [view my complete system specs]

    "There are few technological barriers.  You can fix almost anything if you throw enough money at it."
    *******************************
    Randall L. Rike, ACI, ACSR Mac*Win*Unity*ISIS*DS
    Systems Engineer @ BET Networks [a Viacom company]
    (wwld)

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 7:53 AM In reply to

    • carlgmi
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Western Australia
    • Posts 754
    • Points 9,340

    Re: Would like your opinion - don't want to start a flame war . . .

    That would be the:

    Cast Iron "She'll be right mate" DIY Warranty tm

    Features of this support contract are:

    - the technician (hence forward "the mug") that built the system will fix it
    - no one knows your system better than our untrained support mug who knows enough to be dangerous
    - work on a fix will start immediately for no extra charge (parts and frustration extra, conditions apply, see in store for details...!)
    - the mug will work all hours to get it up and working, running the guantlet of un-sympathetic wives and family who insist there has to be a better way to make a living!!
    - the mug will cut himself on the inside of the case as he reaches for those SATA connectors on the extreme edge
    - you are covered for additional labour if you modify the system in any way
    - the mug will find the problem after midnight and it will be the last thing he expected

    MC8.10 Win 7 64 with Dongle, Dual 10 core Xeon, Quadro K4000, Adaptec RAID 5-8x3TB, External TB2 4x3TB, 64G RAM, BM Intensity Pro 4K. NewBlue Titler 6... [view my complete system specs]

    Vote 1 - Dongles.

    UME an old engine, now with 4K, mags and furry dice....

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 8:49 AM In reply to

    • joshdvx
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • New York, NY
    • Posts 551
    • Points 6,640

    Re: Would like your opinion - don't want to start a flame war . . .

    I'm a good person to answer this, I've run all sorts of different versions of Avid on a mix of unsupported and custom built systems and prebuilt rigs, currently have it running on a core duo macbook, and a modified gateway, but whenever I go to my day job at a post house it is always hands down a qualified system.  In college I did build a computer as close as I could to Avid specs, even invested in a Quadro 1100 card just so I could avoid the labs where the "How do you do X" people live.. ha

    I have used versions from 2.7 - the latest 4.0.2 version on my plain ol' white macbook, no issues, when storage runs on external raid 7200rpm firewire drives I can reliably get 1 stream of DVCPRO HD 1080i going at once, 2 streams of SD. By no means would I ever do anything crazy on it or bring a paid client in and use this as a workstation, but for the random odd job, or to take my sequence home and do audio Q sheets with no video it was great.  I've cut a demo reel or 2 on it as well.

    My PC under my desk runs Avid 4.0.2 fine, win xp sp3, it was a free gateway pentium d, 3gb of ram that I picked up, has a ati radeon 2600xt, gets around the same preformance as the laptop, can do like 3 streams of SD, heh. I have a edit setup, dual 20" screens, hooked up to a projectmix i/o board, junky firewire storage though.

     

    For the longest time I always wondered why Avid never supported X model of computer, even though it ran 'fine', but once you use regularly a qualified computer the answer is clear, they are very reliable, and very fast machines, and are worth every penny.  From the get-go you're getting a computer with Xeon workstation processors, not consumer processors. But they are fast, and software/hardware is engineered to take full advantage of everything that it can.

    Then again, I feel way more advanced as a techie, support provider because of having delt with all of these custom system, I've seen my share of errors by doing this and because of this I can pretty quickly tell what the problem is if I ever experience it in the workplace, which I have.  Similar to how I have a PC background but now have a MAC as my main home computer, I'd never ever want to trade all those years of pc issues, diagnosing, fixing hardware, swaping boards, etc.. for possibly only having a MAC background.. I'd hate to be one of those mac snobs..

     

    Though, I would be interested if someone could come up with a DIY Unity/ISIS solution! haha!

    Interested in learning Media Composer? In NYC? I teach Media Composer classes tailored for reality tv assistant editors. http://joshluddeni.com [view my complete system specs]
  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 9:09 AM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion - don't want to start a flame war . . .

    First of all I'm not a full time editor. I'm a technical manager at a production company providing all the tools for editors to do their job. As you can see in my system spec I'm using HP certified machines. With these machines I make a living. These certified machines have hardware wise been working fine, except 2 XW8000's who had broken motherboards. Putting a USB hard drive causes one of the 5volt power regulators on the motherboard for the usb ports to fail.

    With 20 edits running 5 to 7 days a week I try to make things as reliable as I can. I have a family I also love and want to spend time with. If I would build my own systems (of which i believe I'm very technically capableCoolStick out tongue ) I would increase the variables that could theoretically cause error/crashes etc... As I need high production output in combination a private life I need to minimize risk. In case of DIY I would also have to keep spare parts in stock as I'm the only one who knows all spec's inside my DIY PC's. Try to find a new motherboard identical to the one you bought 2 years ago.

    On the other side I've helped other smaller companies and plenty of editors building there own DIY systems. Some on very cheap hardware. With the use of this forum, the internet in general, Rivatuner, regedit (realtek HD audio cards), numerous driver up and downgrades almost all of them worked fine and still do. But some of these machines took hours and hours of trying, searching the web for solutions and searching local computer stores and ebay for specific hardware. On occasion I've build a system that was faster than an HP, had more space for storage. HD's, Tape DLT/DDS drives, etc.. inside the PC's case. I've even tried to build my own Lanshare with success.

    But the main lesson I learned was that in the end I sleep best with the certified systems. They save me so much time. But the process of trying, searching and learning has increased my knowledge on Avid's requirements and hardware in a way that would have never happened if I only used ready certified systems. My advice to all of you, if you come from a technical background and like it, there is a lot to learn by building your own DIY systems. If you want to focus on editing and creating a creative product, buy a (used) HP (the new z400 comes at a reasonable price) or (used) Mac Pro. You won't regret it.

    From the old Apple Quadro 950 to HP Z8xx. My current own system: 1x Z420 E5 1650 16GB memory, 128GB SSD, 1x XW8600, 2x 3.0Ghz Quadcore, 12GB memory... [view my complete system specs]

    Jeroen van Eekeres 

    Technical director, Broadcast support engineer, Avid ACSR.

     

    Always have a backup of your projects....Always!!!! Yes Always!!!!

    A.V.I.D....... Another Version In Development

    www.mediaoffline.com

     

     

     

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 9:35 AM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion - don't want to start a flame war . . .

    Hi,

    vpcmike:
    Should people who use unapproved hardware and software be encouraged to flaunt it and add more posts from users who think the specs don’t apply to them?

    I try to take it case by case.  Hobbyist who likes tinkering with computers?  Go ahead and build your own.  One man band working freelance out of his home office, providing sole support for his family, considers himself an artist rather than a tech?  Buy a qualified system and stay off the internet.

    Rather than encouraging people to go off spec, I try and get them to think about the possible consequences.  Unfortunately, most of the people who don't pay attention to the system requirements before they make a purchase probably don't come here for advice first, either, so by the time they get our advice it's too late.

    ciao,
    Carl

    p.s. I had a much better response all typed out, and when I pressed "Post" I got the "You're not connected to the internet" page.  I blame this on Sky Broadband, which I hate with the white-hot passion of a thousand suns. 

    Media Composer 2018.12.1 w/Symphony/SS/PF options, HP Envy 17t-j100 Quad Edition laptop, Windows 10 Pro, Intel Core i7 2.4GHz, 16 GB RAM, nVidia GeForce... [view my complete system specs]

    "There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who only consider the price are this man's lawful prey."  - John Ruskin (1819-1900)

     

    Carl Amoscato | Freelance Film & Video Editor | London, UK

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 9:46 AM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion - don't want to start a flame war . . .

    For me the equation is simple.

    I pay top dollar and buy a recommended certified system. (Avid have done all my R&D for me.) It gets delivered the day after I order it. Within half an hour of delivery someone is editing on it. It runs 24 7 for 4 or 5 years and gets replaced with another certified system. The 4 year old edit machine becomes an office computer or render station for another few years. I have had 4 or 5 years trouble and stress free service out of a CPU with none of my time wasted. been this way for a more than 15 years with Avids here)

    I could have spent half as much on a do it myself.  Spent several hours researching the componentry. Time taken to order several suppliers and multiple freight bills. I then have to wait for the last part to arrive. Spend a couple of hours buiding it. Then hope it works.

    If I had charged the business for my hours for all of these tasks and then added the lost billable edit time suddenly in real terms my cheap DIY has already cost the business more than the top of the line certified system. That is before I make the first edit on it.  I still have the pleasure of waiting to find out wether the DIY CPU will be reliable stress free system.

    Others here in different situations to mine will have a different reality from me... but if they value their own time the answer to how cheap is cheap really becomes very interesting.

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 10:19 AM In reply to

    • mvegas
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Posts 1,555
    • Points 17,910

    Re: Would like your opinion - don't want to start a flame war . . .

    Been providing support for Avid products since 1996 and in that time far fewer problems occur if one stays with what has been tested and supported by Avid.  In those cases where something does not work and is reported, Avid support and engineering personnel have a chance of replicating and eventually coming up with a solution for most if they test on a system that has already been tested and supported.  Given the price of computers and ram these days there is no reason for most not to have a separate system dedicated for work and one that can be used to retrieve email and or surf the web.  What can appear to a simple update or hotfix can and have reeked havoc and for most seems to happen at the least opportune time  and can cause one to spend time trying to sort out why it worked yesterday and not today.

     

  • Wed, Feb 3 2010 10:56 AM In reply to

    Re: Would like your opinion - don't want to start a flame war . . .

    Hi all,

    While not disagreeing with the certified system philosophy, what do we (forum members, Avid, whoever) say to the person who can't afford a certified system, or who can't afford to buy a second computer for web surfing?  There's been a lot of doom-saying on here lately about Avid's support (or lack thereof) for the independent/one man band customer in favor of the big-time broadcasters, and how if Avid doesn't start courting the low end of the market they're going to go buy FCP/Premiere, etc.

    I'm not saying I agree with the wailing and gnashing of teeth about the low end of the market, and I fully agree with the importance of following system specs, but I wonder what a college kid would think if he came on here asking about Avid and we told him to get an xw4600 that's going to cost him about $1000 without monitors or drives or anything else*, and that's before he shells out $300 for the academic version of the software.  

    We all look at those numbers and figure we could recoup those costs in a couple of days at most, but college kids and hobbyists don't look at them like most of us do, and the software cost for the hobbyist is a lot higher than the college kid.

    So when those guys come on here and ask, "Is there another way?" do we tell them no, there's not; go buy something else?

    Not trying to be argumentative; I'm really interested in what y'all think.

    adios,
    Carl

    *We can quibble over numbers and which budget system a college kid should go for, but you get the idea.

    Media Composer 2018.12.1 w/Symphony/SS/PF options, HP Envy 17t-j100 Quad Edition laptop, Windows 10 Pro, Intel Core i7 2.4GHz, 16 GB RAM, nVidia GeForce... [view my complete system specs]

    "There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who only consider the price are this man's lawful prey."  - John Ruskin (1819-1900)

     

    Carl Amoscato | Freelance Film & Video Editor | London, UK

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