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Is now a BAD TIME to upgrade my workstation?


barefoot_dp
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Hi all,

Just wanting to get a bit of perspective before upgrading my workstation. It seems the price of GPU's has skyrocketed lately and from the reading I've done it seems like it's a combination of a) new import laws in the USA which have ripple effects around the globe, and b) scalpers hoarding them to drive the prices up, and c) covid lockdown meaning people are staying home to play videogames.

Does anyone know if this price pressure is something that's likely to ease in the next 6 months or so? Perhaps as supply/demand starts to level out? Or is this simply the new normal where a GPU is going to cost more than what an entire editing setup used to?

I'm getting close to updating my current workstation (built in 2016 to last me until the end of the HD era - but now happily cutting up to 6K prores), but I'm really not keen to spend $1500 on a video card if prices are going to drop sharply in a few months.

For reference, I'm looking probably leaning towards a build with i7-11700K, 64GB ram, and RTX3070.

I'm currently on a i7-6700K with 32GB and GTX1060.

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59 minutes ago, barefoot_dp said:

Hi all,

Just wanting to get a bit of perspective before upgrading my workstation. It seems the price of GPU's has skyrocketed lately and from the reading I've done it seems like it's a combination of a) new import laws in the USA which have ripple effects around the globe, and b) scalpers hoarding them to drive the prices up, and c) covid lockdown meaning people are staying home to play videogames.

Does anyone know if this price pressure is something that's likely to ease in the next 6 months or so? Perhaps as supply/demand starts to level out? Or is this simply the new normal where a GPU is going to cost more than what an entire editing setup used to?

I'm getting close to updating my current workstation (built in 2016 to last me until the end of the HD era - but now happily cutting up to 6K prores), but I'm really not keen to spend $1500 on a video card if prices are going to drop sharply in a few months.

For reference, I'm looking probably leaning towards a build with i7-11700K, 64GB ram, and RTX3070.

I'm currently on a i7-6700K with 32GB and GTX1060.

 

NVIDIA still lists the RTX3070 for $499.00 so if that is the video card you want in your next build, then I would base everything else on obtaining that card for that price. Set up some watch lists and get notified the minute someone gets one in stock for that price. 

Once you have the GPU on hand the rest of the build should be easier (and less costly). That's just what I personally would do. Also, I have to believe that Intel will have an answer to the Apple M1 soon, so if you can wait, I would try to wait and see what their answer is. The M1 seems pretty future proof for now, nothing Intel is producing can compete with it but I am sure they are working on it.

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I'd wait unless you're really in need of doing it sooner. I suspect we'll see prices drop in the next couple months and things will get back to normal as production picks up again. I also suspect we'll see Intel and AMD releasing their answers to the M1 in the next year or so, which should make things very interesting. 

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2 hours ago, herein2020 said:

The M1 seems pretty future proof for now, nothing Intel is producing can compete with it but I am sure they are working on it.

That was another thing holding me back slightly - I did have a good look at the M1 and considered it, but it's hard to cut through the hype and figure out whether it will actually do what I need. I decided it probably would not, but I also agree that Intel will answer with something soon, and at much more professional levels (and I'm sure Apple with have more professional options or an M2 very soon, but if I was happy to pay $8000 for an editing machine then I wouldn't be asking the question about current video card prices!)

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1 hour ago, billdoubleu said:

I don't think anyone would consider now an ideal time to build a new machine. But, perhaps you could explain your workflow and list the programs you use?

 

I'm using Adobe Premiere. Occasionally After Effects for motion graphics.

For editing my own footage, my current machine is mostly fine because I'm shooting Prores (Z Cam). I started off more as an editor, so I tend to prioritize edit-friendly cameras for my own purchases. However others don't do this so much, and the latest gen of cameras (R5, A7sIII, C70) are going to be a much bigger strain for editing supplied footage.

I'm not always editing my own work either - I've just started as lead editor an 8x22min series and the footage supplied is a mix of Red, Blackmagic, GH5 and GoPro. This is going to be tough for my current system, though thankfully I'm not having to deal with those latest codecs just yet. I'm trying to avoid proxies for this one as we'll be bouncing projects around between editors quite a bit, and I don't want things going offline constantly when switching between different machines.

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Two things may well improve supply in the near future. First is the Chinese government's recent policy changes regarding cryptocurrencies, which have apparently already caused large numbers of used cards to hit secondhand markets in locations near to crypto data centres; second is that nVidia are supposedly releasing cards that can't be used for mining. So hang tight.

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19 hours ago, barefoot_dp said:

 

I'm using Adobe Premiere. Occasionally After Effects for motion graphics.

For editing my own footage, my current machine is mostly fine because I'm shooting Prores (Z Cam). I started off more as an editor, so I tend to prioritize edit-friendly cameras for my own purchases. However others don't do this so much, and the latest gen of cameras (R5, A7sIII, C70) are going to be a much bigger strain for editing supplied footage.

I'm not always editing my own work either - I've just started as lead editor an 8x22min series and the footage supplied is a mix of Red, Blackmagic, GH5 and GoPro. This is going to be tough for my current system, though thankfully I'm not having to deal with those latest codecs just yet. I'm trying to avoid proxies for this one as we'll be bouncing projects around between editors quite a bit, and I don't want things going offline constantly when switching between different machines.

It sounds like the M1 won't be a great option then, as I've not seen any good reviews regarding Adobe products and the M1. I wouldn't consider it much of a pro workstation anyway. Perfect for me though with my amateur needs.

If you're trying to avoid proxies than obviously you'll need some horsepower. I'm sure you have researched all of this and I'm being Capt. Obvious, but for the folks who don't know, the Puget Systems guys are an excellent source for info like this.

https://www.pugetsystems.com/recommended/Recommended-Systems-for-Adobe-Premiere-Pro-143/Hardware-Recommendations

GPU prices were trending down but seem to have stalled. All components are difficult but not impossible to source right now. But you'll definitely be paying a premium for them. So, in summary, I've no good news for you and haven't helped you at all. No offense taken if you leave nothing in the tip jar.

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4 hours ago, billdoubleu said:

I've not seen any good reviews regarding Adobe products and the M1.

I'm sure that will change soon now that the Premiere native support update is out, but I still think that most of the positive reviews so far are just paid ads or hype. There seems to be a lot of hyperbole around, and I'm guessing it is either a) people who got early access/free hardware in exchange for a good review, or b) people who have only ever edited on $1000 laptops so have pretty low standards.

I've not seen anything yet that gives something close to a usable comparison, along the lines of "the M1 with 16GB RAM will perform about the same as an i7-xxxxx with xxGB RAM and an RTXxxxx when running Premiere Pro". And whenever there is a tendency to shy away from those comparisons in a review, it tends to stink of selective non-disclosure - particularly in the computer world where EVERYTHING is bench-marked and tested endlessly.

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found this little nugget posted by gt3rs posted March 11

Resolve 17.1 now supports hw decoding of h265 4:2:2 10bit.

For intel you need an ice lake and tiger lake cpu. For Mac an M1.

not sure if this is applicable for you or not. How much adding a gpu would shake things up i have no idea. 

does anyone know if adobe or after effects take advantage of icelake or later cpu's already ?

i can however guarantee whatever you buy, a newer, faster, cheaper product will be released two days later.   

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If I where to built a PC now, I would put more into the CPU (11th gen intel) and less into the GPU and plan on upgrading the GPU in a year or two.

I built my new computer before the GPU crisis and did the opposite, getting a reasonable CPU (Intel 8700K) and a decent GPU (RTX2070) with the plan on upgrading the CPU when they come with new features I want. 9th and 10th gen didn't really give much of an advantage over 8th get, but with more video hardware support in the 11th gen it will make sense for me to now upgrade the CPU.

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13 minutes ago, UncleBobsPhotography said:

If I where to built a PC now, I would put more into the CPU (11th gen intel) and less into the GPU and plan on upgrading the GPU in a year or two.

I built my new computer before the GPU crisis and did the opposite, getting a reasonable CPU (Intel 8700K) and a decent GPU (RTX2070) with the plan on upgrading the CPU when they come with new features I want. 9th and 10th gen didn't really give much of an advantage over 8th get, but with more video hardware support in the 11th gen it will make sense for me to now upgrade the CPU.

After doing a tiny bit of research it seems like everyone recommends waiting for Alder Lake, so I adjust my comment and recommend following maxmizer's advice instead.

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  • 1 month later...

 

Just did laptop shopping for my kid’s engineering courses (in the USA).
He is being given Windows software and he plays Steam games.

Got this $1,100 Lenovo at Costco on sale this month:
https://www.costco.com/lenovo-legion-5i-pro-16"-gaming-laptop---11th-gen-intel-core-i7-11800h---165hz-2560-x-1600-display---storm-gray.product.100760683.html

It has the new i7-11800H CPU plus 4GB RTX GPU, so met the high requirements
for engineering majors. The “workstation” CPU was more important than
A 6GB or 8GB gaming GPU so it fits his needs nicely at a reasonable price.

The drawback is battery life, at about 5 hours.
But he can add charge in his dorm room between classes.

https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-11800H-vs-AMD-Ryzen-9-5900HX/m1542191vsm1449683

It has upgradeable memory, and Crucial has the 32GB it takes for less than $200.
I was surprised to find many Lenovo laptops are not upgradeable due to soldered memory,
not mentioned in the descriptions.

Also, Costco has the basic M1 Mac Mini on sale for $599:
https://www.costco.com/mac-mini-–-apple-m1-chip-8-core-cpu%2c-8-core-gpu-–-8gb-memory-–-256gb-ssd-–--silver.product.100694159.html

That's $400 cheaper than my i5 Mini from 2018, with the same memory & storage.
I edit 4K60 10bit and never needed more than 8GB memory.
I tried to max out the memory once by opening large Cinema 4D, Photoshop and Final Cut
Projects at once, and the memory pressure registered around 75% capacity.
I never felt a need to upgrade to 16GB.
Great for home video editing.

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