[SOLVED] URGENT: How to upgrade my current workstation?

Sep 24, 2019
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Hello.
I have been using my workstation currently, which was assembled by myself in 2013. I wish to upgrade certain components of my system to improve the efficiency for professional 4K video rendering (I'm a filmmaker-editor and I use Adobe Premiere Pro).

Below are the specifications of CPU:

Motherboard: ASUS Z87 Pro
Processor: Intel Core i7 4770K
RAM: Corsair Vengence 16GB DDR3
Graphics Card: Nvidia K600 Quadro 1GB
SSD: Adata 128 GB


I wish to keep both the Motherboard and the Processor for now. Please help me decide the upgrades with respect to these. It would be great if I get to know how to cut the costs in the upgrade (especially for GPU). Please let know how to make the best use of my current motherboard and processor for video rendering.
 
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Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
For Premier Pro, your CPU is BY FAR the bigger concern, than a graphics card. Hardware acceleration in Premier Pro can be a factor, but CPU performance far outweighs it.

IF you want Premier Pro to run fast, then the single biggest thing you can do is have a processor with four to eight cores and more importantly, very fast single core performance.

As for the graphics card, under that budget, the GTX 1660 available on Newegg India for around 16000inr supports CUDA, which might be a factor in SOME of the applications you will run and is a vast improvement over your current card in any case. Not sure what those are running on Flipkart or similar sites but the GTX 1650 and 1660 are the two cards, below your price range, that I'd look at. The RX 580 is an option as well although it does not support CUDA but it does support OpenGL so it is probably fine.

You will of course want to get a power supply along with any graphics card you get, so I'd suggest maybe the GTX 1650 plus a decent 450-550w power supply. That should take care of that part. Obviously, if you want to do anything related to video production at a professional level, that budget for a very capable graphics card is unrealistic.

For Premiere pro, if that is primarily what you will be using, I'd focus more on the CPU.

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

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Aug 24, 2019
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The processor is the CPU (Central Processing Unit). I think you need a new PC if you want a big improvement, like an AMD 3700X or 3900X plus a fitting X570 motherboard, 32 GB RAM and at least a 1 TB SSD. Maybe a new power supply too, if needed, and a new graphics card (doesn't have to be a high-end one).
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
What is your budget for upgrades?

To be honest, there's not a lot you can do to upgrade that for professional use without a new platform. That platform is simply too old and too slow, with too few cores, for modern professional applications. For semi-professional or hobbyist usage, it might pass, but not if you're using high end applications and you need real capability.

Even if you slapped a very capable gaming or workstation card in there along with a suitable power supply and more memory, you still aren't going to see enough improvement to be worth the investment. Your CPU will still be the biggest limiting factor in that configuration.
 
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Sep 24, 2019
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What is your budget for upgrades?

To be honest, there's not a lot you can do to upgrade that for professional use without a new platform. That platform is simply too old and too slow, with too few cores, for modern professional applications. For semi-professional or hobbyist usage, it might pass, but not if you're using high-end applications and you need the real capability.

Even if you slapped a very capable gaming or workstation card in there along with a suitable power supply and more memory, you still aren't going to see enough improvement to be worth the investment. Your CPU will still be the biggest limiting factor in that configuration.

Hey Darkbreeze,
Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it.

I don't have any plans to get a new platform for a year at least. As you said, I'm using this workstation for semi-professional projects as of now. So, I just want to spend on smaller upgrades like GPU or RAM or SSD for now (which don't cost a lot of money, not more than $400).

It would be great if you could help me under these limitations. Later, I would invest in getting a new assembled platform.

UPDATE: I use Corsair VS550 PSU for this workstation.

Thanks!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
A bigger, faster SSD would definitely be a good thing, for any system. But if you don't have any issues with enough space then the SSD you already have is probably good enough for now.

Your power supply could definitely be better.

What country are you in so that I will know where to look at the prices of upgrades for?
 
Sep 24, 2019
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A bigger, faster SSD would definitely be a good thing, for any system. But if you don't have any issues with enough space then the SSD you already have is probably good enough for now.

Your power supply could definitely be better.

What country are you in so that I will know where to look at the prices of upgrades for?
I live in India.

  1. SSD, PSU - which brands should I get?
  2. Which GPU should I go for? I hope a 6 or 8GB gaming card is a lot better than Nvidia K600 Workstation Card? So to suit the GPU requirements, how much wattage should I have in PSU?
  3. RAM - Should I buy an extra 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 to make it from 16GB to 24GB?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Regarding the memory, that's going to be a bit of a pickle. Here's why, and I do understand that hardware availability and pricing is legitimately crappy there in a lot of cases. Especially if you have to pay shipping to bring it in to the country. Still, that doesn't change the facts below.

Anytime you plan to use more than one module, for dual, triple or quad channel operation, is is ALWAYS a good idea to buy them in a matched, tested set that is already known to work together. Even buying IDENTICAL part numbers is no guarantee that any two modules will work together because there are so many variables involved. Usually there is some room for compatibility differences, but a LOT of the time, more and more as time goes on and systems become more specifically finicky to differences in hardware, there is not.

Modules with the part number XXXX this week might use different memory chips, from a different chip supplier, with different numbers of chips or not even having the same number of sides containing chips, then the same XXXX part number that came from a different batch of chips next month. That means they may or may not work together in multiple channel configurations, or at all.

In some cases, even modules that came off the exact same production run but were not tested to be compatible with each other before they were packaged up and sent out, ie, bought separately NOT in the same package together, might not be compatible. I've seen this MANY times where somebody buys two packages of the same module, rather than one package with two modules in it, and they would not work together although each module worked fine individually. It is NOT uncommon. It is also NOT in every case.

Sometimes you can slap two totally different modules in together that are not even the same speed, voltage or latency and they will simply work. Often though this is not the case. It is ALWAYS a crap shoot unless you buy them together and even THEN sometimes it still happens, but a LOT less frequently than when bought separately. For examples of this you can check out this thread here where I provide specific examples of how modules that are even the same model and part number, are hugely different.

So, knowing that, if you plan to add another 8GB, or another 16GB, I'd do it with a pair of sticks so that if it does work, you get dual channel operation from both sets. The problem with that is, two sticks is two additional chances that one of the four sticks doesn't want to play nice with the rest of the sticks. If you're willing to take that chance, then I'd go with a matched set of sticks that add up to whatever capacity you want to shoot for. Or, sell what you have and get one quad set of 4 x8GB.

Honestly, you may not see any benefit from adding memory at all so I'd first determine if you are even USING anywhere near the current amount of installed memory when you are in the middle of a large project by downloading and installing HWinfo, run it, choose the "sensors only" option and disable the "summary" option. Check the first few lines to see how much of the installed memory is actually being used during a big project. If you're not using more than 12GB total, then adding more memory is probably pointless.


Power supply is an even bigger pickle where you are because I know for a fact that good models are hard to come by there and are expensive, when you CAN get them.

This thread gives you my recommendations regarding power supply models, but the capacity will depend on what graphics card you end up going with. For most systems a good 650w unit is more than enough. 750w is recommended with a high end system if you plan to overclock the CPU or graphics card, or both, in most cases.

These recommendations for capacity are pretty much realistic and I tend to use them. They allow for a bit of headroom but that is ok. Good in fact.

http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm

My model recommendations can be found here:

 
Sep 24, 2019
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Hi Darkbreeze,

Thanks for educating me! Sure, I will remember in this when I look for RAM and PSU.

You haven't addressed the GPU part yet. Is MSI NVIDIA N630-4GD3 4 GB DDR3 compatible to Asus Z87 Pro? Or are they any other models which compatible with this mobo and have higher VRAM?
 
Sep 24, 2019
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That is a VERY old graphics card which is also very weak. Why would you want that?

What is your budget for the graphics card and where can you purchase one from?
Oh. Alright.
Let me tell you the history of this PC. I got this assembled in 2013 while I was in Architecture School, using it mainly for AutoCAD and VRay Visualization Rendering. The shop guy recommended Nvidia Quadro K600 1GB, a workstation card to handle these softwares. After 3 years, from 2016, I switched my career to filmmaking and photography and using this PC to run Adobe Creative Suite Softwares.

Like I said earlier, I want to use it to run Adobe Premiere Pro little more efficiently and improve the rendering speed little higher. I should be able to edit 4K footages well. My budget for that could around $200-$300, which is INR 14,000 TO INR 20,000.

Suggest me if to buy a workstation card or a gaming card. (What is the main difference between a workstation card and gaming card, which one should I use for Premiere Pro?)

Basically the VRAM should accommodate the 4K footages in the software for editing and rendering (or I don't know if at all I should consider, the minimum requirement of the graphics RAM should be 4GB or more for handling 4K footages in Adobe Premiere Pro)

There is a computer peripheral dealer shop in my city, from where I got this PC assembled. They would have all the components of the PC from low-high ranges, which are imported from everywhere. So after getting your options, I would go there and check for that.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
For Premier Pro, your CPU is BY FAR the bigger concern, than a graphics card. Hardware acceleration in Premier Pro can be a factor, but CPU performance far outweighs it.

IF you want Premier Pro to run fast, then the single biggest thing you can do is have a processor with four to eight cores and more importantly, very fast single core performance.

As for the graphics card, under that budget, the GTX 1660 available on Newegg India for around 16000inr supports CUDA, which might be a factor in SOME of the applications you will run and is a vast improvement over your current card in any case. Not sure what those are running on Flipkart or similar sites but the GTX 1650 and 1660 are the two cards, below your price range, that I'd look at. The RX 580 is an option as well although it does not support CUDA but it does support OpenGL so it is probably fine.

You will of course want to get a power supply along with any graphics card you get, so I'd suggest maybe the GTX 1650 plus a decent 450-550w power supply. That should take care of that part. Obviously, if you want to do anything related to video production at a professional level, that budget for a very capable graphics card is unrealistic.

For Premiere pro, if that is primarily what you will be using, I'd focus more on the CPU.

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

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
If there was to be one upgrade I'd make other than a full platform, it'd be the gpu. My preference would be a Quadro P2000, but that runs @ INR 34,000 or so. The P1000 isn't quite as good, but much closer to budget at INR 24,000. Either would be a sizable step up in rendering capacity and both are certified for use in programs such as Maya and Solidworks, for which the Rx 580 isn't.

While I can understand the appeal for budget concerns, your pc is the heart of a professional setup. Any issues arise and you are out of luck. With the Quadro gpus comes a direct line to nvidia tech support and afaik a guarantee that if the card goes down, a tech will fix or replace it, asap. You get neither with a gtx/RTX or Rx card. Time is money, what's your budget worth.
 
Sep 24, 2019
6
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10
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For Premier Pro, your CPU is BY FAR the bigger concern, than a graphics card. Hardware acceleration in Premier Pro can be a factor, but CPU performance far outweighs it.

IF you want Premier Pro to run fast, then the single biggest thing you can do is have a processor with four to eight cores and more importantly, very fast single core performance.

As for the graphics card, under that budget, the GTX 1660 available on Newegg India for around 16000inr supports CUDA, which might be a factor in SOME of the applications you will run and is a vast improvement over your current card in any case. Not sure what those are running on Flipkart or similar sites but the GTX 1650 and 1660 are the two cards, below your price range, that I'd look at. The RX 580 is an option as well although it does not support CUDA but it does support OpenGL so it is probably fine.

You will of course want to get a power supply along with any graphics card you get, so I'd suggest maybe the GTX 1650 plus a decent 450-550w power supply. That should take care of that part. Obviously, if you want to do anything related to video production at a professional level, that budget for a very capable graphics card is unrealistic.

For Premiere pro, if that is primarily what you will be using, I'd focus more on the CPU.

https://www.pugetsystems.com/recommended/Recommended-Systems-for-Adobe-Premiere-Pro-CC-143/Hardware-Recommendations
Well, thank you! I got the information that I needed. Cheers.
 

Countess_C

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Aug 24, 2019
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Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Everyone likes the biggest, best performance, uber pc stuff. Except your wallet. What you can afford and what you can't afford not to are 2 different concepts.

There's a ton of info just from pugetsystems and those boys Know pc's and it's resultant software needs. Read well, guage what's practical so when you do shop finally, you'll be chasing reality not a dream.

Good luck with this. 👍
 

Countess_C

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Aug 24, 2019
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What CPU you NEED to choose, is highly dependent upon what level of usage you REQUIRE. Most people won't require a 2000 dollar or even an 800 dollar CPU. Especially if they were already getting by, somewhat, on a 5 year old 200 dollar CPU.
True. I had my eyes on a 3900X but chose the 3700X instead. I will more than get by for many years, and saving money for other things.

Everyone likes the biggest, best performance, uber pc stuff. Except your wallet.
Yeah, but when your wallet gets too fat it needs to lose weight. :unsure:
 
Reactions: brokeBuilder2019

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
See, you're already on the program. Just goes to show it works.

None of this 30, 60, 90 days garbage either. Give me three days, and your wallet will permanently go from fat to thin with no evidence that it was ever overweight.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Please note, this is not an "instant skinny" program. This is a plan intended to fully and permanently reduce the size of your wallet, including any auto-feed ventures that might defeat the weight loss by automatically adding cash through direct deposit or other funneling methods. Long term, not just short term success. It takes a few days to implement the kinds of permissions required to keep the weight off permanently.
 

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