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  1. #1
    Junior Member Rajahal's Avatar
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    Advise me on VR/360 video editing build

    Hello everyone! First time posting here, happy to move this to a different sub-forum is there's a better spot for it.

    I'm looking to build a custom system that will enable me to generate stereoscopic 360 photo and video content, and possibly other VR content in the future. I'm an active photographer and filmmaker, but 360/VR is new territory for me. I've given myself a budget of $5k USD, hopefully for the VR rig, the 360 stereoscopic camera, and 360 audio recorder as well, but if I need to make a separate budget for the camera and recorder that's fine too. I'm the patient type and happy to buy/build this piecemeal, taking advantage of sales and promos.

    I currently use Adobe Lightroom 6, Adobe Premiere CC, and DaVinci Resolve 12.5 for my creative projects. I know Premiere now supports 360 stereo video, not sure about Resolve, and I'm open to using other editing and post processing software as well.

    I'll probably continue to work in non-360 photo and video as well, but I figure any system that can handle 360 will be able to handle traditional content with ease. My system's primary purpose will be to run the above software and any 360/VR specific software that's needed, and secondarily I would like it to be able to handle some games, as I expect I'll experiment with VR games once the system is up and running. I don't currently have any VR games, but I would like the system to be able to handle some 3D heavy games like Cities: Skylines, Resident Evil 6, Devil May Cry 4, and Grand Theft Auto V.

    Here's what I currently have available:
    - Microsoft Surface Pro 3 - this I'll likely continue to use for my IT consulting work and general interneting, but I would like a 24" or larger screen to dedicate to it.
    - Microsoft Surface Pro 2 - I'm interesting in turning this into a touch screen and pen input for the system if that's an option
    - Several older Windows PCs that probably won't be useful for this project, though I may set up one as a headless slave for backups, cloud syncing, torrents, or other constant on applications
    - 10+ TB unRAID server for backups and media storage
    - Google Pixel XL and Daydream View - my everyday phone, and hoping to use the Daydream View to share content with others while not at home
    - Samsung 42" 720p 600Hz Plasma HDTV PN42B450 - I was thinking about using this as a video monitor for editing and color work, but I'm happy to be talked out of it since obviously 720p is getting dated. The color on this TV is amazing though.
    I plan to control the whole system with a single keyboard and mouse using Synergy, though I would like each computer to have a dedicated monitor (except for the headless constant on one, which could be RDP)

    For monitors, I'm looking for suggestions on:
    1 x 27" or larger screen, likely 4k
    2 x 24" or larger screens, 1080p or 4k

    I've read that one application of VR is to create virtual monitor arrays. If this is a realistic option (and cheaper), then I'm interested.

    While this is from 2014, I've looked at The Desk (http://www.willudesign.com/?project=the-desk-test) for insight about video editing specific builds. It seems like cramming as much RAM in there as possible and adding software arrays of SSDs in RAID 0 and HDDs in RAID 10 are my biggest take-aways.

    Here's where I'm currently at with the PC components:
    CPU: Intel Core i7 6850K, 6900K, or 6950X (based on this review of Premiere's multicore performance on various CPUs: https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/ar...06/#Conclusion)
    CPU cooler: maybe a self contained water cooler? not sure
    RAM: As much as I can cram in there, 32 - 64 GB or more
    SSDs: I have a 240 GB SSD already that I may throw in there, but I'll probably want to get two for a RAID 0 to run the OS and software.
    HDDs: I've got 10+ TB of storage in my unRAID server, so I only need HDDs for scratch disks and game installs. Probably a RAID 10 of a few 7200 RPM 2, 3, or 4 TB drives, whichever is the best value.
    RAID controller: will probably use the motherboard's software RAID, unless advised against it.
    GPU: nVidia 1080 (recommended by a friend, open to other suggestions)
    Mobo: whatever can handle all of the above
    PSU: Seasonic Gold 650w (already own this, I expect it will power everything, but will upgrade if needed)
    Case: Antec p180 (already own this, great case, but open to something new if it won't fit all of the above)
    Other: Blackmagic Design DeckLink Mini Recorder - required by Resolve for full screen previews, takes up a PCIe 4x or better slot
    OS: Windows 10

    I'm looking for advice and guidance on all aspects of this build. Thank you!

    Here's what I'm imagining for the monitor array (I like one of the 24" monitors vertical for scopes and Premiere's menus, the other will be hooked up to the Surface):

  2. #2
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    Sounds like you've pretty much got it figured out. You want a newish i7 with lots of threads, a powerful GPU and lots of RAM.

    I don't like to put water in my PC so I would go for a Noctua heatsink for the CPU. They can also be very quiet.

    For monitors you're going to have to look at some stores that serve your state, maybe Amazon? Try to get something with a high Adobe RBG coverage for colour reproduction.
    Medical Physics student, Programmer, VR Enthusiast

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  3. #3
    Junior Member Rajahal's Avatar
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    Thanks very much for your feedback! A friend has been selling me on the HTC Vive over the Rift due to the 'room size' experience. Since I'll have a room I'm dedicating to this that seems like a good fit for me. Do you have any strong opinions either way? My understanding is that the tech specs are pretty much the same for either system.

    I'm also interested in playing with a Leap Motion and/or Kinect camera for body control. I've used both before and I think there's a lot of potential there, though I don't know what the integration is like these days. Not sure if that would affect this build at all...

    I'm also interested in fancy surround sound acoustics (as well as acoustic baffling to reduce and control reverb) instead of requiring headphones to be worn. Any suggestions there?

    Amazon and Newegg will likely be my source for most of this stuff, maybe an occasional trip to Best Buy. I'll check out the Noctua heatsinks, thanks.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajahal View Post
    Thanks very much for your feedback! A friend has been selling me on the HTC Vive over the Rift due to the 'room size' experience. Since I'll have a room I'm dedicating to this that seems like a good fit for me. Do you have any strong opinions either way? My understanding is that the tech specs are pretty much the same for either system.

    I'm also interested in playing with a Leap Motion and/or Kinect camera for body control. I've used both before and I think there's a lot of potential there, though I don't know what the integration is like these days. Not sure if that would affect this build at all...

    I'm also interested in fancy surround sound acoustics (as well as acoustic baffling to reduce and control reverb) instead of requiring headphones to be worn. Any suggestions there?

    Amazon and Newegg will likely be my source for most of this stuff, maybe an occasional trip to Best Buy. I'll check out the Noctua heatsinks, thanks.
    The Vive has been designed with this room-scale experience in mind, and so the base stations used for tracking have a very large field of view (120 degrees horizontal and vertical). This makes it much easier to cover a large area for tracking. The Rift's Constellation cameras, whilst I can't seem to find reliable numbers and haven't tested myself, have a much smaller field of view which results in dead areas of tracking lower down and higher up, which worsens as you get closer to the camera. The Vive also tracks with lasers which I think is much more suitable than cameras for tracking fast-moving objects, though both systems still work.

    For the Leap and Kinect just make sure you have enough good USB ports, which higher-end motherboards have a lot of. I recently did a VR build for some people in the NHS with the ASRock Fatal1ty K6 motherboard, which has a lot of USB 3.0 ports, a 3.1 type-c and zero USB 2.0 ports. This is great for accommodating the Rift's USB requirements, but also helps with peripherals.

    Good positional audio without headphones is difficult because the traditional 5.1 and 7.1 setups work best on the fact that you are facing in a certain direction. I'm not sure how well they would work if you're moving around in VR, and I think headphones are going to work much better for accurate positional audio. The Rift's headphones are quite simple to use but personally I use ATH-M50X headphones with my Vive.
    Medical Physics student, Programmer, VR Enthusiast

    I will graduate mid-2017 with my Masters degree.

    For more information about me, visit liamfoot.com

  5. #5
    Junior Member Rajahal's Avatar
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    Thanks again! I just discovered this monitor on another forum:

    29" Class 21:9 UltraWide® Full HD IPS LED Monitor

    Currently $250 at amazon, looks like it goes on sale at $200 from time to time. Looks pretty sexy to me, though I've never dealt in the 21:9 aspect ratio. It mentions:
    sRGB Over 99%
    sRGB is the standard color space of ideal color reproduction. So, with over 99% coverage of the sRGB spectrum, this LG monitor is a great solution for professional photographers, graphic designers or anyone looking for highly accurate color.

    Thoughts?

  6. #6
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    sRGB is a smaller range of colours, but 99% of the spectrum is good - better than most devices. You only get full sRGB on high quality displays, and maxing out Adobe RGB is very rare.

    Surface Pro 4, which has a very nice display, is 100% sRGB. Most monitors don't really come close.

    What you've found looks like a nice monitor, though you may want to consider G-Sync if you're interested in gaming on it.
    Medical Physics student, Programmer, VR Enthusiast

    I will graduate mid-2017 with my Masters degree.

    For more information about me, visit liamfoot.com

  7. #7
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    Personally, I'd go with a bigger main monitor but that's just me. I actually am using a 49" 4K LG right now. Picked it up on impulse as it was on clearance for $275(!) at a bigbox store in my area. It is a tv, but 4K 60hz is sufficient for me (not an avid multi player gamer where refresh/framerate is important). Note if you go the tv route, you probably need to use the Game setting, or tweak the image, as out of the box, it isn't great to display apps. With the correct settings it is as good as any monitor I have though.
    Comments posted in plain text are my own, comments posted as a moderator will be posted in blue.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Rajahal's Avatar
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    I keep mixing up Adobe RGB and sRGB, sorry about that. tosvos, I hear you about getting a bigger screen. I've had good experiences using a 32" TV as a video editing monitor in the past, so I am considering getting a single large screen (a 42"+ TV) instead of an array of smaller screens. I'm also less concerned with refresh rate, as the screen will be primarily used for work and not for gaming. I expect to do more and more gaming in the VR headset as I get used to that format. Liam, I also looked at the G-Sync monitors, and they do look pretty amazing, but the price seems unreasonable at the moment. I'll definitely keep my eye on them over coming months though...

    I'm browsing Newegg's current sale and this jumped out at me:

    GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 G1 Gaming GV-N1080G1 GAMING-8GD Video Card

    That's the nVideo 1080 GPU that a friend recommended for VR applications, correct? Only $40 off, but its something at least. I might jump on that one unless y'all suggest otherwise.

    Also considering a pair of these for RAID 1 (OS, apps, game installs):

    PNY CS1311 2.5" 240GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SSD7CS1311-240-RB

  9. #9
    Junior Member Rajahal's Avatar
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    More components:

    ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Professional Gaming i7 LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    Very similar to the K6 mobo you mentioned, but has one extra PCIe x16 slot and dual LAN, also on sale for $150

    Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake Quad-Core 4.0 GHz LGA 1151 91W BX80662I76700K Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 530

    Not on sale, costs $340. Seemed to be the best value of the socket 1151 CPUs, after brief comparisons and research. I've realized that the socket 2011-v3 CPUs I referenced in my original post cost $600 at minimum, so they may push my budget up too high. Still, I'll probably try a build based on those and compare the end prices.

    Will one of the 6700K CPU be enough, or should I shell out for the 6850K or better?

    Also, I'm currently looking at motherboards that max out at 64 GB of RAM. Sufficient, or should I consider the ones that max out at 128 GB?

  10. #10
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    That motherboard also has a lot of USB 2.0 instead of 3.0 or above, so check if that will be an issue.

    Yes the GTX 1080 will be very good. If you're feeling like spending more you could even look at the Titan X (Pascal).

    There's nothing that will make 64GB of RAM and the 6700K bad, but if you want to shell out extra for the luxury then you may see some benefit.
    Medical Physics student, Programmer, VR Enthusiast

    I will graduate mid-2017 with my Masters degree.

    For more information about me, visit liamfoot.com

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