Would you consider an Adobe branded workstation?

Explorer ,
Mar 22, 2017

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There's considerable angst and disappointment in the Apple-centric fan site forums.  Creatives are concerned that Apple's priorities lie with its consumer offerings, and that professional interests are being ignored. Some creatives are contemplating switching platforms to achieve the hardware configuration or flexibility they need.

It ocurred to me that Adobe is demonstrating as much, if not more, innovation than Apple. As a creative professional, I would welcome a hardware solution by Adobe. It would be reassuring to know that my investment would prioritize my requirements, rather than the musings of a consumer. Imagine a workstation that is optimized to use Adobe's tools and services. Would you champion such a product?

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Participant ,
Mar 22, 2017

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I would MUCH rather build my own workstation, which is exactly what we did. After decades of Mac use and hatred of Windows we finally realized there was no longer a reason to remain loyal to Mac just because it felt more comfortable. Building our own custom Window machines for video production was a great decision. We now have workstations that are more powerful at literally half the cost of a Mac.

Apple has turned their back on the professional creative industry that kept them in business during all those lean years. They can make more money selling the same iPhone over and over to people who will line up around the corner no matter what, they no longer need pros. But that's fine because there are so many great alternatives available.

There really is no need to pay a premium for an Adobe branded computer. Thanks to the gaming industry you can easily build an amazing PC that works perfectly for video production and/or design.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 22, 2017

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There are so many excellent PC options out there that run Adobe's products really well that I don't think Adobe really needs to get into the market. That being said, I could see there being a market for Adobe-approved setups. That being said, you would need to have different setups certified for different things too. Somebody working in Photoshop and InDesign will have very different requirements from someone working in Premiere and After Effects.

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Explorer ,
Mar 22, 2017

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All great points.

My concern is that most persons wouldn’t have the technical savvy to build a workstation from parts. Personally, I would prefer an off-the-shelf product with some aesthetic appeal.

Ohanafilms is right about Apple’s new priorities. As I’ve noted before, Apple used to be a computer company that had a mobile phone. Now it’s a mobile products company that dabbles in desktop computers. The aspirations for its products have changed too. They used to demonstrate the sophisticated things that could be created with their products. Now they spotlight trivial indulgences like text messaging.

Professionals will always need desktop tools, with large screens, to work. This could be an opportunity for a PC maker, partnered with Adobe, to accommodate our niche.

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Engaged ,
Mar 22, 2017

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Maybe Adobe has already thought of that and dismissed the idea. I recall reading a post Szalam wrote where he said he had a killer machine something on the order of 76 megs or so of memory and a hot chipset to boot. I doubt there's nothing Adobe has that his box can't handle. The only thing he didn't say was how much it cost. But I'll bet it wasn't much more than a grand. I'll bet it's still upgradeability too.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 23, 2017

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Cactus+Cowboy  wrote

I recall reading a post Szalam wrote where he said he had a killer machine something on the order of 76 megs or so of memory and a hot chipset to boot. I doubt there's nothing Adobe has that his box can't handle. The only thing he didn't say was how much it cost. But I'll bet it wasn't much more than a grand. I'll bet it's still upgradeability too.

Yup.

At home, I put together a computer with more power than you can even buy in a Mac Pro and I did it for under a grand. You can't even get as much processing power on your CPUs or as much RAM as I have in the highest-specced Mac Pro.

It really makes me sad.

Well, happy for me, but sad for Apple because they used to be great.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 23, 2017

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Szalam  wrote

https://forums.adobe.com/people/Cactus+Cowboy   wrote

I recall reading a post Szalam wrote where he said he had a killer machine something on the order of 76 megs or so of memory and a hot chipset to boot. I doubt there's nothing Adobe has that his box can't handle. The only thing he didn't say was how much it cost. But I'll bet it wasn't much more than a grand. I'll bet it's still upgradeability too.

Yup.

At home, I put together a computer with more power than you can even buy in a Mac Pro and I did it for under a grand. You can't even get as much processing power on your CPUs or as much RAM as I have in the highest-specced Mac Pro.

It really makes me sad.

Well, happy for me, but sad for Apple because they used to be great.

You built that for a less than $1000?  What currency?   I'm expecting to pay around NZ$6k when I get round to rebuilding, and I would love to bring that down.  One of the Puget Systems articles from way back tested the advantage of multiple core systems, and found it ever diminishing above four to six core.  I took from that that clock speed is king, and a heavily OC'd i7 2700K  (this was a while ago) might out perform a six core CPU costing four times as much, if it was running stock speed.  Of course there'd be the additional cost of the bigger than average CPU cooling system, but you'd still be quids in.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 24, 2017

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Trevor.Dennis  wrote

You built that for a less than $1000?  What currency?   I'm expecting to pay around NZ$6k when I get round to rebuilding, and I would love to bring that down.  One of the Puget Systems articles from way back tested the advantage of multiple core systems, and found it ever diminishing above four to six core.  I took from that that clock speed is king, and a heavily OC'd i7 2700K  (this was a while ago) might out perform a six core CPU costing four times as much, if it was running stock speed.  Of course there'd be the additional cost of the bigger than average CPU cooling system, but you'd still be quids in.

US Dollars, sorry.

In the USA, there are a LOT of Dell workstations that are barely used on eBay. Many businesses buy new machines every couple of years (whether they need to or not) and they have their IT people "recycle" them, so they end up on eBay. There are so many of them that the prices are really low. Also, I have a significant other who works in IT and loves to shop, so that helped a lot. Some of the parts were used and some were new, but they were all really good deals! Then we just put it all together to make my beast!

For me, I wanted dual Xeons with many cores AND a high clock speed. Many cores because I do a lot of work in Cinema 4D which renders across all of the cores very well. I made sure to get the high clock speed because that's what matters most for After Effects. It's an interesting balance but it works well.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 22, 2017

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I don't know if any of these are officially partnered with Adobe, but I do know that they are recommended in the Premiere Pro forum

Buy a ready made Desktop Video Editing PC

-http://www.adkvideoediting.com/ or http://www.sharbor.com/ or https://www.pugetsystems.com/

-UK http://3xs.scan.co.uk/Category.asp?SystemMasterCategoryID=14

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Participant ,
Mar 22, 2017

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I agree that it takes technical experience to assemble a custom PC, that's why I paid someone to do it for us. It was money well spent!

Researching and sourcing the parts is pretty easy though. There is a ton of info out there and a bunch of very useful Youtube videos on the subject. I know someone who recently purchased a few ready-to-go editing workstations from a reputable dealer and they paid about $2500 more per computer compared to our cost of purchasing everything, and I mean literally every single part, from Amazon. That includes multiple internal hard drives, monitor, keyboard, mouse, Windows, everything PLUS assembly by a pro.

P.S. I recommend getting a Mac slim keyboard copy. It makes working on a PC feel more familiar.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 22, 2017

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There's all the expertise you'd need on the Adobe Premiere Pro Hardware forum, with regular posters from VideoGuys and ADK. 

Hardware Forum

Videoguys even have articles and guides on DIY systems

DIY Recipes and System Recommendations for Video Editing Videoguys Blog

But ADK also has a wealth of information, and you can always ask on the Premiere Pro forum

ADK Video Editing | Professional Video NLE Workstations, Pro Video Gear, Pro Video software, Compute...

Then there is Puget Systems with heaps of excellent articles and real world tests, as well as ready made systems.  I love their tests along the lines of will Photoshop keep using all the core/threads you throw at it.  In fact they have just posted a Mac Pro vs PC performance article which I will be reading with interest right after I post this

https://www.pugetsystems.com/

Lastly there is Harm and Bill's PPBM site, but Harm does not keep it as up to date as the commercial sites.  It is still an outstanding source of information though.

Choosing components

While the above information if focused on apps like Premiere Pro and After Effects, they are still relevant to Photoshop and the other Adobe apps.  You can be reasonably sure that hardware up to scrubbing several 4K tracks with effects in real time, will handle Photoshop.

These are also exciting times with uber fast M.2 drives capable of 3.5Gb/s and at decent capacities and very reasonable costs.  CPU development has slowed down in recent years, but it is still worth upgrading to get lots of fast RAM, the above mentioned drives, and outrageous GPU performance.  Chris Cox (who we all miss since he left Adobe) once told us on the Photoshop forum, that memory and mainboard bus speed was the bottleneck at that time.  My box is five years old now, and built with help from Harm, Bill, Eric and the guys on the PremPro Hardware forum.  I was proud as can be that it held 4th place on the PPBM5 results table for a good while, and it still sits at 17th place out of the 1300 systems on that table.  Of course that table has not been updated for a few years now, but it is a useful guide on what works, and the difference GPU assistance makes.   It's notable that the highest placed Mac system in that table is way down at 661st out of the 1351 entries.  I am afraid I have no idea of how that might look today, but I assume (hope) the Puget System article I linked to above is going to answer that.

(Click to expand)

I will be replacing my system some time this year, and while I have not decided on the full spec to date, it will have 64Gb of the fastest RAM I can find, and either six or eight cores with priority going on speed.  It will certainly need to run better than 4Ghz.  It will have at least one 1Tb M.2 drive, and maybe a second via whatever interface is needed.   I'll use the GTX970 out of this box for starters, to keep cost down (and put the original GTX570 back in before handing on to my wife).  Note: I was originally going to build my new system at the beginning of this year, but have had to delay, so the above specs will probably already be superseded.

So would I buy an Adobe branded hardware system?  Not a chance.  You need to make the most of the flexibility that the modular build design a PC gives you, to make the system that best suits your needs.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 23, 2017

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I read the Mac Pro vs a couple of Puget Systems PC workstations, and it turns out nothing much has changed.  The $5K PC wipes the floor with a $9.4K Mac Pro 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 24, 2017

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I doubt that Adobe would develop or brand a workstation. They don't even write their own forum software.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 25, 2017

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Peru+Bob  wrote

They don't even write their own forum software.

Yes, that's one thing we can't blame them for.  Not directly at least.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 25, 2017

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I have created somewhat of a hybrid by putting a really nice Adobe-branded 'skin' on my Macbook Pro. It looks pretty stylish and reinforces the Adobe brand rather than Apple's.

I found it at MAX a couple years ago and it's still looking good. I realize this isn't exactly what you had in mind, but there are some nice Adobe swag items that could soup up the look of your hardware.

Buck

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 27, 2017

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Buck, Paul Trani had an outrageous laptop cover at MAX last year.  I'm pretty sure he mentioned its source near the beginning of his session, but it was an excellent presentation, and I got a lot more out of it than I expected to.  He billed it as Top 10 Photoshop Tips & Timesavers  but he flew through them at breakneck speed for an hour, so there would have been nearer to 100.

https://blogsimages.adobe.com/creativecloud/files/2016/12/SkullCover-1024x767.jpg

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 27, 2017

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THAT. IS. INSANE.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 31, 2017

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/T+Cox  wrote

Would you champion such a product?

no I would not... the fact is Adobe is not great at design for Windows systems but they are getting better so perhaps in a few years.

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Participant ,
May 02, 2017

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Lordy no! The most important thing for a production workstation is support. If I have a hardware failure I want a rep out the next day to get it sorted. The cost of being without a running machine is far greater than any premiums on the purchase cost. You can certainly build yourself if you're on a budget and know what you're doing, but if you're a designer/producer I think it makes sense to get a pre-configured workstation from someone like Dell or HP with an on-site warranty. These things can cost a bomb up-front but the hardware combinations are all tested to work together and they put a lot of effort into continued support. It's certainly not flawless, you still get driver updates screwing things up, but they're usually on the case pretty quickly to get such things fixed, and since they have a lot of similar machines in the field you benefit from the standardisation and feedback from other users, often big studios. Adobe is not a company that demonstrates any consideration or support for its users, I'd avoid them like the plague. You'd probably have to rent the thing anyway.....

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 02, 2017

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AndyQ  wrote

[Big Snip]

You'd probably have to rent the thing anyway.....

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 10, 2017

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I might think about getting a system made by Adobe. I am not a Windows fan at all. My field is design and web so for this reason I have both platforms. I work on and teach from both everyday. I favor Mac over PC. This being said, I have seen a decline in quality with the Mac, but none as big as the issues with Windows. Since I use Adobe products the most, I would love for them to build a machine that would work well with its products. I would definitely support that.

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