If you cut and finish on a PC and have already been eyeing HP’s 16-core Z820 workstations, come July, you’ll have an even sweeter option: a custom HP Z820 RED Edition with Adobe CS6 Production Premium preinstalled and RED workflows at the ready. And if you’re Mac-based but can’t wait until 2013, when Apple says it will roll out newly configured Mac Pros, this tower may also have your name on it.
According to Jarred Land’s post early this morning on Reduser.net, the new liquid-cooled custom tower will be built to spec and sold by ProMAX, which posted its store page online today, and TEKSERVE, the well-known Apple specialist in New York that is also an HP reseller. In Land’s words, “these things scream” with custom dual RED MAG card readers up front—the only ones currently on the market—Adobe CS6, and NVIDIA and one or more internal RED ROCKET acceleration cards inside. “The idea is to have everything you need to get started right out of the box editing RED footage at full speed,” says Dave Helmly, Adobe Technical Sales Manager Pro Video/Audio Products Americas.
I got on the phone with Terry Brown, HP Workstations Vertical Market Manager, and RED’s Ted Schilowitz, who have been working on the new towers for a few years, to get more details on how the idea took shape. Brown says Adobe was a driving force in the collaboration. “This really came together when Adobe said to us, ‘We need to create a system that’s a reference system for RED workflows in Adobe Premiere. CS6 is coming out and we have a huge amount of questions from customers who are confused about their current platform and we need to be able to guide them to what system we think is going to do the job, especially with RED workflows, which tend to be pretty CPU- and GPU-instensive and RED ROCKET-intensive.”
Brown says all agreed to pick the top two resellers on both coasts that could handle this kind of build out. “ProMAX and TEKSERVE, which everyone agreed were great choices for this product, are already two of our best resellers,” he says. “There’s a fair amount of customization that’s going on with the hardware with regard to the RED MAG readers. There will also be a custom look and feel to the system, and you will have a very highly tested set of components in there, thanks to Adobe’s involvement: The NVIDIA cards for acceleration and Adobe’s Mercury Playback engine, which runs on NVIDIA cards and features CUDA and OpenCL-enhanced processing in Premiere Pro CS6.”
Depending on your budget—these systems will start at around $10,000—you can even scale up to NVIDIA’s Maximus option and an NVIDIA Tesla C2075 board for even more acceleration. “That’s primarily for things like color correction and Mercury playback,” says Brown. “But I also think you’re going to see some unique things from both TEKSERVE and ProMAX, with respect to helping folks adopt to a new workflow, especially if they are new to Windows. New utilities and features will help make that transition easier and essentially automate the retuning of the system when it needs it. That’s one of the huge value-adds that both of those partners are building in.”