I build monsters

A few months back I was asked by @DaHowlett if I could specify and build a machine on which he could  render and encode video. He was aware that I had some experience in building render and animation machines for another animation studio ( Slicedbread Animation ) and their experiences matched with Dennis’ previous exposure to my approach to providing answers to technical problems ensured that he was determined that I would be the one building him the answer to his encoding question. There was  only one catch though; could I deliver it to spain ?

This blog post is to describe a little of what goes into my thinking about building out a machine suitable for render work and with I constantly choose to work with Ebuyer when it comes to selecting components and parts.

Lets first talk about Ebuyer website design. It enables the process or selecting components and building a specification in a way that I have not found rivalled by other ecommerce sites ( in the UK ) for an example watch the video below where I explain how to buy a sub £400 laptop and you can see how Ebuyer makes that job simple.

How Ebuyer improved purchasing components or systems online

You can see with Ebuyer I can quickly build out components dependent on my expectations in cost and rating. I chose a i7 chipset over Xeon Quads as despite the chipset similarities the i7 and the architecture are establishing themselves as crowd pleasers in the Encode and render stakes and for their price and support a better investment. Other than that the remaining components were down to support from the motherboard and support from the drive manufacturers. Everything else being Windows7 would be down to DirectX support. I could have spent several days twisting the refinement on the specs but the juice squeezed out is rarely more than a few more percentage points. You can see my specification by clicking below.


in hindsight we were extremely lucky to be purchasing hard drives at that time of the year given the later flooding and devastation that was wrought upon Thailand which saw hard drive prices soar; thankfully they are sliding back down again. Meanwhile the addition of the SSD drive added a performance boost to the windows installation and raiding the remaining 3.5” drives ensured that the read/write times for big files would be above expectation.

the final part of the problem lay in shipping the box from Horsham in Sussex to somewhere in Spain and ensuring that it arrived in one piece; for which Chordline were able to step up and sort out the questions of delivery, customs and receipt.

You can watch the unboxing of the Monster below or read more about “The Monster Has Arrived”

Thanks for reading.

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1 Comments on “I build monsters

  1. What software are they using? I know using Adobe PremierPro assigning separate scratch disks for projects can help boost performance slightly.