RECOGNIZING THAT ENTHUSIASTS WHO CREATE MOVIES, music, and photos could benefit tremendously from the expertise of Intel value-added resellers that typically serve professional digital media creators, Intel recently launched the Intel® Digital Media “Creators” program. It takes a special breed of channel partner to cater to the needs of audio, video, and photography pros, who rely on PCs to deliver exceptionally high performance with 24/7 reliability.
“Some of our top channel partners are experts in digital media,” said Brent McCray, enthusiast marketing manager at Intel. “We’re now working closely with them to launch hardware and software bundled solutions powered by some of Intel’s best technologies and tailor-made for the digital media enthusiast.”
What constitutes a digital media enthusiast? “We’re focusing on two kinds of people,” McCray said. “The aspiring professional who, for example in music, perhaps has a band and plays gigs but hasn’t yet achieved ultimate fame, and the hobbyist who has a day job, but spends nights and weekends creating music, editing photos, and making videos.”
Intel tapped three powerhouse channel partners—PCAudioLabs, The3DShop.com, and BOXX Technologies—each experienced with the needs of creative professionals working in music and sound, photography, and video, respectively. “Our goals are three-fold: Provide targeted solutions for the enthusiast, listen and learn from our customers in each of these creative markets, and enable more customers around the world to deliver solutions to market in 2012 and beyond.”
The 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i5 and Core™ i7 processors are ideally suited for digital media creation at all levels. Thanks to new technologies that boost performance on demand and maximize data throughput, these new processors speed video editing and other multimedia tasks, such as image rendering and photo retouching, as well as audio recording, editing, and mastering.
Powerhouse integrators and software vendors now make their expertise in out-of-the-box hardware/software solutions available to digital enthusiasts who create movies, music, and photos.”
—BRENT MCCRAY, ENTHUSIAST MARKETING MANAGER AT INTEL
“We’re specifically using Intel Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K desktop processors that can take full advantage of Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology (on the Core i7), Intel® HD Graphics 3000, as well as overclockability1, allowing total creative freedom by maximizing performance to match your workload,” McCray said. “Of course, [Intel®] Xeon® processor-based workstations for professionals and mobile solutions are also available.”
“The solutions we’re launching also feature Intel® desktop motherboards with Intel® Z68 chipset technology and Intel® Solid-State Drives—both 311 and 320 series. Intel motherboards deliver exceptional performance, quality, and reliability. Among many other benefits, the Z68 chipset technology allows enthusiasts to affordably cache their favorite programs on their Intel SSD through Intel® Smart Response Technology, further accelerating the creative workflow.” Compared to traditional spinning hard disk drives, Intel SSDs help deliver breakneck speed and, with no moving parts, greater reliability. The Intel SSD 311 series has been optimized for Intel® Smart Response Technology, providing blazing SSD performance, at value SSD pricing, to boost use of high capacity hard drives.
Access to Excellence
Addressing the computing needs of digital content creators requires a deep understanding of the complex interdependencies between the hardware components and software applications. “We chose to work with PCAudioLabs, The3DShop.com, and BOXX Technologies,” McCray said, “because these channel partners are extremely successful at delivering a great computing experience to the crème de la crème of the industry—top film producers, music artists, recording studios, and photographers.”
“Our approach is to make their expertise available to enthusiasts in out-of-the-box hardware/software solutions that fit their needs as well as their pocketbooks. Each company will design three configurations to deliver 'good, better, and best' performance, addressing differentiation, customization, and specialized services requirements.”
Sound Experience: PCAudioLabs and Cakewalk SONAR* X1 Essentials
PCAudioLabs has been addressing the needs of professional musicians and producers for 10 years, with clientele including the U.S. Air Force, the Grand Ole Opry, Stevie Wonder, DJ Shorty, Hollywood Undead, and many other notable musicians, producers, and enterprises. This diverse group places high demands and even higher expectations on their digital audio and music tools.
“We call our systems MCs—Music Computers—not PCs,” said Greg Butler, managing director of PCAudioLabs. “A general-purpose PC can handle a lot of tasks very well, such as running spreadsheets, using e-mail, or browsing the Internet. However, they’re not built from the ground up to handle the special needs of musicians and producers.”
The PCAudioLabs Custom Shop specializes in building MCs tailored and optimized for the needs of its more discerning clients. The Rok Box* line of MCs are prebuilt turnkey solutions that have been tuned to specific music and audio applications. For the Intel Digital Media “Creators” program, PCAudioLabs is building Rok Boxes based on 2nd gen Intel Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K processors and running Cakewalk SONAR* X1 Essentials music software. As Butler said, “We think the 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors are the best that have ever been made. They’ve opened up a whole new world for everyone who does audio—professionals, aspiring pros, and hobbyists alike.”
ABOUT CAKEWALK SONAR* X1 ESSENTIALS SOFTWARE
Cakewalk is one of the leading providers of award-winning digital audio recording software. The company’s flagship product, SONAR Producer, is one of the most advanced 64-bit digital audio workstations (DAWs) available. SONAR Essentials builds on Producer’s professional feature set, making creating music faster and easier than ever. Cakewalk has worked closely with Intel engineers for years, maintaining cutting-edge performance on Intel® platforms, so Cakewalk X1 Essentials was a natural choice for inclusion in the Intel Digital Media “Creators” program.
“SONAR Essentials features the same redesigned user interface as SONAR Producer and gives users access to more audio tracks than DAWs costing twice as much,” said Michael Hoover, Cakewalk’s executive VP of products. “With its powerful collection of effects and instruments SONAR Essentials has everything an enthusiast needs to start creating music with ease.”
Thanks to the enhancements and optimizations built into 2nd gen Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors, including the new 256-bit AVX instruction set that delivers twice the data throughput of the previous generation of Intel® Streaming SIMD Extensions instructions, the software is highly responsive and musical.
Picture-Perfect Performance: The3dShop.com and Cyberlink PhotoDirector* 2011
The3DShop.com has been serving the needs of high-end professional designers and 3D artists since 1997. According to CEO, C. K. Tan, the Intel Digital Media “Creators” program is an exciting opportunity to reach a much wider audience. “We’ve never focused on building machines for hobbyists or aspiring professional photographers before,” Tan said. “We get calls to custom build machines that are optimized for Adobe Photoshop*, but they’re usually from high-end customers whose primary concerns are performance and durability, as well as our ability to provide support.”
For the Intel Digital Media “Creators” program, systems designers at The3DShop.com applied their knowledge of building high-end workstations for photographers and other digital media professionals to create off-the-shelf solutions that take advantage of the latest Intel® technologies. “Hobbyists don’t need a dedicated graphics card,” Tan said, “because 2nd generation Intel Core processors feature Intel HD Graphics, increasing performance for all levels of photographers.”
“These processors substantially reduce the amount of time it takes to apply filters to high-resolution photos with user-friendly photo-editing software such as CyberLink’s new PhotoDirector* 2011,” Tan continued. “And because PhotoDirector is optimized for Intel® Quick Sync Video hardware-accelerated encoding technology, creating a web photo gallery to share with family and friends is fast and easy.”
Like the other program partners, The3DShop.com is offering three versions of its GraVT* (pronounced “gravity”) Luminous series computers designed to deliver good, better, and best levels of performance. The systems include 2nd gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors, Intel motherboards, Intel SSDs, DDR3-1333 RAM, memory card readers, and the option to add a Samsung calibrated monitor.
ABOUT CYBERLINK PHOTODIRECTOR* 2011
CyberLink is no stranger to offering professional features in easy-to-use media creation software for enthusiasts. CyberLink’s top-selling applications for consumers were among the first to take full advantage of 2nd gen Intel Core i5 and Core™ i7 processors and Intel Quick Sync Video hardware-accelerated encoding. When The3DShop.com and Intel set out to choose a powerful, user-friendly photo management and editing tool to bundle, they turned to CyberLink PhotoDirector 2011.
“We’re thrilled to be part of the Intel Media ‘Creators’ program,” said Louis Chen, CyberLink director of product marketing. “We’ve worked closely with Intel, optimizing our software to deliver maximum performance. And thanks to Intel Quick Sync Video technology, PhotoDirector delivers blazing performance for tasks such as photo rendering and retouching.”
At press time, CyberLink PhotoDirector 2011 was in the final stages of pre-release testing. Designed for passionate photographers, the software delivers exceptional performance, allowing users to import, manage, edit, and share photos easily. Supporting a wide range of image formats—including RAW—PhotoDirector includes a lightbox mode for previewing and browsing pictures, the ability to display important camera metadata, and powerful, non-destructive editing tools optimized for the 2nd gen Intel Core processor family.
Dream Systems: BOXX Technologies and Cyberlink PowerDirector* 9
ABOUT BOXX TECHNOLOGIES
For over 10 years, BOXX Technologies has been designing high-performance workstations and rendering systems for creative professionals working in video, special effects, animation, and design visualization industries. Customers such as Disney and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers turn to BOXX when they need purpose-built systems designed around their workflow.
“Our customers place high demands on their hardware and software,” said Shoaib Mohammed, VP of marketing and business development for BOXX Technologies. “And because we understand all aspects of creative workflows, including hardware and software, we’re able to deliver fast, innovative, and reliable customized solutions that meet our customers’ needs.”
For the Intel® Digital Media “Creators” program, BOXX is offering three turnkey systems based on 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i5-2500K and Core™ i7-2600K processors. These systems feature Intel® motherboards with the Z68 chipset, Intel® HD Graphics, Intel® Solid-State Drives (Intel® SSDs), and up to 16-GB DDR3-1333 RAM.
“For the first time, we’re using Intel HD Graphics, which integrates high-performance graphics and media processing right on the processor,” Mohammad said. “Along with other Intel technologies such as Intel Quick Sync Video, we are confident that we’re providing an optimal bundled software and hardware solution for hobbyists and aspiring professionals.”
For optimal performance, BOXX paired 2nd gen Intel Core i7 and Core i5 processors with Intel SSDs, which significantly out-perform standard HDDs. “BOXX is in a constant state of innovation—always incorporating and advancing the latest and greatest technology,” Mohammed said. “SSDs have made tremendous strides, providing increased capacity at attractive prices. We’re extremely pleased with Intel SSDs.”
Mohammed considers the Intel Digital Media “Creators” program an incredible opportunity for enthusiasts. “We’ve been serving the needs of professional studios for well over a decade, but until now, our high performance systems were often out of reach for aspiring pros and hobbyists. We’re very excited to be able to offer these customers turnkey solutions that include maximum-performance components from Intel.”
ABOUT CYBERLINK POWERDIRECTOR 9
BOXX worked closely with the Intel Software and Services Group to choose the appropriate video software solution and then design its hardware to support it. The teams chose CyberLink PowerDirector 9. As the first 64-bit consumer video editor, CyberLink PowerDirector 9 offers enthusiasts a powerful, intuitive tool set for polishing and enhancing HD video shot with consumer electronics devices, including smartphones, video and DSLR cameras, webcams, and more. Because CyberLink engineers worked closely with Intel application engineers to tune and optimize PowerDirector for the 2nd gen Intel Core processor family and Intel Quick Sync Video integrated media processing, users can handle complex HD footage fluidly. And once their projects are complete, converting the footage to a variety of popular device-friendly formats is quick and easy.
“We’re seeing up to 10x faster video encoding, playback, and conversion with 2nd generation Intel Core i5 and [Core] i7 processors, thanks to deep parallelism, increased throughput, and hardware-accelerated encoding offered by Intel Quick Sync Video technology,” said Louis Chen, CyberLink director of marketing. “We’re very happy to be a part of the Intel Digital Media ‘Creators’ program, and think enthusiasts will benefit greatly from these new purpose-built hardware and software solutions.”
1Unlocked feature allowing for full CPU core overclocking is currently available exclusively on Intel® Core™ i7-990X, Intel® Core™ i7-2600K and Intel® Core™ i5-2500K processors. WARNING: Altering clock frequency and/or voltage may (i) reduce system stability and useful life of the system and processor, (ii) cause the processor and other system components to fail, (iii) cause reductions in system performance, (iv) cause additional heat or other damage, and (v) affect system data integrity. Intel has not tested, and does not warrant, the operation of the processor beyond its specifications. Intel assumes no responsibility that the processor, including if used with altered clock frequencies and/or voltages, will be fit for any particular purpose.
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