New ProMax One+ PC Supports 16 Cores, 256 GB RAM, and up to 24 TB of RAID on Board

Video pros who want to run OS X on a full-sized workstation were left cooling their heels at NAB, as Apple declined to make any announcements related to its long-in-the-tooth Mac Pro platform. That spells opportunity in the PC market, where Windows boxes are becoming more sophisicated, attractive, and powerful. One of the companies taking advantage is ProMax, which used NAB to launch the new One+, an upgrade to the ProMax One workstation that was announced at last year's show.

For the record, we did speak with Apple at this year's NAB, and the company once again reiterated that some kind of major update for the Mac Pro line is on tap for 2013. And, to be fair to Apple, the show floor featured implementations of Thunderbolt technology that make MacBook Pros perform like full-sized workstations in many ways. But ProMax is aiming at the desktop computer jockey who wants a big box with CPU oomph to spare and massive amounts of storage right under the hood. 

The top-of-the-line One+ is called the Hero, and it's built around a 16-core Intel Xeon E5-2687w CPU running at 3.1 GHz with 40 MB of cache. (The Edit system has a 12-core 2.5 GHz Xeon E5-2640 CPU, and the On Set system has a 16-core 2.4 GHz Xeon E5-2665.) Every One+ configuration has 16 RAM slots, supporting up to 128 GB.

The One+ is built with eight PCI slots, including four 16-lane PCIe 3.0 slots, compared to the six PCI slots sported by the original One. There's also an LTO option for archiving. And, again, the eight-bay RAID system is built in, supporting up to 24 TB of internal storage. The system supports up to four different boot SSDs, allowing you to keep system backups, or just to boot into different application environments — for example, you could keep your Adobe editing environment on one drive and your Avid environment on another, booting the appropriate drive for a given project.

ProMax CEO Jess Hartmann told us another popular application for a well-loaded ProMax One is raw and uncompressed workflows in Da Vinci Resolve. One claim that ProMax couldn't make for the system? It's not exactly portable, despite the handles. The company's website says the One+ weighs in at 65 pounds in its base configuration.

And the biggest shortcoming for Mac fans? It runs Windows 7. (Please let us know in the comments if you've gotten a version of OS X to run on one of these.)

Shared Storage for Small Workgroups

The One workstation line seemed to get the most attention at NAB, but ProMax was debuting another new product, the Platform Studio shared-storage system. It's a portable version of the company's existing Platform system that's designed to be kept near a desk, carried on set, or taken to other remote locations. The system is modular, meaning you can buy new functionality to suit your needs, enabling transcoding, rendering, archiving, and asset management functions.

Hartmann said the Studio is ideal for two- to four-user workgroups who connect directly via Gigabit or 10-Gigabit Ethernet. A 16 TB version starts at around $8,000, but the system scales to a max of 64 TB.

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