Some updated informations on Win 10 versions and hardware specs:
I recently had the situation with our current machines and while building our new machines that the current Win 10 1709 does not deliver the performance I expected.
Here some links/articles:
No problems with our standard win 10 image so far. But with the Fall Creators update I run into lots of performance problems.
Especially playing ProRes files. HAP doesnt seem to be influenced by this.
Google: Direct x9 + Fall Creators Upgrade.... Lots of people running into problems...
Same hardware and with just the Creators Update: No Problems with watchout.
So I would say: stay away from the fall creators update when building a Win 10 image!
Means also: If you choose XEON CPUs, which I think is the best choice now building Watchout machines, Microsoft wants you to use Win 10 Pro for Workstations.
Which means: 1709 (Fall Creators Upgrade) as this is the rollout version of Win 10 Pro for workstations. The consequence I took from this experience leaded me to the decision to go for WIN 10 LTSB. The Licensing was easier than I expected and volume licences gives you an easy path for reimaging and upgrading the machines when neccessary. I would recommend to go to a shop who is specialised in Win 10 licensing. If you want recommendations you can contact me per PN. Its nearly 3 times more expensive then Win 10 pro though.
By the way: This document shows that with Win10 Pro For Workstations you gain the right to use the enterprise version: http://www.reckzigel.at/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Windows10ProforWorkstationsEdition.pdf
UPDATE: Just talked with the license dealer: You need a "qualifying" system to upgrade. So no free Win 10 LTSB with the Workstation Version. It will still cost you arround 300€ per LTSB License. Still compared to the troubles of activating lots of machines and building the Image I would say its worth the price...
1709 Fall Creators Upgrade => Stay away from it!!!!
1607/ 1703 =>Tested and save version. We did some big shows on it.
New machines with new Intel Xeon W:
Go for the Win 10 LTSB version with Volume Licensing through Win 10 Pro for Workstations license or directly from your dealer.
Not tried yet but a possible solution to the problem if someone wants to try: https://www.drivethelife.com/windows-10/fix-directx-errors-after-windows-10-update.html
PS Some more nerdy tech stuff:
While until now Intel Speed Step technology needs to be deactivated to prevent Watchout from running out of sync on the new Xeon-W CPUs this feature must be activated to allow the CPU to go into turbo mode and use all the speed possible. Not tested for sync yet but keep you updated. Check with your specific mainboard / CPU combination.
Why changing to speed step now?:
Intel implemented a technology called speed shift: "Specific jumps in frequency are reduced to around 1ms with Speed Shift's CPU control from 20-30 ms on OS control, and going from an efficient power state to maximum performance can be done in around 35 ms, compared to around 100 ms with the legacy implementation." This is very important when syncing different machines. If this is working as promised that also gives us a significant performance boost. Minimum CPU Speed should be set to 100% in Win so in theory efficient power states should not matter to the CPU and just the jump from arround 3,9 to 4,3 Ghz can be done now in 1 ms instead of 30ms.
XEON W-2145 is the next weapon of choice. Having an all core turbo of 4,3 Ghz (measured) and trying to get even more out of it....
Some might ask why not choosing the 10-Core Xeon W? It has a slower base speed which means also a slower all core turbo.
Didnt check it myself but as the iMac Pro is using variants of the Xeon 2145 and 2155
you can see in this benchmark that the 10 core is getting significantly slower in All Core Turbo performance compared to the 8 core on full load.
The only faster CPU configuration for a mediaserver would be the XEON Gold 6144 in a dual CPU configuration which would make up for the slightly lower clock speed.
However this would cost arround 7000 $ / 6000 € per dual cpu. This would be the choice if you would use the machine also for rendering applications...
And here some theory about what I wrote
Conclusion: Current fastest Watchout CPU Xeon E5 1650 v3 / v4 and for new builds Xeon-W 2145 or Xeon Gold 6144 in dual CPU mixed usage systems.
If you dont want to go the Xeon way i think the i9 7900x with 10 cores and an all core turbo of arround 4 Ghz is the way to go. ( I would always choose the Xeons)