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Old November 25th, 2010, 12:22 AM   #1
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Custom Build Workstation for PPRO CS5- Please Help

Hi,

Thanks in advance for any advice and help you can offer. I want to build a workstation that can handle editing HDV and DSLR footage in PPro CS5 with ease. Here are the specs I have at the moment. What are your thoughts?

Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

3 X SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model HX3X12G1600C9 G

ASUS ENGTX470/2DI/1280MD5/V2 GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950

Adobe PPro CS5

Already have Blu-Ray and DVD Burner, Monitors and Keyboard/Mouse
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Old November 25th, 2010, 10:15 AM   #2
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Solid list of components.

For the memory I would suggest to start with 3 x 4 GB sticks. It allows you to increase memory at a later date to 24 GB.

I miss a third party CPU cooler. Think Noctua NH-D14, CoolerMaster 212, Prolimatech Megahelem, etc.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 06:06 PM   #3
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I just built a very similar system....

New PC
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Old November 26th, 2010, 12:09 AM   #4
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Personally I'd go with more memory. I have 12 GB's with an i970 3.0 Quad Core and use it to edit AVCHD with running CS4 Master Suite. It's fast, but....I am planning on increasing it to 18 or 24GB's to hopefully help it render things a bit faster.
FWIW, my general impression of te Adobe suite is that while its very good, it likes a lot of memory to run at its best.
I would also suggest 2TB drives as both HDV and DSLR projects can consume a lot of real estate. And the price is right on them.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 01:36 AM   #5
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The latest rule of thumb I've heard from Adobe sources is that for RAM, 2+GB per core is an optimum number.
So, with i7= 8 cores, 16GB would be the minimum target.
I am currently running 12GB with i7/CS5, and am thinking about increasing it to 24GB.
Things are working O.K. w/ 12GB, but I think it will be smoother & faster with 24GB.
Cheapest over the long run is either 3x4GB, as suggested- leaving the option to add the other 12GB later, or just go for 24GB from the start.
I made the mistake of starting with 6x2GB, so I will need to replace the whole thing, being left with a handful of 2GB sticks that I have no further use for.
It was not the smart move :(
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Old November 26th, 2010, 05:01 AM   #6
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Guess the GTX470 already is outdated. I have 2 of them and one GTX480. I have heard they have made a GTX 580 producing less heat and noise - there must be a new GTX 570 too ?
Some states that the mercury engine does not use so many cuda cores as there are in GTX 470 so you could use a smaller card without problem.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 05:46 AM   #7
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1. All CUDA cores are used in PR. That it does not yet show in measurable performance differences has to do with the infancy of the technology, both on the nVidia side and Adobe side.

2. Only the 580 has been introduced. I have not heard about plans to introduce a 570, but that may be because of my lacking hearing.

3. The 580 is marginally faster, although that does not yet show in PR, is very slightly less power hungry (around 7 W on a total power consumption of around 250 W), but the main benefit is that it runs a lot quieter with the new vapor chamber cooling.
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Old November 28th, 2010, 05:40 AM   #8
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I stepped up the build, here is what I ended up buying:

2 X: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard
Drive

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal
Hard Drive

Intel Core i7-970 Gulftown 3.2GHz LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor

2 X: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop
Memory

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified
Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power SupplyItem

ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

ASUS ENGTX470/2DI/1280MD5/V2 GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit DDR5 PCI Express
2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders

Pioneer BDR-206 Internal Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer

Adobe CS5 Production Premium
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Old January 15th, 2011, 08:56 AM   #9
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With regards to RAM, I've read that you should buy all your RAM bundled together... i.e. that you should buy a package that comes with 6x4GB sticks vs 2 separate packs of 3x4GB sticks... something about compatibility and not being able to guarantee the rated speeds, I'm not entirely sure. Is there any validity to these statements?

Has anyone started with 3x4GB sticks and later added another set of 3x4GB to their system?

Thanks,
Peter
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Old January 15th, 2011, 09:15 AM   #10
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Joe,

Your PSU may be a bit weak. Maybe consider a 850 W version.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 10:37 AM   #11
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Joe,

You could have gotten a roomier case than the Antec Nine Hundred Two. This is because that Antec case is surprisingly cramped inside, especially depth-wise. Some of the front-edge-mounted internal SATA ports are blocked by the installed hard drives themselves. And the permanently fixed drive cage mounting bracket hinders access to most of the internal SATA ports on the P6X58D-E motherboard, and many straight SATA plugs might not fit the tiny space between the ports and the bracket at all. And even if the plug does fit, the entire motherboard must be dismounted from the motherboard mount plate just to access the ports.

By the very same token, with the hard drives installed, there is effectively enough room only for graphics cards shorter than 9.5 inches. Most GTX 470s are longer than that. This forces you to completely bend the PCIe power connector way out of shape (to the point that the wire/plug causes shorts) in order to fit the GTX 470 card whose PCIe power connectors are at the front edge of the card rather than the top (left) edge.

And your choice of a Western Digital WD1001FALS is a sizable step backwards from the Samsung F3 that you originally specced. Most samples of the WD1001FALS are actually slower in sequential transfer speed than the Samsung F3 1TB drive because most WD1001FALS drives still use three 334GB platters rather than the two 500GB platters used in the Samsung F3. And going with a WD1001FALS does not guarantee that you'll get the platter configuration that you want especially since Western Digital continues to manufacture both old designs and newer designs with the exact same base (advertised) model number. (Granted, there are some WD1001FALS drives with two 500GB platters - but you'll never know what you get until you look at the unadvertised six-character code immediately following the base model number.) In other words, if you bought two WD1001FALS drives, there is a chance that you could have gotten two completely different drives with two completely different platter configurations (one with three 334GB platters and one with two 500GB platters). That would seriously affect performance in RAID 0, with random access times that are much longer than expected.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 10:59 AM   #12
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Which Case?

I am in the process of purchasing a CS5 system and I need a case that will handle at least 4 HD's. Any advice Randall?
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Old January 15th, 2011, 11:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post
I am in the process of purchasing a CS5 system and I need a case that will handle at least 4 HD's. Any advice Randall?
My recommendation is a Cooler Master HAF 922 or 932 (the HAF 922 is very similar in height to the Antec Nine Hundred Two but with two to three inches more depth and nearly three inches more rear-to-front room inside). The HAF 912 is also solid, but you'll have to add and replace fans (specifically, replace all of the stock fans with better-quality ones and then add additional fans where none has been originally installed) in that case in order to make it suitable for a video editing system. The additional and replacement fans would have effectively brought the cost of an HAF 912 to as much as or more than the price of an HAF 922 to begin with.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 01:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall Leong View Post
Joe,

You could have gotten a roomier case than the Antec Nine Hundred Two. This is because that Antec case is surprisingly cramped inside, especially depth-wise. Some of the front-edge-mounted internal SATA ports are blocked by the installed hard drives themselves. And the permanently fixed drive cage mounting bracket hinders access to most of the internal SATA ports on the P6X58D-E motherboard, and many straight SATA plugs might not fit the tiny space between the ports and the bracket at all. And even if the plug does fit, the entire motherboard must be dismounted from the motherboard mount plate just to access the ports.

By the very same token, with the hard drives installed, there is effectively enough room only for graphics cards shorter than 9.5 inches. Most GTX 470s are longer than that. This forces you to completely bend the PCIe power connector way out of shape (to the point that the wire/plug causes shorts) in order to fit the GTX 470 card whose PCIe power connectors are at the front edge of the card rather than the top (left) edge.

And your choice of a Western Digital WD1001FALS is a sizable step backwards from the Samsung F3 that you originally specced. Most samples of the WD1001FALS are actually slower in sequential transfer speed than the Samsung F3 1TB drive because most WD1001FALS drives still use three 334GB platters rather than the two 500GB platters used in the Samsung F3. And going with a WD1001FALS does not guarantee that you'll get the platter configuration that you want especially since Western Digital continues to manufacture both old designs and newer designs with the exact same base (advertised) model number. (Granted, there are some WD1001FALS drives with two 500GB platters - but you'll never know what you get until you look at the unadvertised six-character code immediately following the base model number.) In other words, if you bought two WD1001FALS drives, there is a chance that you could have gotten two completely different drives with two completely different platter configurations (one with three 334GB platters and one with two 500GB platters). That would seriously affect performance in RAID 0, with random access times that are much longer than expected.

Now that's being a Monday morning quarterback.I could have really used your help 2 months ago prior to the build, lol.The new system is working fine though. I thought the Altec case would have been big enough but it is tight on space for sure. The sata ports aren't blocked.
Fortunately every runs good after several projects in HDV and DSLR.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 02:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger View Post
Now that's being a Monday morning quarterback.I could have really used your help 2 months ago prior to the build, lol.The new system is working fine though. I thought the Altec case would have been big enough but it is tight on space for sure. The sata ports aren't blocked.
Fortunately every runs good after several projects in HDV and DSLR.
No problem. I was on vacation when your build was ordered and completed. Unfortunately, I did not (and still do not) have a laptop - and my mobile phone plan charges a relatively astronomical amount of money for data access.

And thanks to your particular arrangement of the hard drives in your system, you managed to find some space in that case.
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