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Old May 6th, 2011, 12:34 AM   #1
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Need computer component suggestions for new editing system

My old Dell XPS720 Dual Core Quad system is a bit old for blazing fast HD editing. It can only physically access 4GB of RAM, which isn't much when running Windows 7, and Adobe CS 5.5 Production Premium!

So it's time to build a kick-ass computer for use solely as a video editing machine.

I'm probably asking for the impossible here, but I'm looking for a list of components -- motherboards, CPU, RAM, video cards, power supplies, and cases -- that are known to work well with CS 5.5, and are not outdated technology.

Suggestions?
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Old May 6th, 2011, 01:02 AM   #2
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Re: Need computer component suggestions for new editing system

Start here:

Need sage advice in getting right CS5 PC

and

New PC build - feedback please

and

http://www.videoguys.com/Guide/E/Vid...ce243a6c6.aspx

CS5.5 has only been out a couple of days so it'll be a while before anything is "known" to work with it. But the list shouldn't be any different than that for CS5.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 05:34 AM   #3
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Re: Need computer component suggestions for new editing system

Julian,

Gary from Videoguys and myself are on the same line. We both feel about the same about configurations that one would like for a good NLE.

Have a look here:

Videoguys Blog - Videoguys DIY8 Hex Core

Videoguys Blog - DIY Update: Sandy Bridge Not Recommended by Videoguys

Adobe Forums: System requirements for Premiere Pro CS5

Adobe Forums: Tapeless workflows and Sandy Bridge or...

Adobe Forums: Forum: Hardware Forum

This will give you a load of information.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 03:51 PM   #4
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Re: Need computer component suggestions for new editing system

As Harm stated, the Sandy Bridge platforms currently have two significant issues that make them not recommended for serious video editing: The lack of a suitably stable chipset and the relative shortage of PCIe lanes. Although I would like to add that most current Nvidia GPUs do not take full advantage of even PCIe-x8, let alone PCIe-x16.

In addition, I am no longer recommending any of the current quad-core LGA 1366 CPUs due to their relatively poor BFTB: Some of the later chips do not overclock as well as some of the older versions of these CPUs. (In fact, most i7-960's do not overclock as well as most lower-model quad-core i7's because their stock speed is much closer to the CPUs' design limits than lower-speed i7's.) What's worse, these chips run extremely hot at even their stock speeds (and hotter than justified even at their fail-safe speed of 1.6GHz), requiring the use of extremely expensive CPU coolers (that are expensive enough to completely offset what savings the quad-core 1366 CPUs price-wise over the least-expensive hexa-core i7) just to run stably at even stock speed. Plus, these chips still use the older 45nm process, which is inherently less efficient (in terms of performance per watt per C) than 32nm CPU designs. (After all, what good is a $300 CPU if it requires a $500 to $800 CPU cooler just to perform as well as somewhat more expensive CPUs?) That makes the least-expensive recommended CPU for serious video editing the $600 i7-970.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 09:28 PM   #5
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Re: Need computer component suggestions for new editing system

Thank you guys. All very helpful. So, it looks like the following is on my "To Purchase" list:

Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D-E ($219)
1) CPU: Intel Hex Core i7 970 ($599)
2) RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) ($229)
or CMP24GX3M6A1600C9 (6x 4GB memory modules = 24GB) ($325)
3) Boot Drive: WD VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB - 10,000 RPM ($279)
4) Case: Antec Nine Hundred Two Black ATX Case ($119)
5) Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ($129)
6) BlueRay Burner: BDR-206 ($139)
7) Video Card: GTX470 ($299)

Add....
Keyboard $50
Mouse $50
Monitor $300 (min)


Total:
$2508 (24GB system) or $2412 (12GB system)

Would you say 12GB RAM is the sweet spot, or should I spring for 24GB?
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Old May 7th, 2011, 08:44 AM   #6
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Re: Need computer component suggestions for new editing system

That is a great system and it will run CS5/5.5 fantastic!

Gary
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Old May 7th, 2011, 10:15 AM   #7
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Re: Need computer component suggestions for new editing system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian Frost View Post
Thank you guys. All very helpful. So, it looks like the following is on my "To Purchase" list:

Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D-E ($219)
1) CPU: Intel Hex Core i7 970 ($599)
2) RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) ($229)
or CMP24GX3M6A1600C9 (6x 4GB memory modules = 24GB) ($325)
3) Boot Drive: WD VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB - 10,000 RPM ($279)
4) Case: Antec Nine Hundred Two Black ATX Case ($119)
5) Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ($129)
6) BlueRay Burner: BDR-206 ($139)
7) Video Card: GTX470 ($299)

Add....
Keyboard $50
Mouse $50
Monitor $300 (min)


Total:
$2508 (24GB system) or $2412 (12GB system)

Would you say 12GB RAM is the sweet spot, or should I spring for 24GB?
If you go with 12GB, get 3 x 4GB instead of 6 x 2GB. This is because filling up all six DIMM slots on a motherboard with double-ranked modules puts a greater load on the CPU's on-die memory controller. In LGA 1366 systems, the CPU will run a bit hotter (temperature-wise) with six modules installed than with only three modules installed. That might result in reduced overclockability and/or reduced stability and/or shorter useful life of the CPU.

If on the other hand you opt for 24GB, there is no way around this since the LGA 1366 i7 (as opposed to Xeon) CPUs and X58 motherboards do not support DIMMs larger than 4GB. In this case, all six DIMM slots have to be filled - and with double-ranked modules, to boot since the maximum amount of RAM per rank supported by LGA 1366 is 2GB.

And if you're not overclocking the CPU to extreme speeds, both of the RAM kits that you're considering are way overpriced. Especially since you can get 24GB of some of the DDR3 memory modules for less than $300. In fact, the 6 x 2GB kit actually costs nearly double the price per GB as some of the other DDR3 memory kits.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 11:56 AM   #8
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Re: Need computer component suggestions for new editing system

Thanks again for the continuing contributions and advice.

I was looking at the nVidia web site, and realized that the GTX 470 is now considered "old technology". While I don't need the latest and greatest, since the new computer is going to have to last me a while, maybe it's better for me to invest in a GTX 570 or GTX 580?

As far as the RAM modules are concerned, I took the (12GB) recommendation directly from the Videoguys reference, as they say they work well with the mobo. If someone has cheaper, but reliable, recommendations for other memory modules, I could use that money towards a better GPU! :-)
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Old May 7th, 2011, 01:14 PM   #9
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Re: Need computer component suggestions for new editing system

Julian, take a look at Kingston ValueRAM series. Also, I don't think there will be much performance difference between 570 GTX and 580 GTX, and since both are officially supported by CS5.5, I'd go for the cheaper one.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 02:12 PM   #10
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Re: Need computer component suggestions for new editing system

I'm not seeing your work/storage drives on your list. They may have more effect on performance than many other factors. You have the same case as I (and many others) do and there is room for six drives. I have an OS drive and then 5 x 2TB drives in RAID5. I'm just using onboard RAID (A separate RAID controller card would be much better) so RAID 3 isn't an option.

Also, with such a minor price difference, I'd go with 24GB of RAM, no question.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 02:18 PM   #11
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Re: Need computer component suggestions for new editing system

Ok, silly me... but I figured an nVidia GTX 570 would be made by, and sold by... nVidia! :-) But what do I find? EVGA, PNY, Zotac, ASUS, GigaByte, MSI and AMP (to name just a few), all sell GTX 570 cards! Some, like the EVGA are listed as being "Superclocked".

So, assuming I go for the GTX 570, which should I get?
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Old May 7th, 2011, 02:24 PM   #12
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Re: Need computer component suggestions for new editing system

Adam,

Yes, I left off hard drive storage, because I have a bunch of large/fast hard drives, which I'll cull from my current computer. I'll most likely upgrade them over time (to 6Gb/s SATA), but for now, I'll probably do with what I have. I really like that both the ASUS mobo, and the case, can handle 6 drives. Makes life much easier!
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Old May 8th, 2011, 12:10 AM   #13
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Re: Need computer component suggestions for new editing system

All parts now ordered! :-)

Any advice on monitors? I'm not making feature films, so I don't need the best of the best... but something with good color reproduction (etc) would be nice. And since I have both DVI and HDMI outputs on the GTX 570, the monitor should probably have both inputs. If it's cheap enough, I'll probably buy two (eventually), so I can have full 1080p playback on one monitor.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 04:57 PM   #14
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Re: Need computer component suggestions for new editing system

I just built this same system, except for a few differences, from the videoguys site. I did it in an evening and it works great!

I got the GTX 470, and it's awesome. Also used the other smaller CPU that they listed. But it doesn't matter -- I'm editing AVCHD files like a fool. I already had the hard drives (7200RPM SATA's, but again it doesn't matter) and monitor, so the whole thing came in around $1200.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 08:57 AM   #15
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Re: Need computer component suggestions for new editing system

AWESOME! When you upgrade to CS5.5 you'll get even more Mercury performance. Plus the new WARP Stabilizer in AE is awesome, as is having Audition back in the Suite. Check out my NAB software report for more info on CS5.5

Videoguys Blog - Videoguys NAB2011 Report, Part II: Avid, Adobe and more Software News

Gary
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