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Old November 20th, 2011, 06:20 PM   #1
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Will this machine handle AVCHD ok?

Ok, I know you probably hate this, but If you wouldn't mind commenting on these parts/pieces, let me know what you think, and if it will play well with CS5, I would be gratefull. I haven't built a PC in several years, so your coaching is appreciated. Will be editing HDV and AVCHD on Premier CS5. Not too many layers, some color correction, titles, clean up video as needed. The following is somewhere between GG DIY8/DIY9. Please comment if you would change anything:

CPU - Intel Core i7-980 Gulftown 3.33GHz ($580)
Mobo - ASUS P6X58-E PRO LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel ($224)
GPU - GIGABYTE GV-N570OC-13I Rev2.0 GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 ($345)
Mem - CORSAIR XMS3 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) ($90)
HDD - Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" ($149)
Power Sup - CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 850W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power ($135)
O/S - Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM ($139)
Misc - Liteon Blu Ray burner ($100)
Case - Already have..
Monitor - SAMSUNG S24A350H ToC Rose Black 24" Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD ($199)
2nd Monitor I already have.

Total Price: $2,110 (includes cables, fans, mouse, card reader, etc)

During the holidays I'll probably try to pick up (4x) SATA drives if I see a hot deal, for a Raid 5. What RAID enclosure do you recommend? Also, I DO have a few HD's filled with DV that are IDE. How should I handle this on a SATA system that doesn't have IDE ports (external Firewire housing)? Would I get much benefit from going with a 10k main drive instead of 7200, other than faster start-up, which isn't that important to me? Like I said, this is adding up and I wouldn't mind trying to shave off a couple hundred, if it won't hurt performance much. OTOH, this machine will likely need to last me a few years so maybe it's worth it to go bigger now. What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance.
Mark Goodsell
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Old November 21st, 2011, 12:19 AM   #2
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Re: Will this machine handle AVCHD ok?

Sure, it will handle AVCHD "okay," whatever that might mean to you. My frame of reference is with an I7/950 with 12 gigs of RAM, a GTX260 GPU, working with a pair of raids for my media drives (an internal 2 tb Raid 0 run off the ASUS mobo and an external gSpeed es 4 tb Raid 10 run off a PCIe4x raid card.) I regularly do multi-cam edits with up to seven cameras which include 3 or 4 AVCHD cams. YMMV, as they say.

Regarding your IDE drives -- how much do you want to use them? If you need frequent access, you can get conversion plugs that adapt IDE drives to SATA sockets and allow you ti add them as internal drives. (Are you buying a new and well ventilated case like an HF 932 Coolormaster?) When I moved to my new system a couple of years ago, I had one IDE drive with contents that I wanted to have available and got an adapter from NewEgg. I don't recall the brand, but it had a ton of favorable reviews and was very inexpensive. Worked well when I needed it. Frankly, I think it would have been better to leave the old system running and just pull stuff over when I needed it

If you only need occasional access, and can't or won't leave the old system running, then external drive kits make sense, to me. External enclosures will feed the IDE drives to e-Sata, Firewire 400 , and USB 2 connectors. If I recall correctly, I think Videoguys sold me the NexStar unit that I used to hook a Blu-ray burner to my laptop (my alternate computer) and it has worked flawlessly. Also, I bought something off the rack at best-buy to run the 2" hard drive from my defunct old laptop and it worked fine for as long as I need it to do so.

As for getting a higher speed system drive, it sounds to me that you've pretty much figured it out.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 02:36 AM   #3
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Re: Will this machine handle AVCHD ok?


You better get two tri-packs for your memory (6 x 4 GB) or only use 3 sticks. The X58 can only use its triple channel architecture if you use 3 or 6 memory sticks. With 4 stick your memory will be downgraded to single channel or dual channel, depending on the slots used.

The PSU is better exchanged for an AX model 850+ W with gold label.

For the OS disk look at a Samsung Spinpoint 320 GB F4. Your IDE disks are best used for backup, because they are very slow. If you want to add 4 new SATA disks in the future for a raid5, what controller do you intend to use? On-board is way too slow with a parity raid.

I miss a third party CPU cooler in your list. CoolerMaster, Noctua and Prolimatech have good coolers.
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 10:22 AM   #4
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Re: Will this machine handle AVCHD ok?

All good suggestions, especially the RAM. (I missed that you would be using only four sticks.)

I also suggest that you do some checking on how well this set-up is going to work with the case you already have. With everything you want to add, cooling and air flow could be problematic and the layout might not accommodate everything you want to put inside.

Because of those concerns, I agree with Harm about looking at an aftermarket CPU cooler. Case and CPU cooling are important even if you are not planning on over-clocking (or are planning only on using the ASUS "AI" automated mild overclcocking utility that comes with ASUS mobos.) Cooling becomes more of a problem when you start adding equipment to the interior of the box. It all generates heat and alters --- and sometimes blocks --- cooling airflow. And, even when your case has good cooling, there might be something in your particular layout that makes for the CPU running hotter than desireable. The I7/980 does run pretty hot with video editing. In particular, editing AVCHD tends to be CPU intensive because of the need to decompress on the fly, as it were, and that is processor intensive.
Some cases are better than others in this respect. If you would using, say, a Coolermaster HAF 932, you might not have these issues. The stock CPU cooling might be fine. Or not. Getting an aftermarket CPU cooler forestalls issues and gives you an important margin of safety under the stresses that video editing can impose on your system.

So, I second Harm's recommendation of an aftermarket CPU cooler. I think the Noctua coolers -- at least the NH12U --- are pretty good. I have no first hand experience with the Prolimatech or Coolermaster units that he mentioned, but they generally get good reviews. From experience, I can say that good reviews have to be read carefully to be sure that your system set-up is comparable to the reviewers' systems. For example, Corsair makes some sealed, liquid-cooled CPU radiator units ("CWCH" is the model designation) for which there are some of favorable reports. See this link:

New setups for CS5

However, as I reported in that thread, my experience with the company's CWCHC60 was that it did not work as well as the stock CPU cooling with my Antec 180 case and P6TDv2 mobo. While it helped a bit with CPU cooling, my combination of case and mobo was such that the Corsair actually impeded the cooling of the mobo, so the mobo ran much hotter than it did when I used the stock CPU cooler. The Noctua UH works better in my case. The Noctua unit is tall but my case is pretty wide, so there is no trouble fitting it in. YMMV, so check dimensions and clearances.

Another set of clearances to check is the front to back interior space. The GTX cards are pretty long. A lot of cases are relatively narrow. Do you know whether or not that GTX570 card will fit or if, instead, inserting it may be obstructed by drive cages in the front of your case? If it fits, will it block the use of some of the drive bays you want to use when adding drives to the machine?
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