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Old December 11th, 2007, 04:00 AM   #136
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well if its money is no object.... then you need to check out the new Dell
work stations coming out soon...
Hopefully soon... Maybe... And even so, overpriced. Putting together the custom system online is already more in US$ than I'm planning to spend in AU$, which says a lot about what the prices will be when those workstations come out over here.

The latest update from the people doing quotes for me is:

1. Only a 74GB Raptor system drive is necessary. Anything more than that is a waste. Opinions on this? Given that I really only will ever have Windows and Adobe Creative Suite on here, I guess it's probably true, right?

2. ATP (AP28K72S8BHE6S) 1GB FB-DIMM DDR2 667 RAM is the memory recommended to me (4 GB of it). Knowing zero about RAM, can someone advise me as to whether it's reputable?

3. Power Color ATI X1950 PCI-Ex 512MB DDR3 GPUs keep getting suggested to me as the cards to use instead of Nvidia. Reviews are fairly favourable but they're quite old so I thought I'd ask around.

4. People are telling me to ditch the 4 Samsung Spinpoint HDDs for the Seagate CUDA 500GB, 7200rpm, 16MB Cache, 3.0GB/s NCQ SATA II HDD.

They appear to have the same spec's but I remember reading here somewhere about Seagate HDDs being wonky when it comes to RAID - am I right? I asked some dealers about it and they said they knew nothing of any 'wonkiness'.

5. They keep telling me "Don't put this in your living room! It will be too loud!"

Is that a fact? Isn't that where some of the money is going on the Supermicro case & PSU? To keep the noise down? Travis says the Coolermaster case is quiet (except the CPU fans) but these dealers aren't too willing to build it with anything other than the Supermicro case... I'd much rather have the Coolermaster one though...

6. I've had it suggested to me to only purchase one of the 5450s now and wait a year or so to purchase a second (when they're substantially cheaper) which would sort of act as an upgrade path.

What are people's opinions of this? Is the system ok with only one CPU? And would it be ok in a year when I get a second brand new one running alongside a year old one?
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Old December 11th, 2007, 12:24 PM   #137
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For the Raptor, by necessary, do you mean size wise or speed wise? Either way it should be sufficient, but the 150GB version is advantagious in every way.

Related to RAM, but as a side note, have you considered a 64bit OS? Since you aren't using any hardware I/O (AJA, Matrox, etc.) it should be an option, and should increase performance and stability. I hear that it helps Premiere not slow down with long timelines.

I have an X1950, and it is fine.

It will be loud, if you want quiet, get a Core2Quad based system. No reason to only get one 5400 CPU. For dual CPUs, they need to be identical steppings, so a CPU bought next year may not work correctly.
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Old December 11th, 2007, 07:42 PM   #138
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Related to RAM, but as a side note, have you considered a 64bit OS? Since you aren't using any hardware I/O (AJA, Matrox, etc.) it should be an option, and should increase performance and stability. I hear that it helps Premiere not slow down with long timelines.
I have but have heard negatve things about 64bit + CS3. Am I wrong? What other steps do I need to take to get a 64bit O/S?

Quote:
It will be loud, if you want quiet, get a Core2Quad based system.
I have been seriously considering "down-grading" to a Core2Extreme - the 6850. It would save me so much money that I keep telling myself that I'd be nuts not to get one of those. The system I have spec'd as a 6850 is almost half the price of the 8 core Xeon and like you say will probably be just fine.

Also, if I did get a 6850, could I still have a 64bit O/S? I don't really understand what it even is or what it means? Can you fill me in?
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Old December 11th, 2007, 08:00 PM   #139
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The biggest advantage of 64bit OS, is that you can use more than 4GB of RAM. The advantages are less dramatic when running 32bit apps, but it still doubles the max for PPro and AE from 2GB to 4GB, which is the limit for 32bit apps. Basically it is only worth upgrading to 64bit if you have 8GB of RAM, but that is only like $100 more these days. The reason I can't use 64bit is that Matrox and AJA don't have 64bit drivers for their hardware. 32bit Software is usually compatible with XP64, but all drivers need a dedicated 64bit version. Most of these are now available, and I here Premiere works well in 64bit, but BMD is the only company to provide 64hardware support. Core2 Quad is 64bit comaptible. All things considered Core2 Quad seems like a good fit for you. The 5400 CPU is the last series Intel will release before a major change to integrated memory controllers etc. My current Xeon is the last one before the switch to Core2 architecture and multicores. That fact is very limiting, compared to the difference between 5300 and 5400. This time next year there should be some dramatic changes taking place. If a Core2Quad system meets your needs for a year and a half, you will be well served by that investment.

I finally bit the bullet today and bought an XW8400 workstation. Dual 2.66Ghz Xeons, 10k RPM 146GB SAS drive, free monitor and 3yr warranty, off the HP refurbished site for $2000. I ordered 4GB RAM and 2TB of storage for it for another $700 from NewEgg. I chose 500GB Samsung SATA drives, based on reccommendations earlier in this thread, but I have never used them before. I already have an 8800GTX to put in it. I am considering getting an AXIO LE card for it, but I am not sure. I use both Matrox AXIO and AJA/Cineform at work, and haven't decided which way to go. The new 4K hype has me leaning towards Cineform, to allow me to online people's movies on my own system. Eith way, I plan to get an 8bay eSATA array for up to 8TB of storage (before RAID5) if I start a large project.

It isn't the fastest system in the world, but for about $3000, it will do anything I need for at least a year, until Intel's next release. A good midrange workstation, that should be certified for Adobe, AJA, Matrox, BMD, and even AVID, depending on my needs in future projects.
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Old December 11th, 2007, 10:09 PM   #140
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The biggest advantage of 64bit OS, is that you can use more than 4GB of RAM. The advantages are less dramatic when running 32bit apps, but it still doubles the max for PPro and AE from 2GB to 4GB, which is the limit for 32bit apps. Basically it is only worth upgrading to 64bit if you have 8GB of RAM, but that is only like $100 more these days.
Does it place any burden on the user? Am I going to be disadvantaged at all for having it?

Quote:
All things considered Core2 Quad seems like a good fit for you.
I keep thinking that too, but if I was only going to get a quad core, I'd probably just sweat out my dual core for a while longer. Even though it dies every single day...

Quote:
The 5400 CPU is the last series Intel will release before a major change to integrated memory controllers etc. My current Xeon is the last one before the switch to Core2 architecture and multicores.
By this do you mean that even if I buy a board to accommodate the 5400 Xeons, I'll need a different board if I ever upgrade in the future?

Quote:
I finally bit the bullet today and bought an XW8400 workstation. Dual 2.66Ghz Xeons, 10k RPM 146GB SAS drive, free monitor and 3yr warranty, off the HP refurbished site for $2000. I ordered 4GB RAM and 2TB of storage for it for another $700 from NewEgg. I chose 500GB Samsung SATA drives, based on reccommendations earlier in this thread, but I have never used them before.
Regarding HDDs, are the Samsungs recommended for any reason other than being quieter? I'm sure I read somewhere that the Seagates were no good in a RAID config.? Is that a fact? Because some places can't supply me Samsung and they're saying there's no issues with the Seagate and it's just as good.

Another question: Is this PSU acceptable for the Supermicro board - the X7DWA-N?

Antec TPQ-1000 - 1000W TruePower Quattro ATX & EPS 12V Power
Supply, Modular Cables, Four 12V Rails, 80Plus Certified, 2x8-pin
PCI-E, 2x6-pin PCI-E

The Supermicro site specifies certain requirements of the PSU (in terms of connections and things) which I just don't understand. Is this one ok?
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Old December 12th, 2007, 12:45 PM   #141
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Does it place any burden on the user? Am I going to be disadvantaged at all for having it?
Certain issues may crop up, but 95% of the problems are related to lack of drivers support for old hardware, which shouldn't be an issue for a new system.

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Originally Posted by John Hewat View Post
I keep thinking that too, but if I was only going to get a quad core, I'd probably just sweat out my dual core for a while longer. Even though it dies every single day...
Why? What dual core do you have?

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Originally Posted by John Hewat View Post
By this do you mean that even if I buy a board to accommodate the 5400 Xeons, I'll need a different board if I ever upgrade in the future?
Yes, 5 series of Xeons have been used in the LGA771 socket. The next revision is expected to change the architecture to the point that a new socket and chipset will be required.

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Originally Posted by John Hewat View Post
Regarding HDDs, are the Samsungs recommended for any reason other than being quieter? I'm sure I read somewhere that the Seagates were no good in a RAID config.? Is that a fact? Because some places can't supply me Samsung and they're saying there's no issues with the Seagate and it's just as good.
I have Seagate's in a 14 drive RAID, they are fine. I wanted to see if the Samsung quiet claims were true in my own system. Either should be fine for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hewat View Post
Another question: Is this PSU acceptable for the Supermicro board - the X7DWA-N?

Antec TPQ-1000 - 1000W TruePower Quattro ATX & EPS 12V Power
Supply, Modular Cables, Four 12V Rails, 80Plus Certified, 2x8-pin
PCI-E, 2x6-pin PCI-E

The Supermicro site specifies certain requirements of the PSU (in terms of connections and things) which I just don't understand. Is this one ok?
No idea, hopefully someone else will know.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 01:55 PM   #142
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Based on connectors provided, yes, the Antec TPQ-1000 should be fine. I can't see any other reason it wouldn't work except possibly for dimensions.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 04:57 PM   #143
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Based on connectors provided, yes, the Antec TPQ-1000 should be fine. I can't see any other reason it wouldn't work except possibly for dimensions.
Really? I'm probably going to end up with the Coolermaster Cosmos like you did Travis, so is the bay for a PSU smaller than usual?
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Old December 12th, 2007, 05:03 PM   #144
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The dimensions on the Everest 1010 are 5.88"W X 3.38"H X 6.50"L. I BELIEVE that is the standard size for an ATX power supply. The width and height should be the same on any PSU. The depth is what can get you. I just popped the cover off the cosmos case. It looks like there's enough room that a power supply that was 2" deeper would still fit with no problems of crowding the wire connections.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 05:32 PM   #145
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The dimensions on the Everest 1010 are 5.88"W X 3.38"H X 6.50"L. I BELIEVE that is the standard size for an ATX power supply. The width and height should be the same on any PSU. The depth is what can get you. I just popped the cover off the cosmos case. It looks like there's enough room that a power supply that was 2" deeper would still fit with no problems of crowding the wire connections.
Awesome! Thanks a lot! All I have to do now is wait for the components to come out over here...

I'm going to end up building pretty much an identical system to you Travis, even with the dual system drives. It never occurred to me though that I'll need to purchase two copies of Windows though, won't I? Or are you allowed to use the same copy on both system drives?

I guess there's no way that anything I do on the other O/S (the gaming/internet/whatever) can have any impact on the system?


EDIT: Regarding the Hot Swappable System Drive:

The dealer told me it would cause problems - saying that every time I booted up I would have to change something in the BIOS. Is this the case for you Travis?

So he's recommending a Dual Boot System, where I would have two system drives permenantly installed with XP Pro on one drive and Vista on the other. Apparently, as the computer boots up, it will ask me if I want to go to Vista or XP Pro. Is that how it works? And is it a good idea? I'm worried about having both system drives in there at the same time.

My current computer is so infected with problems that I assume are Internet related that I want to make sure my new one goes nowhere near the Internet. Is a Dual Boot system safe? Will it be keeping my editing system drive safe and isolated from the Internet (and from the other system drive) or would it still be vulnerable? And also, are there any drawbacks to having a Dual Boot system?
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Old December 12th, 2007, 09:52 PM   #146
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Awesome! Thanks a lot! All I have to do now is wait for the components to come out over here...

I'm going to end up building pretty much an identical system to you Travis, even with the dual system drives. It never occurred to me though that I'll need to purchase two copies of Windows though, won't I? Or are you allowed to use the same copy on both system drives?

I guess there's no way that anything I do on the other O/S (the gaming/internet/whatever) can have any impact on the system?


EDIT: Regarding the Hot Swappable System Drive:

The dealer told me it would cause problems - saying that every time I booted up I would have to change something in the BIOS. Is this the case for you Travis?

So he's recommending a Dual Boot System, where I would have two system drives permenantly installed with XP Pro on one drive and Vista on the other. Apparently, as the computer boots up, it will ask me if I want to go to Vista or XP Pro. Is that how it works? And is it a good idea? I'm worried about having both system drives in there at the same time.

My current computer is so infected with problems that I assume are Internet related that I want to make sure my new one goes nowhere near the Internet. Is a Dual Boot system safe? Will it be keeping my editing system drive safe and isolated from the Internet (and from the other system drive) or would it still be vulnerable? And also, are there any drawbacks to having a Dual Boot system?
Physically swapping the boot drives will require no change in the BIOS, and will protect your editing drive from internet issues, if you unplug the internet when using that OS. The downside is that it is kind of cumbersome. I used to use the multiple OS partitions option, and it is easier and nicer, but eventually degenerates into problems if you make system changes. (You have been cheating the boot sector on the drives, and the changes aren't always well recieved) If you are planning to use multiple OSes, I will even more strongly recommend giving 64bit a try, especially XP. That way you have a32bit option to fall back on if something you need isn't 64bit compatible.
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Old December 13th, 2007, 05:54 PM   #147
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Physically swapping the boot drives will require no change in the BIOS
The dealer told me the exact opposite, but perhaps because I said my other system drive wouldn't be a 10,000 rpm 74GB Raptor, just another 500GB Samsung. Would having the two different types of system drives be the reason something in the BIOS might need changing?

If not, should I ask them to take this route over having two permanently installed drives? I don't know which is the better/safer option.

Quote:
The downside is that it is kind of cumbersome. I used to use the multiple OS partitions option, and it is easier and nicer, but eventually degenerates into problems if you make system changes. (You have been cheating the boot sector on the drives, and the changes aren't always well recieved)
I'm not sure what kind of "system changes" I'd be making, if any. Can you give me some examples?

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If you are planning to use multiple OSes, I will even more strongly recommend giving 64bit a try, especially XP. That way you have a32bit option to fall back on if something you need isn't 64bit compatible.
So you recommend having XP 64bit but Vista Business 32bit? So that Vista can be the fall-back option? If I buy XP 64bit and I have problems, can I install the 32bit equivalent from the same disc or do I need to go out and buy another version? If I take this route, is there anything else I need to check to ensure will work with 64bit XP?
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Old December 13th, 2007, 11:38 PM   #148
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I'm not sure what kind of "system changes" I'd be making, if any. Can you give me some examples?


So you recommend having XP 64bit but Vista Business 32bit? So that Vista can be the fall-back option? If I buy XP 64bit and I have problems, can I install the 32bit equivalent from the same disc or do I need to go out and buy another version? If I take this route, is there anything else I need to check to ensure will work with 64bit XP?
System changes like going from XP64 to XP32 could mess up the "other" (Vista) install if you aren't VERY careful. The physical swapping is cleaner and easier, especially if you have a hotswap backplane. I had a system with the Supermicro case, with a Vista Beta install on one drive, and XP on the other. I disabled one of the bays, by removing the SATA cables, and stored which ever OS drive was unused in that bay.

Do you need Vista for any specific reason? You will someday, but currently many people are in the process or reverting to XP. I would recommend XP64 for editing, and XP32 for personal/internet/general use, based on what you have said.
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Old December 14th, 2007, 04:53 AM   #149
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System changes like going from XP64 to XP32 could mess up the "other" (Vista) install if you aren't VERY careful.
I'd only need to do this if I had problems with the 64bit XP though right?

Quote:
The physical swapping is cleaner and easier, especially if you have a hotswap backplane.
so why would the guy have told me that it was difficult and would require BIOS changes every time I swapped them? I was hoping to do what Travis did and buy one of those Hot Swappable bays for the front of the Coolermaster Case and swap the system drive that way. Can you confirm that if I do end up doing that (against the advice of the builder) that I'd still be getting the full speed of the RAPTOR and the full 3GB/s over SATAII? The extra step through the drive bay doesn't slow things down?

EDIT:

Just read this: The Vantec EZ-Swap MRK200-ST-BK only comes in black, and it supports the Serial ATA I standard although Serial ATA II drives will function just fine in it at reduced maximum peak thoughput.

Doesn't that mean that I'm paying heaps for a RAPTOR and then slowing it back down??

Quote:
Do you need Vista for any specific reason? You will someday, but currently many people are in the process or reverting to XP. I would recommend XP64 for editing, and XP32 for personal/internet/general use, based on what you have said.
I don't need Vista by any means, but I can get it and Microsoft Office 2007 as a package for $33 because I'm a school teacher, which is too good to say no to really. But if it will be a bad idea then I'll just give it a miss.

So why then did the dealer/salesman/builder tell me that I'd need to alter the BIOS every time?

I've been reading about dual boot systems and it sounds like they can be a nightmare. It mentions how if you use XP and Vista or XP32 and XP64, the moment you boot with one of them it can change hardware settings that then cause conflicts with the other o/s. I wish computers were nicer to us... Is there likely to be conflicts caused by having 64bit and a 32bit XP systems?
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Old December 14th, 2007, 12:29 PM   #150
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It is not the 32vs64bit that causes the problem, having dual OSes causes problems when you make hardware changes even if they are both XP32. I reimage my systems every few months to keep them clean, and this is difficult and risky with dual boot.

Raptor 74GB is only SATA1 anyway, and it will never reach 150MB/s, let alone 300MB/s of SATAII. SATAII allows multiple drives to be connected via port multipliers. Currently that is the only way to utilize the bandwidth. 10k rpm is not for increased bandwidth, since a 1TB drive will win in that arena, but for lower laterncy and higher I/O counts. (Individual requests)

Using two different drive types is not ideal for the physical swap, using identical drives will be better for BIOS issues, although most systems will accept the change with no issues.
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