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Old November 4th, 2007, 09:57 AM   #1
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Money is no object editing PC

I know these exist all over the place but I cannot find one that seems to align to what I'm looking for.

Specifically, I'm lucky enough to have won an amount of money that will easily cover the cost of a new computer and then some.

So here's what I'm considering using to run CS3 + Prospect HD & After Effects (and probably not much else) to edit HQ 1920x1080 footage from the new Sony PMW-EX1.

M/B: Asus Blitz-Extreme
Processor: Intel Conroe (Quad Core) Q6700
RAM: 2Gb 1066Mhz DDR2 RAM
Video Card: Asus 512MB 8600GT

I already own the HDDs and I'm decided on the Video Card so I just want feedback on my motherboard, processor and RAM choices.

Am I way off? People are still telling me to consider Xeons, but others say no way. If I wait 2 weeks will I be able to get an 8 core processor?

Also, does the brand of RAM matter?

Finally, as for the case, I don't care what it looks like but I'd prefer quiet, as well as an in-built power supply that would suit all of the above, as well as a HD-DVD drive, Blu-Ray Drive, System HDD, 3 RAID 0 drives & 2 Video Cards. Any advice?

Thanks all for your assistance!
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Old November 4th, 2007, 10:06 AM   #2
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NO money limits? Buy an Avid Media Composer Adrenaline.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 10:13 AM   #3
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NO money limits? Buy an Avid Media Composer Adrenaline.
Well, I won't say NO money limits, but I'm also not going to go over the top for no reason.

I like CS3 and want to stay with it and I don't want the best just for the sake of having the best - I want the most capable for my purpose, which is CS3. That system is aimed way higher than the workflows I'll ever reach.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 12:00 PM   #4
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I would do a number of things differently. First off, consider budgeting for an AJA Xena card so you can get Hardware output of the timeline, and not rely on the second port of the graphics card. It will open up many other options as well. Currently AJA cards are the only ones supported by Prospect for preview.

For the Video Card, be aware that Nvidia limited the Video Overlay features in the Geforce8 Series, so if you don't get a Xena card, you want make sure you get the best Geforce7 card you can (probably 7950GT). If you get a Xena, that won't be an issue, so the recently released 8800GT will be the best option for you. (Faster, coolest running 8 series)

Get 4GB of RAM, no question. Brand shouldn't matter as much, but get a speed that is a linked you your FSB. The 1066 memory will be good for that CPU,as long as your MB supports it, which the ASUS does.

For the Xeon question, if money was NO OBJECT, then Xeon's for sure. For putting reasonable limits on, it just depends on how much of a power user you are. Will you switch over to work in AE while your PPro timeline is rendering, etc. I run 4 CS3 apps at once, and benefit from double as many cores. Waiting two weeks should lower Intel prices all the way around, if purchasing the new CPUs OR the old ones. The new ones will run cooler and more efficient, but won't be durastically faster.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 07:21 PM   #5
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I would do a number of things differently. First off, consider budgeting for an AJA Xena card so you can get Hardware output of the timeline, and not rely on the second port of the graphics card. It will open up many other options as well. Currently AJA cards are the only ones supported by Prospect for preview.
I'm going to end up with 2 graphics cards (which I have at the moment) and have managed to get by without the full screen video function because CS3 allows for external playback of the timeline on another monitor, which seems to work fine. What would be the advantages of the AJA card over this process?

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For the Xeon question, if money was NO OBJECT, then Xeon's for sure.
My research into Xeons is minimal and I don't know much about them.
What's the difference between all these:
Intel Xeon - 3000 Series
Intel Xeon Quad Core
Intel Xeon Socket 604

Is Quad Core the obvious best choice?

I also don't know a thing about which motherboard to look at for them.

Do they need server motherboards or will they fit on any 775 socket intel board?

Thanks for your help,
-- John.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 08:49 PM   #6
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Hi John

I would suggest you look at the Matrox range of products - RTX2 or Axio. They extend the realtime capabilities of CS3 and provide various outputs for broadcast monitors.

I've just ordered an Axio LE following an impressive demo...

Hope this helps
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Old November 4th, 2007, 10:14 PM   #7
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Hi John

I would suggest you look at the Matrox range of products - RTX2 or Axio. They extend the realtime capabilities of CS3 and provide various outputs for broadcast monitors.

I've just ordered an Axio LE following an impressive demo...

Hope this helps
I don't know if I want anything like that really. I don't even really know what the "real-time capabilities" refers to.

I have no problem with my dual graphics card setup at the moment. I have dual 22" monitors to spread CS3 across and a 24" HD for the full screen video preview and I have zero problems diosplay wise.

What I want is a PC optimized for working with the PMW-EX1's HQ 1920x1080 footage in CS3 with Prospect HD. I can do that without those display adapters, nice as they might be, so I don't want to spend for the sake of spending, I just want to tailor a PC to my specific needs.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 02:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by John Hewat View Post
I'm going to end up with 2 graphics cards (which I have at the moment) and have managed to get by without the full screen video function because CS3 allows for external playback of the timeline on another monitor, which seems to work fine. What would be the advantages of the AJA card over this process?



My research into Xeons is minimal and I don't know much about them.
What's the difference between all these:
Intel Xeon - 3000 Series
Intel Xeon Quad Core
Intel Xeon Socket 604

Is Quad Core the obvious best choice?

I also don't know a thing about which motherboard to look at for them.

Do they need server motherboards or will they fit on any 775 socket intel board?

Thanks for your help,
-- John.
"True" Xeons require a dual 771 socket motherboard. You DON'T want Socket604 Xeons, they are two years out of date. Two quad-core Xeons will literally be twice as fast as a single Core2 Quad, for multithreaded apps.

The Xeon 3000 series is a renamed Core2 Quad, with few true advantages I am aware of. Might be work an extra $50 to know your CPU was one of the best off the production line. Xeon 3000 series chips use regular 775 sockets.

The AJA would offer 10 bit monitoring, and SDI I/O, but if all you are doing with it is monitoring the timeline on an LCD, then the graphics card solution should be fine. From what I have heard, that feature is limited in Geforce8 chips, so don't say you weren't warned if it doesn't work. The 7950GT would be a safer bet if you can find one.

The Axio LE would not be very compatible with the Cineform workflow, offer you one advantage. Axio systems can edit XDCam files natively, but I am not sure how the new EX format will work. With Axio, realtime means REALTIME, as in every supported effect plays back in realtime with absolutely no preview rendering. You will have to really commit to the AXIO solution to use it though. They are picky about hardware, etc.

I would say that AXIO is faster than Cineform, but Cineform usually offers higher quality compression and output, plus it scales to compressed 10bit and 2K if desired, and is much cheaper.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 08:26 PM   #9
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The 1066 memory will be good for that CPU,as long as your MB supports it, which the ASUS does.
This is a difficulty for me because I can't find a motherboard that suits every purpose. Specifically, I'd like it to support the fastest RAM possible, which the ASUS Blitz Extreme does (it even supports DDR3) but people have said ASUS motherboards do not do too well with non-hardware RAID configurations. For that, I was recommended the ABIT IN9 32X-MAX LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard but it only accepts DDR2800, not 1066, like the ASUS does. Is there a good motherboard that someone can recommend to me that does both (and must fit nVidia Graphics Cards too)?

Quote:
For the Xeon question, if money was NO OBJECT, then Xeon's for sure.
I'm happy to get a Xeon, since most of the prices are only $20 - $30 more than the Intel Core 2 Quad processors anyway. What are the advantages of a Xeon over the regular processors exactly? And can I be sure that so long as I have a Socket 775 motherboard that the Xeon will work just fine?

Here's the one I'm looking at:

Intel Xeon X3230 Quad Core - 2.66GHz, 8MB Cache, LGA775, Active Cooling

There are faster ones which will hopefully come down in price between now and when I purchase so I could end up with a 3GHz one instead (hopefully).

Is that the right choice?

Quote:
The new ones will run cooler and more efficient, but won't be durastically faster.
The new ones? Can you explain which ones you refer to?

Thanks very much for your help,

-- John.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 11:30 PM   #10
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I wouldn't sweat the Ram speed, I am considering the Abit board for my new build.

I mean that if money was no object DUAL Xeons for sure, with a worksation class system. At least twice the price.

The "new ones" are the new 45nm CPUs Intel is beginning to release next week. Not necessarily faster, but more efficient. (No real increase in clock speed, possibly thanks to no real competition from AMD)
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Old November 5th, 2007, 11:59 PM   #11
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I wouldn't sweat the Ram speed, I am considering the Abit board for my new build.
Really? I've had others tell me to get the fastest speeds possible... I don't even know what the fastest speed is these days?

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Originally Posted by Mike McCarthy View Post
I mean that if money was no object DUAL Xeons for sure, with a worksation class system. At least twice the price.
And also overkill, so I won't bother getting two. I'm definitely going to get a Quad Core processor, but I will not get two of them. Given that, does it matter a stuff whether I select Xeon or Core 2 Quad? The prices don't really suggest a quality jump so it confuses me a bt.



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Originally Posted by Mike McCarthy View Post
The "new ones" are the new 45nm CPUs Intel is beginning to release next week. Not necessarily faster, but more efficient. (No real increase in clock speed, possibly thanks to no real competition from AMD)
Are these new ones Xeons or just Core2 Quads?

You say you're looking at the ABIT board - what processor and RAM are you looking at to go with it?
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Old November 6th, 2007, 12:32 AM   #12
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The speeds are going up all the time, but those products are targeted toward gamers. Compare the speeds of professional workstations. DDR800 should be sufficient.

Many CPUs come off the same line, and are given speeds after testing to see whaich ones perform better. Xeons and Core2 Extremes theoretically should be where the best CPUs off the production line get directed. No significant difference between a Xeon 3000 and a Core2 Quad.

New everything, but over the next few months. Core2 Quad Extreme and Xeon5400 series first, next week. Then the rest of the desktop Core2s in about two months, and then Quad Core2 mobile CPUs in about another 2 months. (Estimated)

I will buy DDR800, whatever is cheap from a company I at least recognize, and a quad core 2.4Ghz CPU, unless prices drop a lot next week, then I will be at 2.66 or 3.0Ghz. I am hoping Nvidia releases a new chipset this month, so my motherboard research may bo out the window.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 01:52 AM   #13
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No significant difference between a Xeon 3000 and a Core2 Quad.
So if I'm going to just get one cpu it's insignificant whether I get Xeon or Core2Quad... That's interesting.

Could I ask you to keep me updated in this thread about your choices, particularly with motherboard - it's one area that I feel I'm way behind with.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 02:21 AM   #14
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I read somewhere recently that nvidia is supposed to release a new chipset soon, for the new CPUs. I am looking forward to PCIe 2.0 among other things. A new chipset will totally change the motherboard options, and will probably offer the faster Ram you are looking for. I am interested in Nvidia due to the SLI possibility as well as to test out there nTune software for optimizing performance.

When I buy a system, I will definitely post my selection choices on my website.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 02:32 AM   #15
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I read somewhere recently that nvidia is supposed to release a new chipset soon, for the new CPUs. I am looking forward to PCIe 2.0 among other things. A new chipset will totally change the motherboard options, and will probably offer the faster Ram you are looking for. I am interested in Nvidia due to the SLI possibility as well as to test out there nTune software for optimizing performance.

When I buy a system, I will definitely post my selection choices on my website.

Thanks!

I hope that if that's the case, that my current graphics cards work in the new motherboard - I don't particularly want to have to upgrade those too.
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