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Old August 30th, 2008, 08:48 PM   #1
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New PC build...

Hey everyone, I have built what I think is a pretty decent computer but am always up for suggestions. I will be running Vegas...all I know of for now.

2 - TSD-500AS5 :: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB Hard Drive - 7200RPM, 32MB, SATA-300, OEM (2 lbs) $159.98

1 - S203-2253 :: Samsung 2253BW 22" Widescreen LCD Monitor - 2ms, 1000:1, 1680x1050 ( WSXGA+), DVI, RGB Analog, Black (15.15 lbs) $269.99

1 - P450-8830 :: XFX GeForce 8800 GT Video Card - Alpha Dog Edition, 512MB DDR3, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDTV, Variable Fan Speed (1.7 lbs) $129.99

1 - O261-2005 :: OCZ / GameXStream / 700-Watt / ATX / 120mm Fan / SATA Ready / SLI Ready / EPS / Active PFC / Power Supply (5.5 lbs) $129.99

1 - CP2-DUO-Q6600 :: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor HH80562PH0568M - 2.40GHz, 8MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB, Kentsfield, Quad-Core, OEM, Socket 775, Processor (0.1 lbs) $189.99

1 - C13-6104 :: Corsair Dual Channel XMS2 4096MB PC8500 DDR2 1066MHz Memory (2 x 2048MB) (0.65 lbs) $149.99

1 - E145-2038 :: EVGA nForce 750i SLI FTW Motherboard - NVIDIA nForce 750i, 45nm Support, Socket 775, ATX, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, Gigabit LAN, S/PDIF, USB 2.0, Firewire, Serial ATA, RAID (4 lbs) $169.99

1 - A107-1058 :: Apevia X-Discovery Black ATX Mid-Tower Case with Clear Side, Temperature Display, Front USB and FireWire Ports (16.25 lbs) $69.99

All totals $1166.48 With rebates from Tigerdirect.

Any suggestions on preformance compatability and or price is encouraged.

Thanks all for taking the time to read my post!

-Terry.
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Old August 31st, 2008, 10:17 AM   #2
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more disk

I've done some research on this same subject:
1) It seems there's no real performance advantage of 1066 over ddr2 800 ram. Obviously the mobo choice constrains options, but may want to see if cheaper ram might be able to be stocked on the mobo.
2) I would ensure the mobo will support AT LEAST 8 gig ram. Vegas64 on a 64-bit windows platform should be your plan, it can easily use more than 4 gig ram. You can incrementally buy more ram as situation warrants.
3) Bigger hard disk - I have 2x500g in raid 0 (backed up to smaller drives via synctoy), trust me it's only a matter of time before you wish you had a bigger drive. Newegg.com has 750g sata for about $100, last i checked.
4) Bigger screen should also be considered. I didn't see that you were editing HD, but consider the likelihood you eventually will be. Can't ever be too big IMO!

Presumably you know Vegas is all CPU, not GPU, so the video card is almost irrelevant. I've found driving two displays at minimum (digital) resolution of 1920x1200 to be the minimum spec. Also support for HDCP, and HDMI (via dvi-hdmi converter) so you can use a (1080p) LCD TV as second monitor to be a good plan.
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Old August 31st, 2008, 02:26 PM   #3
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I'm really not sure on this one, but when researching for my own system a couple of years ago, I seem to recall that an Intel chipset Motherboard was most recommended for an editing/workstation machine, and that Nvidia chipsets are better suited for gaming.
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Old August 31st, 2008, 04:36 PM   #4
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The hardware seems to be fine and should serve as a fast machine (but never fast enough). I would junk the case in favor of the Antec P180/182. They are big, heavy, extremely well built, insulated with sound-deadening panels and offer great ventilation. You might not have a 'sneak peak' at your rig from a clear window...but that is for gamers...not serious editing machines.

I also found the Mushkin power supplies to be amongst the best on the market (the modular ones at least). Superior specs and build quality, plus silent operation.

I am a stickler for a cool-quiet system, so EndPCNoise, SilentPCReview and similar are my go-to sites. I suggest a bit more research.
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Old August 31st, 2008, 05:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Harring View Post
I've done some research on this same subject:
1) It seems there's no real performance advantage of 1066 over ddr2 800 ram. Obviously the mobo choice constrains options, but may want to see if cheaper ram might be able to be stocked on the mobo.
Alright cool. I heard from someone that speed is good to have so I chose the 1066 over the 800. Tigerdirect has Corsair 4gig for 61 bucks.

Quote:
3) Bigger hard disk - I have 2x500g in raid 0 (backed up to smaller drives via synctoy), trust me it's only a matter of time before you wish you had a bigger drive. Newegg.com has 750g sata for about $100, last i checked.
Yea...I have 1T of disk space listed. The "2" before the listing means two 500g hard drives :)


Quote:
4) Bigger screen should also be considered. I didn't see that you were editing HD, but consider the likelihood you eventually will be. Can't ever be too big IMO!
22" isn't big enough!? wow haha. well if I go 24" that hits the 400 range :(

Quote:
Presumably you know Vegas is all CPU, not GPU, so the video card is almost irrelevant. I've found driving two displays at minimum (digital) resolution of 1920x1200 to be the minimum spec. Also support for HDCP, and HDMI (via dvi-hdmi converter) so you can use a (1080p) LCD TV as second monitor to be a good plan.
True. I have a decent video card in the computer I use now but its 4 years old. I think I just might drop the video card and use the one I have now.

I was definately looking in to getting a converter. Good idea.
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Old August 31st, 2008, 05:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oren Arieli View Post
The hardware seems to be fine and should serve as a fast machine (but never fast enough). I would junk the case in favor of the Antec P180/182. They are big, heavy, extremely well built, insulated with sound-deadening panels and offer great ventilation. You might not have a 'sneak peak' at your rig from a clear window...but that is for gamers...not serious editing machines.

I also found the Mushkin power supplies to be amongst the best on the market (the modular ones at least). Superior specs and build quality, plus silent operation.

I am a stickler for a cool-quiet system, so EndPCNoise, SilentPCReview and similar are my go-to sites. I suggest a bit more research.
I chose the case just as something within the price range I would want to pay for something like a case. It may not be the most toward cooling but it is cheaper and to be honest sorta looks cool.

I couldn't find the Antec P180 or the Antec brand at all...
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Old September 1st, 2008, 12:02 AM   #7
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Terry,

A couple of things to consider:

Is the case large enough so you could expand (add hard drives or additional optical drives)

The Nvidia Chipsets generally are not as stable as the P35 or P45 chipset MOBO's. And, I've had more driver conflicts with Nvidia boards.

If you are going to take the graphics card out of a system that is 4 years old just make sure that it is a PCI-E card and not an AGP. At 4 years old it may very well be an AGP in which case it will not be useable in a new MOBO.

For video editing, rather than 1 larger (24") screen get two 22" monitors. Dual monitors are much more useful than on large monitor.

Storage with HD videos will be an issue. In my current editing machine I have the following drive config: 1x500GB system/programs drive, 2 750GB drives set up in RAID 0, 1x 1TB longer term data drive. During a large project I use up almost 1 TB for the project (video and audio files)

I'm not a big fan of Seagate drives. I've burned out two within a 6 month timeframe and I just got done with a build where two brand new ones were bad. Right now for longevity I'd go with either the Green Western Digitals (won't be as fast but they spin down earlier so they generally are showing longer lifes) and I've had some good luck and have heard good reports of the new Samsung drives.

Get a single rail power supply. Corsair is making some of the best PS's nowadays as well as PC Power and Cooling and Silverstone. The wattage you spec'd is a good minimum I'd use in an editing machine.

Couple of things I noticed that you did not list but should think about are your optical drive (DVD burner or BR) and you also did not list a CPU fan. The stock Intel cooler will be inadequate and you will be looking at spending $50 to $70 on a good fan, and that small investment is well worth it.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 10:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
Terry,

A couple of things to consider:

Is the case large enough so you could expand (add hard drives or additional optical drives)
Any suggestions? in the mid-tower range I find that the average is 4-5 external bays and about 4 internal bays. All I know of in terms of options with the external bays are C drive and DVD burner/player. What are some other things I could consider?

Quote:
The Nvidia Chipsets generally are not as stable as the P35 or P45 chipset MOBO's. And, I've had more driver conflicts with Nvidia boards.
I switch the NVidia with - A455-2826 :: Asus P5Q-E Green Motherboard - Intel P45, Socket 775, ATX, Audio, PCI Express 2.0, S/PDIF, Dual Gigabit LAN, Firewire, USB 2.0, eSATA, RAID (3.2 lbs) $180

Quote:
For video editing, rather than 1 larger (24") screen get two 22" monitors. Dual monitors are much more useful than on large monitor.
This I have long considered. However, for my experience I haven't found stable ground on which to buy another monitor. I understand some people especially business owners have multiple uses. But for someone who is simply editing footage from an XH A1 i'm not really sure I am that experienced to get my money's worth out of two monitors. But then again, I'm not really sure what the benifits of using two monitors are. I may find out that two monitors, as you say, is the best rout..which is totally possible.

Quote:
Storage with HD videos will be an issue. In my current editing machine I have the following drive config: 1x500GB system/programs drive, 2 750GB drives set up in RAID 0, 1x 1TB longer term data drive. During a large project I use up almost 1 TB for the project (video and audio files)
hmmm..good to consider. I chose the 2x500G to compensate for my current uses. In the future my idea for expanding was to get a 1T external hard drive or get a 750g. Right now its mostly budget that is driving the constuction of this machine as well as practicallity contingent upon my experience (which is none). I'm just sure I will be using an entire terabite for a single project...but, i'd rather be safe for such an event.

I was looking at the samsung hard drives you mentioned and they are sort of expensive. two 750g with 32mb cash would cost about $300. The WD 750g only has a 16mb cash but for two of those its $240. Which leaves my choice of the Seagate Barracuda 500g with a 32mb cash of which 1T worth would cost $180. This leaves the 2xWD 750g to be the best buy but the cash size is 16mb...does that really matter that much?


Quote:
Get a single rail power supply. Corsair is making some of the best PS's nowadays as well as PC Power and Cooling and Silverstone. The wattage you spec'd is a good minimum I'd use in an editing machine.
I switched to this.... P227-1003 :: PC Power & Cooling / Silencer / 750-Watt / Quad PCI-Express / SATA-Ready / Red Power Supply (1.5 lbs) $135

Quote:
Couple of things I noticed that you did not list but should think about are your optical drive (DVD burner or BR) and you also did not list a CPU fan. The stock Intel cooler will be inadequate and you will be looking at spending $50 to $70 on a good fan, and that small investment is well worth it.
Added this one - S457-1116 :: Masscool 8WA741 / Socket 775 / Copper Core/Heatpipes / CPU Cooling Fan (1.05 lbs) $30

I didn't chose a DVD burner simply because I didn't know what to get...I know there are blue ray burners etc... I have no clue.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 11:56 AM   #9
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Hi Terry,

Sounds like you're on the right track.

Some things I look for in a case are first how well it cools the rig and how many possible extra fan locations there are. You don't need to start out with a lot but having the locations to add more if needed is a plus. Next I'd look for things like front panel USB/Firewire/Audio/e-Sata and some cases come with front panel multimedia card readers. you can always add this if your chosen case that doesn't have it but having these connections in some way is a big plus. I would opt for a full tower, a mid-tower will be a little cramped for your build and won't provide enough air circulation. For my current build I used a server tower which is even bigger.

Good move on the switch with the MOBO. Asus boards are generally rock solid. I haven't had a chance to build off of their new P45 chipset boards yet but I'm sure in the near future I will. Check prices though, I saw it at Newegg for $160.

As far as screens, I would save some money now and only get a 22" then later on you can either ad a 22" or 24". Screens will only come down in price and even though you don't see it as a great advantage to have two screens you will once you start editing. I use Vegas and you can arrange all the controls or preview screens over two monitors. Or you can keep all your editing ap on one monitor and open up other programs such as Word or Excel on the other monitor. There are numerous posts on this site regarding working with two monitors. Trust me and the others that once you have a chance to use two monitors you will never want to go back to just one (even if it's a huge single monitor). BTW I don't do video as my "real" job. My wife calls it my hobby gone bad. I just use it to make some extra money and mostly pay for all the toys.

Again check for hard drive prices and always buy OEM drives if you can. That will save you $10 to $20 per drive. The Samsung 1TB drives are going for $169 now and then you could add an additional 500GB drive for $69. The 500GB drive would only have a 16MB buffer but you would be using this one for your OS & programs drive so it's not that important. And, if all you have are two drives don't run them in RAID 0. You'll get better overall performance for editing if you run your aps on a different drive than your scratch drive. Also, RAID 0 drives are more suseptable to catastrophic data loss.

The PS you switched to is a very good choice.

I've never used the Masscool fans so I don't have firsthand knowledge of them. I usually use Zalman fans as they have never failed me and seem to consistently be rated among the best for cooling. They are big and a little more expensive but you can find them on sale since a lot of overclockers use them. Here's a link to an example of their coolers:

FRYS.com*|*Zalman Cooler

I got that fan for $19.95 on a very good sale.

I don't have a Blue-ray burner yet but from the reports I've read the new LG is one of the better choices. I'm looking to buy one once the BR discs come down in price. Right now I don't have a demand for HD delivery so it doesn't make sense for me to go there yet. As far as a DVD burner I'd suggest staying away from the Pioneers and Memorex's. Maybe it's just my bad luck but I've had nothing but short lives out of those two brands. I'm currently using an LG to burn most of my DVD's. I average about 100 discs per event and since using that drive I haven't had any complaints about not being able to read them on a DVD player (I use both single layer and dual layer discs). I've produced about 500 discs on that burner so far.

One last thing I thought about, get a good mouse and keyboard, your wrist and insurance company will thank you.

Good luck with the build,

Garrett
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 08:26 PM   #10
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Hey Garrett, Thanks alot for your help.

I have revised my purchase list and have hit my mark of what I thought was an afordable price range. Below:

Samsung 1TB 32MB 7200
Samsung 500GB 16MB 7200

Corsair 4GB 800MHZ PC6400 DDR2

Masscool CPU fan

740-Watt P227-1003 SATA-ready

ASUS P5Q-E MOBO

Samsung 22" monitor

Intel core 2 Quad 2.40GHZ 1066Mhz

Case - As soon as I find one on sale as well as a DVD burner

= $1200

What in terms of software do you work with other than Vegas that helps your production?
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Old September 4th, 2008, 11:06 AM   #11
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TigerDirect (or CompUSA - the same company) is a reliable dealer, but generally Newegg (also a reliable dealer) offers better pricing. I almost never wind up buying anything from TigerDirect/CompUSA.

This is a solid case:

Newegg.com - Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases

Newegg regularly has a rebate sale on that case (every couple months or so), which usually brings the price down to around $80 (and usually with free shipping). That case provides for much better cooling of hard drives than the majority of cases out there (good HDD cooling is very important for long term reliability).

The price of Phenom processors has dropped. A Phenom 9950 (2.6GHz - fastest Phenom) is down to $180 at Newegg now:

Newegg.com - AMD Phenom 9950 BLACK EDITION 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 140W Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

Performance of a Phenom 9950 is pretty comparable to a Q6600 (and currently the 9950 is slightly lower in price than the Q6600). I like the motherboard options for AMD CPUs better than the motherboard options for Intel CPUs. The newer motherboards, with onboard graphics, from AMD/ATI and NVIDIA, offer decent performance for working with video (motherboards, with onboard graphics, for Intel CPUs, don't offer nearly as good video performance). Newegg also has some combo deals right now, with the 9950, that can save a few bucks, including $40 off when purchased with an MSI 790GX motherboard or $40 off when purchased with a Seagate 750GB SATA drive. Factoring in either of those current combo discounts makes the 9950 clearly a little better value than a Q6600, at the moment, in my mind.

I like ASUS DVD burners. They've worked flawlessly for me. LG burners tend to cost slightly less, and seem to work pretty well too.

Lately, Newegg has had very good deals on OCZ memory (also a decent brand - check feedback on any particular model). A few of the DDR2 800 4GB dual channel kits are around $50 (with the rebate). There isn't much point to spending more on faster memory (difference in overall system performance is generally quite minimal - like 1-2%).

PC Power and Cooling makes very good power supplies. Corsair also makes excellent power supplies, and they tend to be a little lower in price. A 650W Corsair would be plenty adequate:

Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies
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Old September 4th, 2008, 11:20 AM   #12
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Newegg has Samsung 1TB drives for $150 right now:

Newegg.com - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives

If you wait and watch for sales, you can get them for $140 now and then.

Zipzoomfly.com is another place to look for hard drives. Zipzoomfly is a reliable dealer (I've purchased from them many times without issue), and they often have good sales on hard drives.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 08:53 PM   #13
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Hey Robert, thanks for the info. I ended up switching my power supply to the Corsair one you suggested. I actually found it for $99 on Tigerdirect.

What do you think about this deal?

Corsair Dual Channel TWINX 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (2 x 2048MB) TWIN2X4096-6400C5 at TigerDirect.com
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Old September 4th, 2008, 10:10 PM   #14
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I found this thread in the Vegas section....

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/what-happ...ive-users.html

Aparently Samsung Spinpoint 1TB Hard Drives are crashing on people... and the WD hard drives are getting good reviews.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 07:34 AM   #15
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That's a good price on the Corsair memory (when I clicked on the link it said it was unavailable though). Corsair is a top notch memory maker (and top notch for power supplies).

You'll find people that have had good experiences with particular hard drives and people that have had bad experiences. It's not that easy to find solid information on reliability of drives. I do know that Maxtors tend to run very hot and I've had several fail over the years. I lean towards Seagate nowadays, mostly because they back their drives with a 5yr warranty. For reliability, probably the most important thing to realize is that hard drives need good cooling (and most cases don't provide it). Monitor your temperatures. You don't want your drives going over 50C in operation (staying under 40C is better). That case I recommended is one of the few that does provide for good hard drive cooling (I've never seen a drive go over 40C in one of those cases, with the fans set at medium speed).
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