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Old August 15th, 2010, 10:48 PM   #1
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My "New" PC Build - comments?

Over the past few years, I have replaced older hardware on my PC. Well, now I pretty much have a brand new system. I just wanted to post here and get feedback on the build, as I am writing an article on how to build a basic editing suite. The system runs great, but I feel performance wise something is a little off.

Here is my current setup:

Antec 900 case
Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz
Intel DG35EC
GeForce 9800GTx+
1TB hard drive
250GB hard drive
3GB DDR2 667
2x samsung DVD combo drives
Card reader
430w power supply
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Adobe CS3 Master Suite
17" LCD + 15" CRT

Just upgraded to Windows 7, which I think slowed the system up? Was running XP 64-bit previously and absolutely my favorite OS. My previous video card was an old RADEON X800pro, so I thought the GeForce would have surely blown me away? As of now, I plan on upgrading to a 600w power supply and 6GB of RAM. Any other comments or suggestions?

Thanks

JS
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Old August 16th, 2010, 02:19 AM   #2
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John,

Considering that you "just built" this system, I think that you should have invested in a more current CPU that can give you a more future proof set up.

A core 2 duo system is already several years old and might not be optimum to more recent codecs, like AVCHD, current NLEs have now adapted this codec, like EDIUS 5.5 and ADOBE CS5.
These software require AT LEAST an i5 processor. Thats just for single streams.
The moment you start color correcting and layering you'd either need an overclocked i5 or an i7.

The core 2 duo processor handled HDV m2t's fine. But only if they were 1280x720, it will sputter with 1920x1080 unless you use an intermediate codec.
The new processors can handle newer and recently popular codecs like those from DSLRs and even RED Code r3d files.

Ted
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Old August 16th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #3
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Ted thanks for the feedback. Prior to this setup I could not even playback the files from my T2i, but at least now I can play them back. I have not began color correcting yet though and I know that is the most taxing on the system. I would've loved to get one of the i7 processors, but unfortunately that comes with a new mobo and RAM. So looks like I'm out of luck for now.

Is CS5 out of the question for a system like mine?
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Old August 16th, 2010, 11:22 AM   #4
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John,

CS5 can run in your system as you have Win7, and I think that will help with your T2i footage.

Another thing that will stall your playback is when you ad transitions. Hopefully the NLE only needs to render those areas.

Ted
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Old August 16th, 2010, 11:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
I feel performance wise something is a little off...
Not surprising. This would have been a decent system a few years ago but now it's at about 25% of what it should be for a decent editing experience in CS5 or even CS3. Both your chip and RAM are about 75% below optimal levels, and you need at least double the power supply and a couple more hard disks. And your video card is at least one generation behind.

To get any benefit from CS5, it's recommended to go with at least 12GB of RAM, a Core i7, three hard drives and a GTX 200 or 400 series card. Lots of threads on this already.

Stick with CS3 for now until you can upgrade hardware again. Sorry to splash water on all this, but you just can't negotiate with Premiere. It doesn't care about what you can afford, only what it needs.
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Old August 16th, 2010, 01:27 PM   #6
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Hey Adam, it's ok I was in the splash zone. But you do make me feel a bit old! I'm a young guy lol. When I first started builing this system the most any mobo could support was 16GB, but now 12GB is considered "not out of the ordinary?" Wow times have really advanced while I was out in the field! I do have some external drives, so I'm ok for storage. As far as the video card, the 9800GTx+ is actually now being marketed as the GT 250. No changes at all.

So it seems what I have here is a physically sound "2008" system. I guess I will stick with CS3 for now. I may just upgrade the RAM and consider this system complete.

Thanks Ted and Adam.

JS
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Old August 16th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
Hey Adam, it's ok I was in the splash zone. But you do make me feel a bit old! I'm a young guy lol. When I first started builing this system the most any mobo could support was 16GB, but now 12GB is considered "not out of the ordinary?" Wow times have really advanced while I was out in the field! I do have some external drives, so I'm ok for storage. As far as the video card, the 9800GTx+ is actually now being marketed as the GT 250. No changes at all.

So it seems what I have here is a physically sound "2008" system. I guess I will stick with CS3 for now. I may just upgrade the RAM and consider this system complete.
Actually, that would have been a physically sound "2007" system. The Core 2 Duo first came out late in 2006.

And the 9800 GTX+ is now marketed as the GTS 250.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 12:59 PM   #8
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Do you think a Core 2 Quad Q8300 would be a worthy upgrade to this system? I just priced the i7 processors and the like, and there is no way I could justify paying that much for a new setup. Right now I can play my raw footage without rendering, so that's good enough for me.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #9
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No, its not a worthy upgrade, go for an i5 750 then if your on a budget. thats what i have. but i'm putting together an i7 system next week. I do 3D so i need firepower.
Getting a core 2 quad is not a prudent investment at this time since it won't future proof you.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 01:07 PM   #10
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Ted, unfortunately my board only accepts the "Core 2" line. Otherwise I would consider shelling out the cash for an i5, etc.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 01:12 PM   #11
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John,

I suggest, you don't buy now and instead save until you can afford it.
A core 2 quad was my system before when I was still doing m2t files from HDV cameras at 720 P only. When these DSLRs and new AVCHD cameras came out with 1080 HD files, my quad couldn't hack it.

You'll be buying an obsolete system if you get a quad now.

An i5 650 is being used on one of our edit bays and my editor edits 1080 footage on it. Thats cheaper than the 750.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 01:36 PM   #12
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John, I think Ted's right and you've really taken this system as far as it can go. Unfortunately as technology progresses we need to move the hardware along to take advantage of it. But "upgrading" this system further would be like swapping a 1986 VW for a 1993 one, or moving from VHS to Hi8. Yeah, it's a little better and newer, but still several generations behind.

If you're moving to HDV -- or anything better than standard DV -- your system will just not likely give you a fun editing experience, especially with Premiere. You can't argue with it, you can't negotiate with it, you can't reason with it or explain why you can't afford more. It doesn't care. It wants what it wants. Sort of like my wife.

Save your money now and move to a nice Core i7 or i9 system in a year or so.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 02:20 PM   #13
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Adam, there is no i9 - it ended up being called an i7-980x and now i7-970.

John, if you have a custom built PC, then go for the Q8300 however, Microcenter has the Q9300 or Q9400 for only $20-30 more. Then add a $40-50 heatsink, and you can overclock the CPU to 3.4GHz very easily as long as your ram is fast enough.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 04:03 PM   #14
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I was just actually projecting what the next generation could be in a year or so...

Nonetheless, any upgrades John could do now are still just putting lipstick on a pig....
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Old August 20th, 2010, 09:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
Do you think a Core 2 Quad Q8300 would be a worthy upgrade to this system? I just priced the i7 processors and the like, and there is no way I could justify paying that much for a new setup. Right now I can play my raw footage without rendering, so that's good enough for me.
Actually, it is too expensive for the relatively sluggish performance it delivers. Plus, the Q8xxx series of Core 2 Quads are very short on L2 cache memory - only 4GB total (or 1GB per physical core) versus the Q9x00 series CPUs' 6GB of L2 cache. Thus, you will not see much, if any, performance improvement over your current Core 2 Duo E6600 for the money that you would have spent on that Q8300.

In other words, you (as another DVInfo member described) are just "putting lipstick on a pig".
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