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Old October 12th, 2010, 10:54 AM   #1
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PC build Spec and question for the computer pros

I have decided to build

Intel I7 980 extreme
Asus Rampage mother board
nvidia 460 gt graphics
12 gigs ram
blu ray burner
cd writer
WD ssd 256 os hard drive
(2) 2 tb wd hard drives in Zero raid
OS Window 7 64 bit/ CS5

My question is which would benefit me more the I7 980 or 24 gigs of Ram. I could go with a I7 950 and afford 24 gigs of ram and sli a dual video card.

Last edited by Brandy Bryan; October 12th, 2010 at 10:55 AM. Reason: forgot something
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Old October 12th, 2010, 11:49 AM   #2
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Here's the best I know:

- CS5 loves RAM, but I'm not sure there is a definite right answer to the i980+12GB RAM vs i950+24GB RAM. It might depend on what aspect of system performance matters more to you. In my case, I'm more concerned with smooth editing on the timeline than final render speeds, so might be biased toward raw processor speed and good CUDA performance. The 980 has an unlocked multiplier and generally overclocks pretty well so that might offset the RAM. Then again, even above 12GB, more RAM has been shown to improve some system render speeds a fair amount. Maybe Harm Millaard might have further thoughts on that part of the equation?

- Unless you really need a lot of space on your C: drive, you might go with a smaller capacity SSD and put the money toward the extra RAM.

- I don't think that you'll benefit from SLI for CS5 / CUDA purposes; if you get more than one graphics card it would be to support more monitors.

- It's just a few bucks, but if you don't have a real need for a second optical drive, just get the one BR burner and skip the CD-writer.

- The (R)AID0 shouldn't be mass storage, just a temp work space. So unless you're working with multiple uncompressed HD files I'd guess you don't really need 4TB worth of temp space in two 2TB NTFS partitions. Optionally you could re-allocate your HDD budget to 3 or 4 quick drives of smaller capacity totalling 2TB RAID'ed together.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 10:14 PM   #3
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I have always thought and read that for video editing the first on the list by a wide margin is processor speed.

So I would go for the big CPU over 24GB of ram. 12GB is still a good number. Now stricly from a After Effects point of view, 24GB will allow you more CPU threads during rendering as well as more preview length. An Adobe person stated that 4GB per core is the best setup for After Effects.

So I guess you need to go big and get both!
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Old October 19th, 2010, 11:26 PM   #4
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CPU to process effects. There won't be a huge difference in your processing speeds with various i7 models. But the number of cores do matter. Lower speed but more cores is a good starting place.

RAM to store data while processing, the higher the RAM the better the computer handles higher resolutions. 24 GB will make it a lot better, but only if you marry it to a multi core machine with a fast hard drive.

Speed of the Hard disk. So you can read/write in real time and view your results faster. You'll need a RAID 0 (5) to be on top of things.

If you're playing with higher resolutions and want to 'finish', you'll probably need an I/O card (Kona/Mattrox/Blackmagic, etc)

The CUDA for graphics card is only useful if you're doing effects and using CS5 or any 3D program (Maya, Max, etc).
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Old October 25th, 2010, 05:47 AM   #5
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With the multithreading in modern NLE's, the more cores the better, so from that pov the 980 is preferred over the 950, but when you add amount of memory into the equation, things can get complicated, depending on your workflow.

One caveat: This applies to Adobe CS5 and assumes the use of a CUDA/MPE video card and may differ for Vegas or Edius.

If you use deinterlacing or scaling a lot on exports, for instance from AVCHD to MPEG2-DVD, the amount of memory will have a larger impact than number of cores. If deinterlacing and scaling are not very common, say you usually start with AVCHD and burn to BR, then the number of cores will have the bigger impact. If export times are not your first priority, but time-line responsiveness during editing is, then number of cores may be more important than amount of memory.

The question was probably based on budgetary reasons. In that case I would suggest to start with the i7-980X and 3 x 4 GB DDR3-1600 sticks and at a later date add 3 additional sticks of memory.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 09:09 AM   #6
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I'm not sure there's any point to using DDR3-1600, rather than DDR3-1333 (less expensive). I haven't built an i7 system yet, but a couple years ago I did some timing tests, encoding using various codecs, with DDR2-800 memory running at full speed and then cutting the speed in half. Made no significant difference in actual encoding time performance.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 12:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
The question was probably based on budgetary reasons. In that case I would suggest to start with the i7-980X and 3 x 4 GB DDR3-1600 sticks and at a later date add 3 additional sticks of memory.
Actually, if it were for budgetary reasons, keep in mind that Intel has not lowered the prices of any of its hexa-core processors since they were first introduced. The least-expensive Intel hexa-core, the i7-970, still costs $900 for just the CPU; the other Intel hexa-core CPUs still cost $1,000 or more. And Intel has no plans to lower the prices of any of them for the foreseeable future. The only i7 processors that have seen any price cuts to date have been the quad-core models up to the i7-950. The i7-960 (still only quad-core) remains at close to $500.

Moreover, Socket LGA 1366 (and all of the other current CPU sockets, for that matter) are now lame duck. In between now and the introduction of its successor LGA 2011 in late 2011 or early 2012, there will be only one new CPU introduced for LGA 1366: the i7-990X, which will be merely an i7-980X with a one-step increase in the stock multiplier (and thus with a 133MHz higher clock speed).

By contrast, the price of DDR3 memory has tumbled almost in half during the past six months - and 4GB sticks of memory are now only slightly more expensive than two 2GB sticks.
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Old November 30th, 2010, 10:12 PM   #8
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Is there anything to be said about the new AMD 6 core processors? I'm a poor man but will open the wallet until moderately painful if the results are satisfactory. I actually already bought the T-1076 x6.
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Old November 30th, 2010, 10:26 PM   #9
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Is there anything to be said about the new AMD 6 core processors? I'm a poor man but will open the wallet until moderately painful if the results are satisfactory. I actually already bought the T-1076 x6.
They are not so hot if you're planning to run Adobe Creative Suite. Remember, even with six physical cores the AMD processors still lack full SSE 4.x support. This means that at stock speed the fastest X6 will still fall behind the Socket 1156 Intel Core i7-based systems - and when overclocked to the max, the X6's still barely keep up with a stock-speed Socket 1366 i7 system.
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Old November 30th, 2010, 11:14 PM   #10
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As long as you leave open slots, you can always add more RAM later. I would say go for the CPU now and the RAM later, it will be cheaper in the long run than the reverse.
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Old November 30th, 2010, 11:43 PM   #11
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My old PC is finished so I had to replace it. Always having wanted to do simple HD editing but not having ever researched video editing requirements, I did a quick look around to see what might work for editing then made a quick buy for a new computer. I've already ordered a Dell with AMD Phenom II X6 1075T, Radeon HD 5770 1024MB GDDR5 graphics card, 1TB Serial ATA 2 Hard Drive 7200 RPM and 12GB DDR3 SDRAM,1333MHz.
I'm willing to add another Hard drive and 4 more gigs of ram but do I absolutely have to expect a crippling experience with this machine to edit simple HD home videos?
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Old November 30th, 2010, 11:47 PM   #12
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Randall, I appreciate it but I'm just a home editing putz. I've been editing dSLR images with Adobe Photoshop Eliments for years and that's pretty much the degree of involvement I expect I'll have in editing video. Vegas 10 will be more my caliper.
Some of the work I've seen here is wonderful but are there any 'shade tree editors around here like me? : )
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