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Old November 11th, 2010, 04:15 AM   #1
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Quote on new PC...good deal or not?

I need to update my computer NLE to 64bit and faster processor. I cant afford a Mac.
I got this quote that is within my budget. Would some of you computer literate folks, check it out and let me know if you think this is a good system and price...
thanks....Jeff
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# ANTEC THREE HUNDRED GAMING STEEL MID-TOWER ATX BLACK NO PS Bays:3/0/(6) 2xUSB 2 FANs 70727 * /QTY:1
# COOLERMASTER RS650-ACAAE3-US *** 650W ATX 12V Metal APFC 80-PLUS PS 88931 * /QTY:1
# ASUS SABERTOOTH 55I SKT1156 ATX DDR3 2000 {4/16} PCI-E X16x2 PCIx2 INTEL P55 A&GBL&1394 86089 * /QTY:1
# LGA1156 Core I7 860 2.8GHz INTEL SKT1156 8MB Cache Retail W/ Heatsink Fan 83978 * /QTY:1
# KINGSTON KVR1333D3N9/4Gx3 12GB -3x4GB- DDR3 1333 Non-ECC 240-pin DIMM PC10600 CL9 84805x3 * /QTY:1
# WD WD5000AADS 500GB GREEN POWER **** 3.5-in Internal SATA2 7200rpm 32MB BULK 81986 * /QTY:1
# SONY AD-7260S-0B Internal SATA DVD+/-RW BLACK 24X DVD Burner BUFFER W/O Software 101041 * /QTY:1
# EVGA 012-P3-1470-TR NVIDIA GTX470 . 1280MB PCI-Express DDR5 2DVI MiniHDMI Retail 100700 * /QTY:1
# MICROSOFT WINDOWS 7 HOME PREM 64 Operating Systems 64-BIT DVD OEM Pack 84551 * /QTY:1
# Fully Assembly and Testing

# TOTAL: $1314
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Old November 11th, 2010, 07:23 AM   #2
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There are several problems there:

1. That Cooler Master power supply unit is not of the best quality. Based on a review of the 750W version, the GX series is not capable of more than 450W under the best circumstances. Thus, the GX 650W is significantly overpriced for an actual 450W power supply unit.

2. The build that you've listed has only a single hard drive - not recommended for video editing because NLEs require simultaneous reads and writes while SATA is still only a half-duplex interface that can transfer data in only one direction at a time. Thus, using a single hard drive volume for everything will result in molasses-slow performance in video editing. And even two hard drive volumes (one for the system, programs and page file, the other for everything else) is less than optimal (the performance will still be slower than it should). Get at least two more hard drives. And though the WD Green is okay for an output drive, it is too slow to be used as a system drive or a media/project drive: It spins at only 5405 RPM. (Western Digital does not publish the true spindle speed of any of its Green series drives, merely claiming a speed between 5400 and 7200 RPM - but all of the released WD Green drives actually spin at much, much, much closer to 5400 RPM than to 7200 RPM.) The system hard drive and the media/project hard drive should be 7200 RPM or faster.

3. The platform that you chose, a Socket LGA 1156 processor with a P55 motherboard, is less than ideal if you want to add a hardware RAID controller card later on: With that particular motherboard, adding a PCIe RAID controller card will drop the main graphics card's PCIe x16 slot to x8 mode. (With some other P55 motherboards, the add-in PCIe hardware RAID controller would have been forced to use the half-bandwidth PCIe x4 slot since only the main graphics card PCIe slot uses the LGA 1156 CPU's integrated PCIe 2.0 full-bandwidth hub.) That's a potential problem with future GPUs (but today, even a GTX 480 does not take full advantage of even x8, let alone x16). Plus, the 1156/P55 platform has only 16 full-bandwidth PCIe 2.0 lanes (all of which are integrated on the CPU) plus up to eight PCIe 2.0 lanes that are restricted to half-bandwidth (on the P55 PCH).

4. Buying three sticks of memory for a system with only a dual-channel memory controller such as your choice of an 1156 CPU is also less than optimal, especially if you are going to run Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. In this platform, three sticks of RAM will be forced to run in a Flex memory controller mode where 8GB will run in dual-channel and 4GB will run in single-channel. And given that CS5 runs best with more than 12GB of RAM, that setup (as listed) will actually run slower than an LGA 1366/X58 system with the same amount of RAM. As a result, the LGA 1156/P55 platform is recommended only with a totally maxed out RAM configuration of 16GB (4 x 4GB sticks).

5. Finally, the choice of Windows 7 Home Premium is less than ideal for a serious video editing system: Its maximum supported RAM amount is only 16GB. Go with Windows 7 Professional 64-bit instead.

Thus, in general, you get what you pay for. But in the case of that particular build, it is quite a bit overpriced for what you get.

Last edited by Randall Leong; November 11th, 2010 at 10:28 AM.
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Old November 11th, 2010, 08:22 AM   #3
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RANDALL....
Thanks for taking the time to explain it to me. I'm "scratching" this idea based on your reply.

I sure dont want to get stung.........again. My lack of computer knowledge has led me down this path before.

I think I will check out the MACs. The Mac Pro is over my budget, but the iMac may be for me. Would you please recommend the best "iMac" config with a quad processor and enough memory for CS4 and CS5. I currently have CS4, but not the "suite"...I bought individual slices of it over the last year, which means I dont have the interactivity that I would have had I bought the suite CS4.

Im "currently" making video with my duo2 intel 32bit system, but have to use Premeire Pro2 for most of my editing...since my NLE will not keep up with CS4.

Please recommend a iMac or PC ready to go out of the box when you have time.

Thanks so much,
Jeff
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Old November 11th, 2010, 08:43 AM   #4
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Jeff,

I will leave that up to others given the (literally) hundreds or even thousands of different custom-built configurations currently being sold new. I do not currently bother with any pre-built systems; all of my systems have been self-builds (I buy the parts and assemble the PC myself).

With that said, I can't recommend an iMac for video editing, either: Most versions come with only one hard drive - and you cannot add additional internal hard drives at all whatsoever. Worse, the expansion capability of most iMacs is limited to a few USB 2.0 ports, which max out at only 32 MB/s sequential transfer speed.
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Old November 11th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #5
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Hey Jeff,

Since you're a PPro user, have a browse through our Adobe Creative Suite Forum at DVinfo.net which has a bunch of threads with a huge amount of info on computer builds for Adobe apps, along with user experience.

In addition to Randall's comments, my own take on an Adobe editing box build, based on all that info, is:
- CS5 is well worth the upgrade. DO fit that in your budget
- If you take the CS5 advice, make sure to get a graphics card that will support Mercury GPU acceleration. It makes a huge difference
- Agree that an 1156 mobo is not your best choice; X58 (1366) is much preferred
- At the moment, the i7 950 is a good performance/price deal
- OS and Programs should be on their own drive; source/preview files on other drive(s) that have high throughput
- If you go X58, you can use the onboard RAID controller for the source/preview files. It won't be quite as fast as a good (expensive) add-in RAID card setup, but definitely fast enough. I use onboard 4x500GB RAID0 and am satisfied with the array's performance
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Old November 11th, 2010, 08:52 AM   #6
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Thanks Pete and Randall....will keep looking around.
Jeff
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Old November 11th, 2010, 09:03 AM   #7
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BTW, I'm a bit of an advocate of building your own system. I know it is intimidating the first time but honestly it isn't more difficult to build a PC than it is some of the toys we have to put together for our kids on Christmas morning. The first time will take longer because you're not already familiar with the steps involved, but I could run down to the computer store right now, buy the parts, slap it together, and be loading apps by lunchtime.

Buying the parts at retail doesn't usually save money on the build, but rather you got to choose your own parts and you KNOW how the system is put together. If something fails or you want to upgrade, you know your system well enough to just go get another part and replace it. Done. No RMAs, no wait for an unknown tech to tinker around with it.

But granted, such tinkering isn't for everyone.
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Old November 11th, 2010, 12:29 PM   #8
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If you want maximum performance per dollar, build a system around AMD's 1090t (3.2GHz Phenom II X6). 1090t performance is very comparable to i7 950 performance (basically a wash), and the 1090t only costs $230 compared to $295 for the i7 950 (currently at Newegg). Good motherboards for the 1090t (AM3) are also significantly more affordable than good motherboards for the i7 950 (LGA1366).

For power supplies, look at Corsair. All of their power supplies are top shelf (aside from the really low end ones), and priced very competitively for premium quality power supplies. Right now, Newegg has a pretty sweet deal on this one:

Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

($60 using the promo code and after the rebate - just doesn't get any better than that for a power supply of that caliber)
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Old November 11th, 2010, 12:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post
If you want maximum performance per dollar, build a system around AMD's 1090t (3.2GHz Phenom II X6). 1090t performance is very comparable to i7 950 performance (basically a wash), and the 1090t only costs $230 compared to $295 for the i7 950 (currently at Newegg). Good motherboards for the 1090t (AM3) are also significantly more affordable than good motherboards for the i7 950 (LGA1366).
Good suggestion, but the 1090T is still saddled by a dual-channel memory controller. That alone makes a hexa-core AMD platform "recommended by me" only if the memory amount is completely maxed out to 16GB (via four 4GB modules). And while what you stated is true with most NLEs, when it comes to Adobe Premiere Pro (any version), it barely keeps pace with the now-discontinued i7-920 (both CPUs at stock speeds) due to the AMD processor's lack of full SSE 4.x support.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post
For power supplies, look at Corsair. All of their power supplies are top shelf (aside from the really low end ones), and priced very competitively for premium quality power supplies. Right now, Newegg has a pretty sweet deal on this one:

Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

($60 using the promo code and after the rebate - just doesn't get any better than that for a power supply of that caliber)
That Corsair 650W PSU is a good choice unless the CPU is overclocked by any significant amount.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 11:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall Leong View Post
I can't recommend an iMac for video editing, either: Most versions come with only one hard drive - and you cannot add additional internal hard drives at all whatsoever. Worse, the expansion capability of most iMacs is limited to a few USB 2.0 ports, which max out at only 32 MB/s sequential transfer speed.
I double-checked the currently available iMac configurations, and my non-recommendation of an iMac as a video editing system still stands. None of the iMacs can be configured with more than one hard drive (because there is no room whatsoever for additional internal hard drives), and that none of the internals of the iMac is user-upgradable at all with the exception of the memory. Thus, if the system's internal hard drive goes bad, the entire system must be sent to an authorized Apple service facility for replacement of the hard drive. And external expansion is limited to one FireWire 800 port and four USB 2.0 ports. This arrangement completely precludes the use of any kind of RAID whatsoever, and even FireWire 800 (at about 85 MB/s) has a maximum sustainable transfer speed that's still slower than what most current hard drives can do sequentially.

Thus, the only Macs recommended for serious video editing are the Mac Pros.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 02:48 PM   #11
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first PC build

Randall/Pete,

I am new to the video world and now realize I need to build a new pc to go along with my gear. Actually, my college son is sitting here on Thanksgiving and has put this build together based on his knowledge and an an hour or so of reviewing various threads on this site. Would you guys mind critiquing his build? Sounds like additional hard drives are in order. Is any of this overkill or not adequate? I appreciate any feedback!



ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
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COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
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Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
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EVGA 012-P3-1470-AR GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
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$259.99


CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active ...
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CORSAIR DOMINATOR 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMP12GX3M3A1600C9
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GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
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Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
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$289.99


Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown 3.33GHz LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80613I7980X
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Old November 27th, 2010, 05:56 PM   #12
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Hey all,

If you want a great PC that is actually designed for us media professionals, look at the HP Z400. As of my last quote a month ago, the HP sales rep is still giving 25% off without even asking. I have their Z800 fully loaded (dual 6-core, 24GB ram - soon to be 48GB). The best approach to buying an HP is removing all over-priced components including: video card, DVD-RW and don't add any ram from HP. By doing this, you can get the Z400 for $920 plus tax & S&H and then add 1-2 hard drives (Seagate or Samsung 1TB $ $60 each); add a GTS 450 for $130; add 12GB ram for $130 or so. And it comes with a 2.8GHz Xeon W3530 and 160GB Seagate 7200rpm and Win 7 Pro x64.

http://digitalcontentproducer.com/im...igure2-600.jpg
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Old November 27th, 2010, 05:59 PM   #13
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I am currently running Dell Desktop i7 920 with 6gig and am happy with the system. But I am planning to build my first pc sometime with i7 980x chipset. My question is which mobo is better to suit this 980x chipst.

This one?? ASUS P6X58D Premium - LGA 1366 - X58 - DDR3 - USB 3.0 SATA 6 Gb/s - ATX Motherboard

OR this one
GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Both of these mobo come with USB 3.0. Which do you prefer to use with i7 980x and why??
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 11:04 AM   #14
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Mike and Bruce,

Case: Not having one, I can't say too much about the COOLER MASTER HAF 932 but it looks like it has everything I'd want in an editing box case. For my last build, I used a Cooler Master Sniper Case and very much like it, although I've pretty well max'ed out the drive bays (the 932 appears to have 1 or 2 more bays).

Mobo: I've used both Gigabyte and Asus boards (as well as others including Abit and eVGA) in the past and have been very happy with both. Not sure this is really objective, but my impression is that the Asus P6X58D and subsequent seem to be in favor among home built crowd. That's what is in my current box and I'm happy with it. Maybe other folks have more specific comments about mobo's, especially the Gigabyte.

Processor: Right now the 980X is top dog (and that's what I have to get the extra 2 cores for both PPro and AE)...but the 950 is much better VALUE in terms of performance/dollar. So if funds are tight, that might be a big money saver while largely preserving editing performance by max'ing out system RAM. See Bill Gerhke and Harm Millaard's PPBM5.com info.

RAM: For a CS5 system, if you can afford it -- or otherwise save money elsewhere on your system build -- do go with 24 GB RAM, especially if you will want to be able to RAM Preview large AE compositions (note: Win 7 x64 PROFESSIONAL or Ultimate is needed to use more than 16GB). If you can't go with 24GB off the bat, at least spring for 3x4GB sticks (as I see you're doing, Mike) so when you do succumb to the temptation to increase RAM, you won't have to pull out the old RAM.

Mike, yes a quality power supply is important...I actually named one of my computers "Dante" because it almost drove to violence trying to get the build to initially boot up...until I researched the web and found out there was a known flaw in the particular power supply I had purchased...replaced that and Dante was tamed! But I digress; it seems like maybe you're overspending on the power supply. My 980X with a Quadro card and 5 HDD's only has a Corsair TX850W power supply...enough to run it overclocked with room to spare but not so oversized that there is a lot of waste heat and power usage (80% is considered "high efficiency" in PSUs), and is about $100 less. On the other hand, the expensive 1KW Corsair will probably ensure that no matter how much stuff you stick in your case, you don't have power issues, eg, if you're also going to have 2 graphics cards for (gasp) gaming along with other power hungry subsystems (like a RAID array).

Speaking of Graphics Cards: As long as it has over 1GB VRAM and is one of the nVidia cards that is either officially supported or can be made to work using the text file modification (instructions found elsewhere), it should be ok. Someone correct me if my memory is failing me, but I think the more VRAM, the more effects can be GPU accelerated before the GPU system saturates and starts off-loading to (slower) swap files? And multiple graphics cards will not benefit CS5.

Drives: There are differences of opinion on hard drives. I personally think that it is a good move to get an SSD for your C: drive (OS and Programs) because of the very fast file access times, low power/heat, and higher reliability. But folks with superbly performing systems use plain ol' cheapy 7200RPM HDDs, too. You should have separate disks for source files and preview files, preferably a fast RAID array if you're doing multiple streams of HD on the timeline.

Good luck, guys.
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