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Old August 9th, 2011, 06:59 PM   #1
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Purpose Built System - Thoughts?

I am in the process of putting together a new NLE system to process my 7D footage. The system is somewhat based on the Videoguys.com DIY8 build with a few changes and added extras. Please share your thoughts because I am very new to this.

Following are the items that have already been ordered.

OS:
Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

Base Software:
Adobe CS5.5 Production Suite, Neoscene Cineform, and Windows Office 2010

CPU:
i7 980 hex core 3.33Mhz - Newegg.com - Intel Core i7-980 Nehalem 3.33GHz 6 x 256KB L2 Cache 12MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80613I7980

CPU Cooling:
CORSAIR CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler - Newegg.com - CORSAIR CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

GPU:
EVGA GTX 580 - Newegg.com - EVGA 015-P3-1580-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

RAM:
CORSAIR Vengeance 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) x 6 for a total of 24 gigs - Newegg.com - CORSAIR Vengeance 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ4GX3M1A1600C9

MOBO:
ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Newegg.com - ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

System Drive:
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Newegg.com - Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

DVD/Blue Ray Drive/burner:
Pioneer Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 8X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner BDR-206DBKS - Newegg.com - Pioneer Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 8X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner BDR-206DBKS

Power Supply:
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 850W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply - Newegg.com - CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 850W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

Case:
Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower - Newegg.com - Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case

Monitor:
LG E2770V-BF Black 27" 14ms Full HD LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/ ThruMotion 250 cd/m2 DFC 5,000,000:1 - Newegg.com - LG E2770V-BF Black 27" 14ms Full HD LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/ ThruMotion 250 cd/m2 DFC 5,000,000:1

Keyboard and Mouse:
Bella Advantage Series 2.0 Keyboard for Adobe Premiere Pro with HD Mouse - Videoguys.com - Bella Advantage Series 2.0 Keyboard for Adobe Premiere Pro with HD Mouse (PC/Mac Hybrid)

Speakers:
Logitech Z623 200 w 2.1 Speaker System, THX-Certified - Newegg.com - Logitech Z623 200 w 2.1 Speaker System, THX-Certified

External Media Storage:
Glyph ForteRAID Production Quality RAID Array 4TB - Videoguys.com - Glyph ForteRAID Production Quality RAID Array 4TB


Am I missing anything? Any feedback is very much appreciated.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 02:41 AM   #2
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Re: Purpose Built System - Thoughts?

If you want speed for your system drive, exchange it for an SSD.

Also, you might consider adding more RAM (16+ GB). You will see quite noticeable jump in performance in CS5.5.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 08:25 AM   #3
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Re: Purpose Built System - Thoughts?

Blane,

You will also need additional internal SATA hard drives with that setup: That external RAID box relies on a single eSATA connection, which is not fast enough compared to multiple internal SATA connections to begin with. Plus, the included eSATA card is only of the 1.5 Gbps (150 MB/s burst maximum) class (or SATA I). The external RAID boxes are really suitable only for media storage/backups. As it stands right now, you have only a single hard drive for absolutely everything - OS, programs, media, pagefile, projects, renders and media cache. That alone makes that hexa-core i7 system with 24GB of RAM much slower in overall performance in CS5.5 than a properly tuned Core 2 Quad with only 8GB of RAM because (unlike SAS) SATA itself is only half-duplex (which means that data can travel in only one direction at a time), and that Premiere Pro and AME requires simultaneous reads and writes (which a single SATA hard drive or SSD cannot do). Adobe requires a minimum of two fast (7200 RPM or faster) internal hard drives using separate SATA or SAS connections to the motherboard (separate cables) - and additional fast internal hard drives are better, in this case.

Also, I would strongly recommend a different, roomier case than that Antec Nine Hundred Two: That case is seriously cramped on the inside, especially from rear to front. And if you have any hard drives installed in certain positions, the GTX 580 will not fit inside the case. The likelihood of the GTX 580 not fitting at all inside the Nine Hundred Two becomes virtually certain if you install more than four hard drives inside that case (in fact, I strongly recommend five or more internal hard drives (including the OS drive) in a video editing system). The Nine Hundred Two can barely accommodate a 10.5-inch card like the GTX 580 if no hard drives at all whatsoever are obstructing the PCI-e x16 slot's line of sight. But if any hard drives are installed in that line, the maximum card size gets reduced to less than 9.5 inches - barely enough for a graphics card with even a lower mid-range GPU such as the GTX 550 Ti.

And ignore what Bart stated about the RAM: The i7-9xx/X58 platform is already maxed out (support-wise) at 24GB. The i7-9xx/X58 platform does not currently support 8GB modules at all - and 8GB modules that are unbuffered and non-ECC are extremely rare and extremely expensive right now, with a cost of 10 to 12 times more expensive than 4GB modules (or put it this way, a single 8GB unbuffered non-ECC module costs five to six times more expensive than a dual-channel 8GB kit consisting of two 4GB modules). Support for more than 24GB of RAM currently requires a dual-CPU Xeon platform or an LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge (i7-2600K) platform (the latter requires spending more than $1,000 just for the RAM to get to its 32GB maximum, making that platform much less cost-effective than it should if you install more than 16GB of RAM on that particular system).

And speaking of your RAM choice, you might have made the wrong choice: If you bought six individual modules, there is a good chance that each of them comes from completely different production batches and/or completely different revisions (with completely different IC (Integrated Circuit) chips). This is because Corsair, like most other RAM module manufacturers, have multiple different assembly plants all running simultaneously - and each different plant gets different manufacturers' IC chips and PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards). And the use of mismatched lots and/or revisions increases the probability of the system developing stability issues such as application crashes and lock-ups.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 10:16 AM   #4
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Re: Purpose Built System - Thoughts?

Ah, sorry, I misread the original post. I thought the system had only 4 GBs of RAM.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 10:42 PM   #5
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Re: Purpose Built System - Thoughts?

Very nice Blain.
I envy you.
I have an old 920 on a P6TD-Deluxe, no USB 3 or SATAIII.
Still does well though.

A couple of suggestions:

2 SSD' in RAID 0 as boot drive instead of velos.
Windows, Premiere and all apps boot super fast.
This requires work to shift all user files to a separate disk, in my case 2 Seagate 1Tb's in RAID 0(also is my scratch disk) so the constantly rewritten files don't degrade the SSD's.

Is the Asus triple channel DDR3?
If so, a kit with 3 sticks takes advantage of this.
Check out the mobo manual for memory compatability and configuration.

You will love editing on your sytem with 5.5 and the Mercury playback,
not to mention the 980 and P658D.
Corsair PS is very good.
Corsair cases look interesting.
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Old August 12th, 2011, 12:19 AM   #6
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Re: Purpose Built System - Thoughts?

might want to reconsider raid for system ssd's as I recall you would lose TRIM support which is pretty important maintenance. use one of the ssd's for scratch disk instead, just a thought. Also, 7 ultimate might be overkill with precious storage taken from the system ssd for options you might not really need, IE encryption etc. save some $

jh

here is what I just built, working out a stingy sound static issue which is narrowing down to the EVGA 580

CPU
Intel i7 2600k

MOBO
ASUS P8Z68 V PRO

GRAPHICS CARD
EVGA GeForce GTX 580 1536 MB GDDR5 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card

KVM switch
IOGEAR MiniView Dual Link DVI KVMP GCS1782 KVM used

SYSTEM DRIVE
OCZ Vertex 3 Series 120 GB

MEMORY
16gb kingston-hyperx-khx1600c

PSRU
PSU SEASONIC| X650 GOLD SS-650KM R

COOLING
NOCTUA D14

INTERNAL DRIVES RAID 0
Seagate SV35 Series ST31000526SV 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB SATA 6.0Gb/s 2x

CASE
Cooler Master SGC-1000-KWN1 Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower

OS
Windows 7 pro 64 bit
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Old August 12th, 2011, 07:39 AM   #7
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Re: Purpose Built System - Thoughts?

"might want to reconsider raid for system ssd's as I recall you would lose TRIM support which is pretty important maintenance."

My disks get by without trim.
I rarely write to the SSD as boot because all userfiles are on a separate disk.
It is the constant write/erase that causes performance degredation issues on an SSD.
Eventually I may have to do a secure erase somewhere in the distant future.
In the meantime, I get 500Mb/s+ from my boot drive.
I take it for granted now, but I couldn't go back.
Premiere takes 8 seconds to load.
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Old August 12th, 2011, 08:26 AM   #8
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Re: Purpose Built System - Thoughts?

And you should be able to safely ditch Neoscene Cineform, and Windows Office 2010 and save some bucks.

Given that you are using Adobe CS5.5, there is no need to transfer footage to other codecs. So you probably don't really need Netscene Cineform.

As for Office 2010 ... use OpenOffice or LibreOffice instead. Both so the same job and are open source / free.

Andrew
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Old August 12th, 2011, 01:05 PM   #9
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Re: Purpose Built System - Thoughts?

I haven't checked back to this thread in a couple of days, and WOW! Thank you all for the suggestions.

A few mental notes that I have taken thus far from the above replies/suggestions:
- I need to build a small RAID in the case to handle media that is being edited.
- I need a bigger case.
- RAM issues because I didn't purchase the ram as a matched set? I haven't seemed to find any sets of 4gig RAM sticks. Suggestions?
- I have canceled NeoScene.
- I have canceled Office 2010.


With media files stored on the external RAID, but not using them for active editing, could someone please explain the work flow, or how files are temporarily used on the new internal RAID? In other words, how should I go about using the added internal RAIDEd drives for editing? I suppose that I will add 2 1tb 7200 drives for this purpose.

What are scratch files?

What are pagefile files?

What is media cache?

I purchased the RAM all at the same time, same brand, same case, same specs and type. Will I have issues with it because it was not sold or advertised as a "matched set"? I haven't ever seen a matched set of 4 gig RAM sticks. Any suggestions?

Any recommendations for a better, bigger case?

Any recommendations for 7200 internal hard drives for the internal RAID? I read WD drives aren't good for RAID setups.
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Old August 12th, 2011, 01:34 PM   #10
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Re: Purpose Built System - Thoughts?

I agree with Andrew on Open Office. I've had it on the editing system and my other computers for a couple of years now.

I'm not so sure about Neoscene. Do you already have it or are you looking to buy it? If you already have it, I would say keep it. If you are thinking about getting it to work with with AVCHD footage in multi-layered and/or multi-cam projects, NeoScene can help but I've found Neo and its replacement, both with the First Light application, to be much more useful. If you are not doing a lot of AVCHD multi-cam projects, I would be inclined to skip purchasing NeoScene

For a computer case, Randall is right. Swap that Antec 902 for something better suited to an editing workstation. The COOLER MASTER HAF 932 is probably a better choice. Randall is also right about the external storage unit. I also got Gary Bettan's recent e-mailing about the Glyph units and quickly realized that it is little more than storage for parking inactive projects and archiving footage. The notes at the bottom of the product pages on the Videoguys website indicate that you only get high transfer speeds when the Glyph units are run in Raid 0 mode but that they use ForteDrivers which Windows currently limit these devices to partitions of 2 tb. If you want an external unit for a Raid with larger capacities or the safety of RAID 5 or 10 or whatever, you might want to look at Videoguys offerings of the G-Speed "es" units which come with a PCIe raid card. If you were going to add more drives to the system (per Randall's suggestion), then the Glyph unit could give you a decent back-up solution. (If you are working with tapeless recording, you definitely want media back-up.)

To expand a bit on Randall's advice about getting more drives, this means you want fast SATA drives for different functions. As Randall points out, SATA drives are fast but there are difficulties trying to read and write from the same drive at the same time. More drives are better with PPro CS 5.5. To get the advantage of your hardware, you want your source video files stored a different drive than your project and render files and your transcode files. The current set up is not unlike buying a high performance car and locking out all the gears above second gear. Basically, you want the system set up so that it is reading from drives different than then ones it is writing to. For example, you put your video source files on one drive, your projects files on another and render the timeline to a third. You can make a system without the other drives just as you could always drive around in second gear, if your wanted to. But why go to all the time and expense of building a high-powered system if you hobble it with very slow disk throughput? If you go with an internal RAID 0, use that for the video source files. Disks are relatively inexpensive, so get an additional disk for project and render files and another for transcodes.

As for drives, I've had pretty good luck with Hitachi drives from Newegg. For a couple of years, I have been using the 1 tb drives in my G-Speed Raid 10 and for my internal RAID 0. I've had no issues with the individual WD drives in my system. There have been numbers of postings here about WD drives and RAIDS, and my recollection is that some kinds of WD drives had issues and other WD types did not. I do not have the references to immediate hand, so can't help beyond that.

Finally, one question. I've looked to the videoguys recommendations in the past, and my current system is basically the DIY7. I have been thinking about upgrading the RAM and video card. I see that Gary has recommended a GTX470 as a GPU for DIY8, although that seems to be getting hard to find. What factors led you to choose a GTX 580 over less expensive alternatives such as a 570?
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Old August 12th, 2011, 01:45 PM   #11
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Re: Purpose Built System - Thoughts?

Jay, thank you for the response!

"Finally, one question. I've looked to the videoguys recommendations in the past, and my current system is basically the DIY7. I have been thinking about upgrading the RAM and video card. I see that Gary has recommended a GTX470 as a GPU for DIY8, although that seems to be getting hard to find. What factors other than led you to choose a GTX 580 over less expensive alternatives such as a 570?"

I found the 470 offered at NewEgg, but decided on the GTX 580 thinking that it would give me added performance eventhough now I am learning that it probably won't. For those who are wondering, Videoguys recommended the 470 for good performance with CS 5.5.

I need to choose some internal hard drives. What are some good choices?

I am going with the Coolmaster 932 full tower.
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Old August 12th, 2011, 03:11 PM   #12
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Re: Purpose Built System - Thoughts?

Update:

Items added...

New internal drives:
HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.C 0F10383 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive x 4 - Newegg.com - HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.C 0F10383 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

New case:
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Compucase Case with USB 3.0 - Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Compucase Case with USB 3.0 and Black Interior
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Old August 13th, 2011, 01:31 AM   #13
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Re: Purpose Built System - Thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blane Nelson View Post
- RAM issues because I didn't purchase the ram as a matched set?
I haven't seemed to find any sets of 4gig RAM sticks. Suggestions?

- I have canceled Office 2010.

With media files stored on the external RAID, but not using them for active editing, could someone please explain the work flow, or how files are temporarily used on the new internal RAID? In other words, how should I go about using the added internal RAIDEd drives for editing? I suppose that I will add 2 1tb 7200 drives for this purpose.

What are scratch files?

What are pagefile files?

What is media cache?

I purchased the RAM all at the same time, same brand, same case, same specs and type. Will I have issues with it because it was not sold or advertised as a "matched set"? I haven't ever seen a matched set of 4 gig RAM sticks. Any suggestions?

Any recommendations for a better, bigger case?

Any recommendations for 7200 internal hard drives for the internal RAID? I read WD drives aren't good for RAID setups.
Corsair Core i7 Triple Channel Memory Kits ? Corsair DDR3 Intel Memory Solutions and computer memory upgrades for desktop PCs

Scratch disks are where media is stored by Premiere / Photoshop.
Usually on a different disk to system.
By the way, using an SSD as a scratch disk is a waste.
They probably won't even outlast a 'raptor.

pagefiles are Windows system files that act as virtual memory.
They can be moved to another disk to speed up performance of C:\ drive, especially SSD's.

RAID HDD
I am using 2 x 1Tb SATAIII Seagates in RAID 0.
Cheap as chips and I play back Uncompressed Full HD from a Hyperdeck Shuttle on them and mixing with effects, no problems(with CS5.5 Mercury PB, GTX470 and the rest of the system)
They are backward compatible with my SATAII mobo, but you have SATAIII with your mobo.

For external storage I use a 2 Tb Seagate through eSATA and have an HDD dock in case I need to expand.
No need for speed here.
Also cheap as chips.

Case:
Coolermaster are very good.
I have a Coolermaster CM Storm, but I would buy a HAF if I was upgrading.

Workflow:
Using solid state media, copy to internal RAID, edit, output any way you like from Pr.
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Old August 13th, 2011, 09:17 AM   #14
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Re: Purpose Built System - Thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blane Nelson View Post
I purchased the RAM all at the same time, same brand, same case, same specs and type. Will I have issues with it because it was not sold or advertised as a "matched set"? I haven't ever seen a matched set of 4 gig RAM sticks. Any suggestions?
Read my statement about buying separate sticks of RAM below:

Quote:
And speaking of your RAM choice, you might have made the wrong choice: If you bought six individual modules, there is a good chance that each of them comes from completely different production batches and/or completely different revisions (with completely different IC (Integrated Circuit) chips). This is because Corsair, like most other RAM module manufacturers, have multiple different assembly plants all running simultaneously - and each different plant gets different manufacturers' IC chips and PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards). And the use of mismatched lots and/or revisions increases the probability of the system developing stability issues such as application crashes and lock-ups.
That statement is especially true if you order the RAM online, sight unseen. In fact, most resellers do not separate the different batches or revisions of the RAM to begin with - and they tend to just pull out the six packages that are the most easily accessible from the rack and ship them. And every different IC has characteristics that are different enough, however slight, to not play nicely or at all with one another. That intermixture could result in your system developing serious stability issues or even fail to POST at all.
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Old August 13th, 2011, 09:56 AM   #15
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Re: Purpose Built System - Thoughts?

Let me clarify:

Scratch disks are where Premiere stores its RENDERED files. Media files are another matter entirely, and these are not in any way decided by Premiere, but by the user. Media always remain where the user did put it. It is said that you should separate the two for best performance, but frankly I have not seen any problem keeping both on a single RAID.

Note that scratch files can be set to be stored alongside the project folder, which can be a good idea for easy cleanup after archiving, but it depends on your workflow entirely.

Media cache is a place where Premiere stores cache of waveform files, indexes for mpeg files, and sometimes conform files for all compressed audio formats like mp3. It's good to move it from a system drive where it originally is located to another location, but top performance drive is not necessary, the only issue might be space considerations.
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