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Old May 27th, 2012, 12:59 AM   #1
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Video Guys DIY 9 Update Worth it?

I'm admittedly underpowered, running CS5 with a Q9450 Quad core chip and 8 gigs of DDR 800 ram. (And a NVida GT 280 w /hack). So I'm thinking of updating the MOBO, CPU & ram using the VideoGuys DIY 9 recommendations. Either the 2600K or 3820 CPU, and more RAM w/appropriate MOBO.

However, looking at the Anandtech CPU comparisons the Q9450 holds up rather well. I know that it's a bunch of stuff, all the different bits together that make the difference, but I'm just hoping that the performance gains are worth the $800 or so I'll be spending...

Any thoughts from out there.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 05:39 AM   #2
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Re: Video Guys DIY 9 Update Worth it?

The answer is: definitely. Go for 3820, if you can't afford 3930K.

Also, make sure to get some good cooling. These CPUs overclock like crazy out of the box. You can get about 20-30% increase in performance with relatively little hassle, and amazing stability.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 11:38 PM   #3
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Re: Video Guys DIY 9 Update Worth it?

Thanks Bart
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Old May 28th, 2012, 11:46 PM   #4
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Re: Video Guys DIY 9 Update Worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Lagerlof View Post
I'm admittedly underpowered, running CS5 with a Q9450 Quad core chip and 8 gigs of DDR 800 ram. (And a NVida GT 280 w /hack). So I'm thinking of updating the MOBO, CPU & ram using the VideoGuys DIY 9 recommendations. Either the 2600K or 3820 CPU, and more RAM w/appropriate MOBO.

However, looking at the Anandtech CPU comparisons the Q9450 holds up rather well. I know that it's a bunch of stuff, all the different bits together that make the difference, but I'm just hoping that the performance gains are worth the $800 or so I'll be spending...

Any thoughts from out there.
Actually, the Q9450 does not perform all that well in CS5 or higher. In fact, at stock speed it actually performs slower than even a cheapo dual-core Sandy Bridge i3-21xx CPU, let alone an i7.

If you go for the 2600K, be advised that LGA 1155 is a limited platform in terms of available PCI-e lanes. Only 16 from the CPU (and all of those are eaten up by the GPU), plus whatever few (4 or less, after accounting for the onboard components) from the chipset's PCH (Platform Controller Hub). This could make the installation of even a PCI-e x8 RAID controller card or a PCI-e x4 I/O card force the drop of the GPU's PCI-e slot to x8.

If you choose to go the LGA 2011 route, I'd strongly recommend spending the extra $300 or so for a hexa-core i7-3930K instead of the quad-core i7-3820: The 3820 is not sufficiently faster than a stock 2600K to justify spending the $150 price premium for an X79 motherboard over a comparable-quality Z77 motherboard.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 03:48 PM   #5
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Re: Video Guys DIY 9 Update Worth it?

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Originally Posted by Randall Leong View Post
If you choose to go the LGA 2011 route, I'd strongly recommend spending the extra $300 or so for a hexa-core i7-3930K instead of the quad-core i7-3820: The 3820 is not sufficiently faster than a stock 2600K to justify spending the $150 price premium for an X79 motherboard over a comparable-quality Z77 motherboard.
I concur. However, if you don't have the $300 right now, 3820 is a good starting point. You can always upgrade once you earn it :)
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Old May 30th, 2012, 11:33 PM   #6
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Re: Video Guys DIY 9 Update Worth it?

I also concur, generally, but also want to ask:

(a) what kinds of projects are you planning on editing and doing with CS5?; and

(b) are you also planning on upgrading to CS6 or sticking with CS5?; and

(c) what is your planned hard-drive set-up for the new system?

If you are sticking with CS5, have an existing array of SATA disks that works for you, do not use I/O cards (e.g., MXO2, BMD, etc.), and will not be doing heavy-multi-cam with a lot of effects, the Videoguys' 2600k system will be fine. Actually, it will be fine even if you use a RAID card, have an I/o card, upgrade to CS6, and do multi-cam editing as I do. I wound building a 2600k system when my old workstation died last winter. I wanted a a 3930k/LGA2011 system for all the reasons that Randall has outlined. But, when I was looking, the 3930k processors were off the market while Intel retooled the design and I needed a new system immediately. That 2600k system is working fine for me even with CS6.

But, if you have a hardware RAID card and will be getting one of the newest GPUs, then an LGA2011 system is a better choice than the LGA1155/2600k system, At the time I was buying, Randall pointed out that most CUDA GPUs actually used only about 8 PCIe lanes even when rated as 16x cards, so a RAID card and GPU could co-exist nicely on the same PCIe bus. The newer GPUs apparently have changed this. The other thing about an 3930k system is the hex-core CPU can give a noticeable boost in encoding -- assuming that the rest of the system is properly balanced and tuned.

As for choosing between a quad-core 2600k and a quad-core 3920k system, I am not sure I see the point of the 3920k for a CS5 editing system unless: (a) you will be getting one of the newest 16x GPUs; and (b) you are using an 8x PCIe RAID. I may well be missing something here but, if I had been able to defer a new system until now, I definitely would have gone for the LGA2011/3930k combo.
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Old June 4th, 2012, 11:36 AM   #7
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Re: Video Guys DIY 9 Update Worth it?

Sorry for the delayed response. Right now I have one main editing client, a performing arts school that doesn't pay full rate but I will get enough this summer to cover upgrade costs with either CPU/Mobo choice and make still make money. Right now I'm using an FX-1 hdv camcorder and a GH2 (as a lockdown WS), so medium high rate AVCHD. I'm shooting at 1080i and 1080p respectively.

I record theatrical productions ranging from 20 minutes to 2 hours using both cameras, using CC on both tracks. For right now my projects are SD so I can 'Pan & Scan' because I'm the only shooter. Editing real-time is workable but it does stutter a bit on occasion and scrubbing will freeze the program for a bit and rarely, crash it. Being as I have to do 12 shows this summer, I decided to smooth my ride.

Some day, if I can get more freelance work, I'd like to get a new 'a' camera and do the projects in 720p, still using pan & scan. So I'm pretty sure I'll go with the x79 and the 3930k cpu. As to HDD stuff, right now I'm simply using 7200 sata drives, no RAID arrays. For this leg of the upgrade, I'm hoping this will be a simple
switch of Mobos with the new ram and cpu without too much complication otherwise as I'm not Mr. Computer guy. I AM a little nervous...
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Old June 4th, 2012, 03:10 PM   #8
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Re: Video Guys DIY 9 Update Worth it?

For what you want to do, plain drives will work. To get more use from your 3930k CPU, I suggest combining a couple of your drives into a RAID 0, which will give you higher disk throughput that is better able to keep up with the new CPUs. If you get one of the recommended ASUS mobos, I can tell you that ASUS manuals give good plain instructions. If you can install a hard drive, you can make an on-board RAID 0. It really is that simple.

Actually, some folks make two RAID 0s, using one for media files and the other for the project (render/scratch) files. Here is what I would suggest for a disk configuration with the kind of budget you are looking at:

1. System drive with programs. (Drive C. You can get a really high speed drive or even an SSD if you want, but for your budget a regular 7200 rpm drive will do quite nicely. Do not, repeat, do not have your system and programs run from a RAID 0.)

2. RAID 0: a pair of 7200 rpm SATA drives combined and used for captures (you are still using tape with the FX1, right?) and for housing the active project media during editing. Note that you want the 7200 rpm drives and not the "green" drives which spin at slower speeds such as 5200 rpm or less.

3. Project Files Disk: this could be another RAID 0 with a second pair of 7200 rpm SATA drives or it could simply be a plain 7200rpm SATA drive. (You do understand that a RAID 0 basically combines the capacity of its member disks: if you combine two 1 tB disks into a RAID 0, your computer sees it as a 2 tB disk?)

4. Destination disk(s). I suggest another 7200 rpm disk or two for sending encodes and parking your Encore projects. The reason for this recommendation is that the SATA disk interface is only "half-duplex" which means the disk is either reading or writing but will not do not both at the same time. You want enough disks to keep those tasks separate. Thus, when rendering a timeline, you want PPro reading the media from a drive separate from the disk to which it is writing the renders. You want to have at least a media disk and a projects disk, but more will be better.

By way of example, my system has a 4 disk RAID 10 array for the active media files. (These disks are run off a card. I went with the larger array because my multi-cam theater and dance projects use up to seven AVCHD and HDV video cams and I used Raid 10 get speed and redundancy. Your two cams will be a substantially lighter system load so you do not necessarily need to go this route.) I have my project files on another disk which is a two disk RAID 0 (run off my ASUS mobo's on-board Intel Raid controller.) For a while, I had a second RAID 0 which I used for destination files, those being Encore project files (from a dynamic link to the PPro timelines) as well as exported along encodes. One of those two disks died and, being in the middle of a project, I converted to having two destination dirives and found that, for those uses, things seemed to work better with two separate destination drives. (YMMV on this, however.) So, now, I usually render and write an ISO image file from Encore to the fourth disk. This way, the writing is always separated from reading functions. Separating these functions mitigates the extent to which your 3930k will not by slowed down by disk throughput bottlenecks.

5. Finally, I see you are working with tapeless media (from your GH2). Maybe you are thinking about getting a tapeless recording unit for your FX1? (Say, a Sony MRC1k recorder, a Datavideo DNC60 or maybe using Adobe On-location with your camera hooked by firewire to a laptop.) You want to get an external disk --- say a USB 3.0 --- to make regular back-ups of your media and/or project files while you work on them.
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Old June 4th, 2012, 07:49 PM   #9
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Re: Video Guys DIY 9 Update Worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Lagerlof View Post
I'm hoping this will be a simple switch of Mobos with the new ram and cpu without too much complication otherwise as I'm not Mr. Computer guy. I AM a little nervous...
There is one complication here. You may have trouble just moving your Windows hard disk directly into a new mobo and CPU. My experience is that Microsoft and Adobe software (and probably others) will see the new equipment as a new computer and will probably want reinstalling and activating. Not difficult but annoying and time consuming.

So, make sure you have a complete back-up before you embark on this work. Also, Adobe will require a new activation when reinstalled on the new system. Adobe says it allows a copy of CS5 to be installed on two systems as long as not used simultaneously, so you might not have any problems. The safer thing to do is to deactivate your CS5 before moving the hard drive into the new mobo. Then reactivate from the new system.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 01:29 PM   #10
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Re: Video Guys DIY 9 Update Worth it?

Again, sorry for the delayed response. Jay, thanks for the detailed explanation of the RAID options. And yeah, I had completely forgot about the software seeing a 'new' computer. Hopefully, the phone lines at customer support won't be too busy when I need to call.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 10:57 PM   #11
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Re: Video Guys DIY 9 Update Worth it?

I just pretty much built that system and what I did for drives was a SSD for my boot drive then put 2 - 600gb WD Velociraptors for my two work drives. I always read from one and write to the second. If you have time you can find some great deals on eBay like I just did, $146 for each drive delivered and they were brand new. SATA 6.0 so the throughput is there, they are not as fast as a SSD but they do work great. Most people just don't use them or think of them when building a system. I then added 2 - 1tb drives for general storage that I had laying around. And if you need an external then Amazon had 3tb Seagate Expansion USB drives for $129/delivered.

Overall I am pretty pleased with everything.
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