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Old March 27th, 2012, 08:37 AM   #1
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Can anyone give me their opinion of this configuration?

I'm looking at a new editing computer. My main programs are Photoshop, Vegas and Encore. So far, my current quad core has done a nice job, but it's often had trouble "keeping up" with my multi-tasking.

My other concern is the primary drive... I remember hearing about the best possible setup up as far as where to store the operating system, where to keep the editing files, where to render to, etc., etc...

Here is the configuration I'm looking at:

Windows 7 64 bit

i7 six core 3.2 ghz

12 gb ddr3 sdram

2tb 7200 primary drive

500gb 7200 secondary

600w power supply


Thanks for your time!
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Old March 27th, 2012, 08:41 AM   #2
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Re: Can anyone give me their opinion of this configuration?

Also, the only option on HP's website is Wireless - N. I know it's been out a while, and I should know this, but will the Wireless N card recognize the Wireless G router that my ISP provided?
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Old March 27th, 2012, 09:51 AM   #3
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Re: Can anyone give me their opinion of this configuration?

Hi Ryan,

Typically you'd want a smaller C: Drive, as it only needs to hold the OS and programs, and then the second drive is the larger one for video, audio, images that you are working with. Power supply could use improvement, and RAM is dirt cheap right now so 16GB is a better minimum. What processor model/chipset does the machine have?

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Old March 27th, 2012, 10:03 AM   #4
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Re: Can anyone give me their opinion of this configuration?

What graphics card are you using?
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Old March 27th, 2012, 10:38 AM   #5
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Re: Can anyone give me their opinion of this configuration?

That's what I thought about the OS drive, but none of HP's primary drives are the smaller of the two, unless it's a pricey solid state.

Here are the processor and video card:


Intel Core i7 3930k six-core 3.2ghz, shared 12mb cache


2gb ddr3 nvidia Geforce gt 530
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Old March 27th, 2012, 10:16 PM   #6
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Re: Can anyone give me their opinion of this configuration?

It sounds like you have decided to buy an off-the-shelf HP. Here are some suggestions to consider.

I am guessing that you are going with 12 gb because HP probably charges a lot for going to higher amounts of RAM. Maybe the 12 gB is already an expensive upgrade? I suggest that you consider getting your HP with a minimum amount of RAM and then replace that RAM with an after-market kit for 24 gB

The extra RAM would likely be very useful to you. Generally speaking, the I7 processors and the higher-end video apps tend to work best with 2 or more gB of RAM per logical core of the CPU. The I7 3930k has 6 physical cores but hyperthreading gives it 12 logical core; hence the suggestion for getting 24 gB. When I see you using use Photoshop and Encore, it makes me wonder if you also have After Effects. Both After Effects and PhotoShop are RAM hungry. My recollection is that Vegas performance scales with RAM, as well. The extra RAM will be especially helpful if your are editing AVHCD or H.264 from DSLR cams. Most NLes work with these formats by decompressing them on the fly, which can be very processor and RAM intensive. The extra RAM could mean the difference between smooth, full resolution timeline playback and choppy, small window, half-resolution timeline monitoring.

After market RAM is pretty inexpensive right now. For example, I recently purchased a matched set of four 4gb Ripjaws RAM (16 gB total) for an I7-2600k system for only $94 ($US) at Newegg. Mine was an emergency build after my my main editing workstation had a CPU meltdown. I wanted to get a 3930k/LGA 2011 system but this was right in the middle of the period when when the 3930k processors were out of production as Intel retooled the design. Before I discovered that, I recall seeing reputable name brand 6x4gb sets of RAM going about $150 to $170 at Newegg.

The GTX530 video card is probably adequate for working with Vegas as your NLE. With a lot of system RAM, the video/GPU card is not as critical as it would be with with Adobe PPro CS5.x. I understand the the newest versions of Vegas can make more use of CUDA GPU processing, but I'm not very familiar with the latest versions. My unreliable recollection is that you can choose between GPU and CPU processing in Vegas (but maybe that is changing in the newest versions?) Anyway, having more system RAM is likely to be a good investment.(Also, as noted, good for AE and Photoshop).

Interesting that the video/GPU card has 2gB of on-board RAM. Having 2 gB of RAM for your GPU also seems like a good thing for your applications. If you were planning on doing much of anything with PPro (which I'm guessing you got with your Encore and Photoshop suite), I would recommend upgrading the video card to a GTX 560ti. When I was shopping, I ran across several of the 448 core GTX50ti cards with 1.5 and 2 gB of RAM for less than $300. But, again, this mattered to me because PPro is my main editing app and I make heavy use of hardware MPE. .

To me a 600w PSU ("power supply unit") seems adequate for what you are putting in the workstation but may be borderline if you start adding any hard-drives. I have not opened up an HP machine for a year or so but the last one that I looked at had an odd, proprietary PSU. Dell is infamous for this, as well. I've been told (but have no first hand knowledge) that some of HP's newer systems with the larger PSUs are supposed to be industry standard units. Something you might want to check about the machine you are pricing.

A lot of the big-brandname machines come with a BIOS that prevents you from doing any overclocking. This would be a shame with processors like the I7-2660k and 3930k because SandyBridge and SandyBridge-E CPUs have a built-in automatic overclocking called "turbo mode." Frankly, I was startled when I found that my I7-2600k automatically started running itself at 4.4 gHz, and was very impressed at the rock-solid stability and the relatively low CPU and mobo operating temperatures, The 3930k starts out with higher clock speeds and 2 additional physical cores (4 additional logical cores), so has considerable potential for helping your video processing. If your proposed HP system wll allow the 3930k to run in turbo mode, that would be a good thing. Something to check on.

At least one additional, large capacity 7200 rpm drive for media files is strongly recommended. Better still, get two of them in order to take better advantage of the 3930k capacity . I do not know what HP is charging for additional drives, but after-market purchases have traditionally been far less expensive than getting drives added in a brand-name buy from the maker. If your HP has a very small case without room or power connections, consider an e-SATA drive. Usually better, however, to just plug in a couple more drives internally.

The reason dedicated media drives are important for video editing is that SATA drives can seriously bottleneck when you try to read and write simultaeneously from the same drive. This becomes especially serious when trying to edit video from the OS drive. It can be done, but things really crawl.

Most of the higher level NLEs will work much more smoothly when your OS and program files are on one drive and your media files are on a separate drive. Even better is to have the source media on one drive and the render/timeline/etc project files on a third.

Another reason to get large, multiple drives is that drive performance degrades noticably when the drive gets more than 60% full, and performance (particularly timeline playback) can fall off dramatically when the drive reaches 80% capacity. With two drives, you also could consider linking the two added drives into a RAID 0. Might or might not be useful depending on what you edit and how big your projects get.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 07:24 AM   #7
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Re: Can anyone give me their opinion of this configuration?

Very informative, Jay. I'll have to read it a few times to soak it all in. Much of what you said was already floating around in my stubborn skull, but had no form. ;-)

Thanks for the reply.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 02:57 PM   #8
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Re: Can anyone give me their opinion of this configuration?

One further thought. I did not think of this before, but some LGA2011/3930k mobos have eight RAM slots and some of them have only four RAM slots. If your HP model is the kind that has only four RAM slots, then an upgrade to 24 gB might not be possible. If your planned HP system is one of the kind that has only four slots, and if you are required to add RAM in pairs, you won't be able to do a 24 gB upgrade without mismatching the RAM and that can cause slowdowns. No big deal for wordprocessing computers but can be a problem for video editing. My recollection is that HP was one of the companies that would throw together systems with odd combinations of RAM modules. Check HP on this before you buy.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 04:42 PM   #9
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Re: Can anyone give me their opinion of this configuration?

I checked today, and it has 6 Dimm slots. I'm assuming this will do the job, since the ram I found on NewEgg has 6 chips.

Last edited by Ryan Laytart; March 29th, 2012 at 06:52 AM.
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