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Need Advice on New Build : Photography & Video Editing PC $1500-$2000

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June 25, 2013 3:59:01 PM

I've been reading aot... but I'll admit to being a noob in terms of PC hardware, builds and computer tech. I'm looking for advice on a New Build. I work as a photographer and filmmaker and will be using the machine primarily for that.

From the "Guidelines" Post:

Purchase Date: Within the month

Budget Range: $1500-$2000

System Usage Most important: Photography and HD Video Post-Production using Adobe Master Suite: Photoshop/Lightroom/Premiere Pro/After Effetcs/ etc

I don't do any gaming.

Monitor: Dell U2410 (I have one and would like to add another eventually)

OS - Windows 7 (what version should I run?)

Preferred Site for Parts: New Egg or whatever is best deal.

I will be buying parts off the internet... no stores nearby

Part Preferences: I'm assuming Intel/Nvidia works best with Adobe Products in terms of the Mercury Playback engine, etc (?). I definitely want a system to maximize efficiency between the CPU, Graphics Card and Adobe products.

Over-clocking (?): I'm not sure I understand it...

My Monitor Resolution is 1920 x 1200

My goal is to have a machine that will handle the demands of using Premiere Pro and After Effects, Davinci Resolve etc. I'd like a build that I could expand as needed if that's possible.

My limit of $2000 is slightly flexible if there is a reason to go abit over.

Thank you all in advance for any constructive input....



June 25, 2013 4:49:05 PM

I can beat that budget:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($309.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus H87-PRO ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($127.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($115.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Expansys US)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($398.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced ATX Full Tower Case ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($87.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1392.45
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-25 19:41 EDT-0400)

It's a flexible build.

You get the newest LGA 1150 motherboard socket, meaning that with a little luck perhaps, you won't

have to change your motherboard the next time you upgrade; but can suffice it to change the CPU.

However since it's such a good CPU, by that time, it might be worth it to change both anyways.

In the build 16GB of RAM is included, allowing for a lot of multi-tasking. The SSD will ensure a faster

Windows start up and can furthermore be upgraded to a 256GB version (higher isn't recommended for SSDs)

and that would allow you to place more of your professional programs on them, for faster booting too. The 1TB

HDD will enable you to store plenty pictures and if need be, you can add more HDDs as you see fit. The case is

a full tower, which results in you having lots of space for all your components, as well as a highly re-useable casing.

The GPU is one of the newest Nvidia ones and is pretty top of the line. You can go higher, but then the price skyrockets

too; check out the GTX 780. The reason for such a GPU is naturally to help power whatever applications you might use

for your work, as well as to render things nicely on screen. As for Windows, Win 7 is fine, but if you're up for a minor challenge,

you can learn how to use Win 8 fairly quickly. I kind of recommend Win 8 due to personally not wanting to be bothered by

MS stopping support for Win 7 in 2015/2020 (no security updates). As for the actual CPU, it has many cores and is ideal for

heavy workloads that the likes of Adobe software usually produces. There's no overclocking involved here, as I thought someone

like you wouldn't have the time/energy to do so. It'll work just fine however, non-overclocked. Here's how the build could turn out,

given some of the previous suggestions for more storage:


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($309.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus H87-PRO ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($127.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($115.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Corsair Neutron Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Expansys US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Expansys US)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($398.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced ATX Full Tower Case ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1554.45
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-25 19:51 EDT-0400)
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June 25, 2013 4:53:42 PM

Here you are:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($309.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme6 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($339.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital WD Black 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($275.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Western Digital WD Black 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($275.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($193.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 630 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Cooler Master GX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($25.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $2011.85
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-25 19:54 EDT-0400)
Lots of power and lots of storage, great pc for the editing :p 
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Related resources
June 25, 2013 5:08:10 PM

Jacks0n said:
Here you are:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($309.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme6 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($339.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital WD Black 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($275.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Western Digital WD Black 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($275.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($193.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 630 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Cooler Master GX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($25.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $2011.85
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-25 19:54 EDT-0400)
Lots of power and lots of storage, great pc for the editing :p 


That's just...

I'm tempted to say hit the road Jack.

I do not think this man needs almost 10 terrabytes of storage.

He'll much sooner see one of his drives crash before using up all of it; that's my bet.

You also exchange so much storage for a lesser GPU and that's a bit sad.

Furthermore there's a CPU cooler when there's no overclocking ability.

Just because he might have a big budget, it doesn't mean you have to hit it.

That's a ton of RAM by the way and an overly powerful PSU, don't you reckon?

Not to be harsh or anything; keep contributing. The more the better.
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June 25, 2013 5:11:06 PM

X79 said:
Jacks0n said:
Here you are:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($309.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme6 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($339.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital WD Black 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($275.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Western Digital WD Black 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($275.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($193.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 630 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Cooler Master GX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($25.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $2011.85
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-25 19:54 EDT-0400)
Lots of power and lots of storage, great pc for the editing :p 


That's just...

I'm tempted to say hit the road Jack.

I do not think this man needs almost 10 terrabytes of storage.

He'll much sooner see one of his drives crash before using up all of it; that's my bet.

You also exchange so much storage for a lesser GPU and that's a bit sad.

Furthermore there's a CPU cooler when there's no overclocking ability.

Just because he might have a big budget, it doesn't mean you have to hit it.

That's a ton of RAM by the way and an overly powerful PSU, don't you reckon?

Not to be harsh or anything; keep contributing. The more the better.


He's not gaming, so why wouldn't he need a lot of storage? Videos, video files are a huge rack on the system. The 32GB of RAM does help - what you gave him was a gaming build and he specifically said he's not gaming. 10TB of storage will come in handy. Nothing wrong with a little cheap extra cooling, just in case. Don't get all patronising on me, I know what I'm talking about, my friend has a similar build and videos that are at least 300MB a time, 10TB should suffice for a while. So instead of using my name as a stupid anecdote, why don't you find something worth criticising, like - ooh, I dunno, your $400 gpu for a non gamer; and it's not even a good make of GPU. But, if you're so hellbent on him not needing it, go ahead and take a 4TB out and put in a 770.
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June 25, 2013 5:31:17 PM

I know video files are big; but still, he's not going to fill it up over night I'm betting.

Exceeding his budget (though he said he'd go over if needed) with storage, is foolish by my standards.

I'm sorry that it seemed like I was patronizing you, that was not how it was meant to be perceived and the name thing was just a joke.

I'm aware that he's not gaming, but the GPU can help power his applications I believe. I really can't

agree with almost 10TB off the bat. 4TB perhaps yes and then he can add more when/if needed.

And how is the 770 a bad GPU in your opinion? Maybe he'll want to add more monitors later, for productivity too.

I also still doubt why he'd need the CPU cooler, if stock will do. Course pretty much anything is better than stock, yet...

I'm not hellbent on anything; that's foolish.
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June 25, 2013 5:53:35 PM

I never said it was a bad GPU, where did I say it was?
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June 25, 2013 6:11:27 PM

Jacks0n said:
Here you are:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($309.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme6 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($339.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital WD Black 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($275.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Western Digital WD Black 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($275.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($193.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 630 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Cooler Master GX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($25.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $2011.85
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-25 19:54 EDT-0400)
Lots of power and lots of storage, great pc for the editing :p 


You do not need to pay the ridiculous premiums for Dominator Platinum, ever. Under any circumstances. Plus you have a CPU that can't be overclocked with overclocking motherboard and CPU cooler, which aren't necessary. With the price of RAM as volatile as it is and the cost of Dominator Platinum being 2 - 3 X as more as any standard RAM, you are getting ripped off big time buying that. For a video build I can understand 32GB of RAM, but I will never pay or endorse Dominator Platinum - it's Corsair's way of ripping you off big time.

This would be better:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($349.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B SE2 37.9 CFM CPU Cooler ($60.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme6 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Stealth 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($249.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Plextor M5S Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: ATI FirePro V5900 2GB Video Card ($422.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D ATX Full Tower Case ($279.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($75.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1882.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-25 21:19 EDT-0400)

- Dropped the ridiculously expensive RAM
- Cut down on the storage
- Went with a professional grade GPU and a better case and way lower PSU
- Corsair 800D allows for hot swapping hard drives which will come in handy for heavy duty video editing
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June 25, 2013 6:40:00 PM

Jacks0n said:
I never said it was a bad GPU, where did I say it was?


I took this "and it's not even a good make of GPU" to mean you thought it was bad.
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June 25, 2013 6:57:39 PM

X79 said:
Jacks0n said:
I never said it was a bad GPU, where did I say it was?


I took this "and it's not even a good make of GPU" to mean you thought it was bad.


Yeah, Zotac suck at GPUs :) 
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June 26, 2013 7:23:17 AM

Thank you for all the input so far... I also meant to ask about RAID. I'm don't have a good grasp on how it works... but I'm told I need it. How does RAID fit in?
Thanks I advance....
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June 26, 2013 7:51:52 AM

Redundant

Array

of

Inexpensive

Disks

= RAID.

RAID is a way of organizing harddrives so that you can get more performance/reliability.

So there's RAID 1 for example, where you get a little less performance if you've got 2 or more HDDs, yet

get more reliability. Because if one drive crashes, the other drive can restore it. Then there's Raid 0

that doesn't have reliability, but instead gives you more storage. Lastly there's Raid 10, which seeks

to combine the two other ones. There's also Raid 5, 6 and so forth, but they're more aimed at much larger

deployments of harddrives, in the enterprise. So for you, I'd go RAID 1 or RAID 10 most likely.
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July 11, 2013 5:27:21 PM

As always, it really does depend on what you are going to be doing.
I do moderate amounts of video editing in Premiere Pro, as well as content creation in After Effects and Illustrator and make light use of other elements of the Creative suite/Cloud and have been told "you can't video edit on a laptop". For multiple reasons, I need the mobility of a laptop.

I am just in the process of replacing my existing 3.5 year old Dell XPS16 laptop, but can tell you it does a decent job with 8Gb RAM, an i7 processor, 1Gb graphics card and 500Gb 7200rpm hard drive. I use 7200rpm external drives for files storage and heartily endorse buying a buttload of storage if you are going to do much video. In practical terms, my current project needs 2 terabytes of space for the original files. Having said that, USB 3.0 is reasonably quick for reading files directly off the external drive in Premiere Pro and I can load and work on my project in less than 30 seconds.

My new machine will be similar to the CPU/GPU performances quoted above and have 32Gb RAM, although I considered 16Gb usable at the moment. I expect to be able to everything extremely smoothly. If, on the other hand, you're going to be doing huge numbers of layers and effects, then you'll be looking for something even beefier.

Do note that it is worth checking that your choice of GPU is compatible with Adobe's GPU-acceleration as that apparently makes a big difference.

Good luck
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