Please help me pick new DIY system for fast DV

Please help me pick new DIY system for fast DV, no gaming

Hi, everyone!

<b>Intro:</b> I don't think I've ever been so confused in my life! I'm looking for recommendations and advice on what components to pick for my new DIY system, but I'm only a moderately knowledgeable builder who feels way out of his depth. I've built a few DIY systems before, but I want to get this one <b>right</b>. I'll be using Windows XP.

<b>System Purpose:</b> General desktop stuff, but most of all I want to be able to input, output, convert & process digital video (DV) at the <b><i>highest speed I can afford</i></b> (but this isn't a dedicated DV system; it's for general use). I don't play any games, so I don't care about graphics speed.

<b>Budget:</b> ~ $1000. (max: $1250-$1500)

<b>CPU preference:</b> Pentium 4 in the ~3+ GHz range, but only because I read the P4 is much faster at DV than anything else on the market at a reasonable price. If you know different, please let me know.

<font color=blue><b>Question 1a:</b></font color=blue> Assuming I go with a P4, which should I go with?
<font color=green>(A):</font color=green> = P4 3.2GHz Prescott w/HT 800MHz 1MB S-478 - OEM - 1 year - $279

<font color=green>(B):</font color=green> = P4 3.2GHz 800FSB (HT?) w/512K Socket 478 .13 micron S-478 3200MHz - OEM - 30 days - $266

<font color=green>(C):</font color=green> = P4 530 Prescott 3.0GHz 800MHz 1MB Socket-775 - OEM - $224

<font color=blue><b>Question 1b:</b></font color=blue> Will hyper-threading (HT) help speed up DV apps like video conversion, or will it slow it down?

<font color=blue><b>Question 1c:</b></font color=blue> What about Prescott? I <i>think</i> I may have read the Prescott/HT is slower than the "older" P4 core (Northwood?) for DV, but can't remember for sure. Anyone know?


<b>Motherboard preference:</b> I've always owned Abits; I like the SoftMenu feature, although in all honesty I'm a bit too stupid to be much of an overclocker (I can never tell if my system crashes are overclocking-related, so I never push far). I'll go with another brand if recommended, but I need it to be a very stable and well-supported board.

<b>Motherboard features - Onboard Disk I/F:</b> I would prefer an on-board high-speed disk interface, like ATA-133 (and maybe SATA-150?). I'd like it to support booting from as many different devices as possible (including devices on external Firewire & USB cards if possible), but it must at least be able to boot from local CD/DVD. I want the fastest disk i/f I can afford, yet that excludes SCSI because the drive's cost per GB is so damn high.

<font color=blue><b>Question 2:</b></font color=blue> What's next fastest besides SCSI and SATA-150? Is it ATA-133 or something else?

<b>Motherboard features - Other Onboard Support:</b>
- USB 2.0 and Firewire, at least 2 external ports each and ideally at least 3 external USB 2.0 ports.

- High quality audio, especially high quality stereo digital audio extraction from CD/DVD. (I don't care about # of speakers or other fancy features)

- Ideally 4 or 5 PCI slots, but 3 minimum. Would a PCI-express slot do me any good (he asks, completely out of ignorance)?

- I don't care if it has LAN support onboard, but 10/100 onboard would be nice. I don't need or want a gigabit LAN.

- I have no use for, or interest in, RAID.

<b>Chipset preference:</b> Intel probably, but really anything BUT Via, which I understand is too slow or has other problems that interfere with DV processing speed.

<b>RAM preference:</b> Fast, fast, fast, but compatible with CPU & chipset.

<font color=blue><b>Question 3:</b></font color=blue> What kind of memory system should I use? (i.e., DDR-x, etc?)

<font color=blue><b>Question 4:</b></font color=blue> What chipset should I get considering the above?

<font color=blue><b>Question 5:</b></font color=blue> What motherboard should I get considering the above?

<font color=blue><b>Question 6:</b></font color=blue> What cooling system should I get considering the above?


<b>Case preferences:</b> I'd like a quality but affordable case with a quality 420W power supply, for less than $100. I'd like it to have two front-panel USB connectors and audio connectors. As for size, is there anything between mid-size and large? I'd like easy room for 3 HDDs, a 1.44 MB floppy, a DVD drive, and ideally a front DV patch panel for something like the Canopus ADVC 50. On the other hand, I don't want a monster case either!

<font color=blue><b>Question 7:</b></font color=blue> What cases can you recommend considering the above?


Okay, I realize that's a lot to ask! But I sure could use your expert guidance. Any advice or recommendations will be greatly appreciated...
9 answers Last reply
More about please pick system fast
  1. WHOA!!! Long post. right, here we go:

    Q1 - P4 3.2GHz 800FSB (HT?) w/512K Socket 478 .13 micron S-478 3200MHz - OEM - 30 days - $266. This processor is a Pentium 4c meaning that it does have hyperthreading. Hyperthreading is good!

    Q1b - If you find the right app it will speed it up.
    q1c - PressHOTs are slower at the sameclock speed that the northwoods. They Also run much hotter.

    Q2 - Yes ATA133 is the next fastest. If you want fast disk access consider setting up a RAID array (read the FAQ in the harddrive section)

    q3 - If your not overclocking, get some DDR400 (brand name like Cruical, Kingston etc_ low latacy perfered (CAS 2-2-2)

    Q4 - no experiance with Intel. Sorry!
    Q5 - As above
    Q6 - Retail Heatsink for the Intel chip will suffice.
    q7- <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>

    right, i'm done here.
    ...Just waiting for someone to disagree with everything I've said. lol
    q7 -

    My dick is so big, that my dick has a dick. And my dicks' dick is bigger than yours.
  2. heya ambush;

    Your nickname suits you i feel ambushed with questions /chuckle

    Here we go, lets keep it simple, i will make some recommendations and people can agree or disagree with me.

    Motherboard: Abit IS7
    CPU: P4c 3.2Ghz
    Memory: 2x512MB Samsung PC3200 - Genuine modules
    Graphics Card: R9800 Pro - If Video editing: All In Wonder
    Hard Drive: Hitachi 7K250 - SATA
    PSU: Fortron Source 400 Watt
    Monitor: Sceptre 19" CRT - Diamond Flat or better
    Case: Personal prefrence - I recommend one with 3x External 5.25" Slide in Cage, and 5x Internal 3.5" slide in Cage, with a 90-120mm front fan for drive cooling, and a 90-120mm exhaust fan, a side or top fan is good also. Function over style, but looks never hurts either.

    That about does it, thats as good as quality gets my friend, its not the fastest there is, but its pretty close.

    <font color=blue> <Archer> Cant this thing go any faster, I thought this was a Warp 5 engine?

    <Trip> Yeah, on Paper... </font color=blue>
  3. ok, my two cents worth - not complete but feel free to ask me about any of this for further clarification:

    CPU and motherboard - anything between a 2.8 and 3.2 Pentium 4 with Northwood core and 800Mhz front side bus. Make this decision on price as performance on any will be enough and it may get you in your budget range. If you have a Fry's in your area check for CPU/MB combos to get started or use an Intel 865 board if you buy seperately from CPU.

    RAM - 1GB PC3200 DDR in matched pair is the right choice for this setup. Try to stick with a name brand like Corsair, Mushkin, etc. even if you buy the cheaper, no overclock stuff.

    Hard Drives - Spend you money here. Get WD 76GB 10,000 RPM drives if you can. They are fast and relatively quiet, but definitely the fastest around, which you need for video editing. You will need a main OS drive and a capture drive. Use SATA for the capture drive and one for the OS drive if you can afford it. Search Google and read up on Raid 0 and whether it actually helps or not (probably not)

    Case - Buy a good low dollar case like a Coolermaster Centurion and get a good size 450W power supply. Again, review on google for these things.

    Video - Skip the ATI 9800 series and look at the 9600 since you are not playing games.

    you should be able to get in at budget if you shop on-line like Newegg or some such place.

    Flame Retardent - I know this may not set well with some but it is a very reasonable $ and fast system for DV editing
  4. DV will require lots of RAM, so get at least 1gig, also I agree with the other people about hard drives. What you want is a nice RAID array or some raptors, the only problem with the raptors is the largest one is 76Gig, which might not be big enough for you.

    If I were you I would wait for the new maxtor 250gig hard drives with 16mb of cache, get 2 of them and put em in RAID0. Will be very fast.

    <font color=blue>I have far too much time on my hands</font color=blue>
  5. Quote:
    Flame Retardent - I know this may not set well with some but it is a very reasonable $ and fast system for DV editing

    heh who gives a damn what someone thinks about your oppinion, its yours and your intitled to it, if they dont like it they can goto hell and you can give them directions ROFL
  6. 1a) If you have a limitted budget, probably overclock a cheaper processor!
    1b) Yes, especially if you're running several compilations at once like I do.

    I'd go with the Abit IS7.

    OK, now for your flawed logic: Intel doesn't offer ATA133. But then again, ATA disk are SO SLOW that they don't need anything faster than ATA100. The fastest ATA disk, the WD Raptor, is SATA, and even that one BARELY breakes 100MB/s (ATA100 speed) on rare occasions.

    2.) ATA100, ATA133, and SATA150 are all about the same speed, it's a limit of the drive mechanics.

    Abit IS7 has the ports you're looking for and good audio. It has 5 PCI slots. Even though you don't want it, it has SATA RAID.

    You'll want PC3200 SDRAM. In fact, you'll want AT LEAST 1GB, and you might consider 2GB.

    I'd go with the i865PE chipset.

    I'd go with the Abit IS7.

    I'd stick with the retail boxed cooler.

    The most common enthusiast case is between midsized and large, it's the Chieftech Dragon, it cost around $55 for the steel version.

    <font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
  7. Thank you, thank you, all of you! Woohaw! Such great and timely advice!

    I'm planning on going with the Abit IS7, P4 3.2 Northwood 800FSB with HT, 1 WD Raptor 74G 10000 rpm SATA, 1 WD WD1200JD 120GB 8MB 7200rpm SATA, Antec P160 case with Antec True 430 PS and 1 MB (2x512) RAM (for now).

    How is Crucial's PC-3200B 8T DDR-400 PC3200 RAM? It's relatively cheap ($81/512MB), and I've read some good reviews on NewEgg, so that's what I leaning towards. I was once thinking about Geil's Golden PC3500 or other good brand PC3500, but the cost is sky high for 1MB!!

    Also, as far as graphics card, I think I'm gonna go with Sapphire's ATI Radeon 9200Se, 128Mb DDR, 64-Bit, Tv-Out, 8X AGP for $47. But should I go ahead and get their 9600SE for 20 more bucks? I don't need video in, since I'm gonna be getting a Canopus for that.
  8. If I bought more Crucial, I'd probably get it with free 2nd day shipping from

    The 9200 Pro is based on the 8500...the 9200 is weaker than the 8500LE as far as I know, and the 9200SE should be a 9200 with 1/2 the memory bandwidth. Remember the 8500 is 3 years old!

    9600SE should be at least 1/3 better than the 9200SE, but still a very weak card. If you need a budget card, look for the following:

    Radeon 8500 is fairly fast for an old card
    Radeon 8500LE is an underclocked version that still performs fairly well
    Radeon 9100 is EXACTLY the 8500LE, renamed

    Or a GeForce4 Ti4200.

    <font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
  9. You want to OC your Cpu send me a PM. Nice choice on mobo I have the same one. Graphic cards in your price range TI4200.
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