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Seeking advice - building a decent gaming/video editing rig

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October 3, 2006 7:40:16 PM

Alright so basically I'm turning my old shuttle into a media center and I want to build a brand new pc from scratch. I've done it before, built my old shuttle so the logistics aren't really a problem. However I've been out of the hardware loop for quite some time.

What I'm planning on doing with this PC:

- Video editing, using dual monitors
- Lots and lots of gaming
- I often watch tv shows/anime on my 2nd monitor while playing games on my primary

Any builds will be much appreciated. I'm looking spend 1-2k. Even case suggestions are welcome. I would do all this research on my own but I simply do not have the time with the work that I do. Thanks in advance guys. Much appreciated. :) 
October 3, 2006 8:06:15 PM

do you have 2 existing monitors or are you starting from total scratch.
October 3, 2006 8:14:16 PM

Case - NZXT Zero, NZXT Lexa, Gigabyte Aurora, TT Armor, TT Shark. Coolermaster Mystique... shrug. I like the Zero, 8 fans, and 100 bucks cheaper than CM Stacker 830

PSU - OCZ GameXStream 600W, Antec TriCool 650W, CMPSU-620HX.

Processor - e6600

Mobo - P5W-DH (Are you going to OC, cuz I assume you are. Will you go Xfire in the future, because I will spec out a build without Xfire, but with the capability. If you don't want it, could always go down to a P5B or DS3 or AB9 Pro)

Memory - DDR2 800 (Corsair or G.Skill or OCZ... any of the big names)

HDD's - 2 320 gig PMR Seagate's in RAID (0 or 1, your choice)

Graphics Card - X1950XTX if your not planning on waiting for DX10, or get a DX10 card.

Optical - Samsung 18X DVD-Burner

Scythe Infinity with 2 fan's (If you plan on OC'ing, 2nd fan for a push-pull config, or one fan is fine) otherwise Arctic Freezer 7 pro or Stock if not OC'ing

Meh, everyone else can start building on that.

I have roughly 1 TB of anime therefore i have a bigger epeen than you.
Another 250 gigs of games, 350 gigs of movies. Then a bunch o other stuff to fill up the rest. I need more hdd's...
Related resources
October 3, 2006 8:29:11 PM

That oughta do it. It's easy when you're spending someone else's money.

Maybe you should give us a price point, xarbon.

BTW: even w/ the suggested two hard drives, I would still recomend a third and/or 4th... use the big RAID for data, use another one (or two) smaller drive for your OS and apps.

(I hope I'm not sounding like a broken record, but I believe that's the correct way to build a PC)
October 3, 2006 8:57:52 PM

If you are going to be semi-serious about video editing you’ll want a stable MB designed for such things. Tyan has a good rep with video editing; and remember video is 2D so it doesn’t matter what card you get in that respect. What counts is motherboard bandwidth and stability. nForce boards for instance don’t come highly recommended, but older ones do.

The above quoted system is completely aimed at gaming, not video editing btw. Asus may be a good brand, but true video editing needs very stable boards and that usually comes with time. The Asus is new and untested in that respect.

In any case; give us a little more information and I’m sure people will help out. If you are just going to piece together a few home movies for the family then just about any system setup will do, but if you are going to be using three or more layers in each film and plan on having things like After Effects, Premier or other more serious software then MBs are going to be very important.
October 3, 2006 9:15:01 PM

My price point is around 1500, I stated above 1k-2k. :) 

Thanks so far for all the advice. I currrently have 2 monitors already, however I am planning on trashing one and getting a new one. I'd like a large LCD but I'm not sure what brand/size to go with yet.

I do serious video editing. I basically create trailers and music videos.

As for xfire I'm not that current with hardware and don't know whether or not I really want a next gen system or a more than decent current system. What are the benefits of having an xfire system? Is it worth the extra money?
October 3, 2006 9:44:30 PM

def go with the core 2 duo e6600 as it fits nicely in ur budget and kicks ass

get 2 gb of (ddr2 800 if ur gonna oc, if not ddr2 533) as 533 is stock mem speed without overclocking- others will elaborate on this. you can EASILY oc a 6600 though, with little trouble, so go with the 800 so you can oc later

for case i have a centurion 532. it is somewhat plain looking, but i like it. its cheap, but well made. you can have 2 120mm fans (1 front 1back) and theres a side duct.

hdd id go with 2 320gb ones, since video eats up gigs.

check out newegg on monitors. you will want as low of response time, and id go for minimun 19'' as they are not way over priced

i wont recommend a mobo as i dont know the deal with using 2 monitors.

you shouldnt need xfire. it should be the last hting you should get. id only recommend it in $2500+ as it doesnt add much performacne but you pay for another card. 1 good card beats 2 ok ones, so it only makes sense to buy 2 top end cards and xfire them, but that is out of ur budget.
October 3, 2006 10:01:49 PM

Alright so heres a rough draft, any criticisms are more than welcome, I'm entirely unsure about the HDD and video card so any suggestions for those categories are more than welcome. Thanks again everyone, really appreciate the help. :) 

Case -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
What can I say, I'm a sucker for looks.

Processor -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
Seems to be the processor everyone is leaning towards.

PSU -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Mobo -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

RAM -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
Pricey, but I definitely need 2 gigs

HDD -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
Looking for better suggestions.

Video Card -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?DEPA=0&ty...
Expensive, any cheaper solutions at a negligible cost in performance?

Monitor -
Still looking for a solution here. :) 
October 3, 2006 10:18:03 PM

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...


Im getting something and I have just about the same needs as you, except my monitor has to be a little more color quality oriented. Since you dont seem to want to overclock, and you shouldnt considering you want to do rendering and encoding, you will save a few extra bucks compared to me, since Im trying to do very silent mild overclocking. Like I said, rendering does not benefit from an overclocked CPU.

I would also recommend a faster HD to help speed up rendering, so look into a Raptor.

You could easily get two monitors for the price of mine, but I wanted something like the Sony cause its the best multi purpose 23' incher that has color rendering as one of its highest pros. Its pretty good for gaming as well.

I think you should stick with a 6400 cause you could easily overclock the extra 2GHz and you will save 120 bucks, comparing to the 6600. I think you should get something very similar to my system, just get some slower RAM, like 2GBs of 533MHz, trust me, you will not notice the difference and you will easily save up $150. I have seen to many benchmarks where the differance in RAM speed is so negligable and I dont even know why people bother. Im just doing it for some better overclocking.

You could even consider a cheaper case, like an Antec Sonata. Save maybe 60 bucks.
October 4, 2006 3:55:31 PM

Not quite sure about your memory choice. You correctly say you definitely need 2 GB, yet your link points to a 1 GB package. For video editing, you should consider MORE ram, not less... you should start w/ 2 sticks at 1 GB each, DDR2 800, and consider upgrading to 4GB.

As someone already noted, you don't need an expensive video card. Your doing video editing, not gaming. You're grumbling about the price of memory and throwing $400 at a video card? That doesn't make sense for your purposes.

Also, I don't think WiFi is an important feature on for an editing dock. Not sure why you would pay for that feature on your motherboard.

The hard drive is fine, but I would seriously consider bigger. Tou are talking about two of them, right? 500GB will probably do, but 700GB would be even better for video work. And of course a third (smaller) drive for your OS and apps!

Also, let's bring up the subject of Opperating systems... you should seriously consider using WindowsXP Pro 64 bit version. That will allow you to take advantage of your 64 bit CPU, and 64 bit software. I'm not sure what software you plan on using, but if it is available in 64 bit version, then you should get a significant performance increase. Applications like video editing should benefit greatly from 64 bit software (which can only be run w/ a 64 bit CPU like yours, w/ a 64 bit Opperating System).
October 4, 2006 4:44:09 PM

i know i will probably get flack for this but here are my suggesstions.

if your primary use is Video editing

1. Get a stable MOBO from the likes of TYAN or Abit
2. Spend the money on the CPU, HD and Ram

My Suggestions

AMD Opteron / E6600 or higher (hey if opteron is good enough for dreamworks it's good enough for me)

2GB Minimum of RAM

74GB Raptor Boot/Software Drive
500GB in RAID 0 (Dump Drive)

7600 or 7900 GT Vid Card

If the Primary is Gaming then

1. Spend money and get a mid range cpu/ram/mobo
2. Spend lots on the videocard/sound card/speakers

My Suggestions

Either an Opteron 165/175 or e6600
Asus Mobo
Get fast ram if ddr pc 3500 is nice
36GB Raptor Boot
320GB Software
either a X1900XT (xtx and 1950 are not worth the extra cash IMHO) or a 7900/7950
And a GOOD powersupply from companies such as PCC, Seasonic or Antec probably in the 500-700 watt range.

those are my suggestions take them or leave them, But i use my computer for video editing, gaming and 3D content creation.

Opteron 165
Asus A7N32-SLI
Antec NEO HE500
1GB OCZ PC3500
ATI X1900XT 512MB
320GB Sata II
X-Mystique 7.1
LG DVDRW DL
Viewsonic VX2025WM
Antec Sonata Case
120mm Silenx Ixtrema Pro x2

Gaming is awesome there are very few games i can't run at 1680x1050 due to slowdowns (including FEAR, HL2, etc) My avg divx encoding speed using divx 6 is around 80-100 FPS, x.264 is around 30-35 FPS. And my system is all running stock speed no OC. (but i can easily and safely bump the cpu to 2.4 :) 
October 4, 2006 5:25:54 PM

SciPunk thanks for your advice however the rig would be used for gaming as well, so 64 bit OS is kind of ruled out due to compatibility reasons. :( 
October 4, 2006 8:00:40 PM

Does anybody know of any games that DON'T run under WinXP Pro 64 bit version??
October 4, 2006 8:46:23 PM

Lots, for one, Space Cowboy, a free MMOFPS that I play.
October 5, 2006 4:43:35 PM

Hmmm.... I guess that title still uses legacy 16 bit code.
October 5, 2006 5:16:21 PM

Quote:
Any builds will be much appreciated. I'm looking spend 1-2k. Even case suggestions are welcome. I would do all this research on my own but I simply do not have the time with the work that I do. Thanks in advance guys. Much appreciated. :) 


I got a PC very similar to this:
http://easythunder.com/newpc.html

So far quite happy.

Although, be aware I did have to upgrade the BIOS on the CPU for it to boot up right off CD/DVDs.

The Bios upgrade was rather painless. Copy new BIOS to floppy, then use go into the F2/Delete whatever it was, and it's a feature in there to read it.

Hope you get the machine you want.
!