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Crushing Office System

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March 29, 2008 4:20:07 AM

Hey all, I've been tasked with building a whoopass system for our office. I work at a music venue, and this system will primarily be used for photoshop (making large, hi-res posters), and backing up video we shoot in house. The boss uses a Sony HDR-CX7 HD cam, and futureproofs by shooting everything in 1080p. Which I then destroy and compress down to DVD-Rs. Knowing this, the goal is to have a system that can rip right through these video backups and has a load of storage. Naturally, quiet is better, but I may try to OC it a bit. I can't have it crashing on me, as it's also my do-lame-office-stuff computer.

I've made my list public on newegg, but I can't find it yet. I'm guessing it takes a minute to list, so I've re-created it here. It's called Office Upgrade 2 (how original) if it ever shows up. There's an alternate version with a Thermaltake LANBOX, but I figured that would be harder to cool and therefore OC.

CPU: Q6600 ($235)
HS: Arctic Freezer Pro 7 ($37)
MoBo: DFI BloodIron P35-T2RL ($120)
Vid: MSI NX8500GT-TD256EH (for the slient factor) ($60)
RAM: 2 x 2BG Patriot Extreme Performance PC2 6400 ($98)
HDD: 2 x 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ($100 ea)
DVD: 2 x Sony Optiarc 20x SATA (just cuz it was SATA) ($28 ea)
OS: Vista 64-Bit Home Prem for System Builders ($100)
Case: Antec Sonata III (have a Sonta II at home, love it) ($120)

That's $1045 to the door with $70 in rebates.

REASONING:
The chip could be exchanged for an E2160, but the price is still right with the Q6600, and I'm hoping it will just destroy video transcoding. That's obviously the most stress I'll be putting on this thing. I might sync the video to audio we record from the board, so some light AV editing as well, but I'll be running the files from the HDD opposite the OS drive which will help.

The MoBo I got because of it's 6 USB ports, Quad support, and 8GB RAM support. The RAID option is nice too, should I end up using it. I've also heard nothing but good news about the P35 chipset.

I don't know of anything I'll be doing that will tax the Vid card, so I kept it cheap.

I got the RAM for it's 4-4-4-12 timing, but the 2.2v might be a bit hot. Maybe move to the Viper for the heat spreaders?

The total of 1TB is primarily for the video storage as well as backing up shows we've recorded in house. The HDDs might benefit from a 32MB cache. Thoughts?

The case was relatively cheap for screwless, quiet and PSU. Open to change, of course. Depending on the case, I'll probably add a 120mm front fan if it's not included, so suggestions for a quiet/high CFM fan are appreciated.

I talked with a local custom PC company, and they suggested either an E8400 or Q9450. From what I've read, these are a little hard to get a hold of. They must have them, cuz it's what they suggested they build for me. If either is available, what would you get? They're both 45nm with 1333FSB, but the 9450 is waaay more and the E8400 is only dual-core.

Lastly, I read a post stating the Nehalem socket will make the current 775 obsolete. I know the boss doesn't want to be in a constant state of upgrade, so this build has to be good for at least a year or two. I'm trying to balance performance with reasonable pricing, so I think I've chosen the right core and if needed I could buy a better one next year for like $60.

Thanks for the help!

More about : crushing office system

March 29, 2008 5:01:50 AM

CPU: Q6600 ($235)
HS: Arctic Freezer Pro 7 ($37)
MoBo: DFI BloodIron P35-T2RL ($120)
Vid: MSI NX8500GT-TD256EH (for the slient factor) ($60)
RAM: 2 x 2BG Patriot Extreme Performance PC2 6400 ($98)

HDD: 2 x 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ($100 ea)
Alternate: 2 x 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 faster bit more run raid 0
Have another set of 7200.11's to output to in raid 1
Even when not used in raid 0 the 7200.11's are faster.

DVD: 2 x Sony Optiarc 20x SATA (just cuz it was SATA) ($28 ea)

OS: Vista 64-Bit Home Prem for System Builders ($100)
Unless your going to go with 8GB of ram stay with 32bit

Case: Antec Sonata III (have a Sonta II at home, love it) ($120)

Raid 0 will speed up photo work, 8GB with 64bit will speed it up more.
March 29, 2008 5:28:39 AM

Get the Q9300 instead of the Q6600. Its slightly faster and with 45nm tech, its going to draw less power and its actually faster clock cycle for clock cycle.

Then, since it is so low on power consumption, you may be able to use a BTF95U to cool it (look it up on newegg). Perfectly silent.
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March 29, 2008 6:45:49 AM

You don't mention a budget, so I'd go for a Q9450. The new 45nm chips (Q9xxx, E8xxx, X33xx) have enhancements for media processing that when the software catches up to the hardware, should boost your performance for video encoding even more. And they're only 150 to 2 hundred dollars more than the Q6600.

If you want quiet, DON'T go for the 7200.10 drive, go for the 7200.11. I've used them both, and there's a HUGE difference in sound levels.

Go with the Quad Core, for what you're trying to do. The extra couple hundred dollars (if that) over a couple years is nothing.

My $0.02.

Clint
April 1, 2008 5:22:03 PM

After a little more research, I've switched out the Q6600 for the 9450. Mostly for this statement from the 45nm Peryn review

"With the new SSE4 instruction set, this generation of processors can accelerate upcoming video editing applications by at least 40%."

Thanks for the suggestion; the boss agreed that the extra $130 would be worth it.

I've also upgraded the 7200.10s to the .11s. The charts suggested that my usage would benefit from them, and they're only about $20 more each. The last decision would be whether or not to get another 4GB of RAM. The board says it supports it, but I'm not entirely certain Vista will. I've read good and bad.

Lastly, I also added a Scythe S-Flex SFF21E 120mm case fan. Inside the Sonata, it will pull air in over the HDDs and it's spec'd out pretty quiet. Though $20 does seem like a lot for a fan; I should get two for that. Better ideas?

Thanks for all the help.
!