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PC configuration for Avid

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April 7, 2009 7:19:17 AM

Hi, I need to build system around Phenom ll and nVidia GPU(s). What mobo should I use?
Can you suggest a descent config for rendering and editing videos for production purpose?

Phenom is not must but nVidia GPU is a must(I mean I can even for Intel Quad but cant use ATI GPUs).

Thanks a lot!
Reddy

More about : configuration avid

April 7, 2009 9:30:04 AM

Thanks for the suggestion.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: May 2009
BUDGET RANGE: $900 - $1500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Video Editing, Photoshop, Games, Maya.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, Power Supply

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I did not fix to any main parts yet. But I am going to buy it thru newegg or ebay.

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD Phenom or Intel Quad core, nVidia GPU is a must, 6GB or more RAM, a mobo which can support the above parts(like, not all mobos for AMD can support nVidia GPU(i read somewhere :cry:  ))

OVERCLOCKING: Yes
SLI : Maybe

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: My new PC should be future proof at least for a year or more. Cant go for i7. 2 nVidia GPUs on SLI (and cheap) or costly but one(like Quadro fx 1700), can you tell me whats better of both?

Eagerly waiting for your responses,
Reddy
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April 7, 2009 10:14:14 AM

Just so you know, I usually find cheaper on the sites I go to for these builds, then you will find on ebay. If I had a nickel for every vid card on there that sold for more than the manufactures suggested retail I would have a free vid card by now. It always pays to shop around.

I didn't put a vid card in this build for the fact I'm not sure if you want to "soft mod" a normal Nvidea card, or just go with the quadro. That's your call.

Ok quick run down.

1) I chose this case for a few reasons. It's large so you have room to SLI later on if you choose, not to mention it isn't cramped for a large heat sink, and it has great airflow/cooling/ventilation.

2) This psu will allow you to SLI now or later on if you so choose.

3) This mobo is on the cheap right now, and Gigabyte just came out with a new bios that lets you use if for SLI...I will post the link below.

3) The i7 OEM is cheaper than retail and seeing how you might want to over clock it's best to add the heatsink while your making the build instead of later on.

4) Heat sink. That Xigmatek is rated in the top 5. "frostytech.com" for the reviews.

5) MX-2 thermal compound. It's non conductive, and no set up time, not to mention it's about the best out there atm.

6) That memory is a steal at that price.

7) That HD is fast, but you might want to upgrade to the 1TB version of it...no idea how much HD space you want.

8) The burner is solid, and it's SATA and not EIDE....it's a burner....

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/gigabyte-nvidia-sli-mo... <==== Gigabyte: Enable SLI On X58 Boards

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E.... <=== Quadro cards to choose from

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <=== Pics, specs, and reviews of the case in this build

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=CA-RC690KK $68.34
Cooler Master RC-690-KKN1-GP No Power Supply ATX Mid Tower Case (Black)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $119.99 ($99.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $199.99 ($184.99 after $15.00 Mail-In Rebate)
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=I7-920 $265.99 Free Ground Shipping
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $39.99
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $6.99
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $24.99 Free Shipping*
LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM

Total: $821.27 *not including shipping and rebates
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April 8, 2009 1:47:40 AM

I like most of what has been said; so, I'll provide info on one of the most overlooked parts: HDD's, which is always the slowest part of a system and the most important. Whichever mobo you get, I highly recommend one that has Intel's Matrix Storage, which comes in ICH8R, ICH9R or ICH10R. I also use my pc for video editing(PPro+AE), and I have 4-10k rpm raptors in raid 10 for OS & apps and also a raid 0 for cache/scratch disk. Only Intel's Matrix Storage allows creating 2 Raid Arrays on 1 set of drives. I also have a 3ware Raid card with 500GB drives in Raid 5 for storage. I can personally attest to the GREAT benefits of Raid in terms of Speed AND data safety. One of my Raptors just died a couple of weeks ago and I have not lost ANY data and have not had any down time. Technically, 1 more raptor can die and I won't lose any data thanks to Raid 10. This is a very condensed explanation on my thoughts using Raid but I can go into more detail if you want.

Depending on what you already have for storage and how much money you have to spend on HDD's, here are a couple ideas.
1) 2-150GB Raptors in Raid 1 for OS/Apps with 70GB for that partition/array and the rest of the 140GB in a Raid 0 for cache/scratch; 4-1TB drives in a Raid 10 array. Total=$660
2) 4-1TB drives in a Raid 10 array with the first 90% of capacity with the first 70-80GB for C partition and the 1.6+TB for storage and the last 10% in a Raid 0 for cache/scratch. Total=$360.
Also, using an Intel mobo, you can upgrade that mobo to a newer Intel mobo without reinstalling your OS.

MICROCENTER: if you have one nearby, they usually have as good of prices as newegg or better, especially on CPUs and ram. Just checked- i7 920 for $229. And Corsair 6GB DDR3-1600 for $90. Plus their Return Policy is usually better than newegg's.

CASE: I don't know if your current case will suffice, but I do know that you need lots of storage/drives so getting one that has the HDD area sectioned off with great airflow is a good idea to keep those drives living as long as possible. I have a Lian-Li that holds 12 drives and an Antec P180 which holds 4 + 2 and both have great airflow and build quality (and cost a lot too, Antec=$150, Lian-Li=$350, but I'll never need to upgrade them).

One more thought: I have just come to the realization that using a single pc for everyday stuff AND video editing is a very bad idea. The extra programs and codecs installed just don't mesh with these very powerful and advanced programs sometimes, especially with GL support in AE. I have an 8800GT which fully supports acceleration in AE but AE sometimes freezes or shuts down. However, switching the 8800GT to my other pc with a fresh install of vista(versus XP in problem pc), I have not had any problems.

That is all for now.
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April 8, 2009 5:41:21 AM

specialk90 said:
I like most of what has been said; so, I'll provide info on one of the most overlooked parts: HDD's, which is always the slowest part of a system and the most important. Whichever mobo you get, I highly recommend one that has Intel's Matrix Storage, which comes in ICH8R, ICH9R or ICH10R. I also use my pc for video editing(PPro+AE), and I have 4-10k rpm raptors in raid 10 for OS & apps and also a raid 0 for cache/scratch disk. Only Intel's Matrix Storage allows creating 2 Raid Arrays on 1 set of drives. I also have a 3ware Raid card with 500GB drives in Raid 5 for storage. I can personally attest to the GREAT benefits of Raid in terms of Speed AND data safety. One of my Raptors just died a couple of weeks ago and I have not lost ANY data and have not had any down time. Technically, 1 more raptor can die and I won't lose any data thanks to Raid 10. This is a very condensed explanation on my thoughts using Raid but I can go into more detail if you want.

Depending on what you already have for storage and how much money you have to spend on HDD's, here are a couple ideas.
1) 2-150GB Raptors in Raid 1 for OS/Apps with 70GB for that partition/array and the rest of the 140GB in a Raid 0 for cache/scratch; 4-1TB drives in a Raid 10 array. Total=$660
2) 4-1TB drives in a Raid 10 array with the first 90% of capacity with the first 70-80GB for C partition and the 1.6+TB for storage and the last 10% in a Raid 0 for cache/scratch. Total=$360.
Also, using an Intel mobo, you can upgrade that mobo to a newer Intel mobo without reinstalling your OS.

MICROCENTER: if you have one nearby, they usually have as good of prices as newegg or better, especially on CPUs and ram. Just checked- i7 920 for $229. And Corsair 6GB DDR3-1600 for $90. Plus their Return Policy is usually better than newegg's.

CASE: I don't know if your current case will suffice, but I do know that you need lots of storage/drives so getting one that has the HDD area sectioned off with great airflow is a good idea to keep those drives living as long as possible. I have a Lian-Li that holds 12 drives and an Antec P180 which holds 4 + 2 and both have great airflow and build quality (and cost a lot too, Antec=$150, Lian-Li=$350, but I'll never need to upgrade them).

One more thought: I have just come to the realization that using a single pc for everyday stuff AND video editing is a very bad idea. The extra programs and codecs installed just don't mesh with these very powerful and advanced programs sometimes, especially with GL support in AE. I have an 8800GT which fully supports acceleration in AE but AE sometimes freezes or shuts down. However, switching the 8800GT to my other pc with a fresh install of vista(versus XP in problem pc), I have not had any problems.

That is all for now.

That was very informative. Specialk90, can you please tell me more elaborately on how to arrange my HDDs at RAID 0. I want to buy 3 500 GB HDDs and RAID them at RAID 0 on Intel mobo. I have to use the PC for NLE using Avid, 2d animation and photoshop. So can you tell me how to arrange them on mobo, how I should partition the drives and what settings to change in Vista. I am pretty new to this tech and wish you will tell me from basics.
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April 8, 2009 6:02:04 AM

Well for your setup, I would suggest you get 2 320GB drives in RAID 0(As RAID 0 requires EDIT : I feel going with more than 2 drives RAID 0 is not a good option you should go with RAID 5 if more than 2 drives...) and a single 1TB HDD for backup...
RAID 0 have a problem though...if 1 of the drives get corrupted, then it is difficult to get your data back...For that reason, I suggest you go with the above setup...and keep all you important data on the 1TB and use the RAID 0 for loading programs...
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April 8, 2009 6:59:03 AM

gkay09 said:
Well for your setup, I would suggest you get 2 320GB drives in RAID 0(As RAID 0 requires 2 identical HDDs and not 3) and a single 1TB HDD for backup...
RAID 0 have a problem though...if 1 of the drives get corrupted, then it is difficult to get your data back...For that reason, I suggest you go with the above setup...and keep all you important data on the 1TB and use the RAID 0 for loading programs...

How do I add 3 HDDs with just 2 in RAID 0? How do I tell which disk is for media files and which disk is for OS and application files?
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April 8, 2009 8:43:06 AM

sridharrreddy said:
How do I add 3 HDDs with just 2 in RAID 0? How do I tell which disk is for media files and which disk is for OS and application files?

Well google is your friend...
Search in google as "How to setup RAID 0"...
here are a few links, which will would help you...
http://www.smartcomputing.com/Editorial/article.asp?art...
http://www.pcworld.com/article/132877/how_to_set_up_rai...
http://www.overclock.net/faqs/48758-info-raid-0-beginne...
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/393

You would have to do lot of research before setting up RAID to make sure you wont screw up anything...
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April 10, 2009 8:50:26 AM

First off, yes you can do a 3-drive Raid 0. Secondly, I highly doubt you need the speed of Raid 0. Unless you are working with uncompressed video and/or Film, you don't need blazing speed. I usually output uncompressed from After Effects into PPro so you might need good speed for your 3d/compositing programs also. A 13 second uncompressed video from a recent project was 1GB and took about 15s to write using a setup like below.

Never trust your data to a single drive or Raid 0.

If you want good speed AND data safety, you should look at getting 4-500GB drives AND using an Intel mobo with ICH10R. Set it up in Raid 10 for OS/Apps and the last 100-150GB you can set up a Raid 0 for media cache. Only Intel's Matrix Raid allows 2 Raid arrays on 1 set of drives. Raid 10 is like a 2-drive Raid 0 for writes and better than a 2-drive Raid 0 for reads. Normally, Raid 1 provides faster reads cuz it allows reading from 2 drives at the same time. Combine Raid 1 with Raid 0 and you have Raid 10.

For backups, just get a 1.5TB Seagate for $120 plus external case.
Check this build and sub the drives with 4-500GB @ $60/each.
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

I don't see any benefit to getting i7 right now vs the Q8300 which can be easily OC'd to 3.2GHz and stable and costs a lot less.

What's your budget?
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April 13, 2009 5:11:31 AM

In my 7 years or computer usage I never had my hard disk broken. So, do I need to look at disk failure issue? Will RAID 0 wont suffice? And I heard i7 had 30% more performance gain than old gen quad core system.
My budget is 1 - 1.5K $. Obviously I would like to save money if I can. If that 30% performance gain wont matter much, then I would surely go for Q8300. What do you suggest? My workstation works for local film industry here.

-Reddy
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April 13, 2009 5:55:35 AM

Well then you should get the i7...it is more future proof and will beat the Q8300 to dust when it comes to video editing and other multimedia stuff...
Take a look at the Why_Me suggestion...

And if you want to reduce the cost, then you can get the Phenom II X4 940 as well...
But have come across a news that a new Phenom X4 955 will be releasing during May...So look out for that too...

And when the HDDs run in RAID 0 config, the failure rate is very high, which is not the case when you run Hdds in non RAID config...

The RAID is the cheapest way to get high performance...but also it has its disadvantages...So if you feel that the advantages weigh over its disadvantages, then go with RAID...
But like I said before having 2 HDD in RAID 0 is more than suffice...and have a separate high capacity HDD to take back up of your important data...

There are many types of RAID configuration...See which suits you...But make sure that RAID config is supported by the motherboard...
http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/R/RAID.html
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April 13, 2009 8:20:27 AM

Gkay, are you trying to support my suggestion of Raid 10 with that last link?

To the "I haven't had a drive fail in x years".

I had not been in a car accident in the first 26 years of my life. Then I was in 2 within 4 days. Both my truck and rental were totaled and I'm lucky to be alive thanks to the air bag in my truck. I never thought it would happen to me since I had never been in one and no one I knew had been in a serious accident; so, I wasn't too worried about using the seatbelt. (My truck was obviously the first accident and neither were my fault) If you will be using this pc for work, is the data not important to you? Would you take the risk driving without a seatbelt or airbag?

You can still get your Raid 0 using Intel's Matrix Raid in combination with Raid 1 or 10. This is probably the number 1 pc feature I tell everyone about.

For CPU performance, I guess I would need to know about your workflow a little more.
- When editing video, what format(s) - some require more processing power than others
- When adding effects, even my Q6600 can keep up but I only render small pieces during edit stage to see how they look or I will add several effects and let it render overnight. The power of your video card will provide the biggest real-time benefit as most programs use openGL acceleration(Adobe PPro & AE do, I don't know about Avid - I assume Avid does as it is popular in Hollywood)
- When ready to encode, does shaving 10-15% off total encode time really matter or do you let it go overnight or do you have a render/encode farm?

I haven't upgraded my Q6600s yet for a few reasons:
1) I usually encode/render overnight so a render/encode taking 6 vs 7 hrs is of no benefit.
2) My nvidia 8800GT will be the first thing to get upgraded no matter how great the Intel CPU's are because the gfx card can greatly improve my 'real-time' editing/compositing speeds.
3) I know how nice it is to get the latest and greatest tech, I am still like this EXCEPT when it comes to business related expenses. If it costs an extra $300-350 for a 15% reduction in render/encode times, it is not worth it. Investing that money into a FX Quadro video card will provide more everyday benefit for me.
4) I think this is the most important question to ask yourself: is the time saved on rendering/encoding or during editing/compositing provide cost and time savings? Which ever of those is more important should help your decision.

Also, the i7 is at least 33% faster than the Phenom II and the i7 is about 10-15% faster than the Q9/8xxx series for raw number crunching power and video encoding.
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April 13, 2009 8:29:43 AM

^+1
Yes of all the configs, the RAID 10(0+1) looks the better one...But he would have to include one more HDD...and should see to that the mobo supports RAID 10...
And no doubt get the i7...
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April 13, 2009 8:54:37 AM

Pretty much all Intel motherboards over $100 include 6 Sata ports for Raid 0/1/10/5.
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April 13, 2009 1:02:27 PM

Well then, I will go for RAID 10. I will do more research on costs, time savings and power savings and make the final decision next week. But Quadro FX seems to be quite expensive :( 
Do you think buying a GeForce GTS 250 graphic card and soft modding it will improve performance to any level? Or should I go for Quadro FX 1700? Avid recommends Quadro FX!! And there are people who soft modded their old graphic cards to Quadros and working happily.
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April 13, 2009 1:15:40 PM

Even I have heard about soft modding the Graphics card to a workstation card...If done properly, it should work fine as the underlying hardware is the same...
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April 13, 2009 10:02:18 PM

I don't know much about Soft Modding, but if you try it, PLEASE let me know how it works. Also, if you do it, try it in Avid first and then soft mod to see what the difference is.
The GTS 250 should work as it is the same hardware as the $1500 CX/FX Quadro.
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April 14, 2009 8:57:56 AM

Did any one test GTS 250 or GTX 260 modding to a Quadro? If yes, can you please give the FX model number to which it is mapped to?
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April 14, 2009 11:36:42 PM

I just researched soft modding and stupid nvidia laser-cut their chips since G92 came out; thus, disabling soft-mod/bios flash. The last good card is the 8800GTS(G8*) 640/320MB which modded to Quadro FX4600. This REALLY stinks cuz I was hoping to do this to my 8800GT(G92). But I guess I should be able to either trade my card or get a 8800GTS 640 for cheap. From everything I've read, soft-modding makes a huge difference in 3d apps.
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April 14, 2009 11:38:37 PM

I forgot to add that many people have said that ATI has not crippled their cards and soft-modding them is still possible. I haven't looked into this yet but I will because I also have a x1950xtx.
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April 15, 2009 12:24:43 AM

Something I just came across, which could be very important to you if you use Media Composer 3; MC 3 requires a Quadro card to run.(even a soft-mod will work) This is from the Avid forum. Or some older geforce cards require rivatuner and 'force openGL 1.5' enabled and 'thread optimization' disabled in nvidia control panel.
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April 26, 2009 7:01:16 AM

I am like forgot everything after a 2 week trip. :o 
specialk, thanks for that wonderful info that we cant mod gtx cards. Otherwise I was about to buy a gtx285. Now I guess nvidia would even stop producing 8800 g80 series to boost their quadro sales.
This is bad nvidia :non: 
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