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First Build, nearly ready, HD Editing and compositing Rig

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Anonymous
May 2, 2009 5:57:31 AM

I've been doing my research and am finally just about ready to buy. I only want to get opinions on some parts choices.

I'm open to suggestions on the case an the RAM if you have any, the rest are pretty straight forward.

I7 920
MSI Eclipse SLI http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
WD Velociraptor 300
WD Cav 1 Tb
Pioneer Blu Burner 8x
Cooler Master 1000 Cosmos http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair DDR3 1600 12gb

Samsung SyncMaster T260 (Already bought)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On these parts I'm not so sure,

EVGA GF GTX 295 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair 1000HX PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Fan & Thermal compound?

I'm hoping that the PSU can handle future upgrades, I plan to add more HDDs, upgrade the RAM once prices drop, and I'll likely add an additional GTX 295 later on as well. The Corsair was suggested to me and I want to get some more feedback as I don't really understand how one goes about selecting a PSU. Tips will be appreciated. I just want something that will be able to keep up with the upgrades and be good for the system in the long run.

As far as the GTX 295, I've looked at the EVGA and PNY models, but can't spot any differences other than color and price. Any help you can give will be appreciated.

I'm planning on a modest OC to 3Ghz, and would like suggestions for the CPU fan and Thermal Camp if necessary. Also if you have any cooling related suggestions for the Coolmaster case or a better case for this job, please feel free to post. I'm really more concerned with how well the case cools than how good it looks, I picked the Cosmos because it looks quiet too.

Thanks in advance!
-Treiz
May 2, 2009 6:33:25 AM

The GPU is massive overkill, and you want to add a second? Even if this were a hard core gaming rig that doesn't sound like a good plan.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3520&p=5
Just so you know I'm not raining on your parade for no reason. Read the entire article if you have time.

From your stated usage it sounds as if you would be better off grabbing a GTX 260 and using the extra money for a high speed SSD.

If I'm missing something here, then it would still hold true that 3 GTX 285s beat 2 GTX 295s.

However, I seriously doubt your applications need more than ONE GPU.
Anonymous
May 2, 2009 6:57:44 AM

Thanks for the comment.

I had planned on doing two of the GTX 285s in SLI, but with the 295 I have a free slot. As for adding another, it's just a thought, not sure what I will need next year but I'm sure that I don't want to have to upgrade my PSU. I chose the Eclipse for its Video benchmarks and it's slot placement. I will be gaming on this rig, but the primary focus is the video editing, thus the large amount of RAM.

I've been looking at CPU fans and am thinking about getting the Noctua:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I am interested in getting a SSD for the boot drive, but I don't know enough about them. If you have a suggestion I'd love to hear it!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Is it just me, or does newegg's prices seem to fluctuate quite often? Do they change them every week?
Related resources
May 2, 2009 6:35:07 PM

They change when they change, but there is always a big change around the first of the month ;) 

OK, just so we're clear that the video editing doesn't need all that GPU.

The GTX 295 is, of course, very fast at gaming. It's not very good at saving money though :p  Really, it has the lowest frames to dollar ratio.

That's why you don't find it recommended in the TH video guide:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-gtx,...

I'll get off it now.

I don't actually think the Corsair is the best PSU for dual GTX 295s, should that actually happen. The margin would be pretty slim at best.

Enermax Galaxy 1250 review:
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You might want to check that the PSU fits in your case though.

I think the CPU cooler you picked is just right.

OCZ Vertex is a pretty good mix of performance and price. Comes in 3 or 4 different sizes.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel has the best SSDs but they come at a high price.
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3535&p=...

We don't go in much for MSI boards around here. They seem to have a higher fail rate than Gigabyte or Asus. However, there are certainly worse boards and if you are sold on the features, then OK.


Anonymous
May 2, 2009 6:59:04 PM

Asus was my second choice, as I said I picked the MSI mostly for its slot placement. When you say fail rate is that over time or out of the box DOA? More than anything else I want a machine that will last.

The OCZ you mentioned is listed as SATA 2? What's the difference?
May 2, 2009 7:02:52 PM

SATA 2 is available on all modern boards. Higher bandwidth.

My impression with MSI is mostly over time. First year type stuff. Also more general issues and instabilities. It's all relative... as I said there are worse brands.
Anonymous
May 2, 2009 11:02:24 PM

Well I guess I'll go back to the drawing board on the Mobo then. One thing I've been curios about is extended ATX Mobos, what's the differece or advantage?

How about EVGA mobos? I didn't really look at those.
May 3, 2009 12:35:16 AM

They seem to be pretty good quality. A bit new to Intel chipsets. Up until this year they were doing Nvidia only.
Anonymous
May 3, 2009 4:33:13 AM

What's the deal with extended ATX mobos? I looked at one and couldn't spot the difference between a regular one and an extended?
May 3, 2009 6:29:04 AM

Different dimensions. Extended ATX is over 3 inches longer.
May 3, 2009 9:53:05 AM

Getting 1600MHz ram is a waste because X58 boards can only support 1333 with all 6 slots full and this is done by forcing it within the BIOS as it defaults to 1066.

What programs do you use for editing and compositing? I use Premiere & AE CS4 and both love ram. If you think you will be hitting the scratch disk with 12GB of ram, then using Raid or another V-Raptor for the scratch disk(for AE) will help a lot. You also want either Raid or another Raptor for the Media Cache(for Premiere).

It looks as though this is a gaming PC first and video editing a distant second as your storage setup can be improved a great deal to benefit editing & compositing.

What is your budget?
Anonymous
May 3, 2009 10:26:23 AM

I was originally going to go with two Raptors and the 1Tb. I was looking at an SSD to replace the boot Raptor, but decided against it. I'm thinknig I'll wait instead of buying two raptors, and swap the Raptor to cache when I finally do pick up an SSD to Boot with. I'm still in school at the moment so my editing at least for the next year will be light.

As for Programs, I am using Avid primarily, with Premier and AE as necessary.

For my budget I was hoping to stay around 2500-3K, I still need to get the software. If your tip about the RAM is accurate then I can save some money.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What do you guys think about Silverstone Cases and PSUs?
May 3, 2009 3:51:07 PM

^Their cases are OK, and thier high end PSUs are quite good. But imo, I think Corsair and PC Power are better.
Anonymous
May 3, 2009 6:11:09 PM

Alright then, thanks for the reply! I'm still going back and forth on the mobo now. I like each of these but each has a different drawback.
EVGA Classified
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Price

Rampage
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Slot placement

MSI Eclipse
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Reliability

Gigabyte
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Not enough info, not sure

I like the Eclipse and the classified, I'd like some more opinions on these two and the Gigabyte.
Anonymous
May 4, 2009 1:33:03 AM

Allright, I think I'm going to just bite the bullet and buy the more expensive board. It's only money right?

$450 -EVGA Classified
$480 -Lian Li PC-B70 + Corsair 1000HX PSU
$353 -I7 920 + Noctua Fan
$550 -GTX 295
$180 -OCZ Plat 12Gb 1333
$229 -Pioneer Blu
$229 -Raptor X2
$185 -WD 1Tb + Vista Premium
----------------------------------------
~$2900

What do you think?
May 4, 2009 5:02:40 AM

Go to Dell because they have the 150GB Velociraptor for only $135 so you can get 2 of them and possibly run in Raid.

What will you use to backup your data? I recommend getting another 1TB drive to run them in Raid 1 to protect your data in addition to increasing read speed and random access.

For Gfx card: doesn't Media Composer 3 require Quadro or you must turn off some things?
Also, what game needs more than a single 295? You seem to be expecting a game that absolutely requires 2-3 295's to run well.

PSU: have you seen the new PC Power & Cooling 1000w which has 88% efficiency and states that it can support 2 295s and its only $200 plus a 5yr warranty.

Love the Lian-Li case, btw. I got one 2yrs ago and its been great. I got it because it holds 12 drives. however, newegg doesn't sell it anymore.
Anonymous
May 4, 2009 8:35:04 AM

Good point. Forgot to check the newest Avid specs. No big deal though, Quadro 1800 is $100 cheaper than the GTX 295 and I can step down to the P6T.


Anonymous
May 4, 2009 10:12:37 AM

Revised:

$400 -P6t + Vista Ultimate
$480 -Lian Li PC-B70 + Corsair 1000HX PSU
$353 -I7 920 + Noctua Fan
$450 -Quadro 1800 or 3800 $840
$180 -OCZ Plat 12Gb 1333
$229 -Pioneer Blu
$229 -Raptor x2
$105 -WD 1Tb
-----------------------------------



Anonymous
May 4, 2009 6:27:13 PM

Does anyone know where I can get more info on the Quodros? Not sure if I should spend the extra $400 on the 3800 if all I'm doing is video editing and light gaming.
Anonymous
May 4, 2009 6:45:41 PM

I was just checking that out, but didn't really find what I was looking for. Also checking with the guys on the Avid forum to see what they say.
May 4, 2009 6:50:59 PM

What exactly are you looking for? If you want a less expensive Quadro, i suggest you look on Ebay... in terms of price but i don't know any other sites that might sell it cheaper.
May 4, 2009 6:52:48 PM

You can still get a regular card and edit and game... It might be slower than a Quadro, but it works the same to be honest. Cuda is the way to go these days i guess...and most of the new nvidia cards have that.
Anonymous
May 4, 2009 9:08:49 PM

While I would like to save the $400 and get the FX1800, I don't want to find out later on that it isn't up to the task and be stuck with it.

I would like to see if anyone here has used the FX1800 for video, and see if it is up to the task or not. I'm suspecting that it is not, however, as most of the guys on the Avid forums are using the FX3700 or FX3800.
May 4, 2009 9:16:10 PM

If all fails...try youtube!!! LOLz. I can't comment on those cards i haven't had enough experience :( 
Anonymous
May 4, 2009 9:53:58 PM

Well, thanks anyway for your input.

I wonder if I can get bye with out the CPU fan? The Noctua is pricey, can anyone think of good but less expensive alternatives?
May 8, 2009 9:49:52 AM

The Xigmatek Dark Knight for $40 is one of the best.

FX 1800 vs 3800: the 1800 will be plenty for video. If you are worried about needing more power later on, the 1800 supports SLI rendering. However, you would only need more than the 1800 if you are using high powered 3D apps like Autodesk xxxx, Cinema 4D, XSI, etc. I use a 8800GT and it works great. I just wish I could afford the FX1800 to use in After Effects and Cinema 4D.
May 8, 2009 10:31:40 AM

Thanks for your help on these specialk, we've been getting quite a few workstation build requests lately and we really aren't up to speed on them fully.
May 31, 2009 9:44:43 PM

New to the board, but it looks like we're building similar systems for somewhat similar applications... thought I'd share my research, purchases so far and 2cents on how it's going.

Currently have:
Ultra m998 Mid tower case
Intel Core i7 920
Rampage II Extreme mobo
6 GB OCZ 10666 DDR3 Triple Channel (3X2GB)
Noctua NH-U12P CPU cooling fan
1.5 TB Seagate Barracuda Sata HDD
Ultra X3 850 Watt PS

Waiting for delivery of
PNY Quadro FX 1800

My system is primarily going to be an AE CS4 and Maya machine (I try very hard to leave the games on the PS3 or all my productivity goes to hell:)  I had originally spec'ed the Asus P6T Delux as my mobo, but Tiger Direct didn't have it when I hit the store (I ended up going to collect most of the bits from their store on the Queensway in Toronto so I could save on shipping) so they up'ed me to the Rampage II. They tried to sell me on one of the MSI boards, but they aren't getting great reviews so I stayed with ASUS. Also didn't have the RAM I spec'ed so I ended up with OCZ 10666 DDR3 Triple instead of the Corsair equivalent.

MB/Case combo seems pretty good, although I could stand to have another EIDE controller on the board as I had intended to use my old HDDs for OS and Scratch disks. Only one EIDE on the MB failed that Idea (I'm keeping the Optical drives from my old machine too). I had a complete brain fart when I was grabbing pieces and didn't even consider that I wouldn't be able to use my old drive. At the time, I had been thinking that I would be able to use my old Quadro FX 550 until the new card arrived, but that went out the window when I discovered that it was from an AGP generation of card and not the newer PCIE.

I'm now looking at keeping the 1.5 TB drive as a storage (as was the plan from the start) and rendering target and using an OCZ Vertex Series 60GB SSD as the boot drive as there are plenty of internal Sata ports available. The MB supports SATA raids native, so I may even get 2 drives and set them up as RAID 0 for an additional performance increase on boot + apps as two 30GB drives are about the same price as one 60.

I have a cut of XP pro that I managed to grab before they went off the shelf and will be using that for the moment but would consider migrating to Windows 7 RC once I get some real data back from people that are using it.

I've got the bits put together (sans graphics card and SSD) and everything went together fairly easily. The MB/Case/Cooler option seems to have worked out well, there is a very good flow-line for the air over the cooler and out of the case ... I had to remove an air duct from the case to allow for the oversize fans of the noctua, but there are good reports of OC with this chip/fan combo (3.4GHz stable) and I'm quite hopeful that I'll be able to squeeze a little more horsepower out of the chip for free.

The MB does support SLI and Xfire, but I have no plans for more GPU power as of yet. Be cautious with the P6T family of MBs - the results that I've seen on a few tech sites indicate that the P6T Delux is the best buy if you're going to stay with this family of boards - it seems to have better memory handling than the rest. Just be careful about bundles as they will often use one of the lesser boards and just advertise it as the P6T without specifying which one it is. I'd also be a bit shy of bundles generally. I've priced Tiger Direct's bundles against buying the individual items one at a time and they usually come out worse on pricing - maybe they don't get updated often enough.

Lastly, I had a great chat with the guy at the store and he ended up giving me a serious bundle deal without having to work too hard for it. Be aware that this is always a possibility regardless of which company you are dealing with. Always try and find a real person and always let them know your full intended list of purchasesso they can try to work out a bundle for you. You could even fax/email your list to a few vendors (in Canada Tiger Direct, NewEgg, NCIX, & Canada Computers spring to mind) to see who's bundle likes your wallet the most.

Sorry if this rambles a bit - I'm also in the midst of deadline hell, so I'm a little short on sleep :) 
May 31, 2009 10:31:13 PM

Quote:

I have a cut of XP pro that I managed to grab before they went off the shelf and will be using that for the moment but would consider migrating to Windows 7 RC once I get some real data back from people that are using it.

The best way to get that data is to run the RC your self and try using all your usual software and use it as your every day OS and see. You can get a general idea from other users but you truly can't get accurate data with out runing the RC your self.
!