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Building comp for: Avid, Cinema 4D, After Effects

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August 25, 2009 4:39:18 PM

Hey,

I'm hoping to get some advice on parts for a custom built computer. I think I have a good set of parts based on Videoguy.com's DIY 7 build

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP to get some deals or wait if prices will drop dramatically in the next month or two

BUDGET RANGE:
CDN $1500-1800

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
Cinema 4D, After Effects, Avid, Lightroom

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
DVD burner, monitors,

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
newegg.ca, canadacomputers.com, tigerdirect.ca, ncix.com

PARTS PREFERENCES:
No preference - just best bang for the buck!

OVERCLOCKING:
No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE:
Maybe in the future as the system ages.

MONITOR RESOLUTION:
1280 x1024 (dual monitor set-up). I may upgrade down the road one or two 24"+ Widescreen monitors, but it isn't essential to start with.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
I'd definitely appreciate advice on keeping the system cool (so the system isn't ruined due to heat) and I'd like to ensure as quiet of a case as possible - just don't like unnecessary computer noise, if it can be avoided. Also, 2 or more fire wire ports would be helpful - preferably one on the front - but it doesn't seem too common with the cases I've looked at. I might use my Sound Blaster Audigy sound card that has a firewire port on it. Thanks for any advice!!

Here's the part list, so far (August 25, 2009):

Mother board:

Asus P6T Deluxe V2 - $327.00
http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct...

CPU

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail - 309.99
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Graphics Card

EVGA 896-P3-1258-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 SSC Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail - $229.49 - $30.00 MIR = 199.49
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I'm a little confused when it comes to graphics card - there are so many different manufacturers, and slight differences between cards. Here is a link to newegg.ca search for Geforce GTX 260:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=EN...

I'm definitely looking for the Core 216 - aside from that, I'm not too sure what the best card for the money is. EVGA seems to have really good customer service - from the reviews on newegg.ca

Also, I'm aware this is a large card so the case will be important. I may, as my computer ages, add a second card to the motherboard - will the Asus P6T Deluxe v2 fit two of these cards? Also, I read due to the size of the card and the recommended placement, I may lose access to one of the two PCI slots on the mobo - which is unfortunate.

Memory

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C9 - $131.49 - $20.00 MIR = $111.49
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Again, not too clear on the differences between memory modules, here is a link to newegg.ca search for Corsair XMS3 6GB.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=EN...

The difference I saw above was in the voltage 1.65V vs. 1.5 on another set of RAM.

Any advice?

I'll be buying two sets of this to get to 12 GB of RAM - I'd rather just get the RAM and not have to worry about if for several years. Unless I will see no real benefit while working with Cinema 4D, After Effects, Lightroom, and Avid.

Power Supply Unit


CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $114.99 - $20.00 MIR = $94.99
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Hard Drive

Western Digital Caviar Black (WD1001FALS) 1000GB (1TB) SATAII 7200RPM 32MB Cache (OEM) - $99.99
http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct...

I have an WD Caviar Black 1TB, WD 250 GB, 250, GB and a 320 GB internal drives (1.820 TB) that I may add some combination of to system. Eventually I'll max it out at the 4.5 TB - as I cut more HD footage, it will be important.

Case

Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Ultimate Gamer Case - $109.99
http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct...

Good price right now at Canada computers. It seems the Geforce GTX 260 will be a bit of a tight fit, though.

Antec P183 Advanced Super Mid Tower Case - $152.99
http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct...

Seems like this might be a quieter case.

Cooler Master HAF 922 Mid Tower ATX Case (RC-922M-KKN1-GP) - $119.99 - $10.00 MIR = 109.99
http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct...


Operating System


Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit with upgrade coupon to Windows 7 - I can't seem to find a good price on this, any advice?

I have downloaded the Windows 7 RC 64-bit, so I could run that until Windows 7 comes it. This would save me from doing a clean install a few months down the road. Although, it would be nice to have Vista 64-bit in case some of the software I use doesn't work with it.

Thoughts?

That's all the parts I can think - if I've missed something, please let me know. IE, cooling fans, thermal past, CPU fan, etc. Thanks a lot for any advice you can give - really appreciate it!

Oh and I'm upgrading from a Dell XPS Gen 4 (P4 3.46 Ghz, 3 GB DDR2 RAM, Geforce 6800) :) 
August 26, 2009 11:53:30 AM

Hi...there are few suggestions that you can consider...

1. RAM - Get any of these...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

2. PSU - Do you really require 750W PSU ? Its an overkill for your requirements...
Drop to something lower...

3. Graphics card - You would require the GTX 260 only if you are planning to game...
And that too its an overkill for that resolution...A GTS 250 would be more than suffice for that resolution...and by the time you upgrade your monitor, newer cards will be available...then you can change to those...

4. CASE - The HAF 922 is a very good choice...if you feel the case fans are noisy, you can replace them wiht quiet ones from Scythe...

Rest are pretty good...
August 27, 2009 9:14:20 PM

Hey,

Thanks for the reply - really appreciate the help.


gkay09 said:
Hi...there are few suggestions that you can consider...

1. RAM - Get any of these...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Any particular reason for this RAM vs the RAM I listed above? I did read some people had an issue with the OCZ ram and the P6T Deluxe v2. Though, I do see the RAM is cheaper and has slightly faster timing?


2. PSU - Do you really require 750W PSU ? Its an overkill for your requirements...
Drop to something lower...

Any recommendations? I was basing the PSU on the videoguys.com site. I also see this PSU doesn't have modular cables. I would like to leave room to expand to 4x 1TB drives, 3 optical drives, several external and possibly add in a second graphics card down the road.

3. Graphics card - You would require the GTX 260 only if you are planning to game...
And that too its an overkill for that resolution...A GTS 250 would be more than suffice for that resolution...and by the time you upgrade your monitor, newer cards will be available...then you can change to those...

Price difference doesn't seem too great between the 250 and 260. I checked that people have gotten Avid working with the 260. Also, I'd like buy now and not have to worry about upgrading for at least two years. I will also do some gaming but that isn't the top priority. If I were to upgrade monitor(s), I don't think I'd also want to upgrade the graphics card.

4. CASE - The HAF 922 is a very good choice...if you feel the case fans are noisy, you can replace them wiht quiet ones from Scythe...

I'm now leaning towards the Antec P183. I like the look of it, the fact that it seems like it will be quieter. Also, a friend of mine who will help me set up the system has the P182 and highly recommends it. The HAF 922 sounds great too - oddly, case has been the toughest choice to make. I was also looking at the Storm Scout, Storm Sniper (Front firewire port!).

Rest are pretty good...


Thanks again for the feedback - definitely appreciate the advice on scaling things back where needed. Most often, I think the push would be to get the latest and greatest.
Related resources
August 27, 2009 9:35:13 PM

Since your doing video editing I would seriously think about getting 12gb of ram, especially if its HD. In pretty much all three of those programs the extra ram would be beneficial. Also, if your doing intense work in c4d I would stick with the 260 and I'm not sure how Avid is set up but After Effects supports CUDA which incorporates your gpu. I'm actually about to build my own comp as well for pretty much the same thing that your going to be doing. For monitor and everything im looking at around 1600$-1800$. You can check out the thread here. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/270272-31-custom-buil...
August 27, 2009 9:47:37 PM

^You do realize GPU acceleration for the CS4 line up is only used when applying a very few set of filters and when moving/rotation,etc the image right?

Unless gaming, no need for anything above a 4670.
August 28, 2009 12:34:42 AM

ttados - I will probably end up getting 12 GBs of RAM...sounds ridiculous, but I guess that's the way things are going. The motherboard I selected (Asus P6T Deluxe v2) can go up to 24GB (6 x 4GBs)!

Avid, generally, recommends the Quadro FX line of cards, so I'm already going a fair bit cheaper by going with the GeForce GTX 260. So, going cheaper than that I'm sure is going to be asking for trouble. Also, I will likely be doing some gaming on it.

Out of curiousity - could I install a Quadro FX for editing and say the GTX 260 for gaming? Just curious with the ability to have two graphics cards in the system - not sure how all this works nowadays. My last computer was purchased in January 2005.

Any recommendations on a PSU? The Corsair 750w TX sounded pretty good, but it doesn't have modular cables, which I guess would be handy for keeping the case neat and improving airflow.

Thanks!
August 28, 2009 5:22:47 AM

The reason why I had suggested those RAM kits is that - 1. OCZ has XMP profiles, which will be very useful to set the rated speed and latency in WIN itself...
2. The Geil has good timings compared to the Corsair...

But as you will not be overclocking, I dont you have to worry about that much...

And 12GB of RAM is not ridiculous if you do video editing, after effects and such apps...

And its fine you stick with the GTX260...

It would be a dream come true for many if there would be such an option of having the Quadro and the Gaming card in the same PC and switching to either when required...But right now it is still a dream...

And again I would say that you would need the Corsair 750TX...
Currently for your requirements, the GTX 260 is an overkill and like I said you by the time, you feel you need more graphics power, newer more powerful, cheaper graphics cards which will be available and you can replace the GTX 260 with them...
And a single card solution is always better...

Here are few very good Mod PSUs...
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=33041&vpn=OC...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

But if you still feel that you want the 750TX, then its your choice...
August 31, 2009 6:16:25 PM

gkay09 said:
The reason why I had suggested those RAM kits is that - 1. OCZ has XMP profiles, which will be very useful to set the rated speed and latency in WIN itself...
2. The Geil has good timings compared to the Corsair...

But as you will not be overclocking, I dont you have to worry about that much...

And 12GB of RAM is not ridiculous if you do video editing, after effects and such apps...

And its fine you stick with the GTX260...

It would be a dream come true for many if there would be such an option of having the Quadro and the Gaming card in the same PC and switching to either when required...But right now it is still a dream...

And again I would say that you would need the Corsair 750TX...
Currently for your requirements, the GTX 260 is an overkill and like I said you by the time, you feel you need more graphics power, newer more powerful, cheaper graphics cards which will be available and you can replace the GTX 260 with them...
And a single card solution is always better...

Here are few very good Mod PSUs...
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=33041&vpn=OC...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

But if you still feel that you want the 750TX, then its your choice...


Once again, thank you for the excellent reply - really helping me to understand the different options and what will best suit my system.

How important is modular vs. non-modular cables with an Antec P183 case? The price for the CMPSU-520HX and the Corsair 750 TX are pretty similar at newegg.ca. I'd prefer to buy from there since I have other parts I want to order and that will save on shipping.

Also, if I went with a 750w PSU, would that mean, since it has a 230w overhead, it would be taxed less often, be more efficient and also quieter?

Would 520w or 550w still be enough if I eventually upgraded to 24GB of RAM, 4.5 TB of hard drive, 2-3 optical drives (blu ray burner, plus 2 other DVD-RW).

The OCZ fatality sounds like a good deal too - $70cdn with mail-in-rebate.

Thanks again!!




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