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What Do You Think of This Build?

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December 11, 2009 6:12:55 PM

Hello Everyone,

Here is a build I'm considering based upon price & availability. This isn't a top of the line computer by a longshot, but it's definitely a worthy opponent for someone with my needs.

What I'd like to do with this build? HD Video Encode/Decode, Next-Gen Gaming with medium framrates, and semi-professional audio development ie. Pro Tools, Cubase 4, VST, etc.


Here it goes...

Case: Antec 1200
PSU: Antec Quattro 850
HD: Samsung SpinPoint F1 HE103UJ 1TB Hard Drive & 300 GB WD Velociraptor
I haven't decided on the RAID config yet - any suggestions?
GPU: Sapphire ATI Radeon 4890 OC (2) in Crossfire
A/V Encode/Decode: Blackmagic Intensity Pro
CPU: Intel Q9400 2.66Ghz *I would go with the 9550, but I already own the 9400*
OS: Win 7 Ultimate x64
RAM: G Skills Trident DDR2 1200 (2x2GB)
Mainboard: ASUS Maximus II Formula


This is all theoretical and has much left to interpretation as there are many components missing from the list. If anyone has some recommendations and/or suggestions - please let me know. I am not a very experienced hardware guru by any means and would like any professional input available. Thanks in advance.

Cheers.

More about : build

December 11, 2009 7:17:32 PM

The build is good, you did your homework. You sure you want that raptor though, its not much more than a big price tag compared to the single platter drives like the Spinpoint f3. Also, switch that f1 to a f3 if its possible where you are buying, as the f3 is a bit faster. You sure you want 2 4890s over a single 5850 or x-fire 5770s? The mobo you picked is a bit overkill if you do not plan on overclocking. This one is a tad faster in x-fire, cheaper, and runs DDR3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 11, 2009 9:27:13 PM

You sure you can't squeeze your budget and go i5 or i7 8xx? It'll last you in the long run, plus DDR3 RAM is about the same price as DDR2 now.

I'd go 4GB though, 8GB if you're doing video.

I presume by the Blackmagic Intensity you're doing video work, in which case I'd drop the Raptor for a dead small/cheap drive and get a pair of SpinPoint F3 1TB for a RAID 0

I'd also look at dropping the Crossfire 4890s and getting 1 5870 for now and then another a bit later when they're cheaper - much much more graphics performance and a lot of longevity in them (power consumption, overclocking and DX11).

Let me know how that Intensity works out for you - I've been looking at adding one to some video workstations at the office and I'm interested in how they turn out for HD co-processing and output over HDMI - PM me!
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December 12, 2009 1:05:09 AM

This is exactly why I came here! I will definitely accept the advice on the GPU and the Velociraptor. For the GPU, I do want to consider future capabilities and it's true, the HD 4890's wouldn't be the best option for that. I am looking to overclock the Q9400. I would love to get an i5 or an i7, but my budget is VERY limited. As a matter of fact, this build won't be for another couple of months - and we all know that things could be MUCH different by then. If anything, this is just a training exercise before I go for my A+ cert. I've talked to some people about the Blackmagic Intensity Pro and everyone loved it. Supposedly you have to have a really fast comp to use it, but somebody tested that and it isn't necessarily true. I've thought about RAID 0, but what have you guys heard of RAID 5? Isn't it the best of both worlds? You do have to have 3 HD's for that I've read - but it's safe.
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a c 148 ) Power supply
December 12, 2009 1:28:51 AM

Case: Antec 1200
PSU: Antec CP-850 is much better power supply
HD: Samsung SpinPoint F3
I haven't decided on the RAID config yet - any suggestions? - Yeah don't
GPU: Sapphire ATI Radeon 4890 OC (2) in Crossfire

You gonna get hammered on the "old tech" GFX :)  but personally in it's proice range, I think the 4890 is a good buy ....assuming you change GFX cards every 2 years or less.
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December 13, 2009 11:28:57 AM

Regarding the RAID, it really depends on what you're going to be doing.

At work we do mostly standard definition work so we don't need a RAID at all - the existing SpinPoint F1s are more than fast enough to keep up with the videos' data rate. However, we do have 1 machine with a pair of drives in RAID 0 for working with native 1080p footage to make sure we can play back and edit smoothly.

We're branching into Canon 5D footage next year (smexy!!) and not only do we need a ***-hot system for it but we're having to RAID 0 4 SpinPoint F3s just to deliver enough read performance to work smoothly!

So yeah, it all depends on what you want to do with your data.
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December 13, 2009 12:17:13 PM

Windows 7 Ultimate is a waste of money. The only real feature it adds over professional is bitlocker and encrypting a volume will hurt drive performance. Unless you need XP mode or to need to join your PC to a domain then don't bother with Windows 7 Professional either. Based on your usage specs Windows 7 home premium sounds like it fits your needs. Take that savings and roll it into something else.
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