Avid Media Composer System Build

BUDGET RANGE: $2500 Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Avid Media Composer 4.0.2 video editing, AfterEffects CS4, Photoshop CS4, Poser 7 – nothing else, no games

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, Micro Center

PARTS PREFERENCES: This computer will be used for video editing. Avid only supports Nvidia Quadro Cards – yes I know some folks have modded their gaming cards, but I have had much better luck in both Avid and Adobe applications when using the “required” Quadro cards. This computer needs to be fast, stable and dependable as I will use it in my video business. I built my last “super computer” six years ago and it’s gone from the fastest thing on the planet to a boat anchor.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, but not much as I need long-term dependability.



ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quiet, no bling, no lights or neon

ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $169.99

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache
LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor – Retail $279.99

GeIL Value Series 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066
(PC3 8500) Desktop Memory Model GV312GB1066C7HC - Retail $247.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91
80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $199.99
80 Plus Silver Recommended for Core i5 and Core i7

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM
32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives – OEM $94.99 (x3) $284.97
One for operating system, two in Raid 0 for video storage
Two more at a later date also in Raid

Full Tower Computer Case - Retail $139.99

(or COOLER MASTER ATCS 840 RC-840-SSN1-GP Silver Aluminum ATX Full
Tower Computer Case Retail $199.99)

Pioneer Black 8X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM
4MB Cache SATA Internal Blu-ray Burner 8X Blu-Ray DVD Burner
w/ Software Model BDR-203BKS - Retail $199.99

Total $1524.91

Nvidia Quadro FX 1800 or FX3800 Either $450 or $800 depending on the size of my wallet at the time.

Windows Vista Business or Ultimate 64-bit. Yeah, I know W7 is probably much better, but it's not supported by Avid or Adobe at this point and Avid is really picky about this stuff.

Not sure about my memory choice. This memory is supported by the ASRock board and I don't seem to need anything hotter for my applications according to reviews on Tom's, but I'm no expert - that's why I'm asking for help and advice here.
9 answers Last reply
More about avid media composer system build
  1. No video editors out there? I'll let you know how it goes after the build.
  2. ^ That is a pretty good setup you have there...
    But some points of concern -

    1. PSU - I dont think you would ever require a 850W PSU...Its a total overkill for that setup...
    Any of these PSUs would suffice...Actually even those 2 600W+ PSU are also a bit of overkill...

    SeaSonic M12II SS-500GM 500W ATX12V 2.2 /EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
    5 Year Manufacture direct warranty



    COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600 RS-600-


    2. RAM - You can get better memory for less...
    Some choices...
    Or 2x

    And for your usage, 12GB of RAM would be very advantageous...
    As for the Os, just make sure you the OS with the WIN 7 free upgrade coupon as AVID and ADOBE would start supporting the WIN 7 after its retail availability i.e Oct 22...

    And just a suggestion about the case -
    You can take a look at this case - This case has very good airflow, has sound dampening material on the side panels...and has very good finish too...

    Thermaltake ElementS
  3. Thanks for the reply. I'd heard the Quadro cards were a bit of a power hog - especially the FX3800. I figured that I will probably add at least two more HHDs in a few months as we're beginning to shoot a low budget feature, so the extra power might be useful.

    Help on the memory is welcome. I know little or nothing about DDR3 memory. I know the board is rated for 1066 and anything higher is technically overclocked, but everyone on this site seems to run 1333 or 1600. Is running hotter memory going to stress my system and will the motherboard automatically detect the higher memory and adjust in the BIOS?

    Just read a review on that case and they complained that it used thin metal and was flimsy. I'll take that with a grain of salt until I see the case in person. I plan to drive up to Micro Center and look at the cases while I pick up an i7 CPU.

    Thanks for the help.
  4. About the PSUs, the ones that I have listed are capable of handling any single card solution out there(Except GTX 295) and still would have some headroom left...So you wont have any issues with that...So get either the Corsair or the Silverstone...

    As for the memory, the Corsair comes with XMP profiles, which makes it easy to set the rated speed in WIN itself...For other memories, you would have to set them in the BIOS...And running memory at the rated speeds wont stress the system...you have to make sure that the memory voltage is not set more than 1.65V.

    About the case, its more of a personal choice...So get the one that you like...Some other options - check out the Lian-Li cases too...they have a very high quality finish and are full Aluminium...
    Do check out even the CM Stacker and Cosmos...
  5. Thanks, I'm back from a shoot in Europe this weekend and plan to buy my components next week. I'll let you know how things turn out.
  6. I finished my build this weekend:
    Intel i7 920
    V1AX Thermaltake cooler
    Asus PT6
    12GB Corsair 1600
    PNY Nvidia Quadro FX 3800
    Coolermaster HAF 932
    1TB Seagate Barracuda (Boot Drive)
    2x1.5TB Seagate Barracuda Raid0 (Video Drive)
    1.5TB Seagate (Backup)
    Pyro PVC-316 Firewire
    Pioneer Blu-Ray BDR2203 disk burner
    PC Power and Cooling 860 Watt Turbo Cool
    Dual Samsung Sync Master 2343
    Vista Business 64 bit
    Avid Media Composer 4.0.2
    AfterEffects CS4
    Photoshop CS4
    Poser 7

    Booted up first time, all memory recognized, no problems with the BIOS, runs great, fast, fast, fast.
    Full playback of HDTV, quick render times, Avid works great. I couldn't be more pleased. We'll see how long I'm happy, but so far, so good.
  7. ^ Thats a powerful setup...
    Did you try any overclock ? The i7 920 has a very large headroom for a good 1 GHz overclock with such a cooler...And its overclock would definitely have a good impact on the performance...
  8. Haven't tried it yet. This is an everyday computer that I built for work - I'm a video director/editor. I really want it to last, so I may keep it stock.
  9. ^ Actually to put it in proper words, the 920 I should say is under-clocked at 2.66GHz. That chip can run overclocked(Say 3.4GHz) for years...
    The only thing is to keep it cool, but that wont be a problem for you as that CPU cooler of yours can easily handle that...
    But its your call though...If you are not comfortable with it, then dont do it...
    Still would like to say that the 920 has a very good overclocking potential even at stock voltages...
    Good Luck :)
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