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Help: Professional image and video editing (Budget: 2000$)

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October 5, 2009 8:55:26 PM

Hi folks,

I need a PC for professional media production. I have talked to my superiors, and they say that a Mac Pro is not an option, but otherwise I can freely select what I want. I don't actually have a budget, but at the same time I do not want to waste money on features that I don't need, so I've set a roof on 2000$.

Over to what I need from it. First of all I need plenty of space for hard drives, and they need to be easily swap-able. It needs to be very silent so that I can work in peace, and it must support multiple monitors. Mind you this setup will not be used for anything but work related tasks, so please tell me about the options I have with graphics cards and processors specialized for this type of applications as well.

I really appreciate any feedback from knowledgable people, but since we're talking about a lot of money here, please do not recommend components unless you're sure that it'll fit my description. Don't be afraid to give it a go though, because I'm sure there are plenty of competent people around these parts. Thanks in advance!

~ Brian
October 5, 2009 9:50:05 PM

I'd recommend one of the new Intel quad cores. Personally I'd go for the cheapest one, which is the Core I5.

Does the budget include everything such as OS, multiple monitors (how many exactly?), keyboard, etc. ?
October 5, 2009 11:02:07 PM

Price does not include OS, monitors and other equipment, as we already got that covered. I was thinking more along the lines of a i7 860 or Xeon processor, but I don't know which one is suited the most for this kind of apps. The Core i5 is a bit on the low-end side, I think.
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October 5, 2009 11:18:34 PM

CPU: i5-750 is a good place to start, i7-860 if you know your programs will benefit from hyper threading - $200,$290
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: ASUS P7P55D PRO LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333, one or two of these for 4 or 8 GBs - $79
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HS: COOLER MASTER RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm - $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750HX 750W or the 850w version depending on how many harddrives and which graphics you choose - $170,$200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB - $90 ea.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR
HD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB - $95 ea.
however many you need, maybe throw these in RAID for extra storage protection
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAID CONTROLLER CARD: depends on how many harddrives you want to use and what kind of RAID you need, probably something from Highpoint, 3ware, or Areca

GFX: ASUS Radeon HD 4670 1GB, get 1 for 2 monitors and 2 for 4 monitors - $75 ea.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR
GFX: an HD 5870 eyefinity for 6 monitors (should come out next month i think) - $450?

CASE: LIAN LI PC-A20B Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - $290
case is mostly personal preference, find one you would like to look at for the next 3 years
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD/DVD: SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - $31
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HOT SWAP BAYS: not to familiar with these, heres a link to some though
http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategor...

all of this should put you just under your 2k limit
October 5, 2009 11:32:53 PM

If the i7-750 is not good enough for you, you could try spending about $100-200 more in getting an i7-920 (which performs almost identically to the i7-860), an X58 motherboard and ddr3 ram.
Going the i7-920 / LGA1366 route will allow you to upgrade to the new i9 hexacores when they come out sometime next year if you feel the 920 is underperforming.
October 6, 2009 12:24:45 AM

So what would be the best between Intel Xeon W3250 and Intel Core i7 860? Mind you I will most likely overclock it to around 4GHz and I will be using programs supporting hyperthreading. On a different note, wouldn't a Nvidia Quadro or an ATI Firepro card be more suited for this kind of use? I thought of the Corsair HX 850W, as I've only heard great things about it. I will most likely need at least 4TB storage, if not more. 8GB of RAM is also essential.

I considered the Cooler Master HAF case, as it got a magnificent hot-swap system and plenty of harddrive cages. I do like Lian Li because of the design, but functionality is top priority. I'll also have to buy a BluRay-burner, as I'll be working with full HD content. Motherboard is probably what I'm most confused about. The Xeon is X58, while the i7 860 is P55. The amount of available & reviewed motherboards of the latter is fairly restricted, so I've considered the Xeon the most.
!