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Filmmaker/Editor Upgrades

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December 7, 2009 4:29:10 AM

Hello there!
i'm a student studying Film and am an avid filmmaker.
i'm working in 1080i with Adobe Premiere CS4 and would like to upgrade my computer.
I was wondering what new parts i should buy
to speed up rendering and encoding times (which are currently not so great) on a minimal budget.

my current rig is as follows:
CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 550
Motherboard: ASUS M4A78 Plus
Power Supply: 435 watt i think, its really old and dying.
RAM: 2.5 Gigs DDR2 (2 sticks 1gig, 1 stick 512mb)
OS: Windows 7 32 bit
Video Card: Nvidia Geoforce 9600 GT
Hard Drives: WESTERN DIGITAL Caviar Blue 160GB 7200 RPM (OS and Programs)
SEAGATE Barracuda LP 1TB 5900 RPM (Everything Else)



i am willing to shell out $30 + tax for a 64 bit Windows 7 with the student discount.
willing to buy the best CPU that is compatible with my motherboard,
slightly willing to buy new motherboard for a new CPU if the price is right.
i really needs more/better ram.
would like to know what Power Supply i should purchase.
I feel my video card is sufficient enough.
My OS hard drive i don't need much space on it, since its only for OS and Programs.

i would also like to learn more about Overclocking and RAID if you guys think its necessary for me to know.
i'm not an avid PC gamer.

Budget is in the $400 range, give or take around $100.
keep in mind that i can and might sell computer components that get replaced, for maximum use of budget.


thanks again
December 7, 2009 4:47:42 AM

Vaporware said:
Hello there!
i'm a student studying Film and am an avid filmmaker.
i'm working in 1080i with Adobe Premiere CS4 and would like to upgrade my computer.
I was wondering what new parts i should buy
to speed up rendering and encoding times (which are currently not so great) on a minimal budget.

my current rig is as follows:
CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 550
Motherboard: ASUS M4A78 Plus
Power Supply: 435 watt i think, its really old and dying.
RAM: 2.5 Gigs DDR2 (2 sticks 1gig, 1 stick 512mb)
OS: Windows 7 32 bit
Video Card: Nvidia Geoforce 9600 GT
Hard Drives: WESTERN DIGITAL Caviar Blue 160GB 7200 RPM (OS and Programs)
SEAGATE Barracuda LP 1TB 5900 RPM (Everything Else)



i am willing to shell out $30 + tax for a 64 bit Windows 7 with the student discount.
willing to buy the best CPU that is compatible with my motherboard,
slightly willing to buy new motherboard for a new CPU if the price is right.
i really needs more/better ram.
would like to know what Power Supply i should purchase.
I feel my video card is sufficient enough.
My OS hard drive i don't need much space on it, since its only for OS and Programs.

i would also like to learn more about Overclocking and RAID if you guys think its necessary for me to know.
i'm not an avid PC gamer.

Budget is in the $400 range, give or take around $100.
keep in mind that i can and might sell computer components that get replaced, for maximum use of budget.


thanks again


GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$70 -After rebate

OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$45 -After rebates

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$105 -Freeshipping

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 140W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$166 -Freeshipping

Total = $386
Related resources
December 7, 2009 12:09:53 PM

GPU speed has no influence on encoding, so you're absolutely right to keep your current graphics card.

I agree with MothMusic that a new mobo would be a good decision. Your current one supports only 1066MHz memory. As you recognize yourself, RAM speed may make the biggest difference in your case. Going to 4GB DDR3 and running it at 1600 or at least 1333 will boost your rendering/encoding performance a lot.

Unless you're running many other apps in parallel, I would consider keeping your current CPU. Premiere CS4 can use multiple cores but it seems to gain relatively little with 4 cores vs 2 from what I've seen. You could buy the new mobo, RAM and PSU (the one MothMusic recommends also looks fine) and leave the CPU for later, if ever. Your X2 550 OC's to almost 4GB (search Tom's for details).

If you still want the new CPU, I'd buy an X4 955BE since it's quite a bit cheaper and OC's pretty much the same as the 965 (they're the same silicon anyway). Keep in mind that the additional performance gain over your X2 550 may be disappointing, though.

Lastly, any version of RAID may give you higher data security but costs you in performance, so it'll make things slower, not faster.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 7, 2009 12:15:36 PM



I would also suggest a faster HDD like Samsung F3 500 for OS
Also dun waste $$ since u already on AM2+/DDR2 - if looking to build fresh then fair enuff AM3/DDR3 ftw hehe
http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=3512&p=12
Quote:
The DDR3 question is easily answered: wait. While DDR2 isn't an option for Core i7, on all other platforms it just makes sense simply because of the high cost of DDR3 right now. By the end of the year we won't be having this debate as DDR2/DDR3 will be at the same price, but if you're building today don't even bother looking at DDR3 unless you're building Core i7. The performance benefits aren't worth it for Phenom II, so while AM3 sounds cool, it's not necessary today. Thankfully AM3 CPUs will work in AM2+ motherboards, so you aren't forced into a relationship with DDR3 if you're not ready.
December 7, 2009 12:44:16 PM

Batuchka, It seems you're trying to make a point about CPU choice, but what is it? The figures you show don't really tell much about dual versus quad-core performance.

The quote about RAM is also puzzling. The DDR2 vs 3 price delta has shrunk quite a bit since this article. My point wasn't as much about 2-vs-3 as it was about 1066MHZ-vs-1600MHz anyway.

Agree that a faster HDD would add value.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 7, 2009 12:55:56 PM

1. Quad >>> Dual Adobe Premiere Just look at my 1st data set how a $270 E8600 dual core comes up vs (current) quads @@
2. The idea of $175AR added cost of overhauling to an AM3 mobo and DDR3 RAMs when TS is already on an AM2+/DDR2 is absurd. Read Anand's article - DDR3 performance benefits aren't worth it for Phenom II
December 7, 2009 1:03:53 PM

batuchka said:

2. The idea of added cost of overhauling to am AM3 mobo and DDR3 RAMs when TS is already on an AM2+/DDR2 is absurd. Read Anad's article - DDR3 performance benefits aren't worth it for Phenom II


How about you read the whole comment? This isn't about DDR2 vs DDR3, this is about running memory at 1066MHz (max for his current mobo) versus 1600.
December 7, 2009 1:06:32 PM

batuchka said:
1. Quad >>> Dual Adobe Premiere Just look at my 1st data set how a $270 E8600 dual core comes up vs (current) quads @@


You're quoting a comparison between an older-generation Intel dual-core and a newer-gen Intel quad core as proof that a current-gen AMD X2 will perform far lower than a current-gen AMD X4?
a b B Homebuilt system
December 7, 2009 1:11:29 PM

Geez dude u do know that DDR2 533 was benchmark vs DDR2 1066 and the conclusion is: no significant gains for an AMD system right?

#1 I think for your own sakes u have to provide evidence/data that DDR3 1600 somehow gives godly gains vs DDR2 1066 for this particular tasks

#2 I have already exposed your misconception of a dual core being on par with a quad for Adobe Premiere

#3 So u think a 550BE will outperform an E8600 in Adobe Premiere? Sources please?

Know that i have all my data for #1 and #3 but just want to see what u come up with ^^
December 7, 2009 1:39:12 PM

If you were a little less combative and a little more focused on the issue, you might add more value for Vaporware - isn't that the purpose of all this?

He has a 550 now, so the question is not what is fastest, but whether upgrading it to something else is worth the money.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 7, 2009 1:43:52 PM

IMO no counsel is better than bad counsel
December 7, 2009 2:05:37 PM

batuchka said:
Your AM2+ has BIOS nice and ready for even C3 965BE
http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=KX5kXQSmyaQaXVEP

but i'd just hit a

955BE and
2GB DDR2 (and ditch that 512mb stick)
OCZ 550
Comes only to around $260 AR?


I originally posted the same thing, but I thought you would say don't use ddr2 ram... So I didn't.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 7, 2009 2:24:38 PM

For a fresh build but TS is on a perfectly operational AM2+/DDR2 platform already which supports the latest Deneb/Propus chips In fact i would say stick to his platform, hit an AM3 socket quad and by Q1 2010 AMD has lined up some awesome DDR3 chipsets which could possibly see the implementation of SATA3/USB 3 That would be a more worthwhile time to consider forking out for an AM3 board if TS even needs to
December 7, 2009 2:32:15 PM


Since DDR3 is unnecessary:

OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$45 -After rebates

WINTEC AMPX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 3AXT6400C5-4096K - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$81 -Freeshipping

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 140W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$166 -Freeshipping

Total = $312
December 7, 2009 6:45:25 PM

Batuchka, I totally agree with your support of quad vs dual core and slower ram. Not to mention, the OP said, "...to speed up rendering and encoding times (which are currently not so great)".

He also needs 7 64 bit, which should be just $10 to Microsoft.
December 7, 2009 7:06:32 PM


Windows 7 $30 student discount, not sure if its 64-bit or not:
http://windows7.digitalriver.com/store/mswpus/en_US/Dis...

OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817341022
$45 -After rebates

WINTEC AMPX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 3AXT6400C5-4096K - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820161183
$81 -Freeshipping

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$166 -Freeshipping

Total = $322
December 7, 2009 7:10:06 PM

batuchka said:
Your AM2+ has BIOS nice and ready for even C3 965BE
http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=KX5kXQSmyaQaXVEP

but i'd just hit a

955BE and
2GB DDR2 (and ditch that 512mb stick)
OCZ 550
Comes only to around $260 AR?


Is it okay to get a single 2gb or two 1gb sticks, and pair them up with his current setup? I've heard that you could have incompatibility problems if you do that...
December 7, 2009 7:16:52 PM

batuchka said:
1. Quad >>> Dual Adobe Premiere Just look at my 1st data set how a $270 E8600 dual core comes up vs (current) quads @@
2. The idea of $175AR added cost of overhauling to an AM3 mobo and DDR3 RAMs when TS is already on an AM2+/DDR2 is absurd. Read Anand's article - DDR3 performance benefits aren't worth it for Phenom II


I knew ddr3 doesnt give any significant advantages, but I was afraid that you would say that you need ddr3, and there was more room in the budget, so thats why I choose what I did.

But if you wanted to save cash, wouldn't a 940 do just fine? That reminds me, remember how I missed that the 940 uses am2+, and not am3 in my first post! :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2009 2:35:26 AM

Nope a 940 is socket AM2+ and limits TS solely to run on AM2+/ddr2 - if saving money is the goal i'd hit an AM3 925 and clock it :p  No issues single stick 2GB RAM addition
December 8, 2009 2:45:35 AM

batuchka said:
Nope a 940 is socket AM2+ and limits TS solely to run on AM2+/ddr2 - if saving money is the goal i'd hit an AM3 925 and clock it :p  No issues single stick 2GB RAM addition


What I meant was, if he bought a single 2gb sitck of ram from a different brand and different latencies than his current ram, wouldn't that create problems?

Do non black edition Phenom IIs overclock well?

And finally, do you have a thread, article, or detailed explanation on how to overclock Phenom II/Athlon II cpus? I really need to learn more about that.

Oh and that was neat budget build you did for the 5870. But come'on Batuchka, you spent $500 on everything else. That setup could have been at least $700. Cause you are the master at budget builds. Oh and I just discovered your Photobucket page. Wow. 1000+ images. Makes it easy to win debates when all you have to do is flash some charts from your personal collection huh? I'm so going to look through that this weekend.
December 8, 2009 2:47:35 AM

batuchka said:
Nope a 940 is socket AM2+ and limits TS solely to run on AM2+/ddr2 - if saving money is the goal i'd hit an AM3 925 and clock it :p  No issues single stick 2GB RAM addition


How powerful is a fully overclocked 940 anyways? Does it make getting any of the more expensive Phenoms worth it?
December 8, 2009 3:32:11 AM

i'll have you guys know that i'm constantly reading this thread and i'm very thankful for all your input and advice, i'm also looking over this thread with some more computer savvy friends to fill me in a lot of the jargon i'm not up to date on.
again, i do not know too much (actually very very little) of overclocking, various RAM types, RAID, and 'sockets'.
if theres any other questions you'd like to ask about my computing, various programs i use, frequency of use, what sort of outcome i'm looking for, and the et cetera, feel free to ask and i'll try to answer to the best of my knowledge.

again,
thank you guys so much for all your input!
a b B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2009 3:33:26 AM

You are welcomed ^^
December 8, 2009 3:35:10 AM

Vaporware said:
i'll have you guys know that i'm constantly reading this thread and i'm very thankful for all your input and advice, i'm also looking over this thread with some more computer savvy friends to fill me in a lot of the jargon i'm not up to date on.
again, i do not know too much (actually very very little) of overclocking, various RAM types, RAID, and 'sockets'.
if theres any other questions you'd like to ask about my computing, various programs i use, frequency of use, what sort of outcome i'm looking for, and the et cetera, feel free to ask and i'll try to answer to the best of my knowledge.

again,
thank you guys so much for all your input!


Yea tell us! Information like that helps alot in setting up a configuration!

No really though, what programs do you use? What sort of outcome are you looking for? What problems/frustrations do you have now? For example, slow loading times for applications and similar stuff, not bugs though.

Your welcome! Glad you appreciate our advice! :) 
December 8, 2009 3:50:04 AM

well aside from the mundane internets and small photoshopping here and there. i frequently edit videos using premiere CS4. since its in 1080i, the process is quite slow.
i would like to be able to use all the various tools at my disposal with After Effects, but that route has proved to be even more tedious and much much slower.
i am also suffering from my computer hanging a lot and outright freezing during the encoding process.
another problem i'm facing is my second hard drive suddenly not being read and having to restart my computer for it to be read again.
could a really out of date power supply be at fault for that?
i did just buy this hard drive. the data is not corrupted at all, and error-checking it has shown no signs of anything wrong.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2009 3:54:12 AM

RMA that HDD if within warranty
December 8, 2009 3:56:23 AM


This is based off of Batchuka's advice:

OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$45 -After rebates

Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$25 -After rebates, Freeshipping

AMD Phenom II X4 925 Deneb 2.8GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$141 -Freeshipping

OCZ 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5400) Desktop Memory Model OCZ2V6672G - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$33 -After rebates

Total = $244
December 8, 2009 4:06:27 AM

Vaporware said:
well aside from the mundane internets and small photoshopping here and there. i frequently edit videos using premiere CS4. since its in 1080i, the process is quite slow.
i would like to be able to use all the various tools at my disposal with After Effects, but that route has proved to be even more tedious and much much slower.
i am also suffering from my computer hanging a lot and outright freezing during the encoding process.
another problem i'm facing is my second hard drive suddenly not being read and having to restart my computer for it to be read again.
could a really out of date power supply be at fault for that?
i did just buy this hard drive. the data is not corrupted at all, and error-checking it has shown no signs of anything wrong.


If you need a new hdd, take a look at this one. Its one of the fastest hdds out right now.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$55 -Freeshipping
December 8, 2009 4:23:18 PM

Before you do anything else with the drive, change the Sata cable and the port its connected to on the motherboard. Sata is hot-swappable which means I can plug a drive in while in windows and it will automatically recognize it. So, I don't think its a drive issue but either the cable and/or motherboard. Heck, it could be something as simple as the cable not completely plugged in on one end. And if you can, also change the power cable going into it.

You can do all 3 things at once or just one at a time. If its a frequent issue, then try one at a time so you can pinpoint the problem.

The quad-core should allow you to edit in Premiere in real time(without several effects). I'm guessing that your video is AVCHD (from a Sony cam). AVCHD is very hard on the CPU for editing. If you find that a quad-Phenom can't handle it, there is an inexpensive plug-in that uses CUDA to decode(playback) H.264 video(your 9600GT supports CUDA).

OR look into Cineform to transcode the AVCHD files to an intermediate format which makes editing in Premiere and AE much easier. I thinks it Cineform Neo for your needs.

For AE, it loves ram and cores. When you get all this setup, remember to go into AE and adjust its CPU/Ram settings for best performance.

About the ram: I have used 2 Corsair 2GB DDR2-800 and 2 OCZ 2GB DDR2-1066 in a pc without problem. The BIOS should default to the slowest speed of the two including timings. For the OP, 6GB of ram at DDR2-533 is far FASTER than 4GB at DDR2-1066 for Premiere and AE.

If budget allows, get another drive for the source footage. Take your current 1TB and use it for Premiere's and AE's Media Cache and maybe also project files. (in Premiere, you can set the Media Cache and Video/Audio Previews to be stored in the same folder as the project files(.ppproj)
You also want the encoded video on a separate drive from the source footage so use your 1TB for this.

I'm a videographer and editor; so, let me know if you have any other questions.
!