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Video editing/encoding/multimedia design PC

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December 18, 2009 12:51:15 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: as soon as I can figure out what I need

BUDGET RANGE: whatever I need to spend but under 2K preferred

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Multimedia Photojournalism - Video editing/encoding, multimedia design/3D modeling/rendering, photo editing hundreds of hi-res images quickly, Adobe CS4 Suite, general office/biz usage

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS (have Windows 7).

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: don't care, reputable suppliers
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Probably Intel Core i7 960, WD 1TB 7200 RPM drive, 6GB 1600-DDR3 memory...

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, but minor if so. I was going to overclock a 920 but decided against it as system stability is a must when working on client projects

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Probably a single GTX 275 unless anyone suggests differently. Not as familiar with the Radeon cards.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Multi-monitor encoding HD video

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Mostly not sure of motherboard or case, but open to suggestions on any parts of it. Considering an SSD for the OS and programs but will probably wait until prices drop, do not need blu-ray at this time.

Thanks... !
December 18, 2009 3:41:01 AM

I'd change the i7 960 to an i7 920; the difference in performance is not very big, and definitely not worth $300. If you don't find the 920 fast enough, a small overclock will make up the difference.

Use the $300 that you save to get 12GB of RAM (that will make a much bigger difference, especially with the CS4 programs), and another 1TB hard drive (or, hell; you could probably upgrade to 2x 2 terrabyte drives).
December 18, 2009 4:06:36 AM

techbabe said:
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, but minor if so. I was going to overclock a 920 but decided against it as system stability is a must when working on client projects

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Probably a single GTX 275 unless anyone suggests differently. Not as familiar with the Radeon cards.


Even at stock speeds, a 920 with 12GB of RAM would be faster than a 960 with 6GB, and you save a ton of money (which you should put towards hard drives; you'll probably want more than 1TB; HD video uses space, fast). Photoshop and Premiere will use as much RAM as you can throw at them; if you want to run them both at the same time, you should get 12GB.

In terms of video card, if you're not gaming, the 275GTX might be a bit overkill. Even the cheapest video cards can easily run dual monitors. You may want to look into workstation-class cards, such as the nVidia Quadro and ATI FirePro; it depends if the rendering software that you use can be accelerated by the graphics card. Doesn't Adobe CS4 support nVidia Quadro cards? I'm not sure how much performance gain you get, though.
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December 18, 2009 11:19:32 AM

Another thing I am looking at is the life of the machine. I'd rather not get something lower end that will be out of date and unusable sooner than later. I bought a very high end machine with my last computer and it lasted 5 1/2 years (until now). The reasons I am replacing it: the processor is too slow for editing, the max supported memory is too low, and the graphics card will not run CS4 and other applications.

Waiting a few more seconds for a 3D render in Maya or a Photoshop filter to apply isn't a big deal until you have to start doing those actions hundreds of times.
December 18, 2009 12:43:12 PM

Yes I think I will do 12GB of RAM. I've been reading Windows 7 with Photoshop CS4 would probably do best on 8ish, but CS5 will probably be released later this year and who knows how much that will take.
!