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Building a video editing computer

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December 24, 2009 4:46:11 AM

Hello experts, I'm purchasing parts to build (first build) myself a computer to edit HD video (avchd). This computer is not for gaming, but for Premiere Pro and Photoshop. Would love to hear from any pros out there editing video.

SO FAR I HAVE
1) i7 920
2) Antec P183
3) 2 hard drives, 1tb
4) HP HP elite wireless keyboard
5) MS wireless Arc mouse
6) PCI card IEEE 1394-A, 3-external port firewire card
7) Antec TP550 I'm only going to run 2 internal HD and I will use external eSATA HD and external IEEE 1394 HD
8) CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB Model TR3X6G1600C8D 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory


I STILL NEED TO PURCHASE
9) I can't decide on the Asus P6T Deluxe v2 or the Asus P6X58D Premium. For only 10.00 more the P6X58D Premium sounds like a good investment for future added upgrades. Please advise

10) I can't decide which would video card is better for avchd video editing, Nvidia Quadro FX 580 512MB or the Nvidia GeForce GTX 275. FYI,. I would like to use a large 16:9 LCD monitor 24"-27" I can't decide between the LG 24" or the Samsung 27" Does a large monitor require a more powerful video card? Will these card choice work for that size monitor? Please advise.

11) And maybe a cooler for the i7,. please advise

I know in the future I will need to add more RAM and perhaps a SSD but for now I just need to get a computer up and editting for now. btw, for now I would prefer not OC, at least not until I'm more comfortable. Am I forgetting anything?
December 24, 2009 5:07:23 AM

^ Have you bought the 1-8 components ?

And as for the rest -
9) Yes for $10 more its a good investment.
10) For video editing, a CUDA supporting card would suffice...actually you wont need workstation card for these purposes...you need them if you will be doing photo editng, rendering(MAYA, 3d MAX, etc)
Even a GTX 275 is not required...A GT 240 would be suitable or at the max a GTS 250...

11) Will you be overclocking your CPU ? If not, then its not required...
December 24, 2009 5:11:52 AM

Yes items 1-6 have been purchased, except for RAM and power supply. Is there better RAM? Is that too much power supply?

Both cards (FX 580 512MB and GeForce GTX 275) have CUDA, but I don't know enough to make a decision on which card is best suited for video and photo editing. Since I work full time as a photographer I don't mind spending a little more on the card if it's going to save me time in rendering and transcoding video.

I don't plan on overclocking... so I guess no need for item #11
Related resources
December 24, 2009 5:25:55 AM

^ Then the Workstation card would better suit you...
And the size of the monitor doesnt matter much...you must look at the resolution...And for your needs, these cards can handle it without any issues...

And you should be looking to get another 6GB(12GB total) of RAM...CS4 utlilzes the additional memory very well as it is now 64-bit and so do video editing softwares...

And as for the CPU cooler, the stock would suffice like I said...but an aftermarket cooler can help lower the temps even more...So if the place where you will be using the PC will be hot, then getting an aftermarket HSF might be a good idea...
December 24, 2009 5:59:29 AM

9) I recommend this mobo:

GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $269AR with free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And this article about the UD - ultra durable - construction:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gigabyte-ultra-dura...

And reviews:
http://www.*****/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/14406-gigabyte-ga-ex58-ud5-x58-motherboard-review.html
http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews.php?/cpu_mainboard/g...

10) I am not familiar with the Quadro line of cards but most of the work in video editing is done by the CPU. Yes a larger monitor requires a larger video card - but more importantly greater resolution has a larger impact. This card will handle resolutions up to 2560 x 1600 and your monitors will not exceed that:

EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - Retail - $260
2x Winner of Customer Choice Award - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

11) This is a great one:
XIGMATEK Intel Core i7 compatible Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail - $45 with free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

12) I assume you already have or plan to get a 64-bit operating system. A DVD burner would be nice- if for no other reason than to load the software. The question here is do you want a Blu-Ray reader or writer? The readers will run about $100 and the writers about $220. This would be a good DVD writer (non-Blu-Ray_

Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe LightScribe Support - OEM - $33
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 24, 2009 6:54:57 PM

for a video editing computer you will realize soon that its not ram or cpu nor even gpu speed that you'll be having little of. its raw data reading. not even capacity as such, since most modern hdds have plenty of room.

I'd advise you on getting at least one preferably more than one SSD drive. which? i cant tell since Im not that keen on following them.

But make no mistake, core2 duo or i7 wont make a slightest difference if you edit HD video on regular HDDs. you need high read/write speeds and the higher the better.

i7 will come in handy once you're done editing and want to export your video. than core2 will be outclassed noticably. and just to waste even more words reiterating what I've said 2 times so far- you need high read/write speeds on you drives for the actual editing part.

and i'd asume that for 30minutes raw video a 200gb ssd would do.
December 24, 2009 6:58:20 PM

ooh ooh. some1 mentioned quadro cards. THEY SUCK!!! your money

there is NO difference b/w regular gf and quadro except that quadro works slower, is generaly outdated, has months old drivers AND costs 10x more.

NEVER EVER FOR ANY REASON EVER by a Quadro card.

well.. if you have too much money and you just dont know what to do with it, get a quadro, and send me some of the extra cash. I know couple of people that could use it better than nvidia.
December 24, 2009 7:05:42 PM

and just to spam your thread some1 mentioned getting 12gb of ram. not sure what you'll be working in, but most video editing softwere is 32bit- ie supporting up to 4gb of ram. haveing 6gb of ram means that you'll have 4gb dedicated for you video editing software and 2gb for windows.... more than plenty.

also, 99.999999999999999999% of video editing software will rarely use more than 2gb. Its this "neat" trick that allows Mac Final Cut Pro to be competitive.

Dont get me wrong, ram is good, 6gb is really good. more usually is better, but not here. Not yet anyway- and by the time it is, you'll be getting a) a new computer b) more ram at dirt low prices.
December 24, 2009 9:00:59 PM

o yeah. merry xmas all :D 
December 24, 2009 10:20:40 PM

There's absolutely no need for such an expensive graphics card. Get something around <$100 that supports shader 3.0 and openGL 2.0 and wait for CS5. Latest I heard was early Q2 '10.
Unlike CS4, CS5 is supposed to make proper use of GPUs.
Also, the more RAM the merrier.
December 26, 2009 3:33:03 PM

Sorry been away.
-Yes I plan on using Windows 7 64bit
-ok I have decided not use the Quadro FX cards
-I plan is using the GeForce GTX 275 with a Samsung HDTV/monitor, is this a bad ideal? link
http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/office/monitors/prem...
-I'll start off with 6gb of RAM and get more as the price falls and I recover from the cost of build this PC
-RAM other than getting the spec correct, are there tips on getting "better" RAM?
–totally forgot about the DVD read/write,..thanks for pointing out rockyjohn... though not sure what model
-no OC for now
-I would like to add at least 3 external firewire (version A) ports,.. any ideal on which PCI card is most reliable?
December 26, 2009 4:33:52 PM

alecsanmiguel said:
Sorry been away.
-RAM other than getting the spec correct, are there tips on getting "better" RAM?
–totally forgot about the DVD read/write,..though not sure what model


DVD burners have become fairly generic with quite a few good ones around the $30 price point. This would be a good choice:

Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe LightScribe Support - OEM - $33 plus $7 shipping
Winner of Customer Choice Award - CD / DVD Burners
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I am confused about your request for tips on getting better RAM and a firewire card. Your first post said you have RAM and the card and then you listed the other parts you need to purchase. Don't you already have the RAM? Are their other items on the "I have" list that you don't have? I, and perhaps others, did not comment on the "I have" list since it appeared the purchase was already made.

When choosing RAM, the two key performance factors are speed and timings. Higher speed and lower timings are better. The timings reflect how many internal clock cycles it takes to perform a very specific memory task or a delay built in to provide clearances for specific tasks to be completed. The timings are usually listed in the specifications section on newegg product sheet and the first timing - referred to as CAS - is the most important. So memory with a 7-7-7-20 timing will be faster than memory with 8-8-8-21. While an oversimplification, you can calculate the approximate difference in bandwidth - how much data can be moved in a given time - by the percentage difference in CAS - comparing CAS 7 to CAS 8, CAS 7 has a bandwidth [(8-7)/7] or 1/7 faster than CAS 8. As memory speeds get faster, the memory needs slower timings to make it work, unfortunately offsetting part of the speed advantage.

Choosing from the mobo's approved compatibility list should ensure the RAM will work with the system, however there are many other options that will also work fine but just were never tested with the board.
December 26, 2009 6:23:58 PM

Rockyjohn your correct,. my local store has the TRENDnet 3-Port FireWire card on the shelf. So for that item I pretty much consider that "Items I have". But after reading online reviews I was just wondering if there was a PCI card with a reliable chipset to pursue.

RAM, a few folks who edit video seem to highly recommend the Asus P6T and the Asus P6T Deluxe v2for their editing machine. I think I may go up one with the Asus P6X58D Premium (only 10-20 dollars more than the v2) and I just wanted to make sure I picked memory that was suitable for this motherboard.

DVD do seem generic. But thanks for listing a burner with "LightScribe".
December 28, 2009 2:29:21 AM

@eodeo I dont agree completely on the things what you said...
1. Graphics card - Yes the workstation cards are slow and pricey...but the reasons are these...
- From where did you get the info that the drivers that are available are old ? The only reason that they wont need frequent driver update is that they dont have to be compatible with that many games that are being launched...
Only the geforce cards have to...And the driver updates are usually meant for any incompatibility and there are not many photo editing and video editing software that take advantage of the graphic cards and the software that do utilize the cards are before hand checked for compatibility...

- Yes they are slow...but for what ? - They aren't meant for speeding up general tasks but to reproduce the precision rendering of the images and content unlike geforce cards, that are fast but have lower quality output...That is the main reason why photo editing and rendering are done mostly with workstation cards...

And for video editing software, which supports CUDA, that power would suffice...

2. RAM - Have you worked with photoshop ? Try applying about 4 -5 filters on a 24 MP photo and try that with say 6GB RAM and 12GB RAM...you will notice the difference...My friend works full time with those and he explained to me about the need for more RAM...Initially even I was hesitant to suggest 12GB...but after looking at the advantages first hand, it surely is worth it...

But I would certainly have to agree with the use of an SSD though...It will surely improve the process to a great extent and that too utilizing it as a scratch disk will speed up things to a great extent...So maybe he could just stick with 6GB for now and add an SSD instead...That would be a good option...
December 28, 2009 2:43:19 PM

hmmm,. Nvidia Quadro FX 580 512MB or GeForce 275. I guess I need to give this some further thought. Thank you gkay09 for the info.

Also just realized that it completely slipped pass me, the Asus P6X58D Premium does NOT have an eSATA rear port. Where as the Asus P6T Deluxe v2 comes with a eSATA port in the rear. I use an external hard drive that utilizes the USB and eSATA interface, and I need to be able to edit video and photos between my home and the office studio. And with large files I prefer to transfer using the eSATA interface. However I like the notion of having the Asus premium motherboard that is ready for the new processors when they become available and I'm ready to upgrade.

Forgive my noob experience level, but my question is okay and wise to add a PCI card with eSATA ports to the Asus P6X58D Premium or should I just go with the Asus P6T Deluxe v2 motherboard which already has 1 eSATA port. Keep in mind that on either motherboard I will be using a fairly large video card (Quadro FX580 or GeForce 275), and installing a PCI card for firewire Ieee1394 ports. I heard so much abot video cards being so large that they may obstruct a PCI slot.

thanks from a novice 1st time builder
December 28, 2009 8:16:47 PM

A good alternative is to install a card reader with eSATA and USB ports in a front bay where they will be convenient. The ports in the bay are then connected directly to mobo connections.
December 28, 2009 8:25:21 PM

Ooops. Double post removed.
December 29, 2009 2:52:29 AM

^ +1...
And also the P183 comes with eSATA port in the front bay...So you can connect the onboard SATA to that(But might need power)...
If you want more than 1, then go with the PCI cards or the above mentioned front bay...
!