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Video Editing Rig - Advice needed

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January 5, 2010 8:21:12 PM

Hi there,

I'm looking to build my own computer that will be used for video editing at a relatively amateur level. By this, I mean I have been editing videos for the past year or so casually but would like to become more skilled and I need a computer that is more capable than my current one.
My budget will be £1000 for the computer (excluding peripherals). This is flexible but I'd like it to remain as low as possible.

From reading previous threads and other research, the current ideas I have for a build are:

Processor - Intel i7 860
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Intel-Core-i7-860-s1156-...

RAM - Crucial Ballistix 6GB
http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/partspecs.aspx?IMODULE=...

GPU - XFX Radeon HD 4890
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1GB-XFX-HD-4890-OC-PCI-E...

Motherboard - I am not really sure as to what is required from a motherboard, except compatibility with my current components. I have been looking at Gigabyte motherboards, particularly the p55 models, but would appreciate advice in this area.

Case - Antec 1200
This case seems reasonably expensive. Is it more than is required? Are there cheaper alternatives?
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/Antec-Twelve-Hundred-Cas...

PSU - Corsair 650W
http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=684734&...

Hard Drive - Seagate Barracuda 1TB
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1TB-SGATE-ST31000528AS-S...

CD Drive - I do not need a blu-ray writer or anything along those lines so I will likely just pick up a cheap one, unless you would advise against this?

This build is more expensive than I would like so if you could offer any advice on what components can be downgraded, it would be appreciated. If you would swap any parts, please say.

Thanks for any advice.

January 5, 2010 8:51:29 PM

If you are getting an i7 860 then you need a P55 motherboard and will only get 4GB RAM (a 2x2GB kit). If you are not going to go with a second graphics card then a p55-ud3 model is probably the best choice, if you want to add a second graphics card later then you need to get a p55-ud4 model.

The Antec 900 and 902 are smaller versions of the 1200. The antec 600 is slightly different looking but around the same size and a bit cheaper.

Almost any cheap SATA DVD burner will be fine for your optical drive.

Do you need such a powerful graphics card for video editing? I thought that it was a more CPU intensive operation. You might back down to a 5770 which is less powerful but uses much less power, is quieter and generates less heat.
January 5, 2010 9:23:54 PM

I will suggest a motherboard when you answer dndhatcher's question about crossfiring if you want. I would also like to know if you will be overclocking. Also are you just going to be video editing or are you also going to game? If you are not gaming or doing moderate gaming then the 5770 is the way to go imo.
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January 5, 2010 9:45:21 PM

IF you are not going to be gaming, you can get just about any old $50 video card and be fine. Anything that is capable of playing HD video will fill your needs. A 4650 or 4670 is more than enough.

There are several good P55 MBs in the $100 - $125 range. I would suggest one of those since you will not need the advanced features of some of the more expensive ones. My favorite cheap p55 is this Biostar
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
unfortunately the price has gone up on it at newegg, but check your sites and see if they still have it cheaper. It was going for about $110 until recently. It does not use the Foxconn socket, so it is safe to overclock with.
I would also suggest maxing out your 8gb of memory since video editing is probably the most memory intensive of any usage.
January 5, 2010 10:08:34 PM

dndhatcher - you said i'll only get 4gb ram with the p55 motherboard and the i7, why is that?

One graphics card will be fine, although if I can improve performance drastically by crossfiring without much change in price (i've seen the radeon 4870 512mb for £95 and 2 of these crossfired benchmark really well) then i would be interested. I've also heard that nvidia cards are better due to their cuda tech, is this something I should consider?
silvune - i think i will be overclocking, unless this is likely to massively increase the cost of the motherboard I need?

Thanks for all the help so far, much appreciated.
January 5, 2010 10:53:04 PM

If your applications use CUDA then that rules out ATI cards, if not then its a non-issue. If you are going Nvidia then a GT 250 or even 240 would be all you need if you are not gaming. Is CUDA a requirement for the editing software you are using? Are you also gaming? What games and what monitor resolution?

The graphics card is not going to affect video edit speed much. There is no point to crossfire unless you are also gaming on a large screen (which would drastically change my recommendations).

P55 motherboards use dual channel memory so you put in pairs of ram sticks. Either 4, 8 GB or 16GB (2 or 4 sticks of 2GB or 4GB). Its possible that 8GB would be helpful for your application, but thats hard to know if you cant tell us how much memory you currently are using when do your editing. The 6GB triple channel kit you linked is for x58 motherboards and i7 9xx series CPUs.

The only thing overclocking costs is an aftermaket CPU cooler like the Coolermaster Hyper 212 ($30 US). It can increase the power usage and heat substantially.

Overclocking and the graphics cards dictate how powerful of a power supply you need so you need to nail that down before you can pick a power supply.
January 6, 2010 7:58:08 AM

Ok cool, so I think I'll ignore gaming as it's really not a priority, if the rig enables me to play a few games, great, if not no worries - i'd rather focus on the video stuff. Yeah I'm using After Effects which is CUDA enabled, so nVidia seems to make more sense. I think I'll go for 4bg RAM for now, I had assumed that the i7 8xx were triple channel compatible too, nevermind! I've been offered the following system - built - for what seems like much cheaper than I can do buying the individual parts, am I missing something?

Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™i7 Processor i7-860 (2.80GHz) 8MB Cache + HyperThreading

Memory (RAM)
4GB CORSAIR XMS3 DUAL-DDR3 1600MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY!

Motherboard
ASUS® P7P55D PRO: DDR3, S-ATA II, 3 x PCI-Ex, 2 x PCI

USB Options
8 x USB 2.0 PORTS (6 REAR + 2 FRONT) AS STANDARD

Memory - 1st Hard Disk
1TB SERIAL ATA 3-Gb/s HARD DRIVE WITH 16MB CACHE (7,200rpm)

1st DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
22x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM

Graphics Card
1GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTS250 PCI EXPRESS

Case
ANTEC 900 BLACK GAMING CASE (£79)

Power Supply & Case Cooling
600W Quiet Quad Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan (£59)

Processor Cooling
COOLERMASTER V8 EXTREME CPU COOLER - Experience the power of V8 (£49)


Keyboard & Mouse
Logitech® Deluxe 660 Cordless Keyboard & Optical Mouse (£18)

January 6, 2010 9:45:27 AM

Please ignore this quote, I've found the differences and it's not as good as I initially thought (as most of you will probably realise at a glance) so now my final concern is the PSU. I'm looking a PSU/Tower bundle from Antec, with the Antec 1200 case and
ANTEC CP 850W MODULAR PSU, purely because it appears to be good value and I know the case is more than adequate. Any thoughts on the suitability of the PSU?
Thanks again!
January 6, 2010 9:47:39 AM

I forgot to mention - I will be overclocking the processor and going for the single nVidia GTS250
January 6, 2010 1:44:01 PM

A few suggestions:

1) With video editing, you will have a source and a target file. Performance is improved if you place them on different physical drives. Get two hard drives.
2) Pay attention to the performance of the hard drives you pick. Some of the cheaper 1tb drives do not perform as well.
3) The PSU requirements are mainly determined by the needs of the graphics card. In the case of a GTS250, the needs are minimal. A 450w psu with 24a on the 12v rails. A 450 to 600w unit from a quality vendor is plenty. 850w units are overkill, and will not operate at their most efficient level.
January 6, 2010 5:36:51 PM

I agree with geo. You will be served as well for less money by an antec 200 or 300 case (if you like the 1200 then go for a 900 or 902) and any 80+ certified antec or corsair 500-600W PSU. The GT250 is a reasonably low power/low heat GPU so you dont need the large expensive case and huge wattage power supply.

Right now the Samsung F3 500GB or 1TB are the fastest boot HDD at a good price, the seagate 7200.12 500GB or 1TB are close competitors.
January 6, 2010 6:20:31 PM

fantastic thanks guys, i think that answers everything, really appreciate the help.
January 6, 2010 11:16:00 PM

Hi all,
Here's my completed build, any thoughts? I've tried to take everything you've told me into account but some recommended parts weren't available so I've substituted what I think is similar, the motherboard in particular.

Antec Three Hundred Black Midi Tower Case w/o PSU

650w Antec EarthWatts 120mm Low Noise, 80 PLUS® certified,6 Sata ,2 PCI-e

1GB Asus GTS 250 Dark Knight, 2008MHz GDDR3, GPU 740MHz, Shader 1836MHz, 128 Cores

Intel Core i7 860, s1156, Lynnfield, Quad Core, 2.80GHz, DMI 2.5 GT/s, 8MB Cache, 95W, Retail

Asus P7P55D LE, Intel P55 Express, S1156, PCI-E 2.0(x16), DDR3 2000(OC), SATA 3Gb/s, SATA RAID, ATX

(x2) 500GB Samsung HD502HJ Spinpoint F3, SATA 3Gb/s, 7200rpm, 16MB Cache, 8.9 ms, NCQ, OEM

Akasa AK-CC017 Freedom Tower CPU Cooler 4x Nickel Plated Copper Heatpipes S775/1156/1366/AM2/AM3

Thanks again!
January 6, 2010 11:16:37 PM

oh, and 2x2GB Crucial Ballistix 1600MHz RAM
January 7, 2010 2:54:47 AM

Looks good.
!