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$1500 HD editing machine for Adobe Premiere Pro CS4

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April 11, 2010 8:39:18 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week

BUDGET RANGE: Would like to stay under $1800, but am able to spend more, however prefer not to if possible.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, specifically editing HD Video (from a Canon XHA1 & later a Canon HV30)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: entirely new build

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: prefer established vendor

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: am open to any stable & dependable supplier

OVERCLOCKING: prefer not to, but am willing to learn

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: this machine will not be used for gaming...do I need to?

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024, will be using 2 20" monitors that I already have

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: would prefer a quieter machine

I originally started out by heading over to Dell to have them build a machine for me. I have built a few machines from scratch over the years, but figured I might save myself a few headaches by having it built for me. Then I wandered over here and saw quite a few comments disparaging the use of Dell for building machines used for NLE and decided that I might get more bang for my buck if I built it myself. After perusing the forums here, I have tentatively come up with a shopping list. This list is taking in to account much of advice, specifically the advice of SpecialK90. Feel free to advise where I can and should spend less because the current price tag is making me grasp my wallet in fear.


Intel Core i7 920 LGA1366 2.66 GHz Quad Core Desktop Processor (Mfg Part#: BX80601920) --- $304.99 x 1
Note: I know there are cheaper ones out there, but I prefer established vendors.

ASUS P6X58D Premium Motherboard(Item No. A455-2869) --- $299.99 x 1

Corsair Core i7 XMS3 12GB PC12800 DDR3 (Item No. C13-7100) --- $402.99 x 1

PNY VCQFX580-PCIE-PB Quadro FX 580 Workstation Graphics Card - 512MB (Item No. P56-7508) --- $184.99 x 1

Fujitsu MBA3300RC 300GB 15000 RPM 16MB Cache Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) (Item No. N82E16822116059) --- $309.99 x2
Note: I have listed these two SAS drives for use as a RAID array. I know the SATA drives are way cheaper, but saw some mentions that SAS drives are far more dependable. Do they merit the immense cost increase?

Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M080G2XXX 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (Item No. N82E16820167016) --- $219.95 x 1
Note: Again there is a premium to be paid for SSDs, but as I will be using this as my OS/Software drive, my hope is that the $$ spent will give me the benefit of increased response speeds.

Hitachi OS00163 Deskstar IDK/7K Internal Hard Drive - 1TB (Item No. H450-9002) --- $79.95 x 1
Note: This drive will be my back-up & storage drive. Do I need to partition as some have suggested or would 2 separate drives be better?

Pioneer BDR-205 Blu Ray Burner (Item No. P725-3600) --- $209.99 x 1
Note: I guess Blu Ray won & so if I want the highest number of people to be able to watch this in HD, I must burn in Blu Ray...right or wrong?

Cooler Master HAF 922M ATX Black Mid-Tower Case (Item No. C283-1223) --- $89.99 x 1
Note: Will the SSD 2.5" fit in here? Will the SATA drive be too close the SAS drives and cause problems due to their different RPMs?

Cooler Master Elite Series Power Supply - 460 Watts (Item No. C283-2060) --- $89.99 x 1
Note: Is this enough to keep everything cool? Will it be too loud?

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64BIT OS (Item No. M17-7306) --- $149.99 x 1

StarTech SAS 29 Pin to SATA Cable with LP4 Power (Item No. S262-2706) --- $14.99 x 2
Note: I understand these are necessary to connect the SAS drives to the MoBo.

Altec Lansing FX3022 Expressionist Bass 2-Piece Speakers (Item No. A162-2206) --- $49.99 x 1
Note: These would be my only sound monitors except for headphones.

Leadtek HD Transcoding Card WinFast PxVC1100 (Item No. N82E16815122015) --- $184.99 x 1
Note: I am considering this because I have footage from some other cameras that I'd like to use and understand that
it's recommended for upconverting content .

The total for all this is about $2800 and I still don't have a keyboard or a mouse. This is the first HD movie I've done. I would like to do more. Where can I cut $$ without losing dependability and ease of use? Is this possible? Am I on the right track? Thanks for your help.









April 11, 2010 9:02:59 PM

Quote:
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024, will be using 2 20" monitors that I already have

I'm sorry, but I stopped right there. I HIGHLY recommend you upgrade your LCDs first if planning to do HD video editing. You need a LCD with 1920*1080 at least. Is this for pro level work?

1. i7 930 is $290 at Newegg.($200 if you live near a Microcenter).

2. Drop the Hitachi and get a Samsung F3.

3.
Quote:
Note: I have listed these two SAS drives for use as a RAID array. I know the SATA drives are way cheaper, but saw some mentions that SAS drives are far more dependable. Do they merit the immense cost increase?

No, not really. SAS are meant for Enterprise level drives and not worth the cost for a workstation build. These are also NOT quiet.

4. The CoolerMaster PSU is cr@p and over priced. Get a quality Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Antec or OCZ unit with at least 550W.

5. That RAM is a bit overpriced, get 2 sets of this Gskill: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ - Retail
$170.

6. Good choice on the SSD, I'm assuming you'll be using it to store files temporarily while working. Good choice on the Bluray, yes you'll need it if you plan to do massive HD vids.

7. Get OEM Windows 7 x64 Home Premium ( I doubt you'll miss the features of Pro version) for $100 at Newegg.

8. There is no point to the encoding accelerator and the workstation GPU unless this is pro level work. A 4770 will do the job fine for ~$90.
Note: If you plan to upgrade to CS5, get an nVidia card due to GPU acceleration for quite a bit of stuff.

===========
The MOST important upgrade you will need is a good LCD. By the 1280*1024 res on the LCDs, my guess is they are quite old. This WILL make a WORLD of difference. Also recommend you get a quality set of speakers.
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April 11, 2010 9:29:13 PM

caviar black hdd's are in general faster then the samsungs but louder and hotter. (I own a pair and the noise is pretty irritating but its worth the speed)
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Related resources
April 12, 2010 4:49:22 AM

Go to geeks.com and get the Refurbished Asus Essentio CG5290-BP007 system. It has almost everything you want and has all asus parts so save your self the money of getting a BYO system. After you have it running then you can upgrade the parts that you think you need to get better performance. Just my 2 cents on the project.
Mike
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April 12, 2010 5:09:31 AM

I appreciate all the responses. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I am definitely not a pro yet, but the footage that I'm editing will be submitted to film festivals as a short film, so I would like to produce the highest quality edit that I can. As far as the concerns about my monitors, yes, your comments make sense. My brother has come to my rescue as he has one of these lying around and he will give it to me for this machine.

As far as your other comments go, I have a few questions regarding some of the recommendations:

First off is there a reason to suggest the Samsung F3 over the F1? Do you recommend the F3 only as my back up storage or recommend 3 of the F3 - 1 for storage and 2 for the RAID array?

As far as the 4770 goes, I've read some disparaging remarks regarding ATI cards, which seemed geared more for gaming. I am aware that the card I selected is a bit overpowered, but it seemed that might be an area where a high investment would have a high payback. Is that card really too much for what I'm going to do?

Here's my revised list:

Antec Six Hundred Black / Silver ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (Item No. N82E16811129073) --- $79.99 x 1
Note: Wow, those Corsair cases are pricey. Even the $90 for the CoolerMaster seemed expensive to me, but I've been using the same case for my other desktop for the last 8 years or so.

Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power (Item No. N82E16817371007) --- $69.99 x 1

As far as HDDs go, I'm think I'm going go with 2 x Samsung F3 500GB for my raid array, 1 x Samsung F3 1TB for storage/back-up, & the SSD as mentioned above.

I'll stick with that ASUS mobo, the i7 930 as suggested, & for now the PNY Quadro FX 580 in the event that I get to continue with editing.

Thank you for the recommendation on the RAM. I definitely will use that info.

The total for all this is about $1999 and I still don't have a keyboard, a mouse, or speakers. BTW, what type of speakers would you recommend? Obviously I am just getting started. Any and all recommendations are seriously appreciated.
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April 12, 2010 5:11:43 AM

walangbebot_79 said:
Go to geeks.com and get the Refurbished Asus Essentio CG5290-BP007 system. It has almost everything you want and has all asus parts so save your self the money of getting a BYO system. After you have it running then you can upgrade the parts that you think you need to get better performance. Just my 2 cents on the project.
Mike


I just saw this. I will check this out. Thanks for the info.
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April 12, 2010 5:32:59 AM

Yeah, I wouldn't pay $700+ for a used i7-920 system with a generic/unknown quality 500 W power supply, unknown quality RAM, unknown quality hard drive, unknown quality motherboard and Windows Vista.
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April 12, 2010 8:26:13 AM

coldsleep said:
Yeah, I wouldn't pay $700+ for a used i7-920 system with a generic/unknown quality 500 W power supply, unknown quality RAM, unknown quality hard drive, unknown quality motherboard and Windows Vista.


Excellent point. Although I was tempted, I did walk away from that deal.
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April 12, 2010 9:14:02 AM

That transcode card is very expensive and has very limited capability and the bundled sw is sub-par. ... I don't even think most sw can find it and the codecs are very limited.

You would do FAR better to drop both cards upgrade to a single PNY QudroFX1800 ... ESPECIALLY for CS4 and Premier and AVID and BORIS and Majic Bullet, Rotoscoping, etc.


ALL "computer speakers" are crap, repeat, CRAP for content creation monitoring.

Here is a bare minimum studio monitor setup.

here is a set of recording industry studio standard SONY MDR-7506 "cans"
http://www.zzounds.com/item--SNYMDR7506

And choose one of these two "near-field" self powered studio monitor options ...
... If you can afford ... upgrade to one of the 6" versions . . .

http://www.zzounds.com/item--KRKRP5G2

http://www.zzounds.com/item--MDOBX5ADX

You can listen to and test BOTH of these monitor options at your local Guitar Center Store


Your choice of crappy sound monitoring and that transcode card show that this is your FIRST go-round building an edit rig.

You should look hard at turnkey edit solutions, at B&H Photo, just to get a feel for what components are considered professionally necessary, in a pro POST PRODUCTION RIG.

= Alvin =
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April 12, 2010 2:11:15 PM

^ Indeed. Most of the cost of an editing rig comes from the LCDs and the sound system. IPS LCDs are EXPENSIVE.

@OP: More info on LCD: http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=39226

A good editing system (WITH OUT LCDs and sound system):

Intel Route:
i7 920/930
ASUS P6T Deluxe or other quality motherboard
3*2GB GSkill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 kitsx2
Samsung F3 1TB (Data)
Intel X25-M G2 80GB for OS/scratch disk
HAF 922 or other quality case with plenty of space
A nVdia workstation card (or if on a budget, an old 8800GTS/GTX ~$50-60 can be softmodded to a Quaddro)
Corsair 650TX or similar quality PSU


AMD Route:

Phenom II X4 or Athlon X4 (OR Athlon X2 now and upgrade to X6 later in Q2 2010).
AMD 790X EVO
Every thing else the same as above.
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