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Advice for ~$1400 Ubuntu 64bit for Video Editing, Home use

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Anonymous
May 6, 2010 3:24:23 PM

Hello All,

Thanks for a great forum. Here's my info:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: w/i a week

BUDGET RANGE: ~$1500 before rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Documents, surfing, watching movies, video editing, some VM, no gaming.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OSes

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, amazon.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: See list below for what I prefer so far

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x720 (It's a 27" TV)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I want to run Ubuntu 64bit. This makes me particularly unsure about the GPU (nvidia vs. ati). Also, gaming is really not important but video editing is. I just want a very fast system. I'm going to install a Win7 for dual boot but don't anticipate using this OS often. Computer will be in a location that is not well ventilated so a lot of fans is good (not too worried about noise.)

Here's what I have been considering so far:

CASE: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$44.99 for the next few days

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard w/ USB 3.0 & SATA 6 Gb/s
$184.99

CPU: Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
$199.99

Memory:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM (2 of these, so 8GB total)
$119.99 * 2 = $239.98

CPU Fan: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler
$29.99

Primary HD (dual boot Ubuntu/Win7):
OCZ Vertex Turbo OCZSSD2-1VTXT120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
$374.00

GPU (????): SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100283VXL Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
$179.99

Bought Already (I got a few things as I saw a good price):

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7
$58.48 (bundled w/dvd below)

DVD Drive: Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM
$0.00

Secondary HD (data): Samsung SpinPoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB SATA2 7200rpm 32MB Hard Drive
$69.00

Total: $1380.42

TIA for all your help!

Dave
May 6, 2010 3:37:59 PM

I run ubuntu at work, and while ATI's drivers have historically been not that great, they have improved a lot recently and are relatively plug & play. I'd say that right now, at least until nVidia releases low-end Fermi-based cards, ATI is probably the way to go.

The build looks pretty good overall.

Other options to consider:
If you do a lot of video editing, you would probably see a performance advantage to switching to AMD and going with one of the new hex-core processors, for not much difference in price.
If you just edit casually, then you could stick with the i5 or you might consider going with an AMD 4-core.

If you are doing zero gaming, a 5670 or 5450 is probably more appropriate for your uses.
If you may do some light gaming, the 5770 is fine.
Related resources
May 6, 2010 4:08:28 PM

This Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H is $140, and has USB3 and SATA 6 Gb/s.

Generally, I don't think there's a lot of difference between the various 5670s yet, I'd just buy based on price/warranty, with manufacturer being a secondary concern. Sapphire is pretty well-regarded, and their 1 GB 5670 is one of the two cheapest on newegg at the moment.

By switching from the 5770 to a 5670 and saving almost $50 on the motherboard, you could think about going with the $310 1090T Black Edition and still ending up in the same price range. :) 

Here are some benchmarks to look at: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3674/amds-sixcore-phenom-...

Note that on the really highly-multithreaded apps, the AMD chip performs close to the i7-975/980X at a fraction of the price. However, it falls behind on the mixed-load stuff and on gaming. It's certainly not for everyone, but if you do a lot of video editing, it might be worthwhile. If you don't, you could also just go with a Phenom II X4 955 BE and the above Gigabyte mobo or stick with the Intel build. Just presenting various options.
May 6, 2010 4:53:14 PM

I would suggest a X6 AMD processor as well as a 5770.

Ubuntu actually should get Steam support soon if it hasnt already (I forgot the date this was happening) so at least it enables some gaming potential. I understand you probably arent interested in that but a better card will at least enable the possibility.
Anonymous
May 6, 2010 6:53:34 PM

Okay, thanks for all the comments. I'm leaning toward the 1090T Black with a 5670. The noob in me is getting confused though. A few more questions if you don't mind:

First, I get bedazzled by all the different mobos. The one you recommended, coldsleep, looks great. However I saw another Gigabyte board with nearly the same specs for a lot less: GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 AM3 AMD 770 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

Is there something I should be looking for to discern the better board or if the extra $45 ($55 w/rebate) is worth it? It doesn't have a nicer intergrated gpu, but that won't matter much to me since I'm going with a card, right?

Also, will the memory I listed originally be fine for this board and the 1090T? I assume this takes a 2 stick pairing rather than 3 like the i7s? Is the 1600 speed okay?

Thanks again. I'm narrowing it down and getting excited.
May 6, 2010 7:11:03 PM

The 890 has the latest chipset from AMD. Its probably a better option since it has more longevity and also is already designed to work with a X6 without a BIOS update. I am not totally sure that that particula 770 wont work out of the box with an X6 but it may not so to be sure go with a 890.
May 6, 2010 7:40:41 PM

Yeah, that's exactly the reason I picked the one with the 890 chipset, X6 chips are drop-in.

To get the 770 to work will likely require updating the BIOS, which is certainly doable, but kind of annoying to do right out of the box. Since you're not gaming, you don't need the CrossFire available on the 890GX, but I was having trouble finding a board that had USB3, SATA6, and no CrossFire.

Otherwise, the 770TA-UD3 is an excellent motherboard. And yes, you don't need integrated graphics, but the non-enthusiast 890 chipset doesn't offer a choice. :) 

EDIT: Looking at the Gigabyte (www.gigabyte.com.tw) support page, it appears that with the latest BIOS, the 770TA-UD3 does support X6 chips. So you could absolutely go with it if you don't mind flashing the BIOS if it comes with an older version. The board could also arrive at your door with the most recent BIOS, there's no way to know for certain ahead of time, though.
Anonymous
May 6, 2010 8:47:34 PM

Nice. Thanks, I think I'll save the $55 since I don't need to onboard gpu. I don't mind flashing the bios if needed.

Do you guys think the memory choice is good and compatible?

Also, any thoughts on a cpu cooler since I am switching processors? I saw some comments about tight fits for these. Do you think I need a larger case?

Thanks again!

Dave
May 6, 2010 8:54:52 PM

Memory looks fine. The Ripjaws are frequently recommended around here for being good quality & relatively low-cost.

Unfortunately, I have no idea on the HSF/case dilemma, since I haven't worked with that case (or really, any recent coolers). You might check reviews and/or newegg comments on the 300 Illusion to see if you can find out how much room is left for a HSF.
Anonymous
May 6, 2010 8:58:00 PM

The cpu support chart on this gigabyte page lists the 1055T but not the 1090T. Do you think it's just outdated?
May 6, 2010 9:16:11 PM

Ugh, I was looking at http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/CPUSuppo... and since I saw 2 X6 models, I didn't look closely at the model numbers.

I would check with Gigabyte support and see if they can tell you anything more. The chart does say that "-" means that it's under testing. Since they've already approved the lower rated chip(s), you would hope that they'll be able to support the higher-end ones.
Anonymous
May 7, 2010 5:19:01 AM

Coldsleep,

Thanks for all your help. As you can tell, I'm a noob when it comes to distinguishing between mobos. I found this one that seems to have all I want (SATA 6GB, USB 3, 1090T support) and less of what I don't (onboard video, etc):

GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
$124 - 15 rebate

I just don't understand or know that much about north/south bridge and all of the other specs. I don't want to go cheap; but I also don't want to spend more on things I don't need, when I could put the $ elsewhere.

Thanks again,

Dave
May 7, 2010 6:01:19 AM

Looks good. I'd say go for it.

And to be perfectly honest, I'm still learning about the various chipsets myself. I had been focusing on Intel builds for a while and just recently started paying more attention to AMD builds.

That board does have 2x PCI-E 2.0 slots, which would indicate it's more of a gaming board, but I think it suits you in all other respects. I wouldn't burn too much more time trying to save $10 or so, especially with that rebate. :) 
!