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Graphics/video/gaming/multimedia rig

Last response: in Systems
May 24, 2010 8:49:34 PM

From Canada, so keep in mind prices will look a bit high because of the conversion.
Looking for a new rig, I do a lot of graphics and audio/video editing, so that's the primary focus. Gaming is something I'd like, but not a priority.. I will play what I can on what I end up with, basically. Probably sticking to 4GB RAM off the bat and upgrade later once I earn some more money.

Important issues: want it to be quiet, like for it not to eat up too much unnecessary power.
Right now I'm about at the top end of my budget, if you have ideas of how to scale back, I'm open. Swinging between thinking this purchase is justified, and completely over the top...

I already have a DVD drive, harddrive, monitor and mouse/keyboard, so not worried about those for now.

Probably ordering online from newegg or ncix.. or picking up parts locally to save on shipping.

Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
304.99 -$5 at canadacomputers

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
149.99 147.99@megacomputer

XFX HD-575X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
135.99 - 147.99 megacomputer. 139.99@Canadacomputers

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
110.49 x2?

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

corsair 400W powersupply
52.99 -15 MIR

$814 bf shipping/taxes

issues: want to make sure to have a fairly spacious case that is quite quiet, but don't care about flashiness or portability. not sure best route for RAM or what difference the speed will make. Right now I'm going a bit more expensive in order to theoretically support SATA 6GB/s in the future.. Is that reasonable or foolish? I intend to not upgrade again for 5-6 years so I want to support upcoming technologies already. Is it worth paying $20 bucks more for eSATA or IEEE? I'm not big into any of those things right now. I'm thinking not.

I'm also considering whether this is a worthy use of money since it is pretty high end. What kind of difference do you think I'd see in heavy Photoshop etc use if I slid down several notches to something less expensive..?

May 25, 2010 5:01:37 PM

See my build in the other thread you commented in.

I'm not sure of which exact programs you're using or how much hardcore calculating you'll need, but generally for a non gaming workstation oriented build, you want CUDA and as many threads as you can afford.

Likewise for graphics editing, more RAM is good.

The i7-860 works, but if you're ever get into serious stuff, a 1366 platform allowing 4 way sli is a great way to drastically improve CUDA performance. Again, this is something you'll have to determine as I don't know how professionally you intend to go.
May 26, 2010 3:09:02 AM

thanks a lot for the input.. i wasn't thinking of needing more than one graphics card. I'm intending to be using this professionally, but I'm mostly working on web graphics which don't get as huge as print stuff, but some of that as well.
Software wise: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects/Premiere basically in that order.. (as well as like coding and wordprocessing, but that barely counts as far as computer design goes).
I've never heard of CUDA before Is it basically using unused memory on the GPU for other processing and only available with Nvidia cards? I feel like I've read that ATIs work best with Photoshops graphic acceleration, but could be insane. Is that the way to go for more graphics oriented systems?
Related resources
May 26, 2010 3:23:16 AM

addendum: just reading more into CUDA.. looks like it's basically just that mercury playback engine they hyped for premiere cs5? maan.. didn't realize the flagship feature of the release was only available to people with nvidias. Hm! I'm not huge into premiere though, so not sure if it's worth expensivizing my build (I am a bit concerned with gaming myself).
If all going 1366 is gonna do for me is the possibility of 4 way SLI for masterly beefing out my video editing, I don't think I'd worry about that.
May 26, 2010 2:01:12 PM

CUDA affects more than just premier, it speeds up any sort of parrallel computing. I'm not sure of the exact details for Adobe products (my usage lies primarily in our genetics work) but it speeds up a LOT of the filters as far as photoshop is concerned.

Also for your usage, you should probably get more than 4gb of RAM anyway.
May 26, 2010 2:19:36 PM

are there any specific lists of what CUDA covers benchmarking or anything? everything online I found was seeming pretty vague!

and yes, I definitely would aim for 8 GB or RAM just not sure if I'll get all the RAM immediately or not. If I go the i7-860 route, I may have to wait a bit
May 26, 2010 5:19:36 PM


1. has no real competitor so nobody really does benchmarking tests
2. Is a very professionally oriented feature, so has no wide market appeal, hence lack of hardware sites testing it.

That said, the advantages of CUDA vary dramatically depending on the use/software and current levels of both driver and software optimization.

However, that said, the difference CUDA provides is very tangible. You know those special affects hollywood always talks about how they take 42 hrs to render 1 Frame? Yea, without CUDA those movies would never be made.

They take 42 hrs to render, but you can render 1,000's of frames in parallel at a time, something you can't do with CPU's.
May 27, 2010 3:19:38 AM

I gather that it affects CS5 Premiere in a big way with their mercury engine.. do you know would it make a difference for After Effects, or where I could find out?