First Build - $2250 editing rig

BUDGET RANGE: $2250+/- After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Editing HD footage, Photoshop, After Effects

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitors, keyboard, mouse,

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, tigerdirect, frys.



MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 (2-24” monitors and a 50”Plasma)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I haven’t played a game in years (which is sad). This rig will be strictly for editing/watching HD footage. I would like HDMI in/out if possible, although I can buy a separate card for this later.
Here is the plan so far;
Cpu – AMD 1090t
Mobo – crosshair IV formula
Ram – 8gb (need recommendations as to brand)
storage – 2x 2tb Hitachi Deskstar
boot drive – (need recommendations)
psu – Seasonic X750 gold
gpu – HIS Radeon 5850
Drive – LG Black BluRay burner
Case – HAF 932

This is my first build and I am assuming that some of this is overkill. I would love some different mobo and psu recommendations to suit what I am doing. Also, am I missing anything? I have been looking around on the internet for a while at different parts and decided to ask the experts here for any help.
Thanks in advance.
8 answers Last reply
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  1. Not bad for a first prospective build (applause)
    Here's my recommendations, these are concrete "do this instead" these are just my opinions based mostly on experience and a little on articles...

    CPU, if you're doing only encoding, rendering, and whatnot on this pc I'd recommend an Intel i7 930 instead of the x6 phenom, with hyperthreading, the i7 performs better in video rendering and is close to the same price. (and this is coming from an AMD fan-boy)

    Mobo - You'd now need a socket

    RAM - I'd make the jump to 12GB (I like G. SKILL, good performance, reliability, and reasonable prices) I made the jump from 8 to 12 gigs on a CAD workstation and saw a massive increase in the performance.

    Storage - I'd go with 2 x 1tb disks with 64mb cache if you need more storage you can always easily upgrade later ( - Maybe run them in RAID 0 or 1 or 0 + 1

    Boot Drive - 64 gig Kingston SSD - I use these in all my machines and love them (just a quick tip, copy the file you're working on at the time onto the ssd while you work on it and when you're done move it back to the storage, your watch will thank me) -

    PSU - Your choice looks fine, I might switch up to a 850w just for future's sake

    GPU - in my experience, gaming graphic cards S**K (stink) at video rendering - try a quadro fx 1800 or above - the 1800 it's quite good and quite fast (runs a little hot but an aftermarket cooler will take care of that)

    Case - Looks fine

    Here's exactly as I would do it if it were me:

    COOLER MASTER HAF 932 - 139.98
    WD CAVIAR BLACK 1TB 7200 RPM -99.99 (X2 - 199.98)
    CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W - 129.99
    CORSAIR XMS3 12GB 6 X 2GB DDR3 1600MHZ - 329.99
    EVGA 1366 (141-BL-E757-TR) - 199.99
    INTEL i7 930 2.8GHZ - 288.99
    PNY VCQFX3700-PCIE-PB QUADRO FX 3700 512MB 256-bit DDR3 - 789.99
    ZALMAN 9500A-LED 92MM 2BALL CPU COOLER - 49.99
    KINGSTON SSD 64 GB (SNV425-S2) - 144.99

    Total = $2309.87

    I know it's just slightly out of your budget but it'll perform soooooooooo well.... if you can't stretch your budget, get rid of one of the 1tb drives and deal with 1tb of storage for now

    Just my two cents

    if you've got any questions, i'll be happy to answer!
  2. WOW – I got a reply to my first post. This would never happen on a video forum. Thank you for the insight and wisdom. I am still stuck on AMD though (because it smells like value). Can you point me to a comparison that shows the rendering improvement? I thought more cores would equal better performance for rendering since CS5 can utilize them all.

    $2309 is very doable. The zalman cooler is a great idea. I was thinking about dropping to a few 1tb hd’s already as I unload everything to external hd’s for storage and shipping to clients. I just liked the idea of 4tb’s in one case (sounds so cool to me). Jeez that is one expensive GPU. I thought the GPU mattered much less to editors like me. I even thought that the 5850 might be slight overkill, but I am running three displays.

    Once again, thank you so much for the reply. This just goes to show that computer nerds are a lot nicer than camera nerds. I hope to join your ranks very soon.
  3. I definitely agree about the i7, while its less cores, it still has 8 threads, and unfortunately Intel destroys in this category with the i7.

    You could do this build for about $1000 less if you wanted to, just fyi.

    Good case selection.

    That PSU is solid, but much more power than you need. If you like the comfort of a Gold Certified PSU, go for it, otherwise the Corsair 650HX would be my suggestion, its a rock solid PSU, that is also modular.

    HD content can be displayed by most onboard GPUs these days, so any run of the mill GPU will get the job done. CS5 however is CUDA enabled, so I would just recommend something like a GTS250 with OpenGL 3.2. MUCH cheaper than that workstation card, and your results will be pretty similar.

    64GB for a boot/app/scratch drive is cutting it close. At the minimum, look at the Intel X-25M 80GB G2 SSD, though I would suggest the 128GB version. The Samsung Spinpoint F3 and Seagate 7200.12 are the two best performing mechanical drives right now, stick with one of those.

    If you want to OC, look at the CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ HSF, its a great choice.

    Edit: You may need to SLI a couple of those GTS250 if you want to run 2 monitors + TV. In this case, I would up to a 750HX, for a little extra headroom, or just keep your current choice if thats what you prefer.
  4. Take a look at CUDA and see if you'll want it. If you're using lot's of filters in adobe products there's a huge benefit.

    For this much money I'd probably go with a i7-980x CUDA build.

    Lite on $20

    ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 $210 w/ promo code

    X25-M 80 GB $195

    Case + Storage HD
    HAF 922 and 7200.12 500gb $120

    GTX 470 and G SKill Pi 6 gb DDR3 1600 7-8-7-24 $505

    i7-980x and Seasonic 650W Gold $1,125

    Total: $2,195 free ship

    HSF is you wanna OC
  5. Obvious way to save money on above is drop down to a i7-930 and save $700
  6. Nice job on squeezing in the hexacore!
  7. Thank you all so much for the advice. The 930 looks like it would work nicely. There is no way I can justify paying that kind of a premium for the 980x. I am kind of a cheapass which is why I was looking at AMD in the first place. CUDA might be the tipping point for me. It seems that Premiere Pro CS5 would really benefit from this.
  8. Yea i7-930 + nVidia GPU w/ OpenGL 3.2 is a good target.
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