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New Productive Build with a Splash of Gaming

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July 12, 2010 8:37:23 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Late July BUDGET RANGE: ~$1500 Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Sound Production, Recording, and Engineering; Video Production and Recording; Browsing the Net; Gaming; Watching Movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS, Speakers, and Sound Card

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com or any site that doesn't have CA tax.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: None

OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Would like a reasonably quiet case; would prefer it to be classy, not flashy
a b 4 Gaming
July 12, 2010 9:12:17 PM

Here's an AMD build. However, depending on software you use, an Intel build may be better.

X6+5770+ 1920x1080 23.6" monitor

RAM
Ripjaw 1600 Cas 7 $95 w/ promo code
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD
F3 500gb $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor Asus 23.6" 1920x1080 $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case/PSU
Antec 300 illusion and Antec Earthwatts 650 $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

GPU/CPU
5770 and X6 1055t $340 w/ $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

MOBO
Ga 890 ud3 $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OPtical
$19
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $924 before rebates and shipping
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July 12, 2010 9:17:42 PM

What video formats/codecs are (will you be) working with ?

What toolsets?

Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions regarding any aspect of a highly evolved project studio ... especially regarding peripherals, interfaces and sw tools.

Some toolsets have rather restrictive/exclusive requirements.

Some formats and codecs have much higher bitrates and require special bandwidth and balancing.

... Take your time ... do lots of good research.

= Alvin =
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Related resources
July 12, 2010 9:20:19 PM

banthracis said:
Here's an AMD build. However, depending on software you use, an Intel build may be better...

Thank you very much, I was wondering if maybe Intel would be better, but I don't know which applications benefit from their line of CPU's. I will be using Adobe Premier, Digidesign Protools, and other high-end multimedia programs. Should I go with Intel?
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July 12, 2010 9:23:56 PM

BELOW IS A PASTE FROM A build I just completed ... THE *ONLY Differences would be to upgrade the video card to a FERMI 460 (NEW) and also a CORSAIR 750Watt PSU ...
ADD ABOUT $100 to the grand total, for these upgrades.

**********************************************************

THESE *ARE* the EXACT parts I am recommending to you.

GRAND TOTAL IS $1,418 DELIVERED >>> Win7-64Pro AND ASUS LCD **ARE** INCLUDED <<<<<

OKGEAR 18" SATA 6 Gbps Cable, Right Angle to Right Angle W/ Metal Latch, UV Blue, Backward Compatible 3 Gbps and 1.5 Gbps
Item #: N82E16812123112
$2.69


SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223L LightScribe Support - OEM
Item #: N82E16827151188


$22.99


Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811129066
-$5.00 Instant
$69.99
$64.99



SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152185

$74.99



ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor
Item #: N82E16824236052

-$40.00 Instant

$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card24-236-052 $229.99
$189.99




ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131631

-$10.00 Instant
$149.99
$139.99



ZOTAC ZT-20109-10P GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814500152
$129.99



CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ...
Item #: N82E16817139004
-$25.00 Instant

$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card17-139-004 $104.99
$79.99



G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO
Item #: N82E16820231321
$104.99




AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX
Item #: N82E16819103808



$159.99



Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116758
$139.99




ZALMAN CNPS10X Performa 120mm Long life CPU Cooler
Item #: N82E16835118059
$49.99



Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Item #: N82E16820167023

-$30.00 Instant
$249.99
$219.99


Subtotal: $1,380.57
Shipping: $37.52

Grand Total: $1,418.09



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a b 4 Gaming
July 12, 2010 9:26:31 PM

Yea, you want a workstation build then. Go Nvidia for CUDA and an Intel CPU.

It's a question of how you wanna balance it now. If you want more gaming performance, GTX 460 and i5-750. More workstation power, i7-860 and 9800gtx.

Your choice.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 12, 2010 9:29:15 PM

I amended the AMD build to be a bit better for your needs.

Intel Builds i7-860


RAM
Ripjaw 1600 Cas 7 $95 w/ promo code
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD
F3 500gb $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor Asus 23.6" 1920x1080 $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case/PSU
Antec 300 illusion and Antec Earthwatts 650 $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Mobo/CPU
P7p55d-E Pro and i7-860 $453
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

GPU
9800gtx+ $135 w/ $30 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OPtical
$19
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1042 before rebates and shipping

i5-750


GPU
GTX 460 1gb $230
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
Ripjaw 1600 Cas 7 $95 w/ promo code
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD
F3 500gb $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor Asus 23.6" 1920x1080 $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case/PSU
Antec 300 illusion and Antec Earthwatts 650 $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Mobo/CPU
P7p55d-E Pro and i5-750 $332
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

OPtical
$19
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1016 before Rebates and shipping
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July 12, 2010 9:31:03 PM

Alvin Smith said:
What video formats/codecs are (will you be) working with ?

What toolsets?

Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions regarding any aspect of a highly evolved project studio ... especially regarding peripherals, interfaces and sw tools.

Some toolsets have rather restrictive/exclusive requirements.

Some formats and codecs have much higher bitrates and require special bandwidth and balancing.

... Take your time ... do lots of good research.

= Alvin =


Alvin, thank you for your response, and yes, I have my research cut out for me in the next 2 weeks, thank you guys in advance for your help. As far as codecs, HW, and SW, for the video side I will capturing via a Blackmagic Intensity shuttle, so USB 3.0 is a must. I will be trying to capture uncompressed, and then later convert the chunks I want to keep to various formats and dump the rest. I am not familiar with the HD requirements of a setup like this, but I am assuming no less than SATA and preferably SSD's, though I don't think I'll be using them in the foreseeable future. I will also be recording audio through a Digidesign M-box mini, as well as editing and producing that audio in Digidesign Pro Tools.
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July 12, 2010 9:32:02 PM

Dissentia said:
Thank you very much, I was wondering if maybe Intel would be better, but I don't know which applications benefit from their line of CPU's. I will be using Adobe Premier, Digidesign Protools, and other high-end multimedia programs. Should I go with Intel?



DEFINATELY GO FERMI (NOT RADEON) ... 460 is almost silent (live rec and VO)

DEFINATELY GO WITH X58 (ASUS or GIGABYTE ... OR ASROCK if budget)


= Al =
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July 12, 2010 9:45:16 PM

Your requirements are (indeed) quite restrictive, exclusive and demanding ...

You will need to go X58 (an Intensity Shuttle Requirement) .. ASUS or Gigabyte UD3

You will need to go FERMI ... I recommend a 460.

The 460 just came out and I am currently trying to nail down any and all limitations ...

I would highly recommend you use the entire two weeks ... wait until Aug 15th, if you can (not because of any specific release ... just the best day of any year, to order ... IMO). I would like a few weeks for 1GB FERMIs to hit the channel (if they do) and I want to ensure two 460s WILL run 3 or 4 monitors as well as all other combos of nVidia 200x/FERMI/Quadro will.

You are gonna need an 80GB INTEL M/G2 (boot/apps)

You are gonna need TWO Spinpoint F3s (2x1TB RAID-0) for HD-SDI ingest.

You are gonna need about $2600 ... maybe even a lil-bit more ...

You are gonna need Win7-64Pro (OEM)

= Alvin =
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July 12, 2010 10:05:05 PM

Alvin Smith said:
Your requirements are (indeed) quite restrictive, exclusive and demanding ...

You will need to go X58 (an Intensity Shuttle Requirement) .. ASUS or Gigabyte UD3

You will need to go FERMI ... I recommend a 460.

The 460 just came out and I am currently trying to nail down any and all limitations ...

I would highly recommend you use the entire two weeks ... wait until Aug 15th, if you can (not because of any specific release ... just the best day of any year, to order ... IMO). I would like a few weeks for 1GB FERMIs to hit the channel (if they do) and I want to ensure two 460s WILL run 3 or 4 monitors as well as all other combos of nVidia 200x/FERMI/Quadro will.

You are gonna need an 80GB INTEL M/G2 (boot/apps)

You are gonna need TWO Spinpoint F3s (2x1TB RAID-0) for HD-SDI ingest.

You are gonna need about $2600 ... maybe even a lil-bit more ...

You are gonna need Win7-64Pro (OEM)

= Alvin =

Thanks again Alvin, I appreciate the honesty, but I'm going to have to make something work around the $1000 pricepoint. If it only allows me to do half of what I would like to right now, that is life. I agree with the X58, the Fermi 460. I have Win7 64-bit and will have to come up with some other HDD setup that I can afford that will also perform reasonably well with what I'm doing. I don't think SSD is reasonable for my budget build. I don't know what HD-SDI is, can you let me know? I plan on capturing through HDMI. Thank you, you have been a lot of help.

EDIT: Thanks for the 1 GB Fermi 460 article, I'll take a good look.
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July 12, 2010 10:24:27 PM

Dream on !!!

Forget the Shuttle ... Forget the FERMI ... Forget the RAID ... Forgert SDI (for now)

Go with the original build that I posted, without upgrades ... Cut your teeth on compressed HD (HDV/MPEG4-H.264) ...

... With that budget ... you are *WAY* out of your league ..... .... *WAY*
(especially with all the comensurarate ancilliary expendiatures).

I am in the same boat that YOU are (except I'll game on an X-Box) ... After 4 months of research, I went with VEGAS 10 Production Suite ($100) and two (silent passive-cooled, low power) Zotax 240s (for 3x LCDs) ...

... If you try to stretch an AMD build to your stated toolset, it ain't gonna fly.

... My build came out to just under $1500 (with OS and two F3s)

= Rotza Ruck ! =


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July 12, 2010 10:32:39 PM

Alvin Smith said:
Dream on !!!

Forget the Shuttle ... Forget the FERMI ... Forget the RAID ... Forgert SDI (for now)

Go with the original build that I posted, without upgrades ... Cut your teeth on compressed HD (HDV/MPEG4-H.264) ...

... With that budget ... you are *WAY* out of your league ..... .... *WAY*
(especially with all the comensurarate ancilliary expendiatures).

I am in the same boat that YOU are (except I'll game on an X-Box) ... After 4 months of research, I went with VEGAS 10 Production Suite ($100) and two (silent passive-cooled, low power) Zotax 240s (for 3x LCDs) ...

... If you try to stretch an AMD build to your stated toolset, it ain't gonna fly.

... My build came out to just under $1500 (with OS and two F3s)

= Rotza Ruck ! =

Haha, thanks again Alvin. The Shuttle wasn't included in this budget. I have been thinking of a build just like the one you posted, but then you went on to say the part I bolded, so I am a little confused. Also, I do most of my gaming on the 360 too, should I go far a more mediocre graphics card?
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July 12, 2010 10:33:54 PM

You can shave another $150 by replacing the boot SSD with a 500GB F3 ($55).

But that is it ... you are still lookin' at ~$1,250 (with WinPro) ... Add another $100 for VEGAS 10 Production and you are back up to $1,350

This site is chocked full of happy gamers that want to sell you a Radeon ...

... You can do a great game rig for $1000 ... It will be crap for pro-sumer graphics/edit.

= Al =
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July 12, 2010 10:36:59 PM

Alvin Smith said:
You can shave another $150 by replacing the boot SSD with a 500GB F3 ($55).

But that is it ... you are still lookin' at ~$1,250 (with WinPro) ... Add another $100 for VEGAS 10 Production and you are back up to $1,350

This site is chocked full of happy gamers that want to sell you a Radeon ...

... You can do a great game rig for $1000 ... It will be crap for pro-sumer graphics/edit.

= Al =

I have all the apps I need, Premiere, Vegas, Pro Tools, Win7 64-bit. I won't be using the PC much for games, I just want to enjoy a few campaigns from time to time. I'll see what I can whip up and I'll post it here for critique, thanks again!
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July 12, 2010 10:46:59 PM

Lookie ... Just look at any pre-built edit rig and see what is inside it ... find out why.

Go to the actual website for your toolsets (various) and just check out ...

(1) Minimum sys reqs (usually a sad joke)
(2) Recommended/preferred configs (entry level, for "reasonable" workflow).
(3) Certified components list ... not always a hard and fast requirement ...


Then ... Go to the ACTUAL main user forums, where the folks who actually own and use those toolsets hang out ... ask ... beg ... grovel ... THANK !!!

But start here ... this is a great, family owned business ... been around since my first (now on my 3rd) NLE build (was a Pentium3 !) ... These folks will actually talk to you, on the phone ... LOTS of DIY build articles and advice ...
... Their prices are fair so, if you spend a bunch of their time ... be sure to buy SOMEthing from them.


Videoguys' System Recommendations for Video Editing
http://www.videoguys.com/Guide/E/Videoguys+System+recom...
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July 12, 2010 10:50:11 PM

http://www.webvideoguys.com/ARCHIVE/turnkey.html


The minimum recommended system myth
Many computer software and hardware vendors will list a minimum system spec that is often not adequate. While you will have enough horse power to make them run, you may not get the full advertised performance and you will be disappointed. This is why we have chosen to post our own minimum recommended system for the latest new NLEs. We are confident that if you follow our guidelines you will be very happy with your new NLE purchase.
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July 12, 2010 11:13:28 PM

banthracis said:
Yea, you want a workstation build then. Go Nvidia for CUDA and an Intel CPU.

It's a question of how you wanna balance it now. If you want more gaming performance, GTX 460 and i5-750. More workstation power, i7-860 and 9800gtx.

Your choice.



And ... Not just ANY 9800GT ... But THIS EXACT (PB) Sub-model (Supports OpenGL3.0)

You definately NEED nVidia and you definately NEED OpenGL 3.x ...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=9800GT-EE&N=0&...

VERIFY OpenGL 3.x (or higher) support on the EXACT SUB-MODEL of any card you consider.
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July 12, 2010 11:16:24 PM

Alvin Smith said:
And ... Not just ANY 9800GT ... But THIS EXACT (PB) Sub-model (Supports OpenGL3.0)

You definately NEED nVidia and you definately NEED OpenGL 3.x ...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=9800GT-EE&N=0&...

VERIFY OpenGL 3.x (or higher) support on the EXACT SUB-MODEL of any card you consider.

Thanks a lot Alvin, I'm soaking it all up.
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July 12, 2010 11:30:48 PM

Dissentia said:
Thanks a lot Alvin, I'm soaking it all up.


Whole lotta soakin' to do ... read the videoguys page (all of it) ... those guys are not trying to up-sell you and neither am I !!!

PS: That BlackMagic Ultrascope turnkey is NOT for edit !! ... Intel 530/540 is NOT adequate for edit !!
(but I included it just to show that the 9800GT-EE(*PB*) is industry standard graphics turnkey.)

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July 13, 2010 12:16:55 AM

How does this look:

Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58

Palit NE5X460SF1102 GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Sonic 1GB

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 1600

Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel

Scythe SCMG-2100 Sleeve CPU Cooler

2x SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner

Acer P235Hbmid Black 23" 5ms HDMI

Comes out to ~1450 with tax and shipping, and without any bundles. Trying to keep it under 1500, I really can't budge further than that. The only reason I deviated from Alvin's original build is that everyone is telling me to go Intel for my purposes, Alvin included!
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July 13, 2010 12:24:44 AM

The 860 is wholly appropriate but it is socket 1156 WHILE that mobo is socket 1366... Not compatible !!! Get a Gigabyte UD3 that is a Socket 1156.

I would prefer Sapphire/PNY/EVGA/XFX (in that order) for a GPU ... not Palit.

One of those F3s really should be a 1TB model ... Not because of size (exactly) ... It has more to do with the speed of a short-primary partition, for ingest (of regular compressed video). ... You could drop to a 250GB F3 for boot/apps, tho you'd only save like $8 ...

I ain't even gonna check compatibility on the cooler and RAM 'till you get all the rest sorted out.

Keep at it ... You are making progress.
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July 13, 2010 12:31:31 AM

Alvin Smith said:
The 860 is wholly appropriate but it is socket 1156 WHILE that mobo is socket 1366... Not compatible !!! Get a Gigabyte UD3 that is a Socket 1156.

I would prefer Sapphire/PNY/EVGA/XFX (in that order) for a GPU ... not Palit.

One of those F3s really should be a 1TB model ... Not because of size (exactly) ... It has more to do with the speed of a short-primary partition, for ingest (of regular compressed video). ... You could drop to a 250GB F3 for boot/apps, tho you'd only save like $8 ...

I ain't even gonna check compatibility on the cooler and RAM 'till you get all the rest sorted out.

Keep at it ... You are making progress.

Doh, I mistook the Chipset for the socket, that would have sucked, thanks for pointing that out. The Palit GPU is a bit of a placeholder, as it is the only brand of 1 gb 460's that Newegg has listed at the moment. You would still recommend a 460 for this build, yeah? The cooler is compatible, the ram may not be. So you would suggest using a 500gb as the boot drive and then a 1TB for media/ingest? Thanks again Alvin, you are making this process painless.
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July 13, 2010 12:32:34 AM

PS ... The Shuttle WILL NOT FLY on socket 1156 with USB 3.0 !!!

It has to do with PCIe Lane Allocation for that chipset ... That is why Shuttle is very specific about X58.

Just thot You'd want to know that. I could explain much more but just know that the X58 implementation of USB3 is faster (and the shuttle needs that speed).

Blackmagic products are truly great BUT you MUST take their hardware requirements (preferences/recommendations) VERY seriously ... I did warn you.

(read the forums if you doubt me)



= Al =
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July 13, 2010 12:37:58 AM

Alvin Smith said:
PS ... The Shuttle WILL NOT FLY on socket 1156 with USB 3.0 !!!

It has to do with PCIe Lane Allocation for that chipset ... That is why Shuttle is very specific about X58.

Just thot You'd want to know that. I could explain much more but just know that the X58 implementation of USB3 is faster (and the shuttle needs that speed).

Blackmagic products are truly great BUT you MUST take their hardware requirements (preferences/recommendations) VERY seriously ... I did warn you.

(read the forums if you doubt me)



= Al =

I do not doubt you, I am set on an x58, so should I go with an i7-930?
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July 13, 2010 12:55:26 AM

Painless? ... For WHO?! ... You'll "feel the burn", before we're done, if I have MY way !!

Palit ... Hmmm ... Wait for better, if time allows ... should not cost much more.

460? Yeah ... but it means another 100Watts PSU and another $100 for the card ... but, yeah ... stretch for that ... 'specially iffin yer gonna game !!!

Otherwise ... the 9800GT-EE(PB) or the Zotac-250 (or silent Zotac 240).

I *REALLY* hate socket 1156 ... too much $$$ for too little bandwidth, on the bus.

I *usually* would recommend going either up to X58 or down to AM3 ... BUT ... because of your ultimate goals and toolsets ... My only truly righteous recommendation would be X58 ... Save up, maybe?

I hate to say all this ... but, factually ... your budget will not even let you get a solid foot-hold, in the CS5/Intensity ball-park ... So sorry 'bout that.

Now ... If, for one year, you can forgo the Intensity and the faster storage ... You might do a cost comparison of (only) the "compute cores" and GPUs ... because all the rest will remain exactly the same (given a 750Watt PSU, to start with).

mobo+CPU+RAM+Cooler = CPU Compute core ... just compare those.

X58 (BTW) MUST HAVE 3x2GB of DDR3 ... Tripple Channel ... 1156 and AM3 would use 2x2GB of DDR3 ... There is about an $85 difference, right there.

That is why I just decided to "cheap-out-totally" and just go with a rig that will clear my backlog of DV-25 and HDV video ... during the next year or two ...

... In the end, I will take this cheapo compute core and make a dedicated DAW/HTPC out of it ... Or hand it off to my kid, who starts college, in a year ...
... By then ... mainstream PC hardware and pricing will be much more in-line with HD-SDI and 4:2:2 colorspace, eh?

... By then ... It won't take a Ferrari to go to the corner market.

= Al =
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July 13, 2010 12:56:34 AM

Yes ... i7-930 and a GOOD 120mm Cooler with a push-pull fan config.
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July 13, 2010 12:59:10 AM

Search on "Zahlman 120mm" ... You will still need to add a 2nd 120mm fan but they include thermal paste and ALL the mounting hw for the 2nd fan (match CFM!)
... that 2nd 120mm fan should be 25mm thick. You can start with one fan, tho.
= Al =
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July 13, 2010 1:08:10 AM

Alvin Smith said:
Painless? ... For WHO?! ... You'll "feel the burn", before we're done, if I have MY way !!

Haha, thank you again for your entertaining and succinct assistance. I know what you are saying about the demands of the intensity, and I agree that it is not within my current budget to build a PC around Premiere and Blackmagic's products, but I do have a steady income and will be able to add peripherals in the coming months where necessary. So I guess I am back at square one, unfortunately. This rig will be upgraded all the way up to a home recording studio at some point, so I need to leave room to grow, of course. Do you think I can reasonably go x58? I figure that has the widest upgrade path...
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July 13, 2010 1:42:49 AM

"whom" ... rather

Pulling all deals and rebates and combo discounts, etc., ... I have seen bare-bones X58 builds total as little as $1200 (rock bottom), BEFORE OS and externals are added (or shipping)

If you have monthly expendables and clear "pro" goals, then, yeah ... Go with whatever X58 "foundation" that you can afford ... or ... wait (if at all possible).
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July 13, 2010 1:45:56 AM

Alvin Smith said:
"whom" ... rather

Pulling all deals and rebates and combo discounts, etc., ... I have seen bare-bones X58 builds total as little as $1200 (rock bottom), BEFORE OS and externals are added (or shipping)

If you have monthly expendables and clear "pro" goals, then, yeah ... Go with whatever X58 "foundation" that you can afford ... or ... wait (if at all possible).

Waiting is certainly an option, you alluded to August 15th being the best day to buy things, what is your reasoning there? Thank you very much for steering me in the right direction, you have helped me a lot.
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July 13, 2010 2:10:48 AM

So many reasons ... so many, for that date ...

Corporate Fiscal Cycles ... Q4 and Q1 corporate ledgers.

Pent up corportate demand from "Vista-NOT" and the bad economy means that Q4 and onwards will drain the channel.

Back to school ...

Everyone back from vacation and back to work ... improving economy means more home users will also be (finally!) getting that long awaited upgrade.

All the Spring and summer tech conventions and shows and announcements are out and the last of the spring announcements should be fully "in channel" ...

Sneak peeks at fall announcements will be leaking out ... forward visibility will improve ... Intel might announce PCIe3.0/X59 or other roadmap changes by then.

SSDs / FERMIs, etc ... need just a bit more time to reach street equalibrium (price).

Summer PC sales are always very slow ... PC sellers are always nervous and are giving specials on back-to-school, etc. ... to generate holiday (xmas) interest. (they wany all the fall buyers to be bragging to their friends, by thanksgiving.

Once (not if) corporate buyers start sucking up the inventory, and once all the students are fighting for leftovers and once all those parents start shopping for their kid's xmas gaming rig ... pricing and availability will become much less predictable.

Kind of like Black Friday ... The first and the faithful will be rewarded, to generate interest amongst the slow and the wary.

= I've seen it many times ... and the major economic cycles are now magnifying all that ... I bought INTEL and MS back when the economy went down 40% ... They have almost doubled ..l. Also bought FORD, at the same time ... KILLER !! =
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July 20, 2010 8:11:47 PM

Been a little while ... Refresh me, a bit ... Are you on an extremely tight budget ?

Why the 920? ... The 930 is totally worth the few extra bucks.

That case does not come with fans ... The Antec 300 Illusion does BUT I would strongly recommend the HAF-922 for more adequate cooling and room/

I would recommend a Corsair 650 Watt PSU.

What's with that BLU drive? ... and ... You can't afford to go with 1TB F3s ?

Really ... the build looks basically "fine" but it seems you could make a much better system, overall, if you made some slightly more "ROBUST" (hate that word!) choices and opted for slightly higher quality parts ...

.... Looks like you are stretching like hell, to get into the X58 game ... and THAT is a very good thing .... it's just that almost half the parts look like "compromises".

... If you have like $200 more, we can get you all "flush" .

= Al = ... But what you have spec'd will get you rolling ... FOR SURE.

******* OK .. considering you began with $1500 ... you are doing FANTASTIC !!! ***

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July 20, 2010 8:54:44 PM

Alvin Smith said:
Been a little while ... Refresh me, a bit ... Are you on an extremely tight budget ?

******* OK .. considering you began with $1500 ... you are doing FANTASTIC !!! ***

Hey Alvin, thanks for stopping by! Let me address some of your questions...No, my budget is not extremely tight, but I would like to stay within $1500 before tax and shipping, preferably no more than $1650 after all is said and done. I went with the D0 i7-920 as I plan to overclock to ~3.8 ghz, and the 21x multiplier will benefit me there. The 930 is actually cheaper right now on newegg. The Antec case has two fans, but I will take a look at the HAF-922. If possible I would like to get a modular PSU, but couldn't assess my system needs for Wattage. You think a 650 will fit the bill? And as far as the hard drives go, I am torn between going RAID or just getting a single SATA HDD, but seeing as the RAID config would have a higher throughput, I am guessing that would be the better choice? And I shouldn't need a large boot drive. Feel free to throw out your suggestions Alvin, I trust you to steer me in the right direction. Thanks a lot for your help, past, present, and future.
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Best solution

July 20, 2010 9:28:15 PM

Well ... If I had my druthers ... I would do this (I'll explain, later this week)

i7-930 ... it will clock to 4.2GHz, typically and every review I have read says that it will out-clock the 920 "hands-down".

That mobo is good ... The ASUS has a slighly different layout and slot options ... same price ... study those two boards. Lane allocations (per-populated slot) also may play into your reqs.

Two F3s (1TB each) ... for RAID-0 (faster than 500s) ... a third, for backups, etc. (removeble mobile-rack tray?)

INTEL G2 80GB SSD for boot/apps

Corsair 650Watt PSU Blu one ... the Bronze 750Watt is cheaper ... also an option.

The HAF-922 or 932 ... a proper habitat for your build.

SAMSUNG (or Sony/ASUS/LG) SATA DVDR (get LightScribe, even if you won't use)
(because it is $2 more and you might not be the last owner ... birth higher quality parts, into the world, please) ... for all our sakes ... less junk at the land-fill.

I like your picks for mobo/ram/gpu ... all the rest could be better, for a little more money.

I purchased a Sabrient 64-in-one (I think) card reader, for AVCHD/XSD convenience.

We can talk about coolers but Zahlman make a truly GREAT 120mm stack cooler with a good, quiet fan and all the hw parts you need to add the 2nd fan for "push-pull" config. I also like the noctua that looks almost exacly like it ... both of these coolers look like the Hyper-212+ but the 212 comes with a crappy fan and they do not provide the parts for the 2nd fan ... big PITA going to Home Depot, for all that.

= Al =

(You may know something 'bout the 920 that I do not, but I doubt that you are correct about there being ANY advantage, to going that route).



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August 2, 2010 9:06:49 PM

Thanks a lot to you banthracis and Alvin for your help with this build. The order has already been made, and this is what I went with:
Gigabyte X58A-UD3R

i7-930

Gigabyte GTX 460 1GB

Corsair XMS3 3x2gb 1600MHz

Corsair 650W

ASUS VH242H

2x Samsung Spinpoint 1TB

ZALMAN CNPS10X Performa

Samsung 24x SATA Burner

SilverStone 120mm Fan

HAF 922M

Depending on how things go, I will grab the SSD and the Blackmagic Shuttle sometime next month, and I may add another CPU fan to setup the push-pull. Thanks again guys, and I will let you know how everything goes.
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August 2, 2010 9:25:06 PM

Best answer selected by Dissentia.
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August 3, 2010 12:44:21 AM


I am assuming that you picked out a nice case, as well.

To those who may be considering a similar build, I would like to recommend a 750Watt PSU, because this will allow sufficient overhead to add a Geforce "slave" (secondary) GPU ... this addition would be for more than two monitors and is a likely upgrade.

The OP should do fine, with his 650Watt PSU, as he will likely that he would be running a 3rd monitor off of the Shuttle and 650Watts would even e enough for the addition of a GT240/250 class secondary GPU, at some future date.

THANKS FOR THE POINTZ !

= Al = (stay in touch! )
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August 3, 2010 12:53:54 AM

Alvin Smith said:
I am assuming that you picked out a nice case, as well.

To those who may be considering a similar build, I would like to recommend a 750Watt PSU, because this will allow sufficient overhead to add a Geforce "slave" (secondary) GPU ... this addition would be for more than two monitors and is a likely upgrade.

The OP should do fine, with his 650Watt PSU, as he will likely that he would be running a 3rd monitor off of the Shuttle and 650Watts would even e enough for the addition of a GT240/250 class secondary GPU, at some future date.

THANKS FOR THE POINTZ !

= Al = (stay in touch! )

Sorry Alvin, I edited the post to reflect my case purchase, it was your recommendation. Thanks again for all of your help, and I will be in touch, this thread isn't going anywhere. :) 
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