AMD video edit setup comments sought


I previously posted under a more generic heading, and got a lot of good answers. Many thanks to Gkay, and lots of other folks.

Okay, I have settled on a few things (I think, unless someone talks me out of this build).

I plan on doing ONLY video edits and photos on this machine. Currently, I use Sony Vegas Pro 9.0 for video (new version out soon), and Adobe Creative Suite 5 for photos. I shoot HD video both in tape format and digital (differing codecs).

I shoot a lot of underwater stuff, and my edits mix video and photos, and my unrendered video files often exceed 100GB. After an edit, the files are still monstrous, and the finished product is often around 30GB (hence BluRay).

First, here is the proposed AMD Phenon IIx6 setup:

Windows & Pro + AMD Phenom IIx6 1090T 3.2Ghz CPU

Motherboard- ASUS Crosshair IV (AMD socket)

RAM - 16GB

Corsair 850TX PSU + ATI HD5870 1GB Video combo

OCZ SSD 120GB for OS and Apps

OCZ SSD 30 GB (scratch disk)

Storage/Render - WD Caviar Black 2x1TB

BD Burner - Pioneer

Case - Cooler Master CM690

about $2300.00 (no keyboard, no wireless card, no monitors)


Thanks in advance for your comments!!!
40 answers Last reply
More about video edit setup comments sought
  1. If it's video, why not go Intel i7?
  2. In reading all of the forums, (and correct me if I am wrong), the consensus seems to be that AMD makes better use of graphics only processing, than does Intel.

    That was based upon people's comments in many, many, other posts on this site.

    I am not married to AMD or Intel, it's just that is what I took away from other people's opinions for video edit/non-game systems.

    Why would you lean toward Intel in this situation?

    Thanks for your input!!
  3. I don't understand why you need a multiple crossfire motherboard and a high-end video card for video editing. The rendering should be done by the CPU.
  4. Then that is my bad. I was going on some other advice (that I may have mis-read). I also want to "future-proof" the system if I can. I am a total noob on this, and am relying on a combination of what I am directly told, what I read in the forums, and my engineering personality of "overkill" (but I will reign this PGU stuff in, if it isn't doing any of the heavy lifting in video processing/rendering).

    On the question someone else asked of AMD vs. Intel, am I on target the AMD 6 core is a better choice than the Intel quad I7 series? I guess if I did away with the higher end mobo, and dropped the graphics card a bit (have to check, but I don't think the AMD has onboard video), that would save a couple hundred bucks, but the hexacore Intel is about 3x the price of the AMD chip.

    Whew!!! So do I drop the high-end mobo and GPU? Would you still stay with the AMD Phenom IIx6?
  5. The i7 920 still pawns the AMD 6 core in video/audio/graphics editing.
  6. Yeah, the 1055t only makes sense on price/performance grounds.

    The 1090T has no such foundation.
  7. Okay, so maybe I am mis-reading what I am being told (above).

    I was trying to future-proof the system with the high-end mobo. I want USB 3.0, 6.0 GB/sec on the SATA, and other stuff (I do a LOT of photos, and may wind up with 6 HD's in the case).

    But..back to the i7 quad core v. Phenon 6 core, aren't the programs crunching data 50% faster in a 6 core versus a 4 core, with clock speeds being approximately equal (especially if I drop down to a 1055t at 2.8Ghz). So, on that basis alone, wouldn't a AMD 6 core be better?

    Second point is change to mobo to a lesser unit, such as:
    ASUS M4A89TD Pro:

    On the issue of the video card, I use Sony Vegas for videos, and it has no video card requirement. However, Adobe Creative Suite does have a requirement for a video card. Adobe recommends ATI V5600/5700/7750/7700/8650 I do need that, as I use that software.

    The ATI 5600 is here:

    So, with the need for a video card in mind...what is the consensus of what I just said about AMD 6 core vs. Intel 4 core, and changing mobo?
  8. Oh, doggone it...and I would like dual monitor support, so that further limits the video to a few, does it not?
  9. No, that Gigabyte has all the new stuff. The only difference is that the more expensive ones have support for more video cards running together (crossfire - only for gamers). A $100 mobo with the new chipsets is just as good for everything else.

    It's not 50% faster, it depends on the applications, it may be a little slower in some.

    The X6 is a bit faster than the i-7 920 both in CS4 and Sony Vegas

    Adobe lists some workstation graphic cards - only for those who want to use the GPU rendering - you don't need or want to do that, the CPU rendering is the best in terms of quality. The video card is used just for playback/viewing.

    That video card has support for 3 monitors. Here's another one:
  10. Ah, my ignorance on what Adobe is telling me. So will the AMD handle video playback, etc. in HD after I edit?

    Mosox, your advice on this is very helpful, as is everyone's so far.
  11. That's the wrong comparison Mosox, the equivalently PRICED i7 (950) beats the X6 in everything except for one synthetic and one Xvid where the 1090T is ~2% faster. Compare that to the majority of benchmarks with the 950 being 20% faster.

    Do not get the 1090T, it is not actually more futureproof than the i7 in that the i7 is already faster than the 1090T in both single and multithreaded benchmarks.

    The 1055T is a different beast in that it's 33% less expensive than the 1090T, but only ~12% slower. It makes a very good purchase on those grounds.

    Another option you may want to consider is the Xeon 5620.

    Re: Videocard. If you want a workstation videocard (better drivers, colors, workstation acceleration), this one is only ~40$ more and about 10x as fast (quite seriously)

    But unless you already have a production-quality monitor you won't really see the benefit from a workstation card. That said, if you already have a nice IPS monitor or two, then by all means a workstation card is a significant step up from desktop-class cards.
  12. sp, well I am upgrading monitors to IPS (x2). I'm not going this far to skimp on the final "product", and if I can't see what I've just done in HD, that defeats the purpose of me shooting it for the past 5 years.

    I looked at the Xenon, and the mobos I see are for dual setups (and pricey).

    But back to the i7-950, it looks like the mobos are more expensive, in terms of cost/features, than similar AMD boards.

    So I am now pricing an Intel setup. I guess I am partial to the scrappiness of the AMD brand.
  13. I took the Intel CPU suggested above. Otherwise the i7-860 is also good, however those applications will have support for more and more cores. CS4 supports only up to 4 cores from what I know (hence the benchmarks) but apparently CS5 supports up to 8 cores. The same for the video encoding applications, so a hexa core might be more future proof.

    I don't know what a workstation video card will do in Sony Vegas 9, from what I know that app doesn't have support for GPU acceleration.
  14. Ran the numbers on an i7 - 950, and a similar setup to what I had for the AMD is about $120 more. So the question is whether to go i7 quad core, or Phenom with 6 cores. There seems to be some disagreement about how programs actually use the chip to process. The benchmark links are helpfull, however.

    decisions, decisions......
  15. And just for fun, I redid the whole setup with Intel hexacore (i7 970 Gulftown 6 core), and the system came in at around 3150.00, compared to a six core AMD at 2137.00.

    So for all of you out there, if you were me, would you go with Intel quad (i7 - 950) or AMD hexacore, both about the same price.....or the Intel hexacore for $1000 more. Understand I edit video only about 50 hours/year.
  16. Only 50 hours a year? I would be getting a 1055t based build unless this is professional level editing.
  17. Yep, the difference between the 1090T and the 1055T is some 10% - that means 6 minutes more/hour - while you can do some other stuff on your PC too. You can divide the times in those benches and see it yourself. So you can get the 1055 and definitely you don't need an expensive workstation card, a cheap 5 series with eyefinity (up to three monitors) is good.

    RAM - 8G-12G should do.
  18. Well dpaustex, i am in a similiar predicament as you. I am building a rig for video editing, but i plan on doing alot more than 50 hours a day.

    Anyhow, i picked up the i7 950 on sale for $300 canadian at NCIX on saturday. It will be on sale until wednesday.

    I was tempted to get the amd six core, but from what i gathered on reviews, it is only a bit faster in h.264 encoding and 3d rendering. But, i jus chose intel, cuz well, intel is just solid. Okay i know sounds fanboy. But i hope my purchase is not in vain.

    Anyhow, the advice i can give you, in terms of video card, go for a Nvidia because they have CUDA technology. This helps for video editing and all that fun stuff. OpenGL is good too but ati has that too. Of course, the ATI workstation cards are good too. but this advice is for you if you do not want to get a workstation card because your trying to keep your budget at $1000 like me. :)
  19. Ouch who recommended a CHIV to ya and a HD 5870 when Vegas is a CPU bound software @@
    Also negative on a pair of 6GB/s mechanical drives - even X numbers won't do anything cept increase costs unlike just the single 6GB/s SSD hehe

    Just swap out Seagate 500GB for a Hitachi 2TB and just the 60GB Sandforce based SSD would do LOL
    $602AR basic template

    Optional Items

    CM GeminiIIS cooler $38 Free Ship

    60GB Sandforce based SSD $130 Free Ship

    Also for any Thuban based workstation consider dual booting with good ole (and free) Linux and hit the equilavent Linux app?

    AMD Phenom II X6 1090T reviewed (for Linux developers) | What Digital Revolution?
    As anyone who does Linux development knows, going multithreaded is usually as simple as typing “make -jN”, where N is the number of parallel jobs that you want to execute while building your app (normally N = number of cores/processors + 1). At $200/$300 per processor, that would make the X6 a bargain-basement priced high-power workstation (Intel’s current six-core offering, the Core i7 9xx series, is actually faster than the X6 but also costs +$1000, out of the reach of mortals and students like myself).
  20. I agree with the comments on Vegas. However, I will also be using Adobe Creative Suite, with video, and it does require a video card.

    I am overbuilding the system, as I have had out-of-the-box junk up until this point (I basically have learned you can't buy this stuff correctly unless you customize it).

    Right now, Adobe does require a video card, and they have a very close relationship with NVidia, although the ATI cards will also work. Again, the video card is an Adobe requirement, not a Vegas one.

    The comments on the SSD are very welcome. Space needed is Windows 7 (20GB), Vegas (1GB<), and Creative Suite (10GB ), and 10GB future (may use Autocad, but not on boot drive) = total of 41GB. Thanks for the heads-up Batuchka!!

    Fortunately, I am not terribly constrained on budget, so some of this may not be all that efficient. I will probably go through 20 iterations, sleeping on things, reading more, then "trimming" what I think I "want", versus what I "need" (and will actually work).
  21. Hmm overbuild with reason - a 3-4 way CF board is waaay off lol You are welcomed ^^
  22. You raise the question of dual booting. I am a Noob (branded on forehead), so what would dual booting gain me?
  23. It just means having an alternative OS that your system could work with - it's not rocket science and current Linux distros are really easy to upload to machines for this purpose and could be discussed more in detail at respective Linux subforums where the community is really knowledgeable and nice ^^ Linux would mean enhanced multi threaded performance, virus free for the most part, free open sourced software, yada yada
  24. Also (you raised a great many good points, Batuchka), what about the dual drives? Generally in Vegas, you set one drive as the "source" drive, where you have raw footage and your "movie" done, then another drive for rendering (which takes most of the time).

    Right now, I am using 2x 1TB WD Caviar Black (6GB/s) for mechanical drives. I would like to have additional huge drives to archive finished products (I currently have 5-6 TB of photos/video), and use as backup (in Raid 0+1, if possible). So, alas, I do need the bigger hard drives for archiving, but I am worried about failure rates on the big drives (although the archive drives will be mostly sleeping).

    The idea for the mobo is to have fast access to the drives. I realize for moving stuff into archive doesn't require 6GB/s on the mobo SATA, but many of the mobo's only have 2 SATA connectors at 6GB/s. I had originally chosen a mobo that had SATA at 6x 6GB/s, but it was relatively pricey, and most people shot it down (mainly for wrong reasons of having Crossfire). Issue seems to be on mobos that sometimes they have other features you don't really need, to get some that you want (like the 6 SATA @ 6GB/s).

    All-in-all, this is a good experience.
  25. Mobos with 2 x SATA 6GB/s ports would be using Marvell controller but the AM3 800 series on SB850 has a native solution for this. Actually if u stuck to that Crosshair IV of course one would think a mobo with native solution for the above tech would cost a bomb but perhaps u had not looked at the 870 chipset instead of the 890FX (like the one you posted) Either way mechanical Hdds with SATA 6GB/s interface won't saturate SATA 3GB/s ports...and performance is almost identical to their SATA 3GB/s hdd counterparts so dun read too much into this hehe
  26. I use X264 and handbrake myself. Heard good things about Avidemux too, works in Linux.
  27. Okay, I took a lot of recommendations:

    Here is an Intel setup (based purely on speed of rendering, per benchmarks), based on i7 - 950 chip (quad core), in lieu of AMD (six core):


    Hard Drives (1 for data, 1 for rendering) WD Caviar Black (one

    Archive Drives (2 @ 2TB) WD Caviar Green

    OS SSD - OCZ 60GB

    Scratch SSD - OCZ Vertex 30 GB

    Graphics Gigabyte GeForce GTX 285 (for Adobe Creative Suite!!!!)

    PSU - Seasonic 750W 80plus Silver

    MOBO ASUS P6X58D-E (supports possible FUTURE CrossFire)

    OS - Windows 7 Pro 64bit

    CPU - Intel i7 950 Bloomfield + RAM OCZ Gold 6GB (3x2) Combo

    CPU cooler - Cooler Master 120mm Rifle

    BluRay Read/Write Pioneer

    Okay, so based PURELY on speed of processing/rendering, is this setup in i7 "better" than the proposed AMD setup (at top of forum)? Things that would be "better" are speed, possible future use in gaming (CrossFire, etc., as well as ease of overclocking), possible upgrade to Intel hexacore (mobo socket is LGA 1366).

    The one big consideration is the archiving HD's. I simply do not know the failure rates of these larger drives (2TB). I realize a RAID configuration would help alleviate this issue, and will ultimately have 6 drives (1 data, 1 render, 2 x 2x2TB in Raid 0).

    Thanks to all for the comments up to this point!!! I am getting very close. I am going to revisit the AMD chipset build, but it would mainly just be tweaking what I originally posted, with the great input on the mobo and SSD's.
  28. Oh yeah, the above setup (which some other misc junk) is $2189.00, with $103 in rebates and discounts, or net of $2086.00.
  29. Anyone adding anything else? Looking on pre-built video systems, I seem most of them are Intel Xenon workstation chips (Rain and Digital Storm).
  30. You can process a video/photo either by using the CPU (like most people do) or the GPU. If you use the CPU you don't need a powerful GPU. If you use the GPU you don't need a powerful CPU. You can't use both in the same time.

    In terms of quality the CPU is superior and not all the applications can have support for GPU acceleration so the CPU way is safer.

    Bottom line you don't need that GeForce GTX 285 and also you don't need a crossfire mobo. Only if you want some gaming get a GTX 450 or 460 and you can use those cards for encoding too (not advisable though). Those cards can run up to two monitors.
  31. The smaller SSD you have for a scratch drive has slow write, otherwise like mosox says, you don't need a high end gaming card for Adobe. We're using PNY Quadro NVS 295 at my workplace and it works fine.
  32. Getting ready to order system. So if the SSD has a slow write for the scratch drive, what would you recommend for scratch drive?

    NVidia has some interesting info here: on how their cards work with the CPU, not necessarily stand-alone (if I am reading their article correctly, if the GPU/CPU and motherboard are done correctly, you get rid of a lot of bottlenecking). I do work in HD editing (my "addiction", shooting underwater video), and am trying to gain speed in the whole process, wherever I can. If it costs me an extra couple hundred bucks, that's fine. That is balanced against the question "is the hardware used"?

    So the "final answer Meridith" (is that show even on anymore) is the above setup, with possible corrections to the SSD drives and the GPU.

    Comments, please on SSD and GPU? Since Adobe has partnered very closely with nVidia, I am sticking with nVidia-based GPU's.
  33. That's marketing. And most applications don't have support for CUDA. X264 doesn't. Sony Vegas 9 doesn't. Adobe CS5 does but you use that for photos, a dual core can process any photo instantly.
  34. mosox, good points, but I have also ordered the Adobe Master Suite (I guess there is actually one good thing about having two kids in college - Education Discounts!!!), which is for video editing. Adobe specifically recommends having a GPU (see white paper link, above).

    I did look at the SSD (30GB) I had specified. It is the wrong one, for sure. I think this one would be good, recommended by someone else (batuchka), so it goes up to a 40GB.
  35. Get then a cheaper GTX450 or 460, it has CUDA like all the Nvidia cards. Workstation cards are for architects not for video editing and that GTX 285 is expensive, hot, and consumes a lot of power. You can run up to 2 monitors on any Nvidia card.
  36. Here are the nVidia that Adobe recommends as "fully supported":
    •GeForce GTX 285 (Windows and Mac OS)
    •GeForce GTX 470 (Windows)
    •Quadro 4000 (Windows)
    •Quadro 5000 (Windows)
    •Quadro FX 3800 (Windows)
    •Quadro FX 4800 (Windows and Mac OS)
    •Quadro FX 5800 (Windows)
    •Quadro CX
  37. I think the 470 series are the "Fermi" cards
  38. OK, last attempt:

    First of all I don't see why someone would use Adobe and his GPU to encode movies. The quality is lower and the hassle bigger. We have a ton of very good encoding apps already.


    Why then doesn’t MPE support all these cards? It’s simple, Adobe wants you to have to buy the most expensive Quadro cards or the once top of the range GTX card. Their partnership with Nvidia has become quite obvious through this MPE support list.

    Only for this scam I wouldn't buy Adobe let alone there are great encoders already present and even free.

    Also there's a hack:

    For whoever is interested:

    And CS also supports the ATI FireGL and FirePro cards they just won't enable them.

    Bottom line - don't believe 'em, they're after your money.
  39. Okay, mosox, point well taken. I am relying on other's advice (hence, this forum), which is all considered. I don't know enough to be dangerous about how the various programs encode/process as related to the CPU/motherboard/GPU. What I do know is my level of past frustration in having stuff lock up and/or bottleneck. So from scratch, I am trying to avoid this in the future. The stuff I now do is CPU based, but having purchased the Adobe stuff, I'm kind of stuck on what they say their requirements are, hardware-wise (I could always send it back, it is simply en-route, now). The links you sent are awesome.

    I, too, don't like the stranglehold of manufacture's (think Intel/Dell, in the past, for instance), and them "collaborating" to make something work. Of course, that has been Microsoft's M.O. in the past, not releasing source code. But I am not trying to fix the ills of the industry, only make a kick-butt machine I don't have to mess with for several years, but that will give me really good stuff for some time. I realize the software guys don't "forward write" stuff for hardware that is "going" to be invented, so they write for what the majority of their client base actually has, or can get without breaking the bank. Most large scale edits seem to be done on workstations with massive ram (128GB+) and GPUs. But us mere mortals are indeed marketed often more than we need, in configurations that may not achieve full ulitilization, or the best cost/benefit ratio, but that "mostly" work. Yep, there may be some "overspent" dollars here and there, but at some point the metrics of over-massaging outweigh the dollars.

    Everyone's input on this has been phenomonal and VERY MUCH appreciated!!! Worst case on the GPU, I could start with a cheap one, then always upgrade if that doesn't work.....

    Again, Thanks!!!
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