Desktop build for photo/video editing...c&c appreciated

Greetings everyone,
Currently have intel dual core laptop for photo editing and after getting a panasonic tm700 hd camcorder, I feel the need of building a new desktop for editing some videos and of course photos. Not profesional at all as videos are only for personal/family viewing. This will be my second build but the first one was 8 years ago so yeah I'm a bit rusty about today's hardware. Budget would be $1500 but I would like to keep it as low as possible without sacrificing performance. I plan to keep everything stock for the first 6 months and learn more about overclocking in the meantime. I also plan to keep this machine for several years so future-proof items take into consideration here. The only upgrade that I can see is probably storage. Please critique my build and let me know if I can get more value/performance with different option.

CPU: Intel i7-950


RAM: Mushkin Redline 6gb (3x2gb) 240pin DDR3 1600

SSD: Kingston V series 64gb sata ii

HDD: Samsung spinpoint F3 1tb 7200rpm 32mb cache

GPU: EVGA Geforce GTX460 1gb 256bit

Case: Coolermaster HAF 932 full tower

PSU: Corsair 650W
Antec 650W

BD Burner: LG 10x BD burner

CPU cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212

What do you think? Prices are from the egg and I haven't researched about possible combo deals that could save me some $$$. I could also check prices at local microcenter as I read that they might have better deal on some items. Oh, I already have monitor Dell 2209WA for photo editing and probably get another one for video editing with nicer resolution but this will be in a few months. So for now I'll stick with 2209WA and dual setup later. If you think some of the parts are overkill, please give me your recommendation and state your reason.

1. should I get 6gb ram or go straight to 12gb? I wanted 8gb but since socket 1366 uses mobo with triple channel memory, it's either 6gb or 12gb.
2. I listed 2 PSU because I have no clue which one is better. Both are based on reviews on the egg and prices seem attractive. I don't even know the different amount of +12V rails on both PSU.
3. some items that I'm not sure of are mobo, ssd, gpu. do you think I could do better with different option? if so, please let me know and give me your reason

Thank you all in advance for reading such a long post :)
23 answers Last reply
More about desktop build photo video editing appreciated
  1. is this the right forum to post or should i post in "New Build" forum?
  2. Yes your in the right section, great choice for everything. The only thing I'd change is SSD. Now although that SSD is good... It's one of the worst for its price no offense to Kingston. Adata has a bad name associated with its SSDs/products but... They've improved drastically. Their new S599 series of SSDs have been a huge improvement at only 112$ you can get 64gb S599. Also the S599 series beats on the more expensive and new Sandforce Vertex 2. So the S599 would be a better choice.


    That'd be a big improvement from Kingston SSDs, Kingston is good for ram though :P But Mushkin is better imo. The ram you chose is great :D

    For your questions:
    1. 6gbs is good enough even 4 is, but since 1366 is trip channel the 6gbs is enough. 12 is just overkill. Even 8 is.
    2. The Corsair you chose is a better choice, IMO, because of the good name standing of the TX series. However... For 10$ more I'd choose this PSU. The XFX 650, it's 80+ Bronze so better efficiency, but mostly its Modular. And when you have a big case you want to have the least cable clutter as possible to have good case flow since the 460 and 950 will get hot if the airflow is bad.
    3. GPU your good to go, but if your going to get that model, I'd recommend getting the MSI Cyclone 768mb model, mainly because its cheaper and OCs at much cooler temps. Also the 6850 series just came out and they're pretty good as well, but if you perfer Nvidia the 460 is better then i suppose. They're both pretty much on par. its just preference.
    3b. Your mobo is good, but at that price it's not worth it. The better choice is the Sabertooth LGA 1366 with USB 3.0 its good enough and OCs great. Plus its 40$ cheaper I'm pretty sure.
  3. The thing is that if you are Video Editing at a Consumer Level then there is no real advantage in having more than 4 GB RAM. I have an i5 and an i7. The i7 is not working any faster than the i5. The HDD's I am using are just a couple of WD Greens in RAID 1. I tested out whether RAM Disk offered any more performance and it did not. I would not bother with anything more than an i5 with 4 GB RAM and a reasonable HDD. The Software bottlenecks the process. Many filters are still single thread. A Cuda capable card can help in some tasks. If you are going to run Adobe Premier Pro Native 64 bit then the Rig you priced up would be more justifiable. The i5 Lynnfied holds the sweet spot for consumer video editing in my opinion.
  4. True 4gbs from 6gbs isn't important. It's not the size but the speed. Because 1366 only offers trip channel memory. That will allow him to run each stick at the speed of whatever, IE DDR3 1600, while if he goes with 4gbs, which is 2x2 it'll slow his speed down. Ram speed actually matters in video editing, so... Yeah....
  5. I went back to some test results

    The Triple Channel Kits are offering a 2-3 percent increase in performance over the Dual Channel. My Dual Channel kits rarely Hardfault even when working with HD. My i7 does not outperform my i5 (Both Lynnfield) and in some cases did not outperform my Core 2 Quad. The price difference is substantial and the proposed configuration will not outperform a good i5 when Video Editing at the consumer level. Best bang for buck is the i5. Software has a long way to go sadly.
  6. thank you for your responses...
    the only reason i chose i7 over i5 is future-proof consideration. i'm just worried that some time down the road software might requires me to upgrade due to its new features/updates and i would hate to do that. that's why i figured if i can afford to get higher level of processor i would do that so i don't have to worry about upgrading mobo/processor in 2 or 3 years. cause we all know upgrading mobo/processor is PITA for someone like me who's not doing it for a living. i only see upgrading storage and ram which would be fairly easy and i want this machine to last 5 years or even more. does it make any sense to you?

    but i got a lot of recommendations from several forum boards about i5-760 being the best bang for buck and sadly, i'm still going to stick with i7. i would seriously consider i7-870 to save $$$ with cheaper socket 1156 mobo. i still plan to oc up to 4GHz.
    what do you think? if i7-870 sounds good, what mobo would you recommend to go with it?

    and for the gpu, this is the only part that really confuses me as i'm not a gamer thus i'm not at all familiar with today's gpu bells and whistles. i know for photo editing i don't need fancy gpu, but for video editing i do need one. i haven't decide on what video editing software yet but the candidates would be either premiere element, premiere pro, pinnacle studio, sony vegas. adobe indicates that they support gtx 470 for premiere pro and ouch, to me it's quite too much for gpu. again, video is only for personal/family use so i might drop premiere pro and spending more than $220 on gpu is too much for me. what do you think as far as good all around gpu? not too fancy but also versatile that is supported by quite a few video editing software.

  7. the gpu you chose is perfectly fine, practically the best bang for the buck thats an nvidia card. the i7 870 is fine.
  8. thanks...
    now if i want to add additional hdd and more ram, would 650W psu still be adequate to the system? or should i go ahead get a bigger wattage from the beginning?
  9. 650 watts should be fine. The GPU just has to be NVIDIA for the CUDA function which has been adopted by some Consumer Level Video Programmers. This will give you some performance on some functions of the software. Dont forget that the software they put out is not a complete rewrite and plenty of the older functions and filters still run the same code they did some years ago when the P4 was the norm. I can see why you would want to future proof and that in itself is a valid consideration. If you go for Premier Pro (overkill for basic home editing) then most definitely go for the i7 with Triple Channel Ram. Premier Pro is native 64 bit and thus is probably well set up to actually use the extra muscle and is probably a whole new application written from the ground up for the modern PC.
  10. thanks...i agree with you with premiere pro being overkill for home editing. i've decided to drop premiere pro and go with nero or sony vegas instead. this means i'll go with socket 1156 route.
    so this is the updated config., i think this setup will last me for another 5 years or so...maybe add ram and hdd in the future.

    cpu: i7-870 from microcenter $230+tax

    mobo:GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 from newegg $130

    gpu: EVGA geforce gt430 1gb from newegg $80
    reviews on newegg are not good, not sure about this but from looking at the features it seems promising. if you think this is crap, then i'll get the gtx460.

    ram: Mushkin Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
    $135 from newegg. i was going to get g.skill ripjaws with better CL and timing but there's no review on this part. the mushkin has good reviews so far.
    there shouldn't be too much differences as far as performance between the two, right?

    ssd: ocz vertex 2 90gb $185
    is it better 2.5" or 3.5" form factor? which one is easier to install? absolutely had no experince with ssd whatsoever.

    HDD: Samsung spinpoint F3 1tb 7200rpm 32mb cache $60
    might get 2 if budget allows

    psu: XFX P1-650X-CAG9 650W $100
    per your suggestion and from review here:

    Case: Coolermaster HAF 932 full tower $130
    i like the model of this case

    BD Burner: LG 10x BD burner $100

    CPU cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212 $30

    total is $1180+tax for parts from microcenter, not including rebates and possible combo deals from newegg. what do you think? pretty good, huh? if i have to go back to gtx460 then add another $120 or so, still cheaper than my original setup. :)
    please convince me regarding the gpu, not so good reviews on newegg put doubts on me.
    if everything looks great then i'm ready to pull the trigger this weekend or first thing monday. :)
  11. That GPU, it is crap. Worse than the 5670 at the same price. Go with the 460 or the 6850.

    Hmm... Your still going with that SSD? It's more expensive than the Adata one for a slower speed. But if you really like OCZ that much =P There is no easier or harder to install. It's about the same, it's just with 2.5 you have to find an adapter and install it with that.

    But... What my mainpoint is... why pay more for that size of an SSD. You don't exactly need 90gbs for a boot drive and just a couple games would fit on a 64gb. Plus OCZ overprices there SSDs because they have a rep in the SSD community. But Adata's S599 is faster and cheaper.

    Product: [...] -_-Product
  12. ok i'll go with gtx 460 then...

    ssd..hmm...i see most ppl recommended ocz vertex 2 on several forums including ppl over OCN :)
    but i looked a-data and seems pretty good price/performance wise so i might really think about this.
    thanks again aznshinobi

    btw, another question, i was told that if i want to oc i7-870 to 4ghz then it's better to have 1600mhz ddr3 ram. is this a must or just a good-to-have kind of feature? the current mobo that i chose doesn't support 1600mhz so i chose 1333mhz ddr3 ram.
    i have no experience with oc previously.
  13. Well... People that make that rec. is because that was before the S599 was created. The S599 just came out, and if you read Guru's conclusion. It says that it was worth the cost. Plus it won the guru3d best hardware award. Thats got to mean something. Plus they actually were correct about there advertised 280 mb/s read speed, lot of SSDs advertise this but read only 260 or 270 in most cases. So... Yeah.

    Second question. Well.. before I go on about the MOBO. Are you planning to SLI? Because since your getting a 460.. Are you planning to SLI in future or no? I'd assume no since your not exactly building this to game. Anyway, as for your question, No it doesn't matter. Newegg just fails to post stats sometimes. It does support 1600mhz and yes 1600 is better than 1333, depending on your cas latency as well. Low CAS (most mushkins are low), IE 7, at 1600 is faster than 1333 at Cas 7. Now to clearly state.

    Your mobo DOES support DDR3 1600, get DDR3 1600 instead.
  14. great...i'll get the a-data s599 then and i can use the price difference on ddr3 1600.

    for SLI, no i don't plan for SLI in the future. so if you think gtx460 is overkill for my needs, let me know.
  15. Naw then if your not going to SLI then the 460 is good enough. Just making sure you don't buy the board intending to SLI but not knowing it can't. Alright so you good to go?
  16. ^ I do not see that bench compared to the OCZ Vertex 2. All the drives that it is compared to are lower than the Vertex 2.

    As you can see here, the Corsair V128 do not come close to a Vertex 2:

    Yes, Premere CS5 is great, but will the OP even use it to it's potential? Premiere CS5 cost a $hit load of money for a non-student. I use both and I usually use Vegas when I need something done quickly and don't need all the pro level stuff Pr offers.

    Also note: IF running CS5 Premiere, get a GTX470. The Mercury engine will not get acceleration with out a select list of cards. It is VERY possible to hack in your nVidia GPU to allow acceleration and I have yet to see reliable reports of it being compatible with the GTX460,etc.
  17. Well Shadow I admit defeat haha.

    It seems in RL performance the Vertex 2 and S599 are practically on par, But I do stick with my recommendation mainly because it is cheaper than the Vertex to for almost the same performance. Anyway, true true, Premiere is quite pricey (I used my student pass and it was a present so...) And wow Shadow your knowledge really spans through WCing to Programing haha.
  18. 1. Grab the Vertex 2. It's an excellent SSD. The Adata may be faster in sequential read/write but the Vertex 2 is faster in 4K read/write.

    Not to mention that the Vertex 2 also has much higher random IOPS than the Adata.

    For a OS drive 4K read/write is what REALLY matters. Read Anandtechs SSD Relapse,etc for why this is so. Sequential read write matters VERY little (among SSDs) for an OS drive. Pretty much any modern SF 1200,etc based SSD will do fine with sequential read/write.

    2. You may want to wait for Sandy Bridge if you don't need this set up ASAP.

    3. Yes, Sony Vegas should be more than enough for home vids.
  19. That may be so. But I mean his OS will boot fast anyways with an SSD. I was looking at real world benchs for the S599 when I recommended it. Because he was going to edit videos, the S599 opens files like Video Editing files extremely fast compared to most SSDs.

    But anyways, Actually something I just remembered is I'd recommend Adobe Premiere, it's what I use and it's really great. I'd recommend it over Final Cut Pro actually, or there pretty much side by side. Both easy to use. But for the PC solution Adobe Premiere is fantastic. Mac-wise it's Final Cut Pro.
  20. @shadow: thanks for your input. if budget permits, i will consider vertex 2. i heard about SB coming out on q1 2011 but unfortunately i need this build right away (by end of nov). have tons of photo and video need to be edited. i think with this setup i'm all set for the next few years with my needs.
    regarding premiere pro, i also noticed that on adobe site that it requires gtx 470. but what about premiere elements? i don't think premiere elements requires gtx 470. 460 should be enough, right?

    @aznshinobi: i think i'm good to go, just need to revise some of the items. appreciate your inputs :)
  21. ^ lol. Yeah, true. Anyways, I was mainly compairing the Vertex 2 120GB which is actually quite a bit cheaper than the AData 128GB after MIR.

    Vertex 2 120GB
    $220 after MIR, Free S&H

    AData 128GB:
    $240 + S&H

    Either way, both of them are pretty good SSDs. After all, they are Sand Force based SSDs.

    but what about premiere elements? i don't think premiere elements requires gtx 470. 460 should be enough, right?

    I do not know if Pr Elements have the Mercury play back acceleration via GPU, but in any case, if you are not doing any really serious effects,etc you don't need that high end of a GPU (unless gaming). A old 9800GT (<$100),etc will work quite well.

    i heard about SB coming out on q1 2011 but unfortunately i need this build right away (by end of nov)

    Fair enough. If you need this ASAP, build it by all means. It's a great system.
  22. Yeah true, and OH lol I was comparing the 60-64gb versions haha.
Ask a new question

Read More

Homebuilt Photo Systems Product