Need advice on audio editing / light video editing PC

Hi everyone. You might as well call me Rip Van Winkle.

I used this site about 6 years ago when I last built a computer. A recent video editing project proved that my computer is extremely dated (Athlon 3500+, AGP GeForce 6/7 Series Video Card, first-gen Raptors 36GB in Raid 0). Go ahead and mock me if you must – at least it still works! And, I like to build a system that lasts.

I’ve started researching my new build. I’d like to value engineer a few dollars out of the system and need you all to provide feedback and if possible suggest to me where to cut. I'd like pretty light cuts, rather than scaling way back.

Also, please let me know if the prices I link to are an absolute steal and I will buy some parts now, even if I wait for a 6970 card. Some had $50 instant savings which might be good, I don't know.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to get me up to speed.

Approximate Purchase Date: Probably 2 weeks (definitely before the holidays)

Budget Range: 1,800-2,000 - All-in with O/S and Office. Before Rebates – Might be willing to go up a bit. You can count Office out of the total, I suppose.

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
DAW (digital audio workstation - Sonar Producer 8 / Guitar Rig 4.0 / going to buy Komplete 7 in a week or so)
Video Editing (only use Pinnacle Studio now – upgrading to 14) – unless someone here knows of a much better suite – I don’t need Premiere-level quality anymore.
Weekend work from home (Excel / Word) / Maybe Argus (real-estate related job)
Surfing the Internet
Playing Games (primarily play PS3 when I have time)

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, sound card. I recently had to upgrade / replace my Antec 430w PSU in a pinch. I ended up with the Corsair 750TX, the best model Best Buy carried in store on Sunday at 8:00PM (under a deadline). No HX, I know… I will use the 750TX unless you tell me I need to bump it up a notch to cover the power usage.

One thing to note, I use an external (Firewire 400) M-Audio Profire 2626 as my primary audio card and it draws power from the system. I also use a couple of self-powered monitors for editing and general audio on my system. Keep the Profire in mind when addressing my PSU requirements below. It does take a toll and put my Antec out of commission a while back. I also run a Guitar Rig foot pedal controller through USB 2.0 and will probably eventually get a Maschine USB Groove Producer that will do the same thing. The Guitar Rig controller is also powered by the system. It will probably be the same with the Maschine.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences
: Here is what I picked:
CPU: Intel i7-950 – It is a quad core and does draw 130W. Are the six core Thubans much better for editing or does that depend on the individual software? I’m not completely up-to-speed on how Native Instruments and Cakewalk have been in terms of incorporating HT technology into their programs.
Mobo: Asus Rampage III Fomula – I like the USB 3.0 since I hold onto my systems. I like the number of SATA ports, too.
GFX: thinking of waiting for AMD Radeon 6970 – If I can get one for $400, that should be fine. Any thoughts on whether it’s better to wait of buy a 6870 now or get a 5870?
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws Triple Channel Kit x 2 (12GB total across six 2GB sticks) – any downside to doing this? It’s $100 cheaper than a single Triple Channel Kit with 6GB.
SSD: 128GB Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1 – good for portioning? O/S and apps on one drive? There’s a CCA version on Newegg for $20 more. What’s the difference?
HDD: Spinpoint F31TB x 2. I’ll use one to store data to input to my projects and the other as an output channel for my projects.
Case: Antec Nine Hundred Two – this seems similar to my old CM Stacker case. But, it seems to be lighter and a little shorter, which is a good thing.
OPT: I’m looking at a $100 LG Blu-Burner
PSU: I have a 750TX Corsair I bought in a pinch to replace a failed PSU. It was the best one Best Buy had on a Sunday evening. Would have preferred HX. Is 750W enough to power this system?
O/S: Windows 7 Ultimate (Full) – If I’m not networking like crazy, am I ok with Home?
Prod: Office 2010 Home and Business – Pretty Standard

Current Total: $1,948.49 without a GFX card.

Things I haven’t looked at yet are: CPU after-market heatsinks (something quiet), thermal paste. There’s probably something else I’m forgetting.

I know on-board systems have gotten better. I suppose I don’t need a network card, etc. that I have plugged into my current system. Also, what’s the story with PCI Express 3.0? I didn’t even have PCI Express on my current system, so there’s probably no point in fretting about something that’s a year away at the earliest, right? I understand they are doing away with the 1366 socket in the spring, correct?

Is there anything I should be aware of with this motherboard? One thing that irked me with my current Asus A8V Deluxe is that the PCI (not express- it’s old) slots all shared I/Os with the onboard functions. So, you had to be careful you weren’t using something that might generate a conflict. Am I going to run into anything like that with this Mobo or is that a relic of the past, like my current system? Also, the stupid USB 2.0 chipset didn’t work and I had to buy a PCI card just to hook up my iPod. Anyone have any gripes with the Rampage III?

Overclocking: Probably not. I’m risk averse.

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not. I’m not looking to heat my house with the thing. It gets hot enough here in the summer.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I’ve got room under my desk. I don’t want a super loud computer. I had to go back and replace my last CPU heatsink because it was like a vacuum cleaner.

I’m very flexible and am not biased towards one brand or another. I’ve had ATI and Nvidia, AMD and Intel. Weird that ATI=AMD now. I just want a steady rig that is relatively future proof.

My wife really wants a scanner. We have a good/cheap B/W small laser printer. I was thinking that rather than junk that, we should probably just buy a document scanner. They make some like this that are cheap. Does anyone have a good decent home scanner for putting stuff to PDF that they’d recommend?

Thanks for your help in advance.
4 answers Last reply
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  1. D.A.Ws are strictly CPU bound and if Premiere was the app of choice then i would say leveraging on GPU via Mercury Engine Playback was an option but again Pinnacle Studio is also CPU/RAM bound so since no one posted a Thuban config:

    $496AR, the HD 4250 IGP would be fine, slot in a discrete if PC gaming outside your PS3 is required ^^

    Optional Items

    CM GeminiIIS cooler $33

    60GB Sandforce based SSD $118AR Free Ship
  2. Hello, I agree with a Thuban.

    Most things do not have HT support which makes the X6s a very nice buy.

    As said if your not gaming you do not really require a graphics card and can instead use the 880Gs IGP. You can always put in a graphics card if you want to game later on.

    With the motherboard, because you are not OCing or doing CF/SLI it is a large waste. I would suggest just getting a standard motherboard, many have USB 3 and SATA 6gb/s for much less price.

    Also your PSU will be plenty enough, any PC without a graphics card uses max 300W.

    For the CPU and Motherboard I would suggest:
    AMD Phenom II X6 1090T + ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 $352

    RAM: $135
    Mushkin 1333MHz 2x4GB (8GB)

    HDD: $140
    2x Samsung F3 1TB

    SSD: $270
    128GB Crucial RealSSD C300

    Case: $109
    Antec 902

    Optical: $100

    OS: $99
    Windows 7 64 bit OEM Home (you will be fine with home premium)

    Office: $214
    Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Business

    Total: $1419

    Please do not condemn this because of the price. It will performance similar to yours but for so much less with no downfalls.

    I'm not sure on your uses though have you heard of Open Office. It is very good and free, I use it only all my PCs.

    Theres something to look at. :)
  3. So I am taking your advice and am planning to go the Thuban route.

    Here is the final build, unless someone else has some good last minute suggestions:

    CPU / Mobo: $352
    Your suggested AMD Phenom II X6 1090T / Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 combo

    HDD: $140
    Samsung Spinpoint F3 x 2

    Case: $109
    Antec Nine Hundred Two

    Optical: $100
    LG Blu Burner

    OS: $99
    Windows 7 64 bit OEM Home (you will be fine with home premium)

    Office: $214
    Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Business

    The only changes I have made are as follows:

    RAM: $150
    Corsair 1333 2x4GB RAM

    SSD: $145
    Halved the SSD to this OCZ Agility 2 60GB

    Scanner: $240
    Fujitsu S1300 ScanSnap

    Total: $1,574 with shipping before about $55 in rebates.

    Feedback: Much better price point. I'd much rather spend money on software. And, cutting this much out of the total enables me to pick up something I've had my eye on for a while now.

    It's probably fair that I don't need a gaming graphics card right now. At least I could theoretically pop one in if I decide to when some must-play title drops. And, SSD prices will probably be cheaper at that point, too, in case I need an extra 20 GB to install it.

    I'll probably order this tomorrow or the next day. If anyone sees anything they'd suggest I change, please let me know.

    Thanks again for your help.
  4. Seems like a lot for a scanner. Multi-functions have great scanners these days. I would pick up a 3 in one inkjet printer for around $100 and use it for it's scanning capabilities. (And if you ever wanted to print in color, you could use the inkjet starter ink for that.)
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