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Need help with an HD video editing workstation!

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January 12, 2011 2:48:56 AM

I am currently trying to build a computer and am getting in over my head.

PRIMARY USE
1. It will be for editing HD video from a Canon XL-H1a. I will primarily be using Adobe CS5 Production Premium and will be rendering a lot of layered shots with Adobe After Effects. I want something that will be fast.

BUDGET
2. I am hoping to spend between $1500 and $1800.

BRAND PREFERENCE
4. I want to build an intel computer and am currently looking at the intel i7-950. I also plan to buy an nVidia graphics card because that’s what adobe recommends. I am currently looking at the Gigabyte or EVGA GeForce GTX 470.

OVERCLOCKING
7. I don’t plan to do any overclocking unless it is something that is straightforward and easy to figure out. Overall, I’d rather buy quality parts and not need to. However, it would be nice to know that I could overclock in the future if I changed my mind.


MY CURRENT LIST:

i7-950 CPU (Considering Sandy Bridge, but from what I read this sounds better for my use)
ASUS P6X58D or ASUS P6X58D-E (Open to other suggestions)
GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GTX 470 (Fermi) or EVGA equivalent
G.Skill 12GB DDR3-1600 or DDR3-2000 (3x4)
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
Boot Drive:
OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Storage Drive:
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6402AAEX 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
MISC:
(2x) ASUS 24” monitors
DVD burner or Blu-ray burner
Corsair H50 cooler

So, my question is, will this work for me? My main concerns are the motherboard and RAM. Also I don't know for sure but it sounds like the DDR3-2000 RAM requires overclocking.

Thank you for your help!
January 12, 2011 4:54:02 AM

For the ram, 1600 is the ceiling if you follow the JEDEC spec closely. They call it "overclock" for ram just because it's beyond the standard specification. This is like the ideal 800MHz limit on DDR2, but manufacturers came out with 1066 modules.

If you dialed-in the 2000MHz settings, you'd be overclocking the board, but you'd be running the ram at just their advertised speeds.

If you don't dial the settings in, the board would probably just use 1333 or 1600.

As for the mobo, I think it's good enough (unless there are problems I haven't read about). It has a lot of expansion ports and would cover a lot of your needs.


* I'm not really sure if you need that much horsepower for HD video editing. It may probably be only needed when you're encoding the final product (though I may be wrong on this one).
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 12, 2011 5:30:01 AM

Save cash and don't get the H50, the Hyper 212+ is sufficient.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002G1YPH0/ref=s9_simh...
The Hyper 212+ can hold a strong OC over the H50, the H50 isn't exactly quiet either. Same DBA as the Hyper 212+ for about the same performance. Plus you don't plan to OC so it doesn't matter.

The 470 is kind of iffy the 460 would be sufficient. The reason why Adobe recs the Nvidia cards is because Cuda gives a boost to the Mercury Playback engine. So the 460 is already good enough for the Premiere software. Plus they run cooler.

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

I think the Sandy Bridge is a better choice, it has quick sync and it's almost the same price as the 950 for a better chip. A bit more.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/core-i5-2500k-and-core-i7...

The 2600K is what you should be looking at. Then look at the Asrock Extreme4 P67 mobo and you should be set. Asrock has been making rep ever since the recent AMD chipsets and P55 boards. And one of the cheaper P67 enthusiast boards. It'll allow for room for expansion later on for sure.

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

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

Sold out the, usually 150-160$. But if you can wait till they become instock again I'd suggest it. Plus even though the 2600K is more expensive by like 50$. Your mobo's prices made up for the spread. So the SB choice of 2600K I think is a better deal.
Related resources
January 12, 2011 5:46:39 PM

I would go with something other than the Antec 900. I have owned a couple and love them but unless you have the time or will cable management can be a pain. Drill plenty of aux. holes and buy a grommet kit. It flows like crazy but it takes some work to get it there. There are a lot of sites dedicated to that also just google it if you need some ideas.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 12, 2011 6:57:13 PM

If you decide on Sandy Bridge you can’t use Intel’s Quick Sync if you're using a discrete GPU. Currently the only chipset that allows the use of Quick Sync is the H67 as long as you only use the IGP.

If you're willing to wait until the middle of this year for the Z68 chipset motherboards, it will allow you to use a discrete GPU and Quick Sync together.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 12, 2011 9:07:18 PM

Oh well disregard quick sync, even then the i7 2600K beats out the older i7's. Except the 980X of course.
January 12, 2011 9:13:49 PM

Quote:
For the ram, 1600 is the ceiling if you follow the JEDEC spec closely. They call it "overclock" for ram just because it's beyond the standard specification. This is like the ideal 800MHz limit on DDR2, but manufacturers came out with 1066 modules.


Are you saying that if I don't overclock I should just stick with 1600 and lower RAM?

Quote:
The 470 is kind of iffy the 460 would be sufficient. The reason why Adobe recs the Nvidia cards is because Cuda gives a boost to the Mercury Playback engine. So the 460 is already good enough for the Premiere software. Plus they run cooler.


It sounds like a lot of people agree that I should go with the gtx460 or gtx570 rather than the gtx470, I didn't realize all of those worked since they weren't listed on adobe's website. Good to know!


I'm now looking into:
i7-2600k
Asrock Extreme4 P67 (Any others to consider?)
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (Possibly 2 of these)
Antec 300 case
Gtx460 or Gtx570

Quote:
If you decide on Sandy Bridge you can’t use Intel’s Quick Sync if you're using a discrete GPU. Currently the only chipset that allows the use of Quick Sync is the H67 as long as you only use the IGP.

If you're willing to wait until the middle of this year for the Z68 chipset motherboards, it will allow you to use a discrete GPU and Quick Sync together.


Oh really? I didn't realize this. Is the i7-2600K still the best option even without Quick Sync, or does that change everything? I would really like to build this computer now although maybe I could upgrade to the Z68 chipset when it comes out. What do you think?

Thank you for all your help everyone!!
HD-User1080

January 13, 2011 1:07:16 AM

This post has been helpful to me as I'm doing research on a video-editing box myself.

My video needs and my budget are a little lighter. If anyone has time I'd appreciate a visit and comments on my request for advice in this post.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/302689-31-recommendat...

Thanks!
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2011 2:51:12 AM

Well the 570 is NOT even a consideration. The reason being it's a waste of money. The 460 is a great card and even with Mercury playback, Premiere doesn't need a 570 to take advantage. Even a 450 could do the job. So the 460 is my bet. The Asrock should be your best bet as it is a great enthusiast board for a low price. DDR3 1600 vs 2000 has no difference unless you bench them. I highly doubt it matters in editing, or at least is a noticable difference.
January 13, 2011 3:37:43 AM

Quote:
Well the 570 is NOT even a consideration. The reason being it's a waste of money. The 460 is a great card and even with Mercury playback, Premiere doesn't need a 570 to take advantage. Even a 450 could do the job. So the 460 is my bet. The Asrock should be your best bet as it is a great enthusiast board for a low price. DDR3 1600 vs 2000 has no difference unless you bench them. I highly doubt it matters in editing, or at least is a noticable difference.


I was just checking out this site for some reading on Quick Sync:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...

I know that Quick Sync isn't relevant for my build; however, in the article they compared the gtx 460 to several other cards and in every case the gtx 460 produced horrible quality images. I'm not sure what's going on here but it makes me nervous. Is this something that I should be worried about or does it only surface on low quality video encoding?

Thank you,
HD-User1080
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2011 4:19:32 AM

Possibly. I've honestly never used Mercury or Quick Sync so I'm not sure. I hear Mercury Playback is pretty cool so it's one or the other kind of. Notice the video encoder/editer they use though. It isn't Adobe Premiere so you might get different results. All up to you, many say the CUDA for Mercury Playback is really cool, but that is just the word. I have really no preference as I also use After Effects and there really is no difference. So, it's kind of just personal preference. If you don't go with the 460. Just get the H67 boards, real cheap and good.
January 14, 2011 5:25:34 PM

So after looking into everyone's suggestions I was about to go ahead and build my i7-2600k system, but then I talked to a technician at videoguys.com. He said "I think it is too soon to jump to sandy bridge. while initial reports are good. these are not from content creation folks." His suggestion instead was the following:

ASUS P6X58D-E
Intel Quad Core i7 950 (or Intel Hex Core i7 970)
CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Hitachi 1TB 7200RPM 0A38016 (or Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB - 10,000 RPM)
Antec Nine Hundred Two Black ATX Case
CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W
Microsoft Win 7 Professional OEM
BDR-206 Blu-ray Burner
GTX470 (or Quadro4000)

He said, "I feel this build will hold solid for at least a year or two. But Sandy bridge could change that, especially if the next revs of NLEs tap inot the Intel encode/decode capabilities."

Does anybody agree or disagree with this? I was just about set on an i7-2600k, but I know these guys are knowlegable on building systems for adobe cs5.

Thank you,
HD-User1080

January 17, 2011 4:40:37 AM

The only problem with Sandy Bridge now is that it's too "new". Yes it's fast, but we haven't identified any problems with it (if it has any). Though, I wouldn't be shocked if people who bought these things never really encounter a problem with it.

I wouldn't be so inclined to buy an i7 950, knowing it is already outdated on the day I decide to buy it.

*One reason to go with a 1366 platform is if you need all those PCI-Express lanes.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2011 6:04:06 AM

I disagree with that quote completely. Sandy Bridge vs the old i7 platform, Sandy Bridge comes out on top EVERY SINGLE TIME. I personally use PS5 but I haven't used SB before so, I can't say anything but even then in most CS5 benchmarks the SB reaches the level of a i7 980X. The only thing worth waiting for at this point I think is Ivy Bridge I believe is what it is called. It is the more high end Sandy bridge.
January 24, 2011 5:11:55 AM

aznshinobi said:
I disagree with that quote completely. Sandy Bridge vs the old i7 platform, Sandy Bridge comes out on top EVERY SINGLE TIME. I personally use PS5 but I haven't used SB before so, I can't say anything but even then in most CS5 benchmarks the SB reaches the level of a i7 980X. The only thing worth waiting for at this point I think is Ivy Bridge I believe is what it is called. It is the more high end Sandy bridge.


See, it's still "too new" that even you haven't used it. lol
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
January 24, 2011 6:02:11 AM

No it's not "too new" that I can't use it. It is that I don't have the money to buy a Sandy Bridge computer.
!