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$4000 HD Video Editing Build

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January 28, 2011 6:21:42 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Feb 2011

BUDGET RANGE: $4000 - $4500 including monitor

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: HD Video Editing with Adobe Premiere Elements 9; gaming; audio editing; Photoshop Elements 9; MS Office. OS: Windows 7 Pro.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com, or any other if they're reputable and the price is competitive.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA preferred

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel processor

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Single 23"+ monitor. Min full HD resolution, 3D compatible for 3D Blu-Ray and gaming

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Also seeking guidance on best Hard Drive configuration / combination for HD video editing; SSDs, RAID configurations, OS disks, scratch disks, storage disks, etc. I own a large NAS for longer term storage. I also intend to burn Blu-Ray disks so will need a burner.
January 28, 2011 7:21:12 PM

CPU: i7-2600K $330
Mobo: Asus P8P67 Pro $190
RAM: 2x G.Skill Ripjaws 2x4 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $320 ($160 each)
HDD: 4x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $240 ($60 each, RAID 10, or only two for RAID 1)
SSD: 2x OCZ Vertex 2 120 GB $460 ($230 each, RAID 0). Or get the OCZ Agility 2 or G.Skill Phoenix Pro. They're all about the same
GPU 2x GTX 580 $980 ($500 each, $20 rebate)
Case: Siverstone Raven RV01 $230
PSU: Silverstone 1000W 80+ Gold $230
Optical 1: Cheap SATA DVD burner $17
Optical 2: BluRay Burner $110
HSF: Noctua NH-D14 $90
Monitor: Asus 23" 1080p 3D $350
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit OEM $180

Total: $3,727

I know you said you didn't want to overclock, but I highly recommend it with the i7-2600K. It's really easy to overclock, and it gets a massive power boost from it. At stock, the i7-2600K is on par with the i7-980X (the $1,000 hex core CPU), but once it's overclocked, it easily beats the 980X. The Noctua HSF is easily the best air cooler on the market, so you run very little risk of doing any damage to the CPU with overclocking.

You really can't spend much more on the actual computer. So if that extra $800 is burning a hole in your pocket, I'd probably up the monitor to a higher resolution IPS unit They're like $1,000 minimum. I would have included one, but I was building to the $4,000, and I'm not the most knowledgable about monitors. You could also get up to three monitors and actually use all that muscle the machine gives you. You should probably also consider throwing in a RAID controller.
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January 28, 2011 7:38:41 PM

Thanks. Would I need separate RAID controllers for the SSDs and HDD RAIDs? Or just the 4 disk HDD RAID 10?
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January 28, 2011 7:45:40 PM

This is not an area that I'm that knowledgable about either, but I'd probably get a RAID controller for the RAID 10 and use the motherboard's RAID for the RAID 0. They may offer RAID controller cards that allow multiple RAIDs on the same card, but I don't know. I certainly wouldn't buy two of them though.
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January 28, 2011 9:44:10 PM
January 28, 2011 11:07:42 PM

I wouldn't touch the i7-970. It's a hell of a lot more expensive than the i7-2600K, and it's less powerful. It's just a bad idea all around.
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January 29, 2011 10:57:42 AM

MadAdmiral said:
I wouldn't touch the i7-970. It's a hell of a lot more expensive than the i7-2600K, and it's less powerful. It's just a bad idea all around.

original thinking i7-970 for hexa-core processor, but realize its bad choice.
i7 950 would be better.

Sorry but Sandy bridge is a joke for enthusiast builds,
they even say its for HTPC and gaming.
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January 29, 2011 1:24:32 PM

The i7-950 is about 20-30% less powerful than the i7-2600K. The integrated graphics do make it great for HTPCs, and the high clock speeds and overclocking make them great for gaming. However, the high clock speeds, overclocking ability, improved architecture and hyperthreading also make it great for everything out there. You've obviously got you're facts wrong.

Here's the video encoding testing that anandtech did on the new CPUs. Notice how the i7-2600K is either equal to the i7-980X or beats it. It never loses to the i7-975 (faster than the i7-970) nor the i7-950. Hell, even the $225 i5-2500K meets or beats the i7-975 and i7-950. The i7-2600K is also cheaper than an X58 CPU because the boards are at most around $200 and you don't need triple channel RAM. You get more power for less.

Keep in mind that those benchmarks are at stock speeds. The Sandy Bridge CPUs can be overclocked to above 4.0 GHz without breaking a sweat. As soon as you start overclocking, the i7-980X can't keep up. There is absolutely no reason to even consider the older Intel CPUs with Sandy Bridge out there.
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January 31, 2011 12:35:05 AM



Thanks - but do you think I really need separate GPUs? I will most likely be using Adobe Premiere / Photoshop Elements 9, Adobe's consumer software - not the CS5 products. Would I notice a difference between a single Nvidia Quadro card and single a GTX 580 while running a i7-2600K?
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January 31, 2011 12:51:14 AM

MadAdmiral said:
CPU: i7-2600K $330
Mobo: Asus P8P67 Pro $190
RAM: 2x G.Skill Ripjaws 2x4 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $320 ($160 each)
HDD: 4x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $240 ($60 each, RAID 10, or only two for RAID 1)
SSD: 2x OCZ Vertex 2 120 GB $460 ($230 each, RAID 0). Or get the OCZ Agility 2 or G.Skill Phoenix Pro. They're all about the same
GPU 2x GTX 580 $980 ($500 each, $20 rebate)
Case: Siverstone Raven RV01 $230
PSU: Silverstone 1000W 80+ Gold $230
Optical 1: Cheap SATA DVD burner $17
Optical 2: BluRay Burner $110
HSF: Noctua NH-D14 $90
Monitor: Asus 23" 1080p 3D $350
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit OEM $180

Total: $3,727

I know you said you didn't want to overclock, but I highly recommend it with the i7-2600K. It's really easy to overclock, and it gets a massive power boost from it. At stock, the i7-2600K is on par with the i7-980X (the $1,000 hex core CPU), but once it's overclocked, it easily beats the 980X. The Noctua HSF is easily the best air cooler on the market, so you run very little risk of doing any damage to the CPU with overclocking.

You really can't spend much more on the actual computer. So if that extra $800 is burning a hole in your pocket, I'd probably up the monitor to a higher resolution IPS unit They're like $1,000 minimum. I would have included one, but I was building to the $4,000, and I'm not the most knowledgable about monitors. You could also get up to three monitors and actually use all that muscle the machine gives you. You should probably also consider throwing in a RAID controller.


Thanks! - this is very helpful. What do you think about Corsair cases, power, water coolers? http://www.corsair.com/cases.html Which one would I need for your recommended build? I know they are boring looking but I'm looking for something a little more discrete.


Also - should I wait for the Z67 motherboards to become available? They should allow both overclocking and integrated "Quick Sync" video.
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January 31, 2011 1:59:12 AM

Get a Corsair Professional Series AX1200W PSU instead of that silverstone.
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January 31, 2011 4:36:09 AM

z67 is "performance overclocking" apparently,
thats all thats been said about them.

Also, i'd recommend getting a quadro card and a 580
one runs one monitor while the other runs the other monitor
they also combine cuda so rendering times are shorter even more.
you should also get to IPS panel Monitors NOT TN Panel
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January 31, 2011 5:33:58 AM

HDVideo11 said:

Thanks! - this is very helpful. What do you think about Corsair cases, power, water coolers? http://www.corsair.com/cases.html Which one would I need for your recommended build? I know they are boring looking but I'm looking for something a little more discrete.


Also - should I wait for the Z67 motherboards to become available? They should allow both overclocking and integrated "Quick Sync" video.

I'd recommend a full tower,
but im pretty sure Mid-ATX would fit everything.
you wanna make sure everything stays cool.
IMHO Obsidian Series cases/Most Corsair products in general are Great quality but with a hefty premium.
I'd go with a 600T
if going Corsair
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

Awesome case, and at tiger direct you save $30 of regular price.
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January 31, 2011 10:52:42 AM

The difference between the Quadro cards and the regular nVidia cards is that the Quadro cards are going to be specialized for non-gaming applications. So they'd really be great in Photoshop and the like. However, they wouldn't be that great in gaming.

There aren't too many benchmarks out there comparing the Quadro cards to the regular consumer cards. I'd be tempted to say that you'd probably get better overall performance from either the dual 580 setup I suggested or a single large Quadro card. I don't know how well they mix.

As for Corsair's case and cooling, I'm not a huge fan. Their cases are massively overpriced. I don't really think they're worth it, especially with how excellent the Silverstone case I recommended is. As for their HSF, they're not good at all. They're expensive and don't cool all that well.

A 1200W PSU is massive overkill. You'd never need that much power. That could easily SLI four GPUs. I'd rather have the $60 in my pocket and get the Silverstone. The quality between the PSUs is basically the same.
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January 31, 2011 12:00:02 PM

The only thing that i would suggest is that you get a different mobo than the one that HDvideo11 suggest. I say this because that board only supports 8x by 8x and would hinder the graphic cards. I sugest getting this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... It cost more than the one he suggested but would let your graphics cards run at 16x by 16x and still have a 8x and 8x.
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January 31, 2011 1:12:55 PM

8x/8x doesn't really make much of a difference. Compared to 16x/16x, it's only a 3-4% performance loss (from Tom's reviews a while ago). That difference lessens when you use smaller GPUs Unless you're using dual HD 5970s, you wouldn't notice any change. To pay $140 for an additional 3% performance is just a waste of money.
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January 31, 2011 9:54:31 PM

+1 ^^
It's also only known to show the difference at resolutions higher than 2500 x 1600 in extremely detailed benchmarks.
3-4%
is less than 1-2fps.
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February 1, 2011 6:34:19 PM

Thanks all. With the Intel SB chipset recall news I think I'll be waiting a few more months before I get started.
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February 11, 2011 11:12:21 PM

HeyImGodly said:
z67 is "performance overclocking" apparently,
thats all thats been said about them.

Also, i'd recommend getting a quadro card and a 580
one runs one monitor while the other runs the other monitor
they also combine cuda so rendering times are shorter even more.
you should also get to IPS panel Monitors NOT TN Panel


Thanks but the Adobe software I have is the consumer video editing version and it can't take advantage of NVIDIA CUDA cores. I'm also not interested in running two monitors so I think I'll just go with 1x 580 to start.
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February 11, 2011 11:42:26 PM

You could actually start with a gtx 570, it can be pushed to 580 clocks without much effort and temp increase and is much cheaper, but if you got the money get the 580
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March 6, 2011 3:22:20 AM

Based on your budget and usage I would suggest you spend a little less on some of these hardware specs and use some of that budget on software. While a high-end GFx card will be great for your gaming needs, it will do little to really help with premier elements. Also some of the suggestions for your storage are a little misguided for what your stated purpose is. I completely agree with several of the posters on getting a Core i7 2600k. I also agree that there is little need to worry about x16 vs x8 PCIe. The x16 will slightly help with your gaming, but do next to nothing for your video editing. The P8P67 Pro is a good MB, but there are also several other good boards with the P67 chipset for the new 2nd gen Core i7's. The main thing I would look for in your MB is stability and available memory options. Some higher-end MB's will give you more options to tweak memory timings, or will support higher speed memory which will directly help you with video editing when you are rendering a ram preview of any effects you may be doing.

As for your storage, you will have 3 parts you will want to setup. First, setup a high performance RAID 5 array with very fast HDD's like the WD raptor. Normal cheap RAID controllers or on-board controllers are not what you want here. Get something with a processor on it that does the parity calculations, otherwise that data is going over the bus and wasting CPU time. This RAID array will be used as your scratch disk. NOTE: with Raid 5, the more disk's you have the higher performance you get. You don't need large drives here as you are only using this for the active project you are working on. 6x smaller drives that have the lowest read/write times you can find is what you want for this RAID array. Second, choose either an SSD or decent HDD for your OS & Applications disk. Honestly, the $$ you will spend on an SSD I think would be better spent on better software, such as CS5 or CS6 when it comes out. Yes the SSD will boot & launch apps faster, not that big of a deal. It will help with gaming a little as many games will load large texture sets from disk to the GPU's memory, but like I said, I feel for your primary use I'd spend the $$ elsewhere. Third, either use a high capacity external storage solution or create a second storage array with larger disk's. I would get something like the DROBO for your volume storage.

Alternatively, with your budget you could make your life a little easier and get a MacPro with 4x 1TB HDD's and their hardware RAID controller. Base quad core stock MacPro with 4x 1TB drives, the MacPro RAID card, and the Radeon 5870 would be ~$3850 before tax. You could start with Final Cut Express for $199 or jump right in to Final Cut Studio for $599. When you get the system, configure the RAID controller with the first disk as JBOD and the other 3 as a RAID 0 array. Then reinstall the OS to the first JBOD disk. Use the 3 disk array for your scratch disk. Then get an external storage array or drive like DROBO, etc.. to save your source footage and output until your done with a project, then dump the source files. The only bad thing about this is that the MacPro RAID card is not compatible with bootcamp so you wouldn't be able to dual boot windows to play PC only games. If you are really serious about doing HD video editing you should look into what source files you are going to be working with. If it's coming from a consumer "HD" camcorder then this setup will be fine as is. Most consumer cameras only do 4:2:0 or at best 4:2:2 color space. If you are going to be working with footage from higher end pro cameras you will need more than ~$4500 budget you are setting aside. Several "entry level" 4:4:4 video cards are in the ball park of $1000 just for the card, such as the Black Magic DeckLink HD Extreme. My last piece of advice on going the Mac route is to wait until they update the MacPro with "Sandy Bridge" based Xeon's and add Thunderbolt connectivity. This should be this year, and will be a pretty big upgrade for video based work flows. Just the specs on the new external HDD's using thunderbolt (Intel's light peak) is insanely fast. I'm sure DROBO, and other large capacity external RAID storage vendors will be bringing thunderbolt based products to market this year. Use the time between now and when the MacPro's get updated (which will likely be after OSX Lion is released late summer) to save up some more $$ for your budget.

Lastly,
Good Luck and have fun! NLE is loads of fun on a good machine!

Links:
http://www.droboworks.com/default.asp?source=google&key...
http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/decklinkhdext...
http://store.apple.com/us_smb_78313/configure/MC560LL/A...

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March 8, 2011 12:43:55 AM

PopinFRESH007 said:
Based on your budget and usage I would suggest you spend a little less on some of these hardware specs and use some of that budget on software. While a high-end GFx card will be great for your gaming needs, it will do little to really help with premier elements. Also some of the suggestions for your storage are a little misguided for what your stated purpose is. I completely agree with several of the posters on getting a Core i7 2600k. I also agree that there is little need to worry about x16 vs x8 PCIe. The x16 will slightly help with your gaming, but do next to nothing for your video editing. The P8P67 Pro is a good MB, but there are also several other good boards with the P67 chipset for the new 2nd gen Core i7's. The main thing I would look for in your MB is stability and available memory options. Some higher-end MB's will give you more options to tweak memory timings, or will support higher speed memory which will directly help you with video editing when you are rendering a ram preview of any effects you may be doing.

As for your storage, you will have 3 parts you will want to setup. First, setup a high performance RAID 5 array with very fast HDD's like the WD raptor. Normal cheap RAID controllers or on-board controllers are not what you want here. Get something with a processor on it that does the parity calculations, otherwise that data is going over the bus and wasting CPU time. This RAID array will be used as your scratch disk. NOTE: with Raid 5, the more disk's you have the higher performance you get. You don't need large drives here as you are only using this for the active project you are working on. 6x smaller drives that have the lowest read/write times you can find is what you want for this RAID array. Second, choose either an SSD or decent HDD for your OS & Applications disk. Honestly, the $$ you will spend on an SSD I think would be better spent on better software, such as CS5 or CS6 when it comes out. Yes the SSD will boot & launch apps faster, not that big of a deal. It will help with gaming a little as many games will load large texture sets from disk to the GPU's memory, but like I said, I feel for your primary use I'd spend the $$ elsewhere. Third, either use a high capacity external storage solution or create a second storage array with larger disk's. I would get something like the DROBO for your volume storage.

Alternatively, with your budget you could make your life a little easier and get a MacPro with 4x 1TB HDD's and their hardware RAID controller. Base quad core stock MacPro with 4x 1TB drives, the MacPro RAID card, and the Radeon 5870 would be ~$3850 before tax. You could start with Final Cut Express for $199 or jump right in to Final Cut Studio for $599. When you get the system, configure the RAID controller with the first disk as JBOD and the other 3 as a RAID 0 array. Then reinstall the OS to the first JBOD disk. Use the 3 disk array for your scratch disk. Then get an external storage array or drive like DROBO, etc.. to save your source footage and output until your done with a project, then dump the source files. The only bad thing about this is that the MacPro RAID card is not compatible with bootcamp so you wouldn't be able to dual boot windows to play PC only games. If you are really serious about doing HD video editing you should look into what source files you are going to be working with. If it's coming from a consumer "HD" camcorder then this setup will be fine as is. Most consumer cameras only do 4:2:0 or at best 4:2:2 color space. If you are going to be working with footage from higher end pro cameras you will need more than ~$4500 budget you are setting aside. Several "entry level" 4:4:4 video cards are in the ball park of $1000 just for the card, such as the Black Magic DeckLink HD Extreme. My last piece of advice on going the Mac route is to wait until they update the MacPro with "Sandy Bridge" based Xeon's and add Thunderbolt connectivity. This should be this year, and will be a pretty big upgrade for video based work flows. Just the specs on the new external HDD's using thunderbolt (Intel's light peak) is insanely fast. I'm sure DROBO, and other large capacity external RAID storage vendors will be bringing thunderbolt based products to market this year. Use the time between now and when the MacPro's get updated (which will likely be after OSX Lion is released late summer) to save up some more $$ for your budget.

Lastly,
Good Luck and have fun! NLE is loads of fun on a good machine!

Links:
http://www.droboworks.com/default.asp?source=google&key...
http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/decklinkhdext...
http://store.apple.com/us_smb_78313/configure/MC560LL/A...


Thanks for the detailed response! I appreciate your advise on the MacPro but I plan to stick with a Windows 7 build - mostly because I am interested in building my own PC. I may upgrade to better software over the summer but for now I plan to see how premier elements does on a new build. My HD camera is a Canon VIXIA HF S200.

For the MB, should I wait to see what the Z68 offers or just go with a P67? From what I have read, I may not be able to take advantage of both the 2600k's integrated GPU and a 580 card on a Z68.

Would a new single 256gb SSD be better for the OS and App drive with a separate matching SSD for scratch files? Or do you really think a HDD RAID5 would be better? My plan was to build out the storage as follows:

1x 256GB SATA III SSD for OS and Apps (C)
1x 256GB SATA III SSD for scratch / pagefile (D)
4x 1TB HDD RAID for storage (E) - using a dedicated RAID card (controller recommendations?)

For longer term network storage I already have a Netgear ReadyNAS Pro Pioneer running X-RAID 2. With 6x 1TB drives it yields 4.5 TB of storage and works great.

I would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks again.



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March 8, 2011 5:43:59 AM

I would say you might want to wait for the Z67 but that all depends on when Intel decides to release it. The word so far on Z67 is that it's going to be the sandy bridge equivalent of the X58. It should allow full control over voltages, timings, multipliers, etc. (pending CPU support, as in it may only give these options with an extreme edition CPU) Also it is supposed to sport a new ICH I/O controller that adds a new feature to the Intel Matrix Storage Array, which is basically their RAID controller. They are adding a feature that allows you to link an SSD with a high capacity HDD. Somewhat like the short lived "Hybrid" HDD idea. This would make the SSD behave like a large cache so you have some of the benefits of an SSD with the larger capacity of an HDD. Honestly though this would not likely be beneficial for your use as the concept will be less effective with larger files like HD video.

For your storage needs, the main thing for your scratch disk is read & write performance. More so the prior but you will also need a good write speed. The reason for this is that when you are working on something you will be playing back more than 1 video stream. With an uncompressed HD video stream that will require a large amount of throughput. Targeting the 400MB/s sustained read & write speeds is where you will want to be to avoid having your HDD be a bottleneck and cause dropped frames. Some new SSD's with next-gen SandForce controllers are hitting these speeds, however this may not be ideal for working with large video files due to the nature of SSD. A cell in an SSD must be blanked prior to being written to, which is why there is the whole whopla about TRIM support. Prior to TRIM people would notice that after a clean install the SSD was extremely fast. However as things were written to the drive (especially things like the swap file) that were made up of small files the SSD would space these writes out over the cells to level the wear on the SSD memory. This would soon lead to the SSD needing to blank a cell before writing on nearly every write which will nearly cut the performance of the SSD in half.

A RAID 5 offers really great read performance, however write performance can suck. This is why having a controller with a processor that calculates the parity is so important. Also this is where having a larger number of disk's helps out. Again, having a large number of smaller faster drives will result in great read performance, with very good write performance. The cheaper alternative is to stripe the disk's (RAID 0) which results in great read / write performance with fewer drives. However you loose any type of redundancy as others have mentioned previously. Something like 4x the WD VelociRaptor 450GB 10,000RPM drive would be ideal for your scratch disk. newegg has them for ~$210 each. I would likely get a decent new smaller SSD for my main OS drive, then use 4 of those WD's for a RAID 0, and you already have your NAS setup.

3ware, Areca & Highpoint all make some decent HW RAID controllers with CPU's on them to handle the RAID overhead. Highpoint will likely be the low-end at around $350 for the RocketRAID 3530, then the Areca ARC-1220 is ~$450, and lastly the 3ware 9650SE-12ML will run ~$800. If you can swing it I would get the 3ware. It has a high performance RISC processor that has integrated RAID 6 support that can pump out ~750MB/s reads & ~500MB/s writes. The 12ML stands for 12 ports multi-lane, which means this will give you the ability to add more disk's as you can afford them up to 12 SATA drives. If you get a Full tower you should have plenty of room for the 4x WD's to start in RAID 0 with space to add more as you can & move to a RAID 5 or RAID 6 setup.

I also checked out your camera's specs. It's one of the nicer consumer HD cams, but it's not going to need anything like the DeckLink. I'd shoot in 24p, this will give you a close to cinema look and feel. Also you might be ok with elements as well, depending on what / how you are editing. Maybe a little insight to what footage you expect would allow people to provide some better guidance on your software selection. I guestimated pricing to see if you could fit all this in the $4500 budget.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$365

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$330

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2x @ $100 = $200

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4x @ $210 = $840

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$320

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$350

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$800

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$$150

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$540

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$90

= ~$3985 (NOTE: I left out some minor things like ROM drive, artic silver, etc... Oh and it looks like the 12ML is discontinued and the 16ML is now $800)
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March 16, 2011 12:10:25 AM

Best answer selected by HDVideo11.
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April 1, 2011 6:04:18 AM

If you're just editing content from a camera that shoots MPEG4 then all this stuff is honestly overkill. For >$4000 you can get one absolutely obscenely fast machine.

Additionally, using Premiere Elements is going to significantly limit you from a performance, as well as feature standpoint.

I've priced out a machine which includes an upgrade license from Elements to Premiere Pro CS5, and a *real* Adaptec server-grade RAID controller with a built-in 1.2GHz dual core processor, and 2 SSDs and still fits within your budget.

With this configuration you can create a 240GB *striped* SSD RAID for your system, apps and vestigial scratch disk. With a very similar configuration I get about 475MB/s with .1ms access times on one of my systems. Since this is a striped system drive, I suggest nightly backups to the beefy video drive described below. Trust me though... Booting and launching apps from an SSD (in this case a striped pair of them!) will change your computing life.

You also get 12TB of raw capacity using the very respectable 2TB Caviar Black line. Since I've spec'd a server-grade Adaptec SAS RAID controller (which can operate both the OS and video arrays at the same time quite competently), it will also allow you to use the double-redundant RAID 6 configuration, giving you 8TB of capacity with double redundancy, which is a good idea on such a large array that may be holding critical stuff. When I've tested a similar array of Seagate Barracuda XTs I got sustained transfers of about 415MB/s, but like I said, unless you're compositing DPX or TIFF sequences on top of your MPEG4 videos from your camera, this is irrelevant, but apart from the speed, the capacity and redundancy offered by the real RAID controller make it (and the included battery backed cache) a very worthwhile proposition.

Containing this awesome array of storage is a Supermicro workstation case with 8x hot-swap drive enclosures (also a part of why I spec'd the 3.5" SSDs), and an 865 watt PSU. Being a workstation case the components are designed for 24/7 operation.

The NEC 23" IPS based monitor is simple, but clean and fairly good in the color-reproduction and viewing angle standpoint.

Right now 3D is a gimmick. Premiere Pro CS5 doesn't natively author 3D content, and the industry hasn't even standardized around how it's produced. Don't buy a crummy TN based panel just so you can get 3D!

I added a Blu-ray burner and a reader, in case you want to do direct backups of discs you own or author. I also added a front-bay media reader, as these are just sooo cheap and handy.

I've added the award-winning Tuniq cooling solution. If you want to get pump up that unlocked Sandy Bridge CPU to the highest levels you can on air, this is the cooler for you!

The GTX 560 provides enough CUDA cores and AM to really help the Mercury Playback engine you get with Premiere Pro CS5, and will game pretty well at 1080p on most titles, without breaking the bank.

I called the swap file vestigial before, and I meant it. With 16GB of RAM you're very unlikely to really push it, but as I said, a system drive that can push almost 500MB/s with .1ms access times you can have it if you need it.

I didn't include Windows 7. Hopefully you can transfer your license from your current rig.

Probably the most controversial thing on my list is the inclusion of the i5 2500K, instead of the Hyperthreaded i7 2600K. In most Premiere benchmarks I've seen, at stock speeds HT offers about a 10% performance increase. Is it worth an extra %30 in the cost of the CPU? Only you can answer, but just don't think you can remove the battery backup for the RAID controller to pay for the difference. That BBU is mandatory! (otherwise you can't safely use the highest performance caching strategy)



Here're the parts:



(This is copied right from NewEgg, so all item numbers are NewEgg)


6X
Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:WD2002FAEX
Item #:N82E16822136792

$169.99 6X = $1,019.94


NEC Display Solutions EA232WMi Black 23" Full HD Height,Swivel & Pivot Adjustable IPS Panel LED Backlight LCD Monitor Slim ...
Model #:EA232WMi
Item #:N82E16824002578

$269.99

GIGABYTE GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Model #:GV-N560OC-1GI
Item #:N82E16814125363

$239.99

XIGMATEK 3.5" Internal 75 in 1 Card Reader 75 in 1 USB 2.0 Card Reader
Model #:75 in 1 Card Reader
Item #:N82E16820815001

$13.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9Q-16GBXL
Model #:F3-10666CL9Q-16GBXL
Item #:N82E16820231441

$199.99

MSI P67A-G45 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Model #: P67A-G45 (B3)
Item #:N82E16813130582

$139.99

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
Model #:BX80623I52500K
Item #:N82E16819115072
$224.99


Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5 V5.0 Windows Upsell from Premiere Elements
Model #:65051418
Item #:N82E16832105811

$686.99

Adaptec 2244100-R PCI Express SATA / SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) 5805 Kit Controller Card
Model #:2244100-R
Item #:N82E16816103098

$549.99

SUPERMICRO CSE-743TQ-865B-SQ Black Pedestal Server Case
Model #:CSE-743TQ-865B-SQ
Item #:N82E16811152117

$369.99

Adaptec 2248000-R Battery Module 800
Model #:2248000-R
Item #:N82E16816103187

$119.99

Tuniq CR-T120-EX-SV 120mm Magnetic Fluid Dynamic Bearing Tower Extreme CPU Cooler Rev1, with 1156 Brackets, free TX-3 Thermal ...
Model #:CR-T120-EX-SV
Item #:N82E16835154014
$59.99

LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray Reader SATA Model iHOS104-06 - OEM
Model #:iHOS104-06
Item #:N82E16827106325

$49.99

LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk SATA WH10LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM
Model #:WH10LS30 OEM
Item #:N82E16827136181

$91.99

2X
OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD3-2VTX120G 3.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Model #: OCZSSD3-2VTX120G
Item #:N82E16820227590

$249.99 -$45.00 Instant X2=$409.98


Subtotal: $4,447.79
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May 19, 2011 9:15:19 PM

Thanks for the detailed response. I've been holding off on this purchase until the Z68s became available. Please take a look at the configuration below and let me know what you think.

I am particularly interested in the best way to set up the SSDs and HDDs. Based on several months of reading HD editing rig advice in several forums, I've come down to this setup:

1x 240GB OCZ Vertex 3 SATA III SSD for OS and Apps (C)
1x 240GB OCZ Vertex 3 SATA III SSD for projects, scratch, and pagefile (D)
4x 1.5TB WD Caviar Black HDD RAID for storage (E)
- using a SATA III 6.0Gb RAID card (LSI or Adaptec?)

Is it really better to stripe the two SSDs together in RAID or simply keep them separate? I am still OK with a budget up to ~$4500.


1x Corsair Obsidian Series 800D CC800DW Black Computer Case With Side Panel Window $279.99
Item #:N82E16811139001

1x CORSAIR Professional Series AX1200 1200W Power Supply $279.99
Item #:N82E16817139014

1x ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $209.00
Item #: N82E16813131730

1x Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor $314.99
Item #:N82E16819115070

1x CORSAIR CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler $69.99
Item #:N82E16835181015

2x Kingston HyperX T1 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $199.98
Item #:N82E16820104242

1x ASUS GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) ENGTX580 DCII/2DIS/1536MD5 Video Card $499.99
Item #:N82E16814121429

2x OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-240G 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $1,119.98
Item #: N82E16820227707

1x LSI MegaRAID Internal SAS 9265-8i 6Gb/s Dual Core ROC w/ 1GB cache memory $639.99
Item #:N82E16816118159

4x Western Digital Caviar Black WD1502FAEX 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" HDD $479.96
Item #: N82E16822136793

1x Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit 1-Pack $139.99
Item #:N82E16832116992

1x SONY Black Blu-ray Burner SATA BD-5300S-0B $99.99
Item #:N82E16827118050

Grand Total: $4,333.84


m
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May 20, 2011 7:23:25 AM

Ok, so here's my response list:

____________________________________________


ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Model #: P8Z68-V PRO
Item #:N82E16813131730
$209.99 $209.99

9x
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #: WD1002FAEX
Item #:N82E16822136533
$89.99 -$5.00 Instant $764.91

EVGA 02G-P3-1387-KR GeForce GTX 460 2Win (Fermi) 2GB 512-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
Model #:02G-P3-1387-KR
Item #:N82E16814130626
$429.99 -$30.00 Instant $399.99

XIGMATEK 3.5" Internal 75 in 1 Card Reader 75 in 1 USB 2.0 Card Reader
Model #:75 in 1 Card Reader
Item #:N82E16820815001
$16.99 -$3.00 Instant $13.99

CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B
Model #:CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B
Item #:N82E16820145347
$204.99 -$10.00 Instant $194.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit 1-Pack - OEM
Model #:FQC-04649
Item #:N82E16832116992
$139.99 $139.99

LSI MegaRAID Internal SAS 9265-8i 6Gb/s Dual Core ROC w/ 1GB cache memory RAID Controller Card, Single
Model #:LSI00277
Item #:N82E16816118159
$699.99 -$60.00 Instant $639.99

SUPERMICRO CSE-743TQ-865B-SQ Black Pedestal Server Case
Model #:CSE-743TQ-865B-SQ
Item #:N82E16811152117
$369.99 $369.99

LSI LSI00279 MegaRAID LSIiBBU09 Battery Backup Unit for MegaRAID 9265 and 9285 Series
Model #:LSI00279
Item #:N82E16816118162
$179.99 $179.99

CORSAIR CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Model #:CWCH60
Item #:N82E16835181015
$69.99 $69.99

LG Black Super Multi SATA WH12LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM
Model #:WH12LS30
Item #:N82E16827136226
$99.99 $99.99

OCZ RevoDrive X2 OCZSSDPX-1RVDX0480 PCI-E 480GB PCI-Express x4 MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Model #: OCZSSDPX-1RVDX0480
Item #:N82E16820227663
$1,499.99 -$100.00 Instant $1,399.99


Subtotal: $4,483.80
_______________________________________________________

A couple of notes on your selection.

The Corsair case is very pretty, but it only has 4 hot swap drives, and I'm not convinced of the engineering of their cooling solution, or their support for future SAS drives. The Supermicro case is ugly, yes, but it's very well engineered, and gives you plenty of slots. Really, you want more than 4 drives. Additionally, you're going to need a RAID6 array to really prevent data loss with such a large array, so 8 drives is really the minimum for a serious video array. I spec'd 1TB units to stay within your budget. I'm pretty sure these are still 500GB/platter drives, so you're ok.

YOU NEED THAT BATTERY BACKUP UNIT!

I added it to the LSI controller. Without the BBU you can't safely use write-behind caching, which either limits performance, or subjects you to the possibility of a very, very bad day.

As far as your system disk is concerned, once you're talking about that level of cost and performance, you might as well go with a Revo. Those puppies push 700MB/s, you can boot from them, and you don't even have to deal with the latency of the on-board controller. The Z68 *barely* has enough lanes to deal with a graphics card, the LSI, and the Revo (8x + 8x + 4x). You don't really need to separate your system disk from your swap disk if you:

A) have 16GB of RAM or
B) your system disk is an SSD capable of pushing over 700MB/s

This system does both.

This brings me to your RAM choice.

Unfortunately I've learned from experience that if you're going to populate all four slots, you should really buy a kit that promises to really enable 16GB. 2x 8GB kits might not cut it. Fortunately there's a 16GB (4x 4GB) that is not only cheap and fast, it's heatsinks even match the color scheme of your motherboard!

A couple of other notes. You absolutely don't need a 1200 watt PSU. Period. You have one 95 Watt processor, and one graphics card (ok, the one I specified *does* have 2 GPUs, but they're pretty power efficient). Even with 8 hard drives, the 865 W PSU included with the Supermicro is plenty, and saves you like $200 while adding 4 SAS hot-swap bays.

You do need to be careful with liquid-cooling your CPU. Since there's no fan on the CPU you have to maintain enough airflow over the heatsinks on the voltage regulators next to your CPU, especially if you're overclocking (which with this configuration, you obviously will...)

One more thing... I don't recall you saying much about what sort of gaming capabilities you wanted, but I did spec. the GeForce GTX 460 2Win card for your system. I think that it provides a great combination of obscene quantities of CUDA cores, multi-monitor support, and playing well with a single 8x PCI-e config.

You should be able to make many gamers cry or otherwise wet themselves.
m
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May 23, 2011 1:00:25 AM

Borg, Thanks again for the quick and helpful response.

I have a couple follow-up questions...:

1). Rather than go with a Revo, would it be more cost effective to go with a pair of 450GB SATA 3 WD VelociRaptors in RAID 0 for the swap / scratch disk? I can get 2 for $400. Would I really notice any difference in speed while editing? (I would still go with a single SATA 3 SSD for the OS and programs).

2). Would I be able to run separate RAID arrays on the same controller? i.e. 2x 450GB SATA 3 WD VelociRaptors in RAID 0, and 4+x 1TB WD Caviar Blacks in RAID 5 or 6? Or would I just use the motherboard RAID 0 capability for the VelociRaptors?

3). Who makes the best RAID controllers? I've found LSI and Adaptec each have new SATA 3 6gb controllers. The LSI model comes with up to 1 GB cache, the Adaptec with 512MB. The LSI is slightly more expensive. I've never paid much attention to RAID controllers so really have no basis to make a decision. Any other makes I should consider?

4). Regarding the case - I am looking for something with excellent cooling, plenty of expansion slots for drives, a boring / discrete look, and great cable management. The Corsair seemed to hit the mark but I'll consider other options. I've been looking at Antec and Silverstone as well. Size isn't an issue. Ideas? I would like to use the same case and power a few years from now for the next build as well. ~$250-300 seems reasonable.

5). Several people have mentioned the lack of airflow over the MB when using a watercooler like the H60. This makes sense - should I go with a traditional large heatsink with push/pull fans or is enough general case airflow generated by adding extra fans? I plan to add fans anyway. Who makes the best fans?

I will also use this build for single monitor gaming - that's why I picked a 580, but HD video / photo editing is the driving factor for doing this myself.

Thanks again-
m
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May 23, 2011 7:43:23 PM

2317613,28,816190 said:
Borg, Thanks again for the quick and helpful response.

I have a couple follow-up questions...:

1). Rather than go with a Revo, would it be more cost effective to go with a pair of 450GB SATA 3 WD VelociRaptors in RAID 0 for the swap / scratch disk? I can get 2 for $400. Would I really notice any difference in speed while editing? (I would still go with a single SATA 3 SSD for the OS and programs).

- 8x 1TB WD blacks in RAID6 on that LSI controller will burn the pants off two VelociRaptors. You can get a 240GB Revo for far less than a 480GB... ~$800 less. A good option might be a 240GB Revo + 8x 2TB WD Blacks. That'll give you 12TB of *reeeally fast* magnetic storage (my guess would be something around 500MB/s sustained). You won't need a secondary array for scratch, etc. With a disk that fast you don't need a secondary scratch disk. With 16GB of RAM this isn't a major consideration anyway.

2). Would I be able to run separate RAID arrays on the same controller? i.e. 2x 450GB SATA 3 WD VelociRaptors in RAID 0, and 4+x 1TB WD Caviar Blacks in RAID 5 or 6? Or would I just use the motherboard RAID 0 capability for the VelociRaptors?

- While you can absolutely run more than one array off the LSI controller, with RAID 6 you're using 2 drives for parity. You really need all eight of those drives for performance. Forget the VelociRaptors!

3). Who makes the best RAID controllers? I've found LSI and Adaptec each have new SATA 3 6gb controllers. The LSI model comes with up to 1 GB cache, the Adaptec with 512MB. The LSI is slightly more expensive. I've never paid much attention to RAID controllers so really have no basis to make a decision. Any other makes I should consider?

- Different RAID controllers are better for different workloads. This question could take 20 pages to answer, but suffice it to say, the LSI controller you chose is extremely high performance, and has good management software. The equivalent Adaptec controller is a little cheaper and a little slower (for large block, sequential operations like video editing). I say stick with the LSI. It's the beating heart of your editing rig.

4). Regarding the case - I am looking for something with excellent cooling, plenty of expansion slots for drives, a boring / discrete look, and great cable management. The Corsair seemed to hit the mark but I'll consider other options. I've been looking at Antec and Silverstone as well. Size isn't an issue. Ideas? I would like to use the same case and power a few years from now for the next build as well. ~$250-300 seems reasonable.

- Dude! Seriously... All those brands... Corsair, and Silverstone especially are *consumer* cases. Antec makes industrial / server cases, but it seems like you're looking at their consumer stuff. None of that stuff is appropriate for your application. If you're looking on Newegg, you can't go to the "Cases" section, you have to go to the "Servers > Server Chassis > Chassis Type : Pedestal " options. I've been doing this for fifteen years. Trust me. If you don't take any other suggestions from me, use that Supermicro case! That case also contains a server-grade 865W power supply, which is *plenty* for your application. At $410 for the case and power supply incl. s&h you're getting a good deal too.

5). Several people have mentioned the lack of airflow over the MB when using a watercooler like the H60. This makes sense - should I go with a traditional large heatsink with push/pull fans or is enough general case airflow generated by adding extra fans? I plan to add fans anyway. Who makes the best fans?

- Water cooling is cool, but generally unless you're really going to be pushing overclocking (not advisable in a production machine!!), air cooling is a better option, as it's simple and most motherboards get secondary cooling from the CPU HSF. Many benchmarks suggest that the Tuniq Tower 120, is one of the best available, and I've had lots of success with this model.

I will also use this build for single monitor gaming - that's why I picked a 580, but HD video / photo editing is the driving factor for doing this myself.

- The 580 is overpriced... It's the top top top performer, and therefore commands a price tag that gives it a very poor price/performance ratio. That dual 460 based board I specified has more CUDA cores, and costs less, which makes it good for CUDA enabled pro apps, and also makes it a screaming gamer (as well as supporting up to 4 monitors!). Honestly though, if you're just doing 1920x1080 gaming and you're using the built-in Intel encoding acceleration, you should probably save yourself some money and get a GTX460 1GB.

Hope that helps.
m
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May 24, 2011 11:36:03 AM

Perfect - thanks again!
m
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l
May 24, 2011 5:17:39 PM

Ok, so here's how you can repay me:

When you get this monster-rig, please post your impressions of the parts / build quality, and do a couple of benchmarks on the Revo and the storage array.

You're using pretty new components, so there's not as much feedback out there as there could be. Yours will help many others.

I for one want to see pics of this madman!

Cheers!

(Oh, and P.S., there is more than one type of 240GB Revo. Make sure you get the FAST ONE! ;)  )
m
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l
May 29, 2011 6:26:14 PM

HDVideo11 said:
Thanks but the Adobe software I have is the consumer video editing version and it can't take advantage of NVIDIA CUDA cores. I'm also not interested in running two monitors so I think I'll just go with 1x 580 to start.



Iam a super newbie to 3D HD video editing & stuff,, Butt-Butt 2 monitors ftw. Being able to view the time lines or out put is a major time saver. Although if your even remotely worried about your carbon foot-print I can see why someone would wanna dodge the multi-monitor stuff.
m
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l
May 29, 2011 6:27:35 PM

joelmartinez said:
You could actually start with a gtx 570, it can be pushed to 580 clocks without much effort and temp increase and is much cheaper, but if you got the money get the 580



. ...Whats with this Lucid Hydra action,, I think I saw something about that on a mobo's features?
m
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May 29, 2011 7:01:30 PM

Super,

You're absolutely right that the 570 is a much better deal than the 580. In the case of HDVideo11's build however, it's still somewhat overkill IMO.

Lucid's Hydra implementation allows a third party video card to play nicely with the Intel Integrated video processor built in to the Sandybridge CPU line.

For video editing, one of the biggest advances in Sandybridge is Intel's QuickSync video encoding technology. While no current generation software supports it, Adobe, the handbrake folks, etc. are all sure to implement it soon, and this will dramatically increase video encode performance. Unfortunately, this advantage is negated when you use a third party video card. While from what I understand the current software for Hydra doesn't allow QuickSync to work, Lucid is working on things. They have a software product called Virtu that promises to make this a reality.

m
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May 29, 2011 7:04:26 PM



Amazing!!!!!

Anyone know how a dual Intel Xeon E5507 Nehalem-EP Quad-Core would stack up to a i7 2600k build?

Can Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 or Sony Vegas Pro even take advantage of such a set up. Ive seen mention of a "Dual Intel Xeon Dream Worstation" So Iam bit
curious as to these Dual Socket Mobo Workstation Builds.
m
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May 29, 2011 7:14:38 PM




Ive seen some posts around mentioned Dual Xeon Dream Workstations.

Any chance Adobe Premiere Pro or Sony Vegas Pro can take advantage
of having dual multi core cpu's?

I was eye balling dual Xeon E3-1275's as a video editing build.

m
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l
May 29, 2011 7:58:19 PM

The Xeon E3 CPUs are based on the Sandybridge architecture. That whole architecture can not be run in a dual-socket configuration.

If you want a dual socket (8 or 12 core) System, you have to use a Xeon 5500 or 5600 series CPU (Socket 1366).

The question is: Can your apps take advantage of that much parallelism?

See this good article to get some info.

The short version is that yes, you'll get more performance, but it may not be enough to justify the price.

My favorite 2 socket capable Xeon right now is the Xeon E5645, a hyperthreaded 6 core part clocked at 2.4GHz.

All these Xeons are based on the Nehalem/Westmere architecture, and use tripple channel memory, and with two sockets, you're talking a minimum of six memory modules. The cheapest you should think about going is a 2GB x 6 configuration (IT'S IMPORTANT TO GET A SIX MODULE KIT, NOT 2X 3 MODULE KITS... TRUST ME, I KNOW). A 4GBx 6 kit isn't that expensive, and 24GB of RAM is niiiiiiiice.... especially when scrubbing large timelines.

Also, you're completely right... 2 monitors is mandatory for a video editing rig. IT'S CRAZY TO USE 1 MONITOR. Also, if you care at all about color (and you should), you'll need an IPS based LCD, and a color calibration device.


When I have some time later I'll put up a complete spec list for an overclockable 24 thread video editing rig....
m
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May 29, 2011 9:09:08 PM



Thanks for the help WAtB.

I read a few minutes later that the damn Xeon E3's could not be placed onto any dual socket mobo's. :( ((

I shall be reading that article as soon as I post this, as well as reading about parallelism.

I see the price of that E5645 & I start back-pedaling (paralleling :p ) towards the E5520 & E5620.

Although after reading the articles I may not be so fast with my back pedaling.
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!