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Need advice on components for budget video editing rig

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February 6, 2011 5:38:17 AM

hi, im trying to build a uber-budget quad-core video editing rig (around $400)
i would also like the machine to be relatively quiet

been a while since i built a system but i do have a scythe ninja rev b that i would like to utilize.
also have a couple of 120mm nexus fans
and a centurion 5 case (i think the ninja will fit)

im thinking of basing it around the amd x4 640
just need advice on mobo and video card

which budget mobo is recomended for am3?
i will most likely not be OCing it although would like to keep options open
i dont need onboard video as i will be getting a vid card
it would be nice to have firewire 400 port with a TI chipset on the mobo
i know usb3 will not fit budget bill but at least 6 usb2 ports (on rear) would be good
mobo needs to be able to take scythe ninja rev b (assuming there is a bracket adapter that will let me use the ninja rev b on a am3 socket)

and which video card?
i will not be doing much gaming but i will need to be able to edit native 1080p avchd footage
one that is silent (no fan) and that will fit budget is hopefully possible
will a 5450 be good enough?

the other components are a no brainer (ill probably start off with 4 gig of ram and upgrade later on. the PS will be a corsair vx430 most likely unless its not enough?)

thanx!
February 7, 2011 2:38:06 PM

I'm still a bit hazy...could you enlist the components you already have and those you require? And BTW, I think you mean either the VX450 or the CX430, if you're talking about Corsair.
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February 7, 2011 6:48:54 PM

hmdhruvarora said:
I'm still a it hazy...could you enlist the components you already have and those you require? And BTW, I think you mean either the VX450 or the CX430, if you're talking about Corsair.


youre right i meant the vx450.

the only components that i have are:

case (centurion 5)
scythe ninja rev. b
2 x 120mm fans


also i can raise the budget limit to 500 if it gets me usb 3 and 6gb sata (maybe a little bit better video card?)

i mostly want to know which mobo is reliable and will be compatible with the ninja rev.b and which video card will let me edit 1080p avchd footage (in sony vegas 10) natively

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February 7, 2011 11:48:04 PM

Do you live near a Microcenter? I STRONGLY suggest you have a look at this:
http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundl...

I would suggest the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T + GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-UD2H (integrated graphics; SATA 6.0GB/s + USB3 + Firewire) combo.
When you are transcoding and rendering, cores matter, so you'd get the best performance from a hexa-core.

The Gigabyte board is IMO also one of the best value boards around. I thought about getting a basic mobo and then adding USB3 and Firewire to it, but that actually turns out to be more expensive.

Here are the specs I suggest:
(Note: Not all components are available @ Microcenter, so other links point to Newegg.)

> Processor + Motherboard: AMD Phenom II X6 1090T + GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-UD2H -- ~$250 (incl. shipping; my estimate)
http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundl...
Available for $303 @ Newegg.

> CPU cooler: Stock - for now, as long as you don't OC

> GPU: Integrated, at-least for now. There might be some lag while editing, but it should keep you going until you can upgrade to a discrete card. If you're planning on gaming at a half-decent resolution, the 5770 would be the way to go; the 5670 would be the minimum. The 5450 is the quintessential HTPC card, but it's a wimp when it comes to gaming. Save some money and upgrade your GPU later.

You might want to check this out:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

> RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2GB 1333MHz (7-7-7-21) -- $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

> HDD: Samsung Spinpoint 1TB @ 7200RPM -- $65 (It's better than Seagate and WD Caviar Blue, BTW)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

> DVD-RW: Sony Optiarc Black DDU1678A - OEM -- $22
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

> PSU: Corsair VX450W or Seasonic S12 II 430B 430W or Seasonic S12 II 520W -- ~$70 (The 520W PSU has free shipping and is only $4 more expensive than the 430W shipped; recommended)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL: $462 (+/- 1%) [shipped]
Price @ Newegg: $515 (+/- 1%) [shipped]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If that's too much for your budget, consider another combo listed on the same page, the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T + GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-UD2H (same as above) for ~$215 (shipped).

The hard disk can also be downgraded to 500GB, which will bring the cost down by $15.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That brings the total down to about $412 ($480 from Newegg), with the rest of the specs remaining the same.

Ah, I see you've upped your budget...hmm, how about $562? That'd let you grab the XFX 5770 with a double-lifetime warranty.
No? For $20 less you can get the Sapphire VaporX 5770 with a 3-year warranty...less with rebates, if you're eligible.
I would suggest you save enough cash for this card, because it'll be a worthy upgrade from a gaming perspective. You could always get the 5670, which is unspectacular by any standards or the 4850, which has a higher power consumption and no DirectX11 though...but not recommended.

NOTE: THESE GRAPHICS CARDS WILL ONLY HELP YOU IN GAMING.
For video rendering, compositing etc. they aren't much good. To be able gain from GPU-enabled acceleration in the Sony Vegas Pro's AVC plug-in based rendering, you will need an NVIDIA CUDA-enabled graphics card. The gains would especially be noticeable in Adobe's CS5 software which is optimized for it. The Sony AVC plug-in doesn't seem to work very well yet, so the increase in performance yield is likely to be modest, if any. However, in the future perhaps it'll be optimised and boost productivity. If you're willing to wait, however, Intel Sandy Bridge (once the chipset glitch is rectified) would be a good option, along with the Z68 motherboard.

The Sandy Bridge i5 costs roughly as much as the 1090T, and offers comparable performance in multi-threaded apps and much better single-thread performance.

If that doesn't matter much to you, then proceed by all means.

And check these out:
http://www.slashcam.com/news/single/GPU-accelerated-AVC...
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/24/917118
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/24/916385


NOTE: If you plan to buy the GPU this time around instead of later on, and are buying the rest of the components from Newegg, take the 870 chipset-based Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 (no integrated graphics; SATA 6.0GB/s + USB3 + Firewire) which is cheaper than the GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-UD2H (integrated graphics; SATA 6GB/s + USB3 + Firewire), while offering all the features you need.

IMPORTANT: Check my calculations when you have time. I was a little sleepy when I wrote this.

Oh, and I hope you weren't planning on Crossfiring...
The cooler should work fine because the Scythe site says it's compatible with the AM2 socket. The socket AM2 and AM3's cooler mounting holes are identical, so I don't foresee any complications.

I have a feeling I'm forgetting something important...I'll get back to you, if I remember... :( 

Anyway have fun.
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February 9, 2011 1:49:16 AM

thank you hmdhruvarora for the time you took to help me, i appreciate it.

i checked out the links you provided and it seems that most people there are having problems getting CUDA to work and those that do see a very minimal performance increase.

there is also one guy that has the 1090t alongside a nvidia card and it seems ok.

i will most likely take your advice and invest in the 1090t and the GA-870A-UD3 (no onboard gfx)

however regarding the video card, i would like to get one that is the best value for dollar specifically for editing video and silence.
this machine will not be used much for gaming (if any; they will be old games such as xcom)
if you or anyone can help me figure out which card will let me edit 1080p footage smoothly and not sound like a vacuum cleaner, that would be great. (no fan would be great but if its a quiet one its ok)

and will the vx450 or Seasonic S12 II 520W be enough for a six core cpu?
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February 10, 2011 9:05:59 PM

You're welcome. :) 

Looks like I might have been wrong, so please disregard my statement about complications arising from the use of NVIDIA cards with AMD chipsets.

What monitor resolution are you looking at? And how many monitors?

Have a look at these:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/video-transcoding-a...
http://www.videoguys.com/Guide/E/Videoguys+System+recom...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/297761-33-radeon-5450...

I'd say the 5670 would be the best bang for your buck if you do plan on doing any gaming, even light. The 5570 uses GDDR3 (vs. GDDR5 for the 5670) which effectively cripples it, while the 5450 isn't much better than integrated GFX. Any of these should be sufficient for video editing. There's no need for a 1GB version because these budget cards simply can't utilize so much memory - just a marketing gimmick. On the NVIDIA front, the only option - within your budget - worth considering is the GT 440. But since it's performance is worse than the 5670 at the same price point, I suggest you buy it only if CUDA matters to you.

If you're bent on a passively cooled card, the Sapphire 5670 Ultimate is one to be consided: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (You could give Newegg a call and ask them when it will be restocked.)

Otherwise, take your pick from the 512MB DDR5 MSI, XFX or Sapphire cards @ $80 here ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... ) and you can return the card if you don't like it. I am leaning towards the MSI (because the cooler on it looks like that on the R5770 Hawk, and the Hawks are near-silent). The Sapphire seems low-noise too. The XFX, however, uses the reference cooler which probably makes it louder than the others, but has a lifetime warranty as compensation.
http://www.elitebastards.com/index.php?option=com_conte...
http://www.pureoverclock.com/review.php?id=888&page=14

I don't know a whole lot about GFX cards. I suggest you ask this question in the Graphics cards section for better-informed responses and second-opinions.

I think 520W should be more than enough.
For your power requirements, try calculating them with this app: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp
Set the capacitor ageing @ 30-40%; TDP and System Load @ 95-100% - a worst case scenario.

You might find this useful:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6950-1gb-...

Oh, and I think I forgot about thermal paste:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you find the OCZ Freeze available, take that - it gives lower temps at a better price.

Ciao.
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