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Graphics/Video editing under $1600 - stable + quiet

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April 4, 2011 10:37:27 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: this week or so

Budget Range: under $1600 or so

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Editing many large RAW files (Lightroom, Photoshop), video editing, transcoding video

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers - do need Windows

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon, newegg, tigerdirect, provantage, etc..

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: Intel / NVIDIA

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 or higher

Additional Comments: My priorities are A) reliability - I told my wife last time I wouldn't build another PC after I ended up replacing every part one by one trying to get rid of blue screens. Ended up being a combination of RAM and motherboard (bad capacitors on a Gigabyte mobo). So this time I'd like it to be rock solid for years. B) Quiet - want it to be as quiet as possible while still being very fast.

I'm thinking about the following, and would appreciate advice on the options and other components.

CPU: leaning towards i5 2500K. Local microcenter price is $179
Mobo: Dunno, maybe a Asus TUF (Sabretooth) series?
Gfx: Some quiet GTX 460 (seems that may be better bang-for-buck for non-game use than GTX 560 Ti?)
Case: The Cooler Master HAF 932 looks nice
Cooler: Mugen Scythe 2 or water cooler of some sort?
Drives: Wait a week or two for 120GB OCZ Vertex3 for OS/SW drive, Samsung F3 1TB RAID0 pair for data (I have a NAS for archival/backup)
RAM: 2 of the following? G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB) 1333Mhz CL9 - $70 if I buy in the next 2 days!
[ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ]
PSU: Corsair 650TX
Optical: LG BD-rom UH10LS20

Thanks for your insights!

Best solution

April 4, 2011 11:45:16 AM

Items Of Microcenter

Core i7 2600K : 280$ Better Choice For Video Editing
Asus Sabertooth : 235$
Total:515$

Items Off New Egg


1057$ After Rebates

Cooling for Silent PC

CPU Cooler : Scythe SCMG-2100 Sleeve CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case Fans:2*Noctua NF-P14 FLX 140mm Case Fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Grand Total 1670$ After Rebates


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April 4, 2011 9:01:20 PM

Thanks for the reply - I forgot to look into rebates, that's helpful to see. I agree the 2600K is probably a worthwhile upgrade, and great idea on the power supply - apparently the same or somewhat improved as the one I had (both made by Seasonic), but less expensive.

I think perhaps the $300 120GB Vertex 3 SSD drive might be overkill for the benefit it provides over a $99 64GB Microcenter Sandforce 1222 based drive I found. These are coming down fast, so I can always upgrade later. And I think I'll actually live with my 1680x1050 display for a bit while the credit card cools down :) 

Here's my new complete list in a Google spreadsheet:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?hl=en&hl=en&key=0Ah...



(Sorry, I can't seem to get images to show up)

Any other thoughts / opinions? Thanks!
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April 4, 2011 11:29:46 PM

yup the build is nice get replace coolermaster fans with noctua fans for silent pc
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April 5, 2011 4:44:02 PM

A little tip on performance with photoshop (this works especially well with larger files): Create a striped (RAID 0) scratch disk between two smaller HDs with absolutely nothing on them. Two 250 gb drives or even smaller - it depends on the size of your files (my day job entails processing TIFF files in the 1-4 GB range, so my scratch file can get huge, but I haven't seen it top 100 GB yet). Dedicate that striped drive as the scratch drive in your photoshop settings. This often proves to be the biggest performance bump for photoshop. If you have the money you might even consider striping two SSDs, though I haven't done that myself.
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April 5, 2011 5:24:51 PM

Thanks JGR! Good to know, and I can reuse or pickup smaller drives inexpensively.. I was thinking of using the system SSD also as the scratch drive, but I suppose then you have contention between OS / software HD activity and scratch activity.
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April 5, 2011 6:57:29 PM

Sure thing. Even if you don't buy multiple drives and put them in Raid, simply having your scratch disk as a physically separate unused disk is a great performance boost vs assigning scratch space to your main drive. The analysis I have read (which I can't find of course) showed that two regular HDs in Raid 0 provided notably higher performance boost than using a single SSD as the scratch.

As a side note, here's a good place for general photoshop performance boost: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404439.html

When the time comes, take note of the cache tile size under the history and cache performance section.
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April 6, 2011 6:43:00 AM

Best answer selected by yumbrad.
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