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Video editing entry-level rig

Last response: in Systems
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March 4, 2011 12:54:55 AM

Hey guys. Not only is this my first post on here, but its also the first time I'm spec'ing a computer out in 7 years! Need less to say, its long overdue.

Anyway, I plan on building a new computer primarily for video editing. I'm not going with a MAC because I'm a PC guy and just have my preferences. Most of my stuff is going to be After Effects, Sony Vegas, 1080p, 720p, etc. I don't plan on gaming with the machine because I plan on building a bare-bones PC. Figured I'll stick with console gaming instead. Since I already have a monitor, speakers, mouse, keyboard, external hdd, router, etc, that means all I need is the tower. And even then, I don't need a DVD burner or wireless adapter.

So here's what I was spec'ing out:
Intel i5 2400/2500
Intel DP67BA (maybe)
4GB DDR3
Geforce GT 430 1GB
1TB HDD
Windows 7 Pro
case, power supply, etc

Cost: approx $750

Here's my dilemma. I'm hearing that Sandy Bridge processors only make use of Quick Sync without a discrete graphics card. Since I'm into video editing, would that mean I would be better off without a discrete graphics card and just go with the CPU instead? Or does Quick Sync not apply to video editing software?

I've also been hearing of the Z68 chipset, which would allow both, and comes out around May/June. Would my situation be better suited with this chipset if I wanted to have a discrete graphics card as an option? Based on info available, what would the limitations be of going that route?

Luckily, I plan on building this rig around May/June period and have time to plan and wait for new products or kinks to get worked out.
March 4, 2011 1:13:05 AM

Waiting for the Z68 Chipset may be beneficial but I would not get to hung up on the GPU. It all depends on the software you want to use and the support that software possesses for GPU acceleration. I have found that most software seems to offer support for hardware acceleration but on a very conditional basis. If you are using older transitions and effects they tend not to be recoded so you can find that you get a mere handful of newer effects that utilize it and they are probably effects you have little use for. If you are not buying now wait for the Z68 for its more versatile configuration. Otherwise I would say that is the best bang for buck build you can get. There are CPUs that are faster but software is the bottleneck these days and it is hard to make them rock to their full potential.
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March 4, 2011 8:35:57 AM

Although those charts are interesting for comparing CPU's, it doesn't quite answer my question of integrated vs discrete graphics (unless I'm reading it wrong).
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March 4, 2011 1:52:12 PM

Lord Odin said:
Although those charts are interesting for comparing CPU's, it doesn't quite answer my question of integrated vs discrete graphics (unless I'm reading it wrong).


You are correct in your initial post -- must be integrated to enable quick sync. I'm assuming you understand the other limitations -- 'best' output seems to be at low-rez for mobile devices.

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around your work flow, and your current proposed build will have serious I/O problems. At a minimum you need a second HDD for 'scratch' and 2x4GB RAMs should get yah a nice boost.

Back to your work flow -- I foresee 'conversion Hell' bogging you down considerably if you plan to move (import/export) significantly between Vegas/AE due to various input/output formats and codecs, and all the necessary conversion that will have to take place. Consistency in file formats/codecs will significantly reduce your conversion times and raise the overall 'fun factor'.

And I like AE (heh, Adobe sucks arse) but Vegas has some great tweaks --- motion graphics, compositing, alpha channels, filters, etc. If you are new at this I would recommend sticking with Vegas initially before delving too deep into AE.

And just so there is no confusion - my understanding is the mercury playback engine is specific to effects in Premiere Pro (primarily color correction). Optimizations in AE (plug-ins, effects, etc) are more associated with Quadro cards.

And waiting is good -- as you noted z68 will be out in a few months and AMD BD Zambezi may well bring some surprises (as well as driving down the cost of the 1090T - which is no slouch in Vegas).
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March 4, 2011 10:24:54 PM

And the edit? Or did you not look at it?

Your pretty much limited only to Nvidia GPUs. AMD brought this tech out with their x1800 line, but has all but dropped it. A nice GTS450 should be used if you want to do this as it has enough power to do it quickly.
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March 5, 2011 12:03:53 AM

I have an i7 Lynnfield that barely exceeds 20% of its capacity no matter what rendering I do. I have Velicoraptors in RAID 0 which never hit over 25 MB a second and a GTX 460 which does nothing at all. The system never comes close to 4 GB of RAM use even factoring in Super Fetch. Software is a major bottleneck. Dont get caught up in the benchmark performance of a machine. Real World performance is everything.
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March 5, 2011 12:17:35 AM

Adobe recommends at least 3 disks: an OS & programs disk, a data disk, and a scratch disk. The faster the better and raid is recommended.

Don't forget to think about backups. Archival Quality DVD's are recommended for long term storage.

edit I found the guide I used years ago and its still valid:
http://forums.adobe.com/thread/427772
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March 5, 2011 2:02:25 AM

you could proably save yourself some money if you went with AMD ...

if you bought their top line six core processor the T 1100 and threw in 16 Gb of ram along with an SSD , i think you'd have a decent experince .... while AMD isn't top of the line , it does get the job done ...here is a comparision using CS4 and the previous AMD chip the 1090 which used to be the top of the line 6 core chip , intel is also shown so you can see where the AMD chip lines up

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-desktop-cpu-cha...
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March 5, 2011 3:04:31 AM

Your chart doesn't have the new CPUs on it. Check out the one I linked. 2500k is faster then the 1090. If he wants speed he wants the new SB CPUs.
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March 5, 2011 12:19:33 PM

Can't yah just feel the love in this thread? :o 

I'm with:

1) The disk I/O Guys ...

Stick with starting with one Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB for your OS with a second HD502HJ for 'scratch' -- that's $100. When yah come up with the cash for your first $100 upgrade, snag another pair of HD502HJs in RAID for output (1TB F3s will work, too -- LOL)

2) The 'more RAMs' Guys ...

In a budget of $750, 2x4GB sticks looks really good (but 2x2GB is not the End of the World!). More RAMs is always good but beyond 8GB there is a point of diminishing returns. I suspect going beyond that level in a Vegas rig is not really necessary in a starter build (and I acknowledge the goodness that is a RAM drive but this is not the place for it). See #1 for first priority upgrade!

3) That one AMD Guy ...

I'm not impugning (that word too fancy for yahs? :lol:  ) the greatness of Sandy Bridge, but for butt-kick'n and buck-banging in Vegas, a hex-core 1090T combo is the sweet spot -- especially with the ASRock 890GM Pro3 R2.0.



And FINALLY, give it up on the benchmarks, guys. The OP is not doing anything remotely related to the ""Photoshop Retouch Artist"" benchmark. Period. It looks as if he simply wants to recode some progressive video with a little motion graphics tossed into the mix. He is showing interest in quick sync, ferchrisakes.

You could not get further away from that with Tom's "Paladin Workload," which is heavy on the mercury playback engine and color correction (I'd never accuse nVidia, Adobe or THG of 'over-hyping' something in a most favorable light, would I? - LOL). Do yahs even know what "DVCProHD" is? I'm thinking the OP is not quite ready for professional television production and film-making.

Peace out :kaola: 

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March 7, 2011 3:23:16 PM

Hey guys, sorry about the delay in replies but I was gone for a few days as my wife gave birth to our 2nd child and 1st daughter. :bounce: 

Wisecracker said:
You are correct in your initial post -- must be integrated to enable quick sync. I'm assuming you understand the other limitations -- 'best' output seems to be at low-rez for mobile devices.

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around your work flow, and your current proposed build will have serious I/O problems. At a minimum you need a second HDD for 'scratch' and 2x4GB RAMs should get yah a nice boost.

Back to your work flow -- I foresee 'conversion Hell' bogging you down considerably if you plan to move (import/export) significantly between Vegas/AE due to various input/output formats and codecs, and all the necessary conversion that will have to take place. Consistency in file formats/codecs will significantly reduce your conversion times and raise the overall 'fun factor'.

And I like AE (heh, Adobe sucks arse) but Vegas has some great tweaks --- motion graphics, compositing, alpha channels, filters, etc. If you are new at this I would recommend sticking with Vegas initially before delving too deep into AE.

And just so there is no confusion - my understanding is the mercury playback engine is specific to effects in Premiere Pro (primarily color correction). Optimizations in AE (plug-ins, effects, etc) are more associated with Quadro cards.

And waiting is good -- as you noted z68 will be out in a few months and AMD BD Zambezi may well bring some surprises (as well as driving down the cost of the 1090T - which is no slouch in Vegas).


Dadiggle said:
No it won't speed up anything if your using a strong cpu. hardware mpe got a bigger performance boost when your using a slower cpu with gpu. But with a faster cpu it will have less of a impact. Its there to assist the cpu if its not keeping pace. A Gtx 460 will do a lot better than the 450

disk setup is important. 2 disks in a Raid-0 config as scratch disks is advised.

Ram 12gb is the sweetspot

Cpu higher clocked one the better. 2500k overclock it past 4ghz for a big performance boost as well.

Again quick sync is not supported in CS5.


I currently have a 2TB WD My Book Studio II operating in RAID 0 as my external hdd. So I would have a total of 3TB (1 external, 1 interal) on the rig.

As of right now, I can only use Vegas because my rig is so old and it does the job, but I'm looking for more robust editing with AE and will probably be using CS5. I primarily edit AVCHD files from my camcorder and try to stick with one format to cut down on final renders. By the sounds of it, though, CS5 won't make use of Quick Sync. So I may be better off using a discrete graphics card for the time being. Only time will tell with future versions of AE and Vegas, though, with QS implementation.
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March 7, 2011 5:54:05 PM

Just keep in mind, this is a barebones rig for me, hence why such a low budget. Depending on pricing, I may opt for more ram.

Is the only benefit to the Z68 chipset for overclocking and discrete graphics? In other words, no discrete graphics + Quick Sync?
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May 31, 2011 8:53:38 AM

Lord Odin said:
... Is the only benefit to the Z68 chipset for overclocking and discrete graphics? In other words, no discrete graphics + Quick Sync?

@ lord odin,

are you already ready? Or does your "problem" still exist?

I just assembled a ZOTAC H67ITX with an INTEL i7-2600K. It's running very fine with Windows 7 HP, MAGIX MEP (in Germany MAGIX Video deluxe 17 Premium) an especially LoiLoScope. The footage is 720p from my Panasonice camera.
(You may fin some background info here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTS0nokczuI )

The next will be an assembling of an ASRock Z68 Extreme4 with an INTEL i7-2600K for replacing my ATX-AMD-5050e-PC.

Both PCs will not get an extra graphics unit and use "only" the excellent INTEL HD3000.

LoiLoScope is used for "quick and easy" editings and works mind-boggling fine. It's another world for editing.
For more and very sophisticated editings I use VDL 17 PR. It's overkilled with features and barbwire in using them. But it's powerful and also a challenge for the installed hardware.

(If you can read German you may be interested in this TOPIC: http://video.forumprofi.de/thema-anzeigen-dieses-war-de... )

Have nice days!
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May 31, 2011 9:35:30 AM

@ Consulting

Thanks for the reply but I ended up getting the Z68 Extreme4. I was able to get more money than I hoped for, so I upgraded the rig across the board.

From what I understand of Virtu, only certain programs will make use of QuickSync and you have to manually enter in each one into the software, correct?
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May 31, 2011 3:25:05 PM

Lord Odin said:
@ Consulting
... From what I understand of Virtu, only certain programs will make use of QuickSync and you have to manually enter in each one into the software, correct?
I think so.
VIRTU may be not generally working but only with especially defined applications (IF they are qualified).
Note:
At present I do not yet owning this board. It's on my schedule for July/August 2011.
That's due to the fact that I have a lot of projects in my pipeline that must be finished before changing the systems.
When starting to use the Extreme4 I also must install and design a new system and application environment.
That would be a too annoying burden in the moment.

Best regards, Manfred
____________________
PS:
Am I right: You have purchased the ASRock Z68 Extreme4 mainboard?
Which CPU did you apply?
Your general experiences?
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May 31, 2011 3:28:23 PM

"At present I do not yet owning this board."
Sorry for this mess...
Must be: "At present I do not own..."
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May 31, 2011 3:29:08 PM

This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
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