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1st Build for HD Editing

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June 28, 2011 6:37:23 PM

I am planning on building my first computer in the near future. Keep in mind that my current PC is a Pentium 4 with AGP graphics and 2GB of memory... I have done upgrades before; CPU cooler, PSU, memory, GPU card, sound card, etc. I feel comfortable buidling a new PC from the ground up.

With that said, I mainly work with a lot of video (can't do HD yet due to limitations of my computer). I run Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, Encore, Flash, Blender, and I hope to start learning how to use Maya, ZBrush, and Poser whenever time/money allows. These are all CPU/GPU intense and I need the best possible PC I can get for my budget which is around $2K US.

Here is my parts list so far:

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

If you don't feel like looking at that:

-ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

-Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K

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

-Antec Lanboy air Yellow Black / Yellow ATX Mid Tower Computer Modular Case

-EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1573-AR GeForce GTX 570 HD w/Display-Port (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP ...

-Thermaltake Black Widow W0319RU 850W ATX 12V v2.3, EPS 12V v2.91 CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active ...



1) Does this system look like it will be compatible and powerful?
2) Will this configuration meet my needs (lots of HD editing and encoding, 3D rendering)?
3) Am I skimping out anywhere (or overdoing anything?)
4) As far as my case choice, since it is open air, how does that affect cooling/air flow? Should I go with something else?
5)I have read an article that states that Sandy Bridge is NOT a good option for video editors. I cannot understand the reasoning. I know that the i7 2600(k) beats out the i7 970 (my alternative) in almost every benchmark. Here is the article: http://www.videoguys.com/Blog/E/DIY+Update+Sandy+Bridge...
What is your take on the subject? Should I build a system around the i7 970?




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More about : 1st build editing

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June 28, 2011 8:40:12 PM

Overall your build does look to be compatible and powerful and I think you are going to be very happy with it for HD editing, encoding, and 3D rendering. I think that you are going to find that the Intel® Core™ i7-2600K is about the perfect processor in terms of price and performance for the video work that you are trying to do.

There really is only one thing that I would advise that you missing is that with the Intel Core i7-2600K if you are going to overclock it; then I would advise that you pick up good 3rd party HSF (heatsink/fan). The boxed Intel Core i7-2600K does come with a HSF that should be fine for running the processor on stock speeds but for overclocking you are going to want to move up to a better HSF. For the HSF a good air cooler can allow you to reach over 4GHz with some rare cases of people being able to overclock all the way up to 5GHz.

For cases there are 2 problems with open air. The first is that as an open case you don’t have good directional air flow. Directional air flow is the path that the fans blow the air in the fronts, then over the processors and finally out the back. The second issue with open case designs is that they end up having dust problems then closed cases. You just have to make sure that you keep a can of air handy to clean off any dust build up.

After reading this article I believe that there are two things that make this author not choice the 2nd generation Intel Core processors for video editing. The first is that he believes that having a build in IGP (Intergraded Graphics on Processor) will cause a number of problems with the system. The simple fact is that you can disable the IGP in the Bios or by simply adding in a dedicated video card will also disable them on the P67 chipset. In the end the IGP is a feature that is nice to have for some people and is easy to disable for those that don’t want it.

The second issue on why he doesn’t like the 2nd generation Intel Core processors (like the Intel Core i7-2600K) has to do with the limited PCI-e bandwidth. Because the PCI-e slots must share the total available bandwidth which is a limiting factor for things like SLI or Crossfire.

In the end the blogger who wrote this article lets his past experiences with on board graphics cloud his judgment on the performance that you gain by using the 2nd generation Intel Core processors. So I wouldn't questions for a second building a new video system with the Intel Core i7-2600K over the older Intel Core i7-970.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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June 28, 2011 10:01:25 PM

Thank you so much Christian. I feel much better with the 2600 now. It really didn't make much sense to me to pay more money for an older processor. I do want to overclock my CPU if possible, which is why I also listed a liquid cooling device in my wishlist. I didn't add it in my original post because I just figured it wasn't all that important. Again, thank you for your quick response!
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June 29, 2011 1:55:50 AM

There's a lot of things to consider...but the main things are:

-The more cores (& threads), the better, so i7 SB.
-The higher clock the better, so get the i7-2600K to OC
-Quicksync can make a big difference in video work (more programs will use it soon), so go with Z68 not P67
-RAM makes a difference, so at today's prices, there is no reason to go with less than 8GB (2x4GB) 1600 CL9 DDR3.
-You need a quality PSU. Go with Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or XFX only--unless you can provide a stellar review supporting another product.

So...

i7-2600K
Z68 Motherboard (AsRock Extreme 4 Z68 is a great choice)
8GB 1600CL9 DDR3.

The other parts are up to you, but I'll help out if you like.
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June 29, 2011 2:20:14 AM

Don't worry about liquid cooling. It's a pain and it'll cost you $200 bare minimum to get a useful system. Just go with good air cooling.

Sandy Bridge typically isn't limited by heat (with a decent cooler), just what speeds the motherboard and CPU can run at stably. So if you pick up a $30 Hyper 212+ (one of the best price/performance cooler there is), you won't have any problems with temps so long as your case has decent airflow and you mount the cooler correctly.

EDIT: Xigamatek's Gaia cooler is better: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 29, 2011 3:26:05 AM

Thanks for the advice. I'm going to reconfigure my setup tomorrow morning. I hadn't read about the Z68. I'll read up on that chipset tomorrow as well. Thanks again!
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June 29, 2011 4:09:27 AM

You'll want to read some reviews on Quicksync and SSD Caching.
Z68 Info: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/intel-z68-express-smart-r...
Quicksync Info: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sandy-bridge-core-i...

LGA 1155 Chipsets:

H61/H67--Integrated graphics and Quicksync capable. Cannot use either of those features with discrete (PCI-e) at the same time. Not capable of overclocking.

P67--Discrete Graphics only. Very overclocking capable.

Z68--(When a motherboard with Virtu is used) Capable of using Integrated graphics or discrete graphics with Quicksync enabled. Very overclocking capable. SSD Caching also enabled.
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June 29, 2011 12:44:24 PM

you might want to add 2 or 3 enterprise level HDDs in raid 0 as a scratch disk. and a big drive (2Tb) for storage and then maybe a small 64GB SSD as a OS/Apps boot drive. On your budget this should be doable.

I've used these in the past and they are very reliable in Raid the WD RE3 and 4 series make good Raid drives:
Western Digital RE4 WD5003ABYX 500GB $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Western Digital RE4 WD1003FBYX 1TB $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

for an SSD I would get at least a 64 GB to hold the OS and Applications or bigger if you can afford it (both are Tom's Best buys).
Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB $115
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
good choice for bigger SSD
Kingston SSDNow V+100 SVP100S2/96G $155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I also agree with dalauder that the Z68 platform would be a good way to go. Even if Quick Sync doesn't catch on there is nothing lost as the z68 and P67 are priced about the same.



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June 29, 2011 12:48:56 PM

IntelEnthusiast said:
The second issue on why he doesn’t like the 2nd generation Intel Core processors (like the Intel Core i7-2600K) has to do with the limited PCI-e bandwidth. Because the PCI-e slots must share the total available bandwidth which is a limiting factor for things like SLI or Crossfire.

In the end the blogger who wrote this article lets his past experiences with on board graphics cloud his judgment on the performance that you gain by using the 2nd generation Intel Core processors. So I wouldn't questions for a second building a new video system with the Intel Core i7-2600K over the older Intel Core i7-970.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team


+1 Really good breakdown on that article
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June 29, 2011 3:49:16 PM

jerreddredd said:
you might want to add 2 or 3 enterprise level HDDs in raid 0 as a scratch disk. and a big drive (2Tb) for storage and then maybe a small 64GB SSD as a OS/Apps boot drive. On your budget this should be doable.

I've used these in the past and they are very reliable in Raid the WD RE3 and 4 series make good Raid drives:
Western Digital RE4 WD5003ABYX 500GB $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Western Digital RE4 WD1003FBYX 1TB $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

for an SSD I would get at least a 64 GB to hold the OS and Applications or bigger if you can afford it (both are Tom's Best buys).
Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB $115
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
good choice for bigger SSD
Kingston SSDNow V+100 SVP100S2/96G $155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I also agree with dalauder that the Z68 platform would be a good way to go. Even if Quick Sync doesn't catch on there is nothing lost as the z68 and P67 are priced about the same.



Well since mechanical HDDs are probably one of the easiest and first to get upgraded, I was thinking of just getting one good drive along with a 64GB SSD as a boot drive for the OS. I'm trying to read about SSD caching with the Z68 chipset. I'm not sure what the difference would be if I just loaded my OS on the SSD and used the mechanical HDD as my storage option. Wouldn't both be fast? What's the advantage of SSD caching over using an SSD as OS drive? I know that caching disables the use of the SSD, but it only requires about a 20GB drive. I have more reading to do...

About my case in general. I'm kind of stuck on that lanboy case. The other case I was looking at was the HAF X, the HAF 932, and the Corsair Obisidian 650D.

I like the design, customizability, easy carry handles, and toolbox that the Lanboy has, but I don't know if I like the open air chassis.

I like the design and airflow of the HAF series, but I don't like that it doesn't have filters.

I like the airflow and filters of the obsidian case, but I don't much care for the design.

They are all relatively the same price when you consider shipping and rebates. I'm sure that I could go with a cheaper option, but the case is probably the one item that I'm going to keep the longest. I just want to be sure that I choose the best one. If you all have any suggestions, please let me know.

I'm going to go ahead and read more about SSD caching. I'm pretty much set with the Z68 chipset, but I'm not set on a board yet. I would like one that will allow me to use SLI in the future. I also need to read more about the features of Z68 boards. I'm lost when it comes to Lucid Virtu, 2-way Virtu, Touch BIOS, Digi+VRM, and TPU & EPU. From what I have read so far, some boards are better for video encoding. I'm just not sure which is best for my needs.

Sorry about all the questions. I really appreciate all of your input. I'm going to do some more research and try to modify my setup.
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June 29, 2011 11:17:58 PM

I don't like SSD caching. I think it's worse than a good SSD and tons worse than a RAM disk. I'd just get an SSD big enough to use for the OS and some programs, like a 64GB one. You can partition the SSD I think to allow caching on part of it. I dunno if I'd do that or not.

I'd aim a little higher on the SSD--just for an OCZ Vertex 2 or OCZ Agility 3. The cost difference is minimal, but you get 50,000 IOPS and well over 200MB/s both read and write.

Cases--sorry, that's one you have to determine based on your own preferences. They're all good, well built cases and if you happened to get a defective one it's just bad luck. I prefer cheaper cases because my computer performs the same either way. But I would've liked air filters in my current machine. That's only an issue because I have dogs in my house.

ASRock's Z68 Extreme4 is one of the best Z68 boards out there in a lot of ways. It's worth getting a worse case to get this motherboard in my opinion. $190. Here's a comparison between several Z68 boards: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asrock-z68-extreme4...

Virtu: There's a lot to it. All that matters is that it has Virtu (it'll show up on the Newegg page). Virtu (in a nutshell) means it can switch between discrete graphics and Quicksync for encoding.
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June 30, 2011 7:59:13 AM

Yeah SSD caching is not all that its cracked up to be and a waste of an SSD. I would go with a 64GB or larger SSD and put the OS and application software on it. pick one of Tom's SSD for May best buys that fits your budget.

Like dalauder said the Case is a personal choice. I like the fractal Deisign case for their airflow, filters and sound dampening. I would add a second fan to the front intake though.

Fractal Design Define R3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Fractal Design Define XL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TOM's review:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/rv02-e-lian-li-sona...




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June 30, 2011 3:01:01 PM

Okay, so I've modified my setup:

-COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case

---Again, I'm not dead set on a case right now, but its between this one and the Fractal XL. Fractal is out of stock as of right now. The only thing I don't like about the Fractal Design case is that it does not appear to have a top vent.

-ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

---I like the features of the Asus P8Z68 series, and I was going to buy the pro, however, it seems like there are issues with the PCIe lanes if I ever wanted to have a 2 card setup. I read on one of the reviews here that if you use the bottom slot it shuts off controllers or other PCIe slots. I'm hoping this MB doesn't do that. If it does, then I will go with the much cheaper Z68 from ASRock.

-EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1573-AR GeForce GTX 570 HD w/Display-Port (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP ...

---Just seemed to be best price for performance card for me.

-SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

---Too much juice? Not enough?

-Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K

---Pretty much set on this chip

-XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler bracket included I7 i5 775 1155 AMD and dual fan push pull compatible

---I think this is adequate for my needs. Is there anything better within $35-$50 range? I'd like the option to overclock, and I like the push-pull capabilities. I'm still not completely ruling out liquid cooling.

-G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9Q-16GBXL

-I feel like this should be very good for my needs. I don't plan on OCing memory, as I don't really have experience in doing so.

-Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

-Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

-TP-LINK TL-WN722N USB 2.0 High Gain Wireless Adapter


My main concern is the MB. The Asus P8Z68-V Pro lacks a PLX chip/bridge which will interfere with any peripherals if I decide to add some one later. I may later want to add a sound card with a front panel controls for media, or more likely a video capture card. Should I go with this board, or the ASRock? I like the Asus because of it's OC potential, buy maybe I could save $60 and just go with the ASRock.

So to me, this looks to be a SOLID build which should be more than capable of handling Premier, After Effects, Maya, ZBrush, etc. Might not be bad for gaming either... Opinions?
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June 30, 2011 3:35:47 PM

I'd recommend sticking with just 8GB of RAM. 16GB is huge overkill and if you ever need more in the future it's not hard to order up 8GB more if for whatever reason.
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June 30, 2011 5:01:29 PM

Jmassault said:
I'd recommend sticking with just 8GB of RAM. 16GB is huge overkill and if you ever need more in the future it's not hard to order up 8GB more if for whatever reason.


Possibly. But the price difference is negligible. I don't mind paying $80 to max (sort of) my RAM. I don't want to have to upgrade for awhile. As you can see (My pentium 4) I usually just upgrade to the point where my computer can no longer handle current software. Since I'm so much a gamer, my productivity never really suffered until CS4 came out. It's made it WAY to difficult to work with. CS5 is literally unusable on my PC (32-bit). I usually skip at least 1 version to save money, but as of now, I'm stuck with CS3, which is not TOO bad. I just really want to branch out into 3D modeling/animation while sticking with my standard editing.

Time is money to me. I can't be stuck waiting for rendering for too long. Also money is money...lol, which is why I am not buying a Quadro card.

Anyone have any information on Asus vs ASRock board for my purposes? I'm leaning back toward ASRock now...
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June 30, 2011 8:52:41 PM

bluewavesix said:
Possibly. But the price difference is negligible. I don't mind paying $80 to max (sort of) my RAM. I don't want to have to upgrade for awhile. As you can see (My pentium 4) I usually just upgrade to the point where my computer can no longer handle current software. Since I'm so much a gamer, my productivity never really suffered until CS4 came out. It's made it WAY to difficult to work with. CS5 is literally unusable on my PC (32-bit). I usually skip at least 1 version to save money, but as of now, I'm stuck with CS3, which is not TOO bad. I just really want to branch out into 3D modeling/animation while sticking with my standard editing.

Time is money to me. I can't be stuck waiting for rendering for too long. Also money is money...lol, which is why I am not buying a Quadro card.

Anyone have any information on Asus vs ASRock board for my purposes? I'm leaning back toward ASRock now...

the Define XL has a 180 mm top fan. its quiet and moves a lot of air. it sits at an angle and exhausts out the top rear of the case.

go for the 16GB of Ram, it's cheap right now and you apps will probably make use of it, if not now, eventually.

I wouldn't hesitate to go with the ASRock MB. Tom's would seem to agree:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asrock-z68-extreme4...
Quote:
The real reason why we can’t hand the win to the P8Z68-V Pro is its compromised expansion card slots. Using the bottom slot at x4 results in two x1 slots and two onboard controllers being disabled. In other words, the bottom graphics card slot turns out to be more gimmick than feature, and may cause system builders to feel like they’ve been duped. That type of tomfoolery might be acceptable in lower-priced segments, but this is a $210 board!

For $10 less, ASRock adds a PCIe bridge to its Z68 Extreme4. Anyone who really wants a x4 slot should view this as mandatory. So, ASRock wins our Recommended Buy award.
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June 30, 2011 11:55:57 PM

I have yet to see a reason to go with another Z68 mobo over the ASRock Extreme4 other than wanted to only spend $130 on the mobo (in which case there's a decent Gigabyte ATX board).

EDITS:
-Remember that the CPU is cheaper on Amazon than Newegg and has no taxes.

-8GB of RAM is fine. You can upgrade later for cheaper than you can buy today IF you need it.

-I'd go with a Vertex 3 on the SSD...unless that Crucial has better IOPS and MB/s than I thought.

-HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB. Unless you know something I don't, there's no reason to drop the dough on WD's name. (If you do know something I don't, please share).

-I don't know how much that wireless card costs. But don't spend more than $30 because I doubt you'll notice (or even benchmark) a difference.

-That build will be great at gaming. So long as you're at 1900x1200 or lower resolutions the GTX 570 is awesome.

-750W Seasonic PSU. Seasonic is great and you'll want 750W if you plan to SLI. But if you plan to SLI, you may as well go with Radeon since the 6970 costs the same as the GTX 570 but has better performance when you link two cards together. Also, Radeons do better quality video transcoding/encoding (one of those _codings, I don't recall, but it is a benchmark based fact). You choice may depend on specific software though. If you're not planning on SLI/CF, then a 750W PSU is heavy overkill. You could do fine with a 500W PSU from a good brand, although I'd feel more comfortable with 550W.
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July 11, 2011 2:33:30 PM

Best answer selected by bluewavesix.
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