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What's a Good Desktop for HD Video Editing These Days?

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June 29, 2011 5:15:52 PM

I'm getting into doing some HD video editing/processing that my current i5 laptop can't handle. I've got an HP 8540W [hp.com] with i5 540 that 1 hour into the recording overheated and crashed, so...

I'm going to build a desktop - but I have no idea what current hardware is best suited for the job:

Here are some of my assumptions/needs:
CPU will prob be some varient of i7, or maybe Xeon, or maybe it should be dual Xeon, idk what about AMD do they have something better for the price maybe?

Will probably have an SSD (128 MB) running the OS and important software while having a 2TB drive for storage (maybe another 2TB for RAID?)

Should I consider some kind of RAID configuration for the 2nd drive? Does that get me anything?

Graphics Card - I don't care about games, just video editing, I might do some Adobe After Effects stuff but no intensive cgi. What cards are best geared for such needs?

I'd like to build this soon, price-wise something in the range of $1200 to $2500, what does that buy me?

What's the best setup for something like this. I don't want to end up with something underpowered or geared more for gaming that video processing. At the same time I don't want something with more cores than are actually going to be in use ever, and I'm trying to keep things below $2500.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 29, 2011 5:30:17 PM

hi there, welcome to the forums.

First off, I need a bit more info. You gave alot of it, but please just humor me and fill out this form: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic... It will let us help you more efficiently.

The next question: How serious are you? $1200 is a LOT of money, especially if this is a hobby. If it's your livelyhood, things are different.

Do you plan to game? Nowadays, gaming and video editing go almost hand in hand as far as requirements. If we build you a render rig, you're gonna be able to run the latest and greatest games with ease.

I would not go RAID 0 in your case. It's faster for sure, but also doubles the chance of HD failure since you have 2 drives and either one can fail. RAID 1 would be a safe and effective backup choice.

What are you recording? Do you have some sort of special software?

Also keep in mind that a 128GB SSD is pretty expensive (~$220). I would get a 60GB for now, and expand when they get cheaper. That's me though.

I look forward to working with you. This should give you something to think about!
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June 29, 2011 6:10:36 PM

Alright. Thanks striker.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week, next week.

Budget Range: $800 - $1200, $1200 - $2500. I'm willing to go up to the low-end of a Mac Pro's prices if needed.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: HD Video editing, processing, acquisition, eventually for production quality video.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, desk, lamp shade, cell phone, auxillary tablet that doesn't really serve a purpose...

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, frys, amazon

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Doesn't really matter, whatever's best for price, perf, reliability

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: i don't know, Maybe (would it be of any benefit)

Monitor Resolution:1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200

Additional Comments: Will be displaying 3 monitors

Quote:
The next question: How serious are you? $1200 is a LOT of money, especially if this is a hobby. If it's your livelyhood, things are different.

Do you plan to game? Nowadays, gaming and video editing go almost hand in hand as far as requirements. If we build you a render rig, you're gonna be able to run the latest and greatest games with ease.


It's more like livelyhood, there's financial profit involved and it's for business (my own production company) purposes.

No gaming, not on this, I've got other computers/xbox360 for that stuff, this is for work.

Quote:
What are you recording? Do you have some sort of special software?


Recording HD quality training courses, documentaries, interviews, advertising materials, etc

Software - haven't really gotten into any heavy editing or post-processing just yet but I suspect I'll eventually buy Avid Media Composer or Adobe Premiere and/or Adobe After Effects as the business progresses. I'll also have Adobe CS5.5 on there as well most likely.

Quote:
Also keep in mind that a 128GB SSD is pretty expensive (~$220). I would get a 60GB for now, and expand when they get cheaper. That's me though.


While it is expensive, I'd like to run the OS Win7 x64 and all the processing/editing software (Avid, Adobe AE, CS5.5, etc) and have the video saved directly on there during live acquisition. My setup is such that I'd like to have an HD camera outputting directly to my machine and saving on it. I'd also like to run live video sessions with it so I don't want there to be any slowdown or sync issues at least on the camera to harddrive end of things.

For pre-recorded and processed video I'd like to save the video on the SSD, then process it there and later transfer it to 2 TB secondary drive when the bulk of the work is done.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2011 1:50:40 AM

Sorry for the late reply, I've been busy.

Hmm, so you have 3 monitors but want to use CS5.5.... That's gonna mean GTX 570 SLI most likely.

The i7-2600k is the processor for you, no doubt about it.

Here's what I'm thinking.

i7-2600k $320
Gigabyte Z68X $170
GTX 570 SLI $330 each (MASSIVE firepower for projects, 2 cards are needed for the 3 screens)
OCZ Agility 3 120GB SSD $220
80+ rated 850-1000w Modular PSU ~$200
2-4 2TB 5400 HDD's (RAID 1 for backing up data/video) ~$120-250
2 1TB HDD's for HD video stream $120
silent and sexy case $150
DVD or Bluray drive, depending on OP's preference.
That means our estimate is $2100. That would be unacceptable, but this is a top notch render rig. We could shave off quite a bit, but I want the 3 monitors and the Mercury Playback Engine features. Nvidia has Mercury, ATI has triple monitors. A tough compromise.

Let me know what you think of my rough draft!
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2011 2:18:51 AM

You can go with:
CPU: AMD Phenom II x6 1100T $180
MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5 $190
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL $70
PSU: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RSA00-80GAD3-US $200
HDD: 3x HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723015BLA642 $195 (Movies take up a lot of space/ just in case)
SSD:Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1 $235
Graphics: AMD RADEON HD 6950 x2 (CrossFire) $470
Case: Any under $100
DVD-ROM x2: $40
Total: $1680
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2011 2:37:37 AM

Good build, but a few problems.
-the X6 is not a good buy. The comparable i5-2500 simply smokes it speed wise, even in apps that can use 6 threads.
-Coolermaster makes OK power supplies, but we can't have OK in this type of build.
-Hitachi Doesn't make the best drives. Better off with a Seagate, WD, or Samsung.
-An Agility 3 smokes a C300 in speeds
-2 6950's are an excellent option. However they do not have the capability for the Mercury Playback Engine in CS5. Also MANY apps like Nvidia over ATI for some reason.

Other than that, excellent build.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2011 2:43:28 AM

I did a cheaper version for him to see and the Hitachi has good reviews. Also, I'm not sure but I thought video editing required a lot or Cores? So the 6 core would of beaten the 4 core if it required more threads running at once
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2011 2:47:20 AM

Not necessarily. If this makes sense, the i7-2600k has 4 (8 with HT) cores, and they are better cores. Here's what I'm talking about: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/287?vs=203 (pay attention to higher/lower is better)
As you can see, it's not a fair fight. Most of these apps do not yet support HT, meaning that the performance could easily jump another 85% or so in the future when they do.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2011 2:54:15 AM

Well, you or someone else convinced me a while back that Intel was better for gaming. I just put another option out there that was cheaper. Now Hello must decide if he wants to spend more money on the Intel system or less money on the AMD system or ask us to build an even cheaper system
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July 1, 2011 2:25:41 PM

Hey guys, thanks for your efforts! I wasn't sure I'd hear back so I searched around and spec'd this:


Core i7 2600K LGA 1155 Boxed Processor - $290
ASRock Z68 Extreme4 - $200
"G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)" - $75
"EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB " - $275
Antec One Hundred Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $65
Thermaltake Black Widow W0319RU 850W ATX - $130
ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED 120mm 2 Ball Low-noise Blue LED CPU Cooler - $65
OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $250
Deskstar 5K3000 1.5TB SATA 6Gb/s 3.5" Desktop Internal Hard Drive - OEM - $70

total - $1420

How does that system look? The draw-back I see is the inability to support 3 monitors with that single card, but I really like the price.
Do you guys think you can spec something close to this machine in price while still keeping it optimized for its intended use?
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July 1, 2011 2:37:08 PM

Considering that the 1 NVidia card won't support 3 monitors, and an SLI setup gets too pricey for me, am I better off just going with 1 Radeon HD 6950 card? What's the difference in performance between the GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB and the Radeon HD 6950?

Thinking about this:

HIS IceQ X Turbo H695QNT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 - $275

-Aah! Never mind, you mention the difference above in that Mercury Playback Engine isn't supported...

Really, then it's as you say:

"We could shave off quite a bit, but I want the 3 monitors and the Mercury Playback Engine features. Nvidia has Mercury, ATI has triple monitors. A tough compromise."

Ok... got to think how valuable it is to me to have a 3 monitor vs 2 monitor setup...
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2011 2:53:55 PM

That is an excellent start. Well undercuts my machine :p 

Keep the mobo and CPU. Excellent choice.
Ram is good, has room for 16GB if you need
Ahh, the GPU. You are gonna want a GTX 570 or higher for the Mercury Playback Engine in CS5.5. It has specialized features not available to other cards. However if you feel comfortable with a little light software modification, we can get your 3 screens and Mercury for cheaper.

Case is not what I would pick, not really a silent case. Up to you though.

DONT GET THAT PSU! The TR2 series has reliability issues. Look for an 850w from Corsair, Antec, XFX, Seasonic, Silverstone, or FSP.

Same with CPU fan. Not silent at all.

For the HDD, I would suggest getting a few 2TB STORAGE drives for RAID 1, so that you don't have Any chance of losing your work. I would also get at least 1 FAST (7200RPM) 1TB drive to stream the media onto.

And while the 6950 is excellent, it does not have the Mercury features available in CS5.5, and may not be optimized for your other software. CUDA is more widely used in rendering/editing, while ATI is a gaming champ right now.
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