New Build - Video Editor

Here’s my story. After working for more than 30 years as a carpenter, several years ago I decided I needed a change and went back to school to learn Video Editing. The school I went to has more than 80 workstations (all 8-core Mac Pro’s) and as long as it doesn’t interfere with classes, they let me use their facilities whenever I want. I prefer to work with Avid, but I can also use Final Cut.

But recently a friend of mine gave me an Avid Media Composer V3.0 new in the box. So it’s time I put together my own workstation. To get the computer I want at a price I can afford, I’ve decided to do my own build.

I figure if I can satisfy Avid’s minimum requirements, then CS4, Toon Boom and others should be okay too. Here are the Avid minimums from their website:

# Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz processor or faster
# Memory: 4 GB of RAM (6 GB of RAM recommended for Windows 7 and Windows Vista)
# Graphics Card: NVIDIA Quadro FX family3 (FX 560 or higher)
# Internal Hard Drive: Minimum 80 GB 7200 rpm hard disk

Being the minimums, I’d like to beat them wherever I can. I have a budget (before software) of $1200. After I’ve bought mouse, keyboard, and a used Wacom Intuos pad, I’m left with about $900.

Approximate Purchase Date: Before the end of August 2011

Budget Range: Under $900, anything less would be greatly appreciated and used for needed software.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Video editing, cartoon animation, storyboarding, the usual stuff. (I’m not a gamer - games freak me out, like hyperventilating into a paper bag before I even finish the training level.).

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, Wacom Intuous pad.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: But a local brick-and-mortar outfit - Fry’s - is guaranteeing to beat any internet price on any part. And no shipping. Sales tax is extra of course (8.5% in CA) but dealing with a human being (even a greasy sales-type) has its perks.

Country of Origin: USA

Parts and OS Preferences: Avid only works with Intel CPU’s and NVidia GPU’s. Avid MC3 only runs on XP pro, not Windows 7. Someday I’ll upgrade, probably when Avid releases MC6, and then I’ll need a 64 bit OS as well as some new parts.

Here are the choices I’ve come up with so far. I’m not sure if these parts are totally compatible with each other.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52400 $194.99

Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBXL $30.99 newegg

Mobo: ASRock P67 PRO3 SE LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $84.99 (Open Box) newegg

GPU: PNY VCQFX580-PCIE-PB Quadro FX 580 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Workstation Video Card $154.99 newegg

Optical Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM $20.99 newegg

Boot Drive: Kingston SSDNow V100 Series SV100S2/64GZ 2.5" 64GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $99.99 newegg

Media Storage: HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723015BLA642 (0F12114) 1.5TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $64.99 newegg

Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $54.99 newegg

Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $59.95 newegg

Monitor: Suggestions?

Monitor Resolution: 1920 by 1080 hopefully, but 1600 by 900 is probably the best I can hope for. Either that or two used 17” monitors.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Additional Comments: The on-board sound on the mobo will probably be fine. I would like to have dual monitor capability (two plug-ins).

Mail-in Rebates? Yes
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about build video editor
  1. ^ Some suggestions,...
    Buying from newegg or from frys is upto you,...
    As for the parts -

    Graphics - Get the newer and better one - It is cheaper
    Quadro 600 1GB

    CPU - Get the i5 2500 Or am sure you can find some combo deals at frys with mobo,...

    RAM - Get 8GB RAM - They are pretty cheap these days,.... also recommended for Win 7 is 6GB,...

    PSU - IMO even the Antec 430/ 380W would suffice.... But 500W is fine,..

    CASE -

    SSD - Get the newer faster ones,...

  2. If you live near Microcenter, things will be considerably cheaper as you can purchase Sandy Bridge for at least $40-$50 less.

    Graphic Card:
    PNY VCQ600-PB Quadro 600 $170

    PNY VCQFX580-PCIE-PB Quadro FX 580 $180 [$8 shipping]

    600 has more CUDA cores
    FX 580 uses GDDR3 compared to 600's DDR3
    [GDDR3 will probably not strain the card and achieve slightly higher performance]
    600 is DirectX11 and have a FSAA (max) of 64x
    FX 580 is Directx 10 with 16x for FSAA
    600 mentions support for 3D while FX580 does not

    G.SKILL Value Series 8GBF3-10600CL9D-8GBNT $50

    Sandy Bridge works better with 1600MHz. You will notice a performance drop when you reach 1333. G.SKILL has quality RAM and their customer service is very helpful.

    Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB $120

    Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ $60

    I use the Antec 300 myself. I like how simple and compact it looks.
  3. Best answer
    I' have built video editing work stations for video editing enthusiasts and when they arrive with their parts list, most have pretty definitive opinions on what they want and, for the most part it's driven by advice from their app vendor. Minimum system requirements usually leaves people abit "wanting" ince they try and accomplish what they want to do with it.

    Given the preceding, and not knowing the app well, I'd hazard a guess that your proposed build list may be a bit "light". Many video peeps still want 1366 based platforms for triple channel memory access and most are using processors just 1 notch, maybe two, below the top of the line. 8GB is the minimum RAM usually considered with most going 16 GB and some higher. I have not built one video editing workstation yet where hyperthreading (HT) wasn't a stated requirement. Storage usually involves Seagate XT Hard Drives and the latest / fastest SSD's, often in RAID.

    Here's an alternate system w/ a 2600k (Hyperthreading significantly benefits video editing) with a $77 combo discount with comparable quality components.

    Starting a 2nd career, undoubtedly you have a tight budget so some sacrifices are necessary. Saving money now can have drastic impacts on your working efficiency ..... it's hard to compete when it takes you twice as long to accomplish something as the next guy. In the end, only you can decide where to go all out, where to compromise and where to skimp.


    GFX - This is app dependent but many users prefer to buy the generally less expensive GTX rather than Quadro cards and unlock CUDA for CS4 / CS5. The 512 MB cards are going to be very slow in video editing. I have never installed a Quadro card that cost less then $450. And, I think you want to plan such that you have room for future that I mean possibility of adding a 2nd card in SLI, adequate PSU size and case cooling.

    You can see how to do the unlocking thing here:

    CPU - Most video editing peeps want Hyperthreading and the best at that is the 2600k. At the very least for $30 more, I'd get the 2500k even though it has no HT.

    MoBo - ASrock doesn't offer industry standard 3 year warantees. This would bother me. Again I'd opt for a SLI capable board "just in case" you find the speed crimp to much to bear. I'd suggest the Asus P8P67 Pro or ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z LGA

    With the P8P67, you can save $30 buying the combos

    P8P67 Pro w/ 2600k $465

    P8P67 Pro w/ 2500k $370

    RAM - 4 GB is very light for video editing, $19 more gets ya 8 GB and its faster at DDR3-1600

    SSD has speeds that are less than half of current generation units

    HD - Peeps who do video editing seem to love these drives:

    Case = The Antec 300 Illusion is the upgrade to the standard 300 and it's $10 cheaper than the standard model after $10 MIR

    PSU - I'd definitely upgrade to the XFX Core Edition if ya gonna go with 1 GFX card, get 50 extra watts, a better quality PSU and save $5 to boot. .....

    Planning forward so that adding a 2nd card doesn't mean buying a new PSU, would mean a 750 watter and that will cost ya $90.

    Monitor .... 23" is ideal for a 1920 x 1080 res.
  4. Best answer selected by Pel2na.
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