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Would like advice on a Video Editing Build

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August 17, 2011 12:11:23 PM

Hello all. I just got back from Afghanistan and would like to treat myself to a computer that's a joy to use, considering how much time I spend on this thing. I assume that doing a home build is still cheaper than having Dell build me one right?


PC discussion is very gamer oriented these days so it's hard for me to know how I should tailor things for video editing and for speed loading large image files in Photoshop and Lightroom. I'm using a Vaio Laptop right now and can't stand the several second delay I have between photos. I want instant gratification damn it! It's irritating and just really slows down my work flow.




Budget: $2000ish. Don't mind spending up to $3000 (excluding the monitors) if it will make a huge difference

Use: Adobe Premiere and Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom will be the main programs I use. I'm not a big gamer (I use my PS3/XBox for that...)

Monitors: I plan on using dual monitors - maybe 24-27 inches. Any advice on monitors good for semi-pro photography would be great.

Processor/mobo: I don't need bleeding edge. Sweet spot would be nice keeping in mind my needs, but I don't mind spending 100-200 more dollars on this if it'll make a big difference. I've never overclocked before, so recommending a CPU that is more newbie friendly would be helpful as well.

Graphics Card: I know that some graphics cards play nicer with Premiere than others do so if anyone knows the best graphics cards to get for this purpose, I'd appreciate all advice. Will it help to stack cards for my purposes?

RAM: The more the better for video editing right? At what point do I reach diminishing returns? How important is RAM speed vs RAM amount cost wise? Of note - my video camera is the Panasonic HDC-HS700 which has been known to slow down even the beastliest of systems (I think because it shoots 1080 at 60P).

Storage: I'd like to have 2 TB at least. I've never used RAID but I'd be willing to give it a try. I have many 1 TB external HDs that are already filled up. And when I get the new Nikon D800 (which will likely have 24 megapixels) the space requirements will just continue to increase. Any thoughts on using online storage systems instead, or in addition?

SSD: Seems a good idea to run CS5 and Premiere off of an SSD no?

Windows 7: Do I need Professional or Ultimate or is Home sufficient?

Case: I don't mind having a huge case, and I can't stand it if I don't have access to USB ports, card readers, etc. from the top of the case.

USB 3.0: Probably a good idea given all the HD space I plan to have and the likely need to offload/backup in the future.

Cooling: Will liquid cooling make much of a difference for my purposes? Are there nearly comparable air cooling alternatives?

Optical: A fast Blue Ray burner would be nice.


Many thanks!
August 17, 2011 12:55:25 PM

High quality case with excellent airflow, lot of space, great cable management and one front USB 3.0

Fractal Design Arc Midi Black High Performance PC Computer Case w/ USB 3.0 and 3 x Fractal High Performance 140mm fans
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

80+ Bronze PSU, created by Seasonic with more than enough watt for the system

XFX Core Edition PRO550W (P1-550S-XXB9) 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For CPU best choice for video editing for now is 990X but the difference between him and 2600K is very small plus Z68 chipset is better, cheaper and as it seems it will support Ivy Bridge so 2600K is the way!

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You will need a lot of RAM. Differences between 1333MHz and 1600MHz are showed only at benchmarks and not in real use. 16GB seems fine for now!

2 x Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model 996770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For motherboard, we will go with a Z68 one from Gigabyte! SSD caching is no need as you have a large SSD but the option to change between on-board(CPU Graphics) and external GPU is great and energy saving!

GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I checked Premiere requirements, and in order to use GPU Acceleration features you 'll need a Quadro card! The best I found perfomance/$ ratio is the next one!

PNY VCQ2000D-PB Quadro 2000D 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Workstation Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Raid isn't so important If you ask me, so just get a 2TB Caviar Black is the best choice!

Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A fast Blue Ray burner as you asked

LITE-ON Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA 12X Blu-ray Burner with Blu-ray 3D feature IHBS112-29 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And for SSD I choosed a fast one from Crucial..Seems the most reliable brand now!

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



For monitors, get 2 Dell Ultrasharp U2311H as IPS-Panel is ideal for your work! Can't find them on Newegg though!



1738$ without MIR for everything except monitors!

August 17, 2011 3:26:41 PM

Wow michxymi, thank you so much for being SO generous with your time! This looks like an awesome build and all for less than $2000...I really appreciate it!

I think with the extra cash I will buy an additional 2 TB hard drive.

I think I might also change the case to the Azza Solano: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... It's not that much more and has a little more sex appeal in my opinion :-). It looks like everything should still fit as well, no?

Will also likely get this card reader: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And this adapter: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'll probably wait for a day or so to see if anyone else chimes in with any additional helpful suggestions but this build seems pretty solid - especially for the price.

Oh I almost forgot - what about the cooling? Should I overclock? Should I get a liquid cooling system? If not is there an air cooling system I should get or additional fans? What about little stuff that I might not think of - thermal paste to seat the CPU to the heatsink for example...the last time I built a system was in 2001 - one of the first Pentium 4s...:-)...so I'm a little rusty at this.

And finally - any comment on what windows version is best? What do Professional or Ultimate offer that Home doesn't?

Thanks again!
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August 17, 2011 5:18:52 PM

nice build, but for video editing you will want a completely separate raid 0 array or single hard drive to use as the scratch disk. so for hard drives I would have a SSD for the OS and applications, 1 or 2 large hard drives for data, and 2-500gb in raid 0 for the scratch disk (which can also be used for photoshop). 500gb because hd video takes up quite a bit of space.
August 17, 2011 5:22:30 PM

Case is up to you of course, but with this budget you can get a high quality one from a major brand like Fractal, Corsair, Lian-Li. Now as for the overclock. 2600K is all about overclock :pt1cable:  You don't need a water cooling, there are a lot of nice air cooling options out there. For me this is a very good cooling option:

Scythe SCMG-3000 120mm Heat Pipe CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You don't need to spend money for Windows 7 Ultimate or Bussiness. They aren't offering anything special, or something that you can't find for free.
August 17, 2011 5:42:20 PM

Great! That CPU cooler looks nice - good reviews. And I'm glad I don't have to futz around with water cooling.

OK so if I go with the RAID array option for use as a scratch disc, are there any prepackaged drives you can recommend? Or do I just need to buy 2 500 GB drives and work out the RAID configuration myself? Do I need a controller card for that or is software mediated RAID good enough these days? If I got an external RAID drive with USB 3.0 would there be a bottleneck with the USB connection or is USB 3.0 faster than SATA? Alternatively, how would a single 10,000 RPM hard drive compare to two drives configured in RAID 0? Anyone think that RAID 0 is too risky...I know there will be times when I'll get lazy and forget to make a backup and RAID 0 seems like playing with fire sort of since failure of either drive means you're screwed.
August 17, 2011 5:53:01 PM

You don't need a seperate raid controller! Get 2 Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB and raid 0 them!
!