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Looking for feedback - New build based around BF3, and Adobe CS5

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September 13, 2011 6:26:59 PM

Hi everyone,

This would be the second build I've ever done. The first one I completed back in '08 and it went without a flaw so I know for a fact I won't have trouble once I get going. BUT I've been "out of the game" for the past year and a half so I'm trying to catch up, refresh, and get a new rig set up to order, while revisiting build tutorials :) 


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Approximate Purchase Date: October 1, 2011


Budget Range: $1,000 - $1,400 (max)


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, designing (adobe cs5), media (movies, and music production)


Parts Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, speakers, OS, mouse


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com


Country of Origin: United States


Parts Preferences: Preferably Intel for CPU


Overclocking: Maybe


SLI or Crossfire: No


Monitor Resolution: 1440x900 and higher


What I'm currently looking at:

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: XFX HD-697A-CNFC Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: 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...

SSD / HDD: OCZ Solid 3 SLD3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC / SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-900 900W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE: Antec DF-85 Black ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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Still in need of an Opt drive. I'm looking to read and write CDs and DVDs...don't care for Blu Ray. Suggestions on one is appreciated.

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Trying my best to get the biggest bang for my buck...so any input or feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you all who are having a look.

Dante
September 13, 2011 7:20:04 PM

If you really have cs5 as a priority you really want a Nvidia card to exploit the CUDA acceleration it brings to the table.

I actually am an AMD fan, but for productivity Nvidia still has trumps.
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September 13, 2011 7:27:01 PM

Well, for starters, unless you plan on running CrossFire later on, 900W PSU is overkill. You can probably buy a 550W or 600W supply and be perfectly fine. Newegg's PSU calculator generally agrees with me (it suggests 580W). If you plan on overclocking then you'll want a bit of headroom (but not 300-350W) and you'd have to buy a CPU cooler.

A Radeon 6970 seems a bit overkill to me based on 1440x900 resolution. If you plan on upgrading to 1920x1080 then it would make sense. You could also get a 6950 and take the $100 saved to buy a new monitor instead and still have great performance. Also, a graphics card doesn't really matter for video editing any more due to both Quick Sync and how fast CPUs are getting. You get better quality with an x86 transcoding and faster transcoding with Quick Sync, which is built into the i5 and i7.

Finally, don't know if you really need the i7-2600k, but this really depends on your intentions for the build. In terms of gaming the i5-2500k is equivalent, for video trans-coding the i7 is only slightly faster and may or may not be worth the extra $100. If you disable your graphics card and use the built in Quick Sync you can trans-code extremely fast with only a minor loss in quality, and both CPUs are equal for Quick Sync. You could take the $100, buy a CPU cooler and overclock the i5 and get better performance than the stock i7. If you aren't going to overclock, then you can get a non-k chip and take the $ and put it toward a better monitor.
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September 13, 2011 7:32:32 PM

americanbrian said:
If you really have cs5 as a priority you really want a Nvidia card to exploit the CUDA acceleration it brings to the table.

I actually am an AMD fan, but for productivity Nvidia still has trumps.


Quick Sync is faster and better quality than Nvidia's CUDA. I was looking at stills comparing them the other day and the CUDA just looks bad. I quickly noticed the difference between the CUDA stills and the others. I had a much harder time distinguishing the Quick Sync from the x86 codepath transcoding. CUDA might have been acceptable in the past, but compared to the Quick Sync pictures I've seen I wouldn't suggest it to anyone.

I haven't tried Quick Sync myself, but I'll be trying it in my next build which should happen sometime around the January.

EDIT: link to review if interested - http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...

EDIT 2: one thing I forgot is that CS5 doesn't officially support Quick Sync. This may make CUDA the better option.
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September 13, 2011 7:57:07 PM

@americanbrian
Yeah I mean CS5 is a priority to me, but not so much as gaming. It would just be for my freelance work outside of my actual studio. I'm currently running CS5 no problem on my home system and it's specs are only...intel wolf core 2 duo, hd 4850, 4gb ram. So if I'm happy with the way it already even runs on this system, I can't imagine an Nvidia utterly "wowing" me, but I'll take a look into it.

@nordlead
Last build I did I told myself I'd eventually run it. Then I never did haha. This build I find myself saying the same thing, but my gut is telling me again I actually probably never will end up doing it, before building again in 3 years or so. Then again my last build wasn't extremely future proof..I'd have had to max a few other things in order to cross them on my current build and I was just ignorant to that fact when I did it. So...I'd say honestly, maybe but probably not :/  I currently run a 600w in this machine and it's fine but I definitely want some buffer, so maybe an 800w or so?

I do indeed plan on going bigger. I just purchased a 24" Asus. I plan on purchasing another as well. I have, though, read that the 6950s are essentially comparable in gaming, so I'm a bit torn I suppose. Again I'm more worried about one being more future proof than the other in terms of gaming. Would one more likely run a maxed out game 2-3 years from now than the other..? Again as far as video editing, it's not so much as rendering out, but more graphic based designing, and audio production. Only basic video editing. I know for a fact either of the two would take care of my design needs just fine.

You're the third person or so to mention the 2500k being just a good a choice for gaming to me. So I'm beginning to believe it. I usually however do not overclock, though I've heard it's gotten extremely simple to do. I'm thinking maybe an i7-2600 (non k) might be a better choice?



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September 13, 2011 9:32:11 PM

@nordlead, you were obviously thinking about CUDA accelerated transcoding.... I refer to the inbuilt CUDA optimisations that can literally quadruple the speed of certain functions in CS5, as noted in this toms article:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/adobe-cs5-cuda-64-b...

Dante sly, I don't think you will be too put out by changing from 6970 to a GTX 570 from a budget/performance POV. But you would gain utility of the various CUDA optimisations...

Just my opinion.
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September 13, 2011 10:05:29 PM

americanbrian said:
@nordlead, you were obviously thinking about CUDA accelerated transcoding.... I refer to the inbuilt CUDA optimisations that can literally quadruple the speed of certain functions in CS5, as noted in this toms article:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/adobe-cs5-cuda-64-b...

Dante sly, I don't think you will be too put out by changing from 6970 to a GTX 570 from a budget/performance POV. But you would gain utility of the various CUDA optimisations...

Just my opinion.


Thanks for the link. I didn't realize there was a difference. I got into home video editing last year with my 5-year old rig that I was planning on upgrading soon.
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September 14, 2011 9:10:00 AM

Yeah, I dabbled a bit doing that for loading vids to my mobile phone. I don't think its CUDA itself that causes these artifacts... I believe its more about how its implemented, they need to break operations down into several threads and then stitch them back together. I think its the stitching them back together that causes the image quality issues.

There is an increasing amount of specialist CUDA developments however that have been implemented very well. CS5 is one of them.

For me as well the video transcoding was OK, because I was watching on a very small screen on my mobile. But I wouldn't use it for HD stuff at all (despite this being where it could be most useful with such large files)
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September 14, 2011 9:17:10 AM

Just to throw in - 650w is the general recommendation for 6970/GTX 570. Leaves a nice bit of headroom after overclocking ect.

Other than the Question Mark over the GPU, the rest of the build looks really good. I've been hearing some mixed reviews about the reliability of the OCZ SSD's, Intel SSD and Crucial's M4 has been the latest recommendations.
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September 14, 2011 1:32:23 PM

Cool.

As of current:

1. Swap in a 750-850w PSU
2. Potentially swap down to i5-2500K or i7-2600 - will be based around price
3. Potentially swap in 6950 for the 70 as they're essentially comparable gaming wise.

...
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September 14, 2011 1:36:17 PM

What's the better option might you think, if you have to pick to either swap in the 2500 for the 2600, or swap in the 6950 for the 6970 (as in if i could only do one of those changes)?
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Best solution

September 14, 2011 1:38:25 PM

If a heavy user of video editing and what not - 2600

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November 12, 2011 5:32:08 AM

Best answer selected by Proximon.
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November 12, 2011 5:32:13 AM

This topic has been closed by Proximon
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