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HD Video Editing and Gaming - Recommendations

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September 28, 2011 4:39:25 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: I would like to purchase and build this computer before Battlefield 3 releases on October 26th.

Budget Range: $1600 to $1900 Maximum

System Usage from Most to Least Important: HD Video Editing (specifically HDSLR footage, H.264 with gaming a close second.)

Parts Not Required: (e.g.: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, but I'd consider other sites if the price is right

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel Processor, Nvidia Cards to use Cuda with Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 and beyond

Overclocking: Maybe once the system is older and I am trying to squeeze more life out of it.

SLI or Crossfire: Probably SLI, but I usually prefer a singular GFX card, especially with microstuttering being a potential problem

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 OR 1920x1200 (I might be replacing my monitor at a later date)

Additional Comments: Please critique my parts selection and offer suggestions to keep the cost of the system reasonable. I don't want to overpay for technology, but I do plan on keeping the system for at least 3-4 years. My current system is still running great after 4+ years with only minor upgrades. If I can edit HD video smoothly and play the latest games at 1920x1200 at high, but not ultra-high settings, I will be quite happy.

P.S. Modular powersupply, worth the cost? Also, I was reading a review of the powersupply I listed, and someone said it won't be able to do SLI because the motherboard uses one of the power connector spots. I probably need to pick a different one--preferably Antec.

P.P.S I was thinking I could get a cheaper graphics card for the moment, something around 200 dollars and then splurge on a more expensive card once Nvidia releases their next lineup.

Processor: Intel Core i7 2600k http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: P8Z68V Pro http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: Hyper 212+ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: 4 x 4GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: I was thinking a 570 because it doesn't have microstutter issues if I do end up throwing in a second one down the road. Then again, I might rather get a cheaper card for the time being like a GTX 560 TI and then replace it completely with a new card once Nvidia does another refresh on their line.

120 GB SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OR

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

1TB HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(I will probably be adding more of these, 2 more possibly, so please figure that in.)

Power Supply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drives (TWO): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Windows 7 Professional OEM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thank you in advance to everyone for their opinion--I know it will help me build just what I need!
a b B Homebuilt system
September 28, 2011 8:02:49 AM

Solid build from what I can see.

A few comments:
1) Id consider swapping out that ASUS motherboard for a GEN3 motherboard (ASRock Extreme4 GEN3 is a very similar price, SLI ready with all the bells and whistles the ASUS board has to offer, along with PCI 3.0 support as well).

2) RAM - Im not sure if you will see the benefits of paying more for 1866MHz RAM. Generally 1600MHz CL9 is considered the best value for money, with performance differences only noticeable in synthetic benchmarks. (This may be different in rendering and editing, but for gaming, the difference is nil).

3) Good choice on the HDD's. You'll probably get some recommendations for SpinPoint F3's, which I would usually recommend myself, but since it seems you will be running a few of these, possibly a RAID array? I dont think you can beat the reliability of Caviar Blacks.

4) SSD - Constantly hearing good things about Crucial M4 - id like to grab one of these myself!

5) PSU - SeaSonic is a very very good choice. 750w is the recommended for SLI 560Ti's - SLI 570's recommend 850w so not sure if you would want a little more juice if you chose the 570 route.


a b B Homebuilt system
September 28, 2011 8:08:43 AM

notapcguru said:



P.S. Modular powersupply, worth the cost? Also, I was reading a review of the powersupply I listed, and someone said it won't be able to do SLI because the motherboard uses one of the power connector spots. I probably need to pick a different one--preferably Antec.




Not sure where this information has come from, but its inaccurate.

The SeaSonic PSU you have listed has:
1 x Main connector (24Pin)
1 x 4-Pin ATX 12V
2 x 8-Pin EPS 12V
8 x Peripheral
8 x SATA
2 x Floppy
4 x PCI-E

The 4pin/8pin/24pin are your motherboard connectors, and then the PCI-E connectors are for your graphics cards. For high end cards you need 2 per card, so with 4 total, that's enough PCI connectors for SLI 560/570's
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
September 28, 2011 8:18:14 AM

Sorry, I'm a bit busy and won't be writing too much right now.

For the HDD, get the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB. I haven't heard complaints on their reliability, and they have the same performance as the Caviar Black at a much lower price: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storage/2009/10/06/sam...

CPU: Good choice if video editing is your focus. If gaming is your focus, go with the i5-2500K.

Graphics: The GTX 560Ti will do every game on high settings. It won't do all games on max though--especially the higher AA settings and DX11. It OC's like a beast though and that should help. If you add a second one down the line, you'll be screaming through all games released two years from now. As far as Microstuttering, you pretty much only have to worry about that with the non-high-end Radeons: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...
Even GTX 460's should be fine...I think.

RAM: I suggest you just buy one 8GB (2x4GB) kit. If you feel like that's lacking, then you can easily order a second it on Newegg at any point and you'll save yourself $50 in the meantime. Also, that kit you picked is CRAZY expensive and you won't see extensive benefits (not to justify an extra $80, or 8% in total expenses).
I just bought this G.Skill 1600CL8 kit for $50 two weeks ago: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I've got it at 1900MHz CL8 now, so...there's an alternative. Performance wise, I doubt that expensive stuff can be justified, but you can try to with this link: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/sandy-b...

PSU: You don't have to spend that much on the PSU. Any 750W Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or XFX will do. I have a Corsair TX850 myself. You want modular cabling, so you'll have to pay a premium (I just hide my extra cables in my case's back panel). But XFX has some great ones for much less than $148.

SSD: I'd go with that Crucial M4 or the Corsair GT's that are out now for $180. It largely depends on whether you expect random writes to be a part of your usage. For most home users, the M4 (prefers sequencial writes) would be just as good.

DVD: I once had two DVD drives...I haven't done that since because they only get when I first install windows and do tons of installing at once. Also, you can reuse old [SATA] drives you already have if you have some. I kinda expected you to link a Blu-ray burner with this video build.

Mobo: Whoever told you that you couldn't SLI with that motherboard because one of the PCI-e connectors went to the CPU socket didn't know what they're talking about. Although the connectors look similar, they are different and your PSU has cables for both. Chances are the ASRock Extreme3 Z68 will do everything you want and save you $75: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you can name a feature that's missing, let me know.

Case: $180 including shipping sounds high to me. I just got an Azza Solano 1000R for $80 with free shipping for my build. It's your call though. There's no performance increase for a case so long as it can fit everything and have adequate cooling. You do want to consider whether it has front panel USB 3.0 ports.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 28, 2011 8:22:18 AM

Also...don't worry about PCI-e Gen 3. Even a GTX 480 is barely bottlenecked by PCI-e Gen 2's 4x lanes: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/08/25/gtx_480_sli_p...

So even though PCI-e 2.0 16x lanes will only have half the bandwidth of PCI-e 3.0 16x, you'll still have about double the bandwidth that a GTX 560Ti or 570 actually uses.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 28, 2011 8:29:35 AM

dalauder said:
Chances are the ASRock Extreme3 Z68 will do everything you want and save you $75: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you can name a feature that's missing, let me know.



The only "missing feature" is front panel USB 3.0 support. There's no header on the Extreme3, but there is on the Extreme4.

This obviously mostly depends on what case you chose to buy, if front panel USB 3.0 is something you "require" and your case has front panel USB 3.0 ports, its probably a good idea to get the Extreme4.

I also believe the Extreme3 lacks front panel firewire support - again this might not be an issue, and depends on your choice of case, and requirements.
September 28, 2011 2:43:47 PM

1.) About the Bluray burner--I definitely want want and will get one in the future. I had one on the build up until I posted this, but I have heard the software you get with the burners is lacking and costs a decent amount to get good software. I have other purchases to make before I actually have something to burn to blurays so I am trying to future-proof this computer a bit.

2.) If someone could link me to some RAM suggestions on what would be less expensive but just as quality, that would be great.

3.) Same thing for the power supply--if you guys would link me some that would handle GTX 570s in SLI that would be awesome.

Here is the comment on that powersupply--maybe someone can confirm or deny it.

Seasonic Powersupply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

"Pros: Fantastic PSU if you don't need multiple GPU's. Extremely quiet.

Cons: WARNING TO MULTIPLE GPU + i7USERS: This is a modular PSU, so there are two specific slots on the back that can only fit your PCIE power cables. Problem is, that if your motherboard/CPU uses an 8-pin power connector (like my Intel i7 does), then IT TAKES UP ONE OF YOUR PCIE SLOTS AND LEAVES YOU ONLY ABLE TO USE TWO TOTAL PCIE POWER PLUGS! This is an enormous oversight since most high-end GPU's require two PCIE power cables for EACH GPU. Just plain idiotic.

Other Thoughts: Would have been perfect if not for the above."


4.) USB 3.0 Yes, I do want it at least on the back. On the back probably isn't a big issue for me, but if the case I buy does have front ports, then the motherboard I buy should have that capability in case I want to hook it up.

I am relatively settled on the case and resigned to paying a bit more for it, but if someone has suggestions, I still want to hear them.

Thanks!
a b B Homebuilt system
September 28, 2011 3:15:18 PM

I don't want to give a 100% final answer, but that users comment about the PSU just doesn't make sense.

It's fully modular and the PSU has the main motherboard power, along with x5 6pin slots and an 8pin slot. This is more than enough room for SLI and motherboard. Not to mention its an SLI ready PSU.....

--------

My PSU recommendation for SLI 570's:
Corsair Professional 850w $145 (after rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: 16GB G.Skill 1600MHz CL9 $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

--------

USB 3.0 - Most if not all motherboards for the type of build your looking at will have USB 3.0 on the rear I/O panel. However if your looking for front panel support as well, generally only the higher end boards support this (ASRock Extreme4 GEN3/ASUS P8Z68-v PRO to name a couple). A good friend of mine has just finished a build inside the 600T and it was so nice to work with. Loads of space and the cable management was very very easy indeed. Everything was nicely hidden away. However he used the ASRock Extreme3 GEN3 and he was unable to connect the front panel USB 3.0 and the Firewire due to the motherboard not supporting it. Not a big deal, but its a feature he now cannot use due to motherboard limitations.

a b B Homebuilt system
September 28, 2011 10:45:27 PM

I looked at the modular pin-outs on the back of the PSU (you can too) and it looks like there are 4 slots for 6-pin connectors in addition to an 8-pin EPS connector. And the PSU description says the 6-pin connectors can do 8-pin out--at least I think that's what it's saying. I'm pretty sure that reviewer just didn't know what he was talking about. But I suppose if you're planning on getting a graphics card that uses an 8-pin + 6-pin, then you may want to get something else or research further. But that's really just dual GPU cards and the GTX 480/580.

As far as that RAM...if you want a little higher end than 1600CL9, there are some 1600CL8 kits that aren't too expensive too. But it's really unnecessary (and what I bought).

PSU: 750W will handle two GTX 570's in SLI admirably. If you need modular, then the Corsair HX750 for $115 AR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you don't, then then the Corsair TX750 v2 for $80 AR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Then put your $70 of savings somewhere it'll do some good--like towards an SSD. Because you'll be hard pressed to find someone who says a TX750 isn't a good PSU. Also, I've heard the Corsair TX and HX series are pretty much the same parts. The difference is that the HX is modular, I think. This is the closest source to indicate that I can find without looking hard: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/psu-manufacturer-oe...
September 29, 2011 2:27:27 AM

Thank you everyone for your input! After even more research and some more consideration, I believe I am nearly settled on everything.

I am probably going to take Dalauder's suggestion on the powersupply and go with:

CORSAIR Professional Series HX750

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

Should fit my case fine and it is $20 less than the seasonic. I will miss out on the rebate unless there is another one because it ends today, but oh well.

I am leaning towards the Crucial M4 SSD, especially after I was linked to this article:

http://techreport.com/articles.x/21672

Anyone have a reason not to go with the Crucial M4?

And finally, I need a recommendation on a specific graphics card. Yes, I think I will stick with a GTX 570, and I prefer the EVGA brand. There seem to be so many listings for very similar seeming cards on Newegg. Not sure what the differences are.

Once I have these last few decisions made, hopefully I will be able to order within the next two weeks.

Thanks!

P.S. If I install a Bluray burner let's say, maybe 6 months to a year down the road, how easy is it to manage drive letter assignments in Windows 7? I like having my disc drives to be sequential and my HDDs sequential. Maybe it's easy?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 29, 2011 5:46:05 AM

You only have to purchase that PSU buy the 29th. The rebate can be sent out anytime in the 21 days thereafter--so you can still get that rebate, which is important to make it worth the money.

There really isn't much of a difference between graphics cards of the same architecture. If you don't overclock yourself, then the factory overclock speeds listed matter a little. Also, the dual fan ones--especially ones with the fancy heat pipes like the MSI Twin Frozr II ones actually stay a good deal cooler--which mostly applies to overclocking.

To reassign drive letters, just right-click My Computer and choose "Manage". Then go to Disk Management and you can change the drive letters. I think it's the same in XP as 7.

If you're not purchasing for two weeks, then prices will change. Buy whatever equivalent parts are on sale then. Or, come back here and start a new thread within a day or two of your planned purchase. Feel free to PM me if you start such a thread.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 29, 2011 7:35:12 AM

Just had a quick read since I lasted posted and from what I can see, all advice is good, but I'd still seriously consider 850w PSU for SLI 570's.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-570-review/8

This can be found near the bottom of the article:

GeForce GTX 570

On your average system the card requires you to have a 600 Watt power supply unit.

GeForce GTX 570 in SLI

A second card requires you to add another 225 Watts. You need a 850+ Watt power supply unit if you use it in a high-end system (1 KiloWatt recommended if you plan on any overclocking).

----------

The 1Kw bit I agree to ignore, that's unnecessary in a high quality PSU such as the Corsair one you've listed. But I'd certainly grab an 850w unit over a 750w.
September 29, 2011 4:21:25 PM

Ok, both good points. I think what I will do since I am not purchasing for a couple weeks, is think about getting the 850W Powersupply and then ask for suggestions on that. Rebates are nice--I was hoping I could use rebates to help me select my videocard to bring the price down a little.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 29, 2011 4:46:33 PM

Processor : Intel Core i7 2600K - $315
HSF : CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo - $35
MoBo : ASRock Extreme4 Gen3 Z68 - $200
RAM : 4x4GB Gskill Ripjaws X DDR3 1600 - $100
Graphics : GIGABYTE GV-R697UD-2GD Radeon HD 6970 2GB - $350
Hard Drive : Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $60
SSD : OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III - $110
Optical Drive : LG 24X SATA DVD R/W - $20
PSU : CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 Modular : $165
Case : Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower - $100

Total : $1455 before rebates
a b B Homebuilt system
September 29, 2011 11:08:14 PM

AdrianPerry said:
Just had a quick read since I lasted posted and from what I can see, all advice is good, but I'd still seriously consider 850w PSU for SLI 570's.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-570-review/8

This can be found near the bottom of the article:

GeForce GTX 570

On your average system the card requires you to have a 600 Watt power supply unit.

GeForce GTX 570 in SLI

A second card requires you to add another 225 Watts. You need a 850+ Watt power supply unit if you use it in a high-end system (1 KiloWatt recommended if you plan on any overclocking).
About the power usage...a GTX 570 uses less power (by a hair) than a GTX 470. My system pulls like 546W from the wall under load (Furmark + LinX, more than realistic). If you assume my TX850 V1 has 85% efficiency, that's 464W. And I have an overclocked i7-930 with my GTX 470 heavily overclocked. No Sandy Bridge reaches that kind of power draw. Add the max TDP of the GTX 570, 225W and you get to 689W load--and that's ignoring that SLI only uses like 175% the power of a single card. Realisticaly, you're looking at 660W max under unrealistically high loads when overclocked.

You'll see on the page that the total system power is 369W. If you load the CPU, that'll probably jump up to my 464W. Either way, their 600W PSU for a single card suggestion is ludicrous. I'm pretty sure they mean 600W if you buy a Raidmax. You'll see if you go to NVidia's SLI Zone that a Corsair TX750 is SLI GTX 470 certified along with a couple of 750W Antec and some other 750W PSUs: http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html

Unless you can add up the math to suggest more than 700W usage, I'm not inclined to believe there is any justification for 850W.

Yes, I have 850W because my PSU is overkill--get 850W if you want to be certain you have overkill and plan on adding a GT 240 for PhysX like I'll be doing later this month (got it for $35 w/ $30 rebate on Amazon).

EDIT: Also, you'll see bit-tech's GTX 570 SLI review that says 578W total system power (not on CPU load, so you can add 100W to get to 680W or so): http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-570-sli-revie...
They go on to say they measure their wattage from the wall. What your PSU's wattage applies to is power delivered. So if you've got an 85% efficient PSU, it's only delivering 580W--far under 750W and leaving plenty of room to OC the graphics. Now...if you plan on using water blocks and cranking up the voltage of all your parts...then previously stated power draw numbers no longer apply. But I doubt you'll be doing that.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 29, 2011 11:32:03 PM

Eh...you've got the dough...go with 850W: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/312031-33-power-consu...
I'm generally inclined to go with JackNaylor's suggestions, even if he's a bit conservative here. I also agree with his dual GTX 560Ti's instead of GTX 570's because of the lower power usage and very similar performance once overclocked.
September 30, 2011 4:35:45 AM

With some somewhat upsetting breaking news, I played the BF3 beta on my PS3 today. Of course I will have to spend some more time with it, but my initial impressions aren't great. What this means is that I may push back my timeline for purchasing the new computer. Granted Skyrim comes out not long after, but since it is singleplayer, I can wait. No loss there.

I definitely appreciate all the input and have learned a lot while trying to catch back up with technology since my last build.

And yes, I do think the extra money into an 850W powersupply would just make good sense because I tend to keep my computers for about four years.

At the latest I would probably purchase around early December, so you haven't heard the last from me!

a b B Homebuilt system
September 30, 2011 7:10:15 AM

Out of curiousity, what was wrong with the BF3 Beta?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 30, 2011 7:19:54 AM

dalauder said:
Out of curiousity, what was wrong with the BF3 Beta?


For me there was nothing wrong with it and I can see the appeal, but it just didn't "click". The visuals are stunning, the maps are huge, the gun damage is about right but it just didn't grab my attention enough. Maybe I'm just bored of FPS games these days. I found some of the control's rather glitchy too. Which obviously I guess is expected, but one of the main problems was being unable to right click to toggle down sight. Id have to switch weapons in order for the right click to start working again.

For BF fans I can see it being their "perfect" game, but as a COD fan, I don't know, it just doesn't do it for me. I feel the gameplay isn't fast paced enough. Maybe ill just pick it up for the single player campaign.
October 1, 2011 12:31:14 AM

The graphics were noticeably bad--granted they might just be low resolution beta textures and I was planning on playing it on a new PC instead of PS3. I'm going to play it a bit more to see if my initial reaction changes.

I loved playing BF2 on computer, and maybe the beta experience is just so minimal that the game might actually appeal to me on PC with more players, bigger maps, and vehicles etc.

But my feelings as of now are of just pure disappointment. Sure, I play Modern Warfare and like those just fine, but I was hoping BF would be a different, better flavor FPS.

Now it feels like I'll be playing MW3 with everyone else and grandma's cat.

Maybe I just haven't seen it running properly on a PC, but being so unimpressed initially just doesn't bode well for me playing it anyways.

If someone else is having a different experience or is more positive about it--I'd like to hear your thoughts.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 2, 2011 11:14:36 PM

Okay, I played the BF3 beta. More or less--it sucked. The graphics were pretty terrible--at least compared to Just Cause 2, which is a year and a half old and has an unlimited map size. It may have just been low resolution textures or something. But I'm pretty disappointed that my single GTX 470 can handle it on "Ultra" settings with no hiccups. Gameplay wise (although I only got it for visuals), I still prefer Gears of War style hiding for cover. Not ducking in battle just feels ridiculous.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 2, 2011 11:16:54 PM

Quote:
As I posted in the new members topic thread I’m looking to buy myself a new PC in the next couple of months or so.My budget will be in the region of £1300 - £1500 for a desktop PC that will be used for a range of applications. As well as general everyday use and using Microsoft Office for working at home, it will need to be practical for Photo and Full HD video editing and memory storage, and it would be very nice to finally play games again that are both great and visually stunning without losing performance. I’m not sure my budget stretches to allow max settings for this though... maybe there is something that can give way for this?
Below is the spec I have put together at the top end of my budget, as I had done previously with my 11 year old Dell I have used over spec in some areas so I can future proof for as long as possible based on current technology before needing to buy new again.Please feel free to tear my spec apart as no offence will be taken, I will be very happy of any advice to help me create the perfect machine within my budget that I can get the most out of!
play free games
Also, Saija--you should get banned for posts like that. So watch yourself. You should link your thread, not ad spam stuff. And don't advertise for your thread in someone else's unless if fits into the discussion nicely--just PM people you think would be interested. But I doubt your build request is legitimate because it really does sound like you're just an unconventional ad spammer.
October 3, 2011 4:44:24 AM

I'm now really interested to know if it is actually low resolution textures or not. Not that I can play it on this computer because I'm still on Windows XP and don't want to put Windows 7 on this hardware because I'll be passing on the computer and XP has a few good years left.
!