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Building a Video Editing/Encoding and Gaming System

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  • Video Editing
  • Encoding
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March 4, 2012 2:15:00 AM

I'm coming into some money mid-March and want to buy a premium rig for video editing/encoding, gaming and audio processing. Build time is late April 2012. No hard upper limit on cost; maybe $5k or $6k.

According to this the CPU I want is the SandyBridge Intel Core i7-3930K @ 3.20GHz (the pricing doubling for the 3960 hardly seems worth the $500).

I'm completely lost on a motherboard. Any guidance would be appreciated. RAID not necessary. USB 3.0, SATA 3 are necessary. Video and audio chipsets not necessary since I'll be plugging in PCI-E cards.

My current system is WinXP, but clearly I want to use Win7 with the new rig to take advantage of the 64bit architecture. I plan on far, far, far exceeding WinXP's 3.25GB. Video editing has been miserable and painful under 3.25 GB. I'm thinking 16GB would be more than enough for my needs. Any RAM suggestions? I'm sure any company and model would be OK for all the new games out there; I'm mostly interested in video editing and video encoding.

Video card: I don't know what to get either. From browsing Google, it sounds like what I want is the eVGA GeForce GTX 590 Classified Graphics card, with 3 GB of onboard RAM.

Hard Drives: I want SSD's. My current C drive is 159GB and current D drive is 400 GB, but there's a lot of stuff that could go onto non-SSD drives, like Mathematica, Nero Suite, etc. 1TB SSD's are ridiculously priced, but 512GB SSDs seem reasonable. I'm thinking two 512GB SSD's (looks cheaper than 1TB SSD) and a couple of 2 TB SATA 3.0 drives. Any recommendations?

Any case recommendations? I like fancy cases, but I like convenient cases better. Tool-free cases rock. Plus, some cases look convenient but when I go to swap out drives I need to start unplugging stuff. I really hate that. I much prefer convenience.

Any PSU recommendations?

Any recommendations for audio cards? I want a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound card that's good for gaming and audio processing. I plan on hooking up "real" speakers (i.e. something better than your typical mediocre computer audio speakers)

As a last note, I understand that things change a lot. Are there any new technologies that are slated to be released around April 2012 that would change any of my decisions? I don't believe NVidia will be releasing anything new anytime soon.

I know this is all sketchy. I'm trying to get an overall feel for what I should be looking at, and I'll be refining my choices over the next month or so.

More about : building video editing encoding gaming system

a b 4 Gaming
March 4, 2012 3:21:34 AM

"I want SSD's. My current C drive is 159GB and current D drive is 400 GB, but there's a lot of stuff that could go onto non-SSD drives, like Mathematica, Nero Suite, etc. 1TB SSD's are ridiculously priced, but 512GB SSDs seem reasonable. I'm thinking two 512GB SSD's (looks cheaper than 1TB SSD) and a couple of 2 TB SATA 3.0 drives. Any recommendations? "

Yup, I'd go for Revos or a Hybrid Revo if I were you.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Sound Cards
Xonar or Auzentech stuff.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

You could really close your eyes and go for this combo deal
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

It's got your processor, 8GB RAM which can be upgraded, mobo ASUS Sabertooth X79, !TB seagate Green, etc etc....
The case CM Storm Series Trooper is good but not the best.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 4, 2012 9:18:07 AM

coffeeAchiever said:
I'm coming into some money mid-March and want to buy a premium rig for video editing/encoding, gaming and audio processing. Build time is late April 2012. No hard upper limit on cost; maybe $5k or $6k.

........................

As a last note, I understand that things change a lot. Are there any new technologies that are slated to be released around April 2012 that would change any of my decisions? I don't believe NVidia will be releasing anything new anytime soon.

I know this is all sketchy. I'm trying to get an overall feel for what I should be looking at, and I'll be refining my choices over the next month or so.

Hi there,

How about this one, build by Jaquith?

Its all done and the prices are just about the same.

Jaquith's Ultimate Eye Candy Delight
Processor: Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E $599.99
Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme $449.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 2133 CAS 9 993996 $199.99
Graphics Card: ASUS ENGTX580 DCII/2DIS/1536MD5 GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB $499.99
Graphics Card: ASUS ENGTX580 DCII/2DIS/1536MD5 GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB $499.99
Graphics Card: ASUS ENGTX580 DCII/2DIS/1536MD5 GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB $499.99
Hard Drive: Corsair Force Series 3 CSSD-F120GB3A-BK 2.5" 120GB SATA III $169.99
Hard Drive: Corsair Force Series 3 CSSD-F120GB3A-BK 2.5" 120GB SATA III $169.99
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA III * $129.99
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D $259.99
Case: Dual 12" Cold Cathode Kit - Ultra Bright UV $9.99
Power Supply: ENERMAX MAXREVO Series EMR1350EWT 1350W $249.99
Power Supply: Bitspower Super Tight Weave 1/16" Cable Sleeve Deluxe - Black (0.59/ft X 100') $59.00
Power Supply: Bitspower Super Tight Weave 1/16" Cable Sleeve Deluxe - UV Red (0.59/ft X 10') $5.90
Power Supply: 1/8" Black Heatshrink ($1/ft X 2) $2.00
Power Supply: 1/8" Red UV Reactive Heatshrink ($1/ft) $1.00
Power Supply: (optional) Bayer Aspirin Tablets ; IMO needed for braiding $3.69
Cooling: CPU-370 (CPU), 1.5mm Midplate w/ LGA 2011 Hardware [no nozzles] $79.95
Cooling: EK GeForce ASUS 580 DCII VGA Clear Liquid Cooling Block - (EK-FC580 DCII - EN) $114.95
Cooling: EK GeForce ASUS 580 DCII VGA Clear Liquid Cooling Block - (EK-FC580 DCII - EN) $114.95
Cooling: EK GeForce ASUS 580 DCII VGA Clear Liquid Cooling Block - (EK-FC580 DCII - EN) $114.95
Cooling: EK FC Bridge Triple Parallel - SLI Connection (EK-FC Bridge Triple Parallel) $24.99
Cooling: EK FC Link GeForce - SLI Connection (EK-FC Link GeForce) $13.50
Cooling: EK FC Link GeForce - SLI Connection (EK-FC Link GeForce) $13.50
Cooling: EK FC Link GeForce - SLI Connection (EK-FC Link GeForce) $13.50
Cooling: Radiator, 3x120mm 20-FPI Copper [no nozzles] $55.99
Cooling: Radiator, 3x120mm 20-FPI Copper [no nozzles] $55.99
Cooling: Radiator Mounting Bracket with Quick-Release $44.99
Cooling: Pump, PMP-450S [13mm, 1/2in ID] $76.99
Cooling: Pump Nozzle & Reservoir Base for PMP-450/S (60mm OD) $44.99
Cooling: Reservoir Body, 60x240mm (WxL), 471ml $19.99
Cooling: Reservoir Top with Fill Port (60mm OD) $9.99
Cooling: Lamptron Fan Controller FC6 (Fan + Temps) $52.99
Cooling: Yate Loon Clear 120mm x 25mm Red LED Fan ($7.99/ea X 6) (D12SM-12) $47.94
Cooling: Koolance Radiator Mounting Screw & Nut - 25mm (BLT-HX025) ($4.25/ea X 6) $25.50
Cooling: 3-Pin Power Distribution PCB 8xWay Block $4.49
Cooling: Nozzle Single compression, *Black* Straight [10mm, 3/8in] ($4.49/ea X 7) $31.43
Cooling: Nozzle Single, *Black* Swivel Angled [For ID: 10mm (3/8in)] ($7.49/ea X 3) $22.47
Cooling: Bitspower G1/4" Black Dual 45-Degree Compression [10mm, 3/8in] $15.95
Cooling: Tubing, Black PVC, 1ft/30.5cm [ID: 10mm (3/8in); OD: 13mm (1/2in)] ($1.29/ft X 20) $25.80
Cooling: Liquid Coolant Bottle, High-Performance, 700mL (UV Red) ($14.99/ea X 2) $29.98
Cooling: Arctic Cooling MX-4 $12.99
DVD Burner: ASUS Black 12X BD-R Burner BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS $99.99

Grand Total not including Shipping $4,980.22 (EXCLUDING Mail-In Rebates).

Mock-up for general idea:

The ratio of red to black braiding is 1 to 10. Yes, 4x4GB is best - less chances of a BSOD and plenty for gaming. (*) SATA III drives work fine on SATA 3 or 2 ports. The single loop can run: Pump -> CPU -> Radiator1 -> GPU(s) -> Radiator2 -> Reservoir -> (pump), and I prefer parallel over serial IMO more even cooling. Apparently, some folks haven't use EK products, the EK-FC580 DCII come boxed with a 2-slot I/O bracket.
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Related resources
March 4, 2012 10:29:01 AM

gtx 590 is not a good choice.it has 2x 580s on 1 pcb.you can olny use 1.5gb VRAM.unfortunately,-
1.5gb+1.5gb+=1.5gb! usable :( 
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March 4, 2012 6:54:05 PM

Nikorr, thanks for posting that. That's pretty much the system I'd like to build. Thank you! And so much detail too! Is all the cooling necessary, though? I don't plan on doing overclocking, or at least, I'm not out to squeeze out every ounce of speed. Is all that cooling because it's necessary for stock timings or overclocking?

Also, hellfire, I don't understand the video card choice. Are two 3GB GTX 580's better than one 3GB GTX 590? As a practical matter, wouldn't three GTX 580's be overkill, even for video editing and gaming?
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a b 4 Gaming
March 4, 2012 7:19:40 PM

coffeeAchiever said:
Nikorr, thanks for posting that. That's pretty much the system I'd like to build. Thank you! And so much detail too! Is all the cooling necessary, though? I don't plan on doing overclocking, or at least, I'm not out to squeeze out every ounce of speed. Is all that cooling because it's necessary for stock timings or overclocking?

Also, hellfire, I don't understand the video card choice. Are two 3GB GTX 580's better than one 3GB GTX 590? As a practical matter, wouldn't three GTX 580's be overkill, even for video editing and gaming?


Hi,

I'll direct this to Jaquith, he might have some parts replacement on his mind : )

Time moves so fast.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 4, 2012 8:21:53 PM

The above @Jaquith was limited to a $5K budget, and sure it's better to use 3GB GPUs to avoid vRAM bottlenecks. In that build, the requirement was to use 'ASUS GPU's' none of which offers 3GB. Given the choice, I'd wait to see how the GTX 600 series stacks up to the AMD 7000 series, and then select 3GB+ vRAM models and then on top of that 'pre-blocked' GPUs. In that build and at that time 'my' choice would have been EVGA 'Copper' series.

Currently, the HD 7000 series is top of the banana pile, and so far seem to offer good temps and superior performance (TODAY).

The reasons for water cooling are: 1. OC of both the CPU and GPU, 2. Temps, and 3. Noise reduction. The two things that degrade components are both -- voltage and temperatures.

If you're using 2/3/4-WAY CF/SLI that's a lot of heat in a small and confined space not to mention the CPU's heat. Now add to that 2 fans per GPU and 2 fans for the CPU you start getting a lot of noise -- not to mention a case full of fans -- not to mention dust.

The reason for all those radiators is the surface area and Wattage to dissipate all that heat. Say you had 1x120x360 radiator then to dissipate all the heat requires faster fan speeds (CFM-to-dBA) similarly with 2x120x360 radiators you can run the fans at about half the speeds (CFM-to-dBA). Meaning, nearly no fan noise!!! That brings-up another point of changes -- better fans.

As far as which is 'faster' see below, and keep in mind this is an old chart and pre-HD 7000 series:
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March 6, 2012 3:02:09 PM

A challenging system to build -- I've never built a water cooled system before, but I'm going to give it the ol' college try. I've been reading my butt off. It seems complicated and requires planning, but do-able. Jaquith, do you have pictures of the outside/insides of this machine so I know what to aim for?

Also, that motherboard is off the hook. Nice selection! One question though -- will it work with the impending Ivy Bridge processors? My build time is end of April, and by then, non-mobile Ivy Bridge should be released. It would be a shame not to take advantage of the die-shrink when it comes out.

Thanks!!! :-)
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a b 4 Gaming
March 6, 2012 4:03:35 PM

Here's one of the best builds sites that I've run across - http://www.million-dollar-pc.com/

The 'key' IMO is in the planning, and any 'new' build I do is drawn out with montages as in the photo above. Everyone has their own tastes. For example, I don't personally like the U2-UFO cases by http://www.mountainmods.com/ , but many folks do and the U2-UFO makes it incredibly easy to fit multiple larger radiators internally into the case.

Also from above, while on some of my builds I sleeve and custom wire it is a real PITA to do, and there are kits and replacements. Replacements - http://www.corsair.com/power-supply-units/psu-accessori... Custom sleeve - http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1599965

I have seen no plans for the X79 chipset to be replaced for any of the upcoming LGA 2011 processors. I do know that the forthcoming IB-E, LGA 2011, will all work on the current LGA 2011 MOBOs after a BIOS update. Option, now and for the money I would recommend the i7-3930K and later replace it with the forthcoming IB-E Q4 2012 or Q1 2013. The IB LGA 1155 has been delayed until some time around June/July 2012, but IMO I'd have to think long and hard about limiting myself to 4-cores and 16 lanes of PCIe on an extreme build; I 'get' that you can add something like a NF200 (not sure it works with PCIe 3.0) for 3-WAY, but it's not for 'me.'

Building extreme all depends on your budget, level of OCD, (skills that can be learned) and aesthetic tastes. When you're dealing with 3-WAY or 4-WAY SLI/CF in most cases you're doing it on at least three monitors, and if you want 3D Vision for example then remember 120Hz monitors.
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