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Video/pic/3d rendering build

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June 12, 2012 8:21:02 PM

Hello,
I have a close friend that has asked about a good video editing computer. I only build gaming systems so this is new territory for me. I figured I would ask my trusted Tom’s Hardware community for their opinion.

He states: “The two major programs are Adobe Premiere CS6 and Adobe After Effects CS6.
The biggest thing I need is to be able to render videos faster and edit multiple source HD videos. Secondary programs that we use include Photoshop, Illustrator, Encore and Audition.
I’d also like to eventually move into 3D modeling and design. Maybe a program like Nuke.”


I wanted to see what hardware would be best for this. Budget is 2-3k. Obviously the cheaper the better. I have some questions.

Intel or AMD?

I know Intel is ruling the scene right now, but in something like this would say a quad core 2600K be better or would an AMD 8 core be better because there are more cores? Or would maybe a server type processor be better?

What chipset would be best?

Video card? GTX? Quaddro?

In using something like this would Lucidlogix Virtu come in handy?

What would an appropriate amount of ram be?I know with gaming 8GB of 1600mhz ddr3 is plenty. However I’m sure something like this can be much more demanding.

Would an SSD make much of a difference when rendering videos? Should we just get a small (128gb) boot drive? Or would a larger drive (512gb) be more beneficial.


Of course my first inclination was Ivy Bridge with a Z77 or a Sandy Bridge E with X79.

What do you all suggest? Please help.
June 12, 2012 8:48:36 PM

Quote:
Intel or AMD?

I know Intel is ruling the scene right now, but in something like this would say a quad core 2600K be better or would an AMD 8 core be better because there are more cores? Or would maybe a server type processor be better?


I don't really use a lot of video editing programs but I do use heavy CAD and 3-D rendering applications. On those any Intel build is better. Sure there's benchmarks that show AMD is better on some but that's really a toss up. The FX series is based on such aging architecture that it's really hard to recommend it when Z77 and X79 are a lot newer and will support far newer hardware, which will make things easier.

Quote:
What chipset would be best?


That depends - for a video editing build I'd actually go X79 over Z77 and here's why - the X79 will support far higher RAM capacities (up to 8 x 8GB on most motherboards) than a Z77 or 990FX build will and that will allow for larger files to open with relative ease.

Quote:
What would an appropriate amount of ram be?I know with gaming 8GB of 1600mhz ddr3 is plenty. However I’m sure something like this can be much more demanding.


You want to stick with 1600 but in this case I'd recommend 16GB or 32GB to start with.

Quote:
Would an SSD make much of a difference when rendering videos? Should we just get a small (128gb) boot drive? Or would a larger drive (512gb) be more beneficial.


Get a small SSD (64 - 128GB) for your primary and then a large 1 - 2TB for your secondary, store all the large files on your secondary and the OS and main applications on your primary. That's what I do and it works every time.

Quote:
What do you all suggest? Please help.


Here's a sample X79 configuration:

Case: lNZXT Switch 810 - $169.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth X79 - $319.99
CPU: 3.2GHz Intel Core i7-3930K - $589.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 Socket LGA 2011 Edition - $84.99
RAM: 32GB (4 x 8GB) Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 1600MHz 1.5V - $239.99
SSD: 256GB OCZ Vertex 4 - $349.99
HD: 2TB Seagate Barracuda ST - $119.99
Optical: LG Blu Ray Burner - $79.99
Video Card: ATI Fire Pro V5800 - $589.99
OS: Windows 7 Pro - $139.99

Total: $2,462.89
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June 12, 2012 8:53:11 PM

I think an 8 core AMD CPU would probably be viable for something like this but I would go for the i7-3770K instead personally. It has excellent integrated graphics and really low power consumption compared to the AMD FX chips. It would perform better too.

At this budget, there's no reason not to get 16GB RAM really. I would also grab a SSD, something big enough for all the software, ~120GB should be fine.

As far as I'm aware you shouldn't need a graphics card but I'm not 100% sure. Intel HD 4000 is very good anyway, at least as far as integrated graphics go.

If you want the system to be quiet though, that's definitely somewhere I can help. I have done a lot of research into building quiet PC's and am a bit silence enthusiast myself.
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