New Build - Hi performance Photoshop/Premiere Pro Desktop

First, thanks to all who have commented on my previous threads - you've helped me get to the point I'm at today, which is ready to buy and build. I'm after a machine that can crank through big Photoshop and Premiere Pro files without freezing and can handle lots of storage. Here are the components I've decided on:

CPU - Intel Core i7 3930 LGA2011

ASUS P9X79 DELUXE Socket 2011 X79 ATX Intel Motherboard

Corsair XMS3 Series 32GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL 9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Eight 4GB Memory Modules)

EVGA 02G-P3-1469-KR NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Superclocked 2048MB GDDR5 PCIe 2.0 x16 Video Card

Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 7,200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive WDBAAY0030HNCNR X 2

OCZ Technology Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-256G 2.5" 256GB SATA 6GB/s Solid State Drive (SSD) with Indilinx Everest 2 Controller

OCZ Technology Agility 3 AGT4 Series AGT4-25SAT3-128 120GB SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) with SandForce SF-2811 Controller

LG LG 12X SATA Blu-ray Burner with 3D Playback and M Disc support - OEM

OCZ Technology Z Series Gold 750 Watt ATX Modular Power Supply

Antec Eleven Hundred ATX Gaming Mid Tower

Cooler Master Hyper 612 PWM Universal CPU Cooler (COMPATIBLE????)

Assorted I/O Cards

Assorted Case Fans

If anyone would like to comment, I'd appreciate any constructive criticism and advice. I'm especially concerned that the CPU Cooler is powerful enough - I'm not a gamer, so I don't expect super-high temperatures. I also am concerned that the case is big enough for the CPU and cooler.

Another issue is the PSU - I think 750W is enough, but if anyone has thoughts, I'll welcome them. Finally, I have the two OCZ SSDs - one at 120 and the other at 256. They have different controllers - SandForce SF-2811 and Indilinx Everest 2. Will that be a problem, or should both have the same controller?

My idea is to run the boot and Adobe software off of the 256 GB SSD, and use the 120 for a scratch disc for both programs. Then, I'll have all other software on one of the 3TB drives, partition the rest of that drive for files, and use the second one for storage and backup.

If anyone can see potential fail-points, please let me know. If I've made dumb choices, I won't be surprised to hear it.

Thanks for any help and comments
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  1. The stock Intel CPU cooler does its job, but for cheap you can put on a Hyper 212 Evo with some MX-4 thermal paste and it will out perform the Intel's cooler by leaps and bounds that gives you some headroom if down the line you want to increase speeds.

    Now the PSU you wont need more the 750w, but you should get a more quality unit such as the Corsair HX 750.

    For you boot/OS drive get a Samsung 830 SSD good speed and proven reliability. Use your 256 GB SSD like you said for Adobe and you 3 TB for storage
  2. Thanks for the input. I already have the OCZ 120 GB SSD - the Agility 3. Is it a problem to have the other SSD a different brand or the same brand with a different controller? For the PSU, is the OCZ Tech Z a bad choice? I didn't see anything on-line to suggest it is unreliable or poor quality. Why is the Corsair a better choice? I'm not disagreeing - just trying to understand.

    On the CPU cooler, what's the difference between the Cooler Master Hyper 612 and 212? From your comments, it seems that both would be more than adequate. Is the 212 a lower-profile unit? Size and ability to fit into my case is a concer.

    Finally, I see that some 3TB hard drives are SATA 6.0 while others are SATA 3.0. My initial plan was to have the two 3TB HDs as SATA 3.0 while the two SSDs are SATA 6.0. My motherboard has 4 SATA 6.0 connections, so if I make the HDs SATA 6.0, that uses all of those slots. Is that a potential problem? Is it better to leave a couple of SATA 6.0 slots for expansion? Is the increase in speed from SATA 3.0 to SATA 6.0 noticable enough to justify the upgrade?

    Again, thanks for the comments.
  3. redeemer said:
    The stock Intel CPU cooler does its job, but for cheap you can put on a Hyper 212 Evo with some MX-4 thermal paste and it will out perform the Intel's cooler by leaps and bounds that gives you some headroom if down the line you want to increase speeds.

    Now the PSU you wont need more the 750w, but you should get a more quality unit such as the Corsair HX 750.

    For you boot/OS drive get a Samsung 830 SSD good speed and proven reliability. Use your 256 GB SSD like you said for Adobe and you 3 TB for storage


    remember that intel doesnt have stock coolers for the SBE
  4. rcheek said:
    Thanks for the input. I already have the OCZ 120 GB SSD - the Agility 3. Is it a problem to have the other SSD a different brand or the same brand with a different controller? For the PSU, is the OCZ Tech Z a bad choice? I didn't see anything on-line to suggest it is unreliable or poor quality. Why is the Corsair a better choice? I'm not disagreeing - just trying to understand.

    On the CPU cooler, what's the difference between the Cooler Master Hyper 612 and 212? From your comments, it seems that both would be more than adequate. Is the 212 a lower-profile unit? Size and ability to fit into my case is a concer.

    Finally, I see that some 3TB hard drives are SATA 6.0 while others are SATA 3.0. My initial plan was to have the two 3TB HDs as SATA 3.0 while the two SSDs are SATA 6.0. My motherboard has 4 SATA 6.0 connections, so if I make the HDs SATA 6.0, that uses all of those slots. Is that a potential problem? Is it better to leave a couple of SATA 6.0 slots for expansion? Is the increase in speed from SATA 3.0 to SATA 6.0 noticable enough to justify the upgrade?

    Again, thanks for the comments.



    1: you better hope that the aglitiy 3 doesnt fail. they fail a lot. i would recommend you to get either a crucial m4, sandsik extreme, mushkin chronos deluxe, or a samsung 830. whichever one is cheaper

    2: corsair power supplies are great quality (they dont make them). they have long warranties, low failure rates, and pretty decent customer service. if you want the same quality but for a cheaper price, you can go get a xfx power supply. for your needs right now, id get either a 650w or a 750w unit depending on if you want to add another graphics card in the system in the future

    3: there isnt much difference between the 612 and the 212 other than the fact that the 612 has 6 heatpipes while the 212 has 4. id just go get a 212 evo if you dont plan to overclock much

    4:theres no problem with a sata 6.0 hard drive in a sata 3 port. the hard drives cant even use up sata 3.0 bus speeds. id keep the SSDs in the intel sata 6.0 controller (usually the white ones) and the other hard drives in the marvel sata 6.0
  5. Thanks for the suggestions - I've altered my plan to substitute Crucial SSDs for the OCZ - the price is about the same. I've also decided to take your advice on the PSU - going for the 750W. I've also opted for the Hyper 212 - it's a bit smaller and about half the cost.

    Thanks
  6. if you plan to overclock past 4.2ghz, id suggest going with a noctua nh-d14
  7. I'm not an expert on the subject, but I can't imagine why I'd overclock with photoshop. What would be the need or the advantage?
  8. you wont. im just suggesting a good cooler just in case you will
  9. Fantastic Chip.
    Fantastic motherboard.

    I purchased the same motherboard and CPU myself. I didn't spend a lot of time researching CPU coolers before ordering, and just went with the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO because a lot of the reviews on newegg for the 3930K mentioned really liking it. I later started looking around and found a site that reviewed the Hyper 612 much higher than the 212. Currently, though, I have no reason to even think about upgrading because the 212 is doing a great job. I will go looking later when I decide to try my hand at overclocking. I believe the 212 and 612 are fairly close to the same height. Either one will probably fit in that Antec 1100 case of yours. Certainly if the 1100 is bigger than the 900.

    I second everyone else's suggestions on trying a different PSU. The Corsair, XFX, and Seasonic PSUs are all good choices (most of them are made by Seasonic if I understand correctly).

    Mixing SSDs with different controllers won't cause you any issues. The controller is just a chip/system that decides when to write to a NAND flash chip, and whether to wipe chips that have data that has been marked for erasure. This is completely transparent to the motherboard and the operating system. Like TheBigTroll mentioned, the OCZ Agility 3 SSDs have been known to have a higher than normal failure rate. Using it as a scratch disk is a great use for a disk that is prone to failure, though, because nothing is ever stored on the scratch disk. The only risk you might take is losing whatever work you had done since your last save, and that would only be if Photoshop had run out of RAM to work with. Since you are planning on setting your system up with 32GB of RAM, it is very unlikely that Photoshop will ever use the scratch disk. It might get used by Premier Pro, though. Just make sure you save often. Many people never have any issues with their OCZ SSDs (I've had a Vertex 2 SSD in my HTPC for 2+ years, now, with no issues).

    Everything else seems like a good choice. I also picked an LG blu-ray burner (all of my dvd burners were IDE, and the motherboard doesn't have anything but sata ports!). I haven't bought any blu-ray media, yet, but it read my Windows 7 install CD, which was all I really needed it to do for now. I hooked all four of my hard drives up to the sata2 (3.0Gbps) ports, leaving the sata3 ports available in case I ever decide to get an SSD (something I plan on doing in the near future). Having those four hard drives on the slower sata ports doesn't cause any speed drop, and it allowed me to set up a raid10 array. I get the full expected performance from those drives in that configuration.

    Good luck with your build! I'm sure you'll be extremely impressed with your system once you've busted open Photoshop or Premier Pro for the first time.
  10. Thanks to Redeemer, TheBigTroll and NOBOX for your comments and advice. I think the Corsair PSU is a better choice and I think I'll stick with the Hyper 212. I've no doubt that the 612 is better, but I don't think I need anything better than the 212. The only game I play is Solitare, and I'm pretty sure the 212 can handle the heat generated by that! ;)

    I also think I will take the advice and opt for Crucial SSDs - why tempt fate? I know that any HD, or any component for that matter, can fail but why up the odds by choosing something with a propensity to do so? I think the 256GB drive will be my boot and OS drive, while the second one will be my scratch. I'm curious, though, about a few things:

    1. Is there likely to be enough space on the 256GB SSD to house my most-used programs? That would include (besides Windows 7 and MicroSoft Office) PS CS5 extended (eventual upgrade to CS6), Premiere Pro, Lightroom 3 (eventual upgrade to LR4), WebPlus, and MusicMaker?

    2. Can I partition the 128GB SSD to have part of it hold software while another part is the scratch?

    3. Can different software run on different drives? For example, when I'm using MicroSoft Office, speed is rarely a concern. Could I have such software open and run on one of the HDs, while those where speed is an issue (Adobe) open and run on the SDD?

    4. What should I do about case fans? If I'm reading it right, the Antec 1100 comes with two fans already installed, and I'm installing a CPU fan in addition. Do I need to add more fans? If so, I'd rather do it now than have to crack it open in six months. Also, is there any real need for a fan controller? They are relatively inexpensive, but I'm not sure of their practicality or necessity. Why would I need to control the fans? Do they kick on when the temp gets to a certain level, or do they run all the time regardless? It's a minor thing, but I hope I have most of the major things worked out.

    I'm sure I'll notice a huge improvement in processing speed, and it will be a welcomed thing. Right now, I estimate I'm spending 60-90 seconds per file waiting for my computer to process actions or save results. That might not seem like much until you multiply it by 100 files on a busy day. That's over 2 unproductive hours lost on a busy day. If I can cut that to 10 seconds per file, I'll add almost two more hours of productive work to my day. I hope with this build, I can come close to that level of speed.

    Thanks again for the help.
  11. if you plan on getting the 1100, just go get the p280 from antec. it uses the same over chasis design but it has bit more silence and no window (the window looks terrible to me)
  12. rcheek said:

    1. Is there likely to be enough space on the 256GB SSD to house my most-used programs? That would include (besides Windows 7 and MicroSoft Office) PS CS5 extended (eventual upgrade to CS6), Premiere Pro, Lightroom 3 (eventual upgrade to LR4), WebPlus, and MusicMaker?

    2. Can I partition the 128GB SSD to have part of it hold software while another part is the scratch?

    3. Can different software run on different drives? For example, when I'm using MicroSoft Office, speed is rarely a concern. Could I have such software open and run on one of the HDs, while those where speed is an issue (Adobe) open and run on the SDD?

    4. What should I do about case fans? If I'm reading it right, the Antec 1100 comes with two fans already installed, and I'm installing a CPU fan in addition. Do I need to add more fans? If so, I'd rather do it now than have to crack it open in six months. Also, is there any real need for a fan controller? They are relatively inexpensive, but I'm not sure of their practicality or necessity. Why would I need to control the fans? Do they kick on when the temp gets to a certain level, or do they run all the time regardless? It's a minor thing, but I hope I have most of the major things worked out.

    I'm sure I'll notice a huge improvement in processing speed, and it will be a welcomed thing. Right now, I estimate I'm spending 60-90 seconds per file waiting for my computer to process actions or save results. That might not seem like much until you multiply it by 100 files on a busy day. That's over 2 unproductive hours lost on a busy day. If I can cut that to 10 seconds per file, I'll add almost two more hours of productive work to my day. I hope with this build, I can come close to that level of speed.

    Thanks again for the help.


    1) Yes, a 256GB SSD should hold your Windows directory and your Program Files directories with no problem. I have Windows and the Adobe Master Collection CS4 installed on my system, along with a 90GB Steam directory (Steam is a game directory, in which I have several Valve and EA games), which was too large for my current 120GB SSD. I have been pricing good quality 256GB SSDs for a future upgrade so that I can finally boot and run programs (and load game maps and models!) from an SSD instead of my RAID array. I have decided that a 256GB SSD would be big enough for my needs. Since you won't have the huge Steam directory, you should be able to fit everything on that SSD.

    Edit: I forgot to mention that you should move your "Users" directory off the SSD to your hard drive. The Users directoy holds stuff like your "My Documents" folder and some hidden directories that save application settings. In my case, VirtualBox saves the virtual machines' "virtual hard drives" inside my user directory. One of my VMs has both a 20GB and a 60GB virtual hard drive, so that would be 80GB of space used on my SSD (if I had one). You will have to find some tutorials online for how to move your Users directory. There should be some resources telling you how to do this online, because a lot of people have been doing this with their SSDs.


    2) I would leave the scratch disk empty. The whole purpose to having a separate scratch disk is so that it isn't being used by anything else. If it has to act as a scratch disk and a general data or program files disk, then the scratch disk function will end up being interrupted by the loading of programs or data. This would slow down the program using the scratch disk. If you are set on putting aside a separate partition, then it would certainly be possible.

    3) Yes. When you are running the setup program for the software you are installing, you can usually choose where to install it. Generally you just click 'next' when it asks you if you want to install it in the "Program Files" directory. Instead, choose a different drive, and maybe create a new Program Files directory on the different drive to install the program to.

    4) You don't have any reason to buy a fan controller. The motherboard you have chosen has 6 PWM fan headers. Two of them are set aside for your CPU fan(s). The other four are available for controlling case fans. Asus provides software that allows you to set up fan profiles
    and you can tell it to control a set of fans when a certain temperature sensor detects a rise or decline in temp. You can use a set of fans to control the temps of the hard drives, and another to assist the GPU or CPU. It is amazing what this motherboard can do. You would likely have to replace the Antec case fans with separate PWM fans, as the case fans that come with a case usually have plugs that interface with the hard drive molex connectors from the PSU. They are usually single-speed fans. If you replace them with PWM-capable fans, then they can be scaled back in speed if they aren't needed, resulting in a quieter system. You may want to add a fan to the front of the system if you are planning on installing more hard drives later. The Antec probably comes with one 120mm fan for the front of the case and one for the back. That should b enough if you aren't overclocking, and aren't going to install more than two hard drives. If you are planning on ever using SLI or Crossfire, then you may want more case fans to help keep the air in the system cooler for the cards.

    I plan on replacing my case fans with PWM fans at some point, but for now they aren't loud enough to bother me. It would just be fun to be able to play with the fan profiles at some point. :)
  13. Recheek, Did you build this workstation?
    How does it perform, I am in the process of specing out a new workstation for my studio.
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