Yet another ... $2500 HD video, Photoshop, DAW build

I've been browsing the site and trying to come up with a system that meets my needs. I have too many hobbies (photo, video, music) and need a system that supports them. From what I've seen, the turnkey guys want much more money than I'm willing to spend, so I'm planning to build this myself. Please critique my selections and offer advice for improvements and/or cost savings.

Here is what I've pieced together:

Approximate Purchase Date: next few weeks

Budget Range: $2500-ish before monitor

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Photo editing (Capture One Pro, Photoshop CS4)
HD video editing (Sony Vegas Pro)
Recording music tracks and mixing music (Sony Acid, other programs)
I am a hobbyist with all three, but a relatively advanced one I think

Are you buying a monitor: Yes - probably the Dell Ultrasharp 24" IPS

Do you need to buy OS: yes, will use Win 7 Pro 64 bit

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: open to suggestions; Amazon or Newegg probably

Location: DC, USA (there is a Micro Center near me, if that matters)

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU

Overclocking: I don't think I need this, but please advise

SLI or Crossfire: No?

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200 upon upgrade (currently 1680x1050 with 22" HP)

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Speed - current rendering time for non-HD video is just too darn long. Also my kids need a hand-me-down, so the current computer will go to one of them.

The chosen drive configuration is:
256GB SSD for OS/Programs - would 128GB be sufficient?
250GB HD will be a dedicated Photoshop scratch disk - this was only a couple bucks more than the 160GB drive, though it's overkill
2 TB drive for source material, plus 2TB drive for renders/final outputs/documents
The separate read/write drives should suit my needs better than a bigger raid 0 configuration.
I have external USB drives for backup.

Additional things I want:
Wireless keyboard/mouse - will the current configuration support these or do I need to add something else?
SD/multi-card reader - I assume I need to add this separately
Firewire port for external music interface hardware - do I need a firewire card for this?

Thanks for looking and for any suggestions!
7 answers Last reply
More about 2500 video photoshop build
  1. The gigabyte x79 ud5 has FireWire and Wifi and Bluetooth 4.0 also for $300
    Why not get one 3tb drive and partition it to your needs? I'm also not too sure about the cooler but I'm not very knowledgable there.
  2. how about a nice fast(er) scratch disk?
    Western Digital 250GB WD Velociraptor SATA 6Gb s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - 64MB Cache $112.34

    and a bigger 3tb green drive would make a better storage than a 1tb black; just for the size; no need for speed there.
    Western Digital 3TB Caviar Green SATA Internal Hard Drive Price: $148.00

    or at least a 2Tb:
    Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green SATA3 $99.99
  3. Hey thanks for the replies.

    That Gigabyte mobo is interesting. I do like the bluetooth 4.0 and built-in wifi. Any quality concerns? The reviews are a bit mixed ...

    Re: partitioning - my understanding is that a partitioned drive would not have the same performance benefits of physically separate source/render drives for video editing.

    Looniam, good idea about the faster scratch disk, though I'm reading some reviews which suggest the velociraptor may not add much perceived benefit in this size drive. Will have to dig in further.

    I did swap out the caviar blacks for dual 2TB Hitachi 7K3000s. (I'd get caviar blues there, but they don't come bigger than 1TB.) Saved a little cash, with no expected performance detriment.

    What do folks think of the X79/i7-3930K arrangement vs a Z77/i7-3770k for non-pro media editing? Worth the price difference? And what about 32gb ram vs 16gb? I'm wondering if the programs I use would even take advantage of the hex core and so much ram...
  4. there was not much increase in performance between the sandy and ivy bridge releases except for media encoding; in that instance the ivy 3770K even gave a 3960X a run for its money.
    Encoding Performance

    and thanks for pointing out the size of the drive matter when coming to performance:

    Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ Review
  5. Only aftereffects exploits x79 properly. Not worth it unless you really go all out and build it properly with more than 32gb ram. Stick to z77 core i7. Again,only aftereffects abuses ram. Get 16gb but if you use it alot you could always get another 16.
  6. Love those real-world examples - the 3770k does amazingly well!

    Good point about the RAM; I've checked out the main programs I use and 16GB should be plenty.

    Revised build list:

    You folks just saved me several hundred dollars - enough for the new monitor! Thanks!
  7. I'd swap the crucial for a Samsung 830 series.
    And the corsair power supply for 650w gold 80+ from seasonic/pc power and cooling/fsp
    There's cheaper blu ray drives,just make sure it burns bd at 12x.
    Otherwise looks good.
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems