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Video editing PC for under $2000

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September 16, 2012 8:06:12 AM

I'm looking to get a PC custom built for my girlfriend who is looking to do lots of video editing (quite likely to be the sole use of this PC, she won't be gaming on it or anything along those lines). I'm working off research from a few forums and comparing to my own personal build. Here's an outline of her requirements as per the forum template:

Approximate Purchase Date: This week or next (basically ASAP)

Budget Range: Preferably under $2000 (unless limiting this will seriously impact performance, would rather a slightly more expensive build that is going to last but if throwing more money at it makes little difference, I'd prefer to save her as much as possible)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Almost solely for video editing HD clips using Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 (currently the video is coming from a Canon 550d, I've read that the video codec on DSLRs is quite resource intensive)

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: New build!

Do you need to buy OS: Yes (Windows 7)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I'm likely to get this from a physical computer store in my area, so part prices can be estimates?

Location: Sydney

Parts Preferences: Preferably Intel CPU. Radeon graphics card will be easier to compare to my personal build.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: If either are an effective but cost effective means of getting good video editing speeds, sure.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments: The general suggested part list I've built up from forums and from comparing to my own build at home is this:

2 x 7200RPM 1TB Hard drive

Intel Core i7-2600K or Intel Core i7-3770K
- Ivy apparently not impressive performance wise according to Tom's Hardware according to one comment, is this true?
- I've heard CPU is a major part of getting good speeds in video editing, should this be a main focus?

Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3ISSD Z68 or Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H-WB?
- Is either of these better or worse? Is another option better?

128GB SATA3 SSD
16GB RAM minimum

PSU - how many watts are needed? Mine was 1000W (Antec TruePower Quattro 1000W), is that unnecessary for this build?

Best video card? PowerColour HD6990 on mine is probably overkill for this build?

Overall, I'd just like some further perspective on what's needed, what might be unnecessary... etc. A smooth video editing PC is what we're after.

Thanks,
Patrick

More about : video editing 2000

September 16, 2012 8:53:49 AM

APP CS5 suggests a RAID 0 for your project files, so depending on how large the projects will be, you will want another drive to back up the RAID Volume.

Regarding video card, I woul familiarize myself with CUDA and the Mercury Playback Engine - http://blogs.adobe.com/premiereprotraining/2011/02/cuda...

And then read the updates - http://blogs.adobe.com/premiereprotraining/2011/04/adob...

You want to be sure the video card chosen uses hardware Mercury Playback Engine

The faster the RAM, the faster the effects processing, again the max should be based on the size of the projects

You want the fastest motherboard you can afford - a workstation board like this is a start - http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z7...

Here's a review of it - http://m.hardocp.com/article/2012/05/22/asus_p8z77_ws_w...
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September 17, 2012 9:37:42 AM

Brilliant! Thanks Dingo07 :) 

I'll have a look through and see what I can find. So far it looks like a Nvidia card is better than Radeon for Adobe Premiere work (dam! Wish I'd known that before getting my PC...).
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September 17, 2012 1:29:23 PM

Yes. Definitely not Radeon, with Adobe CS. GTX 570, 580, or 670 are the way to go, in consumer graphics cards. If she doesn't want any gaming, and does a lot of video, it may be worth thinking about Quadro. They can be expensive, but you don't need a very powerful one, unless doing a TON of stuff. As much RAM as you can sensibly get. 16GB is probably enough, but get it as 2x8GB, just in case.
I would go i7-3770K, and the best Z77 mobo. Workstation if you want.
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September 17, 2012 11:02:02 PM

Oh wow. I'm now wishing I'd seen Quadro cards when buying my PC... They look perfect! She'll definitely be doing no gaming whatsoever on this setup.

I've done a bit more research on them. People on this thread (http://forums.adobe.com/message/4238495) seem to agree that a GTX 570 performs better than the Quadro for Adobe products.

But I've also read that the Quadro is likely to last longer overall as a higher quality card, despite initial performance benefits by the 570. I think for her budget, the Quadro might not be worth the extra $$.

So then my choice moves towards whether I should go with a GTX 570, 580 or 670. I've read a whole bunch of different reports, each saying different cards are the way to go! For video editing alone, would a GTX 570 be enough to run smoothly? Or would I be better off getting a 670? Would there be a visible performance difference?

Am I right to assume that the GTX 570 alone would beat my HD6990 in Premiere Pro performance?


Also has anyone had issues using an SSD as the primary drive with the OS? I've got that setup on my current build and my SSD ended up faulty causing my OS to eventually stop booting. Is that a common thing? Just want to check it's a good idea for my girlfriend's build (i'm assuming my case wasn't super common).

What PSU would you guys suggest for the below build?


GTX 670
Intel Core i7-3770K
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H-WB
128GB SATA3 SSD (for the OS)
2 x 7200RPM 1TB Hard drive (set up in RAID 0)
1 x 7200RPM 1TB Hard drive (for any other files)
16GB RAM (considering 32GB)


Thank you so much for your help, it's been very helpful!
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September 17, 2012 11:50:01 PM

You will find a hundred or more posts about which card is better than the next, there's a lot of reading to do in that arena. Read the Tom's articles, not forum posts though. Basically you can't go wrong with any of the top 3 series' cards.

For a power supply, I'm biased... my ps is great, but again, there's 4-5 top manufacturers that will suit. I would shoot for an 850w unit.
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September 18, 2012 7:26:30 AM

If your friend is doing TONS of video editing, and has no interest in gaming, the ideal card is Quadro 4000. It will give the best speed/performance, and will take a real hammering for longer. For consumer graphics, there's not a lot to choose, FOR ADOBE, between 570 & 670. The 670 possibly wins, on the basis, of being more up to date, lower power consumption, and more versatile (if you do want to do other things), although more expensive. There is no right or wrong answer.
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September 18, 2012 10:23:09 AM

If she is mostly using Adobe Premiere Pro and trying to stick to a budget, I would go with one of the Nvidia GTX cards. The Quadro 4000 is great but only really necessary when editing with Avid.

I currently run a GTX570 with Premiere Pro CS6 and it goes brilliantly.

It's also important to remember the GPU takes care of on-screen media (for smooth playback while you edit and scrub through footage), while the CPU tackles the final render and export.

For around $2000, I'd recommend this build (try PC Case Gear or else MSY):

i7 3770k CPU
Asus Sabertooth Z77 motherboard
Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler (for overclocking)
16-32GB of G-Skill Ripjawz X RAM (2 or 4x 8GB 1600mhz)
Geforce GTX570 (Asus, Gigabyte or EVGA)
Samsung 830 128GB SSD (OS and programs)
2x WD Black 1TB Hard Drive (RAID)
1x WD Black Export drive
Corsair HX850 PSU or Silverstone Strider Plus 850W
Corsair Carbide 500R case

Also, I always recommend high quality peripherals, as you'll be keeping these long after your computer has bitten the dust:

Asus PA238Q / PA246Q or Dell Ultrasharp Monitor
Mechanical Keyboard (you'll never go back)
Logitech mouse (G500 or G9X)
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September 18, 2012 10:34:00 AM

Thanks guys! At the moment the price is sitting at about $1800 for the whole build which is good.

I'm getting the PC built from MSY. They don't have any of the 570 or 580 anymore :(  They also don't sell the Quadro 4000...

I'm a bit worried that the 670 isn't on Adobe's list of supported cards? Is that just because it's a newer card?

Rallymcwilliams, that's a relief that yours runs well on the 570 :)  I don't think I'll be overclocking this PC though, so I hope it still runs as well. Your recommendations look good, they seem to be similar to what I'm edging towards after all the posts above.

Thanks for the advice, on my current PC, the smooth playback is an issue... likely because it's a radeon (HD6990 though... surely that'd be strong enough but it's not!!).
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September 18, 2012 12:15:14 PM

670's fine. Had doubts about that very point, myself. Having spoken to a couple of "experts" on Adobe forum, they assure me it's fine, even though not updated yet on "approved" list. They also reckon 670 is "more or less" equal in performance terms.
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September 18, 2012 12:40:16 PM

Oh good! Thanks malbluff :)  You have eased my worries.

This is what MSY have said they can build me:
ASUS 2GB GTX670 PCI-E VGA Card
Intel BX80637I73770K i7-3770K 3.5/3.9GHz LGA1155 IVY Bridge Boxed CPU Cores 4/8MB
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H Intel Z77/1155p/4xDDR3/SATA3/SATA/USB3/GLan/DP/HDMI/DVI/Raid ATX MB
1 x Sandisk SSD Extreme 120GB SDSSDX-120G / Special
2 x Hitachi 3.5" Desktar 1TB SATA3 HDD 7200rpm
G.Skill Ares 16GB Kit (8Gx2) DDR3 1333 F3-1333C9D-16GAO
Antec HCG-750 Hight Current Gamer Gaming PSU
Thermaltake VM600M1W2Z Dokker Tower Case without PSU

Comes to about $1800. Are there any parts there that stand out as "definitely don't get X part from that manufacturer!" or anything like that? They're all the parts MSY suggested after I came to them asking for a build quote.
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September 18, 2012 12:55:34 PM

The only thing I'd ask is why 750w. You don't need anything like that. What you really want is something around 500-550w, in really high quality. Something like Seasonic X series 560w would be perfect, if pricey. Their S12II 520w would be a good, slightly cheaper alternative. The only possible use for 750w, would be the ability to add 2nd graphic card, in SLi. As SLi is not compatable with Photoshop, no point. If they've suggested 750w, they may be thinking about a margin for possible SLi, but you won't need it. Better to have smaller, better quality, for photo work.
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September 18, 2012 1:08:48 PM

Oh really? I thought 750w might not be enough as earlier 850w was suggested. They said 750w would be ok *unless* I wanted to SLi, then i'd need more powerful.

I don't think I'll be doing anything SLi. It will be used for video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro, not Photoshop, is it the same incompatibility across the CS5.5 suite?
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September 18, 2012 1:09:42 PM

Something that someone else may be able to advise you on, as I don't KNOW. I would normally suggest WD Caviar Black, for HDD. The Hitachi may be fine, I just don't know it, well enough, to advise.
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September 18, 2012 1:36:35 PM

I disagree with malbluff with regard to the power supply - the more the better, unles you want to add a lot of heat to your case, or hear the fan whirl all the time. You want the ps to be running (at load) at roughly 50% (ideally), so an 850W Corsair 80Plus Gold is just as good, if not better. There's absolutely no point to have less for the same money, and definitely not more money. As known, you have plenty of headroom for adding anything in the future.

here is the efficiency chart for the PS I use (keep in mind thermals are not incorporated into these charts)- http://www.plugloadsolutions.com/psu_reports/CORSAIR_CM... - $154.99 after MIR

and here's the Sea Sonic - http://www.plugloadsolutions.com/psu_reports/SEA%20SONI... - $124.99

it's obvious a ps running at 80% instead of 50% will be producing more heat and have it's fan spinning at a higher rmp to try and get rid of the heat. Go with less than an 850W unit if you don't care about fan noise and heat, but I would guess the system will be sucking about 400W while rendering.

I would definitely go with faster RAM - DDR3 1333 is your standard, run of the mill RAM. You want something more along the lines of DDR3 2133 or DDR3 2000

you also need a 2TB HDD to back up the data from the RAID0
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September 18, 2012 2:41:56 PM

Have to agree, to disagree, a bit on that. Your max load, of that system, as it stands, is about 360w. Most of the time, it won't be much more than 300w. Yes, you need a good bit on top of your theoretical max load, because you don't want PSU running flat out, all the time. They tend to be most efficient, at around 70/80% load. A bit less means they run a bit quieter, and less hard, which is no bad thing. It's true that high quality, high efficiency PSU's, can run on lower load, better, without losing too much, in efficiency. With 80Plus GOLD, you can go well over, but there's just no point. They're not going to give out less heat. Something like the best 850w Corsair, actually running at 300w might be whisper quiet (I'm not actually sure about that), but if it is quieter than a Seasonic 560w GOLD, it won't be by much. There's nothing WRONG with putting in,a wildly oversized PSU, if it's the highest efficiency, but it's just a pointless waste of money.
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September 18, 2012 3:27:15 PM

PS Just re-read the Bit-tech review on the Seasonic X. The highest efficiency in it's class, and on noise virtually silent, across the range, reaching a barely audible hum at 100% load (plus $60 cheaper than Corsair 850 Gold). Don't know what more quiet OP needs.
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September 18, 2012 3:31:09 PM

PPS Good point on the RAM. Hadn't spotted that (Too shocked by the 750w). 1600 MHz would be better.
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September 18, 2012 5:30:55 PM

malbluff said:
PS Just re-read the Bit-tech review on the Seasonic X. The highest efficiency in it's class, and on noise virtually silent, across the range, reaching a barely audible hum at 100% load (plus $60 cheaper than Corsair 850 Gold). Don't know what more quiet OP needs.

I see your point...
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September 18, 2012 9:54:25 PM

Okay, I'm going to send MSY an email asking about the RAM. As for the PSU, is it mostly noise that getting a seasonic x one will reduce? The current PSU (at 750w) is $135, whereas a Seasonic is a bit more expensive from what ive seen online? With the new RAM, im assuming the price is going to jump up a bit, dont want it to rise too much more here... If the PSU is only a noise issue and wont affect performance, I think it might be an area I can stick to a cheaper option for to save her a bit of money.

I'll also check how much the WD Caviar Black HDDs are.

Thanks guys, you're both brilliant!

I did have another 1TB HDD as a backup, would it need to be 2TB? Is the backup something Premiere will do automatically or is it just a drive she can manually put backups onto when she wants to do a backup? (If it's the latter, she probably will be fine with a 1TB).
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September 18, 2012 10:35:10 PM

thatpatrickguy said:
...I did have another 1TB HDD as a backup, would it need to be 2TB? Is the backup something Premiere will do automatically or is it just a drive she can manually put backups onto when she wants to do a backup? (If it's the latter, she probably will be fine with a 1TB).

It's just a data drive, to copy the files over, just in case the RAID craps out. I mentioned 2TB because its the same amount as the Array. It really just has to be enough to back up whatever files she's working on.

---

Mind you, I've never in all my years of computing had a drive fail. Knock on wood!
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September 18, 2012 11:17:36 PM

thatpatrickguy said:
Okay, I'm going to send MSY an email asking about the RAM. As for the PSU, is it mostly noise that getting a seasonic x one will reduce? The current PSU (at 750w) is $135, whereas a Seasonic is a bit more expensive from what ive seen online? With the new RAM, im assuming the price is going to jump up a bit, dont want it to rise too much more here... If the PSU is only a noise issue and wont affect performance, I think it might be an area I can stick to a cheaper option for to save her a bit of money.

I'll also check how much the WD Caviar Black HDDs are.

Thanks guys, you're both brilliant!

I did have another 1TB HDD as a backup, would it need to be 2TB? Is the backup something Premiere will do automatically or is it just a drive she can manually put backups onto when she wants to do a backup? (If it's the latter, she probably will be fine with a 1TB).

That's NOT the Corsair GOLD you're looking at. 750 Gold is around $160, 850 Gold $180. You can get the Seasonic X Series Gold 560w for $125 at Newegg. If, as review says Seasonic is only just audible at 100% load (which it will never be), I don't know how the Corsair can be QUIETER. Checked with Adobe forum, yes, SLi is a no-no. There's just no point spending extra on an oversized PSU. It's not going to be more efficient. If there is a marginal difference the Corsair will be LESS efficient.
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September 18, 2012 11:37:59 PM

thatpatrickguy said:
Okay, I'm going to send MSY an email asking about the RAM. As for the PSU, is it mostly noise that getting a seasonic x one will reduce? The current PSU (at 750w) is $135, whereas a Seasonic is a bit more expensive from what ive seen online? With the new RAM, im assuming the price is going to jump up a bit, dont want it to rise too much more here... If the PSU is only a noise issue and wont affect performance, I think it might be an area I can stick to a cheaper option for to save her a bit of money.

I'll also check how much the WD Caviar Black HDDs are.

Thanks guys, you're both brilliant!

I did have another 1TB HDD as a backup, would it need to be 2TB? Is the backup something Premiere will do automatically or is it just a drive she can manually put backups onto when she wants to do a backup? (If it's the latter, she probably will be fine with a 1TB).

A lot depends on which RAID you are using. If RAID 0, that creates two self-contained images, one on each disk. Each is the back-up to the other. RAID 1 is faster, because it just does one copy, sending packets of data, to one of two discs. The drawback is then, if one disc fails, you've lost everything, because what's left on the other disc is meaningless, without the failed one. There are numerous, more sophisicated, versions of RAID, that combine both 1 and 0, to give a fast, and safe, system. There was a good article, in PC & Tech Authority, on 13th July, titled "Weekend project: Mastering RAID arrays". Well worth a read, if you can track it down.
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September 18, 2012 11:45:55 PM

malbluff said:
You can get the Seasonic X Series Gold 560w for $125 at Newegg.


Ok brilliant, in that case I'd be saving money and having a higher quality PSU?
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September 18, 2012 11:56:28 PM

thatpatrickguy said:
Ok brilliant, in that case I'd be saving money and having a higher quality PSU?

Seasonic X are about as good as you can get, without spending silly money.
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Best solution

September 19, 2012 12:42:57 AM

APP suggests RAID 0

CS5 Classroom in a Book! Page 3
"Optimizing performance - Editing video is memory- and processor-intensive work for a desktop computer. A fast processor and a lot of memory will make your editing experience much faster and more efficient; 2 GB of memory is the minimum, and 8 GB or more is better for high-definition (HD) media. Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 takes advantage of multicore processors on Windows and Macintosh systems and will run on Macintosh computers with multicore Intel processors.

A dedicated 7200 RPM or faster hard drive is recommended for standard-definition (SD) or high-definition video (HDV) media. A RAID 0 striped disk array or SCSI disk subsystem is recommended for HD. Performance will be significantly affected if you attempt to store media files and program files on the same hard drive.

The Mercury Playback Engine in Adobe Premiere Pro can operate in software-only mode or GPU acceleration mode. The GPU acceleration mode provides significant performance improvement. The GPU acceleration is possible with select video cards. You can find a list of these video cards on the Adobe website at http://www.adobe.com/go/premiere_systemreqs."

On the side bar there's a Tip:
"A common disk configuration is to put the operating system and applications on drive 1, video and audio files on drive 2, and export files on drive 3. For HD work, drive 2 should be a RAID 0 striped disk array or SCSI disk subsystem."


----
Don't forget the memory specs in the first paragraph are what's to be dedicated to the program, not physically installed for Windows to use.

The link above is broken, so here's what the information is really intended to be...
http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/policy-pricing/syste...
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September 26, 2012 5:37:23 AM

That's a brilliant few paragraphs... thank you!

I'm in discussions now with a PC supplier, will post up what I end up going with :) 
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September 26, 2012 1:29:51 PM

malbluff said:
...If RAID 0, that creates two self-contained images, one on each disk. Each is the back-up to the other...

This is incorrect - I think you meant to say RAID 1

RAID 0 - A RAID 0 (also known as a stripe set or striped volume) splits data evenly across two or more disks(striped) without parity information for speed. RAID 0 was not one of the original RAID levels and provides no data redundancy. RAID 0 is normally used to increase performance, although it can also be used as a way to create a large logical disk out of two or more physical ones.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raid_0#RAID_0
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October 2, 2012 1:46:19 AM

Hi guys,

Just a question, do you think there'd be a big difference between 1600 and 2133 MHz RAM?

It's an area I might be able to bring the price down a little bit. The computer place I've been talking to said that 1600 MHz has been enough for every one of his customers who are gamers.

I'm uncertain as to whether it would make a noticeable difference in video editing?

Would love to hear your thoughts!
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October 2, 2012 2:59:11 AM

For gaming it makes no difference - but for processing video effects faster it's priceless. That's where faster ram comes into play, so if time equals money for your editing time, you'd be smart to have the computer take less time to process swipes, blurs, lighting, etc.
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October 2, 2012 3:01:56 AM

Hmmm that's a good point, she'll be doing quite a bit of filters and such, so keeping to high quality RAM would be the better option then!
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October 2, 2012 5:22:42 AM

GTX 570 has better CUDA performance.
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October 2, 2012 5:27:18 AM

How would the GTX 570 compare to the GTX 660? Apparently the 570 has been superceded by the 660 now, so my supplier can't get the 570 :/ 
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October 12, 2012 1:12:25 AM

Hi everyone,

The computer order I ended up ordering looks like so:

2 x 8GB 2133Mhz RAM Corsair/ Kingston / G-Skill
1 x Gigabyte GF GTX 660Ti WF2 EDITION PCI-E 3.0 2GB 192-bit DDR5, Base: 941 Boost: 1019/6008 MHz, 2x DVI , HDMI, DP, Fan
1 x Intel BX80637I73770K i7-3770K CPU
1 X Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H Mainboard Z77-2133+
1 x 120GB SSD Intel 520 Series
2 x WD Black 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive (set up in RAID 0)
1 x WD Black 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive
1 x Seasonic G Series Gold 650W
1 x Case from Widetech GW

Which came to $1930 including being put together by my local PC supplier.

Once it arrives and my girlfriend has a chance to do some video editing on it, I'll post up here with the results and how well it performs, in case the thread above helps someone else on the lookout for a video editing PC!

Thank you everyone in the thread for your help, you guys are freaking spectacular at this.
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October 23, 2012 9:53:27 AM

Best answer selected by thatpatrickguy.
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October 23, 2012 10:08:16 AM

In the end, my supplier suggested getting 4 x 4GB 2133Mhz RAM instead (he mentioned it was more stable and well tested and that the 8GB sticks of that speed are still relatively new).

Got the PC a few days ago, will post up a proper roundup of how good it turned out!

I've selected one of Dingo07's answers as the best answer. I chose that one because it was actually the most helpful in understanding what approach I should take with the PC and was really useful in explaining to my PC supplier what I was after.

All of your answers were really really useful! Thank you all again so much :) 
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May 14, 2013 2:49:25 PM

thatpatrickguy, how did this computer turn out?
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