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New build feedback sought ($1200 content creation system)...

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October 16, 2012 8:41:08 AM

Time to build a new WorkStation. My motivation for upgrading is that I have been using a mediocore laptop (i7m, 8gb, 250gb ) from my work as my home system for the last 2 years, I am starting to get more freelance coming in and need a good desktop.

I am not so sure about my processor, mother board and video card choice. I am more interested in app usability than absolute through put and want to maximise my dollar investment. I couyld get a nice lens for the differnce in price.


Purchase date: this week

Budget: I'd like to stay close to $1000-1200, but can spend more for significant performance gains. As I do more research, my inclinations are trending higher.

System Usage: My primary uses will include photo editing with Lightroom and Photoshop, 3D graphics using 3D studio Max, Maya and Mud Box, HD video editing using Premiere and After Affects and Web Design. I will also use it as an HD media player and hifi audio is important. Maximizing cs6 performance in premiere & pShop is my main target. I am focused mainly on user experience while running these apps. If I need to encode hrs of video or crank out frames in max/maya, I can do it at work. I seldom run games.

Monitors: I'm running two Dell U2410's IPS, calibrated w\Color Munki, one portrait one lanscape.

Parts to Upgrade: Full system build

O/S : Win7 Ultimate, I might play with Ubuntu/Virtualization

Vendor: Newegg unless I can save big $$ else where. I like B&H.

It needs to be an Intel machine & I have chosen lga 2011 becuase I'll eventually go to 64gb. I'll do some modest overclocking.

Any advice is appreciated. Thank you for your expertise.

Processor
Intel Core i7-3820 Sandy Bridge-E 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 2011 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73820
$299 w/ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or
Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73930K
$569 w/ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Mobo
MSI X79A-GD45 (8D) LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
$218 w/ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

ASRock X79 Extreme6 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$240 w/ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or
MSI Big Bang-XPower II LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 XL ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
$380
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Memory
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL10Q-32GBXL
$130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Hard Drive
SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC256B/WW 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
$160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Video
GIGABYTE GV-N65TOC-1GI GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
$160 w/ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

MSI N660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Item#: N82E16814127696
$300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Optical Drive
LG Black 14X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 12X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA BDXL Blu-Ray Burner with SW, 3D Play Back - BH14NS40
$70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Case
COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply
FX Core Edition PRO650W (P1-650S-NLB9) 650W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
$90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $1190
or $1760

I have picked the MSI motherboard due to its support for 128gb ram, superior audio and other high end features. The AS Rock for its rep for solid value/performance. Opinions?

Finally, I would like some advice on video cards. I prefer nVidia to ATI, but I'm not sure which chip to go for. The six fifties are cheaper, but the 660 ti provides more CUDA cores.
October 16, 2012 9:26:42 AM

For applications you mentioned:
i7-3930k - 6 cores will show a clear advantage
MSI x79-gd45 8d - you don't need extra features like quad sli pci-e gen3. This one supports 128GB of memory too. From the mainboards you listed, only Asrock comes with realtek 898. It is a very good codec. It supports max 64GB of memory, so maybe this is a choice for you.
As for the memory, I would buy something faster. On LGA2011 the higher the clock the better performance. Consider buying 2133MHz or at least 1866, CAS latency doesn't really matter in this case.
Graphics - definitely Nvidia, the more memory and CUDA cores the better. You will need to do a little editing to enable hardware mercury engine on non-quadro cards. Google for 'cuda hack cs6'.

Rest of components is up to your liking. SSD for system / software drive is a good idea.
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October 16, 2012 9:41:01 AM

Get the 3820. Better value.
Get bejusek's board,or the asrock.
Faster ram is indeed better now,though a 3770k isn't far behind mind you,from a 3930k in terms of ram,and general benching.
Go with the gtx 660ti
HAF 912 Plus. Or HAF XM
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Related resources
October 17, 2012 2:43:33 AM

Bejusek said:
For applications you mentioned:
i7-3930k - 6 cores will show a clear advantage
MSI x79-gd45 8d - you don't need extra features like quad sli pci-e gen3. This one supports 128GB of memory too. From the mainboards you listed, only Asrock comes with realtek 898. It is a very good codec. It supports max 64GB of memory, so maybe this is a choice for you.
As for the memory, I would buy something faster. On LGA2011 the higher the clock the better performance. Consider buying 2133MHz or at least 1866, CAS latency doesn't really matter in this case.
Graphics - definitely Nvidia, the more memory and CUDA cores the better. You will need to do a little editing to enable hardware mercury engine on non-quadro cards. Google for 'cuda hack cs6'.

Rest of components is up to your liking. SSD for system / software drive is a good idea.


allanitomwesh said:
Get the 3820. Better value.
Get bejusek's board,or the asrock.
Faster ram is indeed better now,though a 3770k isn't far behind mind you,from a 3930k in terms of ram,and general benching.
Go with the gtx 660ti
HAF 912 Plus. Or HAF XM



Thanks for the advice, I am beginning to lean toward a gtx660 non TI with the 3930 cpu. I am interested in superior audio quality, so maybe the asRock is a better choice. The 128gb expandability is attractive, but I may be better off with more sata 6GB/s, eSatas and USB 3's.


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October 17, 2012 5:21:54 AM

Well,you could get a gtx 570. They had great render performance.
Also, You could save alot of cash with a z77 board and a 3770K with the same 32gb ram,and still get a board with great audio. The RAM expansion will be lost though.
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October 17, 2012 8:48:26 AM

Yes, a gtx 570 performs similar to 660ti in cuda computations. It has less cuda cores but they run twice the clock speed of GPU core, while in 660ti they run at GPU clock speed. 570's 320bit memory interface is more efficient than 192bit in 660. So for your build GTX570 is better than non-ti 660. There were 570s with 2.5GB of memory (evga?) try to look for a one.

As for the cpu, I believe that 3930 is a must. I know its price is ridiculous, but performance gain in rendering will compensate for it.
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October 17, 2012 9:55:34 AM

If he goes 3930K way,the asrock is the only sensible board to go with. No point in saving $20 with the MSI after laying the $$ on your processor.
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