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New build feedback sought ($1400 content creation system)...

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January 14, 2013 4:32:41 AM

Time to build a new content development WorkStation. My motivation for upgrading is that I have been using a mediocre 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 mother board, power supply/cooling and video card choice. I am more interested in app usability than absolute through put and want to maximize my dollar investment. I could get a nice lens for the difference in price.

Purchase date: this week

Budget: I'd like to stay close to $1200-1400, but can spend more for significant performance gains. As I do more research, my inclinations are trending higher. :-( LOL

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 stereo 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, but I will use these apps a fair bit at home. I seldom run games, but may toy around with a few for a little while to test the graphics on the new system.

The video/storage array will be built separately.

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

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 because 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

ASRock X79 Extreme6 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$228 w/ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Memory
G.SKILL Ripjaws z Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL10Q-32GBXL
$160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL10Q-32GBXL
$130
Already Purchased


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

Galaxy 66NPH7DV6XXZ GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$270 w/ship
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, Bare Drive, 3D Play Back (WH14NS40) - OEM
$70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Case
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$90 w/ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Power Supply
XFX 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
$100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

CORSAIR AX760i 760W Digital ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
$210


CPU Cooler
CORSAIR Hydro Series H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
$110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

CORSAIR Hydro series H50 High Performance CPU Cooler
$65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total
$1347 or $1867



Is the i7 3930 6 core ($569) worth the extra $ over the i7 3820 ($300) for the type of work I'll be doing (web design, photo editing, 3d and video editing)?

The AS Rock seems to have a rep for solid value/performance, it also has a fair number of usb 3 & eSata ports which I will use. Opinions?

I am a little confused about RAM, some say I need the ripJaw z series because it is designed for x79, others say the x series is ok. I got some X series before I knew there was a difference. Should I sell the x series & buy z series? Thoughts?

I have little idea in term of what I would need for cpu cooling, but understand that the i7 3820 comes with a fan (Would I need another)? The i7 3960 does not? I would like any suggestions? thx

Finally, I would like some advice on power supplies I have spec'd a decent one that was recommended here, but others have told me to spend more, will the less expensive one get me by OK? Recommendations?
January 14, 2013 5:16:27 AM

Is the i7 3930 6 core ($569) worth the extra $ over the i7 3820 ($300) for the type of work I'll be doing (web design, photo editing, 3d and video editing)?
exactly yes, there is no advantage getting 4 core lga2011 as it performs similar with lga1155 3770K
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January 15, 2013 12:37:29 AM

Thx for the reply.

Good to know that it may be wise to save a little on the ps. What do you think about cooling? Can I do well w/the cheaper cooling system (I will only OC mildly), or should I go with the high end cpu cooler?
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January 15, 2013 12:59:41 AM

^ for cooling there is no doubt 212 evo will do

liquid cooling often perform bad/noisy
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January 15, 2013 12:59:41 AM

RAM is RAM, lol. They're both quality and will perform the same, the stuff you here probably say Ripjaws Z says quad-channel which is for X79, but that's just a marketing gimmick since X is also capable of that. The only real difference between the two are the heat spreaders which are also a gimmick. :lol: 

Don't bother with the closed-loop water coolers, they perform on par(if not sometimes inferior) with the high-end air coolers which are cheaper, not to mention less riskier. If you're not gonna OC any over than 4.2GHz, the 212 EVO would be great.

The ASRock X79 Extreme6 is the cheapest motherboard I can find with 8 RAM slots, so that should be the best buy.

The Corsair TX and AX are great PSUs, but you don't need anything over 650w if you're not doing 2-way GPUs. The XFX 650w you originally picked is made by Seasonic, a manufacturer a lot consider to be the best in terms of... everything. :lol: 

Finally, for every usage you stated, I believe a Workstation card like the nVIDIA Quadro or AMD FirePro would give you a lot better performance. Gaming might be a bit so-so though.
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January 15, 2013 1:18:45 AM

excella1221 said:
RAM is RAM, lol. They're both quality and will perform the same, the stuff you here probably say Ripjaws Z says quad-channel which is for X79, but that's just a marketing gimmick since X is also capable of that. The only real difference between the two are the heat spreaders which are also a gimmick. :lol: 

Don't bother with the closed-loop water coolers, they perform on par(if not sometimes inferior) with the high-end air coolers which are cheaper, not to mention less riskier. If you're not gonna OC any over than 4.2GHz, the 212 EVO would be great.

The ASRock X79 Extreme6 is the cheapest motherboard I can find with 8 RAM slots, so that should be the best buy.

The Corsair TX and AX are great PSUs, but you don't need anything over 650w if you're not doing 2-way GPUs. The XFX 650w you originally picked is made by Seasonic, a manufacturer a lot consider to be the best in terms of... everything. :lol: 

Finally, for every usage you stated, I believe a Workstation card like the nVIDIA Quadro or AMD FirePro would give you a lot better performance. Gaming might be a bit so-so though.


I would probably let him stick with a 660Ti or even a 650. It will seriously be just as fast as any of the current low priced professional cards. Until he reaches that certain point where you can add quite a lot on the graphics, one of these cards will be enough.
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January 15, 2013 1:33:06 AM

boulbox said:
I would probably let him stick with a 660Ti or even a 650. It will seriously be just as fast as any of the current low priced professional cards. Until he reaches that certain point where you can add quite a lot on the graphics, one of these cards will be enough.

True.
Though if he's gonna pay ~$270 for a video card anyway, he might as well get the good workstation cards. And judging by the amount of work he's gonna do, it seems a better choice.

Would probably suggest either of the two.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The only drawback I can see(on the nVIDIA card) is the bus rate and VRAM. Though correct me if I'm wrong, VRAM won't play that big of a role since the system RAM would do most of the work.
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January 17, 2013 1:31:02 AM

Thanks for all the good advice. Especially on the RAM and cpu fan, that will help me save some $.

I intend to stick with the 660TI card. I cannot stomach the prices of workstaion cards when the hardware is such crap. If work was buying the card then I could see spending a couple of grand for a good workstation card, but I can run the hack to get CUDA core rendering in Premiere and After Effects and the 3d performance shouldn't be such a big deal unless I am working with huge models.

There used to be 3rd party drivers you could use with a gaming card to get them running well with max or Maya, but I can't remember what they are called.

Anyways a quadro or ATI card is not being considered. That said, your point is well taken, for better 3d content creation performance (depending on your SW choices), you are better off to pay exorbitant prices for inferior hardware in order to be provided with decent (not disabled) hw drivers that support your application(s).

Quite frankly, the CPA and FCC should have long ago stepped in onthis travesty, but they were neutered in the 80's.

And por favor, what say you about power supply, do I really need the high end models to run this machine if it's not encoding or render sun up to sunset?
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January 17, 2013 6:58:27 AM

Not really, I guess - but I won't get an off-brand either.

You'll want at least reliability and good voltage regulation, as well as the safety measures during surges. A bad PSU that fails has the capacity to fry out half your components.

If you want to cut back a bit on PSU expense, here's a fairly decent PSU that should do the trick. This is probably more than you'll need but it's at a good price and it's not overly overkill.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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