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AMD VS Intel: looking for suggestions for a high end Strictly Video Editing Computer

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June 11, 2013 2:20:51 PM

Hello,

So I am a camera man and video editor, and it's time for me to look into a new computer. So far been working with the following computer:

Msi 770-G45 Amd Chipset motherboard
AMD Phenom II x4 955 cpu
12gb's of Ram
Nvidia Geforce Gtx 650 2gb
750 watt power supply
corsair h80i hydro cooling
Samsung 840 pro Series 256gb SSD drive (os and editing programs only)
1TB Hitachi HD
2TB Western Digital Green
3TB Western Digital Green
Antec Nine Hundred Black Case

Surprisingly this computer build, originally intended for gaming, has been able to work well with my editing software (Adobe Premier, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Magix Music Maker), but now that I'm getting more serious in editing and longer films, I'm looking to make a strictly and pure video editing computer.

With that said, I've am a AMD guy, always getting AMD cores whenever I get a new computer or upgrade. And with that I come to this community, because I want to know what kind of build I can get with an Intel core. I know for right now I'm looking into this build for the next AMD computer, being my idea for a editing computer:

Coolmaster Cosmos II Full Tower ATX Gaming Case
http://www.microcenter.com/product/382382/Cosmos_II_Ful...

Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 AM3+ AMD Motherboard
http://www.microcenter.com/product/399286/SABERTOOTH_99...

AMD FX 8350 4ghz AM3+ Black Edition Processor
http://www.microcenter.com/product/401795/FX_8350_4GHz_...

Corsair Hydro Series H100i Liquid CpU Cooler
http://www.microcenter.com/product/404944/Hydro_Series_...

Corsair Vengeance Series 16gb ddr3-1600 (2x8) *Getting two sets to max at 32gb*
http://www.microcenter.com/product/383618/Vengeance_Ser...(PC3-12800)_CL10_Dual_Channel_Desktop_Memory_Kit_(Two_8GB_Memory_Modules)

Evga Geforce GTX 680 2gb Video Card
http://www.microcenter.com/product/388006/02G-P4-2680-K...

Corsair Enthusiast Series TX850M 850 Watt high performance modular ATX Power Supply
http://www.microcenter.com/product/365788/Enthusiast_Se...

Samsung 840 Pro Series 256gb SSD
http://www.microcenter.com/product/402608/840_Pro_Serie...(SSD)

Western Digital Black 2TB Hard Drive (might grab 2)
http://www.microcenter.com/product/374019/WD_Black_2TB_...

Total cost before tax on this is $2224.88. The max budget I am willing to go is $2500. Any input on this computer or suggested builds for a Intel video editing computer would be greatly appreciated.
June 11, 2013 3:01:56 PM

I've always heard for video editing that one should use an intel processor, but I've never heard or understood the reasons why.

Check out this article written by a guy behind the ppbm website. http://forums.adobe.com/thread/947698

I would look for some CPU benchmarks like this one (where you have to scroll a lot before you see a phenom series cpu) http://ppbm5.com/DB-PPBM5-2.php

Also, I would shift your money away from the GPU and toward a hardware RAID setup--I just recently got one, and I wish I had a long time ago. True hardware RAID cards start at about $400 but they'll give you sequential read and write speeds over 500mb/s for arrays involving 4 or more disks. Depending on your workflow, your money may be better spent sticking 4 large SSDs in a RAID0 array without a discrete RAID card.

I'm running a RAID5 on a 3ware 9750-8i with 5 1TB 7200RPM HDDs, and playback in Premiere Pro is *fabulous*.

If you want an intel based video editing machine, definitely get an LGA2011 platform. LGA1150 or LGA1155 has a limited number of PCI lanes which becomes important if you want more than one PCIe device (a real RAID card is at least an x8 PCIe device). This would mean $200 for the board and $600 for an i7 hexacore processor.

That case is super sexy, but it's pretty easy to get a $50 case with lots of 5.25" bays and stick one of these bad boys in it and *voila* it has the same functionality as that $300 case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (this is what I did)

June 11, 2013 4:46:21 PM

drewhoo said:
I've always heard for video editing that one should use an intel processor, but I've never heard or understood the reasons why.

Check out this article written by a guy behind the ppbm website. http://forums.adobe.com/thread/947698

I would look for some CPU benchmarks like this one (where you have to scroll a lot before you see a phenom series cpu) http://ppbm5.com/DB-PPBM5-2.php

Also, I would shift your money away from the GPU and toward a hardware RAID setup--I just recently got one, and I wish I had a long time ago. True hardware RAID cards start at about $400 but they'll give you sequential read and write speeds over 500mb/s for arrays involving 4 or more disks. Depending on your workflow, your money may be better spent sticking 4 large SSDs in a RAID0 array without a discrete RAID card.

I'm running a RAID5 on a 3ware 9750-8i with 5 1TB 7200RPM HDDs, and playback in Premiere Pro is *fabulous*.

If you want an intel based video editing machine, definitely get an LGA2011 platform. LGA1150 or LGA1155 has a limited number of PCI lanes which becomes important if you want more than one PCIe device (a real RAID card is at least an x8 PCIe device). This would mean $200 for the board and $600 for an i7 hexacore processor.

That case is super sexy, but it's pretty easy to get a $50 case with lots of 5.25" bays and stick one of these bad boys in it and *voila* it has the same functionality as that $300 case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (this is what I did)



in mine, I have 6 slots for drives, not including the two slots on top for dvd and one other accessory. But yes, that piece is sexy as hell. Now for the raid setup, this is why I asked the community for suggestions. I have no idea how raid works, I've worked with multiple drives and with the current ones, loadup is very fast and not to big of an issue. Really for the current comp its the CPU, just not strong enough for what I need to do now
Related resources
June 11, 2013 9:37:57 PM

You wouldn't make a RAID volume to get a better OS loading time. A RAID volume helps when you need responsive playback for a few 10 minute AVCHD clips or render a giant preview file. Your new CPU will be sitting around waiting on a 130Mb/s HDD to feed it some data, and then waiting on the 130Mb/s HDD to write the data. So you stick several HDDs in a RAID volume to increase that speed to 600Mb/s and you're able to benefit from all that CPU muscle.

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. It enables your CPU to interact with multiple disks as if they were one disk.

There are two important concepts to understand about RAID: Parity and Striping.

Striping makes RAID fast. If you have a 200Mb file, parts (stripes) of it will be written alternately on each drive in the array until the whole file is written. You can specify the size of the stripe--if you're working with video files, you'll want the largest stripe size for your config. This way when your CPU needs to read a file, the disks in the array are all reading in sync so you get faster read times. Likewise for writing.

Parity makes RAID safe(r). With parity in RAID5, one drive's worth of space (but not one specific drive) is used to hold parity information so that if any drive should fail, your data is (relatively) safe. Should 2 drives fail before you backup or rebuild the array, all the data goes kaput. Because it is always 1 drive's worth of space, RAID5 is very efficient with storage space as you increase the number of drives in the array. A RAID5 volume comprised of 10 1TB drives only requires 1TB for parity data. However, increasing the number of drives also increases the likelihood of a second drive failure or Unrecoverable Read Error during rebuild or before rebuild can take place (rebuild time increases as volume capacity increases).

There are many good articles that explain this in detail. Here's the gist:
RAID 0 is striped with no parity. You stick n disks in an array and you get n x r/w speed of a single disk speed. A 7200RPM HDD gets like 130Mb/s, so a 4 disk RAID0 means (theoretically) 520Mb/s sequential write/read. No drive failure tolerance. If a drive fails, data is lost.

RAID 5 is striped with parity, so you get n-1 space and n-1 x r/w speed of a single disk. 4 disk RAID5 means 390Mb/s sequential write speed for 7200 RPM drives. Tolerant of 1 drive failure. Note: drive failure tolerance is not a backup. Anything on a RAID5 volume should be backed up elsewhere. The likelihood of a URE during rebuild is very high for consumer drives.

RAID 1 just means that you have two HDDs that are mirrored to each other. No performance advantage.

RAID 1+0 (aka RAID10) means you have two RAID0 arrays comprised of n drives which are mirrored to each other. This is storage inefficient but high performance and tolerant of 1 drive failure (more than 1 drive failure if they're in the same RAID0).

For non-parity RAIDs like 0 and 0+1, your motherboard's controller will likely suffice. It will still suck some CPU resources, but nothing more than like 5%. For RAID 5, you need a hardware controller (meaning a $400 PCIe device that has its own processor and memory) if you want the performance benefit of RAID5 and not the performance deficit of software RAID5 (your CPU will be stuck calculating parity information).

If you were to just set all your scratch disks and to different physical drives, that would be better, but it wouldn't be the same benefit as a hardware RAID setup. You could even use a few large SSDs for low capacity high performance workflow and archive your data on a slow software RAID5. At that point, you've almost got all the hardware for a sweet RAID setup.
June 12, 2013 5:09:52 AM

This is what I would suggest you go with.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler ($76.94 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($248.49 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($244.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($163.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($87.63 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($87.63 @ Outlet PC)
Case: Cooler Master Cosmos II (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($319.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.73 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1899.36
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-12 07:59 EDT-0400)

Theres no GPU in there, but that's because considering that this is purely a video-editing rig you would be best off getting a workstation card, from the AMD FirePro, Nvidia Tesla or Quadro line of cards. I'l admit I don't know my workstation cards, so I'l leave that up to you to figure out.

The reason for the Intel CPU, is quite simply because it is far more powerful than that FX-8350. Its a true Hexcore with Hyperthreading, when it comes to pure CPU grunt available on a mainstream (ie; non server grade) platform you cant get any better (ignoring the 3970X, which is just an overclocked 3930K for $500 more). Your only option to go up from here would be a dual socket motherboard with two Xeon chips in it.

Storage, just two 2TB Seagate Barracuda's and a 250GB Samsung 840. Drive performance will play an important role in performance, but IMO its probably not worth spending all the cash for a hardware RAID controller and all the drives that would be necessary to set up a RAID 5. I would do two RAID0 arrays, and have some external backup solution like a NAS. That seems the simplest option to me and still gets you data security.
June 12, 2013 5:34:58 AM

manofchalk said:
This is what I would suggest you go with.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler ($76.94 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($248.49 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($244.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($163.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($87.63 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($87.63 @ Outlet PC)
Case: Cooler Master Cosmos II (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($319.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.73 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1899.36
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-12 07:59 EDT-0400)

Theres no GPU in there, but that's because considering that this is purely a video-editing rig you would be best off getting a workstation card, from the AMD FirePro, Nvidia Tesla or Quadro line of cards. I'l admit I don't know my workstation cards, so I'l leave that up to you to figure out.

The reason for the Intel CPU, is quite simply because it is far more powerful than that FX-8350. Its a true Hexcore with Hyperthreading, when it comes to pure CPU grunt available on a mainstream (ie; non server grade) platform you cant get any better (ignoring the 3970X, which is just an overclocked 3930K for $500 more). Your only option to go up from here would be a dual socket motherboard with two Xeon chips in it.

Storage, just two 2TB Seagate Barracuda's and a 250GB Samsung 840. Drive performance will play an important role in performance, but IMO its probably not worth spending all the cash for a hardware RAID controller and all the drives that would be necessary to set up a RAID 5. I would do two RAID0 arrays, and have some external backup solution like a NAS. That seems the simplest option to me and still gets you data security.


I'll take a look at the build, but only one thing, I've heard such bad things about Windows 8, that im unsure if I should really use that os in the computer. Probably would go with Win7 Pro. And are there mobo's with 2 cpu slots in them? never heard of any.
June 12, 2013 5:39:49 AM

Win7 Professional 64bit would be your other option when it comes to an OS, functionally there isnt all that much difference to them once you deal with the new Metro Interface Start Menu, though Windows 8 does have a few things going for it on the back end.

Yup.
https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Z9PED8_WS/
June 12, 2013 7:46:24 AM

manofchalk said:

Theres no GPU in there, but that's because considering that this is purely a video-editing rig you would be best off getting a workstation card, from the AMD FirePro, Nvidia Tesla or Quadro line of cards. I'l admit I don't know my workstation cards, so I'l leave that up to you to figure out.


I looked into this for my rig, and I found that a Quadro card is a terrible value for my intended use.

Quadro cards have really robust and extensive drivers that allow them to work with more esoteric programs that involve 3D design. From what I understand, the extensive driver support for 3D design programs is partially responsible for the higher price. They are also designed to scale really well, so most are single slot cards that allow you to stick 4+ in one work station. This tells me that if I'm spending less than 5k on my build, I am not Quadro's intended audience.

Tesla is not intended for video editing or digital content creation. It is made for supercomputers and scientific research. Tesla, Quadro, and GeForce cards can even share the same architecture, but have different firmware that unlocks different features for different markets. One of those features that is unlocked for the Quadro and Tesla lines is double precision performance, which is irrelevant to video editing TMK, but is very important for scientific research purposes.

If you use Adobe Premiere Pro, a GeForce card offers you a lot more performance per dollar spent than Quadro does. This is reflected in the specs for comparable cards, too, so it's not just a Premiere Pro specific phenomenon.

manofchalk, I don't understand the benefit of having two two-drive RAID0 volumes. Presumably you're anticipating the need to simultaneously read from one volume and write to the other. However, wouldn't it be better to have 1 four-drive RAID0? Then you can read/write at 2x the speed of the two-drive RAID0 and for any task that requires only a read or only a write, you get 4x drive speed instead of 2x drive speed. This does increase the likelihood that the whole volume would go kaput, but if the two RAID0 volumes option needs be backed up also, then it seems it would be no more trouble to rebuild a three drive RAID0 in the event of the fourth drive's failure.

Also, I have to wonder what is the benefit of having two separate machines if you're not working in separate spaces? If you really wanted to keep your workspace separate from your gaming, just keep a different OS SSD with games loaded on it. The h80i is compatible with the 2011 socket and the 900 has plenty of space for extra HDDs. The money you would save by reusing those parts ($400) would get you a sweet x8 RAID card and HDDs and allow you to take full advantage of an LGA 2011 board's 40 PCIe lanes (which, BTW, would easily allow you to just add a second GTX 650 in your machine, which would be a LOT of performance for PP). Also, your current processor will work with DDR3 memory, so if you have DDR3 memory, reuse that as well!
June 12, 2013 9:52:55 AM

drewhoo said:
manofchalk said:

Theres no GPU in there, but that's because considering that this is purely a video-editing rig you would be best off getting a workstation card, from the AMD FirePro, Nvidia Tesla or Quadro line of cards. I'l admit I don't know my workstation cards, so I'l leave that up to you to figure out.


I looked into this for my rig, and I found that a Quadro card is a terrible value for my intended use.

Quadro cards have really robust and extensive drivers that allow them to work with more esoteric programs that involve 3D design. From what I understand, the extensive driver support for 3D design programs is partially responsible for the higher price. They are also designed to scale really well, so most are single slot cards that allow you to stick 4+ in one work station. This tells me that if I'm spending less than 5k on my build, I am not Quadro's intended audience.

Tesla is not intended for video editing or digital content creation. It is made for supercomputers and scientific research. Tesla, Quadro, and GeForce cards can even share the same architecture, but have different firmware that unlocks different features for different markets. One of those features that is unlocked for the Quadro and Tesla lines is double precision performance, which is irrelevant to video editing TMK, but is very important for scientific research purposes.

If you use Adobe Premiere Pro, a GeForce card offers you a lot more performance per dollar spent than Quadro does. This is reflected in the specs for comparable cards, too, so it's not just a Premiere Pro specific phenomenon.

manofchalk, I don't understand the benefit of having two two-drive RAID0 volumes. Presumably you're anticipating the need to simultaneously read from one volume and write to the other. However, wouldn't it be better to have 1 four-drive RAID0? Then you can read/write at 2x the speed of the two-drive RAID0 and for any task that requires only a read or only a write, you get 4x drive speed instead of 2x drive speed. This does increase the likelihood that the whole volume would go kaput, but if the two RAID0 volumes option needs be backed up also, then it seems it would be no more trouble to rebuild a three drive RAID0 in the event of the fourth drive's failure.

Also, I have to wonder what is the benefit of having two separate machines if you're not working in separate spaces? If you really wanted to keep your workspace separate from your gaming, just keep a different OS SSD with games loaded on it. The h80i is compatible with the 2011 socket and the 900 has plenty of space for extra HDDs. The money you would save by reusing those parts ($400) would get you a sweet x8 RAID card and HDDs and allow you to take full advantage of an LGA 2011 board's 40 PCIe lanes (which, BTW, would easily allow you to just add a second GTX 650 in your machine, which would be a LOT of performance for PP). Also, your current processor will work with DDR3 memory, so if you have DDR3 memory, reuse that as well!


My reasoning is right now, the current computer is my personal computer, and it's really not designed for video editing. Plus I have people coming over, using the computer with all these programs on it, I cant get what I need done while the others are editing, so it works out. I can still get what I need done, while everyone else can still do the 3d imaging and whatnot at the same time. And I find your advice useful.. not 100% on raid yet
June 12, 2013 9:17:47 PM

drewhoo said:
I looked into this for my rig, and I found that a Quadro card is a terrible value for my intended use...


As I said, dont know workstation cards.
Though I do know of the compute capabilities of Radeon cards, if your video editing software can leverage OpenCL, then a Radeon is a much better choice than Nvidia. However if it can only use CUDA, then a GeForce card is what you should go for.
Also there is the AMD Firepro series, again don't know how that will stack up in your usage, but is worth looking into.

drewhoo said:

manofchalk, I don't understand the benefit of having two two-drive RAID0 volumes. Presumably you're anticipating the need to simultaneously read from one volume and write to the other.


Pretty much, the reason I suggested dual RAID0 arrays is just to keep the drive arrangement simple and to distribute disk load. A larger RAID0 would on paper perform better, but with a setup like that you would be reading and writing on the array, each disk is going to be skipping around to find the right data or write some down, limiting performance to how good the drives Access Times are, which dont improve in a RAID environment. Sequential Read/Writes do, so the dual RAID0 arrays will minimize the impact of the slow Access times.
Or at least thats how it works in my head.

And the fact that if any one drive dies, you lose half of your data versus all of it. A backup solution is advised for RAID0, but whatever you were doing recently would be lost. So this way it halves the chance of losing important data.
June 12, 2013 11:01:09 PM

I like your reasoning on the dual RAID0 arrays. Also, please point me to a benchmark comparison for the 7970 (or similar) and a high end GeForce with regards to performance in Premiere Pro! I agree it seems that the 7970 should eat the 680 for breakfast lunch and dinner because of its insane OpenCL performance, but I can't find data to support or disprove that idea. The 7970 is on the list of cards supported by the CC version of PP, but not CS6, which is what I have. So the question is a little more complicated for me but I would be happy to see an answer in general.
June 13, 2013 1:20:19 PM

I agree that it makes sense on paper, however, the MPE technology has been based on CUDA for so long that I would need to see a direct comparison before throwing $400 at an AMD GPU (which I would love to do, since they tend to be better value cards). If a 7970 provides the same or better benefit as a 680 when exporting media, then it's a no-brainer.

Derrick! Check this link out for some details on how to build your editing system around the requirements of Premiere Pro and other Adobe Products. I posted a relevant quote below: http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adobe.com/content/dam/Ad...

Quote:
Adobe Premiere Pro is highly dependent on the speed of your storage media. You will enjoy better performance and fewer dropped frames if you use multiple drives to spread the work load.
At a minimum, you should consider a two-drive system, with one drive containing your operating system, software, and media cache, while the other is used for your source files, previews, and final exported renders. Preferred is a four-drive system, with one dedicated to the operating system and software, the second for source media and project files, the third for the media cache, and the fourth for previews and exports.
To play back Digital Cinema files or multiple streams of HD video files without dropped frames or other interruptions, you should consider a RAID. A RAID can be used in lieu of additional drives for everything except your operating
system and software.


So it sounds like you would be doing well if you used four separate drives, and if carefully planned, could give you a path to a RAID upgrade if you ever felt it necessary.

Also I must point out that I was wrong earlier about Tesla cards; they can be used in conjunction with Quadro cards for a "Maximus" configuration that is supposedly very good. However, that isn't terribly relevant for this conversation since the price of a Tesla card exceeds the budget for this build.
June 15, 2013 4:50:34 PM

Well, if all goes well in the follow few months, i'll be able to increase the budget to around 3000 US dollars. So here's what im asking. I would like to see what you all would do for a AMD build and a Intel build. You can put why and whatnot, but very soon im gonna have to make a decision
June 15, 2013 7:10:30 PM

For $3000, there's no reason to go with AMD CPU's. They excel in terms of value, which isn't exactly too much of a concern when your dealing with this kind of cash.

My rig suggestion stays the same as before, just add whichever GPU and RAID array (if you do it at all) works for you. With the extra cash, lash out and get some nice IPS monitors, bigger sound setup even a better chair or desk.
!