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Video Editing/Rendering Rig - Cheapest Reasonable

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June 4, 2014 6:25:43 AM

Hello Tom's Community,

I've been trying to build my first rig, and have been using the forums here as a guide/information portal. My goal is to build the most efficient machine for the money, cheapest possible. See, I'm trying to build a business/career out of video editing and film production, but have a very modest budget.

Ideally I'd need it to be able to run, smoothly, Lightworks Pro, ( system requirements) and potentially the Adobe suite and Blender (not as crucial for this build). I'm not too worried about rendering times, only because this isn't meant to be a full-on professional workstation yet; just a machine that can do a modest amount of work to help me get recognized/gain internet fame. It's not going to have to handle video projects longer than 30 minutes anytime soon. Though I would like my rig to be expandable as much as possible, so as I am able to upgrade, I can (not as important as a usable rig though).

So, here are my specs/ideas, any advice or help would be wonderful!

Budget: Up to $1000, not including OS or Monitor (though I need an OS, that is easy to decide)
Purchase Date: ASAP (no later than next week)
Usage: Hobbyist/Semi-Professional Video Editing
Overclocking: Probably Not
SLI: Probably Not

CPU: Intel i7 4770 or AMD, hyper-threading semi-equivalent
RAM: 16gb min (with ability to up to 32 or 64)
Storage: Ideally an SSD and a 7200+rpm SATA
Motherboard: Something that is RAID ready (ideally a 64gb capable board, but 32 is fine)
Graphics: PCI Express, CUDA (Nvidia)
Sound Card: 5.1 capable, good for sound design (Audition or Audacity)

Other than that, I just need what will work. I know I should probably get a CPU cooler. I have NO IDEA what I need in a case, or motherboard type, quality power supply etc,. I have done a lot of research and know kind of what I need, but no idea how to pick quality, low-priced stuff.

Alternatively I have an old desktop computer purchased for internet/word processing. It used to be able to handle Lightworks (10), but when they upped to 11 it ceased working. I upgraded to 4gb memory, to no avail. CQ5500Y Specs I know it's current build is useless, but if it would be cheaper to upgrade that to get what I need, I'd be open to that. I just don't know what I'd need to do.

Thanks for reading! I look forward to hearing from you, I definitely need your knowledge.

- Frank Stratton
Owner/Operator Evolved Film Productions
June 4, 2014 8:01:29 AM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xhxL4D
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xhxL4D/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xhxL4D/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V3 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($249.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: MSI H97 Guard-Pro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($98.99 @ Mac Mall)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($144.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($82.99 @ Best Buy)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.43 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB TWIN FROZR Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $976.32
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-06-04 10:58 EDT-0400)

Consider you don't do heavy LR with GPU
June 4, 2014 10:53:45 AM

IHaveDaBestPC said:
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xhxL4D
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xhxL4D/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xhxL4D/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V3 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($249.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: MSI H97 Guard-Pro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($98.99 @ Mac Mall)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($144.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($82.99 @ Best Buy)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.43 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB TWIN FROZR Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $976.32
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-06-04 10:58 EDT-0400)

Consider you don't do heavy LR with GPU


Hey thanks! This is a great build for what I need.

Just a couple of questions:

1) Should I get a CPU cooler? I read that the processor and graphics card have built in coolers, but would that be enough for, say, a 24hr render? Also, do you have any recommendations for a PCU cooler? EDIT: Or should I get a case cooler, would that be more practical?

2) I don't think I need a sound card right away, though it seems I will eventually. Do you have any recommendations for a good sound card for DVD/5.1 audio design? Or is the built-in sound going to be good enough until I am able to expand to more professional work?

Again, thanks for your help. I really like this build and hope to buy the parts soon. You've really helped solve some headaches, and, helped me learn a bit more!

- Frank Stratton
!