What PC to build?

LEGEND ,
Mar 17, 2010 Mar 17, 2010

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A question often asked is what system to build for NLE.


Basically you can think along three roads, a budget PC, an economical PC and the warrior PC. Notice that MAC is not mentioned here. There are three reasons for that, one is I'm not qualified to really advise on MAC's, two is that they are way overpriced and three they are severely limited in component choices. So this is all about PC.


Whether you want to have a budget, economical or warrior PC, there are a number of common components that you will always need, a case, a PSU, CPU cooler, monitor, keyboard, mouse, DVD/BR burner and stuff like that so I'm not going into those components.


So what is this all about?


1. CPU
2. Motherboard
3. Memory
4. Disk setup
5. Video card


This is certainly not intended to be a full description of what to buy, but only to point you in a direction that will make it easier to make your own list of components required.


CPU
Budget: i7-860, Economical: i7-930, Warrior: Dual X5680


Motherboard
Budget: ASUS P7P55D, Economical: ASUS P6T WS Pro, Warrior:  SuperMicro X8DAH+


Memory
Budget: 8 GB, Economical: 12 GB, Warrior: 24+ GB


Disk setup
Budget: 3-4 SATA disks, Economical: 5-8 SATA disks (plus raid controller), Warrior: 12+ disks and Areca ARC 1880iX-16/24 controller

Video card
Budget: ATI HD 5670, Economical: nVidia GTX-285, Warrior: nVidia Quadro FX 3800+


Effectively at this moment (March 2010) that means in approximate costs for the 5 components and not counting everything else you may need,

Type PC
Approximate budget
Budget$ 1,200
Economical$ 2,100 (excluding RAID controller)
Warrior$ 8,500 (including Areca RAID controller)


These figures are around minimum to budget for. I hope this gives you something to ponder about.

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New Here ,
Feb 03, 2011 Feb 03, 2011

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Hi Chuck - that CPU looks top of the range - I was more interested in the "economical" range (based on Harm's original post terminology) - we only do video editing say once every month or two after a holiday/trip, and then come back and try to reasonable job (not professional by any means) of pulling the best parts together.  We use Adobe Premiere & Photoshop.  The file types we seem to have currently are:

- *.dv - from our older (a few years old) digital video camera

- *.mts - from the video from our new digital video camera, that takes reasonable video

Currently based on reading to date (not too much yet) is something like:

* CPU / Motherboard

- Not sure (was thinking ASUS for motherboard, but model depends on CPU no doubt?)

- what sort of CPU/motherboard do you think these days fits into the Economical (not professional) category at the moment?  

- Re CPU the list from our local shop is:  http://www.umart.com.au/pro/products_listnew.phtml?id=10&bid=2&id2=13

* Memory - get lots it seems     - I was thinking 12GB initially

* Video Card - not sure whether we need something flash given the video formats we are dealing with (see above)?  Someone suggested nVidia GTX470 or a Quadro card for Adobe Premiere work...

* Disk Drives

- dedicated system drive

- video drives - wanted to have data protection (and apparently Drobo's etc are not good for performance) so two (or three) SATA drives here in a RAID 5 configuration I was thinking?   Not sure if there are any tips & tricks here to be aware of re RAID 5 usage with video editing?

* O/S - Win7 64bit - Home Premium or Pro?  perhaps just go for Pro?

thanks

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Engaged ,
Feb 03, 2011 Feb 03, 2011

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Go with Win 7 64 Professional.  Make sure it's 64, which is something I'm sure you already know.  If you spend a little extra money, you will get something that is a pleasure to edit on.  If you want to reduce the price a little bit, you should go with high rated non-green 1TB hard drives for your media drives.  You could probably get by with a Corsair 750 watt power supply, but it's a good idea to check that out in one of the many online power supply calculators.

This would make for a decent system and it's somewhat mid-range:

newegg Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115211&cm_re=i7-950-_-19-115-211-_-Product
$309.99

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128423&Tpk=GA-X58A-UD3R
$209.

12GB kit (4GBx3)  US $149.99
Part #: CT3KIT51264BA1339 • DDR3 PC3-10600 • CL=9 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR3-1333 • 1.5V • 512Meg x 64 •
http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=GA-X58A-UD3R

COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119225&cm_re=haf_x_case-_-11-119-225-_-Product
Now: $199.99

CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139011&cm_re=corsair_power_supply_850w-_-17-139-011-_-Product
$169.99


GIGABYTE GV-N470OC-13I GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125331&cm_re=gtx_470-_-14-125-331-_-Product
$259.99

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136296&cm_re=raptor_hard_drive-_-22-136-296-_-Product
Now: $124.99

Western Digital Caviar Black WD2001FASS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136456&cm_re=western_digital_black_2tb-_-22-136-456-_-Product
Now: $169.99 x2= 339.98

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New Here ,
Feb 06, 2011 Feb 06, 2011

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excellent - thanks for this Chuck

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New Here ,
Feb 02, 2011 Feb 02, 2011

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I just had a very similar system built, same CPU, Graphics and Mother Board. I would suggest, 24Gb ram (it is cheap right now) and this Mother Board supports eSata 6.0, I would use a couple of  WD Black 6.0 1Tb drives in Raid 0 for Video storage. That is my setup and it works like a charm.

Richard

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Explorer ,
Mar 10, 2011 Mar 10, 2011

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I just bought a laptop not too long ago and instead of purchasing something new, is there any way I can improve the performance of what I have? I mostly use my laptop for editing photos, but I now want to work with the highest resolution of video that I can. I noticed AE and Pr are a bit sluggish with the HD video I've been playing with. Here's what I have for my laptop:

  • Quad Core Intel Core i7 processor (1.73GHz) with Turbo Boost Technology (2.93GHz)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 8GB of DDR3 RAM & 500GM Serial ATA HDD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 310M (512MB) Graphics
  • External Hardrive 1TB, eSATA, USB 2.0
  • CS4 Master Collection

I also have a few other questions:

  1. In the AE Memory and Multiprocessing preferences, if I have 8GB of RAM, how much is suggested I leave for other applications? I'm probably only going to have the Firefox browser running, if anything.
  2. How much should I allocated to each CPU for rendering multiple frames simultaneously? Right now I have 0.5 GB per CPU.
  3. For Multiprocessing, how many, if any, CPUs should I leave for other applications? It's at 0 now.
  4. Should I use my local disk drive or my external hardrive to run AE and Pr? Would it make much of a difference?

I've tried playing with the settings, but I really don't know what I'm doing and I haven't found anything that really helps.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 10, 2011 Mar 10, 2011

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I would suggest you start a new discussion rather than get into such an old existing discussion.

And about your external disk which way are you using it?

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Explorer ,
Mar 10, 2011 Mar 10, 2011

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Hello Bill,

Thank you for your response. I didn't know if it would be considered rude to start a new thread when one already exists. There's a lot of participation in this thread and I didn't think anyone would mind if I asked a few related questions.

The external disk is new and I haven't used it for anything yet. I was thinking of using it for storage/back-up. If you think it would be best used for something else, I'm very open to ideas.

Do you have any suggestions?

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Explorer ,
Mar 13, 2011 Mar 13, 2011

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Someone was able to help me in another forum. I'd thought I'd post his response here, in case someone else has similar specs and searching for answers on performance.

Copla_XT wrote:

For 8gb of ram, I'd leave at least 2gb for other applications. I don't know what plugins you use for Firefox, but that should work. If you have 4 cores, leave one for other programs. Minimum allocated for per CPU, 1gb should work well, maybe 2. Personally, I like longer ram preview over faster rendering. I like to see more than a couple seconds.

I tried it and it works so much better than the default settings. I hope this helps someone.

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New Here ,
Mar 16, 2011 Mar 16, 2011

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Harm,

Good morning, I am building a custom workstation for a friend that shoots  with a Sony EX1 camera and edits footage from that, P2 and AVCHD  together in the same timelines.

I have read that it is  recommended that you have dual hexa-core motherboards for this, but all  the motherboards that support dual-hex CPUs are for servers and lack a  number of the features this user needs such as USB 3, eSATA, on-board  high quality sound.  Plus, if Adobe is serious about the Mercury  Playback Engine, I would think maxing out the Quadro card would be money  better spent than on a second CPU, plus I thought video encoding wasn't  very threadable so having 12 / 24 threads on slower processors wouldn't  be effecient compared to 6/12 threads of a faster processor?

I would like to run the spec of the workstation I have planned to build my friend to see what you think.

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Tower case

Antec HCP-1200 Powersupply

ASUS Rampage III Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i7-990X Extreme Edition Gulftown 3.46GHz 6 x 256KB L2  Cache 12MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor  BX80613I7990X                       

24 GB 1600 DDR3 RAM   Corsair Vengeance 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) CMZ4GX3M1A1600C9

PNY VCQ5000-PB Quadro 5000 2.5GB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0  x16 HDCP Ready Workstation Video Card

ASUS DVD – LightSCRIBE                                

Pioneer Black 6X BD-R 2X BD-RE 8X DVD+R 6X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Internal Blu-ray Burner Blu-ray Burner BDR-206MBK

256 GB SSD OS and Software Drive                                   

2 TB Backup & Update Install Drive, Tutorials, work, Docs.

2 2 TB Raid for Work Files

256 GB SSD for SWAP and ADOBE CACHE

Multi Card Reader

Thank you for your help,

Jeff

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New Here ,
Apr 10, 2011 Apr 10, 2011

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Harm,

Do you have a list of up to date components that you recommend for a new rig? Thanks for all the great info that you have put out.

John

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New Here ,
Apr 11, 2011 Apr 11, 2011

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Good day.

I'm trying to setup a computer that can run adobe master collection cs5.

Is this ok?

Intel Core i7 2600 Processor

Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4-B3 Motherboard

     Intel P67 chipset

     4 x DD3 DIMM slot

     Build-in Raid 0 and Raid 1

     High Definition Audio (up to 7 Channel)

     Build in LAN (support up to Gigabit LAN)

     Support 2xSATA 6GB/S; and 4xSATA 3Gb/s connection; 2x eSATA; 6xUSB 2.0; 2xUSB 3.0 ports

16GB DDR3 PC-1333

1 x Intel 120Gb SSD (for OS win7 professional)

2 x Seagate 2TB XT Barracuda Series 7200rpm hard drive

GTX570 Sonic 1280Mb GDDR 5320-bit

Thanks.

Gavin Go

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 13, 2011 Apr 13, 2011

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LEGEND ,
Apr 13, 2011 Apr 13, 2011

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The only problem is the 8 GB of memory because it is using all 4 slots with no expansion room.  You really need 4 GB RAM modules.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 13, 2011 Apr 13, 2011

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Very true, Bill.

That custom-built has a total of only 8GB, and has no available DIMM slots for expansion. It should have had two 4GB DIMMs instead.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 21, 2012 Jun 21, 2012

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How about an update to this?

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LEGEND ,
Jun 21, 2012 Jun 21, 2012

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