Back on March 30, 2011, I started a thread on the Hardware Discussion Forum titled "Falcon Northwest Mach V for AVCHD?" (http://forums.adobe.com/thread/831568?tstart=0). My current post is to tell you how things turned out.
I am retired and computers are my hobby so I was looking for a system that would run all of the programs in the Adobe Master Collection (including full HD video editing) and also serve as my general use PC.
I got in touch with Scott Chichelli, a regular poster to this Forum who responded to my March 30th post. Scott is the founder of ADK, Advanced Design of Kentucky (http://www.advanceddesignky.com/). I also spoke via private message to Harm Millaard, another regular in this forum, who had responded to my original post.
The end result is that I purchased a new computer system from ADK. I received it during the third week of May. I wanted to give it a good workout before reporting back here. That's the reason why I didn't post a message immediately after I received my new hardware.
The bottom line is that I'm VERY pleased and would certainly buy from ADK again in the future. Here are the basic specs for the system that I purchased.
CPU: Intel Hex Core i7, 3.2 GHz O/C 3.8 GHz
RAM: 24 GB DIMM DDR3
GPU: nVidia GeForce GTX 580
HD's: INTEL SSDSC2MH250A2 for OS, 4 x WD Caviar Black 1TB (2 x 2TB RAID 0), 1 x WD Caviar Black 2TB
Optical Drives: LG WH10LS30 Blu-ray rewriter & Plextor PX-L890SA
Audio: Giga-Byte Onboard Audio Controller
Displays: NEC MultiSync LCD2690WUXi & NEC MultiSync PA241W
I'm super impressed with the speed of this hardware. The SSD for the OS is great. I was a little apprehensive about having only a 250 GB OS drive (that's the biggest Intel SSD available at the time) but ADK talked me into it and I'm glad that they did. Per their suggestion, I relocated all of my OS data folders (including folders for "My Documents, My Pictures, etc.) to the 2TB storage drive. With only programs left on the SSD, I seem to be OK with the 250 GB size.
The speed of the two RAID 0 arrays is fantastic for video editing. One array is for source and the other for renders. It works great. I work with full HD video source material from my Canon 1D Mark IV dSLR and my system has no trouble whatsoever with timeline playbacks and scrubbing in Premiere CS5. The performance of my system for video editing is everything I had hoped for.
I do a lot of processing of still images from my Mark IV dSLR, so I was both delighted and surprised at how much speed improvement I noticed in Photoshop with my new hardware. I hadn't been expecting to see so much speed gain in Photoshop. I was surprised and impressed.
For general use, this new hardware is also impressive. Programs like Dragon Naturally speaking benefit substantially from the above average hardware specs.
Another great feature is ADK's customer service. I live in Newfoundland, Canada, and was apprehensive about buying from Kentucky. It turned out to be a non-issue. In fact, I've gotten better service than I have ever received from previous local purchases. I've only had two minor issues that were both kind of my own fault and ADK talked me through the solutions on the phone. They also have "ADK Quick Support" software installed on my PC. This allows them to login to my hardware over the Internet and do remote trouble shooting of my hardware from their office in Kentucky. I've used that feature once and it worked great!
One 'problem' I experienced was that I plugged my new computer into a UPS that turned out to be under-sized. This was obviously my fault and ADK specified the fix. They recommended a CyberPower 2200 va UPS, which I have since installed. The UPS required that I run a dedicated 20 amp circuit from my panel to the computer and I did that also. All is now fine in that regard.
The other 'problem' was with my USB bus. Using ADK's remote access tool they determined that I had so many USB devices (including an internal card reader that I had ordered from ADK as an 'extra') that the USB bus could not handle the power demand. The solution was simple. They recommended that I plug some of the devices into a powered USB hub. All has been fine with my USB devices ever since I did that.
In both cases when I needed technical help, I telephoned ADK and they stayed on the phone with me until the solution was identified. No waiting and no hassle.
BTW, ADK even installed my Adobe Master Collection and Microsoft Office Suite as part of their service. I just had to provide them the serial numbers and they did the rest. ADK also pre-installed some other useful utility programs like SiSoftware's Sandra Lite but there was none of the 'bloat ware' typical of most mass-marketed consumer systems.
Can you tell that I REALLY like my new system?
I'd be happy to answer questions if there are any.
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