Short of paying a 50% premium to an integrator, it looks like the only way to get a system designed for editing is to build it.
However, reading the x79 mb reviews at places like newegg isn't encouraging. Lots of reported problems getting them up and running, as well as quality control issues -- many reports of boards DOA or otherwise defective. Sorting out some of the reported problems (drivers? defective hardware? BIOS?) could leave a first-time builder deeply frustrated. There are also complaints about mb customer service -- for example, waiting 2 weeks for a tech support response.
Is building one of these state-of-the art systems less traumatic than it sounds, as long as you can handle a screw-driver, actually read the mb manual and are reasonably diligent? Or is it better to forget the whole thing, if you have don't have prior experience tuning these systems and making them work?
These 3 messages threads have all been recently updated, so as of right now they are on the 1st forum screen... read all the way through each one
I an NOT a full time builder, but at about one a year (for me or others) for the past 5 years, it is not all that difficult... just go SLOW and read everything that comes with the motherboard and each component
while this may sound like i am discouraging you since i sell systems... take it for what it is just some facts.
the X79 platform launch has been and is by far the worst platform we have ever seen to date.
new plarform validation is always costly for us but this has and technically still continues to be a nightmare.
memory incompatibility is off the charts (and thats standard clock, never mind over clocking)
low voltage ram is absolutely required (1.35) and 99.9% of whats on the market is micron which has major issues.
sourcing ram that works is not easy even for us.
the memory contrllers on the 3960X are different from the 3930k and 3820. the former has much better chance of working than the latter but still has a lot of compatibility issues.
boards wow dont get me started.
first up there is no ICH for hard drives (othe than the 3rd party Sata 600 that varies from board to board) so its software driven (server type) which was terrible but has been fixed by intel to at least an acceptable level.
over heating, DOA, install a capture/raid/audio card and no post
and FYI this is all at stock speeds....
i could go on but....
i am sure Eric will post as well.
Based on your comments, I researched reviews of X58 motherboard -- Asus and Gigabyte -- thinking that perhaps the x58 boards would be safer for a first-time builder. Unfortunately, the reviews of, and the reported experiences with, the x58 boards are nearly as bad as those for the x79s. Sounds promising....
I went through the same angst that you are going through. I can handle a screw driver so I knew I could physically build my system but because of all the possible issues, many that Scott listed, I chose to have mine built. My rationale was let the poor intigrator sort through the DOA parts, select the compatible RAM, deal with the headaches,etc. By the way my poor integrator was ADK (Scott & Eric). If you are like me and had never built a system before, save yourself the aggravation and buy the thing. I couldn't be happier with my system. Plenty of folks on this forum are competent enough to handle it themselves. I didn't want to put myself through the aggrevation.
Ended up getting
3930 OC'd to 4.5
570 Video Card
Black Magic Intensity Shuttle
added Firewire card for my mini-DV
Raid-0 for Source data
Raid-0 for Renders
My $.02 worth
I have just built a new X79 system with little in the way of problems. This is my component list:
Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 motherboard - bought because I need Firewire. I have always used Asus boards before this.
Intel 3930K processor with Zalman CNPS11X cooler
2 x 16GB Corsair XM3 PC3-12800 memory
Corsair HX 1000W ATX Modular power supply
Gainward GTX460 graphics - from previous system
Focusrite Saffire 6 external audio interface
Crucial 256 GB Real SSD M4 (System)
WD 500 GB Corsair Black (Non-Video files and Page file)
2 x 750 GB WD Caviar black in AID0 on the intel controller (Video Capture).
2 x 1 TB Seagate Barracuda in AID0 on one Marvell controller (Media Cache & trimmed completed recent projects)
1 TB Seagate Barracuda (Export and some backup files)
W7 Professional OEM
This is installed in a Lian-Li PC90B case which takes the over-sized motherboard easily.
At intervals I back up my video files to an external 2 TB drive attached to one of the Marvell ports.
Everything is at the standard settings.
I downloaded all the latest available drivers from the manufacturers' web sites before starting. One complication is that you need a pre-install driver for the Intel (or Marvell) chipset, which has to be installed via the F6 method from a memory stick, before you can install Windows as Windows does not include the necessary driver.
The system ran fine and cool from the start. At the moment CPU temp is 20, PCH is 35, and System is 28 degrees.
The only problem that I have encountered was with the BIOS. The board came with F3, so I flashed this to F8 immediately after installing Windows. The problem was occasional system freezes which occurred quite randomly. A quick look at the Gigabyte forum provided the answer - the F9 BIOS which cures this. At that time the BIOS was only available in beta, but the full version is available now. BIOS flashing is very easy. You have to do this in Windows from F3 to F8 as the new file is much larger, but F8 to F9 is better done in the BIOS as the two are the same size.
Video editing with this sytem is an amazing experience - fast with no hiccups of any kind. I have never seen a blue screen. Premiere has never missed a beat. Two weeks ago I edited for 8 hours a day for five solid days. I can keep anti-virus running, browse the internet, handle a few emails, write a letter in Word, etc, click on the Premiere icon on the taskbar, and back it comes, just as I left it, ready to roll. As I say amazing!
From Scott's account, I have been lucky.
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