You might want to look at Harm Millard's ARTICLE on building an NLE workstation. He has also recently done several others on HDD setup, and 64-bit OS optimization. Were I building a new workstation, I'd have all of these articles printed and on my desk.
It appears you are on a budget. Well, who isn't nowadays?
1. Good mobo.
2. Good CPU, but do you mean 2 of them? Any chance of upgrading these to a higher clockspeed, like E5540 or higher?
3. Not good. With DDR3 you need at least 3 sticks to benefit from the DDR3 architecture. I would get 12 GB (6x2GB).
4. Nice disk for media. Not so nice for a boot disk. I would suggest a Velociraptor for boot (OS & pragrams) and at least 3 of these 640 G disks or larger for storage. Look at my guide about storage for setting up your disks.
5. Video card is OK, although I'm personally more in favor of ATI (4870/4890).
6. Forget about a SB sound card. Use on-board sound. SB has crippled too many systems to be advised in any system.
7. Good choice.
8. I would opt for Win7 Professional 64 RC at the moment and upgrade after 10-22-09 with the official release.
9, 10, & 11. Case is a very personal choice. Fans may be necessary with the mobo and CPU of your choice, but in general Intel stock fans are not the best. PSU may not be the best choice. I'm not familiar with the brand and model, 750 W seems sufficient, but I suggest you also look at more familiar brand names. Have a look at some of the links I provided in my guides to see what are good PSU's in the various tests.
General question: Why go for a very good mobo with good CPU's but skimp on memory and hard disk setup?
I suggest you reread the PC buying guide and Storage guide, because you may well be better off with a highly OC-able i7 than with dual Xeons.
Yes, I meant 2 CPUs. I think upgrading the clockspeed begins to get out of my price range...I'm not on a budget per se, but I just want to get things at what I'd call a "reasonable" level...I don't need the highest of high end, if that makes sense...This editing is recreational.
I can probably upgrade to 12 GB of memory. I believe I just read that 6 GB would also be an option? The memory and hard disks were kind of at an undecided level. Mainly I wanted to make sure the brand/type would work well, more so than the amount. I''m undecided on what amounts of each I think I need, but I will go back and look at your guide.
I was under the impression that this motherboard had no on-board sound, so that is why I was looking for a sound card...?
I'll look into ATI video cards and various PSUs.
Thanks for you help.
I just checked the mobo info you supplied the link to and indeed it appears to have no on-board sound. If you stick with this mobo, you have to get an audio card, but then also check the slot layout on that mobo. Can you use a PCI-X card or do you need a PCI card? You only have one PCI-e slot, so you will not have the possibility of adding a PCI-e raid controller. Then there is no sense in getting a SLI capable PSU, since the mobo does not allow SLI. If you need an audio card, I would have a look at Turtle Beach instead of SB. Overall the mobo seems to be lacking PCI slots. You better consider what expansion capabilities you want or need in the future, so you will not end up in a situation where you just miss the extra slots needed.
You only have one PCI-e slot
- PCI Express 2.0 x 16: 1
- PCI Express x8: 1 x PCI-E x8 slot (w/ x4 link) 1 x PCI-E Gen.2 x8 slot (w/ x4 link)
Only one hard drive is really not a good idea... you need a (large enough) hard drive for C: booting and all software and a (plenty large) second drive for all data
You do NOT want to partition one drive into more than one "logical" drives... that is still only one set of read/write heads, which is not good for video editing
I will be sure to do this as it seems to be commom practice. Thanks.
I have several 80Gig boot drives and several 100-or-120Gig data drives... swapping each as needed
How I do this is described at http://www.pacifier.com/~jtsmith/ADOBE.HTM
If you are going to have just one of each, the drive you now list would be good for data... with a boot drive "somewhat" smaller, something on the order of 120gigs or so
Is there a specific reason you prefer ATI over nVidia or is it simply personal preference?
Mostly personal preference, but also influenced by their clockwork accuracy in bringing out new drivers each month and the fact that there have been some problems reported with nVida cards lately.
I also prefer ATI video cards... my 1st editing computer (read in the notes I linked) had nVidia, and Premiere 6 would only work with on specific driver
Any earlier driver and there were problems... ditto any later driver version
The computer I'm using now, home built, has ATI and it has always worked well
My next computer, most likely some time in 2010 after 64bit software is out and stable, will also have ATI, either model 4850 or 4870 (or something else, depending on what is available a year from now)
I'm in no particular rush... current computer is slow (I start a DVD render before I go to bed, the .ISO is ready in the morning) but works well, so I'm going to wait until Win7 64bit and CS5? 64bit are well tested
Well if "premiere guys" prefer ATI, I probably should too. I don't have any attachment to either one and mainly am looking for something will will work well with premiere...so I'll look into it.
Is this an improvement for the motherboard?
SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DAL-i-O Dual LGA 1366 Intel 5500 ATX Dual Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processor 5500 sequence (Nehalem-EP processor) Server Motherboard
I also plan to get 12GB of this:
Crucial 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Triple Channel Kit Server Memory
And anyone have a preference for either of these video cards?
SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
Absolutely, since it allows the Xeon 55xx series and these are much faster than the 54xx. If budget allows it, you could go up to dual W5580's and it has on-board audio, so you don't need that SB card.
However, it misses firewire connections, so my preference would be the X8DA3. This mobo has a better placement of the PCI-e slots as well as more memory slots, PCI slots, plus two firewire connections and on-board audio. Look here: http://supermicro.com/products/motherboard/QPI/5500/X8DA3.cfm
Both video cards are good. Take the one where you get the best deal.
Just a ? on the RAM
Should he look for a pack of 6 so they are from the same lot :?
Or does it not matter since that board uses 3 sticks for each core ?
Just a ?
Maybe Harm or someone else can answer.
The memory is sold in kits. He needs two kits of 3 x 2 GB to get to 12 GB total.