I recently upgraded my editing computer, actually I built a new (my first) after following comments on the board since the original specs were presented by our friend in Holland. I would agree that you should skip the Quadro 4000 card and go with something else too. I had a Quadro 2000 card in my previous system.
Here are the parts that I purchased locally at http://www.microcenter.com/ which makes it really handy if you have something to return (which I did multiple times as I live near Denver). I have yet to try to overclock the memory as the motherboard comes with that kind of gamer support option, but it is something I will try when I don't have deadlines looming.
Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z LGA 1155 Z68 eATX Intel Motherboard
XMS3 8GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL9 Desktop Memory Kit (4 x 4GB Memory Modules)
Intel Core i7 2600 LGA 1155 Boxed Processor
GeForce GTX 580 1536MB GDDR5 PCIe 2.0 x16 Video Card
Performances Series P3-64 CSSD-P364GB2-BR 64GB SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" Solid State Drive (SSD) with Marvell Controller
Enthusiast Series TX750M 750 Watt High Performance Modular ATX Power Supply
HAF932 High Air Flow Full Tower Computer Case
Having had a new system only three years ago, the power is clearly more evident in comparison with rendering which is cut more than in half. I also find that the SSD card really speeds up the OS when starting up among other things.
In terms of overclocking, I am open to suggestions on how to properly proceed with benchmarking my results.
You don't really need to worrry much about OC'ing memory, that doesn't help PPro performance in any noticable way.
However, if you could possibly trade your 2600 cpu in for the "unlocked" 2600k model, you would gain significant noticable performance by OC'ing your CPU. The 2600 cannot overclock nearly as easy or as high as the 2600k.
I just read I neat article about two mysterious switches on my Asus mobo, the TPU and EPU. This may be of interest to people who don't know how to overclock their systems like myself, but are building the system to do it. Seems like you can get most of the gains with an ounce of the effort thanks to some clever engineering on Asus' part. Possibly something to consider when shopping for mobo's. Though, perhaps this is also sacrilige to the resident gurus.
I haven't tried it out yet personally, but I should be up and running within a week or so, then I can see how it goes.
First I must give appropriate props to Harm......thanks for taking the time to lay down all this info in one place..........its much appreciated.
I would like some input on the type of system I need for my client...my knowledge is advanced in hardware but I have really none in the adobe suite, particularly AFTER EFFECTS 5.5 and video rendering. Any advice on the grade of system ( BUDGET,ECONOMICAL,WARRIOR) …and specifics on RAID, CPU, RAM…..would be greatly appreciated.
The client will be working mostly in AFTER EFFECTS…..here is the info I was given:
We use a DSLR Camera that only shoots in 1080p with an h264 codec usually Also we need a Mac computer so we can edit videos in After Effects and render big projects like ten greenscreen videos over night. We also have to backup 6TBs and I thought getting externals would be the way to go but is it cheaper or possible to put that into the Mac computer plus like an extra TB into the computer for programs?
It didn’t take much to get him off of the ‘Mac’….all I did was stated the facts…haha. Again…any and all feedback is GREATLY APPRECIATED. Thanks and God Bless.
I have finally decided to go half way between the economic and warrior configurations. Any feedback on the overall relevance of the choice below would be highly appreciated before I click the Buy button ;-)
- COOLER MASTER HAF 932
- COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M 850W Power Supply
- ASUS P9X79 WS (I need firewire...)
- INTEL Core i7-3930K
- COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler
- G.SKILL 32GB (4 x 8GB) Ripjaws Z PC3-12800 DDR3 1600MHz
- ZOTAC ZT-50103-10P, GeForce® GTX 580 772MHz, 3GB
- OCZ 240GB Agility 3 SSD fos OS+CS5.5
- 2 x WESTERN DIGITAL 1TB WD Caviar Black
- Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Zovic (and all),
As far as the SSD goes, I know there's been alot of debate about the cost/benefit of SSD at their current pricepoints, a possibility to save a chunk a change on the SSD but still get a fair amount of the benefits would appear to be cacheing a 40 or 60gb SSD instead. It's a feature I know is on the z68 chipsets, but I'm not sure what others, but basically the idea is that your computer determines the most commonly accessed programs and files to put on the SSD to get the benefit where it matters most. The article I read goes into more depth and has some benchmarks for adobe programs listed. May be worth considering if you're looking to trim the budget a bit.
Nice build! In fact I would say that you have pushed way past the halfway point from economic to warrior threshold .
I do like SSD drives for OS/programs, but would suggest a smaller 120GB or 128GB size SSD for that purpose. Also, I think that both Crucial SSD drives are a safer choice vs. any SSDs that use the Sandforce controller (OCZ, etc.).
Feb 2012 update with 3 recommended builds! You can mix & match components between the two P9X79 builds or go with a budget system based on the P8Z68 and i7 2600K processor. We tried to get as close to $2K as possible for our system, but we went over.
- We are leaning towards the base Asus P9X79 motherboard over the Pro. We'll save some bucks and we feel we'll still need FireWire for capturing our older legacy DV & HDV footage.
- We're going to go with an SSD boot drive even though it adds almost $200 to the cost of the build.
- I'm still thinking we may go for the full 32GB of RAM. I think we may be penny wise and pound foolish going with just 16GB.
- We're also going with a GTX570 to save costs, although for Avid you really want to go with a Quadro2000 or 4000.
Unfortunately we still have not had the chance to build our DIY9 machine. Some internal IT issues have taken the bulk of our tech teams time over the past few weeks. We are also finding the i7 3930K processor in very tight supply.
Regarding the "Budget" versus "Economical" system:
Unless one is going to use part of the RAM as cache, Premiere Pro CS5.5 works best with about 2GB of RAM per logical core. This means that the i5 system doesn't take much if any advantage of more than 8GB of total installed RAM. I discovered this today when I ran the PPBM5 benchmark on "Randall's Flying Pig" (my i5-2400 auxiliary editing rig) with both 8GB and 16GB of RAM. However, for an i7-2600K or 2700K system, one would need 16GB of RAM in order for CS5.5 to perform its best. And for an i7-3930K, 32GB is recommended.
Great thread, Harm.
I wanted to share my experiences with my new build, which was inspired by the Videoguys DIY9 original specs.
I chose the Asus P9X79 Pro over the base model because it supports a 2 disk RAID via the Marvell controller using the ASUS Disk Xpert. You can read about my experiences trying to get the base model to work with the Intel RAID - basically I couldn't get it to work (and didn't really want a software only RAID solution) so RMA'd the board and upgraded to the Pro.
I shared my results with Videoguys and they have updated their recommendation to the Pro board over the base ASUS P9X79 board.
I posted a quick benchmark there as well comparing my 2600K build to my 3930K build with GPU enabled and software only.
Thanks for that link. However, it redirected to a "Page Not Found" portion of the site until I removed the extra "/http://" at the end of the address. Then, I realized that the MPE software-only mode really needed a strong hexa-core CPU just for that mode to perform nearly as well (relatively speaking) as the MPE GPU accelerated mode. The 4-core, 8-thread i7s do not perform nearly as well in MPE software-only mode, especially with Maximum Render Quality (MRQ) enabled - and I would expect the cheapest LGA 2011 CPU, the i7-3820, to perform significantly slower than the i7-3930K in MPE software-only mode (again, due to the 3820's four-core, eight-thread configuration versus six cores and 12 threads in the 3930K).
On the other hand, with GPU acceleration enabled in Premiere's MPE, the Sandy Bridge quad-core CPUs perform nearly as well as the i7-3930K (again, relatively speaking).
Just when you think it's safe to recommend an i7-3930K, bad news hits the DRAM market: One of the DRAM IC manufacturers, Elpida, filed for bankruptcy. This is partly due to the continued weak overall demand for DRAM despite falling prices. As a result of the Elpida bankruptcy, expect RAM prices to increase by the end of this year - and very significantly throughout next year. What that does is that the 8GB DIMMs will increase slightly in price from the current $70 per DIMM (in the case of the Corsair XMS3 CMX16GX3M2A1600C11 kit I recently purchased) to roughly $90 per DIMM by the end of this year, but the prices for smaller-sized (capacity) 4GB DIMMs will skyrocket from the current $18 per DIMM to about $40 to $50 per DIMM. This will have a direct impact on the total cost of building your own PC.
By the way, I did notice in my i7-2600K system that whenever I set Maximum Render Quality (MRQ) to On, my system's MPEG-2 DVD time in the PPBM5 benchmark test increased exponentially, from 115 seconds with MRQ Off to nearly 800 seconds with MRQ On. There is a bottleneck somewhere within the LGA 1155 platform (as Shawn discovered in his testing) - mainly not enough threads available for MRQ to do its work efficiently. Also, I expect that even an i7-3820 will suffer from the exact same problem as the i7-2600K in terms of not allowing anywhere close to 100% CPU utilization in software-only MPE mode with MRQ turned on sinply because MRQ in software-only mode is severely taxing to the CPU: MRQ in software-only MPE mode really needs at least 12 to 16 threads in order to perform acceptably fast.
I wanted to report back on ASUS's mobo EPU and TPU, as well as SSD Caching on my new system. First off, EPU and TPU are truly effortless utilities with awesome results. I can't actually measure my power consumption, but presumably if it's decreased, I haven't noticed an impact on my performance. The TPU requires a click of the button on either "Fast" or "Extreme", then after an automated reboot or two, my i7 went from a 3.4 Ghz to 4.4 Ghz on the "Fast" setting. I had no experience with overclocking, but with results like that, it's one less thing for me to worry about screwing up. I definitely recommend the ASUS mobos with these features to anyone looking to get the most out of their system with limited or no knowledge on overclocking or power managment.
As far SSD caching goes, it can be problematic, but even in my limited time with it, it was well worth it. My windows bootup is easily a half to a third of what it was. I assume as I load more on my system, I'll come to appreciate it more. Not sure how it's going to impact my Premiere usage yet, but I'm optimistic. I'll report back on that. My advice if you're looking into SSD Caching is as follows: 1. Create a system image (or backup if you'd like a fresh install) 2. RAID has to be enabled in the BIOS, meaning you'll need to reinstall windows if you're using AHCI or IDE. and 3. DON'T connect the SSD until after windows is installed and SP1 (I'm know one of these is the culprit of my first attempts system failure, not sure which). Get it all right and all it takes is a couple clicks in Intel's RST tool and you're on your way to performance where you need it.
This is incredibly valuable information but the three tables are too small for me to read accurately as I am not familiar with the components that you mention. Would it be possible for you to present them slightly larger or to type them as a list please? I am sure that I am not the only one to struggle with this. Thank you for making your knowledge available. Really appreciate it. Linda
I believe that you question is referring to my comment made on February 21st, "I think that both Crucial SSD drives are a safer choice vs. any SSDs that use the Sandforce controller (OCZ, etc.)".
My comment is based largely on reviews and feedback from Newegg, and confirmed by some other sources on the www; OCZ SSD user's with Sandforce controllers simply have not had the reliability experience.
For over 1000 reviews in, Crucial's ratings are largely 5 "Eggs" for ratings (the best):
For over 1000 reviews in, OCZ with Sandforce (not a single 5-Egg rating):
OCZ is less expensive and faster, but for my OS/program drive I personally demand both speed and reliability.
Also, while 6 weeks is not a lot of time, there is a relatively new player on the SSD field that would be my pick if I were doing a build this week - Corsair's "Performance Pro Series". This relatively new model uses the Marvell 88SS9174 controller (most Corsair SATA3 SSDs use Sandforce) and has been getting rave reviews. It also has write speeds that are much better than Crucial's M4 (and C300) series SSD models (I think due to fast memory chips and a largish 512MB buffer).
PS - On a least 2 occasions over the past 6 months I have seen "deals" on OCZ Sandforce SSDs that really caught my attention, but then after reading about user's RMA stories I've always decided NOT to save money in that way
at this time:
most but not all of the issues with sanforce have been fixed.
IF i were to use a sanforce
Intel 520 or Top Power these are by far the fastest and better warrantied.
Cruscial/samsung would be my next choice
OCZ in particular i would not touch (anything made by them in fact) but many others are equally as bad.
thank you very much for your guidance in building a PE machine - a guidance in a language that even I can understand.
I have started building a machine in the "warrior" end, as I am DSLR person.
Having ordered a Lian Li 2120B, the Corsair PSU AX 1200 and today have succeeded in finding a Asus GTX680, 2GB - all arriving next week, I am looking forward to building the thing.
My Q right now is about Mobo, RAM and cooler.
You recommend per january2012 the Asus P9X79 WS (as an example, I understand that)
I have found this at a good price.
But I have been looking at the Sabertooth X79 too - it is 50£ cheaper and looks good to me.
I am not planning SSD from the start anyway - but want to have the possibility open for the future.
Memorywise I have found a 24 kit Corsair 1600MHz C9 for a good price - and even a 32 kit C10s for a "less good price".
I want to use the Noctua NH-D14 SE over a i7 3930K.
These are my questions:
1. Which of the two motherboards should I choose? Even taking i consideration that the RAMs maybe could physically collide with the Noctua, and how do I know if it will - before opening the boxes?
2. Is my choise of the 24 kit memory ok? Even concerning the physical height (against the Noctua cooler)?
As for amount of memory, I understand that more always is better but so is being realistic
Thank you for your time.
Mobo: Look at my arguments for the mobo here: http://ppbm6.com/Planning.html and then decide whether firewire, dual NIC's and number of ports have any relevance for you. For me I tend towards the WS.
RAM: Relying on Scott and Eric's experiences with RAM and the i7-3930K CPU, I think your choices are currently very limited. Only 1.35V sticks not using Micron chips, so that leaves the Samsung low voltage sticks, but unfortunately only in 4 GB version. I have not yet heard about 8 GB Samsung sticks. Corsair or any other brand like Kingston or G.Skill and especially with low CAS are immediately suspect of having Micron chips on-board. On the X79 platform use only 4 or 8 sticks, never 6, because of the quad channel architecture. That means with 4 GB sticks, either 16 or 32 GB and with 8 GB sticks, either 32 or 64 GB.
Thanks for your answer Harm!
Of course - it must be 16, 32 or 64, sorry for that question. I am reading too much about these things right now I guess, too much numbers, getting dizzy.
As for the Low Volt Samsung sticks: is that really the only choise, or am I misunderstanding something? I do not know what "Micron chips" is, and have tried to understand latency and CAS numbering (through Wikipedia) - but this is too scientific - after all I just want to know what RAMs to use.
I can't seem to find any Samsung sticks at all - at least in my country (Sweden) - it's all Corsair, Skill, Kingston etc. And the vendors do not inform about chips-names nor voltages.
If one cannot use any of the known brands nor find any Samsung sticks - I mean what do other people do? And why would Corsair, Kingston etc want to supply sticks that don't work well with i7 3930? I don't get it. I don't understand it. I want to, but I don't.
Any light in this darkness will be greatly appreciated
I concur that I have not yet found these in Europe, but as explained in the http://ppbm6.com/Planning.html page, I'm luckily not in a hurry, but if you are, maybe you can buy them in the US. It of course adds transportation costs, but hen waht choice do you have if you are in a hurry?
Thank you Harm,
yes I have read your Planning article. Very good and rather front end. To me the Lian Li full tower is BIG
Glad that I was not missunderstanding at least about the sticks.
No, I am not in a hurry - just want to build my new machine, that's all - I can wait. Perhaps 8G sticks will emerge too.
Good Question RMO but the problem has been essentially out of their control. I spoke to many at Intel and other Intel partners at the ISS conference about the 3930K. The problem essentially was 3960X's for the most part were sent to both Intel internal departments and hardware partners for testing. The 3960X's were the chips used by everyone for compatibility testing and bios testing. Some partners though have given more than enough feedback atleast in the East regarding the problems with the X79 and for what ever reason there has been very little movement on this. I have spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to convince Intel engineering the issues are there and only recently have seen movement/follow up on it. Last I heard they atleast had some idea what is going on but would not elaborate to me.
So what options does that currently leave people. Well essentially the ram compatibility is extremely limited with the 3930K especially overclocked. I have been able to get Hynix modules to run at 1333 but not 1600. Samsung 1.5V or 1.65V modules were limited to 1333 as well. Most Micron modules would not stay stable above 1066 if they even worked at that in 4 or 8 configurations. The 1.5V or 1.65V modules that worked would get to hot though and spit out garbage data if you did not have cooling directly on them and the VRU. The only modules that have been bullet proof so far with XMP profile settings or even base 1600 profiles settings are the ones we currently have custom made Low Voltage. I spoke to a Kingston engineer at the ISS and he said the Kingston Jedec spec modules would be Hynix, Samsung, Nanya, or Elpida. I spoke to Asus reps at the conference and they said Nanya was working well atleast with their testing. I did have a paid support client get some Kingston 8GB modules that were on the QVL list and those however did not work. They were not Jedec spec though and based on the timings I suspect they were PSC IC's. However speaking to another system configurator, the Kingston 1.5V ram that is Jedec spec was working at 1333. I am hearing these problems from other system configurators as well and the problems all revolve around the 3930K and ram especially with the CPU overclocked.
So essentially that leaves you with the options of the major ram manufacturers in the West if you leave the ram at 1066 or 1333 and you get Jedec spec or the Low Voltage sticks which are extremely hard to get right now. Kingston should have some low voltage sticks out or coming as well atleast according to the engineer I spoke to. Kingston is normally conservative so I expect those modules to work once they are available if they are not already.
thanks a lot for this orientation! This explains the problems to a certain degree - but not of course why no action is being taken (yet) by the RAM manufacturers. Hope you are right in assuming that Kingston may have something coming up. A Kingston 1.3V working at 1600 for instance.
Have you tested the Samsung 1600 RAMs from Newegg, linked in Harm's post above?
The user comments at the Neweggs page are very positive to these RAMs on the X79 with i7 3930K.
As they are not often i stock (according to some of the users) perhaps one should consider buying a 32G kit - though it may be expensive because of the customs when importing to Europe.
What do you think? I'm not in a hurry, just hungry
Thanks again for your detailed information!
Well I have to be careful what all I explain and how much I say because of the parties involved. What I can say is engineering at partners in the East are far more aware than Western engineering which is one major benefit of having direct TW contact.
Unfortunately we have not tested the Low Voltage Samsung modules yet. When I requested them they had good stock. However by the time the purchaser went to get them from Disti the stock was at 1pc. So they were wiped out quick. I will hopefully have some soon that I can test. The Low Voltage standard right now is 1.35V. Considering what grade it takes to run that I would be surprised if they release 1600 modules at 1.3V. If you are going to import them then I would get 32GB 8X4GB at one time. Even with Samsung you want to try and get the modules from the same batch incase binning changes certain sub timings in future productions.
I decided to buy a 32G kit of the Samsung low Volt RAMs (Harm's link above).
So, I opened an account there, but it looks like you have to live in US, Canada or China to purchase anything. There is no field for Country in the personal settings.
So I changed to Newegg Business(dot)com to se if they had an opening there.
I didn't find one, but i found these RAMs there, Crusial, same low Volt 1.35V and CAS11 - and very cheap. Which is important when I am trying to come under customs critical level when importing from USA to Sweden.
So 2 questions:
1. Do you know these sticks? They look ok, but has anyone got any experience with them?
2. How do other european residents purchase items from Newegg? Anyone got some experience with this?
I have mailed a parallel question (to 2.) to Newegg, and waiting for a reply (24h). But any ideas would be very much appreciated, thank you.
I thought this was going to be simple: sign up + PayPal - but it was not.
I have not tested the Crucials or had any paid support experience with them. Their site does not list enough information for me to say regarding timings and what modules. However CL11 for 1.35V is right and should be fine. It really will depend on the sub timings more than anything.
I dont believe Newegg ships out of North America. You have to have the package forwarded by someone.
Found this, sold in Europe, 1,35V CL11, Crucial declares compatibility with Sabertooth X79:
but no deeper information, nothing about i7 3930K. No 8G sticks, just 4.
Wonder if Crucial will supply further information - if asked nicely?
Background: In anticipation of the CS6 upgrade I want to build a new PC.
My leaning is towards an ASUS P9X79 Deluxe, i7-3930K, and I may well wait for a GTX 680 videocard...
What concerns me is this talk regarding issues with Micron vs. X79 Deluxe/ i7-3930K - it seems I may have missed something in another thread - perhaps it would be useful to post more details here (since this is the 'go to' thread).
In any case, the thought of buying 4GB sticks pains me... I really want to go to 32GB and would like the room to expand to 64GB if the need arises.
I will dig some more but if anyone can shed light on the issue with Micron I would love to read more...
After a lot of reading OC-forums and three days of googling, I have finally ordered 32 GB of Samsung DDR3 1,35V, 1600, C11 sticks from USA, for import to Sweden..
It's really strange. A lot of people in Europe are screaming for these sticks, nobody is selling them.
And most vendors in USA don't ship them internationally. Those who do are offering 1333MHz only, and astronomic prices.
But here is one - the right stick, and same price as at Newegg's:
Hopefully this link can be of some help for people outside USA searching for these sticks.
This is greate stuff, but it seems like you always state that this may not be what you would use. I would like to know what you would use, since it seems that you are on top of this ever changing platform. This way I would have the BEST chance to create the BEST system according to the BEST advice I can find, thanks.