Thank you! I still have much more homework to do. I was just reading a thread of yours and may have to use 1 drive just for export and 1 as source. I also need to find a good IPS monitor, and an a bit befuddled when it comes to exporting re: codecs and the web, etc. Glad I have the HSoA - Ham Stamp of Approval!
I agree with Harm about the case. I got talked into a very nice, cool (thermally) mid-tower last time, and regretted that. Full-tower, like I wanted, next time.
On a system not that much different than yours (older CPU, but more HDD's and a Quadro FX 4500) I went with a 1000W PSU, and will probably be going with 1200W for the new build. Probably overkill, but then I came from an engineering background, where if an 8" WF beam would just do the job, a 10" WF beam would be better...
I was unsure about PSU, so 750 it is. I'm guessing Corsair is a safe bet? Will also try to do the case upgrade.Will do some research on the syncmaster. I'd like to get an accurate representation of colour.
Also, has anyone dealt with DSLR footage/1080 footage on similar specs? Am I going to get that realtime buttery goodness? What about avg time rendering say a 10 min clip @1080 down to SD size? Sadly unable to play around with any hardware on my own so I have no concept of times.
edit: HARM, not Ham
Thanks for the input, Bill! Mind if I ask what sort of footage or projects you do and are able to handle?
Take your pick
Home Solutions of America, http://www.bnet.com/company/home+solutions+of+america+inc.
Hospital Salaried Officers Association, http://www.health.wa.gov.au/services/detail.cfm?Unit_ID=2284
Harm's Stamp of Approval
To get an idea where your machine will come out in the PPBM5 Benchmark pay special attention to Crist and MadDog OC/PC, although his system is heavily overclocked. A score around 270 seconds certainly seems likely, around Q3/Med.
A couple of points if I may to make the most of your spend....
Firstly please make sure your understand the scalability restrictions (primarily memory) from going with the Home Premium Windows - as a student, you should get discount so no real need to compromise here (as RAM is currently at a record low price you could but or at least provide for 24GB depending on which other memory-hungry CS5 packages you use!).
Second, the 950 (and 920/930) has an almost-guaranteed overclock to 4.0Ghz, matching up with your memory nicely at 1528 if you choose 21x 191 or so without taking risks with voltages or heat (12GB at full rated speed sometimes gets a little temperamental regarding QPI volts so a little under 1600 is no bad thing). I have found that going above 4.0Ghz, each 5% tends to "cost" a disproportionate increase in volts and heat.
Similarly, the GTX470 has a comfortable 20% free (except for heat) overclock potential (using MSI afterburner plus VERY careful testing for artifacts).
I would perform both of these (free) clocks given your desire for buttery HD performance in the CPU-intensive and MPE-assisted steps of your workflow.
Please also allow some thought and budget for effective & quiet case cooling to deal with the CPU and graphics card heat:
Install the PSU "outside" the case - i.e. at the bottom with its intake facing down and exhausing out the back so its not "in" the case airflow.
Add fans (good quality and with filters on the intake ones) taking air in at the front/bottom (past the disks) and exhausting at the top/back. Consider adding side fan(s) pointed at the graphics card and motherboard bridges/RAM. These side fans can cyt 10 degress C or more off the temp of these components adding to stability and component life.
My own overclocked 930-on-Asus and 470 setup uses fractal fans on the case (about £5 each/1Watt or so) and Gentle Typhoon fans on the CPU cooler - almost silent and keeps both the (overclocked) graphics and (overclocked) CPU at about 70 degress C when at 100% busy.
Finally budget for backup.....my case has Esata on the front panel so quick backup to external drives, used in rotation and placed in a firesafe is my ritual.....your freelance income will be based on reputation so don't lose it along with your work.
Steve's remark made me aware that I overlooked one thing.
You have wisely decided to go for 3 x 4 GB memory, leaving room for expansion to 24 GB at a later date. However Win7 Home Premium does not support more than 16 GB max. You need Win7 Pro for 24 GB support. Better change this OS to the Pro version before you start installing it.
Ah right, I was unaware of that restriction on home premium. I have been used to the notion that Home Premium had everything I really needed. Not aymore I suppose! I'm not in the US so no student discount for me, I will just go the OEM route in buying Win7.
I'm sorry, but I am lost with "21x 191" - I have been using laptops for the past 4+ years and I am not too well versed in the hardware. Also, I do not really plan to overclock since I expect moving from laptops to desktops, especially this sort of equipment, it will be PLENTY boost for me to notice. That said, if the overclocking is something STABLE and not going to require watercooling and just fans, as well as it is easy to do, I can surely factor this in. What really goes in to OC'ing to 4 GHz?
Again lost with MSI aferburner. Do you mean your 470 is from MSI or is that a cooler? Sorry for my ignorance.
I'm looking to get the HAF case Harm mentioned. That's what I was going with initially but went down to the mid case because not being in the US I was taking shipping into account. Is there a specific brand I should really be looking at? The HAF has plenty places for fans I read, but I would love to get feedback from people in the field on cases to get. I haven't really looked too much into it, so I have yet to even find out if it offers all the ports in the front as opposed to the back as I know cases like to do.
Also, silly question, but Firewire ports would usually be on your mobo, or would I have to get a separate card? I deal with a lot of 4 pin F/W cameras, but I am not sure if there are 4-pin to 8-pin cables I can buy or if I need to have a specific 4 pin and 8 pin F/W port on my machine.
Esata on front to an external - I got you. What exactly are you backing up? Everything? Just exports? Are you doing it manually or with RAID? I think I made the decision that just getting into things I may not need RAID, and will just use 1TB for system/programs and 2 2TB drives, one for source files, one for exporting to. Another suggestion was RAID the 2 2TB to make one big 4TB.
Though it may not seem that way, I am looking at budget.
As for Blu-ray, I think any HD I will be doing will go on the web, everything else will be output from HD to SD, so I can survive with a DVD burner for now, though maybe the BD burner might be prudent to back up to those high capacity discs?
Appreciate the feedback guys. At least I have the hardware mostly down, but dealing with stuff like the firewire ports, etc, and the whole nitty gritty, can make my head spin and overwhelm at times.
It is a full case. It stands 25" tall with the casters installed, which gives the PSU some breathing room out the bottom. Great airflow. Port placement is fine. This case is very well built, but I don't have experience with other cases like this. I do like the black interior and the fact I can organize and hide the cables. Finished assembly looks neat and tidy.
I have the same CPU cooler as you listed, but with an additional CM fan for a push / pull set up. Probably overkill for me. Also using the same GTX 470 from EVGA. Works fine. not noisy.
This is one of Harms favorite tools...
Plug in your info and see what it recommends for a PSU.
I have a total of 7 HD's, 470 GTX, 5 fans, etc and I needed a 1000w PSU
Okay, so there may be a slight change in my plans. Taking the shipping into
account, I think it might be more prudent to have a system built with
everything in it as that will help with shipping cost by volume. Any
suggestions for where might be best to do this? Just exploring options right
now. Currently looking at http://www.digitalstormonline.com to do the same
configuration mentioned in original post.