12 Replies Latest reply on Sep 21, 2012 5:10 PM by Starmore369

    Another new PC build for a hobbyist


      Hi all, I've spent a couple of days searching around for recommendations on a new PC build and found a lot of good information on this forum. I'm replacing my home desktop, which is used for Premiere CS6 (family videos/enthusiast stuff - lately GoPro HD h.264 and some Canon 7D files) running on Windows 7 Pro x64. I'll be reusing some SATA drives but everything else is new. I realize that X79/i7-3930k provides far more performance, but mainly for budget reasons I think I'd prefer to stick with Ivy Bridge. Here's what I'm leaning towards:


      CPU: Intel i7-3770k 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) Ivy Bridge

      MB: Likely Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX

      RAM: Probably CORSAIR Vengeance LP DDR3 1600 16Gb (or 32Gb) 2x8Gb (or 4x8Gb)

      PSU: SeaSonic X-Series 1050W 80 Plus Gold (only $10 more than the 850W so why not)

      CASE: Fractal Design Define R4

      GPU: GTX 570 (likely this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127682)


           OS: 256Gb SSD (Crucial M4/Plextor 830)

           Media/Projects: RAID-0 2x 1Tb HD (reuse from old system)

           Previews/Cache/Exports: 2Tb 7200rpm HD


      Add in misc DVD+RW, CPU cooler, etc. This prices out to ~$1,300 (without HD's but including the SSD) which is ok, little cheaper would be ok but couple of hundred more is fine too. I'm mostly undecided on the GPU, wondering if a GTX 660 is worth the $70 more (1344 vs. 480 CUDA cores and 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 vs 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 for the GTX 660 vs GTX 570 respectively).


      I'd really appreciate any thoughts on this build overall and suggestions on alternate components; thanks very much for all the information!

        • 1. Re: Another new PC build for a hobbyist
          Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Personally I would skip the SSD and go for some more and newer (faster) drives.

          • 2. Re: Another new PC build for a hobbyist
            JEShort01 Level 4



            CPU - suggest i7-2600k; overclocking this cpu is easy, reliable, and provides significant help to Adobe. I have not tested it personally, but Bill Gehrke has mentoned before that he personally tested an Ivy Bridge i7-3770k and was disappointed with its performance vs. the $40 cheaper Sandy Bridge 2600k.


            GPU - love your choice; with a well ventilated case, I really like the quiet that MSI's twin frozer provides


            RAM - 16GB of 1600Mhz


            PSU, Case - seem like fine choices


            OS Drive - save some cash by cutting back to a 128GB Crucial M4 for your OS drive


            Media/Projects/Scratch - 2x2TB RAID 0; newer drives are much faster than old ones, and the higher density models 2TB, 3TB, are typically faster than the 1TB's


            Media cache/Media cache db/exports/Win7 paging - 2x1TB RAID 0 (reused from old system)





            • 3. Re: Another new PC build for a hobbyist
              Catul Level 1

              Thanks a lot Jim, that's very helpful. As this is a general-purpose system (though the only "taxing" use will be Premiere Pro, everything else is basic) I think I want to go with Ivy Bridge for low power usage and low heat as well as potential future upgrades/compatibility. I plan to OC the i7-3770k a little, so hopefully it'll be pretty competent overall; it's also just $25 more than the i7-2600k. Cool and quiet is also important, hence the larger case with sound deadening and great airflow. I'll probably use the Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler.


              I'll setup the drives as you suggest. I just re-checked my system and only have one 1Tb and 2Tb drive each. I think I'll buy two new 2Tb drives for the Media/Projects RAID 0 and reuse the 1Tb as a fourth drive for Pagefile/Media Cache. I could reuse the existing 2Tb for Previews/Exports, or would I be better off buying new drives for another RAID 0 for this?


              I'm now thinking of the Asus P8Z77-V PRO motherboard as the two additional SATA ports could be helpful. SSD and optical on the two Intel 6Gb/s ports and four HD's in two RAID 0 setups on the other four Intel ports. Additional drive(s) can go on the ASMedia SATA ports.


              I've also added the G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3 1600 RAM; is that overkill and would 16Gb be enough for me?


              I'm now at ~$1,500 with all this, including the SSD but not the additional HD's. Here's the breakdown: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/gQnJ


              Thanks again! Appreciate any others thoughts on this too...

              • 4. Re: Another new PC build for a hobbyist
                JEShort01 Level 4

                Glad to help!


                Regarding MB, upgrade sounds like a good idea to me too; I agree, extra ports is good.


                Regarding RAM, if 32GB falls within your budget (RAM sure is less than a year ago!), go for it.


                Regarding drives, do you have an external backup solution already? If not, use your current 2TB for backups (w/ external USB 3.0 or eSATA connection, or even better get a hot-swap tray for the PC that connects to your MB via SATA; I say get the hot-swap tray, but you should cold-swap your backup drive). Then, get as close a match to your existing 1TB as you can and use these two drives to build your 2nd RAID 0 array (media cache/media cache db/exports). The performance and reliability of your first RAID 0 array is much more important.





                • 5. Re: Another new PC build for a hobbyist
                  Catul Level 1

                  I have network backups to a Windows Home Server and offsite for the important media too (Crashplan to a remote PC).


                  What 2Tb drives would you guys recommend for my Media/Projects RAID 0? Would the WD Red be good, even though they're just 5400rpm? The WD Caviar Black are probably great, though quite a bit more than a Seagate 7200rpm 2Tb equivalent.

                  • 6. Re: Another new PC build for a hobbyist
                    Catul Level 1

                    I'm now considering spending a little more and getting the Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe motherboard (http://goo.gl/JYC4c) which adds 2x interntal Marvell SATA 6Gb/s ports that support RAID 0 in additional to the 6x Intel ports (2x SATA 6Gb/s, 4x SATA 3Gb/s). I'll probably setup the drives like this:



                    SATA0 (6Gb/s): OS - 256Gb SSD

                    SATA1 (6Gb/s): Pagefile/Media Cache - 2Tb 7200rpm HD

                    SATA2 & 3 (3Gb/s): Media/Projects - 2 x 2Tb RAID 0 (possibly 2 x 3Tb)

                    SATA4: Optical Drive



                    SATA6 & 7 (6Gb/s): Previews/Exports - 2 x 1Tb RAID 0


                    Thoughts on this setup? I'm going to buy all new drives and reuse my existing ones in my offsite backup PC.


                    Any issues with using 3Tb drives for the Media/Projects RAID 0, no problems with the Intel Z77 controller I hope? I'm thinking of using the Seagate Barracuda 3Tb 7200 rpm ST3000DM001 drives ($140ea at NCIX: http://goo.gl/wHulb) for this.


                    I assume it's better to stick with 7200rpm drives for all and not the "green" ones? Would love to hear suggestions for alternate drives if these aren't ideal (not too enamored by the 1 year warranty, for one).

                    • 7. Re: Another new PC build for a hobbyist
                      JEShort01 Level 4

                      I think your latest drive layout looks good.


                      Regarding 7200 vs green, definitely 7200.


                      I'd definitely opt. for 3TB vs 2TB for two reasons other than just space: the bigger the drive, the faster the drive (for a common "series" of drive), and the less full the drive, the faster the drive.



                      • 8. Re: Another new PC build for a hobbyist

                        Hello fellow editors!


                        I'm stuck in the same boat, contemplating which GPU to get in the next couple of days. My options are the 570, the 660Ti and the 7850HD.

                        The reason i'm even considering a Radeon is this http://blogs.amd.com/fusion/2012/09/04/exclusive-technology-preview-of-adobe-premiere-pro- unveiled-at-ibc/   Apparently Premeire is going to support HD's for PC as well as Macbooks in the near future. Mind you, I hope this build I make will last me 2-3 years. Basically i'm afraid the 570 will get too old quick and i'll have to get another GPU, and i'm also afraid the 660 is too new and it might take a while (if at all) it gets supported by Premiere. What would you do?

                        • 9. Re: Another new PC build for a hobbyist

                          CPU - agree 3770K is a better choice as you have newer instruction sets, superior performance, lower power consumption and support for second generation of QuickSync offer hardware transcoding support.


                          Motherboard - The Deluxe is an outstanding board depending on how much you may really want the Marvell option you may want to consider the P8Z77-V Pro which also offers Thundebolt natively on the board. ( Although the Deluxe has a TB header in place for when the Thunderbolt EX expansion card is released ).

                          Additionally on both they offer a TPU switch which you can enable to have a easy 4.2 to 4.3GHz OC without any other interaction or adjustment.


                          CPU Cooler - I would advise something basic at least like a Hyper 212Plus or Hyper212 EVO. If you want to more cost effective the Hyper TX3 is very low cost and solid but not as effective at heat disipation.


                          PSU - Seasonic is excellent choice especially the X gold series very effiicent and the load performance is outstanding additionally generally any loads undder 25% will not have the fan spin at all helping to keep a very quiet system.


                          Chassis is a very solid option


                          GPU - I would consider  GTX660Ti or the new GTX660 considerbly superior power efficiecy as well as there is hardware 4K econder support while not active it is there waiting for software applications to support. Additionally you have superior multi monitor flexibility up to 4 displays and it is quieter and cooler. Lastly performance is superior. I would consider ASUS GTX660 or GTX660TI DirectCU II.



                          Crucial drives have very solid firmware but write performance is not as strong ( this is relative overall a solid drive ). Depending on your write and read usage a different controller may make more sense.In this case you may want to consider a different SSD.

                          Corsair's new GS or GTX are very solid in the firmware development. If you will have a large amount of Incompressible data which includes certain types of TIF and PSD*, JPEG, video and sound files, ZIP files, etc. Then you may want to select a OCZ drive or a SSD based on a Marvell contrler or the new Corsair Neutron series. Those have the benefit of not taking a penelaty with incompressible data. With the overall price drops though on SSDs I would recommend 240GB especially as performance of the SSD will vary depending on capacity filled ( to a extent ). With that noted the Force GS and GTX which use SandForce have very strong performance for overall application usage.



                          Lastly depending on the maximum read and write speeds you may be better suite to use SSD Caching instead of the raid you are considering on the Marvell ports. Read speeds would be improved considerbly while writes would be stabilized but not overall extended



                          Hope this helps!

                          • 10. Re: Another new PC build for a hobbyist
                            Catul Level 1

                            @frogo369, great stuff - thanks for the detailed reply! I appreciate the points you've made, but already ordered the components earlier this week - in fact, some of the stuff already came in and I'm typing this on my initial setup right now. Waiting for the 3Tb HD's for the RAID 0 and the case, so I should hopefully have things completed in a week.


                            FWIW, I went with the MSI GTX570 card I mentioned above, Crucial M4 256Gb SSD, Seasonic X-1050, 2X Seagate 3Tb ST3000DM001 drives, Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler, Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe/i3770k, Fractal Design Define R4, G.Skill Ripjaws X 4x8Gb DDR3-1600 RAM. With rebates and discounts, I spent ~$1,750 total shipped (used NewEgg, Amazon & NCIX). Not cheap, but a really fast all-around setup for my needs - can't wait to get it all built!


                            Here's the initial hook-up, ran ~9 hours MemTest last night and Windows is running great.

                            i3770k build 1.JPG

                            • 11. Re: Another new PC build for a hobbyist
                              Catul Level 1

                              My build is done - I ended up buying four Samsung 7200rpm drives, 2x 3Tb and 2x 2Tb. I also reused a 2Tb WD Caviar Black drive; this is how it's configured:


                              1. 256Gb SSD: OS/Programs

                              2. 2x 3Tb RAID0 (~5.5Tb): Media/Projects

                              3. 2x 2Tb RAID0 (~3.6Tb): Pagefile/Media Cache

                              4. 2Tb Caviar Black: Previews/Exports


                              How does this look? Is it better for the Previews/Exports to be on the RAID0 and the Pagefile/Media Cache on the single drive?


                              I also bought one of those 27" WQHD Korean S-IPS monitors from eBay (came in two days!) and it's a beauty; great to work on the main monitor at 2560x1440 (second monitor is a 20" at 1680x1050). Thanks very much to all for their build advice, this computer is sweet :-)

                              • 12. Re: Another new PC build for a hobbyist
                                Starmore369 Level 1

                                Glad to read your build is up and running.


                                Kudos and happy to see another ASUS build!


                                Enjoy the rest of your day.