16 Replies Latest reply on Dec 20, 2012 10:36 AM by Trickylee

    $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?


      Hello everybody-


      I am finally (actually) going to build my first editing PC, and I would like a once-over from the community to see if I've made any glaringly bad choices here.  I plan on using this machine to edit mostly DSLR H.264 & AVCHD codecs using CS6 and After Effects, but I would be happy if it could also handle the occasional higher-bandwidth footage, say 2k or 4k resolution files from a RED camera or Alexa?


      Also I opted not to attempt a huge monstrous RAID array in this build, at least at first, but I would like the leeway to go down that path in a few years if I need to.


      Big questions still in my mind that I would like some input on:


      1)  Cooling.  Can I rely on stock fans that come with my case or should I plan on replacing them with better ones?  What's the best way to decide what cooling configuration to use in my box?  Should I plan on using things like RAM cooling or dedicated disc cooling?


      2)  I have a few hundred bucks left in my budget, but if I don't have to spend it I'd rather not.  If you had $300 or so left to pump into improvements to this build, how would you spend it?


      Huge thanks in advance if you think you can poke any holes in this build before I lay down the cash!!


      DRIVE SETUP   -         $1,150


      (1) SSD drive on 1 of 2 SATA 6G ports on MOBO Intel RAID controller

      $370 - OCZ Technology 480GB Agility 3


      D:/  1ST MEDIA DRIVE

      (3) Drives in RAID 0 on 3 of 4 SATA 3G ports on MOBO Intel RAID controller

      $240 - Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0G


      E:/  2ND MEDIA DRIVE

      (2) Drives in RAID 0 on 2 of 2 SATA 6G ports on MOBO Marvell RAID controller

      $160 - Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0G



      (1)     10,000 RPM drive on 1 of 2 SATA 6G ports on MOBO Intel RAID controller

      $290 - Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ 1TB 10000 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0G


      G:/   BLU-RAY R/W

      On 1 of 4 SATA 3G ports on MOBO Intel RAID controller

      $90 - LG Blu-Ray R/W model # BH14NS40



      GUTS   -           $2,055


      $315 - ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011



      $570 - Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz



      $470 - EVGA 02G-P4-2680-KR GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5



      $700 - G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 64GB (8 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133



      CASE & POWER          -           $695


      (6) external 3.5” drive bays, good reviews on NewEgg

      $190 - AZZA Fusion 3000 (CSAZ-3000)



      $300 - Silverstone Strider 1500W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V




      $120 - CyberPower Intelligent LCD Series GreenPower UPS CP1350AVRLCD



          CPU cooling

      $75 - Noctua NH-D14 SE2011

          Thermal compound

      $10 - ARCTIC MX2 Thermal Paste -4gram

      ??RAM cooling??

          ??Case cooling??


      BELLS & WHISTLES , I/O         -           $390


      $30 - Rosewill RDCR-11003 74-in-1 USB3.0 3.5" Internal Card Reader w/USB Port


      IEEE 1394 CARD

      $40 - SYBA PCI 32-bit Firewire 1394b Controller Card Model SD-FWB-32B



      $0 – Kensington trackball mouse (already have)



      $0 - Logitech Wireless Keyboard K340 (already have)



      $320 - (2) SAMSUNG B350 Series S22B350H 21.5"



      $0 - Behringer MS16 Powered Studio Desktop Monitors (already have)

        • 1. Re: $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          In general it looks good. I have some minor remarks, however. The boot disk is way too big and a waste of money. I would go for a Corsair Neutron Pro, Kingston HyperX, Plextor M5 Pro or Samsung 840 Pro with 256 GB capacity or even 128 GB. If your intention to use RED 4K or Alexa material is substantial, I would consider a 4 GB version of the GTX 680. A 1200W Corsair AX Gold label may be a better choice than the Silverstone 1500W Silver label and save some money. Instead of Arctic MX2 cooling paste, consider CoolLaboratory Liquid Ultra. The Sabertooth mobo has FW400 on-board. Why a separate firewire card? The UPS is way underpowered. You better look at an APC UPS of around 2200 VA.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 3. Re: $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?
            shuffling_my_feet Level 1

            Thanks for the input, Harm.  But wowwee zowwee, I cannot afford to squeeze an APC UPS into my budget.  (Not at 2200 VA).  I found a powerconn lead acid UPS for about $230:




            Reviews suggest that the battery tends to crap out at about 2 years, but wouldn't this still be better than nothing?

            • 4. Re: $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              I hope Eric Bowen can join the conversation, since he knows a huge amount about UPS and can advise you.


              I don't use a UPS with my NLE system. The only UPS I use is for the server, because that is permanently connected to another server over a VPN for backup purposes and Exchange. However, in my defense, the only electricity failure we have had in the past say 10 years was one single time for about four hours, due to a cable break caused by maintenance crews in the neighborhood. So the need for a UPS is not really high. But I have no idea how it is at your place. In the USA the need for a UPS is much, much bigger than here, because of all the above-ground electricity lines on wooden poles and frequent storms.


              Generally you get what you pay for and indeed the APC 2200VA UPS is darn expensive.




              This APC UPS has line interactive topology and AFAIK that is an essential requirement for a good UPS. The NewEgg link you gave says the Powerconn is also line interactive. Mostly in this price range they are not.


              If Eric does not join us here shortly, I would give him a call at http://www.adkvideoediting.com/

              • 5. Re: $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?
                JEShort01 Level 4



                It is not recommended to use the Powercon (or any other square wave generating UPS for that matter) with a Silverstone power supply, or just about any current high end power supply out there today. Unfortunately, the sine-wave models are quite a bit more expensive. Just do a Google search if you want to learn more about why today's high-end power supplies don't like square wave power if you are curious.


                Here's what I know about a few of APC's SmartUPS line which does provide true sine-wave output:

                - SUA1500 unit is rated at 980 watts and would absolutely be strong enough for your build; even with a 1500 watt rated power supply you will not be exceeding what this unit can provide. I love this model and use it for an overclocked 6-core rig with 10+ drives and the current it provides is more solid than the wall socket in my study at home (has Corsair AX1200 p/s). When a render kicks in, the ups often senses "brownout" (not enough voltage) and starts powering the PC instead of letting the wall socket do it alone.

                - SUA2200 units are rated for 1980 watts but they are VERY heavy. I used to have both a APC UPS 2200 and 3000 model and got tired of the man-handling that is required to lift or move the bulk.

                - APC SmartUPS units are very expensive new, but very affordable on CraigsList. I picked up two SUA1500 units that looked like new but were 3 to 5 years old and there batteries were completely shot - one was $60, the other $75. eBay has them too, but shipping is pretty high because they are so heavy. New batteries are just under $200.

                - I only have SUA units; APC replaced this line with "LCD" SmartUPS models about a year ago. I don't recommend used SmartUPS models that do not have a USB connection for your PC. First of all serial ports are not compatible with most new PCs and more importantly these units could be REALLY old (6-10+ years old).





                1 person found this helpful
                • 6. Re: $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?
                  JEShort01 Level 4

                  Regarding your build list, I strongly second Harm's comments on:

                  - save $$$ and go with a 120/128GB SSD

                  - definitely go with 4MB video card if RED 4K etc. may be used later


                  Regarding your power supply choice, I too was considering the Silverstone 1500w but went with a Corsair AX1200 Gold and could not be happier on an overclocked 6-core build.



                  • 7. Re: $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?
                    Stu S Level 1

                    This build is similar to mine, I'll share some advice I got here.  64mb of RAM is probably not twice as good as 32mb, and it's a lot of money.  As I understand it, the 3930k is particular with regard to its memory controller, and can actually be less stable with 64 gb.  I went w/32gb of crucial pc1600 1.35v for something like $30/stick, and I'm happy with my performance.  Also, on the card, the advice I got was that a 4gb gtx 670 also was better bang for the buck,.  Also, I initially went with a 128 ssd and found that it was too small for a boot drive.  After windows 7, cs6, msoffice and some other common programs, I was almost 70% full, leaving me no room to add programs without having the drive past optimal capacity.  I swapped it out for a 1tb caviar black, which I caught on sale for $70.  Now I've got plenty of space, and can keep back-ups, business docs, pics, and more on there.  For coooling, I went with a coolermaster212 evo with a push pull over a liquid cooler, as I thought I'd get equivalent cpu cooling with my overclock, plus the benefit of better airflow in the case, and so far so good.


                    Haven't done the ppbm yet, though I will soon, though I can tell you I'm really happy with this setup for avchd, and feel well positioned to grow/modify for 2k & 4k workflows at some point in the future.  Good luck with your build.

                    • 8. Re: $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?
                      Harm Millaard Level 7



                      Keep in mind that SSD's do not suffer from the fill rate degradation that conventional HDD's have. Even if the fill rate is 80% or even higher, they do not degrade in performance as HDD's do. They do suffer from use when they attain their 'stable state'. Some SSD's more than others. Intel suffers more than the Corsair Neutron Pro, for instance.


                      As to 128 GB not being enough, I disagree with that. I have a three year old system, my old 'Beast' with a 150 GB Velociraptor, well after formatting it is only 139 GB, and you have no idea how much software you collect in three years time. It is like moving into a new house and finding the garage nicely clean and empty, but look at it a few years later and you know why people invented 'garage-sales'.


                      On this old system I have the Master Collections CS5, CS5.5 and CS6, numerous plug-ins for all versions like Surcode, MB Looks Suite for AE and PR, Color Finesse, all Pixelan plug-ins, the complete PPBM5 and PPBM6/7 websites, all kinds of testing, benchmarking and utility programs, complete administration software for my business, tax return software etc. and still my disk requirements for the boot disk are less than 80 GB. On my new system with two versions of the Master Collection and the same plug-ins and benchmarking/testing software, I only use 42 GB on my boot disk, including the pagefile. It has not been polluted as much as the old system.

                      • 9. Re: $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?
                        JEShort01 Level 4



                        I agree with Harm that 120/128GB should be plenty.


                        Possibly 32GB of your boot drive was used up by Window's installing the "hibernate" file onto it; hibernate is awesome for laptops, but really pretty useless for desktops. The hibernate file by default will use up whatever size of RAM that you have on your boot drive.


                        You have to do the following steps (from Microsoft's site) to turn off the hibernate feature and free up this space on your boot drive:

                        Turn of the Hibernation setting

                        If you don't use hibernation you can turn it off and free up disk space:

                        1. Start --> All Programs --> Accessories

                        2. Right click CMD.exe and click "run as admin"

                        3. type: powercfg -H off

                        4. Press Enter

                        5. Exit and restart your computer





                        • 10. Re: $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?
                          Stu S Level 1

                          Thanks Jim & Harm, I bet the hibernate file chewed up some space, I was really baffled about this.

                          • 11. Re: $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?
                            shuffling_my_feet Level 1

                            Thanks everyone for a lot of good advice!  After some consideration, and based on this thread, I plan to make the following changes to the build listed at the top of this thread:


                            1)  Changed boot drive to a Corsair Neutron 120GB.  Boot drives are for booting and software.  I'll keep the rest of my crap on the bigger drives.


                            2)  I saved a bit of money by switching the Blu-Ray R/W to a LG WH14NS40 (I can't figure out why the $90 version originally listed is $40 more expensive)


                            3)  I cut the dedicated F/W card... I guess I thought that one IEEE port was too few, but we're in a brave new world of USB 3.0 and whatnot now...


                            4)  Changed the case to a COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 for the robust cooling system that is built in to the case, also the glowing reviews. 


                            5)  Switched the PSU to a CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX1200 (CMPSU-1200AX)


                            6)  Switched the thermal compound per Harm's suggestion


                            7)  Still investigating the best option for a UPS, but a lot of good information here to guide my decision.


                            Assuming I can find a cheaper but robust UPS option perhaps locally, I might yet be able to squeeze out a few more bucks to upgrade my monitors to a larger size. 


                            I plan to document my assembly process, perhaps with (what else) a short video.  I will certainly update this board on how everything pans out.  Thanks again!!

                            • 12. Re: $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?
                              Harm Millaard Level 7

                              If you want to have a look at my build, have a look at http://ppbm7.com/index.php/intro-part-1 and all the following pages. There might be some interesting tidbits.

                              • 13. Re: $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?
                                shuffling_my_feet Level 1

                                Harm, I noticed that between my build presented here and your Monster detailed at http://ppbm7.com/index.php/intro-part-1, we share the following components:



                                -Noctua cooler


                                But I went for the Asus Sabertooth x79 MOBO, whereas you used the ASUS P9x79.  I saw from your build process that the fit between the RAM heatsinks and the Noctua was indeed very very close.  I am now worried that the fit will be different on the Sabertooth MOBO and I might be screwed.  Do you have any idea waht spec I should look at to try to puzzle this out?

                                • 14. Re: $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?
                                  shuffling_my_feet Level 1

                                  Wait, there should be no difference in that respect between the two MOBOs, isn't that right?  (Can you tell I've never done this before?)

                                  • 15. Re: $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                    All motherboards have the same distance between the CPU cooler and the DIMM slots. To determine whether the sticks will fit underneath the CPU cooler, you have to make sure that the cooling fins on the sticks do not exceed a certain height. The Ripjaws F3-Z are about the maximum height that will fit under the Noctua. Unfortunately, Newegg does not give the physical dimensions of the sticks, so you have to check those data on other sites, especially if you decide for other sticks and want to be sure they fit.  

                                    • 16. Re: $4300 build - i7 3930 / GTX 680 - did I screw it up?
                                      Trickylee Level 1

                                      Good stuff but sounds like someboby with lots of cash to waste and not concern for storage. This will come and bit you when you do long HD Projects. Primary drive is okay and you store some music files or preset backgroumds like Artbeats, Digitaljuice and others but get it to 256gb and save on the storage. Too much money on  Ram as PPro. and the CS family is not equipped to eat that much ram. Get at least 6-3tb($150ea). cut down on the cooling you have too much there. The summary will be 256gb ssd, 18tb on raids, 32gb Ram, ASUS Rampage 4, i7 3930 a GTX 580 or 680 (They are always on sale) plus those small stuff and no much waste there. Do not forget a capture card from Blackmagic maybe Intensity pro or extreme all in the Silverstone 9Aluminium Case with vent for airflow   with 1200 power. Firewire is onboard