13 Replies Latest reply on Jan 17, 2013 10:12 AM by ptl-2010

    Hard drives, ram, questions before I buy any parts for my new computer build

    ptl-2010 Level 1

      I am building a budget video editing rig for DSLR video and photography. I have done some research and found the best blend of performance and price, as far as I can tell. This is mostly a hobby system, it won't be used heavily, mostly for honing my skills and creating things for my portfolio along with the occasional freelance project. I would like to keep this system around for a while and will probably overclock in the future to keep up with the times. I don't think I will be editing anything higher than 1080p footage, but I may have to work with a little bit of all the major codecs/formats out there.

       

      Here is my part list so far

       

      Intel i7 3770k - I already own this part, I picked it up a week ago from Microcenter for $230

      ASUS P8Z77-LX - A budget motherboard with the ability to overclock the 3770k in the future and a decent feature set

      Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 - The lest expensive "decent" graphics card for GPU acceleration.

      Seasonic 80Plus Power Supply M12II 620 BRONZE - A quality budget power supply, a little more than I need but gives me some headroom

      Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB -16gb of 1.5v 1600 DDR3 ram.

      Samsung 840 250gb SSD - a 250gb SSD for the OS and programs.

      WD caviar green 1tb - I have this sitting around in my house, and it will be used as the scratch/cache disk.

      2TB Seagate Barracuda - This will be my project/data drive. I will have my lightroom catalog, photos, videos, and personal data on this drive. I have a 2tb external I will back up to every time I use the system.

      Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive - Just a regular DVD burner for the times I need to read things off of discs, or I need to give someone a copy of something on disk media. I may later on go with a BR drive but I have yet to have a single client/buddy that wanted something on a BR. I have a BRW drive at work I can always use if I really need it.

      Corsair 200r - A simple budget case with usb 3.0 at the front and a decent interior.

       

      I already own a keyboard, mouse, OS, and an LG IPS 235V monitor. I plan to pick up a 2nd one with a few gift cards I got for christmas, so I'm not going to put it in the budget.

       

      All together I'm looking at just a few dollars over $1,100 including the processor I already purchased.

       

      Now on to my questions

       

      1. For the SSD I feel I need something larger than 128gb if I were to isntall all my software and the OS on it, because of the amount of software I use. I have the CS6 master collection, Lightroom, Lightwave 9.5, and 3ds Max, and office 2007. I think that would put a 128gb too close to full, so I opted for a 250gb model. Do you think this will work well?

       

      2. When it comes to ram, will I see a performance difference between 1333 and 1600 speed memory? Also, should I go for 32gb over 16gb? I know from experience adobe is really hungry for ram, but my work system only has 12gb so I don't know if what I do would utilize 32gb since I've never worked with a system that has that kind of power.

       

      As for my budget, I would like to stay under $1,300 max. Since this is mostly for hobby and freelance work I won't be using the system constantly or using it on large complex projects.

       

      If you have any suggestions on this setup or what I should do to make it better but keep it in my budget, let me know!

       

       

       

       

       

       


       


       



        • 1. Re: Hard drives, ram, questions before I buy any parts for my new computer build
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          >WD caviar green 1tb

           

          Bad idea for video editing... you need a 7200 RPM hard drive to keep up with the data transfer speed requirement... use a green drive ONLY for inactive backups

           

          Be sure to buy extra case fans to move a LOT of air through the case to keep the inside cool... video editing generates a LOT of CPU and nVidia heat

           

          She doesn't edit video (she does use a CAD program) but the computer I built for my wife last fall is very similar... and, with 4 case fans, her system runs "cool" http://www.pacifier.com/~jtsmith/ADOBE.HTM

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Hard drives, ram, questions before I buy any parts for my new computer build
            ptl-2010 Level 1

            I will be adding case fans, and as for the green when I had looked up the drive earlier it was rated at 7200rpm, but I just put it in an enclosure and checked it in speccy and it registered at 5400rpm? I guess they're intellipower is just a gimmic as they state is has the same performance but uses less power. I figured it would just idle down more often or something but when in use gave the same performance. Either way I will use it as a backup as that's what it was originally used for. I will add another 7200RPM drive for the cache/scratch disk.

            • 3. Re: Hard drives, ram, questions before I buy any parts for my new computer build
              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              The price difference is small, but you don't need a 1T drive for cache/scratch, a 320 or 500 Gig drive will work fine

               

              I edit AVCHD (home hobby, not commercial) with 2 x 320Gig and 1 x 1T drives

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Hard drives, ram, questions before I buy any parts for my new computer build
                RjL190365 Level 4

                Paul,

                 

                Your hunch that Intellipower is a "gimmick" is correct, I'm afraid. No WD Green ever manufactured spins at anywhere close to 7200 RPM. In fact, every single WD Green ever made spins at only 5405 RPM - and it's a fixed spindle speed, at that. Variable spindle speeds on hard drives would have required special and super-expensive (relatively speaking) motors. All current hard drive motors have a fixed speed. "Intellipower" refers to the feature that completely spins down the spindle motor to a complete stop after it sits idle for an unknown number of minutes. Unfortunately, when data access to the drive is needed, the drive takes very long to spin back up to its nominal speed.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Hard drives, ram, questions before I buy any parts for my new computer build
                  RjL190365 Level 4

                  Unfortunately, John, this is not-so-good advice on account that many (but not all) of the smaller-capacity hard drives use older-generation platter layouts with significantly slower average and maximum sequential transfer rates than their 1TB and larger brandmates. The Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 series hard drives are a case in point: Although both the 500GB and the 1TB versions use a single platter, the 500GB version unfortunately opted to use a four-year-old layout with data being written on both sides of the disk (and completely filling both sides, at that). That results in a significantly lower areal density and (correspondingly) slower sequential transfer rates (the 1TB drive averages well over 130 MB/s while the 500GB drive averages barely over 100 MB/s).

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Hard drives, ram, questions before I buy any parts for my new computer build
                    ptl-2010 Level 1

                    Thankyou RjL and John for the information. I'll probably use a 1tb barracuda drive as the Cache/scratch. Speaking of space, would it be ok to use this drive as a dual purpose drive? Maybe put my steam games and music on it since I won't be using those at the same time I'm editing? If I do use it for multiple purposes, is there any benefit to partitioning the drive?

                    • 7. Re: Hard drives, ram, questions before I buy any parts for my new computer build
                      John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Partitioning is a big NO for video editing... I don't really know if having an unused, for video editing, partition will cause problems

                       

                      I will GUESS not, since my boot drive is partitioned for dual boot with WinXP and Win7 and I have not had any problems

                       

                      Just don't try and use both partitions for anything related to video editing - http://forums.adobe.com/thread/650708

                      • 8. Re: Hard drives, ram, questions before I buy any parts for my new computer build
                        ptl-2010 Level 1

                        Thanks john, I would simply have one partion for cache/scratch and the other for my music/games which would not be in use while I was editing, so only one partion would be accessed at a time. It would just tidy things up a bit that's all.

                        • 9. Re: Hard drives, ram, questions before I buy any parts for my new computer build
                          RjL190365 Level 4

                          Paul,

                           

                          I would not install any games at all whatsoever on any serious video editing system for the following reason: Games may install bloatware which may substantially slow down the PC's performance. In the worst cases, the fastest PC in the world might perform as slow as the average PC that's equipped with mid-range components that are two or even three generations old (or put it this way, a heavily overclocked i7-3930K with a 4GB GTX 680 that has games installed might perform slower in Premiere Pro than some stock-speed i7-920 systems with a GTX 260 due to all that bloatware that comes installed along with the games). So, if you want to play games, you should play those games on an entirely separate PC whenever possible.

                           

                          As for the music files, they should be kept on an entirely separate disk whenever possible. Do not partition any disks since they will not only slow down performance but also substantially increase the wear and tear on the disk.

                          • 10. Re: Hard drives, ram, questions before I buy any parts for my new computer build
                            ptl-2010 Level 1

                            RjL, Thanks for the information reguarding partitioning. I will just use that WD green drive for my personal files that way I don't wear anything out prematurely.

                             

                            As for the games they are mainstream titles from Steam so there is no issue as far as bloatware or adware, and will not cause any performance degradation as long as the steam service is not running (background updates, etc). I have a well maintained editing rig at work that I have also used for game benchmarking and saw no degredation in performance as the games were installed on a disk that wasn't utilized during the editing process and there was no extra processes running because of the games.

                             

                            This is also a hobbyist/freelance build, which is why my budget is so small. If I were building a system for my regular editing gig I would completely agree that keeping only what I need for my job on the system, but this is just my personal system that I will use maybe 1-4 times a month for work and every other day for normal computing and personal projects.

                            • 11. Re: Hard drives, ram, questions before I buy any parts for my new computer build
                              Harm Millaard Level 7

                              Paul,

                               

                              In a recent thread about partitioning, I made this analogy:

                               

                              Imagine a huge parking lot (a single partition) and you want to park your car. Simple, find an empty place and park it. EOS.

                               

                              Now the next time you come to that parking lot, you find an attendant (the OS partition manager) first asking you what you want to do here and then telling you that things have changed. The previous huge parking lot has been split up into numerous parking lots (partitioned) and you have to drive around the building to parking lot P3 and enter there. So you have to reverse, drive around the building and enter lot P3 (not P2 or P4, so be attentive) and find an empty slot to park your car.

                               

                              In the back of your mind you think: 'What?' Why do they have to make it so complicated to simply park your car? There is no more parking space, and it takes me more time to drive around the building and find the correct entrance, not to mention the extra mileage and the 'wear-and-tear' of my car. And let's not forget the attendant, required to tell me the new situation. When everybody has to cut costs, due to the financial crisis, these idiots HIRE a new guy, increasing overhead and they have no discernible benefit for the guys who want to simply park their car.

                               

                              That is in a nutshell what partitioning does. It increases overhead, it increases delays, it increases inefficiency, it increases 'wear-and-tear' on your disks.

                               

                              The most important drawback of partitioning: The extra distance the heads need to move to slower parts of the disk and back and the increased access times, increasing wear-and-tear on the mechanical parts, slowing R/W on all but the primary partition and reducing efficiency. The transfer rates can decrease by as much as 50% due to partitioning and shorten the life-span of the disk significantly.

                              • 12. Re: Hard drives, ram, questions before I buy any parts for my new computer build
                                ptl-2010 Level 1

                                Harm,

                                 

                                That is a really great analogy, it makes partitioning and it's drawbacks very easy to grasp.

                                • 13. Re: Hard drives, ram, questions before I buy any parts for my new computer build
                                  ptl-2010 Level 1

                                  Harm, one thing I would also like to ask you is about ram speed vs quantity. 1333 and 1600 speed ram is about the same price now adays for similar latency,  but I know 1600 usually runs at a higher voltage and Intels limit is 1.5. I plan on purchasing 16gb of ram, which speed should I go with? also should I just go ahead and jump for 32gb? I do use after effects and I know its hungry for ram.