7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 29, 2013 11:35 AM by ECBowen

    Please help with a new dual purpose PC build

    Dan Hitchman

      Hi everybody in AdobeLand! 

       

      I've been reading various boards and hardware sites and have started piecing together a dual purpose computer system.  It will be used for both video editing (of pre-shot hacked, high bitrate I-Frame Panasonic GH2 DSLR and camcorder footage using the AVCHD codec @ 1080p 24 and 30 fps) and webcasting/streaming purposes.  I would build two computers for each task, but it's just not in the budget right now.  I'm already stretching things as is. 

       

      I'm still not sure if I will be using Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas Pro 12 yet, though it seems like they organize their folders and file structures about the same.  Adobe's cloud service has me a bit scared off right now.  This new scheme feels like they have their hand purpetually in your wallet, which does not sit well with me.  I may still go with Vegas 12 just to avoid that hassle right now.  Help guide me here, experts!  Telestream's Wirecast is being used for multi-cam switching and graphics for live and pre-recorded material being compressed and streamed. 

       

      Back on topic:

       

      Here's the build as of right now...

       

      OS: Windows 7 64-Bit Professional (Windows 8 absolutely sucks!)

      CPU: Intel i7-4930k 6-Core Ivy Bridge (own)

      Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro (own)

      Memory: Crucial Ballistix 1.35v Sport DDR3L @ 32 GB (own)

      GPU:  EVGA GTX 770 FTW w/ 4 GB (will buy another HD monitor at a later date, hence the 4GB memory)

      Case:  Fractal Design XL R2 Full Tower

      CPU Cooling:  Noctua NH-D14 w/ SE2011 Bracket

      PSU: Corsair RM1000 Quiet Series / 80 Plus Gold / 1000 Watts

      Monitor: Dell U2412M Ultrasharp 24 inch / 1920x1200

      Optical Drive: LG Blu-ray Writer

      Keyboard: Microsoft 4000 Ergonomic

       

      HDMI capture cards: Blackmagic Designs Decklink Mini (x2)

       

      Storage:

       

      I bought two Samsung 840 Pro SSD drives:  one 128 GB and one 256 GB

       

      Thinking about possibly 2 (maybe 3-4 if I really stretch) Seagate ST3000DM001 3TB HDD's.

       

      I could sure use your help with any advise on arranging the storage to get the best bang vs. buck in speed and storage utilization (Wirecast can be setup to record live webcast sessions at 720p or 1080p in compressed files... probably no more than 120 minute webcasts... so that comes into play as well).  Just don't have the funds for an uber-expensive RAID controller card right now.

       

      Any opinions overall on the parts for the current build?  I still have time to send back and exchange anything already purchased.

       

      Thank you for your time and consideration.   

        • 1. Re: Please help with a new dual purpose PC build
          cc_merchant Level 4

          It appears you covered everything, but there may be some info you missed here: Tweakers Page and the subsequent pages.

          • 2. Re: Please help with a new dual purpose PC build
            Dan Hitchman Level 1

            Thanks!  After reading through the tweakers info, I'm still a bit confused on where and how the two SSD's should be arranged in the scheme of things (I know one should go towards the OS and programs) and how to break up these hard drives for the best performance since I'm not using a RAID controller card right now. 

             

            If I had three, would one pair go to RAID and the other for something else?  Any particular scenarios I should consider given the dual nature of the build?

            • 3. Re: Please help with a new dual purpose PC build
              Dan Hitchman Level 1

              OS: Windows 7 64-Bit Professional

              CPU: Intel i7-4930k 6-Core Ivy Bridge

              Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro

              Memory: Crucial Ballistix 1.35v Sport DDR3L @ 32 GB

              GPU:  EVGA GTX 770 FTW w/ 4 GB

              Case:  Fractal Design XL R2 Full Tower

              CPU Cooling:  Noctua NH-D14 w/ SE2011 Bracket

              Case Fans: 2 additonal Fractal Design 140mm (front intake and top exhaust)

              PSU: Seasonic Platinum-1000 / 80 Plus Platinum / 1000 Watts

              Monitor: Dell U2412M Ultrasharp 24 inch / 1920x1200

              Optical Drive: Lite-On Blu-ray Writer

              Keyboard: Microsoft 4000 Ergonomic

               

              HDMI capture cards: Blackmagic Designs Decklink Mini (x2)

               

              Storage:

               

              (x2) Samsung 840 Pro SSD's: 256 GB (OS/Software Drive and Cache/Scratch Drive or Export Drive??)

               

              (x2) Seagate ST3000DM001 HDD's: 3TB  -RAID 0- (Media Drive)

               

              (x1) Western Digital Black HDD: 1TB (Cache/Scratch Drive or Export Drive??)

               

              This is the new parts list and as you can see, I'm still in a quandary as how best to arrange one of the 256GB SSD's and the 1TB Western Digital.  Also, would it be prudent to relocate the Windows 7 Library file folders to one of these drives?  And which one?  Could I place my raw video clips on the media drive as well as long as I do regular backups?  I'd love to have a RAID card for a more robust array type and better performance, but right now I will still be at the mercy of the onboard SATA controllers.  For anybody using this same motherboard, which SATA plugs on the P9X79 Pro would be most beneficial to these particular drives?

               

              Any assistance in finalizing this build would be most appreciated!  Thanks. 

              • 4. Re: Please help with a new dual purpose PC build
                cc_merchant Level 4

                What do you not understand from:

                 

                With all the reading and writing going on, on the boot disk, it is understandable you need a (number of) dedicated disk(s) for video editing, especially with the bandwidths required when the clip duration is short and the number of tracks exceeds one and uses a codec more complex than DV. The kind of files used during editing are, in order of their need for speed:

                1. Media cache & Media cache database files, created on importing media into a project. They contain indexed, conformed audio and peak files for waveform display.
                  Typically small files, but lots of them, so in the end they still occupy lots of disk space.
                2. Preview (rendered) files, created when the time-line is rendered for preview purposes, the red bar turned to green. Read all the time when previewing the time-line.
                3. Project files, including project auto-save files, that are constantly being read and saved as auto-save files and written when saving your edits.
                4. Media files, the original video material ingested from tape or card based cameras. Typically long files, only used for reading, since PR is a non-destructive editor.
                5. Export files, created when the time-line is exported to its final delivery format. These files are typically only written once and often vary in size from several hundred KB to tens of GB.

                When you are doubting which category of files to put on which kind of disk, especially when using both SSD's and HDD's, keep in mind that the speed advantage of SSD's over HDD's is most noteworthy with the Media cache & Media cache database. These files are frequently accessed, are small and there are many, so reducing latency and seek times and increasing transfer rates pays off by putting these on a SSD, rather than on a HDD, even if it is a raid0. Export files can go to the slowest volume on your system, since you only export once. To help you decide, I have added priority rank-numbers for speed, with 1 for the fastest volume and 5 for the least speed-demanding category.

                 

                and

                Well, in the benchmark tests we have not seen any noticeable difference between SSD and HDD in terms of performance, but logic dictates that there should be a small difference in performance when the volume used for media cache is a SSD, because of the much faster access time and lower latency compared to a conventional disk. If it is noticeable, it is specifically on this volume with the media cache and media cache database, due to the large amount of small files that need to be accessed and written. This argument does not apply to the media volume with a limited number of files, that are very big in size.

                • 5. Re: Please help with a new dual purpose PC build
                  Dan Hitchman Level 1

                  Looking through some of these discussions, it seems like people go back and forth about when or when not to use an SSD.  The concensus is pretty much set on SSD's for the OS/Programs, but some seem to point out that the constant write cycles are not good for SSD longevity... or they should be used for one task or another for performance vs. space.  One person says one thing and another says something else.  It gets confusing for a novice, is all I'm getting at.

                   

                  I'm also using this computer to record web streaming sessions from Wirecast, so I would assume the RAID drives would be the best place to dump these real-time recordings.  Or am I wrong here?

                   

                  Thanks for the above emphasis on some of these points.

                  • 6. Re: Please help with a new dual purpose PC build
                    Dan Hitchman Level 1

                    Hopefully, somebody will have an answer for me.

                     

                    I'm going to try this config:

                     

                    Samsung 840 Pro SSD 256 GB: OS/Software Drive

                     

                    Samsung 840 Pro SSD 256 GB: Cache/Scratch/Preview Drive

                     

                    (x2) Seagate ST3000DM001 3TB HDD's: Project/Media Drive (when using Wirecast - live webcasting session recording drive) in RAID 0 (backed up externally)

                     

                    Western Digital Black 1TB HDD: Export Drive

                     

                    --

                    Since I have the Asus P9x79 Pro Motherboard, I was thinking of putting the two SSD drives on the Intel x79 SATA III 6 Gb/s ports, and the two Seagate HDD's in a RAID 0 on the Intel x79 SATA II 3 Gb/s ports (I might be able to add two more Seagates later on the open SATA II ports).  The Western Digital 1 TB on one of the two Marvel 6 Gb/s ports.  

                     

                    Would this be a decent configuration for best performance, or do P9x79 owners have any better suggestions?  (Besides buying an expensive RAID card)

                     

                    I've also decided to swap the 4 sticks of 32GB Crucial Ballistix 1.35v 1600 memory for 8 sticks of the just released 64 GB G.Skill Ripjaws Z 1.5v 1866 memory with Ivy Bridge-E (XMP 1.3) support.  Good choice or should I get 32 GB's of G.Skill RAM and spend the ~$300 difference on a RAID controller card... if there is a good one for around that amount, that is (any suggestions here)?

                     

                    Thank you again!

                    • 7. Re: Please help with a new dual purpose PC build
                      ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                      A raid controller will not effect the performance with the current planned configuration for the drives. Either set of ram should be fine and I would be surprised if they didn't have XMP 1.3 support for either set. That changed a while back. Whether the controller has changed again with Ivy-E has yet to be determined.

                       

                      I would suggest putting all the mechanical drives on the Intel 3Gb/s ports. The 6Gbs wont make any difference in performance for the mechanical drives. Only the SSD drives will have a performance difference.


                      Eric

                      ADK