13 Replies Latest reply on Dec 16, 2015 8:50 AM by RoninEdits

    Upgrade for a P9X79PRO i73820 Build

    tonylives Level 1

      Just jumped on here, read through a few threads and found the SSD world has changed with these new Samsung SM951 and intel PCIe drives.


      I was looking to upgrade my machine, specs are below.


      My initial thought was to grab a new CPU, RAID Controller, and SSD drives for my RAID setup.  I was eyeballing that new i7-5960X, the Areca ARC-1883i, and then I realized that the CPU would require a new motherboard as well as RAM, so the upgrade would be a new build.  I was referred to this thread and get the idea behind that advice.  I also looked at the speccy file for the X99_4.5GHz_3xGPU_SM951 and see that now, one can get by without a RAID controller if using these new SM951 type drives.  Less is always better in my book.


      So - I'm considering a milder upgrade now.  Possibly going with the older i7-3930K CPU, adding a GTX970 video card, and then going with one 512GB SM951 drive for my OS (or an 840PRO), and one 512GB SM951 to house all projects.  That would allow me to remove 4 conventional drives and my Samsung SSD.  But I don't really understand whether those SM951 be compatible with my current Motherboard or what adapters I'd need to plug them in.


      If someone could make a suggestion about these ideas, I'd appreciate it.


      The next option would be to give my wife this machine and build a new monster from scratch around the more expensive 5960 CPU.  Wife insists her computer works fine, she doesn't want mine, and we don't need a new monster machine...I of course, think it's inevitably necessary.


      My main application is editing photos in lightroom and 1080 Canon DSLR HD video in premiere, with the occasional after effects work.  Starting to have more 4k cross my path, and where I notice slowness is when I render in premiere, when I work with multiple layers of 1080 video, and when I export.  Piling on effects slows things down nicely.


      Current Specs:

      Motherboard: ASUS P9X79 PRO LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with USB BIOS

      CPU:  Intel Core i7-3820 Sandy Bridge-E 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 2011 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73820

      Video Card: MSI N660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

      OS: Windows 7

      RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL10Q-32GBZL

      RAID Drives: 4x Western Digital WD Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

      OS Drive: SAMSUNG 840 Series MZ-7TD250BW 2.5" 250GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

      Drive Config: 1=Operating system, 2x1TB=RAID0, 2x1TB=RAID0  (Backup will be to dual 3TB External Drives)

      Power Supply: CORSAIR HX Series HX850 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

      Burner: ASUS Black 14X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 12X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner BW-14D1XT

      Case Speaker: APEVIA Model CVTCSPK 2" Case speaker

      CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler

      Case:   Fractal Design Define XL Black Pearl w/ USB 3.0 ATX Full Tower Silent PC Computer Case

      Card Reader: Kingston's USB 3.0 Media Reader Computer Memory FCR-HS3

      USB 3.0 BackUp/Export Drives:  Seagate Expansion 3TB USB 3.0 Black Desktop Hard Drive STBV3000100

      Extra Case Fan:  Rosewill ROCF-11003 Hyperborea 140mm Case Fan


      Drives are being used as follows:

      SSD- C:\ - OS

      2 x 1TG in RAID 0 as E:\ for Media, Projects

      2 x 1TB in RAID 0 as F:\ for Export, Previews, Media Cache

      2 x 3TB USB3.0 External for Backup and Storage

        • 1. Re: Upgrade for a P9X79PRO i73820 Build
          RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

          sounds like your biggest bottleneck may be the cpu, its still the primary device used for rendering in premiere and especially AE. you can use windows resource monitor and GPU-Z  to determine how the various hardware components are working.


          if you look at the supported cpu's on asus's website P9X79 PRO,  it lists the new i7-4xxx's. the i7-4930K would be the value play upgrade, should give around 40% increase in speed. if you are comfortable overclocking, you can get even more speed from that new cpu. you would need a better cpu cooler if doing overclocking, either a big air cooler like the noctua or water cooling like corsair. the i7-4960X is listed as supported by your motherboard, but its only about 6% faster than the i7-4930K. at that point its worth replacing everything for the new i7-5960X. whichever cpu you upgrade to, make sure you have the listed supported bios version 4210 or newer. the gtx 970 is just shy of 2x as powerful as the gtx 660ti.


          the rest of this is rehash of the thread you already read:

          for the drives, it will depend on how much storage space you need for media and budget. the ssd's currently top at 1tb, so if you need more than that for your media, you have to look at splitting up media across multiple drives, manually or using raid. it is possible to raid the intel 730 480gb drives to increase speed and capacity. you motherboard appears to support raid 0 & 5 if you want a cheap raid solution. if you want the fastest you are looking at m.2/pci-e solutions, such as the samsung sm951 or intel 750. since your motherboard doesn't have the new m.2 slot on it, you will need a "m.2 pci express adapter" for the samsung sm951 or buy a pci express ssd like the intel 750. the intel 750 comes in a 400gb or 1tb size. any sata ssd's not used in raid should be the samsung 850 pro.


          drive examples: 1x samsung 850 pro ssd - os/apps, 1x samsung 850 pro ssd - project/cache, 2+ x intel 730 480gb ssd raid - media.

          or  1x samsung 850 pro ssd - os/apps, 1x m.2 or pcie ssd - project/cache/media.

          • 2. Re: Upgrade for a P9X79PRO i73820 Build
            tonylives Level 1

            I appreciate the clarification.  I will go with the 4930k or 4960x followed by a 850 pro for the OS and the 1x m.2 ssd for project/cache/media.  I should feel that difference without building up a new machine.


            Thanks a ton!

            • 3. Re: Upgrade for a P9X79PRO i73820 Build
              tonylives Level 1

              Ah sorry.  One more question.  Is there a proven GTX 970 card out there, as I have read a few threads where folks have had problems getting them to work and instead went back to the GTX 780ti cards?

              • 4. Re: Upgrade for a P9X79PRO i73820 Build
                RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                it appears you have the samsung 840 pro? if so that will still work for your system. the 850 pro listed was just for examples, not that you had to replace your ssd... if you can find a 4960X at under $800 it may be worth it, but its retail price is just way too much for the small performance boost over the 4930K. the m.2/pci-e ssds will get hot, so if you dont have good air flow in that case, you could get a 120mm quiet fan such as a noctua with low voltage adapter (low noise adapter) or other medium rpm fan and focus it on the ssd.

                • 5. Re: Upgrade for a P9X79PRO i73820 Build
                  tonylives Level 1

                  I wanted to upgrade to a larger SSD for the OS as I only have 57GB free on the available 232GB on the 840.  My 840 is not a pro version, just a plain 840.  Yes was looking at the noctua or the coolermaster 612 v2.  My case has a ton of airspace, so hopefully it won't be a problem: A Build that Has Served Me Well


                  I'm noticing that pricing on the 780 ti graphics cards is similar to the new 970's.  That's strange.  I guess components have gotten cheaper or something different must be coming.


                  Also, Adobe doesn't seem to have approved the new 900 series cards publicly anywhere.  I suspect because they're getting to it.

                  • 6. Re: Upgrade for a P9X79PRO i73820 Build
                    RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                    the coolermasters are ok, the main problem with them are their noisy fans. noctua, be quiet!, or phanteks are just a few brands that make excellent coolers and fans. the 780 ti is just a hair slower than the 970. the 970 is also new tech, which uses less power and therefore runs cooler and quieter. the brand new 980 ti 6gb that just came out, and its doing very well on benchmarks, especially the super/overclocked versions. it starts around $650, which is a great price compared to the titan X, but expensive compared to the 970.


                    adobe's approved list of video cards is slow to be updated, just means they haven't thoroughly tested the hardware with premiere. there are plenty of people here though that have been using those gtx 900 series cards with premiere and other programs, and they report no issues.

                    • 7. Re: Upgrade for a P9X79PRO i73820 Build
                      tonylives Level 1

                      RoninEdits, another newb question.  I pulled the trigger on the whole upgrade.  Went budget conscious with an Asus STRIX gtx970, the i7 4930, a nice noctua nd14 cooler, an 850 pro for the os, and the new 950 pro to replace my 4 raid drives.  I can feel the speed already.  Have not put in the 950 yet though.


                      The newb question - Does it make a difference which pcie port I plug the m.2 adapter into, and must I do anything in the bios or Windows to be sure the pci drive is operating at full speed?  Also, is there's a best practice for formatting the 950 pro?


                      Thank you for the immense amount of help you've given in getting this machine upgraded.

                      • 8. Re: Upgrade for a P9X79PRO i73820 Build
                        RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                        your motherboard manual shows recommended slots for multiple gpu's. you could try placing it where it recommends the second gpu. then run a hdd benchmark program to see how the 950's is doing. if its not doing so good, or you want to test it, you can try moving it to another slot and benchmark again. i don't think there will be any bios settings you need to change, but there is a nvme driver to install for windows. Samsung SSD Downloads | Samsung SSD

                        • 9. Re: Upgrade for a P9X79PRO i73820 Build
                          tonylives Level 1

                          Thanks yet again.


                          I boot from the 850 PRO without issues. Not sure if NVMe support was added, but I do have the latest ASUS bios installed. OH - I see they are just for the 950 PRO.


                          This 950 pro is replacing 4x 7200rpm disks that were in RAID 0 as a media cache/project drives. It's crazy that this one little disk is going to be faster than 2 sata raid 0 arrays!


                          What I did learn though from Samsung's magician software is that I have to change the BIOS out of RAID mode into AHCI mode. Folks are having some probs with that, but I found an apparent quick fix here for windows 7/8 - https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/922976 - maybe this will help someone else here later on.


                          So the plan is to transfer my data, kill the RAID arrays, update the registry via that microsoft link, reboot into the BIOS, set it to AHCI, and then experience the insane speed!

                          • 10. Re: Upgrade for a P9X79PRO i73820 Build
                            tonylives Level 1

                            For anyone following the build, I just upgraded it with these items:


                            Asus STRIX GTX970

                            Intel i7 4930

                            Noctua ND-14 Cooler

                            Samsung 850 PRO for the OS

                            Samsung 950 PRO to replace my 4 raid drives

                            Addonics M.2 to PCIe Adapter


                            A special thanks to RoninEdits for all his help throughout the process.


                            Here's how empty the case looks now:


                            • 11. Re: Upgrade for a P9X79PRO i73820 Build
                              RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                              that does look pretty empty with no hdd's. once pcie storage gains more popularity (cheaper prices), we should start seeing very different and much smaller cases that remove the 5.25" dvd bays and 3.5" hdd bays.

                              • 12. Re: Upgrade for a P9X79PRO i73820 Build
                                tonylives Level 1

                                I was thinking that the nest thing we'll see is MB's with direct M.2 slots so you can just plug in your SSD's.  With that, also a re-designed format for the SSD's that includes cooling like Intels do but in a more compact way.  I still like the big case for nice airflow though!  Eventually they'll pack this much processing power into a watch-sized case.

                                • 13. Re: Upgrade for a P9X79PRO i73820 Build
                                  RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                                  they have motherboards with m.2 slots already, some with multiple m.2's. the problem is they run hot, so the card design with a heatsink, like the intel 750, is a better design for tower computers. m.2's are for laptops that just happen to catch on to tower pc's. i've see some mod's of the m.2 ssd's on motherboards with custom heatsinks used for cooling.


                                  so far the smallest we've gotten for a computer with one video card is around a cereal box size case. most of the shrinkage now is limited by the video card, as powerful cpu's are available in mini-itx form factor. the intel nuc design is the smallest custom without add-in video cards.