12 Replies Latest reply on Sep 14, 2015 6:17 PM by LaciG

    Advice Needed On System Upgrade


      Dear Hardware Forum,



      I built an editing computer 5 years ago (mostly based on Harm's advice  ) which has been working for me since. However, I just built a (small) system (I5, MB: 6.0 Gb/s SATA gates, etc.) to a family member and it is so much faster than my old one that I became envy of it and decided to upgrade my system.


      My present system:

        1. Mother Board: ASUS P6X68D Premium
        2. Processor: Intel Core i7 930
        3. Chipset: Intel X58 / ICH10R
        4. Memory: 24 GB (DDR3)
        5. Graphic Card: MSI GEFORCE GTX 970  (NVIDIA)
        6. Mother Board Ports:
          • 6x SATA 3.0 Gb/s           to 5 HDs and 1 OD
          • SATA 6.0 Gb/s                to front panel eSATA port
          • SATA 6.0 Gb/s                to front panel hot switchable HDD enclosure

         (System is on an individual disk.  E and F are "Work" and "Scratch" each is composed of two disks in a RAID 0. All disks are 1 TB, SATA II.)


      New system (that I am thinking about):

        1. Mother Board: ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011
        2. Processor: Core I7-3930K Hexa-Core Processor


      Other components would be used from the old system.





      1. Would this system be "much" faster (not a precise question for a physicist ) than the present one?
      2. Would I still need RAID?
      3. Would SSD anywhere (but not everywhere!) in the system fasten it up even more?


      I would appreciate any advise.



      Thank you,



        • 1. Re: Advice Needed On System Upgrade
          RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

          the I7-3930K is a bit old now, they are on i7-5820K 6 core, there is also an i7-4790K 4 core. if you are getting it cheaper than the current ones, that would be a good option. the i7-5820K is about 20% faster than the i7-4790k, which is around 2x faster than the i7-930. the I7-3930K is about in the middle in terms of speed, between the other two. the i7-5820K requires ddr4 memory, while the I7-3930K and i7-4790K use ddr3, so you may be able to re-use the ram from your current system.


          raid and ssd depends on your media and project. if you use windows resource monitor you may get an idea how well the raid are doing while you edit. you can then decide if upgrade to ssd or faster hdd's for raid, or if all is well, just keep using what you have. ssd is common place for system disk now, so if you want faster boot and load times, can get a samsung 850 pro 256gb ssd for that.

          • 2. Re: Advice Needed On System Upgrade
            cc_merchant Level 4

            Of course it all depends on the available budget, but if I were to upgrade now from an i7-930, these would be my main ingredients:


            • CPU: i7-5930K or i7-5960X. Not the i7-5820K as suggested above because of the limitation of only 28 PCIe lanes, which closes off expansion capabilities.
            • Mobo: Asus X99E-WS
            • Memory: GSkill Ripjaws 4 F4-2666, 32 or 64 GB
            • OS disk: Samsung SM951 m2 SSD, 256 GB
            • Extra PCIe card: Addonics ADM2X4 M2 PCIe card for
            • Media / cache disk: Samsung SM951 m2 SSD, 512 GB


            and continue using the GTX970 and the current HDD's on the SATA 6G ports. I would definitely overclock the CPU to around 4.5 GHz.

            If you still have some budget available, I would add some Samsung 850 Pro  1 TB SSD's on the SATA 6G ports for media and projects and delegate the 1 TB HDD's for backup.


            This way you can later add another Addonics card when the Samsung SM951 NVMe m2 drives attain 1 TB capacity and possibly a second GTX 970 without running out of PCIe lanes. If you were to go the 'cheap' way with the i7-5820K, you would have used 16 (video) + 4 (m2) + 4 (ADM2X4) = 24 of the available 28 PCIe lanes, leaving no room for a raid controller or a second video card.


            An i7-4790K is not an option, because it is only a 4-core, that is only marginally faster than the i7-930 (certainly not two times faster as claimed in the previous post), it is severely handicapped by only 16 available PCIe lanes all used by the video card, has no m2 slot on the mobo and you could only reuse 16 GB of your existing RAM, unless you have 3 x 8GB sticks, in which case you would need one additional identical stick to get to 32 GB. 24 GB is not an option on a 11xx mobo because of the memory controller.

            • 3. Re: Advice Needed On System Upgrade
              LaciG Level 1

              Thanks for your advice! I forgot to mention that I only use this system for hobby editing (although I burned several large Blu-ray disks with all the bells and whistles that Adobe CS5 can create). And addition to this, I am pushing 80 (next year ) so I am not that concerned with "future proofing" (). The decision for me is whether upgrade it at all. If I decide it, then I will follow your suggestions. Thanks again, Laci.

              • 4. Re: Advice Needed On System Upgrade
                RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                the i7-4790k is only a poor choice if loading up on pcie cards and using pcie m.2, since it does have limited pci lanes. but if one was on a limited budget to buy an i7-4790k, they probably won't be using m.2 or multiple video cards. however there are motherboards that support m.2 on lga 1150. clock for clock, the i7-4790k on turbo is 50% faster clock speed, then take in to account that its 4 years newer, its going to have more IPC, which adds even more speed. the clock speed alone suggests its not just marginally faster, but alot faster than the i7-930. the 2x is referenced from a generic benchmark, i don't know if the 2x performance still caries over to premiere or not, but it should. if all that still doesn't make any sense, the OP said a new i5 was alot faster than his i7-930, and an i7-4790k would be alot faster than an i5. the i7-5820K is a good option as well if not needing more than 28 pcie lanes, as its very close to the same performance as the i7-5930K, but $200 less.

                • 5. Re: Advice Needed On System Upgrade
                  msp1518 Level 1

                  I just built a system using the i7-4790k on an ASUS Z97Pro Wifi USB3.0 MB and the only real limitation for what I am doing is in the PCI-e lanes. My current card is a 2 and not a 3 so it's not really an issue yet. Eventually I might have to make some choices, but not any time soon. It all fit into my budget (barely) and I am happy with how it is working out.

                  • 6. Re: Advice Needed On System Upgrade
                    LaciG Level 1

                    I have one more (loosely) related question: regarding the above mentioned upgrade plan, I got curious about data transfer rates (DTR). With the above ( my present) computer, I checked the DTR between two external SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) WD Blue HD disks connected with eSATA cables to the two MARWELL 6.0 Gb/s ports. Transferring 8.50 GB (68 Gb) mp3 files from one to the other took 110 s, which corresponds to about 0.62 Gb/s transfer rate. I am not concerned with the niceties of the difference between “goodput”, “effective throughput”, etc. but a factor of 10 seems excessive. Does it have to do with using the disks internally, or externally, protocol overheads (not binary data), the external SATA cables, etc.? I would greatly appreciate any comment or reference (I couldn't find it on the Internet at first attempt). Thanks, Laci.


                    • 7. Re: Advice Needed On System Upgrade
                      JFPhoton Level 3

                      ...your calculation appears to be wrong.....8.5 GB equals 8,500 MB,  divided by 110 seconds = 77.7 Megabytes per second. This transfer speed is slow compared to what two SATA III drives would normally provide, ( if they are 7200 rpm drives ). maybe those blue drives are only 5400rpm,or, maybe the disks are more than 50% full, which will cut their speed in HALF of normal....which SHOULD be around 130 to 150 MB/sec.


                      By today's standards, all that is SLOW compared to the SATA III SSDs which are running at 550MB/sec. read and 500MB/sec. write.


                      You could try to SQUEEZE more performance out of your 2010 machine by :   1.  Overclocking the CPU....users are reporting 3.8 Ghz on the stock air cooler and some going between 4.2 and 4.8 Ghz with water cooling.  Considering your stock speed is only 2.8Ghz with a turbo just over 3 Ghz, overclocking the CPU could provide a significant increase in performance. I'm sure Harm and many others were doing this with their 930s back in 2010 !  Your motherboard includes tools for easier overclocking. A general comment heard on this forum is that editing really improves once you are over 4Ghz on the CPU.

                      2.  Rearrange your drive setup to greatly increase your data transfer speed and probably overall performance. Your current drive setup looks like it is "bottle necking" your machine and running relatively very slow.  Here is one idea to maximize your speed :

                      A. Buy a Crucial MX200 256GB SATA III SSD for $99 at B&H, or, the 500GB for $199......clone your current boot drive onto it. Only OS,programs and Windows page file should be on this drive anyway. This drive will now read at 550MB/sec, giving you a dramatic improvement to your whole system. This SSD goes on ONE of the "Marvell"  SATA III ports...you will have to FORGET about external drives for now.

                      B. Next, assuming your 1 TB spinning HDDs are the same and are all 7200 rpm.....take SIX of them and fill ALL your SATA II ports with them, making a six drive RAID 0 on the red SATA II ports. This will give you a volume of 6 TB running at 648 MB/sec. read and write speed...( 6 x 120 MB/sec. = 720 MB/sec. MINUS 10% overhead = 648MB/sec. data transfer speed ). ALL FILES would go on this array...EVERYTHING except the OS, programs, and Windows page file, ( which would be on your boot drive SSD). Your media, your project files, all cache files...EVERYTHING would go on this array.

                      C. Finally, you would buy a  6 TB "Enterprise level" HDD to backup that RAID 0 , RELIGIOUSLY, as if ANY of the drives fails, ALL the data on the RAID 0 would be lost immediately !!   B&H has a Seagate for $ 359. Even though his drive is 7200rpm, it has a 128MB cache and runs at over 200MB/sec. You would connect this drive to the SECOND "Marvell" SATA III port.   Of course, you could just make a 5 drive RAID 0 and leave ONE SATA II port for your "optical drive", but, you would lose some speed on the RAID, ( now 540 MB/sec. ). HOWEVER, you would GAIN a "spare drive" for your RAID if one drive fails.  External drives would NOT be recommended on your machine during editing anyway......any externals would have to connect to the USB 3 ports on your machine. As USB 3 was brand new at that time, and is WAY better now, I am not sure how well that connection may perform on your older machine. You should be able to achieve ~ 200MB/sec. using  an SSD in a USB 3 dock,or, similar. Many USB 3 ,or, even eSATA multi-drive enclosures do NOT perform well because they do not have quality RAID controllers in them and therefore only run at the speed of the lowest single drive. The brand new Samsung T1 external SSD runs at 450MB/sec. over USB 3 when you have Windows 8.1 and probably newer hardware....but, it is VERY expensive at $450 !!


                      So, I believe that for a total of just either $460,or, $560, you can DRAMATICALLY improve the performance of your current machine, because of the higher clock speed of the CPU, ( your 970 GPU is already great ),  AND the massive improvement in speed of the drive system WITHOUT having to add an expensive dedicated RAID card. Keep in mind that 1 TB SATA III HDDs by Seagate have been selling for $44 each, and would work fine if any of your existing HDDs fails.

                      A new desktop machine that is NOT Haswell E, will not yield enough performance increase over your current machine... if yours is overclocked....maybe 20 to 25% tops. A new Haswell E machine means THOUSANDS of dollars for the killer performance of six and eight cores,etc. compared to improving yours for a nominal cost.

                      If you visit the PPBM7.com website, run by Bill on this forum, you can test your machine, as it is currently configured, with his video editing benchmark test for Premiere Pro.  It will identify any potential "bottlenecks" and will allow you to compare your machine with others. After making improvements to your rig, you can then re-test it to gauge the increase in performance !

                      • 8. Re: Advice Needed On System Upgrade
                        RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                        good suggestions, but i have to disagree with this one.

                        A new desktop machine that is NOT Haswell E, will not yield enough performance increase over your current machine... A new Haswell E machine means THOUSANDS of dollars for the killer performance of six and eight cores,etc. compared to improving yours for a nominal cost.

                        the i7-930 is from 2010 and pre sandy bridge (aka slow). again lets not forget, the OP even stated a new i5 was faster. there are even some new i3's that benchmark faster than the i7-930. to say only haswell E's are a worthy upgrade, simply isn't true.


                        the i7-4790k can be upgraded for $400-$500 and benchmarks nearly 2x faster than the i7-930. the i7-5820k haswell E upgrade would cost $750-$850, a 50-100% increase in cost, for only 15% speed increase over the 4790k. the i7-5930k is basically the same speed as the i7-5820k, just $200 more for extra pcie lanes. the i7-5960X upgrade would cost $1400+, thats over 3x price increase for 50% performance boost over the i7-4790k. its also a 2x price increase over the i7-5820K for 25% more performance.

                        • 9. Re: Advice Needed On System Upgrade
                          LaciG Level 1

                          Thanks JFPhoton and RoninEdits! This is a lot of information to digest, and for me, it will take some time. I am learning a lot from these discussions .


                          Just one comment about the DTR: 8.5 GB/110 s = 0.62 Gb/s, which is about 1/10th of the nominal transfer rate of SATA III's 6.0 Gb/s. I double checked my calculations because it would have been a shame for a physicist to make such a mistake (what I have made many times during my long career, anyway ). You also mentioned that an SSD's DTR is about 500 MB/s = 4.8 Gb/s, which would be less than the nominal DTR of my HDD. (I like to use the same unit - or its multiplies for the same quantity: byte (B), MB, GB, for storage size and bit/sec (b/s), Mb/s, Gb/s for transfer speed - it gives me less headache to check for my error.)


                          The disks what I have used are WD Blue 1 TB, (model number: WD10EZEX - 60M2NA0), 7200 rpm , 64 MB Cache, SATA III (6.0 Gb/s), and both were empty, formatted as primary Partition and connected to the Marvell SATA III gates. (No application was running during this transfer experiment.)


                          So, my question is still about the transfer rate. For me, a ten fold reduction looks excessive. What would be an realistic DTR (including overhead, etc.), and what could cause such a drastic drop?


                          As for the suggestions to improve my system's performance, as I said, I need some time to catch up (or approach) your knowledge.


                          Thank you again for your help,

                          Laci Gutai.

                          • 10. Re: Advice Needed On System Upgrade
                            RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                            Serial ATA - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                            Third-generation SATA interfaces run with a native transfer rate of 6.0 Gbit/s; taking 8b/10b encoding into account, the maximum uncoded transfer rate is 4.8 Gbit/s (600 MB/s).

                            its important to remember that sata 3 6gb is an interface standard, with a theoretical max transfer speed, not a guaranteed speed of operation. its also important to note the max 4.8 gigabit (not gigabyte) as 600mb (megabytes not megabits), as shown by wikipedia. when a hdd or sdd says its sata 3, it only means it can connect to and use a sata 3 port, not that it will transfer data at the max thru-put of that interface. some of the current fast hdd's hit close to 200mb for bursts but still end up 150mb or lower for average performance. which is why people are making the move to ssd's, as they can be several times faster (sata ssd currently are 400-500mb).


                            JFPhoton's math is done for bytes (77megabytes), which is commonly used when talking about files and speeds. so you aren't really fighting a 10 fold loss in performance (600mb max vs 77mb average), but a possible 2 fold loss (150mb average vs 77mb average). like JFPhoton points out, those WD drives being external are probably slow 5400rpm drives and will also loose performance as they fill up with data. those two points alone may be enough to explain the 77mb average vs a 150mb average of a new fast hdd. fragmented files can also slow down reads from and writes to drives. anti-virus programs if set to aggressive monitoring can slow down transfers as it scans the files. poor performance from the controller chips themselves can also be a factor. you can look for an update for the marvell driver too.


                            here's an older article with benchmarks from a similar motherboard to yours. Marvell SATA-6G SSD Performance vs Intel ICH10 | Marvell SATA-6G,SSD Performance,88SE9128,Intel ICH10,88SE9123,Marvell S…  it compares the sata 3 6gb marvell controller vs the intel sata 2 3gb. some benchmarks are done with an ssd and some with hdd. the benchmark shows the sata 3 marvell controller couldn't even perform at the same speed as the lower spec sata 2 intel controller when using ssd's. showing a limit of 150mb vs the intel's 220mb performance. you could try copying to a drive on the intel controller, and comparing transfer speeds. you can also use a program like HD Tune  (there is a free version under downloads), to benchmark drives too.

                            • 11. Re: Advice Needed On System Upgrade
                              LaciG Level 1

                              Thanks for the explanations and references. (Although you totally confused me with the unit abbreviations .) Laci.

                              • 12. Re: Advice Needed On System Upgrade
                                LaciG Level 1

                                Just one more question (a la Columbo): Is this issue: http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/technology-briefs/ssd-partitio n-alignment-tech-brief.pdf for SSDs still relevant? Thanks for any reply, Laci.