11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2010 6:29 AM by Harm Millaard



      I'm overwhelmed by the options for building/buying a pc.  I think I'm just too nervous to buy something, only to find out I overspent, or screwed something up.  So, I'm needing opinions on the computer configuration I need.  Plus, I don't have the time or expertise to build it myself.


      Here's what I'm needing to do with the computer:


      Will be editing HD videos from a Sony HD camcorder using a firewire (1394a) cable.  Videos are roughly 2-10 minutes in length.  Output format ranges from MP4 to FLV (for embedding in websites) to making DVD's.


      Dual monitors support is a must.  If I can manage three monitors, then that'd be gravy.


      Here's what I've looked at:


      Base system: http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/Mega_Special_IV


      My configuration options are below:


      Case: Apevia X-Dreamer 3 Mid-Tower Gaming Case w/ Side-Panel Window & Temperature Display [+6] (Black Color with Green Ring & Green LED Fan)
      Internal USB Extension Module: None
      Neon Light Upgrade: None
      Extra Case Fan Upgrade: Default case fans
      Noise Reduction Technology: None
      Power Supply Upgrade: 850 Watts Power Supplies [+94] (CoolerMaster Silent Pro [+23])
      CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-920 2.66 GHz 8M L3 Cache LGA1366
      Venom Boost Fast And Efficient Factory Overclocking: No Overclocking
      Cooling Fan: Asetek LCLC 120 Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (Extreme Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA)
      Motherboard: (3-Way SLI Support) Asus P6T Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Mainboard Triple-Channel DDR3/1600 SATA RAID w/ eSATA,GbLAN,USB2.0,IEEE1394a,&7.1Audio [+54]
      Memory: 6GB (2GBx3) PC1333 DDR3 PC3 10666 Triple Channel Memory (Corsair Dominator [+54])
      Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 1GB 16X PCI Express (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)
      Video Card 2: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 1GB 16X PCI Express [+133] (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)
      Dedicated PHYSX Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 1GB 16X PCI Express [+75] (EVGA Powered by NVIDIA [+5])
      Multiple Video Card Settings: Non-SLI/Non-CrossFireX Mode Supports Multiple Monitors
      LCD Monitor: 22" TFT Active Matrix LCD Display [+178] (Generic 22inch WSXGA TFT LCD Display)
      2nd Monitor: None
      Hard Drive: Single Hard Drive (250GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8MB Cache 7200RPM HDD [-45])
      Data Hard Drive: Single Hard Drive [+44] (1TB (1TBx1) SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD [+55])
      Hard Drive Cooling Fan: None
      USB Portable Drive: None
      Optical Drive: LG 22X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Dual Layer Drive (BLACK COLOR)
      Network: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
      Mega Notebook/Netbook/Server Bundle: None
      Keyboard: Xtreme Gear (Black Color) Multimedia/Internet USB Keyboard
      Mouse: XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse
      Wireless 802.11B/G Network Card: PCI Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps Network Interface Card [+19]
      Flash Media Reader/Writer: INTERNAL 12in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer (BLACK COLOR)
      IEEE1394 Card: IEEE 1394 CARD AND DRIVER [+19]
      USB Port: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
      Operating System: None - FORMAT HARD DRIVE ONLY


      I have Windows 7 Ultimate already, so that'll be my OS.

      This comes to $1719 with free shipping.  I already own 1 monitor.  I'd like to stay around the $1500-1700 price range if possible.

      Any advice/help is appreciated.
        • 1. Re: Opinions?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          There are many posts about various systems. Just have a look around. Basically you have two choices: either invest the time and effort to read about systems and what works or does not, or trust someone else to decide for you. It is up to you.

          • 2. Re: Opinions?
            Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Just grabbing one item:  Why in the world would you want a Dedicated PHYSX Card?  The first thing I do is remove the PHYSX drivers from my machines.  Absolutely of no value for Adobe softwatre.

            • 3. Re: Opinions?
              .Aspect. Level 1

              Yeah, I've done all that.  But most posts are centered around people that are capable/willing to put a machine together.  I don't.  Instead, I'm looking at the option of buying a preconfigured machine that can handle various tweaks and such.  Also, did I fail to mention that reading your post about "To Raid or not to Raid" left my head spinning?


              Is there anything (aside from the Dedicated PHYSX Card), that seems unnecessary or underpowered?

              • 4. Re: Opinions?
                Harm Millaard Level 7
                But most posts are centered around people that are capable/willing to put a machine together. I don't. Instead, I'm looking at the option of buying a preconfigured machine that can handle various tweaks and such.


                In that case, look at HP, Dell or custom-made machines.


                I don't mind sharing my experiences and my own mistakes with others, so they can learn or avoid the mistakes I made, but if people are not willing to invest the time and effort, they better request a commercial offer from a reputable company. I'm willing to make you a commercial offer, just tell me your requirements and budget and I will tell you what is feasible. But no freebies without effort from your side.

                • 5. Re: Opinions?
                  .Aspect. Level 1

                  It's not that I'm not willing to do the research, I have done that. A couple months ago, I put together a list of parts.  Things happened and I wasn't able to place my order.  Now I am, but newegg doesn't have most of those parts anymore.   And my shopping list is now gone.  Below is a list of the parts I had considered in the past.  Some of the links are to items that are no longer available.  A couple of them I found replacements that looked identical to the ones that I had picked before.


                  I didn't mean to imply that I was too lazy and wanted others to do the work for me.  I honestly don't want to waste anyone's time.  Which is why I felt it might be helpful to look at a preconfigured system, get feedback such as:  You need a better motherboard, or you need more memory, or you don't need to buy 2 video cards if you buy this one instead, etc...


                  At any rate, this was my old list:


                  DVD Writer: LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X Super Multi DVD Writer LightScribe Support

                  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136169&cm_re=n82e16827136169-_-27 -136-169-_-Product


                  Case: APEVIA X-JUPITER-JR G-Type X-JPJGT-MG Metallic Grey SECC Steel Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

                  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811144191&cm_re=apevia_x-jupiter_jr- _-11-144-191-_-Product


                  Hard Drive: HITACHI Deskstar P7K500 HDP725050GLA360 (0A35415) 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

                  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145215&cm_re=n82e16822145215-_-22 -145-215-_-Product


                  Hard Drive: HITACHI Deskstar HD31000 IDK/7K (0S00163) 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Retail



                  Sound Card: SIIG IC-710012-S2 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface SoundWave - Retail



                  Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply


                  Memory: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D

                  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145224&cm_re=corsair_dominator_6g b-_-20-145-224-_-Product


                  Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard



                  Processor: Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor



                  CPU Fan: XIGMATEK Intel Core i7 compatible Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler

                  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029&cm_re=xigmatek_intel_core_ i7_dark-_-35-233-029-_-Product


                  I've never built a system before, and don't want to get all the parts and realize... oh crap, I'm missing something.  Or, it doesn't work with Windows 7.


                  So, if you don't mind giving some feedback on the potential system listed above, I'd be most appreciative.

                  • 6. Re: Opinions?
                    Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    1.  You do not have a graphics card on the list.

                    2.  Drop the sound card.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Opinions?
                      .Aspect. Level 1

                      Thanks. Removing the sound card.


                      Video Card: XFX GS250XZDFU GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

                      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150439&cm_re=nvidia_gts_250_1gb-_ -14-150-439-_-Product




                      1.  Does this configuration support dual monitors, or will I need to get a different video card (second video card).  Any better suggestions on cards?


                      2.  Can I double my RAM to 12 GB?


                      3.  Do I need to buy a firewire card, or does my motherboard have it built in?

                      • 8. Re: Opinions?
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        1. Yes, no, GTX285+

                        2. Yes.

                        3. See below


                        Sorry, but you really make no attempt to figure things out for yourself and depend on others to figure it out for you. That is not a fruitful approach.


                        11-1-2010 14-34-48.jpg

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Opinions?
                          .Aspect. Level 1

                          Thank you for the input.  I think you are being a bit too critical here.  I am doing research.  I am trying to figure things out myself.  But my hardware experience is seriously lacking and this is very overwhelming.  I don't want to make a mistake and end up getting a computer that doesn't suit my needs.


                          Perhaps you need to take a step back and realize that not everyone is as knowledgeable about computer hardware as yourself.  I'm not wanting to be insulting, but I thought this was a forum where people were allowed to ask questions about hardware and get help from people willing to provide it.  If you don't want to help me, that's your perrogative.  Please just ignore my thread and move along to someone you feel has put in the required time and effort into being worthy of a useful response.

                          • 10. Re: Opinions?
                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                            First, I apologize if I seemed to be harsh and short-tempered. You are right that everybody deserves an answer and help. I usually try to adhere to that rule. Sometimes however I feel that people expect boiler-plate answers without doing some proper investigation on their own. In your case you provided the links that I looked up and found the answer to your question explicitly spelled out. Now that led me to believe you did not do your investigation properly and hence my remark. Again, sorry for this short-tempered response.


                            I do not expect most users here to have the same deficiency I have (having some slight inkling about hardware) but I do expect them to be willing to do some investigation on their own and show a willingness to learn and (possibly due to the fact that we can only read the messages) your posts did not install that feeling.


                            So, your Gigabyte mobo does not need a separate firewire card, they are included on the mobo. The video card supports dual monitors and there is no need for a second video card, and yes, at GTX285 or above will give you more advantages when CS5 is released, but not yet.

                            • 11. Re: Opinions?
                              .Aspect. Level 1

                              Thank you Harm.


                              In regards to the motherboard supporting firewire, my question was prompted because of my past.


                              I own a Dell laptop that is about 4 years old.  It did not have a firewire card installed.  I was wanting to do video editing on a friend's camcorder, and saw the cable that connected it to the computer.  I tried to force feed it into my USB slot only to find out that it didn't really fit all that well (square peg, round hole).  Yeah, I'm that dim sometimes.  So, I do some research and find out that I need to purchase a firewire adapter for my laptop.  I scamper off to Best Buy and find the adapters, only to find out that they have like 3 different kinds.  I didn't know which one mine supported, and the labelling on the packaging wasn't helping me out much.  So, I bought all three just to be safe.  Well, none of them worked.  I went back to Best Buy and returned the items and talked to a sales rep.  After showing him the cable, he directed me to this other section where it had another set of adapters.  And it worked like a champ.


                              A few months ago, my wife's computer ended up blue screening from viruses.  A friend suggested I upgrade to Windows 7, which I did.  Unfortunately, the video card in that pc didn't have drivers for Vista or 7, so it needed to be replaced.  Well, apparently there's tons of different video cards out there, PCI, PCI Express, AGP...  This is a piece of junk computer, so again I return to Best Buy trying to find the cheapest video card out there.  Again, too many choices.  The cheapest options are AGP and PCI Express, so I buy those.  No luck..  I buy the PCI card begrudgingly, only to find out that it doesn't support the type of cable (the white one) for my monitor and I have to have a dongle to convert it to work (the blue one). Entirely too much money spent on a computer that wasn't worth the money.


                              This is the two most recent cases.  I have scoured message boards for the past 3 months looking for hardware configurations that would best serve my needs.  I have tried my best to do my due diligence and find a system that will do what I want, and not end up being this huge fiasco.  But as I've learned in regards to computer hardware, its sometimes best to just ask for help.  So, yeah, maybe I was relying a bit too much on the generosity of these forums.  For that I apologize.


                              Thank you for your help so far.