39 Replies Latest reply on Jan 29, 2011 3:01 PM by Bryan from barrie

    please comment this hardware setup - CS4

    darealtraffic99

      i'm planning a workstation for our small cross media business here, and this is the base configuration i've come up with:

       

      motherboard - Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R

      cpu - Intel Core i7 920

      gpu - XFX GeForce GTX 285

      ram - 3x Buffalo 4GB PC3-10667U CL9-9-9-24

       

      harddrives migrate from our current workstation. we use consumer standard fast and big 1TB or 2TB drives. i'm saying that because i don't want to discuss about using RAID or fast 10K drives or solid state drives. we will be fine with uptodate standard drives.

       

      i'm mostly concerned about the base components. it would be great to hear people with actual experience on similar systems how this works out with

      CS4. we're using premiere, after effects, photoshop, bridge. we don't have or need additional video i/o cards (at the moment). footage for premiere/AE comes from a JVC HD100 and a Panasonic Lumix GH1. the latter is causing a lot of headaches on our current system, kind of funny because i can work with that footage on my home PC...

       

      also, with our current machine we're testing Windows 7 atm and it works smoothly except from premiere choking on pretty much anything apart from SD DV footage. of course that makes it all unacceptable. however, we definitely want to go Win 7 with the new workstation. 64bit that is.

       

      okay guys, i'm looking forward to any comments here, greatly appreciate it!

        • 1. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Memory is the point of critique. The rest is OK, but a X58 mobo requires either 6 or 12 GB of memory, not 4. If you do not overclock at all this rather slow memory may be sufficient, but with the price differentials of faster menory, I would certainly look for DDR3-1333 memory with 8-8-8-24 timings max. and preferably with 7 CAS.

           

          Maybe I misunderstood, are you talking about the very expensive 4 GB sticks and then 3 of them for 12 GB total? Anyway, Buffalo would not be my choice.

          • 2. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
            darealtraffic99 Level 1

            i mean 3 pieces of (2x2gb) 4gb kits. full clip. and in fact this memory is DDR3-1333. why wouldn't buffalo not be your choice? thanks, fabian

            • 3. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              I would prefer: OCZ Platinum XTC Low-Voltage OCZ3P1333LV12GS

               

              Better CAS and generally one of the better brands. Corsair Dominator is another good one, with lower timings and a physical dimension that may restrict you in the choice of CPU coolers. It may be just me, but Buffalo is IMHO more a B-brand than an A-brand.

              • 4. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                darealtraffic99 Level 1

                against OCZ and Corsair most probably for most people... but, i mean is there a real-world performance boost when you use A-brand ram with slightly better timings?

                • 5. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  Memory timings have a very minor impact on performance, generally think + or - 1%.  And the impact of memory timings will even lessen with MPE enabled hardware in CS5, like your GTX-285. But remember my initial reaction was based on my interpretation of you getting only 4 GB, which I started to doubt upon rereading your post. However, if you want to overclock your i7-920 it can make a much larger difference, think in terms of around 3%.

                  • 6. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                    PaulieDC Level 2
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                    we will be fine with uptodate standard drives

                    It's a shame you're choking your i7 with a 7200rpm drive. If I could make one suggestion it would be to use your big and fast standard drives all you want for assets and scratch disks, but avoiding a 300GB 10K Raptor for your OS drive may not be the best decision. You've come this far with an excellent rig, an extra $90 to upgrade one of your hard drives can't hit your budget all that hard.

                    • 7. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                      darealtraffic99 Level 1

                      yeah see your point. on my home pc, which is also hardcore used for editing, i have a nice 2 drive RAID0 and it speeds up everything considerably. had a 4 drive setup before but then one hd failed and kicked me out of the 4 drive setup, so i went back to 2 drives and stayed there because after all, i didn' feel the difference was worth the security and backup issue and the hustle in general. however i DO like the speed...

                       

                      my point here was, to be honest i don't WANT to administer a RAID here, i already got to much things to do anyway. so my thinking was, with enough RAM the whole system would run fine with standard drives. makes replacing drives and all that so much easier.

                       

                      anyway, i haven't followed this very closely the last 2 years or so, but i thought in general the real world performance difference between good ol 10K raptors and much bigger but slower drives is constantly getting thinner because of the higher density of the modern big drives and the big caches and improved firmware etc, so i think the 10Ks don't really cut it anymore. please correct me if i'm wrong?!

                      • 8. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                        PaulieDC Level 2
                        function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

                        function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

                        so i think the 10Ks don't really cut it anymore. please correct me if i'm wrong?!


                        Actually, I can't say you're wrong, I have no "7200rpm drive with an i7" experience, lol! When component shopping for my rig last year, many reviews of the 300GB Raptor did state the performance improvement, but that's their opinion, not my testing. I basically went from a 2006 32-bit Core2Duo Dell Laptop w/7.2K drive to the i7 rig with 10K Raptor and 12GB of ram, so NATURALLY I ended up with a speed demon.

                         

                        I would just start with your 7.2K drive and make sure you only load OS and apps. Keep it defragged and turn off indexing, and you'll be fine for now. Also, do NOT put anything into your "My Documents" folder, because Windows includes that folder as part of your user profile. If you dump 5GB of video files inside of My Videos or My Docs or the folders in your Library (in Windows 7), your profile will be that big too, eating up C drive space. Here's what I did: I bought a separate cheap Western Digital 250GB drive and set up all the standard My Documents folders, etc on there, then put a shortcut to that drive in the real My Docs so I can get to it easily. This way you have a separate place to store your kid's soccer photos and whatever else we all keep in there. It keeps it off of your C Drive which is important. Harm got on me a couple of months ago when I said my free space was 200GB out of 279GB usable on my Raptor... he wanted to know why that much space was used! Turns out my page file was too big and I had the blasted Hyberfil.sys file on there eating up 8GB alone. So it made me re-look at my drive to see what I could eliminate and I got thing thing down to within Harm's spec (we value his opinion, he's probably got the best-tuned system on this forum, capable of creating black holes on demand, and even known to reverse red shift distortion in the Hubbel Telescope).

                         

                        BTW, to get rid of the Hyberfil.sys file permanently (used for laptop hibernation, go figure), run this command at the CMD prompt:

                         

                        powercfg.exe -h off

                         

                        Make sure you run CMD as Administrator if you're on Vista or 7, or you won't be able to execute this command. The easiest way I found is to type "CMD" in the search box at the start button, then pin the CMD.exe app to your Start Menu. It'll be named Windows Command Processor (how formal!). From there you can right-click and run as Admin. I leave it there because I use the command prompt often, and it usually needs Admin elevation to run advanced commands.

                         

                        Couple of thoughts: you probably won't even see the hyberfil.sys file unless you tell Explorer to show hidden OS files, but I guarantee it's there and you DON'T need it. Also, people will tell you "oh, you can go to Power options in the Control Panel and turn of Hibernation there, and that'll remove the file". Yeah. Uh huh. Until the next time you restart and then it magically returns. Run the command above and you will seek and destroy permanently, and get back many gigs of HD space that the hard drive now doesn't have to hunt around in.

                         

                        Sorry for all the Windows tech-blabbing, but it's these tweaks that set separate the happy from the frustrated.

                        • 9. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                          I largely agree with Paulie, but look at these two HDTach results. The differences are pretty small so I think you can use a 1 TB disk for OS & programs, but it seems like a waste of space when you have a maximum of 50 G in use and even that is stretching it.

                           

                          HD Tach B.jpg

                           

                          HD Tach C.jpg

                           

                          However, WD announced new Velociraptors, the VRM200 with 32 MB cache and they are significantly faster than the current models, again widening the gap between 7,200 and 10K disks.

                          • 10. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                            darealtraffic99 Level 1

                            my current HD agenda is this: one big, fast drive with two partitions, 1st for OS, 2nd for miscellaneous stuff that piles up over time (also this acts as an overflow volume for AE). another big, fast drive or 2-drive RAID0 array as a work drive for projects we're currently working on. and a third drive for more miscellaneous stuff, disk cache and windows page file. i also try to connect them to different controllers on the mainboard hoping that each controller gets less load and maybe performing a little bit better. that approach has worked pretty well for me the last couple years, good performance but still relatively simply. and i like simple because i hate "complex systems".

                            • 11. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                              PaulieDC Level 2

                              32MB cache? Nice! Cache size is a big factor. They put 64mb cache on the 2TB drives, why not include that on ALL drives? =-)

                              • 12. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                Harm Millaard Level 7

                                Never partition a disk. It will not give you more speed, it only increases the wear and tear on the disk and introduce overhead for the OS, while reducing performance.

                                • 13. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                  darealtraffic99 Level 1

                                  i don't partition because i believe it gives me more speed. i do it to use all those GBs on the OS drive, like i said for things that pile up somewhere anyway. haven't had any problems doing that yet. i had systems configured with an unpartitioned OS drive too, and i can't say they performed anyway notacibly better. i mean, i honour your intentions here absolutely, but we're definitely in a budget situation here and i won't waste about 800 GB just for a theoretical 0,5% performance boost.

                                  • 14. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                    darealtraffic99 Level 1

                                    anyway, as i've written in my initial post, i don't really want to discuss storage because i have a pretty clear pictura about that. my main concern are the other components as the 1366 socket would be a new platform for me just triple channel DDR3 RAM and i7 CPUs. i was hoping some people with similar configurations could give comments about how this stuff behaves in real world working situations with CS4.

                                    • 15. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                                      Look at the http://ppbm4.com benchmark and judge for yourself.

                                      • 17. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                        darealtraffic99 Level 1

                                        ah and one more very important thing: i'm looking for a good power supply for this setup. i realise this is important so i really want a good, solid piece. any suggestions?

                                        • 18. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                                          How to get the best from a PC? Some guides...

                                           

                                          The first guide goes into PSU's and a lot of other stuff.

                                          • 19. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                            darealtraffic99 Level 1

                                            i ran that calculator and got 514 Ws, with overclocking and 100% CPU/system usage to be sure (all other parameters realistically). so i think i should look into 700W PSUs... or what do you think? is there a general recommendation in regard to manufacturers (you know, accurate power ratings, beefy amperages, reliable etc) ? thanks

                                            • 20. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                              PaulieDC Level 2

                                              My suggestion is the one I got, to me, best bang for the buck:

                                               

                                              http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CMPSU-850TX-850-Watt-Certified-compatible/dp/B001M3G42W/ref= sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1271263666&sr=8-1

                                               

                                              850 watts will cover you nicely and leave room for expansion (who's to say you won't upgrade your graphics card down the road, etc).

                                               

                                              Ironically, I originally was going to buy the 1000w version for $230, until I realized that the 850 is a full hundred bucks cheaper. In ratio, great deal. BTW, this PSU on Newegg has 555 reviews and is still at 5 stars. Not bad considering all the whining and griping people do in the Review section.

                                              • 22. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                darealtraffic99 Level 1

                                                for my home pc, which is my latest build, i chose a PSU not very far above the calculated Ws actually, but instead i researched this amperage issue and looked at quite a lot of reviews and the result is a very stable system, i think i never had a single blue screen or any "strange" malfunctions that would smell like an underpowered machine. but to be honest, i don't want to spend hours just to make a decision that saves me 20 bucks or so. so from that perspective, what are you guys general brand preferences when it comes to real world PSU quality (if there are any...)?

                                                • 23. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                  PaulieDC Level 2

                                                  Did our posts cross?

                                                  • 24. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                    darealtraffic99 Level 1

                                                    think so. so you're sayin corsair... will look into their stuff.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    hm so after all the harddrive debating it actually got me thinking again... remembered how nice my home RAID0 is... so, IF i built a RAID0, what would you guys propose should it be used for, OS, project or scratch?

                                                    • 25. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                      PaulieDC Level 2

                                                      To me, hands down, you want your assets on RAID0 for speed (make sure you back 'em up, unless you can swing RAID1+0). Scratch and OS are fine on single drives. You can RAID your OS drive, by I think it's best to use a dedicated RAID controller for that, built-in controllers on Mobo's aren't neaqrly as efficient. Since you're on a budget, I would assume that's out, so I would RAID your Project/Assets.

                                                       

                                                      Harm, jump in here and correct me if I'm wrong.

                                                       

                                                      PSU: I'm totally happy with the Corsair. $99 for the 750 is quite the deal. Rebates are annoying, but Corsair is decently fast getting them back to you. EVGA is blazing fast, usually back in 16-17 days, seriously. Western Digital takes 4-5 months, so look for sales, not rebates with them.

                                                      • 26. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                        PaulieDC Level 2

                                                        Also, do you subscribe to the Techbargains.com RSS feed? I have gotten amazing deals from them. They just sent this, if this helps you:

                                                         

                                                        Newegg Coupon Code 10% off Select CD / DVD Burners & Media , Apr. 14 9 AM
                                                        Newegg is offering 10% off Select CD / DVD Drives & Media with Coupon Code: BHDMAR17 (Exp 4/18). Tax in CA, NJ, TN, PR.

                                                        Some best bets after 10% Coupon Code: BHDAPR14

                                                        DVD/Blu-Ray drives:

                                                        • 27. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                          Paulie,

                                                           

                                                          Harm, jump in here and correct me if I'm wrong.

                                                           

                                                          I wholeheartedly agree with your suggestion.

                                                          • 28. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                            darealtraffic99 Level 1

                                                            thanks, i feel i'm getting somewhere

                                                             

                                                            also looked into corsair psu reviews and their units seem to be quite amazing. i would go for either the HX650 or the HX750.

                                                             

                                                            so, in case i set up a RAID0, i'm wondering if it's a good idea to also put the OS on that array. i know partitioning is not so popular among you guys here, but my home pc is configured like that and it works good. starting programs and computing in general (you know, stuff that is definitely not bottlenecked from ram, brute cpu power, drive transfer rates etc) is notacibly faster. my thinking here is for example while an application starts up, i don't need "sperate speed" on a seperate drive because until the application is ready for work, there is nothing to do for "asset storage". and the moment the app is loaded into ram, it is in ram, so OS components don't need to get reloaded. and pagefile would be on a seperate drive anyway.

                                                            • 29. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                              Probably more than I need, but I bought an 850w power supply

                                                              http://www.pacifier.com/~jtsmith/ADOBE.HTM

                                                              • 30. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                                PaulieDC Level 2

                                                                I assume you're using Windows 7, which has great built-in ghosting software. So, if you RAID0 your OS drive for speed, just take your snapshot of the drive once you have it all set up and Adobe stuff registered, etc. Other than updates, the OS drive should never change at that point other than Windows and Adobe Updates. So WHEN your RAID0 goes wonky, you can simply restore your base image to the drives, do any updates, and you're back in business. Or just take a new snapshot after major updates and you'll have the latest image. I use a $59 WD Passport dedicated to holding my drive images for my desktop and laptop. BTW, this is a great advantage as far as Adobe licensing goes because you won't have to call them to deactivate, etc, due to failed drives.

                                                                • 31. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                                  PaulieDC Level 2

                                                                  Thanks Harm! Wanted to be sure I wasn't building a rabbit trail.

                                                                   

                                                                  OT: GTX285 arrives tomorrow. Just waiting for CS5 now!

                                                                  • 32. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                                    darealtraffic99 Level 1

                                                                    just be sure to let us know how it performs!

                                                                    • 33. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                                      darealtraffic99 Level 1

                                                                      so, this thread has helped me a lot, however i've upgraded some components within my list and i'm thinking of skipping the gtx for now. so i gotta look for a simple card bridging the next few months. is there anything that goes against, say, a xfx hd 4350 or something like that? is there any general difference between ati and nvidia mainstream cards of that category? until now, i've always had nvidia cards and from a NLE perspective, i was always satisfied... but maybe just because i didn't know better?...

                                                                      • 34. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                                        It is my perception (but I may be wrong) that ATI has a better price/performance ratio than nVidia. Both are good and a temporary card like an HD4350 works quite well with CS4. When the moment comes to upgrade to CS5 and MPE, support for video cards will likely have been expanded and you may have more choices than currently.

                                                                        • 35. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                                          darealtraffic99 Level 1

                                                                          ok that's good to know, and yeah, the more i read on these forums the more i believe it's just a couple of weeks too early to make a decision.

                                                                           

                                                                          so my current config would be this:

                                                                           

                                                                          GA-X58A-UD3R (slightly different MB model, the one i listed before in fact was limited to 4 RAM sticks)

                                                                          2x OCZ Value 6GB Kit PC3-12800U CL8-8-8-24

                                                                          i7 920

                                                                          Noctua NH-U12P SE2

                                                                          XFX Radeon HD 4350

                                                                          2x Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB (RAID0)

                                                                          (rest of hard drives migrate from old system)

                                                                          2x Fantec MR-35SATA bay

                                                                          Lancool PC-K62

                                                                          Corsair HX 650

                                                                          • 36. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                                            PaulieDC Level 2
                                                                            function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

                                                                            so, this thread has helped me a lot

                                                                            No problem, Harm and I send out the bill on the third Tuesday of the month. We take PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Amex, salt blocks, beaver pelts and the occasional bucket of scrap bullet lead, but only during moose hunting season.

                                                                             

                                                                             

                                                                            • 38. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                                              Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                                              Change the Noctua to the NH-D14 model. It is the successor of the NH-U12 and an even better performer.

                                                                              • 39. Re: please comment this hardware setup - CS4
                                                                                Bryan from barrie

                                                                                The Noctua D-14 is still the cooler to be beat. Apple for apples not much can beat it. ther have been a few reviews where the writer has cooked the books, but in it's stock format it will always come in in the top few. I don't believe there is another cooler that can do the same job at 1200 RPM.

                                                                                 

                                                                                One thing i did do was support the top of the cooler with a scythe ninja wire. the ninja wire costs $3.80 canadian and is basically a length of braided steel wire and two grappling hooks. the wire is secured by tighting two square shank machine screws that have holes drilled in them. Running an I7-950 at 3.8 the cpu never got above 54 deg c at 100% load

                                                                                .