8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 18, 2010 11:05 AM by whiteskysea

    Upgrade Q9550 system or Build new i7 950 system?


      Hoping someone can help with yet another upgrade or build question!


      I am new to NLEs but am a fan of Adobe CS suites and plan to use CS5 Premiere and AE.  I am a hobbyist rather than a pro but I take my hobbies pretty seriously :-).  I intend to create shorts out of my video footage from DSLRs using either AVCHD or m264.  I would like my NLE system to run smoothly with multiple windows and programs (e.g., PR, PS, etc) open and I am pretty impatient when it comes to waiting for systems to process/load, etc.


      It will not be used for gaming of any kind.  It must run very stably.  I never experience BSODs and I don't want to in future!


      Here are the two options I am considering:


      OPTION ONE:  Upgrade existing machine

      CPU:           Q9950  (existing)

      Mobo:          socket 775 Asus board  (existing)

      Vid card:      upgrade to GTX470 (from Radeon 4850)

      RAM:           add 4MB for total of 8MB max for board (1600, 99924)

      OS:             create new boot disc running Win7 64  (new..currently XP)

      HDD:           128GB SSD boot (new)

      HDD:           Caviar black drives for media, etc.  (existing)

      PSU:           620HX  (existing)



      OPTION TWO:  Build new box

      CPU:            i7 950 (pretty good price now)

      Mobo:          Asus P6X58D Prem

      Vid card:      GTX470

      RAM:           12MB (1600, 99924, Corsair)

      OS               Win7 64

      HDD:           128GB SSD boot

      HDD:           Caviar black drives for media, etc.  (existing)

      PSU:           850HX




      - Overall, is the extra cost of Option Two worth it?  How much improvement would I expect?

      - Is the GTX470 worth it relative to my existing Radeon 4850 board?

      - Is the SSD worth it as a boot drive at $265?

      - Is the larger PSU necessary?

      - Any other thoughts on either configuration?



      Thanks in advance for any feedback!


      p.s.  I don't feel the "need" to build a new system, but am happy to do so if it Option 2 is a significant improvement.

        • 1. Re: Upgrade Q9550 system or Build new i7 950 system?
          Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

          If you look at the Premiere Pro BenchMark (PPBM5) results will show you that the i7 system will be about 2 to 3 times faster than your "rebuilt" system

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Upgrade Q9550 system or Build new i7 950 system?
            whiteskysea Level 1

            Thanks for your reply Bill.


            I've looked at the table more closely and it looks like that extra RAM and GTX470 and the SSD just still don't really cut it relative to the proposed new build.


            What are your views on the other questions?  Is the general consensus here still that SSD is not worth it for the cost and also just not necessary from a benefit standpoint?  What are your thoughts on PSU size if I'm planning 6-7 drives at most along down the road with GTX470 plus want some headroom?  I was thinking that the 850W provides headroom already but wanted to check around a little more.  I have a 520HX lying around from another computer because I underspec'd future needs, so I'm pretty conscious of that now!


            Also, since I will be new to CS5 running Premiere, I'm not sure what I would experience running the proposed "upgrade".  Would it just be painfully slow as in I will be waiting for Premiere to process input, scrubbing through a file will take what feels like forever, etc.  I know this might be difficult to answer since this is so qualitative, but if you or others have any thoughts, that would be really helpful to me.




            p.s.  I noticed some people added their system questions onto pretty another old thread.  Being new to these boards, I'm not sure what the right protocol is.  If it's better for this topic to be moved there, feel free to let me know.

            • 3. Re: Upgrade Q9550 system or Build new i7 950 system?
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Option 2.


              First, look here: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/749522?tstart=0


              Then check here: eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Pro v2.5

              Get the Pro version, enter all your components, set system load to 100% and capacitor aging to 30% and add 10 - 15% for safety.


              12 G of memory is good, but get the 3 x 4 G sticks, not 6 x 2 sticks, so you have room for expansion.

              • 4. Re: Upgrade Q9550 system or Build new i7 950 system?
                whiteskysea Level 1

                Thanks for you reply Harm.  You've obviously helped lots of people already on this forum.  Glad to be one of them!


                Re: SSD

                Thanks for heads up on SSD thread.  Sorry I hadn't seen that and repeated the question here.  I get the point being made there!


                Re: PSU

                Good reminder on capacitor aging issue.  I had forgotten about that since my last build.


                Re: RAM

                Yes, I would also prefer 3x4GB sticks since pricing for 4GB is now reasonable.


                However, 4GB sticks are pretty much non-existent on QVL for P6X58D, QVL show surprisingly few sticks that allow use of all 6 memory slots, and it seems like everywhere I read that the X58 boards are finicky with memory.  Given these things, I'm not confident that I will actually be able to use the flexibility of savings the 3 slots (forgetting for a moment that the system might run cooler).  Are these valid concerns? Is a 12 to 24GB upgrade common and successful on the X58 platform?  I'm setting aside for a moment also that I might need to buy 6 new sticks at the same time down the road...


                Option 1 vs Option 2

                Is Option 1 simply not viable and will have me cursing the computer?  What aspects of the workflow are most affected?  I'm asking because I'm so new that I really don't know what my workflow will be yet.


                ETA:  I should add that I "know" what the really useful table of comparative performance is saying, but I'm still not sure I understand what that means in terms of real world usage.  :-)


                Thanks in advance for any thoughts you or others may have.  The help you are all providing is invaluable for people like me who want a deep dive but don't have the experience you all have!


                Message was edited by: whiteskysea

                • 5. Re: Upgrade Q9550 system or Build new i7 950 system?
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  Bill gave you the link to the PPBM5 Benchmark


                  The best performing Q9550 system ends up will a total time of 711 s and a RPI of 694.2 with 8 GB of RAM and a GTX 470. This means this system is nearly 7 times slower than the top performer, but even in comparison to my own system (195 s and RPI 154.1), which is old and has never been more than mediocre, it is 4.5 times slower.


                  These figures are of course not a guarantee that an upgrade of your existing system will be 4.5 times slower than my system, because a lot depends on the degree of tuning. Just notice that my system outperforms a number of 980X systems and systems with 24 GB memory, but it is indicative.


                  Regarding memory:


                  As you see from the benchmark results, there are quite a number of systems that successfully run with 24 GB. I do not know what brand and model of memory is installed in each of them, but names that come to mind are Corsair Dominator, G.Skill Ripjaws or Trident, Mushkin and OCZ. If you look on the QVL, realize that


                  a. ASUS does not make it a habit to update the list regularly,

                  b. ASUS does not test all kinds of memory, saying that is up to the memory manufacturer,

                  c. Manufacturers that appear on the list multiple times usually have compatible modules in the 4 G variant.


                  The benchmark does not give you 'real live' results on how your projects will perform, because we don't know what your projects will look like. There are too many styles of projects, to answer that question. Just consider a 3 minute music clip versus a 60 minute documentary versus a 2 hour wedding video. All requiring different effects, CC, transitions, audio, etc. and you can imagine no one can tell you what a configuration will give you in your situation. In general one can say that a 3 minute music clip is more dependant on CPU/GPU speed than on disk setup, while a 2 hour wedding movie relies more heavily on disk setup.


                  Hope this helps.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Upgrade Q9550 system or Build new i7 950 system?
                    whiteskysea Level 1

                    Thanks again Harm! I appreciate the additional input.


                    On RAM

                    I have to say that I have never paid much attention to QVL for ram in the past and have probably never bought QVLd ram although have always bought from the majors.  However, the talk re: X58 had me worried.  I will do the smart thing and build with the option of an upgrade. So I will make a decision also on Win7 Pro vs Win7HP as the latter has the 16GB limit I read about somewhere.  I will probably go Corsair because at least their configurator points to compatible memory on a mobo by mobo basis which will at least allow me some recourse if things don't work out!



                    On Real world results

                    Yes, I will keep looking back at that table.  It's an incredibly  helpful resource that you and Bill have put together.  It requires that  people like me interpret it properly, but there's nothing like that type  of data as a starting point!  Thanks for making it available.


                    I realize that this was an unweildly question to have asked.  I recognize also that ultimately I have to try and see myself.


                    A few follow-ups, though, if I may (sorry if these are too basic):


                    - Am I correct to assume that it's the effects and transitions that make the music video more CPU / GPU intensive?


                    - Is it mainly the length that makes the wedding video disk intensive?


                    - Recognizing that Option 1 would be so many degrees of magnitude worse than Option 2, is Option 1 just too slow to reasonably use?  I know again that this is difficult to answer, but to use some other real world examples, is this like the difference between dial-up and basic DSL or more like the difference between basic DSL and fast cable?  Basic DSL I can probably deal with as I start...dial-up I cannot!


                    Thanks again!

                    • 7. Re: Upgrade Q9550 system or Build new i7 950 system?
                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                      1 and 2: Yes.


                      3: This again is very personal and depends to a large degree on the time pressure you usually work under. How much is a deadline a real DEADline? I can't answer this for you. If your last name was Gates and you were in any way related to Bill (not the Gehrke or Hunt version) I would say, get the best he is willing to spring for, but that may not be the case.


                      Sure, you can get by on your current system with some upgrades, and many preople use such systems to full satisfaction and they also realize there are always faster, more capable systems around, but what the heck. If your system does what you require of it, in your editing flow, why spend more? The question remains however, and that is only for you to answer, what is sensible, investment wise?


                      If you have a penalty clause in your video contrats, that says you have to reduce your final bill by 5% for each day you are late in delivering, there is no choice, if your only worry is getting into an argument with the CFO (your wife), the situation is different.

                      • 8. Re: Upgrade Q9550 system or Build new i7 950 system?
                        whiteskysea Level 1

                        LOL on the last part :-).  I realize it was a difficult question to answer.  Thanks for taking the time!