21 Replies Latest reply on Mar 1, 2011 2:13 AM by ItsGregHere

    How is this for a PC spec for home video editing?

    ItsGregHere

      OK - we've decided to get the new PC now, focused around decent performance for video editing at home when we do it.   Any feedback on the below would be greatly appreciated.  I've tried to put in my "principles", but as you note I've highlighted some questions around these. 


       

      Principles

      * Decent computer for Home Video Editing - so when we do it want it to be reasonable from a performance point of view (not annoying).  Also want assurance for the video data that a single HDD crash won't mean lost data.

      * Hard Drive Configuration - Assume RAID 1 for data
      • C: 500GB - Operating System (1 x 500GB)
      • D: 500GB - Swap Area for O/S (1 x 500GB)
      • E: RAID 1 Redundancy for Data ( 2 x 1TB )
      * 64 bit Windows 7 Pro

      * Questions re Principles
      1. Is it really worth having a separate drive (D: drive) for Swap?
      2. Is there any real need to have a drive F: (another one) for exports?  This is non-real time so it shouldn't be an issue should it?
      3. Any major improvement re moving say the C: drive to SSD? (or not worth the $$)
      4. SATA II versus SATA III drives? (I've assumed both are ok when picking)

      The Spec

      • CPU - Intel Core i7 960 Processor LGA1366 3.2GHz 8MB Cache CPU 
      • Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R X58+ICH10R QPI 6.4GT/s DDR3 2000 PCI-Ex16 SATAII SATA3 USB3.0 RAID GLAN ATX
      • RAM - Kingston 12GB(3X4G) KIT 1333MHz(PC3-10600)
      • Video Card - NVIDIA GTX560 - Gigabyte GTX560 OC 1G GDDR5 PCIE DualLink DVI  [?? matches motherboard / is this overkill ??]
      • RAID Card - Adaptec AAR1220SA-SGL SATAII RAID0 1 JBOD/2 PORT/Low Profile/PCIEx1/OEM/No Cables [?? is this ok - seems cheap ??]
      • HDD (non-RAID) - 2 x Western Digital 500G RE4 SATAII 7200rpm HDD 64MB Enterprise [?? only SATAII this is ok no??]
      • Case - CoolerMaster RC-942-KKN1 HAF X 942 Black No PSU [?? is this overkill - just took someone recommendation here ??]
      • Power Supply - Corsair HX-850 ATX Power Supply w 140mm Modular Cables [?? power ok?  again just took a recommendation ??]
      • O/S - 64bit - Microsoft Windows 7 Pro 64bit OEM(Microsoft OEM Terms&condition apply)

      Note - I'm looking at the following local site re where to source if this assists: http://www.umart.com.au


        • 1. Re: How is this for a PC spec for home video editing?
          JEShort01 Level 4

          Greg (correct me if that's not correct!),

           

          You're spec. looks like a great start for what you are trying to do. I have a few comments, and also two questions!

           

          Comments:

          - Spec. generally looks fine

          - I particularly like your case and p/s choices!

          - For a home PC, you may consider bumping up your OS choice to Ultimate, which adds some nice multimedia capabilities

          - Regarding the D drive for swap (and I assume you mean Premiere Pro media cache and media cache database too) will definitely speed up aspects of Premiere Pro, but likely be unnoticeable for other home PC day to day use. Why not build out the system and decide then if you need the extra speed for Premiere Pro - it is so easy to add something like that later.

          - I'd vote no regarding a need for a F output drive for this system

          - Regarding your OS drive... Speed and responsiveness versus cost - what do you choose? This really is a personal choice. I will say that a 2x1TB RAID 0 OS boot array would probably be a bigger step up in performance than a similar priced SSD option and a 2xSSD (60 to 80GB) array will perform better than a single larger SSD.

          - Sata II vs Sata III - I have some of each now, and I would agree with other posters and articles on the Internet that say the often larger cache size on the Sata III models is more important than the Sata III interface. Keep going like you are going, with the assumption that both are OK.

          - finally, your CPU; personnaly, with the new lower cost pricing on the i7-970, I'd suggest you downgrade to a i7-950 and same some money or upgrade to the 32nm 6-core i7-970 CPU and jump to a significantly new level of performance and power per watt

           

          Questions:

          - what version of Premier Pro will you be running?

          - what will be your workflow (i.e. DV, Sony consumer AVCHD, Canon DSLR, etc.)?

           

          Cheers,

           

          Jim

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How is this for a PC spec for home video editing?
            ItsGregHere Level 1

            great feedback Jim thanks:

             

            a) re what version of Premier Pro will you be running? - It is Adobe Premiere Elements v7 I think (but I'm not at home at the moment) - not sure if this implies anything to you re spec?

             

            b) re what will be your workflow? - we have a:

            - 3-5 year old sony video cam - Sony DCR-SR62 (bit old - format seems to be different)

            - recent digital camera with some video capabilities - Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 - has been good for videos whilst ski'ing

             

            c) thanks for the lead re CPU savings - if I go down a step to the i7-950 (from the i7-960) it does save some $$$ - so there isn't a noticable in performance by dropping down here?

             

            d) re Regarding the D drive for swap - so to confirm, you think it would be OK to remove the D: drive I have in scope (save money and power I guess) and just run these things off the 1 x O/S dedicated drive?  Then if I need more performance I could just throw in another disk later correct?  Guess it boils down to whether the extra disk makes much difference re performance.  Perhaps for our needs there wouldn't be a big difference (but of course still make sure we have a separate drive for the Data disk).

            • 3. Re: How is this for a PC spec for home video editing?
              ItsGregHere Level 1

              PS Noted my original post had missed out the line item for the Hard Disks to be used for the RAID 1 data drive:

               

                 2 x Western Digital 2TB SATA3 64M Black(WD2002FAEX)   [hopefully 2 x 2TB drives in a Raid 1 are ok]

               

              (couldn't seem to edit the original post)

              • 4. Is the NVIDIA GTX560 overkill
                ItsGregHere Level 1

                Being cost aware, can I ask whether the NVIDIA GTX560 card I specified is perhaps overkill?  If so what model might be better value for money, whilst still providing what I need to perform performant Video Editing.

                 

                The reason I ask this is the NVIDIA GTX560 seems to be one of the higher end gaming machines - however this PC will not be used for gaming at all - just for home video editing - so I'm actually not how the quality/price level of a video card changes for a Video Editing requirement versus a Gaming requirement?

                 

                Link to Video Card section of our local PC store - click here

                • 5. Re: How is this for a PC spec for home video editing?
                  JEShort01 Level 4

                  Wow Greg, I think that you are in the wrong forum! There is a Premiere Elements forum here, and although it does not have a separate hardware catagory, I think that is where I suspect your questions can be best be addressed. We tend to be Premiere (not Elements) and Premiere Pro users here.

                   

                  Possibly the Forum Admininstator can relocate your thread there?

                   

                  Personally, I'm pretty clueless about what Elements v. 7 requires, so I will not comment any more but wish you luck with your project!

                   

                  Cheers,

                   

                  Jim

                  • 6. Re: How is this for a PC spec for home video editing?
                    Jeff Bellune Level 6

                    I've elected to leave the thread here, because if Greg builds a system that'll run Premiere Pro, it'll darn sure run Elements.  Either way, this is a good place to get hardware info, no matter what NLE you use (and even if it's not Adobe - shhh!).

                     

                    -Jeff

                    • 7. Re: How is this for a PC spec for home video editing?
                      JEShort01 Level 4

                      Jeff,

                       

                      Thanks for that!

                       

                      Greg,

                       

                      Continuing on, and still pretty clueless about Elements...

                       

                      - video card -- I don't think that Elements has the Mercury Playback Engine (MPE) available (someone please confirm here), so a way less capable video card can suffice; I don't have any to suggest though

                      - I forgot to mention before, dump the Intel provided cooler and go with at minimum a Cooler Master 212 model; It's best to keep your CPU cool, and if you ever want to dabble in Overclocking your i7-950 (Harm has a very good Overclocking beginers guide on this forum) a 3rd party cooler will be essential

                      - 2 WD 2TB 64MB Blacks should be fine for a RAID1 data drive

                       

                      Or...

                       

                      Upgrade to Premiere Pro CS5, go with the MSI GTX 460 Hawk (Overclock it to 850MHz), and gain the massive benefits of MPE! Maybe someone here can comment who has used Elements before with similar workflow needs about what he might stand to gain?

                       

                      Jim

                      • 8. Re: How is this for a PC spec for home video editing?
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        I generally agree with Paul. Your choices are solid, with ONE exception. The Adaptec raid card, that is a complete waste of money. Either use the ICHR10 for raid0 or get a decent card, which means PCI-e 8x and a dedicated IOP.

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: How is this for a PC spec for home video editing?
                          JEShort01 Level 4

                          Harm,

                           

                          Paul? Did you mean Jim!?

                           

                          Thanks for adding comments regarding the RAID card.

                           

                          Jim

                          • 10. Re: How is this for a PC spec for home video editing?
                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                            Correct, I meant Jim. I have gotten confused by all the diverse system names and personal names submitted to the PPBM5 benchmark. Sorry for my mistake.

                            • 11. Re: How is this for a PC spec for home video editing?
                              ItsGregHere Level 1

                              @Harm - thanks for the RAID card comments - this was the one things I didn't have much idea about - I was after RAID 1 for data protection (not sure if there was a reason behind why you mentioned RAID 0 in your reply?) - looking at the list of accessories from the local store here, the only options I see with RAID and PCI-e mentioned in the line items are the following - hopefully the first one would be OK as it's much cheaper?

                               

                              a) Adaptec Raid 1430SA PCI-Express 4 Port SATA 3GBS OEM

                              b) HighPoint Rocket Raid 2322 - 8-ch Dual Ext Mini-SAS + SATAII RAID 0,1,5,10,50,JBOD adapter, PCI-E

                               

                              @Jim - thanks (there's a chance we may upgrade to pro in the future - not 100% sure - didn't realize about the forum scope here) - re the tip on the CPU cooler, so I guess this is an accessory that you can easily fit onto the motherboard instead of what comes with the CPU by default then?  It doesn't seem very expensive

                               

                              All - Last point feedback would be welcome is "whether the NVIDIA GTX560 card I specified is perhaps overkill?  If so what model might be better value for money, whilst still providing what I need to perform performant Video Editing" - ie noting we won't be using it for gaming...

                              • 13. Re: How is this for a PC spec for home video editing?
                                ItsGregHere Level 1

                                thanks Harm - the "areca ARC-1200 PCI Express SATA Controller Card" seems a good price then - got a fright initially when I saw a lot of the prices for other cards, however these seem to have support for many more RAID levels etc - you don't happen to know about what level graphics card you need for video editing (re the question I posed on this topic) as opposed to gaming?   Just wondering even in general whether for video editing you can take a step down from the gaming level graphics cards or not...

                                • 14. Re: How is this for a PC spec for home video editing?
                                  ItsGregHere Level 1

                                  PS re video card - sorry I'd missed the fact Jim did comment on this "I don't think that Elements has the Mercury Playback Engine (MPE) available (someone please confirm here), so a way less capable video card can suffice" - so it does sound like I can take a step down here from the higher end card - thanks

                                   

                                  To keep options open to upgrade to Pro later (umm, always hard to know what to do), in this case could I downgrade the video card, or does Pro need/use the full capabilities of a higher end video card?  (and if yes, roughly what sort of improvements would a user see when they're editing if the did have the high end card?)

                                  • 15. Re: How is this for a PC spec for home video editing?
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                    As Jim, I'm completely unfamiliar with PE. For PR I would suggest GTS 450 or better, like the GTX 460/560.

                                     

                                    To see what MPE does with PR, look at the PPBM5 Benchmark

                                     

                                    Have a close look at the results page and see what MPE does to rendering times.

                                    • 16. Re: How is this for a PC spec for home video editing?
                                      ItsGregHere Level 1

                                      Harm, Jim - thanks for all your assistance

                                      • 17. 60GB SSD option for C: drive?
                                        ItsGregHere Level 1

                                        Just a follow-up after chatting with a colleague:

                                         

                                        (a) SSD 60GB for the O/S Drive - Would 60GB be enough for the C drive typically?  Should be much faster and a better choice than a SATAIII 500GB?  I note there are some 60GB for not much more than a 500GB SATAIII such as:

                                        • OCZ 60G Vertex II E Series SSD, OR
                                        • Patriot Inferno 60G SandForce SSD

                                         

                                        (b) Use of built in RAID on motherboard, noting I'm only doing RAID 1.  So suggestion was I could then with the Gigabyte motherboard do:

                                        • 6GB Motherboard Port :  C drive (SSD 60GB)
                                        • 6GB Motherboard Port :  D drive (500GB SATAII)
                                        • 2 x 3GB Motherboard Ports:  E: drive in RAID 1 configuration (the 2 x 2TB SATA 3 disks)

                                         

                                        Sounds like good suggestions no?

                                        • 18. Re: 60GB SSD option for C: drive?
                                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                                          Sorry Greg, this is not a good solution IMO.

                                           

                                          SSD's are the best solution to empty your wallet quickly, not much else. There is no performance gain, despite the hype and they are around 40 times more expensive per GB than conventional disks. For a boot disk (OS & programs) a 320 GB Samsung Spinpoint F4 for around $ 40 is more than enough.

                                           

                                          2 TB disks. Make sure these disks are black in color, not blue or green or eco something. Why a raid1? There is no performance gain, only redundancy, so why opt for raid1 when you have external backups? If you want speed, go for raid0. The lack of redundancy is not terribly important, since you have external backups anyway.

                                           

                                          If you use on-board raid, limit yourself to raid0, because of the CPU load. If you want a higher raid level and possibly more disks, get a dedicated raid controller.

                                          • 19. Re: 60GB SSD option for C: drive?
                                            ItsGregHere Level 1

                                            Hi Harm,

                                             

                                            Re SSD's - perhaps I've been caught up in the hype, but I guess the thinking was for the O/S disk I was expecting the response times generally to be noticeable and more snappy - besides hype this is from a friend who had put an SSD into their laptop and was showing me how much more snappy it was (including boot time and things) - but if you've been there and tried the SSD's yourself you would be a better position than me to judge - I admit I was feeling like 60GB only (for an SSD) C: would be perhaps only scraping in in terms of having enough space...  So you definitely didn't notice a response time improvement from a user experience point of view for an SSD then?  (I'm thinking here of general Windows use as opposed to Premiere specifically)

                                             

                                            Re the only reason for going RAID was for redundancy, and to not have to rely on my backup approach I guess - just felt more secure putting in a RAID 1 controller with 2 x disks and having the protection.  Then also aim to do some backups to external drives.   So if I did want to stay with this concept I think you're saying a separate RAID card would be better for performance, i.e. ensure the load isn't taken up by the motherboard?  Do you know if this difference would be noticeable here?  (i.e. versus an theoretical performance difference)?

                                             

                                            thanks

                                            • 20. Re: 60GB SSD option for C: drive?
                                              Harm Millaard Level 7

                                              First of all, SSD's in a notebook make a lot of sense. A notebook is turned on and off multiple times per day so the boot time can make a difference. In addition the lower temps and the longer battery life make it a sensible option. Most notebooks are pretty quick to boot, so the difference of a couple of seconds does make a difference.

                                               

                                              Desktops, with more memory, more disks, more USB devices, more BIOS initialization, possibly staggered spin-up, logging in to the network, etc. have a much longer boot time. Just take the POST time and before you know it, 60 seconds have passed before the OS disk is accessed. Using an SSD on a desktop may shave off say 5 seconds from the total boot time, reducing it from 70 seconds to 65. This usually happens in the morning when turning on the PC, so your gain is 5 seconds on the whole day. Hardly worth the investment.

                                               

                                              I will give you one example. JES3 has a system with 5 SSD's in raid0 as OS and project disk and 10 conventional disks in raid0 for output. This is pretty massive. In contrast, I have only a single OS disk, a 2 disk raid0 for page file and media cache and 12 disk raid30 for project and output, all older conventional disks. Both systems use the same raid controller, JES3 is higher clocked and has double the memory. Despite all that, his disk I/O is slower than mine. Even with 5 SSD's in raid0.

                                               

                                              Another example, Bill Gehrke has tested extensively with up to 8 SSD's in raid0 configurations and has not found any discernable difference in comparison to conventional disks.

                                               

                                              If I can spend € 1,000 on disks, with today's prices over here, I can get 22 conventional 1TB disks or 5 Intel X25 SSD's with 120 GB. What do I prefer, 22 TB or 600 GB? The answer is obvious, I think.

                                               

                                              Raid1 on the motherboard does not entail much of an overhead. You could opt for an alternative, still giving you the redudancy, but also the desired speed increase at around the same cost or even slightly less, by choosing a 4 disk raid10 array on the mobo with 1 TB drives. That will give you the same 2 TB net capacity, the same redundancy but almost twice the speed. Cost here € 196.

                                              • 21. Re: 60GB SSD option for C: drive?
                                                ItsGregHere Level 1

                                                thanks for clarifying Harm - the SSD examples you cite are very interesting, and not something I one expects to hear with all the hype - thanks for clarifying re the RAID 1 overhead - I'll probably stick to just the 2 disks initially in a RAID 1 I think - actually with the price of electricity going up I'm not sure how much extra power one is actually incuring with each additional HDD you add into a PC...but then again from a power point of view I probably need to focus more on making sure I my PC's go into "sleep" when they can (which I'm not doing currently) - apparently these days you can arrange for your PC's to awake on network usage and the likes (e.g. central PC that other's connect to for files, or iTunes library etc) - but I guess I'm getting off the topic a bit now