16 Replies Latest reply on Sep 18, 2011 8:34 PM by Frédéric Segard

    New system build

    illucine Level 1

      After several delays, I think I've finally come up with a configuration for my next system.  The application is mainly CS5.5 (mostly PP & AE) and 3D modeling and rendering.  In addition to speed (of course), I want something that's relatively quiet and reliable.  This is the first system I've ever built from scratch and I'm concerned that everything will work together.  I will not be overclocking at first but might later as I learn more.  I'm open to suggestions for alternative components.




      Intel Core i7 990X

      I want all the power I can get but don't think dual X5690s are worth the huge price difference.


      PNY Quadro 4000

      Going with a Quadro primarily for 3D (I realize it's not worth it for just Premiere).


      Asus Sabertooth X58

      Debated this a long time.  I like the 5 year warranty.  Might later add Areca controller and/or BlackMagic IO so MB needs to be compatible.  Also considered P6X58D-E, GA-X58A-UD3R and, to a lesser extent, DX58SO2 and Rampage III Formula.


      24GB Corsair Vengeance 1600

      Not on the QVL for Sabertooth but will this work?


      Crucial M4 256GB SSD

      I realize this will not make Premiere faster but should make the overall system more “interactive”.  Was looking at Intel 510 for reliability but this seems to get good reviews and is almost $200 cheaper.  Considered Corsair Force  3, Mushkin Chronos, and OCZ Vertex 3 (all faster than M4) but they seem to have more problems.


      5x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB

      Gets good recommendations on this forum. Thinking about 2x RAID 0 for source/project, 2x RAID 0 for scratch/paging, other drive for previews/exports.


      Pioneer BDR-206 BD burner

      Seems to be compatible with most all media.



      Probably some external USB3 or eSATA drive.


      Corsair AX850 Pro Gold

      Might get by with 750W but 850W allows more room for expansion and aging.  Considered Seasonic X850 but this seems to be the same for less money.


      Lian Li PC-A70F full tower

      10 HDD, 2x 140mm fans + 2x 120mm fans, all aluminum.

      CoolerStock or Noctua NH-D14

      If I don't overclock, I've heard the stock 990x cooler works pretty good but the Noctua is probably quieter and will allow OC down the road.  I'm concerned whether this will clear Vengeance RAM.  Anyone know for sure?


      Logitech M510 (w/MK550)

      Never owned a cordless mouse but am often fighting the cord so I think this might be a good one.


      Logitech K350 (w/MK550)

      Less sure about the keyboard but seems to be a good value bundled with the mouse (i.e. MK550 pair)


      Logitech Z-623 THX 2.1

      Some pro monitors would be nice but can get by for now on these which get good reviews and are < 1/10 the price.


      Dell U3011 30" LCD

      Have used dual screens for about 7 years but think I would prefer a single big one.  This and the Quadro are my most extravagant expense (about 40% of total cost).


      Microsoft Windows 7 Pro

      After reading this article I think the full/pricey version is the most flexible license and includes MS support which could be useful to me as a first time builder.


      Am I forgetting anything?

      Probably need more SATA cables.  Maybe some acoustic foam to shield noise?  A separate HDMI monitor?



      Somewhere down the road, as my needs grow and my bank account recovers, I'm thinking about adding RAID 3.  Seems hard to justify an additional ~$1,400 for a disk system.



      Areca ARC-1880ix-12

      Very pricey but people around here seem to think it's worth it.


      5x Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 2 TB

      Reasonably priced, these are also often recommended.


      Your feedback appreciated.


        • 1. Re: New system build
          Harm Millaard Level 7



          With your specific need for 3D applications, the Quadro 4000 may be worth the money. An alternative for PR is the GTX 570+, but check carefully that your 3D programs are supported.


          The Vengeance works great in my system and I can't see why it might cause problems with a Sabertooth. Indeed, the cooling ribs are high, but in my case with the Noctua NH-U12 SP2 there is no problem with the height of the cooling ribs.


          The Crucial M4 is a great SSD.


          I sure looks like a well thought out system and I did not notice anything really missing. Personally I like the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard, but that of course is an individual choice.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: New system build
            John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            About backup... Hardware crashes or virus infections happen, so you should buy AND USE software to make a full backup of your hard drive to an external USB hard drive... plus, making step-by-step backups during a new install or major program addition makes it easy to go back a step if something doesn't work

            This backup and then restore is, of course, only to the same computer with a new drive (or the same drive as long as you don't mind writing over everything) since doing a restore to a new computer won't work due to Windows and many programs having activation information that is keyed to your hardware (which is why Windows will force you to RE-Activate if you change very much hardware)
            The product I use is at http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/image-for-linux.htm
            Image runs off of a bootable CD via Linux (the Zip you download includes a program to make the bootable CD) and it reads EVERYTHING on the drive, even the hidden registration information, so everything is restored when needed... and you may restore the image to a brand new drive in case of a crash, and not have to re-install anything
            Please note that I own no part of Image, and I don't get a referral fee (that is just a plain web link) but I use the program and it has saved me a LOT of trouble when I had a hard drive die... and I was able to restore everything and not have to re-install or re-activate a single program, from Windows on up
            • 3. Re: New system build
              illucine Level 1


              Thanks for the validation on the Vengeance, the M4, and my choices in general.  I definitely put a lot of thought into this.  And thanks for mentioning the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard; I'll think about that one.



              Thanks for the tip on the system backup software.  I'm pretty good about backing up projects but don't always back up the system disk.


              If anyone else has comments on the Vengeance, please let me know ASAP because Newegg has 10% off on Corsair memory today only, so I may go ahead and place an order for that tonight unless I find a reason not to.  I look forward to more feedback on my configuration.



              • 4. Re: New system build
                Frédéric Segard Level 2

                If you're getting a Blackmagic card and an Areca card down the road, the Sabertooth might be problematic, slot wise... check up on it.  This was the main reason I skipped through the Sabertooth a while back.


                Speed is always nice to have. I remember when we first exchanged posts about a month ago. I was going with a 990x, a Quadro 5000 and an HP 30" monitor. Remember? Well, as I continued researching and optimizing my build. I decided it made more business sense to go with an overclocked Sandy Bridge 2600K, a GTX580 and three NEC monitors (2 on GTX, 1 on BlackMagic card). The huge savings allowed me to get a 42" LCD, an audio mixer, audio monitors, a monitor calibration tool and a few other things, on the same budget.


                As for speakers, don't get me wrong, the Logitech are good gaming speakers, but monitoring audio for broadcast work, it doesn't really cut it.  I'm getting M-Audio speakers for now. Eventually, I'll upgrade for Focal monitors. But generally speaking, it will be a lot better then the Logitech for not that much more. Although 3D animation is in my workflow, it is not as important as my need for speedy MPE (I can afford to wait the slight time differential it takes to render). Benchmark wise, between the 990x and 2600K, some test favor one or the other. Overall, the 990x might have a slight edge, but did not justify large step up in price. That money is better spent in completing my edit suite with other, more useful gear.


                Also, my thinking is this, since a PC is really nice for upgrade possibilities compared to a Mac. When the Ivy Bridge comes out, it will be less discouraging, budget wise, to change a "less pricey" Sandy Bridge mobo/CPU, then an X58/990x combo. This way, I'm budget conscious for the initial acquisition, but planning the upgrade path for a kick *** performance boost in the not so long term. And changing a GTX580 in a year or so, is also less heart wrenching then a Quadro.  On top of that, a Quadro is not really recyclable for a gaming computer. So, my son will be really stoked when I trickle down the card to his PC, when I eventually get a GTX680 (or whatever next best thing will be).


                So my initial "nice to have" configuration changed a bit, as you can see. It makes more business sense for me. Plus my upgrade path is open and flexible, without loosing too much in the process, all the while, staying current, technology wise.


                Just for reference, here is what I ordered: It should be arriving within the next week or two:




                Antec Twelve Hundred V3

                Power Supply


                Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1200W



                Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z

                One of the best overclocking boards, with just enough PCIe slots



                Intel i7 2600k (2nd generation)



                Antec Kuhler H2O 920



                Corsair Dominator GT DDR3 and AirFlow II Fan 2x8GB

                Overclockable RAM



                Asus Matrix GTX580 Platinum

                Fastest GTX580 (aside from the water cooled PNY)



                Areca ARC-1880ix-16, 4GB cache + cables

                Video I/O


                Blackmagic DeckLink HD Extreme 3D+

                System disk


                Corsair Force GT 120GB SSD SATA3

                System drive and programs

                RAID disks


                Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 1.5TB 64MB

                8xRAID3 for projects and media, 4xRAID0 for the rest and pagefile

                HDD cage


                4 in 3 HDD Cage (standard)

                Need more space for the drives

                BluRay burner


                Liteon IHBS212 (LightScribe)

                DVD burner


                Liteon iHAS524 (LabelTag)



                NEC EA232WMI-BK 23” IPS



                Spyder3 Elite 4.0



                Logitech Gaming Keyboard G510

                For programing macros (I’m a fan of macros)



                Logitech Optical Gaming Mouse G500



                Adobe Production Premium CS5.5 (50%)



                Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OEM

                LCD TV


                LG 42LV5400 LED LCD 42”

                BD Player


                LG BD640C Bluray Player

                Audio Mixer


                Mackie 1202-VLZ3, 12 channel Mixer

                Audio Monitor


                M-Audio Studiophile BX5 D2

                Good enough for now. Will go with Focal down the road


                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: New system build

                  Hi Guys  Ive leart more about NLE systems and build your own PC's in the last hour than in the last month researching what PC to buy. Harm Millaards forum post on NLE systems is without doubt the most imformative Ive read, which (nearly!) gets all that tech speak into laymans language for people that know a bit, but not a lot like me! Harm, Your the daddy! For those of you that havent see it, Its here.  http://forums.adobe.com/thread/598040  So please could you help me, Ive been running around in circles for a month with this, pricing up diff 3 rd party build it for you companies in the UK and then the off shelf brands DEll, HP and APPLE (why does everyone love apple so much?!) and was pulling my hair out until I saw a tweet earlier that brought me into the very capable and knowlegable hands of this adobe forum ( dont ask why I didnt just do that in first place!)  I dont edit or retouch professionally but certainly need to be at a level where I could and would like to have the power to be able to. So I need my PC to run Creative Suite Cs5.5 (mostly, premiere, photoshop, bridge, maybe at same time, maybe AE in future aswell) to a high speed capability. I have over 3 TB of movies, photos and projects to be getting on with and I just need a high spec fast machine thats isnt going to crash every hour and is powerful enough to see through the next 3 years of HD advancement, esp RED EPIC, larger file sizes and maybe 3D work.  Below is the spec from a build it for you company in the UK, price is below that, I only fear perhaps its either too much rreally for what I need or too little? I havent even figured the bloody montior in yet! any suggestions on that appreciated aswell looking at NEC, DELL ULTRASHARP OR HP and trying to keep under $700 which only really leaves the 24" ultrasharp or this HP http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en/sm/WF05a/382087-382087-64283-3884471-3884471-3648442. html  taking into account would also need a £150 monitor calibration aswell. anyway, sorry this wasnt why I was here........................................  spec below  Do I need a processor that size? Would I be better overclocking a cheaper processor? Dont really understand asdvantage of more expensive mother board? More RAM or Less? Do I need that spec graphics card? Is the way forward running OS and all programmes off a SSD? ( have read about your suggestions on this thx harm)  Any suggestions most warmly welcomed. Its still a lot of money!  Thanks Guys  pengul@hotmail.com   Case FRACTAL DESIGN R3 - BLACK PEARL CASE   Processor (CPU) Intel® Core™i7-2600k Quad Core (3.40GHz, 8MB Cache) + HD Graphics   Motherboard ASUS® P8Z68-V: USB 3.0, SATA 6GBs, NVIDIA®SLI™, ATI®CrossFireX   Memory (RAM) 16GB SAMSUNG DDR3 DUAL-DDR3 1333MHz (4 X 4GB)   Graphics Card 2GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 560 Ti - 2 DVI,HDMI,VGA - 3D Vision Ready   Memory - 1st Hard Disk 120GB INTEL® 320 SERIES SSD, SATA 3 Gb/s (upto 270MB/sR | 130MB/sW)   2nd Hard Disk 3TB WD CAVIAR GREEN WD30EZRX, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64MB CACHE   1st DVD/BLU-RAY Drive 10x LG BLU-RAY RE-WRITER DRIVE, 16x DVD ±R/±RW (£65)   Memory Card Reader INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (XD, MS, CF, SD, etc) + 1 x USB 2.0 PORT   Power Supply CORSAIR 650W ENTHUSIAST SERIES™ TX650 V2-80 PLUS® BRONZE (£72)   Processor Cooling SUPER QUIET 22dBA TRIPLE COPPER HEATPIPE CPU COOLER (£19)   Sound Card ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)   Network Facilities ONBOARD 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT - AS STANDARD ON ALL PCs   USB Options 6 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL (MIN 2 FRONT PORTS) AS STANDARD   Firewire & Video Editing 3 Port IEEE 1394a Firewire PCI Card (£9)   Operating System Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit - inc DVD & Licence (£79)   Office Software FREE Microsoft® Office Starter 2010 (Limited functionality Word & Excel)   Anti-Virus KASPERSKY ANTI-VIRUS 2010 - 1 Year Licence for 1 PC (£9)  Keyboard & Mouse LOGITECH® MK520 WIRELESS KEYBOARD & MOUSE COMBO (£39)   Surge Protection 6 Socket Compact 2M UFO Surge Protector (£9)   Warranty 3 Year Gold Warranty (2 Year Collect & Return, 2 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour) (£69)   Home Installation Technician Assisted Installation & Set-Up (£79)   Delivery STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)   Build Time Standard Build - Approximately 10 to 12 working days Quantity 1  £1610 (uk pounds) approx $2550 inc VAT and delivery  Ideally I would like to save some pounds on this if I could to put towards a beteer monitor, calibration tools, more camera lenses, a holiday, my girlfriend........you get the picture!  This is from UK site in their 'video editing specialist section'  http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/view/Editing-v1000-pc/  Thanks Guys. Any help Mucho appreciated.  Mark UK London pengul@hotmail.com

                  • 6. Re: New system build
                    John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    >don't always back up the system disk


                    When I built my computer about 1.5 years ago I used Image to make an image on external USB after every major step... just in case I did something wrong and needed to go back and install something with a different option or in a different order


                    Once everything was installed and activated and working, I made one final (*) image and deleted all the earlier editions


                    (*) Final for that day... I've since used Image about 4 times a year so if my drive dies, I can restore a fairly current image to a new drive

                    • 7. Re: New system build
                      illucine Level 1

                      Hi Frederic,

                      Just when I thought I had this all figured out you come along with more options and confuse me again.   Just kidding.  Man, your system has evolved considerably since you started designing it.  Yes, I remember your 990x, Quadro 5000, HP 30" monitor, and that ginormous double-wide case.


                      Unless there are other compatibility problems, I don't think "If you're getting a Blackmagic card and an Areca card down the road, the Sabertooth might be problematic, slot wise".   The Sabertooth has 2 X16 slots, one which I'd use for the Quadro and  one for the (X8) Areca (no plans for a second GPU).  It also has an X4  slot which should work for the Decklink HD Extreme 3D (for example) or  lesser Blackmagic cards (some of which only need X1).  I don't have an  immediate need for a video IO card so I don't know which model I would  get but one is a possibility in the future (and I've heard  good things about Blackmagic versus, say, Matrox).  BTW, one of the  reasons I'm avoiding the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R is because I've heard of  some problems with it when using multiple on-board RAIDs and an SSD.


                      I would like to get some real studio monitors eventually  but the Z623 is only $99.99 for the set at Amazon right now and most  real monitors cost more than that for just one.  I'm sure the Z623 is  far from flat but I think it will do for now.  I'm not familiar with Focal monitors.


                      I understand what you're saying about it being less discouraging to upgrade from a Sandy Bridge than a 990x.  I thought about that too and considered either a Sandy Bridge or a lesser i7.  But I'm probably going to stick with the 990x and maybe wait for the next generation after Ivy Bridge to upgrade.  We're only talking 2 years from now (assuming Haswell arrives on schedule in 2013) and I've been running my current dual-Xeon system for 7 years.  Sandy Bridge is the better bang for the buck right now but the 990x still beats it in many (not all) applications (albeit, for a high cost).


                      Sounds like your system has evolved with some nice bells and whistles after your more cost-effective adjustments.  I wasn't familiar with the Maximus IV board but it looks similar to the Rampage III I looked at.  That's some seriously fast memory you're getting.  The Corsair Force GT you mention seems to get much better reviews than the Corsair Force 3 I was looking at.  That 4 in 3 cage with built-in fan might be a nice thing to have for my Lian Li PC-A70F because it has 5x 5.25" bays so I could spare 3 and add 4 more drives.  Won't it be nice to actually sit down and use our new systems after all this crazy decision making!



                      • 8. Re: New system build
                        illucine Level 1

                        Ok Frederic...  You've got me thinking more about audio monitors and now I'm considering the M-Audio BX5a Deluxe, the little brother to what you're getting.  They're twice the price of the Logitech but would probably work much better for a post-production system.  Why did you choose the M-Audio Studiophile BX5 D2?  What about other brands?



                        • 9. Re: New system build
                          Frédéric Segard Level 2

                          Hi Roy,


                          Oups, I'm actually getting the BX5 Deluxe too. I forgot to modify my list.


                          The reason I chose the M-Audio was because price/quality, they were a good match for me. In my build optimization, saving a little here, and a little there allowed me to get more gear within budget. Of course, I would have liked to get better monitors and a better mixer. But I do have a limit to my budget!  hehe


                          It's not the end all and be all of audio monitors, but for the price, they will beat any ****-box PC speakers. I will eventually change them down the road, but I needed to replace my old crappy-noisy-colory Behringer Truth speakers really badly. And also, because I needed to replace too many things in my edit suite, going with more high-end monitors was out of the question. Instead I'm concentrating on what counts the most... to be able to produce rapidly. So having a fast and efficient computer that works well is my current priority. Even if it means stepping down just one slight notch in performance (2600k vs 990x), the reduction in price for more useful gear, is well worth the compromise.


                          Do yourself a favor though, make yourself a CD of what you usually work on (audio from your videos), and go to a music store, and try different ones. Most pro audio stores will have a few on demo. Sound quality is very subjective. What I like, might not be what others like.

                          • 10. Re: New system build
                            Frédéric Segard Level 2

                            illucine wrote:


                            Won't it be nice to actually sit down and use our new systems after all this crazy decision making!


                            Oh man!  Sooooo true!


                            I've been editing 2 clips this weekend. What was supposed to be a 4 hour job for each, turned out to be 16 hours. 4 times the time!  Can I tell you I'm sick and tired of editing off a Core2Duo MacBookPro with "needs-to-render-all-the-freakin'-time" Final Cut Pro 7?


                            I remember editing with CS2 a while back, and even then CS2 did stuff that FCP still does not do now (or well). I did try the trial CS5.5 on my crappy Mac. Nice experience to a point, because it is only a Core2Duo with 4GB RAM and a crappy video card. So I can't expect miracles either. What's nice is that the workflow and interface is not so different. So it's going to be super easy to transition to PPro.


                            Business has been approved and signed, parts are ordered..... just need to wait... I'm like a kid on Christmas eve.

                            • 11. Re: New system build
                              Zoop studio Level 1

                              I just got my new 2600K system, tweaked/test and install CS5.5 on it in 1day.. and, coming from a E6600 machine, IT IS #!$**7&? GREAT, it works like hell.

                              O..will you be happy when yours is ready! Cheers to that!

                              • 12. Re: New system build
                                Islanders66 Level 1

                                Frederic, loooking forward to your observavions on your new machine and the switch to Premiere. I'm now actually learning FCP on a Mac at a local college and have Premiere at home on my new PC. 

                                • 13. Re: New system build
                                  illucine Level 1

                                  Frederic Segard wrote:


                                  The reason I chose the M-Audio was because price/quality, they were a good match for me. In my build optimization, saving a little here, and a little there allowed me to get more gear within budget. Of course, I would have liked to get better monitors and a better mixer. But I do have a limit to my budget!  hehe


                                  It's not the end all and be all of audio monitors, but for the price, they will beat any ****-box PC speakers. I will eventually change them down the road, but I needed to replace my old crappy-noisy-colory Behringer Truth speakers really badly.


                                  Thanks Frederic, that's good to know.  Which Behringers do you have?  Have they gone bad or were they always bad?  I was looking at the Truth B1030a.  I just ran across some Mackie MR5's (the old ones, not the MK2) for $95 a piece.  Any opinions on those?  What about Fostex and Alesis?  I'm going to try and make it to a Guitar Center this week and see what I can listen to.  It's not the best environment for evaluating audio monitors but there's not much else close to here.



                                  • 14. Re: New system build
                                    Zoop studio Level 1

                                    For monitoring I use Samson Rubicon R6a several years now.

                                    Very clear, neutral sound and they work always flawless.

                                    2 way system, 2 way build in amps and the're so natrual sounding because of the ribbon high freq. speakers.

                                    This is actually copied from the expencive Adams studio monitors series.

                                    • 15. Re: New system build
                                      illucine Level 1

                                      I had not heard of the Samson Rubicon R6a.  It appears they're about twice the cost of the M-Audio BX5a Deluxe which puts them in the league with a lot more alternatives (JBL, Yahaha, Tannoy, KRK, etc.).  I bit more than I want to spend but I'll see if I can find some to listen to.  Thanks.

                                      • 16. Re: New system build
                                        Frédéric Segard Level 2

                                        You'll need to try them out for yourself. Even though a guitar center might not be the best place to evaluate monitors. It gives you a good idea. It's much better then choosing just from the specs. Although I don't recomend Fostex, because, depending on the model of course, they are boosted in the lows and highs. Although they would make a nice second pair shitbox to simulating standard TV speakers. But in general, you want monitoring as flat as your budget allows.


                                        I got rid of my B2031 (now discontinued). The noise floor was always too high.