14 Replies Latest reply on Nov 14, 2011 10:10 AM by Mountain Boomer

    Proposed Desktop Upgrade--Open to Suggestions

    Mountain Boomer

      I am currently away from my home for an extended period of time, and my wife has informed me our primary computer has suffered a nervous breakdown.  Given that many of the components are up to 6 years old, I would like to upgrade a few of those items.  I'll be home shortly after Christmas and would like to order the parts so they're ready and waiting for install.


      I recently upgraded to Master Collection CS5.5.  I am running it on a laptop while I'm away from home, and not doing any video editing at the moment.  I do plan on doing so on the desktop--my biggest project would be prodcuing an up-to-1 hour video from about 2 hours' worth of footage which currently resides on DVD (was transferred from Hi-8 before that camcorder gave up the ghost).  We currently have a Canon MV20 which is Mini-DV, recording in HD.


      Primarily I need to upgrade the CPU/mobo, RAM, and GPU.  Please help me out if you notice any glaring problems with these proposed components:


      Intel i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06 GHz

      ASUS Sabertooth X58 Motherboard

      G.SKILL Ripjaw Series 4GB DDR3 1333 (would buy up to 4)

      EVGA GeForce GTX 580 1536 MB PCI Express 2.0 x16


      Will run Win7 Pro.


      I currently have 5 Western Digitial 250GB SATA hard drives, 7200rpm, set up I believe as RAID 10.  The proposed upgrade will have me use 1 of those drives as OS/applications with the remaining 4 either as RAID 0 or RAID 10, pending inputs...and open to suggestions on this configuration as well, especially taking into consideration requirements for my proposed 1-hour-video editing.



        • 1. Re: Proposed Desktop Upgrade--Open to Suggestions
          RjL190365 Level 4

          I would not go LGA 1366 (i7-9xx and X58) at this point because it's about to be obsolesced tomorrow (just a few hours from now) by the new LGA 2011 Sandy Bridge-E (i7-3xxx and X79) platform. And even if you were to choose the soon-to-be-obsolete 1366, that platform needs RAM in sets of three sticks for optimal performance. Four sticks of RAM on a triple-channel memory controller would force either an imbalanced Flex mode in which part of the memory would only run in single-channel mode or a strict dual-channel mode.


          Once SB-E rolls around, you will need four sticks of RAM to achieve optimal performance with that platform as its memory controller is quad-channel.


          And what's more, I would not recommend either LGA 1366 or LGA 2011 if you're going to be using just the onboard SATA controller for RAID 0 or RAID 10 because the performance will actually be slower than an equally-clocked LGA 1155 system under these circumstances (the latency will increase due to the extra PCI-e lanes on both of the higher-end platforms being totally wasted, or just sitting there and unused by any device whatsoever).

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Proposed Desktop Upgrade--Open to Suggestions
            Mountain Boomer Level 1

            Well, I'm hoping to go the road of "I don't need the biggest/fastest," just "big enough/good enough" as even the LGA 1366 would be a huge leap forward for me from my current Pentium 4 630 LGA775 on an Abit AW8-MAX 955X...maybe the SB-E will drop my planned rig's price?  You point is taken on the 3 sticks of RAM though, good to know.  Now I suppose I'll need to look at dedicated RAID controller cards too.

            • 3. Re: Proposed Desktop Upgrade--Open to Suggestions
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              The i7-3930K on a X79 platform seems your best option because the 3960X is pretty expensive and does not deliver much more performance (although the 3930K is not included in this graph below). The 3930 is around 50% faster in PR than the i7-2700K or the i7-980X in initial benchmarks, while it costs about the same as the 980. The extra cost for the 'newest-of-the-newest' can (partly) be regained by opting for the nVidia GTX 570, which does not perform noticeably worse than the 580.


              I'm awaiting initial benchmarks of a number of X79 mobo's. When I have them I will report them here.


              14-11-2011 10-47-54.jpg

              • 4. Re: Proposed Desktop Upgrade--Open to Suggestions
                RjL190365 Level 4

                I agree with Harm: The LGA 1366 platform at this point is not a wise choice, especially when it is outperformed by newer Intel platforms at the same price point as the build that you're considering. In fact, I would dare say that with the drive configuration that you're planning to use, the i7-950/X58 platform that you chose (but equipped with 24GB of RAM via six 4GB sticks) barely outperforms a system with an i5-2500(K) and a Z68 motherboard (equipped with 16GB of RAM via four 4GB sticks). So, if you're paying anywhere close to the price of an i7-2600K or an i7-3820 for an i7-950, you're just wasting money at this point.


                And yes, with the newer platforms, go with four sticks of RAM since they are either dual-channel (LGA 1155) or quad-channel (LGA 2011).

                • 5. Re: Proposed Desktop Upgrade--Open to Suggestions
                  Scott Chichelli Level 3

                  you already have intial benchmarks of the X79...

                  • 6. Re: Proposed Desktop Upgrade--Open to Suggestions
                    RjL190365 Level 4

                    However, Scott, that X79 was a preproduction board with a beta BIOS. Many of the production boards have undergone a few tweaks.


                    In addition the unspectacular initial results in PPBM5 for the i7-3960K are likely due to a less-than-optimal disk subsystem: The initial results were based on a system with only a two-disk aid0 array.

                    • 7. Re: Proposed Desktop Upgrade--Open to Suggestions
                      Scott Chichelli Level 3

                      We have a retail box board and the benchmarks have not changed..

                      • 8. Re: Proposed Desktop Upgrade--Open to Suggestions
                        RjL190365 Level 4

                        Read the addition: The disk I/O is the bottleneck, in this case. A two-disk aid0 ("RAID 0") is far from optimal with this platform. An i7-3xxx/X79 platform with one or two RAID 0 arrays is still not balanced enough: The additional PCI-e lanes on the CPU go to waste completely in that configuration.

                        • 9. Re: Proposed Desktop Upgrade--Open to Suggestions
                          Scott Chichelli Level 3

                          and i repeat 95% of used DO NOT need any more than the 2 x 2 raid 0

                          which has been my contention with sandy all along even though we proved adding a raid and capture card did not drop performance..


                          do we need a nasty red4k or uncompressed test.. yes to set the boys from the men (sandy vs Xeon etc)

                          but its only going to matter to a handful of users. same with heavy animators.

                          • 10. Re: Proposed Desktop Upgrade--Open to Suggestions
                            Mountain Boomer Level 1

                            I'm having to think long and hard about upgrading hardware based on these comments...after all, I'm not even going to be home to enjoy the new stuff for a while.  I might satiate the wife with a mere upgrade from WinXP to Win7, hope that gets her by until next summer after the dust settles on the SB-E introduction, and enjoy the lower prices. 

                            • 11. Re: Proposed Desktop Upgrade--Open to Suggestions
                              RjL190365 Level 4

                              Given the footage that you intend to work with (standard-definition 480i DV), you don't really need even an i7-3820 since DV does not need as powerful of a CPU as HDV, AVCHD or any other HD format. However, due to its relatively high bitrate, DV does need a reasonably fast disk subsystem (that is, the disks are not of ancient old platter designs with relatively slow sequential transfer speeds). My recommendation for now (given your DV content) would be an i7-2700K (LGA 1155) CPU with a Z68 motherboard and either 8GB or 16GB of RAM (although I would say that if you never plan to upgrade to anything HD, even a low-end i5-2400 would more than suffice). Otherwise, since you won't be at the desktop for months, the Ivy Bridge successor to the i7-2700K would be my recommendation. (This same recommendation would apply if you're going to work with any consumer HD format, such as AVCHD.)

                              • 12. Re: Proposed Desktop Upgrade--Open to Suggestions
                                Harm Millaard Level 7



                                While your remarks are to the point and valid, remember that the OP currently also uses a Canon MV20, which is a HDV cmera, so his editing is certainly not limited to SD material and given the age of the MV20, it is not unthinkable that in the next one or two years he may want to get a new camera, which will almost certainly be an AVCHD camera with current market trends, so then your suggestion loses some of its credibility if the OP wants to invest in a system that will last for the next couple of years.


                                I completely agree with you that the 2700K is a correct choice for DV/HDV material, but to be future proof, the 3930 is the better choice, albeit more expensive.

                                • 14. Re: Proposed Desktop Upgrade--Open to Suggestions
                                  Mountain Boomer Level 1

                                  Correct regarding the video quality and required computing power--my "big project" that I've been "meaning to start" for years now is the Hi-8 footage (from a trip I took in 2002!), but yes, I have HD video as well, which warrants the hardware upgrade.  Therefore, I DO wish to "future-proof" my upgrade to the extent practical--and the practical extent sounds like waiting until I return home to get the most bang for my buck after the initial excitement and high cost of SB-E wears down a little.    I would not have known about the SB-E debut today if it weren't for this discussion, so I appreciate all of your inputs!