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Thread started 04 Jul 2015 (Saturday) 07:51
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Need new PC

 
unlimited6986
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Jul 04, 2015 07:51 |  #1

Im looking at getting a new PC. Current one is an old model and want to start with a fresh system. Currently do wedding, portrait photography, but have been starting to do video editing also. Im located in NY and budget is anywhere from 600-1000$. Ive never built my own but like the idea of building one for late on i can upgrade. Any help would be greatly appreciated. This would just be for the computer itself I have a good monitor. If anyone has the time to piece together on for me that would be great. If not any other help would be appreciated.

Thank you for your time




  
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EverydayGetaway
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Jul 04, 2015 09:21 |  #2

You can upgrade any PC, it doesn't have to be custom built to do that. Do you know what you're currently running? You might be able to save some money by upgrading what you have.


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Luckless
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Jul 04, 2015 11:08 |  #3

Do you feel that you have a rather pressing need to have a new system put together and running soon? Or is this something that you feel you could put off for a few more months and make do with your current computer? Intel's next generation of processors is due to drop not too long from now, along with a new generation of CPU socket, but there are a lot of factors in play as to whether to build now or later.

Waiting means you are stuck plodding along with whatever you currently have. And we have no idea how slow or powerful your current system is, so it is kind of hard to offer suggestions there as to whether you'll be able to see a noticeable difference.

Building a system with the new CPUs as soon as they release means you pay top dollar for early adopter tax, plus run the risk of there being bugs and poor community support with the newest hardware. Waiting more time means those bugs have time to get ironed out.

Prices of the current stuff may or may not nose dive rather quickly after the next generation release. This one is hard to judge, but even if you don't go with the newest generation you may still get a nicer bang for your buck by waiting for it anyway, and picking up todays 'current' stuff in sales as suppliers try to clear out old inventory.

More things to think about: What kind of space are you putting your computer in, and what are your environmental needs from it?

Do you need it as small as possible, or do you have lots of room for a big tower case with tons of expansion space? Personally I prefer large cases whenever possible simply because it is easier to work in them without scraping your knuckles and such, and you can stuff more internal drives in as needed.

Will you be recording voice over content or anything during your video editing, or have other reasons to keep the system as silent as possible? Or can you live with a setup that sounds like a small jet engine in the corner while it is running? (Personally I use headphones and don't worry too much about how loud the system is, but aim to keep things to a moderate level.)


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tim
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Jul 04, 2015 17:05 |  #4

There's always something new around the corner. Here are benchmarks for a few CPUS:
- i7 2600K, 9,000 (external link) (Jan 2011)
- i7 3770K, 9,600 (external link) (April 2012)
- i7 4790K, 11,000 (external link) (May 2014)
- i7 5820k 13,000 (external link) (August 2014)

You can see that increments are usually relatively minor, and in 3 years performance is 40% better. Each generation is probably 10-15% faster. So I wouldn't wait. My 2600K will last years.


For video, suggest you get:
- i7 4xxx processor (or 5xxx if you want one)
- Samsung 850 pro SSD (external link). 120GB is plenty for OS, programs and swap space. Personally I have two SSDs, one for OS and programs, one for cache, catalog, and email. This way if you image your OS for quick recovery with something like Macrium Reflect you don't have needlessly large image files.
- HGST spinning disks (external link) for images. They're rated the most reliable by Backblaze.
- A midrange nvidia video card, latest or near latest generation. Don't buy the top of the line gamer cards IMHO, just midrange. They can help video in some situations. A bit of research is suggested here, I don't know video well. Photography won't be helped by a fast video card.
- 16GB RAM is enough for me, but for video or high MP cameras you may get some marginal gain with 32GB, using RAM as a disk cache. Given you have SSD(s) gain is likely minimal.
- The cheapest of a good brand of motherboard that has all the features you need - enough USB, SATA sockets. Make sure it has a slot for video, not all of the cheap ones do.


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unlimited6986
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Post edited over 4 years ago by unlimited6986.
     
Jul 05, 2015 21:41 |  #5

The current one I have is pretty much maxed out with what I can add. Im really not trying to wait to long. Once I try to do any video work my computer just comes to a halt. Since some say I could buy a pc made already (dell, Asus etc) is there anyone out of the box I can be happy with? Also with the ability to customize later down the road (more ram, ssd etc)? Also building wise case size really doesn't matter to me. Its going in my office at home.




  
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bumpintheroad
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Post edited over 4 years ago by bumpintheroad.
     
Jul 06, 2015 00:54 |  #6

If you are going to build, this is the setup I've used several times and recommend without reservations:

  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4790K
  • CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H75 Liquid CPU Cooler (you don't need liquid cooling, but it's quiet and not much more of an increase)
  • Heat Sink Compound: Arctic Silver 5 HD
  • RAM: 2X Crucial Ballistix Elite 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3 1866 PC3-14900 (32GB total)
  • Graphics: EVGA GeForce GTX 960 SuperSC ACX 2.0+ 2GB GDDR5 128bit (128-bit, 1024 Cuda cores, up to two)
  • Boot/System Drive: Samsung SM951 M.2 SSD 128GB (The M.2 port in this motherboard has dual PCIe bus access for better performance)
  • Scratch Drive: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB (You need a TON of scratch space for editing HD video)
  • Data Drives: 2X HGST 4TB NAS HDD's NO RAID (one dedicated to video files, one for everything else, plus a pile of external eSATA or USB 3.0 HDD's)
  • Power Supply: Corsair RM Series 650 Watt ATX/EPS 80PLUS Gold-Certified
  • Case: Fractal Designs Define R5 or R4 case (quietest cases I've ever used)
  • Card Reader: Rosewill 2-Port USB 3.0 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub eSATA Multi-In-1 Internal Card Reader with USB 3.0 Connector
  • Optical Drive: LG 14X Blu-Ray Burner
  • Op. System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro - 64-bit - System Builder - OEM (Eligible for purchase with a new SDD, HDD or MB)

These are all components I've used several times, or updated versions of those parts, and were selected because of their durability, compatibility, performance and price. This setup also has the advantage of being able to support Mac OS/X via TonyMacX86 MultiBeast. (Most of the systems I build dual-boot Windows and OS/X.)

Yes, you might find alternatives that are faster or cheaper, but how well will the work together with other parts in a system and how do the compare in terms of reliability? I've been building these systems for over 4 years now and all are still in daily use as photo or video editing stations with only a single failure (a cheaper 350W power supply) and no compatibility problems after setup. My daughter's iMac didn't last as long as this setup without going to the Apple Store for several repairs and, ultimately, being relegated to non-critical work. Note that you can also step up to the GTX-980 or Titan if you need more cores. But one or two GTX-960's is the sweet spot for price vs performance.

Cost ~ $2,100 plus your choice of keyboard, mouse and monitors if you can't reuse what you've got. Maybe a few hundred less if you can reuse your case, optical drive and media card reader and go with 3TB HDD's instead of 4TB. Expect to pay another $500-600 if you want someone experienced to build and configure it for you.

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tim
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Jul 06, 2015 02:31 |  #7

bumpintheroad wrote in post #17622152 (external link)
If you are going to build, this is the setup I've used several times and recommend without reservations:
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4790K
  • CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H75 Liquid CPU Cooler (you don't need liquid cooling, but it's quiet and not much more of an increase)
  • Heat Sink Compound: Arctic Silver 5 HD
  • RAM: 2X Crucial Ballistix Elite 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3 1866 PC3-14900 (32GB total)
  • Graphics: EVGA GeForce GTX 960 SuperSC ACX 2.0+ 2GB GDDR5 128bit (128-bit, 1024 Cuda cores, up to two)
  • Boot/System Drive: Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SSD 128GB (The M.2 port in this motherboard has dual PCIe bus access for better performance)
  • Scratch Drive: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB (You need a TON of scratch space for editing HD video)
  • Data Drives: 2X HGST 4TB NAS HDD's NO RAID (one dedicated to video files, one for everything else, plus a pile of external eSATA or USB 3.0 HDD's)
  • Power Supply: Corsair RM Series 650 Watt ATX/EPS 80PLUS Gold-Certified
  • Case: Fractal Designs Define R5 or R4 case (quietest cases I've ever used)
  • Card Reader: Rosewill 2-Port USB 3.0 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub eSATA Multi-In-1 Internal Card Reader with USB 3.0 Connector
  • Optical Drive: LG 14X Blu-Ray Burner
  • Op. System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro - 64-bit - System Builder - OEM (Eligible for purchase with a new SDD, HDD or MB)

Nice system. For anyone wanting to save money drop to 16GB RAM, and i5 or a non-K processor, standard cooling (Noctuna is good), a cheaper video card (nVidia 820 or whatever). Standard SATA SSD may be better in case it ever needs to be moved to another PC, not all motherboards have the M.2 port, and there may be a cheaper version of the motherboard that doesn't have that port.


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bumpintheroad
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Jul 06, 2015 03:26 |  #8

tim wrote in post #17622216 (external link)
Nice system. For anyone wanting to save money drop to 16GB RAM, and i5 or a non-K processor, standard cooling (Noctuna is good), a cheaper video card (nVidia 820 or whatever). Standard SATA SSD may be better in case it ever needs to be moved to another PC, not all motherboards have the M.2 port, and there may be a cheaper version of the motherboard that doesn't have that port.

I would definitely not drop the RAM if editing video. The M.2 SATA is going to perform considerably faster on this motherboard than one attached to the normal SATA bus due to the MB's architecture. In fact I would even suggest getting a 256 or 512GB M.2 card and using that for your scratch disk instead of a regular SSD on a video editing system, but it's a bit more tricky for a layperson to get that setup right. You could get by with the locked version of the i7-4790 to save a bit, too, as most people don't overclock. The Noctua cooler is actually more expensive than the Corsair liquid kit and doesn't help in getting the heat out of the chassis. You could also get Windows 8.1 standard instead of Pro to save a bit, as most people don't need Bitlocker, incoming RDP or domain membership.

But if you're only interested in photos I'd:

Replace the motherboard with a GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
Drop to a locked i7-4790 or even an i5-4690
Only 16GB of PC-1600 RAM
250GB system SSD with no separate scratch SSD
Single GTX-750 (even editing photos, Adobe still takes advantage of graphics cores)
Single 3TB HDD
Windows 8.1 64-bit System Builder Edition (OEM)

That will bring your down to around $1,450 for what's still a kick-butt system for anything except professional video editing.


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-dave-m-
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Jul 06, 2015 08:30 as a reply to  @ bumpintheroad's post |  #9

The Samsung 850 Evo M.2 performs exactly the same as the normal 850 Evo plugged into a SATA port. The 850 Evo M.2 does not use PCIe lanes, it has the same SATA controller as the normal 850 Evo, the only difference is the size.

If you want PCIe performance from an M.2 drive you will need to get something like the Kingston HyperX Predator or Samsung SM951.


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tim
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Jul 06, 2015 15:00 |  #10

bumpintheroad wrote in post #17622248 (external link)
I would definitely not drop the RAM if editing video. The M.2 SATA is going to perform considerably faster on this motherboard than one attached to the normal SATA bus due to the MB's architecture. In fact I would even suggest getting a 256 or 512GB M.2 card and using that for your scratch disk instead of a regular SSD on a video editing system, but it's a bit more tricky for a layperson to get that setup right. You could get by with the locked version of the i7-4790 to save a bit, too, as most people don't overclock. The Noctua cooler is actually more expensive than the Corsair liquid kit and doesn't help in getting the heat out of the chassis. You could also get Windows 8.1 standard instead of Pro to save a bit, as most people don't need Bitlocker, incoming RDP or domain membership.

But if you're only interested in photos I'd:

Replace the motherboard with a GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
Drop to a locked i7-4790 or even an i5-4690
Only 16GB of PC-1600 RAM
250GB system SSD with no separate scratch SSD
Single GTX-750 (even editing photos, Adobe still takes advantage of graphics cores)
Single 3TB HDD
Windows 8.1 64-bit System Builder Edition (OEM)

That will bring your down to around $1,450 for what's still a kick-butt system for anything except professional video editing.

Largely agree with you, I know little about video. As mentioned above I use dual SSDs for imaging the OS into smaller files, but I wonder if partitioning an SSD is a good option. I'd probably drop to an even lower video card for photo, Adobe uses it but only slightly right now I think, and they're trivial to upgrade later.


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Luckless
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Jul 06, 2015 15:56 |  #11

I'm not totally sold on using M.2 drives yet. I haven't taken the time to really dig into stats and the market, but the last I looked it appeared that most of the M.2 drives that were priced in a comparable manner to SATA drives were ones that were actually only running SATA logical interface anyway rather than the multi-lane PCI-e, and offered no real gains to them. Possibly useful if you happen to be out of SATA ports on your board and have the M.2 slot still open, but as far as I'm aware you're going to pay a decent chunk more per Gigabyte of SSD storage if you go with the faster versions of M.2 connector drives. SATA SSDs are already a very decently quick interface as they are, and personally I would rather have access to more over all storage or simply save my money.

For OS level stuff I am perfectly happy with just about any SSD. I can't say I really notice a difference between using an 'ancient' early generation SSD for the OS and application files compared to using a roughly similar system that has it hosted on a 'far faster' PCI-e memory module. It can make a difference for pulling and pushing actual working data.

I also barely notice much of an impact when the applications are mostly on spinning disk, assuming they're not really fetching or writing much from them after launch. Sure, it loads faster, but I don't exactly spend my day opening and closing the programs themselves.

A small 'cheap' SSD for OS and core applications, the fastest drive you can for your working data, and then spinning drives for bulk storage and stuff you don't really need to worry about actively using (but still want easy access to), along with spinning disks for backups, is my preferred setup style.

If you are getting into serious video editing and want to invest the money, then having multiple SSDs for data in, data out, scratch drives, etc, may be worth looking into, but that is getting into fairly significant investments and demanding workflows.


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-dave-m-
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Jul 06, 2015 19:05 |  #12

Luckless wrote in post #17622788 (external link)
I'm not totally sold on using M.2 drives yet. I haven't taken the time to really dig into stats and the market, but the last I looked it appeared that most of the M.2 drives that were priced in a comparable manner to SATA drives were ones that were actually only running SATA logical interface anyway rather than the multi-lane PCI-e, and offered no real gains to them. Possibly useful if you happen to be out of SATA ports on your board and have the M.2 slot still open, but as far as I'm aware you're going to pay a decent chunk more per Gigabyte of SSD storage if you go with the faster versions of M.2 connector drives. SATA SSDs are already a very decently quick interface as they are, and personally I would rather have access to more over all storage or simply save my money.

For OS level stuff I am perfectly happy with just about any SSD. I can't say I really notice a difference between using an 'ancient' early generation SSD for the OS and application files compared to using a roughly similar system that has it hosted on a 'far faster' PCI-e memory module. It can make a difference for pulling and pushing actual working data.

I also barely notice much of an impact when the applications are mostly on spinning disk, assuming they're not really fetching or writing much from them after launch. Sure, it loads faster, but I don't exactly spend my day opening and closing the programs themselves.

A small 'cheap' SSD for OS and core applications, the fastest drive you can for your working data, and then spinning drives for bulk storage and stuff you don't really need to worry about actively using (but still want easy access to), along with spinning disks for backups, is my preferred setup style.

If you are getting into serious video editing and want to invest the money, then having multiple SSDs for data in, data out, scratch drives, etc, may be worth looking into, but that is getting into fairly significant investments and demanding workflows.

M.2 SATA drives were mainly meant for laptops and ultrabook type applications due to the size. Also make for a tidy build in PC cases, eliminate cables and drive cages can be removed. I have a HyperX Predator PCIe drive in my new laptop. I also tried one of my 840 Evo's just to compare, boot time is marginally faster on the Predator, other than that I really don't notice any performance gain.

In my opinion for most normal PC use any decent SSD will do just fine.


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bumpintheroad
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Jul 06, 2015 23:27 |  #13

-dave-m- wrote in post #17622373 (external link)
The Samsung 850 Evo M.2 performs exactly the same as the normal 850 Evo plugged into a SATA port. The 850 Evo M.2 does not use PCIe lanes, it has the same SATA controller as the normal 850 Evo, the only difference is the size.

If you want PCIe performance from an M.2 drive you will need to get something like the Kingston HyperX Predator or Samsung SM951.

That was a typo; should have put the 951 on the BOM. I'll edit now. Thanks.


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bumpintheroad
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Jul 06, 2015 23:31 |  #14

tim wrote in post #17622731 (external link)
Largely agree with you, I know little about video. As mentioned above I use dual SSDs for imaging the OS into smaller files, but I wonder if partitioning an SSD is a good option. I'd probably drop to an even lower video card for photo, Adobe uses it but only slightly right now I think, and they're trivial to upgrade later.

There's no real performance benefit to partitioning IMHO. Defrag and consolidate free space, but don't do so unnecessarily on SSD because it will affect the theoretical life expectancy.


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bumpintheroad
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Post edited over 4 years ago by bumpintheroad.
     
Jul 06, 2015 23:50 |  #15

Luckless wrote in post #17622788 (external link)
I'm not totally sold on using M.2 drives yet. I haven't taken the time to really dig into stats and the market, but the last I looked it appeared that most of the M.2 drives that were priced in a comparable manner to SATA drives were ones that were actually only running SATA logical interface anyway rather than the multi-lane PCI-e, and offered no real gains to them. Possibly useful if you happen to be out of SATA ports on your board and have the M.2 slot still open, but as far as I'm aware you're going to pay a decent chunk more per Gigabyte of SSD storage if you go with the faster versions of M.2 connector drives. SATA SSDs are already a very decently quick interface as they are, and personally I would rather have access to more over all storage or simply save my money.

M.2 SSD's are certainly more expensive than regular SATA III SSD's, but they can utilize the parallel PCIe bus rather than a single AHCI bus. This line of Gigabyte MB's enable dual PCIe bus access, significantly improving throughput. The independent reviews shows NVMe devices putting out almost double the performance of SATA/mSATA ACHI devices. In real world we are seeing bandwidth able to write 4K video in real time and 2K rendering that's no longer constrained by disk speed. As with all other options you need to consider whether the increase in performance is worth the increase in cost. Typically, if you are editing video on a commercial basis you can finish and bill more projects in a day because you're spending less time waiting for video to move around or render. The ROI on M.2 is probably a week or less for a busy editor.

For OS level stuff I am perfectly happy with just about any SSD. I can't say I really notice a difference between using an 'ancient' early generation SSD for the OS and application files compared to using a roughly similar system that has it hosted on a 'far faster' PCI-e memory module. It can make a difference for pulling and pushing actual working data.

Luckless wrote in post #17622788 (external link)
I also barely notice much of an impact when the applications are mostly on spinning disk, assuming they're not really fetching or writing much from them after launch. Sure, it loads faster, but I don't exactly spend my day opening and closing the programs themselves.

A small 'cheap' SSD for OS and core applications, the fastest drive you can for your working data, and then spinning drives for bulk storage and stuff you don't really need to worry about actively using (but still want easy access to), along with spinning disks for backups, is my preferred setup style.

If you are getting into serious video editing and want to invest the money, then having multiple SSDs for data in, data out, scratch drives, etc, may be worth looking into, but that is getting into fairly significant investments and demanding workflows.

I assume you're not editing video on a daily basis. The original ask was about a video editing workstation. I believe I've provided a BOM for a system that will meet that requirement and didn't even charge a consultation fee. :)

But improving the performance of a system isn't about improving IPL's. Yes, the initial program load is usually the biggest read operation, but as you go through the menus and access different features, other DLL's will be called into memory and, as a matter of good memory management, ones that aren't used may be unloaded. Then comes the reading of the video clips, apply filters, overlays and effects. Creating layers. Each results in in-memory operations that need to get written to your scratch disk in the event of a crash. Rendering of video is a huge impact. If you're editing video 8 hours/day and each job takes you four hours, cutting down your render time by 15% allows you to finish an extra job EVERY WEEK For a production company that's an extra $500-$1,000 dollars billing per week.


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