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Author Topic: New Photo / Video editing machine  (Read 5101 times)

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« on: March 10, 2010, 09:22 »
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So I thought i would post here to see if anyone had some thoughts on this set-up.  I am looking to upgrade my machine as both bridge and after effects are getting pretty slow

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This Week

BUDGET RANGE: I am willing to spend a bit to get a good machine but everything within reason.  I want value for my money but am willing to spend money.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Photoshop with large files, Premier, After Effects.  I am looking for quick render times.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: speakers, mouse, keyboard, monitor

Power (already have this):Thermaltake Toughpower W0224RU 850W ATX 12V 2.3

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe - probably not though

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 2560x1600 30"

Case: Zalman GS 1000 or Corsair Obsidian 800
Mother Board: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
CPU: Intel Core i7-930 2.8GHz 8MB
RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM
Video Card: Recommendations?
Sound: onboard

HDD boot: Samsung 10,000 RPM 120GB (already have)
HDD cache: perhaps an SSD drive?
HDD storage: a few drives I already have

So any thoughts on this system? I think trying to pick a video card is always a headache. 


KB

« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2010, 11:09 »
0
Looks good to me, Tyler. I put together a fairly similar system back in July, and I've been more than happy with it. One thing that upped the price of my system a bit was that I concentrated on making it silent (or as silent as reasonably possible). I've been thrilled with that, as it is far below the ambient noise of the room (another system), except those times when the fans kick up to a higher rpm due to some video encoding going on.

My specs:
i7 920 2.66GHz 1366
ProlimaTech Megahalems cooler
Asus P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366
OCZ Platinum 6GB (x2) DDR3 1600
HIS Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3
Antec P183 case & CP-850 PSU
Hard drives are mostly 7200.12 1TB Seagates (cool, quiet, and fast)

If gaming isn't important (and I assume it isn't, since it isn't on your list), I'd think a Radeon 5670 is as high as you'd want to go. If you want something passively cooled, I think you have to drop down to a 5450. I don't believe the difference between the two cards would be at all visible in Photoshop, Premiere, or AE. But one thing with the 5450 is that it may or may not be capable of vector adaptive deinterlacing (the last I read of it, the verdict was still not clear). It isn't a big deal for me, and I'd probably go with the 5450 if I were building a new system today. But YMMV.

Bet you'll love this system!

« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2010, 07:53 »
0
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Update - New revision

Power (already have this):Thermaltake Toughpower W0224RU 850W ATX 12V 2.3
Case: Zalman GS 1000
Mother Board: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
CPU: Intel Core i7-930 2.8GHz 8MB
RAM: G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Video Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150442
Sound: onboard
HDD boot: 10,000 RPM 120GB (already have)
HDD cache: 15,000 RPM drive - Fujitsu MBA3073RC 73.5GB 15000 RPM 16MB Cache
HDD storage: a few drives I already have

« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2010, 08:27 »
0
Two thoughts:

- Why so much memory?  Are you running a 64-bit O/S?  You are probably already aware of this, but just in case you aren't - a 32-bit O/S is only capable of using up to 4 GB RAM.  And while a 64-bit O/S can use more, the app also has to be designed to use more memory as well.  What apps are you thinking will use so much memory?

- Why a quad core?  Once again, an app would need to be designed to use multiple cores in order to take advantage.  Most apps do not take advantage of multiple cores.  What apps are you thinking will use the multiple cores?

Also, if you are interested in using a multi-core - Intel is supposed to launch a new line of 6-core and 8-core CPUs later this month.  So you might want to wait for the announcement.  The announcement might also bring prices on other CPUs down somewhat.

And AMD is coming out with 12-core CPUs as well.

« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2010, 08:47 »
0
Yeah, I plan on using Windows 7 - 64 bit.

Then I plan on running the regular Adobe Photoshop, After Effects and Premier all which gobble up the cores.

Yeah it is tempting to wait out for the next release but I have already been 'waiting' for almost a year for the next best thing.  It is soon time to take some action! :)

« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2010, 11:55 »
0
You probably already know this, but just in case...

If you plan on installing a 64 bit O/S, then you will also need to install 64-bit applications as well (otherwise you won't see much difference at all).  If you run 32-bit apps on a 64-bit O/S, the apps will continue to only see 2 GB of RAM (the limit for 32-bit apps).

Adobe Photoshop CS4 does provide a 64-bit version of their app, but it seems that many plugins don't have 64-bit support yet.  I'm not sure of the other Adobe apps.

You can read some more info on Adobe Photoshop CS4 and 64-bit here:

http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/photoshop-cs4-64bit-32bit.html

Also, you want to make sure that you get 64-bit versions of all of your drivers.

Finally, there is no upgrade path from 32-bit to 64-bit, you will need to do a complete reinstall of the O/S and all of your apps.

Hope that helps...

« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2010, 14:59 »
0
The more memory, the better in the future ;-)

Regarding BIG pictures, you'll need quite fast processing speed too.

Regarding graphic card:
No matter that you will have multiple cores, I advise that you take nVIDIA graphic card (quadro preferable).
It is just because it has CUDA and it can render extra for you ;-)

Cheers!

« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2010, 15:12 »
0
the adobe apps will suck out all the memory and cores they can :) but as mentioned a number of plugins dont have 64bit versions. Still gives the advantage that 32bit pshop can be told to use say 90% of available memory and there is plenty of memory left for other apps.

the 15k sas drive requires a sas controller, if you're not going all sas drives I'd wouldnt bother and drop in another 10k raptor.

video - http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_quadro_cx_us.html is designed for adobe apps, pity the $2000 rrp :)
personally I'm keen on the quadro / firepro cards but they are expensive

« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2010, 15:25 »
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This was probably a mistake Leaf. Posting what computer to buy among computer-tech freaks ;)

buy it !  The i7 are amazing.   64 bit problems exist but will be fixed.   

Tip: On my old 32 bit I changed something so each app could use 3Gig memory instead of 2.  (search 3gig switch)   Maybe useful for someone.

« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2010, 15:59 »
0


the 15k sas drive requires a sas controller, if you're not going all sas drives I'd wouldnt bother and drop in another 10k raptor.


thanks for the heads up.  I just saw that on another place too - I guess I will just be running 10k drives or SSD's

« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2010, 16:05 »
0
The more memory, the better in the future ;-)

Regarding BIG pictures, you'll need quite fast processing speed too.

Regarding graphic card:
No matter that you will have multiple cores, I advise that you take nVIDIA graphic card (quadro preferable).
It is just because it has CUDA and it can render extra for you ;-)

Cheers!

I'm so lost when it comes to video cards.  I have no idea if I should have a $100 or a $600 and what the difference would be.  There seems to be so many specs and opinions.

« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2010, 22:21 »
0
The more memory, the better in the future ;-)

Regarding BIG pictures, you'll need quite fast processing speed too.

Regarding graphic card:
No matter that you will have multiple cores, I advise that you take nVIDIA graphic card (quadro preferable).
It is just because it has CUDA and it can render extra for you ;-)

Cheers!

I'm so lost when it comes to video cards.  I have no idea if I should have a $100 or a $600 and what the difference would be.  There seems to be so many specs and opinions.

yes video cards are a killer. toms hardware has all the charts but for gaming and doesnt include the workstation cards :(

re hard drives.  people now seem to raving about the intel x-25 ssd, apparently much faster than any platter drive (but I'm not really up on it all anymore, but may be worth looking into)

WarrenPrice

« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2010, 14:45 »
0
Leaf,
I'm not stealing your thread, just using the information to help my shopping.  I've pretty much determined that my computer has to be portable ... Laptop. 

I think I have settled on the Sony Vaio but am having a hard time staying within my budget.  I've cut back on the processor, selecting the Intel Core i7-720QM processor (1.60GHz) with Turbo Boost up to 2.80GHz instead of the more expensive Intel Core i7-820QM processor (1.73GHz) with Turbo Boost up to 3.06GHz [add $300.00]

I didn't even see the one you mentioned ... i7-920QM as a choice.

I chose the cheaper processor but went with the most expensive Graphics Card, 1gb instead of the 512mb.

Also, I selected Genuine Windows 7 Professional 64-bit [add $50.00] because it has an XP mode, which accommodates most of my existing software.  Windows 7 Ultimate didn't seem to offer a lot more?

Also, went with 8gb RAM but could save $150 by stepping down to 6gb.  Would 6gb be enough?

I also am wanting to get into processing video clips.  Where are my biggest mistakes?

thanks

« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2010, 00:07 »
0
The more memory, the better in the future ;-)

Regarding BIG pictures, you'll need quite fast processing speed too.

Regarding graphic card:
No matter that you will have multiple cores, I advise that you take nVIDIA graphic card (quadro preferable).
It is just because it has CUDA and it can render extra for you ;-)

Cheers!


I'm so lost when it comes to video cards.  I have no idea if I should have a $100 or a $600 and what the difference would be.  There seems to be so many specs and opinions.


Hope this helps  ;D

Apple's Get a Mac - Broken Promises

« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2010, 14:00 »
0
The more memory, the better in the future ;-)

Regarding BIG pictures, you'll need quite fast processing speed too.

Regarding graphic card:
No matter that you will have multiple cores, I advise that you take nVIDIA graphic card (quadro preferable).
It is just because it has CUDA and it can render extra for you ;-)

Cheers!


Sorry for late response...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CUDA

http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/view.php?cid=3&id=2774

You should read that ;-)

After reading, you will know exactly what you need.

I'm so lost when it comes to video cards.  I have no idea if I should have a $100 or a $600 and what the difference would be.  There seems to be so many specs and opinions.


[ADDED:] PRICE RANGE:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce

So, I presume you will need somewhere around $200-$300...

OR:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/builtforadobepros.html
« Last Edit: March 15, 2010, 14:13 by Albert Martin »

« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2010, 15:58 »
0
The more memory, the better in the future ;-)

Regarding BIG pictures, you'll need quite fast processing speed too.

Regarding graphic card:
No matter that you will have multiple cores, I advise that you take nVIDIA graphic card (quadro preferable).
It is just because it has CUDA and it can render extra for you ;-)

Cheers!

Avoid QUADRO, go for a normal GPU, NVIDIA or AMD doesn't really matter. CUDA drivers are available for any NVIDIA GPU, AMD has support for OpenCL which is going to be standard for general purpose computing on GPUs. You don't need 1GB on the Graphics Card, 512mb is ok.

Ram: lots, as much as you can, if you save on the GPU go for more ram (12mb or 16mb). The biggest bottleneck for a PC is the available ram.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2010, 16:01 by Fran »

« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2010, 16:00 »
0

I'm so lost when it comes to video cards.  I have no idea if I should have a $100 or a $600 and what the difference would be.  There seems to be so many specs and opinions.

Go for a cheap one, they are all good enough for your needs :)

« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2010, 01:51 »
0
Ram: lots, as much as you can, if you save on the GPU go for more ram (12mb or 16mb). The biggest bottleneck for a PC is the available ram.

I'd say disk speed is ever more critical than ram. I don't remember when was the last time I used all of my 12GB ram. Check this comparison of SSD and a (fast) normal drive:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_Jz7IMwBt4[/youtube]

« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2010, 03:00 »
0
Yeah for accessing the drive an SSD is faster but when running Photoshop, once the program is open I won't be vising the C drive anymore so a fast SSD won't help me, only Ram and a fast scratch disk will.

« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2010, 03:44 »
0
Yeah for accessing the drive an SSD is faster but when running Photoshop, once the program is open I won't be vising the C drive anymore so a fast SSD won't help me, only Ram and a fast scratch disk will.
Scratch disk = SSD. You only need a scratch disk if you don't have enough ram, but I think that with 8 gigs that isn't a problem (I worked on 30k*20k res files with multiple layers and never ran out of RAM). You can check this if you use PS for a while and then check the efficiency in the status bar or just open the task manager to see how much ram you use. Not sure which version of PS you have, but 32 bit PS can only use 2 gigs of ram, well 3 gigs with the workaround I think. Not sure if you have any plugins that don't work with 64 bit PS.

You constantly access drives - every time you open/save an image. Also when developing raw images, batch processing a folder of images the speed difference is quite big.

And for graphics card: I'd also say cheap. I bought Nvidia Geforce 9600GT. For now not enough programs are able to use the power of the GPU (PS only has some fancy scrolling and stuff like that, in AE it helps previewing stuff but for actual calculations you still need CPU). Just check that it has all the inputs/outputs you need.

PS: I went with i7 860 because the motherboards are cheaper for 1156 socket and the speed difference is almost none.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2010, 03:46 by LostOne »

« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2010, 04:03 »
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Thanks for the thoughts.

When talking about accessing 'the drive' I was referring to the C Drive.  If I had a scratch disk it would probably be an SSD type, but I wouldn't be putting the scratch file on the C drive.  I also keep all my images on another separate drive.

My point was, that in order to keep Photoshop at top speed, I think I would be better filling up my ram than buying an SSD drive for photoshop to run from - which I thought you were suggesting given the video you linked.

I will be using 64bit windows.

« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2010, 05:02 »
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What I wanted to say: If you're gonna use a 32 bit photoshop/windows then SSD could come in handy for a scratch drive (because you can only use 2 or 3 gigs of ram). For a 64 bit setup with 8gigs of ram, I don't see much use of it being a scratch drive (how many 7 gig files do you have on your HDD? How much ram do you have now and how big is your scratch drive?). You would benefit more if you had it for your C - system/programs drive (OS/programs start/run much faster) or if you would temporarily save your files on the drive while you edited them(faster opening/saving files).

« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2010, 06:28 »
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What I wanted to say: If you're gonna use a 32 bit photoshop/windows then SSD could come in handy for a scratch drive (because you can only use 2 or 3 gigs of ram). For a 64 bit setup with 8gigs of ram, I don't see much use of it being a scratch drive (how many 7 gig files do you have on your HDD? How much ram do you have now and how big is your scratch drive?). You would benefit more if you had it for your C - system/programs drive (OS/programs start/run much faster) or if you would temporarily save your files on the drive while you edited them(faster opening/saving files).

Yeah that is a good point.  I am just using 32bit software now with 4gb of RAM. 

I will probably still have a scratch disk as other programs seem to make use of it, like bridge creating full size image previews and such - but as far as Photoshop is concerned you are right, if I had enough RAM the scratch disk probably wouldn't get used.

KB

« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2010, 17:47 »
0
What I wanted to say: If you're gonna use a 32 bit photoshop/windows then SSD could come in handy for a scratch drive (because you can only use 2 or 3 gigs of ram). For a 64 bit setup with 8gigs of ram, I don't see much use of it being a scratch drive (how many 7 gig files do you have on your HDD? How much ram do you have now and how big is your scratch drive?). You would benefit more if you had it for your C - system/programs drive (OS/programs start/run much faster) or if you would temporarily save your files on the drive while you edited them(faster opening/saving files).
I had a 20GB scratch disk on my system (specs above), and there were times when I brought PS CS4 to its knees because of all the disk swapping. It was pretty much unusable at those times, so I ended up reconfiguring my system to create a much larger scratch disk.

The optimum size of the scratch disk depends on the size and number of files you open, and (most importantly) how many levels of undo you have configured. I like a lot of levels of undo.  ;D

« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2010, 05:34 »
0
Looks good to me, Tyler. I put together a fairly similar system back in July, and I've been more than happy with it. One thing that upped the price of my system a bit was that I concentrated on making it silent (or as silent as reasonably possible). I've been thrilled with that, as it is far below the ambient noise of the room (another system), except those times when the fans kick up to a higher rpm due to some video encoding going on.

My specs:
i7 920 2.66GHz 1366
ProlimaTech Megahalems cooler
Asus P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366
OCZ Platinum 6GB (x2) DDR3 1600
HIS Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3
Antec P183 case & CP-850 PSU
Hard drives are mostly 7200.12 1TB Seagates (cool, quiet, and fast)

If gaming isn't important (and I assume it isn't, since it isn't on your list), I'd think a Radeon 5670 is as high as you'd want to go. If you want something passively cooled, I think you have to drop down to a 5450. I don't believe the difference between the two cards would be at all visible in Photoshop, Premiere, or AE. But one thing with the 5450 is that it may or may not be capable of vector adaptive deinterlacing (the last I read of it, the verdict was still not clear). It isn't a big deal for me, and I'd probably go with the 5450 if I were building a new system today. But YMMV.

Bet you'll love this system!


thanks for the extra info.  It looks like the graphics card I picked out is a little overkill as Photoshop doesn't make much use of the GPU.  For a 30" monitor I also found out I will need a dual DVI out card.

So assuming I want a Radeon card and just picking a Sapphire brand to narrow it down and 1GB memory perhaps these are my choices

Maybe this card would be plenty for my uses
SAPPHIRE 288L Radeon HD 4650 1GB 128-bit DDR2 $85
or this one
SAPPHIRE 100284L Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit
$150

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