Need to upgrade

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rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Hi all

First of all I'm not sure if I'm posting a 'could do with advice question' in the right place as the title here revolves around working systems.

With that in mind I'll do both :D

I edit using PE4, it works for me, no real time constraints, don't make a living from it but am enthusiastic ;) The system is based on an Intel Pentium 4, 2.8GHz/1m/800 on an Asus P4P800S-X motherboard with 2GB PC3200 DIMM DDR. Graphics card is an Asus Radeon 7000 AGP card with 64mb on board. Storage are 2 SATA 7200rpm HDD's, 120GB Samsung set as the OS drive and a 320GB Hitachi as the working drive. Capture is via a Pyro basic DV Ieee 1394a card. DVD writer is a Pioneer DVR-108 and backup storage is 1 Seagate 1TB Free Agent external drive. All this on the PE4 recommended Windows XP with SP2 installed.

The above system is good, works well, I've never had a problem with it editing SD and although it isn't what I would term the fastest solution, like I said I'm not in any great rush and try to enjoy what I create.

Ok, some of you that read this will know I usually film wildlife stuff but was asked to film a wedding a couple of weeks ago which was a first for me. Not only was that a first but also putting together anything over 5 mins of HD footage since I've upgraded the camera kit to HD is also a first and let me say from the outset that editing HDV on the above system is a non starter! :eek:

So, I'm looking at doing a new build. I want to put together a system that will edit HD, will work on a 32 and 64 bit OS so that maybe later this year I could look at some 64 bit editing software to upgrade to (CS5 if I can run to it) but will work fine at the moment on PE4 so I can get a copy of the final product out ASAP.

I'm looking at either a i7-2600K 3.40GHz, i7-2600 3.40GHz or i5-2500K 3.30GHz. If using the i7 I was looking at possibly the Asus P8P67 PRO REV.3.1. though this board says it supports the i3, i5 and i7. 8GB of memory to start with though for the duration of this project I understand XP won't see 4GB of it. For graphics I thought the Gigabyte Nvidia GTX460 1GB (there is and over clocked version too?). For storage a couple of Samsung 1TB - F3 SATA-II. The Blu-ray burner I'm open to suggestions at this point.

I'd appreciate any feedback and sorry if (a) the request is in the wrong place and (b) for the length of the post :D

Thanks in advance

Ron

Gavin Gration
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Joined: Jul 29 1999

They are flying machines - I've just built a system around an Asus P8Z68.

I7 2600K, an old 320gb SATA boot drive, a pair of WD Caviar Black 1TB and an old GT240 Nvidia card - it really does shift with CS5.

Mine has on old LG BDRE drive and a Matrox MXO2 attached.

The rendering speed is phenomenal. We do a lot of transcoding/standards conversions and this thing is much quicker than the Q6600 system it replaces.

I've fitted 8GB for now but it will take up to 32GB when 8GB sticks are readily available at a reasonable price.

I cannot say how well it would run XP - you may need to faff around with SATA drivers if you can't get it to play nice in IDE mode.

I bought the K version of the 2600 but can't decide whether to bother over-clocking it. I've read that it's just a case of letting the motherboard auto-overclock feature do it's stuff - at least for basic but apparently decent performance boost.

I may have to fit a new graphics card - probably an Nvidia 570 - the GT240 is working fine but I am short of a CUDA card for another machine so it makes sense to fit a better one to the new system.

It cost me around 500 incl VAT to upgrade - cannibalising an older machine for various bits.

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Thanks for taking the time to reply Gavin.

Your P8Z68 system sounds about right, just the kind of thing I'm now looking for. Like I mentioned in my first post, the old Asus P4P800 based system is pretty good on the existing XP based system for SD editing on PE4, it isn't lightning quick but it does fine for what I've done to date and I'm in no great rush in the main. This new, one off project in HD is huge, well to me anyway :eek: and waiting for rendering and the speed the time line takes to catch up is so slow I could have a day out while I'm waiting!

I'll take a look at the P8Z68 and do a comparison with the P8P67 I was looking at. Yours is tried and tested so I may go down the same road as yourself. Regarding XP a little temporary tweaking will do I'm sure, once I have this wedding project out I'll move to a 64 bit OS system (Win7) and I'm pretty sure I'll go for CS5, I think it's ok with Win7 but will of course check first.

It's a minefield out there now, so many different options it gets confusing ... or is that my age :confused: It doesn't seem that long since I built my first 286 system, loads of RAM ... 384k and every slot filled and a massive 5Mb HDD ... how did we survive!

Thanks again Gavin

Ron

Gavin Gration
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Joined: Jul 29 1999

There's a couple of things that might make the P8P68 decision easier....depending on what you think about the following....

The P8Z68 does NOT include the firewire header - we had one lying around so that wasn't an issue. I think the P8P68 has a proper firewire socket on the back of the board.

The Z version has the SSD cache trick - from what I can muster it doesn't help make apps run better - my guess is it's like ReadyBoost was - a waste of time for video editors.

What the Z version will allow is Intel QuickSync technology. There are some caveats. The 2600K has a better GPU (HD3000) - you need that. You also need a discrete graphics card AND have to have a monitor hooked up to the onboard video. I haven't tried it yet (there's a Beta plug-in for CS5) - but in time it may be worthwhile as more apps support it. In the same way that CUDA speeds up real-time playback QuickSync speeds up video processing/rendering/encoding.

More info here:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-review-intel-core-i7-2600k-i5-2500k-core-i3-2100-tested/9

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Thanks for the anandtech link Gavin, interesting read. I notice QL is only supported by 2 applications at the moment, have you heard of it being supported in anything like PE or CS in future versions?

I see what you mean about 2 displays, the on-board GPU has to be enabled for QL to work. Dose this mean the main editing display is the on-board GPU? Is there a need for a discrete GPU as well? If that is the case would my choice of discrete GPU not be a good one given the information given on the link you supplied do you think Gavin?

Whichever the case the Z seems to have the edge in many respects, the firewire isn't a problem, it can come out of the existing machine and I assume there is an option in the boards bios to turn off the 'SSD cache trick'?

Many thanks for this Gavin, it really is helping narrow down a huge field of options. I don't mind spending a little on a system even though this is a hobby for me, not a money making thing. At the end of the day I guess I like getting out more than editing but at the same time when it comes to editing it brings out the creative bit of me :)

Thanks again

Ron

Gavin Gration
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Joined: Jul 29 1999

CS5 plug-in is in Beta.

http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/adobe-premiere-propremiere-elements-encoder-plug-in-using-intel-media-sdk-and-intel-quick-sync-video-technology/

SSD not required.

I haven't explored QuickSync at all. Discrete GPU (CUDA enabled) is currently essential for HD workflow with CS5.

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Thanks Gavin

Just got back in so a quick late dinner/supper then I'll take a look at the Intel link.

Quote:
SSD not required

and

Quote:
Discrete GPU (CUDA enabled) is currently essential for HD workflow with CS5

... both duly noted. Better check that Discrete GPU I was looking at. Not much help with PE4 while I am still using it but a must have for CS5.

Thanks again Gavin

Ron

col lamb
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Joined: Jan 2 2010

If you are thinking about Adobe CS5 then you will need a 64 bit operating system.

A firewire pci card is only about £15 from CPC.

Avoid a P67 MOBO, Gavins suggestion seems to be the MOBO of choice at the moment for Sandy Bridge systems.

The choice of a Sandy Bridge based system is still a risk as there are not many well proven systems out there so only go with a system when trusted advice (such as Gavin's) can demonstrate that their system works.

Some NLE system builders/suppliers are still not supporting Sandy Bridge systems, see what Videoguys in the States have to say about them.

Col Lamb Lancashire UK ASUS P6X58D-E MOBO, 3.3GHz hex core i7 CPU, 12GB RAM, nVidia GTX580 GPU, W7 64bit, 500Gb boot, 1Tb RAID (Mirror) Store, 500Gb RAID (stripped), Edius 6.05, CS 5.5

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Hi Col

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I picked up your post last night and subsequently spent until the early hours reading over the 'Videoguys' site. Lots to read and take in. I see what you mean about the 'Sandy Bridge' systems and they clearly say they don't recommend it, sharing and so on.

You know what it's like, once you start reading something you don't stop, I had that many windows open I'm surprised the PC I use for internet use could keep up! :eek: I did many comparisons mainly on MOBO's, CPU's and GUI's, I'm also looking at RAID now!

Conclusions at this point, and I want to order by Monday so I can get this wedding project out, are to use the MOBO Gavin suggests or a close contender. If I may run this by yourself and Gavin I'd be interested in your thoughts. (alternative MOBO based on my reading last night):

Asus P6X58D-E (Asus site link to this MOBO)
Intel® Core™ i7-960 Processor (Intel site link to this CPU)
Asus GTX460 GUI (Asus link to GUI/) (not over clocked version)
Corsair Dominator 16384MB - 1333MHz PC3-10600 DDR3 DIMM 240pin 9-9-9-24
2x SAMSUNG 1TB - F3 SATA-II INTERNAL HDD (SpinPoint F3 HD103SJ, 7200 rpm) (could use in RAID config when I move to 64bit OS)
1x Seagate BARRACUDA 7200.9 500GB SATA-II - 3.5IN 7200RPM 16MB (OS and prog. use)

I'll use the DL DVD/R from the existing machine as Gavin did with some of his parts (BlueRay to be worked on) and will go for a bigger PSU (700watt) and system case ... possibly Coolmaster.

There are XP drivers I can use for the GUI on a temporary basis so I can still use PE4 but as soon as the project is finished I'll re-format the drives (backing up projects and data first to the external Seagate I have already) and install Win7pro before making a choice on 64 bit NLE.

I nearly have a plan :D

Thanks again guys, it may be a bit of reading and re-planning but I really do take note of what feedback and suggestions you take the time to give.

Ron

col lamb
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Joined: Jan 2 2010

Ron

I see you have changed your spec, a wise move.

The system you have should eat up your editing with ease.

I have the hex core 980 and that couple with the GPU easily handles native avchd files.

The Asus MOBO is one of the best as is the Gigabyte equivalent, I only went wth the Asus because that seems to be the one preferred by Edius users which I have been for a year.

That said I now have CS5.5 and that blows Edius away for sheer speed of editing.

I have a Stiped RAID for video files and another mirror RAID for storage, both set up in Windows 7 Disc Manager rather than using the utility that comes with the MOBO, its very easy to do and has worked flawlessly for the 9 months I have had my system running.

Do check on the memory on the Corsair website, they have a configurator, enter the MOBO details and it will list the actual part numbers for the Asus MOBO so you can be sure of compatibility

I have six hard drives in the case and a 750W power supply so you should be OK with that, I went for a LianLi case c£120 from Scan and that is very easy to work on.

I'm sure you will be amazed at the performance you will achieve.

Good luck and best wishes

Col Lamb Lancashire UK ASUS P6X58D-E MOBO, 3.3GHz hex core i7 CPU, 12GB RAM, nVidia GTX580 GPU, W7 64bit, 500Gb boot, 1Tb RAID (Mirror) Store, 500Gb RAID (stripped), Edius 6.05, CS 5.5

Gavin Gration
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Joined: Jul 29 1999

The X58 is a well proven platform. I took a chance building a Sandy Bridge system and luckily it's paid off for me.

If I was in a position where I couldn't afford to have made the wrong decision then I would have played safe and built an X58 based system instead.

I'm certain that either system will serve you well.

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Thanks Col and Gavin

Quote:
Do check on the memory on the Corsair website, they have a configurator ...

consider it done, will be there shortly.

In many ways Gavin I guess we all give it our best shot and keep our fingers crossed. Your system flies as you said and as they say, "if it ain't broke don't fix it".

I suppose at the end of the day, if we can put a system together that does the job of an off-the-shelf system at over 3 times the price (was looking at an HP at CVP the other day) and it works then there's that feeling of satisfaction and achievement.

It may seem odd asking for input as I used to lecture hardware configuration and build up until my heart attack 6 years ago, I'd done that for 27 years. How things have changed in the past 6 years and more importantly, I had always done standard office based systems ... with the exception of a satellite gathering system some A level students worked on as a project, but I've never had to build a video edit system of this standard. Still, I always used to tell my students, no matter what course, that I didn't know it all and there's no shame in asking if you don't understand or know. Hence my post :)

Once again, many many thanks guys, knowing what I know now I've cut back on planning time by a great amount just with your input. As soon as it's up an running, even in temporary XP mode for now to get this wedding video finished, I'll let you know how it all goes and of course later when I migrate to Win7 pro 64bit and whatever NLE software I choose then.

Thanks

Ron

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Quick update ...

Case & PSU due to arrive within the hour so I can spend a little time on assembly over the next few days (days because it's been one of those non-stop weeks and it looks set to span over the weekend).

FYI I ended up with the i7-960 on an Asus P6X58D-E with an ENGTX460, 3 Samsung Spinpoint F3 (HD103SJ) 1TB drives and 24GB* Corsair Dominator. Case is a Coolermaster CM 690 with Coolermaster ER Silent Pro 850W Modular PSU

So ... spot the mistake :o .... No? ... Earlier in this thread I said I was leaving the BR burner until later as I wasn't (and am still not) sure what to go for but would take the drive out of the old PC for now so I could get on with this edit. Well, should have looked at the interfaces for drives on the new board harder ... no ATA all SATA ... woops :( ... yeah I can see the giggling now :p

Won't be installing anything until I get a SATA drive so ... I'm open to suggestions on proven blue ray burners, SATA of course.

* 24GB is not for a temporary XP install, it won't see it anyway, but ready for Win7 pro 64bit. I also didn't know that Win7 pro 64bit can run 32bit apps with the addition of a free MS download. Learning all the time :D

Thanks in advance ... again

Ron

steve
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Joined: Apr 8 1999
rt2000 wrote:
Quick update ...

Won't be installing anything until I get a SATA drive so ... I'm open to suggestions on proven blue ray burners, SATA of course.

I fitted a LG BH08LS20 BluRay writer to my workstation I built a couple of years ago. Its been superceded by a faster one now (BH12LS35 which I think is 12x vs 8x speed) but it hasn't given me any problem discs yet.

rt2000 wrote:
* 24GB is not for a temporary XP install, it won't see it anyway, but ready for Win7 pro 64bit. I also didn't know that Win7 pro 64bit can run 32bit apps with the addition of a free MS download. Learning all the time :D

Thanks in advance ... again

Ron

I've been running W7 64 bit since late 2009 with 12GB RAM, and it doesn't seem to have any problems with 32 bit apps, It just installs them in a 'Program Files (x86) folder. No need to install any additional patches from MS.

Steve

Gavin Gration
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Joined: Jul 29 1999

Windows 7 Pro can have virtual XP to run legacy software that might not run under Win 7 itself.

LG here too - no snags.

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Thanks Steve and Gavin for your feedback, sounds like LG's do the job. I've managed a bit of reasearc tonight, came up with 4.

Plextor PX-B940SA, 4mb buffer
Sony BWU-500S-WW 8mb buffer
Lite-On IHBS212-32 8mb buffer
LG CH10LS20.AUAU 4mb buffer

I wonder if the 8mb buffer would help?

Regarding the Windows 7 XP mode. Reading your comments and what I read earlier, I think the additional software from MS is for software that won't run under W7 as you say Gavin and Steve confirms. Apps it will run it pops in the x86 folder. Will be going for the full pro version, as opposed to the ultimate. I understand it comes with the option of either the 32bit or 64bit version in the box.

Anyway, some shut eye now, busy day tomorrow and I want to order the BD so I can do some hardware assembly over the weekend.

Thanks for your input again guys, thoughts on the above BD units would be appreciated if you have any.

Ron

steve
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Joined: Apr 8 1999
Gavin Gration wrote:
Windows 7 Pro can have virtual XP to run legacy software that might not run under Win 7 itself.

LG here too - no snags.

I'm running W7 Home Premium and it runs many 32-bit apps fine, including Vegas Platinum 10.

Steve

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Looks like W7pro 32 or 64 should be no problem by the sound of it Steve. I'd pretty well made my mind up on W7pro anyway. I was looking at moving from my old PE4 to something a bit more creative, Vegas 10 seems to be the preferred option at the price though the cheaper option (Movie Studio HD) would be more on a par price wise to what I'm using now. That said I do like the advanced features V10 has to offer. Anyway, V10 works on W7 and that's the good to hear.

Narrowed the Blu-ray drives down to LG and Lite-ON, will sleep on it and take the plunge tomorrow! :D

Ron

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Hi, further update as promised :D

System mentioned above now up and working. Have put XP home on for the short term (about a month) until I move to W7 pro. Configured 2 of the 1TB disks for RAID and they seem to be working fine. Have installed PE4 and moved the already under-way project from the other PC. It now works a lot faster ... quiet a lot faster in fact! :)

Will feed back when I move it over to W7 pro 64bit, let you know how it works out.

Thanks for all the support guys

Ron

PS. Ended up with a Lite-On BD drive. Le you know how I get on after a BD and DVD burn.

Ben Longden
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Joined: Jun 10 2009

Ive just upgraded the office to a quad core doover running at 3.2Ghz.... Compared to the old system - a Pentium 4 at the same speed, the new machine will render a 60 sec file from .avi to H264 in three minutes, compared to the old one where it took ten.

Makes a bloody difference when you have a news deadline to make, I can tell you!!

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Yet another quick update.

Have burned my first ever BD-R and DVD-R on the new system. Footage was 1hr 15mins. It took 40 mins to burn the DVD and 4 hours to burn the BD-R. I know this will work faster once I can make use of the 24GB memory I have on the machine and get rid of XP in exchange for W7 pro.

Ron

Ben Longden
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Joined: Jun 10 2009

Ive upgraded to a quad core, 3.2Ghz with 4Gb of RAM and Windaz 7.....
Doing a denoise process, the processor was running at 75%, and the RAM at barely 15%...
Even rendering to H264, the figures were much the same..

Would you really need 24 gigs of RAM?

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Hi Ben

Quote:
Would you really need 24 gigs of RAM?

I understand that W7 sees past the 4GB XP memory limit and not all of the 4GB is available in XP, closer to 3GB in fact. With my pending upgrade to Win 7 pro and some new NLE software 24GB will make things much better and faster.

Ron

Ben Longden
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Joined: Jun 10 2009

Heres a question for the techeads amongst us....

My W7 quad core, 3.2Ghz 64 bit doover has 4Gb of RAM, and even while rendering an .avi file to H264, the RAM is working at about 45% usage (even though the processor rarely goes over 80%)..... so, even though Microsoft say W7 /64bit can have up to 192Gb RAM, the question is;

WILL IT WORK FASTER?

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Hi Ben

Quote:
... WILL IT WORK FASTER?

As I understand it, XP sees 4GB, it makes use of only 3GB (approx) the other is used for system hardware functions. I am, at the moment using PE4, basic edit sw as you may know but as a start it worked/works for me and it's something I've cut my teeth on.

With my first really big project I saw the limitations of my hardware and software but finance limited me to one step at a time, hardware first. That I can say works faster than the 2GB RAM, 2.4GHz CPU I was using as I now have a faster and better processor and double my RAM (for XP). The project is now complete apart from the artwork and printing.

The move to Windows 7 pro will, as you say Ben, give me access to more RAM (>192GB) for, as I understand it, 64bit applications (anyone correct me if I'm wrong). As I won't be changing editing software until about November I will use PE4 which will run in XP mode (again correct me if I'm wrong anyone) which I understand will use the full 4GB of memory. That will make things faster. When I buy my new NLE software in November I will make sure it runs in 64bit mode and can make full use of >192GB memory, or in my case 24GB. So, yes it will run faster under those circumstances and I've seen many articles on using as much memory as you can get on a number of sites/forums that members of this forum have pointed me to.

I think I'm about right with that Ben.

Ron

steve
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Actually, whether its XP or W7, it makes no difference to memory handling, it is the 64bit vs 32 bit OS that gives full memory addressing. 32 bit OSs will only have 4GB of address space, so with fixed mapping of some hardware and system overheads, this is reduced to between 3 and 3.5 GB.
To use the full memory range on a 64 bit platform, the application must also be written as a true 64 bit program. I think 32 bit apps. are granted their own 32 bit address space, so slightly better than sharing with all other apps..

Steve

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010

Hi Steve

Quote:
I think 32 bit apps. are granted their own 32 bit address space, so slightly better than sharing with all other apps..

That's what I meant by ...

Quote:
I will use PE4 which will run in XP mode (again correct me if I'm wrong anyone) which I understand will use the full 4GB of memory. That will make things faster.
Quote:
To use the full memory range on a 64 bit platform, the application must also be written as a true 64 bit program

That's why I'm looking at something a little more creative like Vagas which, from what I've read, is 64bit.

Ron

steve
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

I've got 12GB in W64 and 64bit Vegas 10 runs very well. I can render to some of the RAM which is quite convenient when developing a sequence with multiple clips, effects and filters.

Steve

rt2000
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Joined: Feb 24 2010
Quote:
I've got 12GB in W64 and 64bit Vegas 10 runs very well

Thanks for that Steve, very encouraging :)

Ron