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 Post subject: Proposed new build
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1811
Location: Northern New Jersey
I don't have any vendors for the parts yet because I'm waiting for prices to go down, and also for some new options to come to light.

I'm looking at a Xeon build, which will be used with both Pro Tools 10, Adobe Premiere Pro, and maybe some light Photoshop/Lightroom usage. Photoshop/Lightroom are only a maybe because I tend to do most of that work on my laptop with an external drive, rather than my desktop. I'm a TV/Digital Media major, with a concentration in Production, so I do a lot of HD Video editing (720p and 1080p), and with Pro Tools I do demo recording for bands, as well as having this system to match a Pro Tools system that I will be working with on campus, so I can transfer sessions back and forth, which is why I need something a bit more demanding.

http://ark.intel.com/products/65726/Int ... e-3_50-GHz
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/produc ... id=4281#sp

Those are the two important parts of the build, 77W CPU and a motherboard with dual Thunderbolt ports. I'm looking to condense all of my current external drives (7 total) down to 3. One just for scratch disk use, another only for personal data storage, and a third specifically for use with my laptop. I already have Thunderbolt on my 2011 MacBook Pro, which I use with a Blackmagic Intensity Extreme and Premiere Pro. I use a FW800 bus powered external drive for scratch data currently.

Because it's mATX, I have a lot of flexibility, but I plan to use:

Silverstone PS07B
Scythe Ninja 3 (If I can find one)
Antec HCG-400W
8GB DDR3 Samsung 30nm Low Profile (may end up buying 16gb if it's cheaper, but I don't run into problems with 8gb right now)
Western Digital 300GB Velociraptor

I have a Western Digital 640GB drive with my music, and other various backups that I access often that will also be put in.

For fans, I'm looking at Scythe Slip Streams, or Noctua fans, with ULNA adapters.

As far as a GPU, I currently have a pair of ATI 4850's I could use, but I will likely transfer my nVidia GTX260 if I need any more than the integrated GPU. I have a pair of Acer S211HL-BD monitors that I absolutely love. My audio interface is an M-Audio ProFire 2626, my video capture device is the Blackmagic Intensity Extreme, as mentioned before. I will end up getting a PCI-E x1 FW card for the 2626 and external drives.

Because Pro Tools includes a driver for read/write support to HFS+ drives, I don't need to worry about the formatting, I have never had a problem with it before. My MacBook Pro's external 500gb drive is formatted HFS+ because I had nothing but problems when I tried using it with NTFS formatted drives. I did enable NTFS support, but some updates likely started the problems with that.

Finally, I will say that if I'm able to go for an ITX build I probably will, as well as look into an external Thunderbolt connected GPU, so I can have it enabled/in use only when I need it. Overall I'm looking to have a lot of power on tap to keep the bigger projects under control. My current setup does take a long time to load Pro Tools 10, and most importantly, lacks thunderbolt and USB3.0. While USB3.0 is the easy fix, Thunderbolt is not something I can just add easily, and most of my devices will be taking that turn rather quickly, as it's easier for me to work on much faster transfer protocols.

I'm not interested in going SSD just yet, I know they're getting much better than they used to be, and I have an SSD in two laptops right now, but they're both cloud based, so they have next to no internal storage being used, aside from the OS.

If anyone has any comments or knows of better motherboards or options to go for, by all means, I'm not looking to actually buy the system for another couple months probably. Ideally, I'd like a physically smaller computer, which is why ITX is what I'd like, but mATX would be fine if that's all I can find. First and foremost, I need power, but the power is not to come at a cost of high power draw. Even at medium to high usage, I'd like to keep the power usage and heat down, which is why I opted for the 77W CPU.

I already purchased Windows 8 Pro, and will be holding off installing it until I get a new machine.

Thanks in advanced!

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|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed new build
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 708
Location: Denmark
Since the Antec HCG line of PSU's are marketed for gamers, I don't expect it to be quiet. Why not look at the Seasonic G 360? It's very quiet, has good electrical performance, reliable and cheap. It also received the Editor's Choice award here at SPCR.

The Ninja 3 is a bit outdated. You can find many other quality CPU coolers. If you don't want to spend many money, I can recommend the Arctic Cooling Freezer i30, Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO or the Scythe Mugen 3. And there are many other options.

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Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed new build
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1811
Location: Northern New Jersey
The Antec HCG series is among the few power supplies that are rated at continuous output, rather than peak. I do own a HCG-750W, and it is very quiet. My thoughts behind going for that PSU are that if I do end up upgrading to higher wattage components, the HCG-400 has a peak output of nearly 500W, well above what I would need. They are also remarkably cool running. I have done installs with them before, and haven't found a loud example yet.

As far as the cooler goes, all of my other builds sport Ninja's for cooling, more of a habit than anything else to list that. I do enjoy the Ninja's design more than most other coolers, but that's a component I am open to shopping for others for, so I will definitely look into the coolers you listed, and see what I like, as well as what will fit in the PS07B.

On a side note, I may also switch to the PS07W, depending on how I feel when I place the order, unless I can find an ITX board with at least one thunderbolt port by the time I order.

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|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed new build
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:37 am 
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Hiya. Could you clarify which PC components you already have and which are on the shopping list? Also, Velociraptor + live mic seems an oxymoron. :)

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed new build
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1811
Location: Northern New Jersey
Right now, nothing has been purchased for the system yet other than Windows 8. Just about everything I listed earlier is on the shopping list in terms of the components of this build.

The new 2.5" Velociraptors are very quiet, I use them in many builds currently, and am familiar with them. The older 3.5" raptors are a completely different animal. I do have a 300gb 2.5" velociraptor at my shop in a spare build, if you'd like me to try recording a sample of it during a disk read/write test.

Also, to clarify, this system is more a "post" editing station. Sessions will be imported for mixing and editing, but this desktop will likely never be used for recording purposes. I use my MacBook Pro for recording the initial setup, and save the session to an external drive. I simply require the ability to have the same interfaces plugged in for multiple headphone outs, as well as general continuity between all of my setups for the audio mapping in Pro Tools (send/receive effects, etc) as well as needing certain interfaces attached for doing tech support work.

As far as what motherboard I'm really looking for, USB3.0 is simply a luxury, I don't have any USB3.0 devices, and may never bother getting any. Firewire is a must have, and I can go for a PCI-E card if the motherboard's FW is unreliable*. Thunderbolt is the interface that I will absolutely need on the motherboard, for use with the Blackmagic Intensity Extreme for video work. I'd very much prefer an ITX board, but I know it's a tall order, so mATX will be fine as well. Ideally I'm looking to avoid an ATX motherboard altogether.

*There are also Thunderbolt to FW adapters I may use instead, as I will not need to have the audio interfaces and the Blackmagic plugged in at the same time.

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|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed new build
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:26 am 
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Posts: 625
Location: Germany
You'll run into problems, because afaik there is no mITX board with Thunderbolt available and only one from Asus µATX (1155). The only add-in cards with Thunderbolt i'm aware of sport a ExpressCard/34 interface.


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed new build
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:38 am 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
The HCG-400 is a variant of the Seasonic S12II. So, it's probably quiet at idle, but noticable at load if you stuff a 100W+ GPU in there. Looks like it's $46 online. Your stressed load power is maybe 120-130W with integrated graphics. If the goal is an inexpensive PSU, then it'll work. The G-360 is a viable alternative in the $50+ range and is ~10% more efficient at load -> 10W less heat at 100W.

GPU: Many of the DAW and video editing programs are using Open CL / Open GL and the gpu for acceleration. Probably worth looking to see if your older GPUs are supported. If you do go with a discrete GPU, consider moving up to a higher efficiency PSU in the $100-125 range. Seasonic X-400 passive, Seasonic X 560 semipassive, Kingwin LZP-550 semi passive.

Storage: SSD prices are getting pretty competitive with 128GB Samsung 830 and Crucial m4's as low as $80. Both are last year's designs , but are very robust. Don't know if rotating scratch disk is the limiter in your editing performance...but, might be worthwhile to get a 128GB for the OS/Apps and another for the scratch disk.

CPU cooler: the case has a height restriction of 165mm, so many tower coolers could fit - depending on mobo.

mITX: trades off size for limited flexibility. If you go this way, take a look at the Fractal Node 304 as it supports decent size cooler/GPU.

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed new build
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1811
Location: Northern New Jersey
I'm beginning to look harder specifically for the Gigabyte Motherboard, and may end up ordering one from Europe over the next week or so, along with the CPU, and buy the RAM and PSU when more sales come through.

I have an 80gb Intel SSD that I can test the system on, and see if it's something I trust long term, but right now, I'm still favoring the Velociraptor for now at least. Benchmarks and boot times aren't very important to me, I need it to be a reliable platform long term.

I'm also going to change one part of my ideas, and say that I may not get a PCI-e Firewire card, I'm starting to look at the Thunderbolt to FW adapters instead, as I am looking to have 2 Thunderbolt ports anyway. I may get both, but right now, that's somewhat an irrelevant side thought.

As far as the PSU goes, the X400 passive may get to warm in higher loads (during rendering) for me to trust long term as well, but I feel the X560 may be more than what I need. This is not going to be a constantly upgraded machine the RAM may change, but that's about it.

As far as scratch disks, I will primarily be using either USB3.0 or FW externals, with only one internal WD Black 1TB Scratch for my personal use (the 640 I currently have will be going into an enclosure for use). I'm making that change because of plans to do work over winter break, and I will be using an external drive provided by the client (and kept by them) to have a backup session in case of emergency.

I'm also decided whether the case will be custom, or still the PS07, as I have a friend who can do custom sheet metal/aluminum work very easily.

_________________
|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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