Contribute
Register

Proposed GA-X79-UD3 + i7-3930K Build for Data Transfer and Video Transcoding

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
24
CPU
i7 3930k
Graphics
GTX 680
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Before I begin, I ask that this august community of experts will please have patience with my inexperience. This will be my first build and I am jumping in with big dreams, high hopes, and shaky confidence! Compounding my trepidation is the fact that I don't have much experience posting on forums such as this--please forgive my ignorance of protocol.

-------------

I need a computer for raw video data transfer and transcoding. My primary application involves a 10Gb Ethernet component that will need to be supported by a powerful RAID in a Windows environment. Secondarily, hopefully in a Mac environment, I want to be able to transcode the raw video files using Blackmagic's DaVinci Resolve.

Initially, I sketched out a Z77 build, but I had to abandon that plan because I learned that it wouldn't provide enough PCI lanes for the cards I need. So here is the latest iteration of my proposed build:

- MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 (I selected this because it was one of the few X79 boards with an ATX form factor, which I need to fit into the case and portable rack mount that I already have.)
- PROCESSOR: Intel i7-3930K
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB(x2) DDR3 1600MHz (low-profile, in case it interferes with cooling)
- GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680
- PSU: Corsair HX850
- 10GbE CARD: Myricom 10G-PCIe-8A-R
- SSD: Samsung 840 250GB

This is as far as I've gotten. I would love some input regarding the following components:
- COOLING
- RAID (I'll need at least RAID5)
- WiFi
- MONITOR (must be the best--just not $10K!)

First of all, however, for a noob like me, just getting the basic parts put together and the system running would be a major first step!

I haven't seen many posts in which people have used the GA-X79-UD3, so I'm wondering if there is some curse on that particular board that I don't know about. A few posts refer to the need for a modified DSDT, but as long as its possible and I can bend the ear of someone who has done it, I think I'll have a go myself. The specs seem to meet all of my needs and I'm not really concerned about the lack of Power Management--I don't use the sleep function anyway.

Now, I know I could do most of this with just a regular MacPro (several of my colleagues have), but I'm up for the adventure and hoping to learn along the way--even if it isn't 100% perfect. Thanks for helping me!
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Messages
123
Motherboard
GA-Z77MX-DH3
CPU
3770K @ 4.5 (-0.01 Offset)
Graphics
Nvidia GeForce GTX680
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
SB-E has 4 channel memory controller (IB has 2 channel), so should use 4 sticks of ram to get full benefit of the architecture.

I'm intrigued what you need the added PCI lanes for...

EDIT: I see now, for the raid card, and maybe a capture card...my bad.
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
24
CPU
i7 3930k
Graphics
GTX 680
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
SB-E has 4 channel memory controller (IB has 2 channel), so should use 4 sticks of ram to get full benefit of the architecture.

I'm intrigued what you need the added PCI lanes for...

Thanks for the RAM tip--should be easy enough to get four 4GB sticks instead.

The PCI issue is still a bit fuzzy in my fetal noobie brain! To the best of my understanding, I need an X79 machine to get the best performance from the PCIe cards I will be using. Here is how I've figured it:

- x16 GPU = 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes
- x16 10GbE Fiber Channel = 8 PCIe 1.1 lanes
- x8 RAID Card = 4 PCIe 2.0 lanes (I'm guessing here, since I haven't picked out a RAID card yet.)

Initially, I looked at the GA-Z77-UP5-TH board, but the 10GbE card in the second x16 slot limits the GPU to only 8 lanes. Adding the RAID card halves the 10GbE card to only 4 lanes--and four lanes of the slower PCIe 1.1 at that!

As I have understood it, LGA 1155 only provides 16 lanes of primary PCI in limited configurations. LGA 2011, on the other hand, provides 40 lanes.

If I have misunderstood something here, please correct me! Thanks for taking the time to help!
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Messages
123
Motherboard
GA-Z77MX-DH3
CPU
3770K @ 4.5 (-0.01 Offset)
Graphics
Nvidia GeForce GTX680
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Thanks for the RAM tip--should be easy enough to get four 4GB sticks instead.

The PCI issue is still a bit fuzzy in my fetal noobie brain! To the best of my understanding, I need an X79 machine to get the best performance from the PCIe cards I will be using. Here is how I've figured it:

- x16 GPU = 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes
- x16 10GbE Fiber Channel = 8 PCIe 1.1 lanes
- x8 RAID Card = 4 PCIe 2.0 lanes (I'm guessing here, since I haven't picked out a RAID card yet.)

Initially, I looked at the GA-Z77-UP5-TH board, but the 10GbE card in the second x16 slot limits the GPU to only 8 lanes. Adding the RAID card halves the 10GbE card to only 4 lanes--and four lanes of the slower PCIe 1.1 at that!

As I have understood it, LGA 1155 only provides 16 lanes of primary PCI in limited configurations. LGA 2011, on the other hand, provides 40 lanes.

If I have misunderstood something here, please correct me! Thanks for taking the time to help!

You can get 8x8x4 from z77, which is fine for the GPU (PCI 3.0x8 has more bandwidth than PCI 2.0x16) and 10GbE card, but only 4 lanes for the raid card is a problem.

There are z77 boards with added PCI lanes via a PLX chip, but not sure how that works in OSX, and they cost a lot, narrowing the gap between z77/lga2011.

So yeah, seems like 2011 makes the most sense (plus, I don't do any image processing, but it seems davinci is well threaded, so maybe SB-E makes more sense anyway.)
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2012
Messages
180
Motherboard
Mac Mini
CPU
2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo
Graphics
320M
Mac
  1. Mac mini
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Power management on LGA 2011 builds are not present. Meaning, no speed-stepping, sleep, etc.

The added performance increase from the 3770K to the 3930K is, in my option, not worth the decrease in functionality. The performance difference is small when you consider overclocking.

Are these things important to you and your system usage?
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
24
CPU
i7 3930k
Graphics
GTX 680
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Power management on LGA 2011 builds are not present. Meaning, no speed-stepping, sleep, etc.

The added performance increase from the 3770K to the 3930K is, in my option, not worth the decrease in functionality. The performance difference is small when you consider overclocking.

Are these things important to you and your system usage?

The power management limitations of 2011 aren't really a concern for me--this rig will be either off or operational at full tilt, chugging through bits and bytes. Plus, as noted, I need the PCI lanes that I get with a 2011 build.

My greatest concern at this point is the hackability of the GA-X79-UD3 motherboard. I've only seen a couple user builds with that board, so as a first-timer, I feel a little anxious about blazing my own trail. If anyone has a different X79 motherboard recommendation, I'm all ears. Keep in mind, however, that I need an ATX board for my rack mount case. Most of the X79 boards I've seen have been E-ATX.

Thank you!!
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2012
Messages
168
Motherboard
GA-Z77X-UD5H
CPU
i7 3770k
Graphics
Gigabyte WFIII GTX 670
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Best heatsink right now IMHO that has the best ratio of price/temperature/noise Noctua NH-D14. The fans it comes with are unnoticeable even cranked up to full rpm's, as is Noctua's reputation with all of their fan prodcuts. It is GIGANTIC though, so you will need to make sure it will fit inside your case, AND will fit over your memory slots(GSKILL RipJaws fit, Corsair Vengeance doesnt, there is a whole compatibility list on their website). Running prime95 on a 3770k@3.5ghz the cpu temp was only 50C...and the fan was inaudible.
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
111
Motherboard
Asus
CPU
Intel
Graphics
Radeon VII
Mac
  1. Mac Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
I recently built an x79 system with a 3930k specifically for video production and I'm very pleased with it. I used some different components than you, but will comment on what I know from my build and the large amount of research I did beforehand.

MOTHERBOARD/PROCESSOR: The UD3 is Gigabyte's lowest-end x79 motherboard. I've seen at least one successful build with it here on the forums, but it maxes out at 32gb of ram so you might want to consider the UD5 if you think you'll need more than that at some point. One of the benefits of benefits of LGA 2011 is that it can support up to 64gb. You might even consider using another brand. My system has an Asus Rampage IV Extreme (which is very expensive and might not be necessary for you), but it's a very compatible board and I had no issues building my system with it. Everything works except for the known x79 issues like power management(sleep) and speedstepping. It's worth noting, however, that you will get two states with x79 in OSX. My 3930 currently steps between its max clock at 38x(3.8Ghz) under load and its min at 12x(1.2Ghz) when idle, just not all the steps between.

SSD: When I first set out to build my system, I wanted to buy a Samsung 830 for my OS drive, but when I went to order they had all sold out. The 840(non pro) uses TLC nand instead of the common MLC from the 830. The 840 pro, which has much faster writes than the non pro, uses MLC. Samsung makes a great SSD but TLC is still too new for me to bet my system on it. I went with the Crucial M4 256gb since I've read a lot of positive things and got it for a great price.

RAM: I'm running Corsair Vengeance 32gb. Just so you know, the Vengeance also comes in a low profile version which would work with the Noctuna cooler. Quad channel is definitely the way to go, so depending on how much ram you'd like to end up with, I'd try to go with a 4 stick kit.

GPU: Is there a particular reason you've chosen the 680? Judging by the scores on PPBM5 (ppbm5.com), there's clearly some benefit, but it comes at a serious cost. I went with the 660ti since it seemed to hit a sweet spot for performance/cost. If you check out PPBM5 make sure to check out the system that each card is installed in. It seems pretty consistant that the 680 is installed in beefier systems, which will also play a part. In addition to CS6, I also use Resolve, but I'm not exactly sure how each card performs there. I know that my 660ti is a significant improvement over my 460 in both apps. I've also read that the 5xx series cards are great performers, and excel in some areas against the 6xx series, since they have more bandwidth and handle certain types of processing better. Resolve is also good at using more than one GPU.

COOLING: I'm currently using the Noctuna U12P SE2 which I took from my old system(i7 920). Luckily my motherboard came with a special 1366 mounting bracket so I could use the cooler with it. I love the quality of this cooler, so I really didn't want to get rid of it. I typically idle around 35 and under full load, like a 99% transcode on all 12 threads, will hit about 60 or 61. It's fairly cool in my office though, so I'm sure the ambient temp helps. In regard to my RAM, the Vengeance I currently have fits around my cooler, but I won't be able to add the another 4 sticks for 64gb unless I go with the low profile version, or switch my cooler.

MONITOR: How color precise do you need to be? There are some decent monitors in the $1000-$2000 range, like the NEC PA271W-BK(?), but if you need something more definite, there are monitors like the Flanders around $5000 or the new Sony OLEDs. You could also go plasma and some very good calibration. Everything I grade myself at home is for web delivery, so I'm not super worried about it being exact. I'm also looking for a new monitor(24"), but something rather inexpensive. I've read some good things about the ASUS PA246Q, but still need to do more research. If i need to deliver for TV or cinema, I have the work colored elsewhere or I rent time at my buddy's suite.

Again, I'm very pleased with my current setup. I spent a little bit of time debating whether or not I should save some money and go with 1155 over 2011, but not having the 6 core processor, 64gb of memory, and the additional PCI bandwidth, were not really options for me in the end. In my research, there are a handful of successful x79 builds running a number of different motherboards, so it's not necessary to just stay with Gigabyte. My motherboard specifically has had numerous user builds who are happily running OSX. For those few small things like sleep, you could always try a sleepenable.kext, but like you, I don't have the need to sleep my machine.

Edit: I just realized the UD5 is eatx. There are a number of super solid Asus boards that are regular atx though, including rhe UP4 from Gigabyte. I don't know much about that board though
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
238
Motherboard
ga-x79-ud3
CPU
i7
Graphics
nvidia gtx 660
Ok I have the Gigabyte UD3-X79, which I brought when it first came out, but I have only recently installed Lion on the machine.

My experience:
this was by far the easiest system I have ever installed OSX on. There are posts detailing the Multibeast post-install details, but they were minimal. I used no DSDT and chose Lion over Mountain Lion due to quirks with FCP (although I use mostly Adobe Premiere). In part this is of course due to the superlative advancements of Tonymac's tools, but otherwise UEFI and Gigabyte seem to have helped too.

I also chose this X79 board for the exact same reason of available lanes for external raid cards and sata connections (yes, video editing).
I have an older Decklink HD extreme card for the video monitor in addition to a old GT440 for the system monitor, all work just fine.
I use the Decklink for sound since it is better than the MB anyway, so no DSDT or sound-kext problems for me. The Black Magic drivers work fine for sound. The native sound does show up as an option tho, and does work.

You ask about cooling, I chose a relatively cheap but highly rated Thermalright True Spirit: mostly for its relatively small size and nice price.

The only quirk is as reported. Power management, but when you are editing video you want fulll-speed-ahead anyway.

At first I did have problems with shut-down/restart, but that is because I forgot to install nullcpumanagement in the extra folder. Or does anybody have a better solution for this?
Good luck.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top