Shopping list for a high end video system

Discussion in 'Buying Advice' started by ErwinD, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. ErwinD

    ErwinD

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    Aug 14, 2012 at 2:23 PM #1
    ErwinD

    ErwinD

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    With Multibeast 5 available it is time to build my very first Hackintosh with Mountain Lion.


    Purpose of the system: heavy video editing, FCP-X, 4K raw stuff, animations, rendering, lots of video crunching.


    I don't want to experiment with hardware endlessly so I want to follow the CustoMac recommendations. I need a fast, reliable and silent computer that runs and can do the job. But I do have a few specific questions.


    This is the shopping list so far:
    - Intel Core i7-3770K
    - Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5-TH
    - EVGA GeForce GTX 680
    - 32GB Corsair 1600Mhz DDR3
    - SanDisk Extreme SATA 6Gb/s 480GB SSD
    - some sort of Bluetooth adapter


    - Case: Corsair Obsidian 800D (big case with lots of space to add more components in the future) or Coolermaster Silencio 650 (smaller)
    - Power: Corsair AX1200i or AX650


    My questions:
    - the recommendations state 16Gb RAM, does it harm to use 32Gb? Will the system be a tad quicker?
    - the Gigabyte has an internal Firewire connection on the motherboard, how to make this an external connection?
    - the Corsair case is easily fitted with a Hydro H100 water cooler, is this preferable (think about noise levels etc) compared to a 'normal' cooler?
    - What power supply makes the most sense? AX1200i or AX650… (the system will be expanded with lots of HD's and an additional PCI computing card)
    - Anyone else has this Corsair case? Would you recommend this as a 'silent' case?


    Thanks a lot for the help!
     
  2. Mate94

    Mate94

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    Aug 14, 2012 at 3:03 PM #2
    Mate94

    Mate94

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    1. How knows... you don't do anything bad if you go with 32GB of RAM. :)
    2. No idea.
    3. I would get a big heatsink with air cooling instead the waster cooling.
    4. AX750
     
  3. zaptoons

    zaptoons

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    Aug 14, 2012 at 7:49 PM #3
    zaptoons

    zaptoons

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    Since you're using Final Cut X, it's a 64-bit app and therefore can use all the RAM you can throw at it. For what you want to do -4k video with lots of fx and animation- 32GB is great. Your GPU is a good choice too as it will do a lot of heavy lifting for real-time video rendering.

    The Corsair case you list has front-panel FW 400 (1394a), so will include a FW 400 motherboard connection. Here's a pic from the Amazon page of the case:
    [​IMG]

    If the mobo has 1394b (FW 800) you'd need to buy a front panel FW 1394b that fits in an open external 3.5" or 5.25" bay.
     
  4. ggeorge

    ggeorge

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    Aug 14, 2012 at 8:27 PM #4
    ggeorge

    ggeorge

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    If you want to do 3D modeling and rendering, the 680 is probably not a good choice, they suck at the double precision math necessary for that. A 580 performs much better for those sorts of tasks.

    I find the EVGA to be over priced, but they make a good reliable card. They are not generally known for being particularly quiet though. I'd consider an Asus DCII card. Keep in mind that a fair number of the quieter cards tend to have triple slot coolers, but given the limited number of PCIe lanes, this might not be an issue.

    You will want to consider a Samsung 830 or a Crucial M4. The sandforce based SSDs like the SanDisk have poor performance with already compressed data like video files, because they depend on compressing the data for much of their speed. The Samsung and Crucial M4s don't suffer from these issues. Neither does the OCZ Vertex 4 (the 3's or earlier are sandforce based), but the first two are a better established choices and the Agility 4s should be avoided currently.

    There aren't issues from a compatibility standpoint to either the Samsung or Crucial, though you may wish to activate the TRIM patch.

    You are almost certainly going to want some sort of a conventional HDD for storing non-working files. A blu-ray burner, wouldn't be a bad idea either, though the disks aren't cheap and IIRC you will need the software Toast to be able to burn blu-ray disks.

    More memory only helps if you are using more than the amount of ram available. If you are, it can make a dramatic performance difference to add more ram, but unless this is the case there is really no performance advantage. If you fill all 4 slots you would be increasing the memory bandwidth slightly, but in practice this is virtually unnoticeable.

    Working with large video files would tend to fit the bill for as much ram as you can get though. This does depend on exactly how high the resolution is and how long the videos are.

    Having more ram is also almost never a liability either. Though your sleep image (the file that saves your computer's last active state) is going to be at least as large as the amount of ram. On a small SSD a 32gb or 64 gb image can eat up a substantial portion of your storage capacity.

    The Hydro coolers work well, but tend to be noisy and the H100 costs as much or more than most of the top end air coolers, which work as well or better and are often significantly quieter.

    However, you need to watch out with some of the ram with the large air coolers. They can be incompatible with tall heat sinks on some of the ram, particularly the corsair vengeance memory. Which tends to have some stupidly large heat sinks on it.

    Noctua and Phantek make some of the top air coolers.

    I've heard good things about their cases, but you would be well advised to google some specific reviews on the case. Your case is going to be the dominant factor in how quiet the system is, along with your case fans, graphics card and CPU cooler in that order.

    Some companies that do custom gaming PCs will do additional sound proofing. Something like that might be worth looking into.

    http://www.avadirect.com/Silent-Desktop-Computers
    http://www.avadirect.com/silent-pc-configurator.asp?PRID=24724
     
  5. ErwinD

    ErwinD

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    Aug 15, 2012 at 11:08 AM #5
    ErwinD

    ErwinD

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    Thanks a lot for your insights. Reading and studying now!

    I will adjust my shopping list according to your info. 32Gb Ram is a go, will choose another SSD (more than one)... good to know. Since I rarely do 3D stuff it will be the 680.

    Are all GTX 680 graphics card compatible with Multibeast?

    The Asus GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU has great reviews but it is 3 slots big. Afraid it will cost me a PCI slot (which I need).

    EVGA is one of the few who has a 680 with 4Gb memory: according to the sources I read this tend to be very helpful when driving more monitors. I plan to use 2 x 2560x1600 30" and if possible an extra 1920x1200 27" = 3 monitors (video editors love screen estate).
     
  6. Dnk_Productions

    Dnk_Productions

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    Dec 18, 2012 at 4:32 PM #6
    Dnk_Productions

    Dnk_Productions

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    What did you end up going with. I have read that the 4Gb card doesn't work all that well with OpenGL. Also, with all the boards it seems that if you use a PCIe slot you are taking bandwidth away from the graphics card. Any experiences?
     

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