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Re: Budget computer build questions for Sony Vegas 11

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Dave HaynieRe: Budget computer build questions for Sony Vegas 11
by on Feb 24, 2012 at 7:59:15 am

[fred williamson] "GTX 460 vs GTX 550
Which is the better of two? They are both similar in price."


On paper and video games, the GTX 460 will have the edge. Not sure precisely how this translated to OpenCL/CUDA performance, but you could probably look that up somewhere.

[fred williamson] "SSD
I will buy 1 SSD for Windows 7 64 and 1 large HDD for other files. Would it be best to install Vegas to the SSD and keep project files on the HDD? Or should everything be on the same SSD for this setup?"


It's fine to use the SSD as your system drive. Point your swap space at the HDD to minimize wear on the SSD, and use the HDD for large files... most of the time. You'll find, if you get to large projects, that too many files on a single drive will slow down rendering. SSDs are fairly immune to this (seek delays... no actual seeking, though there's still overhead jumping from file to file), but you're not going to get a video-PC-sized-SSD and still claim "Budget PC" (I built a PC from spare parts (memory, HDD) and $200 in new parts (MB, CPU, case, flash drive, SATA cartridge bays, etc) a month ago... that's a "Budget" PC.. and for the lab, not video per se).

[fred williamson] "2500K vs 2600K cpu
The difference is about $100 but will Vegas 11 benefit and is the performance gain worth it to go with the 2600K? Overclock in the future is an option, but I will leave it stock for now.
"


I don't recommend overclocking. It can lead to unreliability and shorter CPU life (due to increased electromigration at temperature) unless you also spend big on a proper cooling system. I don't usually buy past the "commodity curve" (eg, when you get twice the performance for twice the money, you're buying "commodity")... Intel's $1000 processor today will be $200 in six months (well, it can happen... I paid $200 one winter for a CPU that had been $1000 the previous summer). With that said, Vegas loves CPU, and the best investment in Vegas performance is still a better CPU, at least until you get to the crazy price level. There's some evidence, too, that a faster CPU will need a faster GPU to really make GPU use worthwhile.

[fred williamson] "What would be the biggest bottleneck in the above setup? "

So, I ran this through a power consumption estimator.. you should too. I got a total of 440W for the stuff you have in there now, which is fine on a well designed 550W supply. Standard practice is for a supply to be 20% over spec -- I never accepted an OEM supply for any of my Amigas that didn't meet that in testing. But you'll find plenty of cheap-ass supplies that don't hold up. Antec has been a good company, at least in my experience.

But basically, you don't have room to grow with that supply. A modern supply will also usually hit peak efficiency at 50-60% load, so you don't want to go too crazy. You're not going to add another GPU right away (your MB seems to support several, but Vegas only uses one at a time right now), but you did mention overclocking. That 108W TPU for your i5 will jump up as you overclock; power consumption rises geometrically with frequency; it's also going up with voltage increases you typically apply to get the faster clocking functional.

I do believe it's more important to chose a quality PSU vendor than an overkill supply.

-Dave


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