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Jeff Bauer
Vegas Pro custom build with X99 chipset comments requested
on Sep 23, 2014 at 2:21:50 am

Thanks to all the great advice in this forum, I have decided to build my first computer. My primary objective is to have a great experience when using Sony Vegas Pro 13. By that I mean smooth timeline playback when editing HD content with multiple effects and transitions and “quick” rendering HD files for later burning to BD. I also want this system to be able to handle future upgrades to Vegas Pro and someday 4K editing. I will also use this computer for Photoshop CS 6, MS Office, and any number of mundane computing tasks and activities. I am not a gamer. Here is what I am looking at:
CPU: i7-5960X (8 core, 3.0GHz)
CPU Cooler: NZXT X61 (280mm water cooled AIO)
RAM: 32GB TBD MHz (probably 2133 -2800 depending on price at time of purchase)
MOBO: ASUS Rampage V Extreme
Video Card: Radeon R9 290
Boot Drive: 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD (Win 7 Pro 64 bit and programs) – SATA III (6G) connection
Projects Drive: 512 GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD (files for current editing project) – SATA III
Storage Drive: 4 TB WD Caviar Black HDD (all other files, scratch drive, renders, output) – SATA III
Optical Drive: Pioneer BDR-2209 Blu Ray burner
PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA 1000W Platinum
Case: NZXT Phantom 820

I was also thinking of purchasing three Noctura NF-F12 PWM fans to replace the rear case exhaust fan, and water cooler fans. I plan to cool the case with intake air from the front, bottom, and side and exhaust air out the back and top.

I also intend to use the Silverstone FP-57B to convert a front 5.25” bay to a hot swap bay where I will locate the Storage Drive.
I would appreciate any suggestions on my drive configuration (especially related to scratch drive and render locations) and cooling fan setup (especially for the water cooler fan placement). I would also be interested in thoughts on whether it is worth waiting until black Friday/cyber Monday to try to get some discounts on any of the components.

Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions on any items related to this build.

Jeff


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Dave Osbun
Re: Vegas Pro custom build with X99 chipset comments requested
on Sep 23, 2014 at 6:57:00 am

All those items will work very well. However, you state that you want "fast" render times. Your meaning of fast might be different than mine. Having an Intel Xeon CPU will yield the fastest render times currently available on the market, along with using a professional graphics card instead of a gaming card. But that'll increase your build cost.

Waiting until Black Friday to shop at Newegg's site might save you a few dollars, but maybe it won't.

Dave


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Dave Osbun
Re: Vegas Pro custom build with X99 chipset comments requested
on Sep 23, 2014 at 6:58:26 am

Oh-
And your cooling choice is overkill if you're not overclocking the CPU.


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Jeff Bauer
Re: Vegas Pro custom build with X99 chipset comments requested
on Sep 23, 2014 at 3:11:19 pm

Dave,

Thanks for the feedback. I will probably play around with OCing initially just to see what it can do, but I would like to get acceptable performance without having to rely on it.

The Xeon family of processors is quite large. Do you have any specific recommendations as to which ones to consider?

Jeff


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Dave Osbun
Re: Vegas Pro custom build with X99 chipset comments requested
on Sep 23, 2014 at 8:12:46 pm

The more cores the better, but the price can get crazy. Keep in mind that a Xeon-ready motherboard will be more expensive than the better i7 mobos.

If I was buying one today, the Ivy Bridge Xeons are the way to go. Looks like NewEgg has a monster on sale right now:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116933


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Steve Rhoden
Re: Vegas Pro custom build with X99 chipset comments requested
on Sep 23, 2014 at 8:25:01 pm

If you have the cash to spare, Xeons are the ultimate way to go Jeff,
as Dave also highlighted.

Steve Rhoden (Cow Leader)
Film Maker & VFX Artist.
Owner of Filmex Creative Media.
Samples of my Work and Company can be seen here:
http://www.facebook.com/FilmexCreativeMedia


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Jeff Bauer
Re: Vegas Pro custom build with X99 chipset comments requested
on Sep 23, 2014 at 11:10:23 pm

Interesting. The chip you reference is a 6 core 2.6 GHz while the i7-5960X is an 8 core 3.0 GHz with an unclocked processor. I always thought more cores and a faster clock were better. What makes this Xeon the preferred choice?

Jeff


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Dave Osbun
Re: Vegas Pro custom build with X99 chipset comments requested
on Sep 24, 2014 at 1:33:13 am

If both chips were same architecture, then yes more cores is better. However, these are very very different chips. It's like comparing a naturally aspirated 8 cylinder engine vs. a twin-turbocharged V6. More cylinders doesn't equate to more power since different architectures.

Dave


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Jeff Bauer
Re: Vegas Pro custom build with X99 chipset comments requested
on Sep 24, 2014 at 2:47:59 am

OK. Thanks Dave. I guess I have some more things to consider before pulling the trigger.

Jeff


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Dave Osbun
Re: Vegas Pro custom build with X99 chipset comments requested
on Sep 24, 2014 at 11:25:17 am

Jeff,
It basically comes down to one thing: money!!
If the system you originally specced (which will be an awesome system) is very close to your budget, then a Xeon system is probably out of reach (especially with a pro graphics card).
However-- if you can snag that Xeon CPU in the link I gave for that sale price, well, that's a huge WIN!

Nothing wrong with what you originally wanted. It's equivalent to a BMW M3 if we use cars as an example, where the Xeon gives you a Ferrari 458.

Dave


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Jeff Bauer
Re: Vegas Pro custom build with X99 chipset comments requested
on Sep 24, 2014 at 11:12:55 pm

Dave, Steve,

You guys have really gotten me curious and now I am on a mission to figure out the performance differences between the high end consumer grade i7 processors and the server/workstation class Xeon processors. It’s a particular character flaw of mine to overanalyze everything. So, I hope you guys can help educate me. I went to Intel’s website and looked up the specs on the following processors:

i7-5960X (8 core, 3.0 – 3.5 GHZ) which I’ll refer to as i7

Xeon E5-2630 V2 (6 core, 2.6 GHz) which I’ll refer to as V2

Xeon E5-1660 V3 (8 core, 3.0 GHz) which I’ll refer to as V3

I have a spread sheet that compares the specs that I can email you if you wish, but here are the differences I noted:

i7 and V3 have 20MB cache vs 15 MB for V2
Does this matter for editing/rendering in Vegas? I was under the impression it did not.
i7 and V3 are Haswell and V2 is Ivy Bridge
Is there something in the codename that sets them apart? All are based on 22 nm lithography.
V2 supports 7.2 GT/s system bus
I assume this deals with multiple processors per board
V2 supports embedded options
What are these and do the matter for editing/rendering in Vegas?
V2 uses a lot less power
While that is nice, my machine won’t be running 24/7 so not a deciding factor for me.
V2 & V3 support 768 GB of RAM vs 64 GB for i7
This is nice, but I have never worked on a project longer than one hour (in fact I fit over a dozen on a single BD) so 64GB should suffice for me. The only use I would have for 768 GB of RAM would be to create a virtual disk in RAM to do all my editing. While that is recurring dream of mine, it is cost prohibitive with DDR4 memory costing ~$16/GB and a top notch SATA III SSD costing $0.75/GB.
V3 and i7 have a memory bandwidth of 68 GB/s vs. 51.2 GB/s for V2
i7 does not support ECC memory
I don’t need this
V2 uses a different socket type
V3 and i7 are interchangeable
i7 does not support Intel vPro Technology
What is that and does it matter?
i7 does not support Intel Demand Based Switching
What is that and does it matter?
i7 does not support Trusted Execution Technology
What is that and does it matter?
V2 does not support Identity Protection Technology
What is that and does it matter?

Of the items in the above list that I understand (which isn’t a lot) I don’t see a compelling reason to go with one processor or the other.

While the specs/features are nice, I never fully trust them to tell the whole story. I would really like to see the processors in an apples to apples comparison executing in Vegas.

From what I understand, the format (and CODEC’s the format uses) makes a big difference. I’ve even followed discussions that suggest some formats/CODEC’s perform better if you limit the number of cores. At the very least I would like to see Sony AVC/MVC, Main Concept, and XDCAM tested. It would also be interesting to see how multiple video cards (GPU’s) and increasing the RAM above 64 GB on the Xeons effected performance. Are you aware of any place that might have documented any head to head comparisons for these formats in Vegas?

Jeff


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