Videoguys' DIY6: Quad Core System
Last spring we updated our DIY5 article to reflect the then latest round of Dual Core processors. Almost as soon as the article came out, we found ourselves bombarded with questions about Quad core CPUs. Back then you paid a pretty hefty premium for them, so we didn't feel it was necessary to build a DIY machine for Quad core. That pricing model held true until the end of last year, when Intel dropped the prices on their Quad core processors and made them just a slight premium over a Core 2 Duo. We knew what we had to do, and the plans for DIY6 where set in motion.
ASUS P5K3 Deluxe $220.00
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield $235.00
CORSAIR 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 $150.00
We've now tested our DIY6 Quad core machine with the leading hardware and software (Avid Media Composer, Adobe CS3 Production Premium, Sony Vegas Pro 8, Avid/Pinnacle Liquid and Matrox RT.X2) and the results have been outstanding. If the sky is the limit you can go with an Octo-core machine (Dual Quad Cores), but we have had such outstanding success and performance that we can only recommend these configurations for the most demanding and professional editing needs. The reality is that with today's current state of technology (32 bit applications and hardware running on a 32 bit OS) you're only tapping into a fraction of the full capabilities of this rig.
Our hope is that later this summer Windows Vista 64 drivers and optimized software become available from our vendors. At that time we'll begin our efforts on our next DIY project - Building a multi-core 64 bit NLE Workstation. Until then, you are going to be hard pressed to find a better bang for your buck than our DIY6 Quad Core.
For the more information on the complete build and all teh options, check it out http://www.videoguys.com/DIY6.html
In your article you indicated that you were unable to configure the system with a single boot drive and use two others in a RAID configuration. In many situations this can be accomplished by not hooking up the two drives you want to configure as a RAID storage array until after you have installed the operating system.
The problem is the same as is often encountered when a multiple flash card reader is connected prior to installing the operating system. When Windows begins the install process, it will often fail to identify the proper, or intended drive for the OS as the C drive and as most should know the operating system should be installed on the C drive.
Hooking up ONLY the drive intended for the Operating System initially will prevent windows from getting confused. Once you have the OS installed and designated with the letter C, then you can configure additional drives in a RAID array or hook up your flash card reader. With the drive C already being designated to the OS, you should have no issues configuring the other drives in the RAID configuration or having additional drive letters designated to the card reader.
I have never had any problems adding additional drives of any sort in any configuration doing things this way. Give it a try... I hope it works!
Vid Guy, am just wondering why your builds do not go in the direction of dual xeons as opposed to the core duo processors??
cost and difficulty
Putting multiple processors in your workstation takes it to the next cost level. We do offer a recommended dual Xeon motherboard Tyan Tempest.
We built a dual CPU machine a few years ago and it was much more difficult then a single CPU. We ran into mechanical and heat issues. Had to try several different cases and motherboard combos. Quite frankly, it's a DIY project for only advanced users with plenty of DIY experience.
Yes in your own words you did recommend a Tyan Tempest but the didn't actually build it nor really checked the specifications or compatability with cases or psu.(Please see my Tyan post) If you guys are going to stay in this DIY caper then you should be carefull as its not your money and time that gets wasted. I still think you add a lot to a video producers understanding of various issues but I am frustrated by the little amount of actual technical information required for these top end units. I will be moving to full Hd with a Matrox LE card next year and CS4 and I will also be upgrading ram back to 4 1GB sticks instead of the one 4GB stick. I am also continuing to build an S2696 unit with two E5335P CPU in a Chenbro case with Supermicro 865W psu.
It will be interesting to see who replies first Videoguys, Tyan or Thermaltake
As I said, we found our DIY3 Dual Xeon project to be our most difficult. Quite frankly, we just don't feel it fits under DIY given the technical difficulties which are as much mechanical as they are electrical.
You do need to spend considerable time and research making sure the mobo seats correctly in the case and that their is adequate room for air flow and cooling and other components.
When it comes to these systems, we feel you will do much better in the long run by paying the premium to an approved system integrator for the hardware/ software combination you choose.