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Price v Performance - is Upgrade worth it?

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Price v Performance - is Upgrade worth it?
on Jan 9, 2011 at 3:45:20 pm

Hi there, been reading the DIY articles for the past few days as I've been really getting into editing over the past few weeks. This has lead to a few questions, I've read many other boards as well on the matter but never really touched on one thing, which I'll get to after this...

As a base, what I'm currently working with is the following (It was initially a gaming rig):

Q6600 @ 2.4GHz (stock still)
eVGA 780i SLI mobo
4Gb OCZ DDR2 800 (4x 1Gb dual channel)
1 32Gb WD 10krpm Raptor (thing is old as dirt, first gen raptor) C drive
*1 500Gb WD caviar 7200rpm (storage)
*nVidia GeForce GTX 260 896Mb
*ANTEC 900 case
XP Pro 32bit

OK...that being said and tax return looming around the corner - its prime time for upgrade time. However, I'm unsure if going to i7 will net me too much gain. Vs the price obviously.

These are the options I'm looking at:

Choice 1 (el Cheap) ~300$
OC the Q6600 to 3+GHz
8Gb (4 x 2Gb) DDR2 (max out what the board can handle)
1-2 more 500Gb WD drives
Win7 Home Premium 64bit


Choice 2 (el Big Upgrade) ~800$
ASUS Sabertooth x58 with SATA 6Gb/USB3.0
i7 950 @ 3.06Ghz
12Gb (6x 2Gb) DDR3 1600
Win7 Home Premium 64bit

Choice 2 leaves me with a bit to be desired HD wise as I'd be stuck with the same setup but can always adjust this a few months later probably. Choice 1 I'll swap out the Raptor and set it aside and just use one of the other 500Gb for system/programs. I'll obviously be keeping the Case/PSU/GPU. I'm waiting to get Win7 (for sure)...and will OC the Q6600 if its better to stick with it.

I'm using Vegas 9 32bit at the moment - encoding right now is taking approx 8 min for a 30sec 720p @ 29fps clip (has lots of effects/video layers). So...would I see a big enough gain in encoding time with the upgrade to i7 or are we talking, once I get clips hitting the 5-10minute mark (I'm assuming it would take a few hours with the current setup), that encoding with the i7 will only drop a few minutes? making the price not justified. I'd be changing to the 64bit version of Vegas once I get Win7 as well.

Thoughts? Should, since I'm already running Quad, go cheap and just hold out for another generation of processors instead of bothering with the i7? Make the upgrade? I don't game anymore. And can see myself playing with video editing for quite a while down the road. I used to edit using Premier Pro 1.5 back a few years ago...should I consider looking into CS5 instead of using Vegas? Since I've been reading that CS5's Mercury Engine would probably make better use of my avail/upgraded hardware...or is this just a preferential thing?

I've looked at CPU charts...and at Stock the Q6600 gets smoked, by almost half...however, once its OC'd I think that margin will narrow quite a bit. I wouldn't see myself OC'ing the i7 as soon as I picked it up (I hate stressing BRAND new hardware)...

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Re: Price v Performance - is Upgrade worth it?
on Jan 14, 2011 at 2:26:37 pm

get the new sandy bridge 2600k

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Re: Price v Performance - is Upgrade worth it?
on Apr 3, 2011 at 1:10:29 am

Jcschild: get the new sandy bridge 2600k

Based on my own personal testing, I'd have to agree. I had an i7-950, and it needed massive overclocking just to beat a stock i7-2600K in overall performance (even with my own relatively simple workflow). At equal performance, the 950's CPU temperatures almost hit 80°C while the 2600K stayed below 60°C. And at 4.7GHz my 2600K gets to roughly the same temperature as the 950 did at only 3.8GHz.

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Please help me with my specs
on Apr 18, 2011 at 11:33:28 am

Hi I am glad you are going down the 2600k route as I am thinking the same think please help me you wrote previously on another treat;

Before you do this, you have to ask yourself the following questions:

1) Are you going to use a discrete hardware PCI-e RAID card in your new build?
2) If you answered "Yes" to 1), then are you going to use any additional PCI-e (not to be confused with PCI) cards at all?
If you answrerd "Yes" to both, then you'll need to purchase a more expensive motherboard (for example, the P8P67 Deluxe instead of the Pro) to even use all of the PCI-e cards that you're planning to use at all.

Please help I am thinking of the below core systems (two in total) to run my HD film editing (I mainly film weddings and parties). I am going to use windows 7 64 bit with Adrobe Premier CS5 (or possibly CS4) and photo Shop CS5;

ASUS P8P67 Deluxe Intel P67 (REV B3) Socket 1155
Intel Core i7-2600K 3.40GHz
16GB Corsair Vengeance Blue (4x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz
Graphics GTX 285 (to utilise the gpu acceleration in Adrobe Premier CS5).
Three 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB SATA 6GB/s 32MB Cache PEX1394B3 Firewire Controller Card 2xFirewire 800 and 1xFirewire - PCI Express

I am going to be getting two of these systems build as i have heard that with even the best systems HD video takes time to process.
Do you think I need a raid system to handle the HD video or can manage with the above three drives?
Should I get another drive for the best configuration without a raid system?
If I do go for raid then what will be the speed increase when handling HD video? and what card would you recomend?

Should I go for a nvidia card to get the benefit of gpu acceleration? if so what card do you think?

You thoughts will be much appreciated.

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Re: Price v Performance - is Upgrade worth it?
on Apr 18, 2011 at 1:00:08 pm

"HD" does not tell me anything.

there is HDV which is not HD
there is 50 forms of compresed HD such as AVCHD, XdCam, P2 etc etc.
then there is Red2K and 4K and then uncompressed.

pretty sure as a wedding guy you dont have the 2 latter.

for AVCHD, XDcam etc i recommend 2 sets raid 0 plus the OS drive.
thats makes 5 drives but seen as 3.
(and of course a back up solution which you should have regardless)

you do not need a dedicated raid card NO.
onboard raid would be fine for this..

for Adobe yes you need an nVidia card. at least a 460/560 and preferably the 470/570. anything higher would be a waste unless doing a good amount of animation.


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Re: Price v Performance - is Upgrade worth it?
on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:57:06 pm


The cameras that I use are two sony hvr-z7e i think the format is HDV???
sorry i am a newbie when it come to HD. I bought these cameras a year ago to get ready for HD but my customers were not ready and have only just started to show an interest now.

Hence i need to get ready.

Does the board that i have chosen have on board raid 0 twice? (to run the system you suggested 1 os drive and two raid 0's running two drives each) or will i have to get an additional raid pci-express card.

If i need a card what would you suggest?

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Re: Price v Performance - is Upgrade worth it?
on Apr 19, 2011 at 1:14:36 pm

its an HDV which is not HD (not in a true sense) its still highly compressed to DV

so no need for raid arrays


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John Q
Re: Price v Performance - is Upgrade worth it?
on Apr 20, 2011 at 3:44:30 am

Actually HDV is High Def, 1440x1080, anamorphic 1.2:1. The video is compressed with an I-frame followed by 14 difference frames to make it fit into the same bandwidth as DV. This technique is similar to the compression technique used in encoding video for DVD, except it's on tape.

The bad part about HDV is any tape defect can result in the loss of up to 0.5 seconds of video. I also found that the video and audio get out sync after a dropout. You can correct it in post, but it's a real pain, and you can't cover the dropout unless you shoot with multiple cameras. Keep your heads clean.

Bottom line, though, is that you don't need RAID to edit HDV. Personally, I find it much easier to edit and get better quality using Cineform NeoHD to transcode the video to its continuous compression format. It does use more disc space for editing, but Premiere Pro is much more responsive. With my Core i7 machine, I get faster than realtime transcoding.

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Re: Price v Performance - is Upgrade worth it?
on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:34:11 am

Thank you for your all your advise. I have decided to go for a simple three hard drive setup using the system already mentioned.

While researching how to get the footage of the camera, Originally i thought to get HDV tapes (10-15 per wedding) and then to buy a hdv vtr (HVR-M15AE about £1900) that I could use to transfer to pc. back ups would be the tapes.

But now I am thinking of buying fourteen 32gb CF cards costing £660(at x133) (two set of 7 per wedding) and using this method to transfer to pc (as will be four times quicker) and then to store the footage on external drive(s) with backups of these drives.

What do you think?? of the above method of working and storage. how long can i reuse the cf cards? using this method it will speed things up dramatically, i think, for me, though i will have to be diligent when storing the backups on hardrive after each wedding so as to reuse the cf cards.

your coments much appreciated.

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John Q
Re: Price v Performance - is Upgrade worth it?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:01:42 am

When I bought my HDV camcorders, tape made sense, because there was no inexpensive archive media that could handle that much data. Tape seemed a cost-effective archive media.

Now flash memory and archiving to hard drives and Blu-Ray discs is probably the better choice. With tape, you have to transfer it to a computer, it's a sloiw, realtime process. Being able to plug a memory card into a computer is dramatically faster, and hard drives and BD-R prices have dropped.

Flash media is not permanent, but you can always reformat a card, if you have trouble.

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