I've been drooling over the DIY articles for the last couple of years and finally am in a position to pull the trigger.
I have put together this spec for a workstation for Graphics and Video editing, following the DIY 7 & 8 guidelines. I shall be using Adobe CS4 and eventually CS5.
I plan for this system to last me a few years, so want to get it right!
I am by no means an expert and have a few questions, so any comments and suggestions greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
Motherboard: Asus P6X58D-E
Processor: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 45nm 3.06GHz LGA1366 L3 8MB 130W Retail or Intel Core i7-2600 3.40GHz LGA1155 8MB
(more or less the same price - what's the difference?)
RAM: Corsair Memory XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 C9 1600MHz (CMX4GX3M2A1600C9)
Power Supply: Corsair Memory 850W Ultra Quiet 80+ ATX PSU
Boot Drive: Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F3 7200rpm SATA 3Gb/s 32MB
Video Storage: Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F3 7200rpm SATA 3Gb/s 32MB
(will possibly add another and RAID 0 them at some point)
General Storage: Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F3 7200rpm SATA 3Gb/s 32MB
Optical Drive: LiteOn 12x BD-RW Blu-Ray re-writer SATA
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate or Professional 64-bit OEM
(any advantage to ultimate?)
GPU: Zotac GeForce GTX 470 1280MB PCI-Express HDMI (Fermi)
Monitor: Dell U2410 or Samsung SyncMaster F2380M (Can almost get 2 Samsungs for the price of the Dell!)
For the P6X58D-E, don't get the i7-2600: That CPU will not even physically fit the motherboard's socket. You see, the P6X58D-E is a Socket LGA 1366 motherboard, while the i7-2600 is a Socket LGA 1155 CPU. The two sockets are not compatible at all with one another. If you were to stick with the P6X58D-E, the only CPU choice in this price range is the i7-950 even though that CPU is more than a year and a half old.
If you were to choose the i7-2600, don't get the P6X58D-E. Instead, choose an Asus P67 motherboard such as the P8P67 Pro or P8P67 Deluxe. Be advised, however, that the non-K i7-2600 is "limited unlocked", which means that the CPU is only overclockable up to four speed bins above the maximum stock Turbo frequency (in this case, 3.9 GHz maximum with all four cores operational). If you want even more overclockability, go for the i7-2600K (which has a multiplier that can be physically set up to 57x, or 5.7GHz - but most chips will fall a bit short of 5.0 GHz).
Furthermore, LGA 1155 and LGA 1156 are also completely incompatible with one another: The i7-2600(K) will not even physically fit any LGA 1156 motherboards with older P55 chipsets. Not only are the pin assignments different between the two sockets, but also the alignment notches are of different sizes and in different locations between the two sockets.
As for memory, the kit you chose is only a dual-channel kit (2 x 2GB modules in a package). I would not recommend buying that particular kit if you are planning to run more than 6GB of RAM total because running more than one stick of RAM per channel might increase the load on the CPU's memory controller and thus increase the CPU temperatures unnecessarily in LGA 1366 platforms (and if you choose the i7-2600K/P8P67 series combo, you will be limited to a maximum of 8GB total with 2GB modules). If you are going with the i7-950/P6X58D-E combo, go with one CMX12GX3M3A1600C9 kit. For the i7-2600/P8P67 series combo, go with one CMX16GX3M4A1600C9 kit (if available) or two CMX8GX3M2A1600C9 kits. (The kits I am suggesting instead of your originally listed kit consist of 4GB modules rather than 2GB modules. This is because DDR3 memory has for the most part dropped so far down in price that today you can get 2 x 4GB modules for less than $100.)
And if you are not familiar with Corsair's kit part number scheme, note the name of your originally chosen kit CMX4GX3M2A1600C9: "CM" means "Corsair Memory", the first "X" means "XMS heatspreader", "4G" means the total amount of RAM in the entire kit in GB, "X3" means DDR3 (or more specifically, XMS3), "M2" means there are two sticks of RAM in the package (and using simple division/multiplication, each stick is 2GB), "A" is either universal or Intel XMP-compatible RAM, "1600" is the effective speed in MHz, and "C9" is the CAS latency rating of the RAM at the advertised effective speed rating.
to put it in a simpler way
get the 2600/2600k it will far outperform the 950..
you want 3 drive minimum for video
Final render to
then external back up..
Thanks for the replies gentlemen!
I will take your advice and go for the i7 2600k.
I was thinking of getting the Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3 LGA1155 Intel P67 DDR3 ATX board, as I have read of some problems with the Asus P8P67(?)
I think I will try 8GB RAM first (8GB G.Skill DDR3 PC3-10666 1333MHz Ripjaw Series CL9 (9-9-9-24) Dual Channel kit) and see how I get on - unless you guys think the full 16Gb would be of benefit from the start?
I am also planning on getting one of the new GTX 560Ti 830MHz 1GB cards - mainly for the better power usage at maximum load over the gtx 460/470.
Would the Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black 3.5" SATA6GB/S 7200rpm 64MB be a much better option over the Samsung, as the new motherboard will have 6GB/S sata - and it's only about €25 more?
GavB: Thanks for the replies gentlemen!
There have been some teething problems with the LGA 1155 platform right now. And the Gigabyte motherboards have not been fully upgraded to the new UEFI BIOSes right now, compared to other brands of LGA 1155 motherboards: The Award BIOSes used by Gigabyte - even on its expensive motherboards - do not support many of the new features that are now standard on the new UEFI BIOSes, and they take much longer to boot than most others. The only UEFI-compatible update that Gigabyte made so far has been the ability to boot from a hard drive larger than 2.2TB. Plus, AwardBIOS is now no longer supported by Phoenix Technologies (support has been pulled in mid-2009, forcing the motherboard manufacturers to fabricate their own updates).
And as a lower-end motherboard, the GA-P67A-UD3 is one of the company's lesser boards, with less-robust components. I have briefly experimented with a friend's system with that particular board, and it left me with the feeling that that motherboard was only partially finished.
A better choice might be the MSI P67A-GD65.
Speaking of the hard drive, the WD Black WD1002FAEX is no faster than the Samsung F3 HD103SJ in terms of physical transfer speed. And despite its SATA 6 Gbps interface, it barely saturates even the very first generation of SATA (1.5 Gbps) in physical transfer speed. This makes it worth nowhere near its €25 price premium.
Thanks for the reply RJL0365,
On your advice I think I will go for an MSI board.
Looking at a comparison, the MSI P67A-C45 seems to have all the features I need and is a bit cheaper.
What do you think?
GavB: Thanks for the reply RJL0365,
Sorry that it took more than two months to reply, but the P67 and H67 chipsets were subject to a recall due to the potential deterioration of the performance of the SATA 3.0 Gbps ports. Since then, the motherboards which use the new, "fixed" B3 revision of these chipsets have begun to slowly re-enter the marketplace, which means that stock is somewhat limited at this time.
With that said, the MSI P67A-C## series motherboards have a drawback which prevents one from using a hardware RAID controller card (if you desire one in the future): They have only one physical PCI-e x16 slot (which is always used by the discrete graphics card, which is required of the P67 chipset). If you want two physical PCI-e x16 slots (preferably those which run in x8/x8 mode with both slots filled), you'd have to spend more money for the P67A-GD## or P67A-G## series boards.