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Thread: Speccing up a system for work

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    Speccing up a system for work

    Hi All,

    I've been tasked with speccing up a system for work, the budget I have to stick to is 4k (exc VAT). I've always bought pretty decent kit for my home systems and was wondering what you guys would recommend for some serious work on CS4 video projects. I have been looking at dual quad core xeon systems and also the new i7 based systems. Also, looked at the 1.5GB Quadro graphics cards....

    What would you recommend given my budget....

    No need for software or OS...... a 24" Dell needs to be included in the final price....

    Thanks

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    Re: Speccing up a system for work

    I'll be back when I find my bottom jaw.. it fell someone over.. there..

    ..right

    Well you seem to be thinking along the right lines for the budget, no idea about the actual requirements though.

    I think you would be better from an upgrades point of view to get i7 because S775/S771 isn't going to go anywhere special now. Obviously you lose 4 cores for now.. but they'll be along shortly I'm sure.

    So you can blow about £1000 on RAM mobo and CPU.
    £400 on a monitor.

    Thinking a nice RAID card and array of velociraptors and your crazy graphics card. SLi availble on X58 of course
    Last edited by staffsMike; 11-12-2008 at 02:03 AM.

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    Re: Speccing up a system for work

    Buy prebuilt..... It will save you the bother in the long run.
    □ΞVΞ□

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    Re: Speccing up a system for work

    Well yeah.. I did scamper off to have a look at MAC PRO prices lol

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    Re: Speccing up a system for work

    Quote Originally Posted by Mullet View Post
    Hi All,

    I've been tasked with speccing up a system for work.....
    Ah, never mind. I misread the question (you mentioned you're doing video editing)

    I'd think that anything i7 would go a long way. 920 / 940 overclockes realy well, even on air coolers. Pack in fast 6GB Kingston DDR3 1600 Ram. Done. I hear the Quatro cards are most excellent for video editing, CAD, 3dS MAX etc. I can't comment on that though...

    You may want to keep storage and backups / redundancy in mind. So look into big fast disks for local work space, with a few Terrabyte in some network attached storage solution (scan has a fantastic range of enclosures, which can Raid 1+0 up to 3TB). What about off line storage? I'm still using DVD's myself (cheap), so I've got 2 burners for backing things up. You may wanna look at blu-ray recorders I guess, being a video-jock and all, so the point may be moot

    Also, check the Dell screen you where gonna buy... is it an S-IPS panel? Not all LCD's are created equal. Checkit: http://www.pchardwarehelp.com/guides/s-ips-lcd-list.php (apologies if you already KNOW all this stuff! I'm into photography myself, so accurate color profiling et al is essential)

    Have a look at NEC monitors. I have the NEC LCD2690WUXi (there are loads of exhaustive reviews out there, but no links come to hand. Google it)

    she is soooo fine
    Last edited by CircusNinja; 11-12-2008 at 01:03 PM. Reason: misread "work"

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    Re: Speccing up a system for work

    It may be worth looking at a 30" dell if you're doing a lot of video work, the extra desktop space will give your more flexibilty and it'll look like you're 4k has gone somewhere other than a box under the desk It'll still leave 3k, even though you have all that cash to spend do you really need to? A mainstream quad core with a couple of raided HD's will probably do the job you want for much much less, depends EXACTLY what you are doing I guess.

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    Re: Speccing up a system for work

    Cheers for the input thus far. Hmm tempted to go for a 30" Dell now too, that would certainly provide some serious screen real estate. I've been tempted by the dual Xeons.... but as you guys have pointed out, there's probably minimal mileage left in that socket.

    I will probably go for a velociraptor based 900GB RAID 0 array, with a couple of terrabytes of system storage. Perhaps something like a 1TB Samsung F1 boot drive, then x3 300GB Velociraptors as a project array, with a further 2 GB for finished works (or could use a NAS setup to replace the latter for enhanced storage and redundancy).

    The Quadro looks like a good choice because the GPU itself can be used to encode CS4 projects which would certainly help to reduce the time taken during what can be a pretty time consuming process.

    Unfortunately MACs aren't an option.

    What mobo/ram/cpu would you recommend?

    How does this look:

    Last edited by Mullet; 12-12-2008 at 01:08 AM.

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    Re: Speccing up a system for work

    Quote Originally Posted by Mullet View Post
    Cheers for the input thus far. Hmm tempted to go for a 30" Dell now too, that would certainly provide some serious screen real estate. I've been tempted by the dual Xeons.... but as you guys have pointed out, there's probably minimal mileage left in that socket.

    I will probably go for a velociraptor based 900GB RAID 0 array, with a couple of terrabytes of system storage. Perhaps something like a 1TB Samsung F1 boot drive, then x3 300GB Velociraptors as a project array, with a further 2 GB for finished works (or could use a NAS setup to replace the latter for enhanced storage and redundancy).

    The Quadro looks like a good choice because the GPU itself can be used to encode CS4 projects which would certainly help to reduce the time taken during what can be a pretty time consuming process.

    Unfortunately MACs aren't an option.

    What mobo/ram/cpu would you recommend?

    How does this look:


    Ah, you're looking at the 3XS systems from SCAN. I dunno man, you may be able to build a better rig. Plus, in the above list, you're back to the Xeon's Personal preference, but I don't like bespoke

    Checkit: http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=649

    Looks like that Quatro card is the business!!

    Ok, so for the rig, a few ideas:

    "I will probably go for a velociraptor based 900GB RAID 0 array..." - I'm not a great fan of Raid 0. You only need to lose data once to realise what a waste of time it is. If you wanna do that, why not keep them as 3 seperate drives? Raptors are blazingly fast (and noisy!) but you lose one, then at least you still have 2 more, and you don't lose everything. I'm just not convinced Raid 0 is the way to go (if you really want to go big, do 0+1 / 1+0 instead). Now that's a deal!

    "with a couple of terrabytes of system storage. Perhaps something like a 1TB Samsung F1 boot drive"... - jup, sounds ok. Gives you some room for other media et al. I'd partition this puppy though, make your boot partition something like 100GB. I then use something like Acronis to backup and compress it. That way, in the event of catastrophe, you can be up and running again in no time flat, plus you'd wanna rebuild your machine from time to time, cus windows is like a sponge. Makes the latter easier to do. I usually build a fresh install, with the latest drivers and software I need (to date), do a Acronis backup, and that's my base build. When I feel windows is dragging it's a$$, I trash the partition and restore the base. (of course, all project work and "My docs" are on separate drives )

    "with a further 2 GB for finished works (or could use a NAS setup to replace the latter for enhanced storage and redundancy)" - I presume you meant 2TB. And yes, NAS is the way to go, raid 1+0 (or else, whats the point?). Checkit:

    "The Quadro looks like a good choice because the GPU itself can be used to encode CS4 projects which would certainly help to reduce the time taken during what can be a pretty time consuming process." - hell yes! See above link

    Motherboard - The ASUS P6T Deluxe is the way to go, by my reckoning. ALL the sites that have been doing extreme (gosh I hate that word) overclocking and i7 reviews use this MB almost exclusively. It's packed with features, good upgrade path and the reviews have all been favorable. Can't go wrong with Asus motherboards, in my very humble opinion.

    CPU: go for the i7 920. Again, all the review sites manage to overclock it stacks (using afforementioned motherboard ). It's very simple to do, via the BIOS and even air colling is suffiecient to run it stable. If you REALLY want, I guess you could go for the 940. But at the moment I don't see the value in the £200 difference.

    Memory: 6GB of Dominator goodness. Good reviews, low latency and again, can be overclocked to about 1800Mhz (again, you guessed it, using the Asus P6T board. It's the secret sauce )

    SCAN doesn't have the most, uh, "useful" front end for building up a rig. Involves lots of clicking back and forth, quite annoying. But I would seriously spend some time on building your own setup from scratch, just to check the price difference.

    PS: your rig is gonna be LOUD. Raptors, Quattro, overclocked system et al. At some stage, you may want to consider watercooling, or a passive cooling solution (i.e Big-Huge heatsinks and huge fans that move air through the case.) Not sure if you've got your heart set on a enclosure, but I would recommend this. Lot's of room for all your goodies, the drives will get very warm, so air flow is essential. Lots of head room for a big passive heatsink, and for watercooling you have all the space you need for the radiators, extra fans, pipes, pumps and dancing gerbils (kidding, gerbils optional).

    Oh, and I assume you're going for a 64bit OS?



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