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Thread: 1k to spend and the need for speed

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    1k to spend and the need for speed

    I have a budget of 1k to build something as fast as possible. It will be used for encoding/transcoding video files up to around 100GB, as well as some minor editing...

    Lots of processing power/RAM, but no monitor needed and graphics card doesn't need to be anything special as video preview will be done on a broadcast monitor through an SDI card which I already have. Scratch disks as a RAID 0 may be something to consider with a separate HDD for OS. MOBO with eSATA is a must...

    Thanks all!

    Oli

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    Pre-Cambrian nibbler's Avatar
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    Re: 1k to spend and the need for speed

    You need graphics or not?

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    Re: 1k to spend and the need for speed

    Core i7 920, 6GB of RAM and a X58 board to suit your needs
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Senior Member oolon's Avatar
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    Re: 1k to spend and the need for speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    Core i7 920, 6GB of RAM and a X58 board to suit your needs
    I am with Terbinator there, that makes for a really nice setup. Just need to pick exactly which board you like and graphics, hard drives are pretty cheap, you8 could get an SSD for your OS, and use hard drives for transcoding, you would speed up your disk access if you wrote the output to a different drive from your input as that would require less head seeks. Currently I like Western Digital Black drivers or Raptors, Seagate's are an also ran. Stick to the smaller faster drives for scratch and get something huge to dump things on.
    Last edited by oolon; 17-02-2010 at 03:24 PM.

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    jim
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    Re: 1k to spend and the need for speed

    A couple of Samsung F3 500GB drives in RAID 0 would probably do nicely for the big file transfers. Partition it off and you've got an area for storage as well with 1TB total space.

    Would recommend getting an SSD as well though as per previous recommendations, maybe an Intel 80GB?

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    Re: 1k to spend and the need for speed

    Thanks for the quick replies. So would 6GB of RAM be sufficient? And graphics-wise should I go for something cheap and cheerful like an Asus HD 4770? What is the maximum number of SATAs I should really use with a board without going for a separate RAID controller?

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    Re: 1k to spend and the need for speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Olimain View Post
    Thanks for the quick replies. So would 6GB of RAM be sufficient? And graphics-wise should I go for something cheap and cheerful like an Asus HD 4770? What is the maximum number of SATAs I should really use with a board without going for a separate RAID controller?
    Personally speaking:

    6GB should be ample, yeah. Get 2GB per slot, and then if you decide later on you want more, you just add another set of 2GB sticks and you have 12GB. Easy.

    As for graphics, I'm not certain exactly what you need. I'd go for a 5 series though - depending on what you need, maybe a 5450 (low-end) or anywhere up the scale from there. I wouldn't go for an previous-gen 4770.

    I don't think you'll go wrong with the onboard SATA, use as many as you want. If we were talking a 4-drive RAID 5 array, plus a 2-drive RAID 0 array, etc I might consider a separate controller but here I would say it's money wasted.

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    Re: 1k to spend and the need for speed

    Many applications cannot address more than 4GB of memory so 6GB will be more than enough, plenty of space for buffering, the kernel etc to run with that. X58/i7 is tripple channel so you want 3 Sticks of memory. So the 3*2GB is the right way to go. Addressing to lots of memory in the same bank is slower so you don't really want to start out using 6 slots, also it cuts of you expension. The low end latest gen ATI would be the way to go for graphics, they take less power to start with.

    Depending on board your gen 4-8 sata ports, your need one of those for your DVD/BluRay. I would assume you would get 6 ports.

    If you want to go for a tricked out disk setup of drive try....
    1 SSD for OS 64GB (minimum)
    2 RAID 0 fast disks for scratch. 200-300GB each (I would use RAID 1)
    2 RAID 1 slow disks 1.5-2.5TB each
    1 DVD/BluRay

    What SnootyJim says about RAID 5 is right, the problem with it is if you write part of a stripe it needs to read the other disks to calculate the parity so writting is rather slow. However for Raid 0 and 1, no addition reads are required.

    Personally I would not use RAID 0, I would mirror them, they are just as fast to read, writting however is slower but you get fault protection in return which compared to the price of the drives is well worth it.

    Other things that would make the setup faster would be to read the data from one drive and write the results to a different one to reduce the head seeks.

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    Re: 1k to spend and the need for speed

    Quote Originally Posted by oolon View Post
    Personally I would not use RAID 0, I would mirror them, they are just as fast to read, writting however is slower but you get fault protection in return which compared to the price of the drives is well worth it.
    Yeah, depends whether the write speeds are going to be important to you - I presumed that they were, hence the RAID 0 recommendation.

    Only thing oolon didn't mention is that obviously with the RAID 1 setup you get half the space of RAID 0, because it's duplicated. Drives aren't that expensive though, so moving from a Samsung F3 500GB to an F3 1TB isn't going to cost much.

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    Re: 1k to spend and the need for speed

    Thank you oolon, all very good to know. I didn't realise RAID 1 would read as fast as 0, I was under the impression RAID 0 was faster all round. Storage isn't really an issue as it is done externally so I may consider RAID 0+1 to give speed and redundancy?

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    Re: 1k to spend and the need for speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Olimain View Post
    Thank you oolon, all very good to know. I didn't realise RAID 1 would read as fast as 0, I was under the impression RAID 0 was faster all round. Storage isn't really an issue as it is done externally so I may consider RAID 0+1 to give speed and redundancy?
    Yeah - if you think about it, RAID 1 has to write the same data to each disk simultaneously, so it's no faster than normal. RAID 0 can split the data in half and write each half to one disk, so it's (theoretically) twice as fast. When reading though, both of them have two disks with readable data, so they do it in parallel.

    When you say RAID 0+1, do you mean getting two disks and making a RAID 0 partition and a RAID 1 partition, or do you mean getting four disks and making two seperate RAID 1 arrays that you can then stripe?

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    Re: 1k to spend and the need for speed

    I was thinking four drives as two raid 0s mirrored

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    Re: 1k to spend and the need for speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Olimain View Post
    I was thinking four drives as two raid 0s mirrored
    That is called Raid 10, not sure onboards controllers will do that, as all the raid work is done by the driver in software. If you put 4 drives in like that the controller will concatenate the disk (adding one to the end of the other) then mirror them.

    Edit...

    I stand corrected... the intel storage matrix does seem to do that have a look here.

    Not sure you setup would get value from it, if your really want to do something like that why not get 15k SAS drives and a Asus P6T6 that has support for 2 onboard SAS drives. Which is infact what I have.
    Last edited by oolon; 17-02-2010 at 05:14 PM.

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    Re: 1k to spend and the need for speed

    So this is where I'm up to... I've scrapped the SSD and gone for the BD writer instead...

    What have I missed?

    Thanks


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    Re: 1k to spend and the need for speed

    drop the intel board and go with a one of the asus p6t boards. more memory slots for future expansion
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    What kind of emergency would need Windows 95? I think you are already in a bad state of emergency when your backup plan is Windows 95.
    Beginners guide to raid Beginners guide to raid post edition Hexus.Social - FAQ

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    Re: 1k to spend and the need for speed

    Also scrap that 9500GT - it's neither nowt nor summat (or they say where I come from ). It's old technology, and while it's a bit of a step up from entry level, it's not (IMNSHO, of course) enough to warrant the extra £10 - £15 over genuine entry level cards.

    I'd recommend that you either get a current generation card @ about the same price (that would the be the Radeon HD5450) OR get a lower spec card cheaper (ATI 3450 / 4350, or NVidia 8400GS / 9400GT / G210). If you might consider occasional gaming on the rig it could be worth spending a bit more on a 9600GT / HD4650 / HD4670, but it doesn't sound like that features in your plans!

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