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Thread: Seeking Advice for Configuring a New 2012 AV PC

  1. #1

    Default Seeking Advice for Configuring a New 2012 AV PC

    I am seeking expert advice for configuring a new home PC for the primary purpose of Editing and Rendering (Encoding) the following AV files:

    1. 298GB, 10.75hrs, 22 files of HD-AVI video (recently converted 8mm, 16mm and Super8 film).
    2. 81.6GB, 239 files and growing (*.MTS) video from my Sony HDR-CX550V camcorder (AVCHD).
    3. 20 Hi-8 video cassettes (40 hours) to be converted to PC digital files (will upscale if applicable).

    Based on recent AV Editing Software Comparison Review articles, I have purchased the CyberLink PowerDirector 10 Ultra primarily for its: (1) Rendering Speed, (2) Ease of Use, and (3) its enhanced performance capabilities using AMD Radeon HD Series video cards.

    I am a novice AV end-user (but a quick learner as I have been in the technology profession since 1969). In the summer of 2010, I experimented with several trail version AV programs. I found Adobe Premiere Elements 8 to be too complex and too buggy, and had similar issues with CyperLink versions 8 and 9. I next experimented with Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum HD Version 10 and found it to be non-intuitive and encountered other unacceptable issues. If I am persuaded that I should use a different AV Editing program, I will strongly consider such suggestions.

    After much research, the following is my initial PC configuration ideas (I understand the merits of using an Intel Sandy Bridge Processor/Chipset in an AV environment):

    • Motherboard -- ASUS P9X79 Pro (or an ASUS Rampage IV Extreme, which would require an EATX Case)
    • Processor -- Intel® Core™ i7-3930K (Six-core 3.2GHz, 12M Cache, 130W TDP, Quad-channel DDR3 memory, socket LGA20115)
    • CPU Cooler -- Corsair Hydro Series H100 (240mm Radiator and two 120mm Fans)
    • Memory -- 32GB G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series (8 x 4GB) PC3-17000 2133MHz DDR3 240-Pin SDRAM Quad Channel
    • System Disks -- Corsair Force GT 240 GB SATA III Solid State Drives (2), RAID-1
    • Data Disk -- Western Digital Velociraptor 600GB SATA III 10000 RPM 32MB Cache Disk Drive
    • NAS Data Backup -- Western Digital 6TB (2 3-TB drives) My Book Live Duo (800MHz Processor, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0, RAID-1)
    • GPU -- To Be Determined based on single or dual Monitors; if dual Monitors, based on one or two Video Card requirements (AMD Radeon HD Series)
    • Monitor(s) -- To Be Determined based on Video Card(s) requirements as noted above
    • Case -- Corsair Carbide Series 500R White ATX Mid (or a Corsair Obsidian Series 800D EATX Full Tower for ASUS Rampage IV Extreme motherboard)
    • Case Fans for Corsair -- SilenX Effizio Silent Thermistor Edition 120mm Computer Case Fans (number of fans TBD)
    • Power Supply -- Corsair Professional Series Gold 850-Watt 80 Plus Gold (or scale up to a Corsair Professional Series Gold 1200-Watt 80 Plus Gold as required)
    • Blu-ray Writer -- Plextor Internal SATA BD/DVD/CD Writer -- 12X Blu-ray Disc Writer (will transfer from my old PC)
    • DL-DVD Writer -- Sony Dual-Layer DVD Writer (will transfer from my old PC)
    • Keyboard/Mouse -- Logitech Cordless Comfort Duo Black RF Wireless Keyboard/Mouse (will transfer from my old PC)
    • Operating System -- Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit and 64-bit DVD's), already purchased
    • Office Products -- Office 2010 Home and Student, already purchased

    It is my understanding that the following hardware components play a major role in significantly enhancing the performance of the AV Editing and Rendering (encoding) process, but I have no experience or idea to what extent each component plays in my desired processing of AV files:

    • Fast Multiple Processors (Cores)
    • Lots of Fast Memory
    • Fast read/write disk drive for the Rendering/Encoding Process
    • Fast, Large capacity Video Card(s)

    Currently, my biggest dilemma is determining whether I should use a single monitor or dual monitors for the AV Editing and Rendering processes. On the surface, is appears that dual monitors can enhance the ease of use of the editing process (not aware of any performance enhancement benefits, but if there are any please let me know). For example, use Monitor-1 for all interactive program commands (open files, editing, render, etc), and use Monitor-2 to show the full-screen results in real-time.

    Single Monitor -- If dual monitors are of no real value and one large screen, hi-resolution display is more than adequate then I simply need suggestions on the monitor specifications. For example, screen size (24”, 27”, etc) and applicable resolutions (maximum, normal use, etc). If I only need a single monitor, then I assume that I only need a single Video Card such as the following (unless a lesser Radeon HD Series video card is more than adequate):

    • Radeon HD6950 2GB DDR5 2-DVI/HDMI/2x Mini-Display-Port PCI-Express Video Card (I need the best recommended video manufacturer – AMD, HIS, Sapphire, XFX ATI, etc.)

    Dual Monitors -- If dual monitors are of real value (still need recommended monitor specifications) then I need to know if I need one or two video cards. Based on video card costs, I envision the following scenarios (looking for expert recommendations here):

    • 1-Video Card -- AMD Radeon HD 6950 2 GB (256bit) DDR5 (unless a lesser Radeon HD Series video card is more than adequate)
    • 2-Video Cards -- AMD Radeon HD 6790 1GB (256bit) GDDR5 (unless lesser Radeon HD Series video cards are more than adequate)

    If any hardware component that I have listed herein is an over-kill and will yield very little, if any, performance enhancements please let me know. Since both motherboards that I have listed (as well as other motherboards) support overclocking, I do not know if it is better for me to use any of the following components in lieu of my configured components noted above:

    • Processor -- i7 2600K or 2700K with an ASUS P8Z68-V Pro motherboard
    • Memory -- 16GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series (4 x 4GB) PC3-12800 1600MHz DDR3 240-Pin SDRAM Quad Channel
    • GPU -- AMD Radeon HD 6570 1GB (128bit) GDDR5, or AMD Radeon HD 6770 1GB (128bit) GDDR5, or etc.

    Thanks to all in advance for assisting me with my task-at-hand, Rick.

  2. #2


    I think most users here would drool over owning a system like that ( Or maybe just me! )

    If your spending that level of cash on a system, You might want to think about something other than cyber-link, I'd never dream of building a system like that just to load Cyberlink software onto it, Though I would load Avid/Premier onto it though!

    If your going into things at this level, Here are a few more considerations.

    1) Find yourself a solid reliable raid-array, 1+0 configuration,

    You'll need 5 HDDs and I suggest using them in this order

    SSD drive = OS and programs

    Drive 1 Project folder
    Drive 2 Media files
    Drive 3 Caches
    Drive 4 Final export

    You can do plenty of research on raid arrays and different types to find something that suits your purpose, I advise getting an external array rather than an internal.

    2) Dual screen or not?
    It depends on user preference, I've got 2 screens at the moment but one is very large, the other is a lot smaller, I do most things on the larger one and the smaller one contains the video display, a audio level meter and the FX windows.

    3) Unless your confident, Out-source the system build
    With this level of kit, I'd recommend you go to a specialist builder/dealer who builds systems on a daily basis for the following reasons

    - If whilst putting together the kit they break it, It's their job to replace it.
    - If when you receive the machine something does not work, Instead of spending potentially hours figuring it out on your own, It's the responsibility of the builder to amend it.
    - You can say to them "this is what I want to do, Put together a components list based on this budget £££ for the best capable system that can handle it" and they can do that for you.

    Whilst I am not trying to say the idea of home-built system is a bad thing, There are a couple of pit-falls that people some times fall into, It is also time spent building the system, installing it, Drivers, ect. For an extra £200-300 is it worth the saving? For some the answer is yes.

    I've purchased an out-standing custom laptop from the below company, I promise I'm not a sales rep for them, But after seeing their product range, reading reviews, dealing with them personally and receiving a first class item from them, They will be my first port of call for custom systems.
    Computer Hardware -

    I hope this is helpful to you.

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