Building a new PC - Thoughts on Specs

November 21, 2010 at 18:57:15
Specs: Windows 7, i7 980x
So I wanted to get some thoughts on some of the general hardware I plan on using for a new computer i'm putting together. I will be editing with Premiere Pro CS5 with windows 7. Don't worry about price in the sense that I don't mind buying expensive equipment but I also don't want to waste money if I won't see any benefit. Assume I want to be able to edit red or uncompressed HD footage as quickly as possible if I wanted. here goes:

CPU - Intel i7 980x - 1366 chipset
Memory - Either 6 or 12GB as 3 x 2GB or 3 x 4GB (not sure on specific brand or speed)
Graphics card - ?
Hard drive - 160GB SSD for system and programs - 2 x 2TB 7200RPM drives (internal raid 1) for data
External Raid - eSATA 5 bay raid incluser with 4 x 2TB 7200RPM drives in a raid 10

Here's where I'm a little stuck. Eventually I want to buy an HD I/O card so that I can monitor my editing on an HD monitor. If the HD card has encoding capabilities, will it work in conjuction with my processor or was it a waste to have purchased such an expensive processor?

Also, I'm really not sure how powerful my graphics card should be. I want one that utilizes the mercury playback engine but I'm not sure if premiere even uses the graphics card for encoding..I believe for cs5 some of the better cards assist in encoding.

* So potentially I have 3 ways of encoding (cpu, graphics card, I/O accelerator) will they all work together or is it a waste to spend on all three? Thoughts?

Some other questions:

* How much ram? Will I see a significant benefit with 12GB over 6GB?

* Which motherboard would you recommend? I've always played it safe and used intel but I know Asus has some good boards out there

* Should I risk overclocking my CPU..I doubt I would feel comfortable..I don't want it to die on me prematurely and I doubt I would prefer the risk over the frustration of having to deal with fixing my computer when I am trying to work.

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November 21, 2010 at 19:48:17
That hardware is a little out of my league but I will comment on the motherboard & overclocking. I've been overclocking for years. I don't push to the extreme, but 20% +/- is usually safely attainable without exotic CPU cooling or a case riddled with fans. Intel boards usually aren't overclockable though. Some are, but the vast majority are not. If you're considering overclocking, look at boards from Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, etc. Pick a board, then do some googling for reviews.

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