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totaltrials
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OK any help would be great.

I am after building a computer to a very high spec, my dad is up to date with a lot of stuff and knows how to put it al together etc, but i'm sure there are people on here who know a lot more.

I'm basically after a computer for video editing, so it wants to be fast, large disc space, capable of running large programs at the same time without any effect, then there is obviously good video cards advice etc.

My dad is going on about sata rav 0 2 3 stuff with the hard drives??

then there is the cooling, so, very fast, lot of memory, big hard drives, fast fast fast, the main thing is getting it all to work together without it being un stable because I could go out and buy all sorts of stuff but it might not work best together.

Budget isn't stupidly high so reasonably priced stuff, I'm not going to spend £200 a graphics card etc.

Also, anyone know when windows vista is out?

thanks folks.

Phil.

Edited by totaltrials
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Windows Vista will be officially manufactured in December 2006 don't buy it when it first reaches the shops, as drivers will be rare!.

Yes if you can get Sata then get Sata as its faster then IDE.

Have a look at the ATI range of graphics cards.

If you want to run lots of programs at the same time, you'll be better off with a dual core processor or a dual processor Mobo with two CPU's working together, if not get a fairly good S939. As far as ram goes... Get Kingston or Crucial or even PNY Ram, make sure you get all the same brand, and not one of each or somthing silly like that as it does make a difference.

A motherboard is up to you to pick out as there is so many to choose from. Stay away from brands like mercury etc, you want Asus or Asrock or maybe Gigabite Mobo's.

Have a look here for places to buy components and component reviews etc

Edited by Hoot
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Buy decent-brand stuff, no PC Chips motherboards, however inexpensive they seem.

Do you need a decent graphics card? If you're going to be gaming/CADing then yes, if not then anything will do, so you can certainly save some money there. No need to spend more than £50, you might even be fine with onboard graphics...

For multi-tasking, you want an AMD X2 CPU, probably. Dual core and they will allow you to do twice as many things at one (Eg Rip a DVD and encode some video or something). Although to speed up video encoding, a Pentium may be better. There's probably not much in it - The AMD is nearly as fast as a Pentium in these things now anyway. I would go for an AMD X2 4200+.

I would say large hard drives are important. If you want to be really clever, get a Western Digital Raptor 72GB to put Windows and all your programs on (they are very fast), and then get another 300GB (or two) drive to put all the other crap on (videos, files etc). There's probably no need to worry about RAID, the Raptor will be faster.

Go for 2Gb RAM to be a pimp. More is stupid. 1Gb is probably enough for most people at the moment, but if you're doing a lot of editing you might see the difference.

I've gotta go now B)

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As tomm has said you can save a fair ammount of money on the grapics card so why not splash out on some water cooling?

I do a fair bit of everything on my pc and am running 512mb of ram does me fine, so ime sure you could just have 1gb of ram and be fine 2gb is a fair bit lol but tomm problie knows more than me ..

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I retired recently and plan to build my first pc. Unfortunately, trying to figure out which components to buy is making my brain explode.

I'm going to use the pc mainly for video and image editing, and maybe the odd flight simulator. Should i buy and intel or amd cpu, and would a dual core cpu be better than a single-core cpu? Space is also a problem, as the pc can be no deeper than 46cm. for this reason, I've considered micro-Atx systems, but would these still give me scope for upgrading in the future?

My budget is £1,500 and i need everything from a cpu to a mouse. Hopefully you can advise me what to buy, so i can start building it before i get to old.

As one of the primary uses for this pc will be video editing, your best bet is a fast dual-core Intel pentium D cpu, such as the 3.2 Ghz Pentium d840. We aren't huge fans of this cpu (as you can see in this month's lab tests) but it will rip through videos quicker than anything else you can afford. I'd also recommend replacing the intel HSF with and Arctic cooling Frrezer Pro.

You'll also need plenty of RAM, a fast hard disk drive and a capable dual layer DVD burner. Graphics power is less of a priority so a mid range graphics card should suffice. Your budget should also allow for a quality 19 inch TFT monitor.

A bigger problem is choosing a case that will fit into an area 46mm deep. A micro ATX case will limit the hardware you can buy, so an ATX case is a better bet. Antec's SLK1650B Should do the job, as its only 42cm deep, yet still comes with a 120mm rear fan.

Unfortunately it's bundled with a weedy PSU, which you'll have to replace with a better model, such as Hiper's HPU-4M480

The following spec should work:

Antec SLK1650B £47.53

Hiper HPU_4M480 £40.47

3.2 Ghz Intel pentium D 840 £370.50

Abit AL8 Motherboard £82.19

2 x 1GB Corsair PC3200 £180.24

250GB Hitachi t7K250 £77.54

NEC ND-4550A (black) £30.49

Saphire radeon x800 gt (PCI-E) £105.24 :o

Arctic Cooling Freezer pro £22.44

Samsung Syncmaster 193P+ £319 :ermm:

Microsoft Keyboard and mouse £20

Window xp pro (OEM) £97.49

Total £1,393.13

Now i don't know what your budget is but i reckon that should give you some idea of what you should be focussing on, I don't think you have to go that high with the graphics card spec something like a £28 geforce fx 5900 xt should do the job for you, or any other pci express card.

I also don't know whether or not the case would appeal to you with it being smaller than normal. I'm also guessing you don't want to spend £319 on a screen. both places you could cut back costs.

I hope it helps (and you realise how long it took to copy all that out the magazine :D )

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Thats awsome Krisboats, thanks for the time yu spent, have of that spec is starting to ring a bell now.

I'll probably spend about £1000 on it all, although I would spend more to make it as I wanted it instead of making cutbacks, then it wouldnt be worth it.

thanks.

Bongo, ur mad haha, I'll stick with ma atarei :P

Phil.

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if you are wanting to do video editing, infact anything other than word processing and internetting get a CRT monitor, a sony, or dell - 19''

im pretty sure dells are made by sony.

you will save a hell of a lot here, and they are better, fact, for video/gaming you cannot beat a CRT, unless you are gonna spend silly money on a TFT with a desent response time

also, id go with min of 1gb ram, and get 2x512 sticks [fast] matched to run dual channel and then you should in thory as long as u get a desent mobo be able to stick 2 cheaper slower 1gb sticks in at a later date if you need them

and personally if your video editing, i wouldnt have a 74gb raptor and some 300s.

id get 2x74s in raid 0 and a good dvd writer / ram

as for cooling, it depends if you can cope with a jet engine on your desk. personally for a first build id leave the water! but the vapo chill coolers do work Very well for passive

finally, i would spend a reasonable amount on a gfx card cause you will probably regret it otherwise. cause with a machine thats that good you want to be able to play a few games.

my 2p

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if you are wanting to do video editing, infact anything other than word processing and internetting get a CRT monitor, a sony, or dell - 19''

im pretty sure dells are made by sony.

you will save a hell of a lot here, and they are better, fact, for video/gaming you cannot beat a CRT, unless you are gonna spend silly money on a TFT with a desent response time

also, id go with min of 1gb ram, and get 2x512 sticks [fast] matched to run dual channel and then you should in thory as long as u get a desent mobo be able to stick 2 cheaper slower 1gb sticks in at a later date if you need them

and personally if your video editing, i wouldnt have a 74gb raptor and some 300s.

id get 2x74s in raid 0 and a good dvd writer / ram

as for cooling, it depends if you can cope with a jet engine on your desk. personally for a first build id leave the water! but the vapo chill coolers do work Very well for passive

finally, i would spend a reasonable amount on a gfx card cause you will probably regret it otherwise. cause with a machine thats that good you want to be able to play a few games.

my 2p

Excellent mate, I have been looking into it today, AMD 64 X2 4200+, I'm going to run raid 0 array, one 74gb WD running at 10,000rpm and a 300gb @ 7,000rpm for data as I will need a lot of space, Ive been told it will run 600times faster at times in raid 0 for the programs so the compressioning and encoding etc will be rapid.

Graphics card was an Nvidia 6800 3d cmos or something like that, seems really good but not the best, but I doubt I will need the best especially from what you guys said.

For the monitor, Ive got lots of CRT monitors knocking about "Sun" monitors converted to run with the cards/pcs, 20" (17") and using now 17 (15.5") but I am looking at lcd monitors with dvi output, for £240 I can get a 19" with 4ms speed, good candle power and contrast, Although it's Samsung, I hope that would be ok, so I'm leaning towards that.

Memory wise I'm just looking at 1gp for £40 seems ok, and if I need any more I can always get some, unless you guys think I may aswell get x2 1gb straight away, or can I put 4 512kbs as you say it will be faster?

DVD copier is some Black NEC model, seems like it's had good reviews for reliability too, I'm not sure if I need 1 or 2 dvd copiers though, can't decide, to make duplicate copies is it better to copy from dvd to dvd or just keep running from the pc.

Cooling, I'm not too sure about that yet, you say about the jet cooling water stuff, is that expensive, and is it really needed, doesnt the dual core proccessors have less chance of overheating while being much faster?

Ive been told I can just put a few fans around the case too to help out.

I have no idea how water cooling would work, it sounds expensive, a couple of quiet fans shold be ok shouldnt it, especially as these Western digital HD are maga quiet "aparently"

Ive just been reading a lot of reviews and mags and stuff, thats what ive come up with.

Tell me if you think anything is wrong or if I can do anything better, thanks.

Phil.

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Excellent mate, I have been looking into it today, AMD 64 X2 4200+, I'm going to run raid 0 array, one 74gb WD running at 10,000rpm and a 300gb @ 7,000rpm for data as I will need a lot of space, Ive been told it will run 600times faster at times in raid 0 for the programs so the compressioning and encoding etc will be rapid.

You have to put identical drives in RAID, so you can't do it with the raptor and a big drive. One raptor will be big enough for all your programs and virtual memory, and use the other one for storage etc. Apparently there's a 142GB version of the raptor coming out soon, not sure when though. Although you probably won't need it anyway.

600 times? No way. The advantage of RAID 0 is debateable anyway, especially in seek times which is what's gonna be important for your operating system and editing stuff.

A 6800 is a pretty hardcore card. Not sure on the price, but it's gonna be around £150 depending on the exact model. That would be good for games, but you can certainly save £100 here. But like Currie said it might be a shame to have a very fast computer that is crap for games. But if you really will never game on it, there's no point.

Samsung monitors are supposed to be good. Maybe you should think about a big one though, or possibly two?

DVD copiers - The thing with DVDs is that you can't really just copy a DVD from one you've bought in a shop straight to a blank one. You really need to copy it to the PC first and then burn it. I get on fine with just one drive. You certainly don't need two burners, although one burner and one DVD-ROM might be useful. And for the sake of £12 it's probably worth it. Copying CDs you can just copy direct from one to the other, so if you do that a lot then definitely get 2 drives.

Unless you're gonna overclock or you need a super-quiet PC, I wouldn't change the cooling. There's no need. The cooling that comes with the CPU (make sure you get the retail version, not the OEM) is perfectly adequate. And you shouldn't need extra fans really, but they will help keep it cool.

I have no idea how water cooling would work, it sounds expensive, a couple of quiet fans shold be ok shouldnt it, especially as these Western digital HD are maga quiet "aparently"

Not sure where you heard that from, raptors are renowned for being noisy bastards. But I wouldn't worry about it too much - Your other fans will be far noisier :P For the record, Seagate drives are supposed to be the quietest, but like I say it doesn't really matter.

I'm stopping there now :S

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Yer Sorry i meant a pair of 36gb WD raptor SATA 150 drives :P in a raid 0 aray £73 a pot haha, awsome.

Ive heard of the seagate drives I can get a 300gb for £70, if they are quieter, I'd rather get one of these aslong as they are reliable

the graphics card is a 256mb apgx8 nvidia geforce 6800le £112

Another thing I was reading about is SLI and crossfire,, maybe I can save money by getting 2 smaller cards which said "magazine" will be 60% better perfomance than a single card. I dunno.

I may aswell put a decent card in it as I may need it in the future if I want to do anything else on the computer.

I was certainly considering 2 screens as that would help a lot, but looking at a 19" lcd monitor which is a true 19" That will be quite large, get it on a pretty high resolution I expect it to be ok I am using a 17" which is aactually 15" to do all my editing on and have been for a long time, yep it's cramped, but I think 19" would make it a lot easier, well it will save spending another £240 on another screen unless I use the 17" CRT monitor aswell or I choose to buy another monitor in the future.

What I meant with the 2 dvd re-writers was if I burn a dvd once from my computer (like a master copy) then I want to make duplicate copies of the DVD I made will it be better straight from the dvd to dvd or just carry on making copies from the computer to the DVD copier

Any input on linking 2 screeens together, do I need any extra hardware?

Thanks Tomm, ur a legend.

Phil.

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Quick post: 2 raptors is a lot, probably overkill and I don't think RAID will help the speed of your computer anyway. Maybe a bit but probably not worth the expense.

If you don't want a raptor then you can just get a big hard drive or two, nothing wrong with that. Might be slightly slower but not by a lot, and you'll save money. Seagate I think have a 5 year warranttee, they're supposed to be reliable.

SLI - At the moment it seems like it's much more cost-effective to just buy one card, rather than two cheaper ones in SLI.

19" TFT are a bit rubbish in that the resolution on them is 1280x1024 which is no more than some 17" ones. So I would think about getting two 17" ones, perhaps. And no you wouldn't need any extra hardware for dual screens, that 6800le will do it fine.

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I've done a lot of editing in my life (using Premiere) and have already discovered that most important is RAM and a good hard drive. 2GB of RAM in dual-channel should keep you going for ages. As far as harddisks are concerned, get a mainboard that has a RAID controler, and two hard drives of exactly the same spec (preferably the same model). What RAID does is to divide each file in half and store the two parts on the two drives separately. That makes the speed of the record/read much faster. It's also best if you use these two hard drives only for editing. You will probably be storing files of at least 100mb, up to 10gb if your into DV compression. If you introduce your windows files and other programs into your collection of large files, the disks will get fragmented pretty fast, and that will reduce their performance. I don't know anything about all these new processors, but a 64 bit Athlon is probably the best buy. A good graphics card is not nescesary in editing, even if you want to add some Maya or 3D Studio animation (most of the rendering, if not all, is done by the processor alone).

Cheers

Edited by Inur
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Here's my recommendation.

CPU: AMD X2 4200

Mobo: Asus A8N-E

RAM: Geil Value 2GB

GFX: Leadtek 6600GT 128MB PCI-E

HD: Samsung Spinpoint 250GB SATA2 8MB cache

DVD: NEC DVD+-RW and Sony DVD-ROM

PSU: Hiper Type-R 580W

Cost: £780

Thats a fairly balanced spec and with it having a SATA2 drive you'll get decent sustained data transfer speeds which is where you'll see benefits when doing video encoding etc. For the perfoemance benefits of a raptor drive i wouldn't bother, partition a larger drive and use that. The benefits you see from 2GB of system RAM will be good too as less will be needing to be stored on the hard drive in the windows swap file, with more capacity being available for large image editing and video encoding. The dual core processor will allow you to keep doing other things whilst encoding videos etc, and once these programs are multi-threaded to take advantage of both cores you'll have the option to get them done in half the time!!

[attachmentid=2587]

The you'll need a case and monitor or two.

In terms of monitors, i would say a pair of 17" would be better than one larger one. You can have two applications at full screen, or split a program such as premiere across both screens and have it all organised a bit more neatly. I've used both one large and two smaller screens and much prefer two smaller screens.

Whether you want CRT's or tft's it's up to you, go have a play on both and see which you prefer. I'm still a CRT user as i don't like tft's for games or CAD applications unless they are very high quality expensive ones (which i don't have the money for : ). If your on a budget and have the space a pair of decent quality 17" CRT's that do at least 75Hz refresh rate at 1280x1024 would be perfect.

post-35-1136650514_thumb.jpg

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For the monitor, Ive got lots of CRT monitors knocking about "Sun" monitors converted to run with the cards/pcs, 20" (17") and using now 17 (15.5") but I am looking at lcd monitors with dvi output, for £240 I can get a 19" with 4ms speed, good candle power and contrast, Although it's Samsung, I hope that would be ok, so I'm leaning towards that.

Memory wise I'm just looking at 1gp for £40 seems ok, and if I need any more I can always get some, unless you guys think I may aswell get x2 1gb straight away, or can I put 4 512kbs as you say it will be faster?

i havent looked at monitors for a while, but i didnt know you could get 4ms ones? :S are you sure it isnt like 4/8ms? if it is then thats a 12ms. - either way, for viewing video id say CRT is better any day. and agree with the resolution comment above.

id be worried about spending £40 on 1gb of ram - this will be generic for that price and wont work on some boards or maybe only single channel.

i meant 2x512 sticks in dual channel slots - fast main ram

and as many slower 1gb cards for backup as you can afford.

some people rave about generic [unbranded] ram but it can be very very crap.

i have found RAID to be very good for transfer/loading times.

maxtor drives.. they usually are pretty reliable except the last one i had [160gb] developed a weird noise that seemed to stop when i scrolled my mouse - noone has been able to explain it but it was one of those brain drilling noises, that you didnt notice until it stopped. :sick:

also i had forgotten case/psu - case really doesnt matter but if you have the space cheiftec dragon[i think] is pretty big very easy in terms of space etc great for putting extra drives in and psu wise id get one with a single 120mm fan. as they are much quieter.

and if you decide when its running its too hot dont go litter your case with 4 or 5 cheap screaming 80mm fans, spend a bit more and get a couple of 120mm papst fans, theyre almost silent, move tonnes of air and last forever.

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Ooooo, forgot about case advice/cooling.

As currie said, a 120mm fan will always be quieter for the same airflow, and to this end try to get a case that has 2x120mm fans holes in it. Generally there will be one at the front to push air over your hd(s) and one at the rear to pul the hot air out of your system.

In terms of fans themselves, some cases come with them whilst others (usually cheaper ones) don't. If you want quiet running then i recommend the akasa amber range of fans, I currently have a 120mm one on my cpu cooler and it's damn quiet. The loudest componants in the system i suggested above are likely to be the northbridge fan (on the motherboard) and the CPU fan. Both of these can be fairly simpy replaced if they are too noisy, the northbridge can be replaced with a passive (no fan) zalman heatsink and there are loads of relatively quiet cpu coolers out there for varying amounts of money, depending on what sort of performance you want. The best are the thermalright xp and si ranges. I have one of the xp120's which takes a huge 120mm fan and is cooling my heavily overclocked single core athlon 64 processor excellently (its at 36 degrees at the moment, 4 degrees above the case temp!!), although they are quite difficult to fit and some motherboards have problems with their size being so close to the board. I would recommend a thermalright SI-120 which is a newer design and raises the heatsink further away from the board and so has resolved the fitting and clearance issues of the xo-120 but with virtually the same performance, you'll need to buy a seperate fan to go on this but as i already said an akasa amber will do a fine job.

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Stuff all of that bollocks and get a mac (Y) Either iMac G5 Or Power Mac G5

Mac And OS-X, the best money can buy (Y) and the ultimate platform for video editing

Just my preference

If ALL you do is vid and pic editing then yeah, but for anything else its gotta be a win based PC. Games on a mac, no thanks, CAD/CAE on a mac, now stop before i fall off my chair laughing.

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lmao, a classic post!

couldnt agree more!

but tank rider.. why do you reccomend the akasa fans over papst! - papst are the bullocks!

Was looking at work and The EVS's We use for all the champions league footy have papst fans - they must be the best!

and if you want the ultimate edit machine dont ever buy a mac buy and EVS LSM! a snip at £80k - each

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couldnt agree more!

but tank rider.. why do you reccomend the akasa fans over papst! - papst are the bullocks!

Was looking at work and The EVS's We use for all the champions league footy have papst fans - they must be the best!

and if you want the ultimate edit machine dont ever buy a mac buy and EVS LSM! a snip at £80k - each

certainly would, for no other reason than there are thousands of model papst fans which all perform differently, so it can be real hit and miss as to whether you get the exact one you want, with the akasas they are universally available and they only do one model for each size meaning no confusion over part numbers etc.

I have mine running at under 800rpm (controlled through speedfan) and it is silent, cant even hear it with all the other fans in my system stopped!!

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