Thread: Correction: Help me build a $2500-3500 computer

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  1. #1 Correction: Help me build a $2500-3500 computer 
    Sorry for spamming posts but I just thought I would correct the thread title in case that might help, my $2500-3500 budget is for the computer as a whole not just for the CPU :)

    I am just looking for something good enough to handle big projects of 4k/5k raw Scarlet footage that will be able to last for a while, any recommendations would be great, thanks
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  2. #2  
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    If you can get the budget closer to 4K then the X99 with atleast the 5930K would be an option if not the 5960X which is what you want. 32GB of ram would be minimum with 64GB ideal. Atleast 1 SSD drive for the OS and a 980Ti card for video. The drive arrangement would have to be 2x mechanical drives in a raid 0 for that budget range atleast at the moment. You could add to the drive config later.
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  3. #3  
    Thanks a lot Eric, this is really helpful. How would a Mac Pro within this budget (so probably the quad core with a graphics card and a bit of a RAM upgrade) compare to specs like these? I was originally trying to use Final Cut but that was only to try to save some money from the monthly fees of Adobe. But if I am saving some money on the PC maybe I should consider Adobe. I also thought about trying to do the Hacintosh route but I don't know if it is a good idea with the very limited computer knowledge that I have. Any advice here? Also are there any hard drives or specific types of RAM that you would recommend?
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    No the nMPro would not offer the same performance in that price range. The nMPro is the previous i7 Gen 3 platform and AMD GPU's versus Nvidia. The PC Workstation and Server platform are i7 Gen 4 which introduced DDR4 to the market. That has a significant impact on GPU acceleration performance especially at 4K and 5K. If you use Final Cut instead of Adobe you would likely have atleast acceptable performance on the Mac in that price range versus Adobe. However if you go the Adobe route then the performance and hardware specs you can get for the money spent are far better on PC. The ram will depend on which platform you get. If you decide on a platform then I can recommend what to look for on memory. Any WD Black drives would be fine for raid 0. Seagate Barracuda drives would be the choice for Seagate. They just have a lesser warranty. Performance is about the same with the Seagates having a little better caching model.
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  5. #5  
    Awesome, I am going to browse a bit and check some prices and I will try to get back to you soon to figure out the memory part of it. I appreciate the help
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Eric Z's Avatar
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    For great performance, you'd probably need something like:
    X99 chipset
    i7-5960X CPU
    4x16GB (64GB) 2133MHz DDR4 RAM (sadly, no ECC supported with the above CPU)
    NVIDIA 980 Ti 6GB or Titan X 12GB GPU
    Intel 750 1.2TB PCIe NVMe SSD
    Samsung 950 Pro 512GB M.2 NVMe
    Seasonic Platinum 860W PSU
    Win7 Pro wSP1 x64 en-US (or if you can live with MS collecting your data - Win10 Pro x64).


    However, if the above exceeds your budget:
    Z170 chipset (for example: Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming GT)
    i7-6700K CPU
    4x8GB (32GB) 3000MHz DDR4 RAM (again, no ECC supported with the above CPU)
    NVIDIA 980 Ti 6GB
    Samsung 950 Pro 512GB M.2 NVMe
    Samsung 850 Pro 2TB 2.5" SATA3
    Seasonic Platinum 760W PSU
    Win7 Pro wSP1 x64 en-US

    This should get you sorted.
    Cheers.

    P.S.
    Please note that you also need to add an enclosure, keyboard, mouse and monitor(s).
    So take that into account as well.
    Last edited by Eric Z; 10-23-2015 at 09:33 PM. Reason: replaced SM951 with 950 Pro
    "Don't under-estimate the amateur photographer. The latest HW & SW empower him to achieve results just as good as yours".
    Nothing beats a Master Prime!
    Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H, 24GB RAM, i5-3570K, Intel 520 120GB SSD - Win7 Pro SP1 x64, Dell U2713H 27" 10bit @ 2560x1440@60Hz (via miniDP).
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    ECC is unnecessary for media content production work. That is only required for Server operations or HPC work where the system is on 24/7 for weeks. I would also suggest DDR4 above 2133 for the X99. The 5960X is unlocked both for the CPU and memory and the higher frequency DDR4 will be higher grade ram as well. Ideally you want DDR4 2666+ and CL15. I would also not suggest the Intel NVMe drive with the Samsung SM951. They do not perform up to the specs of the drive consistently and constantly fluctuate performance below specs due to caching. They also take up a valuable PCI-E slot. I would suggest 2x SSD's in a raid 0 versus the NVMe drives.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Eric Z's Avatar
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    ECC is very much recommended, especially when using 32GB or more, as there`s more chance for an incorrect bit to occour.
    As for using RAM faster than 2133mhz - you're right. However, I haven't seen any DDR4 16GB sticks that clock higher. That`s why I wrote 2133mhz in the x99 build.
    8GB sticks are available with higher speeds. That`s why I wrote 3000mhz in the Z170 build.

    Regarding the SSD choices - I don`t have much experience with PCIe NVMe drives, but all the reviews I've read praised them. RAID is of course very welcome, but the guy is on a tight budget. I'm not sure how much he can spend on storage.
    "Don't under-estimate the amateur photographer. The latest HW & SW empower him to achieve results just as good as yours".
    Nothing beats a Master Prime!
    Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H, 24GB RAM, i5-3570K, Intel 520 120GB SSD - Win7 Pro SP1 x64, Dell U2713H 27" 10bit @ 2560x1440@60Hz (via miniDP).
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    ECC is not required anymore if your ram is good ie test it reliably when the system was built. ECC was designed for electromagnetic interference or other anomalies causing transistor gates to flip prematurely generating ram errors. This so rarely happens now you can run systems for weeks before you can even see 1 error. The last study on this said it took 6 months of memtesting to generate 1 error. This was years ago. Ram either tests good without any errors or you have a bad stick.
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    Anybody here seeing noticeable real-world specific benefits to DDR4 RAM above 2400-2666MHz besides benchmarking in comparison to 2133Mhz DDR4, be it ECC or non-ECC?

    Just loaded up a new Z170 build with 64GB DDR4, looking to perform some app specific testing as time permits...
    Last edited by John Bellari; 10-21-2015 at 11:51 AM.
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