Video editing build

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Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:12 am

Hey guys! I've done a lot of research on the parts I want to buy for my video editing build, but I'd really appreciate some first-hand opinions :) I'm a professional video editor, and processing power is what I'm after. Higher clock speed/more cores will really help with rendering time. This is what I'm thinking:

Intel Core i7 3930K 3.2GHz Socket 2011 (6 core)
Is it worth going to the X3970? It's about $400 more expensive than the 3930.

Asus P9X79 Pro
Any other recommendations? The Deluxe seems like a pointless upgrade. The Sabertooth looks good though..

Asus GeForce GTX680-DC2-4GD5 4GB
I don't think the extra price for the 780 is justified since I don't game, or is it? And is it worth going Quadro?

Corsair XMS3 Vengeance DDR3 PC12800/1600MHz 32GB
This RAM seems to be the best bang for buck. Any other suggestions?

I'm planning on buying the Corsair Hydro H100i water cooling setup so I can overclock the CPU. Is this a good system? It seems to have good reviews.

Also, any recommendations on power supply?

Thanks in advance for any info. Really appreciate it! :)
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:17 am

Hey mate,
What NLE do you use? Makes a difference in what to suggest.
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:37 am

CityEater wrote:Hey mate,
What NLE do you use? Makes a difference in what to suggest.


Avid Media Composer 6.5

Avid typically recommend Quadro cards, but from past experience, standard GeForce cards work fine.

I also use a lot of Photoshop and After Effects.

Cheers :)
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:58 am

Since you need this to do work I'd absolutely recommend the 3970, usually I'm the resident cheapskate but pro editing is the one area I say go for broke because this is your stock in trade and saved time equals cash money.

Sabertooth comes with a 5 year warranty. That may be worth the small price increase because you'll be logging a lot more full-load hours than most.

Personally I wouldn't bother with Quadro. There was a time when it made sense, but these days they're almost identical to the GeForce series except for drivers and exist mostly as a way to get free money from dumb corporate bureaucracies.
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:26 am

NovusBogus wrote:Since you need this to do work I'd absolutely recommend the 3970, usually I'm the resident cheapskate but pro editing is the one area I say go for broke because this is your stock in trade and saved time equals cash money.

Sabertooth comes with a 5 year warranty. That may be worth the small price increase because you'll be logging a lot more full-load hours than most.

Personally I wouldn't bother with Quadro. There was a time when it made sense, but these days they're almost identical to the GeForce series except for drivers and exist mostly as a way to get free money from dumb corporate bureaucracies.


Thanks for the info :D

What's your reasoning behind getting the 3970? Here in NZ it's about $400ish more than the 3930. From what I can see, the only benefit is 2MB more cache and 300MHz higher base clock speed (which can be fixed :P).

Is it reeeaallly worth the extra money? Surely it can't equal more than slight performance bump?

Also, would there be any point waiting for the Haswell Extreme editions to come out?
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:20 am

suicidemonkey wrote:Also, would there be any point waiting for the Haswell Extreme editions to come out?


Those won't be out anytime soon :).

We're due for the Ivy-based workstation CPUs, I'm sure there's a news article for that somewhere, and they may be worth waiting for. But for the 3930k vs. anything else- don't bother unless you can prove to yourself that the extra cache will make a difference. If you can't (either by negative proof or none at all) your money is best spent elsewhere. You know you're going to be getting whatever clocks can be had from the CPU you get.

Quadro vs. Geforce: You might consider stretching for a Titan. You might also consider a GTX580, but I can't begin to tell you what would be better for your specific set of software. I am, however, very interested in what you wind up with and how well it works!
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:52 am

I do a little bit of editing in Premiere Pro and After Effects CS6, but I've likely spent more time reading about the software and learning about video processing in general (for what it's worth).

Going by reviews I have read, I would definitely go with the 3930K unless you know you will get a tangible boost from something faster. You are definitely going for the right platform, as memory bandwidth is one of the most important factors for video work (and obviously the X79 chipset is quad-channel). 32GB sounds good. I have maxed out my 16GB with just a small project in AE.

I also recommend a good SSD for your main OS drive, but that should be a given for advice on the TechReport forums.

This page has a list of GPUs which are supported for Adobe's rendering engine. This page has the info for CS6 if that is what you use. None of the 700-series GeForces are listed right now. Titan is also absent from the list. Since Adobe is all-in with CC now, I do not know if they plan to add any newer cards to the list for CS6. I have heard there is an easy hack to make any CUDA-capable card work, but I have no experience with that.

Good luck with your new build!
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:57 am

Thanks guys.

Interesting that there are differing opinions on the 3930 vs 3970.

As for the Titan, honestly never heard of it. I'm assuming it's some ultra high-end version of the GTX680? I'll have to do some research!

Anyone have any comments on the GTX680 vs 780? There's a pretty significant price difference.
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:50 am

GeForce GTX780 (US$654) is a cut-down and compute-crippled version of GeForce GTX Titan (US$1024).
GeForce GTX770 (US$406) is a rebadged version of GeForce GTX680 (US$410).
Note that the GeForce GTX680 has less compute prowess than the older GeForce GTX580 or the Radeon HD7970.
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:35 am

suicidemonkey wrote: I'm a professional video editor,

Intel Core i7 3930K 3.2GHz Socket 2011 (6 core)
Is it worth going to the X3970? It's about $400 more expensive than the 3930.



As a business perhaps there are some tax write offs that might make the extra cost a little easier to swallow? Of course you still have to have the funds to pay for it in the first place.

I run a 3930 on a P9X79 Pro with some Corsair Vengance 1600 RAM in my Linux box (Gentoo). Just selecting ASUS Optimal in the bios runs a mild overclock of around 4.05 GHz (True Frequency (without accounting Turbo) 4043 MHz <from i7z util>) and is as solid as a rock on all kinds of different loads. For CPU cooler I use a Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 and have never see any temps over 75 C.

Would I buy a 3970? No. Then again, my computers are my toys. I'm not trying to make a living with them. At least not yet. :)

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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:05 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:GeForce GTX780 (US$654) is a cut-down and compute-crippled version of GeForce GTX Titan (US$1024).
GeForce GTX770 (US$406) is a rebadged version of GeForce GTX680 (US$410).
Note that the GeForce GTX600 series has less compute prowess than the older GeForce GTX580 or the Radeon HD7970.


Sorry, JAE beat me to it- should have listed that out for you!

Nvidia muddled the waters this time around- the Titan is a 'half-Quadro' that is capable of accessing all of the data precision levels baked into a full-fat Nvidia GPU. If you can use the available 'high-precision' setting it's absolutely worth it's $1k asking price. The biggest things missing from Titan are Quadro drivers and full ECC hardware for the RAM, if that makes any difference.

The GTX780 is a 'Geforced' Titan; they took out the high-speed compute stuff, essentially just downgrading it to the fastest GPU on the planet for games (behind the Titan). If you don't need the high-speed high-precision stuff in Titan, it's the best card you can get, and it's the analogue to the old GTX580.

The GTX770/680 and below are the follow-ups to the GTX460 and GTX560. They're half-fat GPUs with anemic compute performance compared to the GTX580, GTX780 and Titan. Get one of these only if you know that your software will not make real use of Nvidia's compute capabilities.

And this is something you should research heavily. If the software you're using can take advantage of real compute capabilities, you're better off spending on a better GPU even if it means downgrading the CPU a step. GPUs are several orders of magnitude faster at almost every 'content creation' workload provided that the developer isn't too stupid or too lazy to code for them :).
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:20 am

Just something to keep aware of is that Adobe is moving to OpenCL and away from CUDA.
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:42 am

TheEmrys wrote:Just something to keep aware of is that Adobe is moving to OpenCL and away from CUDA.


Which thankfully brings AMD's cards into the mix. We need benchmarks!

I don't expect the top-end AMD cards to compete with the GTX780 and Geforce Titan, but they should wipe the GTX680/770 across the floor if the developer's get it right. IF.


*Random musing: Maybe we should start an 'Adobe Developer Kickstarter' that aims to improve Adobe products by purchasing more overtime for the developers while stocking them up on beer and pizza? I mean, there's nearly an unlimited source of commercial organizations that could get behind that! The ROI would be huge!
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:10 pm

Make sure you factor in fast disk access, preferably a RAID array (or big bucks on SSDs) if you plan on editing HD - or even if you work on more than a few streams at once. Timeline stutters and slowdowns make editing a drag, sometimes impossible. Sounds like you're zero-ing in on the processing power and RAM requirements nicely, just don't forget your NLE will need fast access to your source media.

Airmantharp wrote:And this is something you should research heavily. If the software you're using can take advantage of real compute capabilities, you're better off spending on a better GPU even if it means downgrading the CPU a step. GPUs are several orders of magnitude faster at almost every 'content creation' workload provided that the developer isn't too stupid or too lazy to code for them :).


The thing is how do you know which software benefits from high(er) DP rates? Despite all my research I still don't know the answer to that.

Most sites, if they mention compute performance at all will say something like, "... a great card for folks who really need DP floating point speed and accuracy." I know they're not referring to professionals doing fluid-syms or medical imagery and whatnot; those guys are running Quadro/Firepro (or Tesla). But do they mean hotshot hobby types using consumer-grade apps?

I'm wondering specifically about the 770/780 vs Titan. The biggest discrepancy between them seems to be the DP rates and it is a dramatic difference. But will Avid or AfterFX, Premiere Pro (or C4D) use all that muscle in the Titan?

The best answer I can find is from Anantech, who leaves us with this:

Meanwhile in double precision mode, the lack of an uncapped double precision mode for GTX 780 means that it brings up the bottom of the charts compared to Titan and its 1/3 FP64 rate. Compute customers looking for a bargain NVIDIA card (relatively speaking) will need to stick with Titan.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6973/nvidia-geforce-gtx-780-review/18

So I still don't know whether any of the consumer apps will benefit from Titan or not.
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:34 pm

Thanks for the info everyone! Much appreciated.

I think I'm going to find it difficult to justify buying the GTX Titan. Here in NZ, it's around $1700, whereas the GTX680 is under $1000. I'm not sure I've ever heard of this "high-precision" mode, or whatever it is. More research needed on my part. I'm also going to need to figure out if my NLE will take advantage of it.

As for CPU, I'm still thinking the 3930 will be fine. I think I'm better off overclocking that, and spending the extra money on a couple of SSDs that I can put in a RAID 0.

Another thing - if Adobe are moving away from Cuda and going to OpenCL, what does this mean for Nvidia cards? Is this a good or a bad thing?

Thanks again!
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:18 pm

The 'high precision' mode is just a driver switch Nvidia made for the Titan. Turned on, it lowers the clocks a little, but then runs double-precision operations at it's full internal speed (1/3 of some other rate) versus a much slower setting. Basically, flipping it on opens the card up like a Quadro or Tesla, whereas limiting it increases the clocks for work that won't use those operations as much (like gaming).

Essentially, if you can take even moderate advantage of double-precision compute horsepower, the Titan is a steal; but as you mention above, if you can't, then you'd might as well grab a 4GB GTX670. Or a 3GB GTX660. Whatever's cheap enough to get the job done; they all have the same half-Kepler GPU as the GTX770.
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:24 pm

Airmantharp wrote:Essentially, if you can take even moderate advantage of double-precision compute horsepower


so the question remains, what applications - or what operations within applications - crunch DP floating-point numbers?

Is the answer "All of them" - all non-integer (FP) operations can be calculated to a DP value but it's not required.

Am I warm? lol. If that's right I wonder how a card "decides" when to use DP and when not to. I know with the Titan you can tick the box in the prefs but for other cards, where there isn't an option...?
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:52 pm

suicidemonkey wrote:Another thing - if Adobe are moving away from Cuda and going to OpenCL, what does this mean for Nvidia cards? Is this a good or a bad thing?


I think what you're referring to is their recent support for OpenCL. AFAIK Adobe isn't "moving away from CUDA." Prior to CS6 (or maybe CS5.5) the HW acceleration was exclusive to CUDA; now in CS6 and CC certain Radeon cards can provide it too. I'm not sure if the entire Mercury Playback Engine is written for OpenCL yet though...and Adobe is notoriously slow certifying video cards. Like years slow...

But the hack for non-certified cards to (hopefully) unlock HW acceleration is easy, a simple change to a text file (i think it's still called "gpusniffer"). Then it either works or it doesn't (it usually does on newer cards). There's a few caveats; the card has to have at least 1G of VRAM...I forget what else, but nothing extraordinary. You'll find the hack easy enough and lots of users have posted their experiences with it.

Good luck on the build! Let us know how it's going...
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:34 pm

canoli wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:Am I warm? lol. If that's right I wonder how a card "decides" when to use DP and when not to. I know with the Titan you can tick the box in the prefs but for other cards, where there isn't an option...?


This is where you'll have to do specific research and get back to us :).

The application must support the card's API. That's CUDA or OpenCL for Nvidia, and OpenCL for AMD. ROI rules should dictate that the parts of the application that need good streaming performance are those that are ported to use compute APIs first, which should ensure that any application advertising CUDA/OpenCL support would see some performance advantage in FP limited operations.

But that's all just theory, and most of us don't know where to begin to start to find out what's real. In fact, you're better suited for that than we are!
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:35 pm

Thanks for the info guys.

I'm decided on the i7 3930, the Asus P9X79 motherboard, 32GB DDR3-1600 RAM, etc.

The video card is still an issue. I did a bit of research and found out that Avid Media Composer (my editing software) requires a Nvidia Quadro video card for GPU rendering to be unlocked. This is beneficial for things like rendering effects in real-time. Plus the Avid software is optimised to work really well with the Quadro cards, while GeForce cards aren't "officially supported".

I guess I could just buy a GTX680, see how well it works, and if I'm not happy I'll trade it in for a Quadro.

Decisions, decisions.
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:02 pm

Would a GeForce GTX580 provide better performance than the GTX680/GTX770 does?
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:15 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:Would a GeForce GTX580 provide better performance than the GTX680/GTX770 does?


Or a Fermi-based Quadro, at that?
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:45 am

suicidemonkey wrote:
The video card is still an issue. I did a bit of research and found out that Avid Media Composer (my editing software) requires a Nvidia Quadro video card for GPU rendering to be unlocked. This is beneficial for things like rendering effects in real-time. Plus the Avid software is optimised to work really well with the Quadro cards, while GeForce cards aren't "officially supported".

I guess I could just buy a GTX680, see how well it works, and if I'm not happy I'll trade it in for a Quadro.


Ya Avid is a lot like Adobe when it comes to "officially supported" cards; both companies put a lot of work into testing video cards and I guess that explains the long wait for an official stamp of approval. But I never heard that Avid "requires" a Quadro for GPU rendering. What type of rendering do you mean? I'm pretty sure Avid is like all the other consumer NLE's, rendering out a movie file (final render) depends mostly on CPU horsepower and disk(s) speed. Timeline rendering, i.e. previewing is a mix of CPU, disk(s) speed, RAM and some hardware-accelerated (a.k.a. "GPU rendering") effects.

Have you looked at the 780 at all? If you have the time and inclination there's a great review of it on anantech. The article is long and it dives pretty deep into what makes GPUs "tick." Unfortunately it didn't review my personal workflow and make recommendations - :) - but it came close.

Here's a link to the compute performance benches:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6973/nvidia-geforce-gtx-780-review/18
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:39 pm

canoli wrote:
suicidemonkey wrote:
The video card is still an issue. I did a bit of research and found out that Avid Media Composer (my editing software) requires a Nvidia Quadro video card for GPU rendering to be unlocked. This is beneficial for things like rendering effects in real-time. Plus the Avid software is optimised to work really well with the Quadro cards, while GeForce cards aren't "officially supported".

I guess I could just buy a GTX680, see how well it works, and if I'm not happy I'll trade it in for a Quadro.


Ya Avid is a lot like Adobe when it comes to "officially supported" cards; both companies put a lot of work into testing video cards and I guess that explains the long wait for an official stamp of approval. But I never heard that Avid "requires" a Quadro for GPU rendering. What type of rendering do you mean? I'm pretty sure Avid is like all the other consumer NLE's, rendering out a movie file (final render) depends mostly on CPU horsepower and disk(s) speed. Timeline rendering, i.e. previewing is a mix of CPU, disk(s) speed, RAM and some hardware-accelerated (a.k.a. "GPU rendering") effects.

Have you looked at the 780 at all? If you have the time and inclination there's a great review of it on anantech. The article is long and it dives pretty deep into what makes GPUs "tick." Unfortunately it didn't review my personal workflow and make recommendations - :) - but it came close.

Here's a link to the compute performance benches:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6973/nvidia-geforce-gtx-780-review/18


From what I've reade, Avid requires a Quadro card to enable the GPU to render effects in real-time on the timeline, which is (apparently) a lot faster than doing it on the CPU.

The official system requirements state:
"Graphics Card: NVIDIA Quadro FX family** (FX 560 or higher)"
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:23 pm

suicidemonkey wrote:From what I've reade, Avid requires a Quadro card to enable the GPU to render effects in real-time on the timeline, which is (apparently) a lot faster than doing it on the CPU.

The official system requirements state:
"Graphics Card: NVIDIA Quadro FX family** (FX 560 or higher)"


In my dated research of Adobe Premiere hardware acceleration, I found that these programs can be tricked into using a consumer GPU through adjusting software tags.

At the very least consumer GPUs are missing ECC, though, so be careful- but it might be a bridge solution, depending on how much you get paid for your work. Just keep an eye out for artifacts, as 'hard' artifacts introduced into the transcoding (*why isn't that a word?) process will not likely be amplified in photogenic ways.
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Airmantharp
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:29 pm

Airmantharp wrote:
suicidemonkey wrote:From what I've reade, Avid requires a Quadro card to enable the GPU to render effects in real-time on the timeline, which is (apparently) a lot faster than doing it on the CPU.

The official system requirements state:
"Graphics Card: NVIDIA Quadro FX family** (FX 560 or higher)"


In my dated research of Adobe Premiere hardware acceleration, I found that these programs can be tricked into using a consumer GPU through adjusting software tags.

At the very least consumer GPUs are missing ECC, though, so be careful- but it might be a bridge solution, depending on how much you get paid for your work. Just keep an eye out for artifacts, as 'hard' artifacts introduced into the transcoding (*why isn't that a word?) process will not likely be amplified in photogenic ways.


Yep, it's the same deal with Avid. You can modify a config file and trick the software into thinking your GPU is a qualified Quadro card, but it only works some of the time apparently.
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suicidemonkey
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:46 am

Another question--

Who can comment on the i7 4770 vs the 3930?

I'd love to get the 3930, I do a lot of rendering/encoding, etc, so the 6 cores would definitely be useful. But it's going to really push my budget.

Am I really going to see a massive difference between them? I'm thinking that I'd rather save the money

Thanks again for any info
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suicidemonkey
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:05 am

I think you will find that the performance gains from going a 3930 vs a 4770 will be marginal

Consider the 3930 has sandybridge cores, which are about 12-15% slower than ivy bridge, which is about 7% slower than Haswell (faster once the new instructions are implemented)

Anand has some nice graphs here:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6985/choo ... haswell-/4

7% is optimistic.. but let's go with that..

so.. to compare them on an even playing field:
3930 is rated to 3.2ghz x 6 cores = 19.2
4770 is rated to 3.5ghz x 4 cores = 14

Therefore, Haswell 4770=
14 x 0.15 = 2.1
=16.1 x 0.07 = 1.127
= 17.2

So the default 3930 is about 10% faster when running full tilt, than the Haswell 4770, with the exception of when the new simd instructions (AVX2) are used.

10% when you're talking 200 fps, is 20 fps.. this could matter to you.

Another thing to consider is a 3930 can handle 64 gig of ram, where the 4770 can only handle 32 gig of ram. Whether this matters depends on what you're using.

A bigger question I would be asking would be if that 7% benefit in speed between ivy bridge (3770) and haswell (4770) is worth it, as the delta in price between the platforms is not insignificant. Or a xeon E3-1245V2 - as this is the ivy bridge xeon equivalent to the 3770, just without the graphics which you won't need or use as you're going with a discrete graphics card.

Another note: the haswell chips don't overclock as high as the previous generations, the 3770k and the 3930k will probably peak around the same speed (4.6-4.8ghz) That said.. as a production machine, do you really want to overclock? I don't know if that is wise.
Last edited by jazper on Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:40 am

suicidemonkey wrote:Who can comment on the i7 4770 vs the 3930?

I do not know how much of a difference there will be between the processors, but there will be a huge difference between 2-channel and 4-channel memory in the context of editing.
Cannonaire
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Re: Video editing build

Postposted on Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:32 am

Cannonaire wrote:
suicidemonkey wrote:Who can comment on the i7 4770 vs the 3930?

I do not know how much of a difference there will be between the processors, but there will be a huge difference between 2-channel and 4-channel memory in the context of editing.


Even in games, the 6-core Sandys are showing to be >10% faster than Haswell; and they aren't memory bandwidth limited there. If you wind up using GPU compute, you're very likely going to need every bit of memory bandwidth you can get to keep all six cores and the GPU(S) fed. Note that adding additional GPUs just for compute might even be cost effective (though not as effective as initially getting six cores).
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