Video: We build the ultimate AMD video-editing PC

A good friend of mine, Stephen Georg, who runs the YouTube channels StephenPlays (with over 150,000 subscribers) and StephenVlog (with over 60,000 subscribers), recently came to me with a problem. Another mutual friend of ours, Dan Settembrini, is a video editor by trade, and he helps Stephen produce content for his channels.

Dan’s editing rig, a mid-2010 Mac Pro with the base quad-core CPU and Radeon HD 5770, has really started to show its age in 2018. Stephen was curious whether I had any parts on my personal shelves that we could use to build Dan a new system. We went one better and worked with AMD, Gigabyte, G.Skill, Samsung, Fractal Design, Western Digital, and Antec to build Dan a video-editing PC for the ages.

Best of all, we took Dan totally by surprise.

We’ll be publishing a follow-up article in the coming days with more details of our build and its benefits for Dan’s workflow, but for now, enjoy our video chronicle of the experience. Our thanks to AMD and all of our other sponsors for making this awesome build happen.

Comments closed
    • Tamale
    • 1 year ago

    Such a great video and gesture. As someone who ended up lucky enough to have some of these same ‘connections’ for a while I know exactly how this feels so it’s cool to see it put to such a great use.

    • WaltC
    • 2 years ago

    Great video, guys…I really enjoyed that…;) Very nice system–he’s a lucky guy to have such friends! It’s so nice to have a powerhouse system than can be used for play after the work is done…just can’t beat it, imo. Looks great!

    • Mr Bill
    • 2 years ago

    That motherboard makes my heart beat faster. Hoooooo!

    • Ninjitsu
    • 2 years ago

    [s<]I'm curious which software Dan will use to edit videos now, since I assume he's coming from FCP? Adobe Premier? Sony Vegas?[/s<] nvm i watched the video, he uses Premier.

    • elites2012
    • 2 years ago

    i just saw this video yesterday. thats awesome that you guys pulled a super pc together for him. yes it was time to toss that old mac pro. i know that made more than just his day.

    • Voldenuit
    • 2 years ago

    Now you need to make an AMD-style promo video, with 80s hair, rock music, and a garage band.

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    Think this means more TR video features in the future Jeff?

    • JDZZL
    • 2 years ago

    Great video, and a great act of kindness. Well done!

    • Jigar
    • 2 years ago

    Why does this kind of surprise never happens to me.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      you need better friends.

    • blitzy
    • 2 years ago

    well done helping out a mate, and nicely presented / edited video too

    • RtFusion
    • 2 years ago

    That was such a great reaction! More build videos please!

    • HERETIC
    • 2 years ago

    This might be a good place to ask a question that’s bugging me.
    Why are some TV shows being made in 2:1 aspect ratio?
    With perhaps 90% of the worlds TV’s being 16:9,why waste
    real estate with black bars?
    Totally understand with movies,but TV shows????????????

    Nice box-I initially thought you were building a new test bench………

      • bill94el
      • 2 years ago

      I haven’t seen anything new that wasn’t 16:9 for many years. That said ~15 yrs ago the 100% standard TV screen was 4:3 and most of the shows were filmed in that format. Unless they are cropped to fit the 16:9 there are going to be black bars.

        • HERETIC
        • 2 years ago

        I’m talking”very new”-this is a recent thing.
        Frontier and Fargo S3 are a couple.
        The black bars are top and bottom-small but there.
        720X360 instead of 720X400/404
        Just checked-Startrek Discovery-comes up as 16:9 1280×720
        but has black bars top and bottom-effective res 2:1

          • ermo
          • 2 years ago

          Maybe because 18:9 (yes, really) phone screens are becoming a thing?

          Also, what’s with the hate for black bars? I routinely use horizontal black bars for subtitles when watching 2.35:1 movies.

            • Voldenuit
            • 2 years ago

            As the owner of a 21:9 monitor, I for one welcome our new ultra-widescreen overlords. Gaming on one is amazing, as well, for the ever-growing subset of games that have decent 21:9 support. And of course Cinemascope movies look great, too.

            That said, I saw a 32:9 samsung monitor at the Microsoft Store the other day, and it was wiiide.

      • Tumbleweed
      • 2 years ago

      Take a look at the screen ratio of modern flagship phones, then realize a lot of ‘tv’ shows are being watched on…phones.

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    Everyone likes this new AMD rig… except for CTS.

    • just brew it!
    • 2 years ago

    Just watched it. That’s fan-damn-tastic!

    • davidbowser
    • 2 years ago

    Doing this for a buddy is just awesome. Great folks doing cool stuff.

    • Phartindust
    • 2 years ago

    Love seeing stories like this. Great job by all involved with this project. Happy editing Dan!

    • Redocbew
    • 2 years ago

    What the crap?!?

    That probably would have been my reaction as well. An excellent project. Nicely done.

    • LocalCitizen
    • 2 years ago

    i guess this means no buffalo 2700x buffalo release this weekend.

    agree with others, this is way cool, Jeff is so nice. gotta watch the video again

    • derFunkenstein
    • 2 years ago

    This was cool. Good on everyone involved.

    • the
    • 2 years ago

    As a fellow Mac Pro owner, I’ve found that upgrading the CPU to higher clock speed (mine was initially 12 core total so I couldn’t go higher) and upgrading to a modern video card improves that system tremendously. If you’re using Pascal or Polaris generation of GPU for encoding, it is possible to easily outrun the newer 2013 trash can Mac Pro. I haven’t been able to test personally, but the 2010 Mac Pro also supports PCIe based NVMe SSDs. The downside is that generation of Mac Pro only utilizes PCIe 2.0 speeds it’d be bandwidth constrained but still way faster than a SATA SSD. Another benefit of the Mac Pro is that it supports registered ECC memory which permits 16 GB per DIMM capacities.

    A new system is of course going to be radically faster, especially as more and more applications are leveraging AVX/AVX2. Per clock speed increases have been marginal since Haswell arrived years ago but that is still a good leap ahead of the Westmere chips used in that generation Mac Pro. Clock speeds, at least at stock, haven’t moved much on the high core count chips. This ThreadRipper build sits at 3.4 Ghz which is just a hair under the 3.46 Ghz chips you can get for that old Mac Pro. Per clock improvements and going from 12 cores to 16 cores is what makes the new build so much faster on the CPU side. Maximum memory capacity is only twice that of the Mac Pro as the Mac Pro supports registered DDR3 vs. unregistered DDR4 on Threadripper. Raw memory bandwidth of the Thread Ripper is only ~66% higher due to quad channel 3200 Mhz vs. six channel 1333 Mhz.

    Still a wonderful build at an even better price for Dan!

      • morphine
      • 2 years ago

      Jeff is such a nice friend/boss. Ask us if he asked us if any of us wanted that Threadripper system…

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        I’m not saying that I’d become an AMD fanboy if I got one of these…..

        But I would.

        I just wouldn’t [b<]say[/b<] it.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        Did he ask any of you if you wanted that threadripper system?

          • morphine
          • 2 years ago

          No, he did not πŸ˜›

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      It’s an eight year old computer. It’s time to let it go. πŸ˜†

        • the
        • 2 years ago

        I would have years ago if Apple would have built something I wanted.

        Actually that is the problem I generally have, I read too much about the bleeding edge of technology I’ve continually passed out on making purchases. I want to go full overkill with an [url=https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/WS-C621E-SAGE/<]Asus WS-C621E-SAGE[/url<] build but I am told I have a biological need for kidneys. Even then I reportedly only have two kidneys so I wouldn't have any to spare for two Quadro GP100 cards and the NVMe add-in cards for storage. The funny thing is that while most people dream of such systems, I do get to actually get hands on time with such hardware at work. Case in point I've been spec'ing out a media server with a Quadro GP100 to drive content large LED video wall. While I personally can't afford them personally, such a dream is depressingly more tangible.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 2 years ago

      Two things. The kidney joke????

      Srsly bro???

      Second thing.

      Your memory bandwidth calc is incorrect. He has one CPU according to Jeff and that CPU generation has 3 memory channels, not 6 which would be two CPUs.

      Glad I could help.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        Taking a Mac Pro 2010/2012 from one CPU to two is [url=https://www.ebay.com/itm/2009-Mac-Pro-4-1-upgrade-dual-CPU-tray-card-8-core-8GB-no-exchange-necessary/273123816000?hash=item3f9772b240:g:1tkAAOSwXsFagLDs<]not particularly cost efficient[/url<], either.

        • the
        • 2 years ago

        Ah, I didn’t see where that was a single socket Mac Pro. Most of the Mac Pro owners I know, myself included, opted for the dual socket model due to the extra processing power and higher memory capacity.

          • blastdoor
          • 2 years ago

          My 2009 Mac Pro is yearning to be replaced… hopefully this will be the year

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 2 years ago

          I was running an i7 920 C0 during that time with a measely 6 GB of RAM.

            • MOSFET
            • 2 years ago

            I just inherited an i7 920 and Asus Rampage II Extreme and PNY GTX 660 2GB with blower. OC’d to 3.2 using a preset, as I was no longer intimately familiar with a FSB πŸ™‚ Performance with 16GB of DDR3-1600 (2×8) is pretty good – I am surprised how well the combo handles 1080p gaming/benchmarking.

            But, the power consumption is awful while OC’d. 110W idle, 220-250W CPU loaded, and >300 with CPU/GPU load. Nearly 400W with max CPU/GPU load, which is somewhat artificial. Only drive is Intel SSD 530, 240GB.

            I think there is something wrong with memory channel A, though. Manual says for dual channel use A+B, for triple channel use A+B+C. Any two DIMMs I put in A+B show up as half capacity in BIOS and Task Manager, although CPUZ shows dual channel. If I put the same two DIMMs in B+C, everything goes normal. Put 3 matched DIMMs in A+B+C, and it sees 2/3 capacity in BIOS and Task Manager, but CPUZ shows triple channel and sees three DIMMs’ SPDs. Anyone know WTF? I don’t really care – dual channel is plenty, and this will not become my main workstation without a serious disaster.

      • DPete27
      • 2 years ago

      [quote<]2010 Mac Pro also supports PCIe based NVMe SSDs.[/quote<] Wow, Apple is so forward-thinking that they added support for NVMe 3 years before it was even ratified!!! We all should be so enlightened.

        • the
        • 2 years ago

        Apple has been bundling firmware updates with their OS updates. Another example is that the older Mac Pros can boot from Apple File System volumes now where as Apple File System volumes weren’t a thing until last year.

    • Mr Bill
    • 2 years ago

    Cat tested and approved!

    • Misel
    • 2 years ago

    Why did you water cool the CPU but not the GPU?

      • w76
      • 2 years ago

      Just a guess, but if there was a budget, adding the GPU significantly adds to the cost. You can get closed-loop CPU-only water coolers for relatively cheap.

      • Shobai
      • 2 years ago

      In my experience it’s as important to cool the VRMs as it is to cool the GPU, and it’s hard to do that adequately without a full cover block. You can get brackets that enable clamping an AIO to the GPU, but then you have to fiddle to hack together a VRM cooling solution.

      Given that the stock cooling is more than adequate I wouldn’t recommend doing other than what they did, for the vast majority of users.

    • Convert
    • 2 years ago

    That was a very nice thing you did for them Jeff. My hat is off to you good sir.

    • sweatshopking
    • 2 years ago

    This is a cool partnership, and hoping to see more of these kinds of things in the future!

      • Mr Bill
      • 2 years ago

      Yes, a good way to reach some of the video crowd and the cat inspection of the final product was well done.

        • the
        • 2 years ago

        I dunno. My cats perform inspections during design, assembly and testing before it becomes product. They are diligent like that.

          • morphine
          • 2 years ago

          I bet they don’t help with the final dusting process. In fact, probably much the opposite.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            The very best cats are tons of help with that final process because they’re not contributing to the problem. Instead, they live with someone else.

            • LostCat
            • 2 years ago

            True, true, I am the best. πŸ˜‰

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    Spoiler alert!

    [spoiler<]The most dramatic part is where they execute the Ocean's 11-scale heist to get the GPU. [/spoiler<]

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      Haven’t watched but I think all those build-log parts went into this thing. :p

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        Well duh… of course they’re going to have an alibi that they sourced the GPU from an “OEM”.

        These guys are professionals.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          TouchΓ©.

          Also, I don’t know what overcame me that I felt the need to post my first reply. I’m usually so good about playing along with jokes.

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