I feel the need for more speed!

OK, I have had the same computer for the past 2.5 years and it has worked great but now that I am starting to use DaVinci Resolve Lite and testing Premiere CS6 I am realizing it is finally time to upgrade my computer. I am not a gamer.

UPDATE: This computer is not just for my current DSLR cameras, I can see in a couple of years using cameras that shoot RAW video as well and at double the resolution.

While all my friends and family think I am some sort of computer genus when it comes to helping them with their computers, I know enough to know I know very little compare to others when building a system. So I need some help and have a few questions.

Yes it’s Windows Build – Sorry Mac Users

First off I need to tell you that I am a Windows user, so let’s just get that part out of the way first, I know over 30% of the visitors that follow me use a Mac, and if you want you can leave me a comment and say that I should buy a Mac that’s fine but I’m not going to. It’s not that I don’t like Macs, in fact my very first computer was a Mac and it was so much better than a PC at the time, but I am comfortable with PC and I know it really well. I have haven’t had the blue screen of death in ages.

What I Have Now

I think it is important first to let you know what I have currently. I got a HP Desktop i7-930 2.8GHz 12gig of RAM using a MSI N240GT-MD1G/D5 GeForce GT 240 1GB GDDR5 graphics card with 100 CUDA cores.

I don’t need a monster of a system that costs $6,000 with 32 cores, I don’t usually have clients in the room so if I am dropping a few frames here and there it is not a big thing for me, so my budget is around $2,000. And I need it to be quiet as what I have now.

Parts List

So after doing some research this is the part list that I came up with:

  • i7-3930k 3.2g 6 core at $569. This seems to be the most cost effective and bang for the buck CPU out there for video editing. Not sure I will get the K unlocked version because I have never overclocked something in my life. UPDATE: after reading everyone’s comments how easy it is to overclock this thing with the MB I have picked below I am going to give that I try.
  • ASUS P9X79 Pro motherboard at $300, it has 8 DIMM’s so I can have 64G of RAM if I want to. And it has USB 3 which will be nice for offloading SD cards faster than my current USB2.
  • 32G RAM Kingston 4 slots 8Gig each $250 UPDATE: from the comments this does not seem to be the best RAM for the build, I am looking at more options now. Since I am now going to overclock getting RAM greater than 1600MHz, like 1866MHz or 2133MHz. I went with the 1600MHz.
  • GTX 680 2GB $470 the GTX 670 cost $100 less and seems to perform just as well so I might go with that one if I need to save money somewhere. Juan Salvo who is a colorist recommended I get the GTX 680 “FTW” 4gb version which costs $560. Either EGVA or MSI. I made overclock this card, it sounds easy to do. It sounds like Premiere will work with only one card.
  • Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Cooler $30 from the reviews it sounds like this fan is very quiet. UPDATE: Since I am overclocking now, I am looking at a different cooler. I’m looking at the Corsair H100i liquid cooler right now with two noctua NF-F12-PWM fans.
  • Carbine Corsair 400R case $100 I have not check but I hope the graphics card can fit. UPDATE: many people suggested the Fractal Design Define R4 which I am looking at now. UPDATE 2: Now I am looking at the NZXT Phantom Case at $120.
  • Corsair 850Watt power supply $140 not sure I need that much but I might add more drives in the future. UPDATE: I am actually thinking of backing down a bit and using a 750Watt Cooler Master GX 750Watt at $129.
  • Already have a Kington 480G SATA3 SDD for my C or OS drive that I would just move over to the new computer, and a 3TB hard drive for my media. What I am thinking is buying another SDD but smaller for the OS drive, using the Kingston 480 for a scratch drive and then the 3TB for the rest of my media files.
  • Windows 7 Pro so I can use 32G of RAM.
  • Reuse my existing DVD drive
  • As for backup I have a system in place that I have used for years that is extremely simple and has never failed me, but I am open to other ideas like a raid system if they help with performance but to be honest I know little about RAID systems.
  • After I have it built I will hold off for awhile to do a RAID or any overclocking for a month or so.


One of the questions I have for you is should I build this myself or find a vendor that can put this together for me. I think I have the patience and the knowledge to put together myself but to be honest I would rather spend a bit more and have someone build it for me. I don’t know much about thermal paste. If you guys wanted to watch me build it myself I can do a video on that as long as if I ran into a snag you could help me out.

UPDATE: So many people commented that I should build it myself that I am going to have to give this a try. I might even do a Google Hangout of the build.

RAID or Not to RAID

I am getting comments like this one, so I am thinking about not doing a RAID 1 for speed:

SSD drive, I get avg 400MB/sec without RAID, so I think you should be ok without RAID


Thank Dave over at Studio1Productions and Juan Salvo for helping with GPU information and suggestions.

Thanks to all the people that have commented here and on YT with all their advise!

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  • doug, you dont need a 3930k-
    the power will come from the gpu, so a 3770k is fine if you want more power you should use 2x gpu insted.. cuda cores is tha power, the 3930 is great but its not head over heal above the 3770.

    the amd 8 core is a oki bet too s your not gaming on it.
    futher more 2×670 you dont need the 680, and try get some whit the extra fan option so you have 2 or 3 fans on the gpu.

  • What’s sad is I would pay 6k for a Mac Pro with similar options and thunderbolt, ect of course. I love osx and hate windows but I’m seriously thinking about buying a windows setup and maxing it out cuda style with a red rocket. This was an eye opener.

  • Thmoas (or, Thomas you meant?) In this case a 3930k is perfect for him as a 3770k won’t allow him the extra memory slots.

    Everything looks good except the cooler. I’d go with a Noctua NH-D14 if you’re going for silence. It’s an amazing cooler, and comes with really amazing fans.

    The only other thing I might change is your case. I’ve been really happy with my Corsair 550D, which has sound dampening foam. Very quiet, near silent if you control your fans rpm and use Noctua case fans. Noctua NF-P12s are a great investment.

    Also about the thermal paste, the Noctua cooler comes with it’s own very good paste. If you aren’t going to go with that cooler, you can pick up “Innovation Cooling Diamond “7 Carat” Thermal”, and it performs really well for the money. ($8)

  • Dave,

    have you considered using an Nvidia Quadro 2000? They are about £250-£300, here in the UK. I’m not sure how much they would be in the US – probably around $450.
    It’s a card certified for CS6, with 256 cuda cores, I think it could do very well, both in Premiere Pro and Davinci Resolve.

    I’m considering building a PC this year too. I’d be looking to optimize it for Premiere Pro, but I thought I’d share my opinions on this.


  • Sweet rig. I am buying almost the same machine. Upgrading from i7 920.

    I have GTX 670 from before, so i wont get a GPU.

    i7 is VERY easy to overclock so you should consider getting a better cooler, like Corsair H100i or the very silent Noctua 14 for 2011 socket.

    That will open up quite a performance gain, making your 3930K faster than the extreme editions that costs twice as much.

    You should build the system yourself. Its plug and play. If you played with Fisherprice or Lego as a child, you can build a computer. You cant plug anything wrong.

    Use Noctua thermal paste, its very good at a decent price. Most coolers however comes with paste already in place, so you just plug and play if you dont care about best possible cooling for overclocking.

    First thing im going to do is overclock mine, hehe. Itll save me plenty of time later on when doing heavy CPU work

  • Oh and i promise, youll be able to use 64gb ram if you buy them, so why not. More RAM preview will save you money later on.

    Also i recently read about a test with asus vs. apple. Basically the Asus smoked the Apple Macbook Pro 5x the speed in Premiere Pro export.

    SSD in Raid 0 in the Asus was named as the culprit, so i am going down the RAID way myself now.

    Speed. Its all about speed. Especially when collecting images from all around the harddrive during export.

  • Hi Dave

    My first comment on your site so, love your site and been following you for while 🙂

    When I upgrade me 6-7 years old PC about year ago. I found that videoguys.com guide for a custom, not very expensive to build your own computer super helpfull. I followed it mostly og my setup works like a charm. Even tried editing 4K video on it.

    Check there site on Videoguys DIY9.5. Mine is DIY 8 Sandy Brige.

    And buy some extra case fan to cool it better down. If it is well cooled, less wear and longer lifetime. 😉

    If you putting it yourself together, just watch out for static electricity. I usally touch something metal witch is grounded when I’m working with computer parts before I start.

  • Hey Dave,

    Funny thing is that I put together nearly the EXACT system you spec’d out here. The only difference is that I put in a ATI 5870, and I “only” placed 16gig of ram.

    I was coming from an i7 27″ Imac 3.4, and the difference was insane. I find myself opening large apps just for fun to “feel” the power and speed. I’ve used Apple for the past 10+ years, so this was a big step for me…and I am very glad I made it. The value I get from this system is WAY better than the Apple – as a like for like system would have been 6-8k.

    Since I love the 720 Dell case, I had my small local computer shop do a custom install/build into that case – and I LOVE it!! They did have to order a special motherboard “plate” (or seat) since the ASUS motherboard had a different screw pattern, BUT I cannot tell you how much better that case is from a size standpoint. I have 4 HD’s from older systems I placed in the case, and 2 new SSD drives – with room to spare.

    Anyway, I really think you can’t go wrong with the specs you have here, and I can tell you its the best combo I have ever had in a computer – a very noticeable difference from my other i7 CPU.

  • Dave, Case, power supply and cpu cooler go with Coolermaster , actually I have the Gold silent pro PSU, Hard drives , nothing better than Western Digital Velociraptor 1 Terabyte, I have 2 into the case and a few WD My passport usb 3.0 outside. Graphic card I’m using the PNY GTX 660 Ti and Premiere CS5 works fine but the card gets HOT VERY HOT so with your options you will be close to hell.or water cooling

  • build it yourself, the community is here to help-
    I thought you might like this system for $1,800

    You have thunderbolt on this board so if in the future, you can connect a RAID array. Also has USB 3.0. The motherboard can overclock itself, you just have to click a button.-
    Search “ncix raid” on youtube, the first 2 videos are helpful about RAID

  • Hey Dave, I just started doing wedding videography and a buddy of mine helped me build a computer. These parts are bang for the buck and had pretty good reviews on newegg. It’s setup with a Raid 5 on three 1TB hard drives. I would highly recommend getting liquid cooling in future. During idling, my CPU is 23 degrees and 43 degrees during rendering videos. The fan that came with my CPU wasnt keeping it cool enough. With this setup and liquid cooling, I was able to overclock the cpu from 3.6 to 4.1 and its very stable!

    My parts list.

    Case – Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan

    Motherboard – ASUS M5A99X EVO R2.0 AM3+ AMD 990X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

    X3 Hard Drives – Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    Card Reader – Rosewill RDCR-11003 74-in-1 USB3.0 3.5″ Internal Card Reader w/USB Port

    CPU – AMD FX-8150 Zambezi 3.6GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor FD8150FRGUBOX

    Power Supply – OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom

    Graphics Card – EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) FPB 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    LG Bluray rewriter

    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model F3-2133C9D-16GXH


    Antec Kuhler H2O 620 Liquid Cooling System


  • Dave…As much as I love your honest blog/videos I must put my foot in your mouth!

    Do not listen to these responders, you must think future proof, the Asus MB has thunderbolt big + and 64Gb of ram seems like a lot now, but not enough next year, think 128GB off the top for AE Renders, Cuda think 2-4GB ram first, then think GUI VS Resolves needs, Yes one decent card can handle resolve, but not using 2-3 monitors.

    I’m out, good luck and think 4k not 2k in dollars.

  • Very interesting, Dave! I’ll be keeping track of this as I’m an intrigued Mac user open to suggestions about decent Windows-based systems.

    A question I have at this stage is: Why DaVinci Resolve as a new addition to your workflow? I don’t know much about it, other than its VERY high-end application and that the BMCC comes shipped with the full version (and that the bespoke console costs the same as a small house!…)

    I’d like to see you do an overview of it, particularly as I am a Premiere CS6 user and only used to using software including Fast Color Corrector and Colorista.



  • There is some great advice here on the actual machine (and the build you sketched out is excellent), so I just wanted to point out that I highly recommend building the machine yourself. It is a great way to get familiar with the computer, upgrades will be a snap, it doesn’t take much time, and it is really quite easy (and dare I say fun). Besides, there are plenty of folks here who can help you out at a moment’s notice should you run into trouble.

  • Dave, I built a PC about four years ago and another about six months ago. The new system was amazingly easy to assemble, far more plug and play than my previous system. The only thing that gave me fits was figuring out how to set up the OS to the hard drive and only Adobe to the SSD. I would also argue that you could use the slightly slower i7 and spend the money on your GPU. Do get one you can eventually run as one of a pair. GPU memory and muscle is much more important than the extreme cpu and additional memory beyond 16gig. I would also add an internal drive strictly to back up your SSD daily. My system corrupted after a few months and wouldn’t boot. W/O a backup of the SSD I had to rebuild the system and all my plug ins.

  • Hi Dave

    I bought a PC almost like your list – and what i can say, it`s fast as hell. Buy it.

    CPU Lüfter
    Cooler Master Hyper 412S
    1 x € 34,99*

    Grafikkarten NVIDIA PCIe
    DisplayPort, HDMI, 2x DVI 1 x € 359,-*

    CPU Sockel 2011
    Intel® Core™ i7-3930K
    FC-LGA4, “Sandy Bridge E”, ohne Lüfter 1 x € 569,-*

    Antec High Current Gamer HCG-620
    2x PCIe, schwarz 1 x € 77,90*

    Gehäuse Midi Tower
    Corsair Carbide 300R
    schwarz 1 x € 74,90*

    Solid State Drive 2,5 Zoll SATA
    Samsung 830series 2,5″ 256 GB
    SATA 600, MLC-Chips, schwarz 1 x € 167,90*

    Mainboards Sockel 2011
    ASUS P9X79
    Sound G-LAN FW SATA3 eSATA USB 3.0 1 x € 232,90*

    Arbeitsspeicher DDR3-1600
    Kingston HyperX DIMM 32 GB DDR3-1600 Octo-Kit
    KHX1600C9D3K8/32GX, XMP 1 x € 187,90*

    Greetings from Germany

  • Videoguys DIY 9.5 Build Dec 2012

    Our Director of Advertsing needed a new computer. He’d been running our DIY8

    machine and it was starting to get cranky on him. We decided that since he uses Adobe CS6 to create our advertisements, email blasts and update our website, that a DIY9 based build would be perfect for him.

    WOW! Were we right! Thanks to the SSD boot drive, hex core i7 and a whopping 32GB of RAM he is flying!

    We tried to bring in the workstation as close to $2K as we could. We went a little bit over, but we feel for the performance we achieved it is worth every penny. Our build does not include any media storage, you’ll need to add this as well. For around $200 you can add a pair of 2TB 7200RPM drives, striped together as a 4TB RAID 0 for an excellent internal storage solution, or go with one of our G-Tech external solutions such as a G-Speed Q for RAID 5 redundancy.
    We posted the build list for this latest machine here, along with links directly to our main source for DIY parts, Newegg.com to make shopping even easier for our customers.

    <a href="http://www.videoguys.com/Guide/E/Videoguys+DIY9+Its+Time+for+Sandy+Bridge+E/0xe9b142f408a2b03ab88144a434e88de7.aspx"Click here for the full article and build list


  • I don’t mean to sound rude, but the thought I couldn’t shake while watching this is why in the world would you want or need a computer like that? What is it that you do outside of LearningDSLRVideo that a machine that powerful is necessary? Or are you attempting to future-proof your setup?

  • Intel is a waist of money. I would go with an AMD FX bulldozer its beter and cheaper than an intel i7. and GTX670 is plenty, but GTX680 will last longer and leave you with less problems later on. I DO NOT RECOMMEND INTEL< THEY ARE GREAT BUT EXTREMELY OVER PRICED!!! An AMD FX Bulldozer is better and cheaper… you wont be disappointed.

  • Oh also putting your own computer together is FUN, SATISFYING, and EASY. this might be encouraging:

  • Dave,
    I’ve been visiting your site for a couple of years now and want to thank you for all you have taught me.
    I think you might want to check out the(a bit difficult to navigate) HP Z Series configuration site. I ended up spending around $3000 but got a fairly future proof system. Without going into great detail I went with a Z820 with a Xeon processor(6 cores), nVidia Quatro 4000 GPU, 24 Gigs of RAM, and a few other incidentals;I already had the other drives I’m running.
    I’m running Adobe Creative Cloud on Win 7 Pro with a 500GB 7200 OS drive, 2 1TB drives in a Raid 0 for working projects, a 3TB drive for Capture/Storage and, until I can get an SSD, for Disk Caching also.
    The best part was putting in, and setting up, the drives I already had. The system requires absolutely no tools whatsoever and it was just a matter of opening the case, putting the drives in the caddys and slipping them back in the slot.
    I also knew very little about RAID; I just knew I wanted RAID 0 for my working drive. Setting the RAID up was a matter of reading and following the instructions of less than 2 pages of the manual; yes, I have been known to glance at a manual now and then.
    In the two weeks I’ve had it, I’m very happy with the performance and it’s always good to know that HP is standing behind it should I have any problems.
    Thanks for all you do,

  • I love Macs, and primarily use my MacBook Pro for creative work, however I exclusively use my $500 PC for three things: Premiere, After Effects, and Games. While I’m rendering on the PC I’m getting other work done on my Mac. It’s really a good pairing. Mac for usability, and PC for performance. Everyone gets along in my house.

    And it’s totally reasonable to not try a Mac because of the time it takes to get used to it. You are doing a great job focusing on digital video.

    I think I’ll try that liquid cooler you suggest too, my PC is way too loud for recording.

  • @thmoas I thought Premiere only supported one GPU card.

    @Nathaniel thanks for the input.

    @Martin I am going to build it myself. Thanks for the encouragement.

    @e-mail thanks for that site it was fun to try it out.

    @Darryl Gregory so true, I might be shooting RAW in a couple of years.

    @Andy I just took an 11 hour course on DaVinci and it convinced me that it can take my videos to a new level.

    @Calvin that is a great video!

  • Hi Dave, are you doing vfx or very high demanding stuff ?

    Because your I7 is I think enough to work 1 or 2 years (and you’re saying is already o/c …If I was you, I would just change the graphic card add some ram and maybe a new powersupply if not enough for the graphic card.

    But if you absolutly want a new pc, the list you put is very good !

    And for the case I would go with a corsair..

  • Dave, I built a machine VERY similar to the one you’re suggesting. My specs are:
    Aragorn Final Specs:

    Thermaltake MK-1 chaser case
    ASUS P9X79Pro motherboard
    Intel i7-3930 CPU @ 3.2Ghz
    Corsair H-100 Cooler
    32GB RAM
    Win 7 Pro
    System Drive: Crucial 256GB SSD
    Video RAID: 2 x 2TB Seagate 7200RPM SATA III drives
    CD/DVD burner with Lightscribe
    Blu-Ray burner
    Media Reader (SD/xD/CF/Memory Stick/etc.)
    eVGA nVidia GTX680 GPU
    3 x Asus 22″ 1920×1080 monitors
    Insignia 39″ HD 1920×1080 monitor for playback & review

    I like my Thermaltake case because I can fit everything in AND it has a bare SATA drive dock on top for archival purposes. Take a look at my website and search for my ARAGORN build (yeah, I name my computers after LOTR characters… lame!)

  • Dave, I really hope you read this post.

    First option is do what Mickael said on vimeo, upgrade the power supply and GPU on your current rig. Worst case is that you can move the power supply and the GPU to your new rig. Read further to see my reasoning.

    I have built the exact same rig you have and I wasted money that could have been better spent.

    I bought the same processor you are thinking of and when I render in CS6, the cores are barely touched BUT my GTX550ti spikes at 100% for the whole time. I make a point of trying to use CUDA accelerated graphics like ProcAmp, Sharpen & RGB corrector, which is why the GPU gets 100%.
    (So this means I have no idea what resolve uses)

    If I was to do it again, I would save $300 by going with the i5-2500k. The software just isn’t taking advantage of CPU. (BUT if you use AE… holy smokes does it ever)


    The H100 is awesome. I have it and with a 4.1ghz OC, I never touch the limits of the CPU and it’s quiet.

    Go for the most badass GPU you can, it’s worth it. Be sure that the GPU blows the hot air out of your case because it can get HOT and mess up your system. the gtx680 would be killer with MPE

    I have 120GB OS drive and I fit the CS6 suite on it and have 20GB left with a few other apps on it.

    I use an app called SYNC back for my back ups and use 1tb drives for footage back ups. I have double of everything.

  • Hi Dave, I wanted to advise you that at the moment I see some major problems in your build.

    Fist and more important, the GTX 6xx are not good for GPGPU/rendering/3d modelling, since these are gamin GPU and theyr GPGPU power is low. You should consider a nVidia quadro 2000 for that kind of applications!

    Another thing: recent Corsair power supplies are troublesome, most oh ’em have coil whine or are Dead on Arrival, read opinions on Newegg and this will be confirmed.
    I suggest an FSP Aurum 800W, excellent quality and top-notch reliability http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104143

    Minor issue: Fractal Design R4 is too expansive for what it offers, I’d stick with the Corsair or with a Cooler Master 690 advanced USB III

    That’s all, hope this will help! Srry for poor English.
    – Paolo

  • Oh, forgot an important point: BUILD IT YOURSELF! Save money and it’s really fun! You really can’t badly mess up anything, and you don’t looks like a stupid person at all 😉

  • Part I

    RAM – For $147.99 why not use Corsair 4x8GB 240pin SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) CMX32GX3M4A1600C11. That’s a $100 less. At the speed RAM functions, I doubt that you would notice any difference between this and your original selection.

    CPU – I believe the ‘k’ does stand for unlocked, so one can increase the clock speed of the CPU and use a very expensive heat sink. Nothing wrong with the ‘k’, but for your and my average editing needs …I wouldn’t overclock anything. Nothing wrong with an i5-3570k 3.4GHz. It will be a bit slower, but again …will it be that noticeable? This i5-3570k 3.4GHz CPU sells for $205 …that’s $360 less than the i7-3930k. Use the $360 towards a better graphics card. I would think both CPU’s would perform well …upgrade the CPU in the future, if needed …should cost a lot less in the future. Benchmark link, but not with CS6, so another benchmark study may be needed for Dave’s situation.

    Motherboard – I still don’t know that much about the MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt for under $160, but it interests me with that thunderbolt port. Just nothing to plug it into yet, ha, ha. With the Z77 …I don’t think you can go wrong …and the CPU and/or GPU can be upgraded later down the road. 32GB RAM is the max for this motherboard.

    End Part I

  • Back to spending more money 🙂

    Good luck! I built my first computer back in ’98 when the CHI-virus struck and crashed my BIOS on the old computer. Have been building my own boxes ever since. I think, if you just follow the tips it won’t be that hard to put it all together, but having the system communicating with all the different devices can give you a headache 😉

  • wow really cool Dave!

    Definitely build your own. It’s more fun and less expensive.

    A live hangout. Really cool. Though you might not get any work done with all of us hanging around.

  • Great video Dave!

    I have an Asus G73Jh Laptop, (8MB, i7 1.6GH, ATI Radeon Graphics). It’s about 2 years old. I have two display link graphics cards whipped to 2 24″ monitors with a 3rd 24″ whipped to my HDMI port, giving me 4 total screens. I do photography, video and web design for the Real Estate agents and brokers. I sometimes will have Dreamweaver, Photoshop AND Premiere running at the same time and a couple browsers opened (one to learningDSLRvideo.com of course). This is basically a stock machine and while I know there are other options I have had no issues in 2 years, other than one of my hard drives taking a nosedive on me. What is nice is that this setup is basically a portable workstation. Most of my work is from my home, but if I do need to go to my client, I just unplug my monitors and off I go. (You will need to bring your power supply if you plan to use it for more than an hour and a carry-on size piece of luggage to haul it around)

    I’m thinking about upgrading my graphics card to an Nvidia card that is supported by Premiere Pro and adding some RAM. Someone here mentioned that processor speed is not as important as your GPU and that supports what I have learned elsewhere.

    So if portability is something that you may like to have, just letting you know that there are “out of the box” solutions that work well.

    Otherwise have fun and build yourself a PC! I have been wanting to do that myself for a while now, but I am spoiled with the portability of my setup.

  • @Joe,
    I agree

    I am currently using a stock workstation laptop from HP Business and can run P.Pro and After Effects at the same time with no lag. (EliteBook 8560w)

    (8GB ram i7 2.70 GHz 1GB Nvidia graphics)


    One thing to consider:
    With a HP business mobile workstation you have 24/7 onsite service. I was on a shoot out of town and my heat sink broke on the road. HP sent a repair man to my resort and had it installed and fixed the next day.

    Newegg/Tiger can’t beat that.

    (I don’t work for HP. Just have had great service over and over)

  • @John Mark I have owned HP computers for the past 10 years or so and I have loved them, but I want to give this DIY build a try this time.

  • Ideally wouldn’t you want a Win boot computer that just boots NLE software to not bog down 3-4GB of RAM just to efficiently run an OS? It baffles me that there are even arguments.

  • I didn’t catch it but are you planning on getting the parts yourself? NewEgg isn’t what it was even 4-5 years ago where you will save a lot of money building your own computer. In fact you can sometimes specify your gear on a site and see what they have available. A lot of times they will be overstocked and you can actually get a prebuilt with the same gear for about the same price. After piecing my computer together my friend at the computer store found one with the same specs for about $75 more. This saved me the time and risk of building my own.

  • @Dave

    Sounds like fun. I wish I had an excuse to build a new machine.

    Yes, a person does have to do some price shopping now for a DIY build.

    As for Mac… I would use Mac if Apple would let me put it on my own machines. Right now I don’t need to pay an Apply tax on top of my regular taxes. 🙂

    + RAM prices are dropping

  • Hey Dave,

    I built a hackintosh about a year ago and just advised a friend on his build (he’s working in LA as an editor) and they are awesome machines. nofilmschool.com and tonymacx86.com are great resources for this if you want to try and go that route, but you definitely don’t need to. The major change would be using a Gigabyte motherboard.

    As for the cooler, I’d get the Noctua nh-d14. It’s just about as good as the Corsair you’re thinking of, but doesn’t run the water risk. My CPU has never gone above 32 C (even in summer) with it and is rated to 67. I looked at that Corsair and decided against it as some people had leaking issues on their motherboard! Just check their site to make sure ram is compatible with it because you’ll need low profile ram for to fit under the massive fans.

    I just want to note that to run Davinci you need two graphics cards. If you plan on doing RAW in the future spend the extra $100 for the 680 4GB. Davinic loves GPU ram. The 2nd GPU can be a shitty GPU that just runs the user interface, the 680 will do all the computing.

    As for a raid, I’d just hold off till you need it. For my hard drive setup I have a 180GB SSD for my applications/operating system (it’s fast for opening programs, I’ll never not have SSD for that again), 2 HDD for a raid 0 (no safety here, but just be good about backing up to externals in case) and a 3rd HDD to export files to. This splits up your read and writes for premiere. Once you go raw than you can get a raid card and a forth HDD drive and a raid card to make a raid 5 for redundancy and speed.

    Finally, check pcpartpicker.com for finding the lowest prices & good luck! Feel free to email (do you get my email since it’s required to post?) me.

  • If your are considering the desktop for video editing only and not videogames (which I’m assuming you are) the best option is an actual workstation GPU like the NVIDIA Quadro series (the 4000 sells under $700) because it works much better with the Adobe Suite you use and render faster than a GTX series like the 680, even with the 4GB option.
    For an hybrid computer to do games and editing the GTX are great but for editing only the Quadro (better for CS6) and the AMD CrossFire are the best. Of course a GTX 680 is a bit cheaper (around $100) but you’ll be better served with the Quadro, especially for editing 4k raw footage. You’ll see the huge difference in real time editing and final rendering performance.

    As for the CPU you can get the i7-3930k and overclock the hell out of it and later, when the price drops or you start working just on raw and/or 4k footage update to a more powerful like the i7 3960k (and also overclock it). However, get something CPU Cooler along the lines of a Corsair H100 Liquid CPU and some slim fans to put all over the case to maximize the air flow. The NZXT Phantom Case does the trick if you add the fans strategically.

    I would also recommend a better power supply, 80Plus gold, preferably, and modular. As for the RAM, Mushkin Redline are great, so are the Kingston HyperX Beast 2400MHz.

    That’s just my opinion. I own a similar system and works wonders for me at a massive speed with 4k raw footage from the Scarlet-X.

  • I just built a similar system and I used an ASUS P8Z77-V Premium Motherboard. One of the things I love about this board is that it comes with a 32GB SSD used for boosting performance as well as the dual Wifi/Bluetooth antenna among other things.

    CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K

    Corsair CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

    Ultra X4 750-Watt Modular Power Supply

    Kingston HyperX KHX24C11K4/16X 16GB DDR3, 2400MHz

    2 Plextor M5 Series PX-256M5S 256GB Internal Solid State Drives.

    Have fun building your system!


    Erik Salmon

  • the gpu:
    most video editing software can’t really take adavantge of two graphic cards in SLI or CFX, stick with one GPU. (and go with evga)

    the case(NZXT Phantom):
    it’s relatively quite but the fan controller isn’t that great , when you add additional fans to the controller it add a “buzz” to some of the fans and that’s really annoying.
    also the case doesn’t have any acoustic isolation.
    take a look at the “Antec P280”.

    The PSU: cooler master PSU’s aren’t that high quality and defiantly doesn’t worth their price, you can cut down on the price and get better PSU that’s enough for you build (like this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151095 ).

  • Something to keep in mind:
    Don’t forget about incidentals. With that case and motherboard, you’ll probably need an extension cable for the 24-pin motherboard power lead, especially since it’ll have to move around a bit of a monster video card.

    I can’t think of anything else offhand that hasn’t already been said a few times by the fine folks here, so I’ll leave it at that.

  • he won’t need an extension cable for the 24pin connector if he buys a decent PSU.
    the 24 Pin connector isn’t that far away.

  • As for the SSD, users be advised of the high return rate of some OCZ SSD as mentioned in hardware.fr website

    Failure/Return Rate:
    – 40,00% OCZ Petrol 64 Go
    – 39,42% OCZ Petrol 128 Go
    – 30,85% OCZ Octane 128 Go SATA II
    – 29,46% OCZ Octane 64 Go SATA II
    – 9,73% OCZ Vertex 2 120 Go 3.5″
    – 9,59% OCZ Vertex 2 120 Go
    – 6,73% OCZ Vertex 2 60 Go
    – 5,43% OCZ Agility 3 240 Go
    – 5,12% OCZ Vertex Plus 128 Go

    Source: http://www.hardware.fr/articles/881-7/ssd.html

  • @Dror
    I’m just saying, ‘good PSU’ doesn’t guarantee a long MB power lead. The 600W Thermal Takes (not great, but solid) do not possess a long enough cable. It’s very subjective and sketchy.

    I’m just saying things like that bear keeping in mind, especially for a first time builder. I’m nowhere near a first time builder, and I’ve had to make way too many runs for assumed reasons than I’d care to admit.

    Personally, I’d spend the $5 up front just to guarantee I didn’t have to deal with it when I was playing with my build.

  • Hello Sir,
    I am going to build my new PC with the following specs….

    1. Mother Board- ASUS P9X79 PRO
    2. Processor-Intel 3.2 GHz LGA 2011 Core i7-3930K
    3. RAM-Corsair Vengeance DDR3 8 GB – 4 Pcs (32GB)
    4. Graphics Card- Asus NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 4 GB GDDR5
    5. Playout Card- Black Magic Decklink Studio ( Mainly for analog output )
    5. PSU- Corsair CMPSU-850TXV2UK 850 Watts PSU
    6. Cabinet- Cooler Master Cosmos SE Full Tower Cabinet

    The machine will be used for Grading with Resolve as well as playout HD/SD contents. Please comment on the specs.