New Computer and GPU for Premiere and DaVinci Resolve

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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