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FrankLP
04-13-2008, 06:49 AM
Hi all,
I'm about to build a new (second) system for my video editing work and wanted to get input on where to spend the money. My budget is about $2,000. I've been using an AMD 64 4000+ system, but have read that the Intel Core 2 Duo out performs the equivalent AMD.
Anyway, I'm looking for input. I do my video editing using Sony Vegas 8, with After Effects CS3 and Lightwave 9 mainly for special effects. I don't play any games on my PC.
I've “put together” the following system and wanted to get input on if I’m picking the right components for my application:

•Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 processor
•ASUS P5K64 WS LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
•CORSAIR XMS3 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model
•Quadro FX1700 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Workstation Video Card
•3 - Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JB 250GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drives
•Antec NeoPower 650 ATX12V / EPS12V 650W Power Supply
•Gateway HD2200 Black-Silver 22" 4ms (UltraResponse enabled) 5ms (UltraResponse disabled) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor
•ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW
•Logitech Internet 350 Black USB Standard Desktop Mouse Included
•Thermaltake Armor LCS Case

Let me know what you think on this. I just want to make sure that I’m spending wisely. Thanks all.

Dexter2999
04-13-2008, 07:55 AM
I have a Quadro card in my AVID. To be honest I don't see the payoff. I have a GeForce 8800 in my Lightwave machine that gives as good or better performance for half the cost.
To be fair, the only problem I have had from either card is when the Quadro died and I had to replace it. $1200 to keep an AVID certified card in the system, fun.

FrankLP
04-13-2008, 08:02 AM
I have a Quadro card in my AVID. To be honest I don't see the payoff. I have a GeForce 8800 in my Lightwave machine that gives as good or better performance for half the cost.
To be fair, the only problem I have had from either card is when the Quadro died and I had to replace it. $1200 to keep an AVID certified card in the system, fun.

Thanks for the input Dexter. It sounds like you had one of the high end Quadro Cards. The Quadro 1700 I'm looking at is a mid-range Quadro costing about $450.00. Your point on the 8800 vs. the Quadro is interesting and good food for thought. Thanks again.

Surrealist.
04-13-2008, 08:25 AM
I have been doing NLE editing for years and the last 8 of it on Vegas.

One thing I think you might want to rethink is your choice of hard drives.

I would say rework your budget to include as many of the largest SATA drives you can. I would go with 1T myself. Then I would also look for a motherboard that has eSATA capability.

Secondly at todays prices I see no reason not to go with at least a Q6600 quad core, if you are going the intel route.

Now my logic behind this that for for one, with video editing you can never have drives fast enough or large enough. And with HD now more of a norm, you are pushing around more data.

And since Vegas is CPU/HD dependent for playback in its preview window I would be going for the fastest CPU and HD I could find.

Then when you get stacks and stacks of tracks - not to mention audio - you will have much better performance on transitions and effects.

And come render time - in Vegas - you will enjoy the speed of a fast CPU to render out all of those tracks into your master file for print to tape or whatever output you are doing.

My NLE set up is as follows:

1System drive (smallest cheapest I can get away with)
1Data drive (store only project files, photos, database, etc.) Can be ATA and as large as I can afford.
1 Audio drive (can be an ATA but SATA is of course better)
I store all of my music tracks VO anything that is not embedded into the video files here.

Video drives - as large and fast (SATA) as I can afford.

So further on the logic of this set up.

Video drives are prone to crashing because of the amount of access.

So I always keep my data and my audio files separate and I never use the system drvie for anything but programs so no need to have a large one.

This kind of set up as done well for me for quite some time. It is designed around the needs of having an NLE that needs to perform at an optimum.

So what I would do is plan and purchase around that. That is my input, see if any of this appeals to you at all. :)

FrankLP
04-13-2008, 08:43 AM
Thanks for the response Surrealist. Your points on the HDDs are good ones. I do plan on going HD in the future...and I use Pro Tools 7.4 and Sony Acid Pro 6 for my audio work.
As far as the CPU goes, I guess I assumed that the Core 2 Duo running at 3.16GHZ was going to give me better performance than a quad core running at about 2.4. I don't overclock being tht I'm not skilled in that area. Sorry I don't fully understand all the ins-outs of these CPUs. And I really don't do much multitasking either. Do you think the quad core is still superior for a normal, "linear" worklfow?

Qexit
04-13-2008, 08:52 AM
I'd agree with what Surrealist has said, especially with regard to using SATA drives rather than IDE. You will be lucky to find even a single IDE connector on most current motherboards. If you are looking for best bang-for-buck, then you should consider a motherboard that takes DDR2 RAM rather than DDR3. There is a huge premium on DDR3 RAM at present for which you get very little return on performance. The saving would be better spent on a good Quad core cpu, the Q6600 mentioned by Surrealist is definitely worth considering. Also, you'd probably be better off going for a regular GeForce card rather than a Quadro as none of your suggest applications can make use of or take advantage of the 'extra' features on the Quadro cards that command the premium prices asked. I don't know what prices are like in the States, but here in the UK a Quadro FX1700 with 512MB of DDR2 RAM onboard is about twice the price of a GeForce 9800GTX card with 512MB of DDR3 RAM and I know where my money would heading :thumbsup:

FrankLP
04-13-2008, 09:03 AM
I'd agree with what Surrealist has said, especially with regard to using SATA drives rather than IDE. You will be lucky to find even a single IDE connector on most current motherboards. If you are looking for best bang-for-buck, then you should consider a motherboard that takes DDR2 RAM rather than DDR3. There is a huge premium on DDR3 RAM at present for which you get very little return on performance. The saving would be better spent on a good Quad core cpu, the Q6600 mentioned by Surrealist is definitely worth considering. Also, you'd probably be better off going for a regular GeForce card rather than a Quadro as none of your suggest applications can make use of or take advantage of the 'extra' features on the Quadro cards that command the premium prices asked. I don't know what prices are like in the States, but here in the UK a Quadro FX1700 with 512MB of DDR2 RAM onboard is about twice the price of a GeForce 9800GTX card with 512MB of DDR3 RAM and I know where my money would heading :thumbsup:

Thanks Qexit! This is really helping me refine this. I know that I should probably have known more about which of the card's features my applications would take advantage of, but alas I know just enough to get myself into trouble. But with guidance from folks like you all, I'll make a MUCH purchase smarter investment.

So... I will go with SATA drives; look for a MB with eSATA; switch to a Geforce 8800 (GT or GTS); and if someone can explain the advantage os the Quad over the Core Duo 2 (for my workflow which is not multitask heavy), I'll consider that as well.

Surrealist.
04-13-2008, 09:14 AM
Thanks for the response Surrealist. Your points on the HDDs are good ones. I do plan on going HD in the future...and I use Pro Tools 7.4 and Sony Acid Pro 6 for my audio work.
As far as the CPU goes, I guess I assumed that the Core 2 Duo running at 3.16GHZ was going to give me better performance than a quad core running at about 2.4. I don't overclock being tht I'm not skilled in that area. Sorry I don't fully understand all the ins-outs of these CPUs. And I really don't do much multitasking either. Do you think the quad core is still superior for a normal, "linear" worklfow?

Yes it is. Because in Vegas you are using the CPU. It is not that you can do more things, it is that if all cores can be accessed then you get that advantage in each application.

But actually you do bring up a good point about the CPU I had completely forgot about. I don't have the current version of Vegas but it would be worth looking into whether or not you have multiple thread support as we do in LW.

As it stands in LW unless you up the number of threads you get little boost in performance over a dual core. However I have no idea how that works in Vegas. I did some tests on a quad core in LW and I can tell you it is worth it. But Vegas has to use all 4 cores. If it can, the GHZ issue is moot, it is like having 4 cores all at once. And that will be a big help in Vegas.

Maybe someone knows over on the Sony Vegas forum. I would be interested in what you find out about that.

PS: and glad to see you are refining your purchase. I think you'll be better off with your news choices. :)

FrankLP
04-13-2008, 09:32 AM
Yes it is. Because in Vegas you are using the CPU. It is not that you can do more things, it is that if all cores can be accessed then you get that advantage in each application.

But actually you do bring up a good point about the CPU I had completely forgot about. I don't have the current version of Vegas but it would be worth looking into whether or not you have multiple thread support as we do in LW.

As it stands in LW unless you up the number of threads you get little boost in performance over a dual core. However I have no idea how that works in Vegas. I did some tests on a quad core in LW and I can tell you it is worth it. But Vegas has to use all 4 cores. If it can, the GHZ issue is moot, it is like having 4 cores all at once. And that will be a big help in Vegas.

Maybe someone knows over on the Sony Vegas forum. I would be interested in what you find out about that.

PS: and glad to see you are refining your purchase. I think you'll be better off with your news choices. :)


Thanks again...regarding multi threads and the utilization of them by the applications. I've posted this same message on the Sony Forum, but haven't gotten any in depth reponses yet. I'll do a bit of research on Vegas 8 right now. But I think you convinced me on the LW aspect alone. Excellent points. That's really where I hoped to speed things up (processing/rendering) too.
And by the way...I'll look at switching to DDR2 RAM as you suggested, that should help me stay in budget!

Jim_C
04-13-2008, 09:53 AM
things I would change...fwiw..(some covered)

get a quad core cpu (the q6600 seems to be the sweet spot)
sata3g instead of the ide drives
ddr2 instead of ddr3 ram
get a nice 8800gt instead of the quadro
psu - probably fine. wouldn't hurt to go to a 750. nice choice off the antec tho

here's one example of a working system.. using VT tho and it's a little lower spec fsb and ram wise... but just an idea


http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=665140&postcount=6

Qexit
04-13-2008, 09:54 AM
BTW, which O/S are you planning to run ? WinXP or Win Vista ? 32bit or 64bit ? to make full use of 4GB of RAM, you need a 64bit O/S so you need to factor that into your calculations. I'm still running WinXP Pro 32bit, so cannot advise which is your best option for 64bit. There appear to be some advantages to WinXP over Win Vista 32bit at present ... but that is a whole different can of worms :D

FrankLP
04-13-2008, 11:30 AM
things I would change...fwiw..(some covered)

get a quad core cpu (the q6600 seems to be the sweet spot)
sata3g instead of the ide drives
ddr2 instead of ddr3 ram
get a nice 8800gt instead of the quadro
psu - probably fine. wouldn't hurt to go to a 750. nice choice off the antec tho

here's one example of a working system.. using VT tho and it's a little lower spec fsb and ram wise... but just an idea


http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=665140&postcount=6

Thanks Jim.

FrankLP
04-13-2008, 11:33 AM
BTW, which O/S are you planning to run ? WinXP or Win Vista ? 32bit or 64bit ? to make full use of 4GB of RAM, you need a 64bit O/S so you need to factor that into your calculations. I'm still running WinXP Pro 32bit, so cannot advise which is your best option for 64bit. There appear to be some advantages to WinXP over Win Vista 32bit at present ... but that is a whole different can of worms :D

I'm actually running Win XP Pro 32 only because Digidesign Pro Tools doesn't support Win XP 64 or Vista 64. Once that changes though, I'll want to move to Win XP 64...and probably up the RAM from there. Nothing I've heard leads me to want to move to Vista.

jin choung
04-13-2008, 05:55 PM
yep 8800gt (~$250... not the 8800 ultra or whatever... don't need that, lw's opengl not even that optimized to take fullest advantage of such cards anyway).

definitely ddr2. it hasn't gotten to the point where the price/performance trade off is worth it. you don't get that much more for paying ludicrously more. don't have any benchies but i'd wager that for the money, maxing out your ddr2 will net you better performance than that cash being spent on ddr3.

yeh, and quadcore will get you better render performance.

i have a p35 mobo too (abit) but i hear the x42 might be comin' up pretty soon and it might be worth it to hold out for it... look up reviews and stuff... i hear x38 was a waste of time but x42 (which is comin' awfully fast on the heels of x38) might be worth it.

jin

jin choung
04-13-2008, 05:57 PM
as for vista,

yeah, this really might turn out to be the next windowsME....

jin

FrankLP
04-14-2008, 07:15 AM
Thanks jin....that's all good information.

One last question related to this build (from suggestions regarding the monitor choice). Does anyone have experience with this the EIZO FlexScan S2201WE? It seems that EIZO is well known/respected for their monitors, but this one is in their "lower price" range.Thoughts/comments welcome. Thanks.

starbase1
04-14-2008, 07:25 AM
I'm not an expert, so treat all comments accordingly...

But in your position I'd seriously look at a 64 bit OS. If in doubt you could always dual boot.

With DDR2 memory at a mere 30ish pounds for 2gig even with UK pricing, I think you would see a lot of benefit from whacking in as much as your motherboard can take.

Think of how much more responsive your system would be if you could get a couple of DVD's worth of data into memory!

Nick

FrankLP
04-14-2008, 07:33 AM
I'm not an expert, so treat all comments accordingly...

But in your position I'd seriously look at a 64 bit OS. If in doubt you could always dual boot.

With DDR2 memory at a mere 30ish pounds for 2gig even with UK pricing, I think you would see a lot of benefit from whacking in as much as your motherboard can take.

Think of how much more responsive your system would be if you could get a couple of DVD's worth of data into memory!

Nick

Thanks Nick...I'll take that into consideration. The dual boot set-up would certainly work to manage all the apps that don't support 64bit yet.

starbase1
04-14-2008, 09:37 AM
Even programs that don't have a dedicated 64-bit version, usually work just fine under a 64-bit OS and some will even use up to 4Gb RAM.

Absolutely, and if not there's no problem in starting up some 4 Gb virtual machines!

Intuition
04-14-2008, 10:47 AM
I just put together a system that is very similar to this one and put it together over the weekend. Is running great but those darn stock xeon fans are loud and I feel don't really keep the procs cool. The work but... I will be replacing them with somthing else this week.

Same mobo and I got a pair of the xeon 45nm Harpertown 2.5s. Geforce 8800gts. Silverstone tjo7 case wth silverstone 650watt Psupply.

I have both Vista Ultime64 and xp pro 64 on it.

Xp64 professional definitely runs the apps using less resources. Vista, well, cute and pretty but a RAM hog and numerous openGL issues with some apps.

Intuition
04-14-2008, 10:53 AM
EDIT------ No. Actually its very different ----- for some reason I thought you were making an 8 core. Must have been another post I was browsing.

Sorry not same at all...

Hah,.. newtek and thier tricky no edit policy. How effective. ;)

Intuition
04-14-2008, 11:04 AM
Yeah post was here, sorry... was building similar to this one...

http://www.xsibase.com/forum/index.php?board=15;action=display;threadid=35772;s tart=0#lastPost

CreatvGnius
04-14-2008, 11:23 AM
Same mobo and I got a pair of the xeon 45nm Harpertown 2.5s. Geforce 8800gts. Silverstone tjo7 case wth silverstone 650watt Psupply.Good info here, KC. Now you've got me wondering if you got all your computer parts from the same source, or from a variety of vendors.

I need to build a PC, but wish to avoid those loud and seemingly useless Xeon processor fans you've been supplied with... Any suggestions from anyone, for alternative cooling devices - be they quieter fans, or cost-effective refrigerant devices -- and their source(s) would be welcome.
-PeterG

CreatvGnius
04-14-2008, 11:27 AM
Thanks jin....that's all good information.

One last question related to this build (from suggestions regarding the monitor choice). Does anyone have experience with this the EIZO FlexScan S2201WE? It seems that EIZO is well known/respected for their monitors, but this one is in their "lower price" range.Thoughts/comments welcome. Thanks.
Got a link for the EIZO display in question?

The mega-facility our church media ministry just built is replete with a variety of widescreen EIZO monitors, which provide for quite admirable image quality. I just don't have the specific model number of the 22" units we use, at my fingertips at the moment...
-PeterG

CreatvGnius
04-14-2008, 11:31 AM
...the only problem I have had from either card is when the Quadro died and I had to replace it. $1200 to keep an AVID certified card in the system, fun.

:hijack: Wow, Dexter. I'm sure that's just one of the several reasons many in the AVID community have been quite annoyed with AVID -- and for quite a good number of years running, now.

That only adds to the numbers discovering the Apple/Final Cut Pro platform as an industry accepted alternative.

-PeterG
No, we don't have Apple in-house here...

CreatvGnius
04-14-2008, 11:35 AM
things I would change...fwiw..(some covered)

get a quad core cpu (the q6600 seems to be the sweet spot)
sata3g instead of the ide drives
ddr2 instead of ddr3 ram
get a nice 8800gt instead of the quadro
psu - probably fine. wouldn't hurt to go to a 750. nice choice off the antec tho
Good interaction on the subject, Jim_C.

What would be the most significant reason some of your folks might opt for ddr2 RAM, as opposed to the faster DDR3 type, other than budgetary considerations, pray tell?
-PeterG

FrankLP
04-14-2008, 11:40 AM
Got a link for the EIZO display in question?

The mega-facility our church media ministry just built is replete with a variety of widescreen EIZO monitors, which provide for quite admirable image quality. I just don't have the specific model number of the 22" units we use, at my fingertips at the moment...
-PeterG

Here's a link to the EIZO site describing the monitor that I referenced earlier:

http://www.eizo.com/products/lcd/S2201W/index.asp

Would be interested to know if this would be a superior LCD to comparably priced ($650-ish) Samsung Syncmaster or Dell.

FrankLP
04-14-2008, 11:54 AM
Good interaction on the subject, Jim_C.

What would be the most significant reason some of your folks might opt for ddr2 RAM, as opposed to the faster DDR3 type, other than budgetary considerations, pray tell?
-PeterG

Mines based on what many of you fine folks have suggested...thta bang for the buck just isn't there. And right now my bucks are just about outta bang! :D

jin choung
04-14-2008, 12:25 PM
right.... and ddr3 may have faster bus speed but it needs to be high enough to offset the higher latency. and at least during the p35 heyday, that just wasn't happenin'.

that's why jumping in on ddr3 (or ddr2) early isn't the greatest move if money is an object.

initially, you'll actually be slower (benchmark-wise) than the previous generation ram tech and you pay a premium. lots of speed comparisons online if you wanna check it out.

only real reason to do it now is to "future proof" yourself... but that oftentimes doesn't pay off because by the time ddr3 hits the sweetspot, the cpu needed to increase the front side bus to the right speed may not work with your mobo anymore....

but they have intel roadmaps and stuff if you really want to see into the future but...

jin

CC Rider
04-14-2008, 12:41 PM
This is a very common but serious mistake
that many folks don't pay much attention to
when building your own system...

650 watts seems a little lean to me.
With a system like that 750 would be the minimum I would use.
850 to 1000 watts probably safer.
A system that is lacking wattage will act very strange at times and you'll never know why. You'll be updated drivers etc. until the cows come home
trying to make you system stable but nothing will work if you don't have enough power....
If you go to the asus site, (and probably many others...)they have a "wattage calculator" to help determine the optimal power supply. I would give it a go and then add another 100 watts or so to the results for possible upgrades in the future.
Good luck with the new system! Have fun.
:)

starbase1
04-14-2008, 01:00 PM
For cooling I note that over here Custom PC mag consistently recommend the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 pro as one of the best available at any price, even though its cheap!

clagman
04-14-2008, 01:47 PM
Agree on the need for a strong power but my machine runs fine on 750W and it's no slouch to be sure (2x quad cores, RAID, 8 gig, many fans, quadro 4600) so my thinking is that 1000W is probably needless. Anyway a few postings ago someone mentioned a comparison between a quadro and a high end gaming card and I have to say for me there is no real comparison between the two.

Try running two screens with modeler open on one (4 viewports, three wire and one GL) and layout on the other also with 4 viewports with a scene containing about 3 mil polys plus many textures and showing sprite particles on top of it. 3d settings are at 16X AA and 8X aniso, 1920x1200 rez. This would completely choke a 8800 into oblivion. Having hardware support for overlays and AA lines makes a large difference in performance, not to mention the much better geometry throughput. I do have to admit that the performance difference in modeler alone wasn't much but with everything open at once it really makes a gigantic difference.

steamdigital
04-15-2008, 10:12 AM
Geforce 8800 Ultra - great performance at a fraction of the Quadro price. I've used the Quadros for years, and actually see comparable performance in Lightwave with a Geforce. (don't SLI)

Looking forward to snatching up the new GeForce 9800 GX2 soon.

sadkkf
04-22-2008, 01:17 PM
So now all this talk has me looking for a new box.

I'm thinking Intel Q9450 to start with maxed-out DDR2 or at least 4gb. At $99 for 4GB, how can I not?

What about video cards? Which mfgr is best?

jin choung
04-22-2008, 10:02 PM
hardly matters... the only real difference is chipset.

read around the net for reviews for confirmation but given the same chipset, the cards are almost interchangeable these days... the only difference being extra cooling, overclocked out of the box, etc....

for graphics work and for gaming anything short of maxed out in all detail settings and playing at 1920x1080, the nvidia 8800gt for < $200 is REALLY hard to beat these days.

jin

p.s. to follow up on CC Rider, by all means, do a power calculator and figure out what you'll need. but unless you're gonna add several pci cards and going SLI or CROSSFIRE, 1000 watts maybe a bit overkill.

BUT, power supply is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. if you get a bad one, the system might be running flaky and you'll be tearing your hair out wondering, is it the power supply? is it ram? is it cpu? you have ENOUGH problems like that without wondering if it's because you don't have clean power.

get a good power supply... something around $100 - $150 from a reputable manufacturer.

jin choung
04-22-2008, 10:13 PM
also,

if you are in a situation where you CAN have this as your "box", i highly, SOOOOOOOO highly recommend it - full disclosure: i am in NO WAY affiliated with the company nor do i make a dollar for my endorsement.... it's just i love them soooo....

http://www.highspeedpc.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=TopTechSTD

it's for initially building a setup easily without having things flop around in cardboard or cutting your knuckles in a case. then you can just transplant a tested and working mobo setup into your case.

but you can use it as a hobbyist case and i'm running it just like that. i never have to worry about getting under my desk, flipping over a case and fiddling or pulling off panels and working in an enclosed chassis. i want to stick in ram, boom, it's done.

certainly not for people who have cats that can climb or curious children or people prone to spilling stuff.

as for dust - non issue. my exposed case is much cleaner than closed cases i've had. it's not like those enclosures prevent dust in ANY way... it's just out of sight out of mind.

and i just keep my airblaster at the base of it and if it does get dusty or before i start pulling plugging components... blast.

jin

lots
04-22-2008, 10:25 PM
Geforce 8800 Ultra - great performance at a fraction of the Quadro price. I've used the Quadros for years, and actually see comparable performance in Lightwave with a Geforce. (don't SLI)

Looking forward to snatching up the new GeForce 9800 GX2 soon.
Thats a contradiction if I ever saw one :)

The GX2 is two under clocked 9800GTXs on the same card. Hence onboard SLI. Which doesn't play into viewport performance. Honestly money is best spent on the 8800GTS 512, IMO. It can be had at just under $200 if you shop around, has all the same parts as the 9800GTX, and outperforms the 8800GT. Newegg currently has a promo code going for an eVGA 8800GTS 512 that takes off $20 with a $10 instant rebate and a $30 mail in, that gets you just below $200. Pretty good deal if you ask me..

starbase1
04-23-2008, 12:51 AM
hardly matters... the only real difference is chipset.


Not quite - if you want to keep Linux open as an option, drivers vary from good to completely non-existent...

Nick

jin choung
04-23-2008, 01:03 AM
Not quite - if you want to keep Linux open as an option, drivers vary from good to completely non-existent...

Nick

what the - ???

what are you contradicting? do you get your drivers from EVGA or LEADTEK?

nobody i know (and certainly not i) ever install the drivers provided in the box or the one provided by any card manufacturer.

i always get the latest driver straight from the vidcard chipset manufacturer - NVIDIA or ATI.

jin

jin choung
04-23-2008, 01:10 AM
also, re: gts vs. gt

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140&p=7

i've been reading around about the gt and i think it's even a newer revision of the gpu - and that's why i've been recommending it over the gts. and according to reviews, it's faster too.

so newer, faster, cheaper.... kinda hard to beat! : )

anyway, the differences are slim and this is just academic - just look for cheap. but personally, i'd go with a gt.

jin

sadkkf
04-23-2008, 09:06 AM
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140&p=7

Thanks for the link, Jin. I was seriously looking at the GTS, but am now reconsidering.

This will be a box dedicated to LW and VT5 so I want it souped up. I used to be excited about the x48 architecture, but reviews say it's mostly hype and not worth the extra money. Also, a lot of the boards have issues when maxing out the ram.

Who'd have thought cheaper was still better? :hey:

sadkkf
04-23-2008, 09:10 AM
also,

if you are in a situation where you CAN have this as your "box", i highly, SOOOOOOOO highly recommend it - full disclosure: i am in NO WAY affiliated with the company nor do i make a dollar for my endorsement.... it's just i love them soooo....

http://www.highspeedpc.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=TopTechSTD




That's an interesting set up. :)

What I'll be doing is re-using my Lian Li case I bought for my current LW box. I spent a pantload of money on those parts and don't think I got my money out it, but who can resist a quad core setup for $1500?


And you're right about the PSU. I got burned once and never again.

mattclary
04-23-2008, 12:21 PM
also, re: gts vs. gt

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140&p=7

i've been reading around about the gt and i think it's even a newer revision of the gpu - and that's why i've been recommending it over the gts. and according to reviews, it's faster too.

so newer, faster, cheaper.... kinda hard to beat! : )

anyway, the differences are slim and this is just academic - just look for cheap. but personally, i'd go with a gt.

jin

Jin, that is an old review and compares the OLD GTS to the GT. nVidia screwed the pooch on naming the 8800GTS with the G92 core.

Note the differences in this picture. One is old, the G92 is the newer version, that is what Lots is talking about.

sadkkf
04-23-2008, 12:30 PM
MattClary--

A friend of mine pointed that out a second ago, too. He did gobs of research and just bought the GTS so that may be the way after all.

Bigger pictures, it plays well with LW? I can turn on all the OpenGL preview options and not miss a beat? That's my goal with video.

mattclary
04-23-2008, 12:43 PM
MattClary--
Bigger pictures, it plays well with LW? I can turn on all the OpenGL preview options and not miss a beat? That's my goal with video.

It will play as well with LW as anything out there. Being the cynic that I am, I still feel LW is terribly dependant on the CPU and more potent GPUs are wasted. But, I like to play games, so that is what I focus on nowadays...

For the money, I think an 8800GT or 8800GTS 512 (the correct name for the current card) are the best bet. The new 9600GT might be a candidate, but having just bought an 8800GT two months ago, haven't bothered looking since then....

jin choung
04-23-2008, 12:47 PM
Jin, that is an old review and compares the OLD GTS to the GT. nVidia screwed the pooch on naming the 8800GTS with the G92 core.

Note the differences in this picture. One is old, the G92 is the newer version, that is what Lots is talking about.

aha! i stand corrected. cool, the gts does have the g92 eh?

jin

mattclary
04-23-2008, 01:23 PM
aha! i stand corrected. cool, the gts does have the g92 eh?

jin

Yep. Like I said, commonly referred to as the GTS 512, as the older ones had odd memory amounts like 340MB. Newegg is very good about marking the new ones as "G92".

sadkkf
04-23-2008, 01:26 PM
LightWave performs like a dog in GLSL mode, don't expect any card to do well here with all OpenGL options enabled and utilized.

MultiTexture is still my preferred mode for speed.

Crap. Even with SLI?

jin choung
04-23-2008, 06:56 PM
i don't think SLI works on anything that's not "full screen mode".... basically anything that's not games.

jin

sadkkf
04-23-2008, 09:46 PM
i don't think SLI works on anything that's not "full screen mode".... basically anything that's not games.

jin

Figures. Oh, well. Maybe in the future this will change.

Hopper
04-23-2008, 10:32 PM
i don't think SLI works on anything that's not "full screen mode".... basically anything that's not games.
Yup.

Unless you plan on playing the newer games Crisis, etc... Don't bother with a "super" high end card unless you are wanting superior gaming abilities also. Unless LW starts thinking about using DirectX for their Win32/64 platforms, just about any of the 8x series nVidia cards will perform extremely well.

However, Even though the price is right, I try to not purchase hardware that has already been End-Of-Life'd by the manufacturer. The GX2 is superior to the 8800 series, but not by much. It's hotter than all get out and you need to consider extra cooling, but still worth it if LW is not the onlything you have in mind for your system.

It's true that the GX2 is the same as the G92 cores in the 8800 GTX series, but not "quite". They didn't just "slap two together". The DESIGN is the same, the chip is VERY much different. It's a lower voltage 65nm die instead of the 90nm die. The GX2 has a better memory bandwidth but the GTX has better compression routines and a few less shaders, so the differences wind up being nominal. The GX2 makes maximum use out of the new MPC northbridge chipsets that many manufacturers are producing these days, so you are getting much less CPU overhead for higher resolutions.

Basically you wind up paying for convenient two-in-one packaging of an equivilent 8800GTX 328bit SLI setup.

I'm going with the GX2 for my new system, but only for the extra gaming performance, otherwise - it would have been a single 8800GTX for the price. The nVidia 790i Ultra SLI mobo, Crucial 4GB DDR3 1600, the GX2, and the Q6600 Intel OC'd to 3.6GHz will be a refreshing change for less than $1500. It's about the best bang for your buck these days if you want stable OC'd speed.

sadkkf
04-24-2008, 08:37 AM
Nice setup, Hopper. Which mobo are you going with?

beverins
04-24-2008, 08:56 AM
Since SLI has no effect on Lightwave, I wonder how hard it would be for Newtek to improve the windows version with a choice to switch to DX9 and/or DX10... I know it leaves Mac users out in the cold.

I think Newtek needs to really improve their OpenGL regardless...

Anyway, for a new Windows build I would spend money on the processor, get one good gaming card (I seem to have better luck with Nvidia, despite assurances from people that ATI works fine) and get yourself a decent cooling system. You can go for a Quadro card, it will help with other programs that you may have which hit OpenGL harder than LW does.. and a fast Quadro will benefit LW regardless because of the general power of the card. You will feel a difference between a Quadro 3500 and, say, a Quadro 4500 even in LW.

sadkkf
04-24-2008, 09:12 AM
for a new Windows build I would spend money on the processor

I agree. Processor and RAM. I'm looking at the Q9450 and at least 4gb RAM. Some boards, even though they max out at 8, are tested to be less stable when all the slots are used. I need to research this more, but it may be only related to X48 or X38 chipsets.

I think the Quadro cards too expensive for what they are. The Geforce cards really offer good bang for the buck. A friend of mine did some research for a system of his own (gaming, not LW) and found this spreadsheet.

beverins
04-24-2008, 09:20 AM
My machine's specs...
QX6700 overclock to 3.2ghz ; 3.6ghz seems to be uppity
Ultra Chilltec cooler (overpriced, but it does cool very well)
2Gb ram
nvidia 8800 gtx
asus P5EWS Pro
windows xp 32

sadkkf
04-24-2008, 10:15 AM
how does your gtx card do with LW? No problems with overclocking the proc?

beverins
04-24-2008, 11:12 AM
I had no problems with overclocking with the QX chip and the motherboard I have. The motherboard has presets for overclock percentages, and mine runs rock solid at 20% overclock from 2.6 to 3.2ghz. I tried 3.6 but it acted up - if I knew more about voltages I would probably be able to get it rock solid at 3.6.

The GTX card works great, and in fact it works better than the lab computers I have here with Quadro 3500's inside. It will start to chug when I have a high density mesh with bones, while running Vue 6 Xstream through LW with a large grassy landscape.. but I think that's to be expected.

The cooler I have has a thermo-electric plate inside which is supposed to aid in the heat getting transferred from the CPU to the heatpipes and the heatsink fins. I do know it is a massive difference over the stock Intel cooler which was barely able to keep the chip at 60C on idle. I run 20C idle and depending on the temps in the room I can render full blast from 50C to 75C (75C on a hot summer day), and this is overclocked too. I will admit that my internal case air flow cooling design is nonexistent, as I just stick fans around in the case. I'm sure the air flow could be vastly improved... I have noticed that the thermal grease issue DOES have merit - though 2C lower might not be worth it for some people. When I bought the QX6700 is was $1000, so I didn't take any chances with the poor thermal stuff that comes with the cooler.

Water cooling would probably be better, but I'm not too impressed by the offerings for water coolers to date - they either are very complicated to setup or they burn out due to cheap components (as an example, there was a lovely-looking Dual ThermoElectric-cooled water cooler that only required attaching to the CPU like any other air-based heatsink. All the reviews said it worked very well... except that the electric components burned out in about 2 weeks and had no backup to cooling the system if that happened).

sadkkf
04-24-2008, 11:17 AM
Good to know. I haven't done much overclocking in the past and may want to look at it now since it seems much easier and safer.

I just need to find a good mobo and I think I'm set. Anyone know what works best with VT5 and XP64-bit?

jin choung
04-25-2008, 01:30 AM
have no idea on a vt friendly mobo.

but yah, overclocking is such a huge value proposition. and the intel chips these days really take it well.

basically bought a $75 e2180 (lowest rung that's still dual core) that runs at 2 ghz and i jacked it up to run at 3ghz (performance equivalent to a $275 chip at the time)... and that's not even considered pushing it!

i just didn't feel like pushing volts and worrying about heat.

(p.s. beginner's overview on the subject as discovered on this rig, my first foray into the dark arts.... SPEED-VOLTS-HEAT... it's management between those factors. you edge up speed, eventually, you won't boot or it won't be stable and crash. to remedy you edge up volts. but then stuff runs hotter. so it's just about managing that triangle. oh, and then you have to manage a relationship to RAM... : ) ... anyhoo, lots of tuts online)

sadkkf
04-25-2008, 07:54 AM
Thanks, Jin. That's good info. I'm not one to tempt fate with my LW box. I just want it stable even if it's not as fast as it could be. So I'm not messing with volts. :)

I've posted in the VT forums about mobos, but haven't heard much yet. I don't think it'll be too much of an issue, though.

Hopper
04-25-2008, 05:23 PM
Nice setup, Hopper. Which mobo are you going with?
nVidia 790i Ultra SLI, but I think I might back down on the video (8800GTX instead of the GX2) and save some cash for a decent monitor (or two). I don't replace my equipment often, so I like to start out as high end as possible, but I just don't see myself getting any benefit from the GX2. If I want it later, I can get another GTX. That, and it saves me from spending an extra $150-$200 on liquid cooling.