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Thread: Need PC HW advice on BadAzz™ AV/Burning Rig

  1. #1
    Downsized Chinasaur's Avatar
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    Need PC HW advice on BadAzz™ AV/Burning Rig

    Ok,

    Family member wants to master and burn 3-5 hours video per project for customers. This person needs a turnkey system sent to them as they are not "bleeding edge" types.

    Rqmts:

    Righteous CPU combo - I'm thinking Dual 3.0 or Dual-core 3.2 - Intel for cool running pls.
    Massive amounts of HD space. ~1TB. RAID NOT required
    At "least" 2GB RAM
    An uber-fast DVD Burner
    Another not so uber-fast DVD Burner
    At least 128MB Graphics card

    Alienware and Dell are quoting around $2800 to $3500 for their solutions.

    Does anyone know where I can get a system built for less? Hopefully, substantially less?


    TIA and TGIF!!!

    Agent Smith was right!: "I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell! If there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it."

  2. #2
    Administrator Bok's Avatar
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    Taking prices from memory

    Athlon X2 4400+ ~ $600
    Asus A8N Deluxe ~ $140
    2Gb Dual Channel Ram ~ $300
    4 x 320WD SATA-150 Drives ~ 4x $130
    500W PSU ~ $70
    2xPlextor 8XDVD burner ~ $250
    decent PCI-E graphics card ~ $70
    Case - ~$100

    Total < $2000

    X2's run much cooler than Intel's

    Bok

  3. #3
    DinkaTronic Shish's Avatar
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    I agree on the AMDs. Whilst Intel may still have the edge slightly in video encoding they still can`t get close to AMD on heat and that includes the new Xeons.
    If you can spring to it, a couple good Opterons and the Asus server board would be my ideal (I`m using dual Bartons for my similar server/video/burning rigs) though the x2 4400 with twin 1meg caches will come very close and either is safely clockable a bit. I also notice the reg ram needed for the Opties is getting a lot more reasonable and with 1Gig sizes you`re not going to be too bothered by not having low latency ram anyway. An the AMD has the memory controller on the chip which helps enormously.
    Why no raid though? If it`s safety you`re worried about, I use Highpoint Raid5 which gives you both speed and security as in losing a drive whilst in the middle of a project and it can recover. Personally, I use 4 drive sets (raid 5 needs 3 at least) and I`m happy enough with safety to leave over 800Gb of video stored on the drives, a lot of which is irreplaceable. I`ve lost 2 drives out of a set to poor connection after moving the box and the raid has happily just gone into auto rebuild whilst I was still working with windows. I`m saving just now for the latest 8 channel (16 drives) sataII pci-x card which is absolutely gorgeous (reasonable price as well) and I`ve already got the new big Maxtor server class drives with NCQ and 16Mb cache which will make good use of the pci-x speed capability cos you need the speed of the slots to be able to match the speed available off the drives. That`ll be going into my next video streamer on an MSI NV ultra Platinum which continuously records from analog/digital freeview/cable and satellite 24hrs a day for later use and streams video round the house to 5 points. But the other side of the coin is you need to configure raid properly for the work it`s doing and get the initial block sizee etc correct. Too many people think raid is not too fast simply because they ain`t bothered to set it up properly
    Any of the current gen 800 Ati or NV 6800 cards will be fine and still decent for games along with any of the decent video hardware encoder cards or maybe a combo of either the ATI AIW x800 series or some of the Haupphage cards which I mainly use. Gotta have hardware encoders, especially if you want fast encodes and good quality video on several formats and the ATI Theatre 200 on the AIW or the later Theatre 500 on the new ATI TV card are quite good still. I would go for the 256Mb cards though if in price range, especially for high throughput video work.

    DVD burners? High end is still Plextor, lower is Pioneer (new does DVD RAM as well) and the identical NEC. It`s rumoured that some of the home use drives have counters in for when people burn the laser out in less than twelve months but whilst some do, it`s mainly for the manufacturer`s use as a quality check kind of thing and not there to invalidate your warranty unless, of course, you`ve been burning 10,000 disks on a home setup or summat like that.
    I`d also recommend at least 2 of the same drives (not essential but can save some trouble on double copies) and the max speed atm is 16x but you`re gonna be down a bit from there due to disk quality used versus price (can be worth looking at using 8x disks instead of 16x for price and quality when you`re using a lot) and add a CD combo writer/dvd rom which is cheap and efficient for copying from dvds or cds straight onto 2 dvd copies.
    One of best cases on market for normal Hi end use atm is the Antec P180 but there are a lot of similar types around but make sure to go for all 12cm fans (Antec has 3) and the new wind tunnel type with cpu/graphics tunnels are very good for keeping things cool AND quiet. And to stick to the 12cm fans, a Thermalright SI 120 (much lighter and a better fit on boards than the SP which is one helluva lump and has bother with some boards.) Add a good psu such as Enermax/Seasonic etc and you`re cooking with gas

    Could go on for ever here cos that`s my project at the moment.
    Like an ol` 8086, slow but serviceable.
    One advantage of old age...nobody can tell you how much cake you can eat


  4. #4
    Christmas Lighterer!
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    Funny... I've been doing a ton of A/V related stuff lately. Here's my setup and it's been just flying...

    AMD 3800x2 (running at 2.56GHz)
    Epox 9NPA Ultra
    1.5Gb of Corsair DDR (running at 213MHz and 2.3.2.6 timings)
    2x80Gb Western Digital
    16x Lite-On DVD combo drive (does everything)
    ATI X600XT (with VIVO)

    If I were buying today, I'd go for a couple/three over 300Gb hard drives instead of the 80Gbers I have. Other than that, it's extremely nice. I've been converting files over to DVD format and SantaDVD, WinDVD Creator, and Power Producer are all multi-threaded so they use 100% of the x2's power. From start to finish I can convert 4 episodes of Lost from .avi to fit on one DVD and burn that DVD in less than an hour. And since I have two of these x2's in my little home farm, I've been moving files around between the two so they both can work on things. Never thought I'd want a 1Gb pipe at home but now I do.

    Good luck with your project.
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  5. #5
    Downsized Chinasaur's Avatar
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    Wow! Great feedback guys! Thank you Bok, Shish and Jeff very much

    Great info, especially the mobo referrals.

    You guys rock!!! :sniffle:

    Agent Smith was right!: "I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell! If there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it."

  6. #6
    DinkaTronic Shish's Avatar
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    Get stuck in Chinasaur, any help and we`re always here.

    Yeah Jeff, forgot about the multi threaded bit but if you`re running a server os, it`s sometimes preferable to be able to specify and most server os (and XP up to a point) have their own tricks to play.
    Having been in networking mainly, I went 1Gb very early and now want 10Gb which is on the horizon. I also have the advantage of being a licensed radio engineer so I`ve had the use of wideband radio freqs for some time and my radio setup already uses mimo and has done for some time along with several different frequencies and modes. A good source in the early days (when we were playing with high def tv tx/rx was old microwave alarm kit surplus from places like the British Museum and I`ve still got some 10Ghz and 25Ghz horns in use as well as some newer stuff at 55-56Ghz. loadsa space in those freqs to play around and it`s very easy to get gear for them now. Might have to listen to Piccolo again.....trade joke about one of the early freq hopping applications...... happy days
    Like an ol` 8086, slow but serviceable.
    One advantage of old age...nobody can tell you how much cake you can eat


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