Editing PC build (1 of 3)

I’ve been pushing my old Inlet i7-920 rig for a little longer then I probably should have and I’ve reached the limit on just about everything. The board has been maxed out in the RAM department since day one (24GB) and I’ve had to add a PCI-E card for USB 3.0 support. Don’t get me wrong the CPU and RAM combined with a GTX 670 has provided a very reasonable editing solution for the last 4 plus years, but the latest generation of Haswell based i7 processors claim a 40% improvement on multithreaded applications and 60% gains on single threaded applications over my old i7-920. On top of that, the TDP has dropped from 130 watts down to 85 watts which reduces my  overall cooling needs and intern, reduces the overall fan noise of my system.

For the upgrade, I’ve moved my GTX 670 4GB GPU and 512GB SSD over to the new system. This will be combined with a new Haswell based i7-4770 CPUGIGABYTE Z87 motherboard, and 32GB of G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR3 1600 RAM. I’ll still be using the old system for basic editing, audio production, and a little bit of gaming so I went ahead and ordered a new case and power supply to go along with the build.

Editing PC build (2 of 3)

At the time I was ordering parts, Newegg had the Sentey GS-6500R on sale for just $57 after mail in rebate (currently it’s back up to $110). The case is a bit more dramatic then then I would normally go for but the price was right and overall cable routing and drive bay location made the build nice and clean. There was also enough room to use a Corsair Hydro 280mm cooler. Because I chose a none K series CPU and wont be doing any over clocking I was able to get away with no cooling fans on the radiator. Under load I haven’t seen anything higher then 27c which is actually about 5C less then the stock cooler was running under load.

I chose a Corsair XT 750 watt power supply for the build. Yes I know that a 750 watt power supply is over kill for a single GPU setup like this. Bare with me, I have a reasonable reason for this selection. If you do a little bit of research on the Corsair XT 750, you’ll find that it’s an 80 plus bronze rated unit.  The nice thing about the 80 PLUS units is that they use dynamic cooling, varying fan speeds from off all the way up to 100% under full power supply load. Even under heavy rendering load, the combinations of parts I’m using hardly ever spins the power supply fan up. Again less running fans equals less noise and I’m aiming for a quiet running desktop.

Editing PC build (3 of 3)

I did skimp a little in the motherboard department. The GIGABYTE Z87 motherboard I went with still sports some older PCI slots, doesn’t include on board wifi support, and is missing the extra 4x Marvell sata 6Gb/s ports included on the higher end Sniper model offered by Gigabyte. The price difference is just under $300 when comparing the above board to the top of the line version. After looking at my parts list I decided I wont be doing any 4 way SLI, most of my long term storage is held in the Freenas server, and I can add a wireless-N card for less then $20 if needed. For my use the money is better spent on maxing out ram and using good quiet coolers.

I’ve only been running the new system for about 2 weeks. So far it’s been nice and smooth. The only complaint I’ve had so far is that the Sentey GS-6500R case I’m using only has USB 2.0 ports on the front of the unit. Thankfully the GIGABYTE Z87 motherboard I went with has a USB 3.0 header on the front of the motherboard. I’ve ordered a 2-Port USB 3.0 Front Panel plate along with a 3.5″ to 5.25″ drive bay adapter that should solve the problem. After all, what good is having ultra fast CF cards if you are limited by USB 2.0 read speeds.

I’ll post some rendering speed tests comparing the old i7-920 to the i7-4770 CPU once I get the old system back up and running. The 920 wasn’t a slouch, but the new i7-4770 does feel a little more snappy overall. Maybe that’s just new car smell affecting my brain, but boot times certainly seem faster.

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