March 2012 update with 3 recommended builds! You can mix & match components between the two DIY9 P9X79 builds (Hot Rod vs Videoguys' Choice). For those on a tight budget our DIY8 Sandy Bridge system based on the P8Z68 and i7 2600K processor is a fine choice. For our Videoguys' Choice DIY9 system we tried to get as close to $2K as possible for our system, but we went over.
- We are going with the Asus P9X79 Pro motherboard after getting some valuable feedback from one of our DIY followers. We'll pay $50 more, but the added stability will be worth it. We may still need FireWire for capturing our older legacy DV & HDV footage, so we may end up adding a cheap FireWire card later.
- We're going to go with an SSD boot drive even though it adds almost $200 to the cost of the build.
- I'm still thinking we may go for the full 32GB of RAM. I think we may be a penny wise and pound foolish going with just 16GB.
- We're also going with a GTX570 to save costs, although for Avid you really want to go with a Quadro2000 or 4000.
Unfortunately we still have not had the chance to build our DIY9 machine. Some internal IT issues have taken the bulk of our tech teams time over the past few weeks. We are also finding the i7 3930K processor in very tight supply.
Over the past year Videoguys.com have taken some heat in some online tech forums and communities. We were very late to embrace the original Sandy Bridge processors and even when we did recommend one, it was with some caveats.
We have always been big fans of Sandy Bridge CPUs and the performance value they deliver. For us, the issue has been the motherboards and chipsets. The initial Sandy Bridge X67 motherboard had some very serious PCIe bandwidth issues. These were addressed, but even when the improved X68 based motherboards shipped, we still had concerns. Sure they were okay for running NLE software, but add-in an I/O device like the Matrox MXO2 Mini and some RAID storage and you could very well run into bottlenecks. When I shared these concerns with my contacts at Avid, Adobe, Matrox and other vendors, they confirmed my suspicions and said they too would not be certifying X67 or X68 motherboards. We all agreed - we had to wait for an enthusiast level chipset from Intel, one that was a worthy successor to the X58 we used for years in our DIY8 builds.
Videoguys recommends the Sandy Bridge-E processor with X79 chipset!
DIY9 Projected Build (3/1/2012)
DIY9 Hot Rod Videoguys DIY9 Choice DIY8 Sandy Bridge Mobo Asus P9X79WS 379 Asus P9X79 Pro
309 Asus P8Z68-V Pro 204 Processor Intel Core i7 3960X 1049 Intel Core i7 3930K 599 Intel Core i7 2600K 299 GPU Quadro4000 799 GTX570 329 GTX 560 Ti 249 RAM G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (8 x 4GB) 1866 249 G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1866 129 G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1600 57 Boot Drive Crucial M4 256GB SSD 295 295 Hitachi 7200 RPM 1TB 129 Case Antec Twelve Hundred V3 ATX Full Tower 159 159 Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 ATX Mid Tower 114 Power Supply CORSAIR Pro Gold (CMPSU-1200AX) 1200W 279 CORSAIR Pro Gold (CMPSU-850AX) 850W 189 CORSAIR Entusiast TX750 104 OS Win 7 Professional 64-bit -OEM 139 139 139 Blu-Ray Pioneer BDR-207 89 89 89 $ 3,437 $ 2,237 $ 1,384