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Need advice for future proofing my pc for later upgrades for editing


Color Philospher
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The 8700K is currently the best value/performance CPU for photo/video editing. 

I would strongly suggest you get a full ATX sized or microATX motherboard if you don't mind the increased size of the case. The miniATX should only be used if reduced size is absolutely necessary! 

Having a larger motherboard allows you to add more GPUs and more RAM! The extra space in the case will help with cooling (and noise!) and give you room to add RAID arrays of spinning drives in case you need the extra space. 

I would also bump up the PSU to ~650W so it can easily support more GPUs + extra spinning drives in the future. 

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I would get a MoBo with more PCI slots. They can be used for many expansions, including GPU, I/O ports, capture cards, WiFi cards, and more.

I would also get a case with lots of large fans. I've got something like 3 120mm and 2 140mm fans, which keeps it cool enough to prevent the loud GPU fans from kicking in. Lots of large fans => low RPM => less overall noise.

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1 hour ago, Don Kotlos said:

The 8700K is currently the best value/performance CPU for photo/video editing. 

I would strongly suggest you get a full ATX sized or microATX motherboard if you don't mind the increased size of the case. The miniATX should only be used if reduced size is absolutely necessary! 

Having a larger motherboard allows you to add more GPUs and more RAM! The extra space in the case will help with cooling (and noise!) and give you room to add RAID arrays of spinning drives in case you need the extra space. 

I would also bump up the PSU to ~650W so it can easily support more GPUs + extra spinning drives in the future. 

If you add more drives be careful about which ones you choose. Modern Western digital drives have a very annoying feature called wear leveling technology which is supposed to reduce failure rate but produces a fairly loud click every 5 seconds. It just kills a silent system. I had a couple of WD gold drives in my main case, but had to swap them out for some older reds from my server (which is kept in a closet, so I don't hear noise from it). None of the reds in my server or in the second computer (which has a sizeable drive array in it as well) do this. Apparently the gold drives have this technology and the newer reds, but not the older ones. I have seen reports of new black drives doing it as well, so it is possible that all WD drives made in the last 1-2 years do it, not just the ones intended for enterprise use, so be careful if that is going to be an issue for you. For more info read the comments on western digitals support forums.

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@Color Philospher
Unfortunately there is no future proof component in the computer world. Don't worry about motherboard socket because they change every generation or so. The only thing that don't get outdated too fast are: the monitor, the power supply (very important, don't go the cheap route on the PSU) and the case.

The key step is to determine which processor offers the best performance/price ratio. At the moment the “sweet spot” is in the $300–600 price range for the 6 to 8 core CPU. After that you’ll have to spend a lot of money to improve the performance, not only on the processor itself but on the motherboard as well. Indeed, AMD and Intel have this horrible habit to change the type of socket (plug) and chipset (controller) with every new generation of CPU. After each processor release, the choice of compatible motherboards is limited to a few options costing around $300–400. Then, the price usually goes back to a reasonable level after a year or so. Therefore, the choice of CPU dictates the motherboard selection and both components must be considered together in terms of budget. Of course, it might be tempting to spend an extra $100 for the slightly more powerful class of CPU but does it really make sense if you must purchase a much pricier motherboard? This money will be better spent on the graphics cards or memory.

As for PCIe it's just an interface, a connector where you plug the graphic card and other specific device (ultra fast drive but now there is M.2) but it's mostly for the graphic card. All motherboad come with several PCIe slots but only a few have ultra fast lanes (for the GPU). Unless you plan on building something exotic that requires a lot of PCI port, all you need is one for the GPU.

Motherboards are a commodity these days. Rely on established brands such as Asus, Gigabytes, or MSI and don’t spend more than $150–200 for classic sockets and $350 for advanced one. Manufacturers will try to justify the premium prices by designing “aerodynamic” boards filled with LED, useless heat sinks and few extra connectors. Don’t fall in this marketing trap because these features only inflate the price without providing any performance gain unless you plan to overclock your CPU. Finally, the NVMe hard drives can be considered on powerful setups when you need to deal with a lot of data (high definition raw files). If you want to go that route, make sure that the motherboard firmware accept this protocol and comes with the M.2 slots to connect the NVMe drives.

 

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Is it still a thing to try and buy your memory capacity in less larger sticks than more smaller sticks?  

I haven't had a desktop PC in a long time, but I remember back in the day having to re-buy all my memory because I had 4 sticks of the same size (eg, 4 x 1Gb) and no free slots, therefore to upgrade you have to go to bigger sized sticks (eg 4 x 2Gb) and then you've got all this old RAM you paid for and can't use..

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1 hour ago, kye said:

Is it still a thing to try and buy your memory capacity in less larger sticks than more smaller sticks?  

I haven't had a desktop PC in a long time, but I remember back in the day having to re-buy all my memory because I had 4 sticks of the same size (eg, 4 x 1Gb) and no free slots, therefore to upgrade you have to go to bigger sized sticks (eg 4 x 2Gb) and then you've got all this old RAM you paid for and can't use..

Yes to a,certain degree.

Ram sticks are available up to 16gb. A motherboard will typically have 4 to 8 slots. Ram is dual channel which basically means if you only want 16gb you should buy 2x 8 rather than 1x 16.

You still eventually get bitten into upgrading your ram sticks when new motherboards come out that don't support your dram generation.

 

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11 hours ago, Ari said:

I would recommend not to worry too much about future-proofing. Whatever you buy will be somewhat outdated in two years, and mostly obsolete in five.

You'll need to know what you need in the near future, and buy that.

This.

Buy what you need right now (and in the near future, that is foreseeable). 

As everything becomes obsolete fairly quickly. 

Same principle applies to buying a camera, don't worry about if it is will be "future proof" in five years time. 

11 hours ago, OliKMIA said:

Unfortunately there is no future proof component in the computer world. Don't worry about motherboard socket because they change every generation or so. The only thing that don't get outdated too fast are: the monitor, the power supply (very important, don't go the cheap route on the PSU) and the case.

Minor side comment though: one thing I like about AMD, is that they do tend to stick with their CPU sockets for somewhat longer than Intel does, which is nice as you can often squeeze in a CPU upgrade or two more than you could with Intel. 

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15 hours ago, Color Philospher said:

Question, I'm looking to build this computer 

Before I buy the parts, should I be concerned with anything for future proofing? Like the motherboard for instance, I'm not familiar with what PCIe slots are for (I think for gpu?). Should I get one with more PCIe slots? 

Several ASRock boards I have built for people have failed in identical ways with sporadic onboard raid controllers so I'm not impressed with their reliability. Our main PC supplier does not recommend them anymore. I went with https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/MBDASU54002/ASUS-TUF-Z370-PLUS-GAMING-ATX-Form-For-Intel-Coffe Asus. and https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/FANDPC2088/DEEPCOOL-Gamer-Storm-Captain-240EX-AIO-Liquid-Cool for cooling. The list of compatible video cards for Resolve (CUDA 3 or higher) is here - 6 or 8 GB required though!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CUDA#GPUs_supported 

I wouldn't bother with Premiere on a new machine when Resolve is, I am just finding out, outstanding. 

@IronFilmActually my Gen 2 Intel i7 was doing fine until that ASRock mobo did what they do repeatedly and died. But 5 times quicker is more enjoyable ;) 

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18 hours ago, Color Philospher said:

Before I buy the parts, should I be concerned with anything for future proofing?

1) Memory. Get MB with 4 RAM slots. This CPU has 2 memory channels, so buy 2 sticks to get the amount of memory you need. The general rule for long term run is to buy the largest capacity ones - 16GB in your case. You'll get 32GB RAM, a sufficient amount to start editing in AP/Resolve/Avid or whatever. And you can always add another 2 sticks to get more RAM (up to 64GB RAM for your platform)

2) CPU. 8700 is top one for this Intel platform so you can't get better niether now nor later (next gen Intel CPU will most likely require new chipset/MB). If you're thinking about CPU upgrade pass - look at AMD, they're much better in terms of keeping CPU-MB compatibility along the timeline. You'll get 8 cores but loose on single thread performance.

3) PCIE slots. Get full-sized ATX board with 3xPCIEx16 or 2xPCIEx16+PCIEx4 and with 4 real lanes at least for all those slots (they usually claim it like "PCI Express x16 slots, running at x4"). Check if 2-slot video card blocks 2 of this "manylane" slots at once - it should not! Check if this slots are sharing lanes with M2/NVMe SSD - sometimes it will prevent you from using high speed card and those SSDs at the same time. Why is it important? PCIEx1 slots will not give enough throughput for many cards - GPU, 4K video IO, 10/40Gbe NICs, 10Gb USB3, RAID/HBAs. So if we look at classic NLE WS setup - GPU for OS monitors and editing acceleration, IO card for video preview, RAID for storage and data protection - these 3 slots are a necessity.

4) Don't overclock, especially with water cooling. It's  tempting to get extra 30% performance boost out of nothing but it's a big gamble in the long run. It usually fails in the worst possible moment and is not worth nerves/money loss. And I'm for classic cooling in WS. If water pump fails you'll get instant system hang or extreme lagging (to a degree you can't save your work) due to heavy throttling. With big chunky radiator and decent case airflow you can work for a week before you'll notice the CPU cooler failure. And water leaks.

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On 5/18/2018 at 12:36 PM, Color Philospher said:

 Like the motherboard for instance, I'm not familiar with what PCIe slots are for (I think for gpu?). Should I get one with more PCIe slots? 

I'm not sure you have done enough research to build a computer.  I mean I think you could pull it off but if you want to future proof you have to understand what all the main components are and be able to do reasonable anticipation of what your future needs will be.  If you don't know what PCIe slots are for I think more research is in order.

4 hours ago, slonick81 said:

Check if this slots are sharing lanes with M2/NVMe SSD - sometimes it will prevent you from using high speed card and those SSDs at the same time. Why is it important? PCIEx1 slots will not give enough throughput for many cards - GPU, 4K video IO, 10/40Gbe NICs, 10Gb USB3, RAID/HBAs. So if we look at classic NLE WS setup - GPU for OS monitors and editing acceleration, IO card for video preview, RAID for storage and data protection - these 3 slots are a necessity.

What this guy said.  You need to understand the interplay between M.2 NVMe, Graphics card(s), SSDs, and PCIE lanes.

16 hours ago, kye said:

Is it still a thing to try and buy your memory capacity in less larger sticks than more smaller sticks?  

I haven't had a desktop PC in a long time, but I remember back in the day having to re-buy all my memory because I had 4 sticks of the same size (eg, 4 x 1Gb) and no free slots, therefore to upgrade you have to go to bigger sized sticks (eg 4 x 2Gb) and then you've got all this old RAM you paid for and can't use..

Depends on the board and what you are trying to accomplish.  If it is dual channel and has for slots then you should start off with a matched pair of 2 GB.  That gets you 4GB and leaves you with two slots empty.  Then if you want to upgrade you can get two 4GB sticks or two 8 GB sticks, etc.

I believe quad channel boards can be used as dual channel boards.  I don't know how much benefit quad channel is for our tasks.

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Any stick under 8GB is stupid at this point. IMO. So two 8GB sticks minimum?

Or grab one 16GB stick. From what I can see there is so little benefit in dual channel that the performance difference vs half the maximum RAM is not worth it.
Even tho video editing is often mentioned as a workload that do benefit. And I don't see RAM need being less in the future.
 

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On 5/18/2018 at 4:22 PM, Ari said:

I would recommend not to worry too much about future-proofing. Whatever you buy will be somewhat outdated in two years, and mostly obsolete in five.

Companies would love it if everyone believed this ;), but unfortunately (or fortunately for our wallet) it is not the case.

I have built and bought too many computers over the years.  Currently I am using a MacPro from 2010 with 12 cores, 64gb ram, an M.2 NVMe boot drive and a Titan X GPU and I can tell you this is no way obsolete:

 5b009c7dd8063_ScreenShot2018-05-19at4_51_38PM.png.32b7bf2f2d4dbd57d15bdf5d3c527111.png

That was of course when Apple made computers for professionals :) . But with windows, which have even more choices, you can easily update any part of the system. Even with different generation CPUs you just need to upgrade the CPU+motherboard. RAM technology does not change that fast and easily lasts for ~10years. 

Future-proofing is very important when building a computer. Unless someone has either too much cash to waste or no idea how to build a computer that is. 

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2 hours ago, no_connection said:

Any stick under 8GB is stupid at this point. IMO. So two 8GB sticks minimum?

Or grab one 16GB stick. From what I can see there is so little benefit in dual channel that the performance difference vs half the maximum RAM is not worth it.
Even tho video editing is often mentioned as a workload that do benefit. And I don't see RAM need being less in the future.
 

Having two sticks allows for some redundancy if one stick fails. With one stick only your PC will be down in case of memory failure and it could be hard to troubleshot the issue. With two sticks you simply remove one after another and restart the PC to check what is going on.
I would start with 2x16GB to begin with. 32GB is kind of a minimum now for video editing, especially if you do a little bit of after effects.
Then you can add another 2x16GB later on.

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9 hours ago, Damphousse said:

Depends on the board and what you are trying to accomplish.  If it is dual channel and has for slots then you should start off with a matched pair of 2 GB.  That gets you 4GB and leaves you with two slots empty.  Then if you want to upgrade you can get two 4GB sticks or two 8 GB sticks, etc.

I believe quad channel boards can be used as dual channel boards.  I don't know how much benefit quad channel is for our tasks

4GB is fairly teeny for 2018, even for a small build why not start with 8GB?

 

Or even 16GB.... or 32GB like some others have said. 

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While 2x16GB is indeed a great start, RAM price is not the nicest nowdays. But I guess that is what happens with a planned shortage to drive price up. Going to be interesting to see what happens with that lawsuit, if it even change anything since it's not the first time it happened.

16 hours ago, OliKMIA said:

Having two sticks allows for some redundancy if one stick fails. With one stick only your PC will be down in case of memory failure and it could be hard to troubleshot the issue. With two sticks you simply remove one after another and restart the PC to check what is going on.

This is why I like ECC in a workstation, granted I have not heard of anyone having RAM problem in years unless you count lightning strike or other causes.

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11 hours ago, IronFilm said:

4GB is fairly teeny for 2018, even for a small build why not start with 8GB?

 

Or even 16GB.... or 32GB like some others have said. 

No one in this thread suggested building a desktop with 4 GB of RAM in 2018.  You are quoting me replying to someone who was complaining about his old computer that was obsolete because it only had 4GB of RAM.  The point of the post was quad channel configuration is not necessarily better and most people can get along perfectly fine with dual channel.  I simply used the guys own numbers for the sake of simplicity.

The point of my reply was not to tell anyone what total amount of RAM they were supposed to use.  With volatile RAM prices and different program requirements I would not presume to tell anyone that they MUST get this or that amount of RAM.  I would need to know all their computing needs and have an up to date knowledge of current RAM prices.  And even then on a finite budget the exact trade offs that are to be made are somewhat of a personal choice.

As I said before I think it is better for the OP to do some more research and then figure out what HIS particular needs are.  There is no one size fits all solution.  You can get a computer that will work for a lot of people but if you are talking about optimizing let alone future proofing for a specific person I just won't presume to start listing a bunch of concrete criteria.  I personally just don't have enough information.

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