Upper end video processing workstation


Mar 25, 2010
Apologies in advance for the never-ending post. My boss handed me a proposed build from some out-of-town company and wanted me to look over it. He is aware that
I build my own machines and wanted my opinion. Noted lots of missing information. Here is that proposal as I received it:

Intel Core i7 processor CPU socket 1150
Gigabyte G1 Performance Series MB with Bluetooth and WiFi
32GB DDR3 memory
256GB SSD OS drive
2x1TB Data Hard Drives (mirrored)
DVD Burner
2x24" LED monitors
Inwin Mid-Tower Chassis
Windows 7 64 Professional
Logitech Multimedia Keyboard and Mouse

So before I get any grief, here are the answers to the questions:

1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc
Audio/Video compostion and editing in retail setting--Adobe Suites, Sony Vegas, Microsoft Office suites, etc.
2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
$2,000-$2,500--monitors, keyboard, mouse can be added later. Less is better. Will have to include tax and shipping.
3) Which country do you live in? If the U.S, please tell us the state and city if possible.

USA, middle of nowhere West Texas--all will have to ordered in or bought at Best Buy
4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. The word "Everything" is not a valid answer. Please list out all the parts you'll need.
Processor, Motherboard, memory, storage and OS drives, PSU, GPU, Case, DVD/BluRay burner, operating system, monitors, mouse and keyboard
5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
6) Will you be overclocking?
7) What is the max resolution of your monitor? What size is it?
Not sure yet, suggesting 24" monitors x2
8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
As soon as possible--boss is ready to build/buy
9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? USB 3.0? SATA 6Gb/s? eSATA? Onboard video (as a backup or main GPU)? UEFI? etc.
Bluetooth? WiFi? RAID capabale, USB 3.0
10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If so, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit?
No--prefer Windows 7 64 Professional

The suggested list makes no mention of i7 processor type, memory brand, SSD or HD brands, has no power supply nor GPU. Realize the 1150 has onboard graphics but not
sure that is up to the job of intense video editing with two monitors. So, not sure exactly what we'd be getting for the quoted price.

I went through that list and listed some actual brands and prices to see what I could come
up with, including a PSU and a GPU. Not sure if overkill or what--no experience with this type of machine. Here's my list:

Core i7 4790 processor $309
Asus Z97A MB $145
GSkill Ares 1866 Ram 32 GB $285
Evga 970 SC GPU $349
Samsung 840 EvoPro SSD 256 GB $209
2X1TB WD Black HD drives $150
Samsung DVD burner $20
Corsair Carbide 330R Titanium case $99
Corsair CSM 650W PSU $95
Windows 7 64 Professional $139
x2 Asus VG248QE monitor $550
Logitech Keyboard and Mouse $51
about $2,400

1) Will the Intel cooling be enough or should we consider aftermarket cooling?
2) Consider more storage on the spinners? Understand video can eat through it pretty good
3) Is power supply too much?
4) Is a dedicated GPU suggested, if so is 970 overkill or OK?
5) Does mirrored HD = RAID1? Never RAIDED or mirrored anything
6) Is the 4790 overkil or OK?
7) Motherboard OK? No experience with socket 1150--if there's something better I'm open to it.

As mentioned, the monitors, keyboard and other peripherals can be done after-the-fact. Am going
to suggest a couple of decent IPS monitors just for the nice color and performance. Even have one
or two I can donate.
The boss would prefer to keep the build monies local if possible. Feel certain I can throw the parts together for him but
really don't want the headache of tech support. A local company can also build for us but I will have to stay on them or they will
cheap out on parts--have dealt with them before. They can provide install and tech support. Will be talking with them on Monday so any input anyone has (are you listening Dangman?)
will be appreciated. Consider this to be an enterprise machine and everything needs to be of good quality and stability.

Apologies again for the never-ending post. Thanx.
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Mr. Bluntman

Supreme [H]ardness
Jun 25, 2007
Not sure if video encoders and editors use GPGPU at all...

If no, your GPU is way overkill, considering it's solely for work. Get the bare minimum to drive Windows Aero and the displays you want to use and put the savings towards a 2011 platform and more cores. If yes, I'd top it out at a 750 Ti, and still use the savings from not buying a 970 to put towards a 2011 platform for more cores. :)


Nov 8, 2004
FWIW you're not going to build a "upper end" video editing workstation with that budget.
You're going to build a desktop that can do video editing, but is no where near "upper end".

Like Mr Bluntman so nicely put... you want MORE CORES :) :) I'd go for an E5 6-Core xeon with highest Ghz you can afford, and at-least 32gb ECC RAM, and try to go for 256gb SSD for Desktop/OS and then 1TB SSD for video work. If you're not doing a ton of video work then the writes shouldn't matter, if you are then you're going to need a drive with more endurance, or a RAID10 setup or RAID0 for 'live' projects and then use your cheap/affordable spinners for backups this way you have a backup drive(s) and with more than 1 SSD you spread the writes out, and gain performance and some redundancy if you go RAID10.

I've been using a 270x just to get multi-display output from a small system (ITX)... but I'd look into the software you're planning to use to see if it can use AMD or NVIDIA cards for acceleration/processing and then obviously go that route.


Ninja Editor SuperMod
Dec 15, 2005
1) Assuming that your office is air-conditioned, yes it will be enough. If it is not air-conditioned, then the stock HSF isn't quite enough.
2) Yes more storage. Don't bother with WD Black drives. WD's Red and Blue drives as wel as Hitachi drives should be your main choices. However, does your company have a form of backup for the user of this PC? i.e file server, NAS, etc
3) It's technically both overkill and not good enough. Overkill in the sense that you don't need a 650W PSU for that setup. Not good enough in the sense that the PSU is not good quality. If you can buy right away, this is one of the best PSU sales going on right now:
$100 - Seasonic X650 Gold 650W Modular PSU

If you buy today, that PSU has an additional 10% off with promo code "RMNEXSV10". It's a high quality PSU that normally retails for around $130 to $140. I recommend that same PSU at $130 so at $90, it's a no-brainer.
4) Overkill. The Nvidia GTX 750Ti would be a better choice.
5) Yes. But RAID 1 isn't an effective solution for actual backup.
6) It's the minimum. I would go with the Core i7 5820K + AsRock X99 Extreme4 + 16GB of DDR4 RAM instead. Not only do you get more cores, but you'll be able to upgrade to 64GB or more RAM in the future.
7) It's a good motherboard.


Sep 2, 2014
Designing such stuff one should start from the possibly best monitor system and here is the question why not single 40" 4K monitor instead of 2x24"? Such monitors are becoming available. From the monitor one can go back and formulate other hardware.


[H]ipster Replacement
Sep 29, 2001
I know that Premiere Pro CS 5.5 works great with a GTX285 for doing realtime effects/color correction on the timeline and my friend that I built the machine for is getting the new Dell 34" ultrawide and I suggested the GTX750ti, so I will know next week how the card works in Premiere Pro.

Encoding/rendering is done by the CPU in Premiere Pro. I upgraded his machine from a Q9550 to an i7 4770K and it encodes/renders over 3 times faster, both builds used the same GTX285 card.

You need to find out what kind of video the company is producing, what source format and output?
They may require a BluRay burner in their build.

here's a little factoid, the Q9550 in my HTPC was my friends and was used to make the 2012 Doritos Crash The Superbowl where he won $1 million bucks.
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Mar 25, 2010
Thanks all for the hints and suggestions. I had already considered a prebuilt system from one of the OEMs and let them have the headache of it all. Also the idea of more cores based on x79 or x99 had come to mind after studying some of the requirements for video-editing. Honestly I didn't spend a ton of
time researching parts and pieces, was just trying to see what I could find to fill out some of the missing information in the original estimate.

Realize now this machine will likely be a desktop that can do some video-editing and not a full-fledged setup. That will likely be fine for our needs. Anything more serious will need to be outsourced to folks who do that for a living. Shopped around today to see what was available locally. Not a lot.

Personally I'd like to see them get a really nice monitor or two and work from there as suggested. I'm loving my 4K monitor and 4K TV. That tech is just around the corner.

Am about ready to suggest a pre-built or let the local computer company enjoy the headache of putting this all together. My enjoyment is in building for fun, not for something that actually has to work in a business setting and turn out results!! Will be happy to pass what I've learned here on to the boss and the video folks.

Thanks for the time you all took to pass on your knowledge, links and suggestions. Will know more on Monday after talking with the local pundits.