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Request Recommendations please for a mobo and CPU combo that will meet my need below and replace the P5N32-SLI and Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz devices currently installed in my PC. Tactfully said, what I don't want is photo processing "advice" such as not to shoot raw, or advice to replace the entire PC. Thank you.
Background My six year old custom-build PC still does with ease everything that it was purchased to do, but the CPU struggles with two newly introduced tasks.
It is caned relentlessly when converting photo files taken with a professional DSLR from raw to jpeg format. Files taken with my much inferior consumer DSLR would take from 5 to 10 seconds each to process with the CPU briefly spiking up to 100% in the process, whereas files taken with the new camera take from 45 to 60 seconds each, with the CPU running at 100% for the entire time.
Authoring video from full HD source taken with my wife's camcorder likewise works the CPU flat out and takes much longer than SD; typically "five times real time" for HD versus "three quarters real time" for SD that she used until recently.
In neither case are the well housekept and load balanced HDDs an issue, and neither is 3GB RAM, usage of which never exceed 70%. It is pure CPU grunt that is the issue.
For completeness: The PC is never - and will never be by me - used for gaming (despite having a P5N32-SLI mobo today), and the replacement mobo needs to support at least 4 SATA and 2 eSATA HDDs. It also needs to support at last three PCI Express x16 cards. The Antec PSU has current handling capacity in spades. I intend to keep my current sound card (I don't use the P5N's onboard sound capability) and video card since they do what I need perfectly fine. The o/s is currently W7 x64 Professional SP1 and I use gigabit ethernet for connectivity to the home network.
Many thanks, TLXV
Last edited by The late XV105; 24th Jun 2012 at 22:37.
Real time video editing is one of those funny things where more than simple CPU grunt comes into play. The speed of the motherboard chipset is very important, as it the latency of the memory - low latency slower memory can be better than high latency high speed. Also the actual editing software you use is an important factor as these are often optimised to work better with specific graphics cards. Getting the balance right is quite an art, and there aren't many companies who can do it and get it right These guys are one company that do: DVC bespoke editing systems - laptops and desktops It would be worth looking at the specs of some of their systems and trying to emulate them. Believe me when I say that their combinations of components are very specifically selected
Second the GA-X79 series. Also, the ASUS PX9X79 series.
You say you want "at least" 3 PCIe x16 slots. I assume you're not doing SLI since you're not a gamer, but good luck with finding something that will do x16/x16/x16 with 3 slots filled.Plenty of stuff will do x16/x8/x8 or x16/x16/x4.
You don't want anyone to tell you to replace the entire computer, but if you go to one of the current motherboards you may have to change the PSU and memory anyway, since you may require an ATX12V v2.3 PSU (the power balance across supplies is different) and memory will be way different, which is almost changing the whole computer :-).
If you mean you want a solution that stays with socket 775, then I'd simply suggest swapping out your 3GB for 4GB or 8GB on that motherboard, and see what happens. 3GB is an issue on that chipset for speed.
Last edited by Bushfiva; 25th Jun 2012 at 04:21.
Reason: Did a x16/x4 when I should have done an x8/x8
XV105, it sounds like you are doing much the same with you 'puter as I do. I've been building my own machines for many years and in recent years I've found that an Intel/Asus combination has served me well.
Generally it's been a very reliable mix although on one occasion the mobo failed and I needed the machine up and running quickly. The only replacement I could get hold of at short notice was a Gigabyte model of a nominally similar spec. Despite spending an awful lot of time tweaking everything I could find, it was a noticeably poorer performer than the old ASUS board. It was a great surprise to me that the mobo could make such a significant difference and I eventually wen't back to my tried and tested solution. Of course, there may be other manufacturers' kit or other ASUS models which would have been even better performers...but I guess I'll never know.
As others have pointed out, there are a number of good resources out there, particularly when it comes to video editing, where you can find a few good tips in addition to around twice as many opinions as there are contributors!
I'm another Intel/Asus user. My latest build is an i7-2600 processor on a P8P67 board and so far it is performing beautifully. The previous system used a similar combination (P4P800 board with a 2,4 GHz P4HT processor) and that served me well for many years.
At last I can raise my head from the distractions of earning a crust. Sorry for the necessary radio silence, and thank you for all the comments and advice.
mixture - The GeForce 7600GT graphics card is basic but does everything I need as a non-gamer and the image processing software does not support offloading to the GPU anyway - though I like that you thought of this, thank you.
My W7 x64 Pro licence is not OEM - it is a System Builder licence that I purchased for a hundred quid via Amazon. I will try to ask nicely that it be allowed on the new mobo, but if not will of course have to accept paying for a replacement.
Interestingly given Spitoon's comment, I've since had several personal recommendations to go with a Gigabyte motherboard. One of these recommendations was specifically for their Z77-D3H on the basis of its bang for the buck. I then followed up Milo Minderbinder's suggestion to contact DVC - and blow me if they didn't recommend exactly the same motherboard. They also recommended the i5-3550 3.3Ghz quad core CPU, but I've had another system builder and a digital photographer instead recommend the i5-3570K 3.4Ghz CPU, the K indicating "designed for overclocking" with up to 4.4Ghz being commonplace. The software I use supports multithreading and the indications are that I will get the massive performance increase for the task in hand that I seek if I go down this route.
Armed with this information I did some browsing and found
compare the memory specs DVC typically use expensive low-latency stuff. In video editing the latency can be more important than the actual speed Also I'd guess that their quote includes a video editing software suite??
one thing about buying from DVC that isn't on their price list is the support they give: they'll happily give free help and advice over the phone years after any warranty expires. They reallya re good. The value of that depends on what software you use and ho well you know it!
The memory spec is the same, thanks mm, and no extras are included; just motherboard, memory, and CPU. I don't doubt the quality of after sales service if the truly excellent sales service is anything to go by, but for sixty quid less including VAT and P&P, I get 8GB memory instead of 4GB (same spec), the i5-3570K overclocked to a reliable 4.4Ghz instead of i5-3550 delivered in standard 3.3Ghz trim and not designed for overclocking anyway, and a decent CPU cooler (none incuded from DVC).
After sleeping on it I have made a small change and decided to pay the £20 premium to stick with ASUS as the mobo supplier; I much like their products and have never had one fail. I like their implementation of UEFI BIOS, too.
Happy to report back the outcome (including how I get on with MS!) if any fellow PPRuNer is interested. This will be some weeks if I don't manage to get to installing and configuring before I disappear on holiday in the wee small hours of 19th July.
Thanks again for all the help and advice; as always, appreciated.
Last edited by The late XV105; 5th Jul 2012 at 16:36.
Reason: Added CPU speed
As well as a good price, excellent service from AWD-IT and DPD couriers; e-mail to check I was in and to give the option to reschedule if not. I wasn't, so rescheduled and got another e-mail this morning giving a 60 minute delivery window that was kept.
The mobo, RAM, CPU, and cooler have all been pre-assembled and arrived well packaged using the mobo's original box as the core of several layers of boxes and bubble cell. I nearly fell off my chair when I saw the size of the cooler; flippin' 'eck! I think it is going to fit in my Cooler Master Mystique tower, but I foresee a mod to my custom cooling currently fitted to the removable side.
My father would like my current mobo etc etc etc as it will be an upgrade for his PC, so being a nice son I'll give him the W7 "system builder" disc too and have purchased a new one for myself.
Anti-static strap just unearthed, so now for a quiet evening of careful concentration.
Last edited by The late XV105; 11th Jul 2012 at 13:27.
New Asus P8Z77-V LX motherboard now installed together with Intel i5 3570k overclocked to a reliable 4.4GHz, and 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600Mhz RAM. I also treated myself to an OCZ 120GB SSD for the W76 x64 Professional operating system and program files to reside on (the other four disks being the Seagate Barracudas taken from my original system). Oh, I also purchased a new AMD Radeon HD6670 graphics card (excellent VFM), and a new case, and, and, and.... So, yes, Bushfiva, with only the Antec True Power 750W PSU, those four HDDs, and the Hauppage TV card carried over, I did get pretty damn close to a completely new system
Anyway, what's it like now I have some experience with it?
It booted up first time of asking which gave me a satisfying glow having assembled a disparate pile of bits in to a living beast - followed by "please don't crash" - and it didn't, and hasn't. Performance was clearly blazing right from the fastest Windows installation I've ever done, and it's massively quick in use. Even with stress test relentlessly hammering those quad cores on their overclocked limit and giving the RAM a hard time, I can still web browse and play embedded Flash as if the PC is otherwise idle; no discernible lag at all. Watching the CPU meter gadget at startup makes me smile; it merely blips a tiny bit off zero and within a couple of seconds has settled back to idle at almost zero with start-up services complete. HDD activity whacks to 100% for about a second and a half, and then returns smartly back to an indicated zero.
Most importantly though, what's it like processing the massive Canon RAW files that originally took up to a minute and which prompted this exercise? They now average just under 5 seconds each.
Whoo hoo. Very, very, happy.
For what it's worth, out of the maximum possible score of 7.9, the Windows Experience Index is 6.9 as driven by the lowest subscore: Processor 7.9 Ram 7.9 Aero Graphics 6.9 Gaming Graphics 6.9 Primary HDD 7.9