Intel Hex Core Video Editing Workstation

In July 2012 I built a new video editing workstation based on the VideoGuys DIY9 build. It’s an Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) 6 Core / 12 Threads, 16GB Memory, 14TB+ hard drives, and water cooled 😉

Here is the parts list:

Case:  Corsair Carbide Series 500R Black Steel structure with molded ABS plastic accent pieces ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Power Supply:  CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX850 (CMPSU-850AX) 850W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified
Motherboard:  ASUS P9X79 PRO LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with USB BIOS
CPU:  Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73930K
CPU Cooling: CORSAIR H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler w/Noctua NF-P12-1300 120mm CPU Cooler Fan
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9Q-16GBZL
HardDrive1 (boot C:): Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5″ 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
HardDrive2 (media D:):  3TB Western Digital SATA2 5400-7200
HardDrive3 (video E:):  2TB Western Digital WDC WD20 01FASS-00W2B0
HardDrive4 (archive R:):  9TB CineRAID CR-H458 RAID 5 (4 x Western Digital Red WD30EFRX 3TB IntelliPower SATA 6.0Gb/s )
Media Reader:  Rosewill RCR-IC001 40-in-1 USB 2.0 3.5″ Internal Card Reader w/ USB Port
Blu-ray/DVD:  Pioneer Blu-ray BD-RW BDR-207; LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM Model GGC-H20L
Graphics Card: PNY NVIDIA Quadro 4000
Video Monitors: 2x ASUS ProArt PA246Q (1920×1200 Widescreen)
Video Capture: Canopus ADVC-300 / ADS Tech Pyro A/V Link (Firewire) / Rosewill PCIE FireWire 1394a Card 2+1 Ports Model RC-504
Sound:  M-Audio Firewire 410
Speakers: M-Audio Studiophile LX4 2.1 System + LX4 5.1 Expander System
Keyboard:  Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
Mouse:  Logitech MX510 Optical Mouse
Operating Sys: Microsoft Windows 7 64 Home Premium

So how fast is the Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E?

This new Intel Core i7 system is quite a bit faster than my Core 2 Quad. How fast? Here are some rendering times in Sony Vegas Pro 11.0:

Convert 1 minute (01:00) From: To: Core 2 Quad (QX6700) Core i7 3930K Improvement
HDV 1080-60i MPEG2 DV Widescreen video stream 01:13 00:34 2.1x
HDV 1080-60i AVI DV Widescreen 01:17 00:57 1.3x
HDV 1080-60i AVI Cineform intermediary 01:23 00:43 2.0x
DV Widescreen AVI MPEG2 DV Widescreen 00:19 00:32 00:19

As you can see from the times, HDV renders to MPEG2 and CineForm are 2x improvement and for MPEG2 it was twice real-time. That is impressive.

I also used the rendertest-hdv and rendertest-2010 on both. Here are my stats:

Test Core 2 Quad (QX6700) Core i7 3930K Sandy Bridge-E Improvement
RenderTest-HDV 01:52 (112 sec) 00:19 (19 sec) 5.8x
RenderTest-2010 07:03 (423 sec) 01:01 (61 sec) 6.9x

All I can say is WOW!!! 6 ~ 7x improvement in Video rendering from my old system. WOW (I think I said that?) If I render to MP4 it only takes 33 seconds. The upgrade was well worth it.

About John Rofrano

John Rofrano is a Senior VASST Trainer and the author of Instant ACID, a book on Sony ACID Pro software, from CMP Books. He is also the developer of Ultimate S Pro, Vegas Pro Production Assistant, Mayhem, and other software plug-ins including the FASST Apps for Sony Vegas Pro NLE software. John has been a performing musician, singer, songwriter for over 40 years, and programmer and computer architect for the past 28 years. He is also a forum moderator at the Creative COW.