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Old 23rd January 2009, 02:46   #1  |  Link
trueimage
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BD-Rebuilder system config

Hey

I am looking to build an entirely new rig if necessary to get high performance out of BD-RB. I understand that the "heavy lifting" is done by x264. I will mainly be using it to create BD25 "rips", for 25GB BD-R discs.

What are you guys using for hardware, and what are the main components affected? I don't want to spend a fortune but I have a bit of cash to throw at it, especially after parting out my current/old system.

My thoughts:
os: 64-bit windows? or is it not stable enough? I was thinking 64-bit for >3gb ram support
cpu: Intel i7 like a 920?
ram: 8gb (or 4gb if using a 32-bit os)
hdd: 4x seagate 320 7200.11 drives in raid 0 (overkill? what is the hdd read/write level like?)
gpu: does it matter? I have an old 6600gt lying around
motherboard: ???

The reason I ask is, if you say ram and hdd don't matter much, then i can shift resources to the cpu or watercooling or whatever.

Thanks for your input.

Last edited by trueimage; 23rd January 2009 at 02:56.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 02:47   #2  |  Link
Dark Shikari
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Tons of RAM is basically useless with x264, as is basically everything except a fast CPU... which is everything.

i7s are indeed your friend.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 03:12   #3  |  Link
trueimage
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I found a used bundle with a core i7 920 that he has o/c'd to 4GHz, 6GB ram and motherboard for a decent price (about $300 off retail)

So, the cpu is definitely most important, the rest is just a bonus?
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Old 23rd January 2009, 03:59   #4  |  Link
GaPony
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I personally would be a bit leary about buying a used CPU, i7 or otherwise, but that's a personal call. The basic specs are ok.

You mentioned that a HDD wasn't important.... If you intend to keep many movies, especially Blu-Ray on your computer, then you need lots and lots of HDD capacity. If you only intend to copy them onto disc and them move on, its not such a big deal, but keep in mind that you could require up to 75gb or more to copy a single Blu-Ray movie. Just a thought.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 13:47   #5  |  Link
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I'd go 64 bit windows, it's a little faster encoding for me, even with 32 bit apps and you'll be setup to run future 64 bit apps which are usually faster then their 32 bit counterpart. Vista 64 is just as stable as 32 bit and behaves basically the same. I haven't used windows xp 64 since sp1 so I can't really speak for it.

If you are overclocking i7 920 is definitely what a lot of people suggest it will easily surpass stock 940 performance.If you aren't planning on overclocking a 940 might be worth considering for another 5% or so performance gain. But you have to consider if its worth the extra money.

i7 mobos use triple channel memory so I'd go with either 3x1 GB or 3x2 GB of RAM. If you are only planning on running 1-2 OS at the same time 3 GB is plenty, if you are running more than 2 I'd suggest 6GB+.

Seagate 7200.11 320GB (ST3320613AS) according to toms hardware is about the best you can get. I'd suggest at least 3 drives for a raid0 configuration, a fourth doesn't really hurt but it doesn't help nearly as much as a third drive does, 3 is usually the sweet spot. Hard drive throughput doesn't really speed up encoding unless you are doing a bunch at the same time, but it really speeds up (de)muxing. You'll also want to consider your raid options, putting an os on a raid0 is strongly discouraged. You could buy 3 of those drives, put windows on a 20GB part, and software raid0 3x300 GB or you could buy 3 of those drives throw them in a hardware raid0 and get a small (maybe even solid state) drive for the OS. Performance should be roughly the same in both cases assuming you are using onboard raid for the hardware but if you install a new OS in the first scenario you'll lose the data on the 3x300GB raid, you won't in the second scenario.

If you were going to buy a new gpu I'd suggest nvidia 9600 or 9800. They seem to have more support in the video encoding realm then ati does. The DGIndexNV suites can also speed up your encodes by a little bit.

All the i7 motherboards out currently are pretty equal in performance and feature set from what I've read. A few only have 4 ram slots and some only support either crossfire or sli. Both of which I don't think will matter in your case. I'd go with a name brand (msi, asus, gigabyte, dfi, evga, xfx, etc.) you've had good luck with in the past.

i7 920, ram, mobo for $300 off sounds too good to be true, but maybe it's someone you trust.

Last edited by turbojet; 23rd January 2009 at 14:00.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 17:23   #6  |  Link
trueimage
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Thanks for the insight turbojet.

Are you running a raid setup? If so, what card are you using?
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Old 23rd January 2009, 17:46   #7  |  Link
turbojet
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I'm just running software raid as I do something like I mentioned in the first scenario. I also have different sized drives currently which won't work with my nvidia and silicon image onboard raid controllers.
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Old 24th January 2009, 01:00   #8  |  Link
Sophocles
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Quote:
I am looking to build an entirely new rig if necessary to get high performance out of BD-RB. I understand that the "heavy lifting" is done by x264. I will mainly be using it to create BD25 "rips", for 25GB BD-R discs.

What are you guys using for hardware, and what are the main components affected? I don't want to spend a fortune but I have a bit of cash to throw at it, especially after parting out my current/old system.
If you're doing little to no reencoding then system performance becomes less important since most of the work is done in ripping and burning. As the need to reduce the size of a BD disc increases then so does the need for greater system resources.

Memory size and performance plays a small role in reducing overall time and can help shave off a few minutes. Hard disk performance also plays a small part since the process will involve reading and writing to it during reencoding, but in the end processor speed will be the major determining factor.
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Old 24th January 2009, 01:14   #9  |  Link
GaPony
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If I had as many Blu-Ray movies as I do DVDs, I'd probably be shopping for a Cray Supercomputer... otherwise I wouldn't live long enough to get them all copied.
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Old 24th January 2009, 02:03   #10  |  Link
Sophocles
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If I had as many Blu-Ray movies as I do DVDs, I'd probably be shopping for a Cray Supercomputer... otherwise I wouldn't live long enough to get them all copied

Hm! Supercomputer sounds good to me. I wonder if we can get Dark Shikari to look into developing X.264 to support Tesla cluster configurations?


http://www.nvidia.com/object/persona...computing.html
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Old 26th January 2009, 09:35   #11  |  Link
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Somebody at work has just spent mega money on the following

Intel i7 940
Gamers Republic motherboard
Water cooling set-up
Nvidia 295 GFX card

That alone is about close on 1000

But for purely video work, unless somebody releases a video codecs that fully supports GPU encoding then there is no need to go for such a ridiculous GFX card combination he has, a 'basic' PCI-E GFX card would be ideal as its just for running the display. You can always drop another one in later

If you intend to overclock your CPU to 4Ghz, which they claim is quite easily with the Intel i7, then you need a very good 3rd party air cooler with big fans or a good water cooling kit, but I'm still very nervous around water. I have been given the guys old one which is reviewed as very good, his leaked and took his motherboard out, but the water block is cracked where it looks like he screwed it down to hard, he didn't see that just assumed the pipe leaked. It is only perspex, so I'll be looking at an all metal fixing system to replace the water block at some point

But my ThermalRight 120 Ultra with a 12cm fan is keeping things cool at the moment running at 3.4Ghz on my stock Q6600 2.4Ghz

The Intel i7 is a true 4-core processor, which the computer sees as an 8-core processor. If only one core is being used the other 3 are switched off by the CPU and an automatic overclock applied to keep it running at full performance but not shoving out more heat

The reviews had them all running at at least 4Ghz without trying to hard and as it uses DDR-3 memory also has very fast memory. But the memory MUST be fitted in 3's. So its basically either 3GB or 6GB packs. It will run but not at 'optimum levels'
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