Kym Herbert builds PCs that are anything but run-of-the-mill. One of the most popular sold by his business PCG4M3R is a gaming rig that doesn’t look like a gaming rig for people who want to play games at work or home without their boss (or partner) finding out. But this time Herbert builds for APC another unconventional machine: a PC that is both good at video editing and gaming.
Video-editing capability is important because more people are shooting HD video on home camcorders and finding that home PCs struggle under the load of editing and rendering. A PC that’s good at video-editing and gaming might also stem the exodus towards Apple Macs for video editing. While Macs might be good video editing machines they are crap at gaming. With Kym’s system you can have your cake and eat it too.
(All prices below in Australian dollars).
CPU: AMD Phenom II 1090T BLACK EDITION – $387
The monster core from AMD at a price that allows you to get an SSD for the money saved (in comparison to the Core i7). You’ll be able to tweak it up to 4GHz with little effort.
COOLER: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus – $45.50
This little beauty gets you awesome direct pipe contact CPU cooling and leaves you space to fill your RAM slots. Easily able to handle the CPU overclock above.
MOTHERBOARD: GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD5 – $300
For video you need a board with enough bandwidth to move all the data around constantly and have almost every form of storage medium catered for. This has 6 x SATAIII ports 2 x USB3.0 and 2 x Firewire ports so you have everything covered. With the constant load it will heat up but with the case we have chosen and the onboard cooling it’s all under control.
RAM: Corsair CMX8GX3M2A1333C9 16GB – $419
These are 16GBs of pure evil. Real time previews of video effects eat RAM like no tomorrow and 16GB gives it plenty to eat. Its only 1333MHz but we are going for pure bulk here.
GRAPHICS: HIS HD 6870 – $387
AMD are making massive moves with their latest series of cards in both parallel processing and performance. You don’t hear it talked about much but the latest 6 series has the excellent Morphological Anti-Aliasing system which kills the jaggy edges in any Direct X 9/10/11 supported game.
HARD DRIVE 1: Corsair Force Series 60GB – $206
Don’t freak out that this SSD is only 60GB because this is just for the OS! (Programs go on drive 3) In all our experimentation using an SSD for the OS is the biggest improvement in performance bar none.
HARD DRIVE 2: Western Digital WD1002FAEX (SATA III) 1TB – $100
This is the scratch disk the drive that handles all the rendering. Your video editing software needs to be configured to use this drive as its âscratch diskâ or similar. Dedicated to writing the constant little chunks of data that make up your video.
HARD DRIVE 3: Western Digital WD1002FAEX (SATA III) 1TB – $100
This is the storage drive on which you install all your software and also the drive you initially copy your video to when taking it off your camera. The idea is to set up a clean flow of data from here through your software to the scratch disk.
OPTICAL: Samsung 12x Blu-ray/DVD Combo Drive – $99
It won’t burn Blu-ray but with a drive like this you will be able to digitize any video given to you on disk.
POWER SUPPLY: Corsair HX-650 650W – $196
Very solid PSU don’t be put off thinking the 650W is too small it’s plenty. Modular to avoid all the clutter.
CASE: Antec Nine Hundred Two – $206.50 (inc fans)
The ANTEC 900 II moves a truckload of air and every single fan can be controlled manually. A case like this configured with a positive air pressure will keep all the dust bunnies at bay. We add an additional two Silverstone Suscool fans with automatic temperature control to handle the heat when put under pressure.
CORE SYSTEM COST: $2446.50
MONITOR: Dell U2311H- $350
Depending on how serious you are about the video editing you may consider the Dell IPS LCD’s for their colour accuracy and excellent crisp displays. However at 6ms response times you will get some tearing or ghosting in your games.
KEYBOARD: Razer Lycosa Gaming Keyboard – $90
Backlit for those long hours in the editing suite and also perfect for the late night gaming sessions.
MOUSE : Logitech G9x Laser Corded Mouse – $130
The classic mouse. Steer away from a jumpy wireless mouse for video editing you need the accuracy of a wired mouse to deal with those tiny timelines and video layers.
OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 7 64-bit Pro (Upgrade – $399)
With that much RAM obviously the 64-bit version is the weapon of choice. However for a bit less cash you could go with the home version if you were really strapped.
STORAGE: Patriot Xporter Rage USB drive – $70
As a video editor you will need to transport large files between a variety of devices using many different OSes. Nothing beats the practicality of a good quality USB drive to deal with simple file transfer tasks and the 27MB/s read and 25MB/s write transfer speeds of the Patriot 32GB USB drive certainly does the trick.