First PC/Video Editing Workstation build. Need Expert Review, Feedback, Guidance on Components


Jan 22, 2015
Dear Friends,

First thank you for taking time out of your day to read and donate you valuable time. It is whole heartedly appreciated. Many searches have led me to Tom's Hardware forum which has always provided valuable information.

Goal: Build a Video Workstation for Home Business High End Content Creation. My requirements after endless hours of research and back and forth self-debating is to build a system that is:
1) High End
2) Expandable
3) Reliable
4) Future Proof (as much as possible)

I hope this system with last 6-10 years (with care) vs having to do a technology refresh every 2-3 years. This will give my home business the time to get off the ground.

Kindly, when constructive criticism is offered, please attach the reasoning, experience, and or metrics if possible to support as it will help me in learning which in turn I can pay it forward.

List of System Specs (My reasons and questions will be below each spec. Please feel free to add any advice that you think may be beneficial. I was gonna have Micro Center Build it but after watching "How To's" and not getting the best vibe with Micro Center Tech, I decided to build it. Unless there is a place where I can go get it build and be part of the build process, that would be great since this is my first and a bit nervous :) )

Note: Total Cost I came up with: $4399.00. If you know of any cheaper sites for these components that would be very helpful and if there are discounts for buying in bulk.
Sites/Resources I used for coming up with these specs: Please add as I am sure my list is probably weak and could be improved.
1) ASUS Youtube (How to Build a PC Step by step)
2) Logical Increments site (for baseline)
3) CPU Boss, CPU Benchmark
4) GPU Boss
5) Newegg, Youtube, Web (Anandtech Reviews etc...)
6) Ark Intel Compare
7) SLR Lounge
8) Linus TechTips
9) Big thing was Adobe had a White Paper regarding Hardware Specs to Optimize Adobe CC which I thought was very very helpful as far as guiding me to get bang for my buck.

Video Workstation System Specs:
1.0) CPU: Xeon E5-2690 v3: $2030
Reasons for choosing:
- High Dual Performance Benchmarks (even when compared to Dual E5-2697 CPU's, that cost much much more. Time is money, so I need a render horse CPU to work with GPU.
- Single Core Benchmark Scores where close/slightly better to the i7 5960X (assume when not overclocked) so I assume when I get to install the second CPU, and utilize 24 cores, 48 threads, It will be a render monster while having no need to run hot. I believe the turbo mode for E5-2690 is 3.5GHz anyway.
- Withstand Heavy Rendering Use.
a) Can I install one CPU now, and the other one when I am able to purchase it? (My budget only allows for one now. I know the sockets are marked, ie. CPU 0, CPU 1. I know I will only have access to certain PCIe slots, also marked i assume.)
b) What other limitations, concerns, risks, if any exist by doing this?
c) Do latency issues due to dual cpu have any affect on performance or is it negligible? (thought I read that somewhere)

2) MOBO: Z10 PE-D8 WS - $580
Reasons for choosing:
Expandability, Inputs, Quality Throughput Parts, True PCIe 3.0 x16 SLI
a) I could only find reviews of the Z9 PE-D8 WS, Is anyone aware of reviews on the Z10-PE-D8 WS?
b) It says Quad Channels, for each CPU, so 16 DIMM Slots total. How is that going to work out to 768GB of max RAM? I have only seen 16GB Kits.
c) Does the MOBO come with all the cables I need?

3) DDR4: ECC-RDIMM 64MB 2133 (16x4) - $800 or 32MB (16x2) $400 just to get me up and running.
Reasons for choosing:
Error Checking RDIMM
a) How does 768GB of RAM fit in 16 slots?
b) I assume the DIMM Slots are marked by priority so I would only fill ones associated with my inital CPU, until I can buy the second CPU.

4) SSD: Samsung 850 Pro 256GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-7KE1T0BW) - $160
Reasons for choosing:
Best Price for Performance Ratio.
a) What is best configuration when it comes to video editing? (Lots of confusion here for me)
- Is it better to have small 256GB SSD for my operating system or can it be 512GB, 1TB.
- Do my applications (ie. Adobe CC Suite) get installed on same drive as Windows 7 64bit.
- Is it better/possible to do 2x 256 GB SSD in Raid 0 and the other drives as non-RAID standalone.
- Is it possible to have multiple RAIDS ( 2x 256GB SSD in RAID 0 and say 2x 1TB SSDs in RAID 1 on the same system) Do RAID setups really make a significant performance increase?
- Would it be better just to install my Operating System and Adobe CC on a M.2 Drive that I believe is 36GBs/s?
- Any Workflow advice is greatly appreciated that will allow for greatest efficiency. (Where to keep source files, output files, scratch disk? (no sure what that is, that like cache?)
b) Cost aside, what other high performance SSDs are faster than Samsung I chose so I can expand my knowledge base?

5) PSU: CORSAIR AXi series AX1200i 1200W Digital ATX12V v2.31 and EPS 2.92 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply New 4th Gen CPU Certified Haswell Ready - $279
Link Monitoring Software
- Is 1200 watts enough? I tried those website too estimate but not sure if I over estimated. To me this is the most important choice to protect my PC.
- Should Power Supply Fan be placed downwards so it helps exhaust the radiator fan intake from the top? Basically, is two fan intake at top (from radiator), two fan exhaust from bottom (one being the power supply fan, two fans in front as intake and one one back of case a correct airflow configuration? (confused on this part too) What do 120mm/140mm on fan spec represent?

6) Case: IN WIN GR one Black SECC Full Tower Computer Case - $130
Design, Space, Air Flow, Top has a External SATA, Quiet Hopefully
Should I replace the stock fans?

7) Cooling: 2x Corsair Hydro Series H100i Liquid Cooling - $200
Link Monitoring Software
- How long to these AIO Systems generally last?
- Do I have to maintain water level?

8) Graphics Card: ASUS GTX980-4GD5 GeForce GTX 980 4GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready SLI Support G-SYNC Support Video Card - $560
Quality, best bang for buck until I can afford a Quadro for 10bit color support (I have seen where the performance of GTX is same or better than Quadro but just without the Certifications and Quality Compliance from what I read.
Link Monitoring Software
- How long to these AIO Systems generally last?
- Do I have to maintain water level?

9) Monitors 2x ASUS PA279 2560x1440 (guess that is what they refer to as 2K) Pro Art

This looks like a good discussion starting point. Again thank you for donating your time and input to assist a fellow human being. Any contributors have my utmost gratitude.

Please let me know if I forgot a component, any additional wires I may need (not sure on that)

Lastly if anyone could suggest some good photography/videography communities that have great tutorials/learning options


No need for a 1200W PSU. A high quality 650W PSU is more than enough.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Video Card: AMD FirePro W7100 8GB Video Card ($649.99 @ B&H)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($93.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $743.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-01-22 15:04 EST-0500

PS. Why liquid cooling? Just use a high quality air cooler instead. This would be a optimal choice: Noctua NH-U14S.


1. CPU:
The E5-2690V3 is a sound choice for the start of a dual socket R3 build. However, if it were me I would go with the E5-2687W V3 instead. 10 cores clocked a bit higher and given a bit more power envelope will actually result in better real-world performance scaling than 12 cores clocked lower clamped to a lower power envelope. Either way is fine though, if you like the novelty of more cores, that's fine too, same price and similar enough performance that it won't matter.

Yes, you can use a single CPU on a dual socket board. Make sure to install the single CPU in the CPU socket that is mapped to the C612 chipset. There will be a diagram in the setup guide for your motherboard for this.

When only 1 CPU is installed, some of your PCIE slots will not be connected to a PCIE controller.

The Z10 PE-D8 WS is NOT compatible with the E5-2690V3.

Choose from the ASUS Z10PE-D8 WS, ASUS Z10PE-D16 WS, or Supermicro X10DAI

3. DDR4
Yes, you need DDR4 ECC RDIMM's for this build. DDR4 is very new, large high density RDIMM simply are not available yet.
It's highly unlikely you'd ever need more than 32GB installed per CPU for a video editing workstation. In fact, far less would work fine, but as you probably know, 8GB size RDIMM's is sort of where the value kicks in here so it doesn't make sense to buy 4GB RDIMM's.

Just start with a 4x8GB kit, add another 4x8GB kit when you add the second CPU. That leaves 8 slots free for a rainy day ;) Follow your setup guide for which slots to populate in what order. It's easy.

Keep in mind that the maximum memory supported by the memory controller, and the maximum amount that can be installed in a given motherboard, are not always going to be the same. 8X DIMM slots are anticipated to support up to 512GB of load-reduced RDIMM memory per CPU socket on this platform as production ramps up.. For now, a board with 16 slots could only support up to 256GB (128GB per CPU) with the AVAILABLE RDIMMs on the market. 32-64GB RDIMM's are coming... not available yet.

4. SSD
Just use a single SSD for your "software" drive. That will be your operating system and productivity applications. There's no reason to complicate things with separate SSDs or RAID for this. A 256-512GB Plextor M6 Pro or Samsung 850 Pro are fantastic choices, though you could even go with more mainstream SSD's here and achieve subjectively similar results.

Video editing storage/editing drives:
This is dependent on your footage format and bit-rate. Mechanical drives provide the best value for video editing as they offer excellent sequential performance and size for the money. I'm going to loosely advise a configuration of WD SE drives, but I'm not going to specifically advise on a configuration with or without RAID and how to go about using them (separate drives for footage/output/scratch etc?) without more information about the footage itself.

What recorder are you using?

5. PSU:
Provided the machine remains a CPU oriented build, and doesn't scale into GPU trans-coding and rendering (a different direction), you'll only need ~500W to power this sucker if you take my advise on the GPU selection... Unfortunately, as you may already know, you need a PSU with 2 X 4+4 pin EPS CPU power connectors. That's actually going to be the kicker right there, as that feature really only comes standard on a few KW+ options.

My advise, would be to contact Antec, and see if they can sell you another 8pin CPU power connector and if there's any reason it wouldn't plug into an HCP-750 since you're not going to be using all of those 6+2 pin connectors anyway, and while you're at it, order a spare SATA power cable to go with that as well

If that isn't an option, go with an HCP-1000 or one of the many other fine 1KW units available that come with the extra 8 pin power. (I can advise on alternatives per request).

6. Case:
That case looks redonkulous! Yikes!

7. Cooling:
DO NOT bother with AIOCLCs for this. They are utterly pointless for this sort of build. That's just inviting 2 opportunities for awesome failure into your workstation, not to mention, noisier operation.
SilverStone AR03's are great for this sort of build. If you want something with a little punch/size, use the Noctua NH-U14S. LIquid heat-pipes are more practical, less failure prone, won't leak, self-pumping, and have passive dissipation capacity. AIOCLC's do not.

120mm/140mm is the diameter of the fan. For this build, I would advise 4X 140mm case fans or better, depending on how strong they are.

8. GPU:
This rig does not appear to be shaping up to be a GPU render/transcode farm, so 1 good workstation GPU to support your color space and some of the preview-accelerated functions in the editor is all you need here. A K2200 or W5100. Pick your poison.


I hope this system with last 6-10 years (with care) vs having to do a technology refresh every 2-3 years. This will give my home business the time to get off the ground.
Noooope. Aint gonna happen. No matter how much you spend now, over that kind of timeframe your hardware will easily be outperformed by far cheaper hardware. My opinion on the topic of "future-proofing" is buy the performance you need now, not the performance you hope it will have years down the line. That 2-3yr upgrade cycle works because you can recycle some components (cooling, PSU, case, storage) while the core components are kept current.

I'l admit I dont know enough about dual-CPU systems to answer your questions.

a. Nope, though knowing the caliber of these kinds of boards I highly doubt there will be anything massively wrong with it.
b. see below
c. Pretty much. Everything you need should come between the case, Mobo and PSU. You will still want to make sure though, count the cables you need (mainly SATA cables) and compare with how many you get.

a. You ever seen a 48GB stick of RAM? You haven't, 768GB is the theoretical limit to how much RAM the board is capable of dealing with, its not actually possible to do. 16GB is the largest you can get on a consumer level, so you deck all of its slots with those and you have 256GB.

a. If your asking this question I am kind of wondering why you are spending on an $4500 editing rig...
Keep your OS and Programs on an SSD, say a 256GB. Nothing special in terms of RAID is needed here, your purely after random read/writes and not sequential performance with this workload so RAID wont do anything.
However with your mass storage you definitely want it RAIDed, probably in RAID10. If your working with 4k footage then you need that sequential read and write performance. You also dont want a drive to fail. I would be looking at enterprise drives here, because them not failing is far more important than a bit of extra performance in this case.

a. lol, 1200W is complete overkill. If your sticking with a single GPU, 850W is plenty in this case (even with the 2nd CPU).

Blergh... If your going to spend $4500 on a computer get a case that reflects that, that thing looks cheap as. Phanteks Enthoo Primo, something from Silverstone or Lian Li please.

a. About as long as can be expected, they will last their warranty period plus maybe a year or two (so say, 6-7yrs).
b. Nope, they are sealed, no maintanence other than dusting the thing.



Jan 22, 2015

Thank you for your great insight. Please accept my sincere gratitude.
Regarding CPU:
Its been a struggle for me with so many variables to consider. My plan is to do end to end 4k production with of course the option to scale down to 2k or HD. I do plan eventually to set up a dual SLI high-end graphics card in the future. It was my understanding that although programs like Lightroom is utilize single core processing, programs such as After Effects and Promiere Pro utilize both GPU Cuda Cores and CPU Cores together.

I plan on using Panasonic GH4 or Sony A7s along with few GoPro4 Heros for multicamera capture in Premeire CC

Back to the CPUs- I find it tough bc to gain Cores, you sacrifice base frequency. Looking at the E5-2687W v3 and the E5-2690 v3 had my head spinning :). Less cores yet higher base frequency and higher TDP yet lower Max Operating temp for E5-2687W v3. But they both have a Turbo Frequency at 3.5 GHzs. So whats confusing to me is if I knew the the CPU runs 90% of the time at the Turbo Frequency, then I would say E5-2690v3. But if it only runs 10% of time under heavy workload, then I feel like you are right that the E5-2687W v3 with 10 cores, at a base of 3.1GHz and a higher TDP means it can be "pushed" harder. Again I am no expert. My background is in software and medicine.
Is a change of .1 GHz significant in terms of performance like a pH scale that changes by .1, I dont know. Or does gaining an additional core at lower base clock mean more performance. All very confusing but I do see from CPU Benchmark that the Dual 2690 v3 scored very very high though not sure how that translate to real world performance.

Yes that is the one I posted, ASUS Z10-PE-D8 WS (I forgot the put ASUS :) ) Hopefully will see some reviews soon

Thanks for the save, good to know I dont need to max this thing out. Memory is so expensive. You are right 512GB max not 768GB as I thought.

Thanks again, less is more i feel in this case. Keeping it simple with no RAID setup. I already have a Synology NAS RAID 5 setup (1511+ Model) with 10 TB. I guess I can use that for final storage/archive

PSU I am still bit confused. With the eventual dual SLI Quadro setup. Wont I be better off with a 1000W like Corsair ATX 1000i?? Will that work with my specs? not really fimilar with all the types of pins

Thanks your not the first person to advise that, been reading it elsewhere. Seems like your rec is a great brand.
My only question is those heat sink fans look huge. Wont that be very tight with two cpus being so close?? I may be orienting the picture incorrectly in my head though. And for fans can I get away with front/rear configuration? 2 front intake two rear exhaust? Sorry if I sound bit confused hear as well.

Yea I love it thanks :)

Graphics card:
Eventually some dual high end SLI and thunderbolt PCIe card

again thank you my friend.. Sending you good vibes from DC Metro Area :)



Jan 22, 2015
Noooope. Aint gonna happen. No matter how much you spend now, over that kind of timeframe your hardware will easily be outperformed by far cheaper hardware. My opinion on the topic of "future-proofing" is buy the performance you need now, not the performance you hope it will have years down the line. That 2-3yr upgrade cycle works because you can recycle some components (cooling, PSU, case, storage) while the core components are kept current.
Thanks ManofChalk for your feedback. That's a good point about being able to swop out core components. Do people sell there old stuff to offset the cost? I assume they must. Is there a market for that?

Again this is a new venture for me as far as building PCs go but I feel I have learned a lot.

The watercooling AIO I am not sure if that's needed after advise I've received.. I just thought it "looked cool" but from a practical point if a quiet heat sink fan exists then I will prob go with that as that was mentioned before by mdocod above.

Wow! I thought the case looked great and the fact it has the top external SATA connection at top base was very nice IMO. To each is own I guess. But thanks I will look at the other brands you mentioned.


CPU: To help visualize and understand why the 2697W V3 is the superior choice, see the following article:

Notice, the 2690 V3 ONLY manages to pull ahead of the 2687W V3 in conditions with PERFECT intercore scaling. Even a 1% scaling penalty puts the 2687W in the lead for performance. Fewer faster cores will work out better. In your heavily threaded workloads you'll be running near base clocks not turbo clock speeds.

MOBO: Sorry I copy/pasted the wrong one, I meant to say that the Z9 PE-D8 WS is not compatible with the V3 series...

PSU/GPU: Yes, if you're planning to scale this up to a multi-GPU configuration to accelerate a ray-tracing rendering engine, then you'll want a bigger PSU. Interestingly enough, most raytracing engines that are GPU accelerated actually do not require that the GPUs be configured in SLI. (not important just an interesting distinction, in some cases you can even mix and match different GPUs, as an example, the Cycles render engine in Blender can scale nicely on a total hodgepodge of random CUDA enabled GPUs).. in any case, may as well opt for something in the 1KW+ size if you're thinking along those lines but do your due diligence on performance scaling. Last I checked After effects wasn't really scaling with multiple GPUs or scaling with CPU+GPU very well, the render engine in after-effects has historically been pretty primitive compared to render engines in other animation/effect software, though maybe that has changed since last I checked (hopefully). Considering the scope of the machine, a 1KW+ PSU isn't going to kill the budget. I really like the Delta OEMed Antec HCP series for these types of builds, but there are other strong contenders like the EVGA G2 and P2 series.

Assuming you are just recording using the onboard recorders of your cameras, the highest bitrate footage appears to be limited to ~200Mbps on your Panasonic, with the Sony and of course the GoPro's being less.

At those bit-rates, you don't need RAID for your editing setup at all unless you're just looking for redundancy (RAID 1) with the added benefit of higher sequential read speed. You can use your external raid setup as a backup/storage/export device if you want, but 200mbps is a cake walk for modern mechanical drives. (most are able to sustain over 1000Mbps across the entire drive capacity in sequential read/write performance easily). My advise would be to just add WD SE series enterprise drives in 2-4TB size on an as needed basis for footage drives, 1TB scratch drive, and use your external RAID5 for export.

If you're using an external recorder to pull the uncompressed 4K from that a7s, you're looking at footage at 4000Mbps. Suddenly, huge raid arrays or a huge investment in SSD's becomes a necessity. so....

Have a look here:
There you can see an example of how someone has set up a dual socket board with a pair of Arctic 30 series coolers, which are actually fatter than the coolers I was suggesting... They have the fan installed on either out-facing side of the HSF's, one probably pushing the other pulling so it becomes like one big front-to-back flow. You'd want to do the same thing, with front case fans blowing into the case, rear case fans blowing out of the case, and the HSF's all maintaining that same direction of flow.


Jan 22, 2015
So after pulling all my hair out trying to put together a quality build workstation for video editing/content creation aka Adobe CC Stuff and reading about all the endless variables there comes a time where you just have to pull the trigger.

So if you had a choice which build would you go with, as far as a workstation for Professional Content Creation. I get caught up in the Xeon "stability" and ECC AND registered RAM plus insane cost of Quadro vs GTX. I know your paying for quality and control, and validations etc but is it really worth it today? Isn't the below build just as high quality and stable as all this Xeon, ECC, RDIMM, Quadro Pro Grade stuff without the insane cost due to all extra layers of independent quality control and validation certifications? I'd rather put that money towards my GH4 camera for 4k capture and some GoPros etc

Choice 01:
CPU: Intel Core i7-5960X 3.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($899.99 @ Micro Center)
CPU Cooler: Swift Tech H240x ($149.99 @ Gigaparts)
Motherboard: Asus X99-E WS SSI CEB LGA2011-3 Motherboard ($472.80 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($1056.06 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 850 Pro Series 512GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($250.00)
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 980 4GB Video Card ($574.99 @ Directron)
Case: Silverstone TJ11B-W ATX Full Tower Case ($585.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair 1200W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($287.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-16D1HT Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($79.99 @ Micro Center)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($197.96 @ OutletPC)
Total: $4575.00
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-02-02 22:04 EST-0500


Jan 22, 2015
Choice 2: this build leaves room to add the additional CPU (within 2-3 months) and more memory with DDR4 prices come down. So either this or build above

CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2687W V3 3.1GHz 10-Core Processor ($2079.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: 2X Arctic Cooling UCACO-FI30201-GB 74.0 CFM Ball Bearing CPU Cooler ($37.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus Z10PE-D8 Dual CPU LGA2011-3 Motherboard ($472.80 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 4 series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($215.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung XP941 Series 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($476.69 @ Mwave)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 980 4GB Video Card ($565.91 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone TJ11B-W ATX Full Tower Case ($585.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair 1200W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($287.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-16D1HT Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($79.99 @ Micro Center)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($197.96 @ OutletPC)
Total: $5001.28
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-02-02 22:49 EST-0500


Sorry I've been out of town for the last week...

Ripjaws non-ECC memory isn't likely to work on the C612 chipset with a Xeon. Choice 2 is a no-go as configured.

At your budget there's really not much price difference between an i7 rig an an equivalent Xeon rig with ECC memory support. If you drop the dual socket support and use an E5-1660 V3 on a single socket C612 chipset motherboard like the GIGABYTE MW50-SV0, then you'll have basically the same performance as an i7-5960X but with ECC RDIMM support...


Jan 22, 2015
Hey MDOCOD and Friends,

Thanks again for sharing all of your valued knowledge as I go through my first build. Strange enough its exciting (learning) and scary (expensive) but in life you need to take risks (build for home business)

So I have come to realize that this build is gonna take a bit more time. Below is updated specs esp realizing that if software like Cinema 4D and Adobe CC AE, Premiere Pro are mutithreaded apps I feel the dual core is my best bet. (2x 2687W) which does just fine in single core performance (not gonna stress over 2687W vs i7 5960x single core difference bc my rig will make it up in render time, at least thats what i tell myself!)

So Updated Specs and my thinking rationale, kindly provide feedback, advise, positive or constructive.
Things I purchased already:
1) Power Supply:
Corsair AX1200i (figure I can add this to current PC bc GTX 980 needs min of 500W)

2) GPU:
ASUS Strix Geforce GTX 980 (Thinking is to add this to current PC so can get 4 screens to do work/training/etc then add it to new build when all my parts come in a couple months from now)

3) Case:
Caselabs TH10A ($770!!!, with ssd adaptors and casters.)
I know this is a bit insane but as a first time builder my thinking is if this can make life easier and basically be used for future builds go for it!
The case out there are really all over the map and I went to Micro Center to look at real cases and the cheap plastic was just not going work I dont care how shiny it is. Caselabs are all Aluminum and huge amount options (modular)

Parts I still need:
4) Motherboard - Z10PE-D8 ws

5) Corsair ECC Memory DDR4

6) Samsung XP941 512GB M.2 80mm PCIe x4 SSD - MZHPU512HCGL (for operating system and apps)

7) Cooling (this was the part that was driving be a bit bananas but i think I figured it out?!?!)
After learning about Static Pressure vs Air Pressure, Push/Pull, Push or Pull, and best air flows (drive heat in general from "front bottom to back top" is what I read?)

So with the case above I am just throwing this out could I do 120.4 Static Pressure Fans on 480 Rad in pull on the bottom and pull on the top?
I was then going to go for a dual tower reservoir each connected (directly) to its pump (D5) sitting below?) (so two separate simple loops, one for each cpu or should I consider one loop from cpu too cpu? ) I would worry about GPU water blocks later. And memory I am not doing any cooling.

So for example, in summary, can I go from Reservoir directly to pump below, out into one bottom 480 radiator, out into to cpu1 water block, out of cpu1, into cpu2, out of cpu2 into top 480 radiator, out of top 480 radiator back into reservoir??

Is there more efficient way? ie Seperate loop for each 480 radiator for each cpu?

Note: I didnt even know what water cooling was a month or so ago so dont laugh :)
Do I make sense or am I completely off my rocker?

I will prob go with alphacool? I think its called and d5 pump, with tower reservoir.

So with liquid cooling I have seen CPU, GPU, Memory Water Blocks? Are there any other parts that get really hot? (c612 Board)

I know the water cooling may be overkill but 2687W drawing 160W TDP I feel better going this route plus it will be a great learning experience I feel.

Ok my brain hurts, Any feedback would be appreciated



The only advise I have regarding a custom water loop is that there is no upside to using it in this application. I don't invest any time or research into that technology because IMO it's a novelty. A case configured with a few intake fans on the front, a few exhaust on the rear or top, with a primarily front to rear air-flow with a pair of heatpipe tower coolers working to complement the natural direction of airflow in the case will work just fine and comes with basically no risk of coolant leaks, etc.

I'm not aware of any Corsair brand ECC RDIMM's, you'll probably want Kingston, Samsung, Hynix, or Crucial. See Crucial kit CT4C8G4RFS4213.


Jan 22, 2015
That makes a lot of sense.. I think when I researched YouTube builds they all have watercooling and I think I just got caught up in the novelty of it. Its not like the noise from fans will be loud (hope not). That's one thing that drives is such a distraction. The watercooling adds no value to the purpose of my build, which is professional content creation. Thanks I think I snapped out of that. Ill just add couple LEDS and call it a day.


Jan 22, 2015
I just had a thought. What is your opinion on say an ASUS X99 E WS Board with one E5-2697 v3 (board says its optimized for Xeons and I believe ECC memory.)


Z10PE-D8 with Dual E5- 2687W.

Is there a huge trade off I wonder and it could be savings and possible not such a drastic decrease in performance (maybe)

Just a thought..


Jan 22, 2015
Really Interesting Cinebench Scores:

1x - 2697 v3 (Score 50910, $2,589.99 ) 14C/28T


2x - 2687W v3 (Score 52652, $$4,159.98) 20C/40T

So Delta Cinebench Score in favor of 2x 2687W v3 of 1742, at an additional cost of $1569.99?? That seems like really bad value.

??Am I missing something??

Crap do I need to call Caselabs to tell them to switch from SSI-EEB to E-ATX MOBO Tray ---YIKES!!!-- Serenity Now!

Timothy Wright

Mar 8, 2015
I have about 13,000 videos on my NAS , I have been collecting movies for a "little" while. I built a Z97 i7-4790k system last summer and hope to build a x99 system this Summer, both for heavy video encoding use.

My answers may not completely agree with some of the intelligent and well thought out help you have received from others here but perhaps if I explain some of my reasoning you may find it helpful.

My existing handbrake workstation looks like this:

CPU: i7-4790k
MB: ASUS Z97 Deluxe
Case: CoolMaste Cosmos II
CPU Cooling: CoolMaster Nepton 280L
OS: MS Windows 8.1 64 bit
MEM: G.Skill Trident (4x4GB) DDR3 2400
Boot: Samsung 840 EVO 1TB
SATA: (4) WD 6TB green drives
Optical: (3) ASUS BC-12B1ST

Add in a pair of ASUS 4k (PQ321q) displays and I have some money invested.

My future X99 build, and I am in no hurry to build it, might look more like this:

CPU: i7-5960x
MB: ASUS X99 Deluxe
Case: Corsair Graphite 780
CPU cooling: Corsair H110i
Mem: G.Skill Ripjaws (4x4GB) DDR4 3000
boot: - use existing Samsung 840 EVO 500 GB
OS: - use existing Windows7 64 bit
PS: use existing 850w
SATA: - (4) WD Red Drives

Now some of the reasoning if I may.

For ripping DVD quality video a 4 core 8 thread CPU does a great job, the faster the better. More than 4 cores is over kill given the price/performance considerations. I overclock my i7-4790k to 4.52 GHz on demand and when for instance I handbrake a whole season of Downton Abby the system runs all night long and the water cooling keeps the temps low all night long.

I can see how Blu-Ray frame sizes can make good use of more than 8 threads, I am guessing, hoping, expecting that 16 threads or 8 cores is ample.

Because of my time involved, copy protection issues and storage space requirements I still prefer Blu-Ray over DVDs only when the visual content warrants or justifies all the disadvantages and that would be only a handful of movies each year. But I see the trend and in time I'll follow along. Blu-Ray disks can take a half hour to makeMKV and almost another hour per hour screen time to encode to mp4. It has to be some wonderful movie for me to invest those resources when I can do 6 DVD quality movies in the same amount of time.

Why the big power supply and all the SATA hard drives? I mirror the movie collection of my NAS on my two PC's so that I have 3 independent copies in all. None of them are in RAID mode. If any hard drive fails I still have live two backups.

Why 3 optical drives? Because I can. I can get a box set of 8 DVDs and use MakeMKV to rip three at a time to a WD black drive as target. If a computer case supported four optical drives I might consider it. Three or four instances of MakeMKV at a time is all I can manage myself as the operator.

I understand the whole WD Red/Blue/Black/Green thing. But even when used alone, not in RAID, a WD Red drive performs at close to Black performance levels for much less money. Interestingly this years 6TB Green drives out performs my last years 4TB black drives. For streamed content, sequential RW, a new SATA hard drive does great, no need to target a SSD drive for video encoding. (but use a SSD for the boot OS drive)

As a matter of policy I build PC's with at least 16 GB of memory but nothing I do seems to need more than 8 GB. When I ran 3 instances of MakeMKV under Windows 7 64 bit I would sometimes run out of memory or system resources but that has never happened to me under Windows 8.1 64bit.

I'm queer for large capacity high quality power supplies. For some reason EVGA has been making them at a reasonable price so recently I have been using their power supplies. It has been my experience that a lot of intermittent or difficult to diagnose system problems are eventually traced back to mid quality or under powered power supplies. If I set Handbrake up to run for 24 hours and leave the house I want to see that run with out any problems while I am gone.

For years I built my systems with Noctua air coolers. The are the gold standard for low temps and keeping coolant away from your motherboard. I've never experienced a CPU ripout but other folks have. The Noctua are so effective because they are so damn heavy. The MB will support all that weight as long as it is not moved about. However if you put the PC in the back seat of your car and drive across town and all that weight bouncing about can damage your motherboard. So after a few years absence I have gone back to water cooling and I have had good luck with my Nepton 280L cooler so far. I like the closed loop systems for price, simplicity and effectiveness. A Noctua gets the heat out of your CPU, but a simple water closed loop system gets the heat out of the case, away from your graphics card and hard drives and everything else. When you run handbrake for hours or days at a time that becomes an important consideration.

On my existing i7-4790k system I can do almost anything while Handbrake hammers away on 8 threads. I set handbrake priority to normal and I can still work in MS office, surf the www, watch video, without handbrake interfering with my work or the other way around. That has not always been true in my older builds. I also game from time to time, hence the choice of video card.

I like big cases, they are easier to build in, they have room for 3 optical drives and Lord knows how many SATA drives? A 2 hour movie on DVD on typically requires about 1 GB of disk space in MP4 format. I have a special WD black hard drive I use as an encoding target. I have one 6TB green hard drive set up for Dramas and another 6TB green for Documentaries. In theory read from one drive when encoding and write to another but I always found that more trouble than it is worth.

When I am done checking output, the mp4 file I copy the file 1) on my local PC in either Drama or Documentaries drive 2) up to the NAS 3) on my other PC in either Drama or Documentaries drive.

I trust multiple independent archives in preference to putting all my faith in RAID. My WD EX4 NAS has a cheap CPU and rebuilding a 16 TB RAID could take forever. I don't trust just one nor two backups of my 13,000 movies. I have a lot of labor invested. With 3 copies plus the original disks in the next room I rest much better at night.

If you go the Noctua route one might use additional braces from the cooler to the case, anything to relieve the stress of all that weight prying on the motherboard. Always transport the PC with the CPU horizontal, never vertical so the Noctua is dead weight on top of the CPU and not leveraging against the mounting screws.

I've not tried the Xeon CPUs, I know that they can be expensive. I've had some experience and success using regular i7 CPUs and non ECC memory. I have had some file corruption coping files to external USB drives with disk caching turned on. It removed the last 5 minutes of every damn movie. When I move or copy a lot of files from place to place I prefer "Teracopy" or "Beyond Compare 4" over MS OS copy program for reliability.

The optimal (economical) number of cores/threads is related to video frame size. Eight threads is ample for DVD quality. I recommend twelve to sixteen threads for encoding Blu-ray content. So you may want Xeon 32 thread processor(s) in the future for encoding 4k content but most folks see commercial 4k content for popular distribution still a fair way down the road.

I suspect I build myself a new PC more often than you might. I do frequently get 4-5 years out of a build but by then the PC I am replacing is by then my 2nd or my back up PC. I say this because I think it is too early to select the hardware for 4k encoding. The optical drives for 4k don't even exist yet.

And one last thought, I consider optical drives to be a "wear item" in that I replace mine maybe three times a year. The optical drives don't fail outright but I get errors, they slow down, they just get worn out. I have tried to get buy with mix of DVD and Blu-Ray drives to save money but when I start on a box set of Blu-Rays having only one BR drive slows me down. I do try to balance wear across all three optical drives and replace them as a set. If one is going the others will soon go.

I hope this helps,

Blessings on Blessings

Timothy Wright

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