Ayumilove New PC Diary

2013-OCT-13 EDIT : Hi again! I have added MSI 760 TwinFrozr OC to my PC build 2 months ago. I have not tried the latest games yet (except for Battlefield 3 – gives me headaches for FPS games) however I took advantage of it for my Sony Vegas rendering. It has speed up my rendering my speed up to 45%! Remarkable! Check this article on how to increase your Sony Vegas Rendering Speed by 45%

Ayumilove PC Build 2013-DEC-17

Hi guys! I am kinda busy lately working out my new Intel PC which I have purchased this month December 17 2012 for my light gaming and video editing work. Overall, everything seems snappier and faster now. This include boot time, shut down time, open applications, processing multiple applications at once, thanks to the latest SSD and CPU. Installed Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64bit instead of Windows 8 since after trying it out in one of the PC shop, I find it a little difficult to navigate. There are rumors going around that Windows 8 is not compatible with older software, so to be safe, I grabbed Windows 7 and installed my favorite applications such as Anti-Virus, Sony Vegas, Fraps and some overclocking benchmark tools to learn how to overclock 😀

Some things I learnt when purchasing a new computer, its better to assemble the PC by yourself instead of having the PC shop assemble it for you. The PC technician I went to threw away some of the things without my permission such as the unused cable ties, zip ties, CPU plastic wrapper, motherboard static wrapper etc. This must be kept should you need to resell or give your PC components, you have something to package it safely. I also found out that the technician took my SATA-2 cables from my motherboard, some screws from my power supply and case. The cable management was horribly messy and I had to redo it myself again. In short, just assemble the PC using the manual provided by the PC components. It thought it would be rocket science but its fairly after working on it for 15 minutes. You will need at least 1 undisturbed day to do your hardware and software installation.

Some notes to take: Open each box component and verify the total number of components before allowing someone to install for you. If the component comes with extra stuff like screws, only hand them 4 (just to screw 4 sides) and keep the rest (zip ties/etc) to yourself. Stand close beside them and monitor them carefully should they do something fishy such as throwing your stuff or keeping it to themselves to sell it off for their extra pocket money.

Intel Core 2 Duo Processor vs Intel 3rd Generation Ivy Bridge
Anime Encoding (720p 24 min episode) = 3 hours vs 20 minutes
Hardware Video Recording (720p 9 min clip) = 3 hours vs 18 minutes
Software Video Recording (800×600 9 min clip) = 27 minutes vs 3 minutes.

PC Build
[CPU] Intel 3rd Generation Ivy Bridge 3770K @ 4.2 GHZ OC HyperThreading
[MOBO] Gigabyte Z77X-D3H
[RAM] GSKILL Sniper 32GB (4x8GB)
[CASE] Fractal Design Arc Midi
[PSU] Rosewill Fortress 750W Platinum
[SSD] Corsair Force 120GB CSSD-F120GB3A-BK 2.5
[HDD] Western Digital 1TB Green
[ODD] Liteon CD/DVD-RW 22X
[GPU] NA / Intel HD4000
[Heatsink] NA / Intel Stock Cooler

I7 3770K stock cooler with stock settings 3.9GHz turbo when loaded produces 81 Celsius degrees! I had to set one of my PC case fans to blow directly on it with cold fresh air to reduce it to 65 Celsius degrees. This gives me an overclocking headroom of +300MHz (each 100MHz produces 5 Celsius degrees) which is a comfortable 4.2GHz. This is with Intel Stock Cooler fan but superb pc case fan from Fractal Arc Midi.

New PC Installation Log

Essential Components
You will need to the essential components to build a working PC which are:
1. CPU (also known as Central Processing Unit – the brain that does all computation)
2. Motherboard (Connects all components together)
3. PSU (Power Supply – Supply electricity to all components)
4. RAM (Memory – A place where it places temporary files in there for fast access).
5. HDD (Hard Disk – Store documents, music, videos, and installed softwares)
6. Case (To house and protect components from damage).
7. ODD (Optical Disk Drive – An input for the computer to read CD and DVD).

[NOTE] Usually when you purchase a CPU, the box usually comes with a stock CPU heatsink cooler so you do not need to purchase an additional heatsink unless you are going to overclock your CPU. Overclock means to make it run faster but only some CPU enables it. GPU is also known as Graphic Processing Unit or could refer to it as GC (Graphic Card). Without graphic card, you won’t be able to play mid-range to high-end games. Most CPU comes with an in-built GPU. SSD means Solid State Drive, which is similar to Hard Disk but its performance is 2-3 times faster than the fastest Hard Disk. This will allow you to start your applications in just snap including boot time (15 sec) and shutdown time (5 sec). My old computer equipped with a 1 TB Western Digital Black Caviar took 1 minute to boot and 15 seconds to shut down (so basically around 3-4 times faster).

Installing Software
1. Install Windows 7 SP1 via CD/DVD-RW Drive (Choose Home, Professional or Ultimate)
2. Install Motherboard Driver from CD (provided in motherboard box)
3. Install ESET Smart Security (Anti-Virus, Firewall, Anti-Spyware)
4. Perform Windows 7 Backup onto another external Hard Disk if primary is SSD.
[NOTE] Doing so, you can revert back to a specific time if Restore Point failed to fix issue.

5. Update Windows 7 Drivers from Microsoft server.
6. Install your software.
7. Check for any bad sector in your hard disk and test your memory.

Installing Maintenance Tools
1. CCLEANER (to clean PC registry and browser cache).

Install Video Software
1. K-LITE MEGA CODEC PACK (for Video and Audio Codec to watch anime/film .mkv)
2. MeGUI (encoding video using x264 10bit into .mkv)
3. MKVToolnix (to merge audio, video, subtitles, etc for anime)
4. Fraps (game video recording software).
5. Camstasia (video recording tool).
6. Sony Vegas (video movie maker).
6a. Download Sony Vegas Pro 12 (Build 394) 64bit at SonyCreativeSoftware.com
6b. Download x264vfw Codec for HD Video Quality 10bit avi compression.
6c. Download AC3-ACM Audio Codec for HD Audio Quality at small size.

Install Overclocking Benchmark Tools
1. Prime95 (to test your CPU) – Not preferable, use Aida64 as it stresses in balance.
2. RealTemp (to check your CPU temperature and Intel SideStep)
3. CPUID (to check your computer overall stats such as RAM/CPU/etc).
4. Aida64 (Perform System Stability Test for at least 10 minutes).
5. HWMonitor (Tracks all temperature)

Sony Vegas Custom Render Settings – Video For Windows (*.avi)

Video Tab
Include Audio = Check
Frame Size = Use Project Settings
Field Order = None (Progressive Scan)
Pixel Aspect Ratio = 1.0000
Video Format = x264vfw – H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Codec
Interleave every (seconds) = 0.250
Interleave every frame = Uncheck
Create an OpenDML (AVI Version 2.0) compatible file = Check

Audio Tab
Include Audio = Check
Audio Format = AC-3 ACM Codec
Attributes = 128 kBit/s, 44100 Hz, Stereo

Project Tab
Video Rendering Quality = Preview
Stereoscopic 3D Mode = Use Project Settings.
Color Space = Default

x264vfw Configuration

Preset = Medium
Tuning = Animation
Profile = High 10
Level = Auto
Fast Decode = Uncheck
Zero Latency = Check

Rate Control
Encode Type = Single Pass – ratefactor-based (CRF)
Rate Factor = 30.0
Create Stats File = Uncheck

Sample Aspect Ratio
SAR Width = 1
SAR Height = 1

Debug Log Level = None
Disable All CPU Optimization = Uncheck

Decoder & AVI Muxer
Disable Decoder = Uncheck

Output Mode = VFW / VFW FourCC = H264 / Output File = NA

Customize x264vfw Settings:
–ref 5 –bframes 5 –me umh –merange 32 –rc-lookahead 40 –no-fast-pskip –subme 10 –trellis 2 –direct auto –deblock 0:0 –aq-strength 0.6 –aq-mode 2 –partitions p8x8, b8x8, i8x8, i4x4 –threads 12 –lookahead-threads 2

Overclocking Log

Below is my log on overclocking Intel’s 3rd Generation CPU Ivy Bridge 3770K (OC Series) on encoding a action-pack anime video with resolution of 1920×1080 and duration of 1 minute. The tests covers HyperThreading On and HyperThreading Off.

Overclocking Benchmark Tools

HWMonitor (Freeware + Portable) – Provides CPU Core and CPU Package temperature, CPU voltages and Fan Speed. Also provides other measurements for HDD (Hard Disk) and power supply.
Aida64 Extreme (Purchase) – Stability Stress Test System. Allows you to simulate loading your PC with many tasks to test your system stability. If the program closed with error by Windows, it basically means insufficient voltage supplied to your CPU which needs to be increase in 0.010v increments. You can stress your system by using your own software. For me, MEGUI is an encoding application that uses up to 90-100% CPU processing to encode batch videos quickly. It’s a great program to test your system. Usually it crashes when CPU have insufficient voltage supplied. Increase your BIOS VCORE to solve this issue.
CPUID (Freeware + Portable) – Provides stats about your pc hardware (CPU, Motherboard, RAM, Fan, GPU).
RealTemp (Freeware + Portable) – Similarly to HWMonitor but only takes notes on the min and max temperature of individual CPU Core. Also shows real-time CPU Multiplier used while being loaded which is extremely useful! This is not indicated in HWMonitor nor Aida64.

Source: Anime_Next_A_Class_Sample.avi
Video: 1920×1080 23.976FPS 1 minute x264 CRF1 (Stream Size 420MB)
Audio: 128Kbps 44.1KHz Stereo Lossy 16bits (Stream Size 941KB)
Encoding settings : cabac=1 / ref=16 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x3:0x10 / me=umh / subme=10 / psy=1 / psy_rd=0.40:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=32 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=2 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=0 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=12 / lookahead_threads=12 / sliced_threads=1 / slices=12 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=0 / weightp=2 / keyint=250 / keyint_min=23 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc=crf / mbtree=0 / crf=1.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=2:0.60

Megui + Overclocking Results
HyperThreading On 4.2ghz = 81 celsius max (1.124v) = 7.6 FPS (3m 7s)
HyperThreading off 4.2ghz = 71 celsius max (1.124v) = 6.70 FPS (3m 38s)
HyperThreading off 4.3ghz = 74 celsius max (1.164v) = 6.75fps (3m 31s)
HyperThreading off 4.4ghz = 76 celsius max (1.215v) = 6.91 fps (3m 26s)

Overclocking Summary:
With HyperThreading enabled, we can see immediate benefits up to +13% FPS (Frame Rate Per Second). In terms of duration, this translates in 31s (31 seconds) savings when encoding 1 minute 1920×1080 resolution video. If the video is 24 minutes in length, this saves 12 minutes and 24 seconds on top of the total duration to encode. In short, this also saves on electricity bill since you do not load CPU to run on longer encoding duration. Maybe this justifies the $100 USD difference between a non-HT (Non-HyperThraeding CPU) such as 3570K.

With HyperThreading disabled, 4.2GHz to 4.3GHz (+100MHz) outputs less than +1% FPS, whereas 4.2GHz to 4.4GHz (+200MHz) outputs +3% FPS. At 4.4GHz, it uses at least 1.215v (volts). Assuming every 200MHz gives +3% FPS, multiplying by 4 gives 800MHz, so around 5GHz would gain +12% FPS but consumes around 1.4 volts to be stable which is dangerous voltage levels for Ivy Bridge CPU. Recommended levels is 1.325v to 1.35v.

4.4ghz no-ht
Loading done on Aida64 System Stability Test + Megui Encoding HD.
1.200v : boot=success / load=fail / min-max=34-71
1.210v : boot=success / load=fail / min-max=37-75
1.215v : boot=success / load=success / min-max=39-76
1.225v : boot=success / load=success / min-max=38-79
1.250v : boot=success / load=success / min-max=37-80

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12 thoughts on “Ayumilove New PC Diary

  1. FFX

    Looks like you build yourself a quite powerful computer! You should try playing Guild Wars 2 on it. It is quite an amazing MMO and your computer should have no problems running it 🙂

  2. Ayumilove

    Hi Brad, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I feel the same way too, therefore, I won’t be visiting that shop again should I need to assemble a new PC. They just drove away a new customer for good. Perhaps they know that customers only upgrade their PC every 3-5 years, probably they would forget about their misdeed.

  3. Brad (@SentaiBrad)

    I work on PC’s, software and hardware and I would never keep a customer / friends extra parts. That is just a horrible practice. I also know other people who would never keep them. A lot of us techies do not like to screw over people, especially if they are paying us a lot of money. Why kill off a source of income? Anyways, sorry to hear that the guy was an utter jerk.

  4. Jack

    Where can i learn to improve my scheduling skills? Because you have very limited time but you can do heaps of things in like an hour. You using twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc you can do them all in less than an hour? That is really time saving compared to most people?

  5. Ayumilove

    Hi Jack, I can overclock my PC and can overclock even further if I use a third party air or water cooler in my rig and removed that cheap thermal paste that Intel uses under the IHS (Internal Heat Spreader)

  6. [email protected]

    how do you even have the time to utilize your time playing games, blog, studying. I spend too much time on one thing and it is time wasting. How can i improve on managing my time and making the most of this moment. Ayumilove you can really utilize your time

  7. Jack

    Wow you can over clock your pc? nice gaming computer!

  8. Arsh

    Thanks (c=)
    PS: I’m quite interested on where you got such knowledge about computers. If you don’t mind sharing, could you make me your apprentice? Also I’m new to all this video editing/making stuff, so I’m quite interested in the above software uses and interests.
    Honestly you seem like a computer Jeeniiiuss! (yesh thats how its spelled)

  9. Ayumilove

    Hi Arsh, I have updated the software list above. For me I just use Sony Vegas + Camstasia/Fraps (video recording). It also depends on what things I would like to do, such as canceling noise would require Audacity (but at the moment not using it). My new year resolution would be making new video tutorials 😀

    You could check my previous articles on the video editing part, its already covered. Display recording depends on your video capture resolution. If you capture in 1920×1200, obviously should output as 1920×1200. What I notice is that the CPU would not need more processing power to encode at the same resolution from the input to the output (since no resize to factor in).

  10. Arsh

    Thanks, Happy 2013 to you also (c:)
    You kind of left my question unanswered.
    Just like you I’m interested in creating videos and just got a new pc that can most likely create them.

    Basically all I was asking is some recommended software to install on a new pc. And include your personal favorites. Things like video editing, display recording,etc

    On the side note, I’m really looking forward to your New Years resolution on
    Editing video guide 🙂

    Thank you

  11. Ayumilove

    Hi Arsh, the guide above is applicable for desktop PC, so it might not be fairly applicable to you since laptop has everything integrated except for removable components such as RAM (memory) or battery or the laptop power cord. I have added some notes on overclocking which might be beneficial to you, but overclocking a laptop is a not a fantastic idea since it lacks cooling solution. Happy New Year eve to you!

  12. Arsh

    I really enjoyed reading this post (c:)
    If you don’t mind could you make a couple of list on the things everyone should install and add your personal favourites?
    I just got a new laptop and am looking for a guide . I can tell after reading this post that you have a fair amount of knowledge about software 🙂