For the past 10 years we have been publishing our Videoguys’ DIY articles as a service to our customers and the internet community. We publish these guides as a recipe for building your own video editing workstation at an affordable price but these DIY recommendations may also be used to compare specs on already built machine like an HP Workstation.
I know it has been a LONG time since we first introduced our DIY 9 build and even our DIY 9.5 updates are over a year old. Every day we get calls and emails from our customers asking about our DIY recommendations and when we're going to build our DIY 10 machine. I’m happy to report that we’ve finally found an enthusiast level motherboard with Thunderbolt – the Asus Z87-Deluxe/Quad – which we can use for DIY10!
Why we waited
I’d like to explain why it seemed like forever since our last DIY system build. We have been waiting for an enthusiast class Ivy Bridge motherboard with Thunderbolt and had been told would initially appear the summer of 2013. It didn't. In February, 2013 we posted a potential DIY X build using the Asus P8Z777-V deluxe motherboard with Thunderbolt and many of you are running this build with great results. We still wanted to wait for a completely integrated Thunderbolt solution.
It's not an obsession, but more of a craving. Thunderbolt allows you to attach an external 4, 6 or 8 bay storage solution and get sustained throughput comparable to an external RAID controller card like an ATTO R680 or Highpoint RocketRAID 4522. These RAID controllers cost around a thousand bucks and require special drivers and, they are not that easy to set up. External Thunderbolt RAIDs are very easy to set-up. All you have to do is plug it in, format and go. You can even daisy chain multiple Thunderbolt drives.
Blazing fast Thunderbolt transfer speeds also mean that you can copy your data from your camcorder or DSLR or GoPro much faster. And we know, the faster you can copy the footage, the sooner you can start editing!
In December, Apple will start shipping their sexy new black cylinders – the new Mac Pro. No internal slots at all, but 6 Thunderbolt 2.0 connections! If Apple builds it, the industry will come. We expect to see a ton of new exciting Thunderbolt based products to take us to our 4K future.
It’s more than just Thunderbolt
When we put the Videoguys’ DIY stamp on a recommended system we need an enthusiast based motherboard that can handle all the data I/O and computations that go on during video editing. While a gaming based machine will run your video editing software, it will run better and deliver higher performance and stability on an enthusiast level motherboard. These have faster and wider internal data transfers that allow them to handle faster I/O, faster memory and read/writes.
Multiple DIY Builds for every budget
We're hoping to have our DIY 10 workstations built and tested before the end of the year. I'm actually hoping to have our top of the line DIY 10 system built before Apple launches the new Mac Pro so we can compare the performance between the two running Avid & Adobe software. We're also going to go back to the basics, putting together a build for as close to $1,000 as possible. If you who have been following our DIY systems from the beginning you may remember that our first goal was to deliver the best possible machine for under $1,000. We didn't hit the target but, 10 years later, I think we can say that our DIY guides have been a huge success.
So our DIY 10 Guide will include a budget system for around $1,000, a mid-level machine for around $1,500 and a top of the line machine, which we hope will give the baseline new Mac Pro a run for the money, at around $2,000.