Originally Posted by renethx
Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus Motherboard: Choosing this board is somewhat pointless. This is an ultimate gaming board featuring triple PCIe x16 slots supporting SLI that you will never use. Moreover the 680i chipset consumes lots of power (20 to 30W more than P965/P35 chipset). Choose a decent P35 board instead (abit IP35/IP35 Pro or GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3R/DS3P/DQ6) that runs much cooler.
Buy E6750. It's the same speed as E6700, but costs only $183.
DDR2-800, 2 x 1GB is enough.
GeForce 8800 GTS is overkill. It's ultimately for 3D games. Choose GeForce 8500/8600 instead.
WD 250GB x 2 for XP and Vista: One disc with two partitions is enough for dual boot. First install XP, then Vista (MS kb919529
WD 500GB x 4 with RAID 0: First you'd better choose Samsung HD501LJ that is quieter than WD5000AAKS at idle. Add another 500GB drive and set up RAID 5 for fault tolerance. It is effective against disc failure, but you may still lose data with other causes. So you will need a good backup strategy anyway. And you need a different case having 6 HDD bays (e.g. SilverStone LC17).
Heat issue. Perhaps 2 x 92mm front fan (for cooling 6 hard drives) + 2 x 80 mm rear fan (in case of LC17) is enough. Higher temperature means higher hard disc failure rate. Choose good (and quiet) fans. BTW the operating power dissipation of HD501LJ is 7.1W/11.1W at idle/seek, so 6 x HD501LJ is 42.6W/66.6W. That's not terribly bad, imo.
Buy the Belkin PC service tool kit
or a similar item. That includes all tools you will ever need.
Visit Hardware Guide to HD HTPC
for component selection
renethx makes several good points.
I do NLE as a passionate hobby, but I am a pc tech by trade.
First thing is raid. Theres nothing wrong with using raid, it can simply be intimidating to some. It is easier to design a system with a non raided OS disk, but realize that the requirements for a video editing system are different than an HTPC.
Your choice of HDD sizes is good from a cost/benefit approach.
The most costly in terms of lost space is a raid 01 or 10 approach (zero-one or one-zero, not raid ten). This is referred to as a stripe of mirrors, or a mirror of stripes. Raid 0 results in max performance with no loss of space for redundancy, where raid 1 results in a 50 percent hit to drive space. This requires an even number of disks.
Raid 5 involves the loss of 1 drive for overall space, but combines many of the benefits of 01 or 10. Raid 5 can be configured with at least 3 drives.
This being said, its hard to recommend 1 universal setup because of the 2 things you're looking to do.
With the money you save downgrading your video card, (and by going with a non sli motherboard) I would recommend you go with 1 250gb drive as your OS drive, and 5, 500gb drives in a raid 5 configuration for 2TB storage/working.
If you are going to be doing quite a bit of editing and willing to go with external storage for backup at some point, I would recommend 1 250 for the OS, 2 250 in raid 0 as your scratch disk, and 3 750s in raid 5 as your working drive/storage.
Video - Simply put, 8600 line would be good. GTS isn't necessary.
OS - Theres no getting away from Vista, you might as well learn it early.
All these comments relate to building a video editing PC with media center double duty. I will commend you on your selection of high end components because you realize the commitment of designing a system for these tasks. That being said, you can probably trim the budget on the MB, Proc, etc and free up cash for a good CPU cooler, a nice case and better fans.
The biggest thing is realizing you will probably not be able to use a media center designed case with all these hotplates. A case with fans over the HDD bay is necessary.