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Old August 16th, 2008, 08:20 PM   #1
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Ideal System?

I am a longtime Premiere user, now working with CS3 - almost exclusively SD, but moving gradually to HDV. My Dell XPS was powerful at purchase - Pentium 4 3.2 GHz, 4gb RAM, 23" 1920 x 1200 monitor, 2 external & 2 internal HDs. Also added an 800 Firewire, for reasons unknown. It is now a little long in the tooth and output to Adobe Media Encoder can take a long, long time. Anyway, I want to get a new system (leaning toward Dell again) and keep the same monitor. For someone looking to spend maybe $3- or $4,000, and sensing that Blu-ray may be good include as a second drive, are there any suggestions in terms of processor, hard drives, SP vs. Vista, graphics card and RAM? Any input will be greatly appreciated.

Also, with the right system, can one avoid intermediaries such as Cineform and Maatrox??

Thanks
Paul

Last edited by Paul Budline; August 16th, 2008 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Forgot one question
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Old August 17th, 2008, 06:21 AM   #2
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ONLY if Dell offers a complete system to your liking, without ANY add-ons or extras, would I opt for Dell. This however is highly unlikely and then you either have to add extras yourself or pay their extravagant prices. They steal you blind on those.

Conclusion: Build it yourself.

Components to consider:

Case: Supermicro SC-743TQ-865B
Mobo: Supermicro X7DWA-N
CPU: Intel Xeon E5430/5440/5450 quad core x2
Memory: 4 GB DDR2-800 FBDIMM ECC
CPU coolers: SNK P0034AP4 x2
Boot: WD Velociraptor 10K 300 GB or OCZ Core SSD 128 GB
Storage: at least 3x 1 TB HD's, Samsung F1 or WD Caviar Black
Video: ATI Radeon HD 4870
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Old August 17th, 2008, 01:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
ONLY if Dell offers a complete system to your liking, without ANY add-ons or extras, would I opt for Dell. This however is highly unlikely and then you either have to add extras yourself or pay their extravagant prices. They steal you blind on those.

Conclusion: Build it yourself.

Components to consider:
One warning.

DOUBLE CHECK THAT YOU'VE CONNECTED THE FIREWIRE PORTS TO THE MOTHERBOARD CORRECTLY.

I've killed a camera because I installed it one-pin-over, and fried it.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 03:40 PM   #4
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Hi,

Beats me what I'd recommend. I have a Quad Core with 4 Gigs of RAM and a 512 ATI. It sings. But I do my own support.

Dells aren't bad. I've had 3 of their laptops that have done me well. One could do much worse.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 04:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Gunter View Post
Dells aren't bad. I've had 3 of their laptops that have done me well. One could do much worse.
Dell isn't bad just as long as you stay with their pre-configured systems. As soon as you add another disk, change the video card, add a DVD burner, add memory, or anything similar, expect to pay at least double the going prices. That does not happen too much with laptops. So your example may be correct and reinforces my point of view.

Unluckily, Dell admitted that they only have run-of-the-mill systems. They do not supply top notch material, because with their pricing strategies, they expect to sell only to monkeys and there are few monkeys in the market with the funds to buy a top-notch system and feel happy to part with their hard earned money.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 04:52 PM   #6
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there is no hardware to recommend, only rules to follow.

-faster processor better than more processor.
take a 3 ghz dual core instead a 2.6 Ghz quad core if your choice is limited.
use fast bus and fast memory. There is no point to have a fast processor if you run slow memory. Choose a motherboard that can run at the fastest specs (currently 1333-1600Mhz) and fastest RAM (DDR2 @ 1066 is ok).

-enough memory, not more.
If you plan tu run under XP, 2 Gig of ram is ok , more will only give you sometime more problem.

Fast disk is a must.
While the disk hosting your programs can be a regular one, you better have a set of disk mounted in a strip (raid 0) for good performance.
dedicated disk is a must, one for programs and XP, one for video (capture/editing).

Get a SSD for your temp files.
SSD are expensive but small and fast SSD are affordables.
Just buy a 8 or 16 gig SSD for hosting all the temp files from windows or you editing program.
Make sure it is a model that runs a 120MB/sec.

Expensive video card are useless.
For video editing, even a low level video card will give you good results.
just make sure there is at least 256Mbof memory on it, it supports dual link DVI, and is not directx10 but prefferably directx9 compatible (for XP). Even under Vista directx10 is very buggy.

choose a rock steady power supply.
Voltage in a regular power supply are often bad (on the low side).
when getting the PC running at full power, this translate to random crash and strange behavior. Check the power supply in bios ans make sure 12V is at 12 and over and not at 11.83 as most often. same for 3.3V and 5V. DVD burners are very sensitive to low voltage.

properly cool everything. add heatsink and fan where it gets hot. oversize heatsink on chipset, choose heatsink cooled memory.

do not cut the edge on external devices. A cheap/bad usb hub can be a nightmare, a good LCD screen (MVA or PVA technology) will be far easier to work than a cheap TN LCD.
you can simply test them by pressing the LCD surface with your finger. if it leaves a X mark into a circle you got what you are looking for.

do not choose about brand names, a brand is not better than another one.
it is just a matter to fit a peice with another one. The best video card in the world could be incompatible with the best motherboard in the world. you would end up with the worse computer in the world.

Last edited by Giroud Francois; August 18th, 2008 at 11:20 AM.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 04:56 PM   #7
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First choice: build it yourself. If you're worried about screwing things up, check your local Craigslist for 'gaming computers'. Most often, these are kids who do plenty of research, and have built numerous systems. Hire one, or find another computer expert to help you assemble your 'dream system.
Second choice: buy a gaming computer. They are usually built with solid and speedy components.

My caveat would be to use caution if you plan on adding a Matrox card or similar. Check their sites for hardware compatibility.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 08:41 PM   #8
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Thanks

I appreciate the input, which certainly helped. Wound up ordering a custom built job from a terrific guy who specializes in gaming & editing systems. The components are superior, the price cheaper ... what's not to like?

Paul
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Old August 19th, 2008, 03:47 AM   #9
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If you will do lots of MPEG rendering - to DVD/HD - then you will benefit alot from having a Quad core. PPro uses all cores up to 90% when doing MPEG renders.

When just editing and using filters/effects in realtime - you'll gain some performance on having a MHZ faster dual core over a Quad core.

I'm running an oveclocked Q9450 3.4ghz quad core - and that is a joy in PPro. I also use Vista 64 bits with 8gb memory.

My guess is that the upcoming CS4 will take more use of threads/cores than CS3 does.

// Lazze
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Old August 19th, 2008, 08:14 AM   #10
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Quad

I am not a tech wizard, but wound up with these basic specs:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 (OC to 3.6 GHZ)

CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

(2) 74GB WD Raptor 10,000 RPM (in RAID 0)

(2) 500GB 7200 RPM (1TB in RAID 0)

Sounds like a massive improvement, and I do a lot of MPEG rendering ... can not wait to see the difference.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 08:41 AM   #11
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Oh yeah, you'll rock with that system! Very nice....
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Old August 20th, 2008, 08:24 AM   #12
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All SSD Drives

Although spendy, is it wise to consider an All SSD system?

Are 128mb/sec rated SATA drives in need of being set up in a RAID for video storage?
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 09:51 AM   #13
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I totally agree with the other guys here. build it yourself.

I just did.
My choice was a intel quad core 2 with 2.66ghz and 1300mhz buss speed.
together with 4 pieces of 1gb matched 1600mhz ddr3 crucial memory premiere runs like never before.

There is one thing i am concidering though.

Will going for the matrox rt2 hd expansion card will make my hdv rendering time go down even more or will it be wasting money??
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