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Old January 9th, 2004, 07:02 PM   #1
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Comp specs good enough to use Premiere or other kind of heavy/pro editing programs?

I was wondering if my computer specs are enough to use more of the "advanced" professional editing programs like Premiere. I've heard Premiere, to edit longer and heavier usage while preventing less frame drops or any errors in DV transmission it's best to have a 2.4GHz processor (anything less could cause errors?)... Is this true? And what about other programs, here are my comp specs:

p4 2ghz
1gb of pc2100 ddr ram
geforce4 ti 4600
80gb hd (getting another seperate HD for multimedia/video editing purposes)
windows xp home
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Old January 9th, 2004, 09:29 PM   #2
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I can capture DV on a celeron733, so processor speed and other stuff isn't really much of an issue. Things that will cause dropped frames:
A- Extremely slow hard drives. Laptop, USB2, and firewire400 drives are slower than normal and run a greater chance of dropouts. I don't think you should be using USB2 drives to capture.
B- Hard drives in PIO mode. Should be using DMA mode!
C- Other programs running, like Virus scanners. Use Enditall and... end it all.
D- Fragmentation. Lots of small files that change in size (created, deleted, grow, shrink) can cause fragmentation. If you only keep large >1GB files like video on a drive or partition then this is not a problem. You can partition your main drive so one half is OS (where all the little itty bitty files hang out).
E- Inner sectors of a hard drive are the slowest and as your drive fills up it'll be a bit slower, but more than sufficient for DV capture.
F- BAD SOFTWARE like Premiere 6.x before patches.
G- VIA Chipset motherboards.
H- Certain combination of firewire devices on the same bus.

I think that's all.
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Old January 11th, 2004, 08:56 AM   #3
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David,

Adobe have a set minimum specification for Premiere Pro (if thats the one your thinking of getting?). These specs are there so that you can benefit from realtime DV, faster rendering times, and if you do run into any problems then its easier for the support guys to diagonose your problems and fix them easily. If you were to go for anything less then your asking for problems.

Your spec seems pretty fine in order to run Premiere and other editing applications. Although as Glen says there are other things that will cause dropped frames, which you might need to consider.

The minimum spec from Adobes web site is as follows:

Intel® Pentium® III 800MHz processor (Pentium 4 3.06 GHz recommended)

Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional or Home Edition with Service Pack 1

256MB of RAM installed (1GB or more recommended)

800MB of available hard-disk space for installation

Microsoft DirectX-compatible sound card (multichannel ASIO-compatible sound card for surround sound support recommended)

CD-ROM drive

Compatible DVD recorder (DVD-R/RW+R/RW) is required for Export to DVD

1,224x768 32-bit color video display adapter (1280x1024 or dual monitors recommended)

For DV: OHCI-compatible IEEE 1394 interface, and dedicated large capacity 7200RPM UDMA 66 IDE or SCSI hard disk or disk array

For third-party capture cards: Adobe Premiere Pro certified capture card

Optional: ASIO audio hardware device; surround speaker system for 5.1 audio playback

Hope this helps,

Ed
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Old January 11th, 2004, 10:27 AM   #4
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I am going to upgrade my computer from 1GB of pc2100 RAM to 1.5GB of pc2100 RAM and a 2.4GHZ (500mhz bus) cause my motherboard can only support that much -- I dont want to get a whole new motherboard. (maybe I will eventually). I have followed Glenn's instructions and most of those are set. I defrag my hard drive every week. My HD is in DMA and I will only use internal 7200rpm (maybe 8mb buffers too) HDs.. My chipset is intel, so that's good. Anything more/else I should know about these more professional editing programs? I want to be able to use the more advanced features.. I invested quite a bit of money into a great camcorder, now I dont want to mess up or bottleneck the editing transmission process too....If my specs is unable to use Premiere, then what other programs should I use? Is Vegas or any stuff like also good? I want a program that is maybe more newbie friendly than Premiere, uses less power, not as super-professional, but still a wealth of features and semi-pro if not.
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Old January 11th, 2004, 11:26 AM   #5
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You can download the demo for Premiere to see if it runs ok on your system. Premiere Pro seems very buggy. This is from reading forums like Adobe's and the one here.

I suggest Vegas :P You can download the demo and try it out. Very few people report show-stopping bugs. Vegas is also very very powerful. There's also Avid. The free version of it seems to be crippled and has some bugs (might want to backup before you install it).

I think you should be able to run all of these programs.

If you get a faster computer then you just have to wait a bit less (not that much). You can still do everything the same. Maybe some things will get you, like:
not having enough storage
not enough RAM (this depends heavily on the program. Vegas doesn't seem to need that much)
crashes and bugs
your NLE doesn't have a feature you need

I think you'll be fine. Hang on to your money in case you need to add storage or RAM or whatever. 1GB is usually good enough, but I don't know if Premiere Pro might need more. You can check if you're running out of RAM by going into task manager (hit crtl-alt-delete and look at available memory).
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Old January 14th, 2004, 04:51 AM   #6
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The thing that concerns me most is the ability to be able to damage the camcorder. If the comp is slow, can it EVER cause errors that are permanent to the camcorder? I mean, if I am using a $2000 camcorder, can the computer ever "bottleneck" the camcorder causing it to be permanent? I seem to be thinking that if the computer is not fast enough to use more of the better programs to edit, then that may in the end cause some harm to the camcorder....Like, can it ever cause too many dropouts causing the camcorder's tranmission process to be less than perfect or flawed forever? As you can see, I am new to the NLE stuff, but I also want to produce good results that wont harm or do anything irreversible! I have invested too much money to be!
I may be paranoid, but I just want the max out of the computer and camcorder! :-)

Also, what would you recommend specs for Vegas and such?
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Old January 14th, 2004, 06:18 AM   #7
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David,

As far as I am aware of, dropping frames will in no way damage your camcorder. This is basically a technical term to say that the harddrive could not cope with the data transfer from your camera to your computer. I have an XL1 and I have not seen any adverse effects and I don't plan to see any.

The only things damaging to your camcorder will be ware and tear on your playback heads (suggest a second camera as a deck) or having a power surge while your camera is connected to the computer (suggest you buy a surge protection unit/ UPS).

I hope this helps a little.

Ed
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Old January 14th, 2004, 06:45 PM   #8
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Alright...I hope you're right. :-/
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Old January 14th, 2004, 10:04 PM   #9
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Wow, so much FUD (fear uncertainty doubt).

ANyways, this issue has been covered in the other thread. Get a nice firewire cable if you're paranoid. Not sure where to get em cheap. Big box stores have like a HUGE markup on them. $25 buys you a firewire card AND cable off newegg.

cablewholesale.com might be a good place, but I have no idea about the quality of their FW cable.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 01:09 PM   #10
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Ok. One last question... hehe.... What if the computer isn't causing dropouts, could different software bugs or different OS/or Mac vs PC/or even wrong usage.. cause any errors or damage?
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