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Old May 27th, 2008, 04:56 PM   #1
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Buying new computer - is this what I want for my HDV editing?

I'm definitely not an expert on HDV editing / picking computer specs, but I've been looking over these forums for a while (extremely helpful) and thought I'd ask the big question - is this the computer I really want?

I plan on buying a computer to edit with Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 and After Effects CS3. My budget is around $1600-$2000 and I'm thinking about the new HP Pavilion Elite d5000t with these specs:

Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q9450 2.66GHz
Memory: 4GB....or up to - 8GB DDR2-800MHz dual channel SDRAM
512MB nVidia GeForce 8500GT
640GB Raid 0
Blu-ray writer

Some of my bigger concerns:

1. Should I go ahead and get 8GB of RAM? I've heard that 4GB would be sufficient but it definitely looks tempting. Would my computer / editing program even make use of that extra RAM enough to justify the expense?

2. HP doesn't offer XP any more so, going with Vista, I have to choose the 64bit version right? I've heard vaguely that there were some problems with the 64bit vista, but I don't know anything about this. Can someone help clear up my confusion?

3. Even with all these specs, will I need a program like Cineform's AspectHD to run my HDV projects smoothly? I guess I should mention that I ultimately want to produce timelines up to 90-100 minutes long.

So those are my few questions. Once again, I know so very little about computers and I'm almost embarassed to have to ask, but I thought it was much better to double/triple-check before forking over that much money. Thanks a lot!
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Old May 27th, 2008, 06:42 PM   #2
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That sounds like a fine machine there, Dan. It's almost the same as an HP I'm currently using myself!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Wainio View Post
1. Should I go ahead and get 8GB of RAM? I've heard that 4GB would be sufficient but it definitely looks tempting. Would my computer / editing program even make use of that extra RAM enough to justify the expense?
I think 4GB will be quite sufficient for you to start with. I have 3GB in my HP desktop, and I can handle Premiere Pro and After Effects CS3 without a problem. I haven't started doing much work with HD video just yet, but I have started doing some work with graphics in After Effects and 3DS Max.
Quote:
2. HP doesn't offer XP any more so, going with Vista, I have to choose the 64bit version right? I've heard vaguely that there were some problems with the 64bit vista, but I don't know anything about this. Can someone help clear up my confusion?
My HP desktop has Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit, and my laptop has Windows Ultimate 64-bit. If you really want to load yourself up with 8 GB of RAM, you need to go the 64-bit route. HOWEVER- Adobe CS3 will NOT take advantage of 64-bit anything- so you probably won't notice a difference in performance. I've heard speculation that the next version Adobe releases will have 64-bit capabilities, but we won't worry about that until it's out there.

As far as problems with the 64-bit version of Windows, I haven't had any at all. In fact, I've found Vista Ultimate to run with more stability than Home Premium. I'm not sure if that's due to my "Ultimate" system being 64-bit. The only reason I bought a copy of Ultimate 64-bit was to run the 64-bit version of 3ds max. While I think Max runs quite well, I don't think I'll see a big performance spike unless I have something like 16GB of RAM or more in a beefier workstation.

Quote:
3. Even with all these specs, will I need a program like Cineform's AspectHD to run my HDV projects smoothly? I guess I should mention that I ultimately want to produce timelines up to 90-100 minutes long.
I haven't worked with Cineform yet, but after reading through the content on their website, I'll be ordering a copy of AspectHD at the same time when I order my HDV camera. That, combined with all the HDV editing horror stories people have posted here have completely sold me on Cineform!

Quote:
So those are my few questions. Once again, I know so very little about computers and I'm almost embarassed to have to ask, but I thought it was much better to double/triple-check before forking over that much money. Thanks a lot!
Don't sweat it! This is the best place to ask questions like that, since I don't know of anyone here that will steer you wrong. If they try something like that, there are plenty of folks here that will set you straight. I've absorbed so much knowledge from this site, it's just staggering.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 05:10 AM   #3
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The only weak point I can discern is your intended disk setup. 2 x 320 striped disks if far from optimal. Use a separate physical disk for OS and programs (80G is sufficient), use the striped disks for media and add another physical disk for previews and scratch.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 05:20 AM   #4
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Edit. Sorry, I read over the line with the software.

Overall you have listed a capable machine. Not nearly enough hard drive space for a large project.

If you do decide to run WinXP only put 2gig of RAM in the box.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 05:35 AM   #5
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Here are the system requirements listed on the Adobe website for CS3. The video card compatibility lists the 8800 but not the 8500. I would verify your video card will be OK.

Check out the audio card on the computer. You might need to buy an ASIO compatible card. Not expensive but if you have audio sync problems that would be a place to look. It is more obvious on longer projects where the audio and video slowly get out of sync. I had this problem with on-board audio on my older HP computer.

Going more than 4 gig will be a waste of money. Not likely you'll use any of it above 4 gig.

Also it does says below it is certified only for the 32bit versions of Windows or Vista. It might work with the 64bit version but do you know if you will have device drivers for everything under the 64bit version?

-----------------------------------------------------------

System requirements and languages
Windows

* Intel® Pentium® 4, (1.4GHz processor for DV; 3.4GHz processor for HDV), Intel Centrino®, Intel Xeon® (dual 2.8GHz processors for HD), Intel Core™ Duo (or compatible) processor; SSE2-enabled processor required for AMD systems.
* Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional or Home Edition with Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista™ Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise (certified for 32-bit editions only)
* 1GB of RAM for DV; 2GB of RAM for HDV and HD
* 10GB of available hard-disk space (additional free space required during installation)
* Dedicated 7,200 RPM hard drive for DV and HDV editing; striped disk array storage (RAID 0) for HD; SCSI disk subsystem preferred.
* 1,280x1,024 monitor resolution with 32-bit video card; Adobe recommended graphics card for GPU-accelerated playback (see the full compatible hardware listing)
* Microsoft DirectX or ASIO compatible sound card
* For SD/HD workflows, an Adobe certified card for capture and export to tape
* DVD-ROM drive
* Blu-ray burner required for Blu-ray disc creation
* DVD+-R burner required for DVD creation
* OHCI compatible IEEE 1394 port for DV and HDV capture, export to tape, and transmit to DV device
* QuickTime 7 software required to use QuickTime features
* Internet or phone connection required for product activation
* Broadband Internet connection required for Adobe Stock Photos* and other services
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Old May 28th, 2008, 10:24 AM   #6
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Wow, thanks a lot for the quick responses, everyone.

So to sum up my major problems:

-There's no need to get anything larger than 4GB
-Vista 32 will more likely be functional with Adobe CS3 than 64bit
-My 8500GT video card might not be compatible.
-My harddrive might need a separate physical disk for OS / my harddrive might not be big enough for large projects.

Of course, with more answers comes more questions:

4. Doesn't Vista 32bit only recognize up to 3GB RAM? In that case, should I only buy the 3GB memory?

5. How do I set up a computer with a separate disk for my operating system? Is this something I'll have to do manually? - It doesn't appear like HP offers anything like that in their customization.

6. 640GB might not be enough for large projects? Uh oh, have I grossly misunderestimated how much space HDV video takes up? I always thought HDV was basically the same amount of harddrive space as DV video. In that case wouldn't 640GB yield somewhere around 50 hours of video? Or am I way off the mark?

7. Oh, and I'm still looking for advice about Cineform. I hear that it's very necessary for bigger projects, but I want to make certain.

Thanks again for helping me out and forgiving my ignorance. I'm very glad I posted this before buying anything.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 01:14 PM   #7
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32 bit OS recognizes 4 GB. Do invest in 4 GB Ram, but don't bother with the /3GB boot.ini switch. It is not worth the effort or trouble.

Multiple disks in a system is a simple matter of screwing them in the PC and attaching the cables. Windows will automatically detect them.

From a price per GB point of view, 750 GB disks currently are the most attractive.

Cineform will improve performance but will enlarge your storage requirements by a factor 3.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 05:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Wainio View Post

4. Doesn't Vista 32bit only recognize up to 3GB RAM? In that case, should I only buy the 3GB memory?
XP and Vista both recognize over 3 gig. XP has issues due to how some of the memory address space above 3gig is used for video card memory transfers. Vista does not have this problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Wainio View Post
5. How do I set up a computer with a separate disk for my operating system? Is this something I'll have to do manually? - It doesn't appear like HP offers anything like that in their customization.
Just buy the basic configuration and then add a few extra drives for video storage. The computer will recognize them as soon as you boot with them connected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Wainio View Post
6. 640GB might not be enough for large projects? Uh oh, have I grossly misunderestimated how much space HDV video takes up? I always thought HDV was basically the same amount of harddrive space as DV video. In that case wouldn't 640GB yield somewhere around 50 hours of video? Or am I way off the mark?
You are on the mark but something to understand is the drives slow down a good bit as they get full. I try to keep mine from becoming more than about 3/4 full. I have 2TB of primary storage in a RAID0 setup and a smaller RAID0 for rendering. My software likes it this way but CS3 may be different. Also I tend to have more than one project loaded at a time. You can never have too much on-line storage. ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Wainio View Post
7. Oh, and I'm still looking for advice about Cineform. I hear that it's very necessary for bigger projects, but I want to make certain.

Thanks again for helping me out and forgiving my ignorance. I'm very glad I posted this before buying anything.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 06:33 PM   #9
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Noob question: Adobe recommends raid 0 for hdv, why is this.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 02:12 AM   #10
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Ann,

raid 0 increases the data rate of your drives since it is striped and made to act as one drive thus allowing it to read and write data at a faster speed.

raid 1 creates a mirror image- one drive is made to act as a mirror of the other, this is useful to protect very important data when the other fails but the performance in terms of data trancfer is not improved.

Hope this helps
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Old June 1st, 2008, 04:45 AM   #11
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I've been working with SD on raid 0 for about 5 years now. Somebody told me Adobe recommended it just for capturing uncompressed hdv only, so i was not sure. Thanks for your reply.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 10:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Wainio View Post
4. Doesn't Vista 32bit only recognize up to 3GB RAM? In that case, should I only buy the 3GB memory?
If you put 4gb of ram in vista 32 bit, then your pc will only see about 3.3gb.
I know because that's what i've got.

However, if you install Vista service pack 1, which i've just done then the pc will see the whole 4gb.
So now i'm wondering how much SP1 will see, will it see 4 x 2 gb !!
My pc is a fair bit zippier with SP1 now installed.

Paul.
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