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-   -   Improving my PC (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/high-definition-video-editing-solutions/137319-improving-my-pc.html)

Guillermo Ibanez November 6th, 2008 12:59 PM

Improving my PC
Hi everyone,

I've been thinking about getting a new computer and I almost did about 2 weeks ago but all this 'credit crunch' has spoilt the party. What it was 750 one month ago is now over 900. Basically I can't afford that for the moment. I film (XHA1) and edit mostly all the time so I need something reliable. I was considering the option of upgrading my existing computer which is 4 years old but still does the trick (more or less) when editing DV. These are the specs:

AMD 2.8 Athlon 64
2gb RAM
128 ATI video Card
ASUS kV8-MX motherboard
160gb SATA hd (system files)
XP home 32bit

Could you give advice me of specific parts that I could upgrade which could result in a performance boost for the time being? Also, I could use these new parts on the new computer which I'll be able to buy (hopefully) in a couple of moths time?
I was thinking of buying a raptor 300gb drive and maybe upgrading the graphic cards to a ATI 4850 512mb.

OOpps, I mostly use Sony Vegas and After effects!

any help appreciated!


Tripp Woelfel November 6th, 2008 01:21 PM

Not bad. I assume the processor is quad core.

You'll want more memory 4 GB minimum. Memory is key to everything you'll do.

If you have the spend for a bigger drive, get one. A .5TB drive should be no more than 50 euros more.

Can't comment on the card specifically, but I just read that MB Looks will only use Nvidia cards for acceleration. If you have/want MB Looks, you might think in that direction.

Guillermo Ibanez November 6th, 2008 01:46 PM

Sorry I didn't express myself correctly. Those are the specs of my current pc, the one that I want to upgrade. It's a single processor AMD 64 and I cannot go higher than 2gb with my current motherboard (KV8-MX). I just want to buy parts that I could use on my this computer and that I'll be able to use when I buy the new one in a couple months time!


Justin Hewitt November 6th, 2008 06:07 PM


You should perhaps start by changing your thinking about good performance.

People still think a ripping CPU will solve performance issues. No so ...

These days its all about load balance, of course a fast CPU is desirable, but if your task is I/O bound your super fast CPU is likely waiting around doing nothing until the next chunk of data is ready for processing.

How do we load balance for big video tasks on a home budget ..... ?

* Multi core CPU's
* Use software that takes advantage of multi core
* Go 64 BIT H/W and S/W
* RAM (4GB minimum) 8 GB is better
* Multiple disks in ARRAYS
* A good Video card with lots of RAM does not hurt.
* Motherboards/Chipsets that are optomized for HD playback

what you can start thinking about.

The 78 chipset is optomized for HD playback, Gigabyte offers a surprisingly cheap mobo with the 78 chipset and includes onboard video (with the ability to also use your own card)

AMD X2 5000/6000 series chips are still quite cheap and offer "two cores", the Phenom range are 4 cores, but are slightly more expensive. AMD lags behind INTEL for raw speed, but when you condier price benefit and load balance, AMD is still very attractive

RAM - more is better (at least 4 GB)

Disk - at a minimum SATA II
at a minimum a dedicated source disk and dedicated destination disk (that way you do not have drive head contension issues)

Also good if you can seperate your Opsys and applications onto a seperate disk and leave the video source/destinations disks reletively clean and defragged.

More advanced would be using RAID 0 for source and destination disks

You Raptor idea is OK, but you are better off using that money for several SATA II disks with bigger capacity and then creating the RAID 0 arrays.

Giroud Francois November 7th, 2008 02:31 AM

with your current config there is no hope for improvement, and you better put your money into a new config.

for cheap you can get a core2duo a 3Ghz (the 8400) with a decent motherboard (Asus P5 )
2gig of DDR2 memory at 1066Mhz.
you can keep the case, the disks, the video card , DVD burner from your old config and see if you are happy with the new performance. This should cost you less than 350, you will get a really fast machine, eventually upgradeable in few month with a quad core (when they will get cheaper) or 8 gig of ram if you go to a 64bit OS.

If you still got money left, you can add 2 disks (nothing under 300gig) in a raid 0 strip.
a cheap graphic card like the Nvidia 8500 (take model with 512Mb of ram).

Since the next gen. of processor is coming out now, it is better to wait next year to serioulsy spend a lot of money into a new PC.

Guillermo Ibanez November 7th, 2008 02:14 PM

thanks for your help,

I really needed the upgrade because I've got a high volume of work that I need to deliver but I decided to bite the bullet and buy a new computer instead of messing around with upgrades, I just bought it! these are the specs, let me know what you think:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83 Ghz 12Mb Cache
4Gb Corsair Memory DDR2 800
300Gb raptor drive 10000rpm sata
500GB Secondary SATA HDD
ATI 3450 512mb PCI Express DDR DVI
ASUS P5K Premium/WIFI 1333FSB-DDR2 1066x2 Crossfire-Intel P35
DVD+/- RW - 20X (pioneer 115D)
Vista Home Premium 64bit

I decided to save up on the graphic card which is something that I will be able to upgrade at a later stage and as Ive read in these forums is not so important when working with Vegas.
In the near-ish future, Im planning to add new HD and possibly configure them on RAID.

Also, I would like to use my current computer as a rendering machine so I can keep on editing with new one at the same time, is there any sort of switch (hardware) that enables you to use monitor/keyboard and mouse on both computers at the same time?


Giroud Francois November 7th, 2008 03:08 PM

that is too bad to take DDR800 when your motherboard explicitly says DDR1066.
the cost difference was very small but not the performance difference.

Graham Hickling November 7th, 2008 10:00 PM

If you search on "IOGear" and "KVM Switch" you will find various models that will allow you to use the same keyboard/video/mouse with two computers.

And I just sent back a Radeon 4850 because it provides zilch acceleration for Magic Bullet Looks, Colorista and probably CS4. Replaced it with a GIGABYTE GV-NX96T512HP 9600GT which is fast, fanless and available presently in the US for $80 after rebate.

Tripp Woelfel November 8th, 2008 09:15 AM

It sounds like you're going to build the system, or have it built for you. With one or two 10k RPM drives, you'll need a beefy power supply and good cooling.

There's a power calculator somewhere online that will tell you how much power your system will draw. Don't forget to enter your future upgrades, like the video card, so that you get one big enough to handle your planned system expansion.

Jason Robinson February 26th, 2009 10:03 PM


Originally Posted by Guillermo Ibanez (Post 960802)
Also, I would like to use my current computer as a rendering machine so I can keep on editing with new one at the same time, is there any sort of switch (hardware) that enables you to use monitor/keyboard and mouse on both computers at the same time?

If you have XP Pro on your other machine, you don't need a KVM switch because you can use Windows Remote Desktop to access the render machine's desktop from your new system. Then you can save the veg and all the project files to the second computer and kick off a render there while you edit on the other system.

An alternate method is to use the Vegas Network render service to pass render jobs to your secondary system while you continue to edit on the primary system.

Unfortunately, your priomary system will be light years faster than your secondary / render system so you might as well just render on the new quad core and then open up a new instance of Vegas and keep editing while the same system renders.

The only real benefit to the render service is when you have a stack of different renders to perform (ie render project X in Quicktime high res, quicktime low res, WMV high, WMV low, MPEG2, ac3, etc). That allows you to stack up the renders and then keep workign on yoru main system.

The down side (and it is a major down side) is that heavy use of the render service means that the master computer (the one that holds the media files) will need a RAID HD in order to keep up with the render slave's demand for chunks of the video AND for you to use the master / edit system at teh same time.

I have tried the master / slave render system both ways; 1) P4 @ 3GHz with RAID as the edit system & master and Core2Duo as the edit slave .... and 2) 2Ghz Core2Duo as master / edit system and the P4HT as render slave.

The non-RAID system simply can NOT act as master & edit at the same time. The single SATA drive gets thrashed and slows down the entire system because the single HD cannot handle both editing AND sendign out & receiving render chunks.

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