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Old June 7th, 2009, 01:12 PM   #1
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What kind of computer do I need?

I am needing to get a computer so I can edit HDV footage for TV ads we are shooting. I don't have too much money and I don't need the top of the line model. I just need a mac (or PC) that has FCP (or something as good or better) that can handle it. It's all I'll be using it for.

I'd like to get something used to keep price down, one that already has FCP on it. I'd search ebay but I don't know what I should search for or what I need to make sure and get.

Any help would be appreciated! :)
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Old June 7th, 2009, 03:57 PM   #2
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If you want an FCP system go to the Apple site and read the system requirements for Final Cut. FYI cheap and HD rarely go together.
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Old June 7th, 2009, 05:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
If you want an FCP system go to the Apple site and read the system requirements for Final Cut. FYI cheap and HD rarely go together.
And when you combine Apple and HD in the same sentence, the budget requirements rise dramatically.
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Old June 7th, 2009, 09:34 PM   #4
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If cost is your primary consideration, then something like the following (PC) might be a workable minimum:

Core 2 Duo Processor 2 GHz or faster
At least 2GB memory
Two 7200rpm Sata drives (one for programs, one for video files - the latter at least 500GB)
Nvidia 6600GS videocard or better (do NOT get a motherboard with on-board graphics!)
Vegas 8
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Old June 8th, 2009, 10:18 AM   #5
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All the aforementioned is right on.


If you have to go econo, I would get a PC (Tigere direct has great deals and refurbished with warrenties and canadian dollars) and I would then get sony Vegas , or buy someones used Vegas 8.0.

A canon hv 10, 20, or 30, all are economical and make good hd



Gateway DX4720-03 Refurbished Desktop Computer - Intel Pentium Dual Core E5200 2.50GHz, 4GB DDR2, 640GB, DVDRW Labelflash, Gigabit, Microsoft® Windows Vista® Home Premium 64-bit RB-PT.G360X.002 in Canada at TigerDirect.ca


Canon | VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder | 2680B001



Sony | Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Edition Pro | SPPMS9000



Everything you need to get a job done under 2000 dollars. Yes the computer may run native hdv a little slow but my back up computer is a 2.2 ghtz dual core and i edit hd on it, just do not be in a hurry.


Anyway do not feel you have to go to a mac!!!
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Old June 8th, 2009, 12:16 PM   #6
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Dale's advice is on the right track.

But if you're into editing commercials you need to be careful your editing workstation choice does not "paint you into a corner" as progress will leave you sitting in the dust of the past.

So I suggest the following be considered:

An Intel Core i7 based machine starting at $999 (link below). I would upgrade the memory for additional $50 to 4GB or like I did $150 to 6GB. But you can "get by" with the 3GB included.

I would also go for one of the 512MB graphics card upgrades, I chose the added $50 ATI 4670 which is working fine for me.

This configuration comes with Vista Home Premium 64bit and with enough memory Vista is just fine.

Only thing you should need to add is your editing software of choice. Pinnacle Studio 12 plus is running fine and is around $100. Or Adobe Premiere Elements 7 at less than $100 is supposed to be very good. Or Sony Vegas but spend the money and go Pro 9, many used copies of version 8 have been used for upgrade and you are stuck at that level.

Dell Studio XPS 435 Desktop Computer Product Details

This system will edit HDV super well, and will handle AVCHD right now with the software already mentioned. This will partially "future proof" you for a bit.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 06:12 AM   #7
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Thanks guys, you've always been so awesome on here!

I have a PC right now that I've done some SD editing on. It's a pentium 4 3 ghz, 3 gig ram with XP. I really like XP and would like to keep it if possible. I need it to not run slow, though, so I don't shoot myself in the face. I guess I need to add more RAM? Double it? I think I'm using the max that will fit on my motherboard though. What's the cheapest option?

I've been using Adobe Premiere Pro and was thinking about upgrading that to the latest version since my old files are all premiere files. But, I've run into some occasional tech problems with Premiere that usually require upgrading. Is it worth it to go to Vegas Pro? Which is more powerful?

Storage is a problem as I'm a packrat and have soooo many harddrives and go through them like candy. :-/ I can't run more than three harddrives at a time and only 2 SATA. I've put in a SATA card that's supposed to give me more but we never got it to work really.

I guess I need to just get a couple of Terabyte SATA drives and start consolidating. Then just plug in the video editing drives inside my machine when it's time to edit.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 08:14 AM   #8
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AMD Phenom quad core systems can be built as inexpensively as Intel Core 2 Duos (or at even lower cost).

Intel CPUs generally outperform AMD CPUs at a given clock rate, but at today's prices AMDs can offer value, particularly for budget systems. Dollar for dollar, in some important regards (like compression with codecs that fully utilizes 4 cores), you can get better performance out of a Phenom X4 than a similarly price Core 2 Duo.

Aside from generally lower prices on AMD CPUs, there are some nice low cost motherboard options for AMD CPUs, that include on-board graphics which can be quite adequate for editing HD. You can get boards with on-board graphics, built around AMD's 780G chipset or NVIDIA's 8200 chipset, for under $100.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 08:32 AM   #9
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I'll also mention that the introduction of Phenom IIs seems to have opened up a considerable market for used first generation (65nm) Phenoms at some pretty low prices (very good performance/cost ratios).

For example, if you're experienced and savvy at purchasing parts through America's largest online auction site, you can get a Phenom X4 9850 (2.5GHz) for under $100 nowadays. That's a lot of bang for the buck.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 08:41 PM   #10
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Anyone else have anything to add about the AMD quad? In what ways does it outperform the Pentium dual processor?
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Old June 13th, 2009, 09:20 AM   #11
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Pentium dual core CPUs perform poorly (slower than AMD dual core CPUs). Intel Core 2 dual core processors are far more efficient (and generally outperform the AMDs at any given clock rate).

Where you will see a performance improvement with quad core CPUs, is running CPU intensive applications that are designed well to fully utilize all 4 cores. Video rendering and compression are applications that can benefit greatly by running on 4 cores (again, if the codec is well written to fully utilize all 4 cores).
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Old June 14th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #12
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thanks! It looks like that's what I should get then.

Does Adobe Premiere Pro work well with the quad? Is the new Vegas that much better? I have an older version of Adobe premiere pro, that's what I'm used to and could get an upgrade for cheaper. Is it worth it to go with Vegas?
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Old June 14th, 2009, 02:32 PM   #13
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Vegas takes advantage of all 4 cores. I'm not so sure about Premiere Pro.

I haven't done a scientific study by any means, but it seems to me that I've read more positive comments from Premiere users who switched to Vegas, than the other way around.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 02:55 PM   #14
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This is a combo deal at Newegg, that I've sort of got an eye on:

Newegg.com - CPU and Motherboard Combo

Add some memory, like this, and you've got CPU, motherboard with graphics, and memory for a mid-level performance quad, at well under $300 (after rebates):

Newegg.com - Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model PVS24G6400LLKN - Desktop Memory
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Old June 15th, 2009, 09:38 PM   #15
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Thanks, man! you are awesome!

Is there a good reason why I should get the brand new version of vegas instead of an old one? If not, which should I look for?
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