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Old August 27th, 2009, 11:33 AM   #1
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Help building an HD system

So I am at the stage now, where I am beginning to edit higher end HD stuff (live concerts and stuff of that nature) and I do like working Premiere - I have been doing so the last 8 years. I have been told many things by many people as to what kind of system I should get next, so I wanted to throw this out to there to the pros out there, what do you recommend as a system if I were to stay PC. Thank you in adavance for all of your help.

As a side note I see that B&H has a few PC turnkey systems, does anyone recommend any of these?
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Last edited by Chris Vaglio; August 27th, 2009 at 11:47 AM. Reason: adding on
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Old August 27th, 2009, 04:30 PM   #2
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Maybe this can help: Adobe Forums: How to get the best from a PC? Some...
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Old August 29th, 2009, 07:19 AM   #3
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There are lots of options out there but one should keep the old racing adage in mind, "Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?"

You haven't said what format your HD will be. HDV can live quite nicely with a Quad Core system. AVCHD needs the fastest processor you can find. There are lots of variable to consider and what works for you will depend upon the work you plan on doing. Are you going to do multi-camera editing, a lot of compositing or color correction? Keep that in mind when you check out the options. I don't believe that one brand is any better than another. If you favor one brand, you can stay with it. If you're technically minded, dig into the specs of potential systems because sometimes an obscure detail can make a significant difference.

I don't believe that there's just one, best system out there for everyone. It's important to understand what you want to do with your system before you plunk down your cash for one. Planning ahead will serve you well in your ultimate decision.
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 01:36 PM   #4
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Laptop specs

Hi All,
My brother-in-law is pulsing me on a laptop configuration for editing AVCHD files from his Sony Blu-ray camcorder. I know there are other things to consider (RAM, drive speed). But is this processor adequate?
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Extreme Mobile Processor QX9300 (2.53Ghz, 12MB L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
It's for editing home movies really. Any input is much appreciated. Thanks!
Ed
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 03:59 PM   #5
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Ed,

For AVCHD a laptop is out of the question. Way too slow. You need at least an overclocked i7 for that and only if all the other components fit the bill as well.

My notebook had a more powerful CPU than the QX9300 and is way too slow in comparison to my desktop. My laptop scores 790 on the PassMark benchmark test, my desktop 6055, approximately 7 - 8 times faster and it still is not comfortable with editing AVCHD.
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 04:45 PM   #6
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I hesitate to disagree with Harm because he knows his stuff. No doubt, the faster the computer, the better and at a given price point, laptops aren't as fast as desktops. But for CASUAL home editing, it CAN be done on a fast laptop -- not ideal and as soon as you do anything fancy, it'll slow down.

I really had no trouble doing basic edit and color correction on HF10 footage as described (with a couple hours worth of 1080 AVCHD clips in bins): http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/1265147-post20.html

Hardware choice also depends on which OS and which NLE you use as well, so if the budget is limited you need to look at the whole package before deciding. For example, if you have a 32-bit OS (don't do 32 bit, but if you do...) then anything above about 3.25GB of RAM just won't help you.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 12:34 PM   #7
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Good afternoon,

I upgraded to an I7 processor in a Dell, once by a few problems it has run perfectly well for me and it did not break the bank!!!

In the vegas forum there is a lot of talk about the I7 and making your own.


Any Core I7 users yet?


It is the only way I would go
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Old October 1st, 2009, 01:00 PM   #8
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Chris,

I recommend narrowing it down to the componets you need to be compatible with Premiere as Harm suggested, then go to avadirect.com and build a system online to see how it will price out. The advantage being you can choose top of the line performing parts as opposed to a Dell or other similar company. I made the switch to an HD system earlier this year and purchased a PC from them that met my needs. In my case I was on a low end buget ($2,700) and chose not to stay with Premiere (old longtime 6.5 user here). Instead I went with Edius 5 and the HDspark card for realtime preview on an hdtv which I installed myself without any problems. My final costs worked out like this..

- Computer $1600 from avadirect.com
- Edius5 with spark card $745 from videoguys.com
- 19" Samsung HDTV $280 from B&H (very accurate color via hdmi connection to HDpark card).
- Amtron P2 card reader $100

This system works really well with Panasonic P2 media from my HPX170.
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Last edited by Mark Williams; October 1st, 2009 at 06:10 PM.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 08:49 PM   #9
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I think I will mention AMD here.

I don't think it generally makes much sense to edit AVCHD natively, with mainstream desktop PCs (even built around an i7). The number crunching power just isn't quite there yet (will be soon though - in a couple years or so). Using an intermediate codec, like Cineform or Canopus HQ, works great for many purposes, and doesn't require a particularly screaming powerful CPU (by today's standards).

When we are talking about the current crop of mainstream quad core CPUs, a lot of folks don't realize that AMD's offerings have become quite competitive. Phenom II quads are now arguably more cost effective (at today's prices), than the comparable Intel Core 2 quads.

Right now, Newegg is offering the Phenom II 965 (3.4GHz) for $215 (using a promo code this weekend). The Phenom II 965 will outperform an Intel Q9550, by almost any measure.

Motherboard options for Phenoms are also arguably more attractive than those for Core 2, especially for those with onboard graphics, which can often be quite adequate for editing purposes. For example, a motherboard built around a 780G chipset will work just as well, for editing with an NLE like Vegas (which doesn't really rely on the GPU at all), as a motherboard combined with a discrete graphics card, and costs a lot less.

Using DDR2 memory (rather than DDR3) can save a little chunk of cash as well (again, at today's prices). Realistically, much "faster" DDR3 memory won't offer any noticeable performance increase (if any at all*), compared to much lower cost DDR2 800 (still the best bang for the buck right now).

*I've tested encoding time on a couple of occasions now, and with a few different codecs, changing memory clock speed in setup, and there just isn't any difference to speak of.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 08:04 AM   #10
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Thank you for your help and insight
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
There are lots of options out there but one should keep the old racing adage in mind, "Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?"

You haven't said what format your HD will be. HDV can live quite nicely with a Quad Core system. AVCHD needs the fastest processor you can find. There are lots of variable to consider and what works for you will depend upon the work you plan on doing. Are you going to do multi-camera editing, a lot of compositing or color correction? Keep that in mind when you check out the options. I don't believe that one brand is any better than another. If you favor one brand, you can stay with it. If you're technically minded, dig into the specs of potential systems because sometimes an obscure detail can make a significant difference.

I don't believe that there's just one, best system out there for everyone. It's important to understand what you want to do with your system before you plunk down your cash for one. Planning ahead will serve you well in your ultimate decision.
__________________
Sincerely,

Chris Vaglio
Director/Producer/Editor
Grey Sky Films
www.greyskyfilms.com
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