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Old November 3rd, 2005, 12:58 PM   #1
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Location: Charleston, West Virginia
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Building/purchasing dedicated HDV PC

I'm in the process of pricing out components for a PC dedicated to HDV capture and export (very little editing needed, just copying tapes). I was curious if anyone here has ever built a system themselves and what processor, memory and hard drive configurations are good recommendations.

I have a budget of $1000 for this project. I would consider buying a pre-assembled unit (from Dell, etc) if they had an option that would work.

Thanks in advance for any info!
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 06:03 PM   #2
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Get a Pentium D or equivelent Althon X2 -- these dual core CPU really help -- plus 1 GB of RAM and two SATA drive in RAID 0 configuration for your media drive (for speed.) You should be able to build that for around $1000.

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Old November 3rd, 2005, 08:05 PM   #3
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Getting a hot deal on a Dell Insprion 9100 may be slightly cheaper than building a computer yourself.

Buy the base system and install your own upgrades (RAM, RAID, etc.).

Memory brand doesn't matter much... good brand RAM may be less likely to be dead on arrival. The speed differences between RAM is insignificant / not worth paying for.
Do get the proper RAM for your system (i.e. DDR or DDR2, at the right speed or higher), do try to get pairs of identical RAM (fastest configuration). Some motherboard+processors have memory incompatibilities, although I doubt you will encounter that.

Hard drives do the same thing more or less. Some people like Seagate for 5 year warranty and reliability (arguably). To save money, you can look for rebate / loss leader deals on hard drives. Get an identical set of drives for RAID 0.

If buying a Dell, keep in mind that they do not give you a Windows CD and their systems are limited in the maximum number of hard drives. They probably won't support any upgrades you add (which they probably shouldn't). Their are also some other kind of crappy things about them. They are not very upgradeable because of some proprietary parts (sometimes they are standard and sometimes they are proprietary depending on model).

Hot deals: Check hot deals sites for your country. I assume you live in the US, so it would be sites like
The forums may be more helpful than their front page.

EDIT: It may not be very easy to do RAID 0 of 2 SATA drives in a 9100. It may only hold 2 drives maximum. So maybe you want to avoid it if you really want 2 drives in RAID 0.
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