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Old February 13th, 2006, 06:03 PM   #1
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building a new computer to edit HDV!

im looking at building a new computer so i can start editing footage shot on a sony FX1 and other HDV camcorders. what i need is a list of the parts to get that will be able to handle this. is real time preview out of the question? so motherboard, processor, video card, what RAM, type of drives, etc... the essentials really. i already have a case and a power supply and 3 hard drives (7200rpms), but they're not set up in a RAID configuration (not sure if this is needed or not).

any help at all would be appreciated!!!

thanks,
Cody
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Old February 13th, 2006, 08:08 PM   #2
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It helps if you tell us which editor you plan to use. Different parts for different editors.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 11:15 PM   #3
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sorry about that.

i currently run premiere pro 1.5 and will probably upgrade to premiere pro 2. i've used avid and vegas before, but i already know premiere, so i just assume stick with what i know for now.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 08:55 AM   #4
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I'm looking for exactly the same as you do (editing HDV footage), but with Avid 5.2.2.
I have post questions similar to yours in other forums (outside dvinfo), and I will write the answers here as soon as I receive them (If I receive any).

One more specific question:
Is anyone working with Avid Xpress and AMD microprocessors. Avid has never recomended a single machine with an AMD micro (in fact they ignore them, in a sort of conspiracy). Besides I have adressed this question to an Avid distributor, and all I get is the page where Avid recomends their beloved HP and Dell Dual Xeon workstations, which in my opinion can be outperformed by some AMD configurations.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 09:09 AM   #5
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I don't work with Avid, but their recommendations have perhaps something to do with threads involved. Here's an extract of Vegas' help:

'Maximum number of rendering threads
This setting specifies the maximum number of threads that will be used for rendering files.
Increasing the setting will not increase performance beyond the number of available threads; for example, if you have a single-processor computer, choosing 2 will not improve rendering performance.

Decrease the setting if you have a multiprocessor (or multicore) computer and want to limit processor use or turn off multithreaded rendering. For example, if you had a dual-processor hyperthreaded computer, choosing 3 would allow you to keep one thread available for other tasks while rendering.'

Hope this helps...
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Old February 16th, 2006, 09:47 PM   #6
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I've been doing some research before I build my next computer (specifically for working with HD video).

I recently read a review that compared Intel and AMD dual core processors. The conclusion I reached is that the AMD duals should generally outperform the Intels (per dollar cost of the chip) for video compression. It looks like the Manchester cores give you a better bang-for-the-buck than the Toledos. The basic difference between the two cores is the L2 cache size. The larger L2 cache in the more expensive Toledos doesn't appear to boost performance very much (at least in the relevant benchmark tests in the review).

I don't know how much a RAID setup actually boosts performance working with video yet, but would like to know if anyone has done some straight up comparisons on rendering and compression speeds. I'm leaning toward looking at the 10,000rpm Raptors from Western Digital.

One area I would not suggest over-spending on is for low CAS latency memory. From observation and reading reviews with benchmark tests, the performance boost is almost nil (0% to 2% range from dropping CAS by a cycle, for almost any task), and certainly doesn't justify the cost of going to ultra-low CAS.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 09:56 PM   #7
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A little bit of a follow up -

When a computer is "simultaneously" reading/writing to more than one part of a single hard drive, the Raptors should boost performance considerably, compared to run-of-the-mill 7200rpm drives (due to much lower seek times).
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Old February 17th, 2006, 04:46 AM   #8
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I was hoping Robert would not have to carry the load himself... I don't use Premiere, so I sort of stepped out.

Start here with Requirements

Depending on your budget, ideally, I would consider dual core Opterons, but would settle for the high-end AMD A64 X2 (dual core) if the funds dry out.

For video, Adobe recommends nVidia for After Effects. My experience has been that if they go out of their way to mention a brand, do it. http://www.adobe.com/products/aftereffects/opengl.html

Raptors are nice (I have a pair) and the new one is fast, but SCSI is better if you can afford it. But, Raptors are not that big, so for video drives, you can now get 250GB drives at less than $100 each. Adobe recommend RAID0, but RAID5 should work and is a better choice.

Monarch Computers and Boxx can build systems like this (Monarch will be cheaper, Boxx may be preconfigured) and test it if that is a route you want to follow.
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Old February 18th, 2006, 12:50 PM   #9
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These guys are going to build a custom PC-system. I am actually thinking of doing something similar.

http://www.videoguys.com/DIY4.html
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Old February 19th, 2006, 12:12 PM   #10
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Western Digital makes a 150GB Raptor now, and if I recall correctly, I think it might have slightly better specs than the smaller Raptors. You can get better performance from SCSI drives, but the costs are significantly higher (putting the same dollar difference into a faster processor, will usually yield better overall performance).

For run-of-the-mill 7200rpm drives, you can get significant savings by watching CompUSA, Circuit City and Best Buy for rebate offers. If you watch the Sunday ads, quite often these stores will advertise deals on 80GB to 300GB drives (WD, Seagate, Maxtor and Hitachi) that wind up costing 25 cents/GB after rebate. I like to snag Seagate 160GB drives when they are 40 bucks after rebate, because they offer a 5 year warranty also. I have purchased a couple 250GB Hitachi drives for as little as 50 bucks (20 cents/GB).

Taking advantage of rebate offers can really help cut the cost of building a computer and the vast majority of rebates do come back (eventually). One company I now avoid though is Soyo. I purchased a few of their motherboards, with very attractive rebate offers, but never got the rebate checks. Also, I have had quite a few problems with all of the boards and don't consider them reliable enough for professional use. They've lost my business for life.
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Old February 19th, 2006, 02:08 PM   #11
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Speaking of rebate sales on HDDs -

I just read the CompUSA ad, and they are offering a 200GB Seagate (7200rpm - ATA100) for 30 bucks after rebates (good today and tomorrow). It just doesn't get any better than that.
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Old February 20th, 2006, 05:01 PM   #12
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I just ordered a new PC

Hi all; I am in the same boat with the HDV editing frustration. Current system; Pentium 4 3.06 Ghz, 250 gig HD (Single drive) 1 gig ram. Medium grade video card. This system is fine for DV but terrible for HDV. Almost unuseable for timeline work and rendering.
Just ordered a new med-high end system from Xi computer...
AMD Athlon 64 x2 4800 + 64 bit dual core. 3 gig ram, 3 160 gig SCSI drives in raid 0 setup. Nvidia GEForce 7800 GTX video card. $2717.00 including shipping. I will let you know how this system works out in a week. I am monitor shopping now. I Want to go with plasma but am I better off with LCD because of screen burn on plasmas? Is anyone out there using a plasma for a monitor? Thanks;
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Old February 20th, 2006, 05:43 PM   #13
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Gary -

It looks like you're not pinching pennies, to be sure, but I'll mention a monitor I've been considering as a potential killer bargain. Sceptre is making a 37" LCD that does 1920x1080/60p, which is selling for about 1600 or so from Newegg or Costco. Appears to have all the input connections you could want too.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 07:17 AM   #14
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Thanks for the info

Robert;
That Sceptre monitor does look quite nice. Very impressive specs and price tag. Thanks for the tip. A bit beyond my current budget but I will be saving up. I will have to invest in some SPF 50 sun screen if I put that thing on my desk and edit with it.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 08:04 AM   #15
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Check out www.bensbargains.net

Watch for deals from dell. I found a dell p4 dual core 2.8, 512mb ram, 160 sata drive, 128mb pci-graphics card, and DELLS 24IN monitor for just over $1200 shipped. I upgraded the pc when I got it I now have 3.2ghz dual core processor, 4 gb of memory and 8 tb of disk space. The memory was $400, processor upgrade $300, 8 tb of disk space cost me $1280 plus the cost of the enclosures. I have 4 bay enclosures that hold sata drives for $70 each, it holds in my setup a 4 drives @ 250gb. I have 8 of them. I can use 2 enclosures at a time via pci sata controllers.

Jon
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