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Old June 16th, 2006, 09:37 PM   #1
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Building an HDV editing system

Hi everyone,

I'm planning on buying a computer for HDV editing (1080i) in Premiere or Vegas, perhaps with Cineform HD.

The problem is of course the cost of the system I am building. Suggestions of where I can lower my cost would be greatly appreciated. I am aiming at a computer for 1500 dollars with one LCD monitor (I'll buy a second when I find the money to do so).

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Here's what I have so far:
ASUS Black Tower Case 4X5.25 2X3.5 3X3.5INT 350W W/ Front USB & 1394 Ports - $75

Intel Pentium D 940 3.2GHZ LGA775 2X2MB 800FSB Dual Core Processor - $295

ASUS P5LD2 Deluxe ATX LGA775 I945P DDR2 2PCI-E16 PCI-E 3PCI SATA RAID Sound GBLAN 1394 Motherboard - $185

Mushkin HP PC2-4200 2GB 2X1GB DDR2-533 CL3-3-3-9 240PIN DIMM Dual Channel Memory $223

Seagate Barracuda 250GB 7200.9 8MB 11MS SATA2 NCQ RoHS Hard Drive - $107

1.44MB Black 3.5IN Floppy Drive - $9

EVGA E-GEFORCE 7600 GT CO 580MHZ PCI-E 256MB 128BIT 1.5GHZ GDDR3 Dual DVI HDTV Out Video Card - $227

Keyboard/Mouse - $29

Seasonic S12-380HB 380W ATX12V 20/24 Pin V2.0 Active PFC Power Supply - $95

Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE PCI 7.1 Surround Sound Card - $35

Samsung SH-W162 16X DVD+-RW 5X Dual Layer DVD Writer Black /W SW OEM - $53

D-LINK ANT24-0400 WIRELESS 2.4GHZ OMNI-DIRECTIONAL INDOOR ANTENNA 802.11B/G - $33

Some 17" LCD (I'm thinking LG) - $250

Shipping/Assembly - $100

Total $1832 Canadian, tax included.

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I'm thinking I could do with a cheaper power supply - a generic one is only $40. Although, the power supply is the component that I know the least about.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

-Mike
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Old June 16th, 2006, 10:06 PM   #2
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1- Unless noise is a concern, I'd get a cheaper power supply. The Antec case+PSU units would be a more economical choice (i.e. BQE or AMB series). Antec makes decent power supplies.

*You can get not-very-good PSUs and a case for about $40. Not that it's necessarily a good idea.

2- Motherboard: Might be able to go cheaper here with a more basic motherboard. i.e. there's a basic Intel motherboard (D945PSNLK) for about $130. Intel is a good safe brand for motherboards.
Abit, Asus (or others) may also have good choices for a little less with the same feature set.

3- RAM: I've done some tests and found that low latency RAM only makes a 1-2% difference (more like 1%). It may make more sense to go with cheaper brand name RAM.

4- Video Card: Vegas doesn't take advantage of the GPU well. Not sure about Premiere, although I think it's only specific effects.

Other programs may take advantage of the GPU... games, magic bullet editor's 2, etc.

5- Creative: Not a big fan of the company because their drivers have extreme bloatware. Their previous products weren't great (i.e. BSODs).

6- LCD: check redflagdeals.com
Dell runs deals on their LCDs here and there... it might be worth waiting for one of their deals.

i.e. 17" LCD $199
http://www.redflagdeals.com/forums/s...light=dell+LCD
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Old June 17th, 2006, 12:32 AM   #3
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Thanks Glenn, for the quick and helpful response.

I've done a bit more tweaking.

The ram doesn't seem to get much cheaper than that. At least not on NCIX.com

The mobo is now:
Intel D945GNTLKR ATX LGA775 I945G DDR2 PCI-E 4PCI SATA Video Sound GBLAN 1394 Motherboard - $160 and with a lot more options.

The power supply is now:
Fortron Sparkle FSP/SPI ATX-400PN 400W ATX12V 20/24PIN Power Supply W/ 120MM Fan P4 AMD Ready OEM - $43 dollars but a ton of positive reviews from the site's members. I don't care that it's OEM either because they are putting it together for me.

So this saves 72 dollars.

I've decided to just get the monitor seperately, probably from Dell, because the monitor was both expensive and increased the cost of my shipping.

I should probably mention that I already have a 300gb SATA hard drive that I plan to transfer to the new comp, so storage shouldn't be too big a problem.

I am using NCIX at the moment as it seems to be the cheapest, but I'd like to check out stores that other canadians use too.
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Old June 17th, 2006, 01:57 AM   #4
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Hi Mike,
Where do you live? Not to sound like a stalker (haha), but that will affect your tax. Other people may also point you towards local vendors.

2- Ncix.com's pricing:
Their list prices are a little on the high side... if you look at their sale prices, it'll be around or slightly less than what you'd have to pay at the stores in Toronto around College/Spadina.

If you have a membership there, those prices are close to the sale prices and what you'd pay locally (at least for me). Because there's not PST, it nearly always comes out cheaper except you have to pay shipping.

But basically if you look at things like the RAM... ncix.com lists Crucial 1GB for $86. Their list prices aren't exactly the greatest. Maybe you can call their sales rep and get a deal (my friend called them and got one of those memberships because he was ordering for a university).

- Do you need Windows?

3- I don't think very highly of Dell or HP/eMachines/etc. but sometimes they can have a better price if you wait for a deal on them.
If you want something basic + cheap, Dell would be good. Their base models are really cheap, and they make their actual profit off the overpriced upgrades.
Example: $999 for a basic system with 19" analog LCD.

With the other manufacturers, the computer is reasonably cheap and the retailer tries to make their profit by getting you to get the extended warranty/protection plan and whatnot (their salespeople don't work on "commission"... but they get in trouble if they don't sell enough extended warranties; they are also rewarded for a high % of extended warranties). Because computers like that are priced like a commodity, they can be slightly cheaper than the custom-built route.

The OEM computers have limited upgradeability. Support may not be great (see resellerratings.com).
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Old June 17th, 2006, 09:48 AM   #5
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I live in Toronto as well, Yonge and Wilson area.

I've considered Dell, but I found a few things about them frustrating.

1 - I already have a copy of Windows XP Pro that I use, and most of the Dell / HP/ Gateway dual core computers seem to come exclusively with Windows.

2 - I would want to upgrade right away for certain aspects of the machine. For instance, I want 2gb of ram, and Dell charges an extra 200 dollars to upgrade from 1gb - 2gb. Meaning, if I want to save any money I'd have to open it up as soon as it arrives - a minor frustration.

3 - Dell's financing options seem very limited - 48 months or nothing. With either NCIX or Dell, I'd just end up putting the whole thing on a visa cheque.


Which stores at College + Spadina do you reccomend? I know people who have had bad experiences with factory direct.

I've also looked in hub magazine, but compared to the prices listed in some of the ads NCIX seems cheap.

Also - NCIX offers a price match program, so if you know of any other major canadian online retailer that might be cheaper (already tried tigerdirect.ca) then that might help save some money.

Edit: Hmm... I wonder if I could go without the sound card. I could probably use the included sound from the motherboard until a good deal for something a bit better comes up. BTW, the Crucial ram saved me 40 bucks!
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Old June 17th, 2006, 03:26 PM   #6
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For College/Spadina:

canadacomputers.com - the staff may not be that helpful, but their prices are good. They sell stuff online, and the website is easy to search.
filtechcomputer.com - helpful staff, good prices

You might also try:
Coming computer
Sonnam

torontopcstores.com lists all the pc stores in canada.

pccanada.com (ontario) and anitec.ca (BC) are other online vendors. If you can price match places like canada computers etc. it'd probalby make sense to buy from ncix.com... because of the tax.
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Old June 17th, 2006, 05:52 PM   #7
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upgrade to 19" screen and take a cheap video card (around 120$ you should be able to find a lot). Except if you plan to use magic bullet intensively, there is no use in video for a high end graphic card.
personally, i got 2 dell 24" on a P4 using Nvidia 5200 card (about 60$), and it works fine.
for the ram, it would be good to take DDR2 800Mhz instead 533, since your asus motherboard support it.
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Old June 17th, 2006, 10:21 PM   #8
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Giroud - I do plan to use magic bullet, but I have no problem with long render times. Will the actual quality of the work magic bullet does on my work suffer, or will speed be the only factor?

I've looked at what's available and settled on this:
ASUS Extreme N6600/TD Video Card GeForce 6600 PCI-E 256MB DDR 128BIT VGA DVI-I TV-OUT - $125

Will this support dual monitors or do I need to get a dual DV-I card? It does save me 100 bucks.

Last edited by Mike Toledano; June 18th, 2006 at 12:20 AM.
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Old June 18th, 2006, 01:05 AM   #9
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I have heard the way to go is Dual Core AMD, not Pentium. I'm running a 3800+ AMD Dual, on a ECS generic mother board, and have enough juice to edit HDV native.
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Old June 18th, 2006, 02:02 AM   #10
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Intel slashed their prices, so that changes things..?

Quote:
Will this support dual monitors or do I need to get a dual DV-I card?
Not unless you want both your monitors to have DVI in. That's only really necessary when you're working with two high resolution LCDs.
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Old June 19th, 2006, 10:30 AM   #11
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Actually, both intel and AMD announced a price cut that will take effect by July 23rd:

INTEL:
http://images.dailytech.com/nimage/1...unch_small.png

AMD:
http://images.dailytech.com/nimage/1...ll_pricing.png

Unfortunately, unlike many of the drastic reductions, the processor I was interested in (940) is only being cut by $50.
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Old June 19th, 2006, 10:54 AM   #12
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While searching for an HD capture card, I found one that needed for AMD chips to be SSE capable or enabled. What's SSE?
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Old June 19th, 2006, 11:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
I have heard the way to go is Dual Core AMD, not Pentium. I'm running a 3800+ AMD Dual, on a ECS generic mother board, and have enough juice to edit HDV native.

Chris how much ram are you running. I have the same chip. What m/b do you have?
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Old June 19th, 2006, 11:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Davis
Chris how much ram are you running. I have the same chip. What m/b do you have?
2 Gig Ram (4 x 512 ) and board is NFORCE4-A939, if I recall.
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Old June 19th, 2006, 11:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
2 Gig Ram (4 x 512 ) and board is NFORCE4-A939, if I recall.

Just wondering, because my box gets to a point of loading nested veg files and then just doesn't want to load any more, something like 20. I was thinking it might be the ram, only 2 gig. Could be something else though.
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