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Old August 10th, 2007, 08:10 PM   #16
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2 duo or 2 quad?

Hi Jon,

Which of these do you recommend (2 duo or 2 quad)? Also do you think a GeForce 8500 512 MB graphics card will be good for editing? How about the version of Widdows Vista...will that have any effect on editing at all? I am trying to build a custom HP from Costco...seems like a decent deal there.

Thanks so much for the very helpful info...

Jeff
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Old August 10th, 2007, 10:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hendricks View Post
Hi Jon,

Which of these do you recommend (2 duo or 2 quad)? Also do you think a GeForce 8500 512 MB graphics card will be good for editing? How about the version of Widdows Vista...will that have any effect on editing at all? I am trying to build a custom HP from Costco...seems like a decent deal there.

Thanks so much for the very helpful info...

Jeff
Jeff,

This answer to these questions are relative might mostly be relative to the NLE software that you are using. A few comments.

Assuming you are using Sony Vegas as your NLE. The Quad 2.4Ghz processor very nearly twice as fast as the equivelently clocked Core 2 Duo while performing rendering functions. Vegas has updated their software for good support with Quad processors. If clock speed is the same, go with the Quad.

As for the video.. The 8500 series actually have relatively poor video performance when stacked aganist the 8600 series. Don't take my word for it.. http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3047

512Mb of RAM is mainly used for a framebuffer for Video Games. It's not used at all by Vegas and I don't think by most other NLE's either.

I do not recommend Vista. With an off the shelf system, you won't have a choice and that's unfortunate. Vista or Windows XP really do nothing for you other than to enable your applications to run. Vista is really more bloatware from Microsoft and in most cases runs your applications slower than Windows XP. I'm sure Vista will be wonderfull in a few years when they repair and update it, but for now, I'm recommending to stick with WinXp whenever possible.

Jon
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Old August 11th, 2007, 07:48 AM   #18
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Jon, so what quad core processor would you recommend for Vegas, assuming we were using the accessories from your second post, which was very helpful in narrowing down my purchase! Thanks, Tony
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Old August 11th, 2007, 09:21 AM   #19
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Well, right now the bread and butter Quad is the Q6600. It's the original Quad design from Intel and runs at 2.4Ghz and a FSB of 1066Mhz. It costs $279.00. When using this chip, a P35 based board is not necessary and a mature P965 motherboard (as originally spec'd in this forumn) would work just fine.

The alternative to this processor is the new release from Intel, the E6850. It's a Core 2 Duo design that runs at 3.0Ghz with a FSB of 1333Mhz. Tests have shown that the FSB increase is really not going to perform a signficant performance increase, on it's own, and typically only yields a 1-3% performance boost across the board. The extra 600Mhz however across two processors is what I'm most intrested in. This is a full 25% faster than the Quad Core's speed. Most applications aren't sophisticated enough to take full advantage of all 4 cores, all the time. I'd be willing to bet in most "normal" applications, the 6850 would be faster.

Jon
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Old August 11th, 2007, 12:23 PM   #20
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Hi Jon,

Can you recommend an online store that customizes computers?

Thanks again,

Jeff
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Old August 11th, 2007, 02:13 PM   #21
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Jeff,

I pretty much buy all my stuff from two vendors, Newegg.com and mwave.com. Between the two, the prices are typically about the best around and the service from each is really good. They also have just about everything you could want.

I'm honestly not sure if they'll build the system for you, but I'm pretty sure I've seen that option at Mwave before where you put together the components, then pay them like $150 or so and they put it together, test it, and then ship it as configured. That is probably your best bet.

On the other hand, putting it together yourself isn't as hard as one might think. If you have the mental capacity and ability to change the oil in your car, you can probably put together a computer. Essentially you are just assembling a bunch of parts in a case and plugging them together. There's lots of help on the web as well and I'd certainly be willing to lend a helping hand as well.

Jon
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Old August 28th, 2007, 11:59 AM   #22
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The "Ultimate" System for Pinnacle Studio 11 Ultimate?

I've been editing with Pinnacle (Studio 9, 10 & now 11 Ultimate) on a laptop for the past several years with mostly favorable end results. There has been a lot of hanging and crashing of the program on projects, however, causing me a good amount of frustration... but, I really like all the features of Studio. It's fairly easy to use and exacting enough for the several projects I do each year. I've figured it's just the processing power (lack of) of the laptop that's been the culprit. (HP Pavilion dv8235nr)

I'm looking into purchasing, and/or building a system for my home "studio." (I can change the oil in my car, but I usually take it to JiffyLube because of the disposal hassle... lol!) Sans the monitor(s) (I have a Dell Ultra 24" now) I'd like to configure the "awesome" system that would run Pinnacle Studio 11 Ultimate without hiccups. Is that possible? I've reviewed the system recommendations you've talked about here. I noted that you said the software one is using is a factor in making final determinations about what components to go with.

With that being said, what components would you suggest as the "Ultimate" (mid to high) sytem to build to support editing (eventually HD) with Pinnacle Studio 11 Ultimate? Oh ya, I'd like to run Microsoft's Flight Simulator X Deluxe too. I like shooting a few touch n go's between projects.

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 01:55 PM   #23
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Jeff B,

If you read through my original spec's they haven't changed too much other than the CPU and motherboard which I now recommend a motherboard that's based on the Intel P35 chipset which now offers good stability and offers better support for a future upgrade if it's in the cards...

The CPU is the tricky one though, the Quad Q6600 that has 4 processor cores all running at 2.4Ghz and can be had for $270 now. You'll have to check with Pinnacle but if Studio 11 Ultimate will take advantage of all 4 cores, this is probably going to be your best bet. Otherwise, consider the E6850 processor that runs at 3.0Ghz, but it's only a Dual Core CPU.

What is a great system for one editing suite is probably going to be about the same for another. I've only used Pinnacle a few times and my experiences as with most of the others that I know who have tried it is that it's a notoriously buggy program that crashes a lot. I also know it's not considered a "professional" NLE but as I have previously said, it's not the tools you use, it's what you produce with your tools. So if you are a whiz on Pinnacle, stick with it as long as it doesn't limit your creative abilities.

In this case, your biggest question is simply going to be be a CPU with 4 slower cores or a 2 fast cores.

Jon
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Old August 28th, 2007, 02:44 PM   #24
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One other comment here...

Though ideally one would do nothing on their editing computer other than edit, I realize this isn't the reality of many. One thing you want to avoid like the plauge however on an editing machine is a virus checking program and/or all of those goofy off the shelf "shield" programs that run in your tray are supposed to make you feel good about surfing the web.

There's not always a good solution for you to play games on your machine, use it for the internet, and edit on it.

What I do is... I have my "ultimate" machine configured with just Windows XP Pro and all my main applications for editing such as Vegas, Photoshop, DVD-Architect, and a few simple utilities like some of the Vasst stuff, etc. This system is not connected to the internet at all, but when I need to do system updates, (www.windowsupdate.com) or upgrade my copy of Vegas, or whatever, I plug it into the internet to JUST do those few tasks and then take it back down. Naturally, there is no virus software or any other type of "protection" junk on this computer. If I played games, as long as they weren't the online type, I'd be willing to put them on here.

Remember, email itself is probably responsible for 90% of all computer viruses. Therefore, just eliminating email (and visiting pirate software websites) from your system will go a long ways towards preventing this type of problem. I view it kinda like getting AIDS without having sex. It's possible and it happens, but not nearly as likely.

All in all, my system is a very clean and efficient one.

I have a secondary computer that is a real clunker by todays standards that I use to play on the internet. This is the "family" computer that I play Fantasy sports on, let my kids play their games, my wife uses it to shop online, I use it for email, etc. This is where the "iMac" type of computer fits in just perfectly. Nothing of too much critical importance is on here and if a virus gets it, probably wont' be the end of the world as long as I occasionally backup some important documents, etc (which I do every couple of months). A computer in this class will only cost you about $400 - $500 total and can be less. Actually, what I normally do is when I buy a new computer, I always buy the top end and then the family computer inherits the old "ultimate" computer.

Jon
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Old August 28th, 2007, 03:18 PM   #25
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The "Ultimate" System for Pinnacle Studio 11 Ultimate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon McGuffin View Post
Jeff B,

If you read through my original spec's they haven't changed too much other than the CPU and motherboard which I now recommend a motherboard that's based on the Intel P35 chipset which now offers good stability and offers better support for a future upgrade if it's in the cards...

The CPU is the tricky one though, the Quad Q6600 that has 4 processor cores all running at 2.4Ghz and can be had for $270 now. You'll have to check with Pinnacle but if Studio 11 Ultimate will take advantage of all 4 cores, this is probably going to be your best bet. Otherwise, consider the E6850 processor that runs at 3.0Ghz, but it's only a Dual Core CPU.

What is a great system for one editing suite is probably going to be about the same for another. I've only used Pinnacle a few times and my experiences as with most of the others that I know who have tried it is that it's a notoriously buggy program that crashes a lot. I also know it's not considered a "professional" NLE but as I have previously said, it's not the tools you use, it's what you produce with your tools. So if you are a whiz on Pinnacle, stick with it as long as it doesn't limit your creative abilities.

In this case, your biggest question is simply going to be be a CPU with 4 slower cores or a 2 fast cores.

Jon
Jon,

I'd guess from their requirements (below) it looks like they support 2 cores. Yes, I have heard it's notoriously buggy (my own experiences) and not "professional", however, for what I do produce, it's the optimum solution right now. Other then stepping over to a Mac and going with Final Cut Pro, (I'm trying to stay "PC" in more ways than one!) I'm going to continue to work with it.

--------------------
Intel® Pentium® or AMD® Athlon® 1.8 GHz or higher (2.4 GHz recommended) - Intel® Pentium® HT or AMD® Athlon® 2.4 GHz or 1.6 GHz Dual core required for Windows Vista Intel® Core™2 Duo 2.4 GHz or higher required for AVCHD editing
--------------------

So below is what I came up with so far for a system. Look it over and I welcome your comments. One question... from those configurations you gave... Do you like the stack RAID better (performance wise), or is that 1 TB Hitachi a good option? It's just a few bucks more.

Thanks again for your expertise and help!

----------
SYSTEM
----------

MSI P35 PLATINUM INTEL P35 CHIPSET ATX FORM FACTOR 2xPCI-E(X16)/2xPCI-E(X1)/2xPCI/4xDDR2 W/SATA2 RAID,LAN(Gb),1394,USB 2.0 & AUDIO

ANTEC P182 (BLACK) ATX TOWER CASE NO POWER SUPPLY 4x5.25" 1x3.5" 6x3.5"(hidden) W/FRONT I/O CONNECTORS & 120mm CASE FAN x 1
EXTRA 120mm FAN(CLEAR)

ENERMAX EG495P-VE 485W

CREATIVE LABS SOUNDBLASTER X-FI XTREME GAMER

WD 150GB WD1500ADFD SATA150 16MB 10,000RPM

(3) WD 320GB 3200YS SATA300 RAID 7200RPM 16MB

OR

(1) HITACHI 1TB 0A34193 / 0A35155 SATA3GB 7200RPM 32MB # HDS721010KLA330

PIONEER DVR-212DBK 18X SATA DOUBLE LAYER DVD RW DRIVE W/SW

HP DVD1040I 20X LIGHTSCRIBE 1.2 MULTIFORMAT DVD BURNER

MICROSOFT WINDOWS XP PROFESSIONAL W/SP2
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Old August 28th, 2007, 04:29 PM   #26
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Well, I see the software supports 'dual core' but how about quad core? And supporting the software is MUCH different than actually taking advantage of it. Vegas has been coded to specifically take advantage of all 4 cores in the Quad Core. Most people have reported rendering functions performing nearly twice as fast as on their dual core machines. That's an impressive performance increase. If Pinnacle Studio is coded in a similiar way, then I'd reccomend the quad. As for now, you might be best with the E6850 Dual Core. Believe me, compared to what you have now, this system will *crush* your laptop.

The Hitachi 1Gb drive really shines and has the advantages of not creating more heat by combingin three drives and also should be more reliable as a RAID 0 configuration is three times more likely to fail than a single drive.

Considering what you are doing, I'd go with the Hitachi 1Gb for my storage, capture to, and render to drive and pickup a smaller 250 or 320gb drive to act as your system drive.

I hope you didn't take offense to my comment regarding Pinnacle not being "professional". Like I said, I've always felt the software you know really well is MUCH more valuable than the software that can do everything but you can't use it...

Jon
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Old August 28th, 2007, 04:54 PM   #27
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I put a question into Pinnacle/Avid about the quad core support for it. It didn't give any more info in the system requirements for it, other than the dual core support.

I liked the idea of the 10K speed drive, as you said it should run the editing software faster??? I could scale down that drive. I just saw the bigger one was available... and we know what they say about size (and speed).

No offenses taken on the Pinnacle software. I've cussed it a more than a few times on projects. It does seem that Version 11 is more stable. I do a number of "on the fly" photo montages at events. Pinnacle allows me to put pictures on the timeline, add a soundtrack and then click "make movie." It makes all the transitions according to what style you select. It's kind of cool. I do a little tweaking with titles and transitions and it makes for a moving experience with the crowd when they see their faces on the presentation screen at the end of the day. I just wish it was all around more stable for project work. I think I'll look into Vegas or other professional software solutions. What ones out there do you like?

Thanks again for the help Jon!
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Old August 28th, 2007, 06:52 PM   #28
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Hey Jeff,

Yes, if you want your system drive to be a 10K drive, go for the 74Gb Western Digital Raptor. A few more bucks but you'll see the performance benefits. It's a little louder and runs hotter than most other drives, but it's a screamer and your overall computing experience will notice the difference. The Antec P182 case is really a solid quite case, so this should work just fine.

Regardless of what you do, you definately want to purchase a seperate drive to store all your data on which would be this 1TB Hitachi drive that should do the trick.

If you don't plan on doing a whole lot more with the software than you already do, you shouldn't have to "upgrade" to one of the big boys. I use Vegas and am still somewhat of a beginner at it but find it to be a REALLY good piece of software and I say, for the PC, it's probably the best option - yes better than Premiere CS3 -. Like I said, sounds like you are great where you are at and Studio is definately going to come through on automated type things like you mentioned with the pictures and text.

No problem for the help. SO glad there is something I feel I can bring to this great community here at DVInfo.net.

Jon
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Old August 28th, 2007, 07:54 PM   #29
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Jon,

I went through selecting those components at mwave.com. Do I need to add in the SATA cables and/or power cords as well? They ask that option when you select those components. And the power supply I listed is adequate? I remember reading somewhere how to calc that, but I don't remember where. I just took your recommendation.

I haven't ever put together a complete PC yet, but I think from your forum help and some other resources on the net I can do it. Hopefully, it will go smoothly. I found this link "Build your own" to be helpful: http://www.pcmech.com/build/

Is there alot to do on the config once you fire things up? I found one site saying most of it occurs automatically.

Thanks again for all the help,

Jeff
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Old August 28th, 2007, 10:24 PM   #30
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Jeff,

That looks like a pretty good resource and I'm here to help as well.

When you get all the stuff, I'll give you my number and we can chat on the phone on some of the basic things you'll want to do before you start. The power supply is perfectly fine and plenty of power for what I presume you are putting together. If you want me to review what you have, take a screen shot of your shopping cart and mwave and send it to me and I'll review it for some thoughts...

Jon
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