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Old March 8th, 2008, 07:47 PM   #1
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A little PC help :)

Ok so, I've done a lot of research here on DVInfo.net for the "ideal" hardware that a video editing system should have. However, most people's inquires are directed toward their needs and does not exactly help in my situation. Therefore, I am going to post yet another "what should my computer have" threads to add to the monotony although mine may deviate from the common narrative...

What I am looking to do is to build a computer that suits my current budget and that I can eventually add the parts needed to do what I want with video in the future. Currently, I am cameraless. But soon, I plan to edit film from a Canon XH A1 using Sony Vegas. I understand that unrendered film will require quite a bit of hard drive space. I had it in mind to have at least 1T of space. But for now, a single Western Digital 500GB SATA Hard Drive will provide me plenty of space for simple web browsing and essay typing.

My question is, what mother board, processor and power supply will support at least 2 or more WD 500GB hard drives and 2G of RAM that I will eventually purchase?
What I am hoping to aquire are simply the bare necessities...such as tower, power supply, processor, hard drive that has potential to perform the tasks that I will need once I am editing video.

Thanks!
-Terry.
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Old March 8th, 2008, 08:58 PM   #2
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Hmm and LOL, empower yourself dude...

That statement above may be considered as somewhat rude or brash, but seriously..

First, let your software/hardware be your guide. What does Vegas run best on? Have you gone to the Vegas forums on the Sony site if they have one? I am a Matrox user and if Sony is anything like Adobe or 99.9 percent of the software vendors, they will have system recommendations: both minimum and maximum. Where do you want to fall in that realm of either minimum or optimum spec's for the software. Where is your budget at to get you to the minimum's or maximums? What platform do they recommend as far as processors or it is optimized for? Is it a heavy gpu user or not really? I am not sure for Vegas because I don't use it, but I have and always will know for what I am using.. Why? Because "I" build my machines and want them to run well...

Before I built my first machine, I studied the site for a good couple months and did searches on the software and hardware vendors. By the time I had figured out my components, I knew the good and bad points of each component for myself. There was a specific reason why "I" had chosen what I had chosen. Not because someone had told me so. That way, when you both go to upgrade and if something goes wrong, you know what to do and will not be shocked and have to learn then. I actually and this is the truth haven't had a problem with a machine from the first to this one, with the exception of a setup I purchased because I was rushing and the salesperson was a cute girl. But even at that, I got it to work because it was based on a chipset that I had researched.

Its good and easy to give recommendations to someone, but from the broadness of your question and query, too many variables.. Also, when you give the person those recomendations, does the person even know what and why your recommending them to that person? Is the reciever of the info able to even say get in the bios of the motherboard and load windows, etc... It just goes on and on. What do you want to build your machine for? I mean, rendering speed? Encoding to SD, HD? And for motherboards, everyone has their preference of mfg.. Each motherboard vendor can have boards based on different chipsets to cater to a very specific crowd and cpu/gpu vendor(I had to use gpu because that is a factor these days)..

You mentioned 500GB Harddrive for essay typing and browsing.. You need to have a few drives when setting up an editing machine..

My suggestion: do some research not only on software, but hardware such as chipsets, ram mfg's, motherboard mfg's, etc. That way before you build something someone tells you to build(which realistically could be over your head), you will know what "you" need and are getting yourself into..

Just my .02 from someone like most here that have been where you are...
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Old March 9th, 2008, 01:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Lee View Post
Ok so, I've done a lot of research here on DVInfo.net for the "ideal" hardware that a video editing system should have. However, most people's inquires are directed toward their needs and does not exactly help in my situation. Therefore, I am going to post yet another "what should my computer have" threads to add to the monotony although mine may deviate from the common narrative...

What I am looking to do is to build a computer that suits my current budget and that I can eventually add the parts needed to do what I want with video in the future. Currently, I am cameraless. But soon, I plan to edit film from a Canon XH A1 using Sony Vegas. I understand that unrendered film will require quite a bit of hard drive space. I had it in mind to have at least 1T of space. But for now, a single Western Digital 500GB SATA Hard Drive will provide me plenty of space for simple web browsing and essay typing.

My question is, what mother board, processor and power supply will support at least 2 or more WD 500GB hard drives and 2G of RAM that I will eventually purchase?
What I am hoping to aquire are simply the bare necessities...such as tower, power supply, processor, hard drive that has potential to perform the tasks that I will need once I am editing video.

Thanks!
-Terry.
You didn't mention what your "current budget" is, so it is a bit difficult to make any recommendations based on it.

You'll want at least a dual core processor. There's quite a range to choose from. Most any motherboard that will support dual or quad core processors will support 2GB of memory and 2 SATA hard drives. A quality power supply can save you a lot of grief. Good brand names are Corsair and Seasonic, to name a couple that I prefer. You really need to look at the power requirements of your system to select an appropriate power supply.
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Old March 9th, 2008, 02:49 PM   #4
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My first home built computer went through about 5 hard drives and a motherboard in the first year. I could find no technical problems. although my voltages always checked within tolerance, the culprit was the power supply that came with the case. I bought a reliable power supply of the same power rating, and haven't had a problem since. In my opinion, make sure to buy a good reliable power supply, and get one a little bigger than you currently anticipate, you will probably add a few more hard drives later, and need more power :)
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Old March 9th, 2008, 06:36 PM   #5
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Gigabyte is making motherboards now with built in heat pipes and solid state capacitors. Usually what causes motherboard failure is heat related, or a blown out capacitor- so in theory these gigabyte boards should be fairly durable. You'll also want alot of FAST memory, and your processor should have a large cache. You should also include a power supply that will be up to the power demands of a multi-core processor, multiple cooling fans, and multiple hard drives.
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Old March 9th, 2008, 08:46 PM   #6
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I run Premiere Pro CS3. I run it on a machine built specifically for editing video, and little else. I built it with a GeForce6100SM-M motherboard, 4 gigs of PC6400 RAM, and a 3 ghz Athalon 64x2 processor. For sound, I use the plain-vanilla sound chipset built into the motherboard. Video is handled with an XFX PCI-Express 16X graphics card, chosen because it supports two monitors natively, so I can split my desktop across two 22" widescreen monitors. The only other card in the system is a plain-vanilla Firewire card (the motherboard didn't have a built-in Firewire port). The main hard drive is a 300-gig SATA drive, plus one dual-layer DVD write drive. Total cost for the system (monitors not included) was around $400 USD, but then I'm good at scrounging.

I used the least expensive case I could find, all metal, with a 380 watt power supply that cost $38 bucks. Some might thing this kinda wimpy, but I added up all the power requirements and came in at around 250 watts, so I'm running at only around 60% capacity. The case is HUGE compared to the motherboard, but that makes for good air circulation. Plus, it makes mounting all the stuff much easier when you have room to work. For grins, I added a couple of four-inch fans ($2 each from a surplus outlet) to pull air through the case.

Storage for work in progress is handled by external Firewire drives, usually 500 gig. So far, I've had multiple timelines open that ran over six hours each while I've whittled the documentary footage down to something reasonable, and had zero problems with Premier locking up or freezing. I suspect that's because I've been ruthless about NOT cluttering up the system with other software, drivers, and utilities. I used a Windows XP OEM disk to load the system, so you don't get all that other useless crap system manufacturers like to load onto their machines. As I said, this is an editing platform exclusively, with only other video-production-specific programs like Scenalyzer, CineScore, and Photoshop Elements loaded on it. I stayed with XP because I know it fairly well and heard too many horror stories about Vista.

Short end is, 64x2 motherboard and processor combos are cheap these days, 300 gig SATA drives are less than a quarter a gig, and as long as you don't start getting too close to the limit of the power supply, even cheap cases work well.

Hope that helps.

Martin
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Old March 12th, 2008, 11:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post
You didn't mention what your "current budget" is, so it is a bit difficult to make any recommendations based on it.

You'll want at least a dual core processor. There's quite a range to choose from. Most any motherboard that will support dual or quad core processors will support 2GB of memory and 2 SATA hard drives. A quality power supply can save you a lot of grief. Good brand names are Corsair and Seasonic, to name a couple that I prefer. You really need to look at the power requirements of your system to select an appropriate power supply.
Well in terms of budget, I had planned on constructing a computer that reaches around the $2300 range. Most of the expenses were dual 22" screens, 4 hard drives and expenses I felt necessary toward cooling the processor etc. But I thought that since I don't find it economically benificial to buy all of the parts at the moment, I could atleast buy what I thought were the bare mininum and then buy what is necessary to do film once I aquire a quality camera.

The information you provided was exactly what I had in mind to discuss. Thank you for your input it was well appreciated.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 11:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Catt View Post
I run Premiere Pro CS3. I run it on a machine built specifically for editing video, and little else. I built it with a GeForce6100SM-M motherboard, 4 gigs of PC6400 RAM, and a 3 ghz Athalon 64x2 processor. For sound, I use the plain-vanilla sound chipset built into the motherboard. Video is handled with an XFX PCI-Express 16X graphics card, chosen because it supports two monitors natively, so I can split my desktop across two 22" widescreen monitors. The only other card in the system is a plain-vanilla Firewire card (the motherboard didn't have a built-in Firewire port). The main hard drive is a 300-gig SATA drive, plus one dual-layer DVD write drive. Total cost for the system (monitors not included) was around $400 USD, but then I'm good at scrounging.

I used the least expensive case I could find, all metal, with a 380 watt power supply that cost $38 bucks. Some might thing this kinda wimpy, but I added up all the power requirements and came in at around 250 watts, so I'm running at only around 60% capacity. The case is HUGE compared to the motherboard, but that makes for good air circulation. Plus, it makes mounting all the stuff much easier when you have room to work. For grins, I added a couple of four-inch fans ($2 each from a surplus outlet) to pull air through the case.

Storage for work in progress is handled by external Firewire drives, usually 500 gig. So far, I've had multiple timelines open that ran over six hours each while I've whittled the documentary footage down to something reasonable, and had zero problems with Premier locking up or freezing. I suspect that's because I've been ruthless about NOT cluttering up the system with other software, drivers, and utilities. I used a Windows XP OEM disk to load the system, so you don't get all that other useless crap system manufacturers like to load onto their machines. As I said, this is an editing platform exclusively, with only other video-production-specific programs like Scenalyzer, CineScore, and Photoshop Elements loaded on it. I stayed with XP because I know it fairly well and heard too many horror stories about Vista.

Short end is, 64x2 motherboard and processor combos are cheap these days, 300 gig SATA drives are less than a quarter a gig, and as long as you don't start getting too close to the limit of the power supply, even cheap cases work well.

Hope that helps.

Martin
Martin, you've inspired me haha. I honestly don't need the top of the line or the most expensive equipment to accomplish what I am trying to do right now with film. I honestly just want a computer that I can edit all my footage with and not have any problems. What you've done sounds exactly like what I need to do in my senario. $400 bucks sounds GREAT compaired to my $2300 I estimated through Tiger Direct.

Thank you sir.
-Terry
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Old March 13th, 2008, 01:44 AM   #9
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Intell Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 Ghz CPU
4xGig ram
Gigabyte P35 s775 Dual PCIe x16 Motherboard
Gigabyte GF8600 512MB PCIE VGA
Hard drive you have
Antec Truepower Trio 650w Power Supply
Coolmaster Centurion 534 ATX case
Windows XP Pro Oem

This is what i have just up graded to and it seems really good with Vegas
Cheers
Simon
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Old March 13th, 2008, 04:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Terry Lee View Post
Well in terms of budget, I had planned on constructing a computer that reaches around the $2300 range. Most of the expenses were dual 22" screens, 4 hard drives and expenses I felt necessary toward cooling the processor etc. But I thought that since I don't find it economically benificial to buy all of the parts at the moment, I could atleast buy what I thought were the bare mininum and then buy what is necessary to do film once I aquire a quality camera.

The information you provided was exactly what I had in mind to discuss. Thank you for your input it was well appreciated.
Here's what I would suggest for CPU, motherboard and power supply:
CPU -
http://www.clubit.com/product_detail...emno=CA1938452
Motherboard -
http://www.clubit.com/product_detail...temno=A4841007
(use promo code WEB3311938452 to get a $20 discount on CPU/motherboard combo)
Power Supply -
http://www.clubit.com/product_detail...temno=A6200027
(rebate good if purchased by tomorrow)

Penny pinching options:
CPU -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103226
Motherboard -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813135075
(click on combo deals to get a $20 discount on CPU/motherboard combo)
(motherboard has reasonable performance on board graphics)
Power Supply -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139004

For 2GB of memory, I suggest this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820211066

Instead of a 500GB hard drive, you might consider this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822152100
(has 32MB cache, rather than 16MB or 8MB)
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Old March 13th, 2008, 04:36 PM   #11
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I like this for a good, yet economical case:

http://www.clubit.com/product_detail...C-pr1c3grabb3r

Cooler Master often runs a nice rebate deal on these (but not at the moment).

I just built a system in one of these last weekend. For the price, it's pretty tough to beat. It's well designed, reasonably good build, and includes three 120mm cooling fans.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 05:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Lee View Post
Martin, you've inspired me haha. I honestly don't need the top of the line or the most expensive equipment to accomplish what I am trying to do right now with film. I honestly just want a computer that I can edit all my footage with and not have any problems. What you've done sounds exactly like what I need to do in my senario. $400 bucks sounds GREAT compaired to my $2300 I estimated through Tiger Direct.

Thank you sir.
-Terry
It's a case of not being on the "bleeding edge" of technology. Honestly, I'd LOVE one of those dual quad-core Macs, but I do fine with the system listed above.

Performance is limited by other factors besides processor speed. When I put the system together, it had a 1.9ghz 64x2 processor, which I used to load the system and check out the rest of the hardware. About a month later, I got the 3ghz 64x2 processor. Before installing, I ran a render on an existing project with the slower processor. If memory serves, I think it ran about 2 minutes, 45 seconds to render. I installed the new processor and rendered the same project. Render time was about 2 min, 35 seconds, with a processor that should theoretically have done it in 33% less time. What this tells me is that time to buffer the files out to the hard drive is what slows the system down the most.

75% of editing is spent arranging stuff on the timeline and trimming clips to length. The only time things get really render-intensive is when I'm color-correcting, which is about the next to last thing I do in a project. By that time, I can use a little away time from the editing platform while it renders.

Martin
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Old March 13th, 2008, 07:59 PM   #13
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I assume you are editing SD Martin (you list an XL2 as your camera in your signature). You would see a much bigger performance difference in HD.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 04:29 PM   #14
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What this tells me is that time to buffer the files out to the hard drive is what slows the system down the most.
Hey Martain, excuse my minimal knowledge of the digital film process but does this sentence imply that you are taking video directly from your camera and rendering it to your hard drive? I am asking in curiosity of what the common method is. I understand that some people have the assets to buy a deck that allows them to incert the tape where I suppose the rendering process occurs. But in my current circumstances, if not buying a deck would suit my needs just fine, then thats the route for me.

Is render time to the hard drive normally the main issue when building a video editing computer? Or are there other things to be aware of?
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Old March 16th, 2008, 04:32 PM   #15
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Hey Robert, Thank you for your list.

What are the advantages of having a quad core intel processor VS. A quad core AMD? I know that in terms of performance, Intel has AMD beat. But is that the real reason for the huge price difference?

Again, thank you for your reply!
-Terry.
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