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Old July 31st, 2008, 12:50 PM   #1
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PC based edit system for HV30?

I have decided to buy the HV30 next week for production of web videos. I would like to get some edit hardware and software reccos, please.

I have a 4 year old Celeron-D based system with an obsolete video card and 1.5 gigs of RAM. I realize this is not enough, but hope that I won't need a new computer to edit with.

If I do need one, so be it, but if there is a consensus that some well-placed upgrades will work for lo/no graphics editing, so much the better. But if I am way below what's needed, please tell me what I might need to buy.

I would also like to hear from anyone who loves or hates their NLE for HDV work and any reccomendations.

Thanks so much!
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Old July 31st, 2008, 02:24 PM   #2
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I think you can do it. Just be prepared for some long render times.

Since you know your video card is a weak spot, that would be a good place to upgrade.

I have a 5-year old P4 desktop with 2GB RAM. I upgraded the video card to a pretty decent QuadroFX (purchased used!) and now it edits HDV fine. Really, the only issue is the render time.
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Last edited by C.S. Michael; July 31st, 2008 at 10:47 PM.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 03:46 PM   #3
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Thanks, C.S. that's great news. I've been told that the type of card I get will depend on the brand of NLE I choose.

Any reccomendations?
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Old July 31st, 2008, 04:25 PM   #4
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Hi Rob,

Your system will be a little underpowered to handle HDV but it could work. Really anything that will run your editing app will work but it's really a matter of how much patients you have. As for upgrades for rendering the biggest improvement you'll see will be from added memory. You're probably running Windows XP so as long as you have the latest service pack you should be able to get 4 GB on there. I don't know your MOBO so I can't say for sure that it will support this but get as much RAM as you can.

Also, you could benefit from having a separate hard drive for your editing. This will help a little as there will be a lot of disc swapping going on. The graphics card isn't that important as long as you don't run multiple large monitors. at 4 years old you'll be limited because your probably looking at an AGP card. That will cost you a little more.

Honestly, at the price of machines now it may be more cost effective to go out and buy a new machine. At a mininum you're probably looking at $100 for the video card, $150 for memory, and another $90 or so for a hard drive. That's already half way to a decent machine that you'll see a lot of improvement from.

For editing I use, and do like, Sony Vegas 8. I use Cineform to convert to their intermediate codec which helps with both efficiency of editing and retaining picture quality when applying multiple filters. Cineform and Vegas provide a great workflow for me. If you're going to be doing a lot of editing I'd recommend dual screens also. I use to be an Adobe user but switched after getting to know Vegas.

To give you an idea of the times involved in rendering HDV to SD MPEG2, my old machine is a P4 with 2 GB RAM, a RAID 0 editing (scratch) drive. I was overclocking the CPU up to 3.7Ghz. I had a 2 h 15m video that I was working on. It had a lot of transitions, color correction and various other filters. It took over 4 days to render. I just built a speed demon based off of the Q9450 CPU and I can render the same project in just under 3 1/2 hours.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 04:34 PM   #5
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Take care on the video card as a solution. A lot of people think the video card is primarily used in rendering video. Not all editing programs use video card resources. Back a year or so ago when I was researching, Premiere was supposed to, while Vegas did not. Vegas has since been upgraded to Vegas 8, but I haven't followed what is actually be utilized in rendering. I am running an AMD 3800+ Dual core processor MB combo, with 2 gigs memory, and rendering in either Premiere or Vegas works well, with this now bottom end dual core set up.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 04:45 PM   #6
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Chris is correct about the marginal benefits of a fast video card. to keep cost down just get enough card to run the size/resolution of your monitor(s). BTW Vegas does all rendering and processing of previous via your CPU so a super fast video card for Vegas will only get your machine warmer and your pocket book thinner.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 04:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
Chris is correct about the marginal benefits of a fast video card. to keep cost down just get enough card to run the size/resolution of your monitor(s). BTW Vegas does all rendering and processing of previous via your CPU so a super fast video card for Vegas will only get your machine warmer and your pocket book thinner.
That should have been "processing of previews via".

Stupid fingers.....
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Old July 31st, 2008, 10:53 PM   #8
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Yeah, I upgraded my card to the QuadroFX back when I was using Premiere. I have since switched to Vegas so I'm not getting any render benefit from the card.

I agree that extra hard drives are important. Ideally you should have three.

I also agree that with the current price of desktops, it doesn't make sense to dump a lot of money into an older system. You can get a QuadCore with 4GB RAM for less than $600.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 11:43 AM   #9
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try to download trial version software of Sony Vegas - test it - it could run in real time. It is amazin software.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 12:09 PM   #10
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Thanks to everyone who took the time to help me with this decision. I am looking at HP/Compaq machines, which have worked well for me so far.

Is there any current reason to go for a quad-core machine over a dual core? Can Sony Vegas use all that extra speed and power now or is it more of an anti-obsolescence investment?

Also, I've been told to try to use XP-Pro over Vista. What is your experience?
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Old August 1st, 2008, 01:28 PM   #11
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For the price of quad cores now I'd go with those. Yes, Vegas can use all 4 cores which helps when rendering. If you are not familiar with Vista and all of its quirks then stick with XP. I use Vista and have no problems with my editing software.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 03:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
Chris is correct about the marginal benefits of a fast video card. to keep cost down just get enough card to run the size/resolution of your monitor(s). BTW Vegas does all rendering and processing of previous via your CPU so a super fast video card for Vegas will only get your machine warmer and your pocket book thinner.
There probably is one nice benefit of a better video card. Viewing videos of various resolutions and formats.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 04:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Lindsay View Post
Thanks to everyone who took the time to help me with this decision. I am looking at HP/Compaq machines, which have worked well for me so far.

Is there any current reason to go for a quad-core machine over a dual core? Can Sony Vegas use all that extra speed and power now or is it more of an anti-obsolescence investment?

Also, I've been told to try to use XP-Pro over Vista. What is your experience?
My render time was cut considerably going from dual core to quad core. It's all a matter of how much time you can put up with for rendering. I use to plan a render job for when I went to bed.

I also was forced into Vista, which I still don't like as much as XP Pro, but I have managed to get my Pinnacle Studio 11 & now 12 working OK & I'm living with it. I just didn't want to go through the hassle of taking a brand new machine and trying to find XP drivers and rebuilding it. If it ever starts to choke, I will probably try and rebuild it to XP Pro though.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 01:50 AM   #14
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I agree that there is a minimum video card you should have. I was thinking more along the lines of getting something that a gamer would use. For $110 now you can get a 9600 GT OC with 512MB. That's of course a PCI-E card. If you need to stick with an AGP you're not going to get nearly as good a card.

By a super fast card I was thinking of a pair of 9800GTX's or a GTX280. Not that's an overkill for just video editing.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 10:47 AM   #15
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I made a chenge recently from dual core to quad (Q9450 at 3200) and there is tremendous difference; I can render one hour of multitrack video to mpeg2 in 19 minutes.
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