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Old September 16th, 2003, 01:54 PM   #1
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Where to now?

Hi all,

The problem with not constantly upgrading one's PC is that eventually it catches up with you....like now. I recently bought a Sony DRU-510A along with a 180gig drive. The BIOS does not recognise the drive size and only sees 131 of the 180gig. The second issue is that when attempting to encode a DVD it takes forever (12 hours for 54min movie). Rendering also has become tedious. When checking the performance of the processor it is maxed out all the time whilst the Ram runs at about 60%.

Going through all this begs the question, is it time to upgrade. Most will probably say yes without hesitation. The problem is that my PC is more than adequate for most my needs (work related large spreadsheets and .doc files). I will probably produce a max of three 1 hour video's a year.

Today I looked at a couple of options but can't help feeling that these may well be an overkill for my requirements both in terms of power and price. Having said which one needs to balance this with the fact that unless one buys at the leading edge it merely brings closer the time to next upgrade.

The other problem is that I do not remain technically up to date on all the new software / hardware / options and gizmo's.

I am curious what you guys, who do this more professionally and frequently than I would do in this situation.

Current System
ASUS P3V4X, 733MHz processor and 512M Ram
20Gig, and 2X40Gig WD Drives (with a new Deskstar 180gig)
Samsung CD Writer
Sony DRU-510A DVD Writer
Altec Lansing Speaker System
Soundblaster Live Player
DVRaptor
G4 Ti 4200 64Meg Video Card
ISDN Internal Modum
Ethernet Card
300W ATX Case

Windows 2000 Professional
Office 2000
DvRaptor
Premiere 6.0 (trying out the LSX-MPEG encoder plugin)
MyDVD
WinDVD (trial version, testing out the options)

I was looking at the ASUS P4T533 with a 3Gig processor and 1 Gig of Ram but this all sounds a little too much. What would be reasonable?

Can I keep my SB or should I use the onboard sound chip with its's Dolby 5.1?

Do I keep my DVRaptor or do I buy a cheaper capture card and go the software route?

The questions don't stop....


Thanks for the help.
Cheers
Andrew

PS: I never play PC games.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 03:00 PM   #2
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Most drives over 137GB come with an ATA controller card which can see more than 137GB. Some motherboards will have a BIOS update to let them see more than 137GB.

Encoding with good quality usually takes a long time. Some encoders are faster/higher quality than others. I suggest trying TMPGENC to see if it is better. It can be set to encode with constant bit rate, which is fast and good enough quality if your video is small (like 1 hour or less). There's a demo for it so try it out.

Upgrading your computer seems like overkill for you considering you only do a few videos a year.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 07:26 PM   #3
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Re: Where to now?

<<<-- Originally posted by Andrew Leigh : Hi all,

The problem with not constantly upgrading one's PC is that eventually it catches up with you....like now. I recently bought a Sony DRU-510A along with a 180gig drive. The BIOS does not recognise the drive size and only sees 131 of the 180gig.
-----------------------
A $40 drive controller card will take care of that little problem if Asus doesn't have a new driver that will upgrade your motherboard.
------------------------

The second issue is that when attempting to encode a DVD it takes forever (12 hours for 54min movie). Rendering also has become tedious. When checking the performance of the processor it is maxed out all the time whilst the Ram runs at about 60%.

I use ProCoderLE that came with Edius. It will do a one-hour movie in about 4 hours on max quality. This on either a P4 1.5 gig system or a dual PIII-850 system. Let it work overnight.

Going through all this begs the question, is it time to upgrade. Most will probably say yes without hesitation. The problem is that my PC is more than adequate for most my needs (work related large spreadsheets and .doc files). I will probably produce a max of three 1 hour video's a year.
----------------------
Don't change just for that.
-----------------------
Today I looked at a couple of options but can't help feeling that these may well be an overkill for my requirements both in terms of power and price. Having said which one needs to balance this with the fact that unless one buys at the leading edge it merely brings closer the time to next upgrade.
------------------------
I never buy on the leading edge for editing systems. Too many problems and way too high a cost.
----------------------------

The other problem is that I do not remain technically up to date on all the new software / hardware / options and gizmo's.

I am curious what you guys, who do this more professionally and frequently than I would do in this situation.

Current System
ASUS P3V4X, 733MHz processor and 512M Ram
20Gig, and 2X40Gig WD Drives (with a new Deskstar 180gig)
Samsung CD Writer
Sony DRU-510A DVD Writer
Altec Lansing Speaker System
Soundblaster Live Player
DVRaptor
G4 Ti 4200 64Meg Video Card
ISDN Internal Modum
Ethernet Card
300W ATX Case

Windows 2000 Professional
Office 2000
DvRaptor
Premiere 6.0 (trying out the LSX-MPEG encoder plugin)
MyDVD
WinDVD (trial version, testing out the options)

I was looking at the ASUS P4T533 with a 3Gig processor and 1 Gig of Ram but this all sounds a little too much. What would be reasonable?
----------------------------
I'd not buy the 3 gig proc. The 2.4 gig is so much more reasonable. 1 gig of ram is a wee bit of overkill but it is what I run since I run 2-3 programs at a time when editing.
--------------------------
Can I keep my SB or should I use the onboard sound chip with its's Dolby 5.1?
-----------------------------
You have to have 6 speakers to run 5.1 so that's an additional cost. 5.1 won't let you edit sound any better. In fact it will be worse. The SB is a bit noisy but if it works, why change.
--------------------------
Do I keep my DVRaptor or do I buy a cheaper capture card and go the software route?
-----------------------
Why dump the Raptor? It works, RaptorEdit is fast and the codec is very clean. You can use Premiere for pretty if you need to.

I'd just gently lift up the existing motherboard and slide in the mobo, processor and memory, leaving everything else the same. The OS will not know you've changed anything from an installed software point of view so you don't need to do anything to be back up and running from that standpoint.

This is exactly what I'm doing to my main editing computer right now. Asus P4G800E-Deluxe, P4 2.4 gig, 1 gig of matched memory and it's all going to slide into my large server cabinet with its 11 drives, DVRexRT, Radion 9600 pro (had to be new because my old xPlode card won't work on the new mobo). After everything is operating under the existing Win2000Pro OS, I'll upgrade the OS to XPPro because the Canopus Edius software isn't supported except under XP.
-------------------------------

Now for another thought.
With the money you are spending, a little bit more would get you a dedicated editing computer that wouldn't be dragged down by all the other stuff one normally places on a single computer.

You could keep it off the Internet and free from any possible virus problems with just a little bit of care.

One small drive for your system drive would cost about $50, a new chassis can be had for under $50 and a $30 display card would work very well. You will probably need a new display card for your new mobo anyway as the newer AGP slots won't support the AGP 1 cards. Check before you buy.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 10:00 PM   #4
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Dont feel bad---I just encoded a one hour DVD in black and white--20 hour render using the Mainconcept Codec out of Vegas-Unless you purchase some hardware add on that will encode to MPEG2, then expect long encodes---The faster you computer the faster your encodes--but they will still take time.
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Old September 17th, 2003, 03:17 AM   #5
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Hi guys,

This is the kind of advice I have come to expect from this forum.

Think I will upgrade but on a much reduced scale as advised. I encoded last night whilst asleep and burnt the DVD early this am. Took about 1.5 hours to burn.

The main reason for the upgrade would be to enable me to do other work while encoding or writing to DVD. At present when encoding or writing I am unable to do a thing as the machine just sucks up all the resources and freezes until the task is complete.

Thank you very much for the advice.

Cheers
Andrew

PS: Is it advisable to work when writing or encoding.
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Old September 17th, 2003, 03:42 AM   #6
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Working while editing

Working while encoding - yes.

Working while writing to DVD - definite no-no.

Regards,

Julian
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Old September 17th, 2003, 12:06 PM   #7
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What about a processor upgrade? Check out this link:

http://www.powerleap.com/Products/iP3T.htm

I've been thinking about upgrading my machines, since the fastest PC I've got is a Duron 900. I do lots of wedding/special event type stuff on the side, and the slow encoding times are a killer. For most projects, I encode right out of Premiere to MPEG-2; it takes about 2-3 minutes for every minute of video (unless special effects arte involved, then it take a lot longer). Sometimes I'll output a working file so I can import into AE, or apply some other special effects, then encode in TMPGEnc. I get very good results this way, but encoding times TMPGEnc are horrible. I've got several PC's that I've set up as a render farm for AE, and that helps some, but I need to upgrade. Anyway, hope this helps.

Cheers,
Mark
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Old September 17th, 2003, 03:04 PM   #8
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2-3 minutes per minute of AVI isn't bad performance for conversion to mpeg2. I spend about 4 min per min for best quality, single pass using ProCoderLE. Incredibly clean DVD output. I just did a 1.5 hour encoding at best quality and it took a little over 7 hours. At night when I was NOT there.

I expect my new 2.4 gig HT processor with the very fast FSB to at least halve the times.

Not certain if there is anyway to substantially increase speeds except go to hardware encoding. For a Canopus system, that is either $800 for the DVRexRT or what, $1200 for a Storm system with the built-on hardware encoder.

Guess I'll let the systems think overnight for a while longer.

Burning takes me 15 minutes per hour of video. Not too bad.
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Old September 17th, 2003, 04:11 PM   #9
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Right now, I cant afford to go the hardware route. I recently bought a new GL2, so all the money I make on videos goes right into paying that off. From what I've read, software encodes can give superior results to hardware, because it can spend more time do motion searches. When I encode with Premiere, I usually use the DVD preset HIGH (when I can get away with it because of size) and it gives good results. When I really want outstanding quality, I use TMPGEnc and set Motion Search Precision to 10 bits and give it a very high bitrate ~8mb/sec. Takes forever, but really really good quality. I just finished a 54 minute wedding DVD, took about 19 hours to encode. This particular wedding I ran through AE because the bride wanted it to look like it was shot on film. What the heck, that's another $200 please! Ya gotta love Cinelook. Anyway, I had to output the resulting file as Hufyuv avi, and I processed it with TMPGenc. The result looks really good, but OMG the total processing took 4 days! When I finish paying off this cam, It's time for a hardware upgrade, I think.

Cheers,
Mark
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Old September 18th, 2003, 12:46 AM   #10
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Hello Mike,

what motherboard are you going to fit your 2,4 processor to?

Cheers
Andrew
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Old September 18th, 2003, 09:53 AM   #11
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Asus P4C800-E Deluxe. About $185 at the local discount store. Nice board. 800 Mhz FSB, on-board Intel gigabit LAN, 6.1 Audio (although I won't use it) Hardware RAID on Serial ATA & 133 Mhz EIDE or a separate set of non-RAID ports. 2X Firewire, 6X USB 2.0. Supposedly ready for the next generation of Intel processors.

Reportedly the fastest single P4 card available right now.


Hopefully tonight.
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Old September 20th, 2003, 12:09 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info Mike,


a shopping we will go...a shopping we will go la la la la.....


Cheers
Andrew
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Old September 20th, 2003, 05:22 AM   #13
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Okay I'm going to break out the price list from newegg.com (not promoting, but they seriously do have the best prices around):



Entry level system:

Motherboard - ASUS Motherboard P4P800 Deluxe -
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=13-131-450&depa=1
Price: $133.00
Newegg.com Part # N82E16813131450

Processor - Intel Pentium 4 / 2.4CGHz
512k cache HT Technology 800 MHz FSB
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=19-116-157&depa=1
Price: $171.00
Newegg.com Part # N82E16819116157

Memory: - 512mb of CORSAIR MEMORY XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series
512MB PC-3200C2 With Heat Spreader
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=20-145-416&depa=1
Price $ 123.50
Newegg.com Part # N82E16820145416

Total: $ 427.50 + shipping + tax (only CA)

This is for someone on a budget, the price can still go down. Cut the dual channel memory (helps with rendering a lot) and maybe not pick the 800mhz fsb on the processor, but i wouldn't recommend it if your going to upgrade your system. Get something thats worth the money, don't cut corners.



Middle level system:

Motherboard - ASUS Motherboard P4C800 DELUXE Retail -
800Mhz FSB
Price: $178.99
Newegg.com Part # N82E16813131449

Processor - Intel Pentium 4 / 2.8CGHz 512k socket 478 Hyper Threading Technology 800 MHz FSB - RETAIL
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=19-116-161&depa=1
Price: $265.00
Newegg.com Part # N82E16819116161

Memory - 1 GB of CORSAIR MEMORY XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series
(Twin Pack) 1GB Dual Channel (2 x 512MB)
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=20-145-449&depa=1
Price: $245.00
Newegg.com Part # N82E16820145449

Total: $688.99

This system would be for a new computer, not a small upgrade. This could last someone a good couple years. The motherboard is equipped with a gigabit network card (operates at 1000 gigabites per sec) which is extremely helpful when transfering video or rendered clips. 1 GB of memory is really nice, rendering time is less and you can still operate the computer.



High end level system:

Motherboard - ASUS Motherboard P4C800-E DELUXE Retail
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=13-131-464&depa=1
Price: $ 191.99
Newegg.com Part # N82E16813131464

Processor - Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz 512k 800MHz FSB HT Technology
Price: $ 619.00
Newegg.com Part # N82E16819116164

Memory - 3 GB of CORSAIR MEMORY XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series
Low Latency (Twin Pack) 1GB Dual Channel ( 2 x 512mb )
http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=20-145-435&depa=1
Price: $ 293.50 x 3
Newegg.com Part # N82E16820145435

Total: $ 1691.49

This is for the professional with deeeeeeeep pockets. This system is basically, a dream. 3 GB of dual channel memory, the 875P chipset from intel, 3.2 HT processor, and a gigabit network. This is top notch, I am the best, money is no problem type system. Have fun with this baby.



This is just to give people a little more detail on the computer market now. You can go from dirt cheap to highly expensive. These systems I've quoted all run with Intel Pentium 4's due to the heat issue with AMD XP processors. Pentium 4's just run cooler so therefore less wear and tear on the processor itself. AMD is cheaper, but Intel is always trust worthy. I always boils down to how much money you have and what you want the computer to do for you.


-Kay
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Old September 20th, 2003, 01:29 PM   #14
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Here's a guide for swapping your motherboard out without a re-install.
http://<br /> http://arstechnica.in...0925745 <br />

2- You need pairs of RAM to take advantage of DDR memory. You can get something like
KINGSTON HyperX Series 184-pin 512MB Kit (2x 256MB) DDR333 (PC2700) DDR RAM modules, Model# KHX2700K2/512
$116.00
http://secure.newegg.com/app/CustratingReview.asp?item=20-144-104 has some short reviews of it. It should be compatible with your motherboard.

If you may want to overclock then you could get some better RAM. Kingston usually has the best value in RAM. If you want extreme overclocking then you will have to go with more expensive brands like OCZ. Look for the high PCXXXX numbers and the more expensive types from each manufacturer (i.e. for kingston it's hyperX versus normal).
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Old September 20th, 2003, 02:08 PM   #15
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I wouldn't touch any of the motherboards that have the 3COM LAN. It is a real resource sucker.

That's why they brought out the P4C800-E Deluxe. Has a better Intel chipset and the Intel LAN.

For the small difference, I'd leave the others on the shelf. Note that Asus has a qualified list of memory modules by model number. Many are matched sets which I think are somewhat important on these faster motherboards.
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