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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
Discussing the editing of all formats with Matrox, Pinnacle and more.

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Old April 4th, 2004, 04:48 PM   #1
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good editing computer

I am new and am sure this questions comes often. My computer is a P4 1.8ghz, one 80gig hd, 512 mb pc2100 ddr memory and 64mb nvidia geforce2 mx graphic card with Pinnacle Studio 7.15 installed. It seems that the speed to - make movie - with my current system is about 5 minutes or slower for for every one minute of finished product.

I am considering replacing the two 256mb memory cards with two 512mb cards, adding a second hd 120 gig model, a dvd/rw and a faster video card, maybe a geforce4 128mb card. I sure could use you guidance. I don't have a dv camcorder yet ( I've been shooting stills with a Canon 1D for the past year ) but probably will be buying a GL2 very soon - if not a GL2 then maybe a Panasonic dv953 or gs70 to get my feet wet with since they are both 3ccd models as well.

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Old April 5th, 2004, 09:55 AM   #2
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guess I found it

mid range

top dog

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Old April 5th, 2004, 10:18 AM   #3
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Hi James,

The dells are a good place to start, they offer very decent Pcs.

Are you still planning on using studio? Or looking in the future to upgrade to something else? you might want to take that into consideration.

Before buying check the recommended specs for your NLE from the manufacturers website before purchasing. You might find out that you could get away with less, or you might find out you will need more.

Do you have a budget in mind?


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Old April 5th, 2004, 10:45 AM   #4
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I'd like to stay under ...

$3000 but $1700 for a GL2 new after $250 rebate plus extra battery, maybe Vegas 4 NLE $200 and either upgrades to my P4 1.8ghz computer of 1gig ram, dvd burner, second hd and a better graphic card $400-$500 or a decently fast custom built pc


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Old April 5th, 2004, 11:14 AM   #5
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Man, a lot to cover.

Do you plan on sticking with Studio? If so, for a Studio 9 machine, you would want 1GB of memory, a Pentium 4 2.8 or better processor, and an ATI 9600 series graphics card (the SE is a little bit light, but will work - go for 128MB of video memory.) Throw as much hard drive at is as you can afford and get 2. One will be the OS drive and where S9 will run from, the other is for video and should be the biggest one. I would also get a Pioneer DVD burner, 107/A07. Do you plan on building it?

You will benefit from the new Prescott processor, so if you read that it is not an improvement, ignore it - S9 is faster with the new processor.

If you want to step up and stay with a Pinnacle product, look into Liquid Edition 5.5. You will hear that it has a 'steep' learning curve. Compared to any of the Studio products, all high-end products do. But, there are good tutorials, a good support forum, and some areas are now forming user groups. It has similar needs to what I listed, but will benefit from even stronger specs. I will list them if you have an interest.

Use before you buy from anyone online. There are some places with cheap prices that are not what they say they are.

There is one thing that would cause me to suggest another mfrg/model of camera. What do you plan on shooting? That may suggest another option, but the GL2 is a great choice if the light is good.
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Old April 5th, 2004, 12:15 PM   #6
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No - not stuck on PS9

and am leaning toward Vegas 4 instead of upgrading PS7 to PS9. I plan to shoot mostly outdoors events, marathons/etc and indoor high school sports. I read that the Sony vx2100 is better than the Canon but it is $500 more as well. I was told that the low light references were really talking about extreme low light situations versus typical high school gym lighting. Thanks.
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Old April 5th, 2004, 04:41 PM   #7
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Video RAM shouldn't really make much of a difference. Extra RAM is mainly used to store textures, which there aren't a lot of for video. Extra RAM comes in handy with games on their highest settings, but that's got nothing to do with video editing. Video card performance does nothing for Vegas unless you use Satish's wax plug-in.

Dells are a good deal on the low end, but at the high end they are a ripoff. At about $1500USD, you are better off getting someone to build it for you (i.e. ABS computers, monarch computers, local computer store, etc. [absolutely 0 experience with them]) or doing it yourself.

You should be fine with your current computer. CPU speed is the main factor in rendering time and 1.8ghz is not bad. You can get a few extra % performance if you have your RAM all the same model and in pairs to take advantage of dual channel. You could get a dual monitor setup if you want.
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Old April 5th, 2004, 07:26 PM   #8
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You can spend as much on computer hardware as you want. Very rarely is it money well spent. It is hard to say in advance what the limiting factors are or the things that bother you.

I would start by getting the camera [I think the VX2100 is worth the extra money - poor low light performance is really annoying.] Start using it and see how it goes. If you hard disk fills up quickly, then get another one. When your ready to burn DVDs get the DVD burner - good ones like the Sony are about $150 (internal) these days.

I don't think computer speed, memory, or video card will be a factor using the NLE system. It will speed up renders. They are slow even on fast machines. See how much it bothers you. I survived a long time by just taking a break during renders. You'll know when it is time to upgrade.

Spend your money of a good camera. Worry abou the computer later.
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Old April 6th, 2004, 07:41 AM   #9
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FYI Glenn - With Liquid Edition, 64MB is the minimum video memory required. 128MB allows Hollywood FX the ability to playback in real-time.

Kent, I agree with spending on the camera, but I spend more time in post than behind the lens. A faster computer means to me that I can continue to work on the project instead of stopping and starting while something renders. Next year, the bar will be even higher with HDV. At 19mbps+, it takes horsepower to move that kind of data.

But I should note that James' computer is beefer than mine. ;) I am working on the assumption that if you buy now, you want to try to keep it for 3 years.

James, I am not so sure you want to rule out the VX2100 then. I shoot in gyms and on football fields at night under the lights. Hopefully, you will more responses to your post in the GL2 section. I need to work on a filter for Mercury vapor lights now that I think about it (too blue).
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Old April 6th, 2004, 08:02 AM   #10
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I am now pretty solid ...

in my leaning towaqrd the VX2100 due to it low light abilities due to 1.3 sensors and its buiild quality and it better AF. $400 or $500 is worth my peace of mind knowing that my video will be in focus and of the highest image quality - bang for the buck.

Not sure if I should upgrade my computer of buy a custom built for $1300? configured with two hds and top video card.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 04:19 AM   #11
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Build your own computer - not difficult..

I built my vegas editing system, and it´s not that difficult, the plugs and wires and slots only fit in the correct places, and it will take you about 6 hrs to do the complete setup, you will save money, and in many "generic" computers there is something where they have saved money, which will be frustrating, when you notice...

Try this..
1. Get a nice computer case with a 400 watt power supply for a "ATX" form factor - physically you need "mid tower" for the disks and drives. All the power cables are included...

2. Buy a very good brand-name motherboard from Asus or Microstar or Gigabyte. Make sure the specs on the box says...
- On board firewire
- Onboard USB 2.0
- Ultra ATA 133 interface (not ATA 100...)
- Onboard lan
- Serial ata interface (SATA)
- 400 mhz dual channel DDR memory slots (critical)
- 8x AGP port (speed of processor to graphics card communication..critical)
Good motherboard is paramount as it will determine your maximum overall performace. All the cables are included in the box .. It needs to work with your....

3. Processor - we are using both P4 3.2 ghz and AMD 64 3200+,
and it seems that the AMD is faster, so I suggest a AMD 64 3200+ processor. The AMD also comes with a fan and heatsink, and very good instructions to attach it. w/o heatsink+fan your processor will burn in about 60 seconds...

4. RAM - get 1GB in 2x 512 MB configuration with maximum speed your motherboard allows (400Mhz DDR as above). You´re editing video and can not have enough fast RAM. You need two 512 MB, so the motherboard can read in dual channels....

5. Graphics card...
We are using the ATI Radeon 9800XT and it works fine, best but expensive is Matrox Parhelia 128... It needs to be DualHead, so you can have two screens... Check the box for "AGP 8x" or "AGP 4x" so you know the processor can get data to your graphics card fast....

6. Disks. You need three disks...
-System disk for windows and software - "ATA 133" 60 GB
-Media disks for your clips - suggested "S-ATA" 160 GB
-Export Disk - Suggested "S-ATA" 120 GB
This will speed up your renders - system reads video files from media disk and writes to export disk - maximum performance.

7. DVD/CD-drive
Get one of those 8x DVD writers, a NEC works for us

7. You are ready to build...
- Mount the processor with fan/heatsink on the motherboard and attach fan cable to motherboard.. follow the instructions included...
- Plug in the 2x 512 ram in the two slots suggested in the motherboard manual to make sure it uses "dual channel"
- mount the motherboard in the case and find the two power cables which power the board and processor. They are unique and only fit in one place..
- mount the three drives and DVD drive in your case and connect power cables and connect them to motherboard. Easy, cables only fit in one place, check the motherboard manual and connect...
+ System Drive as master on IDE bus 1
+ DVD-drive as master on second IDE master bus
* do not put DVD drive and system drive on same IDE bus *
+ Your two media disks on the S-ATA cables
- Plug your graphics card into the AGP slot (there is only one...)
- The power button on the case needs to be connected to the motherboard - check the manual for which two pins to connect them to. You may also want to connect the "power on" LED and "disk activity" led. Not difficult...
- Connect a monitor of your choice into graphics card...

Done. Power up, set date and time in BIOS, set DVD-drive as first boot device, system drive as second, Put windows CD in DVD-drive, reboot, and install windows. Great - you now have the perfect video editing computer!

Magnus Helander, Crossmediageek on G+
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Old April 8th, 2004, 05:24 AM   #12
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If you are considering building one yourself, one of the AnandTech regulars has made a photo guide for assembly.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 06:13 AM   #13
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I'm still unsure but ...

I think I will simply get a dvd burner and an external fireqwire hard drive for my current computer, a Sony VX2100 and Vegas 4.0.
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Old April 16th, 2004, 05:59 PM   #14
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Has anyone made a comparison of the AMD 64 bit processor versus a Pentium 4 HT 3.2 or higher for NLE?
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Old April 16th, 2004, 07:39 PM   #15
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Here's what I have and would go with:

3.2 GHz P4 800 FSB HT overclocked to 3.6 GHz
2 200 GB SATA RAID-0 HDs
1 250 GB external firewrie HD (I call this the MOAD, or the mother of all disk drives)
GeForce4 Ti4600 Graphics
Sony DVD +- R burner
SB Audigy2 Platinum
Vegas 4.0

You might not believe this:

Canopus Procoder, in MASTERING mode, 2-pass VBR, encodes 24p in 1/2 realtime. An hour worth of content of DD 2.0 encoding takes 9 minutes.
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