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Old May 2nd, 2004, 08:27 AM   #1
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Hardware Advice on new editing PC

It's nearing time to retire my 2-year old P4-1.8 system to general/web duties and have a new system built. I'd appreciate input from hardware junkies on my parts selection to date:

Mobo: Asus P4P800 deluxe 865pe
RAM: 1 gig (2X512) DDR400 PC3200
PROC: Intel P4-3.2 GB
HDD: 2 X SATA 120 GB 8MB cache (Maxtor - have 4 of their drives problem-free for years)
Vid Card: Asus ATI Radeon 9600 SE 128 MB (same as upgrade in current editing PC)
DVD Burner: Sony DWU14A or LiteON ldw811s (Have Pioneer 103 now)

Any comments/suggestions welcome. I'll be running XPPro on this box and staying with win2kpro on the old one - firewire networked as now, one 120 GB LaCie external f/w HDD. Not sure whether to move my old Canopus DV Raptor card to new system or go firewire. I'm not ready to drop CDN$2000 on a Storm2 or Matrox card.

David Hurdon
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 12:10 PM   #2
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Well, the parts you've chosen are top notch. So, you'll be using an old Win2k machine eh? Well, why not move your Canopus to the new PC? I don't see a reason why you shouldn't unless you're editing on both and using different software =P. But yeah, nice job and enjoy the new comp! =D

Trust me, I know my stuff. ;)
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 04:04 PM   #3
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Thanks, Jack for the confidence boost. I note you have the Audigy2 Platinum (I can't see your post now to confirm the Platinum), the first version of which I put in the system I'm retiring. I love the front panel access and various of its features but I wonder if I need to go that far with the new system. What does it do for you that paraticularly makes it an editing helper?

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Old May 2nd, 2004, 04:32 PM   #4
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I'd avoid the Audigy2 Platinum if you're looking for good sound quality. The M-Audio Revolution or 2496 would likely be better choices. M-audio actually posts specs for both inputs and outputs (albiet with some fudging).
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 06:12 PM   #5
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Ummm, well, actually, M-Audio is just about as good as Audigy cards AFAIK. But the Audigy Live Drive helps me to make my own music for my movies easier. Midi in/out ports on the front make things much easier. But if that isn't something you want to do then by all means, get a good M-audio solution. But be warned, the M-audio cards aren't really meant for games or DVD watching, they use RCA inputs and outputs instead of regular headphone-type jacks on regular soundcards, so you'd have to get RCA speakers (like Edirol speakers or some others that you can find at Good Guys). So that would actually be more of the Midi music creation-based card, but I like the Audigy 2 anyway because the sound difference is minimal between the M-audio. So it really depends on you and what you want to do.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 09:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
But be warned, the M-audio cards aren't really meant for games or DVD watching, they use RCA inputs and outputs instead of regular headphone-type jacks on regular soundcards, so you'd have to get RCA speakers (like Edirol speakers or some others that you can find at Good Guys).
The M-audio Revolution uses 1/8" / 3.5mm / minijack output. The 2496 uses RCA jacks.

Unfortunately I don't own that card so I don't have experience comparing that and the SB audigy. The Audigy 2 ZS Platinum's input is not that great. With the 1/4" input (front panel) with nothing plugged in, noise peaks at about -78dB. At the top end some sort of automatic limiter kicks in (presumably it starts at -12dbfs). I didn't test the other inputs (the 1/4" connector is the best physically, so I went with that).

I don't know about frequency response or distortion.

M-audio actually publishes specs for the inputs (although I think they're missing useful distortion figures). They're probably fudging something but it seems like it should have a cleaner input.
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 10:24 AM   #7
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Why the P rather than C motherboard?

There are reported problems with the VIA chipset (Via seem to have more than their share of problems in NLE applications.)

The C board uses the 875 controller with the Intel LAN and Promise RAID controllers. Seems that they demand less CPU services than the P-card's setup. See this thread http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=25393

The American Megatrends chipset on the C board is definitely NLE friendly.
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 10:50 AM   #8
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Thanks, Mike. I wasn't aware that the "P" series used the VIA chipset and have seen enough problem posts myself to want to avoid it. I note that the "C" board also has gigbit LAN on board. Should that make me consider scrapping my firewire network?

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Old May 3rd, 2004, 01:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Why the P rather than C motherboard?

There are reported problems with the VIA chipset (Via seem to have more than their share of problems in NLE applications.)

The C board uses the 875 controller with the Intel LAN and Promise RAID controllers. Seems that they demand less CPU services than the P-card's setup. See this thread http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthre...;threadid=25393
The RAID controller on the P board uses a VIA chipset (the motherboard doesn't). According to hardocp CPU utilization is very very high (40%+) with the VIA controller so just don't use that RAID (there's still the ICH5 RAID controller built into the Intel 865PE chipset... so you can still use RAID).

The 865 board should be cheaper. It performs the same if you enable memory acceleration mode (this enables quasi-PAT). PAT doesn't actually make a measurable performance difference with Vegas 4 though.

The "P" board also has gigabit LAN, although it might use a little more CPU when transferring files.
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 03:56 PM   #10
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I think a 'little' bit more is too much if you want the LAN to operate when editing. At least when editing with a RT system.

That's why I selected the P4C800-E board with the Intel LAN (which more or less runs itself) and the 875 chipset. It seems to be the board of choice for many Canopus RT users including those who do use the hardware RAID controller.

Don't know about the P board and non-RT use though.
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 06:58 PM   #11
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Ahh, yes, Mike, that is true. I can't believe I forgot! =D Yes, the 875P chipset is the best and most stable chipset to use for video editing (and everything else too). So, David, even if it costs you $50 extra, get an 875P chipset mobo. =)
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