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Old October 24th, 2004, 08:03 PM   #1
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Upgrading my NLE... so whatta' ya' think?

Hey guys... this will be my first post in this part of DVinfo, but I'd sure love to hear some input! Especially from you guys with a pretty high-end rig.

Let me preface this: I'm not interested in overclocking, even if you have great success at it I don't find the risk/benefit ratio to be worth it. You can get a 3 gig processor for $200 now so I figure that'll do it. I'm also not interested in going MAC at this time. I've had a MAC before and I think they are EXCELLENT, but I just have too much in Premiere and Vegas... plus my upgrade is only a 50% move that will get me what seems like a whole new computer.

Okay so I have a clean Asus board with no audio/video/lan... I actually paid MORE for a bare board to avoid any issues. That worked for a LONG time. 2 years of editing success and bliss with a 2 gig P4 and 512MB of Rambus. I honestly thought I'd never upgrade this system. Well recently it's developed a bizarre behavior... In fact, I'm going to post this in bites and edit it to add so that I don't get dumped off and have to retype EVERYTHING. I did some research and it seems that Asus has a utility called COP which monitors the board and if it thinks something's wrong it will SUDDENLY shut everything down... I mean BAM! OFF. The only problem with THAT is when THAT goes bad you are officially "F"-ed.

For the last 3 weeks I've been "F"-ed. I put in new hard-drives, new power-supply, new processor, new memory, and upgraded from a really happy relationship with win2Kpro to XP... Suddenly yesterday morning the BAM! OFF struck again and I FINALLY figured out that it's this damn Asus utility!
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Old October 24th, 2004, 08:56 PM   #2
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Quote:
Okay so I have a clean Asus board with no audio/video/lan...
Video, audio, and LAN can all be disabled if you wish to avoid IRQ conflicts. You only need to worry about IRQ conflicts if you are getting problems with the hardware acceleration cards for Premiere Pro (or for sound cards).

1- It sounds like a hardware problem. If you replace a lot of the hardware in your computer you're likely to get your problem fixed. However, it's expensive and you have to replace:
power supply -$42 sparkle 350W
motherboard -$115 or less (asus p4p800 deluxe)
RAM (motherboards nowadays don't use RAMBUS)- $79X2 for 2X512MB
processor - $189 for prescott-core Pentium 3.0ghz

hard drive, CD/DVD drives, case don't need replacing. The case must fit ATX/normal/not microATX motherboards. The video card shouldn't need replacing.

2- Your problem with your computer shutting off:
There are various ways to go about troubleshooting your problem. One way is to use a free tech support site called protonic.com (I volunteer there).
http://www.protonic.com
Sign up, put in your machine specs, and post a ticket.

An alternative is to troubleshoot it here where lots of people will chip in and you'll faster responses.

3- Not sure what exact motherboard you have, but:
A- Your processor itself has an auto-shutoff feature to protect it from overheating. If you do not have your heatsink installed correctly, it will overheat and turn itself off.
B- Your motherboard may have another auto-shutoff feature that does that too.
C- Your motherboard also probably has a thermal throttling feature, which throttles the CPU back to half clock speed when it hits a certain threshold. By default, i don't think this is enabled.
D- Your motherboard also has a temperature/voltage/motherboard health monitoring utility, which can send a shutdown signal to your OS when the motherboard sensors detect something wrong. It's like going to start --> shut down.

If you still get your problem, check to see which of those things above may be happening.

I think COP only applies to AMD processors (which do not have auto-shutoff unless it's an AMD64 processor). You need the motherboard to shutoff the whole system since the CPU doesn't protect itself.

4- Your computer just shuts itself off and doesn't reboot right?

If so, does it shut off faster when you stress it? (i.e. render something, or play a modern 3d game)
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Old October 26th, 2004, 06:27 AM   #3
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Thanks for the input Glenn. Funny thing is my previous post was a lot longer but IT HAPPENED WHILE I WAS ADDING TO IT!

My current board is an Asus p4t-e and I've built 4 computers now and 3 of 'em with Asus. NO MORE ASUS! EVER! I've had weird problems with 2 of the 4 computers I've built and occasional freakiness with the other Asus. For years I've loved 'em for their features and performance and I just kept assuming it was the Athlon in the two previous Asus systems.

I'm no computer genius, but as I said I've done 4 systems now. I'm the guy everybody I know calls when they have a computer problem... so it's not the fan or IRQ issues. All that stuff is "baby-poop" as far as my experience goes. It's been funny... with the problems I've had there are several local "pros" who have wanted to help me out on this. (Including computer techs at Washinton University... presidential debates, National Geographic, etc... in another words a good school.) And so far nobody has known more about this stuff then me... but I'll check out your site. I DO highly appreciate helpful people.

What I had typed before I was "shut down again" is that it's GOT to be the mobo... everything else has been replaced including the p/s and ram. The p/s is an Enermax 450 Whisper and the ram is Corsair... and I even TRIED alternatives! It's the freakin' Asus... that's all that's LEFT!

No more Asus. 3 strikes and you're out. Do a search on my problem and you'll see I'm not the first Asus owner to experience this!

My upgraded/replacement system is going to be a balance of value/performance/stability:

3gig P4 NORTHWOOD *not* Prescott... read up on it. The Prescott is hotter then hell. I.E. Less Stable. Current instruction sets can't take full advantage of the Prescott. Pretty soon it will be measureably faster then the Northwood (with half the cache) but right now a Prescott doesn't even gain you 6%. You could SLIGHTLY overclock a Northwood (800 front side) and beat a Prescott at a FAR lower temp.

Intel 875 chipset board. There's a reason that Dell has the reputation they do for ROCK-SOLID stability. I say why fight it. I don't know if Dell still uses Intel boards... but all the reseach I've done points to Intel for stability. Even though you can disable audio/video I'd rather get a board that doesn't even HAVE it. My current Asus is beautiful in it's simplicity... I want an Intel of the same design. There is SO little on the "bare" boards that they boot up in half the time of raid/full feature boards. My current computer is ready to use within 30 seconds of hitting the power switch... and no that's not standby. It just isn't predictable after that!

I'd like to upgrade my Matrox dual-head card and I'm all ears if any of you guys have a recommendation on that! Again... stability is the key... and dual-head is a MUST.

I'll start off with a gig of ddr400 and hopefully add another gig later. Kingston (Intel tested) ram is only $79 (shipped) per 512mb.

Other then those few items I'll use the rest of my system as it is! I'm sending back the (400 front side) replacement processor today and I'll have the new 800 front side processor and everything else on it's way here tomorrow.

Any input on all this is welcome! Thanks for being the first one to reply Glenn!
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Old October 26th, 2004, 08:04 AM   #4
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As far as stable motherboards go:
#1 is the chipset. VIA and Sis sometimes make crappy chipsets (i.e. they have weird bugs). Ali has made crappy chipsets. Intel chipsets are historically very good.
#2 is the brand and how good the manufacturer is at quality control. Intel is generally considered the best, followed by brand name manufacturers (asus, abit, MSI), and then on the bottom are PCChips and ECS. Considering motherboards don't fail that much, I feel safe with anything other than PCChips and ECS. Intel boards are a little more expensive so it's not worth the risk-benefit unless I wanted a motherboard compatible with picky hardware (i.e. hardware acceleration cards for Premiere).

Quote:
What I had typed before I was "shut down again" is that it's GOT to be the mobo... everything else has been replaced including the p/s and ram. The p/s is an Enermax 450 Whisper and the ram is Corsair... and I even TRIED alternatives! It's the freakin' Asus... that's all that's LEFT!
You could try re-install your CPU's heatsink to check for overheating (read the instructions to prevent damage to your CPU). Or you can run Asus' temperature monitoring utility to check what the temps on your CPU are.

Quote:
3gig P4 NORTHWOOD *not* Prescott... read up on it. The Prescott is hotter then hell. I.E. Less Stable. Current instruction sets can't take full advantage of the Prescott. Pretty soon it will be measureably faster then the Northwood (with half the cache) but right now a Prescott doesn't even gain you 6%. You could SLIGHTLY overclock a Northwood (800 front side) and beat a Prescott at a FAR lower temp.
The Prescott is 6% faster in DSE's rendertest and about 11-12% at MPEG2 encoding (main concept encoder).

The northwood runs cooler though and costs less over the long run since you're using less electricity.

I'd say it's a coin flip between either processor.

Chipset: 865 chipset is fine. The 875 chipset has PAT, which makes no difference at all for video editing.

Quote:
I'd like to upgrade my Matrox dual-head card and I'm all ears if any of you guys have a recommendation on that! Again... stability is the key... and dual-head is a MUST.
Nvidia has cheaper cards that do dual-head. Go on newegg and look at the pictures or something.

Kingston RAM isn't Intel tested btw, but it's good RAM anyways.

Last thing: When swapping motherboards, check out the following link to avoid reinstalling windows:
http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/...4&m=1400925745
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Old October 26th, 2004, 09:51 AM   #5
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This shutoff phenominom happened to me with my gigabyte mb; no blue screen nothing, just straight to off. I've got the same problem that youv'e got when it comes to outside help, anybody that wants to help goes through the basic rookie diagnostics and eventually throws in the towel.
In my case it turned out to be the ram. I did the same thing you did, started replacing stuff. I got two bad sticks of ram in a row. Have you run MS's free memory diagnostic tool?
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Old October 26th, 2004, 03:01 PM   #6
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Thanks CLIFF! I finally have somebody who can relate to ME! Glenn I appreciate what you're saying but in your very first reply you seem to have missed where I said I DID replace the P/S AND the processor. I also reseated the processor, etc. Like I said, I'm no newbie to computers.

And Intel SPECIFICALLY ENDORSES Kingston ram. THEY test it and they refer any visitors to an outside ADVANCED TESTING LAB which SPECIFICALLY endorses Kingston ram.

In my current ASUS board with INTEL CHIPSET 850... it is STILL THE BOARD not the chipset. Like I said, this is the THIRD Asus board I've done and the other two were using Athlons... so I'm familiar with chipsets. That's why I went to a Pentium in the first place.

Also I know about all the dual-head cards available. I'm hoping somebody on here will say, "I got this one and it's been the best thing since bread sliced by swedish models and then used to craft bread-bikinis for each model... one of them with a coating of peanut butter and the other jelly... then they'll 'rassle 'round on my living room floor until I think my samwiches are done."

If somebody says THAT... I'll get THAT card.
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Old October 26th, 2004, 03:59 PM   #7
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Okay sorry guys... I got a little nuts there.

Hey thanks for the tip about Microsoft's memory diagnostic tool... I just let that run for 10 times through as I showered for my night out. (Gotta' make some money somehow...)

Anyway, it confirms what I've been saying. Memory is fine and Asus has sold me their last board.

I'll still use their other products. I love their dvd drives and burners...
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Old October 27th, 2004, 12:28 PM   #8
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Sorry Matt, I wasn't reading very carefully. It looks like you replaced everything but the motherboard, which means it is likely the culprit. There is a small possibility that your house has bad power (do the lights flicker?), but barring that I'd go buy a new motherboard.

Quote:
Also I know about all the dual-head cards available. I'm hoping somebody on here will say, "I got this one and it's been the best thing since bread sliced by swedish models and then used to craft bread-bikinis for each model... one of them with a coating of peanut butter and the other jelly... then they'll 'rassle 'round on my living room floor until I think my samwiches are done."

If somebody says THAT... I'll get THAT card.
What features are you looking for in a new video card? (triplehead? better video acceleration? better video output? dual DVI output?)
And which Matrox card do you currently own?

Pretty soon I'm going to get to play with a Matrox P750 (triplehead...!). If you'd like I could give you my take on it.
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Old October 27th, 2004, 06:53 PM   #9
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Thanks Glenn! I hope you didn't take me to be a smart-ass... I was just trying to be funny. Hey seriously my computer really did shut down in the middle of my commentary about my computer shutting down. Ironic...

I actually considered the same thing you mentioned about the house-hold power. Occasionally I'll get a quick flicker or something... so I thought, "Hmm, perhaps a millisecond of zero power could shut off the computer...", and then I proceeded to get a good Tripp-Lite backup! This one can run my system all by itself for 30 minutes! I bought that about a week and a half ago and I've STILL had the shut-down problem... so there you go. I really AM at the point that the ONLY thing it can be is the Asus.

My brother said, "So what if you upgrade the mobo, processor, and memory... and it STILL crashes?"... I said, "It won't!"... but just in case it does I've already got my spot picked out to jump off a bridge. Seriously, there's NOTHING left! By process of elimination all it could be is the board.

The biggest pain is the stuff that I bought and returned to pcprogress (which has been GOLDEN by the way... just as good as NewEgg... my OTHER favorite store!)... because I kept trying to just change out what I thought "HAD to be it"... to the point that I replaced everything in my computer with compatible, i.e. outdated for the price, hardware! Finally... since I have to replace the mobo anyway... I'm upgrading EVERYTHING to the current 3-5 best of everything. I find that if you buy several steps out of cutting-edge that your money goes REALLY far, and the cutting-edge stuff will be 3-5 steps out in 6 months anyway!

Currently I use a Matrox g450 dual-head... which has served me VERY well. The ONLY issue with it is 3D, which is a little weak on this card. (Amazingly enough it's got a 350mHz Ramdac processor... just not for 3D) For video editing 3D only comes into play with tacky transitions or over-the-top titles... I don't like tacky transitions, but I love other 3D effects and titles... plus I'm going to use my system drive in a removeable configuration so that I can have a second system drive that's got a few good games on it (Doom3) but won't screw with the rest of my system 'cause the codecs and system settings will leave the computer when I swap out with my "stable configuration".

So what that means is that I want a state-of-the-art video card (3-5 steps out) that'll run 2 monitors for doing video and also serve as a really kick-ass gaming card. Right now I like the nvidia 5900 ultra cards... but I don't know if they're much better then the ati 9600xt cards... That's about the level of quality I want, but I want 2 monitors and STABILITY. So I'm hoping that somebody on here has a dual-head card that was the sickest, top of the line card, 6 months ago AND successfully uses it for video. THAT should suit my price/value point as well as give me enough performance to not dissappoint.
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Old October 28th, 2004, 04:23 PM   #10
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For video editing I would prefer Nvidia because it has better drivers.
A- Less bloat.
B- It has better image control settings which let you apply curves to your monitor. You can kinda calibrate your monitor to NTSC bars. This does not replace a TV hooked up to your editing station.
C- For Premiere Pro, you may want the "spanned" display mode, which turns both monitors into one big one (as opposed to two seperate ones with the taskbar on one monitor). This allows you to maximize Premiere to both monitors instead of it being stuck to one monitor.

You could however get the excellent utility Ultramon, which gets around this problem.
Ultramon is a utility for dual monitors... lets you do some really handy stuff. http://www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon/ One of the things it does is add a maximize to both windows button (this works with ATI cards so you can use Premiere Pro with ATI cards nicely).

This is from using the (ECS) ATI 9200SE and the (Forsa) Nvidia FX5200. It seems like all the cards use pretty much the same drivers so this should apply to the higher end cards as well.

---
For gaming, ATI and Nvidia blow Matrox away in frame rate. Right now, the newest generation cards double the performance of older ones. The eVGA Geforce 6800GT seems to be the best price/performance card right now.

http://arstechnica.com/guides/buyer/...-30-2004.ars/2

The following site has a great list of how all the various cards stack up in 3d performance.
http://users.erols.com/chare/video.htm
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Old October 28th, 2004, 06:38 PM   #11
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the problem with using a 3d-oriented video card in a video editing machine is that they have traditionally been lax in the 2d display quality arena... which is where you'll be spending all of your time editing.

there is no way that i'd trade off 2d display quality for gaming capability.

matrox has, for many years, been the king of cost-effective, high quality 2d display cards... if anybody can show me a current video card roundup that ranks anything higher than matrox in 2d display quality, i'd sure like to see it, for my next video card purchase.

i guess it all depends on what you really want to use your computer for... and if you have an lcd monitor, all of the above may not even apply, lol :-)
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Old October 28th, 2004, 10:51 PM   #12
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Thanks guys! I may go back to my previous configuration as I mentioned above. Slide-out removeable hard-drives. Slip out your gaming computer and slip in your editing suite. Get it?

I was cured of games until I saw Doom3... now I want to play again. Only in my free time... I hate network TV and I'd rather pass a half-hour on the computer if there's time that needs killin'...

Glenn...

A... agreed... generally speaking I think the HIGHER end nvidia cards are the best. If you don't spend over $150 then I think Radeons are a far better value.

B... I've had real-time analog output to an ntsc monitor for the last 3 years. (Raptor RT)

C... The CHEAPEST matrox card comes with powerdesk which does what you just said. I've had a monitor that's 800 x 1200 pixels for the last 3 years too. (2 monitors seen as one). The real beauty in that is EVERYTHING... audio apps, vegas, premiere, and even everyday use! My second monitor holds a different set of shortcuts then my first... plus I can hold one webpage in current view while browsing in the other screen... many times that's a big help. Have you ever wanted to type something up based on an article that you need to keep maximizing? Second monitor just holds it while you type away in Word, Publisher, etc. Need I go on? All you guys should be running dual. I'll never go back until I can afford a 24" LCD. Even then I may go dual 19"s... It would be a lot cheaper and you'd get way more spread.

As for all the rest of your info... I appreciate it but I think you keep missing where I said I'm not a newbie to computers. I know all about the 6800 ultra and the other cards. If you want to bump this conversation up a notch then why don't you explain how we should be anxious for Canopus, Matrox, and Pinnacle to test the latest chipsets so we can move to pci-express (16). Your ultra trick agp8x card is about to be surpassed by 2-4 times the bandwidth. By this time next year only knock-offs and leftover inventory will be agp. Did you know that AMD is working on 2000mHz frontside bus systems? There's a lot going on in computers aside from the stuff on page one of a gear guide.

Since I'm pulling this a little off-topic I think some of you guys would love the current system I'm putting together for my girlfriend. As it's coming together I don't want to part with it! Soltek SFF... Imagine a computer about the size of a large toaster that does 90% of what your big boy does now... and in some cases even outperforms it! I still love my Lian-Li case loaded with all the fixins' but this Soltek is freakin' me out. As soon as they can find a place for just ONE MORE pci slot in it... I'm movin' to SFF.

And I guess I won't even get into the Maxtor external usb2.0 / firewire drives. Normally I hate maxtor (had 3 of 'em now... not really bad, but not as good as others) but this external job is so fast that it negates the need for an internal AV drive. Plus you can file 'em away like books and just grab the volume of videos that you want to work on! Slick.
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Old October 30th, 2004, 05:56 AM   #13
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Hi guys,

Just wanted to share my 2 cents and experiences.

I have had MANY made-by-me-computers ( like 15+ :-) so I generally know what I'm doing!

Had a MSI m/b lately with a P4@3.2 and 2gb memory 4x512 sticks. The machine rebooted itself randomly. Since I have 3 machines at home I could circulate the hardware around them - finally I decided that the m/b was bad or broken. So I got an ABIT IC7-Max3 which should be a solid performer.

Running with the new mb installed I could still get the machine to reboot under certain conditions like: When I ran Newbinpro + Quickpar + winrar at the same time. All those program uses internal memory heavily! So after some reading up I figured out that both my MSI and my new Abit board had some kind of auto-overclocking-feature. And what it did was to tighten memory-timing. My 4 sticks of 512mb memory had different CL-ratings ( cl 2 and cl 3 ). So when the machine detected lots of activity it auto-overclocked the memory down to cl2 or less... and Kaboom! So after disabling ALL kind of auto-magic in the bios, both the MSI and the ABIT is rock solid.

// Lazze \\
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Old October 31st, 2004, 01:37 AM   #14
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Thanks Lars, that's an interesting concept. In this case the machine I've been using is populated with identical ram, but it's a thought none the less.

I sure hope I can get the issue sorted. Right now I'm on the same machine but with new intel mobo, 3gHz p4, and 1gig ddr400 (for 800 frontside)... and it's been working pretty good. At least until I updated XP. I got some strange freezes and computer hangs that never sorted themselves. Sound familiar to anybody?

I ended up redoing a clean install, and without the updates it seems to be working really well. I'm tempted to just leave the updates out of it.

Any comments are very welcome.
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Old October 31st, 2004, 06:32 AM   #15
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MAtt- I have been saying the same thing about Asus- If they work, great. If they don't work, you are... in trouble. I had tried contacting Asus, about my board's problem, with no luck at all. Like you, I swore to never buy Asus again, and I never will.

I am now running an Abit KG7 raid, and like it a lot. It has been very stable for the past few years... once I discovered I had to "tweak" a few bios settings.

And as far as games and DOOM 3... The game is cool, but they went overboard trying to make it a movie. Plan to be bored with plot. A free demo is available. I've been playing America's Army, a real time squad based game with real players, not AI. It's by the U.S. Government, and is free.
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