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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old November 13th, 2004, 11:10 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 26
Integrated Video Chip?

I'm planning to buy a new computer. (And I'll probably be using Adobe Premiere Pro and PhotoShop, unless the Sony Vegas demo blows me away.)

I plan to get it from Dell (just because of their financing program available to Canadians)

I'm considering four systems:
1) DimensionTM XPS Gen 3
2) DimensionTM 8400
3) DimensionTM 4700C
4) DimensionTM 4700

compare system info...

The 4700C and 4700 both use integrated video chips that share the main system RAM. I don't plan on using any 3D motion effects programs, so should this good enough to edit on?

Also, should I be concerned about Serial ATA drives?

I don't want to buy a bleeding edge system if it means a negligible increase in performance (compared to a mid range machine)
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Old November 14th, 2004, 12:46 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,750
Buying from Dell:
1- Their base systems are priced ok and the upgrades very overpriced. They make their profit from the upgrades. Anything with lots of add-ons will not be a good deal. Some of the upgrades are reasonably priced, but others/most are 2X what you should pay.

2- Make sure you get free shipping. This way you don't pay $100+ extra.

3- Support may be questionable. Dell has a very low rating on resellerratings.com (4.1/10). You can get free support here on forums or on protonic.com (I volunteer there).

Don't bother with warranty... the main cost in failing components is diagnosing it. Computer parts rarely fail and are cheap to replace (except for Dell's proprietary parts... most of their parts are standard now though).

4- The 4700 is the systems you should be looking at, unless they have some special deal on the 8400. XPS is overpriced, the 4700C is a small computer (you don't need a small computer right?).

5- Generally, Dell is good for basic systems (check hot deals site for your country). On the mid-end and high-end side, you can do better.

6- From my experience on protonic.com, OEM computers (i.e. sony, IBM, Dell, HP, eMachines) are a little harder to support than a white box/custom computer. The main reason is proprietary parts- if you have hardware failure then not having standard parts is annoying.

---

Canada:

It would be cheaper to get a computer built for you by a computer shop, or through ncix.com (online retailer). I could also do it for you (Toronto), but it's a little bizarre getting it done through random strangers on the internet. It would be slightly cheaper though since I can buy parts from ncix with discounts.

ncix.com: Through their system builder you can spec out the computer and have it assembled and tested for $25/$50. Their parts are more expensive than computer stores (you don't get their special pricing), but you don't pay them PST if you don't live in BC.

Computer stores:
There are a whole bunch on college/spadina. Filtech is my favorite of those stores (good prices and staff who double check what you're buying is compatible). Many of them can custom build computers for you.

What to spec:
Processor: Pentium 3.0"C", 3.0"E" (Prescott). Check its the right socket (socket 478 or socket T/LGA775).

RAM: 2X512MB or 2X256MB. You want a pair of identical sticks for dual channel performance. Go for the cheapest
RAM- makes no difference in performance in the case of video editing. If they aren't going to test the RAM like ncix does, maybe go for non-generic RAM since generic RAM is more likely to be flakey.
Get RAM compatible of course.

Motherboard: I'd stick with Asus, MSI, or Abit. Look for the IEE1394 (firewire) feature so you don't need a firewire card.
On-board video is good (cheaper overall) if you don't want to spend extra on dual monitor video card.

Case: Antec cases are a good choice, i.e. 2600AMB, 2650BQE, 3700AMB, 3700BQE. Antec cases come with quality power supplies (unlike generic/cheap cases).

Hard Drive(s): Brand doesn't matter much, try to get as much capacity as you can. SATA doesn't matter except it's more expensive.

Optical drives: Get what you need... probably a DVD burner. NEC/Pioneer 16X dual layer ones are good bang for the buck... get whichever is cheaper.

Monitors: Shipping is expensive so you save money if you have a car and get them yourself. 2 X Viewsonic E70f (17" CRT, flat screen, beautiful colors) is what I'd get. Those monitors are slightly more expensive than other flat monitors, but their picture is nice.

Mouse + keyboard: Microsoft mouse + KB set is decent... should be $25-40. A better mouse is the Microsoft Intellimouse with "5" buttons (normal buttons + 2 side ones).

OS: Microsoft Windows XP Home.

Quote:
The 4700C and 4700 both use integrated video chips that share the main system RAM. I don't plan on using any 3D motion effects programs, so should this good enough to edit on?
Yes. You might want a dual monitor video card for running two monitors. Two monitors is a cheap way to get more desktop space.

Get a shareware program called Ultramon in that case. If getting a video card, Nvidia (and Matrox) has better drivers than ATI.

Quote:
Also, should I be concerned about Serial ATA drives?
No. They're not any better. SATA drives tend to be better than (P)ATA drives because they're newer, but not really because they use the SATA interface. For video editing, pay little attention to this- their are no significant functional differences between the two.

3-
Quote:
(And I'll probably be using Adobe Premiere Pro and PhotoShop, unless the Sony Vegas demo blows me away.)
Unless you are getting a hardware acceleration card for Premiere, I'd stick with Vegas. It's more powerful. For fancy stuff Vegas is better. For basic things (which is what you may need), both are excellent tools and you can't go wrong with either.

4-
Quote:
I plan to get it from Dell (just because of their financing program available to Canadians)
Financing: My friend looked at Dell and found that his credit card gave a better rate than Dell did (and credit card interest is very high). I'd visit your bank and get a loan... it should save money.
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