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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old November 29th, 2004, 08:15 PM   #1
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money no object PC

please tell me top brand (s) model for a- money no object- PC for VV. i want only the best, latest etc...

i go to buy a mac and its a one stop deal. i go to by a pc and its spec hell.... help

i have heard amd beats intell but its overwheling trying to look at 5000000 pc vendor sites
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Old November 29th, 2004, 11:42 PM   #2
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1a- Assuming the "best" means highest performance:

Ultimate single processor systems: (ultimate as in, I have lots of money to spend even if it's only a few percent faster)

http://www.go-l.com
Go-l used to be in business and sell overclocked 3.8ghz systems (they use phase-change cooling... same as what your fridge uses).

I don't know of anyone else selling overclocked computers. I could build and sell you one through eBay if you're really interested. Overclocked systems are definitely one of the fastest you can get, but they aren't significantly faster than a stock system (~20% at best).

Non-overclocked systems: All systems are pretty much the same in performance (I've done a little testing and found that premium parts can't improve performance except for putting in the fastest processor). All the big manufacturers (Dell, HP, eMachines, etc.) are overpriced because they all follow the same pricing model (base systems are cheap, really overpriced upgrades). Monarch Computers would be cheapest (they charge you street prices for parts + $50/$75 build fee, so no overpriced upgrades). You'd have to spec out the parts, which is no big deal if you ask on this forum.

Dual processor machines:
Vegas Video doesn't take advantage of dual processors well, so an overclocked single processor system is faster in some sense. The overclocked single processor system:
- has better previews
- doesn't encode MPEG2 as fast (more than half the speed)
- renders faster on everything except for simple renders (which you'd probably get real-time anyways)

Lots of companies make dual processor machines, but again a vendor like Monarch is probably your best bet since they don't have overpriced upgrades. Performance is the same across manufacturers.

1b- If you are absolutely set on Vegas (i.e. not Avid, which can be arguably faster/better if you have $25k+ to spend) then you can setup a render farm for renders.

2- If by best you mean other things like reliable and good support:

Reliability is pretty much equal between brands. If going with a custom computer (i.e. white box, from a computer store, or Monarch) they can cut corners on the motherboard (i.e. they use ECS or PCChips) or on the power supply to make a less reliable machine. If you spec quality parts and get the computer stress tested then it's slightly more reliable than the major manufacturers. Reliable in this sense refers to whether or not the computer is dead on arrival or mysteriously crashy on arrival.

Support: According to resellerratings.com, Dell and other manufacturers suck. Get free tech support from protonic.com or local computer techs (not all techs are equal though... best buy/geek squad is very poor from what I hear, and anyone can say they are a computer tech; there aren't any good certifications, although there is the popular A+ one).

The major manufacturers use some proprietary parts. I volunteer at protonic.com and find computers from them slightly annoying because I have to figure out which parts are proprietary. Parts don't break down much so this is not a big issue, although proprietary parts can limit your upgrade path.

3- I didn't mention vendors like Alienware and Falcon Northwest, which are kind of like "boutique" computers. They are the same performance for video, but may offer better support. However, they are seriously overpriced.

There are also turnkey vendors such as DVLine. No experience with them, very few user reports, and resellerratings.com is not helpful for them (low sample size).

4- For video, Intel definitely beats AMD (but not by much).

5- In short, Monarch Computers is probably your best bet but you will need to get a system specced. You could ask me... or follow my recommendations in the "a new PC" thread.

My quick guess is that $2,000 will buy you one of the fastest PCs you can get:
3.6ghz Pentium
2GB RAM
500GB+ of hard drive space
everything else base configuration
no computer monitors

6- What are you needs?
What budget are you looking at? (Most people have limited budgets.)
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Old November 30th, 2004, 12:18 AM   #3
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wow, thanks for the great reply.

I dont need monitors or burners or special audio (i can handle audio cards myself).

it sounds like monarch might be a good bet w/right specs. I think staying between 1500 and 2000 would be smart since everything will probably change in a year anyway. i also like the idea or a rack mount rather than the towers, although the Enlight 8990 4U Rack / Server Case is not very impressive.
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Old November 30th, 2004, 04:47 AM   #4
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I bought my Avid XpressPro system from DVLine. Excellent people, great prices... lifetime tech support. If you are not a "computer whiz" who likes to open and tweak your system, then a turnkey is the way to go.
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Old November 30th, 2004, 09:10 AM   #5
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thanks

i do agree that the boutique shops are waaaay overpriced. thats my biggest complint with apple too, they sell systems that are timebombs.

im going to attempt getting a box that i can keep upgrading, i dont mind tweaking within reason.
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Old November 30th, 2004, 10:05 AM   #6
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I found DVLine's prices combined with service to be an excellent deal. Don't know about Alienware. But then again, I thought "Price was no object" in getting a solid, dependable system.
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Old November 30th, 2004, 10:11 AM   #7
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hey

well im not up for an argument, i just would rather build my own. i dont need support. i have bought many support riders and never use them. thanks for the tip though, it looks like a cool company.
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 09:46 PM   #8
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Kent: if you're willing to build your own, I'd suggest getting one of the latest workstation motherboards (e.g. Intel or Supermicro) and a pair of 3.8 GHz Xeons, plus a couple gigs of DDR2 memory. Or you could go with AMD Athlons or Opterons, but for video work the Intel chips are arguably a better choice. Either way, get yourself a nice fast SCSI or SATA boot drive and at least two matching data drives for setting up a RAID array. Now get yourself a nice 23-24" 1920x1080 LCD monitor and a high-end PCI Express video card with 256 MB of memory. And so on. Should be fun...
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Old December 10th, 2004, 08:08 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Kevin Shaw : Kent: if you're willing to build your own, I'd suggest getting one of the latest workstation motherboards (e.g. Intel or Supermicro) and a pair of 3.8 GHz Xeons, plus a couple gigs of DDR2 memory. -->>>

That is awesome advice. I recently did just that, except I went with a PCI-64 SCSI card w/128 DDR(can handle 60 drives), some 15k rpm drives, and 2 GB of RAMBUS. I IMMEDIATELY noticed the difference between my high end single processor AMD 64FX rig. Rendering time is ridiculously quick, I re-rendered a 30 minute uncompressed video in less than 2 minutes. One bit of advice I could give is to have a system drive(7200rpm) and 2-3 storage drives setup in a RAID stripe without parity. This doubles your read/write speed, thus your through-put. Also, be sure to store your paging file off the system drive, 2gb on the RAID stripe would be optimal. This will help increase performance while running your applications.
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Old December 10th, 2004, 08:44 PM   #10
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Wow I thought you meant "money no object" as literal. I was thinking it would START around $4K and go up quickly from there. My last editing PC was about $25K by the time it was finished. If I were going to do it again (which I would not, not on Windoze) I would start with a Dell Dual Xeon machine. Let them build it for you or better yet, let someone like B&H do it for you, so you can get the software installed and tested.
If your into building and overclocking then have a machine just for that. Overclocking has NO place in a professional environment where downtime is unacceptable! If you just want to surf the web, play games, or do theoretical benchmarking (which is really about the only thing overclockers do) then go for it, but it's a sure fire way to get an unstable system which is NOT what you want. You want a ROCK SOLID, stable, reliable and functional machine for editing. Something with fast drives and a big RAID for storage.
You can certainly build your own computer, but if that's not your main job, why would you want the headache, and if you have to ask, my guess is that you're not really qualified. That's not an insult, just an observation. People who build computers successfully, already know what makes a killer setup because they've done the research and trial and error. (especially in Windoze with all the driver conflicts possible)
I know you think that whatever you buy right now will be worthless in 6 months but that's just marketing junk you've been fed. Yes, I do have newer machines but I still have a Mac that I purchased in Dec 2000 and it will happily run FCP all day long. It's not the fastest machine I have, but you have to remember, that original investment has been making money for 4 years now! And it was discontinued by Apple for a faster model just a few weeks after I bought it!

I guess my point is, don't get so hung up on "the latest, greatest, best and fastest". Buy the best you can afford, from a reputable dealer and plan on having it for a while. Look for reliability over speed and it will pay you dividends in the long run.
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Old December 11th, 2004, 05:07 PM   #11
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this would be a good start for $600 http://shop1.outpost.com/product/4279654

http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduc...144-359&DEPA=0


http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...133-082&depa=0
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Old December 11th, 2004, 06:50 PM   #12
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I could never imagine spending 25k on a computer, unless your case is made out of gold. It just doesn't make any sense, I agree going with the big name companies is paying extra for the name.

Start off with a solid $1000-$2000 system, but buy good hard drives, and video card(s), then in a year or so when you want to upgrade put your old parts into a cheap $25 case, and buy a $40 burner, and sell the computer. I've been doing this for my past 2 upgrades, and both times haven't spent any money out of my pocket, selling the old parts as a computer has covered my new parts.

Everyone has their own opinion on what works best for them, just remember that actual computer speed is going to vary only a little from system to system. so don't pull your hair out trying to figure out what is best.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 03:33 AM   #13
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if money were no object youd have no problem throwin down 25k though.
Being thats what this thread is about, I'd link a Fire* to an Inferno* and call er done.
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