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Old December 4th, 2004, 02:37 AM   #1
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I have a choice between these two computers.

Hi all. First of all I'm not a game fanatic but do like to play occasionally. I'm more into video editing. My job is offering their empolyees a choice between two types of computers. I know both are capable of editing but was wondering if they were also okay for playing games? Here they are:

Desktop computer: HP Pavilion d1160

3.4GHz P4 550 (800MHz) HT
1024MB DDR2 SDRAM (533Mhz)
2 x 160 GB SATA (7200)
An extra removable 160GB (USB 2.0) UATA (7200rpm) drive
1 dvd 16x player
1 dvd+/-RW/+/-R/R9 etc
nvidia geforce FX6800 256MB, PCI Express
Sounblaster Audigy 2 Zs
and a whole lot of extra


Laptop computer: HP Pavilion zd8000

3.2GHz P4 HT
1024 MB DDR SDRAM
100GB UATA100(4200rpm) drive,
17' widescreen
ATI Radeon X600 pci express 256MB graphic card
and lots of extra.


Another thing. I also have a choice between a Flatscreen TFT monitor 17" with a 25ms response and a 19" 16ms response. I heard about this reponse rating is important but should it be higher or lower? The one I'm interested in is the 17" because the design looks much better than the 19".
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Old December 4th, 2004, 01:08 PM   #2
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i would check out www.tomshardware.com for some specific info on those two video cards... they both have 256mb of ram, which is a good sign for game playing... i believe that the quicker response time of the lcd is preferable, you can find more info at the url i listed.
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Old December 4th, 2004, 02:35 PM   #3
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Hello Charles,

IMHO - I'd go for the desktop machine.

Reasons:

1. Better performance
2. Easier to extend - add extras to

Monitor:

Lower / faster response time is generally better. BUT for videoediting issues displaying better/realistic colors is more important ( and the contrast ISO/brightness value should be as high as possible ).

The response time is only important if you plan to play fast action games ( but even then both 25 / 19 will be okay ).

The NVIDIA 6800 gfx is a real beast - it will beat the crap out of a ATI X600 card - but again, this is only a gamin issue.

Good luck!

// Lazze \\

ps. The laptop isn't a bad machine, so if mobility is a issue, take it! ds.
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Old December 4th, 2004, 08:05 PM   #4
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Thanks. I Will be going for the desktop. It can be upgraded which is a big plus.
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Old December 6th, 2004, 11:03 AM   #5
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2 quick things are shown in the specs - Hard drives. Dual drives make for more efficient Avid capture. You can split the capture of audio and video to the 2 different drives which may be faster. The drives are already faster by RPM alone. Drives in a desktop can have 8Mb cache which can be a great thing when reading ahead on long playbacks. You can also put them in a striped set configuration for double the throughput speed for more video layers in your timeline without the system bogging down.

On the other hand, I use an HP Pavilion AMD64 bit laptop with 512MB RAM and a 100GB drive for smaller projects like the kids DVD I am working on now. If you aren't doing more than 2 layers of video with titles, it's working flawlessly.

You can always pack up the laptop and edit portable. But do you really need to? How much do you travel?

I would go for the desktop first. Make some real money and go for the big laptop. Look up OneBeyond for some serious laptop editing machines...

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Old December 6th, 2004, 12:16 PM   #6
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Thanks Sean. What editing program are you using?
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Old December 7th, 2004, 03:48 PM   #7
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I have always been a fan of Premiere and have used it since version 4.2 years ago. On the other hand, I have bumped the quality and ease of editing to a new level by going to Avid about 2 years ago.

Once you take the classes on Avid (more on that in a moment) you just can't beat the stability and work flow. Avid can be expensive, but not nearly like it used to be.

I actually sell FCP and Avid at work these days as my day job is with Ohio's largest post and broadcast video supplier (who I will not mention on these forums as we do have sponsors and it would turn into a commercial).

You really need the Avid classes from someplace like GeniusDV, where I got my Avid certificate. This is strangely especially true if you have used Premiere exclusivly. To me, it was just different enough that it confused the hell out of me to try to pick it up on my own. In a way I miss some of the very effective drag-and-drop abilities of Premeire but Avid is so much more professional and smooth - if you use a good PC or laptop to start with.

Anyway, this isn't a promotion for Avid but I am using it more and more and liking it more and more, especially as the prices drop. XpressDV is under $500 these days.

You can try it for free at http://www.avid.com/freedv

Sean
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Old December 7th, 2004, 11:43 PM   #8
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Thanks. What's your computer specs?
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Old December 8th, 2004, 07:27 AM   #9
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Well, on the home machine, which is starting to show it's age a bit, but is perfectly functional for what I am doing editing wise, I have a home built Shuttle case (those small desktop units you see at http://us.shuttle.com) with AMD 2500XP chip running 1GB 333MHz RAM, 80GB system drive, Internal 120GB video drive and an outboard Firewire/USB2.0 120GB media drive. Dual monitors with the built in dual nVidia card, dual 19" Viewsonics. The drives are run in NTFS so defragging isn't an issue.

The internal 120GB media drive is a 7200 RPM with 8MB cache. And unless you try it first, don't let people tell you you can't use USB 2.0 external drive to edit with. They are great if you only use one or two streams of video at a time, like most of us do.

USB 2.0 drives keep your firewire devices from bumping heads over who gets control on the 1394 bus. If you try to use your camera or deck on the firewire bus AND capture to an external firewire drive at the same time, it almost never works unless you can install a second firewire card and have it be on a seperate bus. Not all PCs can make that work right. USB 2.0 is fast enough for one or two streams, easily. I have never had an issue with it in the 2 years I have been using mine.

The laptop on the other hand is an HP Pavilion zv5000 series with the AMD 64 Athlon at 3.4GHz. 512 MB RAM (soon to be 1GB) and an internal 100GB Hard drive.

It's actually faster than the desktop now.

I have been thinking of updating the main desktop machine but I really can't find a reason to yet. One day I may move to a dual processor HP but then again, things are working just fine for now. Could use a better graphics card but hey, it's made me a few bucks so far, and in fact, all the gear I use, the PC, the Sony PDX10 camera, Bogen tripod, Portabrace case, Cinetactics soft matte box, the DSR-11 deck, the DVD/VCR combo unit, the 14" 16:9 component monitor, everything I use has been paid for by doing small but progressivly bigger work.

I have done political ads for some local races for the past 2 years now as well as a lot of internal communications and even a wedding or two (though not my favorite thing due to the time they take to do right - they do pay very well if you do it right).

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Old December 8th, 2004, 10:02 AM   #10
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Thanks alot. I'll be giving Avid a try then. I have friend who has it and will be getting some tips from him to see how it operates.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 10:14 AM   #11
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Don't forget about the free version at http://www.avid.com/freedv

Don't ever load this version onto a machine with a full version of any Avid software and be sure you read the user forums on a particulary nasty issue relating to a Microsoft Hotfix that screws up Avid systems. Search for it in the forums. Kb14142 or something like that.

Good luck,

Sean
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Old December 8th, 2004, 10:30 AM   #12
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Thanks. I'll check it out. Thanks for your help. Much appreciated.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 12:25 PM   #13
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Hey Charles I would stay away from the Geforce FX cards if possible. ( i know this could get some reactions from some folks, but think of this as advice and not a rule) NVIDIA went on the cheap with these cards they just don't measure up to their present and past creations. You can find some benchmarks online that will show more specific points.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 01:25 PM   #14
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Fred, Thanks for the concern but this card is the newer not the old ones. If you do a search you will not find any info or very very few. It hasn't officailly released yet. I'm guessing the ultra or GT version but I'll have to wait and see when I get it.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 02:35 PM   #15
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I find Nvidia has better drivers, which allow you to quasi-calibrate your monitor to NTSC bars (mildly useful, but always check on a real TV or NTSC monitor- a computer monitor is no substitute).

The 6800 Nvidia cards are also pretty equal to the ATI cards in performance, arguably better or worse depending on which benchmark.

The previous generation cards, ATI generally held an advanatage in gaming.

For openGL performance (which some compositing apps use), I believe Nvidia is much better although you want to look at a workstation card (those are optimized for openGL performance) instead of a gaming card.
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