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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old January 30th, 2005, 06:55 PM   #1
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Post Production Equipment

Would anyone take a peek at this system and make comment. As I wrote this I noticed I ordered a hard drive bay and an external hard drive. Wouldn't it make more since to order an additional secondary drive and omit the external. I am just an avid hobbist doing fishing and hunting videos. I am using Adobe's Creative Suite for the post production editing.

Thanks in advance

Jim Montgomery

Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional with Service Pack 2

Case: Alienware® Professional Workstation Chassis - Silver/Black

Power Supply: Enermax EG465P-VE 24P 460 Watt Power Supply

Motherboard: Alienware® X2 Dual Xeon™ Motherboard

Processor/s: Dual Processor - Dual Intel® Xeon™ Processors
3.4GHz w/ EM64T 800 MHz FSB w/1MB Cache

Memory: 4GB Alienware® Dual Channel DDR2 Registered ECC SDRAM at 400MHz

Graphics Accelerator: Dual Graphics Accelerators - Dual NVIDIA® Quadro™ FX 3400 PCI Express 256MB GDDR3 w/Digital and VGA Out

System Drive: Additional Storage Drive - 400GB Hitachi Deskstar 7K400 7,200 RPM w/8MB Cache

A/V Work Drives: Extreme Performance - Serial ATA RAID 0 - 800GB (400GB x 2) Hitachi Deskstar 7K400 7,200 RPM w/16MB Cache

Hard Drive Bay: SATA Hot-Swap Bay for Workstation Chassis

External Storage: LaCie Bigger Disk Extreme 1.6 Terabyte
External Storage Device

Removable Storage : Alienware® 10-in-1 Digital Media Reader / Writer

Primary Optical Drive: NEC® ND-3520 16x Dual Layer DVD±R/W Recorder

Secondary Optical Drive: Lite-On 52x32x52x CD-RW Drive

Network Connection: Integrated High Performance Gigabit Ethernet

Additional Input / Output Controller: SIIG® Firewire 800 3-Port PCI Controller

Digital Audio Hardware: Creative Sound Blaster® Audigy® 2 ZS High Definition 7.1 Surround Firewire (IEEE® 1394)
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Old January 30th, 2005, 07:26 PM   #2
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One thing I'm wondering about is the price. Alienware usually overcharges and you find everything on that list yourself from Newegg and build it, saving you probably more than a few hundred bucks.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 12:41 AM   #3
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You can get a company like Monarch Computers to custom build you a computer. They charge you street prices for parts (close to newegg prices) plus a $50/75 build fee. This is generally several hundred (possibly a few thousand) cheaper than Dell and Alienware. Alienware is more of a boutique computer company, and Dell makes all its profits on overpriced upgrades (their base systems with free shipping can be good deals though).

2- You really don't need to spend that much money on a video editing computer... nor would it make sense.

If you want something really easy to use I'd look at something like a Mac + iMovie or Final Cut Express. If you're just doing this as a hobby then that would make the most sense as there's no steep learning curve while you can achieve professional results with it... as long as you've got the talent, experience, and clients who pay you.

I'd look at something like the mac mini, imac G5, a used/refurbished G4, or a single processor G5. As you learn more about video, you will know the kind of computer you need and have the option to upgrade if you need it (unless you are doing some complex stuff, you probably don't need to upgrade). You'll likely spend the least amount of money this way.

Or if you have a decent PC already (1.5+ghz, lots of hard drive space, 512MB RAM) you can install a firewire card and try the demo for Vegas, Premiere Elements/Pro, and/or Pinnacle Movie Studio and go with one of those. A system like that would work fairly well.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 11:36 PM   #4
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Nobody has really commented much on your hardware choices.

My quick observation is that a lot of it is overkill unless you are going to be running 3D programs or compositing software, etc., and working on long-form programs.

Specifically, the Video card isn't going to do you much good as video display doesn't use hardware acceleration.

You might want to look into a few of the real-time editing cards that, while they do tend to increase your cost, will save you a lot of time. Much more than a very powerful non-real time system can do and your time, even it this is a hobby, is still costly if you have goals and deadlines.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 10:54 PM   #5
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Unless you're going to throw Avid Pro on there and do a lot of compositing, that system is way overkill.

You'd have an extremely apt editing machine with 2GB of RAM, 1 Processor (3.0 GHz equivalent or better), and older cheapo graphics card, a 500GB of storage, an older Audigiy card (5.1), Mobo firewire (400 will be fine for awhile), and when it comes to internet you might not even want your editing machine to be able to get on.

If you have money to throw away, get the system you listed. If you have a desire to save some cash and want the same parts, buy it from a different vendor. If you're sane ;) you'll scale it all down.
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 10:38 AM   #6
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i build my system from scratch and it is surprisingly similar to what you have mapped out but WHY do you need a system that big?

are you making these huntin 'n fishin videos for sale or just for fun/friends/

i didn't notice your monitor choice, make sure you have at least 2 monitors.

i have (3) 17" monitors + a 14" sony professional playback monitor. i'm goingto be changing to (2) benq 23" monitors pretty soon simply because the video card selection is far greater for 2 dvi's than it is for 3 dvi's and it should be more ergonomic to scan two monitors than it is three.

building a system is very personal, if you really want that much performance than go for it. i had several editing systems before i built the monster that i have now.

matthew
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 03:12 PM   #7
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Is this any better? Also I saw mention from Matthew about two monitors. What are the advantages to having two?

Thanks again

Jim

Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional with Service Pack 2

Power Supply: Enermax EG465P-VE 24P 460 Watt Power Supply

Motherboard: Alienware® X2 Dual Xeon™ Motherboard

Processor/s: Dual Processor - Dual Intel® Xeon™ Processors 3.6GHz w/ EM64T 800 MHz FSB w/1MB Cache

Memory: 4GB Alienware® Dual Channel DDR2 Registered ECC SDRAM at 400MHz

Graphics Accelerator: Single Graphics Accelerator - ATI FireGL™ V7100 PCI Express 256MB GDDR3 w/Dual Digital Out

System Drive: Extreme Performance - Serial ATA RAID 0 - 148GB (74GB x 2) Western Digital® Raptor™ 10,000 RPM w/16MB Cache

A/V Work Drives: Extreme Performance - Serial ATA RAID 0 - 800GB (400GB x 2) Hitachi Deskstar 7K400 7,200 RPM w/16MB Cache

Hard Drive Bay: SATA Hot-Swap Bay for Workstation Chassis

External Storage: IOGear® 250GB Combo ION™ Drive

Removable Storage : Alienware® 10-in-1 Digital Media Reader / Writer

Primary Optical Drive: NEC® ND-3520 16x Dual Layer DVD±R/W Recorder

Secondary Optical Drive: NEC® ND-3520 16x Dual Layer DVD±R/W Recorder

Network Connection: Integrated High Performance Gigabit Ethernet

Additional Input / Output Controller: SIIG® Firewire 800 3-Port PCI Controller

Digital Audio Hardware: Creative Sound Blaster® Audigy® 2 ZS High Definition 7.1 Surround Firewire (IEEE® 1394)
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 03:18 PM   #8
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is this your first editing system??

these days with so many working windows and palletes you pretty much have GOT to have two monitors.

i'm running a dual xeon 3.06 with 4 gig of ram.
10k rpm sata system boot drive mounted in 19" rackmount case
3ware 9500s multilane sata hardware raid controller with internal battery backup for drive write cache.

in a separate 19" case i have (12) 250 gig sata drives setup in (1) raid 5 with a hote spare and 3 250 gig drives in a non redundant stripe set just for all the various temp cache directories for things like previews and other files that don't matter if a drive should crash and take out the stripe set.
then i have an apc backup.

everything is mounted in a 22u half rack.

matthew
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 03:56 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Matthew de Jongh : is this your first editing system??

these days with so many working windows and palletes you pretty much have GOT to have two monitors.

i'm running a dual xeon 3.06 with 4 gig of ram.
10k rpm sata system boot drive mounted in 19" rackmount case
3ware 9500s multilane sata hardware raid controller with internal battery backup for drive write cache.

in a separate 19" case i have (12) 250 gig sata drives setup in (1) raid 5 with a hote spare and 3 250 gig drives in a non redundant stripe set just for all the various temp cache directories for things like previews and other files that don't matter if a drive should crash and take out the stripe set.
then i have an apc backup.

everything is mounted in a 22u half rack.

matthew -->>>

But, Matthew, don't you think that your system is overkill for a hobbyist?

Jim, I think you're over compensating with 2 processors, those video and audio cards, the firewire800 controller, the IO Gear drive, and two DVD burners (you'll be fine with one burner and one DVD-ROM).

Again, you could be getting the same sytem for way less from another company.
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 04:54 PM   #10
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well that was my whole point.

but i started out on a tiny machine in 1999 or so.

but i use the hell out of my system. i have two documentaries in the works that are 40 hours each, i did one short, i have another short that is almost done, and i have done at least half a dozen other projects for friends and for my wife.

that is all since i got back into it last year.

i got a dvx-100a dec 31, 2003

the only reason for the high end raid was that i had a small adaptec sata raid that failed me and i lost a LOT Of work. then i tried a larger adaptec raid and that crashed twice. so i did some research and the fortune 500 companies use 3ware and other hardware raids of that caliber.

i'm a professional amateur, this is pretty much a full time hobby.

as soon as the weather gets better i have a few shorts i'll be helping others with and hopefully a low budget feature.

matthew
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 06:19 PM   #11
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Everybody has they preference for their dream system but I would highly recommend a UPS along with any system.

While waiting for new batteries for my old UPS (lasted 6 years) we had an ice storm this weekend and had power spikes and drownouts. One of the brownouts fried my motherboard to where my system will not even post and had to order a new one. Should get it tomorrow and we will see if that solves the problem. Good news is the new batteries arrived today for the UPS.

Just a suggestion.
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 07:44 PM   #12
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Holy cow, that's one mean system!

I am a still photographer who shoots DV for fun. My system is quite good, but at least one order of magnitude down from what you outlined. I bought it as a Photoshop system, and I find it runs Sony Vegas very well.

IMO, it is most important to get a lot of memory, a lot of HD space, and to seriously consider a two-monitor solution as suggested above. I put my palettes/tools on one (which is not color profiled) and do color critical work on the other (which is). Having that much more workspace makes a big difference. You'll need a big desk. ;-)
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 09:10 PM   #13
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i would add a few things, not all ups's are the same. i ONLY use APC brand. from the small one on my tv to the medium one on my home editing system to the 5kva on my server room at work.

its not just about hard drive space, its about having multiple drives...one for the system/programs and another for the video data. if your lucky yet another one for the temp files that programs like premiere and photoshop love so much.

matthew
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