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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old July 19th, 2005, 09:24 AM   #1
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Building My First NLE PC

Need recommendations for components.
Software: Premier 1.5
Dual Processors?
What is hyper-threading and why do I need it?
Which processor? AMD vs Intel
RAM: 2GB enough?
RAID: which configuration (RAID 1, 2, 3?)
Motherboard: 64-bit vs 32
Video Card:?
DVD burner:?



(Where to get a class in Premier 1.5 in SF Bay Area?)
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Old July 19th, 2005, 09:51 AM   #2
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Hello Monty,

Dual Processors : Dual-Core! Pentium-D if you will consider a Matrox board or AthlonX2 if you are going straight software w/ no hardware.

Hyperthreading : Short Answer : It's an emulation of dual-processor functionality on a single chip. But, since you are getting REAL dual cores, this is insignificant.

2GB is the average these days - so 2GB is the minimum you should consider buying in a new machine.

RAID is going to depend on your workload and drive configuration.
- For basic DV25 editing, RAID is unnecessary, although it is commonly used, regardless, to simply join two drives together into one large drive.

-If you are going to venture into the realm of uncompressed SD editing or HDV, a simple 2-drive RAID-0 array would be essential, both for capacity and performance.

-If you have 3 or more hard drives, a RAID 5 configuration is recommended. This is because in a RAID 0 environment, the more drives you add, the greater the chance that you lose ALL of your data. RAID 0 fundamentally works by spreading your data across all of the drives - so if any single drive fails, the entire array will no longer function. RAID 5 works in a similar manner by spreading your data, so similar performance can be attained, but it also spreads a "backup" along with your data. A RAID 5 array allows you to lose a single drive out of however many drives you add into the array. A much better implementation for a multiple drive system.

Motherboards don't actually dictate whether you are 32 or 64 bit - that is determined by your processor, OS, and software that you are running.

Steps in choosing a motherboard:

1) Choose a CPU chip/socket type

2) Choose a chipset based on what your needs are

3) Choose a motherboard manufacturer

4) Look at the range of boards that your chosen manufacturer offers for the chipset you chose, then choose the board that includes/excludes extras that you need/don't need (IE: do I need with Wireless chip? Do I need these extra 2 EIDE ports with RAID? What DO I need on the board?)


It is largely a misconception certain boards are better than others - it's mainly differences in chipsets. The differences between boards with the same chipsets usually come down to pricing/onboard feature differences/quality of the manufacturer. There aren't going to be noticable RAW PERFORMANCE differences, because the CHIPSETS determine those things.

Video card: Best thing to do for this is to look at the specific software you are considering - in this case, Premiere. Premiere itself doesn't need anything special (you should consider ALL of the software you will be using, though), so really any current GeForce or Radeon iteration will do the trick. This is a very broad explanation to a question with very broad requirements....

DVD burner : Not a big deal. Get the newest Pioneer. Don't waste your time researching over this component.
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Old July 19th, 2005, 09:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty Heying

(Where to get a class in Premier 1.5 in SF Bay Area?)
Might want to consider just buying some DVD's... or check out some tutorials online. (Obviously dependant on how far you are considering going with whatever it is you want to do).

Recommendations for DVD's: Total Training and Class on Demand

Tutorials : WrigleyVideo (www.wrigleyvideo.com)
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Old July 19th, 2005, 10:00 AM   #4
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Raid drives, in theory, can be mirrored to protect your data in case of one drive failing. I had one drive erased, and have been unable to get the data from the other. But in theory... :)
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Old July 19th, 2005, 10:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Forman
Raid drives, in theory, can be mirrored to protect your data in case of one drive failing. I had one drive erased, and have been unable to get the data from the other. But in theory... :)
You have to set them up in RAID *1* for mirroring. In which case, you can only use HALF of the total storage that you purchase. Inefficient. - RAID 5 is more appropriate in our industry.
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Old July 19th, 2005, 12:11 PM   #6
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you absolutely do not need raid for editing dv footage, and 2 gb of ram is way more than enuf, considering that you are just getting started learning premiere 1.5.

what you do want to watch out for is keeping the hard drives cool, they will last a lot longer if there is air flowing across the bottom of the drive, where the motor is.
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Old July 19th, 2005, 01:30 PM   #7
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If you're doing straight up DV editing, a P4 at 2.8GHz or better, 160GB 7200 rpm HD (ATA133 or SATA), and 1GB of RAM will be just fine. This is a price/performance "sweet" spot right now. A second drive/RAID etc. will give you no advantage when encoding/compressing video, but may provide a performance increase during real time preview if you are dealing with multiple files on the same timeline in PP1.5. During encoding and compression, the CPU is by a long stretch, still the bottleneck.

If you want HDV, you will need very speedy dual CPU's ... and it'll still be painful compared to DV. My inclination would be to wait if you can untill your next upgrade for HDV.
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Old July 19th, 2005, 11:34 PM   #8
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Beaucoup Thanks Folks

A wealth of info gleaned from your posts.

Spent my lunch hour today at Frys, and played around with some figures. Will post a detailed spec for you to peruse in a couple of days. Seem to be leaning toward Intel P4 D820, 2.8 GHz (dual core), @ $270, which pushed me toward an Intel motherboard (part #4470166 - didn't write down the model).

For drives, I was thinking twin Maxtor 250's, @7200 rpm with 8Mb cache, in some RAID configuration that allows mirroring. Either that or get a third drive, maybe 80Gb, as a boot drive, allowing me to go RAID 5. (Got more to learn about RAID.) If I run mirrored I don't have to back up. Right?

The video card the guy seems high on was PCI Express. Any thoughts on that?

Like the idea of getting OEM pricing on software. Microsoft allows it, but Adobe doesn't.

Guess I'll start with 4GB RAM. I want this thing to howl.

Will get a second flat panel screen, too.

Software included, I'm looking at around $3,800 so far, pretax. Dell would charge me over $6,000 for this, and I wouldn't have any of the fun of learning and constructing.
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Old July 20th, 2005, 12:11 AM   #9
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The Dell can be cheaper if you get a base system from them and throw in your own upgrades. You can get some pretty good deals on their base systems. Their upgrades are usually overpriced of course, although you can negotiate this down if you find an angressive sales rep on the phone or find some nice coupons.

RAID: If you run mismatched drives, performance will really suffer and/or the RAID will have lower capacity. There isn't much of a reason to run mismatched drives... get the same model for the whole RAID.

RAID 5 needs a hardware RAID controller, which costs extra money. You also lose one drive's worth of capacity (so 5 drives gives 4 drives' worth of storage, 6 drive 5 drives worth of storage, etc.).

Quote:
The video card the guy seems high on was PCI Express. Any thoughts on that?
For video editing, you typically only need a basic video card preferably with dual monitor. Some programs (mainly compositing programs like After Effects and Combustion) can take advantage of directX or openGL acceleration for previews. Read the recommended specs.

In that case, workstation cards give much better openGL acceleration than their gaming counterparts (which are crippled). Gaming cards are better at directX. If you feel adventurous, some gaming cards can be modified into a workstation card via a BIOS flash I believe (this voids the warranty, and may kill the card).

Do look for dual monitor if you want that. You may also want to look for dual DVI output if running 2 high-resolution LCDs.

Quote:
If I run mirrored I don't have to back up. Right?
You can still lose data to:
User error (i.e. brainfarts.. you're bound to have one)
theft
virus or data corruption
fire
lightning strike?

Quote:
Guess I'll start with 4GB RAM. I want this thing to howl.
Having an overkill of RAM won't really do anything to help performance. Running 4 sticks of double-banked RAM (which is a lot likelier with 4GB) may improve performance a few percent. I don't know if that's true for the newer chipsets.

2- Depending on what you do, you may want to consider a Matrox RTX100 bundle (bundle can give better pricing) if going with Premiere Pro.
If so, pay attention to whether or not the motherboard is compatible.

I don't use Premiere so I can't help you out too much here.
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Old July 20th, 2005, 09:18 AM   #10
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Check out the Videoguys DIY page. As of June 2005 we have now published three of these artices, each with a different budget and performance level. These articles are for you to use as a guide in building your own video editing computer. The closer you stick to our 'recipe' the better your results will be. We periodically update our articles to reflect the latest prices and performance boosts. If you run into any question concerning our DIY machines, the place to go with your questions is the Do-It-Yourself forum on our message boards.

http://www.videoguys.com/DIY.html

Gary
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Old July 20th, 2005, 11:07 AM   #11
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Thumbs up on Gary's DIY pages.

PP seems to like OpenGL performance, so some of the workstation cards may help. As stated, 4GB is overkill, but a faster processor or dual processors/cores are not; with add-ons, you will appreciate speed later or the ability to multitask CPU intensive apps (which we editors are prone to use).

The dual core boards will all be PCI-e at this time, so you need a PCI-e video card (I do not recommend onboard video or audio for editing). Low-end workstation cards may suit you, but even some of the nVidia 6600 and 6800 cards are strong with OpenGL. But, I would fall back to whatever Adobe recommends as the first cut (which means if you have issues, they will more readily answer the questions as the "tested with it".)
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Old July 21st, 2005, 12:28 AM   #12
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You can get SATA 300 now -- double the data transfer rate of the normal SATA 150s. Anyway, here's a good place to start... I configured it as follows...

http://www.hp.com/workstations/pws/xw4300/index.html

HP xw4300 Workstation SATA - Free Flat Panel Offer until 8/1/2005!
HP xw4300 Workstation w/L2035 Flat Panel Monitor
Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional 32-bit
HP xw4300 US Localization kit
Intel® Pentium® D 840 3.2GHz/1MB cache, 800FSB, dual-core
ATI FireGL V3100 128MB PCI-E
4GB (4x1GB) DDR2-667 ECC
HP 80GB SATA/300 7200rpm (1st)
HP 160GB SATA/300 7200rpm (2nd)
HP 160GB SATA/300 7200rpm (3rd)
HP 16X DVD+/-RW, DL, LightScribe - 1st
HP 16X DVD-ROM (2nd)
No Floppy Disk option
HP PS/2 Standard keyboard
HP PS/2 Scroll mouse
3/3/3 (parts/labor/next business day on-site) limited warranty
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Old July 21st, 2005, 08:19 AM   #13
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As far as training goes, Total Training is the best, and most expensive, and while the Class-On-Demand is fine, you can take the tutorials at http://www.lynda.com online for only $25/month - and you can cancel before the end of the month - or take the After Effects and Photoshop tutorials while you are at it for the same price.
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