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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old July 8th, 2010, 12:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Janka View Post
A lot of this sounds like overkill for my needs. I don't have an unlimited budget. I mean, an SSD? Those things are a ripoff right now. I use Vegas 9, never heard of an issue with Win7 Home. The graphics cards you mentioned are expensive. As far as the case, I can't imagine needing that many drive bays. I had planned on having 3 1TB drives, which is a lot. The Cooler Master HAF 932 I'm looking at has 6 5.25" bays and 5 3.5" bays. Way way more than I'll ever use. Does that case come with the fans, or do those have to be purchased separately?

This is the problem I run into when shopping for a workstation. I'm currently cutting on a Core 2 Quad Dell Inspiron 518 to an external hdd attached by usb 2.0. It's not the greatest, but it's useable. I need to upgrade my system so it's more stable (I'm on Vista, yuck) and more efficient. Yet, the advice I get is if I get a computer under $20,000 it'll be worthless for my needs, which as of right now amount to at most wedding videos. I work for myself, and don't do any 3D modeling intense graphical type stuff. I just feel like a 6' case with an alien on the front, flashing red strobe lights, and propellers isn't what I really need.
I apologize... I was just trying to give you real world experience from someone who has built a fair share of NLE editing systems and wanted to maximize the balance of value per dollar with editing system performance. Proceed with the way you were wanting to build it... it's not my machine =)

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I just feel like a 6' case with an alien on the front, flashing red strobe lights, and propellers isn't what I really need.
Now you are just being ridiculous. I suggested 3 different options for cases, knowing that each had it's own "look" to it. You can't possibly tell me the ATCS 840 has an alien and flashing strobes and such.
http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/uplo...70/intro01.jpg
And even then, if it did, I would take a big case with an alien on it and working components than a small case with a bunch of fried components from overheating. It's a lot easier to disable a LED in a fan than it is to enable a dead CPU or hard drive.

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Originally Posted by Patrick Janka View Post
I mean, an SSD? Those things are a ripoff right now.
All in the eye of the beholder. As an OS drive they can't be beat. I have an 80GB Intel, which now costs $215. While you may initially think "dang, that's expensive!", you have to realize what you are gaining from that.

First and foremost is performance. They absolutely SMOKE a standard hard drive. Windows loads in seconds, programs pop up responsively when launching them, instead of waiting a half minute to load (Premiere in particular).

Next comes reliability. SSDs don't have moving mechanical parts that can break. It really sucks when you lose your OS drive and have to spend all day reinstalling everything and tweaking program settings when you are in the middle of a deadline for a client.

Other factors to figure are that SSDs generate much less heat and are smaller, allowing more airflow around them (important) to get to the other components of the system.

Randall is right on with what he said as well. In the end, we are just trying to help you build a system with the capacity of running CS5 comfortably, one of your requests.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 12:22 PM   #17
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I didn't catch that all you are doing is wedding videos. If you don't need the options that CS5 offers, then you don't need to build a system capable of running it. Buy a stock i5 system from Dell or HP or what not and buy Edius 5 for your NLE. Problem solved.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 01:22 PM   #18
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I was exaggerating about the $20,000, although if you go to Apple's website and fully max out a Mac Pro it's over $20,000...and that's still without a monitor!

With the mobo I'm looking at is the RAID built-in, or would I need to get a separate RAID controller?

I'd also like a wireless n LAN card and bluetooth built in, what do you recommend?
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Old July 8th, 2010, 01:27 PM   #19
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btw, Craig, I didn't mean to jump on you, I'm just getting frustrated. I also didn't just mean you, but anytime you ask an enthusiast for advice they usually go way overboard. I'm just running Vegas now, but said I may want to in the future go to CS5. Most of my editing projects are minor, but am trying to get into other stuff like short film, commercials, etc., so I definitely am looking for a machine that would be able to handle all of that. I don't plan on doing anything anywhere near Hollywood level, though, so I don't need the absolute fastest system that money can buy.

In any event, I do appreciate all the help =)
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Old July 8th, 2010, 01:37 PM   #20
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Understood. You may call me an enthusiast, I call me someone who's been around the block with building computers and knows what works and what doesn't. I've also been down the road of spending more money than I would have liked because the stuff I bought 6 months ago doesn't play nice (not powerful enough) for the new software or new camera's codec. Just trying to help you out there, I wish you could understand that. Premiere is a different beast, and you have to build to accomodate it.

Luckily HDV really isn't that much of a burden on newer software programs. You can get by on what you spec'd if you plan on sticking with HDV and Vegas.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 02:12 PM   #21
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You said you have an 80GB SSD, but in the videoguys tutorial for building a pc they say to get at least a 1TB for your OS/program files. Are you putting software and whatnot on other drives?
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Old July 8th, 2010, 03:00 PM   #22
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Here's my two cents worth.

For background: I mostly do multi-cam weddings & events and single cam legal video. PPro CS5 is my editor of choice. (I have the Production Premium Suite). I sourced my system from NewEgg with an I7/920, 12gB Corsair RAM, GTX260 video card, Hitachi 7200 rpm drives (1 system drive and 2 in an on-board Raid 0), PC Power & Cooling 750 w power supply, Pioneer BR 205, Win 7/64. My problems with PPro are with longer multi-cam projects where I may be running 5 streams of HDV and AVCHD. Because I may have three or four projects going at a time, I got an external GSpeed 4TB Raid that runs off a PCI Raid Card. I have a large and plain Antec case for which bought 2 extra 120mm fans.

Based on experience with my set up, here's what I think I have learned about building a good basic system for Adobe CS4/5.

1. Assembling your own system is not hard. If you follow a proven recipe like the VIdoguys DIY recipe and you understand how to install Win7 to a new system, it will work right away and be far more useful to you than an HP or Dell.

2. NewEgg is a good source for builders because you can read a lot of reviews before you buy a component. Buy only components with lots of very positive reviews.

3. For the CS5 Mercury Playback Engine, you do not need a $1000+ video card but you will need at least an multi-GPU nVidia card with more than 700 mb of VRAM. It is very easy to make them work with CS5 and the MPE even when they aren't on the list. See the thread on this in the Adobe Forums for how easy it is to do this and the discussions of which nVidia cards will and will not work. How to make Premiere CS5 work with GTX 295 and possibly all 200 GPUs As a practical matter, a suitable video card will probably cost somewhere around $200. Additionally, such cards will allow you to run two monitors. Some people (me, for instance) find a two monitor set-up makes it much easier to work with Premiere and Vegas.

4. You do not need a solid state drive but you do need to get at least three hard drives: one for a system drive and two for a RAID 0 which will be where you put and keep your a/v files. A 1TB system drive may seem like overkill but: (a) they are cheap (NewEgg was recently selling the 1TB Hitachis deskstars for $60) and (b) you want to keep have a relatively large proportion of open space on the system drive (drives slow down as they fill up. I started with a 300gB system drive when using CS4, but after few upgrades and some new software, it suddenly was 75% full and CS5 was slowing down. Plus the bigger drive gives you someplace to park things when you might want to render something to a different drive than the one with your editing files. (Say, for example, you wanted to make a DVD disk image for burning; you have the image saved to the system drive so you are not trying to write the file to the same disk you are reading from).

5. Do get a full size case. Regardless of whether you want to fill up all the hard drive bays, you definitely want the airflow and space around the components. Videocards are getting long and huge and the fit can be a problem with many mid-size cases. Even with a big case you may find that the back end of your video card will be butting up close to your hard drives. I don't have a specific recommendation as my Antec case model is no longer available.

6. Do get at least a 750w power supply. You'll need the power and the larger fan also helps with cooling the case.

7. After-market CPU cooling kits are nice and many are better than the stock ones that come with your CPU. However, you can get by without one if you do not overclock your CPU and if you use something like Arctic Silver compound. It is cheap and even Radio Shack carries it. Apply a coating between the cooling fins/fan set up and the top of the CPU.

8. Do buy at least a couple of 120mm case fans if they do not come with your case. Read the reviews on NewEgg to find ones that most people find to be good ones.


All that being said, I want to ask why you are planning on going to CS5? If you think it has tools that you need, have you tried working with it to see if those tools will do what you think you want to do and how hard or easy it is for you to use them? I happen to like PPRo a lot but it works easily for me and I find Vegas difficult. If you are happy with Vegas, the machine requirements are less stringent and your equipment choices are broader. With your budget range, I also have to ask if you are upgrading from earlier Adobe products? If not, a CS5 package can be nearly as expensive as the computer you will be building. If you are looking for something other than Vegas that works well with, say AVCHD and also does multi-cam work and could be used for the kinds of projects you were thinking about, you might want to consider Edius as another poster suggested. It will be a less expensive package and, again, the equipment requirements are less stringent. Try downloading a trial version and see how it works for you.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 03:28 PM   #23
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Right now I'm using up 61GB on this drive. I have Win 7 Pro 64 bit, CS5 Production Premium suite, and software for web development as well as a few odds and ends (Google Earth, Quicktime, etc).

As long as you are using the machine for video editing and you don't need to install a bunch of crap like games and what not, you'll be fine. Don't store documents and photos and music in your user profile (my documents/my pictures/desktop/etc), keep them on a separate drive (not your video drive). I keep all mine on a mirrored array (2x1.5TB). You don't need to be so robust, I just do that to keep my data a bit more safe. It also helps that all my drives except for my OS are in an external rackmounted 12 bay chassis.

Oh... and your raid question. That board will be able to push the drives you desire. Any reason why you went for the Premium version instead of the -E version? That could save you a bit of money.

And lastly, my suggestion on SSD was just that. I wasn't saying it was a requirement, I was just saying I find it very useful in my system.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 03:36 PM   #24
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I have already posted this in another thread, but I will repeat it here. Here is the system I built last month with a Core i7 930:

Case: Antec 1200
Power Supply: BFG 1200 watts
Processor: Core i7 930
Mobo: Gigabyte: EX58 UD-5
HD: Four (4) WD Caviar Black 1 TB 64mb cache
Lite-On DVD/CD Drive (dual layer
Ram: Corsair 12 GB DDR3 PC3-12800 1600Mhz
Video: Zotac nVidia GTX 285
Cooling: Noctua NH D14

Total cost: Just a little over $2,000.00

I easily overclocked it to to 3.85, and it is running stable on Windows 7 Pro and Snow Leopard with low temps.

Now, certain of these parts were chosen because I wanted to try Premiere Pro CS5 and at the same time have a box running Final Cut Pro under Snow Leopard (basically a dual boot / dual OS system ... MAC + Windows.)

The GTX 285 (now discontinued) was on Adobe's approved Cuda list and it also works with Snow Leopard. The Gigabyte EX58 UD5 is a board that works extremely well in both MAC and Windows systems.

So, for a little over $2,000.00 I have a 3.85GHz octocore monster that runs Premiere Pro and FCP with ease. Will it be obsolete in a year or two? Probably not totally obsolete ... but certainly surpassed. However, it doesn't have to cost you $20,000.00 to get serious performance.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 04:31 PM   #25
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Bill,

Did you run into any issues getting Snow Leopard on the system? I was thinking of doing this soon.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 09:25 PM   #26
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No. None whatsoever. However, with that said, a considerable amount of time and research went into the project beforehand to make sure the build and installation were as painless as possible. Getting OSX to run on a home-made, non MAC machine can be an exercise in frustration. Suffice it say, that it is a very hardware specific undertaking. You have to decide in advance which OSX installation program you will use and then follow the supported hardware list for that program. Also, it is slightly more complicated when you also want to have a dual boot machine. However, at the end of the day, it certainly can be done with relatively few headaches, if you take the time and do your homework in advance. There are some very good resources out there to help you. If you need more info send me a PM.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 09:48 PM   #27
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Craig said: "As long as you are using the machine for video editing and you don't need to install a bunch of crap like games and what not, you'll be fine. Don't store documents and photos and music in your user profile (my documents/my pictures/desktop/etc), keep them on a separate drive (not your video drive)."

Since the OP is looking at PPro CS5, I think that this is an excellent point that bears re-emphasizing and also points up a good reason to have an extra hard drive or two in your system. (So maybe you do wind up using more of that big case than you might have thought.) Keeping stuff out of your Windows "user profile" files is especially important when working with Adobe products because. Adobe's default location for media cache files is in your user folders (in Win 7 it will be something like c:\users\AccountName\appdata\roaming\Adobe\Common ...).

Stuff builds up in there very quickly and eats hard drive space and system performance like you would not believe.

So if you get PPro (that is if you buy it or get a trial download instead), you should immediately go into its Preferences menu (under the drop down "edit" menu. Select "Media" and check the box for "save media cache files next to originals when possible" and put your Media Cache Data Base elsewhere, too.

That same buried menu has a button for cleaning out your media cache files. It is a good idea to use it periodically.

With PPro, you also will find it very helpful to have your "scratch disk" locations on the same drive/raid with your project files unless you've got another fast non-system disk or two. I didn't mention it above, but I do have a non-system drive dedicated to scratch files, and find that it helps with editing responsiveness on longer projects. In no event do you do want PPro putting scratch disks in your user profile files on your system disk.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 08:17 PM   #28
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Do get a full size case. Regardless of whether you want to fill up all the hard drive bays, you definitely want the airflow and space around the components. Videocards are getting long and huge and the fit can be a problem with many mid-size cases. Even with a big case you may find that the back end of your video card will be butting up close to your hard drives. I don't have a specific recommendation as my Antec case model is no longer available.
This is important. In fact, I can no longer recommend most of the Antec-branded gaming cases because they are cramped on the inside even though they look big on the outside (specifically, the permanently-integrated drive cage gets in the way in those cases, and the cases can barely fit a typical X58 motherboard as a result). With my Nine Hundred, I had to completely remove the motherboard just to connect additional internal SATA hard drives to the front-edge-mounted ports. And it offers barely enough room (length-wise) to comfortably fit my current HD 5770 in there without having the cables and connectors bent or pinched by the card and case.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 08:40 PM   #29
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Antec seems to have good quality in their cases, but their design/functionality I don't care for. I find the CoolerMaster to be a right combination of price, quality, and ease of use. I really like their higher end cases that have the slight out motherboard tray. Makes life a lot easier if you need access to something. And they have great airflow and plenty of fan mounting options. My last 5 builds for video editors have been with them. If I ran a tower I would have used them too, but I'm running a 4U rackmount. My case is stuffed, but I don't have any hard drives other than an SSD and the Noctua 14 really knocks out serious cooling for the CPU/RAM area.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 11:34 PM   #30
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So, I was going to get this same PC for CS5 and I don't understand why this isn't a good rig for editing.

I work with the Stanford film program and we edit 1080p footage with Final Cut Pro on 21.5 Core 2 Duo
4GB RAM iMacs.and they run perfectly.

This HP seems like quite the upgrade from that...
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