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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old September 18th, 2006, 03:31 PM   #1
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Please verify my HDV-editing setup...

I am in the process of buying a new computer with the main purpose of non-lineair HDV editing. I have a Sony HDR-HC1 but will be updating to a better, more professional camera somewhere in the middle of 2007. I want to buy a setup that can be used confidently in the next three years or more.

This is what I have in mind:

- Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz
- Corsair Value S. PC5300 DDR2 2048MB (2x 1024MB)
* Corsair Value S. PC5300 DDR2 2048MB (2x 1024MB)
(So 4GB of RAM together)
- Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB SATA2
* Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB SATA2
(Raid 1 Stripe configuration)
- Gigabyte GA-965P-S3, P965, Socket-775
(Firewire and 8x SATA)
- POINT OF VIEW GeForce 7950GT 512MB (Dual DVI)

I already own a Samsung Syncmaster 930BF with I really like. To complement this monitor, I want to buy a Samsung 204B. There is also the 205BW 16:9 monitor but I do not see a real benefit of this. The 204B is also more expensive, which has a good reason I suppose. From what I understand, it is the 20" version of my 930BF monitor.

I have chosen for Intel as AMD is laggin behind at this moment with regards to dual-core processors. I guess they will catch up but at this moment, from what I have heard, the Core 2 DUO is the best processor.

I have no idea what the requirements for a good graphics card are. I have just chosen a card that was not too expensive and has Dual-DVI (which is the only requirement I have from the graphics card. But maybe I want to play some games at some point, so this one will do I guess. What I am interested in is if there are cards with hardware HD encoding/decoding?

I will be using either Avid Xpress HD or Adobe Production Suite. I have not decided about the editing program I am going to use. I am currently using Final Cut Pro, but the Mac hardware is just too expensive in my eyes. So I am going to make the switch to Windows again (which I also use at work).

So if you can tell me if this setup will work, please do so. Also tell me thing I should look at or that I could change for the better.

As always, thanks for the great feedback I always get here!
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Old September 19th, 2006, 09:46 AM   #2
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Some NLEs can use the GPU on the graphics card to speed up transition and effect rendering. You'd do well to investigate if this is supported and buy the appropriate hardware. It is valuable for SD editting, and 6X so for HD.

You've got plenty of RAM but you can never have enough hard disk space! I've got more than that for SD editting, wish I had more, and doing HD could require even more.

Of course, if you work on only a single large or only a few smaller projects at a time and delete it/them from disk when done ignore what I said.

Personally, I'd love to add an additional Terabyte or 2 to my system. :-)

At the office, IT reports to me (strange setup where IT reports to VP of R&D). We needed to expand a server so this week we are buying a LaCie "Biggest F800" external Firewire (IEEE 1394b) RAID storage unit. Ask me in a week or two what I think.

The CPU requirements for HD editting can be significant depending on the CODEC used -- it is a tradeoff of space/size/storage required vs. CPU power required, not to mention the image tradeoffs compression brings. I'd suggest you spend more $$$ in this area. You'll appreciate it every time you want to build a DVD if not anywhere else.

A few years ago when HyperThreading was very new I built my current system, putting in it the fasted (3.0GHz) HyperThreaded processor Intel had then (it was so new I was on a waiting list for them to start shipping it). Despite the cost I have absolutely no regrets. I only wish I could have spent even more (at the time) and built something even more powerful!

I think it is approaching the time for me to build something bigger, more powerful and current state-of-the art. :-)

Last edited by Bill Flowers; September 19th, 2006 at 09:53 AM. Reason: Additional thoughts added
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Old September 19th, 2006, 08:05 PM   #3
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Keep hard disks separate for OS and video. Get a small boot drive for OS and programs and back it up. Then get as much storage as you want for the other hard drives. You could use RAID 0 for the video storage but make sure you have batch capture files stored seperately so that you can always reconstruct a project. I have a small ( 20G ) boot drive, a TEMP drive of 160G and several 200G drives. Project files are on the TEMP drive which are backed up to the same external drive as the OS backup. All video/audio programs use the TEMP drive for their temp files.

Ron Evans
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Old September 20th, 2006, 04:20 PM   #4
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Ok, that might be a good idea. I was thinking about using one raptor 150GB 10.000rpm disk and one big 500GB disk. I also have a 320GB external usb 2.0/firewire harddisk, which will give me some back-up space.
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Old September 24th, 2006, 01:21 AM   #5
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Floris... you are posting at the right time as I too have been in the market for purchasing a new editing machine and as a matter of fact, just placed my order today for this system... Here is what I've put together...

ARK 6099S BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
In Win IP-P460Q3-2 ATX12V 460W Active PFC Power Supply
Intel Boxed Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4Ghz LGA 775 Processor
Gigabyte GA-965G-DS3 Intel P965 Motherboard
Apollo PCI IEEE-1394a FW6306-3I Retail Firewire Card
Viewsonic VX922 19" LCD Monitor 1280X1024
Viewsonic VX922 19" LCD Monitor 1280X1024
eVGA 256-P2-N625-AR Geforce 7900GS 256Mb GDDR3 PCI Express KO HDCP
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS 320Gb SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS 320Gb SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS 320Gb SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
NEC 1.44Mb 3.5" Internal Floppy Disk Drive
NEC 16X DVD+/-R DVD Burner ND-3550A Drive
NEC 16X DVD+/-R DVD Burner ND-3550A Drive
Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Combo w/Memory)
Corsair XMS2 2Gb (2 x 1Gb) 240-pin DDR2 800 PC2 6400 TWIN2X2048-6400

Allow me to make a few comparisons to what I am putting together and what you are suggesting...

#1) I 100% believe you are getting the right CPU. :)

#2) I think 4Gb of RAM is actually overkill as you'll soon find out that Windows XP really has a difficult time recognizing anything over 2Gb. Theoretically, it can see 4Gb but that includes the pagefile and other "system" drivers. Needless to say, it was my plan to purchase 4Gb but was advised against it by several saying, save the $250.00, spend it on an intermediary CODEC for editing, you'll get MUCH more bang for your buck there and I agree. Also, I would consider buying faster RAM, The 2Gb of Cosair memory I bought was $299 PC2-6400 (DDR2 - 800Mhz) but came with a $40 MIR. That's $259 for 2Gig's, not too bad for VERY fast memory.

#3) I don't agree with the choice of drives, and I think you should buy 3 as I have. You want to keep the OS and pagefile on a completely seperate drive setup than your system drives. The Caviar SE16 drives are "ok" but I think the WD RE series of drives are far better and the Seagate .10 series of drives comprable. Also, RAID 1 puzzles me... Why not go for the best performance with RAID 0?

#4) Good motherboard choice, but I think the DS-3 is a step up. I had a tough decision between this, the ASUS P5-B, and the Abit AB9 Pro. AB9 Pro had built on Firewire and all the "features" but personal reviews scared me away about this board being premature. Seems Gigabyte has been out the longest, been the most progressive with updates, etc.

#5) I think you are spending too much on a Video Card personally, for half the price you can get 80% the performance and frankly, if I were to spend $400+ on a video card, I'd go with one of the PNY Quatro series of professional video cards. Their Video Overlay support is evidently better and they have more options for external monitor support, etc. None the less, for $200 you can get a 7900GS board that should do it.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 09:29 AM   #6
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Floris, if you go Avid, make sure your graphics card is supported by Avid. I can't remember if the GeForce is or not. I think Premiere is a little more forgiving of video card choice.

Personally, I love Avid, I edit HDV on a Dell M70 Laptop (2g RAM) and can edit in half resolution no problem. The great thing about Avid is it does a great job of transcoding HDV footage into Avid's HD codec which means I can output my stuff on a Avid Adrenaline system.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 09:51 AM   #7
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I need to know if Avid can work with Canon 24F HDV, and if my graphics card is supported. I have a Club 3D GeForce 7900GS Dual-DVI.

How do I find out if it will work?
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 05:13 PM   #8
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one thing that not many people have touched on is the Main system drive..
i would always reccomend to ANYONE that they go an 80gb drive to be used specifically for the main OS. In addition to this drive, partition it with a seperate Pagefile partition (if possible) and to split it in half
ie C: MAIN
D: <dvd drive>
E: <Partition from C> E: Media

then to have their raids or what have u as seperate entities altogether.

Keep all ur apps and system and business files on C...
Keep all ur prijects etc on E
Keep all your media on the Raid or chunk drives (as i call them)

In case of failure, this is the safest way (save from a total raid mirror backup)
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 05:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floris van Eck
I need to know if Avid can work with Canon 24F HDV, and if my graphics card is supported. I have a Club 3D GeForce 7900GS Dual-DVI.

How do I find out if it will work?
Go to the Avid site and check

system requirements and recomendations are provided, however Avid will only support certified system builds
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