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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old April 30th, 2003, 03:47 AM   #1
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New computer Specs

Hi Guys,
I'm looking to upgrade my super-old pc (Athlon 550mhz -256mb ram Geforce 1 !!!) to a brand spanking new deathdealing mother of a video editing / 3d modelling / sound recording + editing / visual fx / gaming rig.

Now obviously because of the multipurpose nature of it there will have to be some compromises, i.e. I will probably plump for the Radeon 9800 pro DDR / TV-out....rather than something like the Matrox RT-10 (gotta think about Doom 3!)

I just wanted to run these specs by the people on the board and get your opinions on improvements, or mistakes I've made.

Thanks a lot!

------------
3.066GHz Hyper Threading (PG-800FSB) Intel Pentium® 4 CPU 512k Cache
[£349.33]

Asus P4C800 Deluxe DDR i875P Canterwood 800FSB Mobo
[£192.70]

2 x Corsair XMS 512Mb DDR 400MHz PC3200 Cas 2 - Low Latency Platinum
[ £229.13]

Coolermaster ATCS-710 GX2 Gun Metal Tower
[£78.73]

550W Enermax EG651P-VE Whisper Quiet Dual Fan PSU - AMD Approved / P4 2Yr
[£93.94]

Cooling stuff: Coolermaster P4 DP D14-7H51C (upto 3.06Hz) P4 **S423** and P4 Xeon
[£5.82]

Pioneer DVD ROM 120 Tray x16 (40 CD) Dual Laser Pickups IDE [£32.90]

Pioneer 105 (x4)-R (x2)-RW CDR(x16) CDRW (x8) CDRead (x32) DVD (x6)
[£186.83]

80Gb Maxtor Firewire 1394 External Hard Drive 7200rpm
[£166.26]

120Gb Western Digital (WD1200JB) ATA-100 (7200rpm, 8MB Cache, 8.5ms) Quiet Drive Technology 3Yr
[£110.45]

180Gb Western Digital (WD1800JB) ATA-100 (7200rpm, 8MB Cache, 8.5ms) Quiet Drive Technology 3Yr
[£151.58]

128Mb ATI Saphire Radeon 9800 Pro DVI/TV DDR Retail
[£374.83]

1.44Mb Samsung Floppy Disk Drive
[£5.86]

22" - CRT iiyama VM Pro 513. 024dp 120KHz
[£400.68]

Scan Eten 64Bit Gigabit Ethernet Network Adapter 10/100/1000Mbps
[£41.13]

MS Windows XP Home Edition
[£70.21]

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum eX Retail
[£128.08]


speakers/mouse/keyboard/dv capture card I'll just port from my old system.

All the prices include VAT (tax) and
TOTAL = £2,636.04

---------------


Now, the 120gb drive is for OS and games and stuff like that, the 180gb drive is for video storage/scratch disk, and the 80gb firewire drive is for capture / scratch disk / editing and it's external so I can transfer video files more easily between computers. Is this a sensible way to have it? I'm not too concerned about RAID, the speed increase of striping wouldn't be worth it without also mirroring for safety, and I'm not about to buy 4 hard drives etc..

I went for XP home, not because I like it particularly (98se at present), but just because of compatibility....lots of stuff I want to use now has to have it to run...would it be worth getting the pro edition?

Also, I will wait till 1gb memory sticks become available, and get one, to go to 2gb (with 1 dimm left free for the future).

Any ideas / comments would be much appreciated...it is something of an investment.

Alex Gingell
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Old April 30th, 2003, 05:35 AM   #2
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Definitely ditch Home Edition. Whatever runs on Home will certainly run on Pro. That's some serious hardware and you might always decide to go with a dual processor later, which only Pro supports. Pro also has better, and more advanced networking capabilities - Home edition can't even join a Windows 2000 domain proper. You may not need this of course but its an indication of Home's limitations.

And while we're talking top notch hardware I'd go for an industry standard in computing power supplies. Check out PC Power and Cooling for some of the best power supplies around. We're talking 5 year warranties, not two.

I also have a dislike of Creative Labs Soundblaster soundcards but that's just me. The eX looks promising however.

Smart move on the 1GB memory - all my slots are populated already and I'd love to throw more in.

Looks like a fun system to build, enjoy!
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Old April 30th, 2003, 05:43 AM   #3
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I agree with Chris...you can opt to save some $$ on Enermax PS however, PC Power and Cooling is the Jaguar of PS.Creative SB sucks, because it seems to always pop each time I install it. Lastly, spend the extra $$ and get Pro, home is a joke, it is like owning a shareware/trialware version of XP. Double check the CAS latency of the RAM CAS2 on a 400MHz chip is something rare to find usually I see it running at a CAS 2.5.
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Old April 30th, 2003, 05:50 AM   #4
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Was just surfing PC Power & Cooling and see that they now offer customized power supplies, that's crazy: custom options.

Right when I posted I knew without a doubt that Garret was gonna jump in. Excellent way of putting it: Home is a trial version of XP. Forgot about the CAS, yikes.
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Old April 30th, 2003, 06:42 AM   #5
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Hi. thanks for the replies.

I will definitely take your advice on xp pro.

As I live in the UK I don't think ordering from PC Power & Cooling is an option for me. Are enermax power supplies good enough though? Where are they lacking?

Could you elaborate on the RAM a bit? Is CAS2 better than CAS2.5 (i.e. lower latency). (It is CAS2 I checked).

I double checked and I think the "400MHZ DDR" ram is 400mhz when using DDR not 800mhz as I had assumed (been out of the loop for a couple of months so I figured it might have got that fast! :) )

So then it doesn't seem to be taking full advantage of the 800mhz fsb on the cpu/mobo. Should I consider getting even faster like pc3700 or 3500?

I steered clear of RDRAM just because it's twice as expensive, and I definitely need >= 1gb.

Alex
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Old April 30th, 2003, 06:52 AM   #6
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To elaborate on my 800mhz fsb / ddr400 question...

a quote from anandtech:

" 800MHz FSB offers a maximum of 6.4GB/s of bandwidth between the processor and the MCH; to maintain bandwidth balance, the 875P's dual channel DDR memory controller supports DDR400 which, when installed in pairs offers the same 6.4GB/s of bandwidth as the chipset's FSB. "

So presumably that pair of 512mb sticks I mentioned initially will be using the bus to the fullest extent?

Alex
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Old April 30th, 2003, 01:13 PM   #7
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Alex, you've definitely got some nice components listed. It's been posted here in the past, but www.tomshardware.com is just about the only bias free component evaluation site left on the internet. I highly recommend that you do some searching there as well.

Also, you may want to compare the specs on the Pioneer DVD burner vs. the 2 Sony models and determine which is best for you.
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Old April 30th, 2003, 07:31 PM   #8
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All of the Corsair Low Latency Ram has these timings

CAS 2-2-2-5

BTW great Ramchoice but I recommend nuying the RAm in the match set package as 1 Gb and going with a Intel 875 Canterwood Motherboard or a Intel Grainte bay. As these will give you Dual channel Ram which is much faster...

The Matrox RTx series of video cards are an add in Pci card you can run what ever AGp graphics card an it wont interfer with the Matrox.

You are a brave man for wanting an all purpose machine....I couldnt imagine having all of that on one machine . I hope your are ready to have like 4 seperate partions

Hope this helps

Ps. Sorry fo tha bad typing....I broke 3 fingers at work yesterday so I am working at a slight disadvantge
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Old April 30th, 2003, 09:39 PM   #9
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hopefully with 3 separate hdd's I won't need 4 separate partitions ?
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Old May 1st, 2003, 08:43 AM   #10
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I personally would atleast keep my Gaming in a seperate partion than my video editing apps. I was having all kinds of prblems when I had everything in one partion. As far as audio goes I used to have a nightmare trying to get Steinberg CubaseSX and My Adobe suite to live happily with each other. I was having a lot of conflicts between my Matrox RT2500 and my Delta Audiophile2496 card.....Oh BTW check then out for an audio card they make pro stuff at affordalble prices www.midiman.com........I eventually move everything that was audio into another machine and bought a couple of RME hammerfall cards to take 8 channel ADAT in and out of the two machines.

About your RAm situation. Remeber with the 875 motherboard you must add ram in matched pairs in order to use the dual channel Ram bandwidth. iF If I recall I think that all Canterwoods have atleast 4 DIMM slots to put memory into too. So you you would have to jump from 2 gig to 4 gig if you went that route. As the Match sets of Corsiar get a little cheaper maybe just pick up one 1 gig set for now and then another later...I am not sure what your budgets like but I try to be very carefull with my cash.

Dont worry too much about the Enermax PS as they make some really nice stuff. I use a 550 in my audio machine that has 4 HDDs and 2 Overclocked P3s. I personally perfer Antec but you wont have any problems with the Enermax. All I can say is make sure the case has adeqeut cooling as you are puttind a lot of hot componente in it. If your case doesnt come with enough fans I recommend getting some Panisonic Panaflos...There arent as Quiet as the Pabst fans but there almost as good and a whole lot cheaper.

Hope this helps out a little

P.S. Typing with broken fingers sucks. But not as much as trying to use a Shuttle contour with my left hand.....
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Old May 1st, 2003, 09:21 AM   #11
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Thanks for the in depth reply Scott (sorry about the fingers!)

In terms of serious audio editing, I won't be doing that, as a friend is the main sound guy for our little film team...he has a dedicated setup. I really just want a card with midi in so that I can record from my electronic drum kit. It would also be nice to tinker with a bit of sound design and music, but like I say it's not my main concern

In terms of the RAM, I will go for a matched 512mb pair, and then perhaps upgrade with a matched 1gb pair later, taking me to 3gb.

So I'm interested to know the best way to set up my harddrives in terms of partitions etc.

My idea would be to create 3 40gb partitions on the 120gb drive, and put the OS in one (along with other programs maybe), games stuff in one, and the video editing applications in the other. Then I would use the external 80gb firewire drive for capturing and perhaps holding the bulk/all of what I'm currently editing, because presumably it will be faster that way (and I can back it up to the 180gb drive with a button press).

Does that seem about right? I'm no expert about why I should be doing it like this.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 10:17 AM   #12
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Alex - Great looking system, you'll have to let us know how it all works once you get it up and running.

Scott, any idea where you can get a Intel 875P board. I've got everything else and am just waiting on a source for the board.

Thanks
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Old May 1st, 2003, 11:30 AM   #13
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Alex- Heres how I would do it.
120 divided into 4 30 gig partions all formated NTFS

Partion 1- Windows XP Pro for Video and Audio

Partion 2- Video and Audio Applications

Partion 3- Windows XP Pro for Gaming

Partion4- Games and Misc storage

By doing this your have a dual boot machine with 2 isolated copys of XP. This works great because there are different tweaks and setting for Gaming and Video.
You would be best off not doing anything other than A/V on the video partion that way you dont have to worry about several things running in the background eating up vauable Cpu ticks. Use your gaming partion for web surfing and such.
Heres a great link for tweaking XP to be a A/V monster http://www.videoguys.com/WinXP.html

Now about the firewire drive I personally would use it for back up and use my 180 for scratch and capturing. Acutally what i do is capture and store to my 240gig Raid 5 and store temp projects to a Firewire drive that way I can take it with my laptop or loan it to a client.....I also use another firewire drive to image and backup all of the Application hard drives. I know that this requires a lot of drives but with drive prices being so cheap it doesnt really cost that much to have a solid realible method of storage. This method is actually cheaper than a Seagate Viper tape drive which was my other consideration. I look at it this way "how much money would I lose if I had a faliure"......The answer...None. I am totally protected... I keep a back up drive for the Raid so If a drive fails I just pop in a new and send the other in for replacement. The Raid automatically rebuilds itself in about 20 minutes.

Rob- Check out www.newegg.com
I dont know what they have in stock but I know they dont have the Abit IC7-G because thats the one I am waiting for.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 12:17 PM   #14
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Scott,

Not even listed on thier site yet, I've pre-ordered from PC Connection and Frys, we'll see who gets it first. I was looking at the ABIT also, Googlegear has it in stock for a few bucks less than Newegg now.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 02:24 PM   #15
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Interesting stuff Scott - thanks for taking the time to explain it.

Wouldn't the firewire drive be quicker than the 7200rpm 180gb western digital, and therefore shouldn't that be used for editing and playback?

I guess I will do what you suggest with the 120gb drive, then use the 180gb for scratch etc, and the firewire drive can take the spillover, or backup important stuff.

Thanks again
Alex
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