Help me Spec. an Editing Computer at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 16th, 2009, 09:20 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Riverwoods, IL
Posts: 65
Help me Spec. an Editing Computer

I have reached a point where my present computer is really at it's limit as far as editing and rendering is concerned. Presently I am using a 4 year old Dell 350 Workstation. It is a single processor at 3Ghz and has 1Gig or ram and two SCSI drives. One 36 MB and the other 73 MB. I also have 4 external drives totaling 2.5 TB linked to it via 1394 cards.

There is no reason to upgrade the 350 as the RAM is outrageously expensive ($1,000.00 for another Gig) and I can keep it as is for other jobs.

I edit using Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum (ver 9.0) The Sony program is perfect for the type of work I edit. The projects are from 10 minutes to 55 minutes in length and I often have to cut different versions or short segments from the long version. In some cases I have had as many as 6 short versions edited from the long version.

I don't need a compter with huge internal storage. I would prefer a computer with one boot drive with the programs on it and a second drive to keep current work available. I archive the other edited programs in external drives for recall if necessary. Everthing is live action. Graphics are just basic titling. I do not do any involved graphics or 3D modeling.

My biggest bottleneck is rendering. Each finished project has to be rendered into almost every release format including AVI, Quicktime, Real Media (in 2 versions), MPEG, and WMV. In the future I may be ask to do DVIX and IPod too. Once into rendering my current computer is useless for anything else as the system is max'd out doing the render; with WMV being the major culprit in terms of time. Taken to the extreme I occassionally have the long version and 5 shorts to render into a minimum of 5 formats. I can blow most of a day just rendering.

With a new computer I would edit and render in the faster unit. Copy the files into an external drive and connect it to the current computer to feed my DVD burner or upload it to my clients server.

I am currently working is SD format, but I have the ability to shoot 16 X 9 and HD 1080 formats in the future.

I have had good service from my Dell computers (I have 4 in all) and I plan on staying with them. I typically purcase from the Dell Outlet side and get refurbished units. They are cheaper and the guarantee is just as good as a new one. I am confined to what comes down the pike; but in talking to a Dell rep I can place a set of specs with him and when one comes up that matches or is close he will call me. I will get either a series 5400 or a 7400. I have to purchase the computer as configured by Dell. I want a good solid configuration of processor and video card.

Here are my questions.

Where in the computer does the rendering take place? Soley through the processor or in conjunction with the video card?

Will a high end Quad Core or Dual Quad Core computer allow me to render and edit a different job at the same time? Or, will it get bogged down in the render no matter what?

Processor.

Should I go with a Quad core or Dual core processor to save a few bucks?

Many Dells get built with dual Quad Core processors. Is there any advantage of getting a dual processor unit with say (2) 2.0 or 2.66 Ghz Quad Core processors vs. one 3.0 or 3.3 Quad Core processor.


Memory,

I have been told that 4 Gig is the minimum. More is probably better but, how much is too much? I ocassionally see them with 16K and 32 K of memory which is probably overkill for simple video work.

Video Card

What minimum should I be looking at 256 Mb or 512Mb. A few 768Mb computers are available as are dual 256Mb and ocassionally dual 512Mb set ups. The most monitors I would feed are two. Almost all of the singe cards will feed two monitors.

Also, in reading about the capabilities of the video cards; many seem to be designed for CAD and 3D graphics. Is this beyond what I need for video editing? Or, will the added capability transfer to speed regardless of what video the card is processing?

Are there manufactures to include or to exclude from consiteration?

Are there video cards specifically designed for video editing work? If so what are they (brand & model)?

Hard Drives

I am figuring one smaller drive (80 to 160 Gig) for programs and a second one (250 to 500 Mb) to hold the current active files. The Dells will hold up to 4 internal drives and I can add as necessary. This is an upgrade that my Tech can do so anything with two drives is a good start.

Will standard SATA 7,200 RPM drives work internally or should I go to 10,000 RPM SATA drives?

Any other pointers would be helpfull.

What I need is a good workable computer at a reasonable price. I cannot afford to buy a $5,000.00 computer. In monitoring the Dell Outlet site I see lots of good computers in the $2,000.00 to $2,700.00 range.

Thanks,
Michael
Michael Dunn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 16th, 2009, 10:30 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,100
Big list...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Dunn View Post
Here are my questions.

Where in the computer does the rendering take place? Soley through the processor or in conjunction with the video card?
Depends on the editor. Vegas does not leverage the graphics card, so all rendering is handled by the CPU. Other NLEs and supporting programs might well support the GPU (many do) so you have to make the determination.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Dunn View Post
Will a high end Quad Core or Dual Quad Core computer allow me to render and edit a different job at the same time? Or, will it get bogged down in the render no matter what?
They will allow you to render at much faster speeds than what you have now, and you can work on other tasks while the render is happening if you need to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Dunn View Post
Processor.

Should I go with a Quad core or Dual core processor to save a few bucks?

Many Dells get built with dual Quad Core processors. Is there any advantage of getting a dual processor unit with say (2) 2.0 or 2.66 Ghz Quad Core processors vs. one 3.0 or 3.3 Quad Core processor.
More processors are better in GENERAL. There is a balancing act though. For instance one new i7 processor is going to be faster than 2 quadcores. But two slower quads are going to be faster than a fast single quad


Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Dunn View Post
Memory,

I have been told that 4 Gig is the minimum. More is probably better but, how much is too much? I ocassionally see them with 16K and 32 K of memory which is probably overkill for simple video work.

Depends on your operating system. If you are running a 64 bit OS, then 16GB is probably where I'd stop. But memory is relatively cheap compared to CPUs, so take care of that first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Dunn View Post
Video Card

What minimum should I be looking at 256 Mb or 512Mb. A few 768Mb computers are available as are dual 256Mb and ocassionally dual 512Mb set ups. The most monitors I would feed are two. Almost all of the singe cards will feed two monitors.
512Mb if you plan to edit full-sized HD. I work with 2 monitors and ALWAYS wish I could run 3. It's going to be a rare bird to see a decent graphics card in a Dell as they are specialty orders, and cheaper to buy on your own. If you want a decent graphics card (nVidia Quadro) then buy it later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Dunn View Post
Also, in reading about the capabilities of the video cards; many seem to be designed for CAD and 3D graphics. Is this beyond what I need for video editing? Or, will the added capability transfer to speed regardless of what video the card is processing?
Depends. This is a loaded question and will depend greatly on what you decide to use going foward in terms of editing, effects, and other things.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Dunn View Post
Are there manufactures to include or to exclude from consiteration?
Yes. Buy an nVidia Quadro. Done. Buy the fastest one you can afford.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Dunn View Post
Are there video cards specifically designed for video editing work? If so what are they (brand & model)?
Yes there are. Doubtful you'll need one. But you can go look at the Blackmagic and Aja kona cards if you like.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Dunn View Post
Hard Drives

I am figuring one smaller drive (80 to 160 Gig) for programs and a second one (250 to 500 Mb) to hold the current active files. The Dells will hold up to 4 internal drives and I can add as necessary. This is an upgrade that my Tech can do so anything with two drives is a good start.

Will standard SATA 7,200 RPM drives work internally or should I go to 10,000 RPM SATA drives?
7200 RPM drives are fine, and in fact usually preferable. a 160 for programs, and a 500 for data is fine for SD. You will run out of space QUICKLY if you move to HD. Consider that a Blu-Ray dual layer holds 50GB of highly compressed HD. If you had source, finished edit, and the version to burn to blu-Ray, you'd probably be looking at 150-200GB for a single project depending on length and codec chosen. Uncompressed HD will eat up 500GB per HOUR or more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Dunn View Post
Any other pointers would be helpfull.

What I need is a good workable computer at a reasonable price. I cannot afford to buy a $5,000.00 computer. In monitoring the Dell Outlet site I see lots of good computers in the $2,000.00 to $2,700.00 range.

Thanks,
Michael
Buy the fastest cpu(s) you can afford. Everything else is easily upgraded.
__________________
DVX100, PMW-EX1, Canon 550D, FigRig, Dell Octocore, Avid MC4/5, MB Looks, RedCineX, Matrox MX02 mini, GTech RAID, Edirol R-4, Senn. G2 Evo, Countryman, Moles and Lowels.
Perrone Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 16th, 2009, 10:50 PM   #3
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Bremerton Washington
Posts: 8
video editor specs

I recommend you study the several articles at videoguys.com on building your own video editing workstation. There's a wealth of knowledge to be gained -- even if you don't intend on building your own. You'll likely find the answers to your questions. I'm not meaning to discourage you from asking questions. It is just that I find the videoguys website to be a really great place to start.

Charles
Charles Walker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 17th, 2009, 06:50 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Riverwoods, IL
Posts: 65
Thanks to both of you for taking the time to answer my questions.

I have been in the business all my life (I am just turning 65 in a month or so) as a producer and director. I can edit motion picture film but, when video came around I worked with editors who ran the equipment in both linear and non-linear. Now I have learned NLE and I love doing it. I am not a tech oriented person; hence the laundry list of questions.
Michael Dunn is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:13 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network