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Old March 22nd, 2010, 06:28 PM   #1
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New to forum and need computer advice.

Hello everyone. First time posting and a part time shooter with a JVC GY-DV700 shooting mostly bands now days on the side from my usual career. Previous experience includes commercials, sports, instructional DVD's and other broadcast stuff starting as a grip doing lighting and sound way back when, and working my way up to shooting with some directing thrown in. Currently I have an editor that I've been using to lightly edit and burn DVD's for me, but I want to go ahead and get setup to do my own thing. My current 2.8 GHZ Pentium 4 computer is good enough for the still photography that I do but I don't know if it is going to be enough to edit video taking only 4mb's of ram, so I'm looking to get advice from the editors out there as to a what spec's would be necessary to get by without spending myself into the poor house. I can build my own computer if need be, or swap out a bad board in another case with a better one. I was looking at the i5 and i7 Intel setups at around a grand from NewEgg, but I could get a board and i7 processor for $300, so the question is which way to go. Thoughts?
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 07:42 PM   #2
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There are several components that go into making a hot video box... motherboard, CPU, memory, and video adapter. A nice big LCD monitor is great if you can swing it.

Though some may object to this classification a great video box is identical (or nearly so) to a great gaming box. Both benefit from hot processors and hot display adapters. You already have a case, HDD, DVD, keyboard, etc., but all of those items are cheap. You need the pricey stuff.

At $200 (approx.) the Intel Core i5-750 is widely considered the best bang-for-the-buck and overcloakable processor available at this time. If you're concerned about overclocking, don't be. All you need to do is make sure you keep the components cool.

You can get a pair of nVidia 9800 GT video adapters w/1GB on-board for approx. $100 each.

And finally a decent motherboard and 4GB of fast memory will set you back between $300 and $400 depending on what you choose. Make sure it has native 1394 (Texas Instruments chipset) on the motherboard and supports two SLI adapters. You'll most likely need to upgrade your power supply also to feed the beast.

Bottom line, for between $700 and $1K you can end up with a seriously powerful workstation. Luck.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 11:08 PM   #3
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It all depends on what exactly you need to do and how much you want to spend.

It's one thing to cut video and burn it to disk, and totally different thing to do serious color grading, After Effects compositions, and so on.

It doesn't look like computer technology is going to improve hugely during the next few years. Yes, there will be minor steps forward, but at this point it looks like microprocessor technology is slowing down. So, if you can afford $2K, go for the powerhouse put together by one of our trusted sponsors here, the Video Guys - see Videoguys Blog - Videoguys' DIY7.7: Intel Core i7 with Vista 64 AND Now Windows 7

I promise, you will not regret it. The processor by itself is good but not everything. Go for the matching mobo, 12GB of RAM and so on - read the article!
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 11:33 PM   #4
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Check out the semi-custom configurator at CyberPowerPC, recently got a very nice setup there. Very happy with it.

::: CyberPower :::
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 09:26 AM   #5
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Not to diss the other respondents, but be aware that manufacturers (not system builders such as those referenced in the above posts) discontinue products with distressing frequency. As an example the ASUS P6T mobo referred to by both of the aforementioned system builders has been discontinued.

As far as computer technology 'not going to improve hugely during the next few years'... well... USB 3 is now entering the marketplace and SSD drives are expected to kill off HDD drives in the very near future with the likelihood that we'll be seeing some improvements in connectivity such as serial attached SCSI host buss adapters (SAS-HBA). IMO saying that the tech is not going to improve is... uh... mistaken.

If you are not technically inclined (and I am not associated with what follows in any way shape or form) check out Mwave. You can assemble the parts that you want in your PC (their prices are very competitive) and they will assemble it for you for what I consider to be a very reasonable fee... something like a computer sushi bar.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses.
I guess you can still get that board, although maybe it was replaced already? That would seems status quo in the industry. If there is a better board I would like to know as the setup spec seemed pretty good and it was tested to good results.
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Old March 27th, 2010, 10:19 PM   #7
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Nothing wrong with the board whatsoever. It's just that manufacturers are always upgrading.
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