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Old November 28th, 2008, 06:43 AM   #1
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Need a new system for Vegas - any suggestions?

I am embarking on an early Xmas present for myself - I would like to build a new system without breaking the bank. I have been rendering a lot lately and the times are ridiculous - 3-4+ hours for videos. I would like to cut that down to a reasonable amount.

Right now, I am using an Intel dual core 3.0 (not core2duo) with a with an mid-range motherboard and 2gigs of RAM (DDR2 667) under XP with a SATA drive.

Again, I would really like to move to the Quad core, but I don't think I can afford it right now. I want to increase the speed, but without having to dip too far into the Xmas fund.

Any suggestions would be most helpful - and if you see something on sale somewhere, that would work too!

Last edited by David Delaney; November 28th, 2008 at 08:47 AM.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 08:28 AM   #2
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Why not try AMD? Especially the new Phenom II?
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Old November 28th, 2008, 08:45 AM   #3
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Ok, that is no problem. Any good prices anywhere? What other parts should I consider?
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Old November 28th, 2008, 01:41 PM   #4
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I think there at America you have the PRICEWATCH :: Price Comparison Tool - Find the lowest prices on computer parts, electronics and more before you buy to watch and compare for prices.

Make a search about "AMD PHENOM II" to read some stuff. If you can't wait for it look other PHENOM. Make a search for "AMD PHENOM QUAD-CORE". It's cheaper than INTEL. I had back at 1990 intel then later i choose the AMD family because it is much cheaper. I had no problems. Right now i have one AMD 4200+ 64X2 with 4gb of 800MHZ ram [CORSAIR XMS2 DHX DDR2 4GB (2X2GB) PC2-6400 (800MHZ) CL4 DUAL CHANNEL KIT] (Try for corsair if you want). No problems either. The new ati cards (and nvidia also) have HD chips which i think help the rendering. I also here choose the ati because it is cheaper than nvidia and have smaller size and power consumption. I have the ATI 256mb 2600pro chip. For the HD part choose the SATA type. If you can afford it look for the WD Velociraptor (10.000rpm). If not look for the ABYS model WD. They are 24/7 drives enterprise character. They are hot but not a worry. Also if you make a new pc buy a good PSU with many years warranty. It's the powerhouse of the pc. Look for corsair if you want (Here in Greece have 5years warranty).
Hope it helps.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 03:39 PM   #5
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I switched to a dual core 3.2 with 2 gb ram and it renders my projects in under real time. You can get everything you need, cheap, just add some storage space for your projects. I deal regularly with Tiger Direct. TigerDirect.com - Computers, Computer Parts, Computer Components & Electronics
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Old November 28th, 2008, 05:56 PM   #6
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For the last few years, the Intel processors, particularly the new "i7", are running circles around anything that AMD has to offer. Also, the only truly "Intel Compatible" processor IS an Intel processor.

Secondly, the speed of the video card has nothing to do with the speed of a Vegas render. Vegas does not currently take advantage of the video card's GPU.

Lastly, most renders are bound by the processor and RAM, a 10,000 RPM hard drive isn't going to speed up the renders by much, if at all.

There are only two things that will speed up renders in Vegas, a faster processor and more RAM. (Although Windows XP can only address just over 3GB of RAM. Since Vegas in WinXP is a 32-bit application, it can only use 2GB of memory address space.) If your projects are relatively complex, you might consider going with Vista64 and the new 64-bit Vegas v8.1. Vista64 and Vegas v8.1 can take advantage of as much RAM as you can throw at them.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 07:33 PM   #7
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this has all the details of my set up.. back when I had only Platinum pro 9 and a SR11. AVCHD is harder to render anyway...

YouTube - AVCHD Sony Vegas (64 bit Vista) Edit Bay

I did switch to Vegas pro 8.1 when I got the XDcam ex, the plus being it supports 64bit operating systems. I noticed a difference right away... nice.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 09:24 PM   #8
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Harry Settle,

Are you saying the DUAL CORE or the Core2Dual is fast? I have the Pentium D 3Ghz Dual Core and there is no way it renders for me in real time. That is interesting. I am guessing since my chipset is older, maybe you have a newer one.
I am still rendering normal Mini DV ,so nothing spectacular, but the render times are a killer.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 04:30 AM   #9
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Upgrade vs replace

Cheapest: update your BIOS, chipset and other drivers. You'd be surprised.

Relatively cheap: You didn't mention the motherboard socket, but perhaps a CPU upgrade might be appropriate. Look at tomshardware.com cpu charts, see if price/performance metrics makes sense for you.

I'll disagree with the statement "only truly "Intel Compatible" processor IS an Intel processor." AMD makes a fine CPU, especially if you have a tight budget and is quite compatible. However, the performance metrics generally (not an absolute statement here), have shifted to Intel and the only thing AMD can compete on is price.

Budget upgrade:
I would also question the efficacy of replacing a mobo, ram and cpu with what may prove to be a dead end AMD path. You should be able to get reasonable life out of a LGA775 mobo, even using a budget CPU now, upgrading later. My understanding is Intel will have a few more LGA775 CPU models.

BTW: I am not a fanboy of either brand, as I am presently rendering HDV on a socket 939 AMD.

My research indicates motherboard itself, and RAM speed (DDR 800, 1000, 1333, etc) are not a major factors, as the whole PC is slowed down by other factors, so recommend buying a LGA775 motherboard that can handle minimum 8GB DDR2 800 RAM for "budget" platform. Processor and RAM are the focal points. Most cost effective allocation of dollars is to get the "slower" RAM and faster processor.

Serious Upgrade:
The Core I7 CPU would be the way to go on new system build, as the CPU can "talk" directly to RAM, (there is no northbridge) and the bandwidth is exceptional. This really pays off in Vegas, as even the low end "I7 920" core beats most all the LGA775 quad-cores. Incidentally, a memory controller built into the CPU die AND the ability to do a CPU process on leading and trailing edge of a clock cycle is something AMD implemented awhile ago, but sadly, didn't keep up in other areas. I7 920 CPU is about $300, 3 sticks (6gb) RAM $250, mobo $300 (ouch). So likely out of your reach presently.

Here's some benchmarks:
AnandTech: The Dark Knight: Intel's Core i7
bit-tech.net | Review - Intel's Core i7 920, 945 & 965 processors

I'd also suggest if you are doing a new build (vs upgrade) going to 64-bit OS and Vegas 8.1 to allow for more RAM to be used in renders. There is no reason you cannot install a Win32 OS first, then a Win64 OS, using a partitioned HDD, to ease yourself through the inevitable incompatibilities a 64 bit OS brings.

If it were me, I'd try to get along until you can afford the core i7, even if this means OC'ing current CPU or replacing for now. IMO i7 is a very significant step up.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 05:46 AM   #10
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OK, I suppose that I should have expanded on my "Intel Compatible" processor statement. Yes, AMD makes perfectly fine CPUs and I've used both AMD and Intel CPUs over the years. My problems with AMD CPUs have been more with the supporting Northbridge/Southbridge chipsets. In general, I've had no compatibility issues using Intel processors and Intel chipsets. I built my first quad-core machine using an EVGA motherboard with the nVidia 680 chipset and it was a totally unrelaible disaster.

After the nVidia 680 debacle, I built a few more machines with Intel motherboards, chipsets and quad-core CPUs and they have been astonishingly stable and reliable for close to two years now. I'm about to build some new machines with i7 processors and, based on my experience, will again use Intel motherboards with Intel chipsets. I haven't finalized the specs yet, but here are the specs of my current machines:

John Cline's Quad-Core System Specs
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Old November 29th, 2008, 07:29 AM   #11
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David, I built my quad-core system around the specs John Cline has on his site and remain very happy with it.
If you have a local computer builder you trust, give him John's specs and see what he'd charge.
My price was around $4K Cdn. but this was almost 2 yrs. ago so I know you can get it for a LOT less.
I guarantee that you won't be disappointed.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 09:51 AM   #12
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The QX6700 chipset alone it way to much for me! I will have to pick up a 3rd and 4th job ;)
I am going to have to continue the research and find something a little less powerful but more in my price range.
I don't mind the AMD - I have AMD Black Edition 5000+ (overclocked) right now. Both machines are too low for rendering large projects though so I will have to upgrade one or the other.

I have already updated all bios and drivers for my system, thanks for that though.

The motherboard socket is an LGA775 motherboard. The RAM is DDR2 667.

I was thinking of overclocking my CPU, but I am not sure if it has the capabilities right now. Again, I was hoping to upgrade to a better mobo and CPU but was worried about the price - meaning, I didn't want to go cheap only to regret it, but I didn't want to break the bank either.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 10:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Delaney View Post
I am embarking on an early Xmas present for myself - I would like to build a new system without breaking the bank. I have been rendering a lot lately and the times are ridiculous - 3-4+ hours for videos. I would like to cut that down to a reasonable amount.

Right now, I am using an Intel dual core 3.0 (not core2duo) with a with an mid-range motherboard and 2gigs of RAM (DDR2 667) under XP with a SATA drive.

Again, I would really like to move to the Quad core, but I don't think I can afford it right now. I want to increase the speed, but without having to dip too far into the Xmas fund.

Any suggestions would be most helpful - and if you see something on sale somewhere, that would work too!
I think that David want's something fast and cheap, not thunderspeed and sold out. That's the reason to move to AMD.

John Cline said
"Secondly, the speed of the video card has nothing to do with the speed of a Vegas render. Vegas does not currently take advantage of the video card's GPU.

Lastly, most renders are bound by the processor and RAM, a 10,000 RPM hard drive isn't going to speed up the renders by much, if at all."

I didn't know that sony vegas don't use the GPU for rendering.
I have right now on pc one IDE and one SATA drive. It's about six months between them. When i used the IDE for split-join and re-rendering and later the sata, the sata was very faster to IDE. I think that the 10.000rpm SATA would be more faster. That's my opinion anyway. Sure the more faster the CPU and the more and faster the ram the better. But there's the price.

I forgot to mention that the gigabyte mobo's can work with 16gb ram(4 slots) and the newer with 6slots up to 24gb ram. I think that out there you can find other brands with lot ram slots.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 10:22 AM   #14
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I was thinking I should upgrade the motherboard sooner then later, but I wanted to do it all at once.
What would be the next logical step up from the Pentium D 3.0 Dual Core chip set?
What would be a decent motherboard for this step up?

Kostas, you are right I do want fast and cheaper - that should keep me happy for a while. Heck, I have been using the Pentium D 3.0 for the last 2-3 years!
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Old November 29th, 2008, 11:03 AM   #15
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BTW my whole system was less than a 1000 bucks. I had the monitors already. Works great. Render time for a 10 minute 1280x720x30p WMV (found WMV to be one of the longest renders) is about 40/50 minutes. 1920x1080x30p mxf file renders very fast, maybe 15/20 minutes for every 8/10 minutes of video.

AVCHD is about the same... WMV and quicktime are the formats which take me the longest to render.

Gateway DX4710-UB002A got it at Fry's.
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