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Old December 18th, 2009, 05:48 PM   #1
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Time to upgrade computer

Back with Vegas 7 I built a computer from the specs found on the Videoguys.com site.
I've been quite happy.

I don't feel like building again, I was wondering if anybody has any good experience with either a Dell or HP station equipment with I7 Intel? HOw are the motherboards on the Dell and HP?
What does anybody suggests as a decent machine to edit HDV/HD with Vegas (
Thanks
Larry
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Old December 19th, 2009, 01:17 AM   #2
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Dells and HP PCs have proprietary motherboards. As a rule, they don't overclock. They do build PCs that are overclocked at the factory.

I have read of many unhappy experiences with Dell as a result of poor firewire and esata performance, and have experienced those issues myself. I can't imagine going back to Dell or HP. I've had many Dells and a few HPs.

The reason I mention overclocking is because with the i7 920 processor (the best value for an editing processor) the most attractive benefit of that processor is the ability to overclock a huge amount. You can get huge performance gains and get a lot more speed for your money this way.

I am not a techie, but I found it simple to overclock the 920 from 2.4 or whatever it is, to 3.8.

Theoretically, you could go to Micrcenter if you have one where you live, take your old case, pick out your own parts and they will assemble it for you for under $100.

So while you have stated you don't want to build your own, in my case I don't recommend either unless you go with a worstation, and I doubt that I'd be happy with anything less than $3000 or more. I can get similar or better performance for much less cost by building my own.

If you have the patience to read through the VERY long thread below you will find system specs for systems.

Also you will read MANY complaints about Dell esata, etc. I personally even had issues with Dell motherboards and firewire. I had mobos replaced three times and firewire cards twice.

Any Core I7 users yet?
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Old December 19th, 2009, 01:32 AM   #3
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Interestinng. Jeff's experiences do not mirror my own. We have an installed base of approximately 800 Dell workstations running Vista. Dell is our workstation platform, and gets refreshed every 3 years. We also have an installed base of over 200 HP servers. All running Microsoft server based OS's.

My editing machines are all Dells, including my T5400 at the office, my Precision M6300 laptop (which I am using to write this note) and my 2 other Dell machines that I use for transcoding and other ancillary tasks.

I have been exceptionally pleased with my Dells, and as an organization we have been very pleased with our Dells. Ironically, AVID is known for it's bulletproof reliability in editing. HP is their platform of choice on the PC side. Some of the most demanding video customers in the world are using AVID on HP.

At this point, I would say I have personally owned or used about 10 Dell machines. I've never had any trouble with any of them, and each was working perfectly, when it was replaced with a newer model. I will caveat that with the fact that we tend to purchase workstation class machines which are expected to be operational 8-12 hours per day. They have strong ventilation, and premium components. We also do not over-clock units. We purchase the fastest machines we can afford, and leave them that way.

If you are a home user, tinkering with your machine is one way. But when you are being paid to use the machine in front of you, whether it's running Excel, Photoshop, or AVID, you owe it to yourself to buy a solid machine, and let it run the way it was engineered and tested.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 11:23 AM   #4
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Larry, go to videoguys website and look for their recommended systems. I think they recommend HP and Dell, with the emphasis on HP, and they say you should get a workstation, not a consumer model.

Perrone, while your experiences are valid of course, and you likely know more about computers than I, I think that many if not most every Dell owner in the previously mentioned thread has had an issue with their machine, though I could be wrong. I'm sure my comments will draw out every happy Dell owner, which is not the point. I was one of them years ago.

Their lower end workstations are notorious among some for being "a tad" underpowered. What was ironic in my last Dell experience I had been warned in this forum about the low spec PSUs, and sure enough, my $3000 RAID workstation came with a puny 375 watt power supply. I now know Videoguys recommend 750 as best. Thanks to that experience I learned a lot about minimum PSU requirements, and now configure my own PCs. You'd be right if you said that I selected the PC, and it was my fault, but $3000 and that's all the PSU I get? I shouldn't HAVE to know about PSUs when I'm spending that kind of money. Now I do know.

If you run one/two hard drives and one external you can get by with the lower end workstations just fine. Dell customer support for business machines is VERY good, but it didn't do me any good when my machine was down waiting for a tech.

If you spend relatively big bucks you can get a bigger PSU, but the cost is too high for me. Instead I have a huge case, lots of HDs, PSUs that will last me for awhile. If I need a faster machine, all I have to do is swap out MBs, put in a new processor, maybe some ram, and I have a new machine for less than half the cost of a new one.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 11:41 AM   #5
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Ah yes, I see what you mean. I think our only real failings with the DELL machines have been monitors. They fail regularly. I'll have to take your word for the PSU issues. Our standard desktop machines only use a single drive. And the occasional external USB. Of course my Edit workstations will have 2-3 internal and 1-2 external drives and none have had isssue, but I am buying big-time hardware for those.

I agree with you on the price / performance ratio of the higher spec DELLS's and especially HPs. They costs a boatload. But at some point, you really need to look at what you're doing. If you are running a business (wedding/event vdieography, sports, etc.), and you are installing hardware RAID, and doing other manner of significant work, doesn't it make sense to buy hardware appropriate to that? I mean my current Editing system was a $4500 purchase, and the laptop was $3500. But these machines are in use 10-14 hours per day. I knew they would be, and bought accordingly.

Like you, I have known numerous folks to have issues with Dells. As well as other brands. In many cases, I suspect it came from over clocking, or user upgrades. And using systems beyond engineered spec. In some cases that was not true, and things just went wrong.

But there is a reason we have 4 hour response 24/7/365 on our machines. :) I *LOVE* that HP actually calls us to let us know that one of our hard drives or fans have failed in one of our remote servers and they have already dispatched a technician with a replacement part! Yea, it costs us real money, but as a 24/7 shop, that is what our user community demands.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 05:40 AM   #6
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Thanks

Thanks for all your replies

I've checked the prices of HP and Dell workstations and frankly building a system according to the Videoguys configuration is much cheaper.
So I guess I'll have to build one more time.

I'm wondering if those dual Xeon are as good as the I 7?
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 11:45 PM   #7
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FWIW, I looked at HP workstations earlier today for kicks and found less powerful systems than mine for several thousand dollars, it's insane.

You are right Perrone, with one or two drives it is safe. My previous Dell had places for 4 hard drives, and when I added two to the raid configuration that came with the system, that is when the issues started. I think I was running like 6 esata drives also. I just always assume (wrongly) that all editors use tons of drives like me, which is not true.

Larry, I have bragged before that I have dual PSUs and bunches of drives, and I have never regretted the bucks I spent putting this thing together. Moving most of my externals to inside the case was something I am SO glad I did. I still have 4 externals along with the 8 internals, and I love the freedom it offers to have exact copies of all my projects and video files, and room to store them for a few months if need be. (By the way, I don't recommend the 2TB drives...best to raid 1GB enterprise drives for speed...I have both and the 2TB are SO slow (relatively speaking).

Of course compared to some (I forget who it is that has 20 drives in some exotic raid configuration) my system is peanuts, but it is much more than I could ever afford from a manufacturer.

As it stands, it would easily cost $7k or more to replace this unit with an OEM, and I built it for under $1500 + hard drives...I estimate they cost well under $2K, so for under $3500 I have 1250 watts, i7 at 3.8Ghz, 12GB ram, and around 12tb of hard drive space. Not bad for the money.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 12:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
I'm wondering if those dual Xeon are as good as the I 7?
I don't think so, but only because most software isn't coded to take advantage of them. Shame too.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 11:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
...My previous Dell had places for 4 hard drives, and when I added two to the raid configuration that came with the system, that is when the issues started. I think I was running like 6 esata drives also.
...I have dual PSUs and bunches of drives, and I have never regretted the bucks I spent putting this thing together. Moving most of my externals to inside the case was something I am SO glad I did. I still have 4 externals along with the 8 internals,
...I have 1250 watts, i7 at 3.8Ghz, 12GB ram, and around 12tb of hard drive space. Not bad for the money.
Jeff, I'm going nutz here. I've been all over specs at newegg and manufacturer's sites, and I can't find any power consumption data. Do they expect us to spec a power supply by trial and error?

I'm trying to figure out if 750w will cover x58 MOBO/i7-920, overclocking, 12GB RAM, GPU, burner, system drive, 2 raid drives, and one more archiving removeable drive (caddy) - the info does not seem to be available!

Any ideas here, have you come across a configurator for PS or ???

***edit***
I appear to have answered my own question, there are a number of PS calculators online, Computer Shopper has some links in this thread.

Apparently the above is OK for standard clocking, and also for moderate overclocking - I've done these calcs upping the system & cpu loading to 100%, as for extended rendering. The default sys/cpu loads are lower in the calculators.
***end edit***
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Last edited by Seth Bloombaum; December 24th, 2009 at 12:29 PM.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 01:46 PM   #10
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Yes, 750 should be adequate, buy if you haven't got a case yet you might consider one that holds a second power supply...that way you can add an inexpensive 500w if needed and you'll be able to handle anything within reason.

Seth, There are PSU calculators at the PSU manufacturer's websites, I think most of them have them. I personally use a Zalman PSU, but don't remember if they have a calculator or not on their site.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 01:55 PM   #11
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Look at this calculator and choose the Pro version. Very worthwhile.

eXtreme Power Supply Calculator v2.5
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Old December 24th, 2009, 02:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
Back with Vegas 7 I built a computer from the specs found on the Videoguys.com site.
I've been quite happy.

I don't feel like building again, I was wondering if anybody has any good experience with either a Dell or HP station equipment with I7 Intel? HOw are the motherboards on the Dell and HP?
What does anybody suggests as a decent machine to edit HDV/HD with Vegas (
Thanks
Larry
I had awesome sucess with performace and price with my 64 bit machine built by CyberPower Inc. - UNLEASH THE POWER - Create the Custom Gaming PC and Laptop Computer of your dreams I started with a base machine then added more memory, vid card etc... I use Vegas Pro 9c and had am happy with the speed and stability of the new system. Make sure that you tell them what you're using the computer for. The only issue I had with them was they put the OS on the RAID 0 video drive! They/we fixed it by walking me over the procedure over the phone. Good luck!
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Old December 24th, 2009, 02:55 PM   #13
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Tony, that site looks great, I like their options, and the brands they use. I'd shop there in a heartbeat if they were reliable and trustworthy. I love the looks of the Silverstone Black Pearl Case, very cool. Nice link, thanks.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 08:21 PM   #14
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FCP actually

Well, I've read a thread on this Vegas Forum about so many problems with Vegas 9, I'm wondering that, since I'm at the hinge of two processor technologies, whether or not I shouldn't go Mac with FCP
What do you think?
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Old December 24th, 2009, 09:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
Thanks for all your replies

I've checked the prices of HP and Dell workstations and frankly building a system according to the Videoguys configuration is much cheaper.
So I guess I'll have to build one more time.

I'm wondering if those dual Xeon are as good as the I 7?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
Well, I've read a thread on this Vegas Forum about so many problems with Vegas 9, I'm wondering that, since I'm at the hinge of two processor technologies, whether or not I shouldn't go Mac with FCP
What do you think?
Well, you'll certainly solve one set of problems... and trade them for an entirely new set.
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