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Old March 17th, 2010, 07:56 PM   #1
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"Right" PC Specs for Vegas 9 Pro?

Guys,

I think I'm going to go with Vegas 9 Pro, need to build/buy a new PC. Can you tell me what 'reasonable' speed, memory and drives would be for good results? What is the configuration that most guys like (raid?)? Building a new PC might be the better way to go so I can cherry pick the right speed drives, optimal hardware. Mind you, I don't necessarily want to build the fastest, most expensive machine there is. Can you please suggest some PC specs? What am I going to need to go dual monitor? Are there certain hardware pieces that are known to stay away from?

Secondly, I will probably need a new PC widescreen monitor for video preview that I can couple with my existing 19". Can you provide suggestions on an 'affordable' monitor people think is a good value for the price?

Lots of questions, but thanks in advance. I truely appreciate your input to help guide me through this process.

Thank you,
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Old March 17th, 2010, 08:47 PM   #2
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Good evening,

you do not state if you are going hd or not, it does matter.

I would go with an I7 processor 920 at 2.66 ghtz if you got the money go to the faster I7. put in 6 to 12 gigs of Ram.

Best buys on monitors I have seen is from Tiger direct. I got a 28 inch monitor some time back for just under 400 dollars. they are always having sales.

dale Guthormsen
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Old March 17th, 2010, 09:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Yes it's HD. Currently HDV, but I don't want to rule out AVCHD at some point. I'd like to get as many specifics as possible..

Thanks,
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Old March 17th, 2010, 09:15 PM   #4
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Sony publishes no (meaningful) machine specs for Vegas so anything is a best guess. Since it relies on the CPU for everything, buying the fastest one you can afford makes sense. It makes good use of memory and the long-GOP codecs need it, so buying 8-12GB makes good sense too. Vegas does not use the GPU in the video card, but some plugins can, so getting a decent card makes good sense.

Hard drives... eh. I think people grossly overestimate what is needed here. You can get smooth playback of AVCHD and XDCamEX off an SDHC card. You just don't need RAID for this kind of thing.

Get it with a BluRay burner. Seriously. Pay attention to the cooling also. I'd get the biggest case I could find and leave PLENTY of room around that CPU for air to get to it.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 11:29 AM   #5
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I was hoping for something like:

(examples)
Intel users seem to have greater stability, AMD can be spotty (it's just an example)
Dual processors of xxxx type, xxx speed will give you real-time
10k main drive, xxx other drives
Asus xx Mobo seems to offer greatest stability
Raid configuration type (if applicable)
xxx type of graphics card with xxx memory is great. xxx card can be unstable.

Yeah, I realize most editing company specs are just minimums. I would like to hear what users find 'works' and doesn't work.

Thanks,
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Old March 18th, 2010, 11:43 AM   #6
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There is no "works and doesn't work". Everything is dependent on what you plan to put on that timeline. You haven't even mentioned what kind of footage you plan to place there. MiniDV? RED 4k? It matters. So we can't be more specific until YOU are more specific.


"Intel users seem to have greater stability, AMD can be spotty (it's just an example)"

Vegas doesn't seem to care. I prefer Intel.


"Dual processors of xxxx type, xxx speed will give you real-time"

Buy an i7. Real time depends on what's on the timeline and what effects are applied


"10k main drive, xxx other drives"

7200 RPM drives are just fine for most things. If you are working with uncompressed, or hardly compressed 10k or 15k would be a great idea.


"Asus xx Mobo seems to offer greatest stability"

This is unknowable.


"Raid configuration type (if applicable)"

You likely don't need RAID except for fault tolerance.


"xxx type of graphics card with xxx memory is great. xxx card can be unstable."

Vegas only uses the card to drive the displays. It doesn't care. NVidia cards seem popular and stable.


Quote:
Yeah, I realize most editing company specs are just minimums. I would like to hear what users find 'works' and doesn't work.
Then spend some time in the Sony Vegas SCS forums. You'll find that machines of all specifications can be stable or unstable. There is nearly no rhyme or reason to it. For some of us, Vegas 9 has been flaky and quirky. For others (mostly editing HDV or DV) it's been pretty solid.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 04:24 PM   #7
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What computer case gives the best coolong?
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Old March 18th, 2010, 05:48 PM   #8
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If you're looking for big cases with excellent cooling, you can't go wrong with the Corsair 800D case (highly featureful and supports up to EATX motherboards) or the Silverstone Raven RV-02 (a 90 degree turned bottom to top airflow case)

ASUS motherboards are stable/reliable when not overclocked. When you talk overclocking, Gigabyte's Ultra Durable motherboards win there.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 10:34 AM   #9
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I'm also looking at a new machine for editing HDV with Vegas Pro 8. I'll also do a bit of stuff with Premiere and After Effects but Vegas is my primary editor. I was just wondering what everyone's thoughts are on the following build specs on a PC from Dell:

Intel Core i7-860 (2.8ghz)
6gb DDR3 Ram
1gb NVIDIA GeForce GT220
500GB SATA 3.0gb/s hard drive
22" Monitor

I'll be stepping up from a Core 2 Duo 2ghz laptop with 4gb RAM and 512mb graphics card (not sure which one) so hopefully I'll notice a massive difference. Iv'e got till thursday to make up my mind before the $200 discount they are currently running ends...
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Old March 21st, 2010, 12:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Goodsell View Post
I was hoping for something like:
(examples)
Intel users seem to have greater stability, AMD can be spotty (it's just an example)
Dual processors of xxxx type, xxx speed will give you real-time
10k main drive, xxx other drives
Asus xx Mobo seems to offer greatest stability
Raid configuration type (if applicable)
xxx type of graphics card with xxx memory is great. xxx card can be unstable.
Processors: Vegas scales fairly linearly with each "core" that's added. 4 cores usually means 4x faster rendering than 1 "core". The i7 currently seems to be the favorite. I've always gone Intel and have always had rock solid builds. Note: unfortunately this doesn't really enhance previews from timeline.

Motherboards: Personally, I always use ASUS or Intel and my builds have always been rock solid for Vegas. I've seen several reports of people finding that their Vegas instability problems disappeared after they tried a different motherboard (many times switching to ASUS or Intel), *** BUT *** these reports are purely anecdotal, so take it with a huge grain of salt. I'm sure others will chime in with successful motherboard builds.

Cooling: I'm sure you understand the need for proper cooling of the CPU when rendering/outputting video files. Just buy the best you can get (within reason). Same for the case and fans.

Memory + Power Supply: Once again, purely anecdotal reports of certain memory or power supplies causing instability. I've been very successful using only Corsair power supplies, with either Kingston or Corsair memory.

Graphics Card: Doesn't affect Vegas performance, but I'd bank on using a well known solid brand. I always use NVIDIA and once again always get rock solid performance. Since I usually use Vegas with Adobe CS4, might be worthwhile to research what will speed up CS4 app performance.

Drives: I'm a WD fan, been rock solid for me. 10K or a 7200rpm drive with a large cache 16MB+ cache = 6 or a half-dozen of the other. Main thing for better performance is to have separate drives for system, media, & render files.

OS: Windows XP or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit). I can only vouch for XP and Windows 7 32-bit, once again rock solid on the machines that I have built. Still waiting to try Win 7 64-bit. My editing machines are built and then left alone. Not connected to the Internet etc.

Intermediate: I almost always use Cineform files. Generally this is a very stable intermediate for Vegas BUT - many times upgrades to Cineform have cause instabilities in Vegas, usually solved by re-installing both Vegas and Cineform. So a little caution here. But generally, Vegas is happy to eat almost any format you throw at it. DNxHD is another popular intermediate .
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Old March 21st, 2010, 12:54 PM   #11
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Just to add - Vegas Pro 9 seems to have higher reports of instability (in contrast to version 8), I've been very lucky with my builds on Vegas Pro 9, but I couldn't really point out the reason why!
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Old March 21st, 2010, 07:12 PM   #12
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Michael, Interesting reply re PC components. I am interested in your suggestion for a separate render drive. I take it that this one need not be that large if it is only for rendering. The question I have is a Std. Sata2 10K drive (usually smaller capacity), better than a new 7K Sata 3 ? I am using Vegas P9.

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Old March 21st, 2010, 10:41 PM   #13
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For OS/render/media I've always used the smallest, fastest drives for the OS, usually a 10K Raptor. For render and media drives, the larger 7200rpm drives. I don't know yet about the real world performance of SATA III drives.

The one thing I couldn't live without, internal-hot-swappable drive trays like these from Wiebetech. Additional storage & backup become a breeze.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 11:07 PM   #14
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I might also add that Windows 7 64bit will not allow you to preview HDV captures in the Vegas 8.1 and 9 64bit versions. They'll capture fine, but you can't preview it. Only 32bit has the HDV from firewire preview.

SSDs also work perfectly as OS drives.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 06:13 PM   #15
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Thanks Michael, but do you mean to have a separate drive just for rendering, as well as separate other drives for files as well. At present I just have separate drives which do both, - render & hold files, capture etc.

RonC.
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