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Old April 25th, 2012, 06:18 AM   #1
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Location: Aalborg, Denmark
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Is this PC okay for AVCHD editing?

Hi there!

Before I press the "add to chart" button on this PC, I'd like to hear your opinion on how well suited the PC is for AVCHD video editing. I have a short 5 min AVCHD project I'm hoping to finish for a conference on May 10th-13th. Other than that I have many hours of SD DV-AVI material that I am hoping to eventually edit and send off to family and friends. I'm pretty new to video editing, but I think this PC has headroom enough, so it will also be able to handle some color correction/grading if I happen to grow into that skill area within the next year or so. What do you think? I'm also planning on getting a video DSLR or a higher end camcorder within the next 12-14 months. My editing has so far been limited to basic edits in Win XP Movie Maker, but I'm planing on upgrading to either Sony Vegas Movie Studio or Adobe Premiere Elements soon. The PC will be my main work PC, and for Danish standards it seems to be a very good deal with regards to price / performance. The price is approximately 1250 USD and I have good experiences with the brand and their customer support having ordered two Core i5 PC's from them last year on my fathers behalf. I'm not looking for a top of the line NLE workstation, as that would be overkill for my needs and skill level. What do you think, will the PC be able to handle some future color grading as well as AVCHD editing without too much trouble?

PC specs:

CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-2600 processor

Original Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM Version)
Clock-frequency: 3,4 GHz
Memory: 12 GB
RAM type: DDR3 1333 MHz
RAM slots total: 4
Used RAM slots: 4
HDD capacity: 2.000 GB
SSD capacity: 64

GPU: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX550Ti DirectX®11-grafik with 1.024 MB DDR5-RAM and digital HDMI audio/video out, DVI-I and D-Sub VGA

Optical drive: Multistandard DVD-/CD-burner* with DVD-RAM and Dual-Layer support

Sound card: 8-channel High Definition Audio

1x Hot-Swap HDD drawer
USB 3.0
4-i-1 Multi card reader for SD-, MMC-, MS- & xD- memory cards

Link to the product: MEDIONshop Danmark: MEDION® AKOYA® P5331 E

I am aware that the SSD is only 64GB, but I could upgrade it if needed.

Thanks for your comments!

Halfdan :-)
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Old April 25th, 2012, 06:35 AM   #2
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Re: Is this PC okay for AVCHD editing?

This my PC:
Sandy Bridge i7 2600K 3.4Ghz, 8G RAM, Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3,WIN7 64 Home Premium, GTX560, 500G boot, 500G temp, 2x1T RAID 0 on Adaptec 2405 controller, 3x2T storage, Quantum Ultrium LTO3 tape drive, HDSpark, Pioneer Bluray BR205 and LG Bluray burners, Thermaltake BlacX eSata hard drive dock, Antec 1200 case, 2 x 24" Dell monitors, Viewsonic VT2300 LED monitor on the HDSpark

I edit with Edius 6.07, Vegas and CS5.5. All work just fine with my PC. I regularly edit 4 tracks AVCHD multicam in Edius , realtime, native files. If you want to use the QuickSync feature you need to make sure that feature is enabled on the motherboard you will get. Early boards required the board to have a video out but I think some of the more recent boards using Virtu software wil work without on board graphics output.

Ron Evans
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Old April 25th, 2012, 08:13 AM   #3
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Location: Aalborg, Denmark
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Re: Is this PC okay for AVCHD editing?

Thanks for your reply Ron! :-)

Well, it looks like your PC has very similar specifications to the one I am considering, so I guess it's a pretty safe buy. As I'm at a beginners level, didn't really know about the "QuickSync feature" until you mentioned it Ron. I just Googled it and it seems to be some way of transcoding video using the onboard Intel graphics processor? I found a post that says that you can only use this feature, if the onboard graphics are enabled? Quote: "There’s just one hangup to all of this Quick Sync greatness: it only works if the processor’s GPU is enabled. In other words, on a desktop with a single monitor connected to a discrete GPU, you can’t use Quick Sync." AnandTech - The Sandy Bridge Review: Intel Core i7-2600K, i5-2500K and Core i3-2100 Tested But if you're using Quick Sync alongside your Nvidia GPU Ron, then I guess it must be possible somehow?

Below are the specs of the motherboard, and I don't even see integrated graphics listed?:

Processor Support
• Intel Sandy Bridge processor in the LGA1155 package
• Supports 4 pin CPU Fan Pin-Header with Fan Speed Control
• Intel BD82H67 "SLJ49" B3-Stepping
USB 3.0 Controller
• Renesas μD720200AF1-DAP-A
Memory Support
• DDRIII 1066 / 1333 Mhz (16 GB Max)
• 4 DDRIII DIMMs (240pin / 1.5V)
• Single / Dual channel mode
• LAN: 10/100/1000 by Realtek RTL8111E-VL
Wake-on-LAN and remote wake-up support
• WLAN: ./.
• IEEE1394: ./.
• 8 channels audio codec Realtek ALC892
IDE / Serial ATA / Floppy
• Floppy: ./.
• IDE: ./.
• Serial ATA:
• 2 SATA 6 Gb/s ports (SATA1 ˜ SATA 2) by Intel H67 PCH
• 4 SATA 3 Gb/s ports (SATA3 ˜ SATA 6) by Intel H67 PCH
• SPI flash (32Mbit)

• Back panel:

• 1 PS/2 mouse and keyboard combo connector
• 8 USB 2.0 ports
• 1 LAN (RJ-45) jack
• 6 audio jacks:
° A: Center & Woofer
° B: Back Surround
° C: Side Surround
° D: Line-in
° E: Front Out
° F: Mic_in Rear

• On-Board Pinheaders:
• 6 Serial ATA Connectors
(2x black color = SATA 6Gb/s, 4x white color = SATA 3Gb/s)
• 1 Front Panel Audio Connectors (F_Audio)
• 2 Front USB Connectors
(F_USB1 - white, F_USB2 - white)
• 2 Internal USB 3.0 Connectors Type A
• 1 LDC
• 1 F_Panel
• 1 Buzzer Header (BZ)
• 1 Clear CMOS (CLR_CMOS = 0-1)
• 1 Fan CPU 4pin Connector (CPU_FAN)
• 1 Fan System 3pin Connector (SYS_FAN)
• 1 Fan Power 3pin Connector (PWR_FAN)
• 1 ATX 24-Pin Power Connector (ATX_Power)
• 1 ATX 4-Pin 12V Power Connector (ATX12V)
• 1 PCIe 2.0 x16
• 3 PCIe 2.0 x1
Abmessungen / Gewicht
• Form Factor: Micro-ATX
• Measurements: ~ 244 x 220 mm
• Mounting Holes: 6
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Old April 25th, 2012, 01:10 PM   #4
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Re: Is this PC okay for AVCHD editing?

My board has the video out from the motherboard and it doesn't look like the one you are getting does have this port(s). Not sure if this Intel board will allow QuickSync to work for any of the application that can use it you will have to check. The board is a micro ATX so is likely not a very capable board compared to a lot of other Z68 boards.

The Virtu software allows a single monitor but it must be connected to the on board Intel graphics even if there is an AMD or NVidia GPU installed with NO monitor attached it will be used if more powerful than the Intel graphics for particular games ( I think the main reason). In other words if you have an AMD or NVIdia GPU and one monitor than the monitor is connected to the motherboard NOT the GPU card. Then QuickSync will work and VIRTU will sort out which is the best GPU to use but all output goes to the monitor through the on board Intel graphic connection. At least that is my understanding.

My main video is from the Nvidia card but as I mentioned the motherboard video out is connected to a monitor and in the bios it is set to be always on. Of the programs I have Edius and TMPGenc use the Intel SDK for encoding to h264 for Bluray and is very fast compared to a software solution only.

Ron Evans
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Old April 25th, 2012, 08:25 PM   #5
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Re: Is this PC okay for AVCHD editing?


Either one of the HD editing apps that you mention will work very well with your PC (I use another app that works even faster). In general, for AVCHD editing the PC should be a minimum i7- 5 cores or greater, minimum 6 gbytes of memory, 50 gbytes of hard drive spare capacity above and beyond your general needs, and finally a current model graphics card with at least 1 gbytes of memory (not the motherboard kind) for the GPU (graphics accelerators) that your app will require to perform the multitude of renderings that video editing demands. On board video graphics is not a preferred way for most HD editing due to the variety of material at hand. Not all video editor apps are compatible with every GPU graphics card.

When you look at the editing apps their specs should spell out for you in detail the minimum requirements for HD editing. I've looked at them for most of the popular apps and they are honest in their statements.

Since you are new to video editing I suggest that you begin by using simpler apps first. Both of the apps you mention are challenging for beginners. To enlighten yourself on their merits take a look at their software user forums which will give you an idea of how easy or difficult they may be to use. If possible, download their trial versions of available. Most give you around 15 to 30 days of free use. Be preparred to commit a large amount of time for evaluation - HD editing is not exactly simple stuff out of the box. If you find that the app is not intuitive or clumsy to use it's not you, it's the app.

Good luck.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 09:54 AM   #6
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Re: Is this PC okay for AVCHD editing?

@Ron: Thanks for your thoughts on the motherboard! I'm having second thoughts on whether or not to go with the pc I linked to. A couple of users on a Danish board pointed out the importance of prober HDD setup to avoid bottlenecks and both even recommended 16GB of RAM. One of them is into photography and video production and the other just had a new PC built for him for intensive photo editing, graphics work and music production. He also described the components used, so I went to the same shop and got a quote on a similar setup. Considering what it would cost to upgrade the Medion pc I linked to with a larger SSD and perhaps more RAM, and considering that I can't really add extra HDD's to the system because of the mini tower case, I am now leaning toward having a system built for me instead. It will be more expensive, but as I tend to keep my computers for many years I might as well get it right the first time.

Interestingly, the salesman actually recommended the motherboard you are using Ron. I found out after I got home with the quote and read your post again.

Here is the setup:

Board: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
CPU: Intel core i5 2500K (or perhaps i7 2600K)
RAM: 4 x 4GB 1600Mhz Kingston RAM
GPU: Inno3D GeForce GTX 550Ti
System drive: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SataIII
Storage drive: Sata2 2TB WD Caviar Green (WD20EARS)
Case: CoolerMaster Silencio 550
PSU: CoolerMaster Silent Pro 850
Windows 7 Pro.

I'm not sure whether to go with the i5 2500K or the i7 2600K. Someone stated that unless I routinely worked with very heavy projects I most likely wouldn't notice any difference. The i7 is 130USD more, but in some encoding tests it does appear to offer an advantage. I'm also looking into building the pc on my own, as that would bring the cost on parts and labor down even more. It's also something I've wanted to do for years, but as it would be the first time, it would take time and perhaps not be as easy as I think. I also think I'll drop the WD Caviar Green as it is only 5400rpm and I think I have two 1TB WD Blacks in external cases I could use until the prices on storage start to come down more.

Thanks for the additional information on the Quick Sync feature. I found a link to a video on Youtube in another thread in which you also posted where the function is shown in Edius. It does appear to be a very nice option to have, and since I'm planning on using the same board as you, I hope it'll be available for me as well, if I should one day decide to get software that supports it.

@Allen: Thanks for your thoughts. As I am now seriously considering having a system built or building it myself, I will take your information into consideration.

Yes, I do understand that there is a learning curve to those editing applications. I am considering Premiere Elements and Vegas Movie Studio as they both appear to be very capable, so that I could grow my skills in the same program rather than having to move to another application when and if I outgrow a simpler one. The same companies also offer pro versions of those programs which is nice should I ever outgrow the consumer ones. Being a beginner I don't have that high demands for an editing application: trimming, fading, J-cuts and a good titleling function would probably cover most of my needs at the moment. I really want a much better titleling function than the one I struggled with in XP Movie Maker. As I'm planning to get into DSLR video, I would also like some function to stabilize footage and a green screen function would be nice to play with. Color correction and perhaps grading is also something I would like to get into in due course. Yes, it's really nice that one can download trial versions of most editing applications, and that is something I will be doing. I've also been reading this thread with great interest:

Thanks for your input!
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Old April 28th, 2012, 10:12 AM   #7
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Re: Is this PC okay for AVCHD editing?

If you are not too impatient for fast startup a normal 500G boot drive would be cheaper than the SSD. My preference has always been to have a boot drive and a temp drive as well as storage drives. There are plenty of SATA connectors on that board. A WD Black boot drive and a WD Black temp drive with a WD Blue drive for storage with your existing drives would give you lots of storage and performance. I have a Thermaltake BlacX external dock that I use connected to the eSata port on the motherboard for my external drives which you could use for the drives you have. Dock is not that expensive and has eSata and USB ports for connection. Thermaltakeusa»Storage»Docking Station»BlacX : BlacX ST0005U. The I7 2600K gives you some future flexibility for overclocking.

The Adobe Elements software has a version with Premiere Elements and Photoshop Elements that would be a good choice to edit both stills and video.

Ron Evans
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Old April 29th, 2012, 12:47 AM   #8
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Re: Is this PC okay for AVCHD editing?

Hey Ron you sure have spent a fair amount of money one your "hobby" over the years.
Funny thing is my "hobby" spending is on a parallel track to yours, purely by coincidence.

BTW I really like reading your well written and helpful posts.

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Old April 29th, 2012, 08:15 AM   #9
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Re: Is this PC okay for AVCHD editing?

Ray, the difference between a hobby and business is that for a business it makes a lot of sense for it to make money !!!! Purchases have to have a payback. A hobby has no such justification only what one wants and can afford to buy. I have certainly spent more on cars than on my video hobby and they all definitely end up being worthless !!!!

As a retirement hobby it keeps my brain active in both my interest in technology and artistic creativity.

Ron Evans
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Old April 30th, 2012, 05:13 PM   #10
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Re: Is this PC okay for AVCHD editing?

@Ron: Yes, that's actually something I could consider. I have two 1TB WD Blacks in external cases and two 500GB Samsung Spinpoints in a RAID1 enabled case. I can't remember how much data is on them at the moment, but perhaps I could even use one or more of my existing drives if I chose to build the pc myself, which is what I am leaning toward at the moment. The fast boot times and program startup times on the SSD's are quite tempting however. Yes, on the Danish board they also recommended using seperate drives for boot, "temp" and storage, and I can see how that makes sense performance wise. One the users on that board used a 10000 rpm Velociraptor as a temp drive. Thanks for the link to the docking station. I actually already have two of these (see link). In the past I have used them for data transfer between drives and to recover files from boot drives that refused to boot. Yes, as you say, it would be a good idea to use the docking station to backup or simply store projects on external drives. Great that the board has an external eSata connection.

Yes, the Adobe bundle of Premiere and Photoshop Elements is probably a good deal. I've used GIMP for some editing in the past.

On my day off work tomorrow, I'll be going to my father's house with the AVCHD files. I'll download some trial versions of editing software and see if I can't get that 5min project done on his core i5 pc. That way I wouldn't be pressed for time getting the new pc, and I could also get a feeling of how his i5 handles the job.

Originally Posted by Ray Turcotte View Post
BTW I really like reading your well written and helpful posts.
I can only second that! ;-) Getting information and advice based on someones own experience is one of the great things about a board like this.
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