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Need Help Building a PC for video editing. - $2000 available.


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#1
H.T Baldwin

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Hi everyone.

I am looking to buy a big, fast, reliable PC computer to really maximize my efficiency in editing. My budget is somewhere around $2000. However, if unreasonable, I am willing to pay more to achieve what is in my best interest. I read the post and answers from Stelth2k1's post, finding that informative, but my situation is a little different. The better the system, the closer to real-time editing becomes.

My buddy, who works with high def video, responded to my computer inquiries with this:
Ok you definitely want to do right on this one. If you are going the PC route, I will tell you what I have and the specs that you should be looking for. I have a Sony Vaio VGC-RA384G. Pentium 4 3.6Ghz, 1 gig of Ram (I have added a second gig), 400GB Hard drive, DVD-R Dual Layer Burner, Windows XP. My video card is an Nvidia GeForce 6600 with 256MB and DVI out (you need DVI out to run the apple display.) I also have two external firewire hard drives 120GB each. Mine was 2000 bucks plus the apple monitor. The fact that it is a Sony Vaio is unimportant, but the specs are on par with what you should be looking for. It is hard to find factory computers with more than a gig of ram, but it is a very easy procedure to add more once you get it. Capturing video takes up LOTS of space (about 15GB a tape,) So you want as big of a hard drive as you can find, and I recommend having at least one external firewire hard drive, at 7200rpm. ACOM DATA makes very nice external drives. If you wanted to really blow some cash, you could look into Dual Xeon Processors as well. You will probably need a PCI Firewire card for your computer with atleast 3 inputs, they are about 20 bucks as well. This will be used to connect the camera as well as any firewire hard drives you might acquire.

I will be using a Sony HDR-FX1. HDV video camera as well as Vegas 6 editing software. My friend is very talented and has a severe amount of beautiful equipment and his edits look excellent. Noting that as a point, I am not tied to anything that he has referenced. If there are newer, better components, platforms, then that is what I would care for. I am going to buy the Apple Monitor ($799) and a minimum of 2 Gig of Ram will be needed. The rest is up for productive debate. I'll be interested to know what you masters of the forum have to say. Suggestions, etc....

Please let me know your propositions. Thanks for the help!! :tazz:

- H.T

Edited by H.T Baldwin, 25 January 2006 - 03:00 PM.

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#2
warriorscot

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Well what you want is a good CPU and since its video editing you will probably want a dual core, Either one of the intels which excel at video editing, or the AMD X2 which are also excellent at video editing but not quite as good as intels however they are better general CPUs and are good at everything not just video editing like the intels, also a little cheaper as well but youll have to read up on both and decide what you can get.

You will also want a good video card, I would say something along the lines of an x800 would be could for you, i would lean towards ATI as the features for VIVO and preipheral connection and editing are alot better than Nvidia this usually isnt a factor as most people play only games but if you are doing video edting it becomes more important.

Ram 2-4Gb would be advisable, monitior wise you say you are going apple which is fine but you do hear some bad things about apple monitors and they are usually much more expenisve than the non apple counterparts even though the non apples are superior, if you link to it we can check it out.

Motherboard anything from the nforce 4 or ati 200 chipset ranges from either Abit, MSI, DFI or gigabyte would be good for you, are you gonna build it yourself, i would reccomend that you do most serious video editors i know or have seen on here build there own because its much cheaper than buying and they can get what they want/need.

I would go with internal drives where you can they are faster, external drives are at a disadvantage in the respect they have to go through the slower firewire although you are better with the faster USB 2.0 for external drives you also have more USB 2.0 ports as they started to phase firewire out of motherboards as soon as they phased it in.

A couple of 500Gb drives in a RAID 0 striped array and then another drive maybe a 200 or 250Gb for the system would be good setup that would give you 1 Terabyte of storage is a fast RAID which is good for video editing and then the system to keep essential data safer off the Array as an array is good but if it collapses all the data is compromised so if one drive fails the whole array fails.

If you look around on some review sites and look around newegg then see what you think and you can asj some more specific questions, also if you dont want to build if you can put in which country you are in we can point you to some builders.

Also reme,ber to budget some for the OS i would say for video editing either XP pro or XP pro 64.
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#3
jrm20

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Get a dual core amd x2 or intel dual core for shure.


Dont get anything below 2gb of ram. I would advise 3gb of ram and im serious. 3gb of ram would be more than sufficient you dont need 4gb of ram unless you are hardcore into video editing.

For video editing, a video card is important and harddrives of course. I would go for the 500 gb harddrives for shure like warriorscot said. I wouldnt get an apple monitor to go with a non apple computer.... Kinda weird..

I would just get a big flat panel monitor that isnt made by apple. 19" or bigger and you can still stay under the price of an apple monitor...


If your only going to be doing video editing look at the intel dual core. <----- mainly what intel dual cores are for, (video editing and such).

If you want to play games and do abit of everything where video editing isnt the main thing then go with amd dual core x2. :tazz:
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#4
warriorscot

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You know for the price of most apple monitors over here you can get a 28" LCD HDTV or a really high res 23" widescreen monitor they are very expensive.
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#5
jrm20

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Yeah I almost bought an hd lcd tv for my pc. They are not that much really.
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#6
warriorscot

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My dad got a 32" one for the living room and i had it hooked up to my PC when we got it to play CoD2 mind blowing stuff, its not that its tjat great resolution its the fact that its good resolution over such a big screen and the colours are so sharp and clear. They are good.
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#7
H.T Baldwin

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Hey guys,


Thanks for the helpful responses. I have two questions:


1) Now that I have a good idea what to buy, where would you recommend I have the computer
built? I know I am not going to order the parts and build it myself. I am a half-wit in this area.

2) The Apple screen I referenced has superior clarity and is the most affordable at that size.
That being said, I have a friend who has two flat screens, the apple for editing and the other just
to have, side by side. He has a PC setup with Apple screen for video edits.

Much appreciated warriorscot & jrm20!


H.T
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#8
warriorscot

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Very strange for an apple, could you post a link im curious as its a rare thing.

Where are you from as different countries hae different builders, if youre in the uk there are lots of great ones but in the US there arent as many for some reason.
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#9
The Colonel

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There are some good monitors in the US. Apple is quite overpriced imo. ViewSonic is good, but that is mostly for gaming. AAA... 4ms response time monitor (want it so bad) :tazz:
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#10
troppo

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well i only just built a new system to do the same thing exept i have a sony DCR-DVD703E handycam
which records onto 8cm DVD discs my computer specs are listed below but
i am unfamiliar with the Sony HDR-FX1. HDV so maybe 2-3 gig of Ram but make sure its high quality and fairly fast
The intel's are far better than the AMD's in my opinion for video or DVD editing more power and faster clock speeds.
also with the hard drives as worrior scot said go for internal they are much faster than external.
try the RAID set up you will probably see 20-30% increase in transfer rates that might help a little.
i also play some low range games (not hardcore) but they work fine with no problems.
correct me if i am wrong guys
becasue like i said i dont no much about the vid cam you are using goodluck!
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#11
H.T Baldwin

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Very strange for an apple, could you post a link im curious as its a rare thing.

I did a bit of research today and found talk regarding monitors on the Apple website
- Interesting Reviews by Customers, specifically this one:

2) The scary one! the Lcd is not made by Apple. It is made by Phillips. You may comment, "but the display is so crisp, yeah? Well buy a Dell 20.1 widescreen display for less, the lcd is exactly the same, and it has VGA input.

I love Apple don't get me wrong, but this is a rip off in features and in price, buy a Dell 20.1 widescreen monitor instead, your wallet and your sanity will thank you for it.


What do you guys know about the Dell they reference? (click here)

After reading a number of reviews, I have questions regarding the resolution, reliability, along with the seemingly unnecessary great expense. I could save $300 or $400 by buying a Dell or another model.

Where are you from as different countries hae different builders, if youre in the uk there are lots of great ones but in the US there arent as many for some reason.

I live in the States - specifically Tennessee. Know where I can begin? Should I look local or online?

Also, I have a lot of information from everyone now, but unfortunately still a bit confused.
Take a look at my camera specs
here
My first project will be a documentary, which means I will shooting a good deal of footage, far more than
if I was doing a narrative project, so that may affect the amount of storage I need.

I am in the category of 'serious video editor'. I will not be gaming on this system.
As far as Computer Specs go, here is what I surmise I should acquire based on your comments: (Still unsure...)

-intel dual core
-internal hard drive
-4 gig of ram
-A couple of 500Gb drives in a RAID 0 striped array +
-a second drive of 200 or 250Gb for the system
-x800 video card w/ ATI features
- motherboard = nforce 4 or ati 200 chipset ranges from either Abit, MSI, DFI or gigabyte
- OS = XP Pro or XP Pro 64

4 Questions:
1) How can you get around the necessity of storage without putting all your material into a RAID array
that may crash? Other options?
2) Looking for a good high quality monitor.....for a nice price. A lot of options on Newegg, but which is best?
3) Does the videocard referenced have the capability for an additional monitor?
4) Anything I'm leaving out of the specs?, should something be changed, more ideas?

Boy, I wrote a lot! :tazz: Thanks again!
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#12
jrm20

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I did a bit of research today and found talk regarding monitors on the Apple website
- Interesting Reviews by Customers, specifically this one:

2) The scary one! the Lcd is not made by Apple. It is made by Phillips. You may comment, "but the display is so crisp, yeah? Well buy a Dell 20.1 widescreen display for less, the lcd is exactly the same, and it has VGA input.

I love Apple don't get me wrong, but this is a rip off in features and in price, buy a Dell 20.1 widescreen monitor instead, your wallet and your sanity will thank you for it.


What do you guys know about the Dell they reference? (click here)

After reading a number of reviews, I have questions regarding the resolution, reliability, along with the seemingly unnecessary great expense. I could save $300 or $400 by buying a Dell or another model.
I live in the States - specifically Tennessee. Know where I can begin? Should I look local or online?

Also, I have a lot of information from everyone now, but unfortunately still a bit confused.
Take a look at my camera specs
here
My first project will be a documentary, which means I will shooting a good deal of footage, far more than
if I was doing a narrative project, so that may affect the amount of storage I need.

I am in the category of 'serious video editor'. I will not be gaming on this system.
As far as Computer Specs go, here is what I surmise I should acquire based on your comments: (Still unsure...)

-intel dual core
-internal hard drive
-4 gig of ram
-A couple of 500Gb drives in a RAID 0 striped array +
-a second drive of 200 or 250Gb for the system
-x800 video card w/ ATI features
- motherboard = nforce 4 or ati 200 chipset ranges from either Abit, MSI, DFI or gigabyte
- OS = XP Pro or XP Pro 64

4 Questions:
1) How can you get around the necessity of storage without putting all your material into a RAID array
that may crash? Other options?
2) Looking for a good high quality monitor.....for a nice price. A lot of options on Newegg, but which is best?
3) Does the videocard referenced have the capability for an additional monitor?
4) Anything I'm leaving out of the specs?, should something be changed, more ideas?

Boy, I wrote a lot! :) Thanks again!



Ya, I still say dont go with the apple monitor because you can get a different monitor/lcd tv for less or the same price with a bigger screen.

Since you are not going to be gaming at all like you said the intel dual core is perfect for video editing along with 3-4 gb of ram.

For a video card get a x800gto or above. Dont get the regular x800. Get an x800gto or either a x800xl. The x800xl is the best performance for the money of the x800 cards id say and it has the 16 pipelines. You dont need any faster of a video card. Find a video card with dual outputs so you can hook up 2 monitors if you wanted.

You can always get an external harddrive if you want to make backups, get an enclosure for it and keep in handy. They use usb or firewire. Either is fine. If the movie is huge the backup might take abit to copy over though.. :tazz:
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#13
warriorscot

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Yeah there are two companies that make all of the lcds on the market pretty much exclusivley samsung and phillips(sony dabble but not as big as the other two) dells monitors are about the only good thing they sell. All the x800s have dual monitor, you ideally want a monitor which uses the newer DVI rather than VGA. And apple basically means two things expense and mild dissapointment, apple hardware would actually be considered good if it wasnt priced out of the market by everyone else, they have the same nvidia logic that if they charge more then people will think its better than the competition even though its not.

Your gfx card anything x800 or above(x1800 if you really want to float the boat out so you can get the better rendering and image quality on the R500s but its not really neccasary unless you are going for total perfection) but an x800 is more than sufficient for amateur/semi-pro people.

You can get round the Raid array by not using one, its really lazyness as performance is only marginally improved and the risks are much greater, two drives run seperatley and safely fine. I never really see the point in externals really, most new systems have ample internal space and most people have the external drive sitting on there desk all the time.

Everything else looks ok, i would get a big case for your system with good cooling as youll probably want a fair few peripherals and it will be running under high load for extended periods of time, the big titan from antec with the 550W psu might be suitable or an akasa eclipse.
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#14
jrm20

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Of course he knows he will need a good powersupply to power that dual core but make shure you dont get a cheap case with a powersupply included which that would be bad lol.

The external is last resort and it does work because its not always going to be plugged in to the pc, just plug her in when you need her lol..

I would just get all internal harddrives without any raid. You know you can make copies yourself from one harddrive to the next and is easy. You can manually copy and paste the movie or file to another harddrive for a backup or just drag it over to the other harddrive. Just get big harddrives like you picked out and you will be fine.


For powersupplies get a big antec like warriorscot said or a big enermax noisetaker, big ocz.
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#15
H.T Baldwin

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Cheers for the follow-up guys.

One last question. Should I look to have this computer built from an online company here in the U.S.?
Knowing my specs and what I'm after, who would you steer me towards?

I've only heard about Newegg.com, but know nothing of them....


H.T
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