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Thread: Anyone have advice on building a PC for video editing

  1. #1
    Aka Bres subucni's Avatar
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    Anyone have advice on building a PC for video editing

    hi,

    i hope you can all help me out, i'm relatively new to this whole pc building game. infact this is my first time. i'm a film student, and i'm looking to build myself a pc to do video editing on so i dont have to use the college's edit suites. i'm learning more and more by the day but could do with some advice as to what is most important to get to improve its performance. i'm on a "student" budget so i'm looking at getting the most expensive stuff and performance important stuff first and worrying about disc space and dvd writers later.

    if anyone has any great tips about what to look for it would be much appreciated, i'll be using premiere and want to spread the work space over 2 screens.

    so far i was thinking around the idea of:
    cpu: P4 2.8ghz 800fsb, P4 2.8ghz 800fsb *prescott*, or P4 3.0ghz 800fsb (which would be best for me?)
    motherboard: abit IC7 or asus P4C800 (would i be better going for cheaper models or better models? etc..)
    ram: just 512mb to begin with ( 2 paired 256mb at 400mhz to get full use of 800fsb, is this right?)
    graphics card: an radeon 9600 or is it worth going for the pro etc (who is best to go with for running 2 screens for vid editing?)... i have no idea
    capture card: NO IDEA but want good performance here. please suggest away.

    as far as other stuff is concern, i already have 10gb and 40gb hard drives from a donot pc that'll i'll put up with until i can afford to upgrade again, keyboard, speakers and monitor aren't a problem as already have them.

    has anyone got any ideas of things i may have overlooked? or better parts for the maybe cheaper money? i think thats everything covered.

    thanks for any help or advice, it's appreciated.
    adam

  2. #2
    Spodes Henchman unrealrocks's Avatar
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    Most university students esp for video editing will go down the Mac route It means you can get full use of programs like Adobe Premier and others that aren't avalible for PC (Prem is btw).

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    Arrow

    Unless you want a mac, you're on the right track.

    Forget the Prescott, it's no better. Whereas, a decent video card, and more memory are a must.

    A 2.8Ghz Pentium4 will be plenty. It can be found for £125

    Motherboards: The Intel 875P chipset only yields slight performance over the 865PE, and is thus not worth it.
    The Intel 865PE is, in turn, equaled by the SiS 655FX, which also support dual channel DDR400. This is just as good and reliable, unlike the Via equivalent, and much more student budget friendly. I only got an 865PE motherboard because the 655FX didn't exist at the time...

    So, get an Asus P4S800D. This is around £55

    Memory: Don't waste money on priey Corsair memory or similar - I certainly won't again. 2x512Mb i.e. 1Gb of DDR400 GeiL memory can be had for £115; it is still good quality.
    You memory operation assumptions are correct.

    As long as you only want to do video editing; not 3D applications, any dual-head card will be fine. Matrox are great for image quality - they specialise in for this kind of thing: A Matrox G550 Dual DVI 32Mb can be had for £80.
    (The P650 is more modern, but probably not necessary. The P750 does Triple-head(!) )

    You are definitely going to need more hard drive space aren't you? 80Gb as a minimum surely? How much video do you plan to manipulate at once? (Length of time?)

    OF course, you need a DVD writer. I would recommend LiteOn, as they are good value for money. (They make Sony stuff, I got a Sony for the software bundle only.) They come in at £75 for an 8x DVD+R burner.

    I'm no expert on capture cards, but I have done some DV editing of Hi8 tape captures. I used an external Dazzle, PC-World type solution.

    I think you should be looking at a Pinnacle Studio v9 AV/DV package, which will aslo come with software. That is assuming that you want to capture from an analogue source. This has a firewire port on the card, and also composite video, and s-video in. It allows capture up to the usual DVD-type resolutions of 720x576 etc.

    Link to details: http://www.pinnaclesys.com/docloader_n.asp?templ=10&doclink=/WebVideo/studioavdvversion9/English(US)/doc/avdv_features_specs_7.html&Product_ID=2050&Langue_ID=7&loc=spec&division_id=

    It can be found for £100.

    If it's just a Digital source (e.g.camcorder), then just any old Firewire port will do...

    Matrox make fuly featured capture cards that bundle Adobe Premier etc. They run to about £500.... I assume that is a little beyond your budget.

    Anyway, I hope all this helps...
    P4C 2.4Ghz | Asus P4P800 Deluxe | 2x512Mb GeiL Ultra DDR500 CL2-3-3-6 | Sapphire Radeon 9700 128Mb | Soundblaster 128 | Western Digital 120Gb 7200rpm 8Mb cache
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  4. #4
    Aka Bres subucni's Avatar
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    • subucni's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe
      • CPU:
      • Athlon 64 X2 4800+
      • Memory:
      • 2gb of generic DDR1 rubbish
      • Storage:
      • Nothing special
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 512mb ATI 4870
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX520
      • Case:
      • CM Storm Scout
      • Operating System:
      • WinXP 32bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2311H + 19" Hanns.G Dual setup
      • Internet:
      • 20mb VirginMedia
    thanks, that helps a lot, you've highlighted some good points. i should have explained though that although i'm a student, i had a good full time job before hand a with it bought myself a nice 3ccd video camera with dv in. which is why i dont need a dvd writer as an essential piece of kit, as i can just export the timeline out onto dv tape, also i'm not looking at needing to have much room on the hard drive yet as an high priority because i'll be doing one project at a time and only keeping the finished avi files (but that sad, the money that i may be saving on MoBo i could put towards a new harddrive)

    i thought the prescott chip was meant to be a lot better then the northwood? if not for editing then just general use? afterall there is only about £3 price between the 2.

    thanks for the advice on the MoBo too, i'll keep it in mind, i may still go for a different one though as i was kind of like the idea of digital optical in and out (as i film a lot of gig and hook a mini disc to the p.a system for the soundtrack)

    i completely agree about the ram.

    cheers for the tip on the graphics card too, i was actually in the edit suites today and found out they are using the old matrox cards so, thats a good call.

    also found out they were only using 512mb of ram and P3 1ghz,i was shocked but then realised they are using the old Pinnacle DV500 capture card with breakout box. i was actually tempted to go for the matrox rt.x 10 as i doesn't need rendering and comes with premiere to run with. otherwise my next option was the pinnacle one you advised with the breakout box you the composite output can be linked to a tv monitor.

    i've got a little more deciding to do but i'm getting there, any other tips or answers to my questions, just keep them coming. thanks again.

  5. #5
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    Arrow

    Well, the Northwood is actually better at some things, and actualy gets less hot an consumes less power, and has better motherboard compatibility. These are all important considerations.

    Here are details: http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20040201/index.html
    P4C 2.4Ghz | Asus P4P800 Deluxe | 2x512Mb GeiL Ultra DDR500 CL2-3-3-6 | Sapphire Radeon 9700 128Mb | Soundblaster 128 | Western Digital 120Gb 7200rpm 8Mb cache
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    dgr
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    heres some advice - spend as much as you can on a decent PAIR of monitors.

    encoding will be done as a batch - what you'll end up prefering is a big screen to actually design with - cpu is less of a concern.

    oh and btw IMO - do go for a gigabyte of RAM. premiere often screams at me for using only 1gb. that is on windows though...

    if you're going to be using a digital8 or miniDV camcorder - whats the point in the video card? everythings done thruogh firewire!

    oh and some massive (and fast) hard discs won't go amiss. i do all my editing on a raptor, then store everything on twin 120gb IDE drives once finished.

    dgr
    dothan 745 @ 2.4ghz | 2gb Corsair XMS (2-3-3-6) | dual raptors (raid0) | ATI 9700pro | CM201 | dual lg 1810

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    dgr
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    oh and software wise:

    i've a fair experience with pinnacle, its the best software i've used for less experienced users. premiere has EVERYTHING but that tends to be the problem - it simply takes TOO long.

    once you've got everything to dvd (and IMO you should go for a dual format dvd writer, some people will have dvd players that only play -ve media), you may also want to recompress it for internet usage, etc - and there are plenty of FREE software (e.g. virtualdub) to do that - why pay for software when its not necessary?

    dgr
    dothan 745 @ 2.4ghz | 2gb Corsair XMS (2-3-3-6) | dual raptors (raid0) | ATI 9700pro | CM201 | dual lg 1810

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