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Thread: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

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    Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    Hi all. Said I would build a machine for a friend. Wondered if anyone on here had any knowledge about building machines that are for video editing, film production and encoding. The primary software this will be using is Avid Media Composer...Budget is ~£600 not including software or OS

    CPU: either Q6700 £139 OR a Q8200 £137: the Q6700 is faster and has twice the cache size but the Q8200 is newer technology and smaller die. I think the 6700 is the way to go. Can anyone recommend a BUDGET heatsink as its OEM? Won't be overclocking.
    MOBO: MSI P45 Neo-F £79...open to suggestions here but bear in mind the budget is tight so nothing much more expensive.
    GFX: Nvidia Quadro FX570 £107 I'm at pains to pay so much for this card when a 9800GTX+ or HD4850 would probably blow it out of the water at the same price point but the software only likes quadro cards and he assures me he doesn't want the temptation of gaming on a work machine.
    RAM: 4GB Corsair TwinX 800mhz CL5 (x2) i.e. 8GB of RAM, told you need a lot for rendering and video stuff £64
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    HDD: 640GB Hitachi £48
    PSU & Case: Coolermaster Elite 330 with CM eXtreme Power 460W PSU Bundle £53 open to suggestions here if you think money could be saved. The GPU runs off the MOBO and doesnt need the 6pin PCI-E from the PSU so I don't think it will need that much power. Was thinking I might get a budget case (as he doesnt care at all about aesthetics) and put a silverstone 400w (@ £35) to save a few quid. What do people think?
    OS: Vista Ultimate 64 bit (already got)

    Total: £504.50

    Leaving £95 for a monitor (not decided what size to go for yet, any suggestions for this budget?), Heatsink and any tiny extras

    Thoughts?

    P.S. Film production/video encoding knowledge not required to comment! Any help or suggestion would be appreciated.

    P.P.S. would personally have liked to go down the Phenom II route at this budget but I'm told a lot of video software only likes Intel CPUs and Nvidia processors. Bit of a pain, meant I had to rethink the build from scratch!

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    Re: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    You don't need Quadro FX for video editing. Any low-end card with HD capability will do. Unless you wanna apply effects and layers in real-time mode - then opt for special Quadro card for 3k+
    I dont see how video editing software may prefer Intel CPUs over Phenom2. Latest supports SSE3 which was hardly implemented. Though Intel is still faster clock4clock, but difference is marginal.

    EDIT

    I'd go for Q6600 off ebay, overclock it and add RAID 0 for uncompressed video editing. Trust me you will need it

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    Re: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    Are you speaking from personal experience? On the Avid specification it says it only "officially" supports Quadro cards, and specifically says only compatible with NVidia. Won't be overclocking as I'm too inexperienced to do it on someone elses machine. Havn't tried a RAID 0 set up yet either any help on that? Thanks for the response

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    Re: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    What about a Phenom II X4 920?

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-P...Hz-125W-Retail

    You can use a 780G based motherboard:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Search.aspx?q=780g

    Here is a review:

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/16147/8

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...3492&p=14&cp=9

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu...g_9.html#sect0

    The Phenom II X4 920 has performance between that of an Intel Q9300 and Q9400 for video encoding. It also comes with a very good stock heatsink.



    I would get an HD3850 and softmod it to the equivlent FireGL card:

    http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=245236

    I would get this 20" Philips LCD monitor for £90 excluding postage:

    http://www.cdiscount.co.uk/Computing...b174f5fd28eaa9
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 24-03-2009 at 01:09 AM.


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    Re: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    Thanks CAT. I know Phenom II would be nice but it says in the spec intel only. Maybe I should look into it a bit further, I do think the Phenom 920 would be a good way to go. Softmodding the ATI card is not really an option as AVID quite explicitly states NVidia is the only way to go with their software. Had a browse on their forums and that seems to be true. Don't suppose theres a similar procedure for Nvidia cards?! Cheers

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    Re: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    Looked at that phillips monitor funnily enough!!

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    Re: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobull View Post
    Hi all. Said I would build a machine for a friend. Wondered if anyone on here had any knowledge about building machines that are for video editing, film production and encoding.
    Hi, i don't use AVID myself, but what feature / function particularly are you looking for from the video card? I have to say, from my own video editing experience, what you probably would be best served with is something small, low power, low heat production, and solid. And not something that you might game on I'm suggesting a card of around £30 budget like this Radeon 4350.

    That leaves you with more money to play with for the monitor, and £90 for an editing monitor is not a great idea. Ideally you want 1680 x 1050 minimum, and although you could go higher res, you're best going for good quality.
    I'd recommend something like Dell 2009WFP Ultrasharp for £180.

    Finally for the CPU cooling, for a budget i find that you cant beat arctic cooling and their Freezer 7 Pro, however prices seem to yo-yo alot, and at currently £18 i'm less happy to recommend it that when it's at about £11 - keep an eye out for Scan's special offers.

    Edit: Ok, i've done some reading around AVID and this thread of theirs also seems to suggest (as you stated) that for whatever reason Nvidia is the way to go. Therefore this nvidia 9400 is pretty good for £35, or this 8400 may be even better for your needs at £25.
    Oh, one more thing.... for an editing machine overclocking is not a good idea. Don't do it. If your mate suddenly faces a hard reboot halfway through 3 hours of editing due to overheating he won't be happy with you. And i am speaking from experience here For anyone that talks about getting 20% free performance or whatever, if that increases the risk of things going wrong it's simply not worth it.

    Edit again: OK, seems like i posted too soon, as i've been reading the threads at AVID (including your post there Nobull, which was probably a wise thing to ask 2 different forums with different target audiences). It looks like A.M.C. uses nvidia's hardware (over OpenGL) to speed up effect processing, which is nice, so some graphics card with more processing cores is a good idea. However don't dismiss my suggestion of something lower power, since it's perfectly possible to do video editing without masses of graphics card crunching (you will after all be using a multi-core CPU). It's a tough budget, that ideally you'd want to stretch in all directions (ie there are arguments for 2 monitors, or 2 hard drives, for a quality PSU, for masses or RAM, for a fast CPU, and for a great graphics card now i know why). Overall however, you want something that is fairly balanced and reliable, not something that will go t's-up when pushed. I'll stand by my suggestions above
    Last edited by MSIC; 24-03-2009 at 09:51 AM.
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    Re: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    I don't know a lot about video editing etc but I would definitely look at aria.co.uk for monitors.
    I would not go for their Arianet branded monitors - though I have used them for many customers in the past with no problems - but on any day of the week their Super Specials have a good selection of good brands. Today they have a 22" Asus and a 23" Dell amongst others - both at under the £180 mentioned earlier.

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    Re: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    If the rig has to be Intel / nVidia:

    Q6700 £139 @ Scan
    Coolermaster Elite 330 + 460W eXtreme power PSU £53 @ Ebuyer - (these are apparently a decent PSU, but the specs are slightly over-rated. More like a decent 430W PSU).
    2 x Samsung 500Gb drives (Eco-green/F2) £91 @ Scan
    Asus P5QL-E iP43 £77 @ Ebuyer
    Samsung DVD drive £15 @ Scan click here to buy via today only
    4Gb Corsair PC6400 (2x2Gb) £32 @ Scan
    Akasa 965 CPU heatsink £14 @ Scan
    Nvidia 8800GS 384Mb £51 @ Microdirect delivered (aka the 9600GSO - excellent performance for the price)

    That should be an excellent PC for the price = £472 approx. total leaving you £130ish for a half decent 22" monitor.

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    Re: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    No reason why you couldnt use an AMD setup, especially considering there is no overclocking. If i was in that position i would probs go for it. I would also probs stick to Nvidia - the card cpt white suggested seems liek a good idea.

    The monitor that Cat suggested is good, probably below what i would suggest though. Mnitor is much more important that you guys seem to realize. I would spend upwards of 150 if i where you. Im planning on spending 250 odd when i get my new one in a few weeks.

    8GB ram is ott... stick to 4 then if he finds he needs more (which he wont unless he is working with 2K-4k RED stuff in which case he needs a much bigger monitor and more powerful CPU anyway)

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    Re: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    Thanks for the responses guys much appreciated. I'm now tempted to put XP 32bit on his system and save the £32 with only 4GB of ram. Apparently even in 64bit Avid only "sees" 4GB anyway so I'm guessing that the performance shouldn't be massively different in XP with 3.5GB of RAM?

    It seems that AMD CPUs will work but Avid have just "not tested them" and won't be that forthcoming with support if anything goes wrong. This does pose a dilemma as I'm sure the Phenom II 920 would significantly outperform the Q6700.

    @ the GPU I like the idea of saving money here with a low power, reliable Nvidia card like MSIC suggested however the consensus seems to be stick to Quadro if at all possible when it comes to Avid. So again, slightly unsure.

    With regards to the monitor I know higher res would be nice but what I think he plans on doing is having a something like 1680x1050 monitor along with an old CRT as his secondary display, so having high resolutions is probably not so important.

    Thanks again for your time and advice

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    Re: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    Nobull a few points:

    You're not overclocking - the Q6700 will be as good as, or better than a 920 (if you meant Phenom II 940, that might be slightly better but only marginally, also it's more expensive anyway.

    Unless you spend upwards of £200 on Quattro graphics card simply don't even consider them. The performance of a standard graphics card, to get that same performance from a Quattro branded card you're looking at 2-3 times the money. Buy the 8800GS I suggested, the best value you'll find - it's actually a decent card for a budget value price. If you feel the need to switch to a Quattro card, do it futher down the line if you feel the benefit is worth it (I'm betting you won't bother).

    Regarding RAM, 32 bit operatiing systems can only use 2GB of RAM per program. You can have 8Gb installed, Avid will only use 2Gb if you have a 32 bit version of windows. Hence you potentially might be better going for Vista 64Bit (avoid XP 64bit, as driver support isn't so good).

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    Re: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    Nobull a few points:

    You're not overclocking - the Q6700 will be as good as, or better than a 920 (if you meant Phenom II 940, that might be slightly better but only marginally, also it's more expensive anyway.
    Nope I disagree with you there!! The Phenom II X4 920 is between a 2.5ghz Q9300 and a 2.66ghz Q9400 in performance. The Q9300 and Q9400 are using the Yorkfield architecture which despite less cache is still clock for clock faster than the older Kentsfield architecture of the Q6700.

    Look at this review which has the Q6700 and Phenom II X4 920:

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpu...d-920-review/9

    In one benchmark the Q6700 beats the X4 920, in another they match each other and every other the X4 920 wins.

    The Phenom II X4 920 also has significantly lower idle and peak power consumption than a Q6700 despite it having an integrated memory controller. Also with the Q6700 being OEM(and also being a hot running CPU like the Q6600) you will need to invest in an aftermarket heatsink which will cost around £20 at least too. OEM processors do also have a more limited warranty too unlike the full retail ones. The Q6700 has a 12 month one whereas the retail X2 920 has a 36 month one.

    You can also combine the Phenom II with an ATI 780G/780V or Nvidia 8200/8300 based motherboard for under £60 too. These also have impressively low power consumption.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 24-03-2009 at 03:07 PM.


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    Re: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    CAT makes some good points, however at the risk of being less-than-scientific, for something that you need to rely on, I'd buy a motherboard with an Intel chipset every time. Been burnt once too often with VIA and nvidia chipsets (i realise no-one is suggesting VIA, but I'm just saying...).

    To say that a 920 is between a Q9300 and a Q9400 simply means that they are all fairly competitive, and you wont be buying a bad CPU whatever you get.
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    Re: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    I agree with what you say CAT, and I'd be tempted by a Phenom II myself, but we are looking for an intel set-up I believe.

    I wasn't suggesting the Phenom II wasn't worth it vs the Q9700, more that the Q9700 can hold it's own against the 920 and isn't a poor choice

    ...and I've costed for a CPU cooler (still cheaper for Q9700 + cooler than the 920 alone), good point about warranty though.

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    Re: Video Editing/Film Production PC advice on proposed build...

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    I agree with what you say CAT, and I'd be tempted by a Phenom II myself, but we are looking for an intel set-up I believe.

    I wasn't suggesting the Phenom II wasn't worth it vs the Q9700, more that the Q9700 can hold it's own against the 920 and isn't a poor choice

    ...and I've costed for a CPU cooler (still cheaper for Q9700 + cooler than the 920 alone), good point about warranty though.
    I take it you were standing on your head when you wrote all those 9's? (a Q9700 would be a sight to behold...)

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