Need help, newbie, want a Video editing/burning computer

Hi everyone.

I haven't been into computer components and whatnot for a very long time. My computer I'm using now is 5 years old, so that tells you how long it's been ;)

I want to get into creating short films and such that I will distribute to my friends and family, and of course on the internet. I mean like hour long movies. I know that I need a new computer to deal with all of this, but the problem is that I've been out of it for so long, I don't know what is what anymore! So, I'm looking for some pretty much "newbie" help. Like, what is up with the pentium "hyper-threading" stuff? That used to be all the rage not too long ago, but I don't see any of it now? I thought I remembered something about if you bought an x64 chip, that you had to get all new software to be compatible with it? (I remembered that being the stupidest thing I had ever heard of). Try not to laugh too hard at me guys :)

So, I'm looking at what the best stuff is right now, and it's amd x64 stuff?

Obviously I've seen things about Intel's new "Conroe" chip, and that it is suppossed to outperform everything there is right now. Also, I think I read that for video editing/burning stuff, you want the fastest processor available?

Can anyone point me in some direction of some good sources to read up on this stuff? (targetted material would be best, not just a "general" computer site or whatever)

Also, can you let me know basically what is the best technology to go for when building a computer aimed at video editing/creation/burning applications? Like what kind of ram to look for, what to avoid, make sure you get "x" feature, or whatever?

I'll have around $3,000 or so to spend on a new computer if that helps at all. :) (also, if you have any good information about what are some of the best/some good large lcd moniters? I can put another 1 to 1.5k towards that. Thanks guys!)

-random

(EDIT- see my 2nd post down below, thanks for the suggestions, but I'm not interested in mac's)
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  1. >>I'll have around $3,000 or so to spend on a new computer if that helps at all. (also, if you have any good information about what are some of the best/some good large lcd moniters? I can put another 1 to 1.5k towards that. Thanks guys!) <<

    Newegg has a great search engine. Try poking around their website and find the components you are interested in. Read the reviews and see how others fared with their purchases.

    I do video editing with Pinnacle Studio 9. That software may or may not be what you are looking for. The AMD 64 dual core processors are an excellent choice for video editing software. I'm sure others have some suggestions as to what system you should build, buy, etc.

    http://newegg.com/
  2. Well, if you want to video edit, go Apple. Apple's iLife well suit you very well for what you want to do and the software is included with an Apple! http://www.apple.com/ilife/ <-- go there if you want to see what they offer. And now Apple offers that you can run Windows on there machines. Although all depends on what you really going to use the computer for other then just video editing. With the money you have, you sound like Mac person. I would suggest their notebooks if u want one or the iMac which has a big screen with iLife for no more than $1700 for the 20 inch screen. http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wo/0.RSLID?mco=EDB278F7&nclm=iMac

    If don't want a Mac, I suggest you wait a bit for Conroe and fix yourself up a rig. I couldn't tell you the parts because I'm that much educated as much as these other guys. Although I can tell you to get dual-core and atleast 1 gig of ram and thats min and a big hard drive for those extra long movies. I might get flamed on here for saying Apple but oh well.
  3. Well, you said 'computer' rather than 'PC' so I'm also going to throw Apple into there.

    Obviously iMovie is the best free(ish) editing software, and in combination with iDVD you can shoot, edit and burn a DVD on one machine with software included in the price.

    If you're looking for a pro application, Final Cut is top notch.

    Basically any Apple with iLife and a superdrive will do the job very, very well.

    If you must go with a PC, Conroe is the way to go. Spend more of your budget on a fast CPU, RAM and loads of quick hard drives rather than graphics.
  4. $3,000 is more then enough I say use $2,000 on a nice setup and software and put the rest towards your camera or getting a camera. I'd opt for a nice mattebox & dolly over a minor increase in CPU speed anyday of the week.
  5. while I agree w/ looking up stuff on newegg as mentioned above, be sure NOT to put too much stock in the reviews. They are rarely accurate, and can even be from ppl that have never bought/used the component.

    A mac has good editing software, and final cut is definitely worth the swap, unless you already have PC software you want to use. osX is solid, and yes you can run windows (slower) but you may not be in to dual booting or anything. Quite frankly a PC will smoke a mac for speed, even the intel macs. If you stack photoshop or premier up on a mac and a PC, forgetting the apple "recommended" tests and just throw everything you can at them the PC will win. always. JMO of course, and dont mean to offend any mac fans. ;)

    for current PC cpu benchies try tom's charts here They will give you a good idea of what the socket 939 amd 64s do against the netburst pentiums (including whether hyperthreading does anything for you)

    Tom's has other interactive charts for hard drives and graphics cards too. That can be a good start on how things are performing.

    Dont worry about 64/32 bit chips. all 64bit chips run 32bit stuff just fine. The only time you need 64bit versions of software is if you run a 64bit OS.

    My Idea: for video editing, get a good solid performing cpu that is dual core. Most video editing software is multi-threaded. Make sure it is at the high-end of the charts, but doesn't need to be the top. (Top ones are around $1000 each!)

    Get minimum of 2 gigs of ram, w/ 3 or 4 being optimal. (you can never have too much ram for video editing)

    Get large hard drives, and while the speed of raid0 might entice you, it is not as secure and you can lose alot w/ a failure if you do lots of video. Either a raid w/ parity or the western digital Raptors will work for balance of speed and longevity.

    agree w/ above. graphics not as important here. probably a x1600 or 7600 version in case you do some light gaming, otherwise onboard is fine.

    sound card is only important if you do some sound editing w/ the video, then get the x-fi at minimum, or a prosumer card from terratec or something if you want more.
  6. I think my elderly DualAthlonMP box still does a good job lol :wink:
    but im broke so no real choice ^_^
  7. Definitely wait for Conroe, try this system:

    EX6800 Processor Extreme Edition (Will be the the fastest processor in the world once it's released, and to anyone who says to get a cheaper one, he doesn't need a good video card, might as well give him the fastest proecssor)
    Corsair XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2-1066 RAM
    WD Raptor 150GB 10,000 RPM (Buy 2 and Raid em if you want to spend more but get more speed, capacity)
    Sapphire X1600PRO 512MB even though it sucks, the 512MB of RAM will be useful
    Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Full-Tower Case
    OCZ 700W Power Supply (I know it's overkill but if you save $45.00 on it, why not, I mean it's as cheap as some 600W ones and it's not trash)
    NEC DVD Drive (It's black so it matches with case and it seems that it's good, I mean 771 reviews!)
    Samsung Floppy Drive

    Sadly, I do not know anything about the motherboard BUT I suggest you wait for Conroe to actually release because then there will be cheaper motherboards and there will be more mobos that will support Kentsfield which is the kind of mobo I suggest you get. Also, if you want, you can change the hard drive to one with lots of capacity like 400GB-500GB + or RAID.

    Edit: Forgot the monitor, it might actually fit in your $3,000 budget!
    This monitor seems awesome!
  8. Definitely don't get the extreme edition Conroe - it's $1000 and not worth it, especially compared with the 6600 performance wise.

    Get two DVD burners, in case you need to do DVD-DVD copies or even burn 2 DVDs simultaneously.

    For a video editing PC 150gb isn't nearly enough. I'd reccommend a pair of 500gb drives - NOT RAID-0 as you could be facing some very hefty data loss in case of failure - in fact if you go with a RAID array then get a redundant one. But you're gonna want at least 500gb for uncompressed video, especially with this high budget.

    Don't be tempted to just fill up the budget with stuff you don't need, too. You could build the PC for $2000 and spend $1000 on some decent software or a new camera. Also, for the extra $1000 spent on the PC over $2000, you won't see any real performance gain that justifies the price (as for 2 grand you'll already have 2gb RAM, a very fast Conroe and loads of disk space)
  9. Hey guys,

    I just wanted to say thanks to everyone that gave suggestions and whatnot! I'd also like to say that I do NOT want a mac. Just not my thing is all, I like PC's.

    I'm looking at going for the mid-range Conroe chip, and I definately want at *least* 2 Gig of RAM, more likely will go for 4 gig!

    What ever happened to that stuff a while back about getting "matched pairs" of RAM and it runs like it was twice what it actually was? Is that still around? Is that doable with 4 gig? (4 seperate 1 gig sticks).

    Oh, also I know nothing about Raid, so wasn't looking at doing that. What the deal with those Raptor hard drives? Can anyone explain what makes them so special? Would it be a good idea to have the 150gig Raptor for "general" stuff (like holding the OS and programs and whatnot), and then having a large 500gig drive that holds the movie footage?

    Thanks again everyone, really appreciate it!
  10. Quote:
    Hi everyone.

    I haven't been into computer components and whatnot for a very long time. My computer I'm using now is 5 years old, so that tells you how long it's been ;)

    I want to get into creating short films and such that I will distribute to my friends and family, and of course on the internet. I mean like hour long movies. I know that I need a new computer to deal with all of this, but the problem is that I've been out of it for so long, I don't know what is what anymore! So, I'm looking for some pretty much "newbie" help. Like, what is up with the pentium "hyper-threading" stuff? That used to be all the rage not too long ago, but I don't see any of it now? I thought I remembered something about if you bought an x64 chip, that you had to get all new software to be compatible with it? (I remembered that being the stupidest thing I had ever heard of). Try not to laugh too hard at me guys :)

    So, I'm looking at what the best stuff is right now, and it's amd x64 stuff?

    Obviously I've seen things about Intel's new "Conroe" chip, and that it is suppossed to outperform everything there is right now. Also, I think I read that for video editing/burning stuff, you want the fastest processor available?

    Can anyone point me in some direction of some good sources to read up on this stuff? (targetted material would be best, not just a "general" computer site or whatever)

    Also, can you let me know basically what is the best technology to go for when building a computer aimed at video editing/creation/burning applications? Like what kind of ram to look for, what to avoid, make sure you get "x" feature, or whatever?

    I'll have around $3,000 or so to spend on a new computer if that helps at all. :) (also, if you have any good information about what are some of the best/some good large lcd moniters? I can put another 1 to 1.5k towards that. Thanks guys!)

    -random

    (EDIT- see my 2nd post down below, thanks for the suggestions, but I'm not interested in mac's)


    yeah eh, dual core cpu (dont matter what, Intel, AMD, whatever), decent mobo is important, maybe fast hdd(s) - ie 1x250's in RAID0 or 1x74gb raptor + 250gb, thats the majors to make a decent video editing machine, dont listen to the AMD is better, Intel is better BS - get something in your price range (and better bang for the buck) :wink:
  11. Speaking to someone this week about video editing PCs who is building one also, he says that uncompressed movie footage can take up anything up to 60mb/s

    I haven't ever worked with anything like that kind of quality, but I'm just passing on that for his system he's going to use 4x250gb drives in RAID0 and a LaCie 1tb external for occasional backup.
  12. Quote:
    What ever happened to that stuff a while back about getting "matched pairs" of RAM and it runs like it was twice what it actually was? Is that still around? Is that doable with 4 gig? (4 seperate 1 gig sticks).

    matched pairs do not give you twice the performance, it is just used in dual channel mobos, which most (if not all) amd and intel setups are dual channel. It assures you that the ram sticks are exactly the same timings etc... for balanced dual channel performance. Performance increase over unmatched (but still same speed) pairs is hardly perceptable.

    w/ 4 sticks you will probably have to run a slower command rate (2T) so if you can afford 2 x 2 gig sticks you would get 1T rate. (but may get looser timings over 4x 1 gig sticks) research it out.

    Quote:
    Oh, also I know nothing about Raid, so wasn't looking at doing that. What the deal with those Raptor hard drives? Can anyone explain what makes them so special? Would it be a good idea to have the 150gig Raptor for "general" stuff (like holding the OS and programs and whatnot), and then having a large 500gig drive that holds the movie footage?


    difference? 10,000 rpm vs. 7,200! If speed is king, then the raptors have a dynasty on the throne. Yes, that setup you describe would be great and you would see the most benefit from that raptor w/ the OS on it.
  13. My dear friend, I live of building computers specially designed for video editing, so I think I can give you some of my experience, I was reading about the Conroe.... It will be an excellent processor for gaming, but it´s not proben yet, so, with the budget you´ve got I will build a dual Opteron 244, 246, or any like this with an ASUS A8N-DL 2 Gigis DDR 400 ECC RAM, the VGA can be an GF6600, the cheapest one if you don´t wan´t to play games, two HDD Samsung Spinpoint SATAII 300 Gb each, not in RAID config (you will use one of them for rendering and temps), the case can be any one, because the important thing is the PSU, I´ll go for an antec 600 watts, for the capture device, I prefer the PINNACLE STUDIO 700-PCI, a Creative Audigy for the audio issues, and also any good 19" lcd monitor or two 17" to use one for the program and the other as a monitor for the video edition. Well, this is my opinion about your question if helpfull... you´re welcome. your budget is what costs this rig here where I live, so...
  14. My dear friend, I live of building computers specially designed for video editing, so I think I can give you some of my experience, I was reading about the Conroe.... It will be an excellent processor for gaming, but it´s not proben yet, so, with the budget you´ve got I will build a dual Opteron 244, 246, or any like this with an ASUS A8N-DL 2 Gigis DDR 400 ECC RAM, the VGA can be an GF6600, the cheapest one if you don´t wan´t to play games, two HDD Samsung Spinpoint SATAII 300 Gb each, not in RAID config (you will use one of them for rendering and temps), the case can be any one, because the important thing is the PSU, I´ll go for an antec 600 watts, for the capture device, I prefer the PINNACLE STUDIO 700-PCI, a Creative Audigy for the audio issues, a Pioneer dvd rewriter and also any good 19" lcd monitor or two 17" to use one for the program and the other as a monitor for the video edition. Well, this is my opinion about your question if helpfull... you´re welcome. your budget is what costs this rig here where I live, so... If you want more help let me know.
  15. Get Vegas any day over Premiere Pro. Either way you'll be missing out on a lot with a PC over a Mac, but the PC will still suffice. (And yes I'm a PC owner and yes I've used Final Cut & Adobe Premiere)
  16. the only thing you are missing is that one piece of software, Final Cut. Yes it is nice and very polished, but functionally there is plenty of PC software that does the same thing. (albeit not w/ the flair that it has) "suffice" is a bit harsh. The PC more than makes up for that lack of flair w/ its speed.
  17. i think it mostly been said, and all are good ideas. but here is my opinon (sorry if it's been said already)

    invest in the CPU, RAM and HD Space. get a half decent videocard and a very good powersupply. for software it depends on what you want to do. while finalcut, premier pro and vegas are all excellent programs i would only use them if i were trying to make money off of it. if your just doing things for your own itnerest / home movies than something like premiere elements maybe a good place to start.

    for hardware i would get

    AMD Opteron 165 or up
    at least 1GB of highspeed ram
    atleast 1 TB of hd space
    Min 700W PSU

    monitors i would get a high end 20.1" LCD or 2 mid range 20.1" lcd's

    Also don't forget your speakers, you will want very good speakers.

    as an example here is what i do my editing on.

    AMD Opteron 165
    1GB OCZ GXT PC3500
    320GB Dump Drive
    20.1" Viewsonic LCD
    Asus A8N32-SLI
    ATI X1900XT 512MB
    Antec Neo HE 500
    X-Mystique 7.1
    750GB Raid 5 NAS (for finished products)
    Yamaha Surround Speakers
    WinXP Pro SP2
    Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0

    if you try premiere elements and find thats all you need then good you can save some cash, if you want more power then you can always upgrade to better software later.

    well that's my 2 cents
  18. A very nice site to check out for information is www.videoguys.com

    They have a series of articles describing DIY video editing computer builds.

    Any dual core chip (from the Pentium D 805 and Athlon 64 X2 3800+) will comfortably handle editing DV footage in a 'pro' level application such as Premiere Pro, Vegas, Avid, etc.

    If I were building a computer today I'd go ahead and spec one out that could handle HDV (since HDV cameras will soon become available in the sub $1k price range). This would mean 2GB of memory and at least an Intel D 930 or Athlon 64 X2 3800+ or better.

    HDV and DV both have very low bit rates (25 Mbit/sec). DV uses a fixed 120KB per frame, HDV uses MPEG-2. Hence HDV is much more processor intensive. You DO NOT need RAID to do DV or HDV. You do needs quite a bit of disk space since you will consume ~13GB of space per hour. A single SATA drive for your video separate from your system drive (250GB - 320GB, 7200RPM, big cache) would suffice for everything but the largest projects.

    Dual 19" LCD would be perfect ... I'd spend some money on getting those. You can never have enough screen real estate when running Premiere Pro.

    To sum up ... you don't need to spend a ton of money. You do need to spend it wisely. Have fun in your build!

    Regards,

    Victor
  19. Quote:
    A very nice site to check out for information is www.videoguys.com

    They have a series of articles describing DIY video editing computer builds.

    Any dual core chip (from the Pentium D 805 and Athlon 64 X2 3800+) will comfortably handle editing DV footage in a 'pro' level application such as Premiere Pro, Vegas, Avid, etc.

    If I were building a computer today I'd go ahead and spec one out that could handle HDV (since HDV cameras will soon become available in the sub $1k price range). This would mean 2GB of memory and at least an Intel D 930 or Athlon 64 X2 3800+ or better.

    HDV and DV both have very low bit rates (25 Mbit/sec). DV uses a fixed 120KB per frame, HDV uses MPEG-2. Hence HDV is much more processor intensive. You DO NOT need RAID to do DV or HDV. You do needs quite a bit of disk space since you will consume ~13GB of space per hour. A single SATA drive for your video separate from your system drive (250GB - 320GB, 7200RPM, big cache) would suffice for everything but the largest projects.

    Dual 19" LCD would be perfect ... I'd spend some money on getting those. You can never have enough screen real estate when running Premiere Pro.

    To sum up ... you don't need to spend a ton of money. You do need to spend it wisely. Have fun in your build!

    Regards,

    Victor


    the raid isn't for speed in my case it's for reliabalilty with a single drive if it dies, your screwed but with a raid 5 volume you need 2 drives to fail at the same time for that to happen :D
  20. Quote:


    the raid isn't for speed in my case it's for reliabalilty with a single drive if it dies, your screwed but with a raid 5 volume you need 2 drives to fail at the same time for that to happen :D


    You are absolutely correct. I should have been more precise in saying that you don't need RAID 0 or any kind of striping to improve performance. RAID 1, RAID 5 are great in that they give you better reliability but I prefer to do a daily copy of my media to an external disk. I had a motherboad with on-board RAID crap out once ... it ended up trashing my RAID 1 volume. :(
  21. which is why i have the 750GB Raid 5 NAS since it's hardware. BTW OB Raid is garbage since it's almost ALWAYS software. if you want internal raid get a hardware raid card.
  22. And yet all of that isn't as easy and functional as the Mac. Macs excell and laways have at three types of applications:

    1 - audio and video editing
    2 - midi and sequencing
    3 - Photoshop and page layout software.

    Notice that gaming isn't on the list. Nor is web or programming or office type applications.

    But for the money - a G5 with the built in coftware alone will get the job done quite easily.
  23. na dif it were 2 years ago i would stongly disagree since any prior to OSX is crap. now if only MS would see the benefits of using UNIX as a base for an operating system.
  24. wow, you see I believe you are backwards ther man. While osX is a very good OS, back in the day you could check w/ any graphics design company, any visual designer period and I would bet that 99% of them were running macs. They just dominated the industry for audio/video/visual manipulation. Many of those same companies still run macs simply b/c that is what they have been doing for years. The PC has only recently caught up to where the mac was in that realm. Read some history. ;)
  25. well i am talking about the era of the imac/lc series. my experince with macos was never a good one, it was always crashing, hanging and the computers slow in comparison. besindes aunix os is 100% more stable than anything macx or ms have ever created.
  26. I know you are very confused, but listen.. You can do all this with less than 1500 USD. What you need is any PC ofcourse higher than 2.00 GHz, with around 512 MB memory, and a DV cam corder, you can use windows movie maker which is free to download music from your DV CAM, which can also act like a pass through, since you are having different profiles like, emails of computer or CD option in movie maker, I am sure this is best for you. Also this is the cheapest option. and I dont think you even need to replace your machine, maybe you can add little memory with a fire wire card which is sufficient since your are not going to convert the movie. Also you can use the same movie maker software to make clippings and remove unnecessary footage from the main video file.

    So now you got a beautufull software which can do the job for you and at the best you will spend the least to get the missing hardware.
  27. umm, not that i want to put you down or anything but movie maker is garbage. pinnacle studio 9 is better than movie maker. i personally would get something like premiere elements since it's not that expensive.
  28. Appriciate your responce, however we are not talking about what is better and what is best. I just gave my openion with which the guy should be able to do most of the things with least investment.

    I understand there are better softwares, but for a newbie, movie maker is god's heaven.
  29. I think I will go w/ lcdguy and say that movie maker is just bad. Not enough options, not good enough finished quality and not anything you would do for something beyond a childs school project. (small child at that)

    pinnacle studio is still very n00b friendly, nice basic interface but has a better quality and more options for when you are beyond the basic n00bness. It will be used much longer then movie maker.

    Fair enough that it is certainly cheaper... doesn't change that it sucks as an editor. ;)
  30. Hehehehe... I know its sometimes funny, But I dont know why, I have been able to capture DV contents with DV quality, directly converted to WMV format, which stood at 150 MB for 10 mins, And also, I was able to do other thing like edit office documents while I was capturing video. And it almost did not take more than 3% cpu, I dont know about the HDD. But since it was real time compression, I dont think it really involved HDD so much, maybe RAM was enough. And all this in a very basic configuration, with a simple machince. And infact, using the same movie maker. I made clips, which is fairly easy and edit the existing movie. This again did not take more time, just a little lesser than real time.
  31. when editing with dv video, you should convert it to a compressed format till your video project is done. but granted depedning on how long the movie is that could take up alot of space
  32. Your budget is more than enough for a good machine but a couple of things to take into consideration. Rendering and burning take a long time. Obviously a faster CPU will help but it still takes time. I'm currently rendering and burning with a P4 3.O with 1GB of RAM and the video are fine, i.e., audio and video always in sync and will always play on a stand alone DVD player. Definitely go with a dual core and at 2GB of memory. Also 2 hard drives, one for your programs, which wouldn't have to be that big and a large stroage drive, at least 300GB. Make sure the MOBO has onboard firewire, which is used to connect diigital camcorders. As far as software, I think how much experience you have with eidting can make a big difference. I'm currently using Pinnacle 9, which is easy to use and does a good job. Some posters are saying Pinnacle 10 has problems. If you don't have a lot of experience, would suggest a less expensive, easier to use software, I understand the Adobe's lower price software is good. Once you really know what your doing, it would make sense to move into higher level software. A couple of hunderd dollars for software is a lot of money if you are not very experienced. Can always upgrade later. You should not need dual video cards. I would look at putting some of the money into a higher end digital camcorder depending on what you have now. Personally, I think how much you put into hardware and software depends on your level of experience. If your just strating to edit and burn videos, start out with a more modest system that is very upgradable. As you gain knowledge and experience, you'll better know what hardware and software upgrades will best suit your purpose. There is not a direct correlation between the dollars spent and how well the system does what you need it to. A good site for video stuff that I don't think was mentioned is dvdhelp.com Finally, I'd wait till Conroe comes out and there are some comparative reviews with the AM2 specifically dealing with video. E.g., the CPU chart on this site, which is very good, but will obviously need updateing with AM2 and Conroe ahd a chart based on Pinnacle 9, which is far more useful for video stuff than a chart based on gaming.
  33. if your doing alot of video editing / rendering then i would get an opteron since that is one application that they do well at. also the opteron 165 can be easly overclocked without dnagering it to much and it just eats up video compression for breakfast.

    for example

    convert a 15GB / 25min episode to a 175MB divx 6 file takes 30 minutes.
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