Upgrade critique for midrange video editing

Hey everyone,

First off, thanks for being here to answer this flood of questions, especially the ones like mine that seem to be so prevalent. I would just like to see if anyone has any comments on my choice of components for my lowish-midrange PC, required mostly for video related work.

I'm upgrading almost exclusively because I need SSE2 to run Adobe Premiere Pro 2; of course, that purchase now seems a little far off, but it was time for an change anyway. My Athlon XP was doing just fine since I've learned not to balk at a 10-hour rendering session, so I don't need that much. I'd like to keep it as cheap as possible, but I do have a little leeway on the price of my chosen setup.

I decided to go with AMD as Conroes are a little out of my price range and a smoking Pentium doesn't interest me (correct me if I'm wrong on that assumption, or any others). On top of that, I chose a socket 939 setup since there seem to be little advantages to AM2 systems right now, and with the cost of DDR2 memory it seems cheaper overall. After all, I won't be upgrading again for at least 3+ years -- at least hopefully.

I'm pretty sure about the choice of processor and motherboard, but I could probably use some input on the power supply and memory. I won't need any of the other components, so without further ado, here are my choices:


* Proc: AMD Athlon64 X2 3800+ Manchester -- $154.00
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16819103562

* Mobo: MSI K8NGM2-FID (GeForce 6150, MicroATX) -- $76.99
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16813130529

* RAM: Kingston HyperX 1GB (2x512) DDR400 -- $101.99
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16820144114

* PSU: FSP Group AX400-PN 400W -- $41.50
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16817104953

* Grand Total: ~$375.00


Tell if you see anything wrong or that could be made better. Except for the fact that I've pretty much shyed away from Intels, I feel mostly informed as to my decisions...that is, those ones which I am sick of making and hope never to need to make again. ;)
7 answers Last reply
More about upgrade critique midrange video editing
  1. While I'm no expert, video editing/encoding is the P4's strong suite. What ever way you go, I would go for 2gigs of RAM. Also, doesn't Premiere now offer support to normal graphics gaming cards instead of just the $1,000 overpriced workstation cards?
  2. On your asumption about smoking Pentiums, you are both right and wrong. You are right in the sense that older Pentium chips could heat a house up. When refering to the Conroe's is where you are wrong. These chips will run cooler than anything AMD currently has on the market.

    Now to your system.... If you're going to be doing video editing, it helps to load up your system with 2GB of ram. Provided you can afford it, go for this set:

    OCZ Titanium 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR400

    I would also suggest swapping the motherboard for the Asus A8N-VM CSM
  3. Even a cheap and nasty seperate GPU will allow you to 'reclaim' 64mb or so of RAM from that nasty IGP.

    Is the 6150 really good enough in the first place? Or am I working under the (incorrect?) assumption that video editing needs a good card?
  4. Three main factors affect video editing

    CPU performance (and additional cores if software supported)

    RAM

    Hard Disk

    ......

    Your CPU should be fine, the dual cores will really help in modern video editing apps.

    As Pengwin said, get 2gb of RAM id consider this important for a video editing rig.

    Finally, RAID would be impractical in this pricerange - but if your budget can stretch I'd strongly recommend getting a fast WD Raptor hard disk to store your OS on and actually edit the files... and then get a larger, standard hard disk to move your finished work to.

    You will find that a fast hard drive such as this, combined with 2gb of quality RAM, will keep the flow of data for your dual-core CPU to crunch nice 'n' steady.

    EDIT: And yes thats a good point, you aren't going to want anything sharing the RAM so ditch the onboard graphics. It's not the 64MB that will make a difference, it will be the memory bandwidth that is consumed by the graphics subsystem which leaves less for your video editing.
  5. Quote:
    While I'm no expert, video editing/encoding is the P4's strong suite.


    I heard that, but factoring in 1) power consumption (not extremely important, but I'm not paying the electric bill, so I'm trying to be nice :P), 2) noise level, and 3) the fact that I've always been an AMD fanboy and don't want to take the time to try to understand Intel's ratings, etc., I chose an AMD. If you think any of that is wrong and could suggest some good alternatives, be my guest.

    Quote:
    What ever way you go, I would go for 2gigs of RAM. Also, doesn't Premiere now offer support to normal graphics gaming cards instead of just the $1,000 overpriced workstation cards?


    Yes, two gigs might help me a bit, but it seems way out of my price range for now. Maybe later I can add another gigabyte, although I realize that it won't carry the full advantages of an immediate 2x1GB setup.

    I'm not sure about the card support since I've never been a gamer and always used onboard video, but here is the compatibility list.

    Keep in mind, though, that I'm still working with consumer-grade DV footage here, and my budget is really more important than my performance. Also remember that (at least in the older versions of Premiere) the only performance-intensive work in NLE editing is rendering, which I've always been able to wait for.

    -------

    Quote:
    On your asumption about smoking Pentiums, you are both right and wrong. You are right in the sense that older Pentium chips could heat a house up. When refering to the Conroe's is where you are wrong. These chips will run cooler than anything AMD currently has on the market.


    I realize that, and trust me, I would go for a Conroe in no time if I had the cash. Right now, though, it's $50 or so out of my budget.

    Quote:
    Now to your system.... If you're going to be doing video editing, it helps to load up your system with 2GB of ram. Provided you can afford it, go for this set: . . .


    Unfortunately, I probably can't. I might be able to squeeze it in, but I doubt I can afford that and a standalone video card like the others suggested. Any reccomendations?

    Quote:
    I would also suggest swapping the motherboard for the Asus A8N-VM CSM


    What do you prefer about it? I've read some really good reviews on that MSI board, plus the TV-out might come in handy. I can do without it, though, if you give me your reasoning. ;)

    -------

    Quote:
    Even a cheap and nasty seperate GPU will allow you to 'reclaim' 64mb or so of RAM from that nasty IGP.

    Is the 6150 really good enough in the first place? Or am I working under the (incorrect?) assumption that video editing needs a good card?


    Perhaps, but do you have any low-cost options? I've really never been into video cards and don't have the time to read up on them now.

    Remember though that my old system was doing fine w/ integrated graphics, so although you're right that it helps, I don't think it necessarily needs it for the low-quality material I have to work with (see above).

    -------

    Quote:
    As Pengwin said, get 2gb of RAM id consider this important for a video editing rig.


    Same as above.

    Quote:
    Finally, RAID would be impractical in this pricerange - but if your budget can stretch I'd strongly recommend getting a fast WD Raptor hard disk to store your OS on and actually edit the files... and then get a larger, standard hard disk to move your finished work to.


    That's a very good idea, and since I have a large, dedicated (albeit PATA) drive already, I might consider that soon.

    Quote:
    EDIT: And yes thats a good point, you aren't going to want anything sharing the RAM so ditch the onboard graphics. . . .


    As I said, I'm sure that would help, but since my old system w/ shared 32MB worked well (except with Cinelerra, which I might like to use), I'm not sure about the cost/benefit ratio here. Still, any suggestions along this line would be useful.

    Thanks, everybody.
  6. Quote:
    I realize that, and trust me, I would go for a Conroe in no time if I had the cash. Right now, though, it's $50 or so out of my budget.


    That's fine... if it's out of your price range.... there's nothing you can do about it right now.

    Quote:
    Unfortunately, I probably can't. I might be able to squeeze it in, but I doubt I can afford that and a standalone video card like the others suggested. Any reccomendations?


    The integrated video should be fine for now. Like DaveUK said, the Video card does not play a sigifnicant role in video editing. The main factors are the CPU, RAM, and Hard Drive. If you want to upgrade the video later, grab an eVGA Geforce 7600GT. In fact, if you're not into gaming, you could even drop to an eVGA Geforce 7300GS.

    Quote:
    I would also suggest swapping the motherboard for the Asus A8N-VM CSM


    Quote:
    What do you prefer about it? I've read some really good reviews on that MSI board, plus the TV-out might come in handy. I can do without it, though, if you give me your reasoning. ;)


    I suggested the Asus because IMO, they are a better brand. I've used Asus boards for quite awhile and never had problems with any of them. For only $1 more, I would go for it. Take the reviews on Newegg with a grain of salt.... the people who post those are known to be complete idiots, or very biased. If you want objective reviews on products, look anywhere but Newegg.
  7. Quote:
    I suggested the Asus because IMO, they are a better brand. I've used Asus boards for quite awhile and never had problems with any of them. For only $1 more, I would go for it. Take the reviews on Newegg with a grain of salt.... the people who post those are known to be complete idiots, or very biased. If you want objective reviews on products, look anywhere but Newegg.


    Well, I've pretty much decided to stick with what I had. In the case of the motherboard, I had already found this over at the AnandTech forums, which reccommended that MSI board over the Asus one, though I didn't realize it was the one you suggested. I know Asus is a good brand, but in this case (as has seemed to be my luck with Asus boards) there were problems.

    I may, though, take that RAM upgrade as I just found out my budget will be a little more relaxed. I'll also consider the hard drive and video card options once I get the money.

    Thanks for the help, everyone, especially Prophecy.
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