Budget video editing rig

HI All,

I am building a very low cost video editing rig for an ex-boss. ( No jokes, she was, er, is cool ) :)

I would like to say what she has, what my parts may be and then if you could all let me know what you think and make any suggestions.

she has a 600-700 budget.

Now she has told me her requirements.
2d and 3d video rendering with Autocad and 3-d studio max. Office multi tasking, storing large video files.

She presentely has some components that we would like to use.

They are case/power supply : Enermax EG465P-VE FCA
I've looked this one up
and it is a few years old but it fits atx boards and has a 430w power supply

she has a ide lg dvd rom that we will use.

she has a p3, forget that and everything besides the above.

She wants a quad core. a large 500 gig hard drive, and the rest is pretty much up to me.

Now I have looked online to see how well onboard/integrated graphics can work with rendering and most say not very well for 3d.

that was my first option, to get her a g35/31 and this way she can get a q6600 now and upgrage in a year with just a better chip.

all tests on toms say the quad will scale well on the above mentioned programs. but no tests for video cards show how well standard video cards work on video rendering software.

I have looked at the prices of matrox cards, ati fire gl / open gl cards and they are out of her price range.

I have offered to give her my radeon 9550 256mb agp card as it will help her out and should be better than any integrated graphics card.

So I have set my mind on a q6600 for 305$ canadian at a computer store here. I may look at tiger direct or other online stores but shipping might be expensive.

I was thinking on getting her the asrock 775 sata2 board that has agp and pcie. its 79$ here

and two gig of ddr2-533 or 667 will be about 55$.

keep in mind this board only goes to fsb of 1066 and overclocks to 1333, but I will not overclock her system, Mine ok but not a customers, to much risk. stability is key. this thing cannot crash.

I found a 500gb wd hd with 16mb cache for 125$

so to recap that is
proc q6600 305
mb asrcok 79
ram ocz 667 59
wd hd 125

roughly 568$

now i could maybe go phenom but I would rather stick with this q6600, also I dont know what other board has pcie and agp.

I could get a cheap 8400 or 2400 256 mb pcie video card for under 75$ bucks but will they beat the 9550?

My customer has also resignes herself that most likely she will not be able to upgrade again if we go this way.

ok sot he questions

would a g31 motherboard with onboard video do strong enough in rendering to allow her to have upgrade options?

any help would be greatly appreciated.
35 answers Last reply
More about budget video editing
  1. q6600 is definately the better choice, but the mobo sounds not so good... better to go with asus or intel if you can fit it into the budget, you may pay a little more but it will be worth the stability in the end, because what she plans to do is definately going to stress it out.

    That psu is fairly old and might not work with the new mobos out today. I would check to be sure. It would not be good if this makes you fall out of budget.

    I don't see it on this list : http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=108088

    you definately want to go with at least tier 2 minimum.

    Needless to say a budget like that trying to do what she wants to do is a pretty tough challenge to pull off. It's like saying I want to go ferrari fast, but I want to pay the yugo price. :lol:
  2. I would go with a P35 board, either a Gigabyte P35 DS3L, ASUS P5K, or P5K E depending on what onboard features she needs. My choice would be the P5K, 3 PCI slots, onboard firewire if she has a digital camcorder. mATX boards can limited updating or expanding. A DATA makes good inexpensive RAM and would go with 2 x 1GB of DDR2 800, at least in the States there is virtually no difference in price. If it fits in the budget, this would be a good fast drive for the OS/programs. Partition it and she can use the rest for storage.
  3. HI guys,

    thanks for the replies.

    pip_seeker, i agree with about the power supply, but, the only thing hard core is the quad core that will not be overclocked, even the ram will be underclocked.

    g-paw. as mentioned, She cannot afford another board that doesnt have video intergrated or accepts agp.
    a decent p35 board is about 150$ canadian, as for intergrated the g35 or g31 is about the same.

    I just dont know how well it will hold up if she goes with onboard graphics and 3d rendering.
    i ask again, anyone know if an 8400 gs or 2400 pcie video card, will do the job for this?
  4. do any of you know what tests show how well a video card helps in video editing
  5. The video card will not be nearly as important as the CPU. Until recently I've been editing and rendering movies with onboard videio. I tried to upgrade with an 8600GT but it covered one of two PCI slots so instead put in a 7600GT that was smaller, a real downside to mATX boards. The main reason was because the 7600 didn't share the memory that the onboard did. For what she is doing, it would be worth while looking at the Phenom 9600, which would definitely save on the CPU. Check out the chart below and compare the 9600 to the Q6600. While it's not as fast, there is not a real significant difference. The problem will be finding an AM2+ mobo with onboard video although you could use an expensive video card and upgrade later. Put the money you save on the CPU towards the card. Either of these mobo would be could. The ASUS has 3 PCI and the Gigabyte 2 but with onboard firewire, if she needs it, e.g., for a digital camcorder. I know AMD is getting very little respect right now but for things like rendering they are not that far behind and on a tight budget worth considering

  6. THANKS Dude,

    I was thinking about that but wasnt sure about a board that accepts the phenom out of the box.

    ill check it out in a fe minutes.

  7. have any of you seen the asrock board that accepts phenom and agp cards?
  8. My thoughts in her situation would be Phenom with an ATI 3850 Graphic card. Generally I'm an intel guy but her budget is tight and your not going to OC. Besides I need someone to buy AMD so I can keep my Intel parts on the cheap.
  9. Lol, I read this:
    taz23340 said:
    I would like to say what she has, what my parts may be and then if you could all let me know what you think and make any suggestions.

    Like this:
    I would like to say ... she has ... my parts ...
    Then I thought, I can see why you went back... hehe

    yeah, get the Q6600, it'll help out a lot for rendering.
  10. If she is going to use 3d studio max, you need some graphical power. Onboard is not good for 3d modeling. You'll need a stand alone graphics card if she wants to work in 3d studio max. If she was just video editing, anything would do, but personally, I'd rather have a low end card than onboard. At least with the current low range cards you can get a UVD built in. Try to throw in a low budget graphics card if you can, if she is really serious about 3d modeling and does quite a bit of it, you'll want to nab a mid range card for her, preferably, a 8600 GT/GTs, a ATi 2600 pro/xt or a ATI 3650...Most ideal would be a 3850 or 3870 series, or even better a 8800 GT with 512 megs of memory (if she plans to utilize higher resolutions).

    Now those recommendations are ONLY if she does a decent amount of 3d modeling, if she just does video editing, a low budget card or onboard would do fine...If you go a nvidia route, make sure you nab a XFX or EVGA brand, as they offer life time warranties.

    Regarding hard drive, pretty easy considering price, you can nab a 500 gig seagate 7200.11 drive for around 110 bucks. Great price, and IMO seagate offers the best reliability (as well as warranty, 5 years compared to 3).

    Board wise, a Asus P5K-E is indeed a great board, Or you can nab the P5k based on what connectors she needs. A gigabyte P35-DS3L or P35-DS3R would also be a good choice. I have a Asus P5K-E Wifi board rig next to me right now. Building it for a family friend, Oc the q6600 g0 to 3 ghz with ease (I pretty much had it stable as soon as I changed the bios settings for it, although I had to take up the voltage a tick or two.

    If you do end up going with a 3850/3870 from ATI, or a 8800 GT, you'll need a new PSU, 20 amps on the 12 rail is quite low. Also, as psu's age, their output ability lessens as well...If she just needs to edit video, and rarely 3d models, than just nab a low end graphics card...Make sure you nab the current generation, as they have the great UVD (Universal Video Decoders) to lessen the strain on the CPU, as well as offer quality enhancements visually.

    Regarding ram, if you're not OC'ing...Any ram will do. Getting 667 rated ram now-a-days is worthless considering the price of ddr2-800, get these.


    Great price, cas 4 (4-4-4-12-2t), and a life time warranty. If you want 4 gigs, you can nab this..


    Great price, it also features Micron D9HNL modules, But since your not overclocking, doesn't mean much. But these sticks are indeed great, unfortunately I had to RMA my first set back to newegg, one stick was bad, but the second set worked flawlessly, also with a lifetime warranty at a FANTASTIC price.

    For a video card, considering the budget, you want to stay low. If she hardly 3d models, a low end card will do (ATI 2400 pro, or a 8400/8500 GT). If she 3d models quite a bit with medium to large sized projects, you'll need a good dedicated graphics card. For a budget concern, a 3650 should do fine, and the power draw is acceptable.


    If she plans to do moderate amounts of 3d modeling, try to nab a 3850/3870 from ATI, or a 8800 GT (256mn or 512mb depending on the resolution used).

    Mobo, anything will do really, a Asus p5k would be nice, or a Gigabyte p35-DS3L or R, if she wants firewire/raid or not.



    If she wants to go even cheaper and have no raid, she can nab the p35-ds3l. Keep in mind there will be no firewire and raid.


    For a good budget psu if you are getting a video card...Check this one out. If you are going low end, no need probably, but 20 amps is quite a bit low on the 12 rail for that psu, also, as you stated, it's used and a bit old...So it will likely give off less.


    tier 3, with 32 amps on the 12 rails, should be perfect considering your budget.

    For the drive, this should do perfectly. If it's a bit too much, you can look for other drives from western digital and such. (try to nab one of the top two if you can, newer models).





    I guess that's pretty much it. I just re-read parts of your post, you'll have to look around on pricing since it will indeed be different. If you are going to order online, try http://www.ncix.com/ . Canadian based store, so you might be able to nab everything from there. As I said before, if she plans to 3d model, you'll want a dedicated card, onboard is only really good for HTPC's and browsing machines. It can work for media as well, but when 3d modeling is mixed in, you'll need a stand alone card.
  11. thanks alot camroos, im looking at ncix right now. for motherboards that support phenom under 100$.

    for 3d rendering will a 3450 do, will she notice a big difference with the 3650?

    yeah going with amd will save her 90$ alone compared to q6600.
  12. 3450 will not do it only has 64bit memory interface.
  13. ehhh...I'd stay away from phenom if I was you. try to go with the q6600 route. The phenom lacks badly in performance compared to the q6600, especially with all this malfunctioning 3rd core tidbit floating around. I know she would save quite a bit of money, but they take so much power compare to intels solution, while offering less performance. Even a 2.6 or 2.7 phenom can't beat out a 2.4 q6600.

    I know it's more pricey, but nab the q6600. Especially for later down the road, you can always overclock it EASILY and get a massive performance increase. It took me literally 2 minutes to OC this q6600 next to me, it restarted during some orthos testing, but as soon I bumped up the voltage 2 ticks, it's ran orthos rock solid for 19 hours...Great processors, fantastic value for the money.

    Choice is yours though, I would never get myself a Phenom rig, a X2...Sure...But Phenom is a no go for me and many others.

    Regarding the 3d modeling issue, the better the card, the better the performance will be, but base it off your budget. If her projects contain lots of polygons and models, you'll want a decent card, otherwise it would start lagging up while she is working...Which is why I heavily recommend getting a stand alone compared to onboard. Try to nab the q6600 setup, if she doesn't need raid or firewire, the p35-DS3L from gigabyte is a GREAT board. I would never buy from any other company except gigabyte and Asus, they are the best motherboard manufacturers imo. If she needs firewire for sure, just nab a Asus p5k.
    Keep in mind though, the lower the card you get, the less power it will end up taking up, so you may get by with the PSU you have...But if you buy a beefier card, you'll need to nab a new PSU as well.

    Roadrunner: With his budget, I don't think he has a choice...lol. But I do agree. Overall the q6600 rig would be damn nice, but the budget is rather small for a 3d modeling rig. If this was just a video editing rig, you could make it fine with even onboard...But with 3d modeling thrown in the mix, he'll need a decent graphics card, and if he wants one, he'll need a new psu as well. Tough spot =P
  14. ok im going to try and see what i can budget and save by going online.
    as for phenom, for rendering it seems to work better than c2d and x2's.
    even on toms
    as for video, im still wondering why a workstation gpu with 32mb or ram or 128mb is what some quaddro and fire gl cards use?
    how are they that much better than mainstream cards?
  15. See if you can get two 250 gb drives and RAID 0 in that budget....I'm here to tell you that if she's planning to do HD


    you want that footage coming in off the drives as fast as possible...especially for editing

    Even 3x 160GB drives wouldn't be a bad idea.
  16. He would end up paying more, it would hurt him in the long run. Obviously a good idea, but than he'd have to get a board that support raid also. the gigabyte p35-ds3l is a GREAT board for a budget, downside is no raid and firewire. But if you plan to go for a asus p5k or the p35-ds3r, it might be a better route if she plans to edit with hidef. But keep in mind raid 0 has no protection for failure...so it might not be worth it.

    I'd still say go with a single drive and the p35-ds3r.

    Does that 600-700 include tax + shipping?
  17. most likely 700$ including shipping before tax, but that would be stretching it.
    I would prefer going with the asus board, i like the board for the fact that it supports the 1600fsb chips when overclocked.
  18. They can both do 1600 FSB OC'ed...They are both good boards.

    Does she need Firewire or raid?, if not she can nab a p35-ds3l to save some cash.
  19. Kamrooz said:
    He would end up paying more, it would hurt him in the long run. Obviously a good idea, but than he'd have to get a board that support raid also. the gigabyte p35-ds3l is a GREAT board for a budget, downside is no raid and firewire. But if you plan to go for a asus p5k or the p35-ds3r, it might be a better route if she plans to edit with hidef. But keep in mind raid 0 has no protection for failure...so it might not be worth it.

    I'd still say go with a single drive and the p35-ds3r.

    Does that 600-700 include tax + shipping?

    I agree about the price and risks....I still stick with my idea though...I work with HD footage and high res renders all day long.....(like right now)

    Raid really is worth it for HD unless you're always going to be working with proxy footage and do the final in HD...

    Sometimes though you just have to see the shots at full res....you can't check focus on low res proxies.

    You need a system drive 60 or 80 GB and a 2 disk RAID 0 for footage if you can afford it. The risk for RAID 0 doesn't really matter that much since all your footage is kinda temporary....gets copied from some other disk and then leaves on a portable HD or DVDs....So whatever's on your RAID is really just a copy

    good points though....I just wanted both arguments to get fair consideration...
  20. One thing to keep in mind is she can always upgrade in the future. I think the key is a mobo with enough features that allows for this as well as a good PSU be it a Phenom, which on a budget for what she's doing I think would work, or the Q6600. This would be especially true to the GPU, which is easiest to upgrade
  21. well ive worked it down to 554 before a power supply

    AMD64 AM2+ ASUS M3A AMD770 PCIE $105 or
    if i can find a cheaper asus board that accepts phenom outside the box.
    I dont want to have to update the bios just to start the system.
    phenom 9500 $225
    2gig kingston ddr2 800 $59
    250 gb wd hd $75 or
    500 gb wd hd 125$
    sapphire 3650 512 $99
    or sapphire 2600 pro 512 $89

    now this is either $557 or $597
    if i use the current power supply.
    more if i go with a decent one.
    It would be hard to justify a 100$ power supply though.
  22. Looks good and falls with in budget and if you or her husband/boyfriend need any gift ideas, what woman wouldn't be thrilled with a new GPU or PSU?
  23. lol
  24. Taz23340 if you are in canada on near the GTA try these stores:


    They usually have better prices than Tiger. Since the budget is so tight.. every little helps.

    AMD PHENOM 9500 QUAD CORE 2.2GHZ 4MB CACHE AM2+ 95W $214.95
    OCZ Platinum REV 2 XTC Edition 2GB (2 X 1GB) DDR2 800 Dual Channel Kit $29.95
    Western Digital Caviar 500GB SATA Hard Drive 7200 rpm 16MB $96.95
    OCZ StealthXStream OCZ500SXS 500W ATX12V 20/24PIN Active PFC ATX Power Supply 120MM Fan Black $54.95
    OCZ 600W Stealth XStream Power Supply - OCZ600SXS $74.95

    You'll have to look at both stores to compare each item but you could probably save close to $80. I know onboard video is crap for editing but you can try a MB that has a N6100 or N6200.

    I'm partial to AMD myself but since C2D came out, Intel is much better.
  25. hi guys, so i ave advised her that she should wait for a good video card made for rendering.

    she is going up from a p3 so anything will be an imimprovement.

    thanks apocolypse the pcvonline site is going to save us like 1140$ BEFORE TAX AND SHIPPING.

    4GB OCZ DDR2 800 444-12 RAM








  26. FireGL cards actually (this generation atleast) are supposedly better than their Quaddro counter parts.

    If you really want a Phenom get the new 9100. Supposedly it will be $100-140 and will have 4 cores at 1.8 GHz. Should do cheap n easy rendering.
  27. I work on a Quadro FX 4500 card @ work...while it gets recognized in After Effects and is supposedly doing all the openGL hardware acceleration, I really can't say I recommend getting one. It really doesn't feel faster than my Geforce 8800 at home and costs an astronomical amount of money. I think the money is better spent somewhere else in the system.

    Just my 2 cents...
  28. hi plastic station.

    i agree somewhat.......

    the tests show that a 200$ 128mb quaddro card was faster than two 7900gtx cards in sli. that to me is saving money. i know she will never play games, will do video editing, video rendering and audio rendering. maybe. so she will want dual display and that i s about it. so why get a 550$ gaming card when i could spend half that and get her sometihn that will destroy it for her needs.


    p.s. i dont know if it s just me but this small font is pissing me off. lol
  29. taz23340 said:
    hi plastic station.

    i agree somewhat.......

    the tests show that a 200$ 128mb quaddro card was faster than two 7900gtx cards in sli. that to me is saving money. i know she will never play games, will do video editing, video rendering and audio rendering. maybe. so she will want dual display and that i s about it. so why get a 550$ gaming card when i could spend half that and get her sometihn that will destroy it for her needs.

    We're obviously talking about different things
    the card I'm using at work

    retails for around $1,699.00

    and It's not a top of the line Quadro FX card either.

    I was saying a $400 Geforce 8800 series card was a bargain next to the Quadro series cards which I didn't felt helped much at all and are poor gaming hardware to top it off.
  30. your right.
    for your application you are right.

    maybe what you wee doing didnt need the rendering power of the card. from what i see only heavy heavy automated video would take the need.

    my firend will be doing a 3d room, bedrrom for example. that she wants to be able to show to the customer with her additions and while turning the room, to show all parts of the room.

    onboardcan do it, just not as fast. its not worth for her to spend on that card until she has more momeny to spen, and putting money in a gaming card wont help much for her nayway.

    thanks for the insight though,

    nice post on your system though, do your eally notice the difference using a quad versus a dual when just multitasking?
  31. 3D (Maya, XSI, CAD style stuff) I agree will definitely see much better interactivity and overall snappiness from a Quadro Card...

    anyway, I'm sure you know what you're doing...
    I definitely notice the Quad for rendering, multi tasking is a bit of toss up...you need lots of RAM to really take advantage of say --- programs running multiple instances of themselves --- After Effects rendering does this kind of multi-tasking....

    So you need lots of RAM 8 GB or more...especially to use the 2x Quad Xeons I have at work.

    That's the rub, 64bit operating systems you need for that much memory just don't seem to be ready for a professional environment (at least on the PC side)....driver support is terrible, especially networking.

    64 bit application on PC...also have their own nightmares.

    but yes, I do notice the Quad is quite snappy with just about anything I've tossed at it so far.

    and with the overclock, Sissoft Sandra reports my multicore efficiency and performance at just a hair under the Quad Extreme chips.
  32. that is a nice rig you have a work. if i could play games on a server game, i think i would try to convince the mrs to let me go the server route instead of gaming pc. i wonder how well games play on windows home server.

    have you played any games on your work opc?

    to beh onest i dont know that much about the video rendering, this is why i have been looking up on the net and talking with you guys to see what i can do forher budget.

    that part sucks.
    because its not much money
  33. wow i can seee again, the big writting is back. I can now see how i spelled everything so bad...lol

    Anyone know of a good software test I can use to see how well it renders. Besides designing something in autocad.

  34. I have played games on my work PC....the overwhelming bottleneck is the 1700 dollar Quadro card....

    If I slapped a 340 dollar 8800 gt 512MB card in there the gaming would be phenomenal.

    Quadros just don't seem to offer much for me for the added price. I could be wrong.

    By the way.....lately I've been working with 4K footage, that's 4096x2048...that's some serious rendering....final output is usually 2k film, or 1080p

    at 16bit depth the 4K is 32MB per frame........you see why I recommend large amounts of fast storage space.
  35. yeah for sure i understand that, i was thinking about raid on the two drives, but i am not sure as i need a very secure drive to hold her output and a main drive for windows, so when windows crashes she wont lose her info.
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