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Building PC for video editing, need advice

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August 20, 2008 3:23:25 AM

I have not built a system for over 5 years, so I could really use some advice.

My goal is to build a decent computer for video editing (have not selected video editing software yet). I am not a gamer.

Here is what I have come up with so far. Please let me know if this sounds ok

Motherboard
ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory
CORSAIR XMS2 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel $75 after rebates
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard drive (for OS)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s (already own)
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard drive (for video storage)
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card (I could really use some help with this…)
EVGA 384-P3-N851-AR GeForce 8800 GS 384MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card $79.99 after rebates
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

EVGA 512-P2-N756-TR GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card $69.99 after rebates
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or ???

Case and Power Supply (Again, I need some help with this. Is this adequate, or what is the recommended PSU for this setup?)
Antec Sonata Plus 550 Black/ Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 550W Power Supply
$179.99 (was on sale for ~$110 when I first saw it)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKA1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case Real Power Pro 550W Power Supply $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Also, do you recommend Windows XP Home, or XP Pro 64-bit for video editing? I have not decided on video editing software yet, so feel free to make recommendations on that too. I am targeting video editing software < $150.


Thank you very much in advance.
August 20, 2008 4:00:35 AM

A system like that should stomp all over any video editing job you can come up with. I'm currently doing a little job transferring, editing and copying 30 hours of VHS to DVD. I've edited tons of video over the years. I'm using Pinnacle Studios software, but I currently have an older version of their software (version 9.0, I think) which is XP capable only. I've used it for many years on various system setups including dual core systems and a Q6600 with Windows XP for a while. For now, I just installed it in an old rig I threw together. I'll probably upgrade to the latest version of Pinnacle sometime soon and use my Q9450/Vista 64/8GB RAM rig in my signature. I hate to tie it up with side jobs all the time. Until then I am doing fine with this rig sittinig behind my desk about now:

AMD 64 4000+ San Diego Single Core CPU
Mach Speed socket 939 NF4 MB
2 x 1 GB OCZ Platinum PC3200
7900 GTO
320 GB SATA 16 main drive
640 GB WD SATA 16 data drive
Antec 500w PSU
Antec 300 Case
Artic Cooling HSF

I would definately use Vista 64 if I owned this more recent edition of Pinnacle Studio's video editing software:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

August 20, 2008 4:24:39 AM

I would go with the 9500gt because it kills encoding times for like 70-80$
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August 20, 2008 5:15:12 AM

You're on the right track.

The CPU is the most important aspect, as encoding raw digital video is almost purely done by the processor (so an overclock to 3.0ghz speeds it up a lot). Just make sure your video editing/encoding software supports quads.

The standard hard disk drive (HDD) setup for editing/encoding is like this:
1 - Windows/programs
2 - editing or "scratch disk" (import all video to this drive)
3 - your "write to" and storage disk (after you've edited your video, you convert it to MPEG2 for DVD. writing the MPEG2 to a separate HDD speeds it up immensly and prevents tear &wear on HDD #2).

Video card really doesn't matter unless you have program that can utilize it (none that I'm aware of for the consumer/prosumer maret).

August 20, 2008 1:01:32 PM

Thanks for the input.

I just looked quickly, but it looks like PE4, Pinnacle, Ulead and Nero all support quads. Any suggestions between those, or others?

Regarding the video card, I thought the first digit corresponds to the generation and the second digit refers to the "level". That is why I was leaning more towards the 8600 GT and the 8800 GS. Not sure which is better since the 8600 has 512MB while the 8800 has 384MB (or if that even matters).

Please comment on the size of power supply needed for this setup and a recommendation on XP Home vs. XP Pro 64-bit.

Thanks again.
August 20, 2008 9:56:39 PM

go with xp 64 so the system can use the 4 gigs, xp 32 only uses 3.5 and this way you can´t use the memory dual channel.
the 8600gt is a good video card and will work just fine.
get another HD.
the antec is better than the cooler master.
get a second monitor if you can
August 21, 2008 1:15:48 AM

Thanks for all the advice. Unfortunately my wife won't let me add another monitor to "our" desk...

I am now convinced that XP 64 is the way to go.

So, it sounds like the 8600gt 512MB video card is the choice?

Can anyone second that the ANTEC case with 550W PSU is adequate?

Anyone with advice on video editing software (PE4, Pinnacle, Ulead, Nero, Sony Vegas, etc.)?

Thanks again
August 21, 2008 1:39:29 AM

I have experience with Pinnacle Studio. I can tell you the interface is easy to learn and I think very much so if compared to other editing programs out there. Pinnacle is capable of editing any given second of the film, inserting transitions and menus easily to create a pro looking finished product. Editing the sound can also be done. Special effedts are available. For me Pinnacle is easy enough to work with to make a DVD quality final product from VHS tape including menu, transitions and editing any frame of the film I choose to. Pinnacle is Pro quality editing software is what I am trying to say. I have the PCI card version, version 9 I believe. There is also a USB connector version. Again, I have done a lot with Pinnacle studio software, but I can not speak for other comparable software like the Sony software mentioned. I would like to try it sometime. Maybe someone can shed some light on some of the other video editing software out there, I would be interested too.

I use an 8600GT in our Photoshop machine an E8400/G35/ 4 GB PC26400 with Vista 64. The card works great with the Aero interface and photoshop. We create professional, closeup digital photography in our business and for others for a fee. We have been doing professional clinical photography in business for more than 22 years. And in the University before that.

The Antec 550w should be sufficient with a Q6600 and an 8600GT. As you add hd's, you might bring up the 12v usage on the unit quite a bit. I have the following Q6600 machine running. My son uses it for gaming.

Q6600
ASUS P5B-Deluxe P65
3 GBs PC6400 (4 Dimms)
8800GTS 640
2 x 250GB WD SATA HDs
2 X DVD
Floppy
Zalman 9500 HSF
Antec 900
120mm case fans
OCZ 600w Stealthstream PSU (same as gamestream, but not modular)

Running since january with zero problems.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Review:

http://www.sysopt.com/features/cases/article.php/12024_...



August 21, 2008 11:57:15 AM

Thanks for the additional info. I am now leaning towards a larger PSU to handle additional HDDs and to allow for OC'ing just in case I get brave enough to try it. I'll try to look for a more appropriate place on the forum to ask about the video editing software.

I am not familiar with the 3-HDD system that Noya and tomasf both recommend. What should my additional HDD be (small or large)? Let me see if I understand it.

HDD #1 for OS, programs and all other non-video related data

HDD #2 for importing and editing video ("scratch disk") - should this drive be large or small? What I mean is, do you make this a small drive and keep copying raw video to HDD #3 when done, or do you make this a larger drive and leave all raw video on HDD #2?

HDD #3 for "write to" and storage after editing (MPEG2 for DVD or Blu-Ray image).


Thanks once again.
August 22, 2008 4:38:44 AM

Quote:
Thanks for the additional info. I am now leaning towards a larger PSU to handle additional HDDs and to allow for OC'ing just in case I get brave enough to try it. I'll try to look for a more appropriate place on the forum to ask about the video editing software.


The best PSU's for the money are Corsairs. I'm using the 450vx (450w/33amps) with a slightly (425mhz) overclocked 90nm AMD Opteron (server version of the X2), 4 ram sticks, 3 HDD's, 2 DVD/RWs, Nvidia 7600gt and 6 fans...and I leave the PC on 24/7 with a reboot once every couple weeks.
The 450vx is $54 at buy.com right now, with the 550vx at $69:
http://www.buy.com/retail/usersearchresults.asp?store=1...

Quote:
I am not familiar with the 3-HDD system that Noya and tomasf both recommend. What should my additional HDD be (small or large)? Let me see if I understand it.

HDD #1 for OS, programs and all other non-video related data

HDD #2 for importing and editing video ("scratch disk") - should this drive be large or small? What I mean is, do you make this a small drive and keep copying raw video to HDD #3 when done, or do you make this a larger drive and leave all raw video on HDD #2?

HDD #3 for "write to" and storage after editing (MPEG2 for DVD or Blu-Ray image).


Pretty much.

HHD #1 can be as small as you want. 80gb, 160gb, 250gb, etc. I think 250gb or 320gb are at a decent price per gb for a smaller drive (the 640gb+ models have the best price per gb).

HDD #2 is what you import all raw video to and should be your largest drive as it's holding raw video which is large. After you've edited it (into your movie/report/whatever), the raw video needs to be encoded to MPEG2 for DVD or MPEG2 (or h.264) for Blu-Ray. When your ready to encode, the program allows you to choose where you want the encoded file to be saved, this is where you make/select a folder on HDD #3 (so the program is reading data from HDD#2 and writing data to HDD#3- which improves speed immensely and prolongs HDD #2's life by not reading and writing HUGE files to the same HDD...which tears a drive up).

HDD #3 is the "write to" and storage drive. If these finished files are important, I would also copy them and put them on a second partitio on HDD#1 in case HDD#3 fails. If you're really paranoid, copy the finished files to a 2nd partition of HHD #2 also.

If you're on a budget, go for 3x250gb or 3x320gb drives.

If you have more money and need room:
HD 1 - 250gb or 320gb
HD 2 - 640gb
HD 3 - 640gb





August 22, 2008 4:50:31 AM

Noya do you use Adobe software to edit your video?
!