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Bring me up to speed from the ninties

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September 22, 2009 3:21:58 AM

I've run across these forums from time to time over the years. Tonight I've been doing some research and found the volumes of helpful information incredibly helpful.

I built computers on the side for folks back when Windows 95 and Doom were all the rage. Over the years I've continued to stay abreast of things enough to keep my computers current from a home user perspective. The most intense use my computer has seen is when I fire up the flight simulator.

I got a bargain on a HD digital video camera this summer and my creative mind is ablaze with all the things I would like to do. What a bargain.... I'm going to wind up spending a lot of money of video crap in the next year:) 

I have no real experience with video editing. I've played aroudnd a little Adobe and Vegas. There's quite a learning curve there. I have no idea which one I might prefer, or if there's something better out there. They're so freakin' expensive!

From my reading I see there are two main areas I want to know more about from the perspective of how it will help with video editing. They are RAID and the use of another computer/server.

My current computer has an Intel board with an E6600 processor. It has RAID but I've never used it. I completely skipped Vista as I never had a reason to make switching from XP worth the effort. I've got Win7 64bit running on the Intel machine now. From what I've seen, even with only 2 GB of RAM file transfers [ more to the point hard drive read/writes ] are noticably faster.

I notice none of the software seems to be 64 bit. So even if I build a new system with lots of RAM, I wonder how a 32 bit program will take advantage of it.

So throw it out there guys. Tell me about the benifits of RAID, setting up a server, and how the 64 bit OS is going to make my video life better. I suppose I may even have to think about a Mac [... talk about throwing the $$$ around:) ].


Thanks for all the help you folks have already given!

More about : bring speed ninties

a b B Homebuilt system
September 22, 2009 3:34:23 AM

Nice thing on raid, you can do like a striped raid, which is supposed to give better performance. Example, instead of a single hard drive having to copy everything to itself, you can get increased performance because in a striped raid, if memory serves, it will actually copy a little to each drive therefore reducing the load on the single drive. Or I believe you can also set it up to mirror, so you can have more redundancy. It's your call. Server, up to you. Would make it nice if you want to have a central location for all your files. As for software, you will probably be ok with the 32 bit software on 64 bit, but could not not hurt to ask their tech support. But if you will be doing a lot of heavy stuff, 64 bit gives you the advantage of being able to address more memory. Your 32 bit OS can only use like 3.5 gb of ram as that's all it can address. Vs the 64 bit you can have 8 gb or 16gb, you get the idea.

Take this from an Apple Certified Tech(Yes I'm apple certified). Macs are great, I respect a Mac, but if you go Apple, get the Applecare. For example, just saw an iMac that was just out of it's 1 year warranty, very nice machine, thought the LCD was going out. The LCD panel alone costs nearly 700 dollars for a 20 inch. Or a logic board, you can figure similar cost. Plus if the unit is out of warranty and you have to pay labor, you can see how expensive that could quickly become.

My thinking is for what you want to do, you could certainly get a nicer pc with more muscle and a nicer video card for the same money. Plus Windows 7 is just on the horizon, which is supposed to be a lot more resource light than Vista(which is actually a very stable OS in my experience despite all the bad press, I'm happy with it). So it's up to you.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 22, 2009 3:50:13 AM

3 main options for raid

Raid 0 - splits all the data into stripes and spreads the stripes evenly among the drives giving you n*c storage space where n is the number of drives and c is the capacity of each drive, by spreading the data out it allows all of the drives to read improving performance especially on random IO operations if the needed data is the stripe size or smaller. All data is lost if one drive fails.

Raid 1 - mirrors the drives so you have identical copies in case one fails, will provide a slight performance boost but not as much as raid 0. No data is lost until all drives fail. It will provide you with one drive worth of storage capacity.

Raid 5 - striping with parity, it requires atleast 3 drives, it stripes the data in the same way as raid 0 but also creates a parity block, the stripes and parity blocks are then distributed evenly among the drives. This setup will give you a performance boost about halfway between Raid 1 and Raid 0, but requires 2 disks to fail before data is lost. It will provide you with (n-1)*c storage capacity.

Raid types can be combined such as Raid 1+0 or Raid 0+1 for difference performance and redundancy effects.
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September 22, 2009 5:08:40 AM

ohiou_grad_06 said:

My thinking is for what you want to do, you could certainly get a nicer pc with more muscle and a nicer video card for the same money. Plus Windows 7 is just on the horizon, which is supposed to be a lot more resource light than Vista(which is actually a very stable OS in my experience despite all the bad press, I'm happy with it). So it's up to you.



I took a look at the Mac issue after I posted and kind of drew the same conclusion. The hardware capabilites are pretty much the same and the software differences if there are any don't seem to justify supporting Apple's sense of non-competiveness. Still have some questions but I think I'll be sticking with PC's for this......

Thanks for the insights!
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September 22, 2009 5:37:50 AM

karlh said:
I have no real experience with video editing. I've played aroudnd a little Adobe and Vegas. There's quite a learning curve there. I have no idea which one I might prefer, or if there's something better out there. They're so freakin' expensive!


Here's my opinion:

Regardless of what people/software companies may say, you do not need to spend big bucks on new software and hardware to do video editing, especially if you are just a beginner. Software like Premiere Pro, Vegas, Final Cut Pro, etc. are designed for professionals; people who do video work for a living, editing feature-length movies and TV shows. These people can afford to spend $1000 on software, and $5000+ on a purpose-built video editing machine (you'd be amazed at how much one can spend on an editing station), because it's their job.

For a consumer, though, Premiere Pro and the like are expensive, hard to learn, and more software than you really need. Fortunately, Adobe, Sony, Apple and all the other companies recognize this, and they make consumer versions of their video editing software (Adobe Premiere Elements, Apple Final Cut Express, etc.) which are designed to be more user-friendly, and cost $100 and less (as opposed to the $600+ for the pro versions).

My recommendation is to buy a copy of Premiere Elements or the like, and just keep using your current computer. Your current machine vastly exceeds the system requirements for these programs; therefore, it should handle HD video editing just fine. I do HD and standard-def video editing on my computer, which has a single-core Athlon 64 and 2GB of RAM; it's not super fast, but it's tolerable , and your computer is vastly superior to mine.

All the fast computers and fancy editing software in the world, cool as they may be, cannot make creative videos for you. Buy some relatively inexpensive software, make some videos, learn to edit, and see how much you like making videos, then take it from there. It beats the hell out of buying $600 of software and $1000 of hardware, only to find that you don't really like video work that much.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 22, 2009 5:58:40 AM

Another thought, check online, you may find some open source video editors for free that do exactly what you want as well.
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September 22, 2009 6:02:30 AM

Excactly where I planned on starting. I didn't realize Premire Elements was a stand alone product. I see the lengthy lists of this an that which seems like they're all pieces of what pro had. I will definately look into it this week.

The speed thing seems to come into play when compiling or encoding the videos. I've had a couple of occasions when I went to complete a segmant, watched the computer churn for 30-60 minutes and the computer crashed leaving me with didlysquat a couple hours after starting something. I figure if I'm going to spend some real time with this the faster computers will hopefully save me time over the long run.

Rest assured I won't be going out and spending $1000 to begin with. I'm one of those guys that fished with my neighbors poles until I decided I really liked it & only then did I expend the resources to get my own {I begged my dad up for one}.

Thanks for the ideas!!
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September 22, 2009 6:23:50 AM

karlh said:
Excactly where I planned on starting. I didn't realize Premire Elements was a stand alone product. I see the lengthy lists of this an that which seems like they're all pieces of what pro had. I will definately look into it this week.

The speed thing seems to come into play when compiling or encoding the videos. I've had a couple of occasions when I went to complete a segmant, watched the computer churn for 30-60 minutes and the computer crashed leaving me with didlysquat a couple hours after starting something. I figure if I'm going to spend some real time with this the faster computers will hopefully save me time over the long run.


Premiere Elements does have quite a few features that are similar to Pro, and the overall interface is pretty similar, too. The things Pro has that Elements doesn't aren't really that important to us consumers; they're features for professionals.

What program are you using at the moment to edit? A Core 2 Duo shouldn't churn away for 30-60 minutes and then crash. Are you sure there's nothing wrong with your hardware? Any software issues, maybe? From what you described, I gather you're trying to export a final video when the computer crashes. Am I right? How long are the videos that you're working with?

In terms of storage, I'd recommend getting at least one seperate hard drive exclusively for video files; preferably something large. 1 terrabyte drives are getting awfully cheap; you could get two of those and put them in a RAID 1 array; that way, if one drive fails, you still have the other drive, as well as all your data.
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September 22, 2009 6:25:37 AM

Also, I'd look for hard drives with a 5-year warranty. That way, if one drive fails within 5 years, the manufacturer should replace it.
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