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Looking for answers on processor for AVCHD

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January 8, 2010 6:44:45 AM

I am planning a build here within the next few weeks, and its actually my first build. My laptop has suited me well for the past 3 years for all I have used it, but with a new Canon Vixia HF200 on the way it just wont cut it. Ill be doing a lot of video editing of the AVCHD footage as well as some SD in Vegas, as well as other image work (all "prosumer" level type of stuff, if you will).

Ive gathered that AVCHD is hugely processor intensive and lack of processing power is the most common culprit of laggy software operations, choppy previewing and playback as well as long rendering times. Am I right about this? I figure, out of my budget it would be a smart idea to put a lot into the processor (and consequently motherboard) and skimp on some other parts like a mid level video card. Gaming is something Ill be using the computer for, but is not a priority. Ive had in mind the Core i5 750, but after some recent research learned that the i5 does not support Hyperthreading like the i7 does, and that some pretty good gains in h.264 encoding can be seen. So this has left me feeling i should be putting even more into the processor.

So where I am at now is wondering; In order to avoid the pain of slow software operation, choppy video, and super long render times am I going to really need an i7? Would an i5 be sufficient enough? Also, considering the performance gains from an i7, then stack on by Hyperthreading gains, is the $ for $ value greater for an i7?

All advice on the i5 to i7 comparison is greatly appreciated, but I am welcome to words in reference to any of my information being inaccurate, or if there are other parts I should be focusing more on rather than/in addition to processing power. Oh yeah, I would like to keep my budget, including display, within the $1150 (US) range.
a c 159 à CPUs
January 8, 2010 12:37:30 PM

I don't know where the nearest frys electronics is to your residence, but they ocassionally have an i7 combo on sale. They had the 920 with board for $280 after $20 rebate a few weeks ago. Get at least 6 gigs of memory for your system. I don't pay extra for premium memory, but some folks do. Right now you can get 3x2gb of 1333 ddr3 for around $140. Corsair and crucial are still the best brands if you're not overclocking. For motherboards, I use MSI. Asus is ok, but check their website for recommended memory before ordering. I've never had a memory issue with MSI boards.
a b à CPUs
January 8, 2010 1:45:46 PM

Processor power is going to make all the difference in this build. You're right: Hyperthreading will be helpful as video programs are generally very well-threaded. CPU will be your main performance part in a video editing build.
I'd definitely get an i7 chip, in either 1156 (P55) or 1366 (X58). The Core i7 860 might be your best bet.

Also remember that you're going to need ample and swift storage for editing HD video--the hard drive is also a bottleneck. A couple of 1TB HDDs would do nicely here.

The X58 chipset with the Core i7 920 and up is a bit more expensive than the P55 chipset with core i5 and i7 in 1156 flavor. It's probably not worth it to buy an X58 board and a 920 unless you find a very compelling sale.

You should probably look for something along the lines of...
Core i7 860 ~280
Decent P55 mobo ~150
Decent case + PSU ~150
8GB DDR3 ~250
ATI 5750 (or higher if budget allows) ~130
2x1TB HDD: ~ 180
Monitor ~ 160

You can probably get more precise configuration answers over at the new system build forum.
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January 8, 2010 2:39:22 PM

Thanks for those answers guys. I actually do live by Fry's, and have heard of there combo sales but I know I missed out on one about 4-5 weeks ago. Im not sure when the next one will be.

Thanks for the recommended build, Ill surely be taking it into account when ordering. I would still like an opinion however on what I migt be able to get away with without leaping beyond an i5. With an i5, and 4GB DDR3, and one TB HDD, would I be seeing a lot of issues I spoke of earlier within editing software. If this discussion would be better off in the New system build forum, could a mod move it there?
a c 117 à CPUs
January 8, 2010 6:47:15 PM

Export AVCHD from the HF200 and edit in the native m2ts format. Export same.

Problem solved with a 'Smart (non) Render' :D  except Vegas appears to have a bug with 1080i m2ts. This does not seem to be a 720p AVCHD issue. Can your HF200 do that?

The smart render is not/should not be an intensive process. If you have "" ... laggy software operations, choppy previewing and playback as well as long rendering times ... "" immediately 'bug' Sony about their 'bug'. Be as accurate as possible in describing your setup, process and issues --- upload your video to them if possible.

By importing, editing and subsequently exporting in the native format you take all the fuss, and should take all the long renders, out of the process. The only thing that gets 'rendered' are your titles, transitions and effects.

Pounding it with expensive hardware is not the answer. Holding Sony accountable is :lol:  and the better you describe and document the issue to them, the better their patch and update will be.

Finally, multiple capture, edit, process and storage hard drives are the way to go to maximize your performance!

January 10, 2010 5:50:31 AM

Im not familiar with Smart Render in vegas, so thats something to read about. I would say after all my research on editing AVCHD, 90% of the reason for success has been reported to be a more powerful processor regardless of software (Well, not just in Vegas I should say). Almost as much of a majority recommends the i7 over everything, and Im mainly needing to know if I am going to have to have an i7 (as opposed to an i5), or if it would only be a luxury. I put some 1080p footage I downloaded into Vegas and once I dragged the short clip into the time line my CPU Usage in Task manager goes way up, and then when previewing nearly maxes out. Video preview isnt anything but choppy. Rendering 10 seconds takes about 2 minutes and 15 seconds. A lot of skipping when watching the rendered clip.

Thanks for the advice on the multiple hard drives. Are you recommending a seperate drive for each purpose?
a c 159 à CPUs
January 10, 2010 10:56:19 AM

Frys current friday ad has the i7 860 with biostar p55 board for $229 after $20 rebate, and 4 gb (2x2gb) of kingston 1600 ddr3 for $99.99. So, the combo with 8 gigs of ram would run you around $490 including tax before rebate. Not a bad deal; this board is socket 1156. For the drives, they have a 1tb hitachi for $69.99 and kingston 64gb ssd's are around $150 for fast boot up times. I would use the ssd as boot device, and the hitachi as the secondary drive. I have used the kingston 64gb value ssd for $149, and it works great, and is virtually silent.
January 10, 2010 3:34:21 PM

That deal sounds pretty great, but i have some confusion on the socket differences. I beleive they are appropriate for the different architechture types of processors by Intel? Is there any other reason I should be paying attention to the socket? Does it say how long the special is good for and if you it applies to all Fry's (I live in Ventura county, CA).
January 10, 2010 4:33:44 PM

Some good advice here. I just built a video/graphics workstation, probably be getting the Canon VIXIA HFS100 here soon to add to my SD Sony TRV900.
I settled on the i7-860 2.8GHZ; seemed to be at the best price point. I've learned my lesson; pay up front for processor power and RAM or you'll be doing it later. 8G of DDR3 1600 memory to get along with Premiere CS4 and Vegas. Plenty of hard drives. I have 5 1TB drives onboard in addition to the 320G boot drive; one is a "work" drive, the rest are storage. I don't trust drives over 1TB.
SSD? I'd love to have one because the boot drive in my setup is the major bottleneck. All the other stuff is 7.5 or better on the Win7 index; the drive is 5.8. But the price is high and to be perfectly honest; I'm still trying to weigh all the SSD information and opinions. Lots of the opinions and tests are with gaming in mind; not much help if you are doing actual computer work. Long writes, short writes, reliablility; geez. If someone told me I could have a free SSD; I would take the Intel X25 to use as the boot drive; but I wouldn't go smaller than 60G.
January 10, 2010 7:58:08 PM

So on my lunch break today from work, I went to Frys a few blocks away and picked up the last Biostar P55/Corei7 860 combo they had. Total came out to $282 before rebate. Awesome deal I must say. However this is all I picked up, they were out of the deal on RAM. I will be doing some further shopping for RAM and HDD's in the coming week after doing some more research for compatibility, performance and price.

I would also like to get some input on a case and cooling. As Ive said this is my first build and would like to stay within budget here ($1150). Im 95% positive Ill be getting a Radeon HD 5770 for around $179, if anyone can recommend something more appropriate do feel free to do so. But with this card fitting, what recomendations on a case could you guys give me? Id like to stay in the $80 range on the case.
January 12, 2010 5:39:54 AM

Antec 300
a c 159 à CPUs
January 12, 2010 4:02:28 PM

The antec 300 was $49.99 with free shipping at frys.com, or may be available for in store pickup.
January 13, 2010 2:46:45 AM

That leaves you about $30 for an aftermarket CPU cooler.
February 11, 2010 9:08:57 AM

slytx said:
So on my lunch break today from work, I went to Frys a few blocks away and picked up the last Biostar P55/Corei7 860 combo they had. Total came out to $282 before rebate. Awesome deal I must say. However this is all I picked up, they were out of the deal on RAM. I will be doing some further shopping for RAM and HDD's in the coming week after doing some more research for compatibility, performance and price.

I would also like to get some input on a case and cooling. As Ive said this is my first build and would like to stay within budget here ($1150). Im 95% positive Ill be getting a Radeon HD 5770 for around $179, if anyone can recommend something more appropriate do feel free to do so. But with this card fitting, what recomendations on a case could you guys give me? Id like to stay in the $80 range on the case.


Hi,

I am also planning on an i7 860 build with 8GB of corsair Dominator RAM on an ASUS P7P55D deluxe mobo with 2 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 drives and I was wondering if you have built your system yet and how you get on with editing AVCHD at 1920x1080 in vegas?

Thanks
!