I need help deciding what computers to get or build for a small computer lab used for video editing.

9 desktop computers and 1 laptop.

I am experienced in building computers but have not kept track of what is new.

Our students do very basic video editing, they eventually burn their work on DVD when finished.
Videos are shot and shown at standard DVD resolution and that will not change.
Teacher wants to continue using her video cameras which connect with firewire. They are standard resolution, some with cassette, some without.
Teacher would like to continue using Adobe Premiere Elements (version 3.0 on the old computers) or something as simple.
Cant be a Mac.

The 2 most important deciding factors are reliability and price.
The video editing software cant be buggy, it has to be simple to use. I also want to avoid software that prompts you to install this and that module when you do something new. Teenagers will use it.
I cant go much more than $1000 per desktop (monitor, OS, video editing software, keyboard and mouse all excluded), unless I have arguments to justify the expenses. I can install any version of Windows or Microsoft products for free.
I cant go more than $200 per computer for the video editing software. Any video editing software for beginners on the market has enough features for our use. They do have to able to burn to DVD, though.
Obviously, speed and future upgradability are pluses. We will eventually change the cameras, shoot in higher resolution.

I also need to get 1 laptop for video editing, I can spend more on that. I doubt I will get the OK for something above $1500 though.

Some issues:
User reviews I read of the latest Adobe Premiere Elements say it is plenty buggy. User reviews I read of all the beginner products tend to say they are buggy. Is there one known for stability?
I might be able to get a decent educational price on higher end Adobe software. Worth it for reliability? Too complex? What would I get?

And I need to get this all installed in the coming weeks.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

2 answers Last reply
More about help budget video computer build
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  2. Wow! Thanks for the detailed reply.

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