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Dream 2D Video Editing System and Switch to Windows

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September 28, 2012 9:05:12 PM


Currently we have a very fast setup using 3 year old Mac Pros but the machines are literally wearing out and it is time to replace/upgrade. We are running Final Cut Express but it is limited in some respects and we are not impressed with Apple's outlook for their video editing products. We have render times of about 2 minutes or less for a 6-7 minute video. We cannot afford to render any slower.

What would be your dream Windows video editing system for raw rendering/exporting speed? Money is not a real issue and we are open to solutions like solid state drives and RAID arrays for faster throughput.

Which software do you think best takes advantage of the hardware and yet is easy to use? The obvious suspects would be Adobe Premier or Sony Vegas Pro but as we will have to retrain and retool we are open to any option that meets our needs.
September 28, 2012 9:18:57 PM

If money were no object this is what I'd go for:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($539.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($268.49 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Corsair Neutron Series GTX 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($249.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: ATI FirePro V7900 2GB Video Card ($690.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Switch 810 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($179.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series 1050W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($211.82 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHES212-08 Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($84.98 @ Newegg)
Monitor: NEC PA301W-BK-SV 30.0" Monitor ($2613.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: NEC PA301W-BK-SV 30.0" Monitor ($2613.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Keyboard: Corsair Vengeance K90 Wired Gaming Keyboard ($116.47 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Logitech G9x Wired Laser Mouse ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $8325.62
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

I like the flexibility of the Switch 810, the Fire Pro V7900 is a great rendering GPU, the extra RAM and cores of the X79 system will help extensively, and I like the NEC PA-301W because of its' large screen and ability to switch from widescreen to portrait mode. Also included a good 4+ TB of storage.
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September 28, 2012 9:31:08 PM

Considering we do not need the monitors, that makes for a very economical system compared to similar Apple Mac Pros.

Will such an advanced video card really make a difference for 2D video rendering? Why 5400 rpm drives instead of 7200? Would you have the drives setup as a RAID?

That processor seems pretty potent, but would is there a MB that would support two? Can Windows or the video software use separate CPUs efficiently?

What video editing software do you prefer? Why?
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September 28, 2012 9:39:15 PM

Quote:
Considering we do not need the monitors, that makes for a very economical system compared to similar Apple Mac Pros.


Yeah the price of Mac Pros is *INSANE*. I mean you pay $5K for hardware that wasn't even good two years ago. The only way they get away with that is that everything is proprietary - even the OS.

Quote:

Will such an advanced video card really make a difference for 2D video rendering?


It will be able to draw finer details better than a consumer / gaming card. I'll have to look up some numbers and post them later.

Quote:
Why 5400 rpm drives instead of 7200? Would you have the drives setup as a RAID?


If you have an SSD as your primary the speed of any second, third, fourth hard drives you have connected becomes a moot point. The drives act independently of each other and Windows will recognize the primary as the fastest and adjust accordingly. RAID is kind of pointless anymore unless you need some critical backup system. But that's why I included the BD-RW drive.

Quote:
What video editing software do you prefer? Why?


I don't really know video editing software that well - I work with a lot of CAD and rendering software, but the system requirements are about the same. Someone else will have to help you there.
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