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Digital Editing Computer for about $2500

Last response: in Windows 7
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July 8, 2010 5:31:43 AM

Looking to build a computer capable of editing video using Avid Media Composer. Will also be using the computer for everyday use...email, Internet, MS Office. I won't be playing any games. Avid recommends NVidia Quadro video cards for this software.

The following is what I planned to build. Any suggestions to improve or change is welcomed.

Intel Core i7-930 $289
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

No plans for overclocking.

ASUS P6X58D Premium $299
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model HX3X12G1600C9 G $339.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I was going to use just 6gb of ram until I read another post that recommended starting with 12mb as it is sometimes difficult to go from 6gb to 12 in some kits. Any thoughts?


Hard drive A - for programs and OS
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Haven't checked out Solid State... must be much more expensive. The person who will be building the computer didn't suggest or mention it either.

Hard drive B – for files and storage
Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $199.99

Will eventually buy external drives. I am not sure of Raid arrangement. Will let the builder decide.

Graphics Card $399.99
PNY VCQFX1800-PCIE-PB Quadro FX 1800 768MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Workstation Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Not sure about this card. There are gaming cards that have more features for less, but they are not recommended for this Avid application. The NVidea Quadro FX 3800 is suppose to be a much better card. It costs about $400 more. NVidia is suppose to be coming with a new card very shortly. Will this be a Quadro or digital editing type card?

Power supply
COOLER MASTER Silent Pro RSA00-AMBAJ3-US 1000W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.92 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $168.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Case
Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case $169
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Card reader - Wasn't going to include this, but I'm not sure what type of Videocamera I will be using. Some have mini flash cards. I've been using Firewire cables in my Mac system. I should probably eliminate...any thoughts?

Rosewill RCR-IC002 74-in-1 USB 2.0 3.5" Internal Card Reader w/ USB port / Extra silver face plate $15.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


DVD Burner
Samsung Internal Half Height DVD-W Supermulti SATA 22X Lightscribe (Black) $30.53
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002HFWBIA/ref=oss_pro...

Eliminated the Blue Ray burner for now... if I did get one it might this model.
Blue Ray Burner
Pioneer BDR-205 $199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Software
Windows 7 Ultimate $319.95
http://www.academicsuperstore.com/products/Microsoft/Wi...

Avid recommend Windows Professional. Do you think the Ultimate might mess things up? It's only about $20 more.

This is my first post. Sorry in advance, if I didn't follow the correct protocol.
July 8, 2010 6:22:05 AM

Definately the 12gb of RAM! the power supply is overkill for just one video card... and that IS the video card you want for your usage! Windows 7 ultimate doesnt offer anything you need over home premium. Save some money and go with the cheaper version... you shouldnt be paying more than like $150 dollars for windows 7. Need to shop around more.

The 10k rpm harddrive will be fine. Solid States aren't quite fast enough yet to warrant the price versus that 10k rpm.
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July 8, 2010 2:20:16 PM

I may be upgrading to the Quadro FX 3800 if I can find it close to $500. They say that runs pretty hot. Would a lesser power supply still be sufficient?
Doubt I would be going for a second video card any time soon. My main concern about the higher powered power supply is energy consumption. I leave my computer on most of the time. My friend says they are variably powered and only use what is needed. Thus, I wouldn't be using more energy with a 1000 watt vs 750 watt. Any validity to this claim?
My builder agrees with your windows 7 home premium suggestion. The only reason I thought of going with windows 7 professional or ultimate is the Avid specs call for it. I believe my friend who built a similar machine last year said the Windows professional is necessary. I have my doubt though. Regardless, will shop around a bit for a better price and do a bit more research on its necessity.
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July 8, 2010 3:10:48 PM

NikosN said:
My builder agrees with your windows 7 home premium suggestion. The only reason I thought of going with windows 7 professional or ultimate is the Avid specs call for it. I believe my friend who built a similar machine last year said the Windows professional is necessary.


Media Composer 5 runs on Home Premium, but Professional is the only version they support, so if it stops working on Home Premium at some point in the future we're out of luck. Similarly it works with Geforce cards but they'll only support Quadros (and regularly break ATI).

This is my Media Composer machine: http://www.toshiba.ca/web/product.grp?section=1&group=1... which works fine other than the small screen being a bit of a pain. Unless you're editing low-compression HD you don't really need a super-fast system these days.
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July 8, 2010 5:01:02 PM

If they don't support Home Premium then I'll go with the Professional version. May stick with the FX 1800 and see how that turns out. I'm not sure how much HD I'll be using, but would like to have capacity to edit it if necessary.
I can understand where you are coming from on the small screen size. Use a 23" Acer in my other set up and sometimes wish I had something larger. Not sure if dual monitors would be better or a larger screen. At work I see them editing on 27" or 30" screens. Looking at your system it appears I'm overdoing things. But, if it works I'll be happy.
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July 8, 2010 6:26:45 PM

Seems like a beefy build.

Do you have to go with Intel? For the money you can get a better AMD processor.

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

Thats up to you.

The RAM seems waaaayyy to much. LOL i don't understand when anyone would use 12 gigs of ram. Again thats me. I have rarely used more than 5 gigs of ram when doing my video editing.

Regardless you are spending alot of money and it will be a great build. I have strayed away of from intel because of how their processors are so expensive. The current world record for overclocking is on an AMD processor. soooo we know AMD makes a descent processor. Also AMD mother boards are very easy to install new CPUs because of the same sockets.

I am just worried you are paying too much for the tech you desire and I would get the OEM version of windows 7, unless you plan to get support from windows 7. Way cheaper, OEM windows 7 ultimate i got for like 190 bucks i think. Plus i didnt really need ultimate, so i would do the professional if i were you.

Good luck.



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July 8, 2010 6:32:58 PM

tank said:
Do you have to go with Intel? For the money you can get a better AMD processor.


I believe Avid only support Intel CPUs though AMD should work; I do remember some people complaining about issues with Media Composer on AMD chips in the past.
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July 8, 2010 7:02:25 PM

Was originally only going to put 6gb of ram in. Then, read that some posters have had trouble upgrading from 6 mb to 12 mb. And, that it was recommended to start with a 12 mb kit to avoid that possible glitch if one updated in the future. I guess it's a matter of how much I want to spend. Looking at the site it seems like a lot of ram is not used.
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Best solution

July 8, 2010 7:37:08 PM

NikosN said:
Looking at the site it seems like a lot of ram is not used.


I don't think that there's a 64-bit version of Media Composer yet, so it would be limited to 4GB of RAM as a 32-bit application. However, the extra RAM could be used as disk cache to improve access to media files.

That said, unless you are editing low-compression HD files you can cache a lot of of video in a gigabyte of RAM; uncompressed SD, for example, is about 20MB per second and HDV is around 4MB per second.
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July 8, 2010 8:52:50 PM

Thanks for all your help. Will add up the costs and figure if I want to spend the extra money on more ram. As it stands now, I use a MacPro configured for both Mac and PC. I use FCP and find it a pain to switch back and forth to do my PC stuff and then back to Mac for video. Another reason for this build is I have a friend I plan to collaborate with. He uses Media Composer on the PC side.
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July 8, 2010 8:55:03 PM

Best answer selected by NikosN.
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