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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Building Video Editing Computer

    Hi, I found this place in google trying to understand balanced vs. unbalanced audio. This website is awesome! Very well laid out and easy to understand. Anyway, I'm currently selecting hardware for a system for doing video editing. I considered Apple, but I couldn't touch what I needed for under $5000. I plan to buy the components to build a PC system with Adobe software. I have already puchased Adobe Video Collection, 2x1 GB of RAM, a pair of SATA hard drives for a RAID 0, an IDE hard drive for whatever, as well as 2 Samsung 19" DVI monitors and a DVD burner. I'm trying to do all of this for $3000 total. I've purchased everything listed above for just under $2000. That leaves me with $1000 for case, power supply, motherboard, processor, video card, and possibly sound card. I'm not sure if the sound card will be included in the $3000. I have a few questions about what hardware people would recommend for me.

    1/ CPU
    Do I need dual core? Should I go for AMD or Intel? I've read that the Intels are hotter but are faster at some tasks. I'm planning to get a 64 bit chip as this seems to be the way to go. I've been looking at the Athlon X2 and Pentium D series of processors. Would anyone recommend a specific model? I found the Athlon 4200+ for $400 and the Pentium D 830 for $325. These seem to be close to my price range. I'll of course adjust all these prices based on how much I spend on the other hardware.

    2/ Video card
    I'm clueless here. Most of the NVIDIA and ATI cards seem to be primarily targeted for gaming. I don't plan to use this computer at all for games. So I want something that will perform well in After Effects and help with rendering of things. I'd like something with dual DVI outputs and PCI Express. I don't really need capturing capability as I'll be mostly working with MiniDV for now. Can someone recommend something near a $300 price? Is this enough?

    3/ Sound card
    I'll want to do some recording with the sound card and need it to work well under Linux too. I was looking at the M-Audio Delta 1010LT. I've also considered the 1010 but don't know if the extra price is worth it for my purposes. It'd be nice to have something with surround sound, which I suppose most integrated sound cards have anyway.

    4/ Any other hardware
    Recommendations for case, power supply, and motherboard would be great too. I'm thinking a motherboard with PCI Express (x16) would be good. I'm shooting for about a 500 watt power supply. I'll also be dual booting this computer with Linux for audio and other things, so I'm considering that too when I choose hardware.

    Please give me any and all advice you may have.

  2. #2
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Te Awamutu, New Zealand
    Blog Entries

    Re: Building Video Editing Computer

    Hi Josh,

    Just wanted to say thanks for the nice comments about this website. It's always good for our morale to get that sort of feedback.

    I'm afraid I can't offer much advice on the hardware front though. I'll be honest - these days I don't actually pay that much attention to my hardware. As ridiculous as that sounds, I just have a supplier whom I trust and knows my studio setup well. I tell him how much money I've got and he gets me the best computers he can.

    Five years ago I used to agonize over every component in my system. Back in the nineties it was necessary because the average computer couldn't handle video and building a robust system was quite a challenge. But these days I really don't think it's such an issue. After all, I use my off-the-shelf Dell laptop to capture and edit footage in the field and it never misses a beat. Pretty much any decent PC can cope with video.

    I know what you mean about Apple's prices. I love Macs but IMO you pay for the brand. There's no doubt that Macs are fantastic and MacOS is better than Windows, but Macs are overpriced. You can build an equivalent editing PC that performs just as well for a lot less. Just my opinion but having edited with both systems I stand by it.

    In the end, I buy the best hardware I can afford without getting too carried away.

    Hopefully someone else can offer you some more specific advice.
    Dave Owen

  3. #3

    Re: Building Video Editing Computer

    Hi there,

    you should go in this way: always based on my experience remember your money limits, note that these performances are build for DV editing

    CPU would be more than enough Intel 2.8GHz FSB 800 Hyper Threading enabled.

    Mother board Asus PC4800 deluxe it's sufficient

    Sound card if you buy this MotherBoard no need if you buy anything else than Creative Live around 50 dollars it's enough.

    Video Card: Matrox RT.X10 it's about 500-600 dollar or 1100 dollar RT.X100 extreme.(note you shouldn't buy Adobe Collection because with Matrox you can get included in that price)

    HDD, Sata with 3 once destinating for system, Export and A/V you can get infos at at video section under system recommendation link

    Hope that my help would be useful to you

  4. #4

    Re: Building Video Editing Computer

    A few quick suggestions:

    Power supplies are a big deal. A bad one will cost you money and grief in hardware failures. From what I've seen lately, I like Seasonic's power supplies best these days. Not many places sell the Seasonics, but I do know you can get them at at least a 450 watt P/S (500-600 watts would be better).

    Generally, for video compression, Pentiums outperform Athlons (Athlons do just about everything else better). The dual core Pentiums are getting quite affordable now (Pentium D).

    For cost effective, ASRock is a motherboard company that I like. Asus is a solid company with a good reputation. I'd suggest avoiding Soyo motherboards.

    I wouldn't put a pile into a video card (unless you're going to do a lot of complex 3D rendering). A GeForce 6600GT will work fine for under $200.

  5. #5

    Re: Building Video Editing Computer

    The Prescott with the 1meg l2 cache are great for video intense apps. Get a decent fan though as they get hottt. The board reccommended earlier is also great as I too am using a P4C800E-Deluxe and have 0 complaints.

    For drives I would have bought 72 Gig raptors as they are 10,000 RPM and would be great on the ICH5R Intel sb. Put'em in raid 0 and voila. The board also has onboard 5.1 sound that is supposed to be good but I bought an Audigy 2ZS so have not used mine.

    An alternative would be to go with a Dual Xeon Asus server board and add another CPU later, but you already bought the RAM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Midlothian, VA

    Re: Building Video Editing Computer

    I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to add my 1/5 of a dime.

    Any video editing system choice should start with the software. If you like Final Cut, then get it and a powerful Mac to run it on. If you like Avvid or Pinnacle, then get the most powerful PC you can afford to run it. The bottom line is that you want your editing process to produce the results you require...OS preferences are of less importance. I am a Windows person that switched to a Mac to do editing on Final Cut Pro. It works for me. YMMV

    Sony FD170
    Final Cut Pro
    20" iMac, 2gb memory, external 300gb Hard Drive


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