Building a computer for video editing - advice wanted please

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Brian, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I want to build a computer for video editing and would like to know
    what are the best components to use for video editing.

    This is what I thought I would use
    Processor Intel Core 2 Duo 1.86GHz
    Motherboard either Gigabyte GA-945GMF-DS2 or Gigabyte GA-965P DS4
    Memory 2 Gigabytes
    Graphics card Gigabyte GVNX76G256D 7600GS 256Mb DDR2 PCIe
    Hard drive Western Digital 320Gb 7200 rpm 16Mb Sata2
    Monitor 17 inch LCD Philips 170B

    I welcome any comments

    Regards Brian
    Brian, Apr 4, 2007
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  2. Brian

    iws Guest

    Video editing i.e. the rendering part is processor intensive so the more
    powerful the processor, the better. C2D is a good choice. Your proposed
    system has plenty of memory and the graphics card is fine. Your MB should
    have firewire or else you'll need a firewire card and you might want your
    case to have a firewire port in the front for ease of capturing from your
    camera. I would strongly suggest adding another hard drive of the same or
    greater capacity for captured video as well as rendered video files.
    iws, Apr 4, 2007
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  3. Brian

    Ray S Guest

    What video editing programs care about most are.
    Processor, Ram and HDD space.

    Core Duo's seem to be leaders in rendering at the moment, so that a good

    Two Gig ram is fine.

    Graphics card not that crucial unless you are getting higher end
    programs that can take advantage of Open GL capabilities for preview
    renders. Otherwise, even the old 32MB cards are just fine.

    Get more HDD. One drive for system and programs and another, as big as
    you can afford, for video. There can be some performance degradation
    when using the same drive for both program, system and video.

    Monitor. Whatever you can afford. Really can't get too big a monitor.
    Lots of folks like to use two.
    Ray S, Apr 4, 2007
  4. Brian

    Tx2 Guest

    Hijacking the thread somewhat, I have a high spec laptop on which i
    intend doing capture/editing.

    I have all the relevant connectors such as firewire and USB2.0

    However, as it is a laptop, I only have one drive, albeit partitioned.

    Can I attach external USB/Firewire drives from which to do the
    capture/editing? Any in particular that someone might recommend?

    Can I capture to an external drive, and then use the footage on said
    drive to 'feed' the editing program?

    Tx2, Apr 4, 2007
  5. Brian

    Ray S Guest

    USB2 connections on an external HD would be fine. I use a small four
    drive USB2 drive tower for a collection of IDE's I wanted to find a use
    for then I upgraded my box. No complaints at all. I capture footage to
    the drives and edit from them, which is exactly what you want to do.
    Ray S, Apr 4, 2007
  6. I seem to recall - as an experiment - daisy-chaining a FireWire drive
    from a laptop to a camcorder and capturing quite successfully, so I'd
    recommend that route as being just as useful as separately using USB
    for the HDD and FW for the camcorder.
    Gene E. Bloch, Apr 4, 2007
  7. "Gene E. Bloch" wrote ...
    Partitioning buys you no advantage. You are still sharing the same
    spindle and thrashing the head back and forth between the
    "virtual drives".

    I am very fond of those raw IDE to USB adapter/cables. I use
    them extensively with both laptop and desktop computers.

    Assuming connection from camcorder to laptop computer is
    Firewire, then yes. If it is USB, then maybe.
    Remember that Firewire is full-duplex (has a separate path
    for each direction like a 2-lane road) while USB is half-duplex
    (like those single-lane bridges where you have to wait if
    someone is coming the other direction).

    Tricks like daisy-chaining camcorders and drives using Firewire
    don't necessarily work with USB (which is notably NOT daisy-
    chainable). In this respect USB 1.x and USB 2.x are identical
    (i.e. half-duplex)
    Richard Crowley, Apr 4, 2007
  8. Brian

    Tx2 Guest

    Yes, sorry, i realise that and should have pointed it out.

    I've edited hundreds of hours of footage on a desktop PC with multiple
    drives, but now I have a high end laptop with only one drive, I want to
    find out about using external drives for the very reasons you point out.

    My drive is partitioned purely on the basis I keep the OS aside from my
    documents and files. That way, when I need to re-install the OS, I don't
    have to worry about getting all my data back on the drive.

    Tx2, Apr 4, 2007
  9. Just to reply to the part of your reply which relates to *my* post

    Note that I said FireWire. Nowhere did I suggest to the OP that he
    try to daisy chain USB. For one thing, it's not possible :)
    Gene E. Bloch, Apr 4, 2007
  10. "Gene E. Bloch" wrote ...
    Right. But it's not the "daisy-chanining" that makes it impossible.
    It is no more possible when you plug a source (camcorder, etc.)
    and the destination hard-drive into the same USB hub. The
    problem is the single, half-duplex path, not the physical plugging
    Richard Crowley, Apr 4, 2007
  11. Brian

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    You didn't say what your budget or NLE was so I'll throw a real screamer
    system at you. is a link to an Intel Core 2 Quad
    that one Vegas user built for himself. I took the plunge and ordered
    the same system (minus the Raid setup) for home use.
    What a difference compared to my old AMD 2200!!
    This things flies through renders (I use Vegas).
    For example, a video I did last year that was very heavy on chroma key
    and other FX took 3 hr. to render on a P4 3.4 box.
    The new one flew through it in 27 minutes :)
    Needless to say, I'm VERY impressed with it.

    Mike Kujbida, Apr 5, 2007
  12. The answer is yes to all questions. I do lots of motorhome travelling so
    space is a premium when away. I use a Sony Vaio VGN-FS315S with a Seagate
    300G external, (USB), HDD hanging out the back. It runs several editing
    software including Pinnacle Studio10+, Cyberlink Power Director and
    Cyberlink Power Producer.

    Robert Peffers,
    Scotland, (UK).
    Robert Peffers., Apr 5, 2007
  13. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Thanks Mike but your computer looks like a dream computer, one that
    most people would love to own. It would be too expensive to build a
    computer like the one you own.
    It was interesting reading the specs for your computer.

    Regards Brian
    Brian, Apr 5, 2007
  14. Brian

    TonyP Guest

    I agree with the more processor horsepower, the faster the rendering.
    But, as someone previously said, what program(s) do you plan to use, and
    formats are you planning on editing. Regular home movies off of mini dv,
    this would be fine. But hi def is something else.
    I use Avid Liquid, and for HD editing, you need a 512meg video card with
    reasonably fast gpu (which does rendering also).
    This link might help

    I would opt for a 22" wide screen monitor though. To spread out the
    timeline more.
    TonyP, Apr 5, 2007
  15. Brian

    Hunt Guest

    Yes, but with several caveats. FW (1934a) is the better connection (over USB),
    but even with FW, the particular drivers for your external HDDs might cause
    some conflicts. FW-800 (1934b) is even better, but I doubt that your laptop
    has it. You might get a FW-800 card (PC Bus), and, say the Maxtor 1TB multi-
    connection HDDs. They'll connect via FW-800 and might work fine. So far, I've
    had driver issues, from time to time, with both Maxtor and WD external HDDs,
    used as you describe - not always, but about 5% of the time, I've had driver
    issues and lost captures.

    I would strongly adding an eSATA card w/ connector, and adding SATA drive
    array (you can do RAID, or not) to your system. You will have fewer problems
    in the long run.

    Hunt, Apr 6, 2007
  16. Brian

    peter Guest

    I assume you are planning to overclock? The GA-965P variety are designed for
    overclocking. If you do, then you want to buy fast memory.

    Monitor is kind of small. I have a 20-inch 1600 x 1200 monitor and it is too
    small when using premiere. I often have to shuffle window sizes. I ended up
    using dual monitors (one is a TV for preview) but that requires a lot of
    mouse traveling. Perhaps using a firewire-to-TV device to add a monitor
    would work better.
    peter, Apr 8, 2007
  17. Brian

    Fishface Guest

    That, *and* the new 24" monitor?
    It sounds like you had a very good year!
    I hope you didn't buy one of those old 6800 GT graphics cards
    he reused from his old system-- did you?!
    Fishface, Apr 9, 2007
  18. Brian

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    At 5 yrs. old, my AMD2200+ was getting rather long in the tooth so I
    decided to bite the bullet this time and see how long I could stay
    "state of the art".
    As it turns out, a little over a week :-(
    My quad core runs at 2.66 GHz and the 2.93 GHz was announced today. for the
    I take consolation in the fact that this machine is only marginally
    faster than mine.
    I'm not complaining though. My own personal "render test from hell" was
    a project from last summer that was very FX heavy. It took my work
    machine (P4 3.4 GHz) 3 hours to render the 10 min. video.
    This beast did it in 27 minutes :-O

    For a graphics card, I got an Nvidia GeForce 7900 GS. It's way overkill
    for my needs at this time but, if Vegas ever decides to start passing
    render tasks off to the graphics card, I'm all set :)

    Mike Kujbida, Apr 10, 2007
  19. Brian

    Fishface Guest

    Ah, but you could always overclock it a little, right? It's probably the same
    beast under the skin. Is your multiplier unlocked? You could set it to 11!
    Did you happen to monitor the CPU usage of the four cores and the CPU
    temperature while this was rendering, by any chance? Did you get the
    Zalman 9700, also? If so, I'd like to know what speed you run it at...
    Fishface, Apr 11, 2007
  20. Brian

    Ray S Guest

    Having got a new Asusboard and AMD processor myself, I noticed that ASUS
    includes 'overclocking for dummies' ability and control software with
    their boards. Is this typical with most boards these days?
    Ray S, Apr 11, 2007
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