Critique requested for quiet system spec'd for video editing

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Crow, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. Crow

    Crow Guest

    I'm building a desktop system for general purpose usage at very low
    noise & also video editing.
    Below is my proposed spec and I'd grateful for any critique that might
    point out some flaws or oversights.

    Case Antec SLK3700BQE
    CPU AMD Athlon XP-M Barton 2500
    Motherboard Abit NF7-S or AN7
    RAM Twinmos PC3200 2.5, 2 * 512 MB
    Drive 1 Samsung SP1614C, SATA 150, 8 MB cache, 7,200 rpm, 160
    Drive 2 as above
    Optical drive NEC ND-2510A, 8X Dual format, Dual Layer
    Heatsink/Fan Zalman CNPS7000A-AlCu
    VGA Gigabyte , GV-N52128D, FX5200, dual monitor, DVI &
    D-SUB, TV-OUT, 128 MB
    Monitor 1 Samsung 17" TFT, 710T, 1280 * 1024, DVI & D-SUB.
    Monitor 2 15" TFT

    The rational behind choosing the AMD socket A platform is that it is
    very mature, stable, inexpensive & it allows me to buy a new unlocked
    processor. My other choice is Athlon 64 on Socket 754. I have
    reservations due to its current lack of value for money and its
    relative immaturity.

    The two advantages I see with Athlon 64 are:
    1. It potentially promises a 20% performance increase in the future,
    as the higher clocked chips become more affordable. If I were buying
    now it would only be a 2800+ with 512 cache, which is probably not
    even going to beat the XP-M, which I can overclock while keeping the
    rest of the system within spec easily enough.
    2. Future 64 bit performance in Video Editing, which is a big unknown
    and would require more software expenditure down the line.

    OK, I just talked myself out of the Athlon 64 as I'm only looking in
    terms of the next 6 months, so I've pretty much made up my mind on

    The Abit AN7 is more appealing on paper due to being more fully
    featured than the NF7-S. I have questions over its stability and
    overclockablity, which I need to research further. My take on
    overclocking is that I usually only overclock the CPU where I can do
    so whilst keeping the rest of the system strictly within spec.

    The RAM is branded Twinmos PC3200 2,5 CL, which seems fine to me
    unless I have a change of heart and decide to bump the FSB above 200.
    In this case I guess I'd need PC3500 or similar?

    My only question with the disk drives is whether its worth considering
    using RAID 0 or 1, rather than simply using a separate drive for video
    footage? I'm not clear enough in understanding the process of video
    editing to know which is more pertinent. For rendering I'm assuming
    that 2 discrete drives would be a big advantage, if the source and
    destination files are on separate discs.

    I've specified a low-end video processor as I'm not aware of video
    editing software taking advantage of GPU power. Is this correct or
    should I look for a card with faster RAM or GPU? I specified the
    Gigabyte as it has dual monitor support and TV-OUT and they are a
    respected brand. Most of these cards use a fan, which seems excessive
    for their low spec. I'm hoping that it will be okay to use without a
    fan, as I've seen in the past GPU's of this class that only use a

    The Zalman heatsink/fan combo is for low noise usage. It seems a good
    value option where I live, and has been well reviewed.
    The Samsung drives are an easy choice for their combination of
    performance, low noise and 3 year warranty.
    The NEC DVD burner seems a no brainer as it offers 8x burning in both
    formats, as well as dual layer +R at 2.4x I think.
    Both the Abits come with Firewire on board.

    The main monitor is a difficult choice. I've specified a Samsung
    provisionally but I need to look at this in more detail as I am not
    clear what makes a good TFT for video editing! The same with the 2nd
    TFT, but to a lesser degree. I have a Philips TV for monitoring via
    the TV Out assuming that is possible!

    I plan on trying out software that allows you to dynamically alter the
    CPU multiplier and voltage from within Windows.
    This way I can keep things low power and quieter in everyday usage and
    bump up the horsepower without a reboot. Likewise I will be using
    Speedfan, to control the fan speeds surprisingly, also automatically.

    My choice of video editing software will come later. First I need a
    machine to look at the demo versions on.

    Any thoughts on the above?


    Smiling Crow
    Crow, Jun 21, 2004
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  2. Crow

    Bill Davis Guest

    (vast amounts of computer spec stuff snipped)


    It seems to me you're preparing very well for a career as a computer video
    systems integrator.

    And not very well at all as a video editor.

    You don't START learning how to make videos until you get all the computer
    nonsense behind you.

    All this time you're spending trying to create the "ideal" video editing
    array will be nearly totally valueless in about a year when any hardware
    you study and purchase today will be supplanted by newer, better, cheaper

    Time to decide what you really want to do. Be a computer fiddler. Or a
    video fiddler.

    To do either well, requires massive amounts of dedication and years of

    Video hardware is a commodity these days. There are hundreds of off the
    shelf PC and Mac models that will do EVERYTHING you need in terms of
    cutting any kind of visual content.

    My advice. Stop worrying about whether you have the perfect piano and SIT

    If you don't, some kid who starts next week and DOESN'T spend waste his
    time fiddling with the damn box will be in line ahead of you when it comes
    time to get hired to make someone's video and he or she will SMOKE you
    because they'll have concentrated on what's really important. Learning to
    USE the tools. NOT learning to construct them.

    Good luck.
    Bill Davis, Jun 23, 2004
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  3. Crow

    Crow Guest

    LOL. I dig where you're coming from bro and concur. But hey, I ain't
    gonna slap down a couple of G's without doing a bit of research :)

    Anway, the lid is off and my fingers are arching!


    Crow, Jun 23, 2004
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