Experience with Dell Dimension line for video editing?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Doc, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. Doc

    Doc Guest

    Looking at various brands of already put together PC's vs building one,
    anyone have thoughts/experiences on P4 Dell Dimension for doing video work?
    They seem to be available fairly inexpensively.

    Doc, Jun 27, 2006
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  2. Doc

    Smarty Guest


    I've used both Dell Dimension and PowerMac hardware for years to do video
    editing. The PowerMac hardware and software cost over $4000. The Dell and
    software cost about one third this amount. Both provide essentially
    equivalent features and performance in doing video capture, editing, and DVD

    The Dell Dimension systems use very compatible chipsets from Intel, fast
    buses, and very standard hardware. There are few if any surprises, and the
    hardware has been extremely reliable. I have 5 Dell Dimension systems also
    running a video server and client network which run 24 / 7 with no downtime
    to speak of. I would only hesitate to recommend a Dell system to someone who
    needs a lot of technical hand - holding since their support does leave quite
    a bit to be desired.

    Smarty, Jun 27, 2006
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  3. Doc

    Mr. Tapeguy Guest

    It isn't just about the P4...you need to look at the rest of the system
    configuration as well.

    Do you have a particular software in mind? If so, look at the minimum
    specs and give yourself plenty of headroom. Don't skimp on RAM or hard
    drives, particularly an external one for content.


    Mr. Tapeguy, Jun 28, 2006
  4. Doc

    Mr. Tapeguy Guest


    I'm curious as to how your Dell was configured and which software you


    Mr. Tapeguy, Jun 28, 2006
  5. Doc

    Smarty Guest

    Mr. Tapeguy,

    There have actually been several Dimensions I have used for editing video.
    The most recent is a 3.2 GHz P4 HT with 2 GB of RAM, 3 drives (2 SATA and 1
    PATA), each of which is 250 GB. I have added Firewire and Hauppauge PCI
    cards, primarily for capture from HDV and DV sources as well as direct from

    I like to use a lot of video editing and authoring software, mostly to learn
    their strengths and weaknesses. I currently prefer to use Vegas 6 on the PC
    and FCP on the Mac, although I am highly impressed with Ulead's Video Studio
    10 Plus when it comes to HDV performance.

    I am planning on doing a major upgrade to a 64 bit environment when the
    hardware, OS, and apps are really a bit more mature and also a bit more

    Smarty, Jun 28, 2006
  6. Doc

    Rôgêr Guest

    I've been using my self-built 4200 dual core Athlon machine with XP 64
    as the OS since before Christmas, and it kicks ass with Vegas (I've not
    upgraded to 6 yet, even though I have it available). My machine before
    that, which wasn't designed to be a video editing machine, was an Athlon
    2000 with 768 MB of RAM would render an hour long project in about 2-3
    hours. The newer machine will do the same job in about 30-40 minutes.

    Odd thing about it though, MPEG Video Wizard runs SLOWER on the new
    machine than the old. It's not exactly a great difference, but
    definitely slower.
    Rôgêr, Jun 28, 2006
  7. Doc

    Jim Gunn Guest

    I have edited hundreds of videos with a four year old Dimension 8300
    Pentium 4 pc. Works great for me. I use Adobe software incl.
    Premiere Pro 1.5, Encore 1.5 for DVD authoring, Photoshop CS2 for
    photo editing and graphic design, plus Cleaner XL for video encoding,
    withh several external firewire drives and a Sony DSR-11 tape deck.

    Also just bought a refurbed XPS 400 9300 with 3.0 Ghz dual core
    processor for HDV editing wiith the Aspect HD plugin and Premiere Pro
    Jim Gunn, Jun 29, 2006
  8. Doc

    Smarty Guest


    Thanks for your comments. I am assuming that the maturity of the 64 bit
    environment will eventually provide apps which have been optimized for
    multiple cores and multiple processors, and that the OS will better exploit
    the hardware. If I were forced to buy a new machine today, I would certainly
    buy a 64 bit system using an Athlon dual core processor, but I will stick it
    out with this Dimension box until a Dell or some other vendor releases a
    Vista system with some fast apps.

    Vegas rendering is indeed a slow process on my machine, and Final Cut Pro
    (on my dual processor 64 bit 4 GByte RAM) Powermac is even worse by a factor
    of at least 2. I keep coming back to using Ulead Video Studio 10, which,
    despite its amateur effects, titling, etc. just runs so fast on HDV content
    that I much prefer it. I-cut edits on MPEGs also goes extremely quickly with
    VideoReDo, another of my favorites.

    It will be interesting to see what Intel does later in the year to attempt
    to regain ground against AMD. They (Intel) have really lost their way in the
    last couple years IMHO.

    Smarty, Jun 29, 2006
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