Hardware/storage setup for video-editing computer

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by PT, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. PT

    PT Guest


    Im helping my father setup a computer, which most demanding tasks would be
    video editing in Pinnacle Studio 9 and MPEG2 encoding in general.
    I dont know that much about video editing, so i thought id ask for some tips

    As for the CPU/mobo, im tied between a P4 Prescott 540(3.2Ghz) w/ Abit AA8
    DuraMax mboo and a AMD64(winchester core) 3200+ w/ A8N-SLI Deluxe
    motherboard(its surprisingly cheap here in denmark, its costs less than most
    standard nforce3Ultra based offerings). Im wondering a bit if buying a PCI
    Express based system is overkill, but i hate buying stuff that wont be
    easily upgraded later.

    In both scenarios i plan for 2x512MB memory DDR/DDR2 and a X300SE, X300 or
    X600Pro graphics card(there isnt much difference in price).

    As for Intel vs. AMD, im aware that the Intel CPU is probably slightly
    faster for video encoding, but its also slightly more expensive, and im
    worried that special 64-bit versions of various video software might come
    along and change all that in the near future. Besides this, i dont like that
    the Prescott is known to run so hot. Feedback would be appreciated....

    However, most important to figure out is the storage setup. My father will
    need lots of space as just one of his many projects covers 18 or so miniDV
    tapes(he will keep the miniDV tapes so storage reliability isnt that big a
    deal). I was thinking 2x250GB SATA Hitachi 2K750 in RAID0(both mobo's above
    offer RAID). Unfortunately this doesnt really leave money to have a
    dedicated system drive, which i know is a common recommendation for video
    So i guess what im asking is which will be faster: a 36GB SATA Raptor as
    system drive and a 250GB SATA HD as capture/editing drive or 2x250GB in
    RAID0. Obviously im leaning towards the RAID as it will provide speedup in
    general usage and not only in video-editing scenarios, as well as more space
    in general. Of course ideally the system drive would be a Raptor RAID, but
    thats just too expensive ;)

    One could probably save something by going with the AGP based VIA K8T800 Pro
    chipset w/ RAID and a very cheap gfx card, in fact going this way might
    save nearly enough for either a Raptor system drive OR an extra +1GB of RAM,
    but would degrade general system performance a bit. Going with an nforce3
    board with RAID wont save any cash to my surprise, its just as expensive as
    the nforce4SLI.

    Btw, please dont provide price advice, as i live in Denmark, so US/UK offers
    are useless to me :)

    Thanks alot.
    PT, Mar 20, 2005
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  2. PT

    C.J.Patten Guest

    Hey PT.

    When I got "back into" NLE in the fall of 2003 after a ten year hiatus, I
    Googled for answers.

    I actually found www.videoguys.com to be useful - granted, they're in the
    business to sell equipment but they also seem to know a thing or two. (I can
    identify with that - I rep'd a line of aircraft and wrote regular articles
    about flying - didn't mean the articles were completely self-serving, they
    had a lot of good info)

    I think you're getting too cosmic PT. I'm editing on a 3.2GHz Northwood P4
    notebook (granted, a desktop chipset), 1024MB RAM, 80gig 5400rpm hard drive,
    and it works fine. One caveat: my screen in a WSXGA+ 17" - 1680x1050 px
    You need a LOT of screen realestate to avoid going ape with production
    applications. (I'm speaking specifically of Premiere Pro - I suspect
    Elements will be similar) If you've got the money, God love ya' but you
    don't need 2GB RAM to edit non-HD home videos.

    You might consider a less expensive Northwood processor as they use less
    energy than the Prescotts and seem to be almost as fast, MHz for MHz.

    Take a look at this URL: http://tinyurl.com/4g2f2. It's a discussion about
    Pinnacle Studio versus Premiere.
    My 2 cents: ditch Pinnacle, go with Premiere Elements. If you plan your
    hardware purchases carefully, Premiere Elements may come bundled with
    something you buy.

    Hey, if you can afford a really fast system drive, go with a Raptor or other
    "nutty fast" drive. My suggestion is to get 60+ gig system drive, if for
    nothing else than program storage and swap files. If financial
    considerations mean sticking with a 7200rpm, do that as opposed to getting a
    small-but-fast system drive.

    I'm doing ALL my work on a notebook 80gig ***5400rpm*** drive. This system
    is at least as fast as my last desktop NLE workstation which was kitted out
    the wazoo...(dual 7200rpm drives et al)

    Invest in storage space - my preference is BIG external firewire drives but
    you might save a bit going with internal ATA's.
    Your dual 250GB RAID-0 sounds like a good idea.

    My 2 cents!
    C.J.Patten, Mar 20, 2005
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  3. PT

    Fishface Guest

    Last time I looked, Pinnacle didn't encode MPEG-2 very quickly. How
    about rendering to DV-AVI and encoding with either the stand-alone
    Cinema Craft Basic or MainConcept encoder instead?

    Concerning RAID 0, you might wish to read this:

    Whatever you do, capturing, rendering and encoding will still not be
    fast enough where you might be tempted to sit and watch.
    Fishface, Mar 20, 2005
  4. PT

    PT Guest

    Interesting article about RAID, however my father would really like a single
    500GB partition, and 2x250GB is much cheaper than 1x500GB and the RAID
    controller doesnt really cost anything extra. I think ill give it a try and
    if it doesnt seem to add performance to his specific application use, ill
    switch to two single drives.

    As for using Pinnacle for the MPEG-2 encoding, you are probably right, ill
    pass the tip on to my father.
    PT, Mar 21, 2005
  5. PT

    mdindestin Guest

    Great tip on videoguys.com. I had never heard of them.

    mdindestin, Mar 21, 2005
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