what computer hardware for editing?

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by Jex, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. Jex

    Jex Guest

    Hi all, we are planning on buying a new computer which we will use mostly
    for editing digital videos. Our digital camera is a sony dcr trv14e,
    minidisc. The software we use is Studio9. Does anybody know what kind of
    hardware i should pay attention too in configuring our new editing computer?
    Im figuring: A big harddisk or two (160 gigs plus),motherboard with
    firewire, at least one megabyte of memory, enough speed, a dvd rewriter

    But what kind of videocard, or motherboard im not sure of.

    thx
     
    Jex, Aug 20, 2004
    #1
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  2. Jex

    Just D. Guest

    Hi Jex,

    So you don't care of hard drives...) It's very important, trust me. I don't
    want any kind of flame here in this newsgroup, but please think about hard
    drive speed, rpm, buffer, etc. My opinion that you should get one or two
    Hitachi-IBM disks with at least 7200 rpm, 8 megs buffer. Then it's not a bad
    idea to get a RAID controller. These controllers are very cheap now,
    starting from 40 USD and upper. The more or less good controller is about
    110 USD and you can use both hard drives as a pair to increase the total
    speed in about 2 times. The better RAID controllers can carry their own RAM
    and work even faster, but it's really expensive - from 250 USD and upper
    plus additional memory. But the hard drives should be very good in any way.
    Don't try Seagate, Samsung, Maxtor, or WD. Cheap, sometimes silent, but with
    some models from this list you can lose everything in year-two. Toshiba is
    more or less fast, not the fastest, but mostly too noisy. Quantum - a little
    bit hot, sometimes noisy, not too much, but fast and good, I have seen only
    one defect for about 15 years or even longer and only in one generation of
    models - a bearing system was too noisy (1-1.3 gigs drives a few years ago),
    that's all, but it significantly depends where these hard drives have been
    created. There were few factories in the world and a simple statistics shows
    which ones are better...) The worst ones were from India. If you tested them
    at the lowest level you could see how many bad sectors are remapped after
    the first test even before using just from factory. The best models that
    I've seen in my life were having 3.8 - 4.3 %% of reserved sectors used for
    remapping (in Japanese models) and from 18 to 43 %% in hard drives from
    India - same models. The Ireland disks were about 6-8-12, not so bad. That's
    only statistics. You probably can't test these hard drives at the lowest
    level. Just listen for advice.

    Maybe it's not a very bad idea to install one separate disk for system and
    swap and two disks in RAID to work with video only. If I thought about ideal
    system it would be even 2 hard drives for system, made as a pair in RAID,
    but divided into one partition (C:) for system, compilers, software, office,
    etc. (about 10-20 gigs) and the rest as partition (D:) for a working space,
    working files, documents, data, and another one pair of disks in RAID as one
    partition (say E:) for working with video only to avoid any fragmentation,
    to get a maximum performance, etc. The cluster size for this partition could
    be about 64 Kbytes, more than default but reasonable for huge video files.
    It's easy to do using the built-in feature of the operating system if you
    really know what you wanna get. For example if you get IBM/Hitachi 200 gig
    hard drives, each 7200/8, as a raid pair then you can get the 400 GBytes
    hard drive as one partition with the total speed from your RAID from 70
    MBytes/sec and upper. Not so bad.

    I know nothing about UK but you could get two IBM/Hitachi drives for a
    relatively low amount in the USA (Fry's Electronics) during last few months.
    For example - 180-190 USD for one 200 Gb IBM/Hitachi 7200/8 in last December
    with the rebate 90 USD.

    I bought one hard drive. It's really fast. You can try to go here to see the
    models at the market.

    http://www.drivesolutions.com/cgi-b...mand=features&kind=desktop&pos=0&type=Desktop

    It was much better one week ago, I don't see any good models with a high
    capacity now.

    The available sizes for IBM/Hitachi are starting from 250 gigs now. It's
    more than enough - a half terabyte as one partition - not so bad for about
    400 USD, maybe less. By the way, some motherboards are having a RAID
    controller built-in.

    Motherboard.... As better as possible if you're not limited by money. BUS
    speed, memory speed, processor speed, maximum amount of memory supporting by
    this motherboard, etc. Many parameters you could evaluate, there are many
    factors pro and contra and I can't give a very good advice if I don't see a
    motherboard. According to my own experience - the best choice is to get the
    Intel chipset (not AMD) but non-Intel motherboard. It's a long story to be
    explained here, that's a wrong newsgroup for that. The brands that I
    prefer - ASUSTek, Abit, and some others which are younger but good enough.
    The first one should be the very best but maybe not so cheap. I noticed that
    the price was down last month. A few months ago these HI End for home system
    motherboards were accessible for about 250 USD each plus taxes. You should
    also keep in mind that your RAID or motherboard controllers should support
    LBA48 to work with huge hard drives. It's a must.

    Video... To convert/edit you don't really need a very powerful video, but to
    watch, yes, definitely. Keeping in mind that a primitive video should be a
    terrible brake for the whole system you shouldn't install a very slow video
    card. Some of cards are having video IN/OUT and that can be helpful. I'm
    having RADEON Mobile 9600 with 128 built-in memory, video out and happy.
    It's really fast even at the maximum resolution and 32-bit depth. Keeping in
    mind that this is a laptop - that's something special.

    This list is endless, but the direction for your movement is obvious. If you
    have any questions then please welcome.

    All described above is my AFAIK and IMHO and non-discussible. It's not a
    commercial or advertisement of any kind, I didn't want to write anything bad
    about any company, I don't care what others are thinking about it. It's just
    my own experience of many years of hard job and my huge statistics. You
    asked, I answered. That's it.

    Good luck.

    :)

    Dmitri.
     
    Just D., Aug 21, 2004
    #2
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  3. Jex

    Just D. Guest

    Just D., Aug 21, 2004
    #3
  4. Jex

    Matej Artac Guest

    I have an Intel P4 2.4 GHz CPU with an appropriate motherboard, a couple of
    harddrives that are not even SATA, a PCI Firewire and a gigabyte of RAM. And
    I do my capture and editing quite happily withouth any hickups.

    But, you know, bigger is better and your purse is a limit :)

    Matej
     
    Matej Artac, Aug 22, 2004
    #4
  5. Jex

    :::Jerry:::: Guest

    <snip the rest of TM's claptrap about NLE systems>

    If you mean high street prices you can't say that as you can't possibly know
    what a posters needs are and what they might be in 6 months time.
     
    :::Jerry::::, Aug 22, 2004
    #5
  6. Jex

    Jex Guest

    Thanks all for the advice, very helpfull indeed!

     
    Jex, Aug 22, 2004
    #6
  7. Jex

    Just D. Guest

    Hi Tony,
    You're absolutely right, it's possible to use a slow machine for the same
    things, but it depends how long time are you going to spend coding,
    compressing or whatever. The powerful machine can create DVD from the
    original footage for about 3-4 hours if you already created the project that
    you need. The less powerful machine for a much longer time, up to day.
    The machine should be fast enough to write down the stream from 1394 and do
    not skip frames. If you want to write down this stream with a preview even
    in a smal window it can be a problem for most of medium machines. Hard drive
    and Video card are very important in this case. You can't ask the camcoder
    to run slower just to allow your PC to save the whole stream. And that
    should be a low limit for a machine. The high limit is endless as you
    mentioned.

    There is a problem to build a fast cool machine even having money, there is
    a significant problem to get a better machine for almost the same money.
    Without knowing about every good or bad part you never should get it.
    Sometimes the price difference is so small, like 10-20-30 USD, that there is
    nothing to discuss, but the physical difference between parts and machines
    is really huge. You can start using the machine with a "bad" hard drive
    because it's cheap. but actually if this machine is not able to write down
    the video stream or it's dead in a very short period of time, from months to
    year, you should be angry because you lost time, money, your data, plus your
    impressions that your computer is good enough to do anything you wanted to
    do. What's more important? To be overpaid for 10-20-30% at once or get these
    problems later trying to use a worthless machine? I'm not very rich to pay
    for worst things. If I pay for something it should work for years.
    That's true. But this editor is dead if the machine is dead and that's a
    problem. I don't want to repeat about video stream one more time.
    Sounds cool :) but actually I recommend people to buy things that they can
    upgrade later, it's not a very good solution to pay for an obsolete
    motherboard because you never can upgrade it, replace, yes, but you should
    change the whole bunch - memory, processor, maybe video if it was built-in,
    sound as well, so even if you get a low-frequency CPU the motherboard should
    be new and powerful enough to work for at least few years without moral
    ageing. The same about monitor, you should get another one later to
    "upgrade", you never can add a new one to use both like memory. But it's
    much easier to add memory, a new hard drive, RAID, etc. the old parts will
    be in use. For the RAID just one limitation - if you want to use a RAID
    pair, both hard drives should be same model and size to get a full advantage
    of this RAID pair and after installation of a new one as a pair both should
    be reformatted by the RAID controller. That's why I use a separate hard
    drive for the system. Another one limit - if the system is dead, you simply
    can reformat the system partition and reinstall the system keeping your data
    alive. I'm pretty sure that over 95-98%% of people are not having a reserve
    backup system for their data at home. Only few of my friends are using DVD
    to backup their critical data and they started to do that only when I told
    them many times about it and one of them lost his data because of the cheap
    hard drive. Are you having the backup system at home?-) Are you using it?
    Maybe DVD, tape streamer or whatever to keep your data and software alive?
    Otherwise just to reformat disk or restore everything you need to invent
    some trick to restore your data.

    This list of recommendation is endless and this newsgroup is a wrong place
    to write about all these problems here. But I'm still pretty sure that if
    you had a choice between one medium hard drive for 110-120 USD and excellent
    hard drive for 140-150 USD, it shouldn't be a serious choice for you, it
    should not be a choice for most of people knowing nothing about PCs and
    hardware at the lowest level. But this solution has a long term
    consequences.

    Dmitri.
     
    Just D., Aug 22, 2004
    #7
  8. Jex

    :::Jerry:::: Guest

    Well all they need is an old 486 and 32mb of RAM, not forgetting a 30 Gig
    HDD, many people semi-pro's managed to produce worthwhile stuff in something
    Look you idiot, many pro's (what ever their trade is) don't need to post any
    group but they do so to help and pass on there knowledge expertise and
    experience - just like you did when you used to post to web authoring groups
    when you had your web authoring business. Do we assume, if you are correct,
    that when you used to post to those web authoring groups you were in fact
    just massaging your overly large ego ?...
    That shows just how little you know, there is no such Usenet uk* group.
    There are many web forums though.
    You can still do both of those if you're using a 286 or a duel Xeon machine,
    your point is ?...
     
    :::Jerry::::, Aug 22, 2004
    #8
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