I Build Pro editing systems...
You will get to see me quite a bit around the forums now, I will be doing some editing and playing as I just got my self a new cam and will be looking at buying a HDV soon!!
I am Rory Witham the CEO of GTWCMT, G-WISP and Grafixphoto. GTWCMT is a computer systems and business services providers and I provide computers to profeshionals from all around the world, prices are from a few hundread to porche prices! so When it comes to hardware and specifications you will only get the best advice from me.
I know many of you will build your own system so here is some advice.
CPU - Intel Duo
RAM - 2-4 Gigabytes
HDD - SATA2 drives
MOBO - ATI/Gigabyte
PSU - 650W +
ADDON cards - Sound, Capture FX and Graphics.
Currently the Intel Duo is the top of the CPU charts with its performance, slightly lower is the AMD cores. There isnt that much in it between the CPU's.
AMD runs cooler so can be clocked higher and thus perform better, generally, go for the intel chips.
Opting for Dual dual CPU's is one step to high speed editing, XEON CPU's are already used by many and the pro level software is built for these types of systems. The maximum CPU's you can use on a MOBO is 8, Yeah 8 CPU's. You will find that you wont be going that far as you need to have special software upgrades that cost a hugh amount of cash.
The most you can go economically is 2 dual core CPU's before you get issues with software.
RAM is a constant consideration, but so is the configuration of the opperating system that you will be using, the PF (Page file) you can see on your task manager and it shows how much is running from the HDD and not the ram, Two gigabytes is pretty much the standard as was 512MB over the past few years, the more complex work that you will do the mire RAM you will need. I have always built on 4 Gigabytes for any pro machine so you may want to follow suit.
One thing that you do need to consider is weather it works well on your MOBO, Typically they need manual tuning to get the best performance from them.
Setting up your harddrives is all part of your digital work flow. Many of you who have already had a computer and are now trying video editing will not have the best configurations.
You should be using SATA2 drives, most newer PC can run these and they offer some of the better data rates. You do need to place your OS (operating system) on to a seperate HDD, RAW Video onto another and Finals onto another drive. You should be using a RAID 0 array for the RAW and Finals which are two seperatve drives not partitions.
If you are using RAID 0 You need to take special care with backups and your data storage, if one drive fails that all the work on that array lost!
You can be quite economical with some of the harddrives that you use,
The OS can be on a small single drive though if you are default installing the programes, try to install on an Array.
If you are fully multi tasking then try a quad array for the RAW footage and a twin array for the final video.
Hard drives all perfrom differnetly with different types of data, Raptors are considered fast drives but this is not the case when video editing is concered, Raptors consistant data rates are poor when compaired to other hard drives. You will find a ling list of models from the same manurfacture with almost the same specifications and these will all have different performance results.
Your backup is very important, arrays rely on all the disc's wrking and is one fails the whole lot will. So back up your work, Off system back up is pretty good, with the OS on a single disc, viruses are normally limited to that drive so you wont have infections running through all your work and a simple format of the PS drive will clean it up and leave your remain work intact.
Off system back up can be in many forms, I prefer second systems with a terabyte or so of storage. they can have a old OS and be a great back up system should your system go down and you get to keep working.
Mobo's (motherboards) are different, you need OB firewire for a start, PCI express is the way forward so keep on these tracks. I have put ATI on the list as it has some of the best data transfer rates of all board chips set builders, about 35%. The key part of the system is the data transfer from the Hard drives to the CPU and back again. This task is down to the NB (North bridge chip) which is located on the board. You will have to check the charts from leading places to get the data rates of the board you wish to use.
PSU power is critical, low power can result is a slower system. 450 Watts for standard PC's and 650 watts for the heavy duty computer. Buy a good one as cheap PSU tend to blow up and that will be the end of your computer as they quite often burn out the drives and many other parts.
Adding on cards will be ciritical to some, Firewire for all your devices would be a must, you can also go for a PCI audio card but many of you may wish to get something a little special with a speperate Sound studio, You will need to get a motherboard with a optical Audio port, as well as the usual extra firewires and RCA connectors.
Capture isnt really needed any longer with digital cards, You capture software will dictate its data flow and I know that some capturing reduces the qualiy by around 50%, 77K to 46K in many cases which will make or break the quality of the out put.
Graphic cards are not important, VIVO may be something to look at for importing older VHS and out putting VHS?? If you are really into SFX, then look at the Quadro/FireGL cards as well as an additional physix card for SFX work.
You should consider using te correct hardware and software to do the job right Everything will have a factor on your work flow as Video is quite intensitve on all of the systems hardware, Software can make or break the system, so be warned about your selection.
I Hope thats food for though, I will place up some system specification now and then so you can build your systems, On my site will be some system matching up plenty of budgets, I havent kept the site up to date on all computer systems.. TO much hard working..
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