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Thread: What hardware needed to upgrade for video editing

  1. #1

    Default What hardware needed to upgrade for video editing

    I am relatively new to video editing. I have a system consisting of: 2.4 mhz Pentium 4, xp, 2x80GB SATA HD, Ati Radeon 9200 VIVO card with 128 MB,512 MB PC3200 Ram, sound card from the motherboard. Software used is Ulead VideoStudio 6SE. Its main purpose was for converting VHS tapes to VCD when it was bought 6 months ago. I have now mostly finished converting some 50 one hour tapes with varying degree of quality - some have diagonal lines or tiles and some reasonably good. I plan to upgrade my sytem to achieve better video quality for DVD recording mostly from digital camcorder. Should I upgrade the capture card, ram, software or the video card. One suggestion is to upgrade the vidio card to AIW 9800Pro, which I don't know if I agree, because I do't use the system for games nor I plan to watch TV with it. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

  2. #2


    I recently did a video project for school on an almost identical system -- it had a Radeon 9600 rather than 9200. That system is just fine for video editing. You really don't need to do any upgrades. So what if you've got an old video card? See, many people think that a good video card is required for video editing. They're wrong. All that the video card does is outputs a display to your monitor or TV, and in cases such as yours, inputs from an external video source. The thing that's actually doing the editing in your case is the CPU.

    The one thing you might consider getting if you have the money, is a nice DVD burner. They're getting cheaper and cheaper, and a DVD has video quality that's SO much higher than VCD you won't believe it.

  3. #3

    Default Usages for ATI AIW 9800Pro

    Thanks for your helpful reply. As I mentioned in my post, I was wrongly advised to upgrade to the AIW 9800 Pro for video editing. Would you or anyone else tell me what are the main reasons for using this relatively expensive video card besides playing games.

  4. #4


    The AIW model has a TV tuner integrated right into it. If you can plug in a cable line, you get to watch and record TV on your computer. You also get the functionality of a VCR because you can shedule recordings of TV shows ahead of time. The only thing that might help with video editing is the video inputs you get with the card. Of course, because you've already got a VIVO card you don't need to upgrade.

  5. #5

    Default DVD recording

    I guess AIW is not for me since I never watch TV in my computer room with all the noise of 3 fans in one computer and 2 in another. I am also not interested in TiVo recording nor games.
    As I mentioned in my original post, my new interest is in DVD recording, and what I need in hardware/software such as any specific make of DVD burner that produces better video image. D Camcorder is another thing but I am pushing my luck here because it may not be for this forum.

  6. #6


    I'm pretty sure that all DVD burners produce the same video quality; the only things that separate them are special features and speed. An example of a "special feature" is demonstrated in Lite-On's LDW-411S: to increase compatility with older DVD players/readers, it burns the +R format as a DVD-ROM.

    IIRC, current Record-once speeds for DVD players at 2X, 4X, and 8X, with 12X burners literally out in days from now. Rewrite speeds are 1X, 2.4X, and 4X. 1X in DVD = 9X in CD. So, an 8X DVD burner is (8 x 9) writes at the same speed as a 72X CD burner would.

    Your DVD burner should come with some basic software. However, I'd recommend that you upgrade. For $80-100, you can get Ulead's DVD Movie Studio 3.0. It's loaded with great features and has tons of templates for DVD menus. I use DVD Movie Studio 2.5, and I think it's wonderful.

    Plenty of burners are available for less than $100. For any optical drive, I recommend Lite-On. Lite-On's aforementioned LDW-411S, a 4X burner, now sells for $70-80. The newer 8X model, LDW-811S, sells for $90-100.

    If you've got SATA, though, new DVD burners are just around the corner that have SATA interface and amazing burn speeds.

    Now, as for the camcorder...

    If you're willing to lay down a lot of cash for an excellent camera that'll last you years, you should get Canon's XM2/GL2 (XM2 is the PAL version; GL2 is the NTSC version). It's lightweight, has 3 CCDs, uses the MiniDV format, and gives superb image quality. This will cost $1800-$2000.

    If you're more conservative with your money, a good Sony Handycam will do. Though I've never used it myself, I've heard that the DCR-TRV70 is a superb model. It retails for $1300.

    Finally, if you're just looking to shoot home movies and the like, you can get a Canon ZR80/85/90. They are all sub-$1000 camcorders and deliver decent image quality.

  7. #7

    Default DVD Burner and DV Camcorder

    Thanks for the info on DVD with SATA interface. I'll wait for it. As for the camcorder, I will look at the cheaper one of the three sub$1000 Canon you mentioned - my other hobby in digtal photography is burning up most of my $.

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