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Thread: Best PC for under $3000?

  1. #1

    Default Best PC for under $3000?

    I've become the lone video editor for my 1000+ employee company. Every project I get given is generally way more complex than the last, and the project I'm working on now highly complex.

    The PC I have can't render Premiere video when in playback- I get choppy stills and continuous audio. I had some mis-synced audio in my last project as a result.

    If I have good reason to ask for something, I have a chance of getting it. I need a want list for my PC upgrade.

    Any help would be appreciated. FYI, if you can give me an ideal desktop under $2000 or less I'd appreciate it. There isn't money to waste; there is money for any smart purchase.

  2. #2

    Default Best PC under $3000

    The smart choice would be to just have the company purchase an Apple Mac Pro, 1 GB of extra memory and Final Cut Express. You will never regret the decision. The learning curve is minimal and the amount of productivity will be invaluable. Not to mention you'll be the envy of everyone at work.

    If this is not possible then I would highly consider going to Dell's website and have a machine custom built. Be sure it's equipped with the latest Intel Core2Duo processor (something like the E6700 or one of the Quad Core Intel Processors), at least 2GB of DDR2 RAM and more than one Hard Drive (1 x 120 GB and 1 x 500 GB). You always want to render your video from a drive seperate from your operating system.

    Also, be sure to spend some money on a graphics card. An NVIDIA 7900 or better or an ATI 1900 XT or better (try for one with 512MB on Ram onboard). These cards are taylor made for Premiere and do huge amounts of computations to make editing with Adobe products easier. There are NVIDIA 8800 cards out now but they are overkill for Premiere or After Effects and rely heavily on Direct X 10 which is only in Windows Vista.

    Do not waste $1.00 on an audio card. They are useless for video editors. 99.9% of onboard audio controllers are more than enough and are much less of a liability when it comes to drivers.

    If you plan on sticking with Premiere then also be sure to stick with Windows XP and "DO NOT" use Windows Vista. Without sounding pompus, I repeat, "DO NOT" use Windows Vista. Premiere is reliant of Windows XP and the Open GL drivers. Most Pro Video Apps will not be Vista ready for at least a year. Besides, with a modern day Core2Duo machine you will be more than ready to upgrade to Vista once Adobe supports it and all the drivers have been ironed out. I've been using Vista for 3 months and I have to say that Windows XP is much more responsive for reasons I'll leave up to the experts to explain.

    Good luck and happy editing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by TheNevadaKid View Post
    Also, be sure to spend some money on a graphics card. An NVIDIA 7900 or better or an ATI 1900 XT or better (try for one with 512MB on Ram onboard). These cards are taylor made for Premiere and do huge amounts of computations to make editing with Adobe products easier.
    That's new to me What hugh computations do these cards make then? I allways thought that Premiere uses the videocards gpu to render certain effects much faster but for general editing and most effects you won't notice any difference at all between a cheap card or the fastest nvidia 8800.
    In gaming, yes, then the videocard does hugh amount of computing, in editing, no.

    Or am I wrong?

  4. #4

    Default Best PC under $3000

    Both Premiere and After Effects rely very heavily on Open GL to render effects (on the Mac and PC), color correction and motion key framing and especially when chroma keying. Open GL performs much better with a good graphics card (especially with NVIDIA cards witth DDR2 and DDR3 ram which also have drivers that were developed with the help of the Adobe engineers to work well with Premiere and After Effects). Premiere is a real time NLE and has certain transitions and effects that do not require rendering but when you do have to render this is when you will see performance gains from a good graphics card (both in time and quality of the preview). Premiere will, however, work around a crappy graphics card and put the load on the CPU. This may be what's causing your problems now. If you have a good graphics GPU, Premiere will off much of the load to GPU.

    The reason I suggest the higher end Direct X9 cards is because with the introduction of the 8800 cards their prices have fallen drastically. A good graphics card is probably not an absolute must for Premiere but I would not recommend against it. I have a high end PC running Premiere Pro 2.0 and a Mac Pro running Final Cut and both machines have high end graphics cards in them. My Mac Pro sees a huge performance gain when rendering in Motion or Final Cut with the higher end graphics than it did with the factory NVIDIA 7300 (which is no piece of junk card).

    I've been compositing in After Effects for years and I have to say that video card performance is easily as important as memory and processor speed. I know this isn't a very scientific explanation but trust me when I tell you - do not skimp on the graphics card. Again, good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006


    You aint wrong at all Noa.

    There was a bit of hype when PP 2.0 came out, about it's ability to take advantage of the power of the GPU to speed up editing.

    In reality, the GPU helps out in only a small number of instances, and even then by small amounts hardly worth getting excited about.

    I picked this up from Adobe:

    "GPU-accelerated rendering
    Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 lets you tap into the power of the graphics processing unit in today’s powerful graphics cards. GPU-enabled systems will also be able to take advantage of accelerated previewing and rendering of motion, opacity, color, and image-distortion effects. If your system supports GPU, you’ll have access to five additional transitions that use GPU 3D processing capabilities: Center-Peel, Page Curl, Page Roll, Sphere, and Card Flip."

    Whilst I was at Adobe I noticed that PP 2.0 has now become Premiere Pro CS3 (Adobe - Premiere Pro CS3, Video Editing Software, Film Editing, Digital Video Editing)

    Why won't software developers just quit making new versions and prevent us all from feeling sick about having ageing software....
    Last edited by bert6280; 03-27-2007 at 09:10 PM. Reason: Intervening reply necessitated personalisation

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