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Thread: Background Info Required

  1. #1

    Default Background Info Required

    I have a client who is a professional underwater cameraman and uses a PC to create/edit his videos.

    As a computer engineer, with limited experience only in the hobbyist side of video editing (using Ulead video software), his questions on upgrading his system to work with HD are outside my range of expertise so I need a bit of advice.

    I've read a few of the posts on here and I've seen 'the perfect PC' sort of post, but as yet, not found a post which covers the sort of info I'm after on HD video. If one exists, please point me to it!

    Anyway, when it comes to the differences between standard video and HD, can someone help me with the following:

    1. If my client already has a 3Gig Athlon, 2Gig of DDR memory and 2x500Gig hard disks, is the rendering speed of an upgrade going to be worth the cost involved?

    He is willing to pay up to 50,000 euros for a new system, but my worry is that after spending that much money, he is only going to save a few minutes rendering a 30 minute video. (Obviously that's an exaggeration, but you get the idea)...

    2. Does the quality of the GFX card seriously affect rendering times? My first thought is that it probably doesn't since rendering is primarily number crunching and down to CPU and hard disk drive speed.

    3. Is a Raid hard disk setup any faster for rendering and if so, how many drives are required to see any beneficial speed increase? I know that faster drives will obviously be better, but once again, is the speed increase worth the extra cost.

    4. In a similar vein, is SCSII much better that SATA or only a little better?

    5. Does the software you use have any bearing on what setup is best? I'm not sure what software he uses, but is there a chance that the one he uses won't take advantage of a dual/quad core CPU even if he upgraded the hardware?

    6. Roughly what percentage slower is rendering HD video? I'm guessing that this figure will be roughly the same whatever system you are using.

    7. Is Intel really that much of an advantage over AMD when it comes to video rendering speeds?

    My client is on a photoshoot in Russia for a week at the moment, so if anyone needs any further info, please ask and I'll report back when he returns. I'll also ask what software he uses in case it matters.

    Finally, my apologies if any of my questions are a bit stupid. It's difficult asking questions about a subject you know absolutely nothing about!

    Thanks in advance for any advice...

    Computech Tenerife

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    1. That is fine for occasional work but too slow for regualr use - go dual core.
    2. No it doesnt.
    3. Small speed increase in speed, maybe 10% - better to raid for safety not speed.
    4. No better - actually my ratpor b marks quicker than my mates scsi 320 (shock)
    5. Most pro editors can use 4 cores. Cecck with vendors if in doubt.
    6. Rendering hdv ( i presume you mean hdv when you say hd?) is much much slower than SD - 4 times slower i would estimate. Precisely why I dont bother with hdv.
    7. Not really.

    That'll be 100 consultation fee please ! (bargain)

  3. #3


    Thanks for the info.

    As you say go Dual Core, am I write in thinking that you don't think going Quad core is cost effective?

    > Rendering hdv ( i presume you mean hdv when you say hd?)

    Yes - not knowing what I'm talking about, I thought it was Hi-Definition - As in the HD that appears in the corner of your TV screen on some channels.


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