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Thread: Upgrading my HP PC for Firewire Capture?

  1. #1

    Default Upgrading my HP PC for Firewire Capture?

    Hi my names Dave....I'm 20 from Wincanton Somerset England

    Why I Edit:
    I am a skateboarder who gets filmed Skateboarding/Moto X Riding and films friends skateboarding/Moto X riding and the general madness that follows it....I also edit the footage...

    Previous Editing Experience:
    Editing .AVI video files using Windows Movie Maker...


    I currently have a Hi 8 Sony Handy Cam and am looking into buying either a Sony Handy Cam Digital 8 with Hi 8 Tape Compatability or doing away with the old camera and getting a sony handy cam mini DV, Unless I can find a reason why not then I'll probably get the D8 probably this model...Sony Digital 8 Handy Cam DCR-TRV340E but its all down to reliability and whether repairs can be done on this old model...


    My PC:
    I have recently bought a HP Pavilion from a friend (Click Here for Information)

    At the moment it only has a 80GB Hard Drive, 256 MB DDR2-SDRAM and a Intel Celeron D 3.07GHZ Processor....

    The Hard Drive has recently been formatted and currently has Windows XP Home SP2 and all updates including media player internet explorer ect and has the free home version of AVG Virus its pretty basic at the moment and thats the way I'm gonna keep it...only necessary programs and minimal downloading...


    Upgrading PC:
    Things I have planned:
    Hard Drive Upgrading to around 200GB for operating system editing programs ect and also adding 500GB-TB External USB 2.0 Hard Drive for Capturing Video's (If the fact its a USB Hard Drive doesnt matter), Music Files and other Backed Up Documents...

    Upgrading RAM to 2GB

    Now this is where I need help with processors...I currently have a Intel Celeron D 3.07GHZ Processor 346, I havent got a clue about this, I want to Upgrade to a Intel Dual 2 Core Processor but I'm not sure how far I should go with upgrading...should I get a 3.0GHZ Dual 2 Core Processor? I really dont have a clue how much faster that'll be or whether its gonna be fast enough to Capture high quality videos from a D8 Camera?
    What Processor do you suggest for High Speed Fire Wire Transfer?

    How does this look? Anything I've forgotten? I am well open for Idea's as when it comes to upgrading I know verry little...


    Also I read in an out of date internet page saying that you need to shut everything else down when capturing video's how important is that these days say after I carry out these upgrades?


    I'm going to use this thread to ask questions regarding my system and keep you updated on how things are going....

    Your Help Would Be Much Apreciated


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    North Wales, UK


    you're lucky I'm a cheif mod on another Tech help forum...

    Its always a good idea to shut down other apps while capturing video, as it eats your CPU like crazy, even with 2GB of RAM, and a fast proc, you should still close the other apps.

    The thing about Dual core processors is that they have exactly that, dual cores, eg - 2 cores, each running at the described clock speed. If I were you, I'd consider going for a quad core really.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    Just make sure the motherboard on your computer will take new and faster processors. I would get a mini dv camcorder (under 200 now for a basic model), the picture quality is best for standard def video, I would only use the external drive you are thinking of using for backup storage and use the internal drive for capture.

    Ideally, you need two internal drives (SATA), one with the OS on it and all your other apps and files, then on the second drive just use it for video capture. Get a firewire socket or PCI card fitted for Firewire, a Firewire cable and off you go. You will need to reqularly defrag the video capture drive to ensure it doesn't result in dropped frames, the bugbear of video capture. Whether you need a graphics card or not is debatable, it might speed rendering up, then again it might not if you use a lot of transitions, effects etc.

    If you are looking for some free software to get started, then either download a few 30 day demos of the popular video editors such as Adobe Premiere Elements, or Adobe Premiere Pro or Sony Vegas. Read about them on the various sections of this forum to get a feel of how they work and if they would be suitable for what you want to do. Also on here, checkout the thread I started recently in Forum Announcements News and Off Topic, called Free Stuff! In there you will find a long list of freeware covering a lot of the areas of video capture and editing.

  4. #4


    Reply to Nickweb

    So a 1.5GHZ Dual Core is as fast as my 3.0ghz Celeron D?
    Also is quad core really nessecary? Apart from the fact that over time I may need one anyways....? Gonna have a look at them in a sec
    I'll also shut down all programs while capturing...I think theres a program that will shut down any unnessecary programs and things that are running in the background...anyone know what its called?

    BTW what do u mean by: you're lucky I'm a cheif mod on another Tech help forum...

    Reply to Nikosony

    Im pretty certain it will take an upgraded processor but one of the things on my check list is compatability...
    I hear what your saying with the Mini DV, the way I'm looking at it is, that I could get a much better D8 Model for my money than a Mini DV...the camera is more important to me than the computer and if it wasnt for the fact that my comp needs upgrading I would be spending a lot more this year on a camera...although I am tempted to buy one of the new Sony Hard Disk Camera's!

    With the hard disks I need to see if my computer will hold two because that is ideally what I wanna do but I also need a External one for editing on the move...
    Would 80GB be enough for capturing? How GB per hour of video is it? Does there need to be anything else on the capture drive or is it soley storage?
    Or could I partition a TB Drive one partition for capturing and one for the OS or does it actually need to be two drives?

    Cheers for your help boys!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    North Wales, UK


    I didnt really mean anything by that comment, I dunno whay I said that. The clock rating on processors doesnt always mean its as fast as doing things as other processors, for example, the FSB (front side bus) might be quite low on a high clocked processor.

    I did a quick check, and the Dual Core 2 you mentioned WILL fit in your motherboard, as it takes the Celeron D, which is the same socket type, and yes, your system should hold at LEAST 2 hard drives

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    Use the 80GB drive for your OS, apps and other files and get a larger drive for just video editing. Install your editor onto the 80GB drive and in the app settings select the other 'larger' drive to capture your video to. If you want to purchase the latest version of Sony Vegas then go ahead and buy a hard disk camcorder but personally I wouldn't go near them.

    A mini dv camcorder will give you much better picture quality to start with and that's what you want. One hour of video captured from a mini dv camcorder/deck will take up around 13GB's on a hard disk, so an 80GB drive won't take long to fill up. Make sure your new computer has 2 SATA connectors and that's all you need.

  7. #7


    Ok, How do you feel about the high end DVD Camcorders like this one Sony DVD-DCR406E Brilliant features on this and LP 3mbps SP 6mbps HQ 9mbps is this any good? I'm still learning about speeds but is 3mbps the same as 300kbps or 3000kbps? or am I getting my wires crossed?

    If you still think I should get a Mini DV how many kbps would you go for to get clear video's on 28inch wide screen with 16:9 recording really I need to be able to capture sporting video's like skateboarding with fast movements in the lower end of the mini DV range (200-300 Second Hand)

    Ok well maybe I should buy 2 Internal 500GB drives to start with, One for the OS and One for Capture...

    Does this sound OK?

    Its 13GB per hour of video but once captured can you compress this? 500GB wouldnt take long to fill up at 13gb per hour...if you can compress how much or should I back up and compress it onto DVD?

    Last edited by Mr Spliff; 04-03-2008 at 10:09 PM.

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