I'm after a bit of advice here and as all my past google searches have always pointed here I thought I'd join up and throw my question to those who know and see what I get back.
Needless to say, this is my first post but hopefully not my last. Excuse me while I waffle for 10-20 minutes before getting to the point, but hopefully my waffling will give you more insight into what I'm after and why.
For the past god knows how many years, I have been a devote Apple Mac user, until something set me away a year past October and I bought my first PC.
Since around March this year I have spent a lot more time working on video editing and DVD authoring than I spent in my usual professions of web and graphic design and as a result I moved on from iMovie and iDVD on said Mac, to Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro.
However, as the amount of extra curricular work was starting to outweigh my daytime job I opted to go it alone, but quickly found out that working from home with a family running round was not the viable option and I therefore took on a unit.
Unfortunately, because my budget was pretty much blown on building/decorating etc. work, I was limited to buying just 1 computer for the office and therefore plumped to buy a reasonably spec'd PC. 3200+ AMD, 1Gb memory, 160Gb HD, Firewire, 17" TFT etc.etc.
Seeing as I was spending a lot of time still doing video editing on the one Mac, it meant I had to keep ferrying it between home and the office and in September/October I started getting annoyed with all this lugging around and constant unplugging and replugging, so I started to look into Video and DVD software for the PC and after a few trial versions of different software I forked out a small fortune to buy myself Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Encore DVD.
Now personally I'm impressed with their current performance and I'm overly impressed by the range of export options which are a lot better than Apple's MPEG2 export options, however, I noticed that Premiere Pro has a lot of plugs for it's support of Intel's Hyper threading technology and as a result I'm looking towards upgrading my system.
I'm happy with the system I have at the office for the time being, seeing as it's only 3 months old, however, my home system is an AMD 2600+ 1.5GB Ram, 1 x 120Gb HD, 1 x 160Gb HD, ATi x800 Pro 256Mb graphics card, 8X Optirite DVD-RW drive, 1 x 19" CRT monitor and 1 x 17" TFT monitor, 1 x Pioneer 108 external USB2 drive and, once I clear all the Mac Video footage and can reformat them, 6 x 160Gb Firewire drives which I'll be using to ferry the video footage back and forth between home and office.
So..... the point.....
I'm looking towards upgrading my motherboard, CPU and memory along with getting a new hard drive to run it with as I'll then have enough leftover bits from my past upgrades to build a third PC from the older components and will be keeping the current hard drives for that. So what to get?
Considering what I've spent so far in this Mac to PC transition, I'm now looking towards spending up to another £500 to mix in with the best bits of my current home system.
I am currently looking at a 3.2GHz Intel Pentium 4 with hyperthreading, 1Gb RAM and a Gigabyte GA-8IPE 1000 Pro-G motherboard along with a 160Gb hard drive. Does this sound like it would give me a descent/noticeable improvement over my current AMD Processor or are there better options?
As an example, when I was first trying out the PC software I tried importing and then converting a 9 minute video file to M2V for DVD. With all the settings on rediculous it took 2 hours 32 minutes to encode and as my mac took approx 20 minutes to do similar, I thought that my transition was going to be short lived. However, when I then tested it on another bit of video that was 1 hour 41 minutes long, by changing one compression quality setting from 5 down to 4 while leaving the rest of the settings on stupidly high, it came in at 2 hours 30 minutes to encode, as opposed to 8 hours on the mac.
Needless to say, I was straight off to my local software supplier and two new applications were whisking their way home to be installed.
The upshot is that I'm hoping to boost my system's performance, and obviously the performance of Premiere Pro and Encore DVD but I don't want to end up spending a fortune on a minor improvement if you know what I mean.
So if anyone could let me know if I'm looking towards the right things, and if this will give me a good performance boost, or if there's something that would give me a better boost I'd be very grateful.
I'm also interested to know if SATA would give me any performance improvements over IDE, and if putting any for of RAID system in would improve performance. So far I haven't had any skipped import frames, however, I'm always looking at the time it takes to render/encode/convert etc. so any improvements to any part of the end product would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in anticipation.
Martin (AKA SL Yugioh)