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Thread: Upgrading a desktop to edit video-video card, HD, DVD burner

  1. #1

    Default Upgrading a desktop to edit video-video card, HD, DVD burner

    I am going to be making a movie, editing it myself and making DVDs for
    standalone players. I have done it before with Windows MM2 but MM2
    doesn't cut it anymore. I have the software, but need a few add-ons for
    my computer.

    I am using a new Dell Optiplex 170 L with an Intel Pentium 4 2.80 GHZ
    with 512 MB of Ram. It is running on XP Pro SP2. The hard drive is a
    40 MB Seagate Ultra ATA 100 7200 RPM. The graphics controller is an
    Intel 82865G Graphics controller. I will be doing the video capture on
    another computer that has Firewire on the same network and move the
    footage to my computer and do everything but the capture on my
    computer. I am going to add a few things to the computer make it
    suitable for video editing. I have a whole bunch of software titles
    (Premiere Pro, the newests Pinnacle and Ulead titles etc).

    I am planning on adding the following to the computer:
    VGA card 128 M Geforce MX 4000 8X
    Imation DVD +/- RW drive
    A second hard drive: ATA (maybe 80-100 GB with 2MB buffer @7200 RPM)

    I would like to know what you think any potential problems you see with
    the set-up. Is the hard drive and buffer big enough and is ATA 100 fast
    enough? (SCSI is too expensive) There will be probably 1.5 hours of raw
    DV AVI footage edited down to an hour movie an then made into a DVD. I would obviously buy top of the line stuff if I could, but I canít. I
    probably could afford to put another $100 into the project than I am
    have planned now, but not too much more.

    Unfortunately there will be no gaming done on the computer. It is only
    used for other run of the mill stuff other than video editing.

    Thanks in advance
    PTN

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Err - Northamptonshire?
    Posts
    672

    Default

    FWIW, I'd probably spend the money you're planning to spend on a graphics card on doubling your memory - everyone I've ever talked to tells me that your graphics card has no impact on video editing performance. I'd be tempted to go for a dual layer 16x DVD writer (not sure if that's what you have in mind) - the difference in price between that and an 8x single layer drive is peanuts. SATA should be plenty good enough: adding a second disk is the right thing to do, but stretch yourself as far as you can on the size of the second one - I added an 80MB disk, and now wish I'd gone for bigger - the difference in price is, to all intents and purposes, peanuts.
    Premiere Pro, Encore, Photoshop, Ulead VS6, WXP Pro, Core 2 Duo, 2GB, 2 x 250GB SATA3 drives, 2 x 250GB USB 2 external drive, DVD writer, GeForce 7300 GS 256MB

    The biggest fool can ask questions that the wisest man cannot answer...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    5,191

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian in Northampton
    I added an 80MB disk, and now wish I'd gone for bigger
    I agree. You should def have gone for something bigger than 80MB.

    Sorry Ian, just off home and couldn't resist a little pop at your typo.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Err - Northamptonshire?
    Posts
    672

    Default

    Some of us can remember when 64k of memory and a 600k floppy was all the computer you could ever need... And we can remember the excitement of having a whole 5MB hard drive...
    Premiere Pro, Encore, Photoshop, Ulead VS6, WXP Pro, Core 2 Duo, 2GB, 2 x 250GB SATA3 drives, 2 x 250GB USB 2 external drive, DVD writer, GeForce 7300 GS 256MB

    The biggest fool can ask questions that the wisest man cannot answer...

  5. #5

    Default

    I had some minor frame drop trouble last year and was told the graphics card would fix that. I can now assume that info is wrong? What then is the precise fix for that particular problem? Nothing has been ordered or installed yet so nixing the graphics card and adding memory is no problem at all. Also, and just as importantly, I tried an editing trial run recently on the new (stock) Dell and the problem I had was not being able to look at video in the editing timeline smoothly. Lots of frames were skipped and it looked like an impossible way to edit. I can only imagine how bad it would look on a DVD.

    If a good video card does not help with video editing, why do so many software manufacturers list them as a "requirements"?

    I can go with a 120 MB HD. The hard drive only needs to be big enough for one movie project though. After one movie is done, everything gets canned and then the next movie project starts.

    Thanks again
    PTN

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Err - Northamptonshire?
    Posts
    672

    Default

    Interesting re graphics card being a 'requirement'. I'd check into that further - what I've been told may have been wrong. Re dropping frames: I believe that that can be as much to do with disk contention as anything - processes etc. trying to write to the hard drive at the same time (hence the preference for a dedicated capture disk), badly fragmented drive etc. How much memory did the Dell have? I think it's widely agreed that 512MB is the workable minimum. Also, watch out for background processes and memory leak - I usually reboot before starting to edit.
    Premiere Pro, Encore, Photoshop, Ulead VS6, WXP Pro, Core 2 Duo, 2GB, 2 x 250GB SATA3 drives, 2 x 250GB USB 2 external drive, DVD writer, GeForce 7300 GS 256MB

    The biggest fool can ask questions that the wisest man cannot answer...

  7. #7

    Default

    I tweaked the Dell (with 512 MB of memory) and shutdown all the non-essential processes. I ran Premiere Pro and Ulead after rebooting and am still having jerky playback problems. The CPU is running at or near 100% most of the time. Less taxing parts of the video show up better, but any video that has a transition or effect added to it looks horrible. Everything renders without problem, but trying to edit video as it stands now will be a nightmare. My question again: can this be fixed with a video card or is likely more a memory problem? I would like to get a video card (maybe the 128 M Geforce MX 4000 8X I mentioned before) and other 512 of memory but I don't think the powers that be will allow it. It will have to be the memory or the video card, not both.

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