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Thread: PC reqirements for standard-def video editing

  1. Question PC reqirements for standard-def video editing


    I recently purchased a Sony Camcorder -- the DCR-SX44E (PAL). It saves video files as MPEG2-PS, with a resolution of 480i. While this camcorder receives mostly mixed and negative reviews, I happen to like the grainy video. Anyway, I was looking to purchase a new PC. And I was wondering if you could help me figure out the appropriate specs to look for.

    I would get a Mac, but I'm on a very tight budget. In fact, I can't go beyond $400 NZ Dollars (300 US dollars, 200 UK Pounds). I'm sure in this price range, a PC which can handle standard-definition video editing shouldn't be too much to hope for. But I'm not very knowledgeable on computers.

    Okay, so I assume I'll want a 720:480 resolution CRT monitor. (A higher resolution LCD will bring out video flaws making them more obvious?)
    As for a computer itself, RAM, CPU and everything else, I'm pretty clueless. So your advice is greatly appreciated!

    The editing software I currently use is Video Edit Magic. But I am happy to download a more advanced program if you recommend it.

    Thank you!

  2. #2


    Any computer made in the last ten years will edit SD material quite well, although some of the new editing software will have greater requirements than the DV footage coming off your cam does. I will say though to make sure you have at least 2Gb of RAM and a 7200rpm Hard Drive. Check with various NLEs to see what they require in computer specs to run them.

  3. #3


    If you get a windows based computer there is always Windows Movie Maker, that is free with windows. 200 is a pretty low budget but not undoable if your a good shopper.

  4. #4


    I use Sony Vegas 8 which apparently requires a minimum of 2 gig of RAM, I have it installed on a computer that has 4 gig of RAM and a 500 gig hard drive, so I've never tested whether this minimum of 2 gig of RAM claim is correct. But it sounds about right, I mean Vegas is complex\versatile enough to require a minimum of 2 gig of RAM.
    I suggest taking a look at how far you want to go with videography and video editing. If you are only ever going to shoot in SD, and there's nothing wrong with that, a basic computer and Windows Movie Maker will be fine.
    My guess is that a computer with 500MB of RAM and a 40 gig hard disk would be ok, and a machine like this should be really cheap, they should be giving them away.
    Oops, just checked the packaging for Vegas 8, apparently a minimum of 512 MB of RAM is ok.
    Last edited by snapper1; 11-24-2010 at 12:11 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by snapper1 View Post
    If you are only ever going to shoot in SD, and there's nothing wrong with that, a basic computer and Windows Movie Maker will be fine.
    Well, it all depends on what he wants to do with his SD footage. For example if he wants to put more than one audio track or one video track then WMM won't be fine. And if he wants lots of video tracks of FX then a basic computer won't be fine.

    Yes, you need more "grunt" to do similar things in HD as in SD, but that's not the same as saying you only need a basic computer to do SD.

  6. #6


    I assumed, as most people would assume, that he was only planning to do basic editing, hence my basic computer etc. statement.

  7. #7


    When selecting the CPU, you may want to consider how it performs. These benchmark tests are not the final say in PC performance, but may help when choosing from the baffling variety of available CPUs. Mine scores 4035.
    PassMark - CPU Benchmarks - List of Benchmarked CPUs

  8. #8


    Mine scores 4268. Where do I pick up my prize?

  9. #9


    Not so fast Swoopie I score 5833.

  10. #10


    Party Pooper!

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