I'm not a Techno-nut when it comes to computers, and, being disabled I am unable to get a regular job, so income is (very) limited!
I recently also became homeless through no fault of my own and in the intervening 3 months between then and the time I type this, my two grandsons have acquired the two PC's that I owned! (They're getting great use out of them, so a good cause!)
So, having acquired a new place to live, and had broadband connected within the first week (BT was actually the cheapest and the fastest delivery) I needed to replace my workstation.
I came to video editing from still photography, and the old PC's were fine for that purpose, but editing video, as you all know, takes a little more computing power! Dual core 2.5gb processors were simply not up to the job, with every minute of rendering taking some 30 minutes or more and a ten minute 'short' with a few transitions/effects being an overnight job!
The time in digs had been spent reading PC mags planning the 'perfect' machine, but with a constant eye on the prices/bottom line! The following is what I came up with, along with a little of the reasoning behind it.
As this item carries all the others (well mostly) I decided that the cheapest was not necessarily the best option and went for a decent upper-mid rage effort from Asus which had most of the properties I wanted. These were SATA 3 ports (6x), plenty of USB ports (12x USB2 and 2x USB3) and, most importantly, 4x DIMM sockets as I knew I couldn’t afford tons of RAM but didn’t want to be removing what I could afford to increase the capacity later on.
The old PC’s were both Intel based, but AMD processors are far cheaper and their peripheral support seems better to me. So AMD it is, and I opted for a 3.1ghz x4 (Quad core) that came in under three figures! I also reccond that with their socket architecture would enable me to upgrade to a Hex core in the future should the need arise.
4gb DDR3 at the best price I could find for a recognised brand. Simple decision really, as the P&P could make all the difference so I ordered at the same time as the motherboard.
I already have a number of USB drives storing footage, as well as a couple of SATA internal drives living in the old PC’s that can be transferred to the new machine, so an operating drive was the most important consideration. I opted for an SSD of 64gb which have been dropping in price of late. This decision was affected strongly by reports on this forum about the speed advantages of these solid state drives, along with good experiences of memory cards in various cameras. They are, after all, just big memory cards with a different connection! Remember though that they need a bracket to fit them into a 3 ½ inch bay!
I also added a 500gb standard SATA drive for less than £30!
I don’t need a fancy box to put it all in, so a cheap case from the local Maplin store would suffice, and I got one with an included power supply unit of 500w. If I did the exercise again, this is the one area where I might not have been so tight, as the case is tinny and the PSU very basic.
I toyed with the idea of running onboard graphics, as I never had a problem with the graphics on the old PC’s and the onboard specs on some of the motherboards I looked at were better than the add-in cards on the old machines. The only reason I had graphics cards in them was to run dual screens, something I would feel lost without as I run PS with tools on one screen and the images on the other. I opted for a lower mid range card with 1gb of memory. It seems perfectly adequate for my needs because, as you may have guessed, I don’t play graphic intensive games.
Asus M4A87TD/USB3 AMD 870 Motherboard £74
4GB DDR3 PC3-10666C9 RAM £43
AMD Athlon 2 X4 645 Processor £90.24
64GB SSD (on special at time) £76
500gb Sata Drive £30
Graphics Card £44
All in a single order from Aria.co.uk and delivered next day
A trip to Maplins got the case/PSU £30
and a couple of cables, bracket bits and pieces £15
PCWorld supplied an LG DVD rewriter for £23
Total spend £432.69
I also installed an old IDE DVD writer that I had kicking around.
So, how does it work? Well, I downloaded the trial version of Vegas Movie Studio HD 10, (having installed Windows 7 64bit Home Premium) and rendered a 1.12 minute project that had been edited on Vegas 9 on the old PC (win 7 32bit), first at 1080 and then again at DVD size.
On the old computer the clip had taken in excess of 30 minutes to render. At 1080 the new PC took 1.44 whilst at DVD size it took a meer 0.56 to render. That to me is like lightning!!
It totally justifies the spend IMHO, as it will save me hours in the future, and I get two happy Grandsons who can play their games against each other and a very happy daughter who gets a little time to herself while they are doing so!