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Thread: Need help building a system for HD video capture/editing

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    Default Need help building a system for HD video capture/editing

    Budget: 1000 (technically unlimited although the cheaper the better)
    Main uses of intended build: HD video capture, HD video editing (non professional), streaming
    Parts required: Everything
    Monitor resolution: Unknown
    Storage requirements: writing HD video up to 1080i/p 60fps
    Overclocking: No
    Any motherboard requirements: X58, USB 3.0

    Blackmagic Design: Intensity

    So I'm wanting to get a PC as I want to get into editing video game footage, but I'm new to all this so don't really know what I'm looking for in a machine. This system is to be designed for use with the Black Magic Intensity Shuttle and the editing of HD footage captured by this card, that is the main goal. I'm not a professional video editor so I'm not going to be spending lots of money on software, so I'm going to be trying to stick to something cheap and basic such as Adobe Premiere Elements. HD gaming isn't specifically something I'll be doing, I do most of my gaming on console so I wont be doing anything other than playing Minecraft (something I'd like to run at full spec). I'd also like to keep online streaming in mind.

    I have some questions, apologies if they're unorthadox or misplaced, I'm just writing them as they come:

    What would be advised, Windows 7 32 bit or Windows 7 64 bit? And why?

    How much RAM will I need?

    What kind of graphics card will I need? If I'm capturing 1080i, will I need an HD graphics card to support this resolution?

    Will the monitor have to be an HD monitor?

    From what I gather a raid0 set-up of 2TB or more would be advised for this level of data, what about writing directly to a single drive?

    I have a rough idea on how much core components will cost such as motherboard and processor, but how much will I be spending on the small things, such as case, PSU, RAM, HDD etc?


    Would an Intel i7 950 be the best choice? Or what about a cheaper Sandy Bridge chip?

    Any input is much appreciated. Sorry if this isn't suited for this forum, but I guess asking people who are into the same thing I'm trying to get into is the best place to ask. I'm new to all this so it's kind of overwhelming, but little by little I'm building up in my mind what I'm going to need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dash1 View Post
    Overclocking: No
    I've always been very anti overclocking, prefering stability, but the new Sandy Bridge "K" processors are very much designe for this and suppliers sell bundle (mobo/RAM/CPU/Cooler) overclocked and pre-tested, so you don't have to do the fiddling/testing/fiddling/testing thing.

    I've just ordered an i5 2500K bundle from Scan overclocked from 3.3GHz to 4.7GHz (though with 8GB RAM I might not get quite that)
    Quote Originally Posted by dash1 View Post
    Any motherboard requirements: X58, USB 3.0
    Or P67/H67 if Sandy Bridge.

    Anyway, all good questions.
    Quote Originally Posted by dash1 View Post
    What would be advised, Windows 7 32 bit or Windows 7 64 bit? And why?
    Windows 7 64bit. 32 bit only allows up to around 3.2GB RAM to be seen by the system and limits applications to 2GB RAM. Even if you're only getting 4GB RAM now you will be updating in the future.
    Quote Originally Posted by dash1 View Post

    How much RAM will I need?
    You can't have too much. 4GB would most likely be enough(6GB on X5, 8GB better (12GB on X5
    Quote Originally Posted by dash1 View Post
    What kind of graphics card will I need? If I'm capturing 1080i, will I need an HD graphics card to support this resolution?
    Any basic video card will be good enough. Ignore the HDMI output, that is for outputting to TV screens at computer resolutions. A few top end NLEs might use some of the GPU for some facilities, but at this level I really wouldn't be too concerned (For example Sony Vegas uses CUD for encoding useing the SonyAVC code ONLY and the best improvement nVida quite for rendering using CUDA is x2 - and thats on a 3000 card!) Best thing to do here is look at the system requirements for your software.
    Quote Originally Posted by dash1 View Post
    Will the monitor have to be an HD monitor

    What is an HD Monitor? Monitors have native resolutions. If you want to show full screen HD movies you'll need at least 1920x1080, but you display this from within your NLE you'll need to do this on a second screen. In practice we preview in a much lower resolution or on a TV.
    And that is your answer: Use the Blackmagic to feed an HDTV via its HDMI out. This will give you the best possible preview, and free up the whole of your PC screen for your NLE interface.

    Just a thought - check your NLE allows previewing to an external device, before doing this!
    Quote Originally Posted by dash1 View Post
    From what I gather a raid0 set-up of 2TB or more would be advised for this level of data, what about writing directly to a single drive?
    My existing system has RAID0 for the capture/video drive. I am scared stiff and not doing this in my next system. I just live in fear of a disk failure and not being able to reconstruct the array. If I did raid again I'd go for 5. But I understand modern 7200rpm drives are perfectly adequate for sustaining the throughput required for capture, so I'm going to keep it simple next time.
    More important is to keep your OS/Programs on one drive and your video on another.
    Quote Originally Posted by dash1 View Post
    I have a rough idea on how much core components will cost such as motherboard and processor, but how much will I be spending on the small things, such as case, PSU, RAM, HDD etc?
    Personally I'd be looking at 70+ for a case and possibly a bit more for a PSU. You can certainly buy cheaper, but I want to hear what I'm, editing, not the sound of fans rattling away, and various vibrations. I'm suing one of these Scan.co.uk: Antec Solo Black/ Silver Mid Tower Computer Case - SOLO EU which I've had for three years now. The plastic covers for the on/off & reset switches on the front cover (which cover the actual microswitches) are a total disgrace and I've had to glue/tape them up on at least two occasions, but apart from this the case is solid and well acoustically damped (without being OTT).

    Make sure you use 120mm fans (they run much slower than smaller ones, use less energy and make less noise)

    Quote Originally Posted by dash1 View Post
    Would an Intel i7 950 be the best choice? Or what about a cheaper Sandy Bridge chip?
    Sandy bridge, without a doubt (unless the generation1 Core i's come tumbling down in price). i5 2500/2500K seems to be the good value, but the i7 2600/2600K will give you hyperthreading which will help out when rendering (dependent upon your NLE)
    The difference in cost was too much for me. My stuff isn't time critical so an extra few minutes on a render matters little. What matters to me is a nice silky smooth editing environment.

    I should get that - especially as I only work in Standard Def - but we'll have to wait a week or so to find out.
    Tim

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    Hi there, I have researched extensively on this over the last 12 months or so. So much in fact that I though I'd add a new page to our website to explain the best components of choice today for an editing PC machine - so check out Editors toolbox tab / Pc Editing at www.filmit.ie it's updated regularary as new Hardware hits the scene so current choice is 2600k i7, p678pro mobo ......... visit webpage for more info .... tks Noel

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