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Thread: My PC good enough to edit HD?

  1. #1

    Default My PC good enough to edit HD?

    Hiya folks!

    New to the forum. I'm getting back into video editing after taking a hiatus (about 2-3yrs) and just wondering if my pc is up for the task (SD and HD editing). I plan on doing weddings as well as sports videos and using the Canon 7D.

    Here are the specs that I know of..

    Intel quad core 2.4ghz (q6600) Core2
    3GB RAM (actually 4, but only 3 can be used)
    2 7200RPM hard drives
    Geforce 512mb video card (don't know the model off hand)
    Blu Ray writer
    CD-DVD Writer
    XP Pro 32bit
    Premiere Pro CS4 & AE CS4
    450 power supply
    4 fans
    I believe the MoBo is an Asus of some type

    I'm thinking to get me up to speed I could overclock it to 3ghz, add a fan, upgrade the power supply, upgrade the OS to Win7 Ult 64bit, crank up the ram to 6-12GB. Invest in a decent video card.

    Or should I just build me a brand new pc from scratch?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated


  2. Default

    I think you'd be able to edit with that if you used a better codec then the H264 of the 7D, if you used a codec like Cineform.

  3. #3


    Definitely find an intermediate codec to edit with, you don't really want to work with H264 on any system. Don't worry too much about over clocking the Q6600. Upgrading the RAM to 8GB and to Windows7 64bit would be well worthwhile, with this combination the Q6600 deals with HDV well, but you don't want to use that as an intermediate with your 1920x1080 footage. It also deals with Avid's excellent and free DNxHD codecs very well, but there were recent issues in relation to Premiere that you'd need look to.

    If your mobo is Asus it will most likely have a built in Raid controller, getting a 3rd drive and setting up a raid 1 or 0 with 2 drives and having 1 as a system drive would make a massive difference. But forget raid 0 unless you have an external backup system.

    Upgrading to CS5 and a qualified Cuda based card would be a good investment, but if considering upgrading to some other card, it's not really that a big a worry either, you should be fine with what you have.

    One thing you really need to consider is how much your going to spend, if it's just a RAM upgrade you go for I reckon it would be worthwhile, but the benchmarks from the latest i3, i5 and i7 processors compared to the core2quads is big.

    Personally I'd upgrade the RAM and the O.S. (the later justified as it would make a big difference and can also be used on a new machine at a later date) or look into a new system. Anything more than that and I'd start considering a new machine (or mobo bundle), this is just due to what you can now get for very good prices with the latest processors compared to how much you'd be starting to spend to get your existing set-up maxed out with lower benchmarks.

    Either way I'd also consider this: If your drives are 512GB or over, a new 75-100GB 7200rpm drive as a system drive would allow you to set your existing drives up as a workable sized raid 1. This is something I'd do whatever your decision.

    Last edited by david walsh; 07-22-2011 at 09:00 PM.

  4. #4


    Thanks all!

    David, upgrading the RAM and OS (64bit) was exactly the route was going to start with. But not overclock huh? Quad 2.4 is good enough?? I do mess with After Effects as well...although not a ton.

    If getting a 3rd drive and setting up Raid O or 1 will improve performance, then that's what I'll do...since drives are pretty cheap these days.

    I'll price out all the upgrades and if the damage isn't too bad, I'll go for it. But if the price difference is negligible, then I think I'll the route of getting a new pc ...i7 950/970, 12gb ram, SSD, NVIDIA Quadro 4000

    Keep you guys posted...thanks again!!
    Last edited by algee650; 07-22-2011 at 10:48 PM.

  5. #5


    I was really surprised with the performance of my SSD when I got one. I think I'd go for the advice that David gave as there will be newer tech tomorrow and you can get that then but still use the bits from your older PC. Providing your PC is in good shape I don't think you will see much benefit from getting a whole ne PC just yet.

  6. #6


    Yeah, that's what I'm leaning towards. I mean I had the Blu Ray writer for a reason - I was already editing HD and pumping out Blu Rays to my clients (2007/. So I know it can handle it, I just want to improve upon what I had before - whether that be by upgrading parts or getting a new rig.

    So you really see the difference with the SSD huh? They're definitely getting cheaper. If anything, I'd use it just for my system drive. How big do you suggest? Would 100GB work?

  7. #7


    Well I just cracked up the case and discovered that I only have 2 slots for memory. I think I'm already max'd out with 2 2GB sticks? do they make 3 or 4GB sticks?
    Last edited by algee650; 07-23-2011 at 05:17 AM.

  8. #8


    They make 4GB sticks but it all depends on what chipset is in your motherboard and if the RAM it takes comes in 4GB sticks. Some chipsets will take 8GB RAM but at reduced clock speed. I once had a p43 chipset that got better results for rendering with 4GB RAM at 1066MHz than 8GB at the 800Mhz that it supported. But with after effects I got longer RAM previews with the larger amount at the lower frequency.

    If you can get it up to 8GB Ram you will notice a big difference with After Effects.

    What mobo is it? If your unsure download and run this free program, you don't even need to install it.

    CPUID - System & hardware benchmark, monitoring, reporting

    If you have the Q6600 with G0 stepping then you'll have no problems OC'ing to 3Ghz if you really want to, I had mine running at 3.4Ghz for a shot time a while back, but you need a well capable mobo for that. I always use Asus, they use top quality components, but it depends on what's on it and what control you can get over it. For editing there's no real need to, not with the Q6600 anyway. (If your not sure you can find out if you have G0 stepping in CPUZ)

    With your drives I'd do what your thinking. A 100GB SSD would make a big difference to your system and a 7200rpm raid for storage/working would too. I've always used a 75GB system drive. I started to notice the need for maybe pushing it to 100GB before I changed to windows XP64 (a while back now) then I found that a system managed page file with 8GB of RAM was far easier on the system drive than a user managed page file on a 32bit OS with 4GB RAM, so I was fine with the 75GB again.

    Having said that, if I was building a system today I'd probably go with the 100GB system drive.

    If you can do all that your system will do you for a while yet, if your stuck with the 4GB RAM it's not the end of the world, I first mentioned that mainly because you mentioned using After Effects, but it will still run well with 4GB just with shorter RAM previews.



  9. #9


    So my road to upgradeville starts with this purchase....

    EVGA 01G-P3-N959-TR GeForce 9500 GT Video Card - 1GB DDR2, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Support, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDTV, VGA Support at

    Not a bad card for $50!

    Next is memory (8GB), SSD and a 24" monitor.

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