Okay, so after my previous posting in here, this thread here - I've definitely come to the stark realisation that I'm in need of new PC. I did receive sound advice and have not purchased the graphics card, but I've tried a few other things that have possibly put my current situation into sharp perspective. Firstly, the additional 2GB of ram I have that I was planning to put in the old PC refused to work, either they're not compatible with the motherboard or they are damaged (not an issue as they were a freebie that I acquired from older machine.) And second, I've now got access to a camera that does HD, both 720 and full HD 1920x1080. I thought I'd see what my current system could do with some short test footage of both types. I'm currently using Sony Vegas Platinum Pro, it managed to open multiple 720 files, didn't have an issue with previewing, but the second I added even basic effects, massive slow down on the preview, even in the most basic preview setting. And full HD was a non starter, I couldn't even get a basic media player to play the footage without having a head fit, let alone considering trying to edit it.
So, I know what sort of footage I'll be filming, I know the software I'll be using, and I know I'll be using pretty much the standard effects, I'm currently scrutinising custom PC websites looking at options and prices. I want something big and powerful enough to do what I need, but I'm really floundering in a sea of choices. Money, or lack of it, are certainly making some of the choices for me, but I'd love some guidance on some of the other choices and priorities.
I'll go into specs in a minute, but I wanted to ask first of all; the difference in overall performance and power required to edit Full HD as opposed to 720 HD, it strikes me that it might well be significant. I'm torn here, previously I've only been able to work in standard definition, so 720, for the moment, seems awesome for me. If its as I think it is, then I could probably spend a lot less if I were of the impression that 720 would be 'enough' for me for, say, the next 4 years. But I know time and tech move fast - I'm making basic music videos at the moment, but I'd like to progress to short films, and whatever else I can do afterwards - I'm so torn between a system that will be more than sufficient for 720, but might allow me some additional money to spend on the other important things in filmmaking, such as lighting, etc, or a killer system that does more than I need, with some serious future proofing thrown in. Seriously, I thought I had an idea of what I needed, but now I'm not sure.
For a rough guide, I reckon the maximum budget is going to be £650 tops.
With that in mind, here are some options on components I've found and the choices I face;
This is a big one, I was initially set on an AMD core, purely on the cost factor - I felt you could get more bang for your buck with an AMD system allowing me to spend more on RAM and graphics card options. I've since read on a few audio/visual forums that Sony Vegas delivers noticeably better performance on Intel processors. I've no idea if this is really the case, wouldn't mind hearing opinions on this? So, AMD vs Intel - for the cost of a basic I7 quad core I can buy an AMD FX 8350 8 core processor. Then again, could I get away with a fast I5 if I decide 720 is the way to go. Would a basic AMD quad be suitable for 720?
Okay, amount vs speed. Is 4GB of the fastest Ram I can find better than 16 or even 32GB of considerably slower RAM? I'm really in the dark here, and there is possibly the middle option, say, 8GB of RAM at a speed somewhere between the two! Help!
Simple choice here I believe, a card with as much of the fastest/high bandwidth VRAM as possible. I think this one looks like a winner - NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 650, 2048MB GDDR5. Its a powerful but one of the more affordable options.
Hard Drive, would probably go with 1TB at as fast a speed as possible, but I've got a few spare, fast drives knocking around, so not too worried here.
Well, thats about it, sorry for the lengthy post. I know this might turn out to be the impossible question, I know you quite often get what you pay for, but its pretty vital that I get as much of my PC spec right at the first go. There are so many permutations!
I hope you guys can give some more sound advice!