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Thread: Idiots Guide to Video Editing (with a PC for under 500 ???)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Default Idiots Guide to Video Editing (with a PC for under 500 ???)

    Hi all,

    Although I've done lots of video editing on someone elses machine, I haven't a clue where to start in buying my own machine. I currently have an ancient Pentium 2 with 96mb ram, so you can understand that a new machine is definitely in order!

    I've picked up a few hints from some of the other posts, but I really don't understand the ins and outs of how computers work, so all the acronyms such as RAID and SATA are getting me very confused. My knowledge only goes as far as knowing about the hard disk (for storage), RAM (for memory), processor (for speed), and the fact that I'll need a firewire port to input the camcorder. I want to buy a complete unit, as I can't really see myself putting together components. The other problem is I don't want to spend more than 500 if possible. The computer will be used for general office applications and the internet, as well as for editing. I don't need anything fancy to play games, as PC gaming sends shivers down my spine (dedicated console gamer!). I want to be able to import from mini-DV, edit my footage and save to DVD. I may also someday want to somehow import my VHS library as well.

    I have a Panasonic NV-MX5 mini-DV camcorder if that makes any difference. I see from reading other posts that two hard drives seem to be the best way to go; is this going to have to be a custom job, or do some complete units come with two? If I have to install this myself, how simple is it?

    As an example, would the unit here ( be any good? From my limited knowledge it seems to have what it needs (Pentium 4HT 3.20GHz, 512mb RAM & 200GB storage), but the site only rates it as a C grade for video editing. Why is this, what is it missing?

    Any advice however small would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Manchester, UK


    Well it's missing a monitor

    Assuming you have a reasonably decent monitor though - as far as video editing goes, you probably would do better with an ever so slightly beefier system, but for your budget, that should do the job, and do it fine. You've even got a bit left in there to be able to buy Premiere Elements or something.

    If you do a lot of editing, you might find that you want to increase the RAM to at least 1GB and stick an extra hard drive in there, (I'm assuming that's why they've graded it 'C') but for doing occasional editing, it should be plenty.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005


    Thanks very much for your help.

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