Recommed Me a PC Config for Video Editing!

I need help!

I am not that versed on PC Hardware Configs and Devices, but I want to get a machine that I can use to edit video at high quality and of pretty significant length (about an hour or more when edited from several clips) and burn them to DVD.

I bought my last PC from Best Buy, but that was almost 5 years ago and it can’t handle even editing a 10 minute video.

I use a Canon Digital Video Camera (VR60) and Adobe Premiere 6.0

Can any recommed me a suitable harware config and maybe a good place to order from?

I am not interested in building my own machine.

I have a custom computer, built from a barebones system. In fact, I just ordered another one - it was $239 for the case, motherboard, P4 2.4 GHz CPU, power supply and case fan, $90 for 512 MB DDR RAM and $15 shipping. All that is required to make a system like this run is that you transfer your floppy, hard and disc drives and your PCI cards from your old computer into the new one. This doesn’t technichally qualify as “building your own” - all you need is a screwdriver to unscrew and remount the drives, and to plug in the cards and cables, then run the setup CD.

I’d recommend as much memory as you can afford. 512 MB is adequate, a gig is perfect. No smaller than 40 GB hard drive. A decent video capture card, and you’re all set. You may wish to have a look here.

Thanks, That is not as bad as I thought.

Anyone else?!?! I know there are thousands that are more knowledgable about this stuff than I.

Everything you need in one box.

Yeah, if you are willing to move to Apple, I can’t recommend them enough. (I own three Macs, four PCs)

Yeah, if you are willing to move to Apple, I can’t recommend them enough. (I own three Macs, four PCs)

oops. silly silly internet connection.

I am not against moving to an Apple, but does an eMac have enough “juice”?

I am worried that to do the editing I want to do I will need a G4 or G5.

Or is that just overkill?

It is a G4, actually:

Oh, please, let’s not this let thread turn into an OS war. I’m well aware that Macs are used in industry for video and audio editing.

slu did ask about a PC configuration. He already has all the software he needs, and if he purchased a barebones system and transferred his drives over, he could have a 2.4 GHz CPU or faster, for a fraction of the price of a Mac. And he wouldn’t have to learn a new OS.

FTR, I have nothing against Macs, and I’m not recommending against them, they are by all accounts fine machines. I just wished to point out that a Mac is not what he asked about.

I did ask about a PC, but I am not against the Mac. I don’t want an OS war either.

It seems I have heard from the Mac folks who recommend an eMac to do the job without having to make many configuration deceisions. I understand that I probably would want to upgrade memory and disk.

To be honest, the multitude of PC config choices confuses me. For the specific task of video editing I have a couple of questions:

  1. Does Intel vs. AMD matter?
  2. What processor speed is desired for each flavor of processor? I realize that the fastest is the best, but I don’t really want to pay for a top of the line processor. Basically, what speed will perform well, but not break the bank?
  3. Any recommendation on video cards? I know very little about them.
  4. I see RAID or something on a lot of configurators…does this mean anything to me?
  5. I figured I’d need 1GB of RAM for PC or Mac. Is this a good assumption?
  6. Where is a good place to order a custom configured PC?

Thanks all.

Well, i’m no expert on evaluating one processor type versus another (Pentium v. Athlon), or on video cards and such, so i can’t be much help to you on that score. Also, while it’s obvious that you don’t want to spend more than you have to, it’s not quite clear how much you are willing to pay for your computer.

When my old computer began to die a couple of months ago, i started looking around for a new one. I started a thread asking for advice. Quite a few people suggested building my own but, like you, i wasn’t really ready for that (maybe next time). I did some checking around, and was trying to decide between Gateway, Dell, Sony, and HP. Now, of course, the big box companies like Dell and Gateway have a lot of detractors, so i was a little worried about their reliability. After doing a bunch of reading on the internet, especially on customer satisfaction websites, i came to a few conclusions about the well-known manufacturers, which i’ll copy from the other thread:

Well, in the end i went for a Dell, and so far (knock on wood) it’s been everything i expected. I don’t use Adobe Premiere, but i’ve done some video editing using various free software (VirtualDub, TMpgEnc, and even Windows Movie Maker) and the processing speed leaves my old computer for dead. Also, i take quite a lot of digital photos, and running batch processes in Photoshop is miles faster than it ever was before. Not only that, but running more than one resourse-hogging app at a time, including DVD burning software, is now a breeze.

Anyway, the specs and price of my Dell were as follows:

Dell Dimension 8300
Pentium 4 3.0GHz with 800MHz Front Side Bus and Hyperthreading Technology (whatever that is!)
160Gb HDD
128MB DDR NVidia GeForce FX 5200 Graphics Card with TV-Out and DVI
Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 (D) Card
16x DVD ROM Drive
8x CD/DVD Burner Combo Drive
17" LCD Flat Panel monitor

My wife has a very small work desk, so i gave her the 17" flat panel, and we went out and got a 19" flat screen CRT monitor for my computer. It’s great for me, because it’s about an inch bigger than the flat panel, and because CRTs tend to have better contrast and colour rendition for people who deal with digital images.

This computer cost me $1269 including shipping. I’d be willing to bet that if you were prepared to have a smaler hard drive, and didn’t get a flat panel monitor, and were willing to go for a 2.6 or 2.8 GHz rather than a 3.0GHz processor, you could get a very similar package for a few hundred less.

Right now AMD leads most benchmarks in price/performance except for video editing which is led by Intel. Since you are looking for a video editing machine, I would stick with Intel P4 with the 800Mhz bus.

You want to look at the P4 2.6 if you are building your own. With a package system you can get P4 3.0 systems for reasonable prices. If you decide to go AMD, the AMD64 2800+ is at a good price point.

You don’t need any excessively strong video card for editing. Mostly gaming systems or 3D CAD require the most expensive cards. You could get by with a modest card like a NVIDIA 5700

You don’t need RAID. Depending on the type of RAID it can be used to increase performance or add redundancy. If you backup your movies to DVD you will be fine.

RAM and processor speed really help to boost video editing. I would get the 1GB of RAM.

I’m assuming your video camera is an Elura 60, since this was the only one with a model number of 60 on the Canon site. It has USB and firewire according to the site.

Some ideas:
I have no idea what your budget is…
From the Dell Home WWW Site: then select Home
$1099 Plus free 2-day Shipping
Dimension 8400
Catalog Number / Description Product Code SKU Id
Dimension 8400:
Pentium® 4 Processor 530 with HT Technology (3GHz, 800 FSB) S308H [221-5710] 1
Operating System:
Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition WHXP [313-7222][412-0409][420-1921][412-0688] 11
Free Dell Printer:
FREE Dell 720 Color Printer with 1 Yr Advanced Exchange Service 720WDR [255-0071][902-7040][960-4638] 550
Limited Warranty, Services and Support Options:
1 Year Limited Warranty plus 1 Year At-Home Service S111OS [950-1260][950-3337][950-9797][412-0360] 29
1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 400MHz (2x512M) 1GB4 [311-3818] 3
Hard Drive:
160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) 160S [341-1056] 8
Floppy Drive and Additional Storage Devices:
No Floppy Drive Included NFD [340-8442] 10
Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + FREE UPGRADE! 8x DVD+RW Drive DVD8DVP [463-1304][430-0945] 16
Productivity Software:
Productivity Pack including WordPerfect® CORELM [412-0555][412-0701] 22
Personal Finance Software:
Microsoft® Money 2004 Standard MNY [412-0551] 83
Security Software:
Norton Internet Security™, 90 day trial NIS90 [412-0626] 25
No Monitor N [320-3000] 5
Video Card:
128MB PCI Express™ x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) ATI Radeon™ X300 SE X300SE [320-3934] 6
Sound Card:
Integrated 5.1 Channel Audio IS [313-2758] 17
No Speaker Option N [313-2198] 18
Dell ® Quietkey ® Keyboard QK [310-1582] 4
Dell® 2-button scroll mouse SM [310-1871] 12
Digital Music:
Dell Jukebox powered by MUSICMATCH MMBASE [412-0691] 27
Digital Photography:
Paint Shop™ Pro® Trial plus Photo Album™ Starter Edition DPS [412-0521] 28
Video Editing:
IEEE 1394 Adapter 1394 [320-0169] 85
Dell Media Experience:
Dell Media Experience™ DMX [412-0660] 115
Network Interface:
Integrated Gigabit Ethernet IN [430-0742] 13
Dial-up Internet Access:
6 Months of America Online Membership Included AOLDHS [412-0585][412-0625][420-3224] 37
56K PCI Data/Fax Modem DFAX [313-2279] 14
How to Contact Dell
Phone Fax
800-915-3355 800-317-3355
Dell Inc.
One Dell Way
Round Rock, Texas 78682

From the HP WWW Site click on Home then HP Pavillion a650y series
Processor Intel® Pentium® 4 2.80E GHz/ HT + 1MB L2 cache edit
Operating System Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition edit
Memory 1 GB DDR / PC3200 (2 DIMM) edit
Hard Drive FREE UPGRADE from 80GB to 160GB 7200rpm Hard Drive edit
Primary CD/DVD Drive 16x max DVD-ROM Drive + Intervideo WinDVD Software edit
Secondary CD/DVD Drive 8X DVD+RW/+R drive (DVD writer & CD-writer combo) edit
Front Productivity Ports 3 USB 2.0, 1 Firewire, 9-in-1 card reader + WinDVD edit
Removable Storage 3.5 in. 1.44MB Floppy Drive edit
Graphics Card 256MB DDR NVIDIA GeForceFX™ 5500, DVI & TV-Out edit
Sound Card Integrated 5.1 Capable Sound w/ front audio ports edit
Keyboard and Mouse HP Internet Keyboard, HP Scroller Mouse edit
Productivity Software Microsoft® Works 7.0/Money 2004/MSN Encarta Plus edit
Special Printer Offer HP Deskjet 5150 printer edit

Those are the two biggest players right now. If around $1100 is out of your budget and you don’t want to build it yourself, look for local ads.
You could also go to Dell Small Business and get a PE400SC with a P4 2.8 800MHZ FSB, 1GB RAM, 40GB Hard Drive, and load all of your own software and move your drives, monitor, sound card, etc over to there for $646. If you need a video card, pick up something like theNVIDIA 5500 for around $93 and you have a cheaper system.

If you’re talking about non-professional/amateur/home video stuff, it’s more than enough. I’ve done two-hour-long home videos using nothing but iMovie, and that’s running on a 450MHz G3 iMac with 384MB of memory. If my antiquated little space egg can handle it, any new Mac can do the same.

The only thing I’m missing out right now is DVD burning, and that’s because (a) the G3 doesn’t have enough horsepower for DVD encoding, and (b) I don’t have a DVD burner.

Thanks for all the help everyone.

My budget is around $1500, so the suggestions that everyone made fall within my range!

I think I have narrowed it down to a configuration similar to mhendo’s ro the next generation iMac when released later this year.

I just hope I can wait that long!

I’m getting away with Windows XP and 512 megs of RAM on an Athlon XP 2200+, though I’d like to move to a gig of RAM.

What I can stress though, is, GET MORE DISK SPACE THAN YOU EVER THINK YOU’LL NEED. Less than a year ago I attached 240 gigs of new disk to my previously-existing 120-gig PC, and it’s three-quarters full. :eek:

Why? File storage.

I’m editing a bunch of home videos for several differnt people, and I want to switch back and forth between projects. The raw video for each person and the working files take up a lot of space.

Each hour of video imported through the DV port consumes 20 gigs of disk space. You will need triple that when working on that hour of video, both for working space and for the final DVD image before you burn the disk.

I also recommend having two additional disks for video editing, apart from your main boot drive where your programs are installed. One of the additional disks can stopre your raw video files (make this one big) and the other can serve as working space. Transferring data between disks is a lot faster than reading, then writing on the same siaks, and transfer time adds up when you’re dealing with five-gig files.

I get about 1 hour of DV footage = 12 gigabytes, myself.

Having lots of storage is certainly not a bad thing, but if your computer has a DVD burner, you could just burn your stuff to DVD for archival purposes.

Yes, it can be done, but it requires a lot of DVD-Rs. 5 hours of DV = ~80 gigs on my drive.

The problem is that raw DV-encoded AVI files taken from camera or whatever are significantly larger than the transcoded and compressed MPEG-2 files found on commercial DVD-Video discs. You can put 2 hours of MPEG-2 video at regular quality on one single-layer DVD-R, but you’d need four or five discs for the raw AVI files that went into that. If you want to edit again later, the source AVIs are much easier to deal with.

I have never, in all my life, met anyone who sprung for a whopping huge hard drive who later on said “Gee, I wish I hadn’t spent all that money for this unnecessary storage space! I coulda used that money for something more practical!”

You can get an external half-terabyte FireWire drive from LaCie for a pretty reasonable price (~$350-$400).