View Full Version : experts please help me choose

Marie Boyer
03-02-2005, 09:33 PM
Buying a computer for DV editing. Choosing between

1. Locally built (great local company)
Antec case
ASUS P4C-800 motherboard (875 chipset)
Pentium 4 3 ghz (800 FSB)
350 watt (Antec)
1 Gig RAM
Hard drive 1 = 40 G
Hard drive 2 = 160 G
nvidia 5700 FX 128 MB
XP Pro

2. HP xw4200 workstation (local HP dealer)
Same as above except
Not sure on case
Intel Motherboard with 925 chipset (PCI-E)
410 watt
nvidia Quadro FX 540 PCI-E

Can you help me choose? Any other less expensive equivalents? I am getting close to purchase.

03-02-2005, 10:29 PM
I think you could build a system for less. And it aint that hard these days.

Where are you? (regarding stores near you)

Also how much footage are you going to be dealing with?

I have a done quite a bit of DV editing and have built a couple of systems for it.

Also another question is what software are you going to use? Is it software based or is it hardware dependent?

DV footage takes up about 1 gig for every five minutes of footage. Sounds great until you start figuring bookends of the unused footage in edits and of course your shooting ratio. Figure as much as 10 to 20 times your final runtime. I had about 100 hours that I cut into a 120 minute feature! Not all of it was digitized mind you.

You should be able to put together a reasonable computer system for under $1,000 and invest the rest of the money in hard drives.

DV is not that challenging for today's computers. I was doing fine with a 2.0 ghtz and only 512 megs ram for my feature, but I had about 10 hard drives!

A minimal set up today would be similar to what you have there, I just think the prices are a little high and there is inadequate HD space.

As far as building I recomend intel mohterboard with a matching chip - 3.0 is good and cheap. Slap a 40 gig sys drive in there, 1 gig of ram and a decent Vid card. XP pro is an option but XP home is adequate for this type app. Put the rest of your money in 250 gig drives- as many as you can afford - they are at the best prices per gig last time I checked about a week ago.

Hook it up and XP will format your drive, load the op sys and you are flying!

Plus if you do it this way you can get XP as an OEM(original Equipment Manufacture) copy - cheaper - only $100 opposed to $200 Same with XP Pro 200 as apposed to 300. (roughly)

My take anyhoo....


PS I can give you model numbers for a motherboard/chip if you need it.

Marie Boyer
03-03-2005, 04:59 AM
Thanks! Might help you to know that I will do only hobby-level DV editing with Pinnacle Studio 9? I priced a higher-end computer on newegg.com and researched having someone build it for me. I ended up coming back to the local computer because he will stand by all the parts he puts in it, and the companies he deals with. He will help me if anything goes wrong. I think I will look into having a bigger second hard-drive, though. My guy can add another hard-drive if I start going crazy with storage. To start, I will do a lot of photo slideshows, which will require a lot less space. Thanks for your advice.

03-03-2005, 05:41 AM
Was that without a DVD writer? If it was just a DVD-ROM it's pretty pricey.

Marie Boyer
03-03-2005, 05:57 AM
Yes. I have a stand-alone DVD burner.

03-03-2005, 01:59 PM
Thanks! Might help you to know that I will do only hobby-level DV editing with Pinnacle Studio 9? To start, I will do a lot of photo slideshows, which will require a lot less space. Thanks for your advice.

OK gotcha.

More data for what it's worth:

It still seems like a lot to spend today especially for what you need. You don't even have to build a computer these days. In the not to far distant past you had to really be careful putting together a DV system. There were lots of issues. Now, you can get a computer from HP out of the box with Windows XP Home and be editing DV without even another software because XP comes with a movie eiditor - wouldn't suggest using it. My point is comuter speeds and ram are far beyond what you need for basic DV today.

If you look at say, outpost.com (fry's electronics online store) you will find of computers for under 1,000. All adequate for DV editing. They stand buy their products too and if money is burning a hole in your pocket purchase a lifetime warranty. (Or a nice large monitor)

From the prices it sounds like you are in a place away from a large city and a local shop is charging accordingly. I have one near me too, but I rarely go there and I wouldn't buy a computer from him - bless his soul but it's worth the saving to head downtown. Catch my drift?

OK now I am starting to sound like my dad....

Alright well, good luck with it and at least give it some thought and oh - have fun editing!