View Full Version : VT[4] on a Dell Dimension 4550

Kevin Brice
09-14-2005, 06:28 PM
Hi everyone!

Kingston High School Television, a student-run high school TV studio, recently got a computer donated to them Its processor and memory setup is:

2.6 GHz Pentium 4
1 GB memory

Since this is faster than our current Toaster (a 1.something GHz Pentium 4 with 512 MB memory), we were thinking of moving VT[2] over to it. However, we've been wondering if that computer would be fast enough to run [4] at a reasonable. Would it? The NewTek page says 2.8 GHz Hyper-Threading, but it also says that's the "optimal" config. We mostly use the Toaster for live switching, CG, DVEs, and playback of digital video.

Also, I saw that the site said NewTek doesn't recommend SATA drives. If I striped together two 150 mbps, 7,200 SATA drives in Windows 2000/XP, the data stream wouldn't be fast enough for basic video playback/editing? What would I not be able to do in real-time with that kind of drive setup? Our current Toaster has a single SCSI drive (not striped), but I don't know how fast the drive is. I would think that the striped SATA drives would still be faster, though... am I missing something?

Thank you VERY much for any help you can give!

John Perkins
09-14-2005, 07:04 PM
DUDE! You got a Dell! :D

I'd say try it out. What do you have to lose except time?

Which year is it? One year it had an Nvidia MX420 w/ 64MB and 60GB drive and another year it had a Radeon 9700 128MB card and a 120GB drive.

Those have a 533Mhz bus, not good for memory speed.
They have only a couple of PCI slots.
Pull out the sound card.

A few years ago I had a similar system with a 2.4 P4, micro ATX, 2xSATA. As long as you can live with realistic limitations (obviously you have been) it should be fast enough to function assuming there are no hardware conflicts.

I did switching and also a lot of editing in DV with VT3 on it. Worked great with DV footage. With RTV it had to render quite a bit.

I doubt every feature works on it (RT DV out, etc.), but the ones you currently use would probably be much better and more stable with 4.5. For that spec, I would think 2 SATA drives would be just as good as your single SCSI and quadruple or more your storage space. It may background render more with 4.5 so the extra drive space might come in handy.

Good luck.

Kevin Brice
09-14-2005, 07:37 PM
I'm not sure how fast the bus is. The included HDD is a 30 GB ATA drive. It's got four PCI slots and one AGP. I don't know which year it is since it was donated...

Right now, I think we would have enough PCI slots.
- FireWire 400 card
- Maxtor SATA controller
- VT card w/ SX-8 controller (two slots)

If it is 533 MHz, would that be an issue loading DVEs and stuff? We get quite a few memory warnings some days loading some DVEs in VT[2] on our old comptuer. For example, we get a memory warning almost every time we try to load "Stampede". :-D

Thanks for your help!

John Perkins
09-14-2005, 08:26 PM
A 30GB? Hmm, I looked up the specs and only saw 60 and 120GB with 2 free slots so that may be an older one than I found.

Make sure you are counting PCI slots and not the spaces on the back of the computer. Many times you have more spaces than the actual slots. You can also mount the SX8 connector on the case in some cases (pun intended).

The memory speed won't cause an error, but the amount of memory could. I don't like to run VT systems on less than 1GB of RAM, 512 really isn't enough for more than very simple editing. That memory should be dirt cheap right now.

Kevin Brice
09-17-2005, 06:29 PM
Yes, there are four PCI slots and one AGP slot. Thank you very much for your help!