Computer for Video editing

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by slats1, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. slats1

    slats1 Guest

    Hey there,
    I need a new computer for video editing with
    Premier 6 or Avid. Can anyone give
    me some specs on what I need in a fast powerful computer. I'm not
    going to build one, but I'd like to know what to look for. Hard drive
    size, processor, graphics card, sound card, etc.
    Thanks alot,,,Much appreciated !! Steve
    slats1, Mar 17, 2009
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  2. Paul

    Paul Guest

    slats1 wrote:
    > Hey there,
    > I need a new computer for video editing with
    > Premier 6 or Avid. Can anyone give
    > me some specs on what I need in a fast powerful computer. I'm not
    > going to build one, but I'd like to know what to look for. Hard drive
    > size, processor, graphics card, sound card, etc.
    > Thanks alot,,,Much appreciated !! Steve

    An example here.

    Quad core processors are quite common. They help, as long
    as the software is multithreaded (and figuring that out,
    from the software web site, won't be easy).

    The Core i7 is the latest from Intel. The Core2 Quad
    is the previous generation. The Core i7 has the
    advantage that its memory controller is right on the
    processor, and is three channels. On a Core2 Quad
    core system, the memory controller is on the chipset,
    and is dual channel. AMD also makes processors with
    onboard memory controllers - they're dual channel.
    And the AMD processors occupy the middle to low
    end of the performance scale. The Intel ones offer
    higher performance options than AMD - for a price.

    DDR2 memory is used on systems, where the user wants
    their memory for really cheap. DDR3 memory costs more
    for the same quantity of memory. The Core i7 only comes
    in DDR3 flavor, so you're stuck buying DDR3 for it. The
    Core i7 takes three or six sticks of DDR3 RAM. You can
    start with three sticks if you want, and 3x1GB is fine
    to start.

    The rest of the guts in the computer, can be swapped
    out if you don't like them. They unplug with relative
    ease, and you can replace them later.

    The computer should come with a relatively high capacity
    of power supply, if you ever intend to buy a high
    end video card. They opted for a Corsair 650W power
    supply above, which should handle most upgrades you could
    think of. Many prebuilt computers (HP/Dell/Acer/Gateway)
    come with wimpy supplies, so using a machine from
    them as a base, might require an upgrade at some
    point. If you build (or have someone build a system
    for you), they can put something decent in the box
    for you from day one.

    In the example system above, they opted for a relatively
    low cost (throw away) video card as the default (9600GT).
    The Quadro boards have outrageous pricing, but what you
    get with those is certified OpenGL drivers. Some editing
    packages may use OpenGL when doing stuff - check your
    software to see if it needs or can use such video cards.
    It is even possible some day, that rendering will use
    the GPU of the card, as a source of computing power
    (acceleration). The throw away card is plenty to
    start with when the editing software does everything
    with the CPU, until you become more experienced
    (or richer). The software will be flexible enough, that
    if a Quadro is not present, the editing suite will still
    work. And the Core i7 has plenty of horsepower
    for interactive work.

    For sound, most motherboards come with basic sound
    connectors. They may support 7.1 audio via four
    connectors. If the motherboard has a total of six
    connectors, you'll have a line in and microphone input
    at your disposal as well. Motherboard audio may not
    have a very good noise floor, if, for some reason,
    you needed to record from the microphone input jack.
    For playback, the motherboard audio is fine.

    A card here would likely have a better noise floor,
    but for video editing, I don't see a reason to be
    recording via microphone level signals. If you
    plan on playing computer games on the computer
    as well, then a Creative brand card would be better
    for that (i.e. Soundblaster). The following cards might be
    used for an amateur recording studio.

    You probably have some idea how many megabytes per
    second, your video camera captures. Modern compressed
    formats don't have too high a rate. You can get your
    new computer (with its small drives), and experiment
    with your new editing software. Do a 1 hour movie, then
    note how much storage was needed. When you're ready for
    serious work, you can buy additional 1TB (10**12 bytes) or
    1.5TB drives, and install them internally or externally
    in an enclosure, if you think you'll have a lot of footage.
    External drives should always have a fan on the enclosure
    for cooling - that helps give them a long life. Some
    prepackaged external drives don't have fans. For internal
    drive bays, the computer already has fans for cooling

    One of these can be used for downloading content from a
    camera with HDMI on it. Cameras with HDMI would be the
    larger ones, the kind a news crew might carry around
    town. Not your wimpy handycam for shooting your
    friend's wedding.

    Other cameras will have Firewire (IEEE1394) or USB2
    interfaces, and a decent computer should come with
    some of both. You can also add Firewire ports with an
    add-in PCI card, if the computer lacks such a port.

    For further help, you can also post in

    and someone there can tell you what they bought.

    In terms of suppliers, starting with a HP/Dell/Acer/Gateway
    can result in a relatively poor experience, due to the
    things they do to the computer, to make their lives
    simpler (no real Windows installer CD, small power supply,
    cheesy motherboard). If you go to a small supplier that
    specializes in video, all too many of them will charge you
    $5000 for a "bucket of bolts with gold plated connectors".
    Somewhere in between those two extremes, is your
    next editing computer :)

    This is an example of an "off-the-shelf" Core i7. The
    video card is part of the cost, and is something a
    gamer would appreciate. The OS is Vista, which might not
    play nice with your editing tools (do your research on
    that, before you buy). Still, this is less than $5000
    to get started.

    Paul, Mar 19, 2009
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