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Calling all computer based video editors out there...please help.

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by Techno Freak, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. Techno Freak

    Techno Freak
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    Hello all,

    I am quite up on cumputers but must admit, when it comes to video editing it is a minefield.

    My father wants to buy a new machine for video editing. He has become very proficient at doctoring photos on paint shop and wants to move on to digital video.

    We have had a dabble with a firewire card and his old PC and hid digital camcorder but the PC is too old and results are less than satisfactory.

    So....you guessed it - can someone please help me find him a PC.

    I have been searching for a while and read many a forum post on minimum specs but I am still finding it hard to choose.

    Basically this is what we need:-

    Base unit ( already have a monitor )
    Windows XP
    TV card for analogue and TV capture ( nice, but not essential )
    DVD recorder

    Games are not an issue so the video card does not need to be able to handle all these new 3D games etc, as long as it fits the bill for the video editing stuff.

    Budget £600 - £700

    It must be more than capeable of recording straight from a digital camcorder and be powerful enough for editing without annoying waits or drop outs or crashes etc. ie, I don't wan't him to have to "make do" with a minimum spec machine for the job if you know what I mean.

    This is the crux, the budget is £600 - £700 and needs to be from a company that will offer buy now pay later or interest free credit.

    I have searched the computer magazine ads and on the internet and so far my choice of supplier would be Mesh.

    Basically, would anyone on here that uses there computer for good quality video editing please take a look at the Mesh build your own base unit page and possibly suggest a PC spec that will fit the bill?

    It would be fantastic if people could build a 'virtual' system for me and post the choices in this thread with their comments as to why they chose it? or why they chose one particular video card over another ( as there seems to be loads to choose from ).

    That way, we can make an informed choice based on proper users input.

    I realise that this may be a lot to ask but my dad has limited funds and we really want to avoid dissapointment in our PC choice for him as he will not be able to upgrade anything for a while and has been chomping at the bit to get his teeth into video editing for a couple of years.

    This is the base unit build page for mesh...

    http://www.meshcomputers.com/updated/essential_range.htm

    Any suggestions on spec or even ready built machines from other companies would be very, very much appreciated.

    I have also looked at Dell but they seem pricey if you steer away from a ready packaged deal.

    Thank you all....

    Tony.
     
  2. DigiStuff

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    Hi,

    I would look at www.evesham.com for good editing machines. They can build to your spec and have quite a few stores around so you might even get the chance to go take a look first. They have been building editing PC's for many years now so should have the hang of it!

    Hope this helps a little !

    DigiStuff
     
  3. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    My advise would be:

    Don't worry about the fastest processor going, go for more RAM instead as this will give a bigger advantage when editing. 1Gb of RAM should be great!

    As long as there is a firewire connection of some type (other than on a soundcard) then don't worry about a separate capture card. If you want to capture analogue video sources such as from a VCR then look at getting a Canopus ADVC converter from around £150 as this will give the best quality. Buy this yourself at a later stage as this will likely save you some money.

    Get a reasonable graphics card, but don't worry about the latest as editing does not rely on the graphics card too much.

    Get 2 hard disks. The main disk should have all software installed on it including Windows. The second should have no programs and should only contain captured video and the edits/file conversions.

    Get a DVD burner as this is the only way to get good quality output of your blockbuster movies.


    Other than that you don't have to worry too much about the specs of the rest of the PC.

    Mark.
     
  4. Techno Freak

    Techno Freak
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    Thanks for the advice.

    I will check out Evesham now - see what they have.

    As for graphics cards, is there much difference in performance for video capture & editing between a 128mb and a 256mb and do people tend to favour Nvidea or Radeon?

    Thanks again....
     
  5. Techno Freak

    Techno Freak
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    Ok, tried Evesham - price wise similar to Mesh but no interest free credit.

    Based on the advice above I have put together a couple of choices within our budget from Mesh:-

    Elite M value:-

    Asus P5GDI-VM 775 motherboard
    Pentium 4 3ghz 1mb L2 cache
    512mb PC2700 DDR 333mhz
    200gb serial HD
    128mb ATI Radeon X600 pro
    Sony 16x DVD re-writer

    £669.20 inc vat & del

    or

    Elite A-PCX

    Asus P5GDC PCI Express motherboard
    512mb PC3200 DDR 400mhz
    200gig serial HD
    128mb ATI Radeon X600 Pro PCI Express
    Sony X16 DVD re-writer

    £720 incl vat & del


    Would the second system be signficantly better than the first due to its mainboard and memory?

    Would either system be more than acceptable for video capture and editing?

    Is the graphics card a decent choice?

    One last question - I promise.....they also do similar spec machines for similar money based on AMD 64 processors. In the video comunity, is there a preference over AMD or Intel ?

    I take on board whats been said about 2 HD's and a gig of ram but figured that they were the easiest things to add further down the line. I thought it best to use the bulk of the budget on a good foundation.

    Thanks a bunch folks....
     
  6. thebrummy_one

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    Just on the RAM issue that Mark raised, What would be the configuration of the RAM supplied in the machines you are looking at?
    If it's 2x256meg then you may well be discarding these at a later date when you up-grade, if there is only a limited number of slots available. So I feel it would be wise to go for the 1gb now (2x512megor 1x1gig) and save on future expense. I see that the Asus P5GDC has 4 DDR or 2 DDR2 slots, the Asus P5GDI-VM also has 4 slots but doesn't support DDR2. Both boards support hyper threading technology and PCI express, which is a handy thing to have when dealing with graphics. The Asus P5GDI-VM however doesn't have a fire wire port. So you would need an expansion card whereas the Asus P5GDC does. It also has optical & Coaxial S/PDIF Output, which is good for connecting to an AV amp. For futureability, I would go for the Asus P5GDC with it's DDR2 functionality. For the record, I'm running a Asus P4C800 delux that delivers for me. Hope this helps.
     
  7. Techno Freak

    Techno Freak
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    Thanks thebrummy_one,

    The website for Mesh does not state the configuration of the memory sticks - I will drop them an e-mail and see.

    What is PCI Express - just the latest card interface type?
     
  8. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Yes, it is the new (soon to be standard) faster interface for graphics cards that is meant to outperform AGP for the latest games etc that now require even more performance!

    Mark.
     
  9. Techno Freak

    Techno Freak
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    Thank folks.

    I copied the two machine specs to Mesh Computers sales dept, with a description of what I need the machine for and comments from the above posts regarding a single RAM module a two HD's.

    This is what he qouted me:-

    Black Midi tower + 350 watt PSU
    Asus AV8 deluxe GB ( 939 pin )
    AMD Athlon 64 3500+ ( 939 pin )
    512mb PC3200 400mhz single ram module
    80 GB SATA HD
    160 GB SATA HD
    256mb DDR FX-5700 LE + TVout & DVin
    Sony 16x Dual layer DVD-Rewriter +R -R RW
    6 Channel sound
    Soundblaster SBS260 speakers
    Wifi ( 802.11G )
    Modem and LAN card
    Cordless keyboard & Mouse

    Windows XP Home
    Pinnacle 9 SE
    Works 8

    3 RTB parts & labour warranty.

    All for £692.20 including VAT and delivery.

    I think this is the one we will go for. Seems like a very good price for the spec.
     
  10. melliott1963

    melliott1963
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    Hopefully you haven't ordered your PC yet, but can I just give my experience with Mesh computers.

    My previous PC was from Mesh, having read excellent reviews from magazines. When I received it, the PC wouldn't even boot up. I'm pretty up on computers, having built them and supported them in my time. I eventually got it working by totally rebuilding the hard drive - not the best of starts. I suppose really I should have sent it straight back.

    The PC itself was very noisy and whilst it never totally broke down, kept giving me niggling little problems. Suffice to say that I didn't get my current PC from Mesh and, hoping I'm not tempting fate here, things have been wonderful - a whisper quiet, reliable PC.

    Can I say that this is purely my own personal experience and for all I know I might just have been unlucky, however, it's worth checking out the forums of PC Advisor to get other opinions. It was a couple of years ago now so things could have improved.

    In case you're wondering, I got my PC from Aldi (one of their too good to miss offers). I've also just purchased a Dell Laptop which, touch wood, has been good so far, and I know that Dell have got some good offers going at the moment - it might be worth getting in touch with them.
     
  11. Techno Freak

    Techno Freak
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    I might have to chance them with this spec and price.

    Dell seemed very expensive for similar spec and Aldi PC's are like rocking horse poo....( very rare ). You have to queue all night to get one.

    I am not too worries about service and support as all the components are decent branded stuff so touch would should work ok?

    It's mainly spec I am worried about. I dont want my dad to for out his hard earned reddies and be dissapointed with the results.
     
  12. melliott1963

    melliott1963
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    OK, well good luck. As I said, I was probably just unlucky and, really, should have returned the PC when it didn't boot up at all. But being an impatient person, I was keen to get it working and not have to wait longer than I needed to.

    Yes. Aldi PC's don't come too often, and when they do they go really quickly!
     
  13. Techno Freak

    Techno Freak
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    My dad's cousin got an Aldi PC a couple of years back - there was a huge queue waiting for the shop to open, the security gaurd came out and gave the 1st 14 people in the queue a ticket for a PC and told the rest to go home. He was number 14!
     
  14. melliott1963

    melliott1963
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    Yes, I made sure I got to the store an hour before opening, and there were still about 20 people in front of me. Fortunately they had about 30 in stock so I was able to get one. They're made by Medion, a German company. I think that Toys 'r' Us (among others) also sell Medion computers.

    By the way, looking at the spec you're thinking of getting, if you really don't want to pay more, I would personally look at getting a slightly lower speed cpu and boosting the ram to 1Gb.

    If you are happy with the spec as it is, check that there will be free memory slots should you wish to upgrade in the future. Invariably, companies fill all the available slots with small memory as opposed to using one large card. So, for example, if you have 2 slots, there would be 2 x 256Mb instead of 1 x 512Mb. This would mean that, in order to upgrade to 1Gb, you'd have to get rid of your existing memory, so costing you a lot more.

    ** edit ** I've just noticed you do say it's a single ram, so you should be OK, but it's worth checking it when you get the PC.
     
  15. thebrummy_one

    thebrummy_one
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    Tech,
    I couldn't see an AV8 but the A8V (could it be the same?) has 4 memory slots. The motherboard comes with LAN and firewire so I don't think they'll put another LAN card in. It also supports wifi 802.11g, but I'm just splitting hairs. It sounds too good to pass up.
    I would go for it if I were you.
    When I was on the prowl for an upgrade I spent a couple of hours stood next to a stack of Medions in my local Aldi. Before deciding to go home and think about it. After posting on this site, and getting favourable feedback I went back to an empty pallett!!!
     
  16. Techno Freak

    Techno Freak
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    Thanks guys.

    I have spoken to my dad and mum has twisted his arm into going the whole hog and getting a flat screen monitor aswell.

    Sooooo....Mesh will do him their current January sale PC £899 + 44 delivery

    This is the same spec as posted above but has the 1gig of RAM and they will swap the 300gig single drive for one 80gig and one 160 gig.

    I am going to call in the morning and try and swing the 160 up to 200 for the same price.

    Here is the machine:-

    http://www.meshcomputers.com/updated/spec_kelkoo_mata3500maxsale.htm


    I dare say this should be quite capeable at video editing?


    One more thing - his current PC has an old ATI all in wonder pro video card. This has a TV function and can capture TV footage.

    Is it possible to install this card into the new machine and just use the TV function, or will it conflict with the new video card?


    Thanks guys....
     
  17. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Well that is like saying 'high level radiation will make you feel unwell'. True, but in reallity it will do far more :devil:
    So the simple answer is - Yes, this PC should be able to handle video editing standing on its head! I edit in a P4 1.8Ghz, 512Mb RAM (since upgraded to 1Gb) and that does the job and the PC you are looking at is far more powerful than mine.

    If this is a PCI capture card only then I see no reason why it can't be used, but the quality of capture will IMHO look very poor compared to firewire capture.
    If however the card is a PCI graphics card then you will likely find it will conflict with the other graphics card. If it is an AGP graphics card then this will need to be used instead of the supplied graphics as you can only have 1 AGP card installed.

    Mark.
     
  18. Techno Freak

    Techno Freak
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    Thanks for that.

    The card is a capture and graphics so probably will conflict.

    We oredered it this morning. Got the January sale one for £899 + delivery but get this - they will swap the 300gig HD for one 160gig and one 200gig for no extra cost!

    Now the bad news - my soddin laptop has just died, can't boot up. I get a missing or corrupt config file error when trying to boot. The message suggests repairing from the XP disc but that wont let me as there is not enough space on the drive. Problem is I can't get on the drive to free some space. Talk about chicken and egg.

    I have put the drive in my main PC to copy off my important files but I cant see it as it will be NTFS and my PC is FAT.

    Bummer.
     
  19. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Create yourself a DOS boot floppy disk (assuming the laptop has a floppy drive of course) and you will then be able to search through the HDD and copy files to another floppy disk and delete unwanted stuff to free up space.
    If there is no floppy drive then you may be able to boot from a bootable CD.

    Mark.
     
  20. Techno Freak

    Techno Freak
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    Sorted - after many, many hours of messing about.

    The laptop drive is knackered - I had to put it in an XP machine as a 2nd drive. I could see it but could not copy anything from it.

    It did let me delete things so I managed to free enough space to re-install windows XP on the laptop.

    This stabalised the drive enough for me to copy off my important stuff.
     
  21. Techno Freak

    Techno Freak
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    Well, computer arrived Monday - WOW, well impressed.

    Untill it died that is.......

    Worked great all day Monday and Monday night, turned it on last night to find I can't get past the bios screen.

    Gets to the point of initialising hardware, then fails and asks for you to insert suitable boot media.

    Looks like the C: drive is knackered.

    Call to Mesh this morning required, looks like it will have to go back - bummer.
     
  22. melliott1963

    melliott1963
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    Sorry to hear about your problem, but it does sound very familiar to the problem I had when I got a MESH PC. . . . . . I ended up totally rebuilding the drive using FDisk, formatting, then reinstalling Windows etc. etc.

    Hope you're able to get it sorted soon.
     
  23. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Techno Freak

    I know its probably heresy for you PC boys but wouldn't one of these be much simpler - http://www.apple.com

    They are very popular in the Pro and Semi Pro market for video work.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  24. Techno Freak

    Techno Freak
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    Thanks melliot. Has yours been stable since you did that?

    They are coming to pick it up - should have it back within a week. Just a bit paranoid about it doing it again though.

    Hi Joe - not really interested in a Mac thanks.
     
  25. melliott1963

    melliott1963
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    Well, as you'll see from my first post, whilst I got it up and running, the whole time I had it (about 2 years), I kept getting little 'niggly' problems which never really went away, even when I upgraded to Windows XP, doing a totally clean install on a new hard disk. I've had a Medion for over a year now, and the only problems I've had with it have been software related, where the problem is with the program not the PC.

    My Mesh had been sitting in a corner since then, but the other week I gave it away to a charity - don't know if I was doing them a favour or not by doing this!
     
  26. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Techno Freak

    You said you wanted a Computer Based Video Editing machine and from my experience the Mac + suitable software is a better platform than a 'PC' - for me the end results more important than the platform its delivered on!

    Especially so for a novice editor :)

    Best regards

    Joe
     

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