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Good computer set-up for video editing? Advice needed



7:59 am on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

What we are
A small non-profit for heritage preservation and regional development. Based in the Czech Republic, with an Iowa-based sister organization

What we are going to do:
Making short video’s for mobile content for our education trails. Each point of interest on the trail has a Beetagg/QR-code sign through which you can connect to a mobile-content website and download info on that place to your handy.

Making short education video’s to be used in presentations and in our museum using data projectors.

Making short video’s for our normal websites

The best we now have:
A 2009-built Acer Travelmate 7730G (Intel core 2 Duo processor P8700, 3 Mb L cache, 4 Gb DDR2, NVidia GeForce 9600M GT). The rest of our hardware is older and does not come close in power to this one.

We have a Sony DCR-HC85E miniDV digital camera and a Sony HDR-SR10 HD AVCHD digital camera, with lots of material already on miniDV tapes. Besides, we can get some digital video material from professionals on our topics. As for software, we have Adobe design Premium CS3.

What we are considering to build:
The following components for home-building would set us back about $$ 1,700 (lousy exchange rate).

Motherboard Asus P6X58D-E intel X58
CPU intel i7 950 (the 970 would set us back another $650)
RAM 3x Corsair xms3 2x2 GB (together 12 GB)
Nvidia GTX 570 (470 or 480 are alternatives similar in price)
HDD Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 for editing work
Any 500 MB quick and quiet HDD as separate OS hard disk
CD Rom Blue-ray
Power Corsair TX850
Tower Antec ninehundredtwo

This is only for these components through internet retail; no software, no mouse or keyboards or monitors included yet. The best monitors we have are 19 inch Acer high quality monitors (crystal bright etc?), now about 4 years old. WE may have to wait with buying a better monitor until a next project.

Unfortunately, the $ 1,700 is about the max we have in project funding for this computer, maybe we can get another $ 200 extra, but that is it. Questions now are
- Is this set-up ok for what we want or way too good (probably).
- Can we shave something off somewhere?
- Something in hardware or software missing?


1:48 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

are you stuck on intel? You could save some money going AMD.

a Phenom II X4 965 will pace right with that 950 without breaking the bank....pair it up with an asus mobo, overclocking is a breeeeeze with AMD processors, give it a decent cooler and you could bring it up to 3.8 - 4.0 stable.

ouch looking at the price of that i7 plus the board, if you just went to AMD and picked up and ASUS board im seeing atleast 200+ you can drop off that price.

then either keep the savings or reinvest in RAID or SSDs.


2:05 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

im not liking that hitachi 5k3000, its not a 7200 RPM drive and you said its going to be for video editing so you need to squeeze everything you can out of it.

just to give you an idea on how much money you could save by swapping platforms.

AMD X4 965 (3.4)
Asus M5A88-V EVO Mainboard
16 GB DDR3 Dual Chan Corsiar Mem
Seagate 2TB 7200RPM 64MB cache
Seagate 750 7200RPM 32MB cache
TX850 Power Supply
ThermalTake V9 Case

I left out video card and bluray because you didn't say ROM or RW

im staring at a total of a whooping


still wanna stick with intel?


8:30 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

The old saying with computers is go out and pick everything you really want and then settle with what you can afford. Take a look at what the number one US consumer recommendation magazine suggests. It might shock you how easily they fit the bill for you. Plus if you know what you’re doing you can get a top quality monitor(s) to boot. Unless a project is meant to make money from the get-go for upgrades I’d pursue this route. I don't buy anywhere near cheap but neither am I married to the top specs and hardware anymore. I really concentrate on the video cards and display output now.


10:06 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Take a look at what the number one US consumer recommendation magazine suggests

ahah what?

I assure you I don't purchase my hardware based on consumer magazines, and i purchase a lot of hardware.....that I don't want coming back to me.


12:06 am on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Let's not turn every post in the hardware area into a disagreement there are already to few a posts as is. The point of the initial post is arriving at a goal I would think. Is it what's under the hood or the project.

I have never had a return in 17 years on any computer purchased. The support has been superlative even though I rarely need it. Most major companies don't build with the goal of it coming back on higher end models. Most CD drives lasted about 5 years. I don't buy to find out the failure rate it takes a lot of research to avoid that.

ahah what?

You tell me if you're doing your research. I have seen very few who beat me on price and quality.


12:28 am on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Seagate 2TB 7200RPM 64MB cache
Agreed.. I have 4 already ..and just ordered 4 more ..delivery next week...nice quiet fast drives.

AMD X4 965 (3.4)..against Intel..?

I have 7 AMD machines and 3 Intel.. ( One of which Intels I "won" at the checkout when buying yet another monitor ..So gave it to my son and then bought another identical one so if his has a software problem I can troubleshoot on the same hardware without him having to give me his machine to fix until I know what is wrong ) ..the AMDs are quieter under full load..( transcoding and rendering ) the Intels go off making a noise like gas turbines..even though they are specced faster ..they actually are a little faster..but they are much much noisier..

Wish I had USA prices in France..

I pay nearly double USA prices for the same hardware ..even by shopping around..and importing is out because I'd pay customs and then VAT on the hardware +the transport+the customs ..yes pay tax on tax :((..and don't get me started on the price of software and DSLRs here..

And yes I can right it all off against taxes EOFY..but still..

And one old tosh laptop ..runs XP PRo nlited ..so I can see what "breaks" in IE on XP..

I'd go with J_RaD..even when I buy ( or win ;-) new machines ..day 1 I open them and add and remove and change stuff..that way you get exactly what you need..


2:40 am on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

i've always been a seagate supporter but they've been on rocky roads with me (lately).....werido stuff, but their RMA is rock solid.

samsung spinpoints seem to be on my very impressed waiting to crash list, must test more of these! Western digital also on my good list.

intel, if you want the fastest of the fastest just go with some over clocked core i7's . but the price per speed on intels is way over the line.....grab an AMD, overclock it, call it a day.......what you saved vs and intel rig you can put into MUCH faster parts in your AMD machine.

I have never had a return in 17 years

then you haven't built enough my friend!


3:20 am on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I use three Intel I7 2600's. Every person that see's (hears) them believes they aren't running. It's only for the blinking lights I can convince them. I know what I need from them for and that's all that matters to me. You gotta balance out the parts to make it quiet. I'm more interested in what Windows 8 is going to spring than those age old AMD vs Intel debates. Specs don't even get me started.


4:21 am on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

what does your cooling situation have to do with performance per dollar? I don't care who makes it.. AMD, INTEL, BLAH BLAH BLAH its all performance per dollar. I've owned everything in between and right now AMD is so cheap its almost stupid to pass up! I don't make this stuff up or go on what some mag says I view it with my own EYEBALLS. Did he even say 1 single thing about sound? nope didn't think so......you can make any system silent but im not addressing something that wasn't brought up.

I'm trying to save this person close to HALF his budget........ could you please let me?


6:57 pm on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

What you're trying to do is feed your own ego as you do with every thread in the Hardware section. I want this area blossoming. Every thread has to be about you and I guarantee the only savings are in your mind. Go my route and the fellow saves and the goal is achieved. Some of the time learn to SU.


7:19 pm on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Woaah ! Guys ..Calm ..
It was me who brought up noise..I like quiet machines and Intel.. IME needs more "cold" ( to do the same job )..and if air cooled is thus noisier ..my Intel CPUs came with cones / ducts built in/on with their supplied cooling fans ..and they are noise amplifiers..

And given the OPs budget restrictions ( he like me is not in the USA ..and probably any hardware costs us waaay more than either of you pay..he may have to pay even more than I do ? and have less choice available ?..remember customs and taxes on taxes ..he is in the EU too ) ..whether pre-built or build it yourself, I'll bet that without "importing" he'll have less choices and more costs than you do..

Just like with DSLRs ..


8:53 pm on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If you read what the fellow was initially using Acer, Sony, NVidia those companies are not US centric to begin with. Most American products are now imported. NVidia I believe was initially French and may still be. Based upon what I said and what was previously used there should not be considerable price differences.

In the US you have taxes that are state, federal, city, local, and more that could be grouped such as in the EU but aren’t. So I don’t think you’ll find many Americans claiming we enjoy considerably lower taxes than elsewhere.

As for quietness of machines that’s the real art of knowing what you’re doing and balancing the parts. You can have outstanding specs with a Lite-On CD drive but a cheap Memorex drive may be quieter and more reliable than a more expensive one. Plus the specs are always changing and the manufacturing plants also.

The fellow said it was a educational purpose not a commercial one. So it's what's you're attempting to achieve.


9:25 pm on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Seagate 2TB 7200RPM 64MB cache cost in USA = $170.00 Amazon US

Seagate 2TB 7200RPM 64MB cache cost in France = $270.00 Amazon France

Your taxes run up another $100.00 on that item ? betcha they don't ..and Amazon are the cheapest source for that item here ..I've looked, long and hard ..when you are ordering 4 ..you do :)


4:32 am on Sep 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

i'll be happy to order parts for you and ship without tax.

What you're trying to do is feed your own ego as you do with every thread in the Hardware section.

or trying to spread good commond sense.


10:35 am on Sep 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for the coments so far, keep them coming. I was out of reach for internet for a few days, hence the late reply on my own thread.

First, we do a project in which we have $1,700 for a computer SPECIFICALLY FOR VIDIO EDITING as described in my first post. No gaming going on, some design work (adobe InDesign, photoshop). Al the other things we do we can do with what we have, but not the video editing (too old and slow).

This $ 1,700 we have to spend; savings will not end up in our pocket but will be divided over other project posts or get lost for us. Therefore, we always try to get maximum hardware for our money, since that out-lives the project duration. We can shave something off other project posts to get into the computer, but not much (max $ 200 or so). We can write a better monitor in our next project proposal, so for me at this moment that is of lesser concern.

As said, I am a newbie. So I googled and found Videoguys. They also test hardware and give recommendation on what they think is a good DIY home-build budget or top-end editing computer. They go for what they think is the best combo of hardware and software components for a very specific job. They test their own DIY builds against the newest editing software and check for the best compatibility. For example, for adobe they recommend nvidia GTX470 or 570 as optimum graphic card, while other software might run better on other graphic cards.

Their arguments sounded balanced, and I used their Videoguys budget DIY 8 as starting point (see my first post). Since it eats up our entire budget and I always like second opinions, I asked for comments. I know that we can get cheaper, but then I would have to figure out what combo to make, or go with something cheaper off-the-shelf where I have no idea what to choose for this specific job of video editing and recoding video to work good as mobile content versus video for high-speed internet connections.

Now some reply to individual posts.

Intel versus AMD and motherboard. Short google action seems to show that Intel on this still beats ADM, but is more expensive. In our country, the AMD X4 965 is about $ 180 cheaper (ouch). The discussion is also about i7 950 or i7 2600K (sandybridge) with the Asus P8Z68-V PRO motherboard (about $ 100 cheaper). Videoguys still holds off on the latter combo, but they are conservative in their advice until something is thoroughly tested and proven for the given job of video editing.

I also asked our local computer shop; they also repair and do custom builds, so they know a bit what they are talking about, although more in gaming and less in video editing. They advised a Gigabyte Z68 Motherboard instead of the older Asus X58. Using the X68 motherboard with an i7 950 saves about $ 130 as well.

HDD. My mistake, they recommend a 1.5 TB 7K disk as well. As second disk, we are now considering using a 120 Gb SSD disk as dedicated OS disk. We already have a new 1 Tb 7K HDD as back-up disk in our old computer, so that one will switch to the new editing computer as well, so there will be three HDDs on that machine.

The noise: I definitely want a quiet computer, so I will spend some extra on low-noise power supplies and other cooling solutions. SSD as OS disk should help as well.

Prices: the $$ has a lousy exchange rate, so it should be cheaper for us. Unfortunately, the market does not work like that. Below also the price of the original set-up in US $$ now including an SSD as dedicated OS drive. We use an exchange rate of 17 CZK (Czech Koruna) for 1 $$ (when we started in 2000, we still got FORTY CZK for 1 $$). Part of the project is that as policy we buy local (Czech companies) so Amazon etc are out.

$ 265 Motherboard Asus P6X58D-E intel X58
$ 320 CPU intel i7 950 (the 970 would set us back another $650)
$ 130 RAM Kingston 3x 4 GB)
$ 420 Nvidia GTX 570 (470 or 480 are alternatives similar in price)
$ 110 HDD Hitachi 1.5 Tb 7K for editing work
$ 250 SSD 120 GB as separate OS hard disk
$ 110 CD Rom Blue-ray RW
$ 125 Power 850 watt
$ 150 Tower Antec ninehundredtwo or similar

Total $ 1,880 with todays prices I can get in the Czech Republic.

Again, when replying, please keep in mind that this computer is dedicated to video editing and is our one shot at getting something decent for this. Cheap computers we can write into many projects, but this kind of high range not. I should have asked for more money, but I settled too much for off-the-shelf fitting the “minimum requirements”.


11:58 pm on Sep 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Sounds like you've got all your bases covered then, the only thing to do would be to trim back the price and go with SSDs. Intel is faster then the AMD I was just trying to trim some price off for something kinda close that you could overclock to make up the difference. But since you've got to suck up the whole budget, spend it :-P


2:40 pm on Sep 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

One question I am still not sure on is the motherboard CPU combo.

The Asus P6X58D-E intel X58 with the i7 950 is the eldest and most expensive combo, but presumably proven.

The Gigabyte Z68 with the i7 950 is about $ 130 cheaper than the X58, but I don't know how the compatibility is with the other components.

The Asus P8Z68-V PRO with the i7 2600K is about $ 100 cheaper than the X58, but presumably still has bugs?


3:29 pm on Sep 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I wouldn't think twice about any asus board, they've always made quality stuff. I've never seen one die and I've never had a problem with any of them. What bugs are the z68v people seeing?


8:01 pm on Sep 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

They were holding off because....
...."Our Sandy Bridge concerns where not about the CPU, but rather the available chipsets and motherboards. The first chipsets had very real potential problems that gave us reason for the concern. The two biggest being the shared PCIe bandwidth and the integrated graphics. When building a computer for video editing job number one is to avoid any system bottlenecks"...

They think that the Asus P8Z68-V PRO motherboard with the i7 2600K is the solution, but would like to see some more testing done BEFORE recommending it on large scale as their solution. For most profesionals, the still recommend the i7-980 hex core.

Again, I am a newbie in this, and they are talking about recommendations for full-time high-end professional video editors. Hence my questions how far I should follow their lead or say that this or that is good enough for my needs.


12:33 am on Sep 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

yea the early sandy bridge boards where also dropping 3G sata controllers. Not all manf were effected though.

i'd say for what you are doing that should fit your needs well. You don't seem to be doing anything very very intensive so this new setup would be great, it would even be great for fairly intensive work as well, so you can grow with it too.


7:14 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Another question; boot drive.

As said, this is out one shot at a good computer for the next few years. We want a seperate disk for OS. Power consumption and quiet is a concern as well.

So: Velociraptor 300GB HD versus 120 GB SSD Sata II (like OCZ Vertex 2)or a new generation 120 Gb Sata III which still seem to be problematic?

How quick a program loads can irritate me, but I survive Indesign in XP, so everything is an improvement. Video editing is a new direction, don't want to drink too much coffee while waiting for programs taking ages to do their actual work (as opposed to a quick sip for actual start-up).


12:02 am on Sep 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

stick with the SSDs that are proven, if you do go with an SSD as your main OS drive remember to get your windows swap file on another drive, one with spinning platters.

But nothing is wrong with a 10,000 RPM velociraptor, pick up 2 and RAID them.

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