My Rebuttle to the Video Editing Article

JimStapleton

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I thought it was an interesting article... But I wouldn't have payed nearly that much for that system. Here is something I did a few weeks ago that works quite well, and for 1/3 the price.

First, my aunt wanted a new video editing system, for under $1000. Tough. Couldn't be done I thought, and told her, so I said I'd make something that'd get by if she liked. She said sure. I went around price watch and planned out this system.

AMD Athlon 1800+: (slower bus, but with her price limit I couldn't afford a P4 with RDRAM)

ASUS A7V333 -w- Raid and Audio: Better bus speed, won't actually mean much without a 333mhz bus on the processor bus. I'm hoping ASUS will support it with the 2700+ and faster for future upgrades

1x 256MB Micron PC2700 Memory: Might as well have fast memory for a fast board. Also, Micron is the brand I've been most pleased with.

ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 8500DV: I've never been fond of ATI's cards, theve given me no end of grief in compatability and performance: Except in the digital video and TV Tuner areas. This was the optimal card for my Aunt since that's what she wanted.

2x IBM 40GB 7200RPM hard drives. Large enough to do the trick, small enough to keep the price down. Need to, one for start data, one for result data (that way it's going to have less bus transfer issues with speed). I didn't get a Maxtor (though it would have been cheaper) because they don't play nice with other drives (I've seen too many ide chain conflicts where they wouldn't work with another drive on the chain), and to my experience, they die quick. I wanted my aunt to have as few problems as possible.

A Toshiba DVD drive (SD-W2002), which supports the -R -RW standards. Again I've been fond of Toshiba products. Though it couldn't do CD-RW like the Pioneer, it had more DVD compatability (read and write), and my Aunt has a CD Burner we'd be carrying over.

And, of course, a Case with plenty of fans.

A 56k modem, since she wanted to wait for a while before getting a high speed internet connection. (her old modem was ISA)

Windows XP for media use.


From her old system we carried over the CD-RW. This was an 8x4x24x Creative labs (I'm estimating the speeds). It didn't play nice, so I couldn't have a hard drive on the same chain as it. This made me a bit annoyed because I wanted to have the hard drives on different IDE chains to optimize speed as much as I could.

Her old monitor keyboard and mouse were drafted for use too. We could have gotten a Flat Panel, but we wanted better refresh rates and contrast, so we stuck with TFT.


Well, to make a long story short, we couldn't order anything online due to timing issues, so we had to find the most reasonably priced store in the area. They were relatively good. But we payed 2x the price I wanted to for the HDs. I also got an extra stick of memory, my Aunt splerged and got a new (and nice printer), and we decided to grab a DVD Reader only (wait for the DVD writer standards to clear up so we didn't get the Beta of DVD drives). Everything cost a bit more than I had found it online (from almost nothing on some parts, to $30 on the motherboard, and $80 on the video card).

Total Price: $1350 (online, I could have had the whole setup for not much over $1000 easy)


So, in 3 hours I had the system setup (hardware). The next day almost all of the software was installed.

Here were the issues and noteables I found with this setup:

Creative drive didn't play nice with hard drives, so I had to stick the hard drives on one chain.

ATI came with a copy of Counter Strike, that didn't have a key so I couldn't play it. If anyone knows how to fix this please tell me.

One of the pieces (I belive the motherboard) came with a piece of video editing software I installed. It seems to work well.

ATI had quite a few pieces of video editing software I liked.

The oneboard sound was actually really nice.

The case I bough was screwless, or supposedly. The hard drive bays needed screws. The PCI bays had a screwless clamp, it didn't work so well. I went back to the store to grab some blanks to put on the back plate that used screws. They didn't have any, and the guy said that he usually used screws for the PCI slots/cards as well on that case. (Unfortunately, the case blanks couldn't use screws). I would have loved for some advanced warning on that one. Moral of the story, if you can, REALLY CHECK OUT THE CASE BEFORE YOU BUY IT. POKE AROUND AT EVERYTHING. But it came with a 350W powe supply. It works well enough I guess.



Drive partition setup:
Primary Master: 10GB for system drive partition, 30 for 'starting data' (before editing)
Primary Slave: 40GB for 'final product' (where to store the editing product).



So, without boring you with further details, it recorded full 640x480 video at 30fps in various formats supported by the ATI TV Tuner just fine. It connected to her VCR and Camcorder great (and could have connected to much more), and finally, it could have connected to many other inputs, and quite a few outputs.

Video conversion with simple clipping, cutting and pasting of segments was done at faster than real time (the software had us pick the edits, then ran through and wrote the new compilation at faster than real time).



So, for under $1500 (and much under if you are careful) this makes a great system for digital video editing.

Any questions/comments?
 

NurseMSIC

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Nov 3, 2001
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Well done. I'm a believer in not spending stupid money when not needed, and i too would not have spent as much as the guy who wrote the article (although it is a niiiiice system!). The more i look at costs of PCs (and i have been for around 5 years now) the more i see the curve (cant remember the mathematical name of it now - it'll come to me) that once you hit a particular spot you pay more and more for less and less return, which for me right now would include any CPU that you pay over 130 pounds for (=200 dollars?). So 1300 dollars seems about right to me for a full system. Nice one.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=19557" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=19557</A>
 

peteb

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My points on his article? Firstly good on him for doing it, even if it was a bit geeky. Secondly it would have added a lot more value if a THG staff member had added comments where he stumbled on what was going on and why he had problems and how to avoid them. I know what was happening, but did other readers if this guy is typical?

Lastly, a thought on usage - sure, he bought a nice system but some of it wasn't too well thought out. Why, for instance, when building a system specifically to record to DVD do you still spend $340 on a tape drive? The system can burn DVD @ 4.7GB - what extra help is tape? He bought 3 tapes, $145 - that's $2.4/GB (Since most of his data seems to be video, it won't compress to the 40GB tape capacity). Now, unless I'm mistaken, he'll pay less than 20¢/GB on DVD for using his existing DVD-R - why would he want tape? That seems like money down the drain.

-* <font color=red> !! S O L D !! </font color=red> *-
To the gentleman in the pink Tutu
 

willtsmith

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I'll do you one better.

I'm doing digital video editing on a P2-400 with 384MB of RAM.

My sole addition beyond the firewire card was a 120MB hard drive. Those of you who pimp numbers will be dissapointed. It's a 5400RPM Western Digital. Why only 5400RPM, simple. Digital video lays down HUGE files linearly. The fast seek times of 7200RPM are really wasted on video editing applications (though a fast system drive is still a big plus, I wouldn't run a swap file of this Fullback of a drive).

My render times are a bit slow though a VideoCD can always be rendered overnight. I'm looking to upgrade soon as I'll start in on DVD. My primary contender is the ASUS DVD package that combines the Pioneer hardware with Nero, the undisputed champ of disc burning.

One more note. The author was using Studio version 7. Pinnacle recently released version 8. Version 8 includes VideoCD and DVD authoring integrated in the "Make Movie" section. It takes all the extra work out of making files for external consumption by Nero or other authoring tools. The MPEG2 quality is a huge leap of the previous version. Though the VideoCD(MPEG1) quality is still needs someimproving. Any NEW user, or DVD oriented user should jump on Studio 8 over Studio 7.
 

kallenin

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Aug 10, 2002
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There was something here but I've reconsidered...


Anyway, I find your budget system much more useful than that obviously well-off guy (talk about flaunting your money around, eh? "I happily told him, FedEx it to me 2-day! I'd gladly pay $150 for shipping!").

-Kallenin<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Kallenin on 09/30/02 09:44 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
 

JimStapleton

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Thank you and everyone here.

The point of this system wasn't flashy or extremely spectacular. It was something that would get the job done, as good, or almost as good. (or in the case of the hard drives, better in my oppinion). Sure it doesn't have the disk space, but it has the burners, and that is what they are for, disk space is only really for production.

That P2 system one the other reply is interesting, but there would be a big performance loss on it. The system I set up wouldn't have _that_ exceptional of a performance difference with the P4, so, it'd be worth it to save the money (Diminishing returns, logarithmic functions)


But I'm glad some of you enjoyed my little comment.
 

NurseMSIC

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Ah - ha!!!
Diminishing, logarithmic.... knew i should have stayed awake in Maths classes.....

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ckalbach

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I noted with laughter the attempts to format 305 GB drives to FAT32. If I remember correctly (having just done this myself last weekend), Windows 2000 Pro reminds you when you format a volumn that the FAT32 partition limit is 32 GB. Sneaky move on Microsoft's part to move us all to NTFS so they don't have to support Win9x/ME anymore.

Anyone else notice that very little verbiage was expended on video editing as opposed to system specs and setup troubles? I was expecting a Video Editing DIY.

If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?
 

NurseMSIC

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Well it's a thought, but have you tried explaining video editing to anyone?
The best i came up with was "Its an artform. Try it for yourself".

Also to be serious for a second, most Toms readers are not really into video editing. In fact, alot of the forum people present to me as being into hardware just for hardware's sake!

Oh god i'm gonna get flamed....

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sever3Dcircle

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here is a tip: get a sony camcorder with pass thru. You get the best capture hardware while at the same time you have yourself a digitcal camcorder. On AMD 1.8ghz (xp1600@xp2200) system with gf2mx 32meg video card - any hard drive 40gb or bigger I have 4x processing time. This does not include the time spent capturing the footage. Specifically I go from DV avi to SVCD. Same time for vhs passing thru and processing the DV avi to SVCD. Meaning if you have 2 hours of footage then 8 hours after capturing the raw data you have a nice SVCD format file. 4X only because I do at least 3pass VBR for any encoding. 9pass for DVD and if you just want a quick divx or vcd file then it's realtime or faster encoding. With a dvd setup then it's just that much nicer. The $3000 you save can go for another setup or just get even nicer camera and dvd hardware.

someone here had the right idea: www.vcdhelp.com
also doom9.org

And if you go to pricewatch then make sure you know what resellerratings.com is.

:)

after you read tomshardware - KEEP READING.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by sever3Dcircle on 10/06/02 07:15 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
 
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