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Jaxson

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#116754 8-May-2013 22:00
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Hi,

My home PC is currently an old laptop, it's a 'HP Pavillion Entertainment PC' cool aye!
CPU-Z utility reports my setup as:

Intel Pentium T2130 / Yonah CPU, with 2 Cores and 2 Threads.
I've got 4GB of DDR2 memory and a Mobile Intel(R) 945 Express Chipset Family GPU

In the past this has been fine (ish!) for SD DV video editing using Premiere Pro.  Recently I've a need to edit some full HD AVCHD (is that it?) video files from a Sony Handycam and I've needed to update to a minimum of Premiere CS4 to be able to work with these files.  Not sure if it's the format or simply because it's full HD, but the laptop just can't keep up with this demand on it.

So, I'm going to have to upgrade one day anyway, but what's the general take on where I can go to fairly cheaply from here.  With kids, and one income now, I'm just not in a position to dump a cool $3,000 on a new rig, so I'm keen to get some ideas on what people would recommend here.

I'm probably looking at a 2nd hand desktop perhaps.  I'm not that worried about final output rendering times, as I tend to just leave it going overnight etc, but I do need something that can handle the real time previews etc a bit quicker with these files.  I'm keen on a bit of photography, lightroom mainly these days.  I don't use photoshop anywhere near as much as I used to since getting lightroom.

Screens, OS, keyboards/mouse etc is all obtainable, guess I'm talking cases, power supplies, mother boards, cpus, gpus and maybe a smaller SSD for the OS etc.  Anyone got any ideas on some package that might suit these needs?  Maybe even a small form factor prepackaged unit, any discussions welcome.

Cheers,
Jaxson.

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timmmay
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  #814146 9-May-2013 06:45
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A modern processor will be key. Even a two generation old i7 would be a massive step up, the 2700K I have works well for most things, so second hand would be sensible. The latest and greatest i7 is probably 25% faster, but isn't necessary IMHO. i5 is fine as well, though Adobe stuff can take some advantage of extra threads. Heck even a modern i3 would run rings around what you have, but I wouldn't go there if I were you.

8GB of RAM would be a minimum I think, 16-32GB is better for video. A good modern video card can apparently help quite a lot, nVidia based is best for Adobe I hear.

SSD's are also great, and much cheaper than they used to be. Even small ones can speed up critical parts of jobs. I wouldn't have a desktop without one these days.

Jaxson

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  #814210 9-May-2013 09:11
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Thanks Timmay,

Yeah it's got to that point where an upgrade is necessary for sure. I agree about the price point / return area. I'm not in a position where I need the top dollar extra performance that the very latest equipment will provide, so 2nd hand, or cheaper components will suffice.

I've read your SSD comments before and am convinced that this is the way to go moving forward. They have come down in price, especially if you don't need a giant one. I'd be looking to install the OS and maybe the big applications on it, and use other standard drives for media content.

Time to start looking/go shopping I think...

 
 
 
 


timmmay
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  #814214 9-May-2013 09:12
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OS, programs, and swap on them is a no brainer. 60GB is enough, 80GB would be more comfortable.

Not sure about how much benefit you'd get with video and SSDs. Video's big so you'd need a huge one, and I wonder if it's CPU limited anyway. Do look into hardware acceleration with video cards, that can be a big win I hear, taking the load off the CPU.

surfisup1000
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  #814237 9-May-2013 09:43
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Consider quicksync too. 

Even budget processors can outperform the most expensive if you use quicksync. 

But, only some software supports quicksync.  

There are lots of considerations when choosing a quicksync solution so do some research. 

I believe handbrake will soon support quicksync. 

One more point, H.265/HEVC will become the new video encoding standard in 2014. So, quicksync will not support that as it is hardware based.    In that respect, a powerful processor may be a better option. 

networkn
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  #814274 9-May-2013 09:56
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I have a couple of Second Hand 120GB OCZ Vertex 2's for $90 if you are interested.

Jaxson

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  #814369 9-May-2013 10:58
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networkn: I have a couple of Second Hand 120GB OCZ Vertex 2's for $90 if you are interested.


sounds good, but they have quite a reliability history?  eg amazon.com reviews

Gets good reviews though: www.pcadvisor.co.uk

Where in NZ are you?

Cheers,
Jaxson.

networkn
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  #814387 9-May-2013 11:24
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Auckland. I have had them for about 2 years I think. They were in a RAID 0 all that time, never skipped a beat. I liked them so much I bought the new generation. Pretty sure these are even still under warranty.

 
 
 
 


surfisup1000
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  #814395 9-May-2013 11:35
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Jaxson:
networkn: I have a couple of Second Hand 120GB OCZ Vertex 2's for $90 if you are interested.


sounds good, but they have quite a reliability history?  eg amazon.com reviews

Gets good reviews though: www.pcadvisor.co.uk

Where in NZ are you?

Cheers,
Jaxson.


I have a vertex 2 , vertex 3 and a vertex 4. All work perfectly -- the vertex 2 must be nearly 3 years old now. 

Do you really need an SSD for video editing? The cpu will be the encoding bottleneck not the storage. SSD seek times are quicker but you will end up needing to shift assets between mechanical/ssd more often. 

mattwnz
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  #814475 9-May-2013 13:13
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A normal HD should be fine. I do some HD video editing, and the processor and ram are more important I find. The software runs off a SSD, but the software dumps everything onto a normal HD.

timmmay
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  #814494 9-May-2013 13:33
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Once software's loaded it doesn't matter what disk it runs from. You could run your OS and software off the slowest disk ever, and once it's loaded it will be as fast as if it was on an SSD.

networkn
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  #814504 9-May-2013 13:44
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timmmay: Once software's loaded it doesn't matter what disk it runs from. You could run your OS and software off the slowest disk ever, and once it's loaded it will be as fast as if it was on an SSD.


Err what? No that is completely incorrect. SSD's have faster transfer rates, MUCH faster seek times and a greater reliability. AN OS booted from an SSD starts MUCH MUCH faster. As do Applications.

timmmay
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  #814522 9-May-2013 14:13
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networkn:
timmmay: Once software's loaded it doesn't matter what disk it runs from. You could run your OS and software off the slowest disk ever, and once it's loaded it will be as fast as if it was on an SSD.


Err what? No that is completely incorrect. SSD's have faster transfer rates, MUCH faster seek times and a greater reliability. AN OS booted from an SSD starts MUCH MUCH faster. As do Applications.


Read the part in bold. My point is a spinning disk is fine if you don't need fast boot and application start times. That's nice to have, but whether an operating system and the software starts in 30 seconds or 5 minutes really makes little difference to productivity, especially since many people don't turn computers off or use standby.

Even if software loads dynamic modules occasionally these will likely be cached in RAM.

networkn
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  #814523 9-May-2013 14:17
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timmmay:
networkn:
timmmay: Once software's loaded it doesn't matter what disk it runs from. You could run your OS and software off the slowest disk ever, and once it's loaded it will be as fast as if it was on an SSD.


Err what? No that is completely incorrect. SSD's have faster transfer rates, MUCH faster seek times and a greater reliability. AN OS booted from an SSD starts MUCH MUCH faster. As do Applications.


Read the part in bold. My point is a spinning disk is fine if you don't need fast boot and application start times. That's nice to have, but whether an operating system and the software starts in 30 seconds or 5 minutes really makes little difference to productivity, especially since many people don't turn computers off or use standby.

Even if software loads dynamic modules occasionally these will likely be cached in RAM.




Sorry I misunderstood what you meant by "loading". I thought you meant loading software was installing it.




timmmay
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  #814531 9-May-2013 14:21
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If I meant installing I'd have said installing ;-)

Jaxson

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  #814674 9-May-2013 17:17
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SSD's are not 100% required, but I like the 'zippiness' Wink

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