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Desirable upgrades for my P.C.

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:20 am
by pete phillips
Firstly thanks for your welcome messages to the "Help and Advice for Newcomers" Forum.

Due to major upstairs alterations I am having to downsize my hobby workspace. I will be scrapping my hefty 21inch Iiyama CRT monitor, positively ancient now purchased in 1997 along with Photoshop 4., and replacing it with a flat screen alternative that doesn't take two people to lift it. I thought that this would probably be a good time to improve the spec. of my PC to better cope with the demands which are likely to be placed on it with my growing interest in trying to make films again.

The guy that built my PC is very capable, but a games fanatic and not into video at all and so does't know what is ideally required. (Makes two of us!). As he builds computers as a hobby and charges little more than the cost of the components it's a pretty cost effective arrangement. So any suggestions as to what would be a desirable upgrade and extra features to make it just a little "future proof" - if there is such a thing -would be very much appreciated. Video editing and maybe High Def suitability and so on. The current spec. is as follows:

Pentium 4 dual core processor (30Ghz).
Ram 1 Gb (PC 3200).
Radeon 9800 Pro Graphics card.
320 Gb Hard Drive.

Mods. advised by a friend have been. 1. A second internal hard drive running at 7200 rpm. 2. An essential Firewire socket. 3. An increase in Ram to as much as is possible - or affordable ! 3. The replacement monitor to have a refresh rate as fast as possible - ideally a rate of 2 millisecs but not more than 5..

Hope you knowledgeable forum viewers out there can help. I'm sure that any suggestions will be useful for other less experienced folk wanting to upgrade their computer .

Re: Desirable upgrades for my P.C.

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:50 pm
by Stephen
Hi Pete

You don't say what budget you have?

A basic rig for HD editing...
Intel quad core i7
4Gb RAM. (Max in XP)
Your current drive for the OS
+1TB HDD for data
Make sure you have a power supply that's capable
600W (true) will be ok
The graphics card isa fine as it doesn't play a huge role
in video editing rigs

That's a start I..... Most of the peeps I know tend to upgrade
A bit at a time depending on finances.

Hope that helps

Good luck

Re: Desirable upgrades for my P.C.

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:05 am
by billyfromConsett
Hi Pete
You haven't said what you want your rig to do. If it's for standard def editing then your sorted, unless you'd like a capture card that has a bunch of real-time effects so help you play with effects without the wait.

I've built about 5 rigs for HD editing - my own rig is now running great, but it did use up quite a few beer tokens.

But first off - your current rig isn't far from hitting the most basic requirement for editing HDV. You'll need at least 2 GB of ram and two 7200rpm hard drives. I doubt whether the CPU is strong enough for AVCHD editing (the format that of HD camcorder that the likes of Currys sell). For HDV, a dual core Pentium is the very basic I'd say. Memory is cheap these days so 4GB shouldn't be way beyond a budget.

If you want a HD rig, I'd do as Stephen suggests - an i5 or i7 CPU, 4GB ram and two or three 7200rpm hard drives. 700w power and a case that has a couple of fans and plenty room for air flow. Windows 7 64bit and of course an editing app - maybe Magix or Sony Vegas 9, though there are a few of them. The camcorder that is HD will cost you probably more than the rig if your mate is at the top of his game :mrgreen: