Video Card Necessary?

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    • #39368

      I’ve been told by three people now that a video card is not necessary for either capture or rendering. These people say that it’s all about RAM and HD speed/space. Is this true for capturing? Rendering?

      I’m trying to capture and render HD on my Inspiron 6000 laptop and am upgrading to 2gb ram to do it. (My laptop has a ATI Mobility Radeon X600 (Dedicated) 128MB DDR and is a Pent. M). I have a 320 firewire WD external HD at 7200 rpm. Do I need a new computer?

    • #170287

      I think you might be confusing video card for capture card. Video card is what your monitor is connected to. A capture card allows you to record video into your computer digitally. If your computer has a firewire port, and your videocamera has a firewire port, all you’ll need is some sort of application which will allow the transfer of the video content. Windows comes with moviemaker. I personally don’t use that one but it should work.

      Rendering is needed when you alter the video content. By altering I mean adding fx, transitions, etc. You didn’t really specify why you would need to render the video. Do you have an editing program and want to edit your content? It sounds like your computer is already powerful enough but more RAM is always good. My old sys was a P3 with 256MBs of RAM and a built in video card and it worked. Rendering relies heavily on RAM and Processor. The more RAM and faster the processor, the less time it takes to render your content. Even old systems will work, but rendering can be time consuming.

      My only concern is that you have a firewire external HD. The drive itself should operate fine, but for the capturing part, you’ll need 2 firewire ports operating simultaneously, one for the camera and one for your HD. I’ve heard of stories that some systems don’t operate correcly when 2 firewire ports are used simultaneously. I personally have never tried it.

      High Definition is in its own class. Uncompressed video does use alot of space. About 13Gig per hour of video. Hi Def will be much more. Also, not all editing programs support Hi Def. Converting down to standard def might be a good way to start until you get the hang of it.

    • #170288

      Thanks kkmac,

      I made the upgrade to 2GB RAM and am *very* happy with the result. I can now capture using a firewire card (Cam to PC to external HD) while dropping 0 frames. I can also edit in Vegas fairly quickly (unless my wife sneaks in and opens other apps when I’m away).

      I decided to start out with HD for marketing and quality purposes. It didn’t make sense to me to buy a bunch of gear only to have to sell it in a year or so. (I have four years of event videography exp., but none in post-production.)

      Again, Thanks.

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