Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › What PC configuration?
- December 21, 2009 at 1:19 AM #44163
Depends upfront on whether you want a PC or Mac computer. Lots of choices in config with either but for working with AVCHD video files you’ll want a system with a minimum of:
Dual or Quadcore CPU 2.2+ or better
4GB RAM or more depending on your system motherboard
A Graphics Card w/500MB RAM or better that also has DVI and/or HDMI interfaces to hook up to an HDTV
A Blu-Ray player/burner
An HD compatible computer monitor.
You can get those basics from most companies that sell computers. Price and overall quality issues vary between the different brands but they’re all using the same parts these days for the most part. With PC’s you can choose between an Intel based CPU or AMD. Both are quite good and have their strengths and weaknesses. AMD’s tend to run slightly less expensive than Intel’s and now that most of the popular programs are compatible with them it’s a toss up. Mac’s run only with Intel’s (and much better mind you.)
Concerning which OS to go with truly depends on where you are and what your comfort zone is (i.e. if you’re comfortable with one OS or if you don’t mind using something else.) Either is fine and again have their strengths and weaknesses. On the short end price favors PC’s but the more powerful and elaborate you get both systems end up in the same neighborhood pricewise. Lastly, if you’re just a hobbyist and go with PC, the Home version will be just fine. If you’re more serious and need more control over your computer, the Pro version is excellent. Ultimate has more ‘bells and whistles’ with stuff you may or may not need or use.
Thanx for the advice. As I am already comfortable with PCs I’ll stick with them. Probably it is better for me to go at least a little above the minimum requirements. But as always price is a consideration. Now I can figure out the ordering.
Glad to have been of help. If you’re looking for straight up workstations take a look at Tiger Direct’s Systemax line of built to order (BTO) desk and laptop computers. They have a good selection of parts and if you call you should be able to order specific parts.
Prices are really good and you’ll be able to select your flavor of Vista or Win7. If you go with a workstation my suggestion is the pro version of either (I mention vista as it will shave a few bucks off the price and you can option for an upgrade.)
There are many other good BTO outfits, but I have the most experience with TD and their gear to recommend them with confidence. If nothing else, fooling around with configurations will give you a good idea of what you want to get from another company.
I built my machine with parts purchased from newegg.com. Overall, I feel like I got a good deal and I learned a bit in the process. I have a pretty advanced understanding of computers, though, and a friend to help me if I got stuck. But in the end, the machine runs my Adobe Premiere with my Sony HD files quite well. It does not stutter showing the files in Media Player. It’s 64 bit, for what that’s worth.
Like you, I am more familiar with PC’s so I stuck with that despite lots of problems in the past. Now, however, it appears to work fine and I’m glad I stayed with the PC.
Building a PC is not for everyone, but it gave me the extra experience to troubleshoot little issues that come up here and there. The more technical knowledge you have, the better off you’ll be in my opinion.
For specs, I agree with composite1 ahead. Big question will be your operating system–I use 64 bit Vista and I’m not sure it’s best but it supports my 8 GB of RAM. XP won’t, but I really like XP. Do some research on Windows 7; from what I hear, it’s pretty good.
I forgot to mention New Egg. I bought parts from them for my last build and they gave top notch service at affordable prices. And you’re correct, building is not for the faint of heart or easily discouraged. I personally, think it’s quite fun even when doing it on a deadline (the hair pulling troubleshooting and QA sessions I could pass on.) But there’s not much like that moment when everything is in place and you throw the power switch and it comes to life (around the shop there’s a dollar penalty to anyone who shouts, “IT LIVES!”)
64 bit Vista is pretty good (turn off the UAC if you want to use Adobe Products in peace.) But I’m hearing Win 7 is much better which is saying something. I’m an old XP fan, but I’m not putting it on anymore machines.