Which Computer to buy for Video Editing

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    • #40184

      Alright, as I sit here, wringing by hands and rubbing my head, I just can’t figure out which desktop to purchase for my next project. I am going to be putting together a series of DVD’s for my Students and others. ( American Kenpo Karate – Home instruction course ). I am putting together everything I need to start. What I need now is a COMPUTER!!!! Which one is best for video editing and for the task at hand…Sony, iMac, HP, Dell, etc. I have been on every review site, every manufacture’s site, blah, blah, blah…Come on folks, price range I need to be within is no more than $1800….Please give me your best ideas.

    • #172758

      well that sort of depends on what editing software you are going to use…. if you go the pc route, you’ll want the fastest processor you can get, get at least 2 gig of ram (I would go for the most i could), get a couple of hard drives (one for system applications and the other for video files) size dependent on what type of video you are capturing (1 hour of DV video is approx. 13 gigabytes) get a decent sound card, and a good video card.


    • #172759

      What software do you already have? That is going to decide what platform to buy becase good editing software is going to cost between $600 and $2500 by it’s self. If you have no software then go with PC because it’s cheaper. But you ask what’s best that would be a mac pro running Adobe Premiere Pro CS4. But that would be way outside your budget

    • #172760

      I’d wait until I had a budget of about $2.5K to $3K and get something to work with besides a headache put together with bailing wire and bubblegum.

      Also, the debate on another thread about why Final Cut Pro is so popular has some interesting input regarding various platforms and software. And a search for all things FCP or Vegas might give you further insight.

      You can certainly acquire something in your budget range, but the flexibility of having a bit more will help you make better long-term equipment decisions.

      Me? I’m a Mac guy, only because I have always used the platform and am comfortable with its useability.

    • #172761

      It sounds like you’re kind of new to the video editing scene. If I was you and I had 1800 dollars to work with first I would go to dell.com and build an xps system. Dell has some great deals going on right now. Focus on a good graphics card and lots of ram and spend what’s left over on the cpu and hard drives. Then I would go to adobe and get there Premiere Elements bundled with Photoshop Elements. They’re both great programs and should serve you well until you can upgrade to a more “professional” editing suite. The CS4 production studio is $1500 by itself which is almost your entire budget. I’ve been editing with an xps m1710 laptop for over 2 years now and it’s still running strong.

      or you could go with an imac and Final Cut Pro Express.

      In my opinion you can’t go wrong either way. I prefer the pc option though because there’s more room for future upgrades than in the imac.

      And if you are new to editing, either way I would pick up a subscription to lynda.com. It’s an invaluable resource.

      Hope this helps.

    • #172762

      I recently bought a Dell Vostrol 410 for Video Editingand I’m very happy with it.

      It cost around $900 with the upgrades I got.

      One of the things I like about it is that I got XP Professional installed,

      and also got the installation disks for XP and Vista, so I can move to Vista if I want in the future.

      After I got the computer I bought a 1 Teraabyte disk to give me plenty of space.

      Note – it’s a very quiet machine also.

    • #172763

      Very easy. Get a cheap but goodPC laptop(Dell is great)with Windows XP, get as much RAM as you possibly can, buy some external harddrives and you’re good to go. Look around ebay or craigslist.

      Have fun!

    • #172764

      I used to edit using PC using Avid but I switched over to Mac to Final Cut Studio and have loved it ever since!

    • #172765

      Pro’s use Mac’s Real pro’s use Adobe and a Mac.

      I agree with Earl, wait till you have a real budget you will be glad you did. and buy a Mac with Adobe software.

    • #172766

      Since your post talks about dvds and not hdvs or acvhds, most dual core processors should be adequate with min 2gb mem, dedicated gpu, that can be upgraded later. Hard drive min. 160gb, you can always get an external later. If you go vista get 4gb of mem. If you go hi def all bets are off. I edit both std and hi def with a 9262 sager laptop 4gb mem, 3-320gb 7200rpm sata drives 2 in a raid-0 setup, and a single 1gb 9800m gtx nvidia gpu. 1 -30min std def file takes 8-9min to render, 1-30min hi def file h.264 takes approx. 30mins using latest version of nero7 ultra edition. I still use an hp ze5400 laptop with a mobilep4-3ghz cpu with 1gb mem and on board ati gpu to do dvd editing in std def at 720×480 and 5900 rate, still using nero 7 ultra, which can possibly be purchased at a great discount considering version 8 and 9 are now out. If your needs are very basic once you learn nero 7 ultra it’s pretty fast to go from camera to dvd. I do sports video for high school level programs and by the next day I can have a scout video on the coaches desk.

    • #172767

      Hey Nutsenf! Does all that come in at or under the $1,800 budget?

    • #172768

      As usual, someone tosses in the ‘Pros use mac’ line which is subjective at best. I’m a pro and I don’t use mac. Right now your concerns are getting an editing system and getting one cheap (under $1800.) In this case your ‘best’ option is to get a ‘complete system’ that has a monitor with a ‘usable viewing area’ for video (minimum 17″) a CPU fast enough to run DV and HDV footage (Single core 2.8 GHz, Duo Core 2.4 GHz and Quad Core 2.2 GHz.), and no less than 2GB of RAM to run the system.Also a video card with no less that 512MB of video RAM and is documented as compatible for performing video editing tasks. Last, you definitely need two harddrives (1 for system and 1 for running graphics and video) with at least 250GB for the system and 500 for video.It wouldn’t kill you to invest in an external firewire/eSATA drive to store your video footage. The bad news is; neither pc nor mac will have a pre-built system that will help you stay under $1800. At best, you’ll be able to get just the computer alone (no monitor, 1 harddrive, no external drive.)

      Your solution all depends on what you are used to working with (pc or mac) and what you are willing to work with (pc or mac.) If you live in a city your options are better as there will be places to buy computers and their supporting software (don’t forget, you’re going to have to cough up for editing software!) If you don’t live in a city with one nearby, your options get real slim. No matter what platform you are considering, you’d better ask this question; “what kind of support do I have nearby?” If there’s tons of stores with pc software, hardware and repair facilites are in every direction you look, that might be an indicator. If the ‘mac store’ is nearby etc. then that may be your best bet. Next question you need to ask is; “what video format does my client want/need?” From what I’ve read from your post, it sounds like straight DV. If that’s the case, my reccomendation is get a pc. The good news is;If you are not doing high-end work but want to get ‘acceptable imagery’ then you can easily find ‘complete system packages’ (with monitors +Computer+basic graphic software pre-installed)made by a host of companies (Dell, Acer, HP etc.) Be advised though, these system are consumer grade and though you can make useable projects, you better keep you and your client’s expectations low! Unfortunately, if you want to make high-end looking product, you’re going to have to spend way more than $1800 bucks!

      Lastly, a laptop is a viable option. You will still have to meet all the above requirements and make a similar decision on whichplatform (pc or mac) to use. On my experience, HP (hewlett-packard) makes some solid video editing ready laptops within your price range. You may still be able to get XP on it but it will be the Home version not not Pro (unfortunately.) If it’s a Vista setup then it too will be the home version. The drawback with the home versions is you don’t have the same amount of control over the OS as you would with the Pro or Business version. Good news is; the laptop will have been thoroughly tested and you should be up and running quickly. Lastly, you will probably have enough cash left over to purchase Sony Vegas 8. Solid video editor, low learning curve and has one of the strongest production pipeline of affordable softwarefor audio post (ACID, Sound Forge, Cinescore) you use on a budget. Whatever you get, do your research first! Once you’ve made your purchase, you’ll have to run with it so choose wisely.

    • #206973

      Well, I think that depends on what kinds of files you want to edit. 

      Either Mac video maker oftware or video editing software for Windows can be perfect. 

    • #206992

      Eric…it all kind of depends how far and how deep you want to wade into editing.

      My suggestion:  do what I did.  Go online and get the trial versions of different software and try them each out.  Don't do this all at once or you'll get (very) confused as you hop back and forth between programs.  While there are similarities, there are enough differences you won't be able to keep them straight.


      Try these:  AVID, Nero, Adobe Premiere (Elements/Pro), Edius, Sony Vegas, Pinnacle, Final Cut X.  If you have a PC you should have MovieMaker, which is a good introduction.  If you have a Mac you may or may not have iMovie (don't know if Apple gives it away anymore).


      Good luck.

    • #206999
      AvatarAviv Vana

      Have you considered a used MacBook Pro. I think u could get one for close to 1K and it should be strong enough for your editing needs. Also! It may have the software you need on it already!

    • #207011

      iS THE 1800 just for the computer alone?

      Do you already have software? If so what

    • #207043

      Macbook pros are a pretty reliable tool if you up the ram. To be honest a lot of the post-production process will be moving to a cloud computing model over the next few years, so all that you'll need is a decent internet connection to access all your videos and tools. These guys are already starting to path the way http://www.wipvideos.com/newwip

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