Question on Dell Precision Workstation

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    • #66290

      Hello all!

      I'm new here – great to be a part of videomakers!

      I am about to purchase a new computer to do all of my video-editing on. I edit using Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 8.0. I will be editing a lot of green screen footage, some HD footage too, so the file sizes are pretty hefty! The laptop I currently have, a Dell Inspiron with an i5 and 4 GB RAM, is CONSTANTLY lagging, hanging up in the middle of rendering, overheating, and just not doing the job.

      I'm currently looking at purchasing a Dell Precision T3600 from here:

      This computer seems to fit my needs. I am only going to be using this computer for editing/rendering my videos, nothing else. I'm a total noob when it comes to computer hardware; I've researched it for several hours, but still have much to learn.

      I would be extremely grateful if anyone could help me out with the following question:

      My budget is approximately $1200. I can upgrade this T3600 Workstation a bit, i.e. upgrading to a better CPU OR to a better graphics card, but probably not both. My options are the following:

      1) Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-1607 (Four Core, 3.0GHz, 10M) [add $32.20] with NVIDIA® Quadro® K600, 1GB, 1 DP & 1 DVI-I (DP-DVI & DVI-VGA adapters) [add $77.00]

      2) Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-1607 (Four Core, 3.0GHz, 10M) [add $32.20] with Dual NVIDIA® Quadro® K600, 1GB, 2 cards w/ 1 DP & 1 DVI-I each, (2 DP-DVI & 2 DVI-VGA adapters) [add $206.50]

      3) Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-1620 (Four Core 3.6GHz, 10M, Turbo) [add $175.70] with NVIDIA® Quadro® K600, 1GB, 1 DP & 1 DVI-I (DP-DVI & DVI-VGA adapters) [add $77.00]

      4) Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-1607 (Four Core, 3.0GHz, 10M) [add $32.20] with 1.0GB NVIDIA® Quadro® 2000, Dual MON, 2 DP & 1 DVI [add $346.50]

      So basically, should I be putting more money into the CPU or the graphics card? Is it better for me to have two average graphics cards, or one really nice graphics card?

      Sorry for the long message! Thank you SO much for your help, everyone!

      Have a fantastic day!

      PS: Last thing – do you think I should go with 8 GB of non-ECC memory, or 4 GB or ECC memory? I'm leaning towards the former because it's twice as much RAM.

    • #207786

      For me, buying a computer for editing is all about getting rid of bottlenecks and having an upgrade path. I noticed over my years of buying computers I am reluctant to replace the CPU (and therefore M/B) so I buy 'best the processor for the money.' All the Xeon you list look good to me!


      If you are looking to the future to upgrade (as you earn money with your videos) consider you won't be able to upgrade if your power supply is 400W so get 650W or more.


      Get a decent video card for sure – that way you can see what you are editing and the better the card the more effects you can see in real time as you edit. I've strapped two video cards together and didn't notice too great a difference. That may be a function of the software though; my first card was on the CS3 list, my second on the CS5.5 list.


      When processors are new their matching RAM is expensive. Certainly get 8Mb though and keep an eye out next year for more at a reduced price; RAM helps just about everywhere.


      My major render speed boost came from hard drives. 3 drives, 1 for programs, one for input and 1 for output. I'd seriously consider SSD for the C drive if I was building today.


      Make sure your chassis can handle larger power supply, multiple drive bays, and that the M/B can handle multiple video cards if you are planning for the future.

    • #207793

      Capt'n I just purchased a 3600 too and am awaiting it's arrival. With the specs you mention ( and I am no expert) you may consider this. The 1620  processor is a hyperthreader the 1607 is not. My experience has been that this helps with speed (it's a math co-processor). On this update of the precision workstation the power supply is easy to remove and change as seen in a few Youtube reviews so I'm betting you could upgrade this later.ECC vs NECC memory ( I bought my memory NECC from another supplier) its really easy to install and I can't say I've had a memory error to date.  Bottom line I like going for the bigger processor and RAM it up as funds allow. If later using an Adobe product get a card on their list. Hope this helps. Good Luck.  

    • #207846

      Alright, I think I'm gonna go with the 1620 CPU then and the lower video card. Thanks so much for your help guys! I'll be ordering it over the weekend, so if anyone else has any other last minute suggestions, that would be super helpful πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend everyone!

    • #209449

      I have dell computer and i just want to ask if you can switch into windows xp? maybe you guys can help me for some information about tips dell computers." (tiger direct coupons)

    • #207798

      Hey BruceMol! Thank you so much for your very helpful reply! Your advice about the power supply is very helpful, I wouldn't have even thought to upgrade that! Much appreciated. Thanks again and have a great night!


    • #207799

      HeySuagrmedic! Thanks so much for the reply, that's incredibly helpful! You make some great points. I will go with the 1620 then, definitely sounds like it's faster. Since I don't have the money to upgrade both the CPU and GPU, and sounds like you're saying it'd probably be best to upgrade the CPU to the 1620 and just get some good RAM? I'll also take your advice and go with the NECC. Thank you so much, you have been a huge help! Hope you enjoy the 3600 πŸ™‚ Have a good one!

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