Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Which Computer to buy for Video Editing › As usual, someone tosses i
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.