Chad, I agree that if you’



I agree that if you’re not particularly tech savvy at this time to go with a pre-built system. It will cost you a bit more up front but the basic peace of mind you’ll get with competent tech support will make it initially worth it.

Whatever brand you get (Dell, HP, Gateway and Sony) make sure it’s a) a workstation not a home computer and b) the hardware is optimized for video. Vegas is optimized for AMD CPU’s so you should consider a system with that line first though it does work with Intel’s as well. Since you have some cash to throw at it, you may want to extend your projected budget to $3k because as was mentioned earlier ‘you’ll have to pay for the extras’. The things you simply must have for a system capable of working with HD format are at least 1 Duo Core CPU (I recommend a Quad or better), 4GB DDR2 RAM (I recommend 8 or better. DDR3 is faster but maxes at 6GB) and at least 1 GPU with 512MB overclocked RAM (I recommend 2 512’s or 1 1GB. Be advised: 1GB cards are huge and start at $1k if bought separately but will be more expensive when bought from one of the big firms.) Also, you want at least 3 harddrives. 1 for your OS, 1 for video and 1 to store audio and graphics. Ideally, you’d want as many as could fit in the case to make 1 internal raid and have separate drives for audio, graphics and authoring. Another thing to consider is to partition your C: drive so that one portion is purely for the OS, Programs and the infinite updates, your immediate documents and to decrease the amount of time your system needs to defrag. Another benefit is the partition can be used as a back up for documents, project folders and whatever. I can’t tell you how many times having a partition saved valuable information when a C: drive had to be reformatted in order to get the system back online. The reason I recommend the above company’s is because they make ‘multimedia’ specific workstations and they’ll say so in their descriptions. Before you decide which brand you want, go to each company’s site and virtually ‘build your own’ through their customizing section. That way you can get a good idea of how much you’re going to need to spend to get they type of system you want. Just remember the more stuff you want in it the more it’s going to cost. Keep in mind that you will want to buy a support plan and pay those nasty shipping and tax fees!

On your workstation insist upon Vista Business 64-bit SP1 (I don’t think it comes in any other version.) You absolutely do not need all of the extras that come with Ultimate and you need the controls that don’t come with Home Premium. Win7 is still in Beta so hold off on it.

Last but certainly not least. Don’t forget the support gear you’ll need for your snazzy new system. There’s no excuse not to have 2 monitors for an NLE (or a widescreen LCD.), You’ll want to get an editing specific keyboard (Bella makes some nice one’s compatible with Vegas), a good optical mouse and most important, a UPS capable of supporting your system with adequate backup power. Then there’s good speakers, etc., etc…..

Even when buying a pre-built system, you’ll still have to do solid research in order to make the best choice you can.

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