Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Question on Dell Precision Workstation › For me, buying a computer for
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.