Norman, Hopefully this won



Hopefully this won’t turninto a ‘dissertation’, buthere’s what I’velearned from our setup; First off, know that Vegas is primed for AMD based systems. Why they didn’t get hard into GPU support I have no idea. Now our latest build (we build all of our NLE’s cheaper, faster, more powerful) I decided to go with pentium (though I’m a huge AMD fan.) Primarily the switch was made because Avid and Adobe are primed for compatablity with pentium to support crossplatform systems. AMD’s only work on PC’s (thank god! I wouldn’t want to watch any more commercials involving macie’s dancing because of how ‘powerful’ they’d become again) hence Vegas only works on PC’s. Like I said, we do a lot of collaborating and I wanted to stay crossplatform. Now the system we built has a 2.4 Ghz Quad Core OC’d to 2.8(we’ll upgrade when prices drop) 8GB SLI-ready RAM and 2 PNY 512GBGeoforce 8800 GT’s (we could put one more in but that would only help for 3D animation and it blocks a usable PCI slot.) Total harddrive space comes in at 5.5TB + 1TB external PCIe drive. Ultimately, this system was designed to support Media Composer, but Premeire and AFX have really benefitted from it. Render times have dropped significantly compared to our older machines and when this one was running WinXP Proat 32-bit (never going back.) Now we’re running Vista Biz at 64-bit and this thing ‘humms’ like a new sportscar.

Far as getting an expensive chip and graphics card, as the guy who signs the checks and approves equipment orders I’m waaaaay too ‘skinflinty’ to blow $300 bucks on a chip or a grand on a card when there are cheaper and good alternatives. In another discussion thread I touched on the value of high-end cards versus less expensive but powerful gamer cards. Yeah, a 3.+ Quadcore CPU would run faster than a 2.4 overclocked, but the benchmark figures haven’t impressed me enough to make it worth the money. Getting a ‘big bohonkin’ graphics card may have better architecture buit in for realtime rendering, but when I can get two gamer cards that do the same thing with the same amount of RAM for $400 – $1200 less…. Oh yeah, and should you decide to use two graphic cards make sure they’re the exact same make and model. That will save you a ton of grief.

Fortunately it seems you are doing some hard research into what you want to put into your system. Whether it’s a high-end this, or a high-end that, it all comes down to what your output is going to bring in to pay for itself. Meaning, if you’re doing high-end work for broadcast, theatrical release or mainstream DVD distribution, then the money you invest in gear will be balanced by the profits that come. Now with all that in mind, the tech available these days can get you PDC to the look of high-end distribution for a lot less money. Vegas is a program that can help with that. Now when we edit with it once a scene is completed, we just render it. Doing it that way is reminiscent of old-time Avid and Premeire, but the scenes render a lot faster and the work flows faster. It would be better if it did real-time rendering, but hopefully that will come with ver 9. Oh and Premeire supports rendering in SD with some support for HD (I’ll have to get back to you on the HD rendering.)

Lastly, far as Magic Bullet goes, most of the stuff they offer in plug-ins you can already do in Vegas. Vegas has a good color correction tool so you can get that ‘Puke Neo Green’ or ‘WWII Sepia Tone’ on your own. Learn how to get the most out of your supplied tools so when you look for plug-ins you’ll know what will really be useful to you.

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