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A good spec for editing video?

  1936 17:39 15 Aug 2007
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Its time to buy a new machine just to use for transfering family VHS tapes to the computer to edit them and to build slide shows form loads of photographs that I have.
I understand that Vista is not recomended for such work so I want XP and I also understand that I need an extra hard drive of about 500GB

I see Dual core 2 and Quad -core processors mentioned but I don't know which is the most effective.

Mesh recomend the Mesh Elite Prestige Duo
Dell recomend a Dell Dimension 920
Neither appear inclined to give me XP so I would welcome and idears.

  zoobie 18:04 15 Aug 2007

you're going to make DVD's?
click here

  eedcam 18:12 15 Aug 2007

500G/b not really I manage quite easily with 120G though that is a second drive 2 drives with one dedicated to the video side is best. and I use adobe premiere and premiere elements and they dont come much more power hungry than those 2.I would seriously consider putting your vhs tapes to dvd via a dvd recorder first then editing on the pc as and when you have time
The rest of my specs are P4 3 G /1 G ram and nvideo graphics card with 120 Mb

  1936 17:00 20 Aug 2007

O.K. Lets take the discusion a little further and move into specifics.
I have about £800.00 to spend and am considering buying either a Dell or Mesh computer to use as a stand alone machine just for video editing. I want to be able to build slide shows, edit old VHS tapes by uploading them from a VCR to the computer. I also want to be able to connect a camcorder to the computer.

I don't mind spending the money but I don't want to finish up with an inappropriate specification I am not confident enough to use the customise facility so I wonder if anyone would care to propose a Dell or a Mesh specification that will me meet my needs:

I know that I need the following but do not know what else I need to make sure it is built into the machine.

A Dua/Quad Core processor.
4GB RAM.
Two hard drives.

  1936 19:45 20 Aug 2007

I have just completed my first slide show and found that my current machine with the following spec was very slow.
2.20 gigahertz AMD Athlon 64
300GB Hard drive
1GB RAM
I therfore looked at some of the video editing forums and found recomendations for new machines with at least 2GB of RAM because of Vista. On top of that they also recommended at least two hard drives because they claimed that the video editing software was so complex.
When I mentioned slide shows I meant uploading up to 200 photographs, giving a tile to each on with full page title/text and transitions in-between each one. Because my spelling is awfull I had to keep going back to edit my text and this was a slow process. The finished slide show was in excess of 3GB.
By editing video I meant connecting a VCR to a computer with the sort of device that came with the computer and uploading the VHS content to that I could edit the rubbish out such as a newly built pond filmed filling with water. I asked the question in the hope that a Dell or Mesh owner who uses video editing software might give their views but any advice is welcome.

  eedcam 23:22 20 Aug 2007

Well if you are going to put a 3G/byte slide show onto dvd be prepared to leave it running overnight even with a high spec machine.

  1936 10:28 21 Aug 2007

When I first started trying to learn Pinnacle Studio 10.8 I was continually getting into trouble and when I complained on a Pinnacle Studio forum I was told that the video editing software was much more complex than say a word package with much more code to be written.

I tried Windows Movie Maker and it is competent and straightforward and very user-friendly and a pleasure to use. However, it does not allow me to make a full page of text at as an introduction to a chapter.

I opened the folder where Pinnacle Studio holds its files and went into Properties and it read as follows: 3.41GB 3,367 files, 51 folders. I have to say that I was surprised. Perhaps it holds all the changes that I made.

I don't know how to work out the typical resolution (in X/Y pixels) of the source slides but it is JPEGs?)

I used Pinnacle Studio 10.8 which has created many problems but now that I'm used to it I'm loath to move to another package although I have read a lot of good things about Adobe.

The slide show runs for 40 minutes and I set each slide to 10 seconds and the full page text ones to 1 minute. The transitions are those on Pinnacle studio and I did burn the finished result to a DVD and it took about an hour or so.

  eedcam 12:56 21 Aug 2007

My reference to taking all night referred to adobe .If i did a video or slide show it would be in Dv-avi which adobe works best with a 1 hour show would be 13G/Byte prior to going to dvd no way will that transcode and burn to dvd in an hour.Perhaps your software is doing that on the hoof so to speak which is why your software seems slow but the burning is quick. As for text thats your choice but some stills can do with zooming and panning which as a point is very straight forward in adobe with full control over the movement either way
Here are the specs by adobe and the recommended by the guys who know better on the forum

It's always controversial to make any system recommendations. Certainly, bigger and more powerful is always better. But, for those looking for some basic rules of thumb, we offer the following recommendations.

Adobe’s recommended minimum:
• Intel® Pentium® 4, M, D, or Extreme Edition or AMD Opteron or Athlon 64 (SSE2 support required)
• Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional, Home Edition, or Media Center Edition with Service Pack 2
• 256MB of RAM
• 4GB of available hard-disk space (This is for installation of the program only)
• An ASIO (Audio Stream Input/Output) supported sound card
• DVD-ROM drive (compatible DVD burner required to burn DVDs)
• 1,024x768 16-bit XGA display
• Microsoft DirectX 9 compatible sound and display drivers
DV/i.LINK/FireWire/IEEE 1394 interface to connect a Digital 8 or DV camcorder, or a USB2 interface to connect a DV-via-USB-compatible DV camcorder (other video devices supported via the Media Downloader)

Our recommended minimums
• Pentium 4 or Celeron 2.6 ghz or Athlon64 3200 or Opteron processor
• 1 gigabyte of RAM
• 64 mb video card, ideally Radeon or Geforce technology
• 100 gigabyte hard drive (This allows plenty of room for captured footage and scratch disk space)
• An ASIO (Audio Stream Input/Output) supported sound card
• DVD burner (DVD-R, DVD+R or DVD+/-R – standalone player compatibility is now virtually the same for all formats)
• 17” monitor set to 1024x768 display
• IEEE-1394/FireWire/iLink, cable and MiniDV or Digital8 camcorder or digitizing device (e.g., the ADS Pyro AV Link) capable of capturing DV-AVI files

Even better
• Pentium D 3.0 ghz or Athlon64 Dual Core 4200
• 2 gigabytes of RAM
• 128 mb video card, ideally Radeon or Geforce technology
• Second hard drive, dedicated to video files, 160 gigabytes are larger
• DVD burner (Dual-layer models can burn 4.7 or 8.5 gig disks)
• 1152x864 19” monitor running 32-bit color
• IEEE-1394/FireWire/iLink, cable and MiniDV or Digital8 camcorder or digitizing device (e.g., the ADS Pyro AV Link) capable of capturing DV-AVI files


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  woodchip 16:49 21 Aug 2007

I used to Edit and create Video on a 2.6 Celeron using Pinnacle 9 Someone gave me a P4 that is just that bit smaller but works faster. I also only have 512mb Memory on this comp a XP desktop by Medion. But it does it OK for me I use a External USB2 Hard Drive

  1936 17:42 21 Aug 2007

Thank you all for your information and advice.
I note your advice that I could expect something like 70-80% speed-up with, say, a Core 2 Duo 6700(or quad). But that's /only/ if Pinnacle Studio is written to take the extra processor(s) into account.
I will contact Pinnacle to see if that is the case befor I go any further.

However, you also say that you don't see it mentioned in the spec so, if it uses only the one processor, the speed-up is more likely to be 50-60% and 60% is not a bad increase.

I will drop into Paint (Start-All Programs-Accessories) and select Image-Attributes to see what my source images are.

I note what you say about source images, however, I should have said that the whole purpose of the exercise is to create DVDs that I can view on a TV so is there anything to gain?

  1936 18:30 21 Aug 2007

Right, many thanks for that advice. I'm just sumoning up the courage to start the next slide show and I'll let you know how it goes.

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