Help buying a PC for cs4/video editing

  JConcept4 16:47 07 Oct 2009

Hi all

I've been a Mac user for the last 14yrs and I have been asked to start researching PCs by my bosses.

I new this was going to be a bit tough with all the many systems on the market (macs have 3 levels to choose from so you pretty much can't go wrong when picking a system) so I thought i'd start here with a few questions.

The PC will be used by a web developer who will run CS4 and video editing software.

I have seen a Acer PC on ebuyer for around £550, the spec seems decent for the money but lacks a dedicated gfx card. (I know Acer aren't regarded as a very good brand but I have owned about 5 acers and none of them have let me down once) Also the PC will need business OS and this comes with both XP and Vista, which is perfect.

With not knowing the spec of the PSU I wasn't sure what gfx the system could handle but I found this 'Zotac 9800 GT ECO Edition'. Does this gfx look like it would make the PC more of a complete PC for working on the above programs without needing a new PSU?

I've put links below of both the PC and gfx I have found.

click here = PC

click here = gfx

As well as the PC I'm going to be pricing up a monitor/speakers and a decent keyboard and mouse.
Can you think of anything else I would need?

Thanks for any help and advise in advance, I'm only really gathering prices and specs at the minute, so please chip in with everything and anything you can.


  wjrt 17:31 07 Oct 2009
  OTT_Buzzard 17:43 07 Oct 2009

Blimey, there's a fair bit of scaremongering going on in that article!

  OTT_Buzzard 17:49 07 Oct 2009

The Acer PC on eBuyer doesn't look too shabby, but think you can do better for the money. Note that it only comes as standard with Vista, they will install XP instead if you request that.

I'd look at click here for alternatives. Pay some attention to the NB / SB chipset that's in the PC, and look at using a 64bit OS with 4GB or more RAM.

  JConcept4 08:07 08 Oct 2009

Thanks Buzzard for the link, good quality site that.

I'm going to use that site for prices on a complete set-up. I might even give them 2 options, a fully loaded video editing machine and a fully loaded web machine.

Have microsoft got a 64bit version of XP or is vista the future?

Also, hdds, are 2 better so the system can run on one and the files can be accessed on the other? Are sata drives fast enough, they seem cheap compared to the other hdds.

Thanks for you help, gonna try and read up abit more on PCs, so much more options compared to Macs.


  john bunyan 08:36 08 Oct 2009

As it is so close to launch, I would wait for a PC with Windows 7 64 bit - pre installed. I am using Photoshop CS4 with XP Pro and am not going to bother with Vista.

  OTT_Buzzard 09:16 08 Oct 2009

Yes there is a 64 bit version of XP. Any PC capable of video editing that you buy now will benefit from Vista. Or better still, do as john bunyan says, and wait til after Oct 22nd and get Windows 7.

Hard drives are always a bottle neck on computers. You really only have 2 options. SATA or SSD. If you have the cash then great go for a nice fast SSD drive. If not, go with most of the rest of the world and use SATA!

2 drives better than 1? A fine question. If you put 2 drives into a RAID 0 configuration then you may get a *small* performance gain. If you use say 1 drive for the operating system and another to run aplications from, then again, there's a theoretical gain to be had. Frankly, if it was me i'd spend the extra cash from another hard drive on more RAM.

  JConcept4 10:08 08 Oct 2009

Thanks chaps for the help.

Windows 7, how compatible will this OS be with everyday software and CS4? When Vista came out it kind of rocked the boat big time.

I know nothing on windows 7 so think i'll have a catch up at dinner.

Yeah I think I'll stick with one HDD and slam in 8gb ram. I'll put a spec list together later and put a link to it in this thread, I'm not sure which components would be better/worse together than others.

Cheers again guys

  OTT_Buzzard 10:15 08 Oct 2009

Windows 7 is a refined version of Vista (kind of!), so there won't be any (or certainly not many) compatibility issues. All major brand software should be ok. I've been running the beta, RC and RTM version of W7 and have not come accross any compatibility issues.

Looking forward to seeing your component list.


  JConcept4 11:18 08 Oct 2009

Right this is the spec

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83 Ghz 12Mb Cache, Manufacturer Supplied Cooler, 8GB Corsair Memory DDR3 1600 (4 x 2gb), 1000GB SATA Hard Drive, , , QCE - P43Twins1600 - 2000FSB DDR3 DDR2 1333x4 P43 CHIPSET, 1024Mb 9600GT PCI Express Nvidia DDR DVI, TA-M21 Black Midi Tower Case No PSU, CiT 700W Black Edition PSU, DVD+/- RW - 20X Samsung Lightscribe, 52 in 1 card reader internal 3.5, 23.6 Inch ASUS LCD MONITOR VH242H BLK RET, Microsoft remote keyboard & mouse wireless 3000, Integrated Sound Card, Trust SP-3850 Speakers, No printer, 64 BIT Windows Vista Business, No Additional Software, No wireless, , Standard Warranty, In Store Collection

There was a choice of mobo's, wasn't quite sure the best option so stuck with the standard.

What do you think?

Also picked a monitor due to it being £50 cheaper than anywhere else.



  JConcept4 11:20 08 Oct 2009

Also, this is a link to the page I used on the cougar website

click here

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