Choose Computer For Video Editing System

If you already have a computer you want to use for desktop video editing, you can simply add one of the video capture cards available to it.

Normally FireWire cards really need a minimum of a Pentium II 300 or faster. Although the older your computer is, the more difficult it can be to add a video capture card, but that doesn’t mean you have to go out and get a new computer. It just means you’ll need to do a little more research into your machines resources and probably give it a little tune up. For example, older slower machines may need to be beefed up with memory and storage. Be prepared to upgrade to 128 megs of RAM and add some dedicated storage for video editing.

If you plan on getting a new computer on a budget, I recommend getting a system with an Intel P4 or AMD Athlon with at least a 1Ghz processor. With 2G, 2.4G CPUs all around, I guess any processor you can find on the street can do the job.

You want a minimum of 256 megs of RAM, but with memory prices so cheap, I recommend you go with 512 megs for better performance.

For storage you want a minimum of a 30GB drive, split into 2 partitions. Partitioned means that the drive is split into two drive letters. The C: partition should be 10 GB and have all your software on it. The remainder of the drive will be called D: All you want to put on that drive is video and audio and your saved editing projects.

This will allow you to produce a video about 1 hour long. The ideal video storage solution is a dedicated drive. This means you have 2 hard drives in your computer. The first is for your operating system and all your software. The second drive is used only for your video files and projects.

Make sure you get at least an 8 Meg AGP graphics card (16 or 32 is better).

To summarize, if you are starting from scratch, buy a P4 2.4Ghz with 512 megs RAM, a 20+GB Ultra DMA drive and a 32 meg graphics card. Add in a second 40+ GB EIDE drive or a VideoRAID for your storage. For more professional editing get a graphics card that supports dual monitors so that you will have more work space.

What about Macs?

With a Mac the answer is simple. If you have a new G4, you are in great shape. If you have an older Mac (G3 or slower), get a new G4 or iMac. The G4 has been designed from the onset to be a video editing scream machine. The new G4s have built in FireWire and they do a great job, just add Final Cut Pro or Premiere and you are ready to edit.

Here’re some more concerns:

The more RAM the better

Memory is still very cheap, and this is a great performance booster. Premiere 6 really wants 256 megs. While it will run with less, you will have a much more stable, better running system with 256 megs. Also, with the new chipsets, the new faster RAM is one of the biggest contributors to improved performance. By running less then 256 megs on a new computer system, you are actually throttling down your overall system’s performance.

If you plan on using a 3D effects plug-in or compositing your video with multiple layers, you’ll find your system runs smoother and faster with 512M or even 1G RAM.

Get the biggest system drive you can afford

If the system comes with a 40GB drive, get it. You will use up the space. A big system drive is great for storing lower resolution/multimedia quality video clips.The last thing you want to do is have to open up a system that’s performing great just to add more storage for software.

·Get a CD-RW drive or better yet, a DVD burner

These drives are great for backing up large files. You can also create Video CDs, DVDs.

Multimedia peripherals

I recommend a step up audio system. While most of video capture cards come with audio capture built on, most digital videographers eventually find themselves doing some soundtrack manipulation and basic audio editing. Having a step up sound card will let you do a better job and as an added bonus, many of these cards come with some kind of audio recording utility and even basic audio mixing/editing tools.

Every month computers get more powerful and less expensive, so the recommendations here could become dated very quickly. I plan on updating it every few months.

Source : http://www.aboutvideoediting.com

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