I'm shopping for a workstation that will only be used for video editing. I plan to edit AVCHD files in Sony Vegas Pro 9 (which means a Windows OS such as XP or 7). I will record at 1080p24 for the AVCHD files (I may also record at 1080p60). My projects will be short films and feature-length films.
What would be the minimum specs for virtually no slowdown, lagging, or skipping while editing and using playback?
32-bit or 64-bit?
Dual-Core or Quad-Core?
At least 2.5 GHz or at least 3.0 GHz?
1 Terabyte HDD with no less than 7200 rpm?
4GB, 6GB, 8GB RAM? DDR3 SDRAM or a different type? L3 cache necessary?
Ask me for other information I may be forgetting.
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When you say editing what do you mean? If you mean simply cutting out segments and saving the shorter segment than you can get away with just a dual core processor.
If you mean editing by adding graphics and layer in effects and transitions than you'll probably want a triple core or faster.
I have a dual core processor and I tried editing avchd in a nle like pinnacle studio 12 and it was really slow. I ended up getting advice from other videohelp members to convert to high def mpeg2 at a really large bitrate and I was able to edit it without issues - I then was able to convert back to avchd after editing.
So from that experience doing heavy editing would require probably a quad core or faster. If you simply want to cut out segments from high def files a dual core will work - I can cut commercials and segments out of hd files without issues on my dual core - its doing more complex editing that requires a codec change.
As for disk space get as much as you can afford - hd takes up a lot of space!
4gb ram is the max for a 32bit os. If you want to go 64bit os than you can use more ram. Probably 4gb ram on a 32bit os will be more than enough for hd editing.Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
It's more of a software / GPU integration problem
For example, Edius , or edius neo booster can edit AVCHD natively 2-3 streams on a quad core (you can even do 1-2 on a dual core laptop) , but the same computer might not even be able to do 1 in other software. It only requires a low end GPU. CS5+ Mercury playback engine can do 8-9 realtime streams with an i7 quad core, but you need a GPU with at least 768MB memory and cuda if you use the MPE hack if you use CS5 (some cards that work are <$100, you don't need a $3K quadro)
It doesn't look like next generation software from vegas (vegas 10) will have these features , it looks like they will only have GPU accelerated export (not decoding and import). That may change when released, otherwise they will be swept by the competition which have had these features for more than half a year.
You can brute force edit on vegas or any NLE - if you have a slightly overclocked i7 it's possible to do 1 stream (but the same computer with other software can do 7-8 streams easily with other software)
Many people resort to proxy editing as another technique or use digital intermediates (e.g. cineform)
I second the neo 2.5 (neo 2 booster) suggestion. I was able to edit 2 layers with color correction/opacity/etc. with virtually no slowdown on my computer running a fresh copy of win7 64bit.
Still though you'd want to get the biggest baddest computer you are comfortable paying for as the encoding times are steep if you're going back to avchd.
Thank you for your responses and suggestions. I don't plan to do heavy-duty graphics (like motion graphics import from AfterEffects) or transitions, but I expect to do a lot of color-correction/adjustment (color and exposure). I am also planning to slow down footage (with a higher fps) to achieve slow motion without the motion blur, which shouldn't be very taxing in any NLE. There's also shooting for DFN (Day For Night), which is basically color-correction or rather, color-adjustment.
I'm looking into Edius Neo booster.
This thread is great info. I just purchased a Dell Computer with the following specs. What do you think my problem will be or "limitations" when editing avchd format. I am using pinnacle 14 but I am not loyal to this software and may go to cs5 or some of the above suggestions. Thanks for your input.
1 Studio XPS 9100 Intel Core i7-930 processor(8MB L2 Cache, 2.80GHz)
1 18GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz
ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB GDDR5
1.5 Tbyte Hard Drive @ 7200rpms
It will run, but mpe won't be enabled. You need a cuda enabled card with at least 768MB memory. There is a hack (search for it) so you don' t need a $3K quadro, a <$100 card will suffice .
Search for "Mercury Playback Engine" - it basically allows things to be decoded on the video card . Things are easily 5-10x faster and "buttery smooth" to edit
just a note that I have tried the new computer out and it chopped up my avchd video and spit out a killer dvd with overlays, music, transitions, and effects..
I am good to go now. The only thing left to do is try something other than pinnacle 14 guess ill try sony vegas now
Edius ATI GPU support. I don't know.
When second hard drive is mentioned "external hard drive" raises flags unless it is eSATA. You want an internal PATA/SATA or external eSATA ideally if you want full isolation of the video drive from OS interrupts. This is particularly important for the Premiere scratch disk (temp files) that are generated during workspace filter rendering. Edius and Vegas also generate large temp files during color correction, transitions, compositing or other filtering.
Make sure you move the "scratch"/Temp directories off the C: drive.
That said, if all you are doing is cut editing MPeg2/h.264 (e.g. 25 Mb/s or less) then you will only see a the eSATA difference during file copy operations. But if you are only cut editing, why use these programs at all ? If you are color correcting the full timeline, most disk operations will be to that second drive.
I always use a cooling pad under it, so I don't really know how hot it can get, but I've seen posts elsewhere that it does get pretty hot during gameplay without a cooler pad.
If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
I don't know from engines, I'm more on the creation than technical side. I'm not smitten, nor am I an "affiliate", but this Qosmio is a serious workhorse, and I do it all.
As far as CPU usage, no I don't usually render full throttle. I don't have a "deadline" like many commercial editors. Most of my renders are "pieces" or "stock" and tend to be short.
I use Ableton on my Qosmio too, with a USB pad controller and keyboard and I can even bang out a few beats at the same time as rendering, never crashing or freezing.
Surely if you're going for a serious workhorse PC for Video editing, yes keep the 1.5tb disk (or bigger) but wouldn't two SSD find a nice warm space in there? eg 2x64gb (not outlandish money) one as source drive, one as destination ... they all come with good warranty nowadays.Corned beef is now made to a higher standard than at any time in history.
The electronic components of the power part adopted a lot of Rubycons.