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dmsinger 07-28-2006 06:42 PM

I'm in the market for a new machine and I'm looking for something "beefy". I don't game much (just a little Rise of Nations and the like sometimes). I do a lot of web work, so I have a few browser, Photoshop, maybe Dreamweaver (or something like it) open. And of course, some video work. Most of it is just rendering DV to mpeg-2 or wmv after some light editing work. Still, you do a few of those a night (or more) and every second seems to matter.

According to Tom's Hardware the new Core 2 Duo chip kicks some booty. The 6600 might be in my sights. I'll be waiting about a month for it to be available at a normal price.

I'm just dropping by here for any opinions from those who have more "real world" experience with such things to find out if going after one of these right away is the way to go.

admin 08-09-2006 06:48 AM

I think this is the link you wanted: athlon_64

Unfortunately, neither I nor anybody that assists on the site will be able to give "real-world" input (not yet). We all have powerful systems already (even if the CPU is a few years old), lots of $$$$ invested in them, and they perform rock solid for us. They are finely tuned tools.


The status quo remains unchanged. Intel is a system that really has power-hungry needs in mind. Video is by far one of these needs. It's no coincidence that Apple switched to Intel CPU lines, for it's next generation of systems, ones they specifically sell for HD video and advanced graphics/video functions.

AMD is one of those "all-around" systems for video games and mom-and-pop, regardless of the fans. I own an AMD Athlon too, it works great, but it's definitely not my main machine.

If you're wanting a new system, buy as much CPU and RAM and hard drive as you can budget. It's important to not put your eggs in one basket. Get the good Intel motherboard, get some RAM that's not in the bargain bin, and at least 1GB of it, and grab yourself at least two hard drives. Don't skimp on the case either, be sure it has a good 500W power supply and several fans that both suck air in one side, and blow it out the other side.

Another thing to consider.... do you really need 1 powerful computer, or could you get by on 2 decent ones? And then use a KVM for the monitor (and while you can KVM keyboard and mice, I still prefer to keep those separate). I do that. One machine can purr away for days on end encoding, and I really won't care (P4 1.8Ghz). I'll still have the other one (P4 2.8Ghz). They are networked 100-base-T off a router, if I have to transfer files between the two.

dmsinger 09-04-2006 01:17 AM

My delayed "thanks" for responding.

I think I'm going to get a power machine. I don't really encode long-term vids, we're talking 1-3 minutes a pop, 6-10 a night, so I'd rather just have one beefy machine to just zip through it faster.

It's been a while since I've gotten a new machine, so it'll be a nice setup as long as I don't screw it up myself :)

I think I'll have a couple of internal drives on a raid setup for speed and then store everything on a network server (I'm thinking about the Thecus N5200).

If I have two internal hard drives, speed-wise, is it better to raid them or leave one as an operating system, the other as a "work" drive?

admin 09-04-2006 10:42 PM

I suggest NOT use a RAID setup. RAID tends to kill non-SCSI hard drives, and the performance (for video use) can actually be less than that of a typical SATA or IDE(PATA) hard drive, one of the 7200rpm drives with 2-16MB of buffer.

I would make 1 OS drive (Windows, software, temp file, paging file, non-video stuff), and one video-only drive. My current main computer has 1 OS drive, 1 non-video work drive, 2 videos drives, and an archive/backup drive. My secondary system has 1 OS drive and 3 video drives.

I use multiple video drives because I have source on one, output to the other, separate IDE channels, so the encoding speed is faster yet again. You may want to consider something similar. For the main drive, 120GB is fine. For the video drives, you may want 200-300GB each.

I also suggest SEAGATE or WESTERN DIGITAL drives. The Seagates tend to last a bit longer (few more years) and run quieter. Maxtors are noisy and die fast. Hitachi and other no-names are problematic more than not.

Hampton80 08-23-2007 10:39 AM

I too am looking at a nice upgrade to the Core 2 Duo. But my question deals with the Front Side Bus. I'm wondering if anyone can give any insight on the role of the FSB when it comes to video capturing/editing/encoding. There seems to be quite a bit of a price increase between the E4400 (2.00GHz,800MHz FSB, $125.99) and the E6400 (2.13GHz, 1066MHz FSB, $205.00).

I know "only I can judge if the price difference is worth it", but what does the FSB do in terms of video use?

admin 08-24-2007 12:28 AM

The bus (FSB) is the speed at which data can travel along the motherboard. For example, between the CPU and RAM. It used to be very important, even just 3-4 years ago.

But right now? Not so much.

The computer is only as fast as the slowest device. With hard drives still hovering at 7200 rpm, and RAM being nothing more than doubled or quad-speed chips, your FSB is more like the on-ramp of an under-construction highway than the on-ramp to the Autobahn.

If you want to spend the money, it won't hurt. Will it help? Well, the difference basically comes down to being one nanosecond slower per cycle of information. That might come out to a few minutes worth of time in a span of hours. As far as capturing, it would have zero effect.

If I were buying the system, I'd get the 1066Mhz, because I know the 6400 is a good processor and I usually like newest hardware (because I only upgrade once per five years). But if you want to balance budget with performance, there's nothing wrong with the 4400. If that $80 could be better spend elsewhere, then choose that route.

I did that with my camera. Instead of a Nikon D2Hs for $4000, I bought a Nikon D200 + MB-D200 grip for $1600. The cameras perform very closely. With that $2400 price difference, I bought two really good new lenses and a flash. It's not "the best" camera, but it's still extremely good, and I have a lot more stuff for the money. I don't regret the decision whatsoever.

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