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hal_ek
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New Computer for Prem Elements 11

Jan 1, 2013 6:29 PM

Tags: #windows_7 #hardware_performance #elements_11

I have been trying to decide on what specifications I should use for a new personal computer to use with Premiere Elements 11. The range of choices has me frankly rather confused, some of the questions that I have are. I will mostly being working with DV Tape input and outputing to DVDs using Adobe Encore.

  1. Windows 7 or 8?
  2. Is PE11 designed to use multiple core computers, 2 vs 4 cores?
  3. Will the computer speed be noticable primarily during rendering and encoding?
  4. With some of the newer mother boards using Intel's graphics chips, is a graphics card such as a Radeon HD 7350 still required?
  5. I have noted Bill Hunt's discussion about employing 2 Hard Drives. For about $50 spent is the second drive better than the graphics card?

 

I have been considering an HP P7-1380t with an Intel i5-3330 quad core and 6GB memory.

If it does not violate and forum rules I would welcome your comments.

 

Thanks in advance!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 1, 2013 6:51 PM   in reply to hal_ek

    If you're really going to edit only miniDV footage and output it as DVDs, pretty much any computer made in the last five years will work for you.

     

    Still, you'd ideally want an i5, at least, with Windows 7 64-bit and 4-6 gigs of RAM. (I'd wait until SP1 is released before moving on to Windows 8 -- though it's probably already a pretty good OS.) And, yes, the speed of the processor does affect how fast the program renders your video. And now that the program runs natively on 64-bit systems, it will run better than ever on more powerful machines.

     

    Premiere Elements isn't terribly graphics heavy, so you really don't need an advanced video card to run the program. But you might as well pick up a 1 gig card.

     

    The system you're looking at should more than meet your needs!

     

    Two hard drives were necessary back in the days of Pentium processors. It's still a pretty good set-up, since it keeps all of your project files and media on one drive and your operating system on the other -- so you'll get better throughput and smoother performance with a second internal hard drive. And, since you're getting a desktop, dropping in that second drive (might as well get 500 gig or a terrabyte drive) should be a piece of cake!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 2, 2013 8:09 AM   in reply to hal_ek

    The biggest drawback with using an embedded Intel graphics chip is the lack of driver support. The chips are good, but historically, Intel does not update drivers with any regularity. For most computer programs, that is seldom much of an issue. However, with programs, such as PrE, that must interface directly with the video driver, it does not take too long, before the driver is rendered obsolete, and mostly by OS updates. Once, it was not until one started doing CAD, or 3D work, that the video driver became an issue, and then, people using those types of programs also had high-end video cards. With the advent of digital video editing on general machines, the need for good video driver support moved to those general computers.

     

    If one only did Web browsing, e-mails, word processing and spreadsheet work, then the Intel graphics chip would suffice. Add programs, like PrE, and the lack of video driver support WILL rear its ugly head. For that one reason, lack of driver support, I do not recommend going the embedded video chip route (unless Intel gets with the program, and greatly improves their driver support). Any current model card from nVidia, or AMD will suffice, so long as the card has at least about 1GB VRAM, AND the user will get good driver support, with new ones being offered at about 1/mo.

     

    As for the 2x HDD/SSD setup, one will be spreading the I/O (Input/Output) load over several devices, and controller chips. This eliminates most bottlenecks, where the system is waiting for reads/writes, before being able to process the data.

     

    Both of those, the video driver support, and the I/O load dispersal, are very important in video editing. If I had to initially chose only one, it would be a video card with good driver support, as a bad, obsolete driver can cause PrE to not even launch. However, I would be immediately saving for a second drive, as that will improve the total performance, and pleasure when editing video. A third drive will improve things even more, but the degree of improvement will be less than just adding that second drive.

     

    One other equipment consideration is that if one is ever going to be editing AVCHD, or any other H.264 material, then I strongly recommend at least an i7 CPU. The faster, the better, as processing the H.264 CODEC is very, very CPU intensive. Some users get by with an i5, or even slower, but playback will likely never be smooth, and the editing experience will usually be a study in frustration. For only SD (Standard Definition) DV-based material, and i5 will be adequate. Heck, one could get by with a Pentium D, if they had to.

     

    Last, if one installs a 64-bit OS, and there is no reason not to, then I would say that 6-8GB RAM is the minimum, with 12-16GB being even better. With a 64-bit OS, 4GB RAM is about the minimum just to run the OS, leaving little for programs. One WILL be relying on their Virtual Memory Page File a lot, and then being able to spread the I/O load over multiple physical drives (no partitions), will take on new importance.

     

    As to Win7 vs Win8, I would hold off on Win8, until at least the first Service Pack (SP-1) is released. Just as with the introduction of Win7, Win8 seems to be suffering from driver issues right now. Depending on what one has in their system, the driver issues might, or might not, be a big deal. I always wait for SP-1 to be released, before upgrading my OS - I just do not like being a beta tester for a new OS - I do not have that kind of time right now. I just want things to work for me.

     

    Good luck,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 2, 2013 10:21 AM   in reply to hal_ek

    Harold,

     

    At equal clock speeds, will a computer with 4 cores and 4 threads be much if any faster than a 2 core, 4 thread?

    Yes. PrE is CPU aware (though all processes might not use all cores for all tasks), and so long as there are not other bottlenecks, say the I/O, then as much CPU power, as is available, will be used. If one sees CPU power not being fully used, it is because the CPU is waiting on some other part of the system.

     

    Good luck,

     

    Hunt

     
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