Hi - looking for some opinions on my proposed upgrade.
I'm going to join the 21st century, i.e. upgrade to Win 7 and Production suite 5.5. I've only edited small jobs before but the upcoming musical production (a school production of "Fame") would tax my system - it's a 4-camera shoot of a 2-hour show (standard-def, because no-one wants blu-rays, see below), plus interviews and "behind the scenes"), so 32-bit isn't going to cut it.
The software upgrade will be OS (XP Pro 32-bit to 7 Pro 64-bit), and adobe (PPro 2 to Production Suite 5.5.x). The main board and processor will stay the same for now (Gigabyte H55M-S2V and Core i5), but memory will be increased from 2 GB to 4GB (1333FSB), and the internal hard drives will be re-organised.
Currently I have the OS, programs and swap file on an old PATA IDE 200GB drive, one 250GB SATA for source files (footage and music), and another 250GB SATA for renders, etc. Here's my proposal:
Install a 64GB SSD for the OS + programs, keep the 2 x 250GB SATA drives as is (plus put the swapfile on one), and move the 200GB PATA drive to an external enclosure for backups (this isn't the first drive I've re-purposed as an external backup, so I've got lots of external storage).
The last job I edited was another school musical (my first "big" edit) - 2 hour show, 2 camera shoot (Sony HVR Z1P), shot in HDV, and I observed a few peculiarities: my machine did NOT top out on processor or memory, although it did take up to 20 or 30 seconds to swap back from another program. The renders took about 8 or 9 hours each time, and I watched the XP task manager periodically - the CPU sat around 60-70%, memory around 1.8GB (total 2GB), so I'm assuming it was the discs that limited performance. It was re-compressing from HDV to std-def because although I shot in HDV, the customer (the school) said that no-one ordered blu-rays, all the parents wanted standard DVDs - I could have cried when I heard that - it's pretty obvious when you look at the HDV and std-def versions side-by-side on the same monitor - it looks like I shot it on a VHS camera!
Anyway, I think this is about the best bang-per-buck arrangement I can afford at the moment - is anything I've proposed a backward step?
I've no intention of moving to RAID yet - I don't think that's an option without a dedicated controller, and I'm not going to do that in a domestic-grade machine. One day I'll have my ideal setup, but for now I can afford new software and an SSD, but not new drives all round.