19 Replies Latest reply on Nov 13, 2012 9:50 AM by Geldy7

    Newbie needs help with new system specs!

    Geldy7 Level 1

      I'm needing to upgrade my system at my work because of the need to start using Camtasia and Premiere Pro CS6 (as well as other CS6 elements).  I'm not a computer expert and the machine listed below is going to be set up for me next week.  I have a few questions that I would grealtly appreciate any feedback on:


      1. Do you think in general my new system specs are sufficient for basic audio/video editing of SD and some HD material?
      2. Can I expect a significant increase in video playback quality as well as a reduction in video render times while operating in Camtasia and Premiere Pro?
      3. Is my power supply going to be sufficient for the specs listed below and if not what is the danger of not upgrading that?
      4. If there is something/anything else I should upgrade what would it be?


      I work for a retail tile distrubtor with about 130 employees.  The training videos I create are mostly simple screen capture and basic videos that don't require a TON of high-end editing.  I will be using lots of High Resolution jpegs and basic SD video footage captured from a Canon GL2 camcorder (Mini DV tapes).  We will eventually upgrade the camera but that's what I'll be using now.


      The previous computer I had suffered with very choppy video playback and pretty long video render times so I convinced my boss and IT Manager an upgraded system was needed that had a faster processer, a better video card and more RAM.  My old system I've been using this year and the new one being set up next week is listed below.


      Thanks a TON for any feedback anyone feels inclined to provide!




      New system:


      HP Compaq Elite 8300

      • Win 7 64-bit operating system
      • i7-3770 processor
        • 3.4 GHz
        • 8 MB Cache
        • 4 Cores
      • Quadro 2000D Graphics Card (62 watt max power draw)
      • 12 GB RAM (4 GB statndard, added two more 4 GB cards)
      • 1 TB 7200 rpm SATA hard drive
      • Intel Q77 Express Chipset
      • 320 Watt Power Supply (stock)


      Old system:


      HP Compaq 4000 Pro (small form factor)

      • Win 7 64-bit operating system
      • Pentium Dual Core E6600 processor
        • 3.06 GHz
        • ? MB Cache
        • 2 Cores
      • NVIDIA NVS 300 Graphics Card
      • 8 GB RAM (4 GB statndard, added one more 4 GB card)
      • 457 GB hard drive
      • ? Chipset
        • 1. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          This will not work nicely!


          PSU is too small, memory is ill-configured, disk setup is below minimum requirements, Quadro 2000 is a lousy, costly card and the mobo choice is wrong. The 1155 platform is dual channel, so fill it with either 4 x 4GB or 4 x 8 GB memory, not 3 x something. At least three disks are recommended. The Quadro is old technology, slow and expensive. You don't need integrated graphics on the mobo. You don't want the PSU to run - on average - at more than 50-60% of its capacity.


          Look at something with:


          • i7-3770K,
          • Z77 motherboard,
          • 16 GB memory, or better 32 GB,
          • GTX 660 Ti,
          • Gold label PSU of 700+ W,
          • at least three 7200 RPM SATA disks.


          that can be overclocked. HP, Dell and other brand names don't allow overclocking with their crippled BIOS.


          For more background, start reading some posts here.

          • 3. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
            Geldy7 Level 1

            Thanks for the input.  I should clarify - budget is a very key factor in any decisions.  The fact I got approval to purchase new equipment was nearly a miracle in and of itself. 


            That being said, the new system already purchased was about $1400.


            I believe what you are suggesting above is going to be considerably more expensive.


            We're trying to find the best combination of reduced render times, improved playback quality while editing and lowest price.


            Now that I've clarified that can I expect to see any improvements from the original system I was working with?


            And with the Power Supply, what dangers exist trying to run with the stock unit?  Can I do any damage to anything other than the power supply itself?


            Thanks again for your feedback!

            • 4. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Video editing requires a MINimum of two hard drives (see below for why) (NEVER a drive split into partitions !!!) which you might "just" be able to add with your power supply


              >lots of High Resolution jpegs


              Read this before you start to have system crashes

              Photo Scaling for Video http://forums.adobe.com/thread/450798

              -Too Large May = Crash http://forums.adobe.com/thread/879967

              -And another crash report http://forums.adobe.com/thread/973935


              Trying to use only ONE Hard Drive for Video Editing


              You are a music conductor, with a baton that you use to point to various parts of the orchestra... this is like Windows pointing to various parts of the hard drive to do Windows housekeeping or to load program segments for various functions


              Now, at the same time and with the same hand... while still using the baton to conduct the orchestra... pick up a bow and play a fiddle... this would be doing something with your video file at the same time as all the other work


              You as a person cannot do both at the same time with the same hand


              A computer is a LITTLE better, in that it can switch from one kind of task to another very quickly... but not quickly enough for EASY video editing


              You need AT LEAST two hard drives (separate drives, never a partition http://forums.adobe.com/thread/650708 for more) with Windows (or Mac OS) and software on your boot drive, and video files on a 2nd drive so the boot drive is not slowed down by trying to do everything

              • 5. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
                John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                >new system already purchased was about $1400


                It's too bad you don't have someone on staff to build a custom computer


                I just ordered the parts to build my wife a new computer... she does not do video editing, but she likes to have a LOT of programs open at the same time... one of them being a "medium" high end home design program, so I am building a computer with 32gig of ram


                I put in a 2nd hard drive for backup copies of everything... if she was doing video editing, I would add a 3rd hard drive for video project and temp files


                Wife's Computer Nov 2012

                109.99 Intel MB one PS/2


                129.99 32Gig G.Skill


                17.98 120mm x2 Case Fan


                54.99 Antec Case


                44.99 Power Supply 550w


                299.99 Intel i7-3770


                31.99 ATI 5450 1Gig


                69.99 WD 500Gig


                84.99 WD 1Terrabyte


                16.99 Asus Dvd Writer


                861.89 Hardware Total

                • 6. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
                  Harm Millaard Level 7



                  You have again shown that buidling a system is far more attractive than buying from the big names. Your wife's system is better than the HP that Andrew just bought, with the exception of the video card and far less expensive.


                  Andrew, it will not add much in terms of cost, but the absolute first step to improve this system is getting another 7200 RPM disk, so at least it meets minimum requirements. It will be faster than your current system, but don't expect miracles. Take a look at the PPBM5 Benchmark results and look at the entry at rank # 1072, a HP with the same CPU, which has a faster video card, more memory, two disks and still is around 35 times slower than a fast system.

                  • 7. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
                    John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    >exception of the video card


                    Since she will never do any video editing, there was no need for an nVidia card... a 1Gig AMD/ATI card will do everything she wants (she now has a 512Meg AMD/ATI card, which works just fine to drive two 24" monitors... her current problems stem from only 4gig of ram and WinXP... so 32gig of ram and Win8 should allow her to have all the programs open that she wants, for easy switching from one task to another)


                    All the parts don't arrive until Wednesday, and she's already asking me "when do I get my new computer?"

                    • 8. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
                      Geldy7 Level 1

                      Well can't say that I'm a little disapointed here.  All the information I have gathered so far, and especially from the Premiere Pro CS6 training course on Lynda.com, indicated there are three factors that contribute to playback quality and render times.  Processor, RAM and Video Card.  I felt that by addressing those three areas I would expect to see moderate to significant improvement considering I'm increasing substantially in each of those areas over my original setup.  I have indeed found that it is recommended to go with multiple drives and RAID configurations but in reality I'm not a full-time professional video production person.  I work for a tile company that sells ceramics and natural stone and have been there for 12 years.  We're now trying to get ahead of the curve by investing in a training program and have been starting to invest in the latest technologies to make that happen the best way possible.


                      I have approached it like this:  I like to golf.  I get out maybe 10 times a year.  I'm decent.  But it doesn't make sense for me to spend $2K on a set of Ping clubs when I don't play that often and the expense won't really justify any gain I'll get out of it. 


                      That might very well be the wrong line of thinking, but that's basically what my IT Manager's approach has been with me throughout this process.  Not to mention the IT Manager is my bosses brother-in-law so I don't have the luxury of being able to call out my IT Manager's lack of appreciation for what I'm trying to accomplish here.


                      At this point, I think I may need to consider in purchasing on my own (because I will NOT go back and ask for further investments in the system - contribute that to politics) a second hard drive, a 4th 4 GB memory card (bumping up to 16GB total), and a new Power Supply.


                      I would think I could purchase those for maybe $300 ish (I'm hoping) and can install them myself without having to bring my IT Department into the picture.


                      However, I think I will still wait and see how things go with the existing setup before I make any out of pocket purchases.


                      Lastly, below is what my IT Manager had originally suggested to get for me before I made the recomendation on the system he got.  I tried to do some research on the processor he suggested and couldn't find much whereas I was able to find a lot on the i7-3770 that spoke directly to increased performance in video editing.  Do you feel the configuration I suggested is superior to the one he originally suggested.


                      And thanks again to both of you for your time and input.  I am new in this field but am learning more every day and I really LOVE this stuff.  It's so fascinating and quite frankly - cool...


                      HP Workstatin Z420 - Xeon E5-1603 2.8GHz (this I believe came with 4GB ram and a 500GB hard drive)

                      GTX 560 2GB Card

                      Extra 4 GB Ram


                      Thanks again,



                      • 9. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
                        John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        >three factors that contribute to playback quality and render times. Processor, RAM and Video Card


                        Those are large factors... but only if the computer meets the (not well stated, at Adobe) minimum of having a 2nd hard drive


                        I bought my 1st video editing computer in 2002 to edit DV video from an 8mm camcorder (digitized via Dv500 card) and that old Pentium 3 computer came with 2 hard drives... one for Windows and software and the second for video files


                        I have never tried to edit video with only one hard drive, but I have read MANY messages in these forums from people who come her to ask why they have "slow, jerky" video editing problems when using a computer with only one hard drive (my message #4 explains why)


                        Go to http://extreme.outervision.com/index.jsp and use the free, online power calculator to see if your power supply is large enough for a 2nd hard drive


                        If you can't get your company to buy a 2nd drive, and you do want to spend some of your own money, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236339 would be your best investment

                        • 10. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
                          Geldy7 Level 1

                          Man John that is great news!  I was thinking a hard drive would be in the $200-$300 range and my wife just agreed that if we need to spend a total of $200-$300 to get me to shut up about my IT Manager it’s a worth early Christmas present.  Still not sure why the heck Adobe wouldn't make that clear on their site though....


                          You also mentioned the memory card configuration.  Since there are 4 slots in the case are you suggesting to either stick to two 4 GB sticks in channel A instead of two sticks in A and one in B?  Or spend another $30-$50 on one more 4GB stick?


                          Lastly – are all Power Supplies created equal?  I’m looking at the Corsair 500W for only $60 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139027) but wasn’t sure if it would fit in my computer and/or what I need to look for to determine that.


                          All in all it sounds like if I get the drive for $90, a power supply for $60 and more memory for $50 I can get a well-rounded machine that while not top of the line is an ideal compromise given my situation.

                          • 11. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                            This is in a completely different league, but the ideas presented here may be helpful: Planning & Building a NLE system


                            It is pretty long and contains numerous pages, but I suggest you take the time to read them. Not only because I spent a lot of time on it, but because it may give you ideas, things you had not considered previously, challenges you to look at things from a different perspective, gives you an inkling of current prices for the components I used, etc.

                            • 12. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
                              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              As far as I know, and unless your HP uses a proprietary design (check before buying a replacement !!!) all power supplies are basically the same size... and Corsair is a good brand


                              Go to HP's site, and/or Google, to see if you can find out the physical size of the power supply in the model your company purchased... I simply don't know


                              But, before you buy a power supply to go with the hard drive and more ram, go to the power supply calculator page I posted and enter the information to find out what is recommended... it MAY be you will be able to add a 2nd hard drive, and populate all 4 memory slots, with a 320Gig power supply... but don't run "too close" to capacity, so you don't force the power supply to "run hard" all the time


                              Memory sticks need to be mounted in pairs for the fastest operation... for overall best operation, you need 2 or 4 of the SAME memory sticks, so each one has the same electrical characteristics


                              >not sure why the heck Adobe wouldn't make that clear on their site


                              The people here, even the Adobe staff who answer questions, have been talking about that for years... with the only conclusion being that the "marketing" types who write the "advertising" information on the product pages don't listen to the engineers and/or actual users since putting "real" specifications on the page would not do well for sales (this is MY opinion on what has been discussed in the past)

                              • 13. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
                                Harm Millaard Level 7

                                As far as I know, and unless your HP uses a proprietary design (check before buying a replacement !!!) all power supplies are basically the same size... and Corsair is a good brand


                                Unfortunately that does not apply to HP. They - intentionally - use different dimensions on their PSU's, so you can only use HP PSU's.


                                An extra hard disk is not worth mentioning in the light of total power consumption, it will at most add 12 W during startup and less when running.

                                • 14. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
                                  John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  I went to the power supply calculator


                                  i7 3770 on a "high end" motherboard (don't know if the HP is high end)

                                  4 sticks of ram and Quadro card

                                  2 hard drives and checked all 3 "other devices"


                                  Result is Minimum 244watt Recommended 294watt


                                  Your 320watt power supply should "just" work

                                  • 15. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                    Did you add CPU cooler fans, system fans, a couple of USB devices, etc.


                                    I did the calculation with a stock i7-3770, 3 sticks of RAM, a Quadro 2000 video card, 2 USB devices, 2x 120 mm fans, 2 x 7200 SATA disks, 1 DVD burner, 30% capacitor aging and a 100% system load and came up with this:


                                    11-11-2012 22-34-21.png

                                    There is no leeway for any expansion at all. Not even adding more USB devices.

                                    • 16. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
                                      Geldy7 Level 1

                                      Thanks again both of you for all your input.  At this point since it looks like the existing PSU won't fry the system we'll see how everything works with the new configuration.  I have a spreadsheet where I've recorded the render times for the various projects I've worked on (about 10 different projects of varying complexity and size) so once I'm up and running in the new system I'll be able to have side by side data for comparison purposes.


                                      Based on your feedback I'll likely pull the trigger on the 2nd hard drive and memory and it would only make sense to get a new PSU as well, especially since I have a webcam and usb microphone for the narration portions of the training videos I create.


                                      But I'm glad to know that I can operate without issue as it stands right now and can upgrade when I deem it appropriate.


                                      Seriously though thank you immensely for all your input and the effort you both put into helping me out.


                                      Should you be in the market for any tile in the DC/VA/MD area don't hesitate to let me know and I'll work you out a deal:-)


                                      Thanks again,



                                      • 17. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
                                        Geldy7 Level 1

                                        Last question for you guys if you're still following - I spoke with a rep from CDW and we ordered the following.  They have a flexible return policy so I pulled the trigger in the hopes of getting the material in so I can install it before my machine gets configured.  Any input you have would be great.


                                        Thanks again,


                                        • Extra memory stick (making it a total of 4 to fill all DIMM slots with the same memory type)
                                        • WD Black 1TB Hard Drive Sata-600 w/ 64MB Buffer (WD1002FAEX)
                                        • StarTech.com Pro 450 Watt ATX12V 2.01 PSU w/ PCI
                                          • I questioned him on this since it didnt' have Active PFC so I asked if we should switch to the Antex Basiq BP500U since it had lots of favorable reviews on Newegg and it was listed with Active PFC
                                        • 18. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
                                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                                          The important thing to keep in mind is that a PSU will only draw the power from the wall-outlet that it needs, whether you have a 300 W PSU or a 1500 W PSU. They will use the same energy as required by your system.


                                          Next thing to keep in mind is that all PSU's operate with the best efficiency if the power consumption from the wall outlet is around 50 - 60% of its rated capacity, meaning it makes less noise and uses lower fans speeds than when run at higher capacity. And realize that all PSU's suffer from capacitor ageing, reducing the power they can supply to the system in time.


                                          Last, but probably the most important aspect, if a PSU has trouble with the power requirements of the system, you are in for a lot of mysterious crashes, hangs, BSOD's and the like. In my experience it is quite a hassle to replace a non-modular PSU on a populated system.


                                          The bottom line is: Do not try to save $$ on the PSU.

                                          • 19. Re: Newbie needs help with new system specs!
                                            Geldy7 Level 1

                                            Okay.  I think what I'll do is install the 4th memory stick and the 2nd Hard Drive and see how she runs. 


                                            Is there a way I can test to see how much power is being used by the machine at any given time? 


                                            For example can I start to render a project in Premiere, render another project in Camtasia, do a recording in Audition from a USB Mic while operating my webcam and then get a snapshot of how much is being used becuase that would represent the highest type of productivity I would EVER put on the machine?