9 Replies Latest reply on Apr 22, 2009 7:14 PM by the_wine_snob

    System spec help

      I have recently purchased the Master Collection CS4 and now need a decent PC. I'm purchasing for the company I work for and am limited to DELL...


      I am not a graphic designer or pro video guy. I'll never make a full lengeth movie. 90% of what I need to do is take 1 hour videos of training sessions, trim/edit footage, render out video file, make DVD of video. I have been doing this with a crappy laptop and $100 software for about 4 years and I have finally convinced them to let me get a new PC. The bellow specs hit at about our budget, but I have some room if this is not sufficient for my needs.


      So I am looking at the following:


      Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 (2.83GHz, 12M, 1333MHz FSB)

      8GB  800MHz Ram

      512MB ATI RADEON HD4670

      2 - 320GB HDs with 16MB DataBurst Cache

      2 - 22" LCD

      64-Bit Vista


      My IT guy wants to get an OptiPlex 960. I think this would be OK, but the RAM would be maxed out at 8GB in an OptiPlex. Is that a real issue? This machine will be used only for the Adobe software.


      Thanks in advance for your help!

        • 1. Re: System spec help
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          In the world of Premiere editing, your suggested specs would be considered a pretty high end system.  The only caveat would be to add additional drives.  An ideal minimum is a small System drive for Windows and Programs - 75 to 150 GB is more than enough.  320 Gb is serious overkill, because you do not want to put anything on this drive but the OS and programs.


          Get a larger second drive for Projects/Scratch.  This one can be 320 or larger.


          Get a third for Media.  This should be the largest drive, 500Gb or above depending on how many simultaneous projects you intend to work on.

          • 2. Re: System spec help
            Harm Millaard Level 7

            This sounds good. 8 GB max is not an issue.

            • 3. Re: System spec help
              Level 1

              Thanks for the answers! I was a bit unsure. I feel better now! I feel guilty having a nice setup and not much knowledge on its use, but I look forward to learniing. I really like working with video and this could translate into a job change some day after I learn what I'm doing!


              I just got an email from my IT guy while typing the first paragraph. He ordered the system as I speced in my first post with a change to two 1TB drives. How should I have them configured. I will not be given a third for now, but I could justify it later probably.


              What type of render time should I expect for a 45min video? just basic cuts no "fancy" effects or anything? Source would be AVCHD going to DVD. Just a ball park idea as I'm a bit excited and don't want to over estimate it. I currently set my computer to render and go to bed and hope it's done when I get up.

              • 4. Re: System spec help
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Harm & Jim make very valid points about the system I/O. Both have contributed several articles to the forum on suggested HDD configurations and how best to implement them. With video, more HDD's is always better and 1TB SATA's are really cheap these days.



                • 5. Re: System spec help
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  Follow Jim's advise and get a small (< 160GB) disk for OS and programs, 1 of the 1 TB disks for media and the other one for projects/scratch/exports. The additional cost would be negligent and the performance would be way better.

                  • 6. Re: System spec help
                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                    I will not be given a third for now, but I could justify it later probably.


                    I'd work real hard to change his mind on this.  It is a waste to install the OS on a 1Tb drive.  You reeeeeally want a small 75 to 150 Gb drive for this, because you don't want to use the System drive for anything but OS and programs.  So a 1TB System drive will have a LOT of wasted space.  Do it now rather than later.  Start off on the correct cofig.  Three drives really is a good minimum to star with.  You can always add more than three, but three is the magic minimum.

                    • 7. Re: System spec help
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      Yes! Take the IT guy to dinner, buy him a nice Bordeaux and have the contract and a pen in your pocket. If he'll spring for a couple of 1TB HDD's already, adding a small, fast System/Program HDD should be a piece-o-cake, and all it will cost you is dinner and the wine.




                      PS you'll get to drink some of that wine, so there are side benefits, as well.

                      • 8. Re: System spec help
                        Level 1

                        Besides me taking the guy to dinner and getting him drunk sounding a bit creepy, wouldn't just be cheaper and easier for me to just buy the HD myself?

                        • 9. Re: System spec help
                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                          Hey, that might work too. However, you don't get the Bordeaux, since you spent the bread on the HDD! [Grin]


                          In all seriousness, you need the larger media drives. However, I have tried to work with many clients' IT departments, when it comes to graphics machines and most do not "get it." Most of their time is spent on machines that do database work, word processing, etc., and few have any concept of what a graphics machine, let alone an NLE machine really needs. In real world editing, you WILL appreciate the extra real estate.


                          Good luck,




                          PS if he springs for the HDD, take the person of your choice to share that Bordeaux...