31 Replies Latest reply on Mar 15, 2010 6:06 AM by Baz R

    NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE

    Capturefilms

      Hello,

       

      I need help putting together a new HD edit suite to edit a feature film. I've been using the same (pre built) PC based system for the past five years, but I need to upgrade. I've been doing a bit of research and think I'm nearly there, but I could do with some advice as I'm still a bit unsure on a few points. Thanks in advance for any help offered.


      1. My current system has two monitors, plus the option of a third 'graded' output monitor via a Matrox card. I still want the third monitor option and I don't want to do the output via a cam or deck. Am I righ in thinking I need another Matrox or Blackmagic card to get my third graded monitor? If so, will the Blackmagic Intensity Pro do the job or is there a better option? Is it compatible with Premiere CS4? Does anyone know, how many output/inputs there are on it? Ideally, I'd like to out put one (HD) to a graded monitor and another (SD or HD) to a projector, would I need two cards for this?

       

      2. RAM - I keep reading that 4gb or RAM is only effective if you are running on certain versions of windows, namely, 64 bit. Is this true? and if so, how much RAM is recommended. At the minute, I'm thinking about 16gb.

       

      3. Hard Drives - At the minute I have four 250gb WD USB hard drives with all the footage from the film on. They seem to work ok at the minute, despite the fact my system is 6 years old. Is USB fine for HD editing or should I be looking at SATA drives? I want to have external hard drives for everything, and one small (200gb) internal just for programme files.

       

      Finally, I don't need monitors, keyboard, mouse. But I could do with a recommendation of the best components. Not including the price for the Blackmagic/Matorx card or hard drives, I'm looking to spend about £750. Could someone, please recommend the best;

       

      Motherboard

      Graphics Card

      Processor

      RAM

      Version of Windows

       

      Thanks again in advance and sorry if this seems a simple question......first timer!

       

      Cheers

      Capturefilms

      www.thefilmwithnoname.com

        • 1. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          There are a lot of posts on system configurations, but when you start with:

           

          I need help putting together a new HD edit suite to edit a feature film.

           

          and continue with:

           

          I'm looking to spend about £750.

           

          you are asking something along  this line:

           

          I need help finding a Rolls in pristine condition and no older than three years, but do not want to spend more than $ 2 K.

           

          No way, especially in the UK, to achieve that. UNREALISTIC.

           

          You have to start with at least 4 eSATA disks if you don't want them internally, your current disks are only good for backups, not for editing.

           

          If you forgot an initial figure 4 or 5 in your budget, OK, we can come up with something to meet your needs.

          • 2. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
            Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            First, I assume that you are talking about HDV or maybe SD if you are getting by with USB drives.  If you use the term HD, many here will assume some less compressed high definition format which would definitely veto external drives  If you want some configuration ideas look at my Premiere Pro Benchmark Results Page for successful editing configurations.  If you really want external drives there are two ways.  Either eSATA connection or the new USB 3.0 interface (only a few boards support this so far).  But if you really want to be happy you should seriously consider a RAID Array. 

             

            As far as RAM, if you go with one of the newer Intel x58 chipset motherboards you will now find that you buy memory modules in sets of three.  With these systems you will find many people recommend 12 GB.

             

            Search these forums for Harm Millard's guides on what to do specifying your Editing computer.

             

            Windows 64 Pro is the consensus best OS.

             

            May sure that you verify that you can really use 12 or more GB by reading the detail information in the manuals.

            • 3. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
              Capturefilms Level 1

              Ham,

               

              I think you're being unrealistic. It doesn't if I'm editing 20 short films on the machine or one feature, I just need something that works well with HD footage. (We're also shooting 720p)

               

              So, I'll make my SATA drives internal and if you read the orignal post, you'll see the budget for them is not included in the £750.

               

              What I'm looking for is an answer to the Blackmagic question and the best motherboard, graphics card, RAM, processor and software, for about £750.

              • 4. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Intel i7 processor... Asus P6 motherboard... 12Gig ram... nVidia gtx 285 display card to make use of MPE that is supposed to be in CS5

                 

                I have no idea of costs in the UK... or the exchange rate to US dollars... so you will need to do some searching

                • 5. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  OK, unrealistic:

                   

                  1. Case: € 100

                  2. PSU: € 150

                  3. CPU i7-930: € 240

                  3. 12 GB RAM: € 300

                  4. Video card nVidia GTX285: € 400

                  5. Mobo P6T WS PRO: € 250

                   

                  which is already way above your budget (€1440)  without disks, raid controller, CPU cooler, fans, OS, etc. and is skimping on essential components, and forgetting about BR burners that you need to output anything HD.

                   

                  No way you will get anything worthwhile for 750 quid.

                  • 6. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                    Scott Chichelli Level 3

                    HI,

                     

                    720p (Not real HD) HDV and if ingesting via firewire its no biggy at all same as DV

                     

                    this is really the lowest you can go realistically

                     

                    P55 motherboard

                    500w quality power supply (700 would be better for when you add drives)

                    I5 750

                    4gig DDR3 1333 (2 x 2gig)

                    3x 500G 7200 sata

                    (better to have 1 500 and 2 1TB)

                     

                    nvidia 250 or ati equal

                    Win7 64 home or pro

                    DVD-RW

                     

                    check out Scan for built systems in the UK

                     

                    this is a vast improvement over what you have now

                    Scott

                    ADK

                    • 7. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                      Capturefilms Level 1

                      Cheers Scott, do you think 4gb of RAM will be enough. Someone on another forum suggested this:

                       

                      Athlon II X4 60 Quad Core £75

                      Gigabyte GA DDR3 (motherboard) £76

                      8GB RAm £168

                      Asus vVidia GTS 250 £80

                      case and psu £80

                      windows £90

                       


                      What do you think? What did you mean by 'check out scan'.

                       

                      Also, does anyone have an answer to the original Blackmagic question?

                       

                      HAM, what do you think of the above compared to your £250 for a case and psu idea? Is it more realistic now that you know it's 720p?

                      • 8. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        CAPT,

                         

                        If you want a really slow system for a HD feature film, and spend months waiting for the rendering/encoding to complete, this is the way to go. In your sumup you have not included any drives, nor the rest (CPU cooler, fans, cables, BM card, etc.) so even this will be beyond your budget if you add these items. For a decent setup with 4 external eSATA drives (your requirement) add something like € 400 to the budget. And even than you will have a system that is not comfortably up to the task of editing a 720 HD full feature film. At best is will be around 5 or more times slower than a properly configured Intel system.

                         

                        Keep in mind that I quoted prices in € (incl. VAT) and not in PST. Not that there is a large diference anymore, but ...

                         

                        I seriously wonder why anybody would still consider an AMD CPU when they are so far behind Intel in the price/performance curve.

                        • 9. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                          Capturefilms Level 1

                          HAM,

                           

                          You seem to be a knowledgeable person, but you're missing the point, so I'll try and ask you again sensibly.

                           

                          At the moment, I am using a machine that has 2 gb of RAM and Christ knows what else inside it, as I said earlier, it was built 5 years ago. I'm also using four USB drives with a total of about 800gb of footage over them to edit. Rendering times are about 15 mins for a 5 min clip. The film has been shot in 720p.

                           

                          I'm not sure what your experience is with editing, but I can assure you that it doesn't matter if you're editing a bunch of short films or a feature, the computer doesn't know the difference. The film will probably be edited in four 45 mins sections. Then it will go to a post production house for grading and final rendering. We're not trying to build a £750 computer that will turn out a new episode of STAR WARS.

                           

                          So, if possible, can I get an answer to my questions....

                           

                          1. Do I need a black magic card for an external graded monitor?

                          2. Is SATA the best way to go for hard drives (internal or external)?

                          3. For approximatley £750 (That's British Pounds) What would you recommend for;

                           

                          a.Motherboard,

                          b.Processor,

                          c. RAM,

                          d.Graphics Card

                          e.Version of windows.

                           

                          4. Don't include the prices for Cases, PSU's, fans, Blue Ray burner, monitors etc.

                           

                          Hopefully yours........

                          • 10. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                            Scott Chichelli Level 3

                            HI Ben,

                            i do this for a living (build systems for NLE)

                             

                            i have already given you the least you want to buy and NO AMD is not it.

                            anything less would be a complete waste of money.

                             

                            Extrenal drives are slower than internals unless eSata. no point to them other than back up

                            or a high priced Ext raid array

                             

                            Scott

                            ADK

                            • 11. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                              Capturefilms Level 1

                              Hi Scott,

                               

                              I didn't realize you did this for a living, if so, do you mind giving me the spec for the best I can buy, for this kind of money and not just the minimum. Again, don't worry about including hard drives (it looks like I'm going for SATA internal), cases, PSU's, Blue Ray Burners etc in the price, just a price for the following

                               

                              For approximately £750 , you can go over by about £100 if you need to (That's British Pounds) What would you recommend for;

                               

                              a.Motherboard,

                              b.Processor,

                              c. RAM,

                              d.Graphics Card

                              e.Version of windows.

                               

                               

                              AND PLEASE do I need a blackmagic card or equivalent for an third external graded monitor?

                               

                              Many thanks

                              Ben

                              • 12. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                Scott Chichelli Level 3

                                for just your list thats easy thats about $1100 US

                                 

                                i dont disclose what Mobo i use however

                                 

                                X58 chipset $200+

                                Intel 930 processor $300 ish

                                12GIG Muskin DDR3 1600 CL 8 about $400

                                nivida 285 (future support of CS5) $400 ish

                                Win 7 64 Home (max memory is 16 gig) or Pro which is 192gig..

                                 

                                i know i went over you could drop the 12 gig to 6gig if not using AE/PS with bridge at the same time as PP.

                                you can always add more later.

                                 

                                Scott

                                ADK

                                • 13. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                                  Scott,

                                   

                                  We finally agree on about everything here and we ended in the same ballpark. Sorry for CAPT, but that's live.

                                   

                                  The only thing I wonder about is your addition:

                                   

                                  If I calculate correctly, without Win7, it should be something like: 200 + 300 + 400 + 400 + Win7 = 1,300 + Win7, not 1,100.

                                  • 14. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                    Capturefilms Level 1

                                    Thanks Scott,

                                     

                                    Not sure I'll be upgrading to cs5, so might not need the same graphics card. Is there something you would recommend instead.

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    Ham,

                                     

                                    You seem to have moved from 'can't be done'  to 'the same conclusion' as Scott, without actually showing us your conclusion,interesting.

                                     

                                     

                                    Finally, Do any of you have an answer to the Blackmagic question from the original post?

                                    • 15. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                                      Both #5 and #12 show figures way above 1,300 which is nearly double your available budget. Scott's 1300 and my 1440 are in the same ball park IMO, especially if you take into consideration that US figures are without sales tax and my prices are including VAT.

                                       

                                      A BM card is only feasible if your budget goes up accordingly. But your approach looks like getting an old Fiat 500 second-hand and wanting to install an expensive Bose sound system in the car. I would prefer a nicer, quieter and more powerful car like a Beamer (read PC) and use the standard sound system instead of an expensive Bose sound system (read BM).

                                      • 16. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                        Capturefilms Level 1

                                        HAM,

                                         

                                        Scott's price is 1300 DOLLARS which is about 850 Pounds, about 100 pounds over my budget, so not too bad

                                         

                                        Your 1440 is Euro's, which is about 1330 Pounds, about 600 pounds over my budget, so not so good.

                                         

                                        In conclusion, I'd say that these prices were not similar.

                                         

                                        And considering you're talking 250 Euro's for a PSU and case, I'd say, Scott thinks a little bit more before giving his opinion.

                                         

                                        What I fail to understand, time and time again, is why can't somebody look at the original post and give a sensible answer....

                                         

                                        For example, you could buy this for and extra £50, and maybe get two hard drives now and two more at a later stage, you would also be wise in investing in the 6GB of ram now and making provisions to for another 4GB later.....That kind of thing.

                                         

                                        Regarding your Blackmagic answer, it makes no sense to anyone. Are you saying that there is a cheaper card on the market that would do the same job? Are you recommending I do a cowboy job and put the third monitor through a dv cam or deck, which may work for fishing videos, but is not practical for what we're doing, or are you saying that a more expensive graphics card would do the job?

                                         

                                        I'm happy with the info Scott has given me, and a few other sources to build the computer. So, if you wouldn't mind, could you answer the Black magic question. To make it easier, I'll make it multiple choice.....

                                         

                                        Q. Will a Black magic intensity pro card give me the ability to output to a third graded monitor when using adobe premiere CS4?

                                         

                                        A1 - Yes

                                        A2 - No

                                        A3 - Yes, but there is a cheaper/better/more cost effective card called ................

                                        A4 - I don't know

                                         

                                        Thanks in advance.

                                        • 17. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                          Scott Chichelli Level 3

                                          yes the intensity pro will give you a 3rd monitor preview

                                           

                                          Scott

                                          ADK

                                          • 18. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                            Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            I have not done this personally but almost any cheap second graphics card will output a high definition DVI output to a third display device.  DVI to HDMI cable and you have a cheaper solution with your given a quality HD display.

                                             

                                            P. S. You forgot to add in the VAT on Scott's US pricing.

                                            • 19. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                              Scott Chichelli Level 3

                                              2 vid cards are a bad idea it never works right.. trust me we have tried multiple manufacturers ATI/nVidia

                                              this driver that driver.

                                              it only works 1/2 way decent at best.

                                              • 20. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                                Capturefilms Level 1

                                                Hi Scott,

                                                 

                                                Just choosing a motherboard. I've got it down to thre options. The only thing I'm not sure is 'How many SATA drives they allow my to plug in' I'm buying three to start with, but will be adding about another three at later dates:

                                                 

                                                The three motherboards I've got to are:

                                                 

                                                http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-235-GI&groupid=701&catid=5&subcat= 1692

                                                 

                                                http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-236-GI&groupid=701&catid=5&subcat= 1692

                                                 

                                                http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-379-AS&groupid=701&catid=5&subcat= 1692

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Am I right in thinking that the line in the descriptions that say "Storage: 6x SATA 3Gb/s (RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10) & 2x SATA 6Gb/s"

                                                 

                                                Relate to how many sata drives you can plug in. In this case 6 at 3GB p/s and 2 at 6GB p/s Totaling 8 possible drives?

                                                 

                                                Thanks again for your help.........and which one would you recommend, if any.....cheers

                                                 

                                                Ben


                                                • 21. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                  The last one, but if you want a processor and a video card as well, better forget about a case, memory and PSU until you have the budget. Just get the mobo (240), the i7-930 (210) and the GTX-285 (300) and then next year get a case, some memory and a PSU to complete the package. Gets you right up to budget for now.

                                                  • 22. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                                    Capturefilms Level 1

                                                    So negative Ham,

                                                     

                                                    I've gone over my options and decided that my budget must go up a little, here's my spec............

                                                     

                                                    The motherboard mentioned above (£240)

                                                    Intel i7 930 (£230)

                                                    4x2GB Corsair RAM (£220)

                                                    Nvidia GTX 260 (£170)

                                                    Window 7 64bit (£80)

                                                    3 SATA Drives (2 x 1TB and 1 x 160GB) (£180)

                                                    Blackmagic Card (£130)

                                                    Case and Psu (£130)

                                                     

                                                    Takes my budget to about £1380

                                                     

                                                    Thoughts............or, shouldn't I ask?

                                                    • 23. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                      Either go for 3 DIMM's or 6, but not 4. Either go for 3 x 2 or 6 x 2 GB RAM. This is because of the X58 architecture with triple channel memory.

                                                      • 24. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                                        Capturefilms Level 1

                                                        Apart from that....will it do the job? (Bearing in mind I'm planning on adding at least a further two

                                                        1TB sata drives in the future?)


                                                        • 25. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                          The only doubt I have is the video card, and I realize you have almost doubled your budget already, but keep in mind that sometime this year CS5 is expected and maybe MPE as well and the only video cards reported to be supported at this moment start with the GTX-285. It is completely unclear if other cards will be supported, and when MPE will be released. But it is something to keep in mind.

                                                          • 26. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                                            Capturefilms Level 1

                                                            I know, but we'll be starting to edit within the next week, and with 30 percent of the film already shot and another 30 percent to be shot be the end of April, it's unlikely that we'll be upgrading to CS5 halfway through the edit.

                                                             

                                                            And, as eariler mentioned, the final film will probbably be graded and rendered out at a post production house.

                                                             

                                                            Thanks for all your help!

                                                             

                                                            Ben

                                                            • 28. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                                              Capturefilms Level 1

                                                              One last question....sorry to keep going on.

                                                               

                                                              But what kind of memory do I get?

                                                               

                                                              Ham, you pointed out earlier that I need DDR3 Tri-Channel.

                                                               

                                                              But do I go for 10600, 12800 or 16000+

                                                               

                                                              Or is the difference not noticeable?

                                                               

                                                              cheers again.

                                                              • 29. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                                                Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                                MPE = Mercury Playback Engine, a completely new technology that will utilize all of the CUDA capabilities of nVidia cards (till now only on a few of them) that will greatly enhance rendering times and real time playback. Do a search here and you will find a sneak preview and a lot of guessing about it.

                                                                 

                                                                In your situation I would go for DDR3-1333 unless you want to go into heavy overclocking. 1066 is standard, 1333 is enough for reasonable overclocking and 1600 is only required for heavy overclocking. 3.6 being reasonable, 4.0+ being heavy. The price difference can be rather large, hence my suggestion to go for the middle 1333 ones.

                                                                • 30. Re: NEW EDIT SUITE - ADVICE PLEASE
                                                                  Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                                                                  Harm Wrote:

                                                                  "The last one, but if you want a processor and a video card as well, better forget about a case, memory and PSU until you have the budget."

                                                                   

                                                                  A while back, a couple of staff from MaximumPC had a competition.  Who could build the most powerful computer for the least amount of money.  One of the guys used a cardboard box for a case.  If you go to their website they may have archived that article.  There may actually be some useful information there related to saving money.

                                                                   

                                                                  Scott builds computers for a living and prefers not to disclose what motherboard he uses?  I build my own systems, but often pass a product by when the manufacturer doesn't tell you who's components they use.  Hard drive brands are one common example.  When I spend my money, I like to know what I'm getting.