7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2010 1:17 PM by the_wine_snob

    Does anything about this configuration suck?

    NotEnoughHours Level 1

      Today I had a revelation.  I was seriously considering buying a Mac.  After all, Macs are so wonderful, right?  Then I realized that the kind of Macs people buy to do video editing don't have crappy specs.  So, it got me wondering, what is the absolute best out there right now.  I came up with this (not the absolute best, but trying to keep it under $4K here.  If I bought a machine with the following configuration, would all my problems (slow rendering, unexplained crashes etc) likely be over?


      • Operating system Genuine Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
      • Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-980X six-core Extreme Edition [3.33GHz, 1.5MB
        L2 + 12MB shared L3 cache]
      • Memory 24GB DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM [6 DIMMs]
      • Hard drive 1TB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive
      • Graphics card 1.8GB NVIDIA Geforce GTX 260
        • 1. Re: Does anything about this configuration suck?
          nealeh Level 5

          You only specify a single hard disk. For best performance three is a recommended minimum, one each for  Program Files / Project Files / Scratch Disk files.


          If you search some of Bill Hunt's posts you will see the recommendation for even more hard disks (using some in Raid 0 for greater speed).


          Some links:

          Re: To RAID or not to RAID, that is the question

          Re: Additional Hard Drives

          Re: Adobe Premiere Elements 8.0 Render Speed


          Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children


          Message edited by: nealeh - Added 'Some links:'

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Does anything about this configuration suck?
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            As you've no doubt seen on these board, the 64-bit version of Windows 7 gives some people problems with Premiere Elements 8. It might be a good idea to test drive the program on this OS before you committed financially.


            Other than that -- you definitely have a kick-butt machine!

            • 3. Re: Does anything about this configuration suck?
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              I agree with Neale. Not sure if you are intending on partitioning the single HDD, but I would beg you to not do so. Much will be heavily compromised if you do so.


              With a partition, the OS sees a single, physical HDD, as multiple HDD's. It will call for reads/writes, and cannot understand why it's taking so very long. One of the first principles of physics is that an object can only be in one place at one time. Think of the heads on the HDD. They can only be over one position in the platters at one time. The OS will fight that bottleneck, and with video editing, it will be horrible.


              I am a fan of having at least 3x physical (very important) HDD's. The configuration would be similar to this:


              C:\ OS, programs and probably the Page File (this could be moved, but one would need to do benchmark tests to determine the best size and location)


              D:\ Projects and Scratch Disks


              E:\ Media


              If more HDD's are added, I'd use them thusly:


              F:\ Export/Share


              G:\ All Audio


              For ultimate performance, one might consider using RAID in one of the 0 (zero) configurations:


              E:\ RAID 0 (or higher with more physical HDD's in the Array)


              F:\ Same as E:\ above


              G:\ Same as E:\ above


              For any RAID, I would strongly recommend a dedicated controller card, with on-board RAM.


              I would NOT recommend RAID (unless one went with a redundant Array) for the System HDD, as there is much to loose, not THAT much to gain and a good, fast and smaller HDD would give you almost the same throughput.


              Otherwise, sounds like a great system. Do not forget really good cooling and a heavy-duty Power Supply.


              Good luck,



              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Does anything about this configuration suck?
                NotEnoughHours Level 1

                huh - I would have never thought of using separate hard drives as you suggest -

                so I guess that really helps speed up the system?  Thanks!

                • 5. Re: Does anything about this configuration suck?
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  Having multiple physical HDD's of a fast controller, like SATA II, will allow for much greater throughput.


                  Most users report a great increase in speed, with just the addition of a second HDD, so long as the tasks are separated, as I show above. Separating out the media from the Project and the Scratch Disks will improve playback, as well as most operations in PrE.


                  I would say that a 2x HDD setup is the absolute minimum, and 3x is where I would start. HDD's are really coming down in price, so one can likely add a second and third 1TB unit for less than US$200.


                  With the exception of AVCHD (or very similar highly-compressed material), the I/O sub-system is the most important part of a video-editing computer. With AVCHD, the CPU actually has a bigger task.


                  Good luck,



                  • 6. Re: Does anything about this configuration suck?
                    NotEnoughHours Level 1

                    Bill - thanks for the input - much appreciated.  I've recently started using a Sony HD AX-2000 and the first thing I've noticed is that I cannot preview full HD 1920x1080 AVCHD files without completely rendering them first.  That obviously takes up a lot of time and disc space, but they just don't play without stuttering at best.


                    I thought I had a decent computer system until I started researching.  I currently have an INtel Core TM2 Quad CPU 2.50GHz with  8GB memory and a 1GB NVIDIA GTS250 graphics card.  But I only have one HDD at 750GB.  My question - I guess this system sucks, right?  But adding a second HDD even to this system might help?  Also, could I extrapolate from your theory that it might not be helping to have a project's assets in multiple locations all across my one lonesome hard drive - or does that not make a difference?

                    • 7. Re: Does anything about this configuration suck?
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      That is not a bad system. It's similar to my laptop, but then I am only doing SD editing.


                      Some users report fair to good results with a Quad-core, but many feel that only an i7 is really capable of playing that format/CODEC. I have never benchmarked with HD, so I do not have a clue.


                      My workstation is a dual Xeon unit, but again, it's only seeing HD. When I upgrade it, I will be looking to either i7's, or maybe the new Xeon in a dual configuration. Also, I'll be adding a 64-bit OS, so will bump my memory up to 12-24 GB then. As for now, I only have 4GB, since I am on XP-Pro for all my OS's. Now, the laptop has 3x SATA II's, and the workstation 8x SATA II's (no RAID, but for HD I would go that route for my media, Export and probably Audio drives).


                      Good luck,