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What can I expect?
I hope you did not pay more than $ 60 for the 4 GB upgrade, but knowing Dell you probably invested a lot more.
With the memory upgrade and the 470 installed, you can expect to come out near the bottom of the results in the PPBM5 Benchmark
Around 20 times slower than a fast system in the region of rank 165.
For PS, AI, ID, DW and the like it is quite acceptable, for PR it is very slow, but somewhat OK for DV and HDV, not for AVCHD or DSLR material.
Thanks Harm, that's pretty much what I thought although I hoped for better.
As for what I'll be doing, well that will evolve with time. As far as videos go it will primarily be "home movies", nothing terribly long and mostly under an hour in length. The more I learn the more I'll want to try to do, and I hope that down the road in time I'll be able to get a better system although this one has excelled for all I've previously thrown at it.
I'll update once I've got the upgraded video card and new memory installed. Yes, the cost of the memory was more than $60 as you expected. I had to get four cards, 2 G each, to completely replace my current four cards of 1 G each.
During my limited (so far) usage of Premiere Pro while learning to use it, and the other programs as well, my system has been able to keep up without choking. But, I haven't tried rendering anything yet. That could be the true test. One good thing - I don't have any time restrictions or due dates being thrown at me. I can proceed at whatever pace and time I have at hand.
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While you are saving for a new machine, learn the ropes of video editing with DV or HDV material, if you have that. Use resources like you mentioned, but also look at Classroom In A Book, CIAB, which earns high marks here among PR users. Try to avoid AVCHD if you can, because that is really taxing the system.
My price of $ 60 was based on two sticks.
For the future, if you want a new system, try to avoid Dell as much as possible, because they all come with crippled BIOS, can not be overclocked, have custom PSU's and they steal you blind with everything that is optional or extra. The same applies to HP and similar brand names. An IT Technician can easily build a new machine, instead of an off-the-shelf machine.
" An IT Technician can easily build a new machine, instead of an off-the-shelf machine."
Lol, that's quite a vote of confidence! Yes, I probably could but I've never really been into the hardware side of computers. In fact, years ago we IT Technicians were known as simply Computer Operators (I started back in 1972 using a Digital Equipment Corp. PDP11/20). I still deal with mainframes but mostly production of reports and forms at work. IT Techs (as per my own experience) also help general office workers with simple procedures, even as simple as changing a printer ribbon or cartridge. It's not an exotic job at all but that could all depend on the business one works for. These days it requires a better than average knowledge of Windows (all versions) and not so much on the mainframe side of things. And not a lot at all about hardware where I work, we leave that for our Network Techs.
I've already been looking at the selection of books at Amazon, and pondering which of the Classroom in a Book's to get first. I'm tending toward the one for Production Pro, with After Effects as a close second.
Those PDP11's were so good and reliable, they lasted years. I have even encountered them still in operation in the mid to late '80-s. Completely automated warehouse operations were run with PDP11's.
I started out with a MITS Altair back in those days and then via IBM 370 and DEC mainframes to IBM 5100 in '75, using APL. Just looked here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_5100 and was surprised by the price at that moment. Can you imagine $ 20 K for only 64 KB memory and a 5" display with a tapedrive for storage. No 160 K 5.25" floppies in those days.
Just an update. I'm still waiting for part of my memory order. I suppose I could go ahead and install what I've received so far -- the GTX470 and 4 G of memory and that would bring me up to having 6 G of memory. It'll be another 10 days +/- before the remaining memory will be back in stock plus shipping time. I could wait, I've got a vacation to take too.
Oh, I have also realized that I misspoke in my initial post in that my external (backup) drive is 1TB, not 500 G. Not that it matters, I just wanted to correct that.
I'm still studying as many hours as I can pack in over at Lynda.com and at Adobe TV. Running out of tutorials now at the CS5 level and starting to watch some of the CS4 level ones just in case they have something more to offer. Still deciding which book to get first but will nail that down at the end of this week.