6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 12, 2011 6:27 AM by the_wine_snob

    Is i3 or i5 enough for converting VHS tapes?


      My mom has been wanting to convert VHS and Mini DV tapes to either DVD's or storage on Hard drives. She would be using Premiere elements 9. I decided to build her a new PC for the job.I came across the a thread at Muvipix.com http://muvipix.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8735 on suggested hardware. I put together a list of possible parts to buy:


      Intel Core i3-540 Clarkdale 3.06GHz 4MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop OR

      Intel Core i5-650 Clarkdale 3.2GHz 4MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop


      Intel BOXDH55TC LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard OR
      GIGABYTE GA-H55M-S2V LGA 1156 Intel H55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard


      G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)


      SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache (OS,programs)
      Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache (Media)


      350-450 watt PSU


      1. Would intel intergrated graphics work for rendering Standard Definition DV-AVI footage or should I use a dediated GPU?

      2. 32 or 64 bit windows 7 Home Premium ?



      Thank you

        • 1. Re: Is i3 or i5 enough for converting VHS tapes?
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          I would definitely go with the i5 vs the i3.


          I would strongly advise against the embedded Intel graphics chip. The chip itself is not the issue - the lack of updated drivers is. If your MoBo of choice has the Intel chip, it should be able to disable that, with a jumper, a DIP switch or through the BIOS. Go with an nVidia, or ATI/AMD video card, as both producers offer updated drivers with great regularity.


          I'd bump up the PSU to about 500 - 600, as there will also be at least one burner in the system.


          For the A-D (Analog to Digital) device, see this ARTICLE. Note that if you go with the Pyro unit, there is a strong support community for that A-D bridge on Muvipix. Should you have any questions about it, someone there can likely help.


          Good luck,



          • 2. Re: Is i3 or i5 enough for converting VHS tapes?
            moonlunar Level 1

            The i5 is the better choice. For converting VHS tapes I was going to use Grass Valley ADVC-110. Is the MSI N240GT-MD1G/D5 GeForce GT 240 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 okay for dediated GPU?

            • 3. Re: Is i3 or i5 enough for converting VHS tapes?
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              I am not familiar with that card, but in very general terms, it should be fine. Maybe others will have experience with that particular vid-card, and can comment directly.


              The Canopus/Grass Valley 110 gets very high marks around here, as do the 300 and the Pyro. Glad that you are not going with some other products, like the Dazzle, or a capture card.


              I would also suggest looking into a FW, or eSATA external, as the Captured DV-AVI files will be large at ~ 13GB / hour. I use FW-800's (heavily invested in those), but eSATA would be even better, and in real-world terms almost identical to having SATA internals. I do not know if your selected MoBo's have eSATA built-in, but there are many good PCI controller cards. If you need to go the card route, try for one with a controller chip per connector, if at all possible. Same if you go with a FW-800 controller card - one chip per connector is better.


              Good luck,



              • 4. Re: Is i3 or i5 enough for converting VHS tapes?
                moonlunar Level 1

                I tried the Dazzle some years ago and it was slow and buggy. When you mention a "controller chip per connector"  would this be an example:

                http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816132007&cm_re=esata_pci_card-_-16- 132-007-_-Product ?


                The Intel BOXDH55TC motherboard does have 2 internel esata ports while GIGABYTE GA-H55M-S2V does not.

                • 5. Re: Is i3 or i5 enough for converting VHS tapes?
                  rdnelson Level 2

                  A Pentium 4 was sufficient for converting Hi8 tapes with the Canopus (now Grass Valley) 300.  I did this a few years ago with Premier Elements 3.  Editing the content is where a beefier system is needed.  I would rely on the suggestions provided in this thread for the system configuration.


                  I was very happy with results of the ADVC300 and just wanted to pass the word on.

                  • 6. Re: Is i3 or i5 enough for converting VHS tapes?
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    Yes, the Dazzle box seems to have been a real problem. Going back some years, few on the Pinnacle forum could ever get it to run properly, even with the then included Pinnacle Studio software. I cannot recall one story of success, even from the regulars, but then with a support forum, few post to tell of success - only problems!


                    I love the Canopus 300, and appreciate the TimeBase corrections that it provides me with. The time that I am saved, more than offset the difference in cost. Never ran the numbers, but I'd say that it paid for itself with about the 20th tape +/-. Still, the 110 is great for most folk, and with a bit of Color Correction and Gamma adjustment, the output from the editing program will look identical to the output from a 300 Capture. It comes down to time vs $.


                    Good luck,