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

    Is i3 or i5 enough for converting VHS tapes?

    moonlunar Level 1

      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,