We built two news editors about 6 months ago and needed to build both computers for $1200. These were replacing two old Avid Newscutter XP systems from 2004...
Because we were shooting DVCAM on DSR-250 camera's or to .mov/.avi DV files on nNovia QC Decks on the camera's, the files were basic DV 25Mbps content in SD.
Based on the System Requirements of Adobe for Premiere CS5, I didn't feel I needed to build these as top end machines at the time.
They are as follows:
MSI Motherboard 77T-C45 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130270
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition 3.2 GHz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103846
Seagate Barracuda 80GB C: Boot Drive, Page File http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148231
Reused 1 TB Samsug 7200 rpm SATA Scratch drive from Avid system. E:\ Projects, raw files, Media cache files
Corsair XMS2 4GB (2x2GB) Dual Channel http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145184
PNY nVidia Quadro FX 380 256 MB 128-bit GDDR3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133274
Corsair 400W Power supply http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139008
Looking back at it now, and after reading a lot of posts, these systems are on the low end. Guess that is how Adobe gets more people to buy software, make it look like it will run on what you have, after you shell out the cash on the program you realize you have to upgrade hardware too..
The systems have been working great for the SD footage we needed them for. We are not going HD anytime soon as our entire studio, routers, switcher, CG, playout system, studio camera's and pretty much everything else would need updating. So I wanted editors that were more user friendly and would handle what we were working with and that is what I got. Figured in 3-5 years when HD comes along for us it will be time for entire new system on CS7 with 30 cores, 1 TB of memory and such... (More's Law)...
So new twist to the issue. We were having a lot of issues with camera's dying the last few months. It was getting hard to keep the DSR-250s working and even though I can buy them for $1000-$1500 used off of e-bay and they are in way better shape than ours, they were big, bulky and our reporters "one man band" it a lot and two of the young women are just shy of 5 foot. You should see a petite little reporter lug a huge shoulder mount camera up onto the tripod and run it when it is bigger than them.. Really funny!!
So I pushed for new camera's and found the new Sony HXR-NX5U met all our needs in that it is a Z1/Z5 style camera (smaller format) but has "NO TAPE"...Shoots to SD cards and a 4 GB class 2 gives 58 min each in SD.
It will shoot HD as AVCHD 24Mbps files and does SD as Mpeg-2 and 9 Mbps with AC3 audio. I demo'd a camera from Sony and did a lot of testing with it, I played a few clips on the CS5 systems and everything seemed ok. They did require a quick render and I think that has to do with the Mpeg-2 compression. It is about 1/4-1/2 time render so a 5 minute clip will take 1-2.5 minutes roughly to render out. Playback is ok even when not rendered but the video looks fuzzy on the CRT monitor looped off of our Firewire DSR-11 DVCAM deck. Not a big deal, they can edit and render at the end before dumping to tape.
Problem that came up today (we just started using the new camera's this week), when I went to diagnose system crashing, I found a simple news package on the timeline. Maybe 40 small clips, edited into a package, with simple edits. It was already rendered but I noticed the fan on the system was running fast which only happens if the CPU is working hard. (Front Case Fan 120mm is on the CPU fan header PWM control, CPU fan is on Northbridge fan connector non-PWM controlled) So the CPU fan (stock) is running at full speed but I used the MB temp monitoring to control the front fan so I could have a quiet system when it is not working hard.
That led me to open the task manager. I found that the CPU is running along at 94-98% for both Cores. Ram is ok as Premiere was using about 1.8GB of the 4 GB in the system. I checked the other system and it was doing the same thing.
What is odd, is premiere is just sitting there with a timeline open, mpeg-2 clips on it and me not doing anything it stays at 92% continually. I even close the project so I am out at the "new project" "Open Project" screen and no change. If I hit exit, then the CPU drops right away down to 7% and is fine. Open premiere back up into a project and CPU goes right back up. During a timeline Render it is 100%.
We are able to edit and they seem to work but it is causing the system to run Hot and is running the CPU at near max all the time. I added two more 80mm fans out the back that will help pull more hot air out.
Is my chip way to slow for mpeg? is there a setting that I must change to optimize editing mpeg-2? I am assuming it is the work to decode the video on the fly, something the DV video didn't require so much CPU for. I am not using GPU acceleration as I do not have a card that supports it even with the hack that I know of. And GPU Acc. doesn't work for DV firewire output either.
I am considering the following:
1. Buy larger aftermarket CPU cooler and overclock my chip as many say this "Black Edition" with an unlocked multiplier is a breeze to overclock up to 4 Ghz range. (but still only 2 cores)
2. Buy a replacement 4 or 6 core processor to replace it (also with the better than stock Cooler from above)
The only problem is having to spend so much money on additional hardware.
I am also going to optimize Windows 7 on these editors as I think Areo is running and other none essential things.
The big question is why is it maxing out when doing NOTHING????? Is it just trying to build that freeze frame on the screen as it is a picture between the I- frames? (i.e. not a real frame of video but one created by decoding the info of IPPBPPIPPBPPI etc.)
Any idea's/help would be great. Anyone else using this camera and the SD files? I didn't think this would be an issue as I had read post that people were editing this kind of stuff on CS3 a few years back. Can't believe it would cause a newer system so much grief..