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My only suggestion is to get the most expensive desktop PC computer they have with an Intel processor. Make sure it can accept an nVidia graphics board upgrade if it does not already have one. Best Buy used to have some custom configuration options on desktop computers ask about that.
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The only ones Best Buy has are these: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olstemplatemapper.jsp?id=pcat17080&type=page&qp=cabcat0500000% 23%230%23%232g0~~cabcat0501000%23%230%23%232e~~cpcmcat212600050008%23%230%23%231~~f994||50 72656d69756d~~q70726f63657373696e6774696d653a3e313930302d30312d3031~~f551||496e74656c26233 137343b~~nf546||496e74656c26233137343b20436f726526233135333b206937&list=y&nrp=15&sc=abComp uterSP&ks=960&usc=abcat0500000&sp=-bestsellingsort+skuid&list=y&iht=n&st=processingtime%3A %3E1900-01-01
and they are all unsuitable for editing and a complete waste of money.
You may get a decent Dell for only $ 20K but it still has severe limitations, like crippled BIOS, no overclocking capability and an exorbitant price.
If you have no time to build yourself and a fat wallet, go to a custom builder like ADK. Otherwise you will get what you pay for and you know of course, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys, and if you pay money to monkeys, you get rich monkeys.
I just did a search of what is currently being offered from Best Buy using their web site. Assuming that you were not looking for someone to point you to a $3500 Mac that Best Buy happens to sell, they really do not offer any PC configured to run CS5 and edit HD footage. I'm not sure that any of their off-the-shelf PCs even have dual hard drives, which is one of the a minimimum specs for CS5.
Editing highly compressed HD video, like from your Canon, really does require some special needs.
If you have a CompUSA or Micro Center store in your area, they are much more likely to have an "off the shelf" configuration that would run CS5. These stores carry some "gamer PCs", which can sometimes cover the requirements of CS5 where mainstream and business PCs simply do not (i.e. RAID 0 hard drives, GTX video, lots of RAM, good cooling, etc.).
You should definitely seriously consider what ADK (mail order audio and video PC specialists) has to offer too. Especially if you care about support and how much time you can afford to get everything tuned and tweaked for CS5.
Regarding your comment, "I don't have the time or the money", I hope that we can be helpful here to guide you to an educated decision where you:
A) find a solution that will actually perform the task that you want to do, and for a price that you would choose to pay
B) decide that the cost at this time isn't a fit; borrow a friend's PC and/or wait a year to purchase your own (PC performance always goes up and for a given level of performance, the cost always continues to go down!)
C) maybe find some other software package that could allow you to edit Canon HD footage without requiring so much in the hardware area; Adobe CS5 rocks, but it also requires some serious hardware. I can't help you regarding other software, I'm simply thinking of what options you have.
I agree with Harm. None of the pre-builts sold at Best Buy are suitable for serious video editing: Poor ventilation and air circulation within their often-cramped interiors is only one of the major problems with them. None of those pre-builts allow any overclocking of their CPUs at all whatsoever, and their OS drives are often clogged with bloatware that eats up CPU cycles and severely slow down editing performance. Worse, that bloatware often cannot be safely uninstalled without screwing up the OS itself. The end result is an i7-based system that actually performs significantly slower than some of the four-year-old Core 2 systems in Premiere. And that's not to mention that these pre-builts are very difficult, if not impossible, to be expanded (hardware-wise) to even Adobe's minimum requirements, let alone our optimal tuned configurations.
And did I mention that they are all seriously overpriced for such low-end hardware configurations (besides the CPU)? These systems are, IMHO, suitable only for standard-definition (480i) editing using a cheap $100 consumer editing program like Premiere Elements due to all this garbage pre-installed on them.
I would suggest this with 2 more 7200rpm hard drives for those external 3.5 bays on the front.
This has a good processor, RAM, cuda graphics card, and easy hard disk install/access for $900.
Thanks all for the help. I specififed bestbuy because we have one locally. It's conventient. Any online store would be great.
But I'm still not convinced I need a $10,000 machine. I've found several youtube videos where people are getting realtime editing on lower end, 64 bit machines. They all just edit at 1/4 resolution.
You do realize that is a $1050 solution with a $900 tower and two $75 1TB drives in the link above, correct?
The problem, as I mentioned in an earlier post, is that Best Buy does not carry any configurations that are suitable for video editing at any price unless you want to perform do-it-yourself (DIY) modifications and additions (at extra cost, of course). In addition, Best Buy, like most big-box superstores, charge way too much money for such low-end configurations to begin with (yes, you pay $1,500 to $2,000 and still get a configuration that falls quite short of Adobe's minimum requirements). None of the off-the-shelf systems that are actually stocked inside a brick-and-mortar Best Buy come with more than a single hard drive, and their cramped cases make it very difficult if not impossible to add even one extra internal hard drive (let alone two additional drives). And none of the off-the-shelf systems actually stocked come with anything more than integrated graphics or a low-end GPU that can be several times slower than even a GeForce GT 430, let alone a GTX 580.
TvRip, do you have experience with this machine? Using CS 5 premiere?
Also, which drive would you recommend adding?
No, I have no first hand experience with that machine at all, just noticed that it has pretty good specs, 3 hard drive expansion bays, great consumer reviews, and is affordable. You would likely need to uninstall some of the Gateway applications (especially those that run on startup) to keep it running as efficiently as it should, but I think that machine would be the best you could get for low cost and easy setup/not many add-ons and modifications.
Seems like the best affordable drives are the Samsung F3 1TB drives. I personally use Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB drives, but it seems they are very close in performance to the F3 1TB. Adding 2 more 1TB drives (and setting them up properly in CS5 apps) would give you a solid hard drive setup to start with.
Alright. Thank you very much.