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Thinking of building my first PC; video editing, $800 budget. Suggestions?


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#1 Dave Finlay

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 08:07 PM

Hello all,

 

I'm an aspiring documentary filmmaker who's getting more and more into post-production by the day. I primarily edit via Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 (formerly Sony Vegas Pro 10), but play around with FCP7 whenever I get the chance.

 

For starters, this is the PC I'm currently working with:

HP TouchSmart HQ504 (circa 2008)
Windows Vista Home Premium SP2
Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo T5750 @ 2Ghz
4GB Dual-Channel DDR2-333 RAM
Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset Family (lol integrated graphics)

Needless to say (but I'll say it anyways), this PC is an all-in-one sack of crap for video editing, and I'm dying to get a new one. Its CPU is consistently running at 65-70+ degrees, and with no idea of how to cool it down I'm worried that the PC might croak if I do any more heavy editing on it.

Apart from being a future documentarian, I'm also a broke college grad who doesn't have much money to spend. Ideally I'd like to purchase a MacBook Pro or an iMac (because Final Cut Pro 7 is still the gold standard in the editing world, *grumble*), but even their cheapest models are out of my price range at the moment. The next best thing in my mind is to purchase or build the best sub-$800 PC that I can. I'm hoping that it could tide me over for a couple of years, or at least until I can afford a Mac.

I'm not a heavy editor or PC gamer (yet), so I'm not looking for top-of-the-line specs. With that in mind, any suggestions as to what components I should keep in mind, and how to go about building this theoretical rig? I'm really tempted to just settle for a pre-built PC (that Dell XPS 8700 looks mighty good), but I'd like to give this a shot.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks.



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#2 TsVk!

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 08:49 PM

Pre-built might be a better route in your price range. :thumbsup2:

Branded desktops these days come with great warranties (check out the HP's 3yr on many models) and pretty decent specs. Building yourself COULD save a bit of money, but without the experience and know how to troubleshoot and purchase parts you may actually find it more expensive, and without warranty. Many people have been felt this pain. As well as the fact that OEM Windows installations are significantly cheaper than retail versions...

 

Which country are you in? I could pick a few options for you if you like...



#3 Dave Finlay

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:02 PM

Pre-built might be a better route in your price range. :thumbsup2:

Branded desktops these days come with great warranties (check out the HP's 3yr on many models) and pretty decent specs. Building yourself COULD save a bit of money, but without the experience and know how to troubleshoot and purchase parts you may actually find it more expensive, and without warranty. Many people have been felt this pain. As well as the fact that OEM Windows installations are significantly cheaper than retail versions...

 

Which country are you in? I could pick a few options for you if you like...

In the U.S good sir. :)



#4 TsVk!

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:36 PM

this machine

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883250928

with

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820326279

and

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133482

 

Would give you a pretty powerful, entry level workstation... inside your budget.

 

another one? or would you like to try your own combination? I can advise RAM a GPU suitability for you if you like.

 

 

 



#5 Dave Finlay

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:11 PM

this machine

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883250928

with

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820326279

and

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133482

 

Would give you a pretty powerful, entry level workstation... inside your budget.

 

another one? or would you like to try your own combination? I can advise RAM a GPU suitability for you if you like.

 

 

 

Seems like kind of a bad deal to be honest, without the extra stick of RAM I'm already at the $800 mark.

 

I'd like to get your thoughts on the aforementioned Dell XPS 8700, which has slightly inferior specs to your suggestion but goes for $700...

 

http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-8700/pd?oc=fdcwgp1310&model_id=xps-8700



#6 TsVk!

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:58 PM

There is the cash back on the graphics card, and a 3yr warranty, brings it in at $798 free shipping... Quadro graphics card is nice to have also...

 

The machine you picked looks nice for the price $699. Win 7 Home Premium or Win 8.1 are not my choices for an OS though. Add $9 for shipping and $229 for 3 yr warranty...

 

It's about weighing up the pros and cons I guess.



#7 killerx525

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 04:56 PM

Hi, both the Dell desktop and the suggestions TsVk! made are good but it depends if you will be utilizing the Quadro graphics card during rendering. But if you plan to purely use the CPU for rendering then the Dell desktop with a upgraded processor to an i7-4770 which totals up to exactly $800. 


>Michael 
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#8 Mistersprinkles

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 12:43 AM


Seems like kind of a bad deal to be honest, without the extra stick of RAM I'm already at the $800 mark.

 

I'd like to get your thoughts on the aforementioned Dell XPS 8700, which has slightly inferior specs to your suggestion but goes for $700...

 

http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-8700/pd?oc=fdcwgp1310&model_id=xps-8700

 

^Build this! It isn't difficult to do. Believe me. This system does everything the Dell does (with the 4770 CPU upgrade) for fully $100 cheaper. it's like paying for the stock Dell and getting a much better CPU. Better quality components too. If you have an RMA problem, Newegg or another reputable dealer will take the parts back for you within the first couple of weeks. Don't be afraid. Building is fun and easy. If you need WiFi like the Dell had you can get a PCIE WiFi card for about $15 from Newegg or another dealer.


Edited by Mistersprinkles, 18 May 2014 - 12:44 AM.


#9 rotor123

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 09:47 AM

Except that the Dell has a Intel processor and comes with Dell support and of course is ready to go. Dell Warranty etc. Easy to extend the warranty if that is desired including optional warranty against accidental damage.

 

Cheers

Roger


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#10 Dave Finlay

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 12:41 PM

I've been reading a lot of talk about AMD's CPU's looking nice on paper but being inferior to Intel CPU's in execution...could anyone elaborate on that? I've noticed that most AMD-based PC's are cheaper than their Intel counterparts...considering that I'm on a budget I might consider one of those.

Also, what's the verdict around here on eCollegePC?

 

They seem to have a couple of nice, customizable PC builds with 3 year warranties:

 

http://www.ecollegepc.com/gaming-pc.html



#11 hamluis

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 02:24 PM

AMD CPUs..are considerably cheaper...and if "inferior" means that they don't produce the same stats as the top-end Intel processors, you are correct...and you pay for that little bit of statistical difference.

 

Have you looked at any stats on rendering and CPUs?

 

In any case, before your opinions become embedded in you...you might take a look at PassMark CPU Value Chart and note that there are not Intels dominating the upper portion of the list :).

 

In any case...the application used for rendering is going to determine whether you you should assume it's CPU-intensive, as opposed GPU-intensive, so I suggest looking at those software forums for complaints, hints, etc. before deciding what hardware you are going to go with.

 

Louis.


Edited by hamluis, 18 May 2014 - 02:26 PM.


#12 Mistersprinkles

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 09:24 PM

I've been reading a lot of talk about AMD's CPU's looking nice on paper but being inferior to Intel CPU's in execution...could anyone elaborate on that? I've noticed that most AMD-based PC's are cheaper than their Intel counterparts...considering that I'm on a budget I might consider one of those.

Also, what's the verdict around here on eCollegePC?

 

They seem to have a couple of nice, customizable PC builds with 3 year warranties:

 

http://www.ecollegepc.com/gaming-pc.html

At very least get a parts list together and head to a Fry's or Microcenter and have them build it for you. These prebuilt OEM pcs are no good.

 

Why are you afraid of taking the parts list I gave you a few posts ago and building it yourself? It's not hard. It's actually kind of fun. Components all come with warranties anyways.


Edited by Mistersprinkles, 18 May 2014 - 09:26 PM.


#13 rotor123

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 12:22 PM


At very least get a parts list together and head to a Fry's or Microcenter and have them build it for you. These prebuilt OEM pcs are no good.

 

Why are you afraid of taking the parts list I gave you a few posts ago and building it yourself? It's not hard. It's actually kind of fun. Components all come with warranties anyways.

 

Hi

It may be a simple thing. Not everyone is comfortable Building a computer and Then having no tech support available to call.

Roger


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#14 Mistersprinkles

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 09:39 PM

 


At very least get a parts list together and head to a Fry's or Microcenter and have them build it for you. These prebuilt OEM pcs are no good.

 

Why are you afraid of taking the parts list I gave you a few posts ago and building it yourself? It's not hard. It's actually kind of fun. Components all come with warranties anyways.

 

Hi

It may be a simple thing. Not everyone is comfortable Building a computer and Then having no tech support available to call.

Roger

 

A good forum, like this one, or my favorite, www.overclockers.com, is just as good as tech support. If you foot the bill, somebody will even help you over the phone, or remotely access your desktop and fix things for you. If a part fails, you can RMA it usually for 1 year sometimes 3 sometimes 5. There's no down side to building your own system.



#15 TsVk!

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 10:04 PM

 

 


At very least get a parts list together and head to a Fry's or Microcenter and have them build it for you. These prebuilt OEM pcs are no good.

 

Why are you afraid of taking the parts list I gave you a few posts ago and building it yourself? It's not hard. It's actually kind of fun. Components all come with warranties anyways.

 

Hi

It may be a simple thing. Not everyone is comfortable Building a computer and Then having no tech support available to call.

Roger

 

A good forum, like this one, or my favorite, www.overclockers.com, is just as good as tech support. If you foot the bill, somebody will even help you over the phone, or remotely access your desktop and fix things for you. If a part fails, you can RMA it usually for 1 year sometimes 3 sometimes 5. There's no down side to building your own system.

 

  • These equipment manufacturers are professional, they are world recognized brands because they make very good machines. Fry's and Microcenter are not comparable.
  • Business pre-build OEM machines are very good. Like the one I initially linked. That is why OEM manufacturers are willing to put 3yr warranty as standard on them. If they expected to service them they would be losing money.
  • Components may come with warranties (normally 1 year), but what about the service? Returning the parts costs money and if you misdiagnose faulty parts you will pay shipping twice and often a service fee.
  • When you build your own machine you also need to pay for Windows at retail price, this is considerable and will ruin the budget for low end machines.
  • Building a computer is simple if you've done it before, have all the tools and know what to expect. Turn on your brand new machine and nothing happens... oh no! What now? headache time...
  • Footing bills for tech support calls on a brand new machine is a strange thing to do. Relying on web based forums also.
  • There's no downside to building your own system ONLY if you are building a high end performance machine. In this scenario I am struggling to find an upside.





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