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PC requirements for HD video editing? Watch

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    Hey,

    I went interrailing in the summer and amassed a large amount of HD footage that I intend to edit into a whimsical travel diary of the trip.

    However, my poor 4 year old computer coughs and splutters horribly when faced with trying to process the HD footage, and I've concluded that I either need a new pc, or (preferably) to upgrade certain aspects of it.

    Here are the specs for the current model (Well, those which I copied out of system, not sure which are relevant)

    Processor: Intel(R) Pentium (R) D CPU 2.66 GHz 2.66 GHz
    Installed memory: 1 GB RAM
    System type: 32-bit Operating system
    System model: Dell DM061

    Name: Radeon x1300.x1550 Series (Microsoft
    Manufacturer: ATI Technologies inc.
    Chip Type: n/a
    DAC Type: Internal (400mhz)
    Approx, Total Memory: 510 MB
    Current display Mode: 1024 x 768 (32 bit) (60Hz)



    I realise the RAM definitely needs upgrading, but is there anything else that I need to upgrade to enable my pc to edit HD? And any budget suggestions for upgrades?

    Cheers
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    (Original post by G8D)
    I don't see that being very upgradable.

    Then again, I don't know much.
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    So do you reckon I'll need to buy a new one? Or else replace like everything?
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    AFAIK, all Pentium D's are socket 775, so you MIGHT be able to upgrade to a Core 2 Duo, or perhaps a core 2 quad. But it all depends on your motherboard/BIOS. You might also want to upgrade the video card... however, that's not as important as the Processor/RAM.
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    Yeah you'll need to buy a new one really. My advice would be to do some research and build your own. I can't stress enough how easy this is and how much money you can save if you just join a decent PC forum and follow people's advice.
    Your processor is pretty much useless, you want a 4 core one ideally, and you'll want at least 4GB RAM really. A decent graphics card helps too. To support all that you'll need a new power supply, and a new motherboard to support the new processor. I'd get a 1TB HDD as well since they're only like £30. So yeah, now you see why it's better to build a new one than to upgrade a dated machine.
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    You might want a better graphics card tbh
    Also a core 2 duo processor will help alot but dunno if your motherboard will support it.
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    (Original post by touchofclass)
    Hey,

    I went interrailing in the summer and amassed a large amount of HD footage that I intend to edit into a whimsical travel diary of the trip.

    However, my poor 4 year old computer coughs and splutters horribly when faced with trying to process the HD footage, and I've concluded that I either need a new pc, or (preferably) to upgrade certain aspects of it.

    Here are the specs for the current model (Well, those which I copied out of system, not sure which are relevant)

    Processor: Intel(R) Pentium (R) D CPU 2.66 GHz 2.66 GHz
    Installed memory: 1 GB RAM
    System type: 32-bit Operating system
    System model: Dell DM061

    Name: Radeon x1300.x1550 Series (Microsoft
    Manufacturer: ATI Technologies inc.
    Chip Type: n/a
    DAC Type: Internal (400mhz)
    Approx, Total Memory: 510 MB
    Current display Mode: 1024 x 768 (32 bit) (60Hz)



    I realise the RAM definitely needs upgrading, but is there anything else that I need to upgrade to enable my pc to edit HD? And any budget suggestions for upgrades?

    Cheers
    just add a another GB of ram to make it 2GB ram and upgrade the graphics card to the latest as possible if money permits. To view things in HD, you need to improve your resolution from 1024x768 to the maximum HD res. a bigger monitor will do
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    Quad-core CPU, 4GB of RAM and mid range GPU.(HD5770/GTX450/460 level) and a HD monitor.
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    (Original post by touchofclass)
    Hey,

    I went interrailing in the summer and amassed a large amount of HD footage that I intend to edit into a whimsical travel diary of the trip.

    However, my poor 4 year old computer coughs and splutters horribly when faced with trying to process the HD footage, and I've concluded that I either need a new pc, or (preferably) to upgrade certain aspects of it.

    Here are the specs for the current model (Well, those which I copied out of system, not sure which are relevant)

    Processor: Intel(R) Pentium (R) D CPU 2.66 GHz 2.66 GHz
    Installed memory: 1 GB RAM
    System type: 32-bit Operating system
    System model: Dell DM061

    Name: Radeon x1300.x1550 Series (Microsoft
    Manufacturer: ATI Technologies inc.
    Chip Type: n/a
    DAC Type: Internal (400mhz)
    Approx, Total Memory: 510 MB
    Current display Mode: 1024 x 768 (32 bit) (60Hz)



    I realise the RAM definitely needs upgrading, but is there anything else that I need to upgrade to enable my pc to edit HD? And any budget suggestions for upgrades?

    Cheers
    Yeah, get a new one. We were working on a 3 gig (32-bit) / Intel Dual Core / 256mb graphic card and still had problems, especially with rendering.

    Consider the stats I just listed a bare minimum.
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    (Original post by KissMyArtichoke)
    Yeah you'll need to buy a new one really. My advice would be to do some research and build your own. I can't stress enough how easy this is and how much money you can save if you just join a decent PC forum and follow people's advice.
    Your processor is pretty much useless, you want a 4 core one ideally, and you'll want at least 4GB RAM really. A decent graphics card helps too. To support all that you'll need a new power supply, and a new motherboard to support the new processor. I'd get a 1TB HDD as well since they're only like £30. So yeah, now you see why it's better to build a new one than to upgrade a dated machine.
    Ok thanks.

    Do you have a vague estimate of the cost to make a decent one? I don't need gaming capabilities or anything, just something to edit at a reasonable speed.
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    To those who say I need a HD monitor, is this just an aesthetic thing or an essential thing? I don't mind too much if the videos not razor sharp on screen, I just mind whether it plays normally.
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    (Original post by touchofclass)
    Ok thanks.

    Do you have a vague estimate of the cost to make a decent one? I don't need gaming capabilities or anything, just something to edit at a reasonable speed.
    I've never built a PC not for gaming, so i wouldn't know exactly how cheap you can go on the graphics card and stuff.
    My guess would be in the region of £500 for a pretty powerful rig. You can save a bit with second hand/ refurb parts, since a lot of manufacturer guarantees aren't worth the hassle anyway.

    Your monitor is just aesthetic, but your current resolution is very low, and if you can afford it I'd try to get a bigger one. It's unlikely to have a major effect though apart from being a bit of an inconvenience.
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    (Original post by JosephRedfern)
    AFAIK, all Pentium D's are socket 775, so you MIGHT be able to upgrade to a Core 2 Duo, or perhaps a core 2 quad. But it all depends on your motherboard/BIOS. You might also want to upgrade the video card... however, that's not as important as the Processor/RAM.
    Not on a dell board.

    (Original post by KissMyArtichoke)
    Yeah you'll need to buy a new one really. My advice would be to do some research and build your own. I can't stress enough how easy this is and how much money you can save if you just join a decent PC forum and follow people's advice.
    Your processor is pretty much useless, you want a 4 core one ideally, and you'll want at least 4GB RAM really. A decent graphics card helps too. To support all that you'll need a new power supply, and a new motherboard to support the new processor. I'd get a 1TB HDD as well since they're only like £30. So yeah, now you see why it's better to build a new one than to upgrade a dated machine.
    (Original post by Mrfantastic)
    Quad-core CPU, 4GB of RAM and mid range GPU.(HD5770/GTX450/460 level) and a HD monitor.
    To the two above - why would you need all that just for editing HD video?
    It's not that difficult a task, any dual core from the last two years plus any cheap graphics card will handle the task admirably.
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    (Original post by TShadow383)
    Not on a dell board.



    To the two above - why would you need all that just for editing HD video?
    It's not that difficult a task, any dual core from the last two years plus any cheap graphics card will handle the task admirably.
    Interesting, I would certainly prefer to just do some small upgrades rather than kitting out some sort of monster. I am afterall literally only needing to upgrade for video editing.

    I think my processor is already dual core, but would it be advisable to upgrade it? Which would you recommend?

    And which 'cheap graphics card' would you recommend?

    Thanks.
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    You don't need a fantastic graphics card for editing video. You need a reasonably fast processor, plenty of RAM and having fast hard drives (RAID is good) is useful.

    It also depends on what HD video format you're going to be editing, some of the more highly compressed formats will take up a lot of pocessing power.

    It's not possible to edit high definition video recorded on my camcorder (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) on my computer: core 2 duo e6300 oced to 2.5ghz and 2gb RAM.
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    (Original post by touchofclass)
    Interesting, I would certainly prefer to just do some small upgrades rather than kitting out some sort of monster. I am afterall literally only needing to upgrade for video editing.

    I think my processor is already dual core, but would it be advisable to upgrade it? Which would you recommend?

    And which 'cheap graphics card' would you recommend?

    Thanks.
    The main problem is that, as your PC is a dell, and quite an old one at that (those parts are what? 6-8 years old?) it's nigh-on impossible to upgrade at this stage.
    All I can say really is that if you're upgrading you don't need to be going for anything particularly expensive, but you probably are going to have to replace enough of the internals to see any significant performance gain that you might as well replace the PC outright.

    If you don't mind the footage being of inferior quality (although your monitor can't support anything more than 1024 wide at the minute anyway, so that would seem a sensible resolution to go for) then you could convert the footage down to 1024x576, which your PC would probably handle no problem.
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    (Original post by TShadow383)
    To the two above - why would you need all that just for editing HD video?
    It's not that difficult a task, any dual core from the last two years plus any cheap graphics card will handle the task admirably.
    That's the min spec I'd consider for a smooth HD editing experience when using compressed files or large uncompressed files(which will eat RAM). The GPU is for gpu based acceleration, which is supported by many packages now(adobe after effects, etc).
    Of course you can use a dual core and cheap GPU with 12GB of ram, but's it's not going to handle compressed files, eg, mkv, etc and it's going to need to be left to render overnight for longer videos.
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    Mate scrap it, you don't sound like the type who can **** around with replacing mother boards and installing fresh CPU's (no offence). If you are then you don't need my help on choosing upgrades for your computer. Video editing is a very resource intensive procedure and low-mid range systems will have a hard time with it. You're going to be looking at £500ish for a system that won't make your life hell. What's your budget and I'll see what I can dig up?
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    1024x768 is incredibly low-resolution for a PC monitor. Is it a CRT (box-shaped monitor instead of the flat-screen LCD)? I would definitely recommend upgrading your screen if you can afford it, a decent 16:10 monitor shouldn't set you back more than about £100, perhaps less. You don't need full HD resolution, and in fact for video editing you're generally better off with a higher vertical resolution. But 5:4 monitors are going out of fashion rapidly, and they're not great for playing media, only for working with it really. :p:

    What program will you be using to edit? I'd be wary of jumping straight in with a quad core processor and all the rest of it until we know what you're using. Multi-threading support is still a bit thin on the ground on many editing suites (Adobe still only supports up to 2 cores AFAIK) and non-existent in others. Some support GPU acceleration, others don't, and in either case it often depends on what codec you're using. If you can find any information about the latter from the HD files you've got at the minute (load them in VLC, and go to Tools => Codec Information, or use any other method you see fit), it may be useful to know.

    In theory, you probably don't need to spend more than about £300-400, if you build the PC yourself and re-use some of the components from your current computer (i.e. hard disks, optical drive). Of course, you could also spend up to £500-600 if you wanted a beefier rig, which would of course deal with the footage a lot faster, as well as being more future-proof. That choice is really up to you.

    Now, I'm not much of a hardware buff, I don't know what's hot and what's not in the market at the moment. So I won't be suggesting any builds here, I'll leave that to those better informed in this area. But I do know video editing, and hence my suggestions, and questions that I would say need answering before people can consider what kind of PC you need (not that that seems to have stopped some people :rolleyes:).

    I would definitely say you need a new tower though, your current rig is simply too old to be worth upgrading. Even if you could find components that would bring it up to speed, I wouldn't recommend buying them, as you're basically just putting plasters over a gaping wound. :holmes:
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    Firstly what's the quality of your source material. If it's only SD then there's probably little point doing things with it in SD.

    For processing the video the key things you'll want are RAM and Fast disks. The more RAM you've got the more of the video the system will be able to keep in memory rather than having to load it from slower disks.

    In terms of Disks I'd probably go for 4 disks and set them up as Raid 10. You'll only get about half the capacity of adding all the drive sizes together but you'll get the best performance and some resliance against disk failure. If you wanted better performance and don't care about losing all the data if one drive fails then you'de get better performance out of Raid0 (but if one disk fails all the data is gone even if there are still three good disks)

    Any current CPU is likely to be fine you're probably not going to notice the difference a faster CPU gives. If you're software supports multiple cores or you're going to have several apps open at the same time then more CPU cores might help (but remember if you've got lots of apps open then that uses memory)
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    Other than adding a bit more RAM, the current PC probably isn't really worth upgrading. If you've got the money, you could build a very capable PC for around £450, though you should probably get a new monitor too. Now is a pretty good time to buy (memory is cheap and VAT is still 17.5%), but if you're not going to buy a new one then don't sink too much cash into the current computer as you won't really be able to use any of the parts in a new build.
 
 
 
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