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What Computer Hardware exactly do i need that will handle HD Video?

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Tony VelezWhat Computer Hardware exactly do i need that will handle HD Video?
by on Jan 12, 2008 at 6:23:16 pm

Hi, ive been Shooting with a Sony PD-170 and Editing in Sony's Vegas Software for about 6 years. Recently ive decided to take my video skills to the next level, that being Shooting and Editing in HD with Final Cut Pro on MAC Leopard.
Due to the high prices of Apple Computers, i will be building a computer that will run MAC Leopard without a problem. I have a general idea of how much power ill need but there are some things I am confused and unsure about as far as Hardware goes. The camera I intend to be shooting with is the Panasonic HVX-200. Can some of you or someone that is very expierienced with HD in most aspects please inform me about what hardware i will need that will handle the HD Files in the editing without any lag or freezing up on the timeline? Keep in mind, i will mainly be shooting and editing music videos and some other short story pieces, no feature length stuff, and ill be outputting to HD DVD's, dont need to output to broadcast ready just yet. Here are the things that i am unsure of.....

1. What kind of Hard Drive should my Operating system be running on and what kind of hard drive should all my HD Video be stored and running out of? SATA, SATA II, or RAID Drives?? Which is best for HD? What is the difference between the two and what makes one better then the other?

2. Does the video card have a big affect on the computers ability to handle HD video in the editing? Will a 256MB Video Card be more then enough to handle it?

3. Will an Intel Quad Processor be plenty?

4. What RPM speed do all hard drives need to be to handle HD Video? Or, What RPM speed does the hard drive that will hold my HD video files need to be?

5. Ive heard that its better that run your video footage on an external hard drive that is literally outside of the computer's tower, is this necessary for HD? Can i just have a second internal hard drive that is seperate from the hard drive that will run the Operating System? Will that handle HD Video for editing?

6. I plan on having a dual monitor setup with an NVIDIA video card that supports two monitors, is there a reason why i should do my dual monitor setup by using a MATROX card? What exactly makes a MATROX card so much better then an NVIDIA or ATI card if in fat it is better?

Im very new to HD and any information would help greatly. Thanks.


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Michael PalmerRe: What Computer Hardware exactly
by on Jan 12, 2008 at 7:50:50 pm

1. I can recommend http://www.maxupgrades.com for all of you storage needs. Depending on the Mac unit you get will determine what will be the right solution for you.
2. If you are getting a newer Intel Mac Pro I would say any of the stock cards will work to edit with.
3. Yes, I wouldn't consider anything but an Intel Mac Pro unit.
4. 7200 RPM drives work extremely well, again call Syed at maxupgrades for affordable esata solutions.
5. You can raid interior and exterior drives together. Read more about raid setups, basically you will need 4 or more drives that act as one. Again depending on the unit you get let determine how you choose to set this up. I purchased a hardware kit from maxupgrades for my Mac Pro that added two additional drives inside, I use one drive as the system drive and I have 5 drives as raid zero for 2.5 TB's Super affordable and fast enough for HD. I also have an external enclosure with 4 750 gig drive connected with a esata PCIe card and cable.
I would recommend the AJA Kona LHe HD-SDI capture card, this is a professional solution to HD editing. You can choose a more affordable solution from Black Magic like the Intensity Pro or Deck Link cards. Most if not all Mac Pro video cards can be setup for dual monitoring, but this is just for spreading out computer software the Kona LHe is what you will need the monitor your work.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Tony VelezRe: What Computer Hardware exactly
by on Jan 13, 2008 at 4:09:03 pm

Ok, so, from what i understand, i have the option of putting together a RAID Zero Hard Drive setup by using multiple hard drives that will act as one. Now what about SATA hard drives? Will a Sata Hard Drive handle HD video files? Is it better to use SATA II hard drives for HD footage?

Since i will not be outputting my video to broadcast quality because i am only a student and more of a hobbyist at the moment, i appreciate your info about the black magic and aja cards. I dont have a major need to monitor my footage on an actual HD TV or Monitor. Will i be able to load DVCpro HD from a HVX-200 Camera through firewire, directly into a firewire port on my computer? When you load HD footage from the HVX-200 P2cards through fire wire, is there a capture process or is it just drag and drop from the camera to a hard drive? Ill be editing with Final Cut Pro. Due to the pricey cost of a G5 Mac Pro, i will be building my own editing computer. Call me crazy if you want, but i have a friend of mine that has managed to effectively run MAC Leopard OS on PC Hardware. It runs amazingly smooth and stable. We've seen no major problems since he did it a while ago. My plan is to build my own Computer with hardware that will run MAC Leopard and successfully handle HD Footage with no lag. Here's a brief discription of what hardware i will be running and based on what you see, tell me what you think and if you think it will handle the HD editingand video files?

Intel Motherboard with Intel Core 2 Quad Core Processor 2.4GHz

4GB DDR2 Ram

NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT 256MB Video Card (dual monitor outputs)

Western Digital Raptor 150GB 10,000 RPM Internal Hard Drive (for Opearing System)

Western Digital 500GB 7,200 RPM SATA Hard Drive Internal (for HD Video Footage Only)

750 WATT Power Supply

Of Course there will be a couple Fire Wire Ports as well.

Dual 19" Montiors

If wanted to output my HD Videos that i produce to HD DVD's, is there a lower priced HD DVD Burner that is currently on the market? Would i still be able to burn my HD Videos to regular DVD's? Would that require down sizing or down scaling the video to be regular resolution and no longer 1080i?


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Michael PalmerRe: What Computer Hardware exactly
by on Jan 13, 2008 at 5:30:57 pm

You're asking DVC PRO HD questions in the HDV forum
Here is a better place for the questions.
http://forums.creativecow.net/viewforum/193

FYI there is no G5 Mac Pro. It's either a G5 or a Mac Pro, Mac Pro units are Intel processors G5's are IBM PPC processors.

Good Luck with building a PC that runs Mac OS software, remember you always get what you pay for in life. Do your self a favor and work with a PC or a real Mac. If you go PC then look into Sony Vegas or Adobe Premier or any other choices but Final Cut.

You really should research more HD work flows.

Michael Palmer


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Jeff CarpenterRe: What Computer Hardware exactly do i need that will handle HD Video?
by on Jan 14, 2008 at 6:42:50 pm

Due to the high prices of Apple Computers, i will be building a computer that will run MAC Leopard without a problem.
====

And by "building" you mean "customizing a Mac Pro on Apple.com" right?

Just checking, because if by "building" you mean "building my own from parts" then you'll never run OS X or Final Cut Studio. Doesn't work that way.

Go to Apple.com, pick the Mac Pro, and make these changes:

1) DOWNGRADE the processor to the single-chip option
2) UPGRADE hard drive bay 1 to the 500 GB drive
3) Buy two 1 GB RAM sticks from http://www.crucial.com, add to stock RAM
4) Buy two 750 GB SATA drivs from anywhere you want

Put the RAM in yourself (read the instructions, it matters which slots) and then put the hard drives in. RAID the two drives together using Apple's utility and use that as your media drive.

This is the cheapest, easiest way to do this and should work fine for DVCPROHD footage.

IF you're pressed for cash with that plan, here's a cheaer option. Not as upgradable, not as good...but it will let you work, at least, for a lower price:

1) Buy an iMac - 20" screen 2.4 gHz chip
2) Upgrade Hard drive when purchasing to 750 GB
3) Buy 4 GB of RAM at http://www.crucial.com, replace stock RAM
4) Buy G-Tech's 1 TB "G-RAID 2" and use Firewire 800 connection for media drive

Not a "pro" option, but it can get you working. And you can always take the external hard drive to another computer if you ever need to do some kind of pro-level color correcting or tape-conversions or something.


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