Advice on Building a new PC editing system using Sony Vegas
Switching from Mac/FCP7 to newly built PC/Sony Vegas 12
My obvious concern is having enough power while also not going overboard. Originally I was hoping to spend around $1,000-1,200 tho that may not be possible. A friend has offered to assemble a machine for me and this is what we we're looking at...
(Original proposal around $1,000 with a few extras and 2 monitors)
*Crucial 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2133
*MSI X99S SLI Plus LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
*SAMSUNG 850 EVO MZ-75E500B/AM 2.5" 500GB SATA III 3-D Vertical Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
***AMD A10-7700K Kaveri 10 Compute Cores (4 CPU + 6 GPU) 3.4GHz Socket FM2+ 95W Desktop Processor AMD Radeon R7 series AD770KXBJABOX (BUILT IN VIDEO CARD)
***Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 power supply
(Another film friend mentioned i needed more power and suggested these upgrades on processor, video card and power supply. This build is priced through newegg around $1,700)
*EVGA SuperNOVA 1000w power supply P2 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified
*SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100364VXL Radeon R9 270X 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 CrossFireX Support OC WITH BOOST Video Card
*Intel Core i7-5820K Haswell-E 6-Core 3.3GHz LGA 2011-v3 140W BX80648I75820K Desktop Processor
Sorry if I overkilled on the item descriptions.
I'll be using this to edit H264 footage on Sony Vegas 12 (canon dslr footage). I'd like to soon jump up to c300 footage (XDCAM 422 50/Mbs apparently). And i'd love the possibility of being able to edit or upgrade to edit 4k footage some day, unless it destroys my price range completely.
I tried posting this on a different part of the forums and unfortunately received on responses. :/
Thank you guys so much for any thoughts!!!
You need to have the appropriate expectation coming from a Mac to a PC. In general video editing is one of the most demanding applications for computer hardware to keep up with, so the components need to be able to handle that utilization for longer periods of time otherwise you will be plagued by random problems that will disrupt your creativity in working with video. The Mac has typically used high quality components which demanded a higher price, but you get a better customer experience. In the PC world, there are a lot of choices and the cheaper ones are not always the best. Search for VideoGuys DIY builds to see what they have been successful with as far as matching components that work well together.
Don't skimp on the power supply for the case. Any fluctuation in voltage will cause problems that are nearly impossible to troubleshoot without switching out the power supply to verify. So saving money here will not seem like such a great idea when you start wasting days rebooting, reformatting, and reinstalling (unless you are more interested in building and troubleshooting computers than editing video).
CPU cores are what do the real work, so try to get as many of those as you can. It is easier to add or upgrade a GPU (video card) then switching out the motherboard, CPU, and usually RAM later on to accommodate a restricted budget.
Good luck, I went through this in 2011 and built a system based on the VideoGuys DIY build and have been very happy with the results since.
[Glenn Payne] "Switching from Mac/FCP7 to newly built PC/Sony Vegas 12"Why would you do that? I'm asking because I just switched from a PC and Vegas Pro to a Mac Pro and FCP X. lol ;-)
[Glenn Payne] "My obvious concern is having enough power while also not going overboard. Originally I was hoping to spend around $1,000-1,200 tho that may not be possible. A friend has offered to assemble a machine for me and this is what we we're looking at..."Is your friend going to be your personal system administrator and support? because there's no more walking into the nearest Apple store and getting things fixed when you have a PC. You are on your own. That's a big minus IMHO. (I've had the Apple Store replace a failing screen on my MacBook Pro while I walked around the Mall for an hour. You're not going to get that kind of support anymore)
[Glenn Payne] "***AMD A10-7700K Kaveri 10 Compute Cores (4 CPU + 6 GPU) 3.4GHz Socket FM2+ 95W Desktop Processor AMD Radeon R7 series AD770KXBJABOX (BUILT IN VIDEO CARD)"AMD is the worst processor for video editing. You don't want one. You want an Intel Core i7 or Xeon. This is NOT an area to skimp on.
[Glenn Payne] "*Intel Core i7-5820K Haswell-E 6-Core 3.3GHz LGA 2011-v3 140W BX80648I75820K Desktop ProcessorThat is the minimum I would go for. I built a 6 core Intel box 3 years ago that worked really well with Vegas Pro so I wouldn't build anything less than that today. The Radeon R9 270X is a little weak. I'd go with the 280 or 290X. Don't skimp on the power supply. 1000w is good for a video editor who will undoubtedly connect a lot of hard drives.
[Glenn Payne] "And i'd love the possibility of being able to edit or upgrade to edit 4k footage some day, unless it destroys my price range completely."Sony recommend a minimum of 8 Cores and a RAID for 4K work. If you're really interested in 4K, have you looked at the iMac 5K? It's an incredibly beautiful display and having FCP X with a full 4K preview windows is mind blowing. I was working with it at the Apple store and FCP X handled editing 4K on the timeline as smooth as silk. If I was editing 4K would have gotten the iMac 5K.
Mark gave you good advice on following a Videoguys DIY build... here's why:
You see the problem with building a PC is, the specs can't be trusted. Just because the motherboard says it support a certain kind of memory and you buy that memory doesn't mean it's going to work. That's a scary thought but it's true and I have the scars to prove it. Here is what you need to do: You select the processor that you want to build around. Getting the right CPU for video editing is your most important choice. Then you find a motherboard that supports that processor based on the features that you need (e.g., eSATA, Firewire, etc.). You may need to search some forums to determine which motherboard are best for your processor. Next you go to the motherboard manufacturer's web site and get the list of memory modules that they have tested and guarantee to work. Those are the only memory modules that you should buy if you want a trouble free system. And after all that if something goes wrong... you are on your own! That's why I switched to Mac. Hardware engineers at Apple who are much smarter than me put together components that are designed and tested to work together virtually trouble free. That is worth a lot to me because you will loose a lot of work with a flaky PC that keeps locking up or overheating during a render, or rebooting because you didn't get the components right. This is why most of us follow the DIY guides because Videoguys test their builds for the rigors of video editing. If you feel that you must build a PC, get your friend to build you a Videoguys DIY PC.
I just purchased a used 2010 Mac Pro 2.93 Ghz 12-Core, 24GB ECC memory, AMD Radeon HD 5870, 1TB boot drive, Apple RAID card with 6TB RAID 5 for $2275. I installed an SSD and USB 3 card and I used Bootcamp to install Windows 7 and Vegas Pro 13.0. So I can edit with Vegas Pro or FCP X on the same box. Prior to that I purchased a 2008 Mac Pro 8-core, 16GB, SSD + 2TB RAID 0, and ATI Radeon HD 5870 for $740 on eBay. So I bought an 8-core Mac Pro for less than the cost of my Quadro 4000 graphics card on my 6-core PC which cost me $800 alone and the ATI Radeon HD 5870 in the Mac Pro was just as fast! You can have it both ways if you buy a Mac. I'm only pointing this out because you are already a Mac user and as Mark pointed out, you are in for a big culture shock as you transition from a "user" of a Mac to a "system administrator" of a PC.
So one of your options is to by a previous generation Mac Pro to run Vegas Pro like I did. The other is what Mark suggested and following a Videoguy's DIY build (which is what I did when I built my 6-core which was rock-solid btw).
A 380 watt power supply, which you stated you might use, is so underpowered it's rediculous.
I highly suggest not going with an AMD processor. If you do enough research (which I highly suggest you do), AMDs are not known for performing well in video editing systems. An Intel i5 will blow away the best AMD cpu for video editing tasks.
There are a large amount of posts on this board about building editing workstations, so I suggest using the search function and read them all. Also, sometime in the past I posted a link to CPU testing for editing tasks.
Also if you search this forum there are tons and tons of helpfully detailed
and specific recommendations and specs for building PC's for video.
And they are current, almost every week this topic is exhausted and explained.
Steve Rhoden (Cow Leader)
Film Maker & VFX Artist.
Owner of Filmex Creative Media.
Samples of my Work and Company can be seen here:
If you have a powerful Mac, just install Windows 7 64 bit using BootCamp. You're system already has BootCamp. I run Vegas13 on my 2010 Mac Pro and it runs very well. If you need help with the install, let me know.
THANKS so much to everyone for taking the time to respond to my question!
I've been editing my own films for years, tho I've always used my mac book pro and haven't dealt with building a system based around editing specs so I'm definitely playing catchup.
I've been considering switching from Mac to PC for a while because of the massive amount of issues I've had with FCP7. The lack of a built in bluray burning option set me back a good while on my last project as well as some issues with final renders very often coming out flawed requiring attempt after attempt (followed by repeated quality check viewings on my feature film).
I really enjoy the workflow of fcp7 but the output has always given me epic pains. Perhaps my system was never strong enough to begin with. It was purchased quite a few years ago. Sony Vegas comes into play because a filmmaking friend of mine uses it and swears by it. He purchased a new PC system a couple years ago for around $1200 and has edited his feature film with no troubles whatsoever. (we are both using h264 footage from a Canon 60d).
I've been using Adobe Encore to burn Blurays and after many trials I've had SOME success. I'd love to continue using a mac but the price point difference between a diy PC and a new custom built mac seems to be incredibly large. I've never used fcx, but everyone I've met that has used it and everything I've read about it states that it's a program to avoid (it's possible that info is incorrect, just stating that's the info I've gathered).
my friends system looks like this (just fyi):
i7-4770 CPU @ 3.4ghz
8 gb RAM
AMD HD 7500 Radion Graphics
Graphic Memory 4,800 dedicated 1,000
1TB hard drive
I know you can't have an amazing system for free, but I'm scraping pennies together to make a new system happen so I'm just trying to find the best setup for myself.
I've been with my current setup for a very long time. It just takes such an incredibly long time to render my films for output. An upgrade is definitely needed and I fear getting a quality mac option may be well out of my current budget. Tho I'm most definitely up for suggestions on what you guys think is the best way to go.
My current macbook pro setup is..
2.2 Ghz intel core 2 duo
4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
GeForce 8600M GT
120 GB hard drive
Thanks again for all the help!
[Glenn Payne] "I've been considering switching from Mac to PC for a while because of the massive amount of issues I've had with FCP7."You do know that FCP 7 was discontinued 4 YEARS AGO! How can you complain about software giving you issues when it was discontinued almost a half decade ago?
[Glenn Payne] "The lack of a built in bluray burning option set me back a good while on my last project"FCP X has Blu-ray support. If you upgraded FCP 7 to FCP X you wouldn't be complaining about missing Blu-ray features. You're going to have this problem with any software that you don't keep updated.
[Glenn Payne] "I'd love to continue using a mac but the price point difference between a diy PC and a new custom built mac seems to be incredibly large."While it's true that you can build a PC with cheaper parts, if you use the same high quality parts, Mac's are actually cheaper than equivalent PC's. It's been documented several times and I've done the comparisons myself before buying my Mac Pro instead of building another PC. I agree at the low end, if you only want to spend a few hundred dollars then PC's give you more options. You can't compare a Mac Pro using server class Xeon's and ECC memory to a PC using a desktop class chip and regular memory. You get what you pay for. My Mac Pro has never given me any problems.
[Glenn Payne] "I've never used fcx, but everyone I've met that has used it and everything I've read about it states that it's a program to avoid (it's possible that info is incorrect, just stating that's the info I've gathered). "Hmmm... Guess you haven't read that the editors of the Hollywood feature film Focus was cut on FCP X so no one told them to avoid it. lol. FCP X has powerful media management tools and an incredible trackless workflow that, IMHO, no track based NLE can touch. I don't know who you've been talking to but you need to stop talking to these people and download the 30-day trial and make up you own mind. Just like you should download the trial of Vegas Pro a decide if you like it or not for yourself because Vegas Pro is a lot like FCP X which is why I like both programs. The FCP X magnetic timeline is total genius. It seems archaic to use tracks after going trackless. It's like going back to tape after going tapeless. Now I realize some people hate FCP X because they can't work without tracks. That's OK. It's not for everyone but you shouldn't determine that it's not for you because it wasn't for your friends. Likewise for Vegas Pro. It's not going to hold your hard like FCP 7 did so you need to make sure that you like the workflow; it's a lot more organic and free flowing.