For the upcoming holidays I'm looking into buying a new computer solely for the purpose of rendering videos. My current computer is strong, but not strong enough that I can actively produce videos while my current projects are rendering, so I'm basically looking to construct a computer that I can do rendering on while I make more content on my current PC. I have a budget of about $1,000 - $1,200 to find the best parts, it's just a matter of figuring out what rendering depends on. What is more important, having more RAM or a really strong processor? Will rendering on a video card be more efficient than rendering on a CPU? These are the questions I'm having a hard time answering, and would love to have a little bit of guidance.
My goal will be to spend less on the parts that wont affect rendering speed, so that I can spend more on the parts that do.
[Zebra Gamer]"What is more important, having more RAM or a really strong processor?"
A stronger processor. Nothing will affect speed more than having the fastest CPU that you can afford. Obviously if you only have 2GB of RAM it will cause a bottleneck. The general rule is 2GB of RAM for each core so a Quad Core should have a minimum of 8GB of RAM. 16GB would better.
If you want a really fast render box, put a Hex-Core in it. My last PC had 6 cores and it was significantly faster that my old 4 core.
[Zebra Gamer]"Will rendering on a video card be more efficient than rendering on a CPU? "
If the card is supported by Vegas Pro and the card and CPU are matched in performance then yes, having a good GPU can help render times. Adding a fast GPU with a slow CPU or a fast CPU with a slow GPU will be sub-optimal. The problem is that Vegas only supports 5 year old graphics cards for GPU encoding for MPEG4 so it's not the best program for GPU rendering if MPEG4 is your target format.
Also Vegas Pro also has some nasty GPU bugs that force people to disable the GPU in order to render properly. I would not waste money on a GPU for Vegas Pro. Put that money into a faster CPU instead.
[Zebra Gamer]"These are the questions I'm having a hard time answering, and would love to have a little bit of guidance. "
What format will you be delivering? What you render to will determine if a GPU will help. MainConcept AVC is the one that requires an old graphics card. Other formats don't support GPU encoding so you should get the fastest AMD OpenGL card that you can to improve Timeline GPU acceleration while rendering.