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twist-throttle
Another noobie Quadro Video Card & DIY Specs Question
on Dec 30, 2006 at 3:45:03 am

I'm researching my components to build a new PC. The PC will be used for Photoshop & Photoshop Elements 5, Photodex ProShow Gold 3.0, & in the near future some video editing. My current 950Mhz AMD w/ 512M RAM is way to slow with Proshow.
My wife & I have a small start-up business at home where we make DVD Slideshows of peoples' old pictures. You know, scan them in, add transitions, music & motion... and then burn onto a DVD. This is what we use Photodex ProShow Gold for.

The system specs that ProShow http://www.photodex.com/products/proshowgold/ calls out are:
Windows XP, 2000, 98/ME
800x600 display
1GHz+ processor
512MB system memory
Accelerated 3D graphics - 64MB ram
DirectX 9.0 or better
DVD+R/RW/-R/RW writer
70 MB hard drive space

I did call Photodex directly & ask them if their software does use the Video Card, versus just the CPU... I also asked them if it benefited from a Video Card with OpenGL? They told me that yes, the better your video card, the better the software will perform... and yes, the software can work with OpenGL.

For the Video Editing portion, I plan on stepping into that lightly... I'm considering either Adobe Premier Elements or Vegas Movie Studio+DVD. I have used Pinnacle Studio in the past & I want to go with software other then Pinnacle. Maybe it was my hardware back then, but Studio just seemed kind of buggy for me.
I've read that Vegas does not benefit from the GPU at all, but I believe that Adobe Premier Elements does use OpenGL and the GPU.

I'm getting close to narrowing the important components down. So far I am considering the following:
OS: Win XP Pro
Motherboard: Asus P5B-E
CPU: likely just a P4 right around 3Ghz... so I can throw in a Core 2 Duo in the future when the prices come down.
RAM: 2Gb... 2 sticks of 1Gb each. I figure it'll either be half the speed or the same speed of my CPU's FSB.
Analog Video Capture: either ADVC110 or ADVC300
Hard Drive: 2 SATA drives, one for the OS & one for video, images & music.
Monitor: some kind of a 17" or 19" flat panel. Possibly in a year or more, I might consider a 2nd monitor or even hooking it up to a small TV to view my work on as I create.

I'm doing this on a tight budget... hoping to keep the hardware under $1,000 (not necessarily factoring in the ADVC in this price), yet have a decent platform that I can upgrade some things as needed in the future, but without having to basically replace everything to be able to upgrade it in the future.

So this leaves me at my questions.

1. How do my specs look for the level that I'm using it? Sure it's a side-business... but really, we're still just at the Entry Level or Hobbyist level of these softwares.
2. The Video Card has me struggling. I keep reading great things about the PNY Quadro FX 540/560. But I still am not sure if the things that I'll be doing will even push the system enough to benefit from this Video Card. Buying this Video Card will eat into my sub $1,000 budget more so then some other Video Cards.

Thank you for your time & any advice that you can offer.


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Evan Newsome
Re: Another noobie Quadro Video Card & DIY Specs Question
on Dec 30, 2006 at 5:17:46 pm

I am not sure why I am suggesting this since I think the smartest thing to do is build your own computer, BUT
Try buying an inexpensive pre-built name brand computer with rebates (maybe a 2.5-3 ghz w/ 1 gb ram) (it maybe around $400.) (Since Vista is coming in January?, stores are wheeling and dealing to get the old XP based computers out the door.) Verify the on-board display card is DirectX 9 and Open GL, capable. IF it doesn't have a DVD burner, buy a drive... they are going for 30 bucks.
Then just purchase and extra HDD for your photo clips/ video clips. ($50 on sale) Maybe a 3rd drive for PS cache and PE render files.
I think Adobe photoshop elements & premiere elements will work fine for what you are doing, you should find the combo on sale for under $100. The ADVC110 is plenty fine.
FYI: You may find that Premiere does everything Photodex ProShow does. That being: "add transitions, music & motion... and then burn onto a DVD"
Go out and buy yourself a Samsung or Dell 22" widescreen for $340. (17'' is too small and 19'' is to costly compared to the 22' widescreens)

(Keep your old computer for office stuff or even scanning images... scan on one while the other is rendering?)

In a few years, or when you are so busy that "rendering-to-DVD" is backing up business/orders... build a super nice computer.. who knows it maybe quad core 4GHz in 1-2 years.

<disclaimer: I am saying this based on the type of work you described. and your start-up status>


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twist-throttle
Re: Another noobie Quadro Video Card & DIY Specs Question
on Dec 30, 2006 at 5:56:13 pm

LeeAVP,

Thank you for the feedback, I really appreciate it.

I guess I haven't even considered buying a pre-built PC, since I've built my last 2 PC's & I'm a little uncertain of what you get when buying pre-built. Also, the on-board video has me a little uneasy as well. Plus the research is half of the fun when building Wink

But... you do bring up a good point; about what I'm using the PC for & the costs of the PC's out there now.

I haven't begun researching Monitors yet... but Really, a 22" widscreen!! That sounds sweet, but I would have expected a lot more money for that. I'll look into that when I begin the monitor shopping.

Yes, for sure I will be keeping the old PC for workflow between my wife & me.

If I do end up building instead of buying a pre-built PC, I am definitely now swaying away from spending the extra money on the Quadro video card & buying the best bang for the buck gaming video card that I can find. I'm just not getting the proof or believing that the software I'll be using would really benefit from the Quadro card... I'm now thinking a 256RAM nVidia that supports OpenGL & DirectX.

Thanks again for your time & I welcome any additional thoughts.


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Evan Newsome
Re: Another noobie Quadro Video Card & DIY Specs Question
on Dec 30, 2006 at 7:00:29 pm

Not to confuse the whole thing.. since you have experience in building your own. AND want the fun of building yourself. Price things out.
Find an older generation 64bit friendly all in one MOBO, Gigabyte or Asus is a good place to start looking. (They are probably only VGA, not DVI) Newegg.com has a lot of valuable pictures, info and reviews on the products they sell.
look at comparing: 1 core vs 2 core vs speed vs price for CPU, (cache plays a big part on prices too)
1 gb value name brand ram. Get MS XP home and the rest of parts should fall into place.
Just make sure your video chipset is DirectX9 capable. (I think or HOPE they are since DirectX 9 has been around forever and game developers push manufactures to make their graphic cards compatible with their games.)
I don't think any of your software you listed requires Open GL.
But if you purchase a separate video card; just get a simple one with 128 or 256 ram w/ DirectX9 & Open GL. Preferably dual head with at least one DVI out.
You are right, your card does not need to be a 'gamer' card. Video cards are rated in speed. that speed is in refresh rate for computer games. and gamers pay $$$$ for that speed. Nothing you're using will 'speed up' your work if you blow a bunch of bucks on a gamer card. We, video editors, buy cards based on compatibility (and capabability). Only programs like Pinnacle (Avid) liquid will say ' give me the best card because I need it for realtime functionality'.

enjoy
PS If you purchase a video card make sure it has and compatible with a LUT (look up table) , so you can color calibrating of your monitor for photoshop. Very few video editors do that, and they notice color shifts in their text from computer screen to tv screen. (so I don't get spammed back, the other shift is from the ability of computer screens to show more color gamut vs tv monitors.


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rodders
Re: Another noobie Quadro Video Card & DIY Specs Question
on Jan 15, 2007 at 5:30:39 am

Hi LeeAVP

enjoy
PS If you purchase a video card make sure it has and compatible with a LUT (look up table)



I want to do that but can not find any information on what cards support this

Can you help Confused :


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Evan Newsome
Re: Another noobie Quadro Video Card & DIY Specs Question
on Jan 15, 2007 at 4:11:55 pm

Rodders,

that is for the photoshop people (mostly). Most cards we buy should have them, but contact the manufacturer.
This is only needed if you buy a monitor calibrator, other wise there is no need for the LUT tables


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rodders
Re: Another noobie Quadro Video Card & DIY Specs Question
on Jan 15, 2007 at 11:26:26 pm

Hi LeeAVP

Yes I am upgrading a PC for a friend and they have a HP 24" Wide screen and have purchased one of those monitor calibrators.

My freind has told me she wants to try a couple of things if it is possible.

She currently has a nvidia FX 1300 card in an XP Pro setup and HP 24" LCD and Panasonic 21" CRT

She has read that no nvidia cards support LUT and has asked me if I can find either

1. Purchase a second PCI ex video card that can be used for games etc and run it in the second PCI ex slot attached to the LCD screen

2. Or replace the FX card with another card that will be great for Photoshop as well as a couple of games and run both monitors from this one card

Can you advise


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Evan Newsome
Re: Another noobie Quadro Video Card & DIY Specs Question
on Jan 16, 2007 at 2:06:24 pm

I would be very surprised that nvidia card don't use LUTs. I use ATI cards.

https://www.xrite.com/product_overview.aspx?Industry=1&Segment=12&I...

this link will help you test for a LUT table.


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rodders
Re: Another noobie Quadro Video Card & DIY Specs Question
on Jan 17, 2007 at 9:56:20 pm

Has anybody no if it is possible to run 2 different grapics cards in the same system

Im talking about 2 PCI ex cards in same system each connected to a different monitor and then allowing for windows to utilise one for gaming and the other for PS work?


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Evan Newsome
Re: Another noobie Quadro Video Card & DIY Specs Question
on Jan 18, 2007 at 2:51:46 am

yes you can install two cards (assuming you have the slots for it) or use a dual head video card


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