I've tried video editing in the past and it was always slow on my 400 Mhz processor with 64 MB of ram (I thought I was serious back then so it wasn't funny, but now it's just hilarious to think I even bothered..).
Now I have the opportunity to upgrade (don't have the time for a full-time job, working part-time while going through college), and my budget is going to be about 1500 dollars. It's a frusterating wait trying to build the cash flow, but doing research on computer components and video editing has passed the time. I'm going to build my own system and I know what I need to get.
My question is - do I need a video capture card if I buy a Real-time card? Capturing VHS and DVD authoring, "heavy" video editing will be my thing.
The real time card (Matrox RTX100) is the capture card and allows you to capture firewire and composite through it. So in short, no, you don't need another video capture card (as long as teh realtime card you buy has composite connections, if you want to capture from VHS). It shounds like the RTX100 will be the card for you as it has composite and firewire connections and has the ability to export to DVD in realtime. I have one and love it! It works just as good on long projects (above 2 hours) as it does on short projects. Hope this helps answer your question, if you there is anything else you would like to know, feel free to ask!
If you're still in school you should talk to Dan at ext 123. he heads up our educational division (Specialty Video Supply) and can give discounts if you fax over a copy of your student ID. We'd love to help you stretch your dollars!