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Gary Bettan
Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue
on Jan 15, 2005 at 1:15:46 am

Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue - Build an NLE Hot Rod for $2,000

This new machine has to be the ultimate digital everything computer. Most of all, it has to be the best video editing machine possible for the budget. Not just for DV, but for the new HiDef HDV format as well. We're going to be getting a new Sony HDV camcorder and start shooting and editing HDV footage. In order to handle the increased demands of HiDef, my new computer is going to have to be tweaked out and configured to take full advantage of all the latest technologies: PCI Express graphics, DDR2 memory, SATA Raid, Hyperthreading and more.

Here ya go guys - the first look at our latest and greatest DIY article!

http://www.videoguys.com/DIY2.html

Gary

Videoguys.com / The Electronic Mailbox 800 323-2325
We Are The Desk Top Video Editing & Production Experts

All DTV purchases come with our exclusive 30 day customer assurance program and FREE Tech Support


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KentC
Re: Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue
on Jan 17, 2005 at 8:01:03 pm

Gary, I posted this in the "video card" thread but I think it bears repeating here.

When I first became interested in video editing and found the Videoguys I was thrilled and thankful, still am in fact. This site is a fantastic resource. As a beginner I devoured everything you posted and was especially interested in the do-it-yourself instructions. Your site lead me to other hardware sites. I did a lot of reading and comparing. That effort has caused me to question some of your specifications, or at least the absence of alternatives.

I really don't understand Videoguy's insistence on pushing Quadro cards. For any beginners out there, the Quadro is an optimized video card for 2D Open GL applications such as CAD, modeling and video editing. If you are ONLY going to use your computer for those apps you might consider a Quadro, but be aware that you will pay a significant premium for them since they are targeted at businesses and not consumers.

If you are going to use your computer for any other work or play, if this is going to be an all around machine, you should seriously consider a consumer level card. Consumer cards are generally cheaper and based on much newer technology than Open GL specific cards. You will still be able to edit your video and you will also have a better card for non 2D apps. I think the Videoguys should at least mention this so the buyer can make an informed choice.

In addition, you always mention the phrase "dual head" in connection with Quadros cards, which can give beginners the impression that the two are somehow synonymous. It may have been true at one time that only Quadro type cards could be used with dual monitors, but the fact is, almost all modern consumer video cards are now dual head. The lower priced ones have one analog and one DVI, the higher priced ones have two DVI. You don't need Quadro for dual monitors.

If you are building a dedicated video editing machine a Quadro card or its equivalent might be worth considering. But if you are building a home machine that will be used for editing and other apps (which is what the Videoguys' new "Big Blue" build it yourself box will be used for) stay away from the Quadros and stick with mainstream consumer cards like the ATI 300/700/800 or NVIDIA 6600/6800. These are all fully capable Open GL cards. I doubt if you will see any difference in your editing and you will have much more all around power for the same or less money.


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Gary Bettan
Re: Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue
on Jan 17, 2005 at 8:33:47 pm


While our DIY machines are for more than just video editing, the primary purpose is for just that. That's why we favor Quadro cards in our DIY articles. The most important thing we were trying to "push" is the new PCI-E bus. I'm going to update the article with a list of other, less expensive PCI-E choices.

You are correct, there are many other very good 3D Open GL cards on the market. We found several dual-head PCIe cards based on the nVideo GeForce6600 and the ATI X700 chipsets that you can buy for around $200. I personally favor nVidia, but that's more because of their consistant driver updates and ease of updating to the very latest drivers.

Gary

Videoguys.com / The Electronic Mailbox 800 323-2325
We Are The Desk Top Video Editing & Production Experts

All DTV purchases come with our exclusive 30 day customer assurance program and FREE Tech Support


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JohnnyRoy
Re: Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue
on Jan 24, 2005 at 8:28:35 pm

Gary,

I enjoyed your DIY2 article and was hoping you could elaborate on the configuration of the 5 fans in the ANTEC PLUSVIEW1000AMG case. I assume the 2 front ones are blowing in while the 2 rear ones are blowing out but how is the side fan configured? Should it blow in or out?

Also, how are all the fan speeds controlled? Most motherboards have three fan connectors (CPU, Case, & System) Where do you plug 5 fans into? (other than the power supply which doesn’t control their speed)

Thanks,

~jr


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Gary Bettan
Re: Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue
on Jan 25, 2005 at 2:52:01 pm

The Antec case is the one we used for our first DIY article. It has 2 rear fans that blow out.

The Aspire case "Big Blue" has the five fans.

The two rear, side and top fan all blow out. The front fan pulls air in. The fans are pretty quiet at mid speed. When I crank them up for full cooling they get a bit louder.

Here is a link to the case on newegg http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-144-089&de...

Gary

Videoguys.com / The Electronic Mailbox 800 323-2325
We Are The Desk Top Video Editing & Production Experts

All DTV purchases come with our exclusive 30 day customer assurance program and FREE Tech Support


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JohnnyRoy
Re: Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue
on Jan 25, 2005 at 3:11:59 pm

Thanks. I have the Antec case and I wasn’t sure if the side fan should blow in or out. I guess the correct direction is OUT. Thanks again,

~jr


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bjyow
Re: Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue
on Jan 26, 2005 at 12:30:56 am

If this system is to be used for HDV editing (1080i) how will it run the LE 6.0 software? The min requirements for 1080i HDV editing is dual cpu and a 256 meg video card?

Are you getting RT playback of (1080i) with this system using other NLEs?

thanks,



Bill


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Gary Bettan
Re: Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue
on Jan 26, 2005 at 1:04:37 am

we don't have our Sony HDV cam yet. It's expected next week. We realize that this is a single CPU system, and that most NLE companies are recommending dual CPU for HDV 1080i editing. Our DIY machine will be dual processor (we're almost ready to order the parts!)

We'll be running tests comparing performance of the two systems. I'm expecting the DIY machine to be able to edit HDV 1080i, but not nearly as smoothly as a dual CPU system. I've got a lot of confidence in Big Blue, and I think we'll get surprisingly good results.

Gary

Videoguys.com / The Electronic Mailbox 800 323-2325
We Are The Desk Top Video Editing & Production Experts

All DTV purchases come with our exclusive 30 day customer assurance program and FREE Tech Support


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bjyow
Re: Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue
on Jan 26, 2005 at 3:22:18 am

If you want to test it before you get the 1080i the sample disk that comes with LE 6.0 has 720P HDV footage. Have you tried running or editing any of that? I could do about two streams of 720P with a single Opteron 250, only got about 4 fps with 1 stream of 1080i. Never went back to playing around with the sample stuff after getting the second 250.

On my current dual (Opteron 250s) I get 2 HDV 1080i streams in RT (Full screen and the other in a PIP). As soon as I drop a third stream in it drops to about 25fps.

What is really interesting is the system hits 100% when using LE 6.0 or VLC (which is just a very efficent video player). With one stream VLC only uses 8% of the CPUs, 2 streams and it goes up to 30% to 40% when the third stream kicks in it jumps to 100%.

I believe that the first stream % is so low because the video card (ATI X800, 256meg, AGP 8x) is assisting with the playing of the TS. The second two streams are both CPU only.

I'm planning on upgrading the system's motherboard to one of the new Tyan Nforce4 boards this summer along with a second generation PCIe card.





Bill



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Stephanie
Re: Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue
on Feb 2, 2005 at 11:02:35 pm

Hi Gary

I want to try a system similar to Big Blue. My programmer friend at work is building it for me. I have a few questions before I take the plunge:

1.I want to author DVDs with Adobe DVDit and utilize open GL in after effects (as well as working on multimedia and photoshop type projects) Will the PNY Quadro FX 540 128 mb handle dual monitors and After Effects well? If so, I would get that instead of the 1300.

2. Are a lot of people shifting to LCD now? I have 2 Viewsonic P225f Crt at work, and I would like to stop cooking under the radiation, but not if the LCD monitors will be flaky. the Samsung LCDs I looked at in the store did not look too different from the crts. I am wondering if there are any problems like flickering in comparison with Crts.


thanks,

Stephanie



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Slacktide
Re: Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue
on Feb 6, 2005 at 6:36:53 pm

Great article(s), I've doing NLE for about 3 years now, I'm still working with my 2001 Dell 8100, and I'm more than ready to move on, and in the DIY direction.

Just one question on Big Blue, what did Jon do for Optical Drives(CD/DVD)? Are there any internal Drives on this machine, or is Jon using External Drives?

I checked out the Aspire link in your post, even their multiple pictures of the case do not idicate the front opens to expose any drive bays.


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Gary Bettan
Re: Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue
on Feb 6, 2005 at 8:12:33 pm

I'm using a Pioneer DVR A08 XLB as my optical drive. There is a door above the thermal display. Behind it is 4 full drive bays and floppy bay.

Gary



Videoguys.com / The Electronic Mailbox 800 323-2325
We Are The Desk Top Video Editing & Production Experts

All DTV purchases come with our exclusive 30 day customer assurance program and FREE Tech Support


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Slacktide
Re: Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue
on Feb 8, 2005 at 12:28:41 pm

Great, Thanks.

The article was so thorough and when I checked out the manufacturers website, to find not one of the dozen or so product shots showed this case with the front panel opened, I just figured the case wasn't designed to house any internal optical drives? Did you still make budget with these drives, or were they added later?


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Mad Max
Re: Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue
on Feb 10, 2005 at 8:36:32 am

I am trying to put a new HDV editing system together. Big Blue was my starting point, but after much research I'm hearing that Dual Opteron is probably needed to edit 1080i. That said, is there a minimum power level to stay above in a dual Opteron? Does it have to be dual 250 or can I get away with dual 244? These chips are expensive.


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Jason Miller
Re: Videoguys DIY Challenge II - Big Blue
on Feb 18, 2005 at 3:25:30 am

I am trying to build "Over Budget Big Blue" to it's exact specifications. I have built computers in the past but have never tackled RAID. Is it possible to expand on the physical assembly of the RAID hard drive configuration? Remember, I have purchased the exact hard ware that was used in "Big Blue".

Any help would be great!



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