I am looking to purchase either a new Dell or HP desktop computer to speed up my HDV video editing with Vegas Pro 8.0 . I was hoping someone could provide me with some computer specs I should look for in building my new computer. I am not looking to play games but want to work with HD videos for editing and watching on my PC or on my HDTV that is connected to my PC through a HDMI-DVI connector. I am looking to be in the $1,000 range. Any help will be appreciated.
Well... $1000 is not a lot of money for a PC that can handle HDV editing. From personal experience I can not recommend Dell. If you want to go with HP I would select something from their HP Workstation line. You definitely want nothing less than a Quad Core for HDV and from what I can see, the HP xw4600 is the least expensive workstation that supports a QuadCore.
To keep within that price you're going to have to be willing to buy peripherals like more memory and 2nd hard drive, etc. separately and install them yourself. For example, HP wants an additional $356 to add a 500GB hard drive and you can buy a Western Digital 650GB hard drive from NewEgg.com for only $85!!! That's a big difference.
The same is true for memory. On the HP xw4600 they give you 2GB of memory but want an additional $160 to bring that up to 4GB. You can by 2GB of Corsair memory for around $60. What's even better is if you scale the 2GB they give you back to 1GB they take $160 off the price. So $160 off plus saving $160 is $320 saved. You can buy 4GB for around $120 and save yourself $200!
That's the problem with not building yourself. You get killed on the price of peripherals with Dell/HP/etc. and for HDV editing you need a beefy machine with lots of memory and hard drive space. Otherwise you will need wait until you have around $1500~$1800 saved up if you don't want to add things yourself.
As far as what specs to look for:
CPU: Intel QuadCore 2.4GHz or better
Memory: 2-4GB (4GB preferred)
Hard Disk 1: 160GB
Hard Disk 2: 500GB
Firewire Card (or on motherboard)
Operating System: Windows XP
This is kind of meets minimum. You can see the specs for the computer I built for HDV editing on the PC Equipment page of my web site.
That system has been upgraded several times so it all wasn't purchased at once (i.e., i didn't keep track of the overall price) and all of the parts were purchased at newegg.com and all of the parts are way cheaper now than what I paid a year ago. (I paid $1000+ for the Quad-Core proc alone at the time and now they are like $300!) So I would go to newegg and price the parts in today's market (that's why the part number are on my site). ;-)