Which hardware to buy?
Thread poster: Anne Zielisch MCIL

Anne Zielisch MCIL
Local time: 04:13
English to German
Mar 17, 2006

I know this question has been asked before, but as things in the computer world change rapidly I would like to get a few opinions once again. I'm planning to buy a computer (a stationary one, not a laptop) and it needs to do/be/have the following:
- fast
- lots of memory
- compatible with CAT/TM tools (latest
versions)
- preferably also be compatible with
Photoshop and Final Cut Pro (Film
Editing Programme)
- not break down too often
- not cost more than 500 GBP (700 - 800
USD, EUR, roughly).

Any advice would be much appreciated.
Many thanks in advance!
Anna


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:13
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Wait towards the end of the year Mar 18, 2006

Microsoft has annpunced new Windows and new Office for Fall this year.
And also the dual core processors are comming, but are now to expensive.

For the time beeing, I would chose AMD processor with a good motherboard (nVidia chipset, dual channel memory), 2x1024 MB RAM, a SATA II HDD (if you can afford two and an external one, so I would use two smaller SATA HDDs to build a RAID0 matrix and the external one for daily backups). As graphics card I would prefer ATI due to better picture quality. As you need a PC for work, you will not need the latest and newest graphics card - take the best one from last year for under 100 Euro, this will be enough.

And you will need a good power supply, to be able to upgrade in the future. 500 Watts are a must nowadays.

Regards
Jerzy


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Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:13
German to English
+ ...
Buy bespoke? Mar 18, 2006

Baseline advice may well be to pay out until it hurts (without bankrupting yourself, of course).

With regard to processor choice I've read recently that AMD are better for gaming and Intel better for Office applications. However, looking it up, I see that "Final Cut Pro" (costing $1299) is written for Apple and, in some people's opinion, not likely to be made available for Windows - so if you want to run "Final Cut Pro" you'll have to buy an Apple computer. The video-editing suite I know most about is Cinelerra which has a minimum hardware spec of dual AMD Opterons with cluster computing and fibre-optic networking preferable. Subtitling can be done on much more humble equipment.

With regard to graphics card, one of the lower priced ones with DVI output may be what one should be looking at.

It looks currently as if dual-core processors may outperform multiple processor boards but I think one will push you past your figure of £500.

If you do want to run two processors, a power supply of 650W would be appropriate though by the time you get to thinking of changing your motherboard you might well be thinking of buying yet another new computer altogether.

Heavy, continuous use may well warrant the use of a server-quality motherboard, but again will probably push you over your £500 figure.

Going to www.pcspecialist.co.uk for £501 I put together:

Pentium 4 3GHz - 800MHz fsb, 2048MB dual-ddr RAM, SATA 80GB HDD, DVD ±RW, 256MB GeForce FX5500 8X AGP + DVI + TV-OUT, Silent 400W PSU + 120mm internal Fan

www.cclonline.com, from whom I purchased my current computer, will also put together computers according to your bespoke specifications. However there is probably no denying the quality of computer manufacturers like Dell.

[Edited at 2006-03-18 10:38]


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Anne Zielisch MCIL
Local time: 04:13
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Many thanks, especially for the "£501 customised suggestions". Mar 18, 2006

Final Cut Pro (editing films) is not a priority - it's just something I used to do at uni and would like to do again as a hobby. Therefore I wouldn't buy a Mac unless it's better for
CAT tools, too. But I suppose a PC would be more suitable for the latter? (I thought Final Cut or at least Adobe Premiere were compatible with PC, too...)So Dell is the best hardware brand? Any others? Cheers, Anna


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Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:13
German to English
+ ...
Graphics card Mar 22, 2006

Reading one of my computer magazines, I see that purchase of a graphics card with an AGP interface is not recommended.

"... should be looking exclusively at PCI-Express models, even if you are looking to build a budget computer. This is because AGP support has now been dropped ..."

Hence:

256MB GeForce FX5500 8X AGP + DVI + TV-OUT

should read something more like:

256MB GeForce 6500 PCI-Express + DVI + TV-OUT

or its ATI Radeon or whatever make equivalent.



I see there are versions of Adobe Premiere for both Windows and Mac. Reading computer forums on the topic, it looks as if Cinelerra (and Final Cut and Adobe Premiere) should run to a certain extent on lower specs than I quoted.

Regarding the use of CAT tools on Mac, I think it is a subject already discussed, at least to some degree, in these forums.

[Edited at 2006-03-22 08:47]


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:13
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
PCI Express and SATA Mar 22, 2006

The situation with both is quote similar.
While SATA is longer on the market it is still not a standard, as EIDE was all the years before.
PCI Express is becoming standard for gaming computers now, but you can still buy good - and cheap - graphic cards for AGP. When deciding you have to pay attention to your motherboard, as many of the newer do not support AGP anymore.
But if you get a mainboard with AGP support there is still nothing against buying an AGP graphic card. You would be then able to choose a model with a GPU, which was top in the ranking last spring and did cost a fortune. Now you can get it fo peanuts - and you can be sure, it will fit for any office application you wish to run.

Only if you plan video editing all this is not true.
If you will edit videos, go for a SLI concept by ATI (or its equivalent by nVidia) - this consists of two graphic cards working in tandem. The performance boost is huge. Video editing is one of the most demanding tasks for a PC - a cheap solution will not do here.

Regards
Jerzy


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Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:13
German to English
+ ...
Gaming cards Mar 22, 2006

Although PCI Express is said to have twice the bandwidth of AGP 8x, not all PCI Express video cards are suitable for all types of gaming. If you are not interested in 3D games, for example, an ATI Radeon X300SE may do the job for you. If you are interested in 3D games you should look for one without the SE suffix.

If you are buying everything new, I don't see the purchase of PCI Express equipment should push you over budget.


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Anne Zielisch MCIL
Local time: 04:13
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks again... Mar 22, 2006

...for all your comments, even though some of it looks like
Chinese to me.;-) I'll need to read up a bit. Gaming is the one thing I'm definitely not interested in. Anything to do with art and music - yes.
The compatiblity of CAT tools with Macs being discussed means they were built for PCs in the first place, I suppose.?
I am aware video editing is one of the most demanding tasks for a computer. I thought CAT tools were at the other end of the scale, but it seems I underestimated them.


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