a good setup

sonic ra wrote on 2/15/2007, 9:26 AM
Okay, so I've been using Vegas 6 for a while now and I think I really need to start doing things the right way, which means that I have to change my computer setup into more of a legitimate editing station.

This is what I have right now:

Dell Dimension 8250 WinXP Home 2002 SP2
Intel Pentium 4 2.66GHz
512 RAM
15" monitor
No video monitor for external preview!
(Man, I can't believe I've gone this long looking at the 1.5" preview on the workspace).

Keep in mind that this computer is 4 years old and it was pretty sweet out of the box back then, but I'm disappointed that it might not be powerful enough to reduce that preview choppiness to an acceptable level on an external monitor.

So my questions are:

1) How easy is it to add RAM to this computer (will that do the trick?), and is it worth it?
2) What's a good external monitor for around $300-1K to use with Vegas?


rs170a wrote on 2/15/2007, 9:42 AM
Can't answer your RAM question but a great external monitor is the VC TMH-150CGU. Currently $464.95 at B&H.
It has all the features you'll need (underscan, blue gun only, 4:3/16:9, NTSC/PAL) for SD video.
And to properly set it up, Color Bars and How To Use 'em is a great tutorial.

sonic ra wrote on 2/15/2007, 10:32 AM
That looks like a great product, but will it be useful to me when I switch over to HD in a year or two?
rs170a wrote on 2/15/2007, 11:42 AM
It's a standard definition monitor so no, it won't work for HD.
Because of the cost of an HD monitor, I believe that most folks are using a good LCD monitor like the 24" Dell 2407FPW or a 23" or 30" Apple Cinema HD display.
Keep in mind though that, in spite of all the hype, SD video will still be with us for a few years yet.
Let me also add that you should be checking your projects on the lowest common denominator which, for the forseeable future, is still standard def video.

Nobody wrote on 2/15/2007, 11:48 AM
Upgrading RAM is pretty easy. You know that you have 512 right now, but you need to know how many sticks of memory you have that are adding up to that. Pop open the case and find out.

Then, you need to find out what your options are. If you don't have all of the manuals, go to Dell's support website and look up your machine by Service Tag. Then you can determine the combinations of memory that your mother board can accommodate. If your slots are somehow all filled up, you'll have to look at replacing your sticks with higher capacity ones. If not, you may just be able to add sticks.

You can go to www.crucial.com to look for compatible memory at usually a pretty good price. Doubling your memory certainly wouldn't hurt. I'm currently running 2GB of RAM myself.

I hope that helps. Ask more questions if I can clarify further.
TLF wrote on 2/15/2007, 11:54 AM
Well, I've just stripped down a Dell Dimension 82xx after building the owner a new PC.

This model uses RIMMS, RAMBUS, RDRAM (same thing, different names) which is expensive to upgrade with new modules, though they are quite cheap on eBay. MY customer did not want second hand modules, which meant it was better to buy a complete new PC with dual core processor.

But more on the RAM. If I am correct, there are four RAM sockets on your PC. RAMBUS has to be installed in pairs (I think) and all remaining slots have to be populated with 0MB modules - peek inside and it will look like all the RAM slots are occupied. You will have 2x256MB modules, most likely Samsung branded running as 1066MHz. Inserting another two modules is very easy. Just remove the 0MB modules (lower in height than the RAM proper) and slot in two new modules. They can only fit in one way, so you can't go wrong.

If you buy new RAM, I don't think the upgrade would be worth the cost, so search on eBay (or I'll sell you the modules I have sitting in the corner!)

The graphics card in the Dell I dismantled was an ATI 9700 TX with 128MB RAM. There was an S-video output which would be used to output to an external monitor. At one time this card was considered fast (well the 9700 Pro was)...

Hope some of this info is of use.

sonic ra wrote on 2/15/2007, 12:26 PM
I have the same problem with choppy video on my "studio" set up.

Dell XPS DXP051
Intel Pentium D 3.20GHz

My dynamic video preview is only at 16 and my preview is on draft. Am I doing something wrong? Can I not preview a clip with effects on it and get a smooth picture?
CClub wrote on 2/15/2007, 2:05 PM
Depends on your effects. If you're using Magic Bullet, it'll be choppy unless you have a pretty advanced video card.
sonic ra wrote on 2/16/2007, 9:51 PM
Yes. Your info is of great use to me. I have an AGP video card installed by Dell, but I'm afraid to try anything else for fear of support issues on this 4 year old computer. IYO, do think it's worth it to upgrade this computer to 2GB? Any idea how much $ the 512MB chips are)? I want to be able to see what I'm editing on the JVC monitor that was suggested by Mike without the choppyness (magic bullet FX excluded). I also would like a second display monitor for desktop space, I suppose can I go cheap on that.