Update for V4 machine - your thoughts Guys 'n Gals?

Grazie wrote on 5/17/2003, 2:03 PM
Well, about to bite the bullet:

1 - P4 - 84s Chipset - 2.8ghtz
2 - 1gb DDR ram - 2700
3 - 60gb 7200rpm sys HD
4 - 3 x 120 7200rpm 2mb cache OR 8mb cache [extra £300]
5 - XP Home

This is a far as I've got with PCWorld. I can have it built by them and checked over with my XM2 Canon for NON-Blue Screen!

Yet to determine MoBo spec; Sound card and most important Video Card.

Any takers on feedback for the spec so far? - No HT or Dual processor. Any thoughts?

Thanks for your time, in advance,



way2slo wrote on 5/17/2003, 2:18 PM
this is what i recommend
Pentium 4- 2.4B CPU with 533Mhz FSB
Asus P4G8X Motherboard with Gigabit LAN, Serial ATA, and Firewire
1024MB Crucial Technologies PC-2100 DDR-SDRAM(2X512)
Matrox G-550 Dual Head Graphics Card
Maxtor 80GB ATA-133 7200RPM System(6Y060L0)
Maxtor 160GB SATA 7200RPM Audio/Video(6Y160M0)
pioneer A05 dvd wirter or Sony DRU500A
Teac Floppy Disk Drive
Zalman 400w psu
for your soundcard, depending on the how many in/outs, low latency, asio driver?
the m-audio delta audiophile 2496 is a good started. if u want to set up surround, take a look at the delta 66. www.m-audio.com
i dont know about the dual processors. it depends on the application i guess.

my rock solid system
P4 2.0A
Asus P4b533 mobo
Samsung 1024 pc2100 ddr ram
Matrox G550 dualhead
Seagate cuda 40g hd(dual boot xp) 80g(audio and video files)
Ibm 60g hd external mounted(via 1394/usb2)
Echo Gina 24 audio interface
Adaptec 4300 firewire card
Nec 1530v and 1560v 15" lcd
LG dvd rom
Pioneer A05 dvd writer
Zalman 300w quiet PSU
XP pro SP1

LarryP wrote on 5/17/2003, 2:57 PM
For a 533Mhz. FSB you will need PC-2700 (333mhz) memory.

Just being conservative I just build a machine with an Intel 845PESV mb. Very happy.

Doing more audio than video noise was a big consideration for me. Make sure the MB supports fan speed control. The biggest noise improvement I made was to buy a Zalman CNPS7000 cooler. Large, very quiet and impressive to look at.

BillyBoy wrote on 5/17/2003, 3:38 PM
Is that a typo for 300 pounds more just for a larger caches on the drives? Geez, I hope so, at 100 pounds more a drive.. just for a bigger buffer... hiway robbery for the difference in my opinion.

A 2 MB buffer is plenty big enough anyhow. The buffer is never going to empty to make it a problem. Just think all the trips to the pub you could make on the savings. <wink>
Grazie wrote on 5/17/2003, 3:59 PM
Hey Guys you are the best . . so far!

I think I understand most of what you've said - AND yes BB: that is NO typo! PCWorld want £100GBp per HD Per 8mb buffer! Nice work eh? - That works out to about 30imp. Gallons of beer! - Beltch!!

Any way, I haven't got the spec on the mobo yet. - PCWOrld will build and test the box.

Any opinions on XP Home as to Pro?

way2slo wrote on 5/17/2003, 4:00 PM
excuse me guys, i want $300 'cash' not 'cache'
Grazie wrote on 5/17/2003, 4:01 PM

Matrox G-550 Dual Head Graphics Card - I'm being offered an Nvidia Card.

Any thoughts.

BillyBoy wrote on 5/17/2003, 4:11 PM
I would base your graphic card choice on what else you're going to use the computer for. Vegas doesn't seem to care. I was messing around some time ago and through in a 4-5 year old none AGP graphic card, fired up Vegas and it worked fine.

The downside with getting the latest and greatest graphic card is the drivers are probalby not that well tested "real world" so that could cause you grief. Video Drivers are way up on the list for causing weird problems.
J_Mac wrote on 5/17/2003, 4:50 PM
Grazie, An interesting perspective on Audio cards is to read the Acid forum. Just don't save money now, and regret it later. Good luck John.
Grazie wrote on 5/17/2003, 4:51 PM
BB - Excellent advice. Having plenty of mem on the Graphic card help any?
BillyBoy wrote on 5/17/2003, 5:40 PM
Not really needed for Vegas. Good if you're into gaming.
vicmilt wrote on 5/17/2003, 9:02 PM
Just curious... is there a reason you are avoiding the HT technology?
It seems to me that any new system would automatically add this new feature.
filmy wrote on 5/17/2003, 9:42 PM
What I always tell people is to get what you need...get what you want if you can afford it. And most important get what will work for what you want to do with it. if you like to DIY than make sure whatever you get there is planty of room for upgrades.

If you are going with XP I say go for Xp Pro. More room to do things because you don't have to 'activate' the damn OS if you start upgrading and moving htings around, and less headaches if you want to ever network to Non-Xp systems. As for SP1 - check before you do it. Again - if Xp Pro works fine for you and will run the NLE you want than leave it. Many different problems with XP + SP1 on lots of different systems. Just read up on what software you will be running and if there are any problems after SP1 was put onto the system.

Overall the more memory you can have the better, but if you are not going to be doing heavy graphics work or heavy effects rendering you don't need to max out the ram right away. IMO more graphics memory is a good thing because it will take a load of of your screen renders. What you edit may be going out via firewire or another card but you may also want to run video out at some point via a TV out on your graphics card, or even preview your edit at full screen. It does take more on boards graphic memory to run a dual monitor set up. You may want to do animations at some point - if so check out what cards work well with the animation program you will use. Some work better for CAd work, others work better for straight video. Same for an audio card - get what you need. Don't get a 7:1 card if you don't need it, but leave the option there. And don't forget a monitor. there is a huge Difference between a 15 inch and a 21 inch and also, again, depending on what you will be using it for. Some are better if you are doing graphics. If you have lots of money check out the ViewSonic VP2290b ("If Ihad a million dollars...I'd buy me a VP2290b.")

I know this may sound like a bunch of non-answers but I have seen people go out and spend 10 grand on a system because they have been told "this is what you need" and the system ends up getting used the way an $500 system could have been used. In this case you are asking what we think of a system but you really have not said what you actually want to use the system for. We can guess you will be using VV at least. But are you going to be editing music videos? Short industrials? Feature films? Are you going to be mastering DVDs? Doing sound design? Mixing? Surround mixes? Title Design? Making demo reels to submit to Pixar? Working for Film? TV? Games? It is all in how you will actually *use* the system. That is whay I say bottom line - get what you *need* and leave room for upgrades.
BillyBoy wrote on 5/17/2003, 10:07 PM
You DO have to activate XP pro. At least the single release retail version. As far as memory a lot of people 'max' out their system not realizing Windows, XP especially, will insist on using the paging file anyways. Result: memory never gets used effectively. Actually in my opinion the best way to see how much RAM you need is torture test your system, while you have Task Manager open and monitor how much RAM Windows actually has in use when you're doing things you planning on more or less always doing. I'm always pushing the envelope and running a dozen or more applications at once and only have 512 DDR memory and every time I've checked XP has never had more than about 2/3rds of memory in use. Again... depends what applications you going to be running. You can always add more memory later. Foolish to load up a system then never touches it. About the only good reason I can think of for having loads of RAM is if you use Dynamic RAM preview at lot and want to see more preived in real time.
Paul_Holmes wrote on 5/17/2003, 10:15 PM
Grazie, there's a Medion machine (made in Europe) here in the US at Best Buy for $849. 2.4G Pentium, 512DDR Ram, 5 USB2.0, 2 Firewire, CD Burner, 4X Pioneer DVD burner 1 open AGP, 2 open PCI, 64meg shared video. With the burner it's an incredible deal and I will be plunking down the bucks next Thursday when I get my check. I've been checking it out for several weeks, and it's only made with top quality components. In the tests I've been able to do I can see it's going to blow away my Athlon 1800 SDRAM (which I was very happy with).

Here's a link to the Best Buy info on it. Maybe one of your local UK electronic stores carries it.
filmy wrote on 5/17/2003, 10:18 PM
>> You DO have to activate XP pro. At least the single release version.

ok, let me rephrase what I said - You 'activate' Pro but unlike Home you do not have to reactivate it when you start pulling hardware out and update your system. The concept of "home" is that someone sort of buys a pre-made PC and they are not going to be ripping the insides out everytime a new piece of hardware comes along. I still don't agree with the MS phone home policy, and SP1 also implimented this policy more so. But I am also a bit of a geek who loves to tinker when given the chance, that doesn't mean I am putting the OS onto other computers like MS's 'phone home and activate' policy thinks you are, it just means what it means.

Fireguy5 wrote on 5/17/2003, 11:16 PM
I just built a new machine and couldn't be happier....Gigabyte GA-8KNXP Motherboard, P-4 3.0Ghz 800Mhz FSB with HT, 2-Corsair 512meg XMS PC3500C2 Memory Running at400Mhz dual mode. Nvidia TI-4800SE 8X AGP with VIVO and 128 megs of ram. 3- Maxtor HDD 7200RPM ATA133, And like I said so far this machine is very sweet!

Paul_Holmes wrote on 5/17/2003, 11:44 PM
Just out of curiosity, Tim, what did that set you back. My budget's set to under 900 for the box and 4X DVD burner, but I'm curious.
Grazie wrote on 5/18/2003, 3:30 AM
Grazie and PC Upgrade

Phew! - Should have realised that you guys were gonna give me a real “going-over”! – Okay, not wishing to construct a major polemic on this [ seems like I have though!! ], I’ll try to give justice to your different, varied & valuable feedback – yeah?


“I know this may sound like a bunch of non-answers” not really. You have made me focus on Need over Availability

----- “ . . editing music videos?” Doubt it very much

-----“ Short industrials?” More likely

-----“Feature films?” Really can’t see it!

-----“Are you going to be mastering DVDs?” Sure, this has to be an option for me.

-----“Doing sound design?” Not really sure what you mean? But if you mean using some music creator like Acid – using Express at the moment and love it! – then most probably.

-----“Title Design?” Oh yes! I’m a sucker for stimulating graphics and scanning in pre-drawn and “found” items.

-----“Making demo reels to submit to Pixar?” Noooooo….. but your question gives more of a grounded “approach” to my must haves.

Excellent feedback Filmy – made me think, read on . . .hmmmmm

I’m not sure on the debate regarding XP Home v Pro? I wouldn’t want the extra ram or functionality to be banjaxed by not having the most suitable platform – hey I’ll be coming from WinME, so XP, of any flavour, will be a release – yeah?


I thought having plenty of RAM would speed up my Previewing – in RAM Preview. I’ve been quoted going from 512mb to 1gb is only an extra £50GBp. So my decision has been taken out of my hands really. But I’m sure you have had far more experience in “using-up” RAM.

Paul, Tim and Vicmilt, I’ve responded to your comments later on.

Grazie’s – Wish-list!

1 – Functionality - To get stuff out to tape without BS! Really this is pissing me off – BIG TIME! I want be able to have a reliable system that will do this – this is where I started, this time round.

2 – Experimentation – To be able to take advantage of some of the more Fx demanding combinations that I’m now using but take an age to render out AND this take the fun out of, and the options for experimentation – AND places this into the realms of frustration and “just can’t be bothered”. For example, just been over on the DMN site and seen a suggestions that DSE has made for a 2 track video using low opacity on Track1 and an major undersample rate on track2. Once I then added a “Glow” effect to T2, and set to render, this 1-minute section started to rack up to 30mins on only a 10% rendered portion - so I just cancelled it! Get the picture! Chucks the thrill of V4 out of the window.

3 – Arts Development – I’ve been involved in the arts all my life and see things in my mind’s eye and wish to be able to experiment with the options available within V4. Of course this is as long as a piece of string. You wanna do more Grazie? Get with the programme [ he he joke there boyz! ] You gonna need oodles of power. Well maybe – maybe not. I don’t know “how much” power I need to do this – time will tell.

4 – Grazie’s Video Development [thanks Filmy for making me think about this – Good Stuff! ] – Alluded to this before, but I do see myself making:

-----* “Art-Type” small and discreet videos. I love doing this.

-----* Small Event videos – Muso Pub work; Art Auctions; Training and Skills videos; Special Interest Videos – I know a lot about the arts and crafts scene here in the UK, recognised an option in producing videos for enthusiasts

-----* Management Tools: - My day job, when I get booked, is in using my new found skills in presenting to groups video presentations on where an organisations thinks it wishes to go, where it could be going and maybe how it thinks it is going to get there – yeah? I really don’t see myself doing major corporate stuff.

-----* Professionalism – I do wish to produce the best I can, with the kit I finally land up with. I do want to be able to take on work – camera-work, editing work and “let’s see how we can do this in film” type of work. I am presently working on a piece for a wedding pro-videographer, who’s seen what I can do in V4 and wants an updated 7-10 second intro for his product he gives to newly wedded couples. See!

-----* Multi Camera work – V4 can really handle this well. Just seen the Excalibur demo and now understand where and how I can achieve this within V4. I could very well pursue this with a couple of colleagues.

-----* Invention & Innovation - To Have a pc that will be able to “stretch” my imagination and be able to accommodate my concepts, allowing V4 to do its thing without waiting for the “2nd Coming” – that is a long time!

In Summary:

-----* I want a system that will be a major step up from my Dell Inspiron – 1ghtz; 256 ram and my 4 external firewires – yeah?

-----* I want a company that is both patient with me and have the “depth” of understanding to be able to do the “tinkering” for me when I wish to upgrade the pc or rectify that, which has gone awry. For example my contact will be downloading the V4 demo, so on this Tuesday coming, we will be able to “play” with it on the machine I may consider. This has to be worth money in itself. He will also configure and ensure all is “bolted-down” before I take delivery. This includes me doing the PTT thing and the Preview values.

-----* I want/would like to be able to “link” my WinME machine to this new box [ XP is a given on new box] to be able to access the Dell’s stuff. AND at the same time, to have the NLE pc to be separate from the Dell. Not necessarily a contradiction.

-----* I want to be able to get most of the items in “4” above a realistic and realisable option.

Hey guys thanks again for your thoughtful, considerate and yes, “caring” feedback – I mean this!

BB – Yes, I don’t wish to spend my hard earned POUNDS on stuff I will not access. But for £50 to go from 512 to 1GB I feel is a no brainer – yeah? And again, I will want V4 to be able to access this new found real-estate/territory.

Filmy – Yes, I understand what you mean. I need to be clearer – for myself – where I’m going with this NLE work AND to try and anticipate where I might wish to go.

Vicmilt – HT and Dual Processing is presently beyond my pc understanding. Yes, I’ve read the arguments for and against both. Can’t quite get my head round this. Any thoughts V?

FG5 – Thanks for the home built spec. I’ll use this as an indication to the people I’ll speak with – yeah?

Paul – Good feedback. I’ve seen your work over at Kelly’s Kafe. If this was done on your Athlon –great! Now if you’ve speced the Medion you must be doing this for a truly excellent reason. Your experience must be taking you in this direction. This spec is not far off from what is being offered to me – and if anything the “offered spec is higher than yours. I feel/know I’m going in the right direction.

Finally . . . . yes, it is mostly about compromise, money and realistic expectations of kit. For me I’ve reached a plateau using V4 that my system is now hobbling me. Forget about BS for the moment, my Dell just can’t “get-it-up” - to a point where V4 is making a difference to my video/NLE development – this is a BAD thing. Getting a box that I can purchase, for the reasons above, will lift me up to the next plateau AND some. This would be a GOOD thing.

My very best regards

sdmoore wrote on 5/18/2003, 5:16 AM
Hi Grazie, you might want to check out Novatech (http://www.novatech.co.uk) - It's my first and best choice for PC components. Looking at their 120GB Western Digital drives - 2MB cache is £88.12 (incl. VAT) while the 8MB version is £105.05 (incl. vAT). PC World are taking the p**s!

Novatech also do 'custom built' PCs. Check them out before committing to PC World.


PAW wrote on 5/18/2003, 5:32 AM
Hey Grazie,

I work in the PC manufacturing industry in the UK

drop me a line at tothewhites@yahoo.co.uk I may be able to help you out with advice and £££

Not selling anything here just happy to help a fellow Vegas user

Grazie wrote on 5/18/2003, 5:38 AM
Scott thanks. I'm no pc engineer. I just want the reliable back-up of a firm OR friend that I can depend on - yeah? I guessed as much about the 8mb buffer cost from PCworld.

Your experience with Novatech, where are they? Seen website looks interesting. Need to have that backup though.


Grazie wrote on 5/18/2003, 5:40 AM
PAW - I'll get in touch. I'm really after the after sales backup. I really do appreciate your support and concern that I shouldn't get fleeced. Are you London-ish based?

. . . I'll email.

Thanks again

sdmoore wrote on 5/18/2003, 6:21 AM

They've been in business for many years - I've been using them for all my PC component purchases since 1994 but they've been in business since 1987. I've been impressed with the technical knowledge of the sales and counter staff (they have a small shop there also). But best of all is their prices - it's very rare to find somewhere that beats them.

As for backup, well, any goods are automatically covered by their own 12 month warranty. I've not really had to ask for technical support since I'm pretty technical myself.

However, they're based on the south coast in Hampshire so I guess it's not really viable for you to pop in if you have a problem unlike PC World which are dotted all over the country. But, if you have a PC technically minded friend then you can save yourself quite a bit of money by looking somewhere other than PC World.


Grazie wrote on 5/18/2003, 6:45 AM
Gotcha! - Yeah, South coast is near to my football club - C'mon you Saints!! 1-0 not a bad result I suppose.

Anyway, I aint no techie - I know when I'm beat. I really do appreciate your concern that I'm not fleeced on the prices. Backup on product failure is one thing. Backup when it comes to the actual Raising the Bonnet [ US=Hood] really gets me all a fluster - I break out in a sweat and start quivering - woahhhhh! Not for me. I know enough to know I can make big screw-ups AND not having a way back to the beginning.

Anybody wanna adopt a pc numbNutz here in London? Who's also a V4 convert - CORRECTION - a V4 Obsessive!!