Time To Upgrade ...

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  #1  
Old 01-16-08, 08:07 AM
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Time To Upgrade ...

... my computer. I used to have a pretty good understanding of what constituted an improvement in hardware but lately that has changed. I think I'm suffering from technology overload

There was a time when if I was running a 800 mhz processor, buying a 1 ghz would be an improvement. Now it's dual core ... quad core?

Does anyone know of a site (preferably not a commercial one) that shows the historic progression of motherboards, video cards, sound cards, etc. in general and leading to where we are today?
 
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Old 01-16-08, 09:06 AM
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Wikipedia.org is a good source of information.


For dual cores you double the mhz to compare it to a single core or hyper threaded core.


But that isn't 100%



The dual and quad cores change the way the processor handles the threads of information running through it. Basically the old 'good' was hyper threading where it could run 2 processes through a single core simultaenously (alot more than 2, just breaking it down to be understandable) It would do this by doing a little bit of each process/application at a time.


Dual Cores can actually run both processes at the same time without splititing them. I know I am not describing it properly but that is the best I can come up with on short notice.



If you search up intel chipsets on wiki you will see the generations of chips and when they were released and a description of each.






What are you upgrading from? Are you going to build it yourself? There has been leaps and bounds in graphix cards as well in the last few years. Are you using this system for business? Recreational? Gaming? a mix?


let us know and we will give our 2 cents.
 
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Old 01-16-08, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by yoshua View Post
What are you upgrading from? Are you going to build it yourself?
My present system is an eMachines 2.6ghz with PCI slots. I've maxxed out the ram (1.5 GB right now ... could go to 2) and all the slots are full. I'm going to use the new system for video editing (Premiere Pro 2.0) as I do with the present one so speed/power/storage are all important. Hard drives are easy to find so the storage issue isn't important.

I was considering buying a bare-bones setup but after pricing all the peripherals & extra parts needed, there doesn't seem to be that much to be saved. Plus, I'm not a technician & am pretty stupid when it comes to 'hyperthreading' / 'dual-core' etc. I can hook a few things up when I have to but what I've done in the past is pick up an eMachine & upgrade the video/audio card, add ram ... generally replace things. This doesn't work so good any more with eMachines since they never have enough slots to start with and use parts that rapidly become unavailable.

I don't really need a 'historical' timeline -- just something to get my bearings in the whole scheme of things.

For example, I have a PCI video card now. The next step up used to be AGP. Now its PCI-E? Somehow, I missed a whole phase of upgrades. Probably saved a lot of money too ;-)

Any advice on an expandable bare-bones set up would be much welcomed.
 
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Old 01-16-08, 10:19 AM
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Here's a system a friend of mine is building for a gaming machine just to give you an idea or 2. Will do video very well also.

XION Onyx XON-303 Black/Blue Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #: XON-303
Item #: N82E16811208021

$69.99

ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Model #: M2N-SLI Deluxe
Item #: N82E16813131013

$129.99

AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ Windsor 3.2GHz Socket AM2 125W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX6400CZBOX - Retail
Model #: ADX6400CZBOX
Item #: N82E16819103228

$189.99

1 ASUS EAH3850/G/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 3850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814121219

$199.99

1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822148262
$69.99

1 Microsoft K96-00001 2-Tone PS/2 Wired Standard Keyboard Mouse Included - OEM
Item #: N82E16823109118
$24.99

1 SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S203B - OEM
Item #: N82E16827151153
$29.99

1 OCZ Platinum 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P8002GK - Retail
Item #: N82E16820227089
$45.99
 
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Old 01-16-08, 10:56 AM
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Capable PC's that are still economical

I bought a PC to replace my old XP box (which was an upgraded Win 98 system). I don't play games on it, so I use the integrated graphics. My wife does watch videos on the web and we may do some video processing on it. Thus I selected a 500 GByte hard drive. I got a ~ 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system with 2 GBytes of RAM running Vista home premium with a LightScribe DVD burner. The graphics card doesn't help with video transcribing, it helps with video display, which I am not pushing. In spite of my wife's reluctance to change things she knows, she had no difficulty adapting to Vista and Office 2007. The price for the system was somewhat over $600 delivered.

If you are going to do video processing, do not get less than 2 GBytes of RAM. A quad core processor will be faster eventually, once the applications are updated to work better on multi-core systems.
 
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Old 01-16-08, 11:11 AM
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PCI-E is the new standard for video cards and some other cards that are put in. I just got a video tuner card that is PCI-E.


Personally when I help someone buy a system I go through Dell or HP and build it up for what the user needs.


My suggestion is that you get a dual core (quad if you can swing it) with 2 gigs of ram and at least MS Vista Home Premium. The 'ultimate' version of Vista is more for networking and business related options and it doesnt sound like you are planning on having a home network.


As for video editting a med ranged dual core with 2 gigs of ram and a decent video card (512mb) would last you a few years and would probably come in under 600$. However if you have concerns about how many PCI-E slots there are in the computer you may want to give their customer support a call before placing the final order just to be sure.




I used to build out my own computers and drop 2-3k on a machine I built. I found that getting it from Dell or HP gives me a warranty and really doesnt affect the cost much vs building my own. The price on the pc could jump significantly if you add a top end video card. They are ranging from 250-600$ alone so a mid range 512mb card should do fine in the upgrade from the basic on board vid card they offer.




If you want I could price one out, but you could dink with it yourself. I know you wanted to avoid commercial sites but the only other option is to hit a site like www.newegg.com and buy the pc piece by piece and put it together yourself.



You can buy a second hard drive and slide it in yourself. From the sound of it you are used to the IDE ata drives. The new hard drives have a new cable and a new power cable and newer computers are built for that. CD/DVD roms still use the IDE cables but the new hard drives use SATA cables. Much faster.
 
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Old 01-16-08, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by yoshua View Post
Personally when I help someone buy a system I go through Dell or HP and build it up for what the user needs.
I've never dealt with Dell but I think I will look into that. You guys must be in the U.S. -- the prices you are mentioning are quite a bit lower than I am used to in Canada.

oneofamill: where is the system you listed coming from?

I'm not really trying to avoid commercial sites ... I just don't trust them for advice. Their products are always the best & most recommended. I have been ordering parts from Tigerdirect.com (based in Detroit, MI and with an outlet in Windsor, ON) but the shipping costs make any savings disappear. (ie. ordered 1 gb ram last month: $39.95 + $24.00 shipping)

So Dell & HP are reasonable huh?
 
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Old 01-16-08, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Editor View Post
oneofamill: where is the system you listed coming from?
I believe he's getting the parts from Newegg.com

I prefer to stay away from Dell. Parts are proprietary so you must buy from them.
 
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Old 01-16-08, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by oneofamill View Post
I believe he's getting the parts from Newegg.com

I prefer to stay away from Dell. Parts are proprietary so you must buy from them.
Not so much anymore. You can add any parts you want so long as they are compatible to the system. The only thing to watch for is the ram speeds and types. But you have to do that with any motherboard.

I just got an XPS system and swapped out video cards, added ram, and put in a new hard drive without any issues.
 
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Old 01-17-08, 12:46 PM
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The best way I've found to "catch up" on things, is just to shop around at newegg for a while. Before long you'll start seeing which chipsets, cpus, and graphics cards are popular, among other things.
 
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Old 01-26-08, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by toofer View Post
The best way I've found to "catch up" on things, is just to shop around at newegg for a while. Before long you'll start seeing which chipsets, cpus, and graphics cards are popular, among other things.
OK, I've done some homework & narrowed down the search somewhat. I am presently looking at an HP Pavillion Quad Core 9500. The remaining problem is that this and everything else I have found that looks promising comes with Vista.

I would very much prefer to stay with my XP Pro setup but from what I read around here, a format/install XP on the new Vista machine is not recommended.

Is that true? What issues am I likely to run into if I tried this?

Second; I have a 350 GB slave (no OS - formatted in XP) hard drive on the old machine -- can I install that in the new one without too much trouble?
 

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Old 01-27-08, 05:42 AM
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Before you do anything I'd check Adobe's website to make sure the gear you're looking at is compatible with Pro 2.

The first red flag to what you're proposing is that Pro 2 may not run on Vista.

http://www.adobe.com/support/product...dows_vista.pdf

Since you're upgrading anyway, why not consider a real-time version of Premiere? The Matrox RT.X2 bundle includes PP CS3.

Another option (one that I use) is Avid Liquid 7 Pro. All it needs is a high-end box and video card. Almost exactly one year ago I purchased a 2.4 Core 2 duo from Dell with 2 gig ram and an nVidia Quadro (a version that's now out of production) running XP. The entire system was less than US$3,000 and it's real-time.

The Videoguys website has a wealth of systems and info. They sell both systems. A phone call to them will answer your questions about compatibility.
 
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Old 01-27-08, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick Johnston View Post
The first red flag to what you're proposing is that Pro 2 may not run on Vista.
Thanks for pointing that out. From the article you mentioned plus a few others I have read, it looks like it may run on Vista (not confirmed).

Since you're upgrading anyway, why not consider a real-time version of Premiere? The Matrox RT.X2 bundle includes PP CS3.
I can only afford around $1500 for this upgrade. The cheapest I could find the RT.X2 bundle for up here in Canada was $1900 ... then I would still have build the box to put it in. I've played with Liquid & like it but at my day job I'm still working on Speed Razor which will be replaced this month with Avid Media Composer. I run Premiere and Vegas at home -- I'm afraid my head is going to explode just from memorising keyboard shortcuts!

That's why I was asking about Vista snags. I'd like to keep XP Pro, my sound card, a hard drive and PP 2.0 if possible.
 
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Old 01-27-08, 04:41 PM
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Funny coincidence: I was on the (public) Beta test list for SpeedRazor Pro when they partnered with Matrox in the mid 90's. The list was hosted by pigsfly.com. That program earned hundreds of thousands of dollars for my video production company until it was retired in 1998.

The replacement was a product called Fast Silver, which we bought for $21,000 as the MPEG I-frame editor for the $26,000 Spruce DVD authoring software and the Pioneer DVD burner ($5,500).

Fast was bought by Pinnacle, which was in turn bought by Avid.

Avid Liquid Pro, for $499, is the exact same Silver software that Fast Video spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop. It's been tweaked and upgraded to keep up with the times, including authoring DVDs directly from the timeline. And it's realtime on today's machines unless you're doing serious compositing (which should be sourced to another workstation anyway).

IMO Avid Media Composer is not the right fit for the company you work for. There are countless apps out there that will do the same job, with the same quality, with a far shorter learning curve, and at far less cost.

Was Final Cut Pro even considered? How 'bout Vegas?
 
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Old 01-28-08, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Johnston View Post
The list was hosted by pigsfly.com.
Thought I recognised that name ;-) Yup, I was on pigsfly in the 90's too. Steve Puffenberger moved it to Yahoo after the pigsfly thing died and called it razor_users (funnily enough). It's still going strong although there aren't many 'razor users' like me anymore. Now it is a general editing/production forum, still very interesting and helpful. Mostly because Anton is still there.
IMO Avid Media Composer is not the right fit for the company you work for.
I don't own the company so therefore I defer to 'the-smarter-people-upstairs-who-wear-suits' ;-) I feel sorry for management -- apparently that brain removal operation right after they are 'promoted' is quite painful.

I totally agree with you. My recommendations were Axio and Premiere or Vegas. I would have even tried Final Cut but hey! ... I'm just the Senior Editor ... what do I know ?!?

I produce about 1000 local commercials a year plus a few programs. Our 2 suites are still generating $ off of Speed Razor.

Anyway, I'm trying to make ends meet with a few side jobs. That's why I've got to upgrade.

If you want to hear something pitiful; my system right now is made up of a 2.6 Ghz, 1.5 GB ram eMachine running PP 2.0 on XP Pro with no external monitor! I produced 7 short documentaries last year but man do my eyes hurt!

I'm in a small, isolated market (100,000+) so the choices are somewhat limited -- (only 'big-box' stores here are Future Shop & Wal-Mart). Future Shop packages seem good but they are almost always made up of 'legacy' (no longer available/supported) equipment. Online isn't much better for shopping -- I recently ordered 1 GB ram for $34.95 ... good but the shipping charges were $23.50!

Anyway, back to e-shopping.
 
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