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post #1 of 127 Old 01-21-2009, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I am going to be upgrading my home PC. I am also going to purchase a Canon HD Camcorder (still deciding on model and waiting to see what the new ones are going to cost) and would like to take the opportunity to get a PC that is going to make AVCHD editing as painless as possible.

I have a few questions that hopefully someone can answer. Dell is saying I must have a Blu-Ray burner, 512mb video card, 2.6 ghz i7 quad core processor and 8mb ram.

1) Should I get a Blu-Ray burner on the new PC. Is a Blu-Ray burner required for archiving HD content to be played on my 1080p TV?

2) Is a 256mb video card sufficient or should I get the 512?

3) Do I need a 2.6 ghz i7 Quad Core processor?

4) do I need 8mb's of Ram?

5) Should I be leery of the 64 bit Vista OS?

Obviously the system Dell is saying I "NEED" is more costly than I would like it to be. Are these things needs?
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post #2 of 127 Old 01-21-2009, 01:34 PM
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I just ordered this setup yesterday.224-2761 1 Studio Mini-Tower, Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q8200 (2.33GHz, 1333MHz FSB), w/ 4MBcache
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I do plan to upgrade the video card later but mainly for better gaming results

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post #3 of 127 Old 01-21-2009, 01:39 PM
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1) No, there are many other ways to archive the video for playback on your TV, Bluray is just the easiest (given you have a bluray player or have your computer hooked up to your tv)

2) Depends, 512mb on a low level card is worthless whereas 256mb on a high level card will be immensely better. I'd stay away from the 3000 series cards dell offers altogether.

3) I'd say yes. Those chips can handle pretty much anything you can throw at them now and will for quite a while. You don't, however, need anything more than the base speed chip.

4) No, 4gb is plenty, but I'd recommend bumping up to 6gb just to take advantage of triple channel if you can justify the extra $100 dell charges. Triple channel just means there are 3 banks of memory of which the computer can use simultaneously, spreading out the load and making things faster.

5) No, I'd be leery of a 32-bit OS at this point. 64-bit has many advantages over 32-bit. Probably the biggest is it's ability to address more than 4gb of ram. Any concern you may have over a potential lack of drivers for you hardware is basically moot at this point.
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post #4 of 127 Old 01-21-2009, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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224-3607
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311-9800
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This is the system Dell has configured for me. I am guessing this will do the trick???? Anything else I should add to this?
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post #5 of 127 Old 01-21-2009, 07:22 PM
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Looks good to me.
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post #6 of 127 Old 01-21-2009, 08:52 PM
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lets archive this thread and come back in one year and laugh on how lame those specs are...haahah

geez I love to hate technology....

I have a fever and the only cure is more Blu-Ray....
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post #7 of 127 Old 01-22-2009, 12:01 AM
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the funny thing about that is we live in a very interesting time in technology.

in most of our lifetimes we've witnessed the birth of the personal computer, the exponential growth in their performance, and, what's happening now, the relative baby steps at which performance is progressing. actually now that i think about it, it's not that the hardware isn't progressing, but rather software is having a really hard time keeping up. Maybe that's the point. Maybe it's all just a ploy to get us all to buy the newest and best hardware in hopes our software will subsequently become better/faster/more efficient. As a software engineer myself I find it hard to believe, but stranger things have happened.

In a year, this computer will no longer be cutting edge, but will by no means be obsolete. My old 4 year old PC may not be dual core or use DDR2/DDR3 but it was still 64-bit (I had Win XP 64 on it) and with what most people use computers for these days, it would still work just fine. Obsolescence to today's society simply means there is something newer and the interesting phenomenon is our actual general computing demands are getting less and less. The only computers that are truly doing any real work anymore are web servers.
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post #8 of 127 Old 01-22-2009, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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hollip3020

Thank you for all of your help. It is greatly appreciated!!
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post #9 of 127 Old 01-22-2009, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollip3020 View Post

The only computers that are truly doing any real work anymore are web servers.

if your computer is editing avchd, it's doing real work!

i recently did some two-pass mpeg2 encoding for an sd dvd, it took my core2duo over 12 hours to render the footage down to sd.

i would look where that Intel® Corei7-920 Processor(8MB L2 Cache, 2.66GHz) sits in the i7 lineup, because if it's entry-level, you may be paying a premium for something that could be better served with a fast quad-core cpu.

it's basically a bad time to be having to decide between i7 and quad-core, because intel has not lowered the prices on the quads yet.

there was a thread on this forum a few weeks ago where we hashed it over, see if you can find it.


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post #10 of 127 Old 01-22-2009, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osv View Post

if your computer is editing avchd, it's doing real work!

i knew someone would take it literally. basically what i meant is 90% of what people use their computers for anymore is various internet services, which requires very little processing power on the client side.

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Originally Posted by osv View Post

i would look where that Intel® Corei7-920 Processor(8MB L2 Cache, 2.66GHz) sits in the i7 lineup, because if it's entry-level, you may be paying a premium for something that could be better served with a fast quad-core cpu.

it's basically a bad time to be having to decide between i7 and quad-core, because intel has not lowered the prices on the quads yet.

all i7's are quad core (theres only 2) and intel has continually lowered the prices on the older quads. not to mention the jump from an older core 2 quad to an i7 is significant in almost every way.
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post #11 of 127 Old 01-23-2009, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollip3020 View Post

all i7's are quad core (theres only 2) and intel has continually lowered the prices on the older quads. not to mention the jump from an older core 2 quad to an i7 is significant in almost every way.

there are reviews that prove otherwise, as listed in the thread i mentioned, and no, the quad-core pricing has not dropped enough to seperate them from the i7's.


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post #12 of 127 Old 01-23-2009, 12:00 PM
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After making the switch from a Q6600 to a Core i7 920, the difference was major for me when editing AVCHD. Moving form 8Gb to 12Gb also made another big difference in my system.


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post #13 of 127 Old 01-23-2009, 12:02 PM
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The way I'm reading this it's not very clear if a Core 2 Quad may keep up with or pass the performance of an i7 depending on the application and other hardware.

So how far behind an i7-920 is a Core 2 Quad Q8300? Is this night and day as applied towards AVCHD editing?

If the only thing we're talking about is AVCHD editing is it possible the Q8300 with more ram and a better gpu would be the way to go?
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post #14 of 127 Old 01-23-2009, 05:53 PM
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the q6600 is barely adequate for editing native avchd, you may not see the full framerate on playback... you should overclock it.

editing native avchd is all about cpu power, unless your application can take advantage of gpu, and most of 'em can't... i can edit native avchd with my core2duo using nero, but the editing interface is a nightmare.

i didn't search for the thread that i was referring to earlier, somebody look it up in this forum, but here is some other data from another test:

"The rest of our media encoding tests show us a seesaw battle between the Q9400 and 940, and another between the Q9300 and 920. Remarkable how similarly these CPUs perform, given their sheer complexity and very different architectures."
http://techreport.com/articles.x/16147/8

that's what i was referring to earlier... there are many factors that go into this, and the editing software you use can make a big difference, apps like 64-bit vegas will allow for massive multi-threading, but vegas can't do smart rendering, even though it'll accept native avchd files on the timeline... if your computer isn't fast enough, transcode to a high-quality intermediate codec like canopus hq on the pc, or prores on the mac, before editing.

this is a lousy time to have to buy a pc, intel is keeping the fast core2quads too expensive, and now amd has the phenom II on the market.


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post #15 of 127 Old 01-30-2009, 09:48 PM
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I'm going to get the Canon HF11, but I'm trying to avoid having to pay $1k+ for a new desktop to do the editing.

My thought would be to buy a 1TB external drive and copy the video files from the HF11 straight onto the external drive plugged into my laptop (Intel T2300 @ 1.66GHz; 2GB RAM). From what I've read, Popcorn Hour will play the raw video files, so I could connect my external drive and have Popcorn Hour play the unedited files for now.

Then next year I could edit all of the video, when a capable desktop would be cheaper and editing software would be hopefully be more stable.

Any thoughts on this approach?
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post #16 of 127 Old 01-30-2009, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by today32 View Post

I'm going to get the Canon HF11, but I'm trying to avoid having to pay $1k+ for a new desktop to do the editing.

My thought would be to buy a 1TB external drive and copy the video files from the HF11 straight onto the external drive plugged into my laptop (Intel T2300 @ 1.66GHz; 2GB RAM). From what I've read, Popcorn Hour will play the raw video files, so I could connect my external drive and have Popcorn Hour play the unedited files for now.

Then next year I could edit all of the video, when a capable desktop would be cheaper and editing software would be hopefully be more stable.

Any thoughts on this approach?

Yeah, I was thinking about doing the same except using a WD TV HD media player. Maybe in a year the i7 processors will be a lot more affordable if not outdated by then.
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post #17 of 127 Old 01-30-2009, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueHurricane View Post

I have a few questions that hopefully someone can answer. Dell is saying I must have a Blu-Ray burner, 512mb video card, 2.6 ghz i7 quad core processor and 8mb ram.

I have edited many AVC-HD (mt2s) files from my SR11 on two different but ordinary laptops. For software, I happen to use Sony Vegas Platinum but I have used Ulead and others.

When it works, the editing is easy and straightforward. The rendering and authoring of discs takes time.

I frankly would not spend money on a sophisticiated PC to edit H.264. AVC-HD files. You can do this with an ordinary dual core CPU and RAM over 2 GB - assuming that once finished editing, you can wait to render or author.

Software matters more. Does it work? Does it do what you want? Moreover, you should understand formats. Do you intend to transfer your 1920x1080 60i AVCHD format into VC-1 1280x720 30p in preparation to create a flawless SD DVD at 720x480? (If you worry about codecs and filters, then your software is bad.)

Something else: Interpolating. This is a crucial issue because it can misrender otherwise good videos.

In terms of final result, computer power is irrelevant in these questions. Your PC won't capture the event nor will it ultimately play it.

In short, software matters far more, and the compression of AVC-HD requires sophisticated software.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hollip3020 View Post

the funny thing about that is we live in a very interesting time in technology.

in most of our lifetimes we've witnessed the birth of the personal computer, the exponential growth in their performance, and, what's happening now, the relative baby steps at which performance is progressing.

In terms of technology, my great grandmother saw far more changes in her lifetime than you will likely ever see in yours. She was born in 1889 and died in 1975 at the age of 86.

She was born into a world without airplanes, motor cars, penicillin, telephones, radio, telegraph, television and yet she saw a man walk on the moon.

What changes will you see in your life? Genetics, the Internet and cosmetic surgery? [Sorry for the rant.]
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post #18 of 127 Old 01-31-2009, 03:15 AM
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In short, software matters far more, and the compression of AVC-HD requires sophisticated software.

True, software plays a large part in all of this, but the fact remains that playing back (let alone editing) avchd videos is incredibly hardware intensive and using sub-par or even on par hardware will result in a painful experience. Most people here just want to cobble together some clips of their family/friends/pets/whatever and my guess is that if the process takes more than a few hours people will give up, their videos will remain locked up in a lack of motivation, and ultimately, these people's hefty investments will probably go to waste. Basically what I'm saying is, software and hardware complement each other. The best software in the world is worthless on bad hardware, and likewise, the best hardware in the world is wasted on bad software. Software always has and always will be at the mercy of hardware, it's as simple as that.

Quote:


In terms of technology, my great grandmother saw far more changes in her lifetime than you will likely ever see in yours.

Don't you mean "we" and "ours?" I can't help but notice that you took a reminiscent observation and made it something personal. Either you feel threatened by it or you just felt the need to shamelessly plug your great grandmothers passive accomplishments. Also, I hate to nit-pick, but telegraphs were around long before 1889 and telephones and radios, while not really in use, had both been invented and publicly demonstrated at that point.

And if we're bringing our great grandmothers into this, mine was born in 1900 and lived past her 101st birthday into 2002.
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post #19 of 127 Old 01-31-2009, 08:41 AM
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My grandma saw the creation of fire. She said it made the caves warmer and the meat tastier.
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post #20 of 127 Old 01-31-2009, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVRer View Post

The way I'm reading this it's not very clear if a Core 2 Quad may keep up with or pass the performance of an i7 depending on the application and other hardware.

No, it cannot.

Quote:


So how far behind an i7-920 is a Core 2 Quad Q8300? Is this night and day as applied towards AVCHD editing?

At stock speed, i7 920 should be at least 30% faster than Q8300 (assuming it has similar performance as Q9300 which has a larger cache). In Anandtech x264 MPEG2 to H.264 transcode benchmark reviews, i7 920 is 30% faster at 1st pass, and 70% faster in 2nd pass! Although this is not exactly the same type of rendering as AVCHD editing, but it should give you some idea.
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post #21 of 127 Old 02-05-2009, 08:18 AM
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i7s have new instructions sets that are supposed to facilitate HD decoding. Straight from horses mouth:-

Intel® HD Boost significantly improves a broad range of multimedia and compute-intensive applications. The 128-bit SSE instructions are issued at a throughput rate of one per clock cycle, allowing a new level of processing efficiency with SSE4 optimized applications.
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post #22 of 127 Old 03-14-2009, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueHurricane View Post

2) Is a 256mb video card sufficient or should I get the 512?

I've been puzzling over some of these questions myself, although in my case I believe I've made up my mind to purchase an Intel Core i7 supporting motherboard (and will likely procure the 920 processor). Where I am pondering is if it is prudent to purchase a motherboard with SLI capability, and I am also struggling over how much memory to get in a graphic card (although I am considering 512MB vs 1GB RAM in the graphic card). ...

When I surfed on the importance of SLI in a motherboard, I could not find any specific reference stating SLI (with multiple video cards) provided substantial performance improvements when multiple graphic cards were in place during Non Linear Video editing. The best claim I saw, was a very vague claim of a 5% improvement for NLE with multiple cards. I don't see that as worth the extra money, and hence I'm inclined to not include SLI as a feature I want in a motherboard. Now my research was limited. I could have that flat wrong. Any views on that?

With respect to extra memory, I read a page where one critic of a nVidia GeForce 9800GTX+ card (with 512MB of RAM) complained that the card manufacturer did not offer cards with more than 512MB, as the critic stated that limited high resolution/anti-aliasing in certain games, and also cancels out the advantage of installing the card in an SLI or triple SLI configuration (though it supports SLI). They wanted to see a 1GB card.

How important is extra RAM to NLE wrt high-resolution/anti-alising? Would a 1GB graphic card be much superior to a 512MB card for NLE?

As for SLI, I can't even find a solid benchmark reference indicating what sort of performance improvement one can get in NLE with SLI, and hence I can't see why a 512MB card would hurt NLE for SLI reasons. ...
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post #23 of 127 Old 03-14-2009, 04:26 PM
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For the guys here concerned about PC upgrading and things like video card: It depends A LOT on the editing software you are going to use. Vegas 8 Pro, for example, doesn't care about the video card but uses a lot of CPU. Pinnacle and other programs use the video card to do some processing but wil also depend on the card supporting some new features.

Bottom line: Do you homework on what kind of resourses are most important to a given editor. RAM can be much more important than the video card, or not.

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post #24 of 127 Old 03-14-2009, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcdo View Post

My grandma saw the creation of fire. She said it made the caves warmer and the meat tastier.

Still not as profound as cooking eggs in microwaves.
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post #25 of 127 Old 03-15-2009, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimoli View Post

For the guys here concerned about PC upgrading and things like video card: It depends A LOT on the editing software you are going to use. Vegas 8 Pro, for example, doesn't care about the video card but uses a lot of CPU. Pinnacle and other programs use the video card to do some processing but wil also depend on the card supporting some new features.

Bottom line: Do you homework on what kind of resourses are most important to a given editor. RAM can be much more important than the video card, or not.

slimoli, thank you for your reply.

I plan to use an open source software solution (using Linux Operating System) for my video editing software, with a recent cutting edge version of both kdenlive (the editor) and ffmpeg (the underlying encoding/decoding software). Nvidia card drivers for some Nvidia video cards, now make VDPAU available (where VDPAU is the Linux implementation of some/all ( ? ) of the PureVideo capability of these graphic cards).

The opensource Linux ffmpeg "encoding/decoding" software has recently been updated to use the VDPAU where it is available (with active software development on both ffmpeg and the nVidia graphic driver providing VDPAU support ongoing). From what I understand, VDPAU does not help encoding, but rather I read VDPAU helps in offloading the decoding, post-processing, compositiing, and displaying compressed/uncompressed video streams on the GPU. I believe those aspects are still also important to a Non-Linear Video editor.

My knowledge is not good enough to know if a limit to the high resolution/anti-aliasing by a graphics card memory matters for VDPAU (ie for PureVideo for Windows users).

I have not yet read one reference suggesting SLI and multiple graphic cards will enhance / help VDPAU nor PureVideo.

I asked the same question on the kdenlive forum, but have not obtained an answer yet. I may need to go to the ffmpeg forum, and ask the question there.
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post #26 of 127 Old 03-15-2009, 05:31 AM
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Replying to my own thread ... chatting on IRC chat channel freenode #ffmpeg with some users suggested no advantage to SLI with ffmpeg software, ... and 512MB RAM should be sufficient in videocard for processing with ffmpeg 1920x1080 AVCHD video using vdpau technology (Linux implementation of Pure Video) with latest nVidia drivers for Linux and latest ffmpeg svn version. ...
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slimoli, thank you for your reply.
I have not yet read one reference suggesting SLI and multiple graphic cards will enhance / help VDPAU nor PureVideo.

What I also found interesting is there are 3 Pure video implementations, unofficially referred to as VP1 (Pure Video HD-1: 1st generation), VP2 (Pure Video HD-2: 2nd generation) and VP3 (Pure Video HD-3: 3rd generation). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NVIDIA_PureVideo The 3rd generation purportedly has an advantage over the 2nd generation in that it decodes VC-1 better than VP2 and also has minor improvements in MPEG2 decoding. H264 between VP2 and VP3 are purportedly the same. [Where VC-1 refers to Microsoft's WMV3, WMVA, and WMVC1].

From what I can find, only the G98 GPU in nVidia cards supports VP3, which ironically means the inexpensive nVidia 8400 GS cards (such as the Asus EN8400ES Silent/HTP/512M card with the G98 GPU) have better support for VC-1 and MPEG2 than the more expensive nVidia 9800GTX+ 512MB cards (which only have the G92/94 GPU). ... I noted this when I looked at the VDPAU support lists for nVidia and then after surfing a very long mplayer vdpau thread on the nVidia site, I found a number of posts which confirmed this. ... Now this is only for vdapu specifc aspects, and I suspect a card like the 9800 GTX+ is superior to the 8400GS in many other areas. ...

But for a person interesting in NLE (non linear video editing) it does give me food for thought, that a 40 euro 8400GS card with a G98 GPU could have superior NLE support to a 120 euro 9800 GTX+ card with only a G92/94 GPU (for mpeg2 and VC-1) ....
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post #27 of 127 Old 03-15-2009, 05:52 AM
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......... for a person interesting in NLE (non linear video editing) it does give me food for thought, that a 40 euro 8400GS card with a G98 GPU could have superior NLE support to a 120 euro 9800 GTX+ card with only a G92/94 GPU (for mpeg2 and VC-1) ....

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around why a less expensive card could be more capable than a much more expensive card from the same manufacturer, and a near as I can determine, this is only for Pure Video HD support. I note this thread from a nVidia support site FAQ: http://www.nvidia.com/object/purevideo_hd_faq.html
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Q. Do the GeForce 8800 series GPUs include the same video processing capabilities as the new GeForce 8400, GeForce 8500 and GeForce 8600 GPUs?

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No. The GeForce 8800 uses the previous generation of PureVideo HD. This is because the GeForce 8800 is usually paired with more powerful dual-core CPUs and our goal is to achieve balanced use of all the processing power in your machine. With the GeForce 8800, it makes sense to let these powerful CPU cores handle functions they do well. But with the lower-end GPUs, which are usually paired with less-powerful, single-core CPUs, it is better for the GPU to take on the entire video decoding and processing task and the new PureVideo HD engine has been enhanced with these chips in mind.

... hmmm... now how much of that is marketing, and how much technical fact? I also note the GeForce 9600/9800 series are not changed much from the 8600/8800 series

I'm also thinking of procuring Nehalem technology Intel PC in my new PC (ie an Intel Core i7 cpu supporting motherboard) where that has more than one processing core ... and I'm trying to put that quote into context ....

I find this creates uncertainty in my mind as to the current optimal video card to procure
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I'm still trying to wrap my mind around why a less expensive card could be more capable than a much more expensive card from the same manufacturer

Researching this some more suggests the 8400GS is good for video playback but not for video games with advanced graphics. ... while the 8600/8800/9600/9800 series are more gamer cards. ...

Ignoring computer games, I still have not figured out if the GeForce 8600/8800/9600/9800 cards with the G84/G86/G92/G94 GPU processors provide an advantage over the less expensive GeForce 8400 GS card with its G98 GPU for Non-Linear Video editing (given the software I use WILL take advantage of the GPU on the graphic card) ... I'm interested in Non-Linear Video editing, and not computer games (other than playing chess with my computer, but even in speed chess, the pieces don't move that fast ).

I don't think I'll be doing much editing with VC-1 (WMV3, WMVA, WMVC1) but I do anticipate H264 (and possibly MPEG2) editing. The main advantage of the G98 GPU (over the G84/G86/G92/94 GPUs) is in VC-1 decoding, and I don't plan to play much of those formats.

I guess need to research this some more to see if there are graphic card clock speeds and other aspects here that may be important wrt NLE for decoding, post-processing etc ....
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So if I'm reading this thread correctly, based on specs, buying this HP Laptop with a Core 2 Quad Q9000 (2.00Ghz) processor, 4 GB DDR3 RAM and a 1 GB Nvidia Geforce GT 130 M is not powerful/good enough to edit native AVCHD videos? Would the video card help at all with the editing/decoding? Please let me know because I was under the impression this desktop replacement laptop would suffice all my video editing needs. (I have a Canon HF100 camcorder.)
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So if I'm reading this thread correctly, based on specs, buying this HP Laptop with a Core 2 Quad Q9000 (2.00Ghz) processor, 4 GB DDR3 RAM and a 1 GB Nvidia Geforce GT 130 M is not powerful/good enough to edit native AVCHD videos? Would the video card help at all with the editing/decoding? Please let me know because I was under the impression this desktop replacement laptop would suffice all my video editing needs. (I have a Canon HF100 camcorder.)

My guess would be it depends on the software that you use, and if that software will use Pure Video in a nVidia card when Pure Video is available. If the software will use the Pure Video GPU in a nVidia card, then I suspect that will be ok. I note the Nvidia GeForce GT130 does have a GPU that supports Pure Video. Hence with the right software, that can offload the decoding of the video to the GPU and that should make playback smooth. Some Pure Video references (for nVidia): I read an article where a desktop computer far less capable than your PC under consideration (with only a single core CPU) with a basic nVidia GeForce 8400 GS was able to play back and decode videos, because the software used supported the nVidia GeForce 8400 GS, where the nVidia GeForce 8400GS has a 3rd generation Pure Video GPU.

Most of the older nVidia cards do not support Pure Video, so one has to research this a bit.
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