Appropriate PC spec for working with video?



I am wondering about buying a PC just for capturing and editing film from old VHS tapes and a digital camcorder later on but search as hard as I could I could find no thread when I keyed the following into “search”.
“Optimum computer spec for video editing.”
Is there such a thing as an optimum pc for such work?


Don’t know about that. :slight_smile: Maybe the latest C2D boxes.

I’m pretty satisfied with my oldish P4 2.8@3.4MHz on P4P800 Asus mobo with 2GB memo when backing up old video tapes and live TV series.
Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1300 PCI add-on card eases up the load on compu. :wink:


The most efficient and cost-effective route for copying VHS to DVD is with a DVD recorder and a good quality SVHS VCR as a source. A PC is serious over-kill for the job, and a lot more troublesome, more time-consuming too.

That said, a dual-core CPU is a huge advantage for crunching video files, with lots and lots of very fast RAM. Video crunching is almost pure CPU-driven, so the fastest CPU usually wins. More L-2 cache on the CPU helps too, it’s one of the few times that L-2 cache really does help.


I can definitely confirm that. My fastest is a e6300 and my slowest is an athlon xp 2400. Even with a much faster video card in the xp 2400 machine, the conroe smokes it by very significant amounts.


Actually you dont really need an extremely fast CPU, a ~1.66Ghz or so is perfectly fine because you usually record in video formats that doesnt use “very” complex compression algorithms. Analogue sources (VHS, Video8 etc) should be recorded in HuffYUV or similar, my old AMD XP 1800+ didnt even break a sweat recording in full PAL resolution. DV on the other hand should be transferred using firewire to avoid unnecessary conversions. It pretty much works as any other transfer over firewire which means low CPU utilization in general.

What you do need though is lots of space, HuffYUV is around 25-30Gb / hour while DV is roughly 12Gb / hour. At least have a separate disk for video editing. Preferably a fast one such as Hitachi T7K500 320Gb or such. Video card wont affect performance noticeably unless you have a very old one. As long as it supports YV12 and 32-bit color space properly which pretty much means anything that’s been made the last 4 years. Old integrated graphics solutions my be a bit quirky in some cases. As for RAM it really depends on what you want to do, if you want to record and then do some simple editing in VirtualDub or such 512Mb will be fine while 1Gb is recommended if you want to fire up Adobe Premiere or such. I belive the Uleads Video Studio (or whatever they call it) has a lower memory footprint but it is a bit scaled down when it comes to features although I doubt you’ll notice a difference.
CPU speed will mainly affect rendering speed, both formats are very easy to decode while converting and applying filters isnt as easy. Dual Core is not a requirement, most encoders doesnt even use SMP. XviD for instance does support although you get some weird 70/30% work load which doesnt helt much. H…264 doesnt support AFAIK and some MPEG-2 encoders such as TMPGEnc Plus and CCE. You have a few free alternatives such as QuEnc which doesnt support SMP so it’ll only use one core. As for capturing card I’d highly recommend you to get a card [B]without[/B] a hardware MPEG encoder because software cards are much easier to work with in general and works just as good if not even better… AverTV 777 DVB-T or A16A should be a good choice if you want to have a decent card without shelling out lots of money. They also support (as the name implies) DVB-T meaning that you can watch FTA-channels (Terrestrial) and record without any conversion at all. Remember that video quality also highly depends on type of connections, S-Video is much better than composite so have that in mind when you hook it up.
The difference between A16A and 777 is FM-tuner and “cable tv”.
777 only supports DVB-T + Composite + S-Video input.