Videoguys' DIY 5 Update: Dual Core Editing Workstations

As NAB2007 rolls around this April, we want to take the time and offer a DIY update article for you. Our DIY4 and DIY5 dual core machines are still an excellent recipe to follow. We still advise anyone planning on building a new machine (or having one built for them) to reference both these articles. We looked over the configs from those two articles and tweaked them a little, and then we re-priced them to reflect the most current pricing on the web. We ended up with 4 models all told.

  • Good $1,000
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ on A8N-SLI Deluxe
  • Better $1,500
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 on Asus P5B Deluxe
  • Best $2000
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 on Asus P5W DH Deluxe
  • Ultimate $2500+
    Dual Xeon 5130 on Tyan Tempest i5000XT

What makes these 4 machines so great is that they can run any and all of the PC based NLE solutions. From Sony Vegas and Avid Liquid all the way up to Matrox RT.X2 w/ Premiere Pro 2 or Avid Xpress Pro Mojo w/ Studio Toolkit or even Avid Media Composer.  Regardless of your budget, we’ve got a DIY configuration here that will meet your needs.

Good $1,000 – AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ on A8N-SLI Deluxe
Our $1,000 budget machine is actually being used by our chief DIY Tech Jon. He's been running Vegas, Liquid and Premeire Pro on it for months with excellent results. We realize the Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard is getting hard to find, but it's worthing searching for if your goal is to hit $1,000

Better $1,500 – Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 on Asus P5B Deluxe
For our $1,500 machine we're going with a bare bone Core 2 Duo machine. With the Core 2 Dup Intel leapfrogged AMD for performance, and this machine will give you excellent results on a tight budget. We've gone witht eh Asus P5B Deluxe motherboard. A proven performer that has gotten rave reviews for price / performance from computer magazines and the gaming community.

Best $2000 – Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 on Asus P5W DH Deluxe
Our DIY 5 Core 2 Duo machine using the P5W DH Deluxe remains a fantastic perfromer. Prices have fallen a bit bringing it in at just over $2,000. For that amount this machine is a screamer. We've got the Matrox RT.X2 running two layers of HDV footage with graphics, filters and a transition in realtime on it. Look for our hands on review of our DIY RT.X2 machine after NAB. And yes, we'll be running the new 3.0 drivers and Adobe CS3 as soon as the good folks at MAtrox & Adobe give us permission!

Ultimate $2500 – Dual Xeon 5130 on Tyan Tempest i5000XT
For the Ultimate HD Workstation we're sticking with the Tyan Tempest i5000XT (S2696) running a pair of dual core Xeon processors. That gives you 4 cores all together, and that's more then enough processing power fro event he most demanding timelines. The HP8400 workstations use a customized version of this same motherboard. To fully unleash all of the power and performance of this beast you are going to need a 64 bit operating system with 64 bit drivers for all your hardware ad 64 bit optimized code. We're still not there yet - perhaps by the end of theyear this will be a reality.

DIY5 NAB2007 Updated Configs

Good - AMD Dual Core

Better - Core 2 Duo Budget

Mother Board Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe


Asus - P5B Deluxe


CPU Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ (dual-core)


Intel Core 2 Duo E6300


Memory (2GB) Kingston 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 PC 3200 (x2) KVR400X64C3A/1G


Kingston 1GB 240pin DDR2 PC2 6400 (x2) KHX6400D2/1G


System Drive WD2500KS 250GB SATAII




Video Storage
WD2500KS 250GB SATAII x2


WD2500KS 250GB SATAII x2


Case APEVIA MX-PLEASURE-BK Black Steel ATX Full Tower w/ 500W Power Supply


APEVIA MX-PLEASURE-BK Black Steel ATX Full Tower w/ 500W Power Supply


Power Supply Included w/ case


Included w/ case


Graphics Card nVidia GeForce 7600GT 256MB


ATI Radeon X1950Pro 256MB


DVD Burner Pioneer DVR-710


Pioneer DVR-710


OS Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2 OEM


Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2 OEM





DIY5 NAB2007 Updated Configs

Best DIY5 Core 2 Duo

Dual Xeon Dual Core

Mother Board Asus - P5W DH Deluxe


Tyan Tempest i5000XT (S2696)


CPU Dual Core Intel Core 2 Duo (Conroe) E6700


Qty 2 -Intel Xeon 5130 Woodcrest 2.0GHz Socket 771


Memory (2GB) Kingston 1GB 240pin DDR2 PC2 6400 (x2) KHX6400D2/1G


Kingston 1GB FB-DIMM (x4) KVR667D2D8F5


System Drive WD2500KS 250GB SATAII




SATAII RAID Video Storage WD2500KS 250GB SATAII x2


WD2500KS 250GB SATAII x2


Case Thermaltake Eureka VC8000BWA


Thermaltake Eureka VC8000BWA


Power Supply Thermaltake 500W


Thermaltake 500W


Graphics Card ATI Radeon X1950PRO 512MB


PNY Quadro FX 3450


DVD Burner Pioneer DVR-710


Pioneer BDR-202B


OS Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2 OEM


Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2 OEM





Intel Quad Core processors

The new Quad Core Intel processors are now shipping. Our DIY5 running on the Asus P5W DH Deluxe motherboard is fully Quad Core compatible. Just pop in one of the new Core 2 Extreme Quad CPUs and you are in business. But will you gain anything for the almost $1,000 extra cost? I don't think so, not at the current time. While most of the NLE software on the market will utilize two cores, very little multi-threading beyond the 2 cores will actually go on. So you're paying a lot of extra cost for only a marginal increase in processing power. Just because it is compatible doesn't make it a worthwhile investment (yet).

Windows Vista – Not yet – wait for 64 bit drivers.

Microsoft has finally shipped their much awaited and hyped next OS – Vista. For Digital Videographers we have one piece of advice: Do Not Upgrade (Yet) 

Here are our top reasons why we feel you MUST WAIT before upgrading or migrating to Vista 

  1. Wait for certified Vista 64 bit drivers for your software and hardware. We see no reason or advantage at all for upgrading to the 32 bit version of Vista. It eats up resources and at best you will get the same performance you already have under WinXP. Once we have 64bit software and drivers to offer you, we will begin recommending Vista
  2. Vista has too many flavors, and we have no idea which one will offer the best value and performance for video editing. You don’t want to have to upgrade to a more expensive version in a few months, and you don’t want to overpay for the more expensive flavors if you don’t need it.
  3. Vista, video cards and graphics drivers. One of the coolest new features about Vista is the Aero display technology that allow you to see and work with multiple windows in 3D space. Very cool! But what will that do for video editing? I’m concerned it will steal resources and slow us down. We recommend waiting until we can recommend the right optimized graphics drivers and settings for you.

There is no doubt that some time this year, probably early summer after the first Service Packs have been released we will change our tune. At first we’ll tell you to proceed with caution, but give it a try – especially once we get Vista certified version of our software. But I don’t think you’ll see us giving it our top recommendation until it can deliver on the full promise of 64 bit computing. Then there will be no turning back.

Down the road Vista will allow us to take full advantage of multiple CPU cores, utilization of 4,6,8 or more GBs of RAM and even multiple graphic cards running multiple HD displays. Eventually we’ll see new NLE software GUIs and interfaces that tap into the Aero technology to make editing even easier and more productive. We’re just not there yet. Give it time. By this time next year I think we’ll have it all – and more!!

Adobe CS3, Matrox RT.X2 and Windows Vista 32 bit

Matrox Announces Support for Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium, Adobe Premiere Pro CS3, Windows Vista and Realtime Panasonic P2 MXF 720p Editing on the Matrox RT.X2 Platform

Montreal, Canada – March 27, 2007 – Matrox® Video Products Group today announced that software release 3.0 for the Matrox RT.X2™ editing platform will support the newly announced Adobe® Creative Suite® 3 Production Premium and Adobe Premiere® Pro CS3 software.  In addition, the Matrox RT.X2 3.0 release will provide support for Windows Vista, additional HD and SD cameras and editing resolutions including the Panasonic P2 MXF 720p format, plus new realtime effects. The new features of Matrox RT.X2 will be demonstrated at NAB 2007 in booth SL2015.

“The RT.X2 3.0 release brings extensive new camera support, giving users many more workflow options including realtime native editing of the popular Panasonic P2 MXF 720p format,” said Wayne Andrews, Matrox RT.X2 product manager. “Combined with all the exciting new features of Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium, Matrox RT.X2 users now have all the tools they need to ­produce top-quality SD and HD productions – creatively, efficiently, and faster than ever – then easily deliver to tape, DVD, Blu-ray disc, the web, and mobile devices.”

Availability of the Matrox RT.X2 3.0 software
The Matrox RT.X2 3.0 release will be available for download from the Matrox website free of charge to all registered Matrox RT.X2 users in July 2007. Current RT.X2 owners must obtain an upgrade to the new Adobe software from Adobe in order to use the RT.X2 3.0 release.  New purchases of Matrox RT.X2 bundled with Adobe software from March 27, 2007 (May 8, 2007 in Japan) through August 28, 2007 qualify for a complimentary upgrade to the equivalent Adobe CS3 product from Adobe when it ships.

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