Videoguys' DIY Video Editing Workstation FAQ
For almost 10 years Videoguys.com, one of the world's leading resellers of Non-Linear Video editing solutions, has been publishing our DIY articles as a service to our customers and the internet community. Our guides have been recommended by video editing, post production, gaming and general computer blogs, websites and user forums all over the world. The reason we publish these guides is to assist you in making the best possible choice for your non-linear editing workstation. This gives you an added level of confidence that the video editing software and hardware you buy from us will deliver the best possible performance and stability. The general computer parts and prices used in these articles are sourced from Newegg and TigerDirect. Not only can you purchase the video editing related software and hardware from Videoguys, our techs are here to help you select the right gear for your budget and we can offer you additional bundle savings when you combine products!
Welcome to the Videoguys DIY page. As of November 2013 we have published over a dozen of these artices, each with a different budget and performance level. These articles are for you to use as a guide inbuilding your own video editing computer. The closer you stick to our 'recipe' the better your results will be. We periodically update our articles to reflect the latest prices and performance boosts. If you run into any question concerning our DIY machines, the place to go with your questions is the Do-It-Yourself forum on our message boards.
Or give us a call at 800 323-2325 and ask for Gary (that's me, the guy who writes the articles for the website and sets up the "rules" for each DIY article). We will be more than happy to offer you our advice on building your own machine and what video editing software/hardware you will need to get the job done!
Our DIY articles are read and followed by tens of thousands of digital videographers and enthusiasts all over the world!
Videoguys DIY Video Editing Workstation FAQ
For almost 10 years we have been publishing our DIY articles. In our latest article DIY9 we built a blazing fast Hex-Core computer that we tested with the leading video editing hardware and software. The results have been outstanding!
Many times we get asked the same basic questions each time a new article gets published. So to make life easier for you and us, we have put together this FAQ.
Can I buy the DIY computer from Videoguys?
NO! We just sell the video editing equipment and some of the more critical additional components that you need to edit and produce video. These include video storage devices, Blu-ray Disc burners, Quadro graphics cards and custom NLE keyboards.
We now offer HP z420 & z820 workstations for those custoemrs who do not wish to build their own machines and who want the very highest level of Intel i7 Xeon processors and performance. Our HP workstations come pre-configured and optimized for the NLE of your choosing.
So where can I buy your DIY build?
You have several options here. We buy almost all of the parts used in our DIY systems from either Newegg or TigerDirect. You can also bring in our parts list and the article to your local computer supplier and ask him to price it out including installation and set-up.
How do you guys pick your motherboards?
Picking the right motherboard is the single most critical part of the project. We pride ourselves in the fact that over the years the motherboards we have picked have gone on to win major awards from the leading industry magazines and websites.
When we choose our motherboards, we consult with the product managers and tech support teams from our vendors as part of the process. Then, we spend time on user group forums and communities reading up on what issues folks are running into and what solutions they are sharing. Finally, we also do lots of research on line reading articles om Tom's Hardware, ExtremeTech, AnandTech and many others.
I tried to follow your guide, but I can't get that particular motherboard anymore. What should I do?
Many times the vendor will discontinue a motherboard and replace it with a new model that is essentially the same, with a new feature added or some cost savings realized. As a general rule, as long as they stick with the same chipset we used, you can use the next model or two down the line in the series. So if we use a PX79 Pro, and Asus replaces it with a PX79 Premium you should be fine.
How often do you update your DIY articles?
This depends on how fast technology is moving ahead. We try to do 1 or 2 a year. It took us a while to post our first dual core article DIY 4, then we followed it up very quickly with another article DIY 5 and then a DIY 5 Update. We waited almost a full year to publish our next article DIY 6 as we waited for Quad core CPUs and motherboards to come down into our "sweet spot". Our DIY 7 Intel i7 article was planned for early January '09, but we had to take our tech team off the project in order ot get our new website launched. DIY 9 has taken even longer, but that was becuase we had to wait for enthusiast level motherboards to run Sandy Bridge. DIY10 will come later this year when we see IVY Bridge enthusiast motherboards with Thunderbolt.
Speaking of "sweet Spots" how do I pick the CPU that is the best bang for my buck?
We have a basic formula around here for picking the CPU to be used in our DIY machines. Basically we look at what we can get for around $500. Then we see how much more it would cost to step-up to the next faster model. If the step is under $100 we take it, and we take it again if the next step up is also under $100. If the next step is more then $200 then we stay where we are. We have found our sweet spot. If it falls between, we try and see if there are any added bonuses beyond just clock speed that would justify the jump.
How do you pick the right graphics card?
This is a great question, which is why we have an entire DIY article dedicated to the answer. Although the article is over 4 years old, the information and guidance still holds true. In a nutshell, you need to pick the graphics card technology that best fits with your NLE solution. Each NLE has it's own special graphics needs and requirements.
Today (Aug 2012) we only recommend NVIDIA graphics cards. The Adobe Mercury Playback engine and Avid Media Composer require nVidia cards for best results. You want at least a 1GB of RAM and 196+ CUDA cores. For Avid, you really want to go with an NVIDIA QUADRO card.
- How big a power supply do I need?
This is another great question, and one that is often overlooked. While the latest generation of Dual and Quad core processors are more energy efficient then ever before, you still need to make sure you give your system plenty of power. Each stick of RAM, hard drive, USB device, DVD burner and fan requires some power. Put in too small of a power supply and you are going to be running into all kinds of stability issues. We recommend at least a 750 watt power supply, from a top line vendor. For our latest DIY machines we have gone with 850 or more watts. The folks over at ASUS have a vrey cool on line utility you can use Asus Recommended Power Supply Wattage Calculator
Videoguys' DIY questions for you to answer yourself before moving forward
Before you start putting together your own DIY video editing workstation, you'll need to ask yourself a few basic questions to help determine what your needs are. If you are having any problems at all answering these questions, do not hesitate to call us and we will offer you additional guidance and information.
What video editing software are you using or do you plan to use? If you already have the software is it the latest version?
One of the issues that often comes up is that the older versions of NLE software do not run nearly as well as the latest versions when you put them on a new, blazing fast multiple core machine. So make sure you are running the latest versions of your NLE software and that you also have the latest drivers for any hardware you plan to use.
What additional hardware and or software do you think you'll be running?
This includes external storage solutions, hardware I/O cards and/or real-time accelerators, as well as 3rd party plug-ins.
Are you working in HD yet? If so what flavor?
Different HD camcorders support different flavors of HD. This can get confusing, but we can offer you additional guidance. We don’t sell camcorders, so we can’t give you too much guidance there, but once you’ve picked your camcorder we can make sure you get the best video editing solution for it.
- Do you need Blu-ray?
The HD disc wars are over and Blu-Ray is the winner. While you may not know many people with dedicated Blu-Ray players yet, there are millions of Sony PS3 game consoles in living rooms all over the world and evry single one of htem is an HD Blu-Ray player!
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