Help with new computer please

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by The Boy Bastard, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. The Boy Bastard

    The Boy Bastard Bewbie's??

    Jan 2, 2002
    Likes Received:
    I did a search but didn't really come up with much of a difintive answer or combination for what I want/need.

    Priorities for computer use:
    1. DVD burning; including from TV sources as well as backups of existing dvd's/VHS
    2. editing- that being of mpg clips from digicam or digital camcorder footage
    3. expandability - so this thing will last me two years or so if not longer
    4. web surfing/ light gaming (not necessary)
    5. music editing for mp3's/ ring tones, etc.

    Things I have:
    1. monitor- 17" KDS, I am happy with it, i will upgrade later

    Things I need:
    1. Budget of ~ $1000 for everything excluding software
    2. everything I need to accomplish the above: case, power supply, RAM, HD, etc.
    3. Suggestions for DVD burning/editing software, firewall, anitvirus (thoughts on Panda Anitvirus?)

    anything else I missed please suggest, thanks :bigthumb:
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2004
  2. tempus

    tempus Going quietly insane. OT Supporter

    Feb 25, 2004
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    This is quite a broad question, and really depends. Some thoughts on your priorities / haves / needs...

    1. DVD burning will require a lot of disk, as well as a lot of CPU to handle all the transcoding.

    2. Editing: MPEG editing? Better buy a lot of RAM, and you'll need a lot of disk. You'll also probably (though depends on your camcorder) need firewire to drag the footage off your camcorder.

    3. Expandability: This is a tough one, as any time you buy, it's really a crap shoot. It's especially so now, because the new PCI buses are right around the corner, and 64-bit processing is starting to make its way into mainstream. Anything you buy will probably run into limitations down the road. Expandability also depends on what you mean by that. Take more hard drives? Add a CPU?

    4. Web surfing / light gaming. Unless you're looking for hl2-level quality games, this is really a moot point. If you have a computer that can do the other things you want, this shouldn't be a problem.

    5. Music editing: Editing mp3's will be a lot like video; it'll chew up cpu and memory. This also depends on what you want to do in terms of editing. Are you importing sounds from your synth? Are you only making ringtones? If it's the latter, then you shouldn't need a whole lot.

    As far as things you have:
    1. Monitor: Um, that's not much, especially if you're doing video editing. You'll find that the lack of screen real estate will really get to you. You might consider upgrading this down the road.

    Things you need:
    1. Budget of ~$1,000: Should be okay, but don't expect any speed records. You're also probably not looking at top of the line, but that's fine for what you want to do. It does kind of run counter to your lasting for two years.

    2. Everything will cost you some duckets. ;)

    3. Nero is my personal choice for DVD burning, but it doesn't really have that much in terms of editing. (That's not to say it doesn't have anything. The simple editing they provide is reasonably powerful, but if you're doing a lot of custom work, you may want something stronger.) For anti-virus, if you want to go free, I'd recommend AVG Antivirus. It's free for personal use. As far as a firewall goes, that depends on how secure you want it to be. Personally, I think everyone should be behind some kind of hardware NAT router, as a baseline of security. Linksys makes some decent, cheap stuff. Windows XP's built-in firewall is coming up in quality. Software firewalls have gotten rather odd lately; ZoneAlarm and Norton Internet Security both seem to do odd things like blocking connections you actually want to allow.

    Are you building this yourself, or just looking to buy off the rack?

    If you are not building it yourself, start looking at Dell's outlet deals, eBay, wherever. It's actually pretty hard to beat OEM prices for what they get you these days. I'd recommend going Athlon, as it's a little cheaper than Intel. (There might be a benefit to transcoding / editing if you go Intel, though.)

    If building yourself...
    Case: whatever, just get something that'll hold everything you have. A strong mid-tower case will do you just fine, I think. You're probably looking in the $70 - $80 range here, if you want to avoid the flimsy stuff.

    Power supply: probably not going to need a whole lot more than 350W. This will probably run you around $40 - $50.

    RAM: No less than 1 GB of RAM (it's cheap these days anyway.) Probably $150 or so.

    Hard Disk: As much hard disk as you can get, and the faster, the better. Perhaps $100 for a 120 GB drive?

    CPU, Motherboard: Motherboard is probably around $150, CPU around $220. Hell, you can do those rates and pick up an Asus K8V Deluxe with Athlon 64 3200+. Not that you need it, but it's nice. (I recently did this myself.)

    Graphics card: Depends on what you get / how much you want / how much you need. Around $100 - $200. I picked up a 9800 Pro off New Egg for $220 or so, though I don't think it has a video input. Make sure it has video input, if you're recording from VHS!

    DVD burner: around $120.

    Nero: around $100.

    This totals a little over a grand. You're still missing video editing software, which you may or may not already have with your digital camcorder.

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