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Thread: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    Sammy888,
    thanks for ur insights! great to have a pro to comment and bring things back to perspective. its indeed true that i can just use a "slower" comp to do my stuff. but i am pretty impatient and i hate to constantly worry abt my pc and frusting abt its speed. and i dun wanna waste time waiting for stuff to load and stuff. hence i guess its alright to make an investment now(hopefully once and for all)

    Kahheng,
    thanks for enlightening over the many stuff that i shd take note of. and yes, thanks too for highlighting that i already have budgeted an amt and am willing to maximise it.

    To all,
    i am not starting a debate on whether or not i shd be fixing a comp that costs so much when i m just a hobbyist or whatever. fact is, this is my budget, and i just want SUGGESTION on how to maximise the amt.
    this is a TECH suggestion thread, not abt whether or not i shd do this or that. thanks.
    its meant to help others when they wanna build a pc. $3k shd be just abt right to spend on a pc to do editing i wld think.

    so for the tech informed,
    pls help!

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    one question abt Hdisk.

    now i have 2x160 PATA

    shd i get a SATA in my new comp(200 or 250gb) and run the 160 PATA as my storage? or shd i use it as external storage?

    my main concern is. if i only have one storage(250 SATA) will it be risky? cos the hdisk may corrupt and everything may be gone. or shd i get a 40gb PATA to run my applications and stuff and store everything on the 250 SATA?

    also, another friend just told me it would be faster to run ur OS and applications on one hdisk and store everything on another.(meaning when u edit stuff, u open from the other physical disk)

    i am damn damn confused

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    as a techie..
    1) there is close to 0 speed increment of sata over pata. it's just marketing talk, and speed increase is 99% imaginary.

    2) LCD is a waste of money if u wanna do anything to do with accurate colours.

    that said:
    1) get 2 identical harddisks and set up RAID0 for stripping and use for your system. speed increase IS visible.
    2) use another set for your photoshop scratch.
    3) get 1gb ram unless you plan to run win2003 server. winXP cannot make use of more than 800mb anyway.
    4) get a intel 820. slow, but 4 virtual processors WILL provide a slight speed gain. the slowest dual core is better than a faster single core. I don't think u can afford anything faster, n this is the cheapest.
    5) stick with onboard sound.
    6) cheap video card is enough. 128mb at least (prepare for longhorn)
    7) get a good crt. else u can't consider a pc for photo-editing, just a powerful pc.

    that should drain your whole budget. if you can cough up more, consider a small SCSI hdd. now that's called speed.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by unseen
    3) get 1gb ram unless you plan to run win2003 server. winXP cannot make use of more than 800mb anyway.
    Just to correct this. WinXP indeed support up to 2GB of RAM by default. You might be running on FAT32 that's why you have such problem (your pagefile can't overshoot 2GB barrier). Turn the pagefile off and it should work fine (or use NTFS). It is also possible to run 3GB with a tweak in boot.ini. However, anything more than that need 64-bit Windows already.
    Last edited by tunster; 15th November 2005 at 12:48 AM.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by unseen
    as a techie..

    3) get 1gb ram unless you plan to run win2003 server. winXP cannot make use of more than 800mb anyway.
    And which tech manual did you get this techie knowledge from?

    See: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system...AE/PAEmem.mspx

    and http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/320005.html

  6. #26

    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by unseen
    that said:
    1) get 2 identical harddisks and set up RAID0 for stripping and use for your system. speed increase IS visible.
    I've been down that road before, not worth the data security risk, unless you don't mind ghosting your installation every now and then. Either Raid5 or simply stick to RAID 1 or normal separate drives. Disk access isn't much of an issue for photo processing.
    3) get 1gb ram unless you plan to run win2003 server. winXP cannot make use of more than 800mb anyway.
    Untrue as pointed out by others.
    4) get a intel 820. slow, but 4 virtual processors WILL provide a slight speed gain. the slowest dual core is better than a faster single core. I don't think u can afford anything faster, n this is the cheapest.
    I believe hyperthreading is disabled on the 820 series. Hence you will only get 2 logical CPUs.

    The choice of CPU is highly dependent on which applications one wishes to use. A C1Pro user might want to consider using Intel as C1pro is optimized for Intel CPUs and a cheaper, less powerful Intel dualie might perform similarly to its otherwise more powerful AMD brethren. If he were to use Bibble, then its another story.

    6) cheap video card is enough. 128mb at least (prepare for longhorn)
    more specifically, a DX9 compliant card. It depends on the choice of moniter as well. If he's considering a huge LCD, like a 24" then a Dual-DVI link card is much preferred.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    Get a G5.........hehe but won't be $2,000.

    Wanism,

    Too many cooks spoils the soup. Get it? How deep is your pocket?

    Extract the good ones and erase the unwanted comments. From there calculate if it's worth your hard earn money. It total is less than your expected budget, go for it.

    If you keep asking and waiting for better solutions, then wait long long. As there is never ending with this debate. Sometimes it's worth spending a little more for less trouble.

    Just get the one you think it's really worth it. Be it Intel or AMD as your are the one who is investing it but make sure you do not regret with the decision made.

  8. #28
    Senior Member jOhO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    yeah.. just go get one lar.. i mean even if u did make a slight "mistake" in ur choices, most likely the difference in speed or performance from the "right" choice of component won't make a huge difference...

    right??

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    have a closer idea now. and have downloaded the price lists. now just waiting for my exams to end before hitting sim lim!!!



    will post my final config!

    thanks everyone...hope i can get a reasonable rig

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by tunster
    Just to correct this. WinXP indeed support up to 2GB of RAM by default. You might be running on FAT32 that's why you have such problem (your pagefile can't overshoot 2GB barrier). Turn the pagefile off and it should work fine (or use NTFS). It is also possible to run 3GB with a tweak in boot.ini. However, anything more than that need 64-bit Windows already.
    er... WINXP supports up to 2GB..
    but it is hardcoded to start paging to the page file when the memory usage hits 800MB..
    The only way to break that is to disable paging, which contrary to believe, slows the system down.

    read some technical reference on winxp paging and you will know. cheers

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerstorer
    I've been down that road before, not worth the data security risk, unless you don't mind ghosting your installation every now and then. Either Raid5 or simply stick to RAID 1 or normal separate drives. Disk access isn't much of an issue for photo processing.
    LOL well it's for speed.. I personally use RAID1. I am an insecure person..

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerstorer
    Untrue as pointed out by others.
    not untrue. ability to address is not the ability to use. if your system burst 2gb of data at 1 shot, yes it'll store in the ram. but windows XP will start to page everything to the pagefile so that only about 800mb of data is left in the memory. I've lost track of which technical datasheet had this, but that is how it is coded. Don't believe have a go at it. See if you can consistently keep above 1gb of data on your 2gb machine (provided your system has got at least 2*2gb of free space on the system drive, else most prob system slowdown instead of speed up with more ram). And i seriously doubt you can burst more than 600mb of data at a time doing photo processing. Your ide drives would be the bottleneck in such a system..

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerstorer
    I believe hyperthreading is disabled on the 820 series. Hence you will only get 2 logical CPUs.
    Oh ok.. LOL not so sure about it. I thought otherwise.. oh well.. 2 heads still better than 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerstorer
    The choice of CPU is highly dependent on which applications one wishes to use. A C1Pro user might want to consider using Intel as C1pro is optimized for Intel CPUs and a cheaper, less powerful Intel dualie might perform similarly to its otherwise more powerful AMD brethren. If he were to use Bibble, then its another story.
    As I mentioned.. dual processor, the 820 is the cheapest dual processor I can think of.. Though more powerful, AMD charges a really high premium for their processors. We all use photoshop, and photoshop is highly mathematical, and is very suitable for dualcore procs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerstorer
    more specifically, a DX9 compliant card. It depends on the choice of moniter as well. If he's considering a huge LCD, like a 24" then a Dual-DVI link card is much preferred.
    Ah yes.. LOL that's true.. thanks for pointing that out.. heh sorta slipped my mind that there are still non DX9 compliant cards out there..

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    whats DX9 compliant?

    and

    how do i determine how much scratch disk to allocate? reading the adobe page just made me more blur. my friend told me 3x of my ram shd be the size. ie 3x2 = 6gb?
    so does that mean i partition 6gb as a scratch disk and leave it permanently "empty". then how do i tell CS2 that that drive is my scratch?
    and from hardwarezone, someone suggested having a whole sata as scratch?!

    talk abt confusing man!!!

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by unseen
    as a techie..
    1) there is close to 0 speed increment of sata over pata. it's just marketing talk, and speed increase is 99% imaginary.

    2) LCD is a waste of money if u wanna do anything to do with accurate colours.

    that said:
    1) get 2 identical harddisks and set up RAID0 for stripping and use for your system. speed increase IS visible.
    2) use another set for your photoshop scratch.
    3) get 1gb ram unless you plan to run win2003 server. winXP cannot make use of more than 800mb anyway.
    4) get a intel 820. slow, but 4 virtual processors WILL provide a slight speed gain. the slowest dual core is better than a faster single core. I don't think u can afford anything faster, n this is the cheapest.
    5) stick with onboard sound.
    6) cheap video card is enough. 128mb at least (prepare for longhorn)
    7) get a good crt. else u can't consider a pc for photo-editing, just a powerful pc.

    that should drain your whole budget. if you can cough up more, consider a small SCSI hdd. now that's called speed.
    1) since he already got 2 x PATA HDD and most motherboard only got 1 or 2 IDE channels (for 2 or 4 PATA devices), it is wiser to get SATA because:

    (a) the price is about the same as PATA
    (b) most motherboard already comes with 2/4 SATA ports, so USE THEM
    (c) if he keep his 2 x PATA HDD, he will only left with 1 IDE channels to share with the DVD writer and 3rd PATA HDD. which means he will not be able to add anymore PATA devices in future.
    (d) no more messy cables and jumper settings
    (e) SATA will be the way to go and in fact the newer SATA II is already available in the latest motherboard


    2) CRT is also a waste of money if you dont bother to calibrate. If $$ is not an issue, spend more $$ on LCD, it is a better investment. I used to own a 21" Sony trinitron but the radiation hurts my eyes, I feel the different immediately when i switch to LCD. My eyes are more precious than that little advantage over colour accuracy.


    3) RAID 0 - been there, done that, and all my data were gone altogether, so no more RAID 0 for me.


    4) As mentioned earlier, PS CS2 is damn resource hungry. RAM is cheap now, i will suggest getting 2 x 512MB first, if got spare cash then get another 2 sticks to make it 2GB. You can even disable pagefile altogether and see your machine "fly". ( i am speaking from personal experience, not plug out from some technical datasheet)


    5) Intel Pentium D 820 is dual core processor but with NO Hyperthreading. You get two physcial cores but not logical cores. Only Pentium D Extreme Edition has HT and it only works with the more expensive 955X chipset.

    BTW, I do have a Intel 820 (a 2.8Ghz) and Intel P4-3.6Ghz, but sadly the Intel 820 is still slower in ALL applications (including games) that uses single thread. A slower dual core only manage to catch up with a faster single core in multi-thread application like video editing.


    6) onboard sound gives superior sound quality nowadays, but it also use up your CPU resources. just get a cheap creative sound card (can skip it if you seldom listen to audio)


    7) cheap video card is enough for non-gamers, what i mean is cheaper series (like X300/X500) and not cheaper brands. Ask for a few brands and compare, get the one with better cooling. Some brands uses lower quality components and it does affect the 2D quality esp if you are running at high resolution (like 1600 x 1200)
    We are HDD of PC & FT are MB add to storage;
    so PC never hangs with enormous storage capacity - LKY

  14. #34

    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by wainism
    whats DX9 compliant?

    and

    how do i determine how much scratch disk to allocate? reading the adobe page just made me more blur. my friend told me 3x of my ram shd be the size. ie 3x2 = 6gb?
    so does that mean i partition 6gb as a scratch disk and leave it permanently "empty". then how do i tell CS2 that that drive is my scratch?
    and from hardwarezone, someone suggested having a whole sata as scratch?!

    talk abt confusing man!!!
    There's no one way, but there are reasoned ways of figuring it out. Here's one:

    1. Start with about 0.5 - 1x your physical RAM.

    2. Work on your files as you'd normally do

    3. Observe how much scratch disk you'd maximally use (look at the status bar or the "Info" box)

    4. Allocate scratch disk space based on 1.5x to 2x this amount and you should be alright

    You specify it under, wait for this, hold your breath, "Preferences".

    5. Whole SATA as scratch? It's not necessary these days because of cheap RAM. In the old days when RAM was super pricey, and this was many moons and stars ago, people bought fast drives to compensate for insufficient RAM. Nowadays, because RAM is so reasonably priced (relatively speaking), and even average priced drives are so fast (check out the incredible performance of the Hitachi 7K500 series for instance), dedicating one drive to use as a scratch disk is quite unnecessary, except, perhaps in exceptional circumstances. So a small partition on one physical drive would typically be sufficient.

    You'd basically want to have enough RAM for PS not to have to hit the scratch disk to make up for not enough RAM. Which is why, I don't buy recommendations for 1 gig of RAM to start with. You would want 2 gigs at least. XP and whatever addons will likely suck up near 400-500 megs, so PS wouldn't have that much to begin with because you'd usually allocate say 70-80% of the remaining RAM to it. I'd be smart about buying RAM if I were you and buy 1 gig sticks so that you have empty slots left for future upgrades.

    Note that even if you have 'enough' physical RAM on board, PS will still use up some scratch disk space on the HD to store image caches when you're working on your files. So it doesn't quite behave like Windows memory management.

    Come to think of it, and I don't mean to be sarcastic, maybe you should just buy a ready assembled PC. No offence but you really don't sound like you're up to it. Are you planning to ask an Ah Beng to assemble the puter for you?
    Last edited by kahheng; 15th November 2005 at 08:41 AM.

  15. #35
    Senior Member sykestang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    Here is my configurations:

    Processor:
    Intel P4 3.0GHz (I'm a Intel guy, always trust an Intel over AMD)

    M/B:
    Intel 915GEV PCIe (For most compatible, choose Intel brand M/B. Although they are not the best, but not forgetting they design the CPU as well. Thus they are the most compatible)

    RAM:
    4gb DDR2 Kingston (RAM prices is not that expensive nowadays, so might as well budget to the max. Always buy the M/B, CPU & RAM from the same shop. Reasons being if anything goes wrong like system unstable after assembling, they cannot point finger at each other.)

    Graphics:
    Leadtek 6600TD 256mb PCIe (not fantastic for games but for graphics designing this is a very good card)

    Sound:
    Creative Audigy 2 ZS (Good quality for value. Get the OEM pack version, only $155)

    Harddisk:
    (For me, Data storage and protection is the most important. I choose RAID 5 for performance and ultimate protection)
    - Rocket IDE RAID 5 card (4 IDE Channel, cost $379)
    - 4x 200gb WD Harddisk on RAID 5
    - ICYDOCK supports 5 harddisk using 3 5" Bay on casing (This Harddisk cage is good, it acts like a big heatsink with a giant fan to cool down all the harddisk mount in it. There is a internal alarm to detect faults on harddisk and the fan. This cage requires 3x power supply cables to power. Cost $210)
    - 1x 120gb SATA on M/B SATA connection (This is the main boot disk for programs and OS)

    Casing & Power Supply:
    For casing, All I ask for is a min of 4x 5" Bay and 2x 3" bay on the external. I uses a 550W Antec power supply. Antec power supply is famouse for its reliability and performance. I also mounted additional 2 casing fans internally to cool down the cards, one in the front for blowing in, and one at the back for drawing out heat.

    Optical Drive:
    Plextor DVD Writer (After you've tried a plextor, I believe you would not want to go for other make. PLextor is the best in optical drive in the market)

    Drives:
    - 3" Floppy Drive (Call me old fashion or whatever... but I still need one floppy drive )
    - IDE CF card reader (Although there are multi-card readers in the market, I still prefer to use this single CF reader because it is connected on IDE Bus which I believe is more stable and faster than USB.)

    OS:
    Windows XP SP2 (A min of XP sp2 and above is required to support 4gb RAM, all other OS like XP sp1 only supports up to 2gb RAM)

    My sentiments is that you should get self-assembled. This is because only you know what you want and you can choose the best to your budget. My above configuration cost ard $2800 without display. However you can cut cost drastically by getting lesser harddisks, maybe start with 3 harddisks, 1 main startup and 2pcs on RAID 1 Morroring instead of my above config of 5pcs. If you don't need to run RAID 5, RAID 1 mirroring would be good enough. However the main harddisk standalone cannot be saved as I've tested that although RAID performance is good, reliable and stable, but there is somewhat a little setback when you want to burn files on CD/DVD. The retriving is slower and burning might fail when all the files to be burn on CD is on the RAID.
    Visit me at my studio: http://www.studiospace.com.sg

  16. #36
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by wainism
    whats DX9 compliant?

    and

    how do i determine how much scratch disk to allocate? reading the adobe page just made me more blur. my friend told me 3x of my ram shd be the size. ie 3x2 = 6gb?
    so does that mean i partition 6gb as a scratch disk and leave it permanently "empty". then how do i tell CS2 that that drive is my scratch?
    and from hardwarezone, someone suggested having a whole sata as scratch?!

    talk abt confusing man!!!
    Hey Bro... I don't like to push things but I would like to play devil's advocate and that was why I wrote my last message to get you to question your whole process and intention (then focus too much on techno stuff) because there is one constant I notice in all your messages on this thread. That is...you lack PC savvy and you seem pretty new to Photoshop. I take it you do have the cash to get the better stuff but are "you" ready for what you are embarking on?

    I hope you will get familiar with a shop that can back you up when you start to build your system or buy their system (preferred.... as I don't think you have ever built a system before and not be suckered into spending hard cash in all the wrong stuff and brands of parts. The after sale should be just as good in your case too. You do NEED to take the time to study up on what your new PC/software does, basic maintaining and trouble shoot configuration. You do seem somewhat over your head on a few fronts at this moment. Just looking out for you. Take it one step at a time.

  17. #37

    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by wainism
    whats DX9 compliant?

    and

    how do i determine how much scratch disk to allocate? reading the adobe page just made me more blur. my friend told me 3x of my ram shd be the size. ie 3x2 = 6gb?
    so does that mean i partition 6gb as a scratch disk and leave it permanently "empty". then how do i tell CS2 that that drive is my scratch?
    and from hardwarezone, someone suggested having a whole sata as scratch?!

    talk abt confusing man!!!
    Scratch disk is just a tempory storage of your current working files. Which to say, it depence on how big is your current working photograph and how many photographs are you working on. Somewhat I call it a "temp" folder. You do NOT need to partition out a drive just for that, don't waste that amount of space.

    Your 3x RAM should be talking about PAGING FILE instead. Normally Windows recommend 2 x RAM size for paging file. However, if you have > 1GB RAM, I would recommend you to disable it. Because using your harddisk as RAM is actually dragging your computer performance. Disabling the pagefile makes Windows use up ALL your RAM before allocating page file.

    You can disable the pagefile in the Computer properties. Right click "My Computer" and choose properties. Under Advanced tab open up Performance settings. Then Advanced tab again and click Change at the bottom under Virtual Memory. Check the "No paging file" and REMEMBER to press "Set". Ok all the way to exit and it shall prompt you for a restart. NOTE!!! Only do this if you have > 1GB Ram...else your Windows will keep running out of memory.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    u can get a motherboard with PATA and SATA, so you can use both.
    actually, if your budget is really tight, 512mb of RAM will do for CS2. it will lag slightly when opening huge TIFF files, but other than that its ok.

    also, for hard disk, you should get a fast one like the WESTERN DIGITAL RAPTOR. normal drives are at 7200rpm, while the raptor runs at 10,000rpm. very essential for video editing so as to reduce rendering times. since raptors cost alot more (74gb raptor is more expensive than 100+GB regular HD), you should have one raptor (where you put the files you are working on, and also install all programs on it) and one regular HD for storage.
    it does not make sense to store files like mp3s on a fast drive because it does not make much difference.

    DX9 compliant graphics cards refer to newer graphics cards that support the DX9 standard for gaming. since you do not play games, this does not matter. just get a graphics card with 128mb at least.

    i think, as you are not too familiar with computer parts, you should get a high end dell/ibm/hp, and upgrade from there. like that its much easier, as you get the computer first, find out the reasons why it is lagging (low RAM, lousy graphics card etc.) then upgrade from there.
    Last edited by maritimus831; 15th November 2005 at 11:24 AM.

  19. #39

    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    Most people have advised u to run with at least 2 hard disk - disk 1 os, programs and scratch diskdisk 2 data files.if you can disk 3 for PS scratch disk if you plan to do double digit or more layer files - read this some where hell not even close to using more than 5 layer if I remember to use layers or this can be working files hard disk with the 2nd as the place where only the straight after the shoot and totally finished sets are stored BEFORE DVD archiving.Never if you can run on only 1 hard disk - surest way to have problems. Right now I am consider how to fund hard disk number 2 for my system - looking at min 160gig sata or 250gig - along with the issue of which make is more stable - some how I miss the stability of IBM hard disks, Maxtor craped out on me, Western D did the same. Any advice on which is the most stable hard disk in the market now ? My temp solution has developed an unforseen hitch - USB2 external casing is ok on doing dir but the minute you read and write files with NC or even NV or PS be prepared for a slow down in a big way.Since you have 2 - you can either older disks run these 2 in the 2nd hard disk link? or get another hard disk controller card to make the system capable of supporting 6 hard disk or dvd/cd drives. I think external hard disk casings running on USB 2 are not as fast in read/write or throughput as an internal cable linked drive - can any on confirm or advise on this ?Worse case mount sata and dvd reader on main cable link, dvd writer and older hard disk on the other, the 2d older hard disk in an external casing. p>
    Quote Originally Posted by wainism
    one question abt Hdisk.</p>
    now i have 2x160 PATA

    shd i get a SATA in my new comp(200 or 250gb) and run the 160 PATA as my storage? or shd i use it as external storage?

    my main concern is. if i only have one storage(250 SATA) will it be risky? cos the hdisk may corrupt and everything may be gone. or shd i get a 40gb PATA to run my applications and stuff and store everything on the 250 SATA?

    also, another friend just told me it would be faster to run ur OS and applications on one hdisk and store everything on another.(meaning when u edit stuff, u open from the other physical disk)

    i am damn damn confused

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    Default Re: Help Needed With Building PC for Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by Garion
    wainism, do keep us updated on what your final PC components would be. I'm also thinking of upgrading my (ancient) PC around end of year or early next year. So this thread would come in very useful too. My budget is less than 2k (excl. display.)

    So, upz for this thread!
    Yeah, 1D MKII files are quite big, your PC need to upgrade also.

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