Latest post Mon, Apr 19 2010 12:45 PM by Richard Gooderick. 14 replies.
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  • Sun, Mar 28 2010 8:10 PM

    • Lance
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    • Joined on Mon, Jan 16 2006
    • Michigan
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    Basic Hardware Question

    I'm a long-time Liquid hobbyist user, wanting to upgrade to MC.  I've read most of the posts on what hardware to buy, and studied the official avid.com website, and still don't understand what to do.  Most of the posts are very technical, and as mentioned I'm just a hobbyist working at home on family videos (although I LOVE learning the advanced techniques).

    The avid.com website has a document with "Qualified PC Workstations for Avid Media Composer v4.0...."  It lists of bunch of systems and specs.  Then at the end of the document is a list of "Minimum system requirements for Media Composer Software." 

    So my question is whether I need a "Qualified PC Workstation" or just the "Minimum system requirements" to ensure that I don't experience any bugs, problems, jitters, or the dreaded call or post to MC support that is answered with, "well, you don't have a supported system."

    I'm hoping someone can clear this up for me in a simple, easy-to-understand manner.  What is the difference between "Qualified PC Workstations" and "Minimum system requirements?"

    Once someone explains that, I guess my next question is what I should buy.  I researched HP, and saw that of the HP "Qualified PC Workstations," the xw8600, xw8400, xw8400, and xw8200 are no longer sold by HP.  (The xw4600 is still sold by HP, but it is missing checkmarks in two columns: Avid Nitris DX and Avid Unity MN Fibre, whatever those things are).  The only other "Qualified PC Workstations" for HP are the z800 and z400, for which the forum posting states, "I don’t believe the vast majority of you moving from Liquid to MC need a document that talks to why we chose the Z400/Z800 with Nvidia FX 3800/4800 over something else etc…..   These systems cost several thousand more than the systems you folks will be buying/upgrading too." 

    Ok, so the only "Qualified PC Workstation" from HP is overkill for me; so what should I buy?  A nonqualifed PC workstation?

    (I'm wary of the "build your own" solution on videoguys, because I just want something that is easy and in which a reputable company can put their name on it and it works out of the box and they support warranty issues.  I also don't need anything customized -- just a good perhaps HP system that is supported.) 

    Finally, how important are the "configuration guidelines" in the "Qualified PC Workstations?"  I certainly can't even begin to understand those.

    Any "basic" help is greatly appreciated!

    Regards,

    Lance

    Dell T3500 Quad Core Intel Xeon 2.8 GHz, 6 GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro FX3800, 320 GB hard drive, 1TB hard drive, Windows 7, 64-bit, Firewire, MC 5.0... [view my complete system specs]
  • Sun, Mar 28 2010 8:22 PM In reply to

    • smithe1
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on Fri, Nov 4 2005
    • Washington
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    Re: Basic Hardware Question

    Check out computer geeks . com they have a couple of HP offerings that are certified with MC for like $600.00. Check out this offering. They had one for $500.00 as well...........Edd

    Asus P5GC-MX/1333 Core2Duo 3Ghz 4 gig ram Nvideo GT220 1gb DDR3 GC 4HD 500, 750. 300 and 300 Sata drives On board sound Realteck HD audio. [view my complete system specs]

    Duo2Core 6300, 1.83 O/C to 2.44, 2 gig of 533ddr2 ram Win XP Pro, Asus P5L-VM 1394,DVD writer AL7.2, Ati X1300 pci-e 256mb,OSdrive 200 gig, 300 gig media,200 data drive removeable bay O/B sound. Moviebox delulxe. A good day editing beats a bad one anyday.

  • Sun, Mar 28 2010 8:27 PM In reply to

    Re: Basic Hardware Question

    Lance:
    so the only "Qualified PC Workstation" from HP is overkill for me;
    A second hand or refurbished HP 8400 should not set you back to badly. An 8200 would be cheaper still. (I have 2 8200's here running MC 4 with Vista 64

    If you work in standard def only then a second hand original Mojo or SDI Mojo would work really well for your In's, Outs and monitoring

  • Sun, Mar 28 2010 8:36 PM In reply to

    Re: Basic Hardware Question

    Lance:
    What is the difference between "Qualified PC Workstations" and "Minimum system requirements?"

    "Minimum System Req's" are pretty self-explanatory - the system needs to meet these minimum requirements to run. 

    "Qualified Systems" have been tested and approved by Avid engineering to work with Media Composer, guaranteed.  If you want to buy a system that you will know will work out of the box with Avid Media Composer, then go Qualified.  If you want to tinker with settings and potentially be on your own for troubleshooting, then you can build your own.  Avid tests and qualifies computer systems so that a broadcaster can easily purchase necessary hardware and be up and running without having to figure out why they are having basic issues.  

    Lance:
    The xw4600 is still sold by HP, but it is missing checkmarks in two columns: Avid Nitris DX and Avid Unity MN Fibre

    The NitrisDX is a hardware I/O box and is sold as part of a turnkey system only (approx USD $15000).  Unity is Avid's shared storage system.  And can be MediaNet or ISIS.  MediaNet Unity can either be Ethernet or Fibre attached.  I can assure you don't need to concern yourself with either of these issues if you're a hobbyist.  So, the xw4600 would run MC software-only just fine.

    MacPro dual 2.66GHz 6GB RAM nVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT Storage: 2TB G-Speed eS with controller card 3x1TB Hitachi SATA-II internals, various external FW/USB... [view my complete system specs]

    Kenton VanNatten | Avid Editor (for hire)

    "I am not obsessed... I'm detail-oriented"

  • Sun, Mar 28 2010 8:41 PM In reply to

    • TVJohn
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Fri, Nov 4 2005
    • Bayonne NJ
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    Re: Basic Hardware Question

    I would hold off any major hardware purchases till after NAB.

    Dell Display U2713HM(2560x1440), AMD FX8350 8core, AMD 990FX mobo, 32gig-DDR3-1600, Quadro K620/GTX260/core 216, Audigy2zs, 1TB SSD system drive, 2TB SATA... [view my complete system specs]

    Using MC 8.4. Avid FX6.4, Vegas Pro 15/ DVD Architect 6pro, DVDit6.4proHD, CCE Basic, TmpGe Express4, TmpGe Authoring Works 4, DVDLab-Studio. Sony EX-1R, Canon XH-A1, GL2, GL1, Canon EOS 60D

  • Sun, Mar 28 2010 10:56 PM In reply to

    • Lance
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    • Joined on Mon, Jan 16 2006
    • Michigan
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    Re: Basic Hardware Question

    Wow -- thanks for all the quick and helpful replies!

    What and when is "NAB?"

    I do work in HD, using my Canon HV20.

    As would be expected, I’d like to buy a system that I will know will work out of the box with Avid Media Composer.   I certainly don’t know enough to tinker with settings and potentially be on my own for troubleshooting.  I guess I was hoping for some middle ground.  Sounds from these posts like maybe the HP xw4600 is right for me.  Or perhaps a second hand or refurbished HP 8400 or 8200.  I’ll check out computergeeks.com – I presume you’ve had good experience with their reliability and warranty?

    Dell T3500 Quad Core Intel Xeon 2.8 GHz, 6 GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro FX3800, 320 GB hard drive, 1TB hard drive, Windows 7, 64-bit, Firewire, MC 5.0... [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Mar 29 2010 1:58 AM In reply to

    Re: Basic Hardware Question

    NAB is the National Association of Broadcasters, whose annual exhibitions in Las Vegas are where major announcements and new systems are showcased. It starts April 12th and you would be VERY WISE not to buy anything until you see what NAB reveals...

    Newscutter Nitris DX 9.5.3.5 * Media Composer 5.5.3.6 (At Home on PC running XP Pro) * Symphony 6.5.2.1 (At home on MacBook Pro3,1 running 10.7.2) * Interplay... [view my complete system specs]

    Larry Rubin

    Senior Editor

    The Pentagon Channel

    www.pentagonchannel.mil

  • Mon, Mar 29 2010 9:16 PM In reply to

    • Lance
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    Re: Basic Hardware Question

    Ok, so the way I understand the specs is:

    Qualified systems are those which are tested and guaranteed to work.

    Below the minimum system requirements are computers which will not work.

    Between the minimum system requirements and the qualified systems are those which might work but might not.

    1.  Is this right? 

    2.  If I have the minimum system requirements but not the qualified systems, and I pay for the Avid technical support, will they respond to any issues by saying that my system isn't supported?

    3.  Many people seem to have above the minimum system requirements but not the qualified systems, and are happy, right?  (Of course, I'm interested in their personal happiness, but also in their satisfaction with MC on their system). 

    Dell T3500 Quad Core Intel Xeon 2.8 GHz, 6 GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro FX3800, 320 GB hard drive, 1TB hard drive, Windows 7, 64-bit, Firewire, MC 5.0... [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Mar 29 2010 9:38 PM In reply to

    • gerbow
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    Re: Basic Hardware Question

    Just a thought. A different non-pc option for a supported qualified system, might be an iMac, a Macbook Pro or even a Mac Pro. The Mac Pro can work out cheaper than an equivalent PC workstation because you do not need to buy a Quadra FX graphics card - the standard config is supported. (These will also run windows in bootcamp if you have windows only software/plan on using AVID DVD). As you are editing HDV, then you could store your video files on an external FW800 if you went for the iMac or Macbook Pro.

    If you do not like Macs then this may not be for you. As I said, just a thought.

    Apple Mac Pro 5,1 2.8GHz Nvidia Ati 5770 graphics card, 1TB system drive; 3 media drives set as raid 0. Mac OS 10.7.3 Black Magic Design Intensity Pro... [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Mar 29 2010 10:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Basic Hardware Question

    Lance:

    Here's the deal with system requirements. A qualified system, as you say, is a system that Avid has thoroughly tested in that exact configuration and guarantees that the software will run properly right out of the box. System requirements are the requirements your computer must meet to be sure that the software will run correctly and performed as advertised. Not meeting the minimum system requirements DOES NOT mean that software will definitely not work. What it does mean is if it doesn't work, or even if it works initially but then develops a serious problem somewhere down the road, it is not supported by Avid and tech support will be EXTREMELY difficult to come by. There are many users on this Forum who are successfully running non-qualified systems. However, it is a gamble and your odds are 50-50. Maybe you'll get lucky and maybe you won't. You have to decide for yourself if it's worth the gamble.

    My advice to you is if video editing pays your mortgage and feeds your family, don't take chances - go for either a qualified system or assemble one that meets requirements. If video editing is a hobby, then maybe it's worth the chance to save some money. Again, you must decide.

    Newscutter Nitris DX 9.5.3.5 * Media Composer 5.5.3.6 (At Home on PC running XP Pro) * Symphony 6.5.2.1 (At home on MacBook Pro3,1 running 10.7.2) * Interplay... [view my complete system specs]

    Larry Rubin

    Senior Editor

    The Pentagon Channel

    www.pentagonchannel.mil

  • Tue, Mar 30 2010 1:27 PM In reply to

    • Lance
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    • Joined on Mon, Jan 16 2006
    • Michigan
    • Posts 77
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    Re: Basic Hardware Question

    Larry,

    Thanks for the input.

    I'm sorry to be a pain, but I still don't understand.  What I want is to buy a system that meets the minimum requirements but is not a qualified system.  Will I get tech support for that?  Are the odds still 50/50 that it will work? 

    I'm not feeding my family on this, and qualified systems seem very expensive.  But on the other hand I don't want a refurbished "as is" system that might break.  I anticipate enough frustration learning MC that if I can avoid system problems then that would be great. 

    Regards,

    Lance

    Dell T3500 Quad Core Intel Xeon 2.8 GHz, 6 GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro FX3800, 320 GB hard drive, 1TB hard drive, Windows 7, 64-bit, Firewire, MC 5.0... [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Mar 30 2010 1:34 PM In reply to

    Re: Basic Hardware Question

    Lance:

    Here are the Media Composer system requirements. If your system meets these requirements the software should run properly and you will get tech support from Avid if you experience trouble.

    Newscutter Nitris DX 9.5.3.5 * Media Composer 5.5.3.6 (At Home on PC running XP Pro) * Symphony 6.5.2.1 (At home on MacBook Pro3,1 running 10.7.2) * Interplay... [view my complete system specs]

    Larry Rubin

    Senior Editor

    The Pentagon Channel

    www.pentagonchannel.mil

  • Mon, Apr 19 2010 2:18 AM In reply to

    • Lance
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Mon, Jan 16 2006
    • Michigan
    • Posts 77
    • Points 1,085

    Re: Basic Hardware Question

    So, as several of you recommended, I held off my purchase until after NAB.  Thanks for the advice -- I now know about MC5.  Is there anything else we learned from NAB that would help in my computer purchase decision?

    Thanks,

    Lance

    Dell T3500 Quad Core Intel Xeon 2.8 GHz, 6 GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro FX3800, 320 GB hard drive, 1TB hard drive, Windows 7, 64-bit, Firewire, MC 5.0... [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Apr 19 2010 4:31 AM In reply to

    Re: Basic Hardware Question

    Lance, I am a neophyte as you are and have wondered at the same question regarding minimum systems and required systems.  I have somewhat satisfied myself as to the meaning of all this as follows.  Choose an Avid recommended minimum system if you want to work on projects of minimum complexity.  Therefore, I feel my system is at or below minimum for the kind of work that I will do with MC, that is, mostly NTSC stuff, DV30, non-film, non-HDV, non-HD, non-film type, etc., but it works, barely.  See my specs.  If you want to do all the esoteric, bleeding edge intricasies of the practice, then you need the Avid maximum certified recommended system to run MC.  Between these two extremes are the myriad of varieties of complexity jobs which can be answered by the myriad varieties of hardware.  Is there a formula which puts it all together?  NO!  But there is a lot of good, useful advice which can be gathered by telling the helpful people on this forum what kind of work you want to perform when you ask them for advice.  The machine must match or exceed the kind of duty it is called upon to perform.  Only you know what type of duty you wish to perform.

    Intel Core2-Duo 2.18 GHz; ASUS P5W DH Deluxe MB;2GB Corsair 4000 667; ATI Rad 4750 512 MHz PCI-X; 750(capture),80(sys), 80(apps),1000(render/aux),2TB(filestor... [view my complete system specs]

    Dave Hackley

  • Mon, Apr 19 2010 12:45 PM In reply to

    Re: Basic Hardware Question

    HP XW8200 DUAL 3.4GHZ WORKSTATION
    WITH FX1400
    4 GB RAM

    I will be editing video from my Canon XH A1 and Canon 5Dmk2 cameras ie HDV and 1920 x 1080 files. Possibly the new Canon XF camera later this year.

    This is the computer that I have just bought from a friend. It scrapes in at the bottom of Avid's minimum requirements.

    Would it be OK to stick with this or would it be more sensible to sell it on and buy something more powerful? I don't want a system that is struggling to perform with MC5.

     

    HP XW 8200 4GB Ram Nvideo Quadro FX1400 graphics card At one point I thought that this was qualified for MC5. Am saving for a new computer :-) [view my complete system specs]

    gooderick.com

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