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Is this a good computer?

Posted: Fri, 27th May 2011, 2:58pm

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RodyPolis

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So I've been planning on getting a new computer for a while now. I got my laptop a year ago which I love, but I definitely need a better editing computer. My budget is $1500. I went on the HP website and this is what I came up with. I tried to get the most stuff for my budget:

Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium [64-bit]
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-960 quad-core [3.2GHz, 1MB L2 + 8MB shared L3 cache]
12GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM [4 DIMMs]
2TB RAID 0 (2 x 1TB SATA HDDs) - performance
No additional office software
Norton Internet Security(TM) 2011 - 15 month
1GB DDR5 NVIDIA GeForce 460 [2 DVI, mini-HDMI. VGA adapter]
460W Power supply
FREE UPGRADE! Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner
Wireless-N LAN card
15-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB, audio
No TV Tuner
Integrated sound
Premium HP keyboard and optical mouse

And that came with a 23" HP LED Monitor. For everything including tax and shipping it was $1562 which is right in my alley!

I guess the most important things are the graphics card, RAM, and processor. How do these hold up? I wanted to get an NVIDIA card in case I do end up switching to Premiere. Thoughts? Will this be a good buy?
Posted: Fri, 27th May 2011, 3:10pm

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Joshua Davies

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Drop the "Norton Internet Security(TM) 2011 - 15 month" if you can - Microsoft Security Essentials is free and its fantastic!

Nvidia GeForce 460 is a pretty good card, but if you could get a 560Ti you would be better off. smile
Posted: Fri, 27th May 2011, 3:15pm

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RodyPolis

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The Norton is free for 15 months, then I would have to pay if I wanted it. HP doesn't include that card in their options, so I would have to buy that seperate. I'll see how this one holds up and decide whether I should upgrade later. It'll be miles faster than my current set up anyways!
Posted: Fri, 27th May 2011, 3:44pm

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djswallow

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Personally I think that Macs are much better than Windows. You could get a very nice 27" imac for that buget.
Posted: Fri, 27th May 2011, 3:44pm

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, I've only ever heard of Norton destroying computers and causing problems, never actually helping. Nuke it and use Microsoft's own stuff.

This ought to run HitFilm very nicely! My home computer is quite lower spec than this but handles it nicely.

edit

The Norton is free for 15 months
Seriously, buddy, Norton couldn't pay me to get me to use their software. Free is not cheap enough when it comes to Norton.
Posted: Fri, 27th May 2011, 3:52pm

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Biblmac

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djswallow wrote:

Personally I think that Macs are much better than Windows. You could get a very nice 27" imac for that buget.
Too bad HitFilm won't be for Mac, which makes it (a Mac) pretty much worthless wink

Anyway I use the free AVG and that does me fine, never bothered with Windows anti-virus anything...

Last edited Fri, 27th May 2011, 3:56pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 27th May 2011, 4:04pm

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Joshua Davies

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Free AVG used to be good, but can cause blue screens these days.
Posted: Fri, 27th May 2011, 5:51pm

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Pooky

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Norton considerably slows down your machine, misses viruses all the time, and gives false positives as well. It is worse than having no antivirus at all.

AVG is pretty crappy too - if you're going to install an antivirus, why not install a good one like MS Security Essentials?
Posted: Fri, 27th May 2011, 6:23pm

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RodyPolis

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djswallow wrote:

Personally I think that Macs are much better than Windows. You could get a very nice 27" imac for that buget.
But it wouldn't be half as powerful as the PC. I just looked on the Apple website, and these are pretty low specs for the money (4gbs, i5, crappy video card). Plus, as I always say, what matters is the softwares you use, not what OS you use it on.

Also guys, I bought a laptop from HP last year and been using Norton on it. I haven't had problems because of the Norton (at least, I don't think it's because of Norton Lol). It seems to work good. You guys seem so sure of this so maybe I should uninstall it from my machine.

Anyways, thanks for your inputs and I should be ordering this soon!
Posted: Fri, 27th May 2011, 6:59pm

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DVStudio

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Norton sucks. It slows computers down and can cause a whole lot of problems. Uninstall it and use the Microsoft Security Essentials. Works like a charm, never had a problem. Plus, it's free and uses very little system resources, even while scanning.

Sounds like a good computer, Rody. The power supply is a little week, but that is generally expected on these manufactured PCs. I don't know if you have any DIY PC experience, but if that is an option you are considering, you could get a bit more for your money (and cut some of the crap out). If you decide on this route, look into the Sandy Bridge processors (brand new, really great value).

Also, don't buy a Mac. Especially an iMac. It will be far slower and won't even support the software you run (HitFilm, Vegas, Voodoo, etc). Whoever suggested that- stupid idea.
Posted: Fri, 27th May 2011, 10:57pm

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NuttyBanana

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Biblmac wrote:

Too bad HitFilm won't be for Mac, which makes it (a Mac) pretty much worthless wink
I'm not going into a mac vs pc spree but please try to refrain from making such dumb comments. Boot camp pretty much turns your mac into a Windows pc so no, Hitfilm will not be worthless, just less convenient.
Posted: Fri, 27th May 2011, 11:33pm

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Travis Kunze

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schwar wrote:

Free AVG used to be good, but can cause blue screens these days.
Really? I've never had that happen, at least not that I've noticed AVG being the source of the bluescreen. I would get them for a while but its because my processor melted. Havn't had one sense.
Posted: Fri, 27th May 2011, 11:44pm

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Atom

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djswallow wrote:

Personally I think that Macs are much better than Windows. You could get a very nice 27" imac for that buget.
What a joke.

You can get a 27" iMac starting at $200 more than $1500. And that's with 1/3 the RAM, 1/2 the hard drive space on lesser speeds, a comparably-inferior brand graphics card with 1/2 the discrete RAM, no BluRay player/burner (no option to pay for one, either), on a comparably-inferior processor. (i5 as opposed to i7)

And I'm not even someone who knows anything about computers. That's just basic 'look at the sticker price/specs and compare' analysis.

Even the best, most-expensive iMac is inferior to what Rody has listed, specs and amenities-wise. If you're looking for design, sure, the iMac can clear many things out of the water as an all-in-one body.

But "Macs are much better", even as a personal statement, is just a lie when you're talking price, value, and power.

Rody, one thing I would suggest is to look into some of the Dell Business Systems computers. I bought my laptop, a Dell Vostro 3550, from them several months ago, and I've been editing like a breeze on-the-go with HDMI out, a backlit keyboard, a punchy i7 processor, 1GB of discrete graphics NVIDIA, and a robust 9-cell battery life and absolutely loved it. Currently I only have 6GB of RAM up and running in the machine, and I was going to upgrade it following a month of test editing and whatnot- but the results I yielded were so strong, I never got around to it.

And I've edited everything we've done since Inebriation- every music video, short film, The Brocial Network, etc. in Vegas, without transcoding, without issue ever- and normally render real-time just fine. And I got it all for right around $900. Really fantastic deal, and a sexy computer for a PC design. If you're looking around at all, I'd consider something in that range, save yourself a small amount of money. wink
Posted: Sat, 28th May 2011, 12:56am

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RodyPolis

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You seem to have gotten a good deal on that laptop because I just went on Dell website and with everything you listed it ended up being over $1200. Besides, I already own and editing laptop, so another one isn't what I need. I need something stationary so my work don't follow me around like it does now.

BTW It pisses me off how every idiot in the film program at my school who's videos are pure sh!t think they can put me down cause I'm not using a Mac for my stuff. It's funny cause the students who've actually gone out there and really make something don't care about these petty stuff (whether they use Macs or not), but the noobs seem to think if you don't have Final Cut and a Mac you can't do anything.

Doesn't matter though, they can keep making Steve Jobs richer while still sucking at filmmaking. Is it like that in every Film program in America/the world? Where your talents are determined by what OS you use and whether or not you have industry standard software?
Posted: Sat, 28th May 2011, 1:24am

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DVStudio

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RodyPolis wrote:

Is it like that in every Film program in America/the world? Where your talents are determined by what OS you use and whether or not you have industry standard software?
It really is sad, but this is basically the case. Mac users (for the most part) seem to think that editing photos and videos can only be done well on a Mac. And that's just pure rubbish. FCP is no better than Vegas Pro or Premiere, and yet it costs more. Photoshop runs just as well, if not better, on my Dell laptop than on any Macbook or iMac.

The power to price ratio for PCs compared to Macs is so unbelievably different, where a PC for $800 is better than a Mac that costs twice as much. As is the case here- sure, one could buy tahat 27" iMac, but as Atom mentions, it is slower, more expensive, and all around a worse computer. It won't make your videos better, your editing and filmmaking skills are all that matter in that regard.

So, anyone who is ignorant/naïve enough to tell you that you're an idiot/noob/whatever for using a PC rather than a Mac is going to get nowhere in the film industry. Stick with what you're doing because you're good at it. And screw the fanboys...wink
Posted: Sat, 28th May 2011, 2:57am

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Travis Kunze

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In the war of Mac VS. PC really it comes down to preference I think, I grew up using the PC platform, so thats what I tend to stick to. Others grew up using macs, so they use those. But really it comes down to what you want, do you want high performance/fast processing, or are you ok with something a little slower, do you prefer one software over another, that may or may not work on multiple platforms.
Posted: Sat, 28th May 2011, 2:49pm

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Simon K Jones

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In the end, they're both tools, and being fanboyish over either of them makes about as much sense as being fanatical about a screwdriver or a particular brand of hammer. Sure, you might have a personal favourite, but at the end of the day it's still a fricking hammer.

People who hide behind technology (cameras, computers, software, whatever), either to make themselves look good or to put others down, are severely missing the point. Probably several points, in fact.
Posted: Sat, 28th May 2011, 6:23pm

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djswallow

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I guess, but then all the people I know who have changed to Mac think they are so much better. smile
And PCs are made of plastic and rubber, Macs of aluminium and glass. biggrin
Posted: Sat, 28th May 2011, 7:59pm

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RodyPolis

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So just ordered the computer only to find out it's not made of aluminum and glass... F@#$!!!! Here I thought I was gonna have this amazingly fast computer that would be able handle all my editing/VFX work in a blink of an eye...

I feel cheated. Hp should've included the option to get it in aluminum and glass cause now I'm stuck with a POS that might break if I drop it down the stairs!!!

Now everyone gonna watch my videos and say "This crap was made with one of those non aluminum and glass computers." Maybe I should just quit now...

sad


wink
Posted: Sun, 29th May 2011, 9:40am

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Simon K Jones

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djswallow wrote:

I guess, but then all the people I know who have changed to Mac think they are so much better. smile
And PCs are made of plastic and rubber, Macs of aluminium and glass. biggrin
Actually, you can get PCs to be made of anything you want. There are hundreds and hundreds of cases out there to choose from, so suit any kind of taste.

The main differential between Macs and PCs is whether you're a fan of extreme standardisation or potentially anarchic variety.
Posted: Sun, 29th May 2011, 6:17pm

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RodyPolis

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For those who know about computers, what are some precautions I can take to make the hardware last longer? This hopefully should be at least a good 4 year investment and I don't want it breaking anytime soon.

What are some common problems that arise in machines powerful like that? Overheating maybe?
Posted: Sun, 29th May 2011, 8:15pm

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Travis Kunze

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Make sure you have plenty of heatgel on your processor. I made that mistake building my first PC, didn't have enough of the gel and it literally caused the processor to melt the the motherboard, that was $300 I didn't have or want to spend on repairs at the time. Also be sure if you want your PC's performance to stay at a good level to run Disk Cleanup, Disk Defrag, and your Anti-Virus/Spyware softwares at least once a week, daily if possible. We've done all of that with my dads old PC and it lasted almost 13 years before it finally just went all together.
Posted: Sun, 29th May 2011, 8:35pm

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RodyPolis

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Since I bought it can I assume that they put the necessary stuff on the processor? I mean, if HP makes computers they should know something like that right? I wouldn't want them to just put pieces together and mail the stuff to me without making sure it's fine.

So what does heat gel looks like and how can I make sure I get enough of it? (total computer noob Lol)
Posted: Mon, 30th May 2011, 1:14am

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Travis Kunze

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If you bought it from a actual computer company where it is already pre-built then you'll be fine. Heat gel comes in all sorts of looks and consistences, but its also expensive. But like I said if you bought it from HP then it should be fine. But if you ever replace the processor remember heat gel.
Posted: Mon, 30th May 2011, 2:07am

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Atom

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Defrag and disk cleanup weekly? Daily, even?

That's a little excessive-bordering-pointless. A clean sweep to check for issues and tidy up the disk is good measure every few weeks/month.
Posted: Mon, 30th May 2011, 2:10am

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Travis Kunze

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To each there own. Just my opinion of what I do. Hardly ever have any problems. If I don do it at least once a week things start to get bogged down.
Posted: Mon, 30th May 2011, 4:16pm

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DVStudio

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djswallow wrote:

And PCs are made of plastic and rubber, Macs of aluminium and glass. biggrin
Just stop... My desktop is made of steel and looks sick. My Dell XPS laptop has been dropped in the driveway before by friends and it was perfectly fine. So, the aesthetics are the same if you just look around, but they are pointless anyways. wink

And Rody, you don't have to do a Disk Defrag that often. That’s excessive and a waste of time. A few times a year is fine, but modern hard drives are pretty fast as it is, and it mostly helps for outdated hardware. Come to think of it, I have had my i7 laptop for 2 and a half years and never defragged and it still runs like brand new.
Posted: Mon, 30th May 2011, 5:34pm

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djswallow

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eek eek I meant that as a metaphor, not to be taken literally.
Posted: Mon, 30th May 2011, 9:19pm

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DVStudio

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Look into getting this, djswallow. wink Should be fun, no?
Posted: Tue, 31st May 2011, 7:24am

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djswallow

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I should have just left this topic alone confused
Posted: Tue, 31st May 2011, 8:36am

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, with Windows 7 you don't need to worry about defragging like you did with Windows 2000/XP.

Rody - the most vulnerable bit of any computer, in my experience, is the hard drive. So make sure you've got a good backup solution and you should be fine. Hardware going down can be fixed or replaced, often without too much cost - but losing data is painful.
Posted: Tue, 31st May 2011, 1:46pm

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Travis Kunze

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I guess I'm still just in the habit of always defraging just because we do still have XP machines in the house. But Disk Cleanup is important still cause it helps to keep the cookie jar clean, and everyone likes a clean cookie jar.
Posted: Tue, 31st May 2011, 3:45pm

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Pooky

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It's also a great Placebo!
Posted: Tue, 31st May 2011, 3:50pm

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Aculag

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Travis Kunze wrote:

and everyone likes a clean cookie jar.
A clean cookie jar is an empty cookie jar, and no one likes an empty cookie jar.
Posted: Tue, 31st May 2011, 3:51pm

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Travis Kunze

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Aculag wrote:

Travis Kunze wrote:

and everyone likes a clean cookie jar.
A clean cookie jar is an empty cookie jar, and no one likes an empty cookie jar.
Unless those cookies have Pecans in them, then everyone wants them gone so they can get a new flavor.