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High-Performance Systems for High-Def Editing

Only a few years ago, we were struggling with configuring desktop systems to support editing DV video, with its then-huge demands for real-time video capture, streaming to hard disk, and video-rate decompression and processing. Today, even mainstream consumer systems don't break a sweat for editing standard-definition video. But we've also moved on -- and now we're back demanding more with the step up to high-def video.

While high-end consumer systems can handle advanced SD editing and some HD work, if you're getting serious about HD video (and DVD and animation), you should think about moving up to a workstation-class system that takes advantage of the latest technology, including multi-core processors, fast PCI Express interfaces, DDR2 SDRAM FBD memory, and SATA hard drives.

So what kind of system should you be looking at to edit HD video, and what are the best cost / performance trade-offs in today's market? We'll take a look at the recommendations from video editing software vendors including Adobe, Avid, and Apple.

And we'll step through configuring two representative workstations -- the Apple Mac Pro and Dell Precision workstation -- including base configurations, processor, memory, storage, hard disk, and graphics / display.

You can check out the basic system requirements for your preferred video editing software, and use the recommended system configurations as a starting point. Then tweak the configuration to fit your needs, allocating your budget to bulk up key components like the processor, memory, and hard disk to fit both your current plans and to give headroom for the future.

So pull the trigger on the purchase and step up to the full-powered system you really need. Of course prices will drop the next day, and a new product line will be announced the next week, and totally new technology will appear in the next month -- but meanwhile you can be effective and productive on your new video editing workstation.

See full article: High-Performance Systems for High-Def Editing.

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