Thursday, May 3, 2012

Video Editing Computer Software Considerations

Yes, software. You ain’t just buying a computer. You plan to use it right? So we need to know the minimum hardware requirements for the video editing program you plan to buy.

Operating System

For XP Users Only

Sweetie. Babe. You got to let it go. I know how you feel about XP. I respect that kind of loyalty. I do. You have to let go now.
  • The operating system is no longer supported by Microsoft. Support for Windows XP is ending on April 8, 2014.
  • You are limited to 4GB of memory. 
  • Vendors are slowly cutting XP support from many software products. Yes, I know you still can buy software that support XP but you are excluding yourself from being able to access increased memory and processing options.
  • Honestly, it is time to move on up to 64-bit computing. You will be five generations behind when Windows 8 hits the market.

 For 32-bit Vista Users
  • You need to move on over to Vista 64-bit or preferably Windows 7 64-bit operating system
  • Windows Vista Home Basic users can install up to 8 GB of RAM
  • Windows Vista Home Premium users can have up to 16 GB of RAM 
  • You will have additional support for hyperthreading and all the Core CPUs your heart can stand or afford.
Once you have your operating system straight you need to look at your video editing program. This is an example of the specs for Adobe Premier Pro CS6

Now do not be fooled. These are the minimum requirements. Double the CPU and the real truth is that the software wants at least an i5 or Phenom II x4 or better.  You will want 8GB of RAM or more. 
  • Intel® Core™2 Duo or AMD Phenom® II processor; 64-bit support required
    Microsoft® Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1 (64 bit)
    4GB of RAM (8GB recommended)
  • 1280x900 display
  • 7200 RPM hard drive (multiple fast disk drives, preferably RAID 0 configured, recommended)
  • Sound card compatible with ASIO protocol or Microsoft Windows Driver Model
  • DVD-ROM drive compatible with dual-layer DVDs (DVD+-R burner for burning DVDs; Blu-ray burner for creating Blu-ray Disc media)

I have no plans on purchasing Adobe Premier Pro CS6, not in my budget or skill set. But if your new heart's desire in a retail desktop computer is packing a 5,400 RPM hard drive and your software need 7,200 RPM then you need to reconsider.

Let's try another, Serif MoviePlus X6
  • Microsoft Windows® 7, Vista or XP (32 bit) operating system Windows XP Service Pack 2 (for HDV video capture)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 1024 x 768 monitor resolution (1280x1024)
  • Non-SD Video Intel® Pentium® 4 Hyper-Threaded processor or AMD Athlon™ XP processor
  • For use with HD video (optional proxy support):Intel® Pentium® 4 Hyper-Threaded processor or any Dual-core processor
  • Fast hard disk (7200rpm drive)
  • For use with Full HD video (native AVCHD 1080): Quad-core processor  2GB RAM
Again, you have to adjust the vendor speak to what works in reality. Microsoft states yes you can run Windows 7 with 1GB of memory but in reality you need as a minimum 4GB of RAM.

I have a prior version of the Serif MoviePlus X5. I have a dual core computer. It is choking on the HD video and the newer versions of software.

You have to look at purchasing a multi-core CPU to be long term functionally effectively.

The Takeaway

When you are searching for your new computer you want to aware of the operating system. Most of the manufacturer are including Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit or Windows 7 Professional. 64-bit. I hate to type this next sentence but Windows 7 Professional does have an XP mode for older software.

Having said that you might have to buy replacement software or hardware if your stuff is really old. If you haven't bought a computer in 7 or more years or you are using prior versions of software that do not support modern codec or devices then it is time.

You certainly have to double check that the CPU has the power to support your software programs. You want at least a quad-core or higher processor.
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