View Full Version : PC Specs for Avid machine to edit RED feature
12-05-2008, 11:53 AM
I'm looking into what it'll take to build a new PC to edit a RED feature with. Using Avid Media Composer for the offline edit. What would you suggest spec-wise? Maybe some who have used PC+Avid for RED can let me know what kind of specs they have. Thanks!
12-05-2008, 12:29 PM
Avid is very particular about what has been approved for use. Go here:
I would strongly suggest actually purchasing a qualified platform from a certified vendor.
12-05-2008, 12:31 PM
Avid MC 3.0 works like a charm on my $500 Craigslist PC. Superbly fast. Zero crashes. No RAID required for smooth DNxHD (I am on motherboard RAID 5 for safety though). Core 2 Duo 2.4 ghz, 4gb RAM, old nVidia GFX card. So does REDCINE (albeit slowly).
It's REDCINE's lack of essential features that makes it a suck chain. To get around major REDCINE problems you have to do a lot of unnecessary rendering at unnecessarily high quality rates.
So get the fastest computer you can for REDCINE.
12-05-2008, 12:33 PM
Yeah, I have a 3.0 Core 2 Duo right now, with 4gb Ram. I've edited a 720p feature on it, but would like to upgrade before cutting a RED feature next year.
Since it sounds like you have some knowledge on PC/Avid/RED, I may be hitting you up for some help along the way. Thanks!
12-05-2008, 12:52 PM
For a feature REDCINE would suck. Don't reply on it. I did recently and it was a big mistake.
Maybe keep your editing PC the same and get a second fast PC to churn through REDCINE stuff quickly while you edit?
That way you can watch over it and make sure it doesn't get stuck on a frame or something. REDCINE doesn't multitask well so it's a pain to run on your editing system at the same time. It lacks fundamental project management features too (you can't combine REDCINE projepcts, can't relink if you move footage from one drive to another, etc). So splitting up / moving projects from one system to another is more of a pain than you'd expect. Also since REDCINE is single monitor full screen only it helps to have another system next to it if you're doing any kind of conform. That's why I'm thinking a dedicated system is worth it.
12-05-2008, 01:14 PM
Great point Bruce... separate system may be the answer.
12-05-2008, 09:57 PM
Oh come on just buy the Mac!
You know you want to!
Oh btw, why are you still editing with Avid, you need!! Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro.
There, I did my Red Mac penance, now go buy a PC and a Media Composer.
If you are going to be rendering out to get your footage into the Avid, you will need a fast pc to get those DNxHD files out. As for your edit machine, what you have will work fine. You may want to make sure your disk subsystem is fast enough to handle a couple of streams of DNxHD at the same time.
12-06-2008, 06:03 AM
I look at cameras and editing systems the same way as I do MPEG encoding and DVD authoring - they are separate issues. I choose each of those based on the best tools they provide for the task at hand - Although there is a convenience factor to consider with FCP and RED files that the RED team has developed - projects use Media Composer for the features needed in post - project management, shared collaborative environments, metadata tracking, ScriptSync, etc.
As soon as RED delivers the equivalent infrastructure on Windows as on Mac (and Linux shouldn't be forgotten as well as 64bit) as promised, then manufactures and users will have parity features and elegant solutions across all platforms. Then the camera can be agnostic to the post solutions as it should be, and post solutions will rise to the occasion. See Gamma & Density's latest press release as an example.
MetaFuze will soon give PC users a dailies creation solution that can scale to multiple CPU for faster rendering, RLX support, metadata and direct transcode to MXF wrapped DNxHD eliminating the QuickTime interim step and file - but will still be limited by the fact that audio is still not supported in the SDK. So while fine for productions using double system workflows, it will not work for all productions.
As far as PC system - DNxHD is no more or less stringent on CPU than is ProRes since they are the same data rates and you do have the additional benefit of DNxHD 36 if doing offline - It is more an issue of your storage than it is CPU and RAM when it comes to multiple streams. I screened my entire feature of a Toshiba 250GB USB2 drive off my laptop through DX hardware to a projector at DNxHD175x.
12-06-2008, 11:01 PM
You are so right. I was recommending with tongue firmly in cheek.
I cannot wait for the MetaFuze solution.
I think all these difficulties with the PC Avid workflow has certainly hampered post acceptance of the Red Camera. I know the Avid solution will be good when it gets here. (although there is a workflow already available, just not a very elegant one)
Ok I take it back don't buy a Mac, or FCP. There, I said it. Now I hope the Mac gods don't strike me down with 1.21 Gigawats of pure lightning!
12-07-2008, 06:10 AM
Ah... tongue in cheek now noticed. ;)
when I produce and edit my features, I pretty much go back and forth between Mac and PC pretty evenly although my main desktop editing system is an HP 8600. One of my laptops is a Mac for doing a lot of prep work and field editing on which I run VMWare so I can have whatever tool I need when I need it. I am about to test one of the new HP laptops that have the Dreamcolor technology in it for the display to see how it holds up to field work when making more color related decisions on the image.