November 28, 2020

Info Bleg

I have some hardware and software questions for my readership, many of whom are, unlike me,  not parishoners in the Church of PEBKAC.


 All of my computers since my TI-99 (4-A) had been Apple products, but Apple has rather lost its luster, and is looking to be soft and wormy. Additionally, things that Macs used to excel at, like A/V editing, are much better handled today by PCs and their more open source software.  The upcoming divergence in chip architecture will make even the current kludgy work arounds untenable. The only (theoretical) advantage to the walled garden is cyber security and malware avoidance and that has been effectively neutralized by Apple providing their own custom made malware in recent months.  

I'm done with Macs, but I'd like some input on the best PC rigs for video editing, if possible, I'd like some overlap with PC gaming, which, arguably, a good graphics card ought to facilitate given the right software. Additionally, Given that I've got two Bitchute channels, I'd like the capability to stream (though I suspect that is generally more a function of one's connection, than one's hardware). 

These are remedial questions to be sure. However, I am a Mac user. I know NOTHING about computers except that they rely on good industrial design to keep the magic smoke inside. 



The additional complicating factor is that I'm looking at 1-2 thousand U.S. dollar price range, since I'm about to retire and there are a whole series of moves and big purchases about to happen in the next 5-6 months.  

Any advice would be welcome. 


Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 02:11 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
Post contains 266 words, total size 2 kb.

1 Laptop or desktop?

If laptop, do you game?  If so, you want a laptop with a discrete GPU, otherwise it (mostly) doesn't matter.  I guess the same applies to desktop, too, except you can add one later if you want.  I bring it up because adding one will raise the cost of the laptop several hundred dollars.

Posted by: Rick C at Sat Nov 28 17:05:28 2020 (eqaFC)

2 Im mainly looking at a desktop, since they are less monolithic and can be upgraded. My iMac is kind of like a laptop that won't fold or transport easily. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sat Nov 28 17:27:26 2020 (5iiQK)

3 I like the looks of the Alienware R10 Ryzen Edition; starts at just over a thousand and can be built up to a very capable just-under-two-thousand box (Ryzen 7, 32 GB of fast memory, larger SSD, etc). Disclaimer: I don't have one, and I don't know anyone who does; it's just a highly-configurable AMD-based machine that can take up to 128 GB of memory and dual graphics cards, with a design that looks like it should be running GladOS.

-j

Posted by: J Greely at Sat Nov 28 18:08:27 2020 (ZlYZd)

4 Based on that recommendation I configured this.

- Ryzen 3700X
- RTX 2060 Super
- 32GB RAM
- 512GB SSD
- 2TB HDD

AMD is better at any given price point than Intel, and Nvidia is generally better supported by video software.

I gave it water cooling because it was only $50 more and the one thing that bothers me with my own Dell systems is the fan noise.

Worked out to $1377 with the current 10% discount. You shouldn't need to wait long for another discount to show up; I have three Dells and they were all bought during sales.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sat Nov 28 20:17:26 2020 (PiXy!)

5 Shopping around a little that looks to be quite a good price.  It only has a 550W power supply, but that's fine for that configuration (65W CPU and 175W GPU).

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sat Nov 28 20:50:17 2020 (PiXy!)

6 I wondered what the same system would cost here in Australia, and the answer turns out to be no.  Dell don't seem to sell any AMD systems here at all.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sat Nov 28 20:53:57 2020 (PiXy!)

7 For a monitor maybe the Dell S2721QS.  4K IPS Freesync, currently $360.

It's not G-Sync, but Nvidia now supports Freesync over DisplayPort so it should work fine.  And the 2060 isn't a 4K gaming card, but my rule is work at 4K, game at 1080p.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sat Nov 28 21:18:40 2020 (PiXy!)

8 Ah, I messed up that first link to Dell.  I copied it after adding the 1000W PSU upgrade.

Try this one instead.

It's $20 more than before, but now has a 1TB SSD and no HDD.  You can easily add a SATA or USB disk drive, but replacing the SSD that's acting as your C drive is a pain, so this is better long term.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sat Nov 28 21:54:37 2020 (PiXy!)

9 Other Linus recently did a couple of secret shopper videos from the major PC builders on $1500 budget, if you'd like to see the state of play for pre-built machines:
How Could They Mess Up This Bad... Again - $1500 PC Secret Shopper 2 Part 1 What Did We ACTUALLY Get? - $1500 PC Secret Shopper 2 Part 2 Tech Support NIGHTMARE - $1500 PC Secret Shopper 2 Part 3

Posted by: StargazerA5 at Sun Nov 29 10:40:46 2020 (fxagm)

10 Unless you just want to build your own, the Dell Alienware Ryzen covers your bases. And as I told my adopted daughter last night: "Does Dell actually make a better computer than other companies? No. But they make just as good, and they've really mastered the game in finding and getting reliable support for your specific computer. As long as you don't have to talk with anyone."

Seriously, I was working on an old Dell this weekend; needed drivers, and just loaded up Dell.com and searched for the computer's service tag. Bam. Everything I would ever need.

.......................................................

What you need to stream:

Consistently reliable upload and download speeds. What most service providers would advertise as 30megasomethings covers every BASIC, yet full HD, minimum.

Be exceedingly pleasant to look at, or have a sparkling personality. Or stream incredibly unique content. Unless you're doing it for fun, then none of that matters.

I do not know Bitchute's rules, but Twitch won't actually let you stream in full HD unless you can prove yourself popular for an extended period of time. I think YouTube will let you do so, but they're slowly fading out all the profit-sharing and developer benefits that used to make them attractive for many people. But they are, to put it another way, VHS; Twitch is SuperVHS, and everything else is Betamax. If your audience only uses Betamax, that's fine. Just remember that it's still Betamax.

Audience interaction is important in live streaming. You may not need the ability to actually hear your audience speak, but the only way you can respond in a speedy manner and keep doing what you intend to do is speaking to them rather than typing. On the subject, GOOD AUDIO is a must. Your voice must be as close to crystal clear as you can get it. Great Audio is ten times better than Good Enough audio.

Posted by: Ben at Mon Nov 30 10:28:57 2020 (aNSOb)

11 This question is actually fairly pertinent to me right now, given that my desktop has either suffered a motherboard or CPU death mid-use, and now refuses to POST after I hit the power button.  However, since I am still an old stodgy, the lack of an internal optical drive (Yes, I do use it, and no, I am not getting an external one for my desktop.) is a deal breaker for most of the pre-built systems I have seen, including Dell.  Literally the only prebuilt systems I have seen with Ryzen come with a crappy graphics card.


Having enough bays to mount my still working HDDs is important, while I have finally accepted moving on from Windows 7 to Windows Spyware.   I am pleased with the minimum 500 watt power supply of the rigs, though given that I had needed to do 2 system replacements and/or rebuilds because the power supply was dying, I am interested to know who Dell uses for their OEM power supply.

Posted by: cxt217 at Wed Dec 2 23:17:04 2020 (4i7w0)

12 cxt, Dell's Inspiron and Optiplex lines have built-in optical drives (they're the skinny, laptop-sized ones), at least on some models, unless they stopped recently.  Those aren't really big enough to have more than a couple of 3.5" drive bays, though.
Most people don't seem to use optical drives these days, and coupled with a desire to have multiple HDD bays building your own machine might be a better option.  I did a quick look and Maingear and Cyberpower don't seem to offer anything but the option to have an external optical drive.  HP does, but you have to look a little bit.
Having said that, if you (for example) ordered a custom system from Cyberpower you could get one with both Ryzen and a good GPU--Just playing with the configurator a bit I put together a 5600X/RTX 2060 system for $1260, and a 3700X/3060Ti system for $1660.

Posted by: Rick C at Thu Dec 3 11:39:32 2020 (eqaFC)

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