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Computer specs

Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:14 am

Periodically, we see some poor person who got taken to the cleaners at a computer store, be it online or the brick-and-mortar variety. My heart always goes out to them because we're so easily fooled by a lot of hype and by know-nothing sales people in the stores. With the video we use and that we render to, we really need a bit of beef in our computer burgers. Photodex's minimum recommendations are just that--minimum:

Windows 7 or Windows 8
1920 x 1080 display
2Ghz, dual-core processor or better
8GB system memory or more
Accelerated 3D graphics – 512MB ram or higher
DirectX 9.0 or better
Requires and active internet connection

Yes, the minimum will work, but will it get bogged down at some point during a "heavy" show or when rendering? We see people having troubles, most often when they're using laptops. The problem with laptops is that they don't have the physical space to house a substantial video card, more often than not, sharing out memory for video, having to do a bit of swapping as it's working. A majority of those low benchmarks people get in Producer are on laptops.

I was blessed with a lot of excellent help when designing my current computer (and which is probably already outdated!) and have had nothing but smooth operation with Producer no matter what I've thrown at it, so I thought I'd give its specs:

Intel Core i7-3770K
AMD Radeon HD 7900 (can't remember if its memory is 2GB or 3)
Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit
3 hard drives, 1 for programs, 1 for work, 1 for scratch
LG monitor IPS235
(Producer's GPU benchmark is consistently over 200)

That video card, by the way, won't fit into a standard-sized case. It requires a larger one.

Maybe others here who have high GPU benchmarks could list their specs, perhaps helping arm people with a list for that new computer they're about to buy.


Re: Computer specs

Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:39 am

Thanks for the information Barbara.

Re: Computer specs

Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:07 am

You're welcome. I'm surprised the computer geeks amongst us haven't piped up. Maybe they're all off practicing for the hazy, lazy days of summer.


Re: Computer specs

Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:16 am

One thing to add to Barbara's information was mentioned in the next post. Make sure if you are building (or buying a system) that you get a case big enough for what you need to put in it. Many of the "store systems" have integrated video cards that typically do not do well for graphic intensive stuff, (Producer, video editing, Photoshop etc.) The decent (not a full expensive gaming one) video cards can be pretty good sized and will often not fit in one of those "slim sexy cases". You will probably also want space to add at least another hard drive or two to the case. One of the cases I like is made by Antec - this is basically the one I have been using http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811129024 It has the advantage that the drives go in little trays that go in from the side with the case open (lots of cases are almost impossible to work on the drives - especially with a big video card). There are lots of others out there as well (I have not put a system together for several years, so my motherboard, video etc. are getting a bit outdated, but still have a score of around 160 or so). Corsair makes a good series of power supplies as well if you want to put a bigger supply in your system (I like the TX750). Anyway, a few more things to consider - those small cases are often too small to expand if you want to put a decent video card or second (or third) disk drive in the system. (I have 4- 2TB drives in the 4 little drawers with another 3 drives in a secondary enclosure (when your digital camera shoots 30 meg images, disk space gets important!! ))

One other tidbit I forgot to mention - many of the decent video cards (both ATI (Radeon etc.) and nVidia) support at least dual monitors. It can be very handy if you have the desk space to have two monitors where you put the preview on one for example and the work windows on the other one. Can be very handy.

"I'm surprised the computer geeks amongst us haven't piped up." - hey, I resemble that remark. I was busy typing !! :evil:


Re: Computer specs

Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:05 am

Indeed, Mikey, the case is far more important than people might think. I believe I documented my own woes elsewhere about having been given such a deal on that monster video card, which required I buy a new case, and a bunch of other stuff. Essentually, I wrapped an entirely new computer around a video card. I compared it to the time my husband and I purchased a new fridge that didn't quite fit beneath a cabinet, so we had to take down the cabinet, but we needed more cabinets, and... The result was that we renovated 3/4's of the house.

Video cards and refrigerators. Tread carefully.


Re: Computer specs

Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:45 pm

Funny you should mention that - part of our kitchen remodel got started with a new fridge. Gee, the new standard is about 1-1/2 inches wider than the old one (from 1976 when we bought the house new). Counter/cabinets on one side, wall on the other side - I did suggest to my wife that I could just put a hydraulic jack from downstairs crosswise with some braces and make it wider, but she vetoed that idea. All new cabinets, new counter (soon), new sink, new floor etc. Oh yeah, new stove as well.


Re: Computer specs

Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:43 am

Mikey, be very, very careful! If you aren't, the kitchen renovation will leak into other parts of the house like it did for us. When we were done, by the way, we sold the house. Refrigerators are alien invaders bent on taking over the earth.


Re: Computer specs

Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:15 am

You've got that right !!


Re: Computer specs

Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:28 am

Geek here:

Home built system. Built in March 2014. . Win 7 Pro 64 bit

Intel i7-4770k CPU, 3.5GHz, o/c to 3.9GHz

CoolerMaster V8 CPU cooler

16GB G.Skills RipJaws X Series RAM (2x8GB) 9-9-9-24

Nvidia GTX-660 GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 RAM and 960 CUDA cores and Directx 11. PSP doesn't use CUDA, afaik, but I have software that does.

Samsung 840EVO 500GB SSD for OS and a WD Black 1TB data drive.

Asus Z87 Pro mobo

2 Asus monitors, 24" and 23"

Corsair HX750 modular PSU, 750W

Antec 1200 case

Windows Performance Index is 7.7

PSP benchmark varies for reasons known but to Photodex, highest I've seen is 270, but usually around 255.


(PSP doesn't need all this stuff to run well, but I didn't build it with PSP in mind, the high benchmark is just a bonus)

Re: Computer specs

Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:56 am

Joe, you've out-geeked most of us. I believe the geek gene is recessive, requiring a pair for it become evident. Kind of like blue eyes.

Your processor sounded very familiar, so I had to check to see what mine was. It's an i7-3770, 3.50GHz. Overclocking is, I believe, a form of voodoo.

ProShow's benchmark fluctuations may depend on what's sneaking around elsewhere on our computers at any given moment, but I don't know this for sure. It does seem as if it's better first thing in the morning, but then so am I.


Re: Computer specs

Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:47 pm

I have also had good results with the Corsair supplies (I have a TX750 that I used to replace an Antec supply that was going goofy) and the Coolermaster cpu coolers have also worked well for me (that is what I normally use when I put a system together). My Corsair Dominator series of RAM for my motherboard (Asus P6X58D Premium) has worked flawlessly since 2010 when I put my "new" machine together. I should also put in a good comment for Western Digital Black hard drives - my current favorite is the 2TB drive (I have about 6 of them). I have yet to see any kind of failures with the "black" models (when I was doing my research, the blue and green drives did not get as many good comments as the "black" ones did. They pull more power, but have been great drives.

Now what I need to do is find someone with Windows7 Ultimate (retail) they are no longer using since they have switched to 8 etc. that they want to part with - I want another copy for my virtual machines. :D


Re: Computer specs

Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:01 pm

BarbaraC wrote:Mikey, be very, very careful! If you aren't, the kitchen renovation will leak into other parts of the house like it did for us. When we were done, by the way, we sold the house. Refrigerators are alien invaders bent on taking over the earth.


ROFL !!! We are going thru this very scenario as I type this !!

OMG !!


Re: Computer specs

Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:42 am

Steve, I suggest you proceed with extreme care!


Re: Computer specs

Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:04 am

We have expanded ... we are currently looking for a new truck for me (we need something bigger than my 30 year old Toyota to haul things). It is easy to get confused between "activity" and "progress" :twisted:


Re: Computer specs

Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:10 am

My husband needs to get a "new" truck, too, but this is because the brakes on his current one suddenly gave out, and in order to keep from going over the bank into the Hudson River, he headed for a huge dumpster. :roll:

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