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Picture/Video editing on non-gaming PC


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My wife bought an HP Pavilion A730n Desktop at the beginning of the year. Its primarily used for her home business, and its also where we've been storing digital photos. I have a separate PC that I use for gaming, so I really don't use hers that often. Recently, we bought a mini-dv camcorder so that we can record her violin students' auditions and recitals. I want to be able to make DVDs with her computer of these performances, as mine doesn't have a DVD burner. To do so, I've picked up the latest version of Adobe Photoshop & Premier Elements.


After playing around with the photo editing a bit, I've decided that her PC could use some more memory over its 512MB, as the photo's are a little slow to load. But I was curious if a graphics card upgrade would be needed as well. The PC has an "Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900". I know that one should never use an integrated graphics chip for gaming, but I don't know what the recommendations are for video editing. The PC has an available PCI express slot, so there is room to upgrade. However, the only games she plays are Bejeweled and Snood, so I'm worried that installing a new graphics card would be overkill.


Has anyone used Premier or other video editing software with an integrated graphics chip? If a new graphics card is needed, what are your recommendations?

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Yeah, I used Premiere Pro on a very old system (a PIII-850 laptop with 32MB video and 256MB RAM). Rendering can take a long time if you are working with effects, but I seriously doubt you'll have any real problem with your HP, especially if you crank that RAM up to a gig.


I also ran Premiere Pro in my current PC with no problems, both before I upgraded the video and RAM and after (went from integrated nvidia graphics to ATI 9800 Pro AIW and from 512MB RAM to a gig). I'm pretty sure it was rendering faster afterwards, but I credit the RAM, not the video card.


Starhawk used a pretty old system for a while, too, but I can't remember whether he had integrated graphics.

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I work in Premiere and After Effects on my PC. And so, I have researched the benefit of having greater video memory for these functions. The conclusion I came to was, that if the program you are using, utilizes OpenGL or some technology that accesses the memory of your videocard (After Effects 3D, Maya, 3D Studio Max, Gaming, whatever), then you will see acceleration. Otherwise, your videocard just draws your 2D screen at the resolution and color depth that it is capable of.


That is not a definitive answer, but that is my understanding.

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Thanks for the advice guys. Over the weekend, I captured some video of some of the kids' audition pieces that I shot last month, and it went effortlessly. I haven't tried converting the avi files to DVD format yet, but hope to do so soon.


On a similar topic, I hooked up our old analog camcorder through the digital one and captured some older footage. The only problem I had was with the sound format. The digital camcorder is able to record in stereo, but the older one looks like it only outputs in mono. In fact, its a/v output just has one audio jack. So when hooking it up to the digital camcorder with the a/v cable that came with it, I had nowhere to plug the red RCA connector. The captured video of this older performance will only play sound out of the left speaker, which doesn't suprise me since I only connected the white RCA pin. Does anyone know how I could capture both channels of sound? I have a few recitals that I shot last year that I would love to convert to DVD, but I would hate for the DVD's to have sound come out of only one speaker.

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In Premiere, go to your Effects tab and open Audio Effects. Apply the "Fill Left" or "Fill Right" filter to the audio track in the editing timeline. This will copy one channel into the other, giving you glorious 2-channel mono.


This works for Premiere Pro 1.5, but you will find a similar procedure in older versions (IIRC, they did change the name of the applicable filter, though).

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