Archive for December, 2008

Comments Off on Solid State Disks vs Hard Disk Drives

Here’s a side by side comparison between solid state disks (SSDs) and conventional hard disk drives (HDDs, the mechanical stuff you probably have in your system).

The video came from Samsung, one of the tech companies who jumped on the SSD wagon early. Keep in mind this video is far from recent but it gives some great visuals as to why solid state disks are the future and our “trusty” hard disk drives are going the way of the Dodo very soon.

For us video and digital content creation (DCC) folks, upgrading to Flash SSDs is pretty much a must, at least as a boot drive. Note how Photoshop opens up nearly instantly compared to the hard disk drive. Now if we could only get SSD terabyte drives we could throw our content on these bad boys too.

Comments Off on Tests and Benchmarks for new Dell XPS 730x with Core i7

Dell XPS 730 with Core i7 REVIEW

The folks over at HotHardware.com did a thorough write-up on Dell’s new XPS 730 series with Core i7 equipped machines. Very thorough.

We don’t care about gaming at all but for digital content creation (DCC) the XPS 730 seems a great fit.

Personally I don’t like the chassis look of this thing at all, but we’ll need to look beyond the appearance part and see what this thing can do for us in terms of high definition video editing, large scale photo manipulation, and graphics/Flash creation.

Not surprisingly, the Core i7 chip makes all the difference in the world, even compared to any of the “newer” Core 2 Duo/ Core 2 Quad processors. Read more about the XPS 730

Need to upgrade your current creative workflow and get your last minute tax writeoffs in at the same time?

NOW is the time to splurge a little on new software and hardware – December 31st is coming soon so here are my recommendations. Just the best of the best, no filler shit that you don’t need. THESE recommendations will make a difference for you. If not, it’s not the software or the hardware, it’s YOU….

1) Adobe Production Premium CS 4

Adobe Production Premium CS 4More of less drastic improvements to Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Flash Professional, and After Effects. If you’re editing AVCHD video footage this is a must buy: Premiere Pro CS 4 now natively supports AVCHD codecs. Most other professional video editing programs do not. And you’re past the consumer software stuff, right?

As with Adobe CS’ previous versions, the integration between programs is very tight. If you have not jumped onto the Adobe wagon I strongly suggest you do that now – your workflow will drastically improve.

Adobe Production Premium CS 4WINDOWS

Adobe Production Premium CS 4MAC (with Intel chips only!)

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2) Intel Core i7 965  3.2 Ghz Processor; DDR3 Memory; Motherboard

Intel Core i7 965 3.2 Ghz Processor

One of the most dramatic speed improvements you can treat yourself with doesn’t come cheap. But Intel’s new Core i7 processor platform frankly kicks the shit out of everything I have ever encountered when it comes to processor speeds.

You could go a step lower (and cheaper) with the 940 and you’ll experience greatly improved speeds and efficiency in your workflow. But hell, why not go all the way and really squeeze out some power to shave off those extra seconds of rendering and encoding time, right?

Buy the boxed Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Processor here.

Important Note: the Core i7 processors do require a different motherboard and memory. You can NOT use your Socket 775 motherboard with this. You’ll need to upgrade to the Socket LGA 1366 platform. A good mobo is the Intel Extreme Series X58.

(Writing all this I really wish Intel would drop that silly “Extreme” moniker on their products. What is this, 1990’s New Jersey?)

Finally, you’ll need DDR3 memory to run this beast. The Corsair TR 3x6G set of memory sticks are decent, it’s a total of 6 Gigs and the price is acceptable too, particularly considering the performance. However, if you are running a 64 bit version of Windows Vista or XP then do take advantage of the fact that you can use more than the 4 Gig (yeah, yeah 3 plus) older 32 bit versions can.

You can probably get DDR3 memory cheaper if you shop around but be sure to skip the “value” memory junk you might encounter. Newegg.com is one of my favorite shopping sources.

Regardless, you’ll be spending a good chunk of cash for all this but the increased efficiency (and enthusiasm I might add) when it comes to your video and photo editing, animations, or Flash stuff, should make up for this. Did for me.

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No Final Cut Pro recommendations. Sorry, Adobe finally took the crown and is now the top choice for this current generation of serious video and photo pros. I tried ’em all. All of them. Final Cut Pro, Avid, Sony Vegas, and Adobe’s Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro wins for me, hands down.

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