Tag Archives: CPU


Building the ultimate video editing PC: Part One

If you’ve been reading our blog recently, you’d have seen that we’ve just put together a guide to making the ultimate photo editing PC. Not wanting those of you who prefer moving images to feel left out, we’ve got a guide to building a video editing PC. The guide has been put together by talented animation designer Alex Amelines, and you can see more of his work over on his website at www.studiotinto.com. We’ve split the guide into the main components you’ll need, and Alex has chosen the parts for their compatibility with each other. Of course, once you’ve got the parts you’ll need to put them together, but there are plenty of guides out there to show you how to do this. This is the first in a series of posts which will cover all the components you need, from the motherboard and processor to peripherals and memory.

If any of you have tried editing a video on an average, mid-range PC, you’ll know that it can be a frustrating task. The average PC simply doesn’t have the speed in any of its components to be able to deal with the vast amount of data that needs to be processed and stored. Even if one component is too slow, it can hold everything else up, and can cause the computer to become unstable if you try to make it do more than it can handle.

For the kind of non-linear editing that is standard when editing videos, many people recommend off-the-shelf workstations, such as those provided by HP or Dell, or even a Mac Pro. Although these simplify the process of finding a system, they can end up costing a lot of money – at least £2000. Building your own workstation means you can be much more specific in your choice of components, and ensures that you only pay for the things you want. The components I’ve listed are the ones that make the most difference in a video editing system. Everything else is a matter of personal choice, although I’ve made a couple of recommendations to make the process even easier for you.


The key thing when choosing a motherboard is to ensure that it is capable of keeping up with the speeds of all your other components, and that it has enough room for all the components you want to use. For example, the Asus motherboard has room for up to 64GB of memory, as well as support for the latest USB specification, USB 3.0.


This will be one of the most important components in your machine, and it is worth spending as much as you can afford on it. Many of the programs that you’ll be using (which we’ll discuss below), use multi-threading to speed up processes on machines that have multiple CPUs. Multi-core processors support multi-threading, which will give you a significant speed boost in many video and graphics programs. The Intel S1366 Xeon E5520 Quad Core 2.26GHz 8MB will be exactly what you need. It would also be worth investing in a processor fan to keep things running smoothly, as the longer you use the machine, the hotter the processor will get, and excessive heat can cause stability problems.

We’ll be uploading the next post soon, and it will look at the storage requirements for a video editing PC, as well as the software and memory you’ll need to get the most out of it. If you’ve got any questions in the meantime, why not drop us a line?

Dabs Magnificent Seven

Component Advice: Motherboard checklist

With the help of our friends at Asus, we have put together the first in a series of a component checklist.  This will be aimed at giving a bit of advice on what features to check for when you’re on the look out for upgrade components to your PC.

First up, we’re looking at Motherboards and we have condensed the major requirements down to a magnificent seven (unrelated to the name of the Beckham baby girl).

Socket Type

The crucial point with socket types is that it must be compatible with your CPU choice.  The main benefit of buying the latest socket is that it allows for an extended potential for future upgrades, thus a careful investment now should ensure that you go longer before you need to consider reinvesting.  The current set of sockets of choice include Intel 1155, 1366 or AMD AM3 or AM3+.

Peripheral Connectivity

Think carefully about what you want to use your PC for and what peripherals you’ll need to fulfill those requirements.  What do you want to connect it to?  If you have a USB3.0 external hard drive then you’ll want to have USB3.0 on-board.  External HDDs, Monitors, printers and cameras can all have specific connections, a few quick checks beforehand can make things a lot smoother in the long run.

RAM Type

Perhaps the most important considerations for RAM choice is the type and capacity.  The main types of RAM include, SDRAM, DDR and Rambus DRAM.  Synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) is one of the older formats and as such would be slow by today’s standards.  DDR3 would be a good choice for most.  Capacity doubles in size from 8GB to 16GB to 32GB and so on.  Also important to be aware of is the number of dual in-line memory modules or DIMM slots that are available, more slots mean better upgrade flexibility.

Storage Connectivity

Storage connectivity can vary from HDD to SSD to Firewire and more.  Do you need SATA 6GB or SATA 3GB?  It comes down to future upgradability and overall performance you want to achieve.

Graphics Solution

Essentially there are two options; On-board or Dedicated.  With on-board graphics you’ll be equipped for basic computing with outputs along the line of DSUB, DVI, HDMI or DP.  If your rig is going to be built with gaming in mind you’ll need multiple PCI-Ex16 slots for up to three add on graphics cards.


The size of your case will dictate what size motherboard you can use.  The typical range of sizes are Mini ITX, mATX, ATX or E-ATX.

Expansion Slots

The final point on the motherboard magnificent seven is expansion slots. The two main varieties are PCi and the newer PCI-e, which has improvements which include a more detailed error detection and reporting mechanism.

Now that you’re more familiar with our chosen ‘motherboard magnificent seven’, let me know what you think of them all.  Is there any others that you think should be included?  Are there any that you’d like more information on?

Let me know and I’d be happy to produce a more detailed profile.


Beer, The Blitz, Win a Sonos & Watermelons to the face!

“Get in it to win it! The Dabs Blog Name Game!”

The headline news 70 years ago was that of the commencement of the Blitz… this week we saw Wayne Rooney’s indiscretions and the Queen Vic burning down – oh how far we’ve come! Seriously though, the top 20 Google searches this week are littered with prostitute names and tabloid titles – is that how far we’ve come in seven decades?! I just realised, I sound like my Dad…!

Speaking of Google what do you all make of Google Instant? Personally I don’t like it. Its distracting and unnecessary – it claims to “save 2-5 seconds per search” – I can help you do that without months of development and millions of dollars – T…Y…P…E……Q…U…I…C…K…E…R!

Slap me, I’m ranting!

No cheese-fest to report this week, although we have had some cookies and biscuits. I’m also currently looking at a four-pack of Cobra that I intend to neck this weekend (thanks to Viv for getting me these!)

Nestled amongst my cookies and beer, you can see I also have an Intel 40GB SSD and a Seagate GoFlex 1TB NAS box – both for promotions. I’m not sure what to do with them yet, so drop your comments at the bottom of here or via ‘Speak To Dunc’, and maybe I’ll use one of your suggestions!

As you can see, this edition is the first to be hosted on the new home of Dunc’s Deals and the Social Epicentre of dabs.com, the Dabs Blog! Now as we know you’ll agree, the name is bobbins. Sure, it does exactly what it says on the tin – but at dabs, we like to stand out. As the blog is there for the readers, we want YOU to decide a name! That’s right, we’re giving you FULL artistic license and creative freedom to name the blog – we don’t want you to be constrained by convention or rules! If you have an idea, we want to hear it! The ways to communicate your ideas are in any of the following formats:

So there we have it, unless you have a necessity to send us your suggestion via carrier pigeon, there are no excuses not to get in touch and give us your feedback and ideas. As if the honour and public adoration of successfully naming our blog isn’t enough, we have a £350 Sonos Zoneplayer S5 for the winner! Get involved now!

One of the main reasons for entering the blogosphere is to aid your interaction with me and the team here at dabs – we really want your comments, suggestions, ideas and feedback so we can better assist you in either making a purchase, or getting the best from dabs.com as a visitor. So we hope you enjoy the blog, and take opportunity to get in touch with us.


In The News!

After last week’s piece by TechRadar on ‘How To Buy The Right CPU’, the guys have put together a great follow-up to showcase 8 of the Best AM3 motherboards – have a butchers, and then take a look at our AM3 Motherboard page to select yours!

Its been another busy week for the ‘Speak To Dunc’ inbox – more PC spec’ing, game giveaways and some Jokes about Cheese… let me share them! Dave sent in, “What type of cheese is made backwards?” EDAM! With the second coming from Neil, who works here, “What cheese do you use to hide a horse?” Mascarpone! Impressive cheese comedy there from Dave and Neil, but some people seem to take cheese jokes to another level…check this Twitter page out.

Once again keep in touch as you never know what you will receive just for getting in touch, I really want to hear from you!


Product News!

Are you all excited for 5am on Monday? Typically I would expect to hear a resounding ‘no’, but this Monday morning is no ordinary Monday morning… I’m not officially allowed to say what it is but I’m sure many of you already know! I can’t say any more, other than its NVIDIA-related, and they will be available from Monday – literally, if I say anything else Richard, Chris and the rest of CLAN NVIDIA will drag me away screaming! Check back Monday!

Once again, keep taking advantage of the Asus Intel and AMD Self-Build bundles. For the next two weeks, if you pick up the Asus Intel Value Bundle for £144.99, I will send you an 8GB Kingston DataTraveler 100 – worth over £14!

Keep en eye out next week for a brand new Intel Processor and Motherboard promotion around R.U.S.E. going live on dabs.com. I will update the blog when its ready! In the meantime, keep your claims coming in for the Intel X25-M Solid State Drives and Ubisoft free game giveaway, as well as the NVIDIA Mafia II game downloads.


Product Deals / NASTRAVAGANZA!

Did you all get your copy of our NASTRAVAGANZA email this week? Well if you didn’t, more fool you – it was NAStastic! We offered exclusive pricing for our email customers on a range of NAS! However regular readers will have noticed that last week I did some of those deals first, right here! Dunc’s Deals readers always get first dibs around here – Dunc’s rules!

Firstly, I wanted to repeat last week’s LG Electronics N2B1 NAS 2TB With BluRay, usually £264.99 – take advantage of £10 off with this special link for just £254.98!

The new Seagate GoFlex NAS products are in stock and for this weekly only you can have £10 off the 2TB and £5 off the 1TB!

Finally for those of you who require a NAS for a mix of business and home use why not take advantage of £10 off this QNAP TS-210 2TB, usually £259.99, just £249.99 for Dunc’s Deal readers!

Finally for this week, for one weekend only, you can get the incredible XFX ATI Radeon 5770 CrossfireX bundle for under £250, a £15 saving! Remember this comes with Dirt2 and a £10 DabsPlay Gift Vouchers

Once again, snap up these offers while you can and spread the word about the blog offers! If you post any Dunc’s Deals mentions elsewhere on the worldwide interweb, send me a link and you might bag yourself a freebie!


What Did You Do When You Were Nine?

Before I shoot off for another week, here are a few things that caught my eye over the past seven days.

As the youngest child in the Will Smith household it must be hard to stand out – Mum and Dad are household names across the globe, your older brother is now following in Dad’s footsteps in Hollywood – what has youngest daughter Willow gone and done? Signed a record deal with Jay-Z! She’s NINE! I don’t even think I could sign my name at nine, let alone sign a record deal!

There was also “Skyscraper Man” who has scaled more huge buildings than I’ve climbed ladders, did the San Francisco Millennium Tower this week – only to get himself arrested! Don’t try this at home!

Finally, as I sign off for another week, I want to leave you with this very important message – proceed with caution when playing with watermelons and catapults!

Remember to drop your thoughts below and enjoy your weekend!