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Video Editing Hardware Selection

Selecting the correct Video Editing Hardware doesn’t have to be a painful process

One of the better approaches when looking at computer hardware specifications is to ignore any maximum ratings and pay careful attention to the minimum ones. Video storage drives normally need 7200 rpm, so hard drives rated with a minimum spin speed of 5400 rpm are probably going to be too slow. Transfer rates are also important so something that gives a good sustained throughput reigns over a computer that boasts about its peak transfer rate.

The more RAM the better. 4GB of RAM may sound good, but it’s not just your video software that’s running here; today’s operating systems also consume a good portion of this number. Bottom line, the bigger the better.

Single CPUs, whatever the rating, will generally not be as good as multiple processors, and quad core processing gives pretty big advantages irrelative of clock speed.

Storage capacity is one number that needs to be high. Whatever space you have you’re probably going to use it. If you can add more storage, do it.

In the early days of DV and HDV 5 minutes of video required around 1GB of storage space. With today’s compression formats standard HD of 1080p at 30 frames/sec is still a relatively small size (estimate around 1GB every 8 mins, or round it to 8GB/hour to be safe), but once you start adding Protune, bumping the frame rate up to 60fps or using the higher definitions (2.7K and 4K) things rapidly get out of hand. You could end up eating a 64GB SD card in no time at all. Sounds frightening, but look at your videos from five years ago and then look at the quality that you’re seeing today. That’s the price of technical evolution.

If you’re going to produce a lot of GoPro footage then you need a lot of space to store it. The best practice is always to use a dedicated drive and not the computers system drive. This will protect against data loss and speed up the editing time. You are going to notice an impressive increase in the sound and temperature of your computer as all the processing begins to take place. The drive may be spinning at a higher rate for a long period of time, and this generates a lot of internal heat; as this heat can have a negative effect on your computer the knock-on effect is negative in terms of your editing experience. Whilst even today’s laptops are now boasting a capacity capable of dealing with the editing process, placing them on a surface with good air circulation is certainly a bonus; don’t get buried under a pile of paperwork!

If you GoPro occasionally then a modern laptop may serve you well, but if you’re a fanatical user the type of computer system you’re using may become an issue so spend money wisely by considering overall use before the purchase.

 




 

Minimum Operating Requirements

This is the one thing that will hold you back more than any of the fancy effects or transitions that you think you might need. If your computer does not match or exceed the minimum requirements then enjoying glorious HD could be a painful task. That said, this is pretty standard stuff in today’s market, and most computers bought in the last few years possess this sort of hardware. If you still own a Computersaurus then locking up, dropping frames, and more crashes than the Dukes of Hazard may begin to put you off the whole process. Most software will get past with a configuration as below, but you’d always be better to shoot higher. If you think you’re on the limit we’ll soon be adding a page on the latest hardware to help you out.

For the new GoPro you’d better shoot high and look at equipment with:

  • An Intel Core i5 or Intel Core-2 Quad system with discrete NVidia or ATI cards.
  • 4GB RAM.
  • Updated/Latest version of default video player from Microsoft or Apple.

Note:

If you experience problems ensure your player’s Codecs are up to date. At the 1440 resolution and above the video often won’t play from Windows Explorer and simply requires importing to CineForm to view, so don’t get too frustrated.

Output from older GoPro should be OK with this:

  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended).
  • 4GB of available hard disk.
  • Graphics card, 512 MB GPU memory (1 GB or higher recommended).
  • DVD-ROM drive (compatible DVD burner required to burn DVDs; compatible Blu-ray burner required to burn Blu-ray discs).
  • Internet connection required for Internet-based services.

If you also use other equipment as well as GoPro consider:

  • 1394 FireWire® cards if you use other cameras (DV/D8/HDV™ camcorders).
  • USB Video Class (UVC) for DV cameras.

 


 

Wi-Fi, Android, and iOS

There’s so many phones and tablets out there that we really can’t even scratch the surface on this one for now. It’s a new functionality and we know that GoPro have had a few teething issues; they are working incredible hard to resolve these and we wish them godspeed.

Our initial experience with the Wi-Fi has been mixed with some problems of communication loss between the camera and the remote during use. We don’t know whether this is a battery power issue as testing was done in winter conditions (cold can effect battery performance), or it’s an actual communication issue caused by software compatibility. We’ve also been using the App on Android models for now and we’ll continue to bring you updates.