Etc.


— 11:31 AM on March 23, 2015

Man, I feel like I've been neglecting my Etc. post duties lately, while there's tons of stuff going on in the background.

One of the projects I'm working on is a much-needed and long-neglected upgrade for my main work PC, which is still pretty much in its original Damagebox 2011 form. My test rigs are decked out with the latest hardware, especially my fancy new graphics test rigs, but the system on which I write, edit video, and host our podcast live streams is still pre-Sandy Bridge, somehow. It's time to rectify that situation in the best possible way.

I poked around on the websites for some of our sponsors and made my orders. Parts for Damagebox 2015 have been arriving bit by bit. Here's what I have now:

I decided to go "mid-range" rather than opting for an X99/Haswell-E combo, since we typically recommend this class of system to most folks in our system guides. The CPU is an Intel Core i7-4790K, the fastest stock CPU you can buy in terms of per-thread performance. My indulgences came elsewhere, including dual OCZ Vector 150 SSDs and that very special Cooler Master QuickFire XT keyboard, which has super-sprung Cherry MX Green switches. Clickety.

More on this project once the build is underway.

Since my new system will have a QuickSync encoder in hardware and will be used for video editing, I've been considering what video editing software to use with it—and perhaps with a laptop with QuickSync, as well. Adobe Premiere's subscription fees seem pretty high given my needs, so I've focused on the sub-$100 market of video editing packages where cloning iMovie kinda seems to be the M.O.

For what I can tell, Corel's Video Studio X7 supports QuickSync and some forms of GPU hardware acceleration for 34 bucks, or you can pay roughly twice as much for the X8 version with 4K support. CyberLink PowerDirector 13 Ultra is 52 bucks at Amazon and has a similar feature set, including QuickSync support, and a near-identical user interface. I'm still trying to sort through the other options, so we'll see.

Perish the thought, PC devotees, but Apple's approach of bundling its Creativity Apps suite with Macs sure seems like a good way to ensure a decent baseline of capable software for common tasks. I'm in the market here because Microsoft's Windows Live Movie Maker is kinda broken and hasn't been updated in ages—and MS seems to have changed strategies yet again with regard to its suite of complementary Windows apps. Heck, I'm not even sure what the latest plan really is. Meanwhile, it looks like I might have to buy at least two copies of whatever video editor I choose in order to be legal on both a laptop and a desktop. And I had to resort to reading EULAs in order to come to this conclusion.

   
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