I primarily use a PC for video editing, so here's what I would consider a really nice setup with a slightly over extended budget in mind (This does NOT
include the Operating System, monitor, keyboard, and mouse). Notes:
1) Because video editing is CPU and memory intensive I focused on those 2 key components. With this setup youíll have the ability to add another 1 GB (maybe a present for your b-day =) for a total of 2 GB (the motherboard will support up to 4GB). Programs like Adobe After Effects can easily use up 1GB with complex renders.
2) If you want to use this system for gaming then I would consider a different video card, but that will increase the price. For video editing the Matrox will work just fine and it gives you the option of dual monitor hookups.
3) I set this up with 2 hard drives. One for all your applications (the 40GB) and the 200GB for your videos/editing. Ideally you would want to run multiple 200GB in a RAID, but the keep cost down we'll just stick with the 40 and 200 GB drives for now. With this motherboard you'll be able to add more drives in a RAID config anytime in the future. Total Cost:
With the OS, monitor, keyboard, and mouse you're probably looking at around $2000 - $2200 and that does not include the editing software like Premiere Pro or Vegas. Check out the following post for software alternatives with student pricing. http://www.wakeworld.com/MB/Discus/messages/87667/108163.html?1082416588 Where to Buy:
I purchase all my systems from http://www.monarchcomputer.com
because they assemble (cleanly running the cables), burn it in, and you don't pay tax (unless you live in Atlanta). They will let also you know if you pick two components that don't work together so you get a system that works, period!
I've compared prices of the separate components from newegg.com vs. a whole system from monarch and after all is said and done the difference is usually only $50 - 60. For the extra money I donít have to build the machine myself and it saves me an entire weekend of headaches trying to put it all together. Alternative Solutions:
If this is way out of the budget, then I would take a look at the package systems from Frys, Comp USA, etc. They will usually have the entire setup for around $1000. The components may not be of the same quality; mainly the motherboard, memory, video, and power supply. Just keep in mind that you might not be able to add more than one hard drive or run a RAID config.
Hopefully someone from the Apple arena will give you some ideas on a Mac setup so you can compare the choices.