Help with choosing new hardware

I’m frustrated by my Windows 7 system because so much software won’t run on it. It occurred to me that since I’m locked in to Windows because of all the vsts I use for Reaper - and Photoshop, which I need too, I could consider upgrading my linux machine instead. Now, despite the fact that I use linux, I’m not that knowledegable about hardware.

Current linux box has an i7 3770 at 3.6 ghz and no dedicated graphics card; it has 8 gigs of ram. It works pretty well, but it’s old. I’m wondering if a cheap refurb like this would be a step up for video editing:

This is a HP EliteDesk 800 G3 Mini Desktop Computer, Intel Quad-Core i5-6500T, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD and it’s quite a low price.

Or perhaps someone has a better low-cost alternative?

(Not willing to get another Microsoft OS.)

Your i7 3770 is better in pretty much every way except energy efficiency so that’s not a good trade. It also doesn’t have a GPU and considering the form factor you couldn’t add one. The extra RAM is very helpful but you could also just buy a used 8gb stick for really cheap.

But you need a powerful/new CPU for video editing.

For that budged you need to search some used parts on your local marketplace (whatever is popular in your area) and assemble them yourself.


Thanks; I wondered about that. My i7 doesn’t have a separate graphics card either, and iirc it has only two ram slots with 4gb in each. So, not such a great candidate for an upgrade. Your last advice is probably the best, but it’s probably beyond my abilities; I’ll have to keep an eye out for something with more potential…

Thank you again.

I use an i7-4770 which is basically the same as your computer. I run Linux Mint ISO off a USB stick (LiveUSB) and I can do Shotcut and Firefox and GIMP and anything else all at the same time within my 32GB RAM. Having 32+ GB RAM is the real help. The i7-4770 (or 3770) is a great balance of high clock speed that matches the number of cores that Shotcut is likely to use (8-12). If using Proxy and Preview Scaling, it’s actually a tough computer to beat. Adding a dedicated GPU won’t help a lot unless you want to do better hardware encoding. In that case, an Intel Arc A380 can be a good option since it is powered entirely by the PCI slot (minimal strain on old power supplies), and gives you AV1 encode/decode as well. These older motherboards don’t support ReBAR for great game graphics, but that’s irrelevant for just hardware encoding or decoding of videos. Linux kernel 6.2 or newer is required for Arc to work out of the box, such as Ubuntu 24.04 or Linux Mint 22 (not released yet, maybe in one more month). Buying an expensive 32-core computer could help encoding time if not using a hardware encoder, but it may or may not help preview performance while editing very much. It would depend on the formats of your source videos and how optimized the decoders are. But if using Proxy and Preview Scaling, those concerns don’t matter anymore, and the i7-3770 can have near the same performance for much cheaper.

I already use preview scaling on both machines but have not tried proxies, which I don’t fully understand. Both of my I7 machines have four cores, so I’m not sure about your remark about the 8-12 core Shotcut usage. I’ll have to check pricing on two 8 gig rams, as that is what it would take to get 16 in the linux box; my Windows box has 16 and can take 32 but again it would mean entirely replacing the existing memory as all slots are full and it doesn’t seem cost effective there.

All of my video is 1080 and it’s all stills, though there is the occasional morph and of course all the zoom & pan.

Thanks for the help.

Even if you buy 6*8gb ram sticks,
2 sticks of 8GB, 4 sticks of 8GB then it costs around 60$ and if you buy a second hand i7-3770k from ebay, or even from Amazon sometimes, you can get it for 50$, I too have a i7-3770k that I bought for 65$ bucks a year ago from amazon (in my country).

I assume that both of your systems have support for ddr3 only. And considering that you already have a 3770, you don’t need a k model unless you want extra cores. And dedicated gpu is going to cost you atleast 150$ anyways whatever you do :smile:

You are saving 50 bucks this way, upgrade components>new pc

Just checked and memory has gone down in price - 16 gigs (2x8) is only $17 on Amazon. Sounds like something I should do in any case. Last time I looked was when mem was hard to get and they were charging through the roof.

Oh, and btw - I got my machines mixed up: it’s the Windows machine that is the I7 3770 [with 16 gigs of ram, and I think it’s upgradeable to 32]; the linux box is an I7 4790S, which I believe is a bit faster though only having 8 gigs of ram. The W7 box has a GeForce GTX 960 card but the linux box uses the intel built-in graphics processor. So both machines have pluses and minuses.

They both use the same kind of ram, so I believe I could take the 16 gigs out of the W7 machine and pop it into the linux box, giving me 16 there, which is its max. Then I could buy four 8 gig sticks and put them in the W7 machine, maxxing it out with 32 gigs of matched memory. Unless there’s a drawback here that I’ve missed, I think that’s what I will do.

Shotcut very specifically uses computer system resources. There will not work advice, for example (you need 100,500 processor cores and the fastest video card), since Shotcut never uses all the resources of the system evenly. I imagine the work of this video editor as a conveyor, and if at some stage the bottle of the neck happened, the rest of this convubing will be idle. For example, the maximum load on the video card can only be seen on simple projects with one video without filters, just cutting, and exporting such a project using hardware codec, you can see the video card loading, but if there are many in the project filters, the load on the video card will be constantly decreased and to be almost imperceptible. A large number of cores / processor streams will make sense only in multi-track projects with a large number of filters, but it’s not so simple, since the filters often behave non-but-wing. For example, the most popular filter (SPR), the greater the Zoom parameter, the slower the filter works, and at high values (800-1000), the speed of the final rendering can increase by 50 times, a large number of nuclei does not save, since this The filter is apparently uniable. If you need to work often with ZOOM, I unlocked the old filter (rotate and scale), which does not affect performance, on quality image too. The inclusion of GPU filters, the situation is unfortunately not saved, and in my case, the speed of the final rendering increases even more. It’s better to have 4 cores running at 5 gigahertz than 20 cores running at 1 gigahertz. The only thing I can argue with confidence, the more RAM - the better. I always don’t have enough RAM, no matter how much I have.

If your sources are mostly still image files rather than video files, then proxy probably won’t help much. But for speeding up preview of video files, proxy can be a big help.

Yes, but each core has two threads, for a total of 8 threads. Shotcut will use all 8 threads unless it is bottlenecked by a single-threaded filter.

According to Intel Ark spec sheets, both the i7-3770 and i7-4790S can take 32 GB RAM. Granted, there may be an additional motherboard limitation I am not aware of on your specific system.

It sounds like you’re on a good track. It would take significant money to get an all-new computer that is noticeably faster than what you have. The RAM upgrades are really all that’s needed.

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Even the i3-3220T is capable of 32GB ram.

If your linux box supports supports adding a gpu, you can consider GTX 1080TI, for 100$, it’s budget friendly and better than the 2070 for video editing I guess. Or transfer your 960 into the linux box and use the better one on W7.

If there was something like that allowed users to boot into both OS’s after POST, it would have been easier for you to work simultaneously on two OS’s.

This! The 3770 may technically accept 32 gigs of ram but the linux box 4790S has only two slots so I’d have to get two 16 gig sticks and they seem a lot harder to find and a lot more expensive. The W7 box was someone’s gaming machine; they added the GeForce card and upgraded the power supply to power it. The linux computer is just a stock Asus with no upgrades (they’re both Asus units and overall I’ve been happy with them).

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Damn! The 3770 has 16 gigs of ram, but it’s in four 4 gig sticks and they are hidden behind the GeForce. I’m not comfortable disassembling that much of the thing unless it’s truly necessary, so I just ordered two 8 gig chips for my linux machine and will have to be content with that. But at least I vacuumed out the inside of the computer while I had it open, which wasn’t quite as dusty as I feared it would be. :grinning:


You’ll probably get a small speedup just from this! The nasty dust on the radiator fins are really ruining the cooling - this reminds me I should also do a quick cleanup on my pc.

LOL , In the local market here, I can get 16GB DDR3 sticks for as low as 5-8 bucks. Technology’s a lot cheap here in the local market.
However we have to pay 200% for only taxes while importing a car or motorcycle from other countries💀

Be aware, there might be a rare monster hiding in there after all the dust torture to your desktop :slightly_smiling_face:
Who else is fit to do this except “ThE gREatEsT TeCHnIcIaN EvER!”

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This unit is $649 on Amazon. EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming, 11GB GDDR5X, DX12 OSD Support (PXOC) Graphics Card 11G-P4-5390-KR : Electronics

You must have one hell of a black market there!

Now it has increased to around 200$.

1$=83 inr (approx)

Things are definitely cheap here compared to other places, but there’s a sudden price bump recently, Including cellular data recharges, tech, etc. But yeah, it’s still cheap here.

But yeah, the 4090 supreme is always 2x of the original price