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13 hours ago, Emanuel said:

Here's an interesting one:

 

Any other takers?

I lost all interest in PC building after doing it for over 20yrs. Now when I press the power button I just want everything to work. I went mainstream; pretty much just stick to HP enterprise products now, I even get the extended support, got tired of custom rigs and always fiddling with the internals. My current video editing desktop is an HP Z4 with 64GB of memory, a Core i9 14 core CPU, NVME raid array via an add-in 4 port PCIe NVME raid controller card for the OS and working projects, SSD RAID1 array for my dedicated cache drive, and two 10TB WD RED NAS drives configured as RAID1 for stock footage and assets.

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4 hours ago, herein2020 said:

I lost all interest in PC building after doing it for over 20yrs. Now when I press the power button I just want everything to work. I went mainstream; pretty much just stick to HP enterprise products now, I even get the extended support, got tired of custom rigs and always fiddling with the internals. My current video editing desktop is an HP Z4 with 64GB of memory, a Core i9 14 core CPU, NVME raid array via an add-in 4 port PCIe NVME raid controller card for the OS and working projects, SSD RAID1 array for my dedicated cache drive, and two 10TB WD RED NAS drives configured as RAID1 for stock footage and assets.

If you don't mind me asking, how much did this setup cost u total?

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4 hours ago, Ty Harper said:

If you don't mind me asking, how much did this setup cost u total?

I think the Z4 was around $1600USD but it takes a lot of work to get it that low. HP charges ridiculous rates for their memory and addin NVME cards so I used a few tricks to end up with just the tower, CPU, memory and power supply, from there I sourced parts elsewhere, so I guess I did kind of still build it out.

- I always pick the Linux option when buying from HP so that I don't pay for Windows 10 since I already have a license

-I picked the cheapest SATA storage possible since I already had NVME sticks from my previous system

-I picked no add-in video card since I already had that

-No optical storage since I never use CDs or DVDs

-No keyboard or mouse

-The one thing I don't skimp on is the Power Supply, I got the 1000W version due to the video card and to power all of the internal storage

-etc etc, until it was almost barebones, I then called and managed to get a few more things removed and an additional discount over the phone. Many people don't know if you build a system on the Dell or HP website then save it, call them and ask for a discount then give them your build invoice a lot of times you can get up to 20% more off especially around the holidays, you can also get them to remove stuff you don't need like hard drives which the online system configurator won't let you do. You can also go to the outlet version of the online store and sometimes find good deals there on returns or canceled orders but when I got the Z4 it was too new to find any deals in the outlet store.

After getting the tower with 8GB of memory, no graphics, almost no storage, etc. I then got a 4 port NVME Dell PCIe controller card on eBay for $100.00 (HP wanted $1300.00 for only 2TB), 64GB of memory for $150 (HP wanted $1600.00!!), dual SSD drives, etc. I also got the RTX2080Ti used on NewEgg for around $700.00USD.

The main thing I've learned over the years is I don't want to deal with motherboards, picking out a tower, power supplies, and memory; these are usually the source of instability later on. HP's memory was so expensive that I went ahead and got that separate and even then I pulled the memory that it shipped with and used the part number to exactly match the vendor, bus speed, etc. online.


I think the total build to do it all over again today would be right around $3300.00USD.  I had a lot of the NVME and SSD storage from other systems, and the RTX3080 brand new is only $700 (if you can find one) which is better than my 2080Ti. I only buy/build a new system every 7-8yrs or so and so I saw it as a worthwhile investment. Since I use Davinci Resolve for video editing, I think my system is pretty much future proof, all I'll need to do is upgrade the video card again at some point once H.265 10bit 4.2.2 is supported on the chip. The system itself is rock solid stable, with enterprise class reliability which was my intent.

Another thing that a lot of people do not realize is how power can make their system unstable. I live in FL, the #1 place is the world for lightning strikes, so I have a line conditioner and two surge protectors between my system and the wall outlet. Slightly dirty power is the cause of so many system instability issues and people have no idea that's what's causing their problems; for a system that gets taxed like a video editing workstation I always recommend spending another $200USD or so for a good line conditioner and surge protector.

 

2 hours ago, leslie said:

I got an i9 with 8 cores , a case  , water cooler and a gigabyte z490 then promptly run out of funds. As soon as finances allow I'll  buy the other bits 🤔 should be better than an i5 laptop which is the criteria it has to beat. 

Yes, the CPU and video card is always the most expensive parts. I've never understood how motherboards can be so cheap; to my eyes they look way more expensive than the CPU let alone the video card. 

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3 hours ago, herein2020 said:

I think the Z4 was around $1600USD but it takes a lot of work to get it that low. HP charges ridiculous rates for their memory and addin NVME cards so I used a few tricks to end up with just the tower, CPU, memory and power supply, from there I sourced parts elsewhere, so I guess I did kind of still build it out.

- I always pick the Linux option when buying from HP so that I don't pay for Windows 10 since I already have a license

-I picked the cheapest SATA storage possible since I already had NVME sticks from my previous system

-I picked no add-in video card since I already had that

-No optical storage since I never use CDs or DVDs

-No keyboard or mouse

-The one thing I don't skimp on is the Power Supply, I got the 1000W version due to the video card and to power all of the internal storage

-etc etc, until it was almost barebones, I then called and managed to get a few more things removed and an additional discount over the phone. Many people don't know if you build a system on the Dell or HP website then save it, call them and ask for a discount then give them your build invoice a lot of times you can get up to 20% more off especially around the holidays, you can also get them to remove stuff you don't need like hard drives which the online system configurator won't let you do. You can also go to the outlet version of the online store and sometimes find good deals there on returns or canceled orders but when I got the Z4 it was too new to find any deals in the outlet store.

After getting the tower with 8GB of memory, no graphics, almost no storage, etc. I then got a 4 port NVME Dell PCIe controller card on eBay for $100.00 (HP wanted $1300.00 for only 2TB), 64GB of memory for $150 (HP wanted $1600.00!!), dual SSD drives, etc. I also got the RTX2080Ti used on NewEgg for around $700.00USD.

The main thing I've learned over the years is I don't want to deal with motherboards, picking out a tower, power supplies, and memory; these are usually the source of instability later on. HP's memory was so expensive that I went ahead and got that separate and even then I pulled the memory that it shipped with and used the part number to exactly match the vendor, bus speed, etc. online.


I think the total build to do it all over again today would be right around $3300.00USD.  I had a lot of the NVME and SSD storage from other systems, and the RTX3080 brand new is only $700 (if you can find one) which is better than my 2080Ti. I only buy/build a new system every 7-8yrs or so and so I saw it as a worthwhile investment. Since I use Davinci Resolve for video editing, I think my system is pretty much future proof, all I'll need to do is upgrade the video card again at some point once H.265 10bit 4.2.2 is supported on the chip. The system itself is rock solid stable, with enterprise class reliability which was my intent.

Another thing that a lot of people do not realize is how power can make their system unstable. I live in FL, the #1 place is the world for lightning strikes, so I have a line conditioner and two surge protectors between my system and the wall outlet. Slightly dirty power is the cause of so many system instability issues and people have no idea that's what's causing their problems; for a system that gets taxed like a video editing workstation I always recommend spending another $200USD or so for a good line conditioner and surge protector.

 

Yes, the CPU and video card is always the most expensive parts. I've never understood how motherboards can be so cheap; to my eyes they look way more expensive than the CPU let alone the video card. 

For someone that says he doesn't want to build, sure seems like you jumped through a lot of hoops to get that PC!  Not that I'm not impressed, and you got a HP supported Enterprise System, just seems like a chore.  I'm transitioning off of PC editing and will just pay the "Apple Tax" for their computers.  Yeah, it's more expensive, but oh well.  The biggest concern with a new Apple is getting the thing out of the box.

OTOH, I might Hackintosh my old PC just for grins...but I'm not going to rely on that sort of futzing around to be my main editing rig. (which, honestly, my editing is not THAT demanding anyway.  I'm a make-everything-proxies-kind-of-guy, so powerful editing rigs aren't a necessity)

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20 minutes ago, fuzzynormal said:

For someone that says he doesn't want to build, sure seems like you jumped through a lot of hoops to get that PC!  Not that I'm not impressed, and you got a HP supported Enterprise System, just seems like a chore.  I'm transitioning off of PC editing and will just pay the "Apple Tax" for their computers.  Yeah, it's more expensive, but oh well.  The biggest concern with a new Apple is getting the thing out of the box.

OTOH, I might Hackintosh my old PC just for grins...but I'm not going to rely on that sort of futzing around to be my main editing rig. (which, honestly, my editing is not THAT demanding anyway.  I'm a make-everything-proxies-kind-of-guy, so powerful editing rigs aren't a necessity)

Its kind of funny, the longer I typed the post the more I realized that I did build it after all. To me though truly building a system is picking out the motherboard, PS, memory, CPU, adding the CPU paste, inserting it into the socket, getting a case, fans, mounting the PS, etc. Plugging in hard drives and swapping some memory doesn't seem to rise quite to the level of building a PC. And half the "fun" of building a PC is researching all of the latest MB, CPU, Memory, PS combinations to figure out the best one for the money. I used to have systems that I didn't even bother putting on the side of the case because I was changing things so often.

I got really tired of proxies, when I'm importing footage I want to get started right away, waiting for proxies with every clip was just annoying beyond belief for me. And I know some people say just let it sit overnight, but I do most of my project organization in Windows Explorer, I only import clips I will use in the project so that wouldn't have worked for me either.

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I m pretty happy with my new Ryzen build, editing 8k and 4k60p h.265 in real time with no proxy in Premiere. Way faster than i7-9700K we had at work lol, that machine can't even playback h.265 4k60p smoothly. My old PC is 8 years old, editing some heavy FHD can be a real struggle.

 

Though I might change my 3080 to 3080ti 20gb once it is released as I am already seen 10gb get used up quite often on some other stuff.

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21 hours ago, herein2020 said:

I got really tired of proxies, when I'm importing footage I want to get started right away.

Most of my work is documentaries, and the ability to store hundreds of hours of source/proxy footage on CHEAP slow portable hard drives --and edit with footage off those slow drives is a wonderful reality of proxies editing.  The few times I've wished I could jump right into it without any transcoding are few and far between.  However, when it happened I was certainly desperate for a fast machine, no question.

I'd also have to admit that having powerful PC's are just kind of fun.

Still, the fact that I can effectively and productively edit on very modest gear is pretty amazing to me...a guy that used to edit on rigs costing over a half a million dollars.

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On 12/28/2020 at 7:42 AM, herein2020 said:

Its kind of funny, the longer I typed the post the more I realized that I did build it after all. To me though truly building a system is picking out the motherboard, PS, memory, CPU, adding the CPU paste, inserting it into the socket, getting a case, fans, mounting the PS, etc. Plugging in hard drives and swapping some memory doesn't seem to rise quite to the level of building a PC. And half the "fun" of building a PC is researching all of the latest MB, CPU, Memory, PS combinations to figure out the best one for the money. I used to have systems that I didn't even bother putting on the side of the case because I was changing things so often.

I do agree, as someone who has actually built a few systems over the years, that doesn't sound like actually building a system up. You more or less got a fairly somewhat bare bones system, then threw in a few extra choice parts to super charge it up. 

To be fair, as I get older and value my limited time on the earth more highly, and as I grow more and more out of touch with the latest fine details of latest PC products, I too could see myself doing similar for a future PC "build". 

Just get a barebones build, then throw in the extra RAM / GPU / HDD / SSD that I source myself. As those things are easy easy to install yourself. 

Am actually right now using this very second a PC I completely bought from China:

 

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2 hours ago, IronFilm said:

I do agree, as someone who has actually built a few systems over the years, that doesn't sound like actually building a system up. You more or less got a fairly somewhat bare bones system, then threw in a few extra choice parts to super charge it up. 

To be fair, as I get older and value my limited time on the earth more highly, and as I grow more and more out of touch with the latest fine details of latest PC products, I too could see myself doing similar for a future PC "build". 

Just get a barebones build, then throw in the extra RAM / GPU / HDD / SSD that I source myself. As those things are easy easy to install yourself. 

Am actually right now using this very second a PC I completely bought from China:

 

Exactly, the older you get the more you realize how limited your remaining time is and the less you want to spend that time on things that don't really matter.  I didn't want to spend weeks reading up on clock speeds, bus architectures, CPU integrated features, power supply cabling, case wiring, fan sizes, BIOS features, BIOS versions, ATA vs ATX vs miniATX, MB form factors, MB vendors, PCIe slots, NVME M.2 slots, RAID capabilities, , etc. etc. I know HP did all of that already and came up with the combination that they can afford to sell in the 100's of thousands and back with an enterprise warranty so I decided paying more to support their R&D department was better than spending my time reinventing their wheel.

That Ryzen mini PC is tiny, I went that route awhile back for my home theatre PC when I got an Intel NUC. The problem was the fan noise was so extreme that it had the unique ability of ruining the movie watching experience so I went back to a full desktop for my home theatre. The NUC is now used as a tethering PC in my studio to show clients their images as they are taken.

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9 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

Most of my work is documentaries, and the ability to store hundreds of hours of source/proxy footage on CHEAP slow portable hard drives --and edit with footage off those slow drives is a wonderful reality of proxies editing.  The few times I've wished I could jump right into it without any transcoding are few and far between.  However, when it happened I was certainly desperate for a fast machine, no question.

I'd also have to admit that having powerful PC's are just kind of fun.

Still, the fact that I can effectively and productively edit on very modest gear is pretty amazing to me...a guy that used to edit on rigs costing over a half a million dollars.

That makes sense, most of my work is fast turnaround time sensitive footage like events, music videos, fashion shows, modeling videos, virtual tours, seasonal videos, small business promo video work, etc.  I'm known for fast turnarounds which helps me stand out in my area. I love shooting all day then finishing the edit that night while the experience and events of the day are still fresh on my mind. I typically shoot the full day's event or project, edit all night until I complete the rough edit (usually around 4AM the next morning), sleep for a few hours, then do the color grading, titles, fix the rough edges, etc.  There is no way I could do that waiting for proxies for every clip.

 

I definitely think its incredible how far PCs have come in such a short period of time and proxies let you use just about anything and still get editable footage, especially when it starts out highly compressed like H.264 and H.265.

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5 hours ago, herein2020 said:

Exactly, the older you get the more you realize how limited your remaining time is and the less you want to spend that time on things that don't really matter.  I didn't want to spend weeks reading up on clock speeds, bus architectures, CPU integrated features, power supply cabling, case wiring, fan sizes, BIOS features, BIOS versions, ATA vs ATX vs miniATX, MB form factors, MB vendors, PCIe slots, NVME M.2 slots, RAID capabilities, , etc. etc. I know HP did all of that already and came up with the combination that they can afford to sell in the 100's of thousands and back with an enterprise warranty so I decided paying more to support their R&D department was better than spending my time reinventing their wheel.

I bet if I did a deep dive I could absolutely get a better bang for my buck system than HP can do! 
HP isn't perfect. They're not optimizing for the same things as I am optimizing for, neither could they stay up to the minute like a proper computer nerd can. 

But what do I value my time at for all that researching? Even if only a minimum wage, I could quickly earn the money to have a better system than all that time might have "saved" me in squeezing out my dollars to go further!

Getting older and realizing this has made me become a bit less judgmental when I for instance see a person filming with a 5Dmk4 (wtf?!), sure there are many many better cameras for less. But this person might for instance have built a great business on the back of the 5Dmk2 (which was an ok choice at the time, even a "good choice") and then the 5Dmk3 (still an "ok-ish choice" for its time) and just is doing what is in their mind a "natural progression" to the 5Dmk4. They might have spent only a single afternoon researching that decision, if that. And have done exactly zero to keep up with the latest trends in between that 5Dmk3 and mk4 purchase. So what if the GH5 / a7Smk2 / NX1 / X-H1 / etc exist, for the amount of time it would cost him to properly research it, figure out, and decide on "something else" as the "better choice" he could have purchased TWO Canon 5Dmk4! And heck, that's not even counting the hassle and time it costs to swap over his lens collection to another lens mount... he could have bought 3x or even 4x 5Dmk4 by then! From a practical point it just doesn't make financial sense to do the deep dive and go with a different camera system. Sad by true. 
(this isn't even factoring in non-film considerations, what if he's a primarily a photographer? And only 10% of his income is videography. You don't always know everyone's particular circumstances)

This same "logic" behind buying the 5Dmk4, is why many people will also be buying the a7Smk3. 
So even though over in the other thread I ranted against those who buy the a7Smk3 because of its poor value for money, I also totally understand those who do buy it. 
Tonnes of people started out on say a NEX-5N, then got the a7Smk1 and made a good living with it, and then the a7Smk2 and be using it professionally day in day out without another thought about camera nerdy specs. Getting the a7Smk3 next is just an easy "no brainer" for them that they don't even have to think about. (although honestly, I'd say the FX6 should be their pick...)

  

5 hours ago, herein2020 said:

That Ryzen mini PC is tiny, I went that route awhile back for my home theatre PC when I got an Intel NUC. The problem was the fan noise was so extreme that it had the unique ability of ruining the movie watching experience so I went back to a full desktop for my home theatre. The NUC is now used as a tethering PC in my studio to show clients their images as they are taken.

My Ryzen 5 Mini PC is quite quiet!
I've known HMI ballasts to be noisier. 
But still, it isn't totally 100% quiet, think it might be borderline inappropriate for me to use it in a Sound Cart build because you can still just barely hear it in a very quiet background. And we in the Sound Department need to be setting high standards!

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8 hours ago, IronFilm said:

I bet if I did a deep dive I could absolutely get a better bang for my buck system than HP can do! 
HP isn't perfect. They're not optimizing for the same things as I am optimizing for, neither could they stay up to the minute like a proper computer nerd can. 

The other challenge that @herein2020 was avoiding was that of incompatibility.

My dad used to work for a large educational institution and ordered a custom built PC to replace their main file server, so naturally ordered the latest motherboard, CPU, RAM, RAID controller and drives.   Long story short, two months after getting it he still hadn't managed to get an OS to install correctly, and neither had the other people on the hundred-page thread talking about the incompatibility, in which multiple people verified that the manufacturers of various components were all blaming each other for the problem and no-one was working on a solution, so my dad did what everyone else in the thread did and gave up.  He was lucky enough to be able to lean on their wholesaler to take the equipment back with a full refund, but others weren't so lucky, and the thread continued for another year as various people swapped out parts for other models/brands to see what the best fully-functional system was.

Or you just buy something that someone else has already checked for you.

There's a reason that many serious software packages are only supported on certain OS versions and certain hardware configurations.  It's because their clients value reliability and full-featured service and support rather than getting a 12% improvement on performance.

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12 hours ago, kye said:

The other challenge that @herein2020 was avoiding was that of incompatibility.

My dad used to work for a large educational institution and ordered a custom built PC to replace their main file server, so naturally ordered the latest motherboard, CPU, RAM, RAID controller and drives.   Long story short, two months after getting it he still hadn't managed to get an OS to install correctly, and neither had the other people on the hundred-page thread talking about the incompatibility, in which multiple people verified that the manufacturers of various components were all blaming each other for the problem and no-one was working on a solution, so my dad did what everyone else in the thread did and gave up.  He was lucky enough to be able to lean on their wholesaler to take the equipment back with a full refund, but others weren't so lucky, and the thread continued for another year as various people swapped out parts for other models/brands to see what the best fully-functional system was.

Or you just buy something that someone else has already checked for you.

There's a reason that many serious software packages are only supported on certain OS versions and certain hardware configurations.  It's because their clients value reliability and full-featured service and support rather than getting a 12% improvement on performance.

That was what I was alluding to in regards to the hours of research. I have had every incompatibility imaginable; cases that blocked critical slots, power supplies missing the proper connector to power the video card, memory that was simply the wrong kind (and memory almost always is not returnable), CPU coolers that would not fit the motherboard, motherboard risers that got stripped while screwing them into the mounting board, BIOS's that refused to see the hard drive, BIOS's that refused to see the add in video card, RAID controllers that would do everything you could imagine except let you boot from any drives connected to them, etc. etc.  

To me adding storage, a video card, and NVME quad port card is a piece of cake compared to dealing with the rest of it. Even for non video editing computers, I no longer build any of them. I just get used enterprise class gear off of eBay. You can get great deals on high end used desktops at the 3yr mark on eBay because that's when many business leases end. And I'll take a 3yr old enterprise class desktop/laptop/networking equipment any day over brand new consumer grade hardware.

 

21 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Getting older and realizing this has made me become a bit less judgmental when I for instance see a person filming with a 5Dmk4 (wtf?!), sure there are many many better cameras for less. But this person might for instance have built a great business on the back of the 5Dmk2 (which was an ok choice at the time, even a "good choice") and then the 5Dmk3 (still an "ok-ish choice" for its time) and just is doing what is in their mind a "natural progression" to the 5Dmk4.

 

I actually know a photographer that still uses a 5DIII for photography and the best part is....its the only camera she has ever owned (7yrs)....and she has a single lens which she has never removed from the camera since the day she got it (Canon 50mm). She also has never owned a single flash and when we started talking gear she didn't know the difference between an EF mount lens and an RF mount. She is actually a well known photographer in my area and charges over $300/hr for sessions; AND she is booked for weeks straight. It all seemed crazy to me but she is very friendly, great with families and posing kids, and that is all she does.  She literally knows nothing about flashes, gear, diffusion, etc, and shoots 100% natural light, yet she has managed to become a successful photographer in my area; and for post processing she uses a single Lightroom preset which is her signature "look". Meeting her really reminded me that you can make nearly anything work these days and the gear is only a small piece of the big picture.

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2 hours ago, herein2020 said:

That was what I was alluding to in regards to the hours of research. I have had every incompatibility imaginable; cases that blocked critical slots, power supplies missing the proper connector to power the video card, memory that was simply the wrong kind (and memory almost always is not returnable), CPU coolers that would not fit the motherboard, motherboard risers that got stripped while screwing them into the mounting board, BIOS's that refused to see the hard drive, BIOS's that refused to see the add in video card, RAID controllers that would do everything you could imagine except let you boot from any drives connected to them, etc. etc.  

To me adding storage, a video card, and NVME quad port card is a piece of cake compared to dealing with the rest of it. Even for non video editing computers, I no longer build any of them. I just get used enterprise class gear off of eBay. You can get great deals on high end used desktops at the 3yr mark on eBay because that's when many business leases end. And I'll take a 3yr old enterprise class desktop/laptop/networking equipment any day over brand new consumer grade hardware.

Yeah, that's what I thought you were getting at.

2 hours ago, herein2020 said:

I actually know a photographer that still uses a 5DIII for photography and the best part is....its the only camera she has ever owned (7yrs)....and she has a single lens which she has never removed from the camera since the day she got it (Canon 50mm). She also has never owned a single flash and when we started talking gear she didn't know the difference between an EF mount lens and an RF mount. She is actually a well known photographer in my area and charges over $300/hr for sessions; AND she is booked for weeks straight. It all seemed crazy to me but she is very friendly, great with families and posing kids, and that is all she does.  She literally knows nothing about flashes, gear, diffusion, etc, and shoots 100% natural light, yet she has managed to become a successful photographer in my area; and for post processing she uses a single Lightroom preset which is her signature "look". Meeting her really reminded me that you can make nearly anything work these days and the gear is only a small piece of the big picture.

Wow...  you mean that hiring a photographer (or videographer) isn't just hiring their camera, and that the operator is more than just a technician?????  

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE!!

But seriously...  yeah.  All this equipment stuff is BS if you're putting it ahead of the creative side.  No-one does their best work when fighting with the tech, even if the tech is nice tech.  "The acting was uninspired, the lighting was awful, and the story was un-engaging, but overall it was a great film because it was shot on a great camera with high resolution and great colour science" - said no-one ever.

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4 hours ago, herein2020 said:

To me adding storage, a video card, and NVME quad port card is a piece of cake compared to dealing with the rest of it. Even for non video editing computers, I no longer build any of them. I just get used enterprise class gear off of eBay. You can get great deals on high end used desktops at the 3yr mark on eBay because that's when many business leases end. And I'll take a 3yr old enterprise class desktop/laptop/networking equipment any day over brand new consumer grade hardware.

Additionally we've been seeing diminishing returns for years with PCs, we're not seeing the same big leaps every couple of years like we used to back in the 1990's or 2000's. 
(although AMD's Ryzen has been doing well to help pick up the pace again!)

Which makes secondhand deals even better value than they used to be, as they're no longer quite so "out of date" after a few years. 

5 hours ago, herein2020 said:

I actually know a photographer that still uses a 5DIII for photography and the best part is....its the only camera she has ever owned (7yrs)....and she has a single lens which she has never removed from the camera since the day she got it (Canon 50mm). 

That diminishing returns with each new model is even more true for photography! They're much more stagnant. 
Would anybody claim the leap from a Nikon D7200 (2015) to a D7500 (2020) is a bigger leap than the D70s (2005) to D7000 (2010) was?
Or that a Canon 60D (2010) to a Canon 90D (2020) was a bigger leap (from a purely photography perspective) than a Canon 30D (2000) to a Canon 60D (2010) was?

5 hours ago, herein2020 said:

She also has never owned a single flash and when we started talking gear she didn't know the difference between an EF mount lens and an RF mount.

I just borrowed a friend's Panasonic GH5 so that I can use it for tomorrow's NYE YouTube live stream!! As sadly my GH4 can't act as a USB webcam 😞
He has labelled each of his lenses in his camera bag. For instance his Panasonic 14-140mm has "14-140mm" on the lens cap. For the SLR Magic 8mm he's got "4-16mm"!! WTF
That "4 to 16" is the F-Stop range the SLR Magic has. 
He doesn't realize the difference between F-Stop or Focal Length? Or Prime vs Zoom Lens??
Now and then I get a shocking reminder of just how bad the level of "average knowledge" is out there. 

5 hours ago, herein2020 said:

She is actually a well known photographer in my area and charges over $300/hr for sessions; AND she is booked for weeks straight. It all seemed crazy to me but she is very friendly, great with families and posing kids, and that is all she does.  She literally knows nothing about flashes, gear, diffusion, etc, and shoots 100% natural light, yet she has managed to become a successful photographer in my area; and for post processing she uses a single Lightroom preset which is her signature "look". Meeting her really reminded me that you can make nearly anything work these days and the gear is only a small piece of the big picture.

Yup.

Business skills trump artistic skills. 

Artistic skills trump technical skills. 

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