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Vicious Circle
Apparently I need a faster computer. I can capture 720x480 full-frame-rate video uncompressed, but not compressed. I guess my CPU just can't do the work fast enough, and frames get dropped. Ok, so I capture uncompressed, fine, except that just a few seconds of video takes up nearly a gig, and I only have about 30 gigs free to work with.

Oh, but that's just the beginning. This new DVD burner I got came bundled with Nero software, which would be great, except that it is unable to capture using my capture card for some reason. So what, I need a new capture card now? Well not really, if I can capture with other software and just import the video files into Nero projects, which I can, but it's a pain, but then maybe the Nero capture would be crappy if it worked anyway.

Unless I was doing captures from my DV camera, using the DV firewire connection... that's probably the kind of capturing Nero was designed for. Except I don't have firewire on this computer. So should I buy a firewire card and the cable? Or would it be pointless because my CPU is still too slow to compress at the speed at which firewire operates?

So it looks like I need a faster CPU. The fastest my MB will take is 2.6GHz (currently 1.6). Only supports a 400MHz FSB though. Looking around, the CPU I would need would apparently cost me $150 or more because they're discontinued, hard to find and in high demand. But maybe the 400MHz FSB is a major factor in slowing things down for compression, in which case just getting more GHz wouldn't help, but I'd need a whole new motherboard.

Well if I'm getting a whole new motherboard, then EVERYTHING should change... I should get the latest types of RAM, HD controller, firewire and USB 2.0 built in, etc. So do I get a whole new case and power supply for it too? If I tried to swap it into my current case, XP would probably complain that my hardware has changed too much and make me call Microsoft to re-activate. In that case it might be easier to just install XP fresh on the new motherboard... so, new hard drive too? Ok, because I would probably want SATA anyway.

But at this point it feels like I'm building an entirely new system from scratch. What if it's cheaper to buy a name-brand one built by people who have a bit more experience putting components together and making sure they work? Or is it more likely that if I find a cheaper price it's because they cut corners and I'd be better of putting together good components myself?

*breaks into nursery rhyme*
But I don't know why he purchased the drive... I guess he'll die.