Sony VAIO VGC-RM1N HD workstation
Make and edit your own HD movies
Review HD video may be the standard of choice, but the downside of those beautifully composed and shot HD home movies is how to edit them off the HD camcorder so they can be stored somewhere more convenient than the camcorder itself.
The RM1N packs a powerful processing punch
Unless you have an ultra fast PC, you are going to be leaving your system chugging away on its own for a few hours while it tries to encode all that lovely footage.
Sony has confronted the problem head on with its new HD Editing Workstation, the VAIO VGC-RM1N, which carries a price tag that only those among us with deep pockets or a serious need for HD editing power have to worry about. And to help you justify splashing out two and a half grand on a system (without a monitor) to anyone who asks, it comes with two system boxes.
The largest of the two system boxes (14 x 43 x 44cm), which has a passing resemblance to an old video recorder (it weighs about as much as well), holds the main system hardware and can be either set up like a normal desktop or stood up like a tower. If you choose this option a stand is provided for support. The second, more streamlined unit (6.4 x 43 x 29cm) holds the two optical disks and doubles nicely as a monitor stand. The two are connected by a proprietary cable that is around 2 metres long, which gives you some leeway as to where you put each box.
To edit HD content you need some serious CPU power, and thankfully Sony hasn't skimped on this. The RM1N comes with the entry level Intel Quad core processor, the Q6600, which has a 1,066MHz FSB and a total of 8MB of L2 cache shared between the four cores. The CPU sits in a Foxconn motherboard using Intel's P965 Express/ICH8R chipset combination.
Two of the four DIMM slots each hold a 1GB stick of PC2-5300 DDR2 memory, running at 667MHz with 126.96.36.199 latencies, but the board will support a maximum of 4GB. All of which gives the performance you need, 6962 marks when tested with PCM05 while the Windows Experience Index gives an overall score of 5.5, the score being dictated by the lowest component score, in this case the memory.
Despite the size of the main system case, once you undo the two screws holding the side/top panel in (whichever way you have it set up) and take a peek inside, you'll see not much in the way of spare space. One side of the chassis is dominated by a huge heatsink, which more than resembles the coolers supplied with the BTX (remember those?) format chassis.
Change of mind about the Sony VGC-RM1N
Well after 2 days of agonising over what PC to upgrade to for serious HD editing and Blu-ray authoring I`ve let my heart rule my head (and wallet!) and actually bought the Sony VGC-RM1N rather than a high spec adapted PC., despite my rant above.
I almost bought an impressive HP 8180 PC (Quad chip; 3GB RAM;etc) at PC World and they offered to install an off the shelf Sony Blu-Ray burner and exrra drive while I waited - then discovered the portable 350GB drive meant there was no space in the chasis to fit the extra hard drive (for sole use in capturing HD footage).
So decided to go for the all-in-one (well 2 Units) option. Main problem in getting it to do what it should seems to be the Vista platform which seems to be incompatible with my wi-fi broadband so after hours of trying I can`t get the installed Ble-Ray software to work.
I`ll post a full review when I`ve sorted out the problems.
Why no Vegas included?
I am astonished that Sony should bring out a flagship HD video editing product but decide not to include their own Vegas editing software! It is the best editing software around for HD work.
The lack of it has made me decide not to go for the Sony model but go for a much cheaper but equally fast and powerfulHP PC then just add on the Sony HD blu-ray drive - and probably save about £500.
What a shame Sony have screwed up on what would have been the one-stop soloution for serious HD video editing.
erm... so sony bring out an HD solution... and don't bundle up their own (very good) Sony Vegas NLE suite with it ???
Quite apart from anything else Vegas is the only NLE that currently supports AVCHD.
sony does it again
puts hardware in box, sells at astronomical price due to name tag.
"Sony's VAIO VGC-RM1N is an impressive system, but then again for £2,500 it should be"
I mean, when you can put the raw components of this system together for less than £900 it says alot for the price tag