When friends and family need to buy a new computer or accessories, they often turn to me for advice. I've learned over the years that they're usually not looking for one of my "history of computing" answers that explains not only how much RAM the computer should have, but how RAM works and why more is better - they just want to know how much to get, and where to get it inexpensively. So, I'll spend a few minutes online and work up a couple of options.
However, my experience extends only so far, and although I've written several editions of a book on video editing (""), I've not had to deal in the higher realm of editing uncompressed high-definition video.
Fortunately, Mike Curtis lives and breathes HD. His Web site,, is geared toward independent filmmakers who are focused more on getting great footage and creating a movie than on the ins and outs of pushing HD video through a system.
If you're looking to edit your own indie feature or starting a business editing video for others, Mike has taken on the role of personal shopper and put together. In addition to the computer (all Mac Pro machines, but not necessarily the most powerful ones), Mike's picks include LCDs and video monitors, RAM, graphics cards, HD capture devices, and multiple storage options. The bundles range in price from $9,000 for an entry-level system capable of editing uncompressed HD footage to $23,000 for a well-equipped system.
He's worked out a deal with Silverado Systems (and he gets a cut of the order), but all the information is there, with notes and explanation, if you prefer an alternate vendor.
I've followed Mike's site for a while, and even though I don't shoot HD video, it's always an entertaining and insightful read.