The B&H Photo PC Pro Workstation Rain Stratus-Based Entry Level Sony Vegas & I/O Card Turnkey centers on Rain's Stratus video editing computer, a Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro capture and playback card, and Sony's efficient and powerful Vegas Pro 12 video editing program, which in addition to video editing tools has select audio tools that normally you would need another program for. Stratus features a very fast 3.6 GHz Quad Core Sandy Bridge-E Xeon Intel processor, an NVIDIA Quadro 1GB graphics card, 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive, and this B&H kit adds another 2TB hard drive to provide you with a total 2.5TB of storage space for when you're ready to install complementary applications, like Adobe's After Effects and Avid's Pro Tools, and for saving your projects, although saving internally without backing up to an external drive is risky. Storage space is expandable to a total of 12TB, which would allow you to keep a large number of applications and big projects on the computer, and RAM is expandable to 32GB so you can effectively run multiple power-hungry programs at the same time.
Stratus is also configured with a fan regulator that keeps the entire system running cool and quiet, and the installed Windows 7 is fine-tuned in the registry and BIOS settings to provide more system resources and processor efficiency for creative applications. Services unnecessary for such applications are disabled to maximize memory and hence bandwidth.
Stratus has a fast dual layer CD/DVD player and burner for offloading your projects to discs, and a memory card reader that can read from and write to SD, SDHC, SDXC, CF1, CF2, SM, MS, and MS Pro memory cards. For input/output, Stratus is equipped with numerous ports -- eight USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, two 6 Gb/s eSATA 3.0 ports, six PCI-Express 3.0 slots, one PCI slot, an Ethernet port, and two S/PDIF audio outputs, one coaxial and one optical, that support up to 7.1 channels of surround sound audio. In addition, Stratus has slots for installing two FireWire 400 ports for outputting video and audio.
You get a three-year warranty and three years of tech support on Stratus from Rain. Tech support includes phone support, 24/7 help desk support, and remote login tech support. You also get three Rain Ensemble Plug & Play sessions, which offer help with installing, testing and ensuring proper operation of 3rd party hardware and software, like sound cards and editing programs.
Sony Vegas lets you drag and drop various types of files right onto the timeline and begin working without converting them into one format. Vegas works in real-time, so you won't have to wait for it to render after you add an effect or make any other change. Rather, you'll be able to see your change right away. In addition to video editing tools, Vegas also features a small but effective set of flexible audio tools. Another outstanding aspect is minimal system requirement. Vegas can run smoothly on even a 2 GHz processor, so a 3.6 GHz processor will ensure problem-free performance, no matter how effects-packed your projects are.
The Intensity Pro card, via a selection in an application that comes with it, will let you import footage from your camera in an edit-ready codec of your choice, so you won't have to convert in order to begin editing. You'll save a lot of time when you have a large amounts of footage to work with. The card can import via an HDMI input or analog inputs by means of an included breakout cable, and it can upscale or downscale the resolution of your footage as well as perform colorspace conversion.
This B&H kit also includes a keyboard with shortcut keys for Vegas, a handheld controller with 15 programmable buttons for Vegas, and an optical mouse. The 2TB hard drive, the Intensity Pro card, and Vegas already come installed as part of a B&H installation and testing service, which is backed by a year of tech support.