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Old July 30th, 2010, 10:33 AM   #1
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moving to avid

Hey everyone.

I am moving up in the world, going to get an avid system and I have a question.

I am looking to go mac, and have priced out a computer through mac, and then added software, but the cost comes in just over 9k. B&H has a turnkey system that is exactly what I would build at with apple, but 6gb of RAM instead of the 12 I spec'd out. Is the BH system a decent buy? I am trying to stay under 9k on this one.

B&H Photo Avid Media Composer 5 Turnkey System - B&H Photo Video

any advice for me?
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Old July 30th, 2010, 10:50 AM   #2
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Ian,

I will apologize in advance for this answer because I know it's not directly answering your question.

I have no knowledge of Mac pricing. However, I have recently configured a Dell system according to Avid's guidelines. It has faster CPUs than yours, 8GB of RAM, eSATA (4 ports), 2 4TB external G-RAID drives, an NVidia Quadro FX4800, etc., and it cost about $4k less than what this B&H system costs. I don't know if the gap in price is due to the Apple premium, or to B&H markup, but that is a HUGE difference and one I could't justify unless you also have intention of running FCP. If you absolutely, positively, have to have a Mac, then I will wish you luck. But if you'd actually consider going the PC route, you could get a faster, and better optioned machine, for at least 1/3 less money or more.

Also, remember that you'll want eSATA for those external drives instead of FireWire if you can have it. And you'll still need a monitoring option like the Matrox MXO2 which will cost an addional $450 (or $850 if you want the H.264 speed-up hardware). Both of those will take up a slot in your machine, Mac or PC.

Best of luck with your purchase decision.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 10:54 AM   #3
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thanks. I am aware its a LOT cheaper on a PC, but I have been burned for the last time on my current windows setup, and am looking to switch to mac.

the matrox box, is that for viewing only on external HD monitors, or do I need that for my desktop monitors too?
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Old July 30th, 2010, 11:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Planchon View Post
thanks. I am aware its a LOT cheaper on a PC, but I have been burned for the last time on my current windows setup, and am looking to switch to mac.

the matrox box, is that for viewing only on external HD monitors, or do I need that for my desktop monitors too?
Understood. Though I am quite sad to hear it because my PC installs have been utterly bulletproof. I know that it's not the same for everyone though.

The Matrox box is for monitoring to a color calibrated external monitor. That is something that Avid does NOT give you out of the box with the software only version. In fact, neither does FCP, Vegas, or others. I am hearing it's potentially possible with CS5 though.

Anyway, if you plan to use a broadcast monitor to see a full screen preview, this is something you will need to have. Frankly, it works a lot better currently with CS5 and somewhat better with FCP. Avid and Matrox are just beginning to forge this partnership. But, having said that, I am very pleased thus far with this solution.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #5
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gotchya. I will look into that setup as well. I am just jinxed when it comes to windows. every time I have a big client/project something inside windows decides that moment is the moment it wants to crash and die for 4 or 5 days. but that usually only happens to me, everyone around me has great luck with windows. gonna try the change and hope it works!
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Old July 30th, 2010, 11:31 AM   #6
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another stupid question, can't find the answer to:

does avid utilize all the cores, and all the ram now? or is it limited to 4gb and 4 cores or something?
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Old July 30th, 2010, 11:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Planchon View Post
thanks. I am aware its a LOT cheaper on a PC, but I have been burned for the last time on my current windows setup, and am looking to switch to mac.

the matrox box, is that for viewing only on external HD monitors, or do I need that for my desktop monitors too?
No offense but don't think Mac won't have problems. I work with both platforms and there is just as many problems on both. Definitely not worth the price difference IMO.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 12:30 PM   #8
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i understand both have problems, but its a mental thing now.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 03:06 PM   #9
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Ian,

Make sure you use NVIDIA for graphics, I just read that Apple was starting to ship newer MAC Pros with ATi. We're currently running Avid on an 8 core MAC Pro that we purchased three years ago with 8 gigs of ram. Storage is now on a 4 terrabyte Graid drive via FW 800 and it runs flawlessly.

I also have a 13 inch MacBook Pro and it runs almost as well amazingly enough. The point is that under the hood, Avid spreads out tasks and optimizes between the processor, grapihcs card, and memory vs. overwhelming just the processor. Really smart.

But i do recommend the Graid for performance and reliability for your media drive.

Good luck and welcome to Avid.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 05:03 PM   #10
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hey david, which geforce card are you running? whats your take on the BH system I linked here?
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Old July 31st, 2010, 04:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
...
The Matrox box is for monitoring to a color calibrated external monitor. That is something that Avid does NOT give you out of the box with the software only version. In fact, neither does FCP, Vegas, or others. I am hearing it's potentially possible with CS5 though.

Anyway, if you plan to use a broadcast monitor to see a full screen preview, this is something you will need to have. Frankly, it works a lot better currently with CS5 and somewhat better with FCP. Avid and Matrox are just beginning to forge this partnership. But, having said that, I am very pleased thus far with this solution.
I just want to say this is true, but there is an option inside Avid that works pretty well. It's called Full Screen Playback. Essentially, you designate a computer monitor to act as playback only monitor. You can calibrate this monitor an external probe, like a Spyder, to come pretty close to Rec 709. And you can specify in the Full Screen Playback settings to display studio swing/broadcast levels.

You should not use FSP for professional level broadcast work, but it actually works quite well for the most part. That all said, the Matrox box is so cheap, it's probably worth getting anyway.

As for the turnkey system, I imagine it's very good, but I can't tell your for certain. I suggest posting your ? here:

http://community.avid.com/forums/48.aspx
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Last edited by Peter Moretti; July 31st, 2010 at 07:32 AM.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 07:46 AM   #12
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thanks peter
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 11:28 PM   #13
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Take note that MC5 for Mac does not include the DVD program.

And realize that you are very limited in your expansion options with a Mac Pro. For example, the MP only has 3 additional PCIe slots and they are VERY VERY finicky with what goes in them - just read Avid's manual on what PCIe cards can go where in a MP. In comparison, my HP Z800 has 5 additional PCIe slots and 1 PCI and I have no problem putting my Raid controller and other cards in them. Furthermore, your choice of nvidia cards in a Mac is even more limited.
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