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Old June 22nd, 2011, 10:08 PM   #1
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The oldest Intel box to use for FCP?

Hey hopefully someone can give me some advice, this is very much needed now that a new version of FCP has been released. I am presently working on a PowerPC G5 with version 6.0.6 of Final Cut. Thanks to the economy I have been limping along for a few years now, not being able to update my editing workstation to an Intel box. This has increasingly hindered me with hardware and software workflow solutions. I am shooting with a Sony Z1u. I cannot afford a new tower (and I do want my editing bay based on a tower) so I thought I would get a used machine on Ebay and save some money that could be used on upgrading my FCP suite. My question is what is the minimum I should buy (age/model of computer) Mac-Pro-Quad-Core-2.66.....Mac Pro 8-Core Intel Xeon...etc. Keep in mind I donít have a ton of money, I need to have enough coin left over for FCP upgrade, AE upgrade and probably some extra RAM. I have seen some machines in good shape from reputable sellers $1200 - $1500 I would like to be in that range. All I need to know is there a model I need to stay away from, or some that will be better for the long haul...not sure when I will be able to do this editing bay upgrade again.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 10:11 PM   #2
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Re: The oldest Intel box to use for FCP?

Can't affirmatively answer your question, but you do need to be wary about the old Mac graphics cards... a number of them aren't supported by FCPX. My 2008 Mac Pro has a graphics card that isn't supported. (Nvidia Geforce 7300 GT)
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 10:02 AM   #3
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Re: The oldest Intel box to use for FCP?

But you can upgrade the graphics card. Even my old 1.1 Intel MacPro can be fitted with an ATI HD5770. I've even got 2x Quad Core CPU's in mine and it's perfectly stable.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 11:13 AM   #4
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Re: The oldest Intel box to use for FCP?

Alister, could you describe the CPU upgrade process in more detail? We have a similar problem (Mac Pro 1,1 Dual Xeon 3.0 GHz) and are looking for some solutions that would not necessarily involve shelling out thousands of dollars for a new machine.

Thanks
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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Re: The oldest Intel box to use for FCP?

I'd be curious as well.

Just installed a Radeon HD5770 last night in my 2006 dual 2.66 (x2) MacPro. Worked like a champ, and I was up and running with FCPX, Motion5, and Compressor 4 in no time.

This is just a stop gap until I decide weather or not to upgrade to a new MacBook Pro (I have a 3 year old one that runs just fine) and run thunderbolt out, or wait until the new MacPro design comes out.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 10:02 AM   #6
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Re: The oldest Intel box to use for FCP?

I think with thunderbolt and quad cores, that the newer iMacs are certainly a viable alternative.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 11:20 PM   #7
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Re: The oldest Intel box to use for FCP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
I'd be curious as well.

Just installed a Radeon HD5770 last night in my 2006 dual 2.66 (x2) MacPro. Worked like a champ, and I was up and running with FCPX, Motion5, and Compressor 4 in no time.

This is just a stop gap until I decide weather or not to upgrade to a new MacBook Pro (I have a 3 year old one that runs just fine) and run thunderbolt out, or wait until the new MacPro design comes out.
Hey Michael

I'm glad I bought my 2006 dual 2.66 Mac Pro about the same you did so I can follow you around to let you test things before I buy them. I've been concerned that my 2006 Mac Pro 1,1 wouldn't run FCPX because it's not called a Core 2 Duo or better processor. That's the requirements found on Final Cut's Tech Specifications Page: Apple - Final Cut Pro X - System Requirements and Tech Specs

But I think our 2 x 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon are actually the very first 64 bit Mac machines, and as long as we have the HD5770 graphics card installed FCPX will work just fine as you mentioned. I too installed that card a couple months back when I purchased the 27" LED Cinema Display. I love this display! Best monitor I've ever had by a long shot!
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Old June 25th, 2011, 07:24 AM   #8
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Re: The oldest Intel box to use for FCP?

Hey Ron good to see you here.
Yeah, I found out that all of the Intel machines were 64 bit, the key is the OS. Running Leopard/Snow Leopard makes the machine 64 bit, so we're good there.

Many reported that if you didn't have the right system config, then the App Store wouldn't even let you download the FCPX, Motion 5, Compressor 4. I didn't ever upgrade my graphics card, so I ordered a 5770 from OWC and installed it, and all has been good.

I installed a fresh Snow Leopard OS on another drive and installed FCPX, Motion 5, and Compressor 4 on that, along with FCS3. So we'll see what happens here.

FCPX isn't perfect by no means, but many should order some tutorials (Larry Jordan's or Ripple Training, which I ordered and am using), and that should get you up to speed. Before FCPX was released I was doing Lynda.com tutorials for iMovie, so the transition wasn't really painful. Watching the RT tutorials clears things up even more,a nd you find a lot of features are there but under the hood or renamed.

For example, you can't open multiple sequences like FCP7. But you could take a timeline and make a Compound Clip. You now can take that clip into another Event, and even uncompress it to open it up and edit further on it if needed. SO you can still work in the same manner as before. There are many things like this in FCPX, but people should take the time to learn the program properly first before setting judgement. Yes there are some MAJOR things missing like for me Multiclips and backwards capability are the two biggest (as I don't have any need in my workflow for EDL etc.). And 3rd party developers should have updates shortly. But it would have been nice if Apple would have released the code to them sooner to avoid these issues.

The biggest issue for me and some has been stability. I upgraded my OS to 10.6.8 as suggested, so we'll see what happens.
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Old June 27th, 2011, 10:11 AM   #9
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Re: The oldest Intel box to use for FCP?

Hey everyone thanks for the good info...I have to say when I posted my question several days ago, I was just aware that a new FCP version had been released. I did not know it was such a different editing suite. WOW...I'm not sure I can live with this. I am running FCP 6 and now I can't even upgrade to 7 if I wanted to. I am looking into switching to adobe, and not having my software dictate what I must do in the most basic parts of production workflow. I have a ton of different clients/projects that I want to keep separate. No "Save As". Very disappointing. At least if I switched to Adobe....The "Trinity" .... AE, Photoshop and Premier would be a cohesive environment.
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