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Old August 22nd, 2007, 01:12 PM   #1
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Potential Mac Newbie - Hardware question

I'm getting a new computer (currently using a 4 y/o laptop) and a have a limited budget (preferably $1,500 or less).

I'm been a longtime PC user, but am seriously considering purchasing a Mac for purposes of FCP.

I've been using Premiere Pro, and if I get a Mac I plan on doing the upgrade to CS3 before I get FCP - at least I'll have editing software as well as AfterEffects/Photoshop.

Are any of the iMacs capable of running FCP well without major upgrades needed immediately? I see most only come with 1 GB of RAM, where I would prefer 2 or more. I can upgrade memory down the road, but can't really afford to now.

Even the Mac Pro at $2,500 only comes with 1 GB of RAM and no monitor. Adding an Apple monitor and RAM would push the price tag close to $4,000.

Any suggestions?
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 02:06 PM   #2
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imacs work fine and give you the best bang for your buck. they're not as fast as the tower with the same cpu because they're built from laptop components. they also have no expandability for add on pci cards.

if you want to live life on the edge you could create a custom built pc with osx86. You'll save $1,000 but its not going to be as compatible as a mac.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 02:41 PM   #3
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imacs work fine and give you the best bang for your buck. they're not as fast as the tower with the same cpu because they're built from laptop components. they also have no expandability for add on pci cards.

if you want to live life on the edge you could create a custom built pc with osx86. You'll save $1,000 but its not going to be as compatible as a mac.
Monetarily, putting a Mac OS on a PC would be nice. But the process involved to do so seems way over my head.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 03:30 PM   #4
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I've been using a 20" iMac for editing with Final Cut Studio. The only gripe I have with it is that it's pretty much not upgradable. I got the 20" with the best video they had to offer for it, 2GB of ram and it was aprox $1600 (last year).

I've been running the Web creative package CS3 from adobe as well as iLife and Final Cut Studio on this system with no issues at all. I've pretty much ditched using Premiere at this point and only use it when I absolutely have to for clients. I do still like to use After Effects on the PC though (I don't have it for mac yet).

I have not tried Final Cut Studio 2 on my iMac, but I'm sure the new iMacs would run it just fine. When I called to find more info on my imacs when I was first looking, the sales folks at Apple were very helpful in making sure I got what I needed.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 04:06 PM   #5
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I've been using a 20" iMac for editing with Final Cut Studio. The only gripe I have with it is that it's pretty much not upgradable. I got the 20" with the best video they had to offer for it, 2GB of ram and it was aprox $1600 (last year).

I've been running the Web creative package CS3 from adobe as well as iLife and Final Cut Studio on this system with no issues at all. I've pretty much ditched using Premiere at this point and only use it when I absolutely have to for clients. I do still like to use After Effects on the PC though (I don't have it for mac yet).

I have not tried Final Cut Studio 2 on my iMac, but I'm sure the new iMacs would run it just fine. When I called to find more info on my imacs when I was first looking, the sales folks at Apple were very helpful in making sure I got what I needed.
Thanks!

How much (approx.) is it for an extra GB of RAM for the iMac? I'm assuming you went through Apple directly for the sale?
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 04:13 PM   #6
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Thanks!

How much (approx.) is it for an extra GB of RAM for the iMac? I'm assuming you went through Apple directly for the sale?
I answered my own question by digging around the Apple Store website. It's about $150.00 to add an extra GB of RAM.

However, doing so meant it now would take 4-6 weeks for shipping?? Are they serious??
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 06:33 PM   #7
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Aron-

Adding ram to the new iMac is a fairly easy process (remove one screw). I just order 4gigs of ram for my new iMac for $260 from an independent retailer.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 11:00 PM   #8
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Aron-

Adding ram to the new iMac is a fairly easy process (remove one screw). I just order 4gigs of ram for my new iMac for $260 from an independent retailer.
Will do.

A friend who owns a Mac just repeated that advice to me earlier - "don't buy it from Apple, get an off market brand and save hundreds. Very easy to install."
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 07:21 PM   #9
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I will make the suggestion to buy from a vendor with a lifetime replacement guarantee...we had so many problems with aftermarket ram in our 600+ xServes at my last job that ram was the first thing we replaced when troubleshooting...replacing with ram from apple fixed the problems 90% of the time...I'd rather pay a little extra to have something that works the way it's supposed to.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 02:48 PM   #10
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You shouldn't have any problem running Final Cut Pro on the iMac. I'm running Final Cut Studio 2 on a Macbook Pro 17 without any problems.

Why will you upgrade to CS3 and then buy a Mac? You know you can't buy Final Cut Pro 6 by itself right? Only as part of Final Cut Studio 2 and then you'll have Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Motion and Color all with it. Just want to make sure you realise that before parting with any money. Probably just me misunderstanding what you meant.

I'm a recent PC convert (for video editing anyway) too. Definitely a good move. I love the FCS suite!
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Old August 24th, 2007, 04:23 PM   #11
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You shouldn't have any problem running Final Cut Pro on the iMac. I'm running Final Cut Studio 2 on a Macbook Pro 17 without any problems.

Why will you upgrade to CS3 and then buy a Mac? You know you can't buy Final Cut Pro 6 by itself right? Only as part of Final Cut Studio 2 and then you'll have Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Motion and Color all with it. Just want to make sure you realise that before parting with any money. Probably just me misunderstanding what you meant.

I'm a recent PC convert (for video editing anyway) too. Definitely a good move. I love the FCS suite!
I realize I'll have to pony up for the full FCS 2.0. I plan on moving to FCP for video editing but sticking with AfterEffects and Photoshop since their use is so widespread (and for freelance work I'll need to know it). Knowing Premiere, too, wouldn't be a bad idea, either, but primarily I want to use FCP.

How does Motion and Color compare to AE/Photoshop?
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Old August 24th, 2007, 04:54 PM   #12
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I havent used Motion from FCS2 but at NAB they were doing some amazing things with it.

Color is only for color grading.

There is no image editing app in the FCS2. Photoshop is the only Photoshop. So you'll still need to get that (or a creative studio package) for your mac.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 11:21 PM   #13
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the GIMP is available for OSX (as is GIMPShop - the interface hack to make the GIMP usable for photoshop folks). It's free ( http://www.plasticbugs.com )
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Old August 28th, 2007, 12:25 AM   #14
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Well, I just ordered the 24" iMac extreme. It pushed my budget a bit, with tax added, but if I had gotten all I wanted on the Mac Pro the price would have exceeded $3,000 or $4,000, which is something I'm just not ready for, yet.

I'll let you know how it works out.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 03:28 PM   #15
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Got it and installed Premiere Pro CS3 - works fantastic! It's wonderful to be able to edit video without a choppy preview monitor, constant lockups, and dropped frames. Thanks everyone for your input.
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