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Old August 28th, 2007, 09:20 AM   #1
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questions about Mac Pro

Hi,

I'm curious about some things about the Mac Pro, especially about RAM.
If using Final Cut Studio 2, with DV, HDV, and maybe HD:

1. How much difference is there in performance (FCS 2) between a quadcore an 8-core?
Isn't this overkill at this point?

2. About RAM...
If you would want to have 8GB RAM, what's the difference between
for example 8x1 and 4x2?
What's the difference, if you have 4GB, between 4x1 and 2x2?
I would think the later options are better, but only because they are more expensive, so could anyone explain the difference in performance?
How much real time performance in Color, Motion and Final Cut Pro with 4GB RAM and 8GB RAM?

3. How much difference in performance between the 2.66 ghz processors and the 3.0 ghz processors?

I hope I didn't ask too many questions in one thread, like I did in another thread, héh.

Thanks,
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Old August 28th, 2007, 09:40 AM   #2
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Hey Mathieu,

I just recently switched to mac myself, I bought a basic Mac Pro: Quad-core 2.66GHz, with the Radeon X1900XT and 4Gb of RAM (2x 2Gb from OWC). It runs everything like butter.

8-Cores and 8Gb of RAM are going to make some things faster, but not everything and not always by a substantial margin. If you're doing After Effects work or 3D modelling than the more power you've got the better, but for most purposes a basic Mac Pro will do everything you need beautifully.

As for RAM configurations, you have to use it in pairs, but in my experience the differences between using 4x1Gb and 2x2Gb are negligable. You probably wouldn't notice a difference unless you were running a diagnostic program that told you so (but then running that diagnostic program would probably cancels any slight performance gain that a more efficient RAM configuration gives you).

In short, they're great machines - get one and you won't regret it. (Just get your extra RAM and HDDs from a third party seller!)
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Old August 28th, 2007, 11:18 AM   #3
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Thanks Mark!

I'll be getting one, the question isn't if, but when.
The answer is, if I have the money.

Thank you for the reponse!
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Old August 28th, 2007, 08:04 PM   #4
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Hey Mathiew, I made the jump from Premiere 2.0 to Mac about 5 months ago. I do like FCP better, better graphics for titles ,more built in effects. As you saw on my Install post I have a quadcore with 2.6 gig processors , 1 150 gig 10,000 rpm raptor 1 250 gig data drive and 2 500 gigs in an 0 raid. I have 3 gig of RAM ( 1 gig was original an I added a pair of 1 gigs ) Its also runs like butter. Most things still need rendering but now it doesnt take too long.
This is my first Mac so Im not only learning the NLE but also the operating system.
There are things I dont like about FCP,like the fact that I can figure out how to capture a whole tape instead of clips at every timecode break, and sometimes I see the spinning ball (its hung up) but I can say that has happened 3 times in 5 months. Not Bad.
My PC was a single processor so its not fair to compair. There are things I miss with Premiere but with the Mac ...its the whole package. iphoto is great for making slide shows and DVDstudio and Motin and Livce Type are packed with goodies.
I shoot in HD (sony v1u and hc7 ) and I love it. I would say buy the 2.6 quad and add memory and hard drives as you can afford to. If you have to stay with FCP 5.1.4 and when you get all the RAM upgrade to FCP studio2
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Old August 29th, 2007, 01:54 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice John.
It will be definately Final Cut Studio 2. If I upgrade to Mac, I'll also have to learn the complete new system, but I'm very exited to do so.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 04:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere View Post
Hi,
3. How much difference in performance between the 2.66 ghz processors and the 3.0 ghz processors?
Thanks,
Hello Mathieu,

3/2.66 = 1.13. An expensive 3.0 GHz processor will never count more than 13 % faster than the 2.66 chip.

In many circumstances the speed is limited by other devices like internal bus speed, speed of harddisks, FireWire speed, camera capture, typing speed of computer operator etc. So the average production increase in a day when selecting a 3 GHz over a 2.66 is definitely much less than 13 %.

Perhaps you can make the most rendering and conversions during the night when you sleep or take a break? Then it doesn't matter if it takes 6 h or up to 6 h 45 m with the slower processor.

So you have to do your own calculation in the lifetime of your computer and put it relative the cost.

I went for the 2.66 and I am a VERY satisfied customer so far. I bought the 160 GB disk and then added 3x500 GB disks + more RAM. (Apple always charge a little bit to much for HD and RAM in my opinion.)

I installed everything on the 160 GB disk. Then copied it to the first 500 GB disk. I will pull out the 160 GB disk as a system and program backup.

Then I made a Raid 0 volume of the two 500 GB disks for my video material.

Good luck whatever you do. /Johan
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Old August 29th, 2007, 04:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere View Post
Hi,
2. About RAM...
If you would want to have 8GB RAM, what's the difference between
for example 8x1 and 4x2?
What's the difference, if you have 4GB, between 4x1 and 2x2?
Thanks,
Hi again,

It is like picking berries with your right hand only or using both hands parallel!

Pick 1000 berries with one hand only or just 500 with each hand. Which is fastest? /Johan
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Old August 29th, 2007, 05:10 AM   #8
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Hi Johan,

thank you for the detailed answers!
And your anology with picking berries is a very clear simple way for me to understand, thanks!
ps: how much RAM do you have? And how fast is HDV editing?
I don't really care about the rendering afterwards (like you said, you go to sleep and that 45 minutes won't make the difference) but
working fluently and previewing real time is pretty important to work/edit fast.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 01:36 PM   #9
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FYI - Apple uses RAM from Crucial Technologies. I simply bought my additional 4GB RAM from crucial.com and it ended up being cheaper than the "cheaper" stuff sold by places like MacZone.

I also bought the 2.66 model MacPro because of the cost/speed difference between it and the 3.0. I've been running Final Cut, Motion, Color and other apps and it's been fast enough to handle pretty much everything. I love having so much pre-rendered in Final Cut Pro. No more making a clip 50% speed and having to render every time!
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Old August 29th, 2007, 01:49 PM   #10
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Hi again,

I use 6 GB of RAM and have always plenty of program running at the same time. Normally no problem but FCP can freeze once every second week or so. So far without further trouble.

How fast HDV editing is? I have no idea! I wouldn't mind to have a 10 times faster computer for rendering. For instance, to downsize a 15 min 1080 HDV film to SD could take about 1 h 30 m using best quality.

To render a scrolling text or a couple of transitions could take about two minutes.

Normal editing is fast and not limited by the speed of the computer. I used a 1 GHz PowerBook before but HDV was painfully slow.

The problem is more about the disk space and the largest disks will be filled up rather quickly. And how to backup all that data in case the computer gets lost or dies due to lightening or fire.

I suggest you visit somebody who use FCP on a Mac Pro to judge the speed and efficiency yourself.

Last edited by Johan Forssblad; August 30th, 2007 at 01:37 PM.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 05:21 AM   #11
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Thanks Travis for the RAM-advice!

Thanks Johan for the details on your experience!
I've been to the apple store once, played on the Mac Pro, but I'll do it again if I have more time.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 12:56 PM   #12
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In short, they're great machines - get one and you won't regret it. (Just get your extra RAM and HDDs from a third party seller!)
Can you please tell us wich thirs party seller you have to look at?

Thank you very much!
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Old August 30th, 2007, 01:58 PM   #13
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Extra HD

Hi,
I ordered a Seagate Barracuda 500 GB HD but it was out of stock so they shipped a Western Digital 500 GB instead. Unfortunately (?) it was dead on arrival! So it ended up one week later with the Seagate as planned before.

No problem at all to put in the disk. The front panel with lock is already delivered with the computer so it is just to fasten four screws and slide it in and format and check the drive. An easy way to save some dollars.

When I bought nearly one year ago the 750 GB was still more expensive per byte so I decided to stay with 3x500 GB disks. Now 1 TB disks are available too.

Find the cheapest retailer who is reputable. No need to give Apple a bunch of money for a preinstalled disk IMHO.

The same applies to RAM. Ask the vendor if the RAM is specified to work in the MAC Pro. At least in the beginning they said that RAM without cooling fins caused the fan to rev faster.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 08:38 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ivan Snoeckx View Post
Can you please tell us wich thirs party seller you have to look at?

Thank you very much!

Hey Ivan,

I got my RAM from Other World Computing (www.otherworldcomputing.com) for just AUD$400 (that's a fifth of the price Apple Australia were asking!) delivery was quick and the memory works great, I'd highly recommend them.

As for HDD I kept to the standard 250Gb one from Apple and picked up a 320Gb Seagate (the cheapest per Gb drive) from a local computer store for $99. These have served me just fine so far, if they fill up I can always throw another two in with them!

Hope this helps.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 04:56 AM   #15
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Thank you very much Johan and Mark!

The RAM is interesting me the most, because I probably will get a LaCie Biggest FW-800 (2 TerraByte) in RAID5 as storage.

What is the best thing to do if I want to install 8 GigaByte of RAM? Order a Mac Pro with the standard RAM (2x 512 MB), then remove all the RAM and replace it with 4x 2GB DIMMS so that I still can expand?
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