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Old November 19th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #1
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Location: West Midlands, UK
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Need Advice on Machine

Hi, i posted before regarding this matter but circumstances have changed so here i am again. I've decided to purchase a powermac G5 from ebay for use with final cut studio 2 and after effects, however i am in some confusion where to base my priorities when looking at the specs.

On apples website they give you the minimum requirements to run there software and then there recommended requirements, and what i have noticed is that while they will recommend higher ram and a better graphics card they never seem to recommend a faster processor than what is minimally required. Now this is important to me because ram is much cheaper and easier to install as opposed to a faster processor.

ebay is riddled with deals on g5's but i'm eager to know what sort of performance i can expect from the systems which are within my budget. Below i have pasted TWO typical examples of the sort of deals which are often available, and if possible could you give me some advice to what i can expect from each machine running these programs and what upgrades you would recommend that wouldn’t break the bank.

My use for the system will be to edit HDV, composite basic/mid level 3d work in after effects and do a lot of colour correction.


OPTION 1
Power Mac G5 1.8Ghz Dual

Memory 512MB

L2 Cache per cpu 512kb

Memory 512MB

Bus Speed 900 Mhz

Pioneer DVR-106D DVD Writer

Geoforce FX 5200 64MB Graphics

8 DIMM DDR SDRAM Version 2 Slots Occupied

160GB Maxtor Hard Disk

Airport Extreme Wireless Card + External Anntenna

Loaded with Max OSX 10.4

Also comes with Samsung Syncmaster 15" Monitor

and i'll thrown in a Griffin Imic

OPTION 2
For sale, is my Apple Powermac G5 in fantastic working order. This has been a truly amazing bit of kit and has primarily been used in a smoke free studio. It is in good condition, with just a few minor surface marks. The mac comes fully loaded with the RAM upgraded to 2 Gb. I've also fitted an additional 160gb hard drive, making the total capacity 320Gb and has dual DVI video card.
The mac has been fully wiped and re-installed with OS 10.4 Tiger and has pre-installed software
Item Specifics - Apple Desktops
Product Family: PowerMac Memory (RAM): 2,000 MB
Processor Type: PowerPC G5 Hard Drive Capacity: 320 GB
Processor Speed: 2,000 MHz Operating System: Mac OS 10.4, Tiger
Processor Configuration: Dual

Look forward to your feedback.
Daniel Alexander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2007, 06:07 AM   #2
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Anyone?????
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Old November 20th, 2007, 06:59 AM   #3
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Hi Daniel, I've moved this thread to our Mac forum which is a better place to get a response. I have a dual G5 2.5ghz machine, running FCP 5. For the work I do I'm still content and can't justify upgrading to a faster Intel system quite yet. But I do mostly DV as opposed to HDV. My system is fine for HDV (I have 2.5GB RAM, dual internal drives and LOTS of external drives), but it's probably pretty slow compared to Intel Macs. It took around 4 hours to render an hour of HDV as widescreen DV the last time I tried.

Based on the info you posted, those machines will work but don't sound like speed demons :-) Just based on the CPU speed of the first option, it would take a dual 1.8 about 5 and a half hours to render the same 1 hour sequence mentioned above. You will certainly want more than 512MB of memory. I'd take it up to at least 2.5GB if not 4 GB (I think it maxes out at 4?)

The second option indicates a 2ghz CPU but doesn't say that it's a dual. I wonder if that's a mistake (is there a single 2ghz G5?... would have to be an early model if so)? I wouldn't personally be too keen if it isn't at least a dual processor machine. If it is a dual then performance is probably similar to option 1. It has 2GB RAM which might be a good place to start.

If you want to run Motion or Color then you should carefully check the graphics cards to see if they're compatible. Those options will probably be pretty slow with those applications, especially if using HD resolution. Motion works fine on my G5 at SD resolution but is really show for HD. I haven't used Color or any of the FCS2 applications on my machine so I can't really comment on how they would perform.

I run several high-end 3d packages on my G5 including Strata 3d Pro and Vue Infinite. They work fine, but of course faster is always better, especially for any sort of animation at high resolution. It literally takes days to render a minute of standard definition video at high quality with a complicated model.

Good luck with your purchase. I'm sure you'll get a few other comments from Mac users.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 07:43 AM   #4
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Thanks Boyd thats gave me a good insight. I'm going to do some research on intel systems as you mentioned, as i really am a novice when it comes to the hardware side of film making.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 07:51 AM   #5
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I think that's a good idea. It really depends on what you expect, but in many cases I'm pretty sure you would find that a new Intel iMac or maybe even a Mini will be much faster than any of the G5's. But it won't have the internal expandability of the G5 tower and might have graphics card issues with the new FCS apps. I'd also think the storng Euro would make this a good time to buy a new machine.

This has been discussed quite a bit around here already though. Try reading back a few pages in this forum for some good insights.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 08:32 AM   #6
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Apple will also update the Mac Pro's soon (between now and mid-january is expected) so there should come a market of second hand Intel Mac Pro's...
And you can buy Refurbished Mac Pro's at the Apple store, but although they are mostly in great to almost perfect shape and come with warranty, the prices aren't that far away from new machines, often.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 10:31 PM   #7
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either of those machines will be less then great. its seems that people who bid on macs on ebay never bother to check what apple is charging for a new machine. good if you're selling, bad if you're trying to buy because if you are gonna spend over $2k for a machine, get a new one. once you get one of those machines, you'll need to put some ram in it. 2.5G minimum, max of 8G. graphics card too will most likely be a 9600/9800 which don't cut it for motion. so you could drop another $400-$500 upgrading the machine, where as for the same money or close to it, you could have a new machine. buy extra ram & HD's aftermarket as apple wants way too much. look at a refurb, or just wait until the new machines come out if you don't have to have a machine right a away.... and where it can be paid for quick enough.
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