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Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE


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Old May 13th, 2008, 06:38 PM   #1
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iMac?????

Sorry I had to edit the question.
It was about iMac vs Mac Pro and would I have buyer's remorse for getting the iMac now rather than waiting for the day when I can afford Pro. - Rick, thanks for the idea about the reseller. I'm going to look into it.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 06:58 PM   #2
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Scott,

Why not buy one of the lower end Intel MacPros? You can go to the apple.com website/store and buy a refurbished MacPro or go to a used Mac reseller like Powermax and get a great computer for less than $2500. If you're going to be doing video editing than you will at least need a dual 2.6 Ghz MacPro. I have a mix of new and refurbed Macs and have had no problems with any of them.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 10:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
Scott, If you're going to be doing video editing than you will at least need a dual 2.6 Ghz MacPro.
I had the same questions as Scott recently, and decided to go with a refurbished Mac Pro. I was thinking of one of the refurb single quad-core processor systems.

Rick, do you think that would be sufficient for working with HD in Final Cut Pro? You mention at least a dual 2.6, which I take to mean a 2 dual-core processor system. Would a single quad-core be roughly the same or better? I think the quad-core has the 800MHz DDR2 RAM and, I think, the better graphic card in the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT with the two dual-link DVI ports.

By the way, my GF has a 20" iMac and after about a year had several problems with it. A nice enough computer, but if anything goes wrong with either the screen or almost anything inside, it all had to go back to the repair shop. One of the problems with the tight form factor, all-in-one systems.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 01:31 AM   #4
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Any of the mac pro's of all three generations have enough horsepower to work with real HD. The problems really seem to stem when people are lacking a fast raid and something like a kona card to help with playback. For example I just have 3 drives raid 0'd in my mac with the onboard software, when I have a kona 3 in there I can playback a stream of 1080i uncompressed 10 bit and scrub around. Without the kona card I can play back but scrubbing around is another story. What it boils down to is a couple things, 1 the horsepower, and yes, the mac pros are better than imacs, 2 is that the mac pro has expandability. When dealing with real hd not hdv you need to go beyond just the processor and video card you need raid which requires a controller card in a pci express slot for the external array, and a capture card to give you in and out capabilities to capture from a deck also requiring a pci express slot. So really if you are only dealing with dv and hdv material the mac pro will be great but the imac will be more than adequate, however if you start to deal with higher megabytes per second formats than you will have to bump it up. Of course you can use the imac for hd still but just edit offline and take your finished project to an online facility but that is something else entirely.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 07:45 AM   #5
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To reinforce what James said; Once you step up to the dual processor Intel Mac Pro's FCP and HD/HDV editing is no problem. However if you're doing ProRes (HQ), the higher bit rate HD formats or uncompressed HD then you'll need a RAID. For even the lower end HD flavors it's a good idea to have a minimum 2 drive RAID, 3 is better with SATA or Fibre, etc.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 09:13 AM   #6
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If you CAN, go for a Mac Pro...
better built, faster, more expandible...

I've also heard about many problems with iMac's, while you rarely hear about problems with Mac Pro's...
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Old May 14th, 2008, 10:56 PM   #7
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While the advantages are clear...

I should point out that I've been editing broadcast quality work for television, DVCPRO HD 1080i music videos, and HDV music videos for over a year on a humble Intel iMac.

It's a limited machine, which will eventually find it's place as just a desktop computer - but I've been astounded by it's flexibility.

Your mileage may vary - but mines been pretty good to me.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 02:30 AM   #8
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I also use an Intel iMac. The video output is connected to a monitor and works with FCP. That's right, dual monitors on an iMac. It works very well for most my needs.

If you have the money to spend and need other I/O options other than Firewire, get the Mac Pro, RAID, and I/O card.
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