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Old December 17th, 2008, 06:39 PM   #1
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Mac specs for editing HDV

My current Mac can't edit HDV footage worth a nudge. PowerMac G5... dual 2.3, 128 video card.

Great for SD... but HDV? It ain't so great.

Anyways, a few of you have convinced Mr. Ignorance (that's me) that it's worth it to edit in HD so I'm in the market for a Mac to be able to do it.

What are the minimum specs to be able to edit efficiently? 4 gigs of RAM? 6? 8? What would you go with?
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Old December 17th, 2008, 07:51 PM   #2
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Go to the Apple web site and look up the tech specs for FCP. It's all there.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 10:59 PM   #3
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Yeah, but those are the bare 'minimum,' right?
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Old December 18th, 2008, 06:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake Cavett View Post
My current Mac can't edit HDV footage worth a nudge. PowerMac G5... dual 2.3, 128 video card.

Great for SD... but HDV? It ain't so great.

Anyways, a few of you have convinced Mr. Ignorance (that's me) that it's worth it to edit in HD so I'm in the market for a Mac to be able to do it.

What are the minimum specs to be able to edit efficiently? 4 gigs of RAM? 6? 8? What would you go with?
Get the fastest Mac you can afford!

By the way, I have a G5 dual 2.0 with a Kona card and it cuts HD footage just fine.
It takes longer to render than my newer Mac Pro, but it still works.

Also, don't let a bunch of people on the internet tell you what format you need to be editing in.
Let your client base dictate if you need to edit SD or HD.
Are your clients requesting that you shoot and edit in HD?
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Old December 18th, 2008, 09:21 AM   #5
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Am using it on a 24" iMac 3.06ghz and so far editing HDV "feels" about the same as editing regular DV on my dual G5/2.5ghz. Actually just started a couple big projects this week and am looking forward to the new system.

Performance seems similar on my Macbook Pro 2.4ghz
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Old December 18th, 2008, 12:00 PM   #6
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Hmmm....

Interesting. Wonder why editing HDV on my Mac is funky. I was always getting a giant red render bar... so I just started downconverting to SD before editing.

Maybe I missed something in my settings... I'll try again.

It's a G5... dual 2.3
128 video card
2.5 RAM
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Old December 18th, 2008, 01:28 PM   #7
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I edited a couple HDV projects on my dual G5 and it seemed to work fine also, although as David mentioned, rendering was slow. Make sure you have your clip/capture/sequence settings right. Easiest way to do this is to start FCP and close all projects which are open. Under the FCP menu choose Easy Setup, then pick the one which is correct for your camera.

Now the settings of all new captures and sequences will be in agreement. This doesn't change any existing clips or sequences though, only new ones. My G5 was very similar to yours... 2.5ghz dual with 2.5GB RAM. Unfortunately it died without warning and considering the age I am not inclined to fix it.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 01:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Blake Cavett View Post
Maybe I missed something in my settings... I'll try again.

It's a G5... dual 2.3
128 video card
2.5 RAM
You must have missed a setting. At home I have a dual 2.3 G5 with 5.5g ram hooked to a 1.5TB esata raid with sustained throughput of 190/sec and I can cut HDV all day long like butter. In fact I can edit on it as fast as I can edit at work where I have an Octo with 8g ram.

Now the render times at the end of the day... that is a different story. But for cuts, dissolves, and simple color correction there's not a notable difference.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 01:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake Cavett View Post
My current Mac can't edit HDV footage worth a nudge. PowerMac G5... dual 2.3, 128 video card.

Great for SD... but HDV? It ain't so great.
I have a slower G5 Mac and I edit HDV and HD ProRes all the time. Perhaps you have an older version of FCP that doesn't recognize HDV? Do you have FCP set up for HDV or is it set up for an uncompressed HD format?
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 09:36 PM   #10
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Update...

Okies... I finally ran a little test.

1st project: Captured my HDV video (1440x1080). On the timeline, I got an orange render bar, so playback was awful. I must've overlooked a sequence setting, because there's no chance I can edit like this. What am I missing?
I exported the 30 second clip via Compressor.

2nd project: Downconverted my HDV video to SD... same 30 second clip and exported via Compressor.

Put both clips in DVDSP, played them back to back... and I'll be danged if I can see a difference!

Questions:
1) Should I see a difference?
2) What gives with my funky HDV playback in the timeline?
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 09:41 PM   #11
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I'm cutting HDV captured to ProRes422 on an iMac 2.16GHz to external drives and while renders are not blistering, it's more than ADEQUATE. Looking forward to my new Mac Pro when the next series are released but I'm getting the bills paid until then.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 10:01 PM   #12
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Cheap ways to speed up your G5. increase ram to system maximum. Raid system drive and capture drive, render to separate Raid from system. Buy a better video card than 128mb ram.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 12:01 AM   #13
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well a 2.3g G5 is right on the edge - I used a 2.5G G5 and it ran fine with HDV. it also had a ATIX800 and 4.5G of ram. that machine is now gone and I've got a 8 core machine.

a 128mb graphics card means ATI 9600/9800. neither card is really very good. a nvidia 6800 or ATI X800, both with 256mb of ram would help.

2.5G of ram is really too skimpy for HD. you need 4G+ of ram. fcp will only use 2.5, but with 4g+ of ram, FCP will have its full 2.5 + there will still be room for the OS

runing seperate raids with HDV / DV / ProRes really won't make much difference. the data is so low with these formats that unless you are workiing on a really full drive you'll not be able to measure a difference between a modern SATA drive and a RAID. with your system the problem is CPU / GPU / RAM.

we'll also assume you're all updated.

so that said, spending anything on a G5 is a tough call. money would be better spent even on a iMac. don't forget, Mac expo is a few weeks out, so save your beans, and see what will be released.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 02:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake Cavett View Post
Okies... I finally ran a little test.

1st project: Captured my HDV video (1440x1080). On the timeline, I got an orange render bar, so playback was awful. I must've overlooked a sequence setting, because there's no chance I can edit like this. What am I missing?
I exported the 30 second clip via Compressor.

2nd project: Downconverted my HDV video to SD... same 30 second clip and exported via Compressor.

Put both clips in DVDSP, played them back to back... and I'll be danged if I can see a difference!

Questions:
1) Should I see a difference?
2) What gives with my funky HDV playback in the timeline?
Use "Easy Setup" for your brand of HDV. Are you using Sony, Canon or JVC? Canon and Sony use the same HDV codec (1440x1080 60i) but Canon has a 24p variant that isn't compatible with Sony. JVC uses a 720p HDV codec. If you want to see a real-time SD preview of your HDV edit on a TV monitor over the FireWire, set the sequence to ProRes in the correct resolution. HDV sequences will not play real time over FireWire.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 05:03 PM   #15
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The new intel chips are apparently very good for video editing. I don't plan to buy another Mac until these processors are used by Apple.
The next Mac Pro will have a large increase in performance. I hope in the first half of next year. The imac may have the new chips first.
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