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Old October 20th, 2003, 07:40 AM   #1
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Lap- or Desktop?

Hi!!

I am seriously considering moving away from PC and Premiere (fed up) to a Mac and FCP.
I generally make projects of up to one hour with the XL-1.
Is there an important functional difference between a G4 laptop and G4 desktop computer, given the same RAM and HD capacity?
I need a laptop every now & then for productions on location, so a laptop would be preferable...

Thanks !

Dan
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Old October 20th, 2003, 12:10 PM   #2
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Laptops (PowerBooks in Mac lingo) are slower than desktops (Power Mac G5). So, what is more important, speed or portability? Convenience or versatility? Both have their merits and drawbacks.
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Old October 20th, 2003, 04:56 PM   #3
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Jeff, thanks...
Is there a recommended configuration that works particularly well for DV editing? 1 GB RAM, 160 GB HD? capture card is included, as well as plugs for monitor etc.?? I'm now working with DV 500 by Pinnacle which apart from the fact that it usually gives me headaches, has a break out box which is pretty handy for hooking up peripherals.

Thanks again..!
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Old October 20th, 2003, 09:25 PM   #4
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i have a powerbook g4, and final cut 4
editing is pretty good, with an external firewire hdd, you should be ok
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Old October 21st, 2003, 12:00 AM   #5
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As for a laptop there is really no way to update them.

Looking for a desktop in a G4 look for a Dual unit as this will be a major asset when working with FCP.

Also another little trick is always max the RAM on a G4 it seems they work better and faster, also make sure you get the right RAM as this even more important.
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Old October 21st, 2003, 03:05 AM   #6
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Thanks all!
Tom: Why is the dual unit better for FCP.
And what is the correct RAM? How can I go wrong there?
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Old October 21st, 2003, 11:24 AM   #7
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The correct RAM for a G4 using SDram is 256MB PC133 CL3 168 Pin SDRam 3-2-2,

Each stick of SDRAM has specifications relating to the timing and frequency it can operate at, much the same as a CPU has a certain MHz rating. The most common types of SDRAM are PC100 and PC133, which basically state that the memory can run on a 100 or 133 MHz frequency. Looking a bit deeper, there are also more detailed specifications for CAS latency, RAS-to-CAS delay, and RAS precharge time. These CAS latency, RAS-to-CAS delay, and RAS precharge time specs are commonly displayed in a shorter, 3-digit format (X-X-X) such as 3-2-2 or 3-3-3.

In staying with the non-technical focus of this guide, suffice it to say that CAS (Column Access Strobe) is a ratio determined using both the memory's column access timings and the current system clock. Since the column access timings are static, the faster the internal clock speed (66, 100, 133+) the harder a lower CAS rating is to achieve. RAS (Row Access Strobe) precharge time and RAS-to-CAS delay are also memory latency ratings that are derived from the memory access times. For each of the CAS latency, RAS-to-CAS delay, and RAS precharge time options, the lower the number, the faster the memory timings and potential performance.

From: http://www.sharkyextreme.com/hardware/guides/memory_perf/index.shtml

As for a Dual, FCP was and is designed to use a Dual.
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Old October 21st, 2003, 11:49 AM   #8
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WOW!!

Thanks Tom!
I will blow the guy in the shop away with that!
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Old October 21st, 2003, 02:29 PM   #9
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The newest G4s use PC2700 DDR333 RAM. DDR RAM needs to be installed in pairs.

There are 4 different RAM timings, with CAS being the most important. The lowest timings you can buy right now might be CAS2-2-2-5. I'm not sure if you will actually get those timings from your RAM. Your Mac would either:
1- Looks at the SPD chip on the RAM and uses those timings. A lot of RAM have their SPD set to very conservative settings. As far as I know you can't change these settings on a Mac.
2- Ignore the SPD timings totally and use some default timings. In which case you wouldn't get better performance unless your RAM is bad and you get crashes and system instability.
I'm not sure if Macs do 1 or 2.

I would just get some non-generic RAM that works with Macs. Search for Mac RAM on google to find the right brand. Then go to newegg.com or a local shop to buy that RAM.

Tower versus laptop: The people working on Scrubs really like their laptops. You can search for the Scrubs thread.
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Old October 21st, 2003, 03:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Chan :
The newest G4s use DDR RAM needs to be installed in pairs.
I believe you are refering to dual channel RAM? DDR does not need to be installed in pairs. Do any G4's use dual channel RAM or only G5's? I have heard that there is very little benefit in having dual channel RAM.
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Old October 21st, 2003, 06:53 PM   #11
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I think the new G4s use DDR (SD)RAM (dual channel). DDR / dual data rate RAM uses both sticks of RAM at once to achieve the dual data rate. Not installing the RAM in matched pairs defeats the point of DDR. G4s might let you do it, but G5s won't boot if it doesn't have matched pairs of RAM (i.e. can't boot with 1 stick). Old G4s use SDRAM though- it will accept unpaired RAM happily.

On PCs, the optimal setup is to have all sticks of RAM the exact same model and capacity. On Macs I'd expect this to be the same. You could auction off your old sticks of RAM on eBay. Apple RAM is seriously overpriced (2X street price). You save serious money if you throw your old sticks of RAM in the trash and get 3rd party RAM like Crucial.

2- Dan: Have you considered Vegas Video? The Mac/FCP combo is definitely very nice but when most folks look at their pocketbook the dark side beckons once again...
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Old October 21st, 2003, 10:40 PM   #12
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That's right they are DDR RAM making them better than before. However I was looking at earlier G4s, as they are cheaper to get at this time.


OH! As to the DDR I wonder if you are able to use Corsair DDR RAM??

Take a look at their specs….

http://www.corsairmicro.com/
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Old October 22nd, 2003, 12:24 AM   #13
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Dual channel is different from double data rate (DDR). I have a G4 and it takes DDR ram, but it is not capable of dual channel like the G5's, which, like you said, MUST have it.
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Old October 22nd, 2003, 10:42 AM   #14
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RAM warning...

Glenn wrote:

Quote:
On Macs I'd expect this to be the same. You could auction off your old sticks of RAM on eBay. Apple RAM is seriously overpriced (2X street price). You save serious money if you throw your old sticks of RAM in the trash and get 3rd party RAM like Crucial.
Just make sure that you get Apple Certified RAM when buying third party. I just got a new 15" PowerBook at work, and it came with some third party RAM that was supposed to be Apple Certified, but it wasn't working (screen would freeze forcing a hard reboot - hadn't seen that since OS 9). Fortunately the vendor (Mac Mall) replaced the RAM with a better brand (Kensington), and things have been great since then.

BTW, I am extremely happy with this machine (I'm typing on it now). I also have a 12" PowerBook at home that I edit on (FCP3 for now), and I'm very happy with that as well.
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Old October 22nd, 2003, 10:47 AM   #15
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From MacNN:

Apple adds G4, other features to iBooks
Apple today unveiled its new iBooks featuring PowerPC G4 processors, with the 12-inch display model starting at just $1,100 and the 14-inch display model starting at $1,300. The new iBook line offers AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth, and USB 2.0 connectivity; each feature 256MB of DDR memory as well as slot-load Combo drive for burning CDs and watching DVDs. The new iBooks also include Apple's latest operating system, Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther." The new iBook with a 12-inch display is available immediately, and the new iBook models with a 14-inch display are expected to be available next week.


Bout time........
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