Film & Video Editing MacPro Setup - Thoughts Welcome! at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Final Cut Suite
Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 5th, 2009, 07:14 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Belfast Northern Ireland
Posts: 261
Film & Video Editing MacPro Setup - Thoughts Welcome!

Hi Everyone!

Before having to read further, for a quick glance I have some numbered questions at the bottom of this post that I'd really appreciate any quick tips, hints or opinions about...

For my tight 'guerilla' budget I've been researching what should hopefully be a pretty sound MacPro setup for editing some corporate videos with capacity to also edit an independent feature film I'm going to make next year.

By searching for specific items at different online retailers I found I was able to shave money off the items as opposed to buying everything from just one retailer.

Here are the full details of the items I intend to purchase:

(this first collection of items to be ordered direct from Apple)

Two 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
8GB (4x2GB)
1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB
One 18x SuperDrive
Apple Mighty Mouse
Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (British) and User's Guide (English)
AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac Pro (w/or w/o Display) – Auto-enroll

------

(remaining items sourced from independent retailers using search engine)

1 copy of Final Cut Studio 2

------

Sonnet Fusion D800 Raid Enclosure (No Hard Drives) with PCIE Controller
8 Seagate Barracuda ES.2 hard drives (for the D800 Raid)

------

Edirol MA-15D Studio Monitors
Belkin PureAV Digital Optical Audio Cable with Mini-Toslink Adapter

------

1 * Dell 2408WFP monitor

-----

8GB 1066MHz DDR3 ECC Kit with thermal sensors...4 (Four 2GB modules, totaling 8GB)

------

My questions and concerns about the above set-up are:

1. If I'm 'Finance Leasing' the equipment that's direct from Apple (to pay off over 24 months) do I really still need the AppleCare Protection Plan? Surely Apple would be on hand throughout the duration of the lease in an AppleCare capacity, to help out with any problems the equipment might have?


2. I am planning to buy the ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB graphics card as I've read it might be good with Motion 3. However, the 4x NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB option is also available, and is more expensive. Would the 4x NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB be a better option for using Motion 3 than the ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB graphics card?


3. I've chosen to have a 1TB Hard Drive included in Bay 1, from Apple. I don't know what make this Hard Drive will be. Would it be possible to add into Bays 2-4 Hard Drives made by different manufacturers to the manufacturers of the Hard Drive in Bay 1? e.g. a combination of Western Digital and, say, Caldigit?


4. My plan is to buy 8GB (4x2GB) RAM from Apple and then a further 8GB kit. Is this the best way to ensure I get to use a combination of both Apple RAM and 2rd Party RAM without having to discard any?

When searching for RAM I'm presented with an option for “Apple – Mac Pro DDR3 (Early 2009) 2CPU”. The item I then find is thr “8GB 1066MHz DDR3 ECC Kit with thermal sensors” For pieces/unit it states “4 (Four 2GB modules, totaling 8GB)”.

Is this the correct RAM option I should be getting to complement my existing 8GB RAM?

With time, say in a year, I intend to upgrade RAM all the way to 32GB (might as well use the MacPro to it's limit when editing my independent feature!), but just want to be sure I'm on the right track to do this, without having to discard any perfectly good RAM modules I've paid for.


5. I already have one 1TB & one 750GB MyBook. If I wanted to only have 1TB of memory in Bay 1, with the remaining 3 bays empty, is it possible to configure Time Machine or some other backup programme in such a way so that it backs up my 1TB 'boot drive' in Bay 1 to one or both of the MyBooks?


6. Is it the 'done thing' to have a backup programme regularly backing up your 'boot drive'? I'm not sure of the importance of this since I would also have a Raid 5 in effect thanks to the Sonnet Fusion D800 Raid.

Would I need to configure my D800 Raid to also backup by 1TB 'boot drive' in Bay 1?


7. Ideally for now I could just use my MyBooks for backing up my 1TB system/boot drive in Bay 1, just so as to avoid buying additional 1TB 'internal drives' for the remaining 3 Bays. Is this possible?


8. I've only ever installed some RAM in my Imac before and used jewellers screwdrivers to do that. What crucial additional cables, screws or accessories might I need to connect everything up?

Again, any thoughts on the above would be truly appreciated. All info will be compiled and I'll return with a post to summarise my findings - which should hopefully help any other budding MacPro purchasers in the same position.

I'll also update this thread with how I'm finding video/film editing and using Motion on this MacPro, and offer advice to anyone with any questions about something I know about.

Warm regards

Peter Dunphy
Peter Dunphy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5th, 2009, 11:08 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 2,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dunphy View Post

1. If I'm 'Finance Leasing' the equipment that's direct from Apple (to pay off over 24 months) do I really still need the AppleCare Protection Plan? Surely Apple would be on hand throughout the duration of the lease in an AppleCare capacity, to help out with any problems the equipment might have?
I wouldn't assume this. A finance plan is separate from a warranty, it's possible that a third party is covering the finance plan. Get the AppleCare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dunphy View Post
3. I've chosen to have a 1TB Hard Drive included in Bay 1, from Apple. I don't know what make this Hard Drive will be. Would it be possible to add into Bays 2-4 Hard Drives made by different manufacturers to the manufacturers of the Hard Drive in Bay 1? e.g. a combination of Western Digital and, say, Caldigit?
You'll be fine with any quality drive you put in the bays. If you planning on creating an internal RAID, I recommend getting the same brand and model of drive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dunphy View Post
4. My plan is to buy 8GB (4x2GB) RAM from Apple and then a further 8GB kit. Is this the best way to ensure I get to use a combination of both Apple RAM and 2rd Party RAM without having to discard any?

When searching for RAM I'm presented with an option for “Apple – Mac Pro DDR3 (Early 2009) 2CPU”. The item I then find is thr “8GB 1066MHz DDR3 ECC Kit with thermal sensors” For pieces/unit it states “4 (Four 2GB modules, totaling 8GB)”.

Is this the correct RAM option I should be getting to complement my existing 8GB RAM?

With time, say in a year, I intend to upgrade RAM all the way to 32GB (might as well use the MacPro to it's limit when editing my independent feature!), but just want to be sure I'm on the right track to do this, without having to discard any perfectly good RAM modules I've paid for.
What are you doing that might need 32GB of RAM? Final Cut Pro maxes out at 4GB and you wouldn't need more for general feature editing anyway. Motion likes more RAM but the quality of the video card is as important. After Effects and Photoshop like lots of RAM for big projects but you can easily get the job done with 8GB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dunphy View Post
5. I already have one 1TB & one 750GB MyBook. If I wanted to only have 1TB of memory in Bay 1, with the remaining 3 bays empty, is it possible to configure Time Machine or some other backup programme in such a way so that it backs up my 1TB 'boot drive' in Bay 1 to one or both of the MyBooks?


6. Is it the 'done thing' to have a backup programme regularly backing up your 'boot drive'? I'm not sure of the importance of this since I would also have a Raid 5 in effect thanks to the Sonnet Fusion D800 Raid.

Would I need to configure my D800 Raid to also backup by 1TB 'boot drive' in Bay 1?


7. Ideally for now I could just use my MyBooks for backing up my 1TB system/boot drive in Bay 1, just so as to avoid buying additional 1TB 'internal drives' for the remaining 3 Bays. Is this possible?
This all seem to be related questions. Time Machine (which is a great backup solution) can only go to one drive. Since you will probably not be filling up the boot drive anytime soon (don't capture to the boot drive if you can avoid it), your MyBook 1TB should work fine as a backup drive. It would make sense to devote that drive to backups and remove anything else you might have stored on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dunphy View Post
8. I've only ever installed some RAM in my Imac before and used jewellers screwdrivers to do that. What crucial additional cables, screws or accessories might I need to connect everything up?
Nope, everything you need should be coming with the equipment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dunphy View Post
Again, any thoughts on the above would be truly appreciated. All info will be compiled and I'll return with a post to summarise my findings - which should hopefully help any other budding MacPro purchasers in the same position.

I'll also update this thread with how I'm finding video/film editing and using Motion on this MacPro, and offer advice to anyone with any questions about something I know about.

Warm regards

Peter Dunphy
How are you intending to shoot this project? What format, camera, etc.? You have a great set-up described here.
__________________
William Hohauser - New York City
Edit/Camera/DCP production/Animation
William Hohauser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5th, 2009, 11:42 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Belfast Northern Ireland
Posts: 261
Hi William

Thanks for your feedback I really appreciate it!

Yep will get the Applecare in that case - I think it is indeed a third party who deal with the finance.

I'll be shooting HDV with my Canon XH-A1 for my feature - hopefully I can give my production a bit of visual value with my keen eye for a camera angle, lighting, and getting the hang of my Steadicam Merlin with Arm & Vest.

In the meantime I'm soon to start editing a promotional video for a school and have amassed hours upon hours of decent footage over the course of 6 months (Canon XH-A1 HDV again) which I'm looking forward to cutting.

8GB of RAM sounds good, and saves me cash to devote to the external Raid. I guess if Motion isn't as smooth as I would like it's just a matter of quickly ordering an addition 8GB of RAM from a 3rd Party memory retailer. I guess I just thought that with the MacPro maxed-out with Ram, applications such as Motion would run ultra-smoothly.

Okay so I can use my 1TB MyBook to backup my 1TB Bay 1 'boot drive' via Time Machine? That's really handy for me and again saves me precious cash.

Any thoughts on the graphics card? On the Apple Checkout the ATI Radeon HD 4870 is at the bottom of the list. My assumption from that layout would be that it's the best card there, but I'm confused by the 4x NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB being more expensive. Apologies but I'm not too well acquainted with graphics cards, apart from reading on a thread here that the ATI Radeon HD 4870 is quite good with Motion 3.

It's heartening to hear you say you think it's a great set-up! At least I know I'm on the right track now - I only learned what a Raid is a few days ago!

All the best

Peter
Peter Dunphy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5th, 2009, 02:11 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 2,615
This system is excellent for HDV work. In fact, I suggest that you explore using ProRes. You can capture directly to ProRes which will eat up drive space eventually or set your sequences to render effects and filters in ProRes so you can capture in space saving HDV yet gain the benefits of ProRes where it helps the most.

More RAM would be helpful for real-time previews in Motion or After Effects but you really have to assess how you will be using programs like these. If it's for a short effect or graphic sequence here and there, lots of RAM will be a waste. Unfortunately someone else will have answer questions about the video cards, I just don't create many processor intensive graphics.
__________________
William Hohauser - New York City
Edit/Camera/DCP production/Animation
William Hohauser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5th, 2009, 04:40 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Belfast Northern Ireland
Posts: 261
Hi William,

Thanks again for your feedback. Yep I definitely think I'll avail of Apple ProRes 422.

Hopefully someone can comment on the graphics cards for the Mac Pro - from some digging it just seems like the 4x NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB would be beneficial if you wanted to use lots of displays?

Am still actively researching and checking things in the lead-up to my purchase. Pretty excited but anxious not to screw it up! :o)

Peter
Peter Dunphy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2009, 06:24 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Redding, CA
Posts: 260
Having come from a pc background, where 3rd party vendors run rampant, I can safely say that any time you mix and match RAM you run a serious risk of actually inhibiting your system performance. Each manufacturer makes RAM with different timings for different uses. I don't just mean DDR2 667 vs DDR2 800- I'm refering to CAS and tRAS timings that determine exactly how many CPU clock cycles a stick of memory operates on. Before DDR this wasn't really an issue. Now, virtually all RAM sticks are designed to work in matching pairs to enhance performance. So if you have 2 sticks of Apple RAM and 2 sticks of 3rd party RAM with different timings but trying to work together, they end up conflicting and causing problems. I suggest you buy all your RAM from Apple or all from a 3rd party vendor.

I also agree that 8gb should be enough for what you're doing. If you end up doing a fair amount of 3d modeling and high-end vfx you might consider bumping up your RAM.

Also may want to consider something along the lines of the MXO2 or Mini for accurate color output for grading and compositing for your feature, especially if you're using Apple Color as it doesn't send a signal out to firewire.

HTH,

Chris
__________________
Reel Impressions Media - Make it more than a memory
GY-HD100- 7D- PSC Promix 3- Lectro/Sennheiser- Zoom H4- MPB- CS6/CC
Christopher Glavan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2009, 06:50 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Belfast Northern Ireland
Posts: 261
Hi Chris

That's great advice thanks! Okay I'll see how I get on with the 8GB RAM provided by Apple. I've read somewhere here that Apple can sometimes use RAM by Cr***al. If that's the case then it should be easy enough to stick with that 3rd Party retailer to, at a less expensive cost compared to Apple, ensure I continue to use the exact same RAM should I wish to pump it up some. However, if it's 'Apple RAM' I'll see if it's more affordable to simply buy more Apple RAM or use entirely 3rd Party RAM. I really appreciate you clearing that up about mixing and matching RAM - it makes sense.

Peter

Last edited by Peter Dunphy; July 6th, 2009 at 10:48 AM.
Peter Dunphy is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:14 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network