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Old May 27th, 2004, 02:30 PM   #1
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: denton, texas, usa
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Need advice on buying a Mac NLE

Hi,

I'm used to editing on a PC platform (Matrox Digisuite LE, crashes all the time, lose drives all the time, piece of junk, really). I'm looking to get into a Mac system because I need stability. I could spend as much as 15k, but would like to keep it to 10k. If possible, an HD system (ya, I know that'll be rough). I imagine I could by a good system and stick on big storage later, but it sure would be nice to have a hot-swap Raid of some kind in case data is lost. (I've lost 3 C-DRIVES IN 5 YEARS!!!) Anyway, I'm looking at G4 or G5 becasue I'm sick of this. Can't really afford it, but can't afford not to, you know. Any advice on a stable quality system for that price?

Thanks!
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Old May 27th, 2004, 02:40 PM   #2
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dual G5, max ram, internal sata array, a couple of monitors... FCP has a HD workflow? (I don't know specifics but the claims are there)... $8-10ish? $4K for a vacation?
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Old May 29th, 2004, 05:48 AM   #3
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Laurence...

This is what I'm in the process of putting together:

2 GHz G5
500 GB SATA RAID (two Hitachi SATA drives with a Seritek controller card)
4 GB RAM
Radeon 9800 Pro display card.
Apple 23" cinema display

There's a rebate on the monitor. Go online, select the items you want, save the order. When they call, ask about business pricing if they don't offer it.

I'd suggest getting the drives and RAM from another source as Apple's prices for those things are quite high.

Dean Sensui
Base Two Productions
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Old May 29th, 2004, 08:38 AM   #4
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hey dean I've been thinking monitors lately and came to 2 things... aside from ahhhhhhhhh. is there a downside to 2 17" lcds compared to 1 22" the NLE structure would seem to gel with it and have you looked at the 32" aquos LCD HDTV>? saw one hooked up with OSX and it's sick.
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Old May 29th, 2004, 11:42 AM   #5
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IMO anymore than 2GB of RAM is excessive. However, it seems like FCP is a RAM hog. If you have 30 undos and your FCP project is 20MB, that's 600MB. Even then, I don't think you'd be able to use up 2GB of RAM. And any overkill or RAM does not affect performance.

You also run into problems with RAM at the 1.5GB and 2GB points, although there's no difference between 2 and 4GB in this regard.

2- I don't see the point to hot-swap RAID as you're not running a server that needs to be up 24/7. You *could* use RAID 0 so the drives are mirrored, but that does not protect against user error, data corruption (which happens to people's FCP projects... although it's rescuable), and some other things.
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Old May 29th, 2004, 10:23 PM   #6
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Josh...

"hey dean I've been thinking monitors lately and came to 2 things... aside from ahhhhhhhhh. is there a downside to 2 17" lcds compared to 1 22" the NLE structure would seem to gel with it and have you looked at the 32" aquos LCD HDTV>? saw one hooked up with OSX and it's sick."

If desk space is limited then having two 17" monitors might be a problem. I don't know how it would affect display performance. You could reserve one monitor for tools and the rest for timeline and the canvas, perhaps.

I don't want to look at anything larger than the Cinema Display. Too tempting!! :-)

I did look at a Sony 23" LCD TV and was wondering how it would work as an HDTV monitor, but it's not in my budget right now. It was a Sony KLV23HR2: 23" 16:9 LCD HDTV, 1280x768 resolution, DVI-HDTV input. $1899.99 from Costco. The image didn't change much at all when looking at it from a wide range of angles. The color looked pretty good, too, when compared to adjacent CRT TVs.

Dean Sensui
Base Two Productions
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Old May 30th, 2004, 06:54 AM   #7
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23" cinema display is just too nice - get it and your eyes will love you. Get a maxed out 2ghz G5 with ATI 9800 option (for use with Motion, and the odd bout of games playing after work) and buy 4 gig of ram from someone reputable making a total of 4.5GB ram (motion wants 4 gig, and FCP will use up to 4 gig)

If you're editing DV, get a DV deck, SD something like an IO, or HD, look at the Kona2 card or the Black Magic Offerings. Also look at the black magic HDLink to turn that second cinema display you just bought into a very high quality SDI input full rex HD monitor - stunning pictures at NAB.

For your raid, look at Huge Systems and Apple's Xraid, or weibetech G5 Jam, or Promax satimax depending on what you're after and money.

For a very affordable way to get into HD look at the new Panasonic firewire DVCproHD deck, and use that with FCPHD - just think - deck and HD capture for about $25,000 + the price of a firewire cable! Out of budget, I know, but it doesn't hurt to look!

Graeme
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Old May 31st, 2004, 06:21 PM   #8
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I'm pretty sure the software update install notes said that FCP 4.5 does away with the 4GB RAM ceiling, meaning FCP HD can use more than 4GB of RAM.

Also, a second Apple Display will become a high-definition monitor without any additional hardware. A single Apple Display will become a high-def preview monitor, controllable with JKL. That's less convenient than having a dual-monitor setup with FCP HD always on one screen and the HD preview on the other, but it's a capability built into software.

Laurence, you can definitely build a sub-$10k HD system with a G5, FCP HD, two monitors and SATA drives. The only component left, as Graeme pointed out would be the $25,000 DVCPRO HD deck.
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Old June 1st, 2004, 02:27 AM   #9
 
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Thanks for all the response, guys. I guess I can suck in HD over the 1394 interface that comes with the computer (assuming I'm going with dvcpro hd. All sorts of good ideas are coming out of this. I really appreciate it. Keep'em coming!
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Old June 1st, 2004, 09:28 AM   #10
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Lawrence,

In addition to all of the above responses, you should take into consideration that the PowerMac G5 is due for a revision in the near future. No one knows exactly when it'll happen, but in a few weeks (June 28) the WWDC developer's conference will kick off in San Francisco. Last year's WWDC introduced the Dual 2GHz G5...

I don't want to be one of those guys that "always advises to wait" because something better will always be coming along, but if you're not in a terrible rush, waiting until the end of June may save you a lot of cash, or get you a much better computer, or both. The current offer of "Save $500 with a G5 & Display" ends a couple of days before the conference, which leads many to believe that new G5s will come out on the 28th, lowering the prices of the current G5s.

If you can't wait, buy it now. The Dual 2 GHz G5 is a monster, and will do everything you need it to do, and do it well. Just keep in mind that in a few weeks it'll be A WHOLE YEAR since it came out. It's due for an update very soon.

Hope this helps!
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Old June 4th, 2004, 07:26 AM   #11
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: denton, texas, usa
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I've got a friend that is leary of me buying the upgrade, as he suggests not all the bugs will be worked out of it, that it might give me problems becasue it's new. He suggests to go with the current G5 wheather I by it now or in a month. Would you guys give the same advice?

And just in case I got my facts about the g5 and FCP HD confused, let me ask you if this is accurate:

I can do SD (and DVCPro HD) editing without purchasing any additional hardware (other
than a maxxed out dual G5 from the Apple Store)? They seem to be
indicating this is the case if I purchase FCP HD and use the FW port on the
G5. If someone has *direct* experience with this, that'd be GREAT to
know for certs it works!

2) I can easily add on additional hardware on down the road (when I can
afford an HD 4:2:2 1080p/720p 10 bit camera) to do relatively uncompressed HD without having to buy a whole new
machine?


Thanks for the responses!
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Old June 4th, 2004, 07:59 AM   #12
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Until the specs on the replacement G5's are available, it is hard to say if there needs to be a waiting period to work out any bugs.

Supported formats and I/O*


Uncompressed 8- and 10-bit HD (4:2:2, YUV) via PCI card

Uncompressed 8- and 10-bit SD (4:2:2, YUV) via FireWire or PCI card

DVCPRO 50 (4:2:2) via FireWire

DV/DVCAM (4:1:1) via FireWire

NTSC and PAL

HD at 1080i and 1080p (23.976, true 24, 25, 29.97, 30 fps)

Pull-down tools for telecine insertion and removal (DVX100)

Sample-accurate A/V synchronization

Frame-accurate log and captures

Serial device control (RS-422, RS-232)

FireWire device control

Log and capture tool with support for batch, clip and on-the-fly capturing

Still images: PSD, BMP, JPEG, PICT, PNG, SGI, TARGA, TIFF

Insert and assemble editing to tape

Compressor tool for batch export and encoding to MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and other QuickTime formats



* Some features require additional hardware. DV, DVCPRO50 and DVCPRO HD output requires a FireWire-enabled camera or deck. SD output via FireWire requires an AJA Io. Please contact your Apple Authorized Reseller for information.


Uncompressed HD editing will require additional hardware. Output of HD will require an HD FireWire enabled camera or deck.
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