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Old June 30th, 2004, 03:59 PM   #1
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Equipment for a new Mac

I am getting my first mac (dual 2.5's) and was wondering if anyone could recommend what I should buy in terms of monitors, hard drives, and memory.

1. I was thinking of picking up two 17" flat screen monitors. Any suggestions? Do I really need the overpriced apple monitors?

2. I definitely want a second internal hard drive just for video files, and an external one to backup all my work. What type of drives should I get?

3. Where is a good place to buy memory from? I've heard Apple is a rip off.

I also want a CRT production monitor. Something small enough to place on a shelf -- maybe around 13"-17".

Please tell me if there's something I'm missing. Coming from the PC world, I don't know much about Macs. Any suggestions would be appriciated.

Thanks
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Old June 30th, 2004, 04:29 PM   #2
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While the 17" monitor may be fine for timelines I think I'd go with one of the cinema displays for everything else. Also compare prices between getting two smaller and one larger monitor (I ended up going for the 23" but that was when you could get the $500 rebate).
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Old June 30th, 2004, 08:38 PM   #3
 
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you can get 4 --- 512 's for your memory and it's cheaper than going 2 1 gig or whatever.

Just bought my dual g5 and added the extra 512's.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 10:52 AM   #4
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Memory - Just remember you have to buy pairs of whatever you want. So if you want to add 1 gig then it has to be 2x512. THe only downside to adding smaller chips is that if you need to expand later and your slots are full then one of the small chips will have to be disposed of (eBay?).

Internal hard drives - drives are SATA and you can get them much cheaper than Apple. Get at least 7200 rpm drives. You can get a 10,000 rpm drive but not large enough for video (not bad for apps though). You are not necessarily limited to 2 internal drives. There is a company that has built an enclosure that gives you 4 internal drives in the G5s. I have a Maxtor drive in mine (250 gb). CompUSA often has the Seagate SATA (120 or 160 I can't remember which) on sale for $99.

External drives - What kind of editing will you be doing? This has a lot to do with whether you want FW400, FW800, SCSI or RAID.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 10:55 AM   #5
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I'll be editing feature films and weddings.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 11:05 AM   #6
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Then I'd think you might want to go with one of the external RAID solutions. If you are thinking HD you may be talking a SCSI RAID solution - very big bucks.

I like the new Medea Raid but it is a little space limited (500 GB). Huge makes a RAID that can take, I think, 8 drives (2 TB). Both of these RAIDs are aesthetic matches for the G5 (the Medea better). There are many other RAID manufacturers out there.

You also might want to go ahead and swap out the other internal drive for a 250 as well. This will involve putting in a new drive, cloning the old drive onto the new drive, then pulling the old drive. The old 160 you could put in a FW enclosure and use for backup. This drive would have the OS, applications, music, etc. and then the other drive is just for the project.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 11:13 AM   #7
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I'm new to Macs and NLE so I don't understand exactly how a RAID works. From what I can gather it's a way to use multiple hard drives as one...am I correct? How much do they go for and where could I purchase one?
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Old July 1st, 2004, 11:54 AM   #8
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There are lots of ways of treating multiple drives as a single unit each with pros and cons. If you only need storage then there may be no benefit to a RAID at all. Just daisy chain a bunch of drives together. However if you need redundancy or speed then you want to consider a RAID.

For example, the so-called 'big drives' those that are in a single enclosure with capacities of 500 gb (Lacie makes one) are simply two drives hooked together. There is no RAID benefit at all.

There are many flavors of RAID -

RAID 0 - Also called striping. Provides an improvement in performance since it can split an incoming datastream up among multiple drives. Faster but risky. If one drive fails it takes ALL the data on the RAID with it. But, if you are backing up offline and need a fast online edit system for capture, etc. then this is it.
As long as you are backing up this shouldn't be an issue as drives typically have long mean time between failures - but they do fail sometimes!

RAID 1 - Disk mirroring. If one drive fails all the data is available on a second drive with no loss of time in read/write performance. However, it is no faster. Ideal for situations where access to data is critical but performance is not an issue.

RAID 5 - Offers some measure of speed with fault tolerance. Often used in file and application servers.

RAID 10 (also RAID 0/1) - Speed of RAID 0 with tolerance of RAID 1. Requires a minimum of 4 drives. Can still run if 2 drives fail as long as they aren't both in the same "pair".

You can use OSX to make a RAID of any set of disks (software implemented) but dedicated RAIDs sometimes use a harware implementation.

The Medea is, I think, $800 for 500 GB. So you pay a premium for the enclosure and hardware over the straight disk price. You can get external drives for around $1/GB if you look around (sometimes better) and internal for less than that.

For wedding videography none of this likely matters. Your internal drive with an external for backups should be fine. It is the feature film editing that made me think bigger arrays.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 05:00 PM   #9
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I probably won't work on the feature for at least a year so I'll just go with a second internal drive for the video files and an external to back them up for now.

In terms of external drives, what is the difference between a firewire 400 and 800?
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 11:01 AM   #10
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Speed. In theory, FW800 can move twice the bandwidth of FW400 but there is always overhead to take into account. For capturing it doesn't make much of a difference. For copying files from your internal drive to the external drive the transfer will be fastest on FW800, then FW400 then USB 2 (from direct experience).
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 09:08 AM   #11
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Secondary Hard Drive
It has to be a SATA drive for the G5, and should be at least 7200RPM.
Check out like MicroCenter or CompUsa, they have those Maxtor and a few others in 160 and better yet 250GB configuration.

Memory
Crucial Memory
I've used their memory on my pc and now on my G5 too.
Like someone said earlier, you gotta install them in pairs and in the appropriate order.
If you want an additional 1 GB, then you need to purchase 2 512 sticks.
Check out the link.

http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.asp?Mfr%2BProductline=Apple%2BPower+Mac&mfr=Apple&cat=RAM&model=Power+Mac+G5+%28Dual+2.5GH z+DDR%29&submit=Go
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Old July 7th, 2004, 09:12 PM   #12
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Monitors & Hard Drives

The Apple displays are more expensive, but the quality of color and resolution is amazing. The 20" Cinema Display is a good deal for $1299. You can get 2 NEC LCD1915X 19" LCD Monitors for $625 each at newegg.com if you don't want to spend the money on 1 Apple display. I edit wedding videos and use external HD's for all my projects. Usually a wedding requires 4-6 hours of video which amounts to about 75-100 gigs of space including additional files like music etc. I buy 250 gig external drives and usually store 2-3 weddings on each. Good luck.
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