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Old December 21st, 2004, 02:02 PM   #1
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help, MAC newb. 1.8 G5 enough?

I am interested in getting a new G5 mac. I am a PC user who is switching over. I plan on using it for my personal video projects and would like to use FCP4, and a little after effects and photoshop work. Money is an issue so what I really want to know is which G5 is enough for my needs. The Single 1.8GHz G5 is about $500.00 cheaper than the dual 1.8. How significantly slower is the single chip compared to the dual using FCP4? Id like to use the extra $500 on other video equipment unless the dual 1.8 really blows the single out of the water. Also, I would be adding some ram to either one that I choose. I dont want it to be obsolete as soon as I purchase one. Any help on the subject would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old December 21st, 2004, 02:14 PM   #2
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If you do not see yourself doing more than DV work the single 1.8 or dual 1.8 G5s are an okay choice. Check out Barefeats.com:
http://barefeats.com/g518.html

Basic conclusions are dual is better, older 1.8s are better than the newer because of bus speed, greater max RAM capacity and PCI-X support. To save money you could get a refurbished Mac at the Apple Store, just look for the Red Tag labeled Save.
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Old December 21st, 2004, 04:54 PM   #3
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You can save money on RAM by getting it from crucial.com. Some other vendors are cheaper but not as easy... try pricewatch.com, pricegrabber.com, newegg.com.

The fastest RAM setup is where you have pairs of all the exact same model. So maybe get the minimum amount of RAM and buy 2X512MB. eBay off the original sticks.

2- If you're looking to save money and you have a decent PC, you could stick with that. The various NLEs all do pretty much the same thing, especially if you're doing cuts and dissolves. After Effects and Photoshop is on both platforms. You could get Premiere Pro, which is very much like Final Cut on PC. Or you could get Vegas, which is a lot more powerful than both programs (excellent audio, color correction, compositing; it lets you do complicated things you can't do in Final Cut or Premiere).

3- Do you qualify for academic discounts?
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Old December 21st, 2004, 09:38 PM   #4
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Wasn't sure if you were going the legal route for software...but Final Cut Express is only 99 dollars with a new computer. FCE should be more than enough for home videos.
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Old December 22nd, 2004, 03:23 PM   #5
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I would go for the Dual Processor. It makes life much easier in the long run and is well worth the initial investment for future proofing your system.
You could also get the Production Suite which includes everything (really a great bundle) for $1299 (FCPHD $999, DVD Studio Pro $499 and Motion $299).
Also FCExpress is $299, NOT $99 as someone else mentioned, that's the upgrade price. While I'm at it I would say that when you buy FCP you also get a bunch of extras with it that they don't always mention. It's really quite a nice product.
FCExpress seems nice as well but I've been using FCP for so long it seemed like a big step backwards for me because of my work habits and Express' capabilities.

Good luck with your decisions.
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Old December 22nd, 2004, 05:05 PM   #6
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It's 299 normally, and 200 bucks off when you buy a new computer.
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Old December 22nd, 2004, 05:59 PM   #7
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(I usually avoid breaking forum for external research so please indulge my queries....)

Finding myself in a near-identical position, I am grateful to have stumbled on this thread....Duals are (obviously) quicker, but how much??? Currently, they seem to be available in 1.8, 2.0, and 2.5
I've been told the 1.8's have limited expandability, and what's this about "older" 1.8's???? Better speed, support, etc? I'm confused...(refurbished G5's???????)
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Old December 22nd, 2004, 06:50 PM   #8
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Not 100% sure, but the previous model 1.8 was the "middle" computer, was expandable up to 8gb of RAM and had a better video card (9600 pro), PCI-X and a 4x dvd burner...the current 1.8 is viewed as the low end, has a max of 4gb on RAM an nvida 5200, and an 8x burner
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Old December 22nd, 2004, 08:38 PM   #9
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The barefeats article I referenced earlier gives you a good idea of how fast the different models are. It also answers Alan's question about PCI-X vs. normal PCI and max amount of RAM. The "older" models are better in many ways than the newer models. You can either get them from Apple as refurbished or a reputable outlet like clubmac.com or macwarehouse/cdw. They come with standard warranties... my refurbished Lombard G3 laptop is still running after 5 years of abuse. Refurbished can mean something was wrong and replaced or it was returned, rechecked, and being resold.
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Old December 22nd, 2004, 08:52 PM   #10
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Thanks, guys......I'll check into that.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 04:31 PM   #11
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hey guys, thank you for all of the useful info. I think im gonna go with the dual processor for sure. That crucial ram site looks like a winner too! great prices.

I saw on apples website they sell refurbished G5's that come with a 1 year warranty (you can buy a longer warranty). There are some good deals on there from day to day, up to $500 savings sometimes! Has anyone had any experience with a refurbished model purchased from Apple? I feel fairly secure buying something from them, but want to make sure I check around first.

Thanks again for the replies.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 05:01 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mark Sloan : The "older" models are better in many ways than the newer models. -->>>

How strange. This has got to be the first time in the history of my high tech experiance that I bought something* early, for less and it turned out to be better. Isn't that the opposite of how it is supposed to go?
Crazy. Just Crazy.

*Dual 1.8 G-5 purchased in Feb. '04
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Old January 4th, 2005, 05:17 PM   #13
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Generally I've had good luck with refurbished stuff from Apple. There are stories where people will get a machine missing the keyboard or the Mac wasn't blanked out and there is someone else's info on the machine. But I'd say those are the exception instead of the rule. They are generally really good about refurbished stuff... and as far as warranty, there is no difference that I know of.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 08:11 PM   #14
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Factory refurbished Macs are a great deal. Especially when you are trying to get into a dualie vs comprimising to a single. The dual processor units are, IMHO, worth the $500. You'll benefit having the extra processor down the road when software bloat eats up more and more CPU. Your dualie will last you longer. It will also deliver the goods even now as you do other tasks while rendering and exporting.
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