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Old March 13th, 2005, 01:04 PM   #16
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The techs at Decklink said the G5 prefers all matched pairs of RAM.

I have RAM that are sold as matched pairs at Other World Computing. Good prices and I've never had a problem with my dual 2.5 GHz G5.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 02:53 PM   #17
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Getting back to the original question: "What are the advantages of the Dual 2.5 GHz".... well I should be able to answer that soon. I just got home from the Apple Store with a brand new one and a copy of Motion! :-)
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Old March 13th, 2005, 03:09 PM   #18
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Boyd, what's it replacing?
Maybe you can throw up results of a quickie test or benchmark for those interested, using FCP or LiveType, since that is what we're all using. There aren't many benchmarks using those, especially under real world conditions.

so, am I the only one without a G5 now? Maybe I'll have to get one soon and retire my G4 to server use. (put her out to pasture so to say)
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Old March 13th, 2005, 03:26 PM   #19
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Heh... will the last G4 user please shut out the lights when they leave? ;-)

I am happy to do some benchmarks, but they'll have to be with FCP 3, no LiveType. I bought the standalone version of Motion instead of upgrading to the FCP HD bundle. Just doesn't make sense to buy that until after NAB, but I have several upcoming projects that can really benefit from Motion, so that can't wait. Unfortunately it won't run on my G4 due to the graphics card issue (which is why I decided to pull the trigger on the G5). My old machine is a single G4/1.25ghz with 1.25 GB RAM.

However benchmarking some renders in FCP 3 should be a good measure of the difference in raw CPU power. The other software I use which really pounds on the CPU is Strata 3d Pro 3.9 and [b]Bryce 5[/i]. For my own purposes I will benchmark these, but there are probably few others using them. However that's what really drove me to get the 2.5ghz model; I have projects that take 3 hours to render one second (30 frames) in those apps.

Now for the "un-fun" part though, moving everything to the new machine and configuring it with all the right preference files, then finding out all the new bugs, downloading the updates, banging my head against the wall.... Ugh, I hate doing all that! :-)
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Old March 13th, 2005, 04:34 PM   #20
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Nice - isn't it so hard to talk about new technology or possible purchases and actually restrain yourself making them? I have that problem, it seems I'm good at making reasons that I "need" something and these boards have provided the push to buy things like expensive cameras etc. in the past (no regrets though ;) ). Can't wait to hear your thoughts and read some test results....
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Old March 13th, 2005, 04:47 PM   #21
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Hah!... yeah, this is all your fault! ;-)

Right now waiting while ~70GB of data transfers over firewire from the G4 to the G5 so I haven't gotten past the first few setup screens. Anybody have any tips or gotcha's regarding how well Panther's firewire transfer of files and apps from an old machine works?

First impressions (these have been covered elsewhere, but they don't hit home until you make the switch I guess):

1. This thing is huge and seems heavier than it needs to be... the removable side door must weigh as much as my Powerbook!

2. In spite of the size, the expansion capability is disappointing. I could have a total of 4 internal hard drives on my G4, only room for 2 on the G5. That's something I really didn't consider... it seems that my old ATA 100 internal drives (the manual says they must be serial ATA) aren't going to work on the G5, so now I have to figure out the best way to deal with that. Maybe just keep the old G4 as a HD chassis for the existing 3 drives? If I boot it in FW mode could I wipe the system drive and access all 3 via firewire on the G5?

3. Dean: according to the manual the G5 doesn't just prefer matched pairs of RAM, it's a requirement.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 05:24 PM   #22
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You could use the Gigabit ethernet connection to network the two machines and still have great speed for your "file server". Also, if you want to stick more drives in the G5 you can use the G5Jam by WiebeTech. Here is a review of it on Barefeats.

It's kind of a double edged sword. It sucks that you have to use SATA drives now but at the same time, it's really nice that they are installed by default.

As far as the matched pairs for RAM, I know you have to install it in pairs but I believe you can still mix sizes. Otherwise it would be in "quads". So if you have 2x512's, I believe you "can" install 2x1024's as well. I don't know for certain so I'd double check with Apple on that one.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 05:43 PM   #23
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Yes, you could have two 512's and two 1024's, but they have to be installed in pairs. There are two rows of 4 slots each. The memory config on each slot pair has to mirror like this:

DDDD
CCCC
BBBB
AAAA
===
AAAA
BBBB
CCCC
DDDD

Slots AAAA have the factory 256's in them. I put 512's in BBBB and CCCC, taking me up to 2.5 GB. I could expand to 4.5 GB by adding 1024's in slots DDDD.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 06:41 PM   #24
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Boyd,

I am extremely curious to hear more about your newest toy as I am planning on aquiring one ASAP while trying to lower my cost AMAP.
I will be getting the FCP production suite because I need to do everything in24p and like what I have seen about motion. BTW do any of you have any input about motions pros & cons?

I have looked at the Crucial RAM online and am pretty certain that is the way to go. I can get 2G (2 x 1G Chips) for about $400 from Crucial vs. $800 from apple.

As an alternative, I can get 2 x 512 and take up two slots for 1 gig for about $140 from Crucial vs. $300 from apple. What's up with that Mr. Jobs?

So with the student discount on the G5 w/dual 2.5GHz processors That's $2700 plus $500 on the FCP production suite. Add 2Gs of Ram and that brings us up to $3600.

Now there is still the matter of the monitor. For a 20inch Apple is charging about $900. That brings me up to about $4600. Probably before tax. So I guess you know what my next question is. Where should I get the monitor? There has to be something that is good out there that will cost at least a little less.

Thanks and have fun with you new toy.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 06:43 PM   #25
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Damnit, I can't use my old ATA internal drives? I have a 250 gig Maxtor DV dedicated drive running in my pc that I was going to wipe clean and reformat for use in a G5....... Perhaps buying a FW 800 enclosure?

Boyd - thanks for the chart of matching memory sticks, very helpful.

Cleveland - the Apple monitors are very very nice however a bit pricey. I'm running a 19inch sony HS94p with 12 ms response time (faster than the nicest Apple screens) and it's one bright monitor with very good (not excellent) color representation. The only time I can sort of tell that it's an LCD is with extended Photoshop use with gradients, it still looks amazing just shows a little bit of LCD with that....... Anyways, mine was ~$550 after rebates and it was both DVI and RGB input so you can have two machines in it and switch with a button on the front of the screen which is an excellent feature. Check the reviews of the monitor over on Cnet Asia and Cnet Australia (no idea why the US site never reviewed this monitor) and this Sony garnishes the first reccomendation rating from cnet on any LCD monitor.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 07:10 PM   #26
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Quote:
As an alternative, I can get 2 x 512 and take up two slots for 1 gig for about $140 from Crucial vs. $300 from apple. What's up with that Mr. Jobs?
Apple charges a lot for its RAM because people don't think or know to install it themsevles. (RAM by the way is pretty easy to install, the apple website has excellent documentation for doing this.) They basically charge that much because there are many people who will pay that much.

Dell does something similar, in which their base systems are a pretty good deal. People think they're getting a deal when they buy a Dell. Most people end up buying lots of upgrades, which are quite overpriced. And so Dell manages to make a good profit, which they wouldn't if everyone just bought the base system.


LCDs: If you live in the US, you can try American hot deals sites like fatwallet.com, gotapex.com, etc. Searching the forums is probably the way to look.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 07:17 PM   #27
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Well I'm still installing stuff, but so far so good. The installer did a pretty thorough job of moving all my old files and apps with some small exceptions. Actually it surprised me that most of my apps worked immediately without asking for original disks or serial numbers.

The one exception was FCP 3 which was cranky, saying I had to reinstall from the original disks. That didn't help either. Turns out that deleting the system ID file fixed the problem. But I jumped through a bunch of hoops and had to download the update from Apple, etc. Anyway, just a quick run of the software shows that it is much faster with more RT effects. I'm sure newer versions of FCP will be even better.

My only other quick test was some 3d rendering. I will do actual timings in the next few days, but subjectively it was really flying - probably 3x the speed of my G4. Other things are surprisingly the same, such as most of the Finder operations for example. This is probably a testament to Apple that OSX is so responsive on older machines.

As far as monitors, I'm still using my (6 year old??) Apple 21" Trinitron Studio Monitor. This thing is a monster but really a nice screen at 1600x1200 resolution. It also has builtin color calibration which measures the voltage on each of the "guns." The Cinema Displays are nice, but I don't need to spend any more right now. I have 3 other LCD screens of varying shapes and sizes if needed (Sony 17" widescreen 1280x768, Samsung 15" 1024x768 and Samsung 22" 1280x720 which I use as an external monitor for video editing). Personally, I have been happy enough just using the single 21" screen on my main computer and my desk(s) are really very full already.

BTW, I was looking at the 30" screen at the store. It is certainly impressive, but it feels maybe a little too big. Funny, I never thought I'd have that impression of a screen. I guess I could learn to love it if I had to though ;-) Just too pricey to seriously consider though.

I'm just finishing the Motion install right now, so I can't offer a lot of insights there. But I just returned from a meeting with several other lighting and video designers and they were talking about how impressed they were with it. One of them fired it up on his 133mhz powerbook and did a little demo which was enough to convince me that it was just what I needed for a couple projects. It can do stuff in near realtime that would take me a lot of building and rendering in a 3d program. I think it will save me a ton of time....
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Old March 13th, 2005, 07:18 PM   #28
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If I get a non-apple monitor, I have heard that you have to have an interface or something to make it work on the MAC. I have also heard that you don't need it. Very much like the case of getting a new router. The instructions tell you that you have to put thier stupid spyware crap onto your computer for it to work. Total lie! You plug it in and it works. No problem! Any suggestions?
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Old March 13th, 2005, 07:41 PM   #29
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My Sony 19 inch LCD works perfectly with my mac mini without doing anything special, it's just plug and play.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 07:43 PM   #30
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Look at the MacWorld review (link in my post on the first page of this thread). They mention a couple 3rd party monitors that didn't work right via the DVI connection. I don't think they had any problems with VGA connections, and apple includes an adaptor.

Funny about the router. The one I've had for over two years mysteriously started causing my cable connection to slow to a crawl. I got a new Linksys (now Cisco) 4 port ethernet router for $60 at Best Buy and was dreading the setup. But much to my amazement the factory settings out of the box were perfect and I didn't have to do anything. I've gotten several of these Linksys' before and IIRC they did need some tweaking. But not this time :-)

Now regarding Motion, I just spent a few minutes playing. It will take awhile to really dig through all the features, but right away I was creating multi layer realtime particle effects that looked terrific. Very impressive, I can see why people are excited by this program.
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