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Old April 20th, 2005, 12:48 AM   #1
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Mac neophyte question. What is the lowest "workable" system for the Final Cut Studio?

Hi everyone. I am what you call a new Mac guy but only in the Mac Mini arena. I run a PC for my video editing stuff but I see there is a new Final Cut Studio and looking at the videos on the Apple site, it seems pretty damned amazing. After my Mac Mini experience (It's now my main machine) I would like to go totally Mac at some point and I'm a Vegas user so the question of the V6 upgrade is looming. Of course the Vegas upgrade is cheaper than a Mac + FCS :) but I was wondering what you guys would consider as a system that would run FC Studio nicely. The "minimum spec" I never listen too, I'm more interested in real world use and I don't want to break the bank here.

I don't do any real heavy work, it's just for the odd job and for myself really. Editing short films and doccos. I don't need heavy compositing power or anything like that either, but it's be nice to do a little in the way of titles and lower thirds etc.

I want realtime of course for regular DV streams. If my PC specs are anything to go buy, Vegas on 768 MG Ram, P4 HT 2.8Ghz is what I run and I'm pretty happy with that.

Oh yea, I do want a system that supports dual monitor. After using that on my PC I don't think I could go back. Am I looking at a Powermac minimum then?

Thanks
Aaron
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Old April 20th, 2005, 02:30 AM   #2
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The lowest end Mac you should look at is the low end PowerPC (single proc 1.8 GB G5). It supports dual monitors and several realtime streams.

Or you can look at a powerbook. It too supports two monitors...the built in and one additional. But the tower has several more firewire ports and will render much faster.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 10:57 AM   #3
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Shane's right, Aaron. The Mini won't cut it, useful as it is. Go for the low-end Power tower and max out your RAM.

He's also right about a Powerbook, but---unless you edit a lot on the road---massaging video & audio on a laptop will kill you ergonomically. Plus you'll pay a premium for laptop components.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 01:21 PM   #4
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Thanks guys - so you really think a single proc G5 could work with Final Cut Studio? Nice. I will look into this some more!

Thanks again
Aaron
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Old April 20th, 2005, 01:23 PM   #5
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Well I say to sit this out for a couple more weeks. As you know, Apple didn't introduce any new powermacs at NAB, in spite of earlier rumors. The rumor sites are now saying there will be 3 new Power Mac G5's in the next two or three weeks, but the specs will not be much to get excited about. Basically they're just bumping up the speed of each model by 200mhz, so there will be 2.0, 2.2 and 2.7ghz dual processor G5's. The dual core processors, faster buses and BluRay drives are evidently not part of this coming upgrade, just the slight "speed bump."

Anyway, there seem to be conflicting signals as to whether the single G5's will be phased out. If so then you might be able to get a rebate on one? But at the current price structure, I don't think they represent a very good value. The specs don't put them very far ahead of the older G4's, and the $500 additional would get you a significantly faster machine for the dual 1.8.

See the single vs dual 1.8ghz comparison benchmarks in this MacWorld article: http://www.macworld.com/2004/11/revi...rmac/index.php. Personally I would not buy any mac without dual G5's now... all the new high end software is going to really be designed for duals. I really wouldn't buy a G4 powerbook unless you absolutely need the portability.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 03:17 PM   #6
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Listen to Boyd on that one. If you can swing it, definitely buy a dual processor! The minor increase in price will bring you a HUGE increase in both longevity and raw power.
I have a Powerbook that I work on most of the time but that's only because I wanted something I can travel easily with. I still have a Dual Processor machine as well and it is a good workhorse but from a professional standpoint, I wouldn't even consider a single processor machine unless it was a laptop, if for no other reason than because it will be more productive over the life of the machine (and therefor be a better long term investment).
And buy as much RAM as you can afford! (I have 2 Gig in my Powerbook)
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Old April 20th, 2005, 03:54 PM   #7
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Excellent, thanks. I don't need one tomorrow, so I can wait for sure. Will check out the next revs. Maybe even end up getting a secondhand one if I migrate.

Cheers
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