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Old August 18th, 2010, 01:47 PM   #1
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FCP Studio Questions

Hi, all,
Am thinking about delving into FCP Studio. Have been working with Adobe Prod Prem Suite since CS/2 under XP Pro on double dual-core AMD Opteron 275's for 4 years, and Neo 2.5 since Dec '09, but seems there's more frequent call - and more work available - for FCP than for Adobe, so am considering biting the bullet. (I just don't want it to go off while chomping down).

Am mostly experienced with Windows, but have an old MAC, affectionately known (I believe) as a Mirrored Dual Door System with:
- Mac OS X Version 10.4.5,
- Dual 867 MHz PowerPC G4 processors,
- 1.25 GB DDR SDRAM.,
- NVIDIA GeForce4 MX graphics w/32MB VRAM,
- built-in audio (maybe capable of 44.1 KHz),
- Firewire 400.

Is this machine "dead in the water" because of the G4? (It seems so, based on the FCP specs).
Adding memory is easy enough, but I have strong suspicions I'm holding-on to a clunker that won't support the current version of FCP Studio.

Are my suspicions correct? (If so, is it worth trying to sell this machine)?

All feedback appreciated.

Thanks
D
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Old August 18th, 2010, 02:13 PM   #2
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I have an old 867Mhz G4 with 1GB RAM some where in the cupboards. It did run FCP up to version 6 - but only for SD. Anything HD and it was way too sluggish.

For FCP 7 (and the current Final Cut Studio) you need an Intel based machine. While the MacBook can run some of the apps, it can't run all of them. Same for the MacBookPro (e.g. 'Color'). Minimum spec I would go for is an i5 or i7 iMac or go to a MacPro if you can justify it.

The MacPro can take 4 internal SATA HDDs that can be configured as Boot Drive + 3 drives as RAID 0 for speed. It also has dual gigabit network interfaces and can take expansion cards for eSata, SAS etc.

The iMac only takes on internal SATA drive and then you need to resort to either Firewire or USB drives (no eSATA).

4GB RAM should be considered the absolute minimum - 8GB or more preferred. While each program in the FCP suite can currently only address 4GB of RAM, more ram means you can have multiple apps open at the same time (for round tripping), and don't forget that if you only have 4GB then the OS is already using lots of it before FCP runs.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 04:53 PM   #3
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It is incorrect that a MacBook Pro cannot run Color (or any of the other apps in FCS3). I have Color running on my MacBook Pro as I type this and it can run all of the other FCS3 apps--and my MacBook Pro is a couple of years old. A new MacBook Pro should be more than adequate to run FCS3. That doesn't mean of course that there are not pros and cons to selecting a laptop, or any of the other options, as your main machine.

Kevin
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Old August 18th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #4
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Don't use the G4 for anything but editing in SD. HD? Forget it.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 07:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Wolff View Post
It is incorrect that a MacBook Pro cannot run Color (or any of the other apps in FCS3). I have Color running on my MacBook Pro as I type this and it can run all of the other FCS3 apps--and my MacBook Pro is a couple of years old. A new MacBook Pro should be more than adequate to run FCS3. That doesn't mean of course that there are not pros and cons to selecting a laptop, or any of the other options, as your main machine.

Kevin
My MacBookPro CANNOT run Color because the graphics card does not have enough VRAM, and yes mine is only a couple of years old too. In order to get it to install I would need to fiddle with the min config files.

Later MacBookPros can provided you have the correct specs. It's all specification dependant.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 06:57 PM   #6
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Thanks so much for the input.

Now I'll have to start saving, hopefully for the Mac Pro. (Wish me luck with that).

Best regards,
D
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Old August 21st, 2010, 02:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Partington View Post
My MacBookPro CANNOT run Color because the graphics card does not have enough VRAM, and yes mine is only a couple of years old too. In order to get it to install I would need to fiddle with the min config files.

Later MacBookPros can provided you have the correct specs. It's all specification dependant.
Is it a 15inch cause from memory it has to be a 17inch MBP to be able to run color
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Old August 21st, 2010, 04:43 AM   #8
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Yes - it is the 15" with the Express card slot (pre-current body) - it looks like the 17" has different graphics - so that would help a lot!

You have to be very careful with MacBooks to make sure you get the right spec. If I was buying one now it would have to be the top spec 17" or not bother. This is partly because they removed the Express card slot from the new 15" (I hope they never do that on the 17"!) and that would stop me using my eSATA adapter amongst other things (like being able to read SxS cards directly).
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Old August 21st, 2010, 09:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Partington View Post
Yes - it is the 15" with the Express card slot (pre-current body) - it looks like the 17" has different graphics - so that would help a lot!

You have to be very careful with MacBooks to make sure you get the right spec. If I was buying one now it would have to be the top spec 17" or not bother. This is partly because they removed the Express card slot from the new 15" (I hope they never do that on the 17"!) and that would stop me using my eSATA adapter amongst other things (like being able to read SxS cards directly).
I own the new 17inch MBP and it is fantastic best Mac i have even owned.
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