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Old September 11th, 2005, 10:24 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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15" Powerbook 550mhz okay for FCPHD?

Hi, I know, I know, I've got an old Mac. I purchased my 550mhz Powerbook for highschool work (still got an F in the course because the stupid teacher wouldn't repair my account on the new school network) and I was wondering if it would be okay for FCPHD. I don't need realtime effects and such. It's just that I'm trying to keep funds tight for other things such as audio equipment and a new HD camera (plus lenses, filters, ect.). The only upgrades I can add to it is two 512mb sticks of PC133 SDRAM (I know, "old".) and, if I wanted to, a bigger/faster hard drive. I'm working from external drives though to keep performance up and to give me more flexibility. It's currently running fine on Mac OS X 10.01 or something like that, but after the upgrade to Tiger and the addition of FCP, will it still run okay?

I'll probably upgrade to a newer Mac once they switch to Intel next year. But I don't know, I don't even have FCP. I was thinking about just getting iLife'05 and using iMovieHD for schoolwork, would this be better since I've got an older Mac?

I know what you're thinking, I've got a really good PC (as you can see from the specs below) and I've mentioned my Alienware laptop a few times here and there, so why am I asking about Macs and FCP? Why don't I just use AVID instead? Well, it's simple really, UNLV (my college) uses Macs and FCP.

Anybody else in the same boat or have any advice? Anything would help.
"Babs Do or Babs Do not, there is no try." - Zack Birlew
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Old September 11th, 2005, 02:17 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,462
I assume you're talking about the 550mhz "gigabit ethernet" titanium G4 like this?


That barely squeeks by FCP's minium spec of a 500 mhz G4 - 512MB RAM is the minimum. I haven't upgraded to FCP 5 yet myself, but personally I think you'll be pushing your machine to, if not past its limits. I used FCP 3 on my 667mhz titanium and it worked OK under MacOS 9, but not under MacOS X. But of course, FCP 3 was native in OS 9 and was designed for slower machines.

Forget about anything in HD, FCP 5 needs at least 1ghz CPU for that. I think you'd be basically pouring money down a hole, and the software would cost you more than the computer itself is even worth. I also think you'd be spending more good money after bad to attempt any upgrades on a machine of that vintage which probably has a limited life. Maybe consider getting a Mac Mini, which will be nearly 3x the speed of your tibook, or just wait until you have the funds to do it right....
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