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Old October 25th, 2005, 04:40 PM   #1
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Ok, so what would you do?

Over the course of the next several months (several = 3-4), I'll FINALLY be putting together my NLE.

The choice: Apple (obviously).

I was planning to do the new iMac w/ FC Studio but the Mac dealers said it wouldn't be a good idea. Not powerful enough, take years to render anything, consumer only, etc.

I've heard some others on here say kind of the same thing... and then others say that an iMac is completely fine and up to the job.

Anyways... I started checking out the Power Macs... a dual 2.3GHz with 2.5 RAM... 250 hard drive... total cost: $3000, give or take a hundred bucks with tax.

I was thinking of getting the Power Mac November 1st...
Pick up FCS in December... 23' monitor in January.

But then with all the talk about the Intel switch... would I be better off to get the Power Mac LAST? I'd hate to invest 3k and then 3 months later the price on it drops a few hundred dollars.

Anyways, knowing what you know and if you were in my shoes (size 9 1/2), what would you do and/or suggest?
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Old October 25th, 2005, 05:08 PM   #2
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I think it will be a year, possibly more, before we see the Intel Power Macs. This is just based on Apple's original statement that the first models would appear about a year after the announcement, and that low end models will be the first (like the mini).

If you need a system now then buy it now....
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Old October 26th, 2005, 02:14 AM   #3
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Also take a look at www.smalldog.com for older models. Even NEW ones can be found here. New G5s of the last batch. Might get a better deal too.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 06:42 AM   #4
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Get the one you want now and start using it today. There will always be great stuff coming out in the future.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 09:29 AM   #5
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The Apple vendors are just trying to help you rationalize out more money :). Will a Powermac be faster than an iMac? Yes without a doubt. But the base G5 iMac is more than fast enough for both DV and HDV editing.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 09:52 AM   #6
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i recently purchased an imac 2 gig processor/2 gig ram, and you can definitely edit in HDV, but it is slow...for instance, i'm capturing a tape on it right now, 20 minutes, and it will take forty minutes to capture. that's the sort of time constraint you can expect. everything happens in half time. but i think it is perfectly fine. i bought it knowing it was an interim machine, but i needed something faster than what i had, if i wanted to edit HDV. i expect speedier machines are a year or so away, so i expect to purchase something larger later. but for now, this works well. expect slower responses than with SD. that smalldog site which someone recommended has imac G5 1.8s for $1400, which seems like a good deal. you might want to invest in one of those and spend more later. or just go nuts now and get the big PowerMac tower, and you won't have any speed worries at all. just money worries, instead. heh. that's the trade, currently.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 10:05 AM   #7
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If you went with a top-'o-the-line Apple Desktop today, you would very likely love it, and it would more than likely suit your needs for 3 or even 4 years. It very likely won't be the fastest system available in another 6 months, probably even in another 3 months, and who knows what will be introduced in the January MacWorld Expo...however, if money saving is an issue, yes, the iMac G5 will also suit your needs. It will take longer to render certain things and Motion2 won't be as snappy, but if you load all the RAM you can afford, you should be fine with an iMac G5.

The internal drives are quite good sized and at 7200 RPM which is quite good, but you will still want to purchase an external drive. If you go with the newer triple interface drives from vendors such as LaCie, you won't be able to use the FW800 port as the iMac doesn't have FW800, but it does have two FW400 and three USB2.0 ports, so I would guess you would still be able to connect your dv cam to the FW400 and capture to an external drive through one of the other ports - so that should be fine.

If you wait for Intel chips....it might be safe to speculate that the Intel will likely first only be available in the lower end systems next summer or so, and at first only in the portables....iBooks and Powerbooks the systems that are most restricted by heat buildup issues. The portables haven't even taken the plunge into the G5 world, partly due to the inability to deal with heat buildup in the form factor.

It may be another 6 months or so before you see the Intel make it's way into the desktop where they may introduce even a different Intel chip that would push the limits of what 'then' technology will allow...but all that is speculation, and quite a ways off.......so get what you can afford now, or rather what your prospective work income can rationalize...either way, you will be fine with either avenue.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 07:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Jenkins
The Apple vendors are just trying to help you rationalize out more money :). Will a Powermac be faster than an iMac? Yes without a doubt. But the base G5 iMac is more than fast enough for both DV and HDV editing.
That's why I wanted to ask the real pro's on here! All the responses are MUCH appreciated!

I'm not yet capable of doing anything in HDV, so DV is it.

I've heard plenty of Mac users say the iMac will work fine for FCP5. So... with $$ being an issue (always is working within a budget), I'm looking at about $3500 for an iMacG5 (2.1, 2.5 RAM, 500gb hardrive) w/ FCS. Ready to lock n' load later that day!
I'm a bit curious as to just how much slower it is. I'm not going to sit in front of it and wait 8 weeks for it to render or burn to a DVD am I? It's not like I have a meeting with the Pope anytime soon.

On the other hand, I could do the PowerMac and spend about $3100 on it. Then get FCStudio next month... and then a monitor the month after that. Total spent: About $5700.

I know that if a year or more down the road if it were time to upgrade and the iMac wasn't cutting it (but why wouldn't it?), I could budget for the PowerMac later.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 07:06 PM   #9
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I like your Power Mac Nov-Dec-Jan. plan, though I might just wait and shoot stuff now and purchase everythng together in Jan. (The apple protection plan will only cover the monitor if it's purchased with the computer, IIRC).

This computer will leave you with a lot of flexibility. Great for DV projects, and good enough for HDV or even HD with some additional add ons.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 07:09 PM   #10
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Colby, have you seen the links I posted in this thread?

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=51730

They include benchmarks and other info that may help with your decision.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 07:27 PM   #11
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Yes Boyd I have. I have spent HOURS reading and re-reading! Thanks for pointing it out again. I think part of it is that my pint-sized brain is having a bit of trouble processing all that information. The other part is wondering if I pay 3500 now, or 5700 now.

Again, thanks for every bit of help on this. I just have to have all my ducks in a row and an answer for most every question before I take this to the boss: MY WIFE! :)
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Old October 26th, 2005, 07:36 PM   #12
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Colby, some ways you can save money:

A- Install your own RAM. crucial.com is the easiest because they are a good vendor and their site will help you pick the right RAM. Go for pairs of identical sticks for optimal performance (a few percent faster than mismatched sticks).

B- Hard drive: Look at hot deals sites in your country for deals on external drives (i.e. Maxtor Onetouch) or assemble your own.
For the US, try the forums at gotapex.com, fatwallet.com, bensbargains.net, etc.

C- Monitor: Wait for a hot deal on a LCD monitor. Again, check hot deals sites. Dell tends to have good deals, and their monitors are of good quality.

The aluminium apple LCDs have some slight color problems, so watch out for that. If you have clients and want your studio to look good, then by all means get them. But a hot deal on a Dell LCD will save you a few hundred dollars for a monitor that's just as good if not better.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 11:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colby Knight
That's why I wanted to ask the real pro's on here! All the responses are MUCH appreciated!

I'm not yet capable of doing anything in HDV, so DV is it.

I've heard plenty of Mac users say the iMac will work fine for FCP5. So... with $$ being an issue (always is working within a budget), I'm looking at about $3500 for an iMacG5 (2.1, 2.5 RAM, 500gb hardrive) w/ FCS. Ready to lock n' load later that day!
I'm a bit curious as to just how much slower it is. I'm not going to sit in front of it and wait 8 weeks for it to render or burn to a DVD am I? It's not like I have a meeting with the Pope anytime soon.

On the other hand, I could do the PowerMac and spend about $3100 on it. Then get FCStudio next month... and then a monitor the month after that. Total spent: About $5700.

I know that if a year or more down the road if it were time to upgrade and the iMac wasn't cutting it (but why wouldn't it?), I could budget for the PowerMac later.
I've used both. The main difference isn't really in speed (pretty comparable actually), it's how much 'else' you can do while the computer is working. With a 1 cpu iMac, when you render, it's best to take a break from the comp and go about doing something else - as expected, there's only one CPU. With a Powermac w/ 2 CPUs, you could work on something else (slight peformance hit). The Final Cut Studio apps really aren't multi-cpu enhanced so no speed benefit from multiple CPUs.

Me personally, I enjoy stretching my legs. Hope that helps!
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Old October 27th, 2005, 12:21 AM   #14
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i have used fcp on the following machines:

- 1ghz g4 cube
- 800mhz g4 lcd imac
- 1ghz g4 lcd imac
- powermac g4 933
- 15" powerbook g4 1.67
- 17" powerbook g4 1.67
- powermac g5 dual 1.8

most can be seen here (old picture): http://www.flickr.com/photos/madgamer/18286898/

i would strongly suggest that you get a powermac over an imac. you don't even have to get a new g5 powermac. heck, you can get away with a dual g4 powermac if you edit in sd, and it would, imho, be better than a g5 imac. why?

- ability to use more than one monitor, and ability to upgrade the video card
- ability to use more than one video card (i use 2, pushing 3 monitors with ability to push 4)
- ability to use more than one hard drive, and easily swap them
- ability to upgrade processors in the future

re: intel apples, as an apple user for over 10 years now, i suggest that you steer clear from rev. a apple product. they make amazing machines, and for the most part they are excellent, but sometimes their rev. a products have design flaws that are fixed on rev. b models.

either way, i envy you. it's always fun spec'ing out, purchasing and using new equipment. have fun! hope this helps.
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Old November 21st, 2005, 07:56 AM   #15
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On Saturday I purchased a 2.3 Powermac w/ 2.5 RAM and a 20' monitor.

FC Studio will come later when the budget rebounds!

Thanks again to everyone who responded and weighed in with advice. It is GREATLY appreciated and the reason that keeps me checking this site everyday!
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