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Old December 9th, 2002, 07:18 PM   #1
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price of a mac editing system

Mostly just curious, but how much would it cost for a Mac editing computer?

All I want it to do is edit video on FCP. Big hard drive. I wouldn't want to spend much money on high end CPU. Just something to get the job done.

And monitors, do Macs use the same monitors as PCs? I'm thinking No. What would they cost?

Thanks.
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Old December 9th, 2002, 08:38 PM   #2
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You can use any monitor you want. My wife edits on her 15" iMac G4, 800mHz with 1gig Ram, Superdrive (built-in DVD burner). Total cost of the system $1,500 (bought slightly used). FCP runs $1,000 unless you qualify for an educational discount. The 17" iMac would run about $2,000 new, $1,700 used. The limitation to the iMac is you can't add a second monitor.

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL...3.1.1.0?125,39

The next step up is the G4 PowerMac (tower). They are all Dual Processor now and start at $1,700 (monitor extra).

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL...3.1.1.0?108,52

If you can wait, prices will drop after MacWorld in early January. It may take up to 3or 4 weeks afterwards, it just depends on what is announced. I bought mine after MacWorld several years ago and saved $500 by waiting 3 weeks.

Jeff
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Old December 9th, 2002, 09:08 PM   #3
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Dylan,
Just to clarify Jeff's remark, the current desktop Macs have two monitor connectors. One is Apple's proprietary ADC connector which handles power, USB and video signals to an Apple LCD monitor. The other is a more conventional SVGA connector. So, using a non-Apple monitor you would use the latter connection.

If you don't really need a 2nd monitor for editing you can get by with a 17" iMac and an external Firewire drive.

You should also shop around over at www.PowerMax.com . They sell alot of reconditioned Macs. (I just traded my old PowerBook in with them.) They're good people who stand by what they sell. You might find a good deal on a dual 1Gig.
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Old December 10th, 2002, 02:02 AM   #4
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Hmm.. They sure are a bit more expensive than PCs, huh?

How does the CPU speed equate to PCs? Do I need a dual processor? I hear Macs need more ram than PCs do as well.
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Old December 10th, 2002, 02:28 AM   #5
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Frankly, yes they are a bit more expensive. But, in my opinion, they are worth it for video work and for other creative endeavors as well.

The cpu speed ratings are really not easily compared. The PowerPC/G4 is a RISC processor that uses a completely different architecture and instruction set than the Intel/AMD chips. When Apple or related testers compare the G4 they often user PhotoShop as a key speed indicator. This is not really fair since the G4 has a special graphics subsystem, known as Altivec, that gooses-up PhotoShop performance. But, all things considered, you can buy a faster PC today for less money than the fastest Mac.

But that doesn't really tell much of the whole story. The Mac is simply a much better video editing platform than Windows. Application management is -much- simpler. Drive management is -much- simpler, particularly with inexpensive Firewire drives being so available. Firewire is built-in to the system, as is USB. (As I write this I'm editing a short piece off of a 40Gb Firewire drive with Final Cut Pro on a PowerBook G4.) With the introduction of OS-X, a BSD Unix derivative, the platform's become even better and quite comparable to facilities that were only available on SGI workstations just a few years ago.

Re: processors, all of the desktop Power Macs now feature dual processors, with the highest-end currently being the dual 1.25GHz G4.

Macs do not really need more RAM than Windows PC's. In fact, I'd guess the opposite to be true. But with memory relatively inexpensive there's little reason to skimp. 512Mb is probably the smallest practical memory size for video work.

I don't mean to send you into financial penury, but those are my experiences and observations. (And, yes, I still have a Dell Precision Workstation and a Dell Inspirion notebook running Windows 2000 SP2.)
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Old December 10th, 2002, 06:06 AM   #6
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I've been using Macs in a production environment since '93. I simply don't have the problems by PC friends (editors) have. If I couldn't capture footage, I would be out of business. I edit all my work and some of my clients work (some clients have me use their equipment) on a G4 450 dual processor. The speed is not a factor for me. Maybe if I did 3D animation I would feel differently. In ten years of solid Mac work I've never had a problem like yours (I'm not saying Macs don't break).

All of Apple's current line up of G4 PowerMacs are dual processors. I think a lot of Mac users load up on ram because it the cheapest thing you can do to speed up you computer. I use 2 gigs of ram in mine. Until recently PCs (after Windows 98) couldn't use more than 256 megs of ram.

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Old December 10th, 2002, 07:28 AM   #7
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Ive edited both on high end PC (Intergraph TDZ's with Softimage|DS), Sony Editstations and normal "consumer" PC's with Premiere. And after getting to work with Final Cut on a G4 at work, i decided to go with the Apple platform when it was time for me to get a edit suit at home.

I've never ever regretted that decision. Just make sure you run OSX 10.2 or later. OS 9 can be extension hell if you are not careful :)
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Old December 10th, 2002, 07:11 PM   #8
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Thanks guys. It's going to be a serious consideration for me when it comes time for a new computer. The PC I edit on now is only about 3 months old, so I can't quite justify replacing it yet.

How much do Mac Firewire hard drives sell for (compared to PC ones)?
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Old December 10th, 2002, 08:15 PM   #9
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Firewire drives are non-denominational <g>. They'll work with either platform, although few PC's are built with Firewire.

Prices range depending on capacity and other specs. Take a look at www.Wiebetech.com as an example.
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Old December 11th, 2002, 11:58 AM   #10
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OK, here's a possibly dumb follow up question....
If I have a Firewire drive, can I use it on a PC, and then plug it into a Mac and have it work? For say transfering music or graphics files. Assuming a PC photoshop file would transfer to/and be usable on, a Mac.
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Old December 11th, 2002, 12:58 PM   #11
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Not a dumb question at all. You'll need to use a utility such as MacDrive5 (by MediaFour) for Windows (which WiebeTech now includes free with drive purchases) to enable your PC to recognize your Mac-formatted hard drive. I would start with a Mac-formatted drive.

(Caveat: I've not personally performed this maneuver.)
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Old December 13th, 2002, 12:22 PM   #12
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I am currently in the market for a new Mac as well. I am set on a G4 but am wondering about the options that come with it. Is it worth paying the xtra $$'S to get the NVIDIA card included in the MAc G4 system? Are there better options/deals that one could invest in?
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Old December 13th, 2002, 12:58 PM   #13
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I am told (by gamers) that it's worth the extra expense if you like to play 3D games on your computer. Otherwise go with the standard graphics adapter. Not being a computer game player myself I couldn't say.
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Old December 13th, 2002, 01:05 PM   #14
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It will not benefit your video editing in any way. The standard card displays more than enough frames per second for video editing. If you have extra money I would get as much ram as possible. It is fairly cheap right now and that will help insure thing run smoothly in your multi-tasking. Even the standard card will run two monitors for and extended desktop.

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Old December 13th, 2002, 01:15 PM   #15
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Jeff's right: spend the extra $ on memory. Well worth it. Other ideas:

- A good external FireWire drive
- A Contour ShuttlePRO. http://www.contouravs.com/cav_shuttlepro_info.html. It's a handy little gizmo for Final Cut Pro.
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