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Old December 4th, 2005, 01:38 PM   #1
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Newbie G5 questions..

Hello,

I am not a Mac user, but am considering it..A friend is in the process of buying a stock 2GHZ G5 Dual Core system.. And he is wanting to edit HDV shoot with a Sony HDV camera.. So lots of questions have now arose on using this sytem.. And I am watching closely to determine the usability of the system.. I am wondering can this sytem drive 2 monitors?? Do they have to be Apple displays, or can you use a DV-I LCD?? I assume if you are running FCP5 you can spread your interface across the two monitors?? What kind of specs does the monitor have to have to see your HDV footage displayed??
What amount of memory would be recomended in this sytem for HDV use??
What else would be neede to added to the system?? If you add a firewire drive, can it be used to for your HDV storage?
Anyway sorry about all the newbie questions.. Just trying to evaluate this sytem as a potential editing machine..

Thanks in advance..

Mike m.
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Old December 4th, 2005, 01:46 PM   #2
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The newer G5s have dual DVI outs, and Apple abandoned the ADC port so you can use whatever DVI monitors you want without adapters for both displays. Of course FCP can run on both monitors - it has built-in dual monitor layouts. You will want 2GB of RAM for best performance, and you won't need to add anything to the stock system for HDV. Firewire drives work well with anything with low data rates, HDV, DV and DV50 included. Your most likely concern would be with CPU clock speed. The Macs are not as fast at rendering/encoding as fast Windows machines, but maybe that is different with the "quad" G5 if you can afford it.
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Old December 4th, 2005, 04:14 PM   #3
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Hi,

Thanks Zach for your prompt answers.. much appreciated..

I noticed on the Apple website the graphics card in the 2 GHZ Dual Core G5 , looks to be a lesser version of the next two models up..(it has an LE designation) is this card sufficient for Dual monitors and display of HDV ??

Thanks,
Mike m.
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Old December 4th, 2005, 06:28 PM   #4
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I bought the new Quad G5 and am loving it. The speed is nice, but what is really a huge bonus over the Dual 2.7's is that it is MUCH quieter. Fans don't come on nearly as much.

I did get the stock graphic card in it (6600) and kinda' regret it. After seeing some head to head comparisons, the extra $350 would probably be worth it to upgrade to the 7800.

The stock 6600 card will take 2 DVI displays, but only 1 dual link DVI. I have a 30" dual DVI link and a Dell 24" single link hooked up and it works great. You can definitely use the display for playing back HDV via the Digital Cinema Desktop, but that's not going to work for color correction and accurate viewing of signal.

I would definitely get an extra gig of ram. It only costs a couple hundred dollars...ram is cheap.

A good firewire drive will definitely work for HDV.

KW
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Old December 4th, 2005, 06:47 PM   #5
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You can also get a controller card that will drive 8 SATA drives, 4 internal, 4 external. You can get an external enclosure that will house 4 drives and give you a SATA interface as opposed to firewire. This will give you some significant firepower for HDV. After that, it's pretty much fibrechannel for speed of data throughput.

FCP is a good package for editing and integrates nicely with the other apps in the FCP Studio suite.

-gb-
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Old December 4th, 2005, 07:26 PM   #6
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Hello,

Thanks for the info guys..

Kevin- can you explain further what is "Dual Dvi Link" ?? Is it possible to get an analog type signal out to look at your NTSC output?? or does that require something like a Declink card??

Thanks,
Mike m.
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Old December 4th, 2005, 07:37 PM   #7
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Someone else is better suited to describe technically what the dual link brings to the table, but basically it's just a pipe-size thing...brings more information to the monitor...very large monitors need this. It does not have any features that any other card has or anything...just a bigger data pipe.

No, you can't run an NTSC monitor off of any of the Apple graphics cards. It's not what they're for. For that, you definitely want to get a Decklink, AJA or Aurora card to play NTSC out and capture, too.

Hope this helps.

KW
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Old December 4th, 2005, 07:46 PM   #8
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Hey Mike! As others have said, the stock Macs can drive two monitors. The only thing to bear in mind is that you split available VRAM between the two monitors. So if the card has 128MB on it then each screen is allocated 64MB. This will be fine for FCP and most applications, but a program like Motion may see a performance hit since it uses the card heavily. If you want two monitors then get a card with as much VRAM as possible.

You do need to think about how to view your HDV footage for editing. FCP has a feature called "digital cinema desktop" which lets you use your second monitor as a preview display at the highest resolution the monitor supports. It works pretty well, but isn't like a studio monitor. If you want that then get ready to spend some real $$$ for one of the HD cards and a good monitor.

I'm a longtime FCP user but just now starting with HDV on FCP 5. I think firewire drives will be fine for HDV, although I'm not using them yet for that. But I have a whole stack of drives that work just fine for DV. They're all firewire 400 drives with 7200RPM mechanisms.

Let us know if you take the plunge!
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Old December 4th, 2005, 09:48 PM   #9
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Hi Boyd,

Thanks for the advice.. Just starting to look at the Macs, gathering info and seeing what is out there..

thanks again..
Mike m.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 10:53 AM   #10
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Hey Mike,

I recently bought the Dual-Core 2ghz G5, and I love it. What an incredible difference in performance! Now, keep in mind I came from a 1ghz G4, so it was quite an upgrade for me. If you're coming from a powerful Windows system, then I don't know where it will stand in comparison.

I have no experience with it for HDV, but I can't imagine it would choke at all as long as you have a good amount of ram. I have to disagree that 2gb of ram would give you good performance, though. I bought my G5 with 1.5 gigs, and when I upgraded to 4 gigs, I saw a tremendous difference in overall performance. I would recommend *at least* 4 gigs of ram, if not 8. That's just my opinion though, from my experience.

As far as dual-monitors, like Boyd said, it does split the video ram between the two. But, you could get a second video card to run the second monitor, and then you have full video ram for each. What I did was buy the DC 2ghz with the 6600LE so I didn't have to wait 8 weeks for my computer. Then, when the 7800 PCIe comes out, I will buy it and drop it in separately. Then I'll have a 256mb killer 7800 for my main monitor, and a reasonable 128mb slower 6600le for my secondary monitor. Right now, Motion doesn't run very well with basically 64 megs, but FCP & DVDSP run perfectly.

Good luck! And congrats for switching over to Mac!

Dan
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Old December 13th, 2005, 12:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Shallenberger
But, you could get a second video card to run the second monitor
Careful to research that this works for your software packages. I haven't followed the details of the new machines very closely... do they all have PCIe slots that are the same, or does the primary graphics card only work in one slot? The old machines had one AGP slot and the main card had to be there. Then you could add another PCI card if you wanted, but the lower performance caused problems in some programs, like Motion and even FCP. FCP also used to have an issue using more than 2 screens but that may have been fixed in version 5.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 01:09 PM   #12
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Good point, Boyd. The slot used for the initial graphics card is the only 16x slot, but, there are two 8x, and one 4x left over. I am going to drop the 7800 in the 16x, replacing my 6600le, and move the 6600le to one of the 8x slots. It'll work perfectly fine in a slower slot, but just a bit slower. For the secondary monitor, this is a hit I can afford. But, if you need incredible performance from each monitor, then you're out of luck.

In my G4, I had an agp card installed, as well as a pci video card for the second monitor, and I never had any problems running anything. That's not to say that nobody would have problems, but I didn't. I agree, though, that there have been issues in the past with running 32 monitors. It never did work for me, and that was just with Photoshop, not FCP.

I think with all the slots in the G5 being pci-e, there would be less of an issue, but you bring up a good point to check into that before investing heavily.

Dan
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Old December 13th, 2005, 01:21 PM   #13
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I just read that you can install up to 4 pci-e video cards in a G5, with the only restriction being the combined v-ram cannot exceed 1gb, with no ill effects on the most current final cut studio.

You're supposed to install in this order: slot 1, then slot 3, then slot 4, then slot 2. Slot 2 is the 4x, so it makes sense, plus this order they say is better for cooling.

So, who's up for dropping the cash for 4 7800's?? Although, I can't remember if the 7800 takes up 2 slots with it's fan.
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