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Old January 22nd, 2006, 12:51 PM   #1
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system requirements

I'm thinking of switching to a Mac and FCP, but I'm on a budget. What would be the minimum requirements for editing HDV? Standard DV? Is it possible to get acceptable editing performace out of an imac or do I definitely need a power mac? I've used Mac's in the past but only for graphics work (Photoshop, etc.) and it was owned by the company so I never had to worry about it before. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 02:57 PM   #2
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Every mac ever sold with a firewire port will edit standard DV. I have a friend who bought an iMacDV 400Mhz when it was new (1999?) and still uses it for editing DV (and it only has a G3 processor.)

When it comes to HDV, RAM is the most important factor in MacOS X. Buy a minimum of 1GB of RAM... ideally 2Gb.

Any G5 (including iMac G5) will have more than enough processing power to capture and play back HDV. I use a 6-year old G4 with a Dual 1.2Ghz G4 upgrade card and I've never had a problem digitizing and working with HDV.
I've also used a 1.67Ghz PowerbookG4 without any problems.
With FCP, the basic rule is that the more power you have, the more real-time rendering you'll get.
HDV is not hard to digitize (since it is the same bitrate or less than DV.)
The tough job for any processor is decompressing the stream for frame accurate playback. Hard drive speed doesn't seem to be a factor (even firewire 400) unless you transcode your footage to a high bitrate codec.

The recently announced Intel Duo-Core Macs (iMac & MacBook Pro) will be ideally suited for HDV because they are just plain fast. The new iMac even has the ability to hook up a second monitor for more screen real estate.
I imagine that even the forthcoming (but not yet announced) Intel DuoCore MacMini or iBook will work well. However a "Universal" version of FCP that will be compatible with the Intel chips won't be available for a couple of weeks.

You should remember though, every new Mac comes pre-loaded with iMovie HD, which will get you going before you invest in Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Pro or Final Cut Express.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 04:50 PM   #3
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New Mac minis

New Mac minis were released today. The DuoCore version is awesome for the price. It even comes with a dual-layer DVD-burner!

http://www.apple.com/macmini/
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Old March 1st, 2006, 07:38 AM   #4
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But Final Cut Pro doesn't run on it yet.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 08:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben De Rydt
But Final Cut Pro doesn't run on it yet.
It will in just about a month :-)
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Old March 1st, 2006, 11:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben De Rydt
But Final Cut Pro doesn't run on it yet.
You can order the Universal Crossgrade right now.

http://www.apple.com/universal/crossgrade/
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