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Old January 28th, 2006, 12:24 PM   #1
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App and OS update question

I'm getting ready to update both FCP and my OS. Here it goes..

1- I have FCP 4.5 and I'm going to upgrade to Studio around Feb.
2- I would also like to upgarde my OS to 10.4

My specs are:
Dual 1.25 PowerPC G4
2 GB of RAM/Plenty of HD space
FCP 4.5/OS 10.3.9
Stock video card

I need a better video card to run Motion and DVD Studio Pro. Any recommendations??

Here are some of my questions.
1- What are the upgrade hazards I should be concerned with?
2- What would be the best way to back everything up? My applications in particluar. The media files are easy...I really don't want to have to install every small app I have.

Thanks for the advice.
-Mike
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Old January 28th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #2
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Hi Mike and welcome to DVinfo. The good news is that you can upgrade to the full FC Studio suite for $200; see this thread: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=58196

Now the bad news.... IMO you should be looking at a new computer and not putting any more money into a G4 dual 1.25. Even with a new graphics card Motion is going to run very slowly. FCP5 will run, but rendering will take much longer than a G5. If you get a new machine you won't need to update your OS or buy the graphics card, so that will offset the price somewhat. And of course you can sell your old machine to also help pay for a new one.

Personally I'd just sit back and relax for a little while. The universal version of FCP isn't coming out until March 31, and after that date you can see how fast it runs on the Intel iMac, which would be a pretty reasonably priced upgrade for you. Or if you want to go the desktop route, new machines will be coming along soon. And when they do you can probably also find discounts on the remaining G5 PowerMac inventory.

As far as migrating to a new system, it was really very painless for me. The procedure would be pretty much the same whether you're buying a new machine or installing MacOSX 10.4 on your G4. Clone your startup drive to an external firewire drive; this can be done with a variety of utility or backup programs. If installing 10.4 on your old machine, select the erase and install option. You really want to start from a cleanly formatted drive for the best results. At the end of the install process it will ask if you want to copy your files and applications and will give you a chance to connect the firewire drive. If you're migrating to a new machine then you could just connect your old G4 via firewire using target disk mode and forget cloning to the external drive.

The installer will take care of the rest. I moved all my files and applications this way and didn't really encounter any problems at all. Other people have suggested that it's safest not to move applications, but I'm like you - I didn't want to try to reinstall all my software. If you do find something which doesn't work under 10.4 you could always manually fix it afterwards.

However, if you're moving to an Intel Mac there may be other issues involved with software. Most Power PC programs should run under Rosetta on the Intel boxes, but first reports indicate they run at about 1/2 speed.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 09:33 AM   #3
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Hi Mike
As I have stated in a previous post, all pro apps will be universal Feb 1, 2006. Check the Apple website at this time. There will be no mention of this upgrade path until Feb 1. You will be able to trade in your exisiting pro apps for a nominal fee for the complete universal Studio which contains all 4 of the pro applications. A great deal.
As for buying a new computer, big problem. If you buy an existing IBM chip machine, you are buying legacy technology and your future may be limited.
If you buy a new Intel machine, currently you may have problems depending on what software you currently own. I have Photoshop, Quark and a couple other very CPU intensive programs that run much SLOWER under Rosetta. No way am I going to buy an Intel Mac until Microsoft, Adobe and others introduce Intel native software. My purchase decision is not based on hardware but software. This is only a question you can answer yourself.
In fact the sales numbers for new Intel Mac are way down, just for this very reason.
dkane
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Old January 29th, 2006, 09:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Kane
You will be able to trade in your exisiting pro apps for a nominal fee for the complete universal Studio which contains all 4 of the pro applications. A great deal.
It is a good deal, but note that he is running FCP 4.5 so the upgrade will cost $200. The nominal fee ($50 I think) only applies if you have the current version of Final Cut Studio. See the pricing in my link above for more info. True, you can place the order on Feb 1, but Apple isn't promising shipment until March 31.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 12:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for the information!! It seems I'm stuck in between both Hardware and Software solutions.

I can't afford a new machine or new software. Maybe next year at the earliest.

So, would this the best solution until I upgrade my machine.

1- Upgrade to OS 10.4 and the Final Cut Studio.
2- Get the best video card I can afford to be able to atleast run Motion.
3- Just except the slow preformance and render issues.
4- Once I get a new Intel G5..keep my G4 as a slower workstation as is.

Or...would it be better to NOT upgrade and keep my system relatively fast. Maybe buy the upgrade and universal copy and just wait to install it on the newer Intel G5 next year or so??

Also, I have about a half dozen apps that will not port over to the new Intel G5. And I'm sure they'll have update versions later this year or next.

Thanks again for all the the tips and help.
-Mike
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Old January 30th, 2006, 01:19 PM   #6
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There is no such thing as an "Intel G5"... the G5 is the IBM/Motorola/Freescale chips which Apple is phasing out in favor of Intel CPU's.

Personally I wouldn't sink any significant $$ into that G4. I think there are very limited options for graphics cards which will support Motion on the G4's, and they are relatively expensive (or at least that was the case last year when I looked into it). So do a little math... just guessing here, but if the graphics card was $200, MacOSX 10.4 something like $130 plus maybe some additional RAM.... you're into $400 pretty quickly. Now how much could you sell your old machine for? $500? Again, just making up numbers here, but that would be $900 you could apply towards a new machine. So for something like $400 you could get an Intel iMac (if that fits your needs).

The FC Studio seems like a compelling deal because of the attractive upgrade pricing, which may not last. But if you don't really need that then why not just keep going with your current setup and FCP 4.5? If keeping FCP 4.5 there isn't much reason to upgrade to MacOSX 10.4, and in fact there may be some issues getting them to work together properly.

Personally, I'd just sit the whole thing out for awhile if you can't afford to upgrade your hardware. Spending money on new operating systems and graphics cards doesn't make a lot of sense to me with a machine like yours, and it's all money down the drain when you finally do get a new machine. Unless you're doing something like editing HDV I don't know that there's a lot of reason to move to FCP 5.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 03:15 PM   #7
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Oops...my bad. I keep forgetting about which machines are intel and which are not yet.

I'm not sure the iMac will be the best fit for me. I'll have to take another look at it. I would prefer to have a machine that I can up grade video cards, RAM, and the ability to use a couple of monitors (gotta' love that extra real estate for editing and After Effects). I'm looking for an editing, encoding, DVD authoring and effects workhorse in the office. It's debatable whether the iMac could handle that. Either way, I'll check it on the apple site after this post.

Your advice will make my fiance extremely happy when I tell her that I will not need to upgrading my G4. Then, she'll become quite upset after I ask for the credit card. Ha, ha, ha...

I agree. I'll wait and save for a new G5 or whatever Intel machine is available at that time.

Thanks for all the input gang. I might have slipped hard without this input.
-Mike
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Old January 30th, 2006, 03:55 PM   #8
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Just for a side note the new iMac Intel will support multiple monitors without any hacks.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 12:35 PM   #9
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Mike--

I've gone through similar mental gyrations over this. My G4 1G DP is very stable running FCP-4.5 & 10.3.9. For that reason, I'm sitting tight for awhile. I've upgraded the video card so I can run a Dell 24" widescreen, but otherwise, I'm keeping what I've got.

The temptation keeps popping-up, but so far, I've resisted it....it's hard to move from a functional rock-solid system. It hasn't always been that way.....
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Old January 31st, 2006, 02:32 PM   #10
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I agree. My system is completely rock solid! No sense in messing with it at this point.

I'm going to buy a new G5 later this year. This way all my apps will still work. An Intel machine will have to wait.

I will upgrade to Final Cut Studio and sit on it until I'm ready.

-Mike
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