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Old February 9th, 2006, 07:00 PM   #1
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Best Apple to edit using FCP??? G5 or iMac???

Hi -

I've been editing on my powerbook for a year now and I can't take it anymore! I need a new machine! I'm trying to decide between a G5 or iMac. I am starting a project that will involve editing about 60 hours of footage on FCP with multiple external hard drives. I would, of course, prefer to spend less and get a 20inch iMac, but only if I know it can handle editing this much video.

Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!!
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Old February 9th, 2006, 07:50 PM   #2
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Nobody really knows what performance will be like on the new Intel iMacs because FCP won't run native on them until March 31. New towers with Intel chips will be coming sometime this year as well. In the meantime, the dual and Quad G5's are a known quantity. I use a dual 2.5 G5 and have been very happy. I wouldn't want a closed system like an iMac personally, but you have to consider that in relation to your budget.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 10:53 AM   #3
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Native?

Thanks for the help, Boyd, but you what you mean by FCP won't run native on the iMac? Or it's a closed system? What kind of problem will I have? Will that problem be fixed on MArch 31 i.e. should I wait until March 31st the buy a newer iMac?

Thanks, Boyd!
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Old February 10th, 2006, 11:00 AM   #4
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G5

Hi Rudy:

I use a G5 2.5 dual with 4.5gig of RAM and a Huge Systems 1.6T U320 RAID because I am shooting in HDV, editing in HDV and downconverting to SD 16x9. I have discovered you need a lot of speed and space to do this. You may be able to get some deasl on the G5 duals with the coming of the Intel G5's. But my G5 is very robust; tried and true since last April.

Jack
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Old February 10th, 2006, 02:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy Adler
Thanks for the help, Boyd, but you what you mean by FCP won't run native on the iMac? Or it's a closed system? What kind of problem will I have? Will that problem be fixed on MArch 31
The new iMac models have Intel CPU chips, and in fact Apple is changing all of their models to Intel chips by the end of 2006. Unfortunately this means that the existing versions of FCP will not run on the new machines. They have announced that a new version of FCP will be released on March 31, and it will be compatible with both the new Intel and the existing G4 and G5 systems.

You may still be able to find some places selling the old G5 iMacs, but if you're buying a new machine it's probably best to get one of the Intel models because they will run faster. Only catch is that you won't be able to run FCP on it until March 31 or thereabouts.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 06:14 AM   #6
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Bargains to be had...

Hey Rudy,

I was in the same position as you a few weeks ago. I've launched a little enterprise to start doing a few shorts (no more than 5 / 10 mins) over the next year. One of my team is a bit of a 'mac head' and he talked me over from PC to mac (i used to be Liquid 5.5 on a dual pc).

Basically, FCP (the old version - which we bought before the computer so no intels for us) will run fine on an iMac. Nice big external hard drive and SD FCP editing will be dandy (providing you won't be editing war and peace the mini series). However, if you want to do any serious HDV work or long duration features etc you'll probably end up with a big headache.

The BIG advantage at the moment is fiancial. Bear in mind I am in the UK, but last week I got an 'old' G5 20inch 1.5 gig upgraded iMac for £500 uk pounds less than it was priced at a month ago. If you pop into an apple store and ask there are bargains to be had....and for me at least this has worked out perfectly.

Hope this helps you out....please anybody who knows more detail point out any folly in my advice.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 07:12 PM   #7
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iMac vs. PowerMac G5

Picking up on a 2 month old question here, but still relevant I think, as I haven't heard of anyone using the new Universal FCP on an Intel iMac just yet...

I, too, am debating between the Intel iMac G5 and the Power Mac G5.

I have had a G4 tower for 5 years. It served me well during this time, as I used it (and several external HD's) to edit about 70 hours of DV down into an hour long documentary, using FCP. (It took me all of 5 years to do it-whew!) Anyway, as I am now preparing for doc #2, I want to upgrade. Problem is, when I bought the G4 and the Canon GL-1, I had some $ to spend, and now I don't have as much. (I don't do this as a money-making venture). So, I'm trying to get what I need to get the job done, but can't be extravagant.

Regarding the iMac G5...Boyd, you referred to it as a "closed system." Are you referring to the fact that you can't increase the RAM beyond 2 GB? In that case, how much RAM does FCP really need? (I had been using only--don't laugh here--448 MB RAM on my 400 MHz G4. So anything more than that feels like luxury to me! But I was just using v.1.2.9.) FCP says it needs 512 MB RAM for DV or 1-2 GB for HDV.

I plan on keeping my GL-1 and editing in DV, but just in case there's a possibility that in the next year or two, I could save up enough to get a good HDV camera, would an Intel iMac with 2 MB RAM be insufficient for handling HDV editing? (I'm guessing yes.)

Just to throw another thing out there (which I think was brought up in another post)--Photoshop won't be Universal for the Intels until later in the year...so if I did buy the iMac, no Photoshop until then (except with Rosetta)? I run a 2 or 3 year old (Classic) version of Photoshop on my G4, so I guess that wouldn't function on an Intel.

Oh, one last thing, in case anyone knows: how do Intel macs handle external HD's. I'd hate to not be able to use the ones I currently have (500 GB total)... And what about printers? scanners? (I realize the last two are off topic for a video forum, so disregard them if unrelevant).

thanks in advance for the feedback!
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