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Old July 10th, 2006, 03:21 PM   #1
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iMac and FCP Question

Hey everyone,

I'm about to buy my first Mac, and I'm really leaning towards an iMac.

I know the specs I'll get for an iMac, and I'm getting the 21" inch screen one.

Which are...

- 2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
- 500GB Serial ATA drive
- ATI Radeon X1600/256MB VRAM

Now I'm using an Canon XL2, and I'm just curious if iMac will run smoothly when I'm editing, and using real time effects?

Thanks for your time.

- Matt
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Old July 10th, 2006, 03:55 PM   #2
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From those specs it isn't clear... is this one of the new Intel coreduo iMacs? Or is it a G5 iMac? Or a G4 iMac?

If you're using a new Intel iMac then you'll fly through any kind of standard definition video. In fact, some tests indicate that they are a lot faster than the top of the line Power Macintosh G5's when it comes to Final Cut Pro rendering.

But even the G5 or G4 iMac will also probably be fine for your XL2. I have a dual 2.5 G5 Power Mac and realtime and multiple tracks work fine on it. I also have an older 1ghz Powerbook G4. The realtime isn't as good on that, but it works acceptably when I need something portable.

Let us know the processor specs on your machine and we can give you more specific answers.
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Old July 10th, 2006, 05:01 PM   #3
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Sorry, I was talking about the new iMac's. The ones with the intel chips.

Thanks for answering my question!
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Old July 11th, 2006, 06:13 AM   #4
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Hello,

Yep.. it will work great !! No problem.. I have one.. But i believe the screen is 20 inches, not 21 inches..
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Old July 11th, 2006, 12:41 PM   #5
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Yeah, I didn't know if it was 20 or 21 inches.

Thanks for your help.
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Old July 11th, 2006, 05:53 PM   #6
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I wanted to respond to this, if for no other reason than to confirm your selection. I have been a PC literally since their inception with all of our shows cut on Premiere or Avid. I purchased my first Mac Pro Notebook today for one of our shows, 2nd Unit he new and I have to tell you, before my experience today purchasing it, I didn't understand why Mac people were such zealots. I now know. The learning curve will be there, of course, but the quality, the performance, the product, the people and everything else, well, let's just say you're making the right choice. For those of you who have been following 2nd Unit on this board through it's first three episodes with Emmy winner George Dibie on lighting, cinematography and filtration for motion picture and television, I'll be anxious to hear what your comments are next week when the first show cut with FCP and Mac airs with Emmy award winning cinematographer and DP Jody Eldred of JAG and now NCIS fame.

It'll truly be a pleasure to join the Mac clan.
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Old July 11th, 2006, 09:09 PM   #7
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Thanks, I have been a PC editor since I started editing, just because I never had access to a Mac, but I should have the money for one by late July or early August. So I'm getting one. I have heard all great things. So I'm pretty excited.
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Old July 11th, 2006, 09:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Ames
I wanted to respond to this, if for no other reason than to confirm your selection. I have been a PC literally since their inception with all of our shows cut on Premiere or Avid. I purchased my first Mac Pro Notebook today for one of our shows, 2nd Unit he new and I have to tell you, before my experience today purchasing it, I didn't understand why Mac people were such zealots. I now know. The learning curve will be there, of course, but the quality, the performance, the product, the people and everything else, well, let's just say you're making the right choice. For those of you who have been following 2nd Unit on this board through it's first three episodes with Emmy winner George Dibie on lighting, cinematography and filtration for motion picture and television, I'll be anxious to hear what your comments are next week when the first show cut with FCP and Mac airs with Emmy award winning cinematographer and DP Jody Eldred of JAG and now NCIS fame.

It'll truly be a pleasure to join the Mac clan.
I in sort of the same boat Jonathan. BTW, we met briefly at NAB during the DVINFO party. I asked about your HD because I ride one also. I got an iMac 20" a little over a year ago and it has been a pretty smooth ride with this system. Like you , it was my first Apple computer after being a PC guy from the days of the original IBM PC.

And just to keep you out of trouble with the Mac afficiandos, the correct term for your new computer is 'Macbook Pro'.

-gb-
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Old July 24th, 2006, 12:38 PM   #9
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I hope your purchase goes well. I have an Imac G5 20' with 2GB of RAM and a 120 GB hard drive which I purchased about a year ago to work on DV projects. To date, I've had no problems with it, but the biggest concern I didn't address at the time was the amount of processing I needed for rendering and hard drives.

One thing I recommend is preperation for hard drives. Multiple hard drives can speed up the editing process and rendering. My system is a G5, but I'm sure going to the new Intel chips will help when it comes to efficiency. The key importance is get fast processing, hard drives with 7200 RPMs or better and lets not forget a powerful graphics card. I hope this helps.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 01:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rey Ortega
I hope your purchase goes well. I have an Imac G5 20' with 2GB of RAM and a 120 GB hard drive which I purchased about a year ago to work on DV projects. To date, I've had no problems with it, but the biggest concern I didn't address at the time was the amount of processing I needed for rendering and hard drives.

One thing I recommend is preperation for hard drives. Multiple hard drives can speed up the editing process and rendering. My system is a G5, but I'm sure going to the new Intel chips will help when it comes to efficiency. The key importance is get fast processing, hard drives with 7200 RPMs or better and lets not forget a powerful graphics card. I hope this helps.
Rey, I just bumped my Imac internal drive to a 500gb Seagate Sata II and moved the original 160gb drive to an external enclosure accessed via USB 2 at the moment. I can tell you it definitely helps having two drives for rendering and scratch disks.

I used a shareware program called SuperDuper to move the data from the original drive to the new drive(mounted in the enclosure). It worked flawlessly though it does take awhile to move all that data. I then swapped the drives around and put the 500gb inside the Imac and tested, and tested, and ran every application and opened as many documents and photos as could until I was satisfied that the move was golden. I then wiped the original 160gb drive(now in the enclosure) and set it as my FCP scratch and render disk.

-gb-
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Old July 24th, 2006, 03:30 PM   #11
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SWEEEEEEET!

Did it speed up render times? I'll have to give that a try. Thanks.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 07:41 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the responses. I have another few questions. Since I'll be getting a 500 GB harddrive with my iMac. Should I get a external hard drive? Also any recommendations for the external hard drive?

Thanks again.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 09:40 PM   #13
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Personally I would recommend a second drive for all your editing put all your capture files and render files on there and then anything you want to keep long term put on your internal drive as well as all your photos and project files and other personal stuff. This is the system that I use in my iMac and it works great. I ordered a maxtor one touch II 500 gig from the apple store when I ordered my iMac and it works great the only problem is that the drive only comes with a firewire 800 cable and the imac only has a firewire 400 port so you'll need a new cable. I have heard some good reports about G-Drives as well.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 10:32 PM   #14
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Yeah, I'm on the Apple store right now, and I'm considering the G-Drive 500Gb external hard drive.

Anyone have experience with this drive?




Damn, I was going to get an Nikon camera. Haha. I guess I'll have to wait a bit longer for the Nikon.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 04:40 PM   #15
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I bought a refurb Intel iMac 20" a few months ago, and have had no problems that couldn't be pinned down to operator error. Maxxing out your RAM is a good idea, especially if you plan on using Motion at all.

The 500GB internal hard drive will come in handy, even if you're just working on DV footage. You'll be surprised how quickly you can fill that up, especially if you're a digital pack-rat like I am. Mine came with a 250GB internal HD, and by the time I copied all my archived projects and masters from my PC, I was already hitting the capacity of the drive.

I've already had one client provide me with an external HD to archive their project, and from now on I'll just build that into the cost.

I'm quite fond of the MacAlly enclosures. I've assembled nearly a dozen here at work, and had no trouble with them. You can get a Macally PHR-100AC Firewire 400/USB2.0 enclosure for $43 from newegg, and a 320GB WD Caviar Drive WD3200JB to stick in it for under $100. Installation will take you all of about 5 minutes.

The G-Drive is a bit of overkill for your iMac, as you don't have or need Firewire800 ports. Besides, you could go my route and have almost a Terrabyte (960GB) for $101 less ($429) than the 500GB G-Drive ($530). Or spring another $42 and have 1280GB. Now, I don't know if I'd daisy chain all these together at the same time, but I've run three at the same time, chained off one Firewire port, and had no dropped frames or other problems.

I'm jus' sayin'...
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