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Old March 14th, 2003, 12:39 PM   #1
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G4 400

Hello all:

I want to jump into DV with my G4 400.
I plan on upgrading the RAM and HD.
I wish to use this system on FinalCutPro.
If things pan out, i will upgrade to a new machine
later in the year. My question is, (i know i won't
have 'real-time effects' happening because of the
speed of my machine), are there any issues with
this G4 doing any DV or will I 'have to' upgrade to
a new machine now for Final Cut Pro? I assume
it would be wise to say in OS9 because of my processor
power.

thanks,
--james
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Old March 14th, 2003, 05:28 PM   #2
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Your equipment meets the minimum standards for FCP 3. However, the soon to be released FCP 4 may require OS X 10.2 as a minimum and faster processors. You don't mention how much ram your system has but 256mb is the minimum for FCP 3 and more is greatly recommended. Depending on your experience and the type of work you do, you might want to consider Final Cut Express as a low cost, feature rich, alternative.

In the long run the most cost effective solution would be to wait for FCP 4 and then decide what features it has you can't live without. If it is too tempting, then you may want to sell the G4 400 at that time and upgrade to a new G4 and FCP 4. If you can live without the new features, there may be some good deals on FCP3.
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Old March 14th, 2003, 08:23 PM   #3
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One of my FCP systems is a G4/350. I have no real time effects (not that I use them much on my faster system), but the render times aren't horrible. I am able to work in a relatively efficient manner on this system. I have no plans to upgrade to OS-X on this G4, and the next major revision of FCP is probably several months from being released, and will probably take a few months after that to work the bugs out.

RAM and hard disk space are the two most critical system upgrades you can make. I have 1 gig of RAM and a 120 GB video hard drive. I also have an external firewire drive, which makes it very easy to share projects between machines.

Several companies also sell processor upgrades that aren't terribly expensive. You can find single and dual processor cards running up to 1.2 ghz starting at $450. These CPU upgrades can allow you to get a couple more years of useability out of an older machine.

Good luck,

Rick Foxx
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Old March 14th, 2003, 08:42 PM   #4
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FCP 4 will probably be announced at NAB, April 7 through 10. No guarantees, but FCP 3 is well over a year old and due for a serious upgrade to keep pace with Avid. The rumor is that part of the delay has been to eliminate as many bugs as possible. FCP 4 promises to be the most stable to date.

Rick's suggestion of processor upgrades are a viable route to better performing machines. The single processors are proving to be very reliable. However, the dual processor upgrades have proven to have a variety of issues effecting performance and reliability.
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Old March 14th, 2003, 10:22 PM   #5
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Rick/Jeff:

Thanks for your words of advice.
I also have another reason to stick with this
G4 for the time being. Mainly doing Pro Tools.
I will upgrade the Ram as you mentioned.
At least another 512mb. Are there any issues
with the Western Digital Hard Drives for FCP video?
The drives are 10KRPM/ATA100 with 8mb buffer.
They all are near $1 per Gig with the rebate.
I bought one for my PC and wish to do so with
this Mac.

thanks again,
--james
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Old March 15th, 2003, 05:56 AM   #6
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The drive is fine. If your getting a great deal consider getting two drives and an inexpensive RAID card. It can really speed up some older machines.
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Old March 15th, 2003, 10:55 AM   #7
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Grace,

I feel your pain. I'm an Opcode orphan, and won't be able to upgrade to OS-X on that machine because I'd have to give up Studio Vision Pro, purchase a new MIDI interface and software, and spend the next 6 months getting to the point where I am comfortable with (il)Logic or Performer.

One other note on the processor upgrades, the dual cards won't work in many of the first generation G4s. If your G4 is the original PCI (Yikes) machine, there is a separate PCI upgrade card you will need.

Rick
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Old March 15th, 2003, 12:13 PM   #8
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hehe :)

Funny that you mention Opcode.
That was one of my first tech jobs!! :)
Till they let me go. Gibson bought them out.
It was cool meeting the guy who pretty much
created Midi and the guy who behind SVP.
I have a Midiman interface. I would check
out Cubase SX 1.05. I like the soft-synths
that come in that package. It shouldn't
be an issue scoring to video.

I have an AGP machine. I will at least get
one drive. That's great to know so i'll move
forward.

thanks,
--james
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Old March 15th, 2003, 01:52 PM   #9
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I still lurk on the Opcode newsgroup. Dan Timis, Jarrel and Doug Wyatt are regular posters there. There's also quite a bit of anti-Gibson sentiment. Even though it hasn't been updated in 4 years, SVP still has all the features I need to do whatever I need to do. I'm still using a 7 year old Studio 4, which is still running great. What did you do at Opcode?

Rick
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Old March 17th, 2003, 05:18 PM   #10
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I was a tech support guy.
Cool thing about the job was talking
to celebs and learning their production tools/techniques over the phone in their studios. It wasn't glamerous or anything but it exposed me to more of the programming side which i am into.

thanks,
--james
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