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Old December 14th, 2006, 07:37 PM   #1
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Whats the lowest spec G5 for HDV editing?

Hello all,

After suffering numerous crashes and errors I have finally decided to invest in a Mac and FCP HD set up. Up to now I have always used a PC (Pile o'Crap)running Adobe Prem Pro 1.5, Prem 6 and Canopus Edius 3.6. This just about works but the weak link as ever is anything that is touched by Windows usually ends up not so much a crash as an utter pile up! So I want to consign the PC to being a doorstop.

Looking around at the depressing price of powerful Macs, I see there are a number of options, speeds and features etc. What is the minimum speed that will work smoothly with HDV? What other specs do I need such as RAM size? For example I read about Express PCI or something.

I use a GY-HD100 as well as a DSR500 for SD work.

I also hear that HCP HD doesnít like HDV at 25fps, is this true? If so this could be a bit of a problem as I am firmly rooted in 25fps/People Arenít Lilac land as opposed to 30fps/Never Twice the Same Colour country!

Cheers

Tim
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Old December 14th, 2006, 07:54 PM   #2
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Any G5...even the original iMac G5. However, the more RAM the better.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 08:00 PM   #3
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Tough question to answer, as the minimum specs Apple gives is just that, minimum. Not the path to the best experience, as it will work. I personally have a dual 2.0ghz G5, and it works pretty well. When I had a JVC HD100, editing native 720p was just as easy as editing DV, and just as quick. Editing 1080p HDV from my new XDCAM is a bit slower, but still very very doable.

Interestingly enough, I've noticed that while the Intel based macs render very fast in FCP, the interface is not a lot faster than my old G5. I'll chalk this up to the fact FCP has not seen a lot of optimizing on the Intels. FCP would fix this likely.

Personally, if it was me and I was looking to keep things cheap, I'd just get the dual 2.0 Core Duo tower at $2200-ish. You could get away with an iMac for sure, but you'd lose the ability to add a card for monitoring HDV later, etc.

If you need to go cheaper, I'd look into a used/refurb Quad G5. Maybe the best answer to your question is, what not to get. I wouldn't go any lower than what I have, a dual 2.0 G5...which can be had for around $1300
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Old December 14th, 2006, 10:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Ward
I am firmly rooted in 25fps/People Arenít Lilac land as opposed to 30fps/Never Twice the Same Colour country!
Could be worse... You could be watching the System Essentially Contrary to the American Method.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 03:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Ward
I also hear that HCP HD doesnít like HDV at 25fps, is this true?

Tim

Do you mean Final Cut Pro? If so, I edit HDV on a G5 dual 2.0 with 4gb ram and find it to be fine in 25p.


Andrew
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Old December 15th, 2006, 05:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Drew Curran
Tim

Do you mean Final Cut Pro? If so, I edit HDV on a G5 dual 2.0 with 4gb ram and find it to be fine in 25p.


Andrew
Thanks all for the above advice.
Yes sorry, I did mean FCP, I just can't string a sentence together on a keyboard let alone verbally!

I have missed a couple of good 2.0 Ghz dual core G5s going for about £700-£800 recently on fleabay. How much RAM is recommended and will it take the same type RAM as a PC? Thanks again.

As regards System Essentially Contrary to the American Method (well done, quite funny!) this seems to be dying, no studio production is done in this system nowadays- you can't even fade SECAM as the colour subcarrier is FM. Viva La SECAM!

Cheers

Tim
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Old December 15th, 2006, 08:08 AM   #7
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I edit 720/24P HDV from the HD100 on a PowerBook G4 1.33 Ghz, 2 Gigs of RAM, 64 Video RAM. No real problems, but effects usually need rendering.

I myself am thinking about getting a used Dual G5 as there are many up for sale on ebay. I imagine there will be a good increase in performance as long as I get the same RAM and at least a 128 Video Card.

So, basically, any G5 should work for 720P editing from the HD100.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 08:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tim Ward
you can't even fade SECAM as the colour subcarrier is FM. Viva La SECAM!
From what I've heard for the most part broadcasting equipment is PAL up to the transmitter where the color subcarrier is converted to SECAM. Leave it to the French to design a video system that can't be natively edited.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 09:46 AM   #9
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Moved from JVC Pro HD to Non-Linear Editing on the Mac.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 10:16 AM   #10
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Just a thought, but if you're going to be pulling the old PC to Mac switch, you don't want to get the "basic." Computers get outdated, and the lower the level, the quicker it "goes out." Especially if you're editing video, you don't want that going slow. I kid you not, this is something I saw 3 days ago while rendering in FCP:

"Rendering: Estimated Time remaining: About 5 days." Days. 5 days.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 10:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Sprinkle
Just a thought, but if you're going to be pulling the old PC to Mac switch, you don't want to get the "basic." Computers get outdated, and the lower the level, the quicker it "goes out." Especially if you're editing video, you don't want that going slow. I kid you not, this is something I saw 3 days ago while rendering in FCP:

"Rendering: Estimated Time remaining: About 5 days." Days. 5 days.
Good point Alex, so I am thinking that a 2.3 or 2.5Ghz would be a suitable compromise between price/performance and future proofing. I estimate a minimum of 2Gb of RAM judging by the responses here to keep things going at a reasonable rate.

"5 days rendering"! What are you producing, an entire trilogy?
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Old December 15th, 2006, 11:04 AM   #12
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You'll soon crave 4gb of RAM and as fast a GFX card as you can get, as the latter will speed up all (or most) new effects as of 5.1.2.

Happy camper on a dual 2Ghz with a raid here.


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Old December 15th, 2006, 11:20 AM   #13
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Tim

If you really want to future proof your purchase, go for at least the basic Mac Pro with the Intel Zeon processors. I find my G5 is fine for rendering 5 or 10 minute videos, but I wouldn't recommend it for longer renders. If you can leave it overnight then you will not have a problem.

I find that when I add titles from Motion to the timeline, the whole thing needs rendering before I can preview it. This really slows editing down.

As far as ram goes, I can't remember the exact variety, but Crucial has an online ram checker that will tell you.

Something to think about.


Andrew
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