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Old February 3rd, 2007, 11:27 PM   #1
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upgrade suggestion

I just bought a two and half year old G4 Powerbook off somebody for mate's rate of $300. I am wondering if I can upgrade it a bit to do basic HDV editing.

It's basically is an out of the box 1.33 gHz G4 Powerbook except he upped the RAM to 756 MB. He used it as his on-the-road email and MSword machine but he also put Final Cut Pro on it to capture video and do some DV editing.

I'm not going to be doing any heavy editing or rendering on this machine. I just would like it to capture and rough cut an HDV project.

Thanks in advance.
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Old February 4th, 2007, 01:18 AM   #2
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$300??? That's a mate I'd like to know. Great deal in my book. Yeah, you'll have no problem with FCP on that machine, HOWEVER, you'll need to boost the RAM. Mimimum specs on FCP is 867 MHz processor, so that Book will do the job for SD, but HD requires mimimum 1 GHz so you'll be fine there also, but getting close to the limits. You'll be wanting at least a gig of RAM, but I strongly recommend maxing out the machine. That one taps out at 2 gigs so check out the prices at Crucial and consider your options. You'll likely have to toss out the 756 MB that are in there now, but you can sell that on ebay for a tidy sum and still come out with a workable solution at a heck of a price.

(You'll also be able to run just about everything else in the FCP Suite, but I'm not sure you'll have alot of success running Motion 2 on that machine but it will do fine with the older original Motion. - Motion relies heavily on the heft of the graphics card and the G4 Books are limited in that arena.)

Also, make sure you have a speedy firewire external drive to use as you scratch and render disc - you will find that using the internal drive for such things will likely bog you down and make you pull out your hair. You have a few connectivity options as your Book includes firewire 400 & 800. (It also has USB 2.0 but FW is speedier.)

Hope this helps.
-Jon
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Old February 4th, 2007, 02:51 AM   #3
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did that rate include all the licenses for the pre-installed software? or should we be looking the other way?
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Old February 10th, 2007, 12:37 PM   #4
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No - this powerbook didn't fall of a back of a truck, it's all on the up and up. I'm on a government contract, so the last thing I want or need to do is get involved with pirating. I got all the licenses, at least I was given the FCP box with all the discs with the computer.

I own a Lacie 160 GB harddrive that I'll reformat to go with it.

So "RAM it up as much is possible" seems to be the consensus. I was thinking maybe go ahead get 1 gb of RAM. I'll keep the 512mb in the one slot and put the 1 GB in the other slot to boost it up to a total of 1.5gb RAM. This will be more than enough for just FCP, right?
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Old February 10th, 2007, 12:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theodore McNeil
So "RAM it up as much is possible" seems to be the consensus. I was thinking maybe go ahead get 1 gb of RAM. I'll keep the 512mb in the one slot and put the 1 GB in the other slot to boost it up to a total of 1.5gb RAM. This will be more than enough for just FCP, right?

I may be mistaken, but I seem to remember that Apple strongly recommends (hopefully not 'requires') that RAM modules be inserted in matching pairs. I'm not sure if this will be an issue or not, or whether it is just for specific product lines. In any case, be sure that your 512 is in fact 1 module. The original 512 that came with mine was actually 2 256 modules.

If you are going to just upgrade to 1 gig, you may be required to purchsae 2 512 modules for matched pair installation, thereby eliminating the potential use of any of the RAM that is currently installed.
-Jon
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Old February 10th, 2007, 12:58 PM   #6
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...Wait, sorry, I just re-read your original post and realized you have the 756 MB RAM upgrade, which I guess de-bunks the matched pair scenario. So perhaps you should be able to just stick a 1 gig module where the 256 is currently sitting and see if it give you 1.5 gigs. That would be very nice.
-Jon
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Old February 10th, 2007, 08:41 PM   #7
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You might want to read this old thread. After 3 logic board swaps my powerbook has worked reliably. However I gave up trying to use my 512MB module because I'm suspicious that it is related to my problems...

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=45834

Also see this site for an update on the lower slot problems: http://lowermemoryslot.editkid.com/
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