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Old May 20th, 2007, 10:26 PM   #1
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New FinalCut Studio on an iMac?

If I can get a personal mac, it'll end up being an iMac with a 2GHz Core2Duo, 128 MB ATI Radeon Graphics and 2GB Memory.

I scanned the specs for FCP6 and it looks like that system should work fine, but before I go for the new computer, I wanted to ask around.

Anybody running a system like that?
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Old May 21st, 2007, 06:39 AM   #2
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I have a similar setup. I have the old 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo 17-inch iMac. Recently I purchased Final Cut Studio 2, a LaCie 320GB mini Hard Drive, and 2GB RAM (Matched Pair). I should have these all installed by Friday (they're still shipping), and be able to tell you how its all going. As far as I can tell from the apple website, the specifications with the displays are fine (I purchased a 17-inch LCD with the correct specs and attached it via the mini-vga on the back of the iMac) and the speed (GHz) is fine. The biggest problem is gonna be the hard drive, since the FCS 2 eats up like 50GB of your hard drive.

If you're dealing with HD footage you'll probably have to compress it before sending it to Final Cut Pro though since the apple site recommends more RAM than the iMac can hold.

I was figuring when the time comes to add a third monitor as an output for Apple Color I can purchase the AJA I/O HD and a 23-inch Cinema HD display. Its still cheaper than buying a Mac Pro, loading it up with RAM and then adding a Blackmagic Decklink PCIe card and HDLink.

Currently the camcorder I'm looking at buying, the Canon XH A1 (I currently have a Sony Digital 8), it works in a 4:2:2 color space, which would be perfect for the AJA I/O HD since it works in the same color space with Apple's Pro Res.

So my set up will look something like this:
iMac (1.83GHz Intel Core Duo 17-inch)...2GB RAM, 160GB Hard Drive
Acer TFT 17" LCD (connect via mini-VGA port)
LaCie 320GB mini Hard Drive
Final Cut Studio 2

Still alot cheaper than the Mac Pro setup. Even when adding the price of an additional 17-inch monitor and external Hard Drive, you'll still be saving money over buying a Mac Pro. It seems though that a lot of the programs in Final Cut Studio require two monitors though, not one.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 07:17 AM   #3
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I went for the equivalent configuration with an iMac G5 1.8ghz 2 gigs of RAM about two years ago. Its been fine if you are just editing DV. But if you do a lot of effects, compositing, or compression; things really slow down. Motion is very slow, to the point where I try to avoid it where possible. Motion would really benefit from a 256Mb graphics card or higher. I expect Color to be in a similar situation. I went for the iMac due to space considerations. I would have liked to have purchased a Powerbook but the specs for that product in 2005 were poor in comparison to the iMac. Today I think it is a different story with the new Macbook Pro's. The iMac is really aimed at the home user and not for professional applications. Also the upgrade options are limited if you progress on to doing broadcast standard work. It really depends on what you will be editing. If its DV or HDV with minor effects work and basic colour corrections you should be fine, but if you intend to work with higher end codecs and will be doing a lot of effects/graphics work, then it would be wiser to consider a MBP or a Mac Pro. At least with even the basic Mac Pro you can upgrade to your hearts content as your workflow dictates.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 08:37 AM   #4
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Why would a MBP be better than an IMac of today?

Imac 20 can have the same processor and graphic card as MBP
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Old May 21st, 2007, 08:42 AM   #5
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The iMac's all should run most of FCS without problems. Final Cut itself will fly on the Intel Core 2 Duo's, just make sure you have 2 gigs of Ram. The only reason for more than 2 is if you edit Uncompressed HD or REDCODE and maybe 1080 DVCPRO HD. Anything else should be fine with the 2 gigs (HDV, ProRes 422, etc.)

I have my sites on the 24" iMac. The Nvidia 7600 GT Upgrade 256 card outperforms the standard Mac Pro GT 7300 card and is much closer to the ATI 512 card. Something to consider if you want to use Motion and Color a lot.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 08:53 AM   #6
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Color is not compatible with anything less than the 24inch iMac (graphics cards)
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Old May 21st, 2007, 09:02 AM   #7
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I bought my Wife an iMac in February for valentines day (What a romantic huh???) She loves it and I was very impressed with how well it runs aperture and FCS. At the moment she just does picture slideshows on it, but I hope to be able to use it for more once I move the G5 to my new studio in 2 weeks. I would spend the money on the biggest internal HDD you can afford, and spend the 75 bucks for the 256MB Graphics card. You will not be sorry, it really helped out apertures speed comparing the one we bought to the one we tried at the apple store. It will be especially nice when you get to play with color. If you are wanting to do HD on it, ProRes and an AJA IO should do very well on a machine like this.
Tim Harry
Bandwagon Media
Odessa, TX
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Old May 21st, 2007, 04:04 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 07:22 PM   #9
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I am confused by Apples specs for running Color under Final Cut Studio 2..
I have read where if you have an Imac, it must be the 24 inch intel imac.. I have a 20" intel imac.. which is equiped with the ATI Radeon X1600 graphics chip.. and is also capable of displaying 1680 by 1050 resolution..

IIs this going to work??

here are the listed specs on their website:

The standard graphics card in any Mac Pro, 17-inch MacBook Pro, 24-inch iMac with Intel Core Duo, or 2.5GHz or faster Power Mac G5 Quad:
ATI Mobility Radeon X1600
ATI Radeon X1600
NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 7600 GT, 7300 GT, 6600, or Quadro FX 4500
A display with 1680-by-1050 resolution or higher
A three-button mouse for full functionality
Mike Moncrief
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Old May 24th, 2007, 02:28 AM   #10
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Hi Mike,
I'm installing Final Cut Studio 2 as we speak on the same iMac you're talking about and it didn't seem to have any problems installing Color. I'll post back if there's any problems.
"We've done the impossible, and that makes us mighty."
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