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Old December 3rd, 2002, 11:09 PM   #1216
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Effects & faster drives?

Hello fellas,

will using faster drives (IDE 7200 rpm etc) with faster seek times significantly reduce- if at all- the time it takes to render DV material after effects have been chosen?

What's a better purchasing factor- seek time or rotational speed? Will a 5400 rpm drive with a shorter seek time be better than a 7200 rpm drive with a slightly slower seek time?

Since we're on the subject of optimal FCP performance.....is it better to have the FCP app on the OS X drive, the capture drive as a seperate drive and the render drive another drive? Will the need for the Mac to work/communicate with 3 different drives negate any speed it may seem to get? I have audio content on a seprate drive (yeah an A-card will do that to u) and my render times don't seem fast enough (933 w/ 1.5GB ram- CL2 class Ram at that!)....I rarely get the green bar- it seems any changes at all, and I get the red bar of render bordom on top!

Also it seems my A-card is a 66 or 100 mhz bus- could this affect the render times drastically?
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Old December 4th, 2002, 06:10 AM   #1217
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iDVD vs DVD SP

Ken:

Thanks for referring me to your earlier post. That along with the info on Apple's website has answered many of my questions.

One other question. Are all MPEG2 encoders equal? More narrowly are the MPEG2 encoders in iDVD and DVD SP the same? Ultimately I'm wondering how differing compression algorithms might affect quality of output, specifically video images.

I appreciate your patience and expertise . . . both are enormously helpful to us "new boots."
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Old December 4th, 2002, 09:24 AM   #1218
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If the school has Mac Labs for students, they may also have special Educational Pricing. The school may have licenses for additional FCP seats also (free FCP). Another consideration is the use of student interns and their familarity with the Mac systems and software.

My wife use a 15" iMac 800 for her FCP projects and it handles the tasks well. A larger screen, as Ken recommends, would be very beneficial. If you'll have a need to do very complex editing projects (multiple source tapes etc.) I would recommend a dual screen G4. The dual screen is a big boost to my productivity.

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Old December 4th, 2002, 09:54 AM   #1219
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In brief, data rate is the key parameter for MPEG2 encoding. The higher the rate the lower the compression. iDVD performs its own compression with one rate for total disc content less than 60 min and a lower rate for 60-90 min. With DVD-SP you are responsible for performing your own encode with Cleaner of some other product.
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Old December 4th, 2002, 11:10 PM   #1220
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I'm not a Premiere expert by any stretch of the imagination. So, here goes. What travels across FireWire is DV, not uncrompressed Animation or what ever codec you used in AE to make the Quicktimes. Rerender the AE using the DV codec. Do a sample render first. The pixel shape of the scans may need to be redone also. The picture might look squished when you can finally see it in Premiere. If so, post back and I'll get you straightened out on the pixel shape and sizes.

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Old December 4th, 2002, 11:31 PM   #1221
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To really, speed things up would take three drives. The system would involve 1 drive for your OS, applications, and caches. The other 2 would be configured in a RAID 0 array. These would need a controller card and 2 identical drives (same MFG and size).

Divide the internal System drive into 3 partitions. One for OS X, one for OS 9 and a small one for caches. If you need OS 9 for any serious work, you might want a fourth partition. OS X likes the applications and system files on the same partition. The size will depend on the number of apps you have and the size of your drive. If you don't use OS 9.xx much it can be very small. But, you need OS 9 to install FCP (FCP4 will not require OS 9 for an install). A moderate size cache partition can be set up for FCP.

For optimum results no media should be stored on the internal system drive. Not even on a separate partition. Place all media on the RAID 0 array.

If you don't go the raid route, use an internal IDE drive for best results. Check with Apple (maybe a genius at the new Soho store) which internal buss the drive should be on. I know attaching it to the DVD/CD drive will slow it down. I'm just not familiar with the internal configuration of the newer machines.

The cost of the RAID is pretty cheap. You could get 2 internal 120gb drives for around $300. The raid card will run $150 or so. Speeds are near 100MB. FireWire is much slower. Don't confuse bits and bytes.

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Old December 5th, 2002, 09:37 AM   #1222
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Hi Jeff,

Of course! A friend had given me this hint shortly after I posted. So yes after re-rendering the shorts in AE with a DV NTSC compression the videos came across. Unfortunately the quality was less than I had hoped for. I had accounted for the square/non-square pixels with the stills and transfering them so that was OK. Thanks for your help.
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Old December 5th, 2002, 09:45 AM   #1223
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Anyone Using Matrox RTMac?

Is anyone here using the Matrox RTMAc, and if you are is it worth the $ and is it stable?
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Old December 5th, 2002, 10:47 AM   #1224
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Setup:

Jeff,

you seem to know awhole lot more than I do about system setup.....I've made some chages to my Mac and like to run them by you- here goes:

Mac G4/933 Mhz 1.5GB ram
OEM Internal 60GB HD in 2 Partitions
(1 part: Mac OS X w/FCP3 - 2 part: Mac OS 9.2.2)

I've also added a 2nd Maxtor 30GB ATA HD on the same stripe
In addition I have another 30GB HD attached via an A-card (Tempo- I think it's a 100mhz card- not sure)

My question is: As of yesterday night- i've reformatted the extra drives and put the 2 30GB drives as a single raid (striped not mirrored) using Mac OS X Disk Utility- It now mounts as a single 60 GB drive

Is this better than leaving them as seprate HD's of which I could set one as a render drive and another as a media/capture drive? I'm not sure of the performance benfits of using them as a striped raid- perhaps you can elaborate? (using the Mac OS X Disk Utility)
My thinking was that if I left one of the 30gigs that was striped with the OEM drive (133mhz bus) as a sepearte "render" drive, it would run at it's theoretical maximum- would this be right?
I would have then designated the other 30GB as a capture drive.......

...so what do you think would be best- leave them as a striped raid (no card- just via Mac's OS X Drive Utility) or seperate them?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and respond, much appreciated.


In Search Of Faster DV Rendering- Steve Nunez
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Old December 5th, 2002, 11:14 AM   #1225
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Jeff,
I have one sitting peacefully in its box. This has not been a usable product for FCP since the introduction of OS-X. Matrox has promised to update its drivers...for 18 months. Don't waste $1000 on this product or, in my opinion, any other Matrox product.

Can you tell that this is a sore spot on my butt? <g>
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Old December 5th, 2002, 02:12 PM   #1226
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FCP 3.0.4 Update Available

The latest version of FCP is available for download here http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/download/ A free Joe's Filter is available for just filling out the questionaire.

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Old December 5th, 2002, 02:18 PM   #1227
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Thanks, Ken. I had looked at the Matrox user forums and it sounded iffy there, but I trust the info that I get from you and others here more than a user forum, so I wanted to get a response from here before I made a decision, especially since I'm a Mac novice!
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Old December 5th, 2002, 02:23 PM   #1228
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OSX Only

Looks like us OS9 users are left out in the cold again. System requirements are OS X v10.2.1 and Quicktime 6.0.2.
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Old December 5th, 2002, 03:45 PM   #1229
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It's just a sign of the times. FCP 4 is supposed to be OS X only. OS 9xx users will be stuck in FCP 3.

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Old December 5th, 2002, 04:19 PM   #1230
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Software RAID configuarations are not nearly as fast as hardware RAIDS. Depending on the type of operation (file size, read only, write only, both etc.) software RAIDS are at best about 20% faster than a single drive. You loose some CPU cycles managing the RAID, so in some tests it will run slower than a single drive. I would try the software RAID and see how it feels. Renders would probably be slower (lost CPU cycles) but file swaps (Photoshop) would be faster.

Best all around solution would be to sell the existing card and buy hardware RAID card. I think you will have to try the the existing setup. but I don' think you'll notice any apreciable speed increase. If you do a lot of rendering, go the seperate drive route. If you do a lot of Photoshop with large swap files then go software RAID.

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