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Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE

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Old February 27th, 2008, 08:49 AM   #1
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New to Mac/FCP- Is this enough?

I am new to the world of Mac and FCP. I am considering buying a Macbook Pro that has the following specs:

15.4 inch screen
2.16GHZ Core 2 Duo
3G Ram
120GB (5400)
6X superdrive
128mb ATI dedicated graphics
Airport + Bluetooth

Is this enough machine to run FCP? Should I be concerned about the video card or the 5400 RPM hard drive?

Sorry if this shows my lack of knowledge.....I'm just getting started into editing.


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Old February 27th, 2008, 09:34 AM   #2
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that will do although you'll need to have a good fast media drive too
an eSATA RAID with an eSATA ExpressCard adapter would be best, but at the very least you'll want a 7200 rpm drive attached via the built-in FW400.

if this is a new build to order Mac then I'd go for the bigger better graphics chipset which will be able to better handle FxPlug's and Motion

personally, I'd go for the bigger 17" screen too, but thats just me

if you're looking for other ways to speed it up, consider going for the 7200 rpm internal system disc and maxing out the RAM
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Old February 27th, 2008, 09:37 AM   #3
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This configuration isn't high-end, but should be enough to do a lot of things. The graphics chip is really only important for two Final Cut Studio applications: Motion and Color. I don't know the exact restrictions for Color; with Motion, you'd have slower rendering speed than with a higher-end device. You can still do everything in Motion, it just takes longer.

The one thing you should add for sure is a large and fast external hard drive, with a FireWire interface. Use it as a scratch disc for Final Cut's render and capture files. This is generally recommended, but due to the fairly small internal drive (120GB) I would say it's a must-have item for you.

You may also consider adding an external monitor. In my experience, there is no such thing as too much screen space when editing. The 15.4" screen will work, but it'll be small, so having a larger one for your office or studio would be a good idea - but it's something you can easily add later.

- Martin
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Old February 27th, 2008, 09:55 AM   #4
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I used a 15.4" inch screen MBP on location or to watch dailies but if that small-ish screen were my main monitor for everyday editing I'd lose my mind.

Unlike other non-editing apps, FCP, Motion, DVDSP4 etc really need a lot of real estate to be able to see all the windows and assets effectively. I would seriously consider the 17" inch "high resolution" option. The added benefit to the larger MBP is that you also get the much better GPU (video card) which will go a long way in making your editing experience more effective.

An external array would also be a wise addition however, be sure you do a lot of research on the various options. Read the posts here about eSATA RAID enclosures and the various connectivity types; there are some "gotchas" you need to be aware of.

Lastly, it's always good advice to get with one of the A/V dealers who carry Apple and have one of their specialists consult directly with you to help clarify the difference between what you want and, what you really need based on your goals.

Check out the forum sponsors for a list of companies whose job it is to consult with you. I personally recommend Omega Broadcast, ZGC and Abel Cine LA.
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