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Configuring a Mac Pro


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#1 Tim Carroll

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:00 PM

If one were on a budget, but needed to configure a new Mac Pro for editing with FCP 6, footage shot with a Sony EX1, what would anyone with experience in this recommend?

How much memory?

Size of internal Hard Drive(s)?

Which brings up a different question, would I need SAS drives if the footage is HD?

And if we are keeping tight budget in mind, what is the minimum graphics card you all would recommend? This will be used with an Apple Cinema Display, the 20" model.

Could I work off my OWC 250 GB firewire external drive, which I believe is Serial ATA?

Any and all input would be greatly appreicated.

Best,
-Tim
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:38 PM

My macbook Pro laptop has no problem with the footage as stock. only difference was I went with 4gb of ram. This HD Codec seems pretty processor light for me. I'd think on a MacPro you'd be fine right out of the box. For storage, Well, any firewire 7200rpm external drive will be fine (i've even cut off of this laptops internal drive in a pinch).
You'll need the drives from the sony website to import directly into FCP, though.
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#3 Tenolian Bell

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 03:18 PM

A Mac Pro is total over kill.

You could use the 24" iMac with 3.06Ghz processor, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS graphics card, 4GB of RAM. If you use external storage get a 7200 RPM hard drive.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 03:19 PM

Quite true, you could; but I'd still go pro if I could afford it if only for the hard-ware upgrades possible later on. Just my thoughts, is all.
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#5 Tenolian Bell

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 03:38 PM

It sounds as though you want to do this within a budget.

With the iMac you get a beautiful 24" 1920x1080 monitor, dual 3.06Ghz processors, 518MB graphics card, 4GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage. You can add a second monitor. That is more than enough to meet your needs at a fraction of the cost of a Mac Pro.

The main advantages of the Mac Pro is the ability to upgrade RAM, but are you really trying to spend over $1,500 in RAM. You have open expansion slots for Blackmagic or AJA Kona cards. You only need those if you plan to use tape decks or other high end video equipment.
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#6 Tim Carroll

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 03:53 PM

Quite true, you could; but I'd still go pro if I could afford it if only for the hard-ware upgrades possible later on. Just my thoughts, is all.


Thanks Adrian, that's good information to know.

Best,
-Tim
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#7 Tim Carroll

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 03:55 PM

It sounds as though you want to do this within a budget.

With the iMac you get a beautiful 24" 1920x1080 monitor, dual 3.06Ghz processors, 518MB graphics card, 4GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage. You can add a second monitor. That is more than enough to meet your needs at a fraction of the cost of a Mac Pro.

The main advantages of the Mac Pro is the ability to upgrade RAM, but are you really trying to spend over $1,500 in RAM. You have open expansion slots for Blackmagic or AJA Kona cards. You only need those if you plan to use tape decks or other high end video equipment.


Didn't realize that an iMac was that powerful. I appreciate the info, but part of the deal is that I am needing to replace my five year old Dual Processor PowerMac G4 so I want to go with another tower.

Best,
-Tim
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 03:59 PM

You don't need too much power for the XDCam. Should be good to go right out of the box, so long as you can run FCP. Beef up on RAM though. Check 'round but might be cheaper to get that aftermarket from like newegg and pop it in yourself.
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#9 Tenolian Bell

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 04:50 PM

With the Mac Pro you can either get four core 2.8Ghz, or eight core 2.8Ghz - 3.2Ghz. The problem with this is that most programs are not designed to evenly take advantage of that many cores at one time. At its heaviest load FCP will only use 2 cores at any one time. The other 2 or 6 will sit idle doing nothing. Two 2.8Ghz cores are slower than the two 3.06Ghz used in the iMac. To buy the eight core 3Ghz costs an extra $800. Unless you are really using programs that will take advantage of all eight cores, its just a waste.

Food for thought. :)




Didn't realize that an iMac was that powerful. I appreciate the info, but part of the deal is that I am needing to replace my five year old Dual Processor PowerMac G4 so I want to go with another tower.

Best,
-Tim


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