View Full Version : Editing Budget for MacPro Assistance please:)

May 21, 2010, 02:41 AM
Hi guy's Im new here to the forum and was wondering if someone could help me out with this question...

I have a budget of $7,000 dollars and we need a computer for video editing.

It will be used for HD video's for the web.

AE5, PS5 blah blah blah will be used with be used as well. Final Cut will be the choice of editing software.

Now, with a budget of $7,000, what would be the best built Mac Pro to go with that would make the job run smoothly for the users for AF and FCP?

Please don't flame me... its just a simple question from someone who has to crunch numbers for this at the same time satisfy creative needs.

If I could get some pointers it would be great.

Any other questions ask away.

Thanks again.

*possibility of going with a 2nd monitor. But I'd really like to know what your thoughts are on this below:

Two 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
16GB (8x2GB)
2TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s x 2
4x NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB
One 18x SuperDrive
AppleCare Protection Plan for Power Mac - Auto-enroll


Am i 'pushing' it with anything i don't need, should i revaluate?

Matthew Yohe
May 21, 2010, 02:43 AM
You would be a fool not to wait for the next Mac Pro.

May 21, 2010, 02:48 AM
Well, for starters, if you're thinking of going with a second monitor you don't need four video cards...

Matthew Yohe
May 21, 2010, 02:50 AM
Also, I take it by saying "AE5, PS5 blah blah blah" you aren't going to figure in the cost of those applications because you're just going to steal them?

May 21, 2010, 03:14 AM
Couple of things if you can wait, try to wait, if you need to get it now then you gotta. As stated if you are running two monitors you don't need 4 video cards, also from the suggestions I got when looking (until I decided to wait for the refresh) was to go with the ATI card.

Now that you dropped the extra video cards, max out the hard drive bays. 2TB drives in all, I would only get the one from Apple, and save a few bucks by going with MacMall or any other company, you'll save a bunch of cash. You might look into buying RAM elsewhere as well but I've found the price difference to not be that different, so getting it form apple is just easier.

Concorde Rules
May 21, 2010, 03:36 AM
Why four GPUs?

Surely if the apps are GPU accelerated then just one will do?

Personally i'd ditch the GT120s and get a 4870.

As for hard-disks, buy them from somewhere else.

As your video editing I suspect you will need huge transfer speeds so two 1Tb WD Blacks or 2Tb or whatever you can afford in RAID 0 with an external Drobo that backs it up regularly.

As for the rest of the machine, if you need it in the next month or so buy now, if not wait as the 6 core options should be rolling around the corner and would be a better buy for you IMO.

So key points IMO:
Some sort of large RAID 0 setup assuming your working with HD video
Some sort of redundant backup system (Drobo)
Max ram you can get
Best CPU you can get

What i'd do :)

May 21, 2010, 04:57 AM
How urgent is this?

If anything I would wait for an updated Mac Pro and Final Cut Studio.

Right now it won't matter with all extra cores, as most operations in Final Cut Studio is still restricted by the Quicktime 7 foundation which it is build on.

This means poor multithreaded performance and a very low Return on Investment (ROI).

The next version of Final Cut Studio is going to alleviate this problem by making the transition from Carbon to Cocoa (Objective-C, 64-bit) and will be using the newer framework of Quicktime X.

Adobe Premiere in Creative Suite 5 can use the computer to its full potential right off the bat (be sure to get the GeForce GTX 280 Mac Edition because it is supported by the new Mercury playback engine in CS).

Do you know which codec and what camera you primarily will use?

Some sort of RAID-5 system would do wonders, check out the Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/RAID/Desktop/) from OWC (the unit can also be bought under the inXtron Hydra Super-S brand).

But to be honest, if it is only going to be used for HD editing for the web, even the iMac with 8GB of ram is more than enough. Will there be a lot of compositing, layers, 3D effects etc?

I guess what I am asking is this: Is it going to be used to upload videos of your kitty playing with fluffy balls on YouTube or something more substantial like commercials, feature films, training videos etc. ?

May 21, 2010, 05:04 AM
welcome to the board. i'm a FCP editor and regular user of after effects. all of my work is in HD or 2k+. my system is in my signature, but my budget was only $5,000

8-core 2.66 if you have to buy it now, with one 2tb system disk from apple, with business discount $4400

-24GB 6x4GB kingston RAM from overstock.com of all places. who knew. $900

after effects will love you for this, and you never know how much upgradability you'll need. also, assume that the next generations of color and FCP will be able to utilize all of your RAM. 2gb DIMMS are the wave of the past. also make the most out of your triple channel board with multiples of 3! even with my 12, working in 2k or sometimes 6k comps, it can KILL my day to wait for RAM previews, constantly adjust my work area, pre-render, or mess around with the other crap that eats hours on the day. i don't bill enough from my home machine to warrant another $450 of RAM, but i sure do wish i had it.

-additional 5 2tb hard drives with 64MB cache $1,000 (newegg. wait for their biweekly storage "blowouts")

-mod kit to mount your 5th and 6th hard drives in the second optical bay $200

3rd party RAID card. this can wait but it shouldn't. $500

this will get you a 5TB RAID 10 scratch disk and a separate RAID 10 system disk (meaning that if one of your boot disks crashes you can simply wait for it to rebuild, swap out the drive, and get on with business... not just be f*cked because there wasn't room in your budget for any kind of backup solution. but be warned, raid NEVER equals backup by itself. also, don't forget that murphy's law states that this will happen on your deadline day. in front of your client.)

that puts you just under $7k, and you'll have a SCREAMING machine with plenty of reliably usable space, plus room to expand with fibre or I/O cards as your storage and client needs scale.

get apple care on ebay. it's legitimate and $79. knock $600 off by only getting 3 additional hard drives and no mod kit-- but if it's a business machine go for the speed! you'll make it back in recovered productivity, quickly.

i really hate working on just one monitor, but if you must because of budgetary constraints, grab an MXO2 mini for $250 and externally monitor HD out to a TV.

May 21, 2010, 08:52 AM
Also, I take it by saying "AE5, PS5 blah blah blah" you aren't going to figure in the cost of those applications because you're just going to steal them?
Assume they are going to steal them?? :confused:
That's pretty bold, considering there was nothing to indicate that...
Maybe they are purchasing for a business that will provide the software.

May 21, 2010, 08:11 PM
Thanks so much for the info everyone has posted. Considering im a newbie here and you all shared your wealth of knowledge i don't know where to begin thanking you all.

I did read every post. Thank you again:) Mean a lot.

I will wait for the new one to be released.