Buying a Mac Pro for Filmmaking

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Fredou51, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. Fredou51 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    #1
    I need to buy a new computer to learn video editing and special effects. I really want start studying intensively Final Cut Studio and Shake. I was almost decided on the iMac until the mac pro came out and I figured that the iMac was most likely insufficient for my needs. I am almost all settled on the specs except for the graphic card. I am looking at the Mac Pro 2.66 Ghz with 2 GB Ram, 250 GB hard drive and Airport/BT. I thought I would settle for the base graphic card considering I am not gaming (The price already high as it is with the 23 inch ACD). But now I am not sure, the specs of the base graphic card seems to only fit the minimum requirement and it seem that learning Shake and Motion with that card will only be doable and not enjoyable. Th price drop on the X1900 definitely made me think about it but I am still not sure (I am already over budget). I would like to know what you think. Is the X1900 much better in Shake and Motion? Is the 23 inch ACD really worth the difference versus the 20 inch (I know screen real estate is important in video editing)?

    Thanks for your help,
    Fred

    Edit: Also it says that a graphics card with OpenGL hardware acceleration is required for Shake. Does the 7300 GT has that? Or the X1900(I don't need the 1800$ upgrade for the Quadro do I)?
     
  2. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #2
    It would be helpful to know why you need to study. If you're an amateur filmmaker or film student the iMac is probably good enough. But if you have aspirations of gaining job skills and plan to use this machine for such purposes, the Mac Pro is the right choice. In other words, tinker with an iMac, graduate with a Mac Pro.

    I'm no expert on Motion or Shake, but the 7300 GT is a decent card if you're not using it for gaming. It supports all the shaders and OpenGL calls you'll need. Why don't you get the stock card and upgrade later? As for the difference between the X1900 XT and Quadro FX, I'm unable to comment.

    With its lower price, I'd say the 23-inch is definitely worth the extra money. The size difference is significant, and you get true native HD resolution. But if you need to save money, they are both beautiful displays.
     
  3. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #3
    This is true. Don't think that you need to buy the Mac Pro to do well. I'm a film student using a MacBook and FCE. The iMac will suit you fine if you are just beginning to learn.
     
  4. Rickay726 macrumors 6502

    Rickay726

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #4
    if you have no expericne editing, i would just wait for the 23inch iMac, there is no reason that you would need a 3000$ computer. Start off with an iMac, and i stongly suggest that you use final cut EXPRESS, not pro. once again if you are an amatrue film Maker your not gonna no where to start at all with final cut PRO hense the Pro for Pro filmmakers, or some one with expericne. so what i would do is wait till september 12 to see if the 23 inch iMacs come out, and get final cut express , oh and buy your self a good book on how to use it
     
  5. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #5
    I would say iMac too but the lack of Firewire 800 and true HD bothers me. The Mac Pro seems fine but start off with the base card. The things you start off with in Shake are not advance.
    Shake run fine on my TiBook 1Ghz and even better with MBP 17". It runs best with Qmaster on both machines.

    EDIT, after reading Rickay726 post. Stay with express because it does everything you need. Learn Express first then learn shake.
     
  6. Fredou51 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    #6
    Thanks for your help Demon Hunter and it5five. I am starting studying by myself for now (max six months) and I will probably start studying at the New York Film Academy at the beginning of next year. So yes I want to gain job skills and learn advanced Shake and stuff but your right, I probably don't need the X1900 if the 7300GT support OpenGL Hardware acceleration. As for the iMac, I think it is a great choice for many people but I am looking at keeping my computer for quite a few years and the expandability of the Mac Pro (4 Hard Drive and the possibility of more than 2 GB of ram) convinced me. I think I'll get the Mac Pro with the 7300GT for now and if next year I learned lots of stuff and I want better, it will always be time to upgrade the video card.

    Thanks again,

    Fred
     
  7. Fredou51 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    #7
    I do have some experience editing as I have been editing normal stuff on a "boring PC" on Adobe Premiere for the past 5-6 years. And you're right xparaparafreakx about the iMac, the lack of firewire 800 would be a reason to move up to a MBP 17" instead of the iMac.

    Fred
     
  8. Habusho macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    #8
    The only thing you're getting to get on the x1900 compare to the 7300 is better frame rates in games. I know aperture for example relies on the graphics card pretty heavily but I haven't heard anywhere that there is a difference in speed running it with the 7300 as opposed to the x1900.
     

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