G5 for video editing ???'s

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by RedPup, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. RedPup macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    #1
    Hi -

    I'm new here. What a great forum! I've been perusing this site for a few days but wanted to jump in and get some advice.

    I want to buy a G5 so that I can make home movies using iMovie and Final Cut Express. I'm not looking to create anything especially sophisticated -- mostly just movies of my new twins to send to family members.

    I was thinking of buying a new dual 1.8 with 1G of RAM and 2 250G harddrives ( I was told you need a lot of HD space with video). I was going to get it with Final Cut Express installed as well as that optional PSI card.

    Confession: I don't know much about computers. I am confused by the difference between RAM, memory, speed, etc. I merely want to buy the best computer for my needs without spending *too* much money.

    Should I buy one now? People have been talking about Rev. A, Rev. B, etc., and new models coming out, and prices coming down, etc., and Jaguar, and Tiger, and Panther, etc. Can someone tell me what I need to know to make the best decision? I don't need to buy now. I can wait a few months if necessary. But then again, I don't need to wait for the dual 3.0's or anything because I'm not someone who needs the latest and greatest, most tricked-out computer. I just want something good enough to make movies with. (I don't play video games or anything either).

    Do I need that PSI card? What do those even do? Or is the card that comes with the computer OK for my needs?

    Also, if I buy RAM from Crucial or someone as opposed to having Apple put it in before I get it, where does the memory go? Is it easy for a klutz like me to figure out how to buy it, and how to physically put it in the computer without breaking it?

    Thanks so much in advance for any help or advice you can give me!

    --Red
     
  2. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    either buy one of these http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APP.../wo/Q36ZdF6lg4pa2CtJJHy1JGM6pNC/1.0.9.1.0.6.3

    and use the spare cash for twin 300GB HD's and some extra ram

    or bto a g5 with bare minimum but make sure to get at least a 9600xt or even better a 9800xt it's worth the money dont even think of getting a 5200 they are crappy cards.

    dont buy apple ram go to www.crucial.com and get as much as you can afford.

    the refurb g5 comes with a 9600. and is considerably cheaper and a better macheine over all (higher ram limit 8GB vs 4GB faster pci slots).

    either choice gets you a fantastic mac but a refurb would be better ecspecialy if you spend the cash you save on twin 300GB HD's and ram.

    try to get 2GB of ram it's allot cheaper from crucial.

    get one now new one have just come out and it will be around 6 months until there will be new ones

    edit: i've confused you havent I
     
  3. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #3
    If you can wait until Sept. you might see if the iMac G5 will suit your needs. For "light" video editing (i.e. not major motion picture) a single G5 processor will do the trick. You might have to encode overnight but you'll save a ton of money probably. So unless you need to meet strict deadlines... heck... a high end G4 would probably be fine too.

    I currently edit video using FCE on my 800 mhz iBook G4 and it doesn't bother me that much. I only have 640 MB of RAM. I'm currently editing 2 1/2 hours worth of video using FCE on a 12" screen.

    If you want to save some money you might try getting a refurb G5 PowerMac or waiting for an iMac G5 if that's your tastes. I myself am waiting for the iMac G5 to come out so I can decide if I want to get a PowerMac G5 or an iMac G5.

    I don't know what the PSI card is that you're talking about... sorry.

    RAM is nice for video editing, screen space is nice, and HD space is a must. 1 hour of DV video takes about 13 gigs. The FCE manual recommends 65 gigs of space per one hour of video.

    If you don't need it right away, it can't hurt to wait... hopefully... :)

    Oh... and RAM is easy to install. Don't worry about it.
     
  4. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    What you want to do here can easily be done with a (less expensive) G4. I do it all the time. I've created 5 separate movies and pressed them to DVD for my family. Just think of this as an alternative if you start feeling like your G5 purchasing experience is getting out of hand money-wise.
     
  5. nina macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    #5
    Welcome!

    The best advice I can give you right now is to WAIT until September - Apple has confirmed that they will be releasing a next-generation iMac, incorporating the G5 chip in a brand new design.

    Since you said you're not planning on editing anything too sophisticated, the iMac range should be just what you need. While a PowerMac will definitely offer all the power you could ever need, the impression I get is that it's a little TOO much power (and cost) for what you want to do. I see the PowerMac as ideal for someone in a professional production environment, or for someone with an enormous amount of content to deal with.

    Even the current, G4 iMacs would be perfect for what you're trying to do - simple video editing. Another consideration with the PowerMac is the fact that you'll need a monitor. Remember to factor this into your budget. Conversely, the iMac has historically been an all-in-one system, meaning that when the new design is unveiled, it'll most likely include a monitor for its price.

    The only negative reasons I can think for waiting for the G5 iMac are that:
    -when it is released, it will be "revision A" hardware, meaning it is the first version of a brand-new hardware design. In the past, revision A Apple hardware has had some bugs that were worked out in later revisions.
    -you might not get one right away. You said you could wait a few months, but when they are released in September, there is a (small) chance that you might have to wait a little longer to get it after you put in an order.

    That's it! In a nutshell, I think the PowerMac is a little too powerful (and overpriced) for you - you're an ideal G5 iMac user. If you've got the money now, dump it into the bank, earn a few months' worth of interest, and tune in for the keynote 'come September (with the Apple online store all ready, right beside you!) :p

    Hope this helps; if something is unclear, ask!
     
  6. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    what the hell is a psi card?

    i'm an apple tech and i dont know what the hell it is or even anything that you could have mistook it for
     
  7. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #7
    Could mean PCI card...
     
  8. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    i feel totaly silly now

    and in awnser to his question no you do not need any pci cards
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #9
    Do you mean the PCI gigbit card? If so, you don't need it. Assuming you get the PowerMac and don't, for example, wait for the iMac to come out, I strongly recommend that you upgrade at least to the 9600XT video card (which is probably all the power you need). The Bluetooth + wireless keyboard + wireless mouse for $100 is a great deal as well.

    As far as two 250GB drives: you might want to start with one and see how much you need. Adding a new drive to a PowerMac G5 is stunningly easy - you need no tools, and it literaly takes only a few minutes to be up and running with the second drive. This forum could walk you through it. Although you might end up needing the extra 250GB, you won't need it initially, and it won't cost you more to add it later.

    RAM - Random Access Memory - is a measure of how much your computer can "keep in it's head" at once - sort of like your short-term memory.
    Hard Drive size - like the 250GB drives you're getting - are also, in a sense, memory - like looking at notes you've taken or reading an encyclopedia to learn/remember something. RAM is much faster than hard disk access (it's easier to remember your phone number than look it up in a phonebook) but almost always much smaller.
    Speed is a funny thing to determine - sort of like comparing a sports car to a tractor/trailer. Going 0-60, the sports car wins by a mile. Moving your household contents cross country, the tractor/trailer is faster. What matters is how fast a system does what you need it to do, not a specific number. And Macs do video editing nicely.

    Computers are always better, faster, and/or cheaper in the future. I got lucky because my dual-2 G5 lasted almost a year as king of the hill - but, had I waited a month or so, I could have bought a dual 1.8 that was very nearly as fast for $500 less. So you'll always be able to do more with your money if you wait.
    Given that, all that really matters is if your system will do what you want it to do for the time you expect to own it. With that criteria, the dual 1.8 will serve you well - and, if you can find a refurb 'old' dual 1.8 - when they were middle-of-the-line systems, that would be even better (more RAM slots). You can upgrade to Tiger - whenever it actually comes out, for a max of $129. If you wait for it, you're looking at 9 months or so, as a guess.

    What you need is a system which can hold a minimum of 1 GB of RAM - which any of them will do - and lots of disk space, which, again, any Mac will do, if you allow external drives (which will work fine albeit somewhat more slowly for video editing than internal ones), and which have a decently fast processor, which, again, they all have now.

    A dual-2.5 GHz PowerMac will render video faster than an old dual-1.25GHz G4. But they will both work. Find a system whose looks you like, and you'll be fine. For what it's worth, a sub-$1000 eMac would also work, although more slowly, of course.

    No idea what card you mean (Ethernet PCI card?) - I'm guessing you don't need it.

    Very, very easy in a G5 or iMac. Never done it in an eMac.

    Best of luck! Let us know what you do!

    Edit: As far as iMac vs PowerMac is concerned, the main thing a PowerMac gains you is the ability to have larger and more internal hard disks, which will allow you to do video processing faster. However, as noted above, external drives will work just fine - thy're just a little slower. Note the the hard disk itself in the external drive is likely as fast or nearly as fast as your internal drives, but the Firewire connection from that drive to your system isn't as fast as the connection within your system.

    Therefore, an eMac or new G5 iMac will work nicely, but more slowly due to disk access and slower processors.

    A G4 or G5 PowerMac will let you use bigger drives and will have faster processors (although new G5 iMAc might be faster than old-but-still-available dual G5 PowerMac).
     
  10. RedPup thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    #10
    You guys rock!

    Wow! Thanks, everyone, so much, for all your advice!

    This is what I was going to buy:

    Part Number: Z0AA
    Product Name: Power Mac G5 Dual 1.8GHz
    Options:
    065-4930 Dual 1.8GHz PowerPC G5
    065-4976 1GB DDR400 SDRAM (PC3200) - 2x512
    065-4983 2x250GB Serial ATA - 7200rpm
    065-4928 8x SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
    065-4929 NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra w/64MB DDR SDRAM
    065-5081 PCI-X Gigabit Ethernet Card
    065-4923 Apple Keyboard & Apple Mouse - U.S. English
    065-4895 Mac OS X - U.S. English
    065-4909 Final Cut Express 2 preinstalled
    065-4894 Accessory kit

    So when I said psi card I meant PCI-- oops.

    I don't want an imac or an emac because I already have a monitor. I'm currently using a blue & white G3 I bought a few years ago, and an old PC, sharing a 17-inch flat panel monitor. I'm looking to ditch my G3 and get a new Mac-based computer.

    I have no problem forking over the $$ for a G5, it's just that I don't need a 3.0 dual Ghz with all the bells and whistles or anything.

    Here's maybe a good compromise based on what you guys are telling me:

    -dual 1.8 0r 2.0
    -buy it with base ram then add extra ram from Crucial later
    -buy it with the base HD then add an extra HD later
    -get the best graphics card Apple sells pre-installed

    does this sound right? I have read everyone's opinions and kind of synthesized the advice. It looks like a G5 will do me just fine, and then I can add RAM on my own as well as an extra HD.

    If I add an extra HD later, can it be internal? i don't want an external HD if it will slow me down at all.

    Is it easy to install RAM and HD's later? (Again, I'm a computer klutz).

    Should I get a 1.8 or 2.0 or does it not really matter? I guess I'm stubborn but I don't want to buy a refurbished computer. I know, i know, I could save a lot of $$ and it sounds like the "old" 1.8s were good if you can get one, but I just want to buy something new. Call me weird like that.

    Also, the reason I don't mind springing for a G5 (as opposed to an emac or imac) is that it's been 5 years since I've bought a new computer, so I want to treat myself. At the same time, I don't need top of the line. But thanks to all of you who recommended the eMacs and imacs, that was great advice.

    TIA,
    Red
     
  11. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    bear in mind that a 6800 will push you g5's ship date way back and even a 9600xt will do you fine.

    and if you are going to do video editing you should get HD's in matchced pairs just like ram, this is so you can raid them together to make one twice as fast super 600GB disk kind of like the oposite of partitioning.
     
  12. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    <yoda>Your mind you are out of!</yoda> Unless your idea of "light" video editing differs significantly from mine, anything in the Apple lineup for the last 3 years would be just fine. An eMac would be perfect. Any current Mac would be up to the task. The G5 is for heavy duty work.

    Of course my basic rule of computer buying is to get the biggest baddest thing you can afford. So if you can afford a PM G5 then get it. You won't be sorry. If you can wait a few months for the G5 iMac, and that's what you want, then go for it. But if you only have $1000 to spend comfortably and need to buy soon, the eMac will suit your needs well. Don't look at it as "only an eMac."

    Let me chime in on software too, while I'm at it. Final Cut Express is great software, but it's not particularly newbie friendly. It's not hard to use but it assumes you know a few things. Start with iMovie. iMovie is very easy to use and delivers good results. There are plugins for it that make it even better. Lately I've been running into professional recordings that were done in iMovie. I only know it's iMovie because I'm familiar with it's titles, effects, and quirks.

    Take the $200 you would have spent on FCE and buy a nice big external hard drive. You're right, video does take up a lot of space and it's best to have a dedicated drive for it if you're editing very much.
     
  13. RedPup thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    #13
    Hector, your post timed out

    Hector, in your first post you had a link to a sugegsted buy, but when I clicked your link it said your session in the Apple Store had timed out. What were you suggesting I buy? Can you explain the dual 300 GB HD's? Is that what your link was pointing to?

    Thanks!
     
  14. LeeTom macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    #14
    You don't need the PCI-X Gigabit Ethernet card, because your G5 already comes with Gigabit Ethernet. This will be an extra one, and a waste of $100.

    Lee Tom
     
  15. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #15
    He was, I believe, suggesting the Refurb section - I checked his link, and I'm pretty sure that's where it headed.
     
  16. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #16
    Absolutely - the 6800 is complete overkill. Spend the extra $$ on upgrading to a dual-2.0 to get 8 RAM slots instead of 4 - that will serve you better than the 6800 for your uses. A 9600XT is a nice video card.

    Hector - can you RAID the internal drives? Does it involve reinstalling the OS? Or ar you talking about RAIDing externals? I'm unfamiliar with a way to add a second HD and then RAID both internal drives (I'm sure you can - I'm just ignorant).
     
  17. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    yep it twas ye oldy refurb section

    as for HD's take a look at www.newegg.com and make sur you get a sata one
     
  18. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    to raid them they have to be the same drives and you have to wipe them clean
     
  19. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #19

    Good advice in the thread except regarding to HDD's. ;)

    For the level of editing you will be doing an external harddrive in a quality enclosure is just as good as an internal drive. There is no need to RAID HDD's for DV editing (and just an FYI 2 HDD's in RADI-0 aren't 2x as fast as single HDD. The speed increase varies depending on the quality of RAID card you have and software RAID yields the least results).

    And if it hasn't already been mentioned, keep all your media on one harddrive and all your software/programs/OS on another.


    Lethal
     
  20. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #20
    If it were me, and if $$$ weren't a big issue, I'd go for the dual-2.0. Better upgradeability than the 1.8. The dual-2.5 is another $500 more and probably wouldn't be that much better for you. I agree that you should get your RAM elsewhere - Crucial and Kingston are fine, but note this thread which discusses how Crucial quotes different prices on different browsers and with different cookies.

    I'd get a 9600XT card. If you get the 9800XT, you might as well spend a bit more for the 6800. But the 9600XT will serve you very nicely. But do not get the base graphics card. Please.

    Don't get the ethernet card. It serves no purpose for you. Consider spending the $$ on the $100 Bluetooth/wireless KB & mouse setup - it's a great deal.

    You can add one more internal drive. As far as installing it and RAM: it is stunningly simple.

    I'd go with the dual-2.0 if it's not too expensive for you. It's the sweet spot of the lineup now.

    Let us know what you end up buying!
     
  21. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #21
    I totaly agree with Horrortaxi, I have a g4 733, with FCP & 80gb FW400 drive for video storage. It works just fine & will be at least another year before i upgrade to a G5. I also use a g3 b&w 400 for light video editing at work.

    If you are new to video editing start with imovie the upgrade final cut if you find imovie limiting.
     
  22. Hoef macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #22
    What brand HDs?

    If you buy the stock 160GB or have the 250GB HD with the G5 ... What brand is the HD, and are you better of buying it from an other online source (e.g. cheaper)?
     
  23. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #23
    The 160 is (or at least was) a Seagate, model number ST3160023AS. Nice drive. I don't know what the 250's are.
     
  24. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a

    Kingsnapped

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #24
    I don't know why you guys are talking about external HDs or 180 gig internals if he's making a few 10 minute movies to send to family. I bought my powerbook exclusively for video editing, and I've never had trouble with my 80 gigabyte internal hd. I make a half-hour project, put it on DVD and take it off my HD.

    I would suggest the poster looks closer at the emac/powerbook/upcoming iMac lines.

    On another note, do you have a Mini DV video camera? You're not going to want to be working with a 8mm or SVHS camera. Good luck.
     
  25. ijimk macrumors 6502a

    ijimk

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Location:
    Here
    #25
    I do video editing on a 160 gb hd and have no prob. I am thinking about getting 1 more 160 and running them a t a raid. If you dont plan on doing a movie over 2 hours you dont really need a hd over 160. Just my opion . Simple 1 hour movies should be fine on a 160 gb hd.
     

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