How would YOU spend $3000 at the Apple store?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by jrv3034, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. jrv3034 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #1
    Hello all. In about 2 months I'm going to get my first Mac ever. I've used both Windows and Macs at school, and I've fallen in love with OSX at CompUSA over the last 2 years.

    This summer I shot a feature length movie on MiniDV, and now I need to start editing the thing. Therefore I want a PowerMac. Of course it'd be great to get a Dual G5 with a 23" Cinema display, but I'm on a budget here. I need to know what your suggestions would be for a mid-range Final Cut Pro system that won't choke on rendering transitions and burning DVDs. Final Cut Pro costs $1000, so that leaves me with about $3000 to play with. I should add that I don't want an all-in-one system (iMac or eMac).

    My gut reaction says "1.6 G5 with a $400 19 inch CRT and load up on RAM and storage", but I'd like your opinions. How would YOU spend $3000 at the Apple store? Should I get an LCD that costs more with less resolution? Should I go for an older G4 Powermac, and spend the $$ on a 20" Cinema instead? Should I sell my kidney and get the dual 2GHz "just for the hell of it"?

    Bear in mind, I'll be switching from a 1Ghz Duron PC with 256 megs of RAM and 40GB storage. I think just about any new computer would impress the heck out of me...

    Thoughts? Comments?:)
     
  2. hugemullens macrumors 6502a

    hugemullens

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #2
    GO WITH AN LCD. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!. :) IF you can afford go LCD all the way. But i think your right if you need lots of relestate to go CRT. Lots of screen cheap, CRT, but definelty put a good lcd on your christmas list.
     
  3. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    San Destin Florida
    #3
    I would say go with a 1.6, and a 17" Studio. Maybe a 20" Cinema. That would be what I would do. Add other things later. Or, if you are just a home user, go with an iMac, camera, DV camera, external FW drive, and get a few games as well. ;)
     
  4. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #4
    My first reaction to $3000 was 20 iSights and make a Matrix-like movie of myself on my wheel...then I thought maybe 100 shares of Apple stock and 1000 mp3's at the iTMS. :p

    But if I were in your shoes, I would get the 1.8GHz system with one 250GB drive. While striping RAID would help your video work, the hardware set-up on the 1.8 FAR out-classes the 1.6 (RAM, RAM ceiling, PCI-X, FSB). Much more expandable and you can always add the second 250GB drive later on ("just slide it in").

    When you can afford to break the 4GB RAM ceiling, you don't want your G5 to be unable to support it.
     
  5. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #5
    maybe you should consider final cut express, that would thoeretically give u 700 extra dollars to mess with. I don't edit video so I don't know if express can do everything you need but i think you should at the very least look
     
  6. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #6
    Not a bad idea -- especially if they still have an upgrade option from FCExpress to FCPro. Not sure what option they don't have on Express, but possibly something to look into.
     
  7. Vlade macrumors 6502a

    Vlade

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Location:
    Meadville, PA
    #7
    You probably don't want one of those apple displays, they are pretty expensive. Go with a 21" CRT, my friend had one on his Dell, it the thing was GIANT. I have a 19" CRT, and it looked tiny compared to the 21".

    LCDs have to low resolutions, if your video editing, you don't want to be stuck at 1280x1024, you want 1920x1440 or so, so you have have EVERYTHING on your screen nicely.

    If I was you, I would get a 1.6GHZ G5, and upgrade to the 250 GB drive. 250 GBs should be able to hold about 15 hours+ of DV video.

    Then, go to your local Staples or Best Buy, and buy 2 512 meg sticks or RAM, they should be about 40-50 dollars each after rebates.
     
  8. hugemullens macrumors 6502a

    hugemullens

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #8
    Final Cut Express is a great idea. You can get it cheap with a new mac and i think its only 700 to upgrade to Pro if you decied you need it. So thats still only 1 grand. Definetly worth looking into, i use FCE all the time and love it.
     
  9. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #9
    Really? I'm thinking that with raw DV running in at 16Gb per hour, storage space isn't going to be the issue for a first project. More important is going to be how this machine can handle future projects -- and storage is far easier to upgrade than your front-side bus!

    I mean, if you've only got 4 RAM slots, it doesn't really matter that your machine could address more. I think the 1.8 GHz machine is a better deal for someone looking toward a future of video work. Much cheaper to add the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th GB of RAM to the 1.8GHz machine...;)
     
  10. i_wolf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #10
    I take it also that you are talking about the apple education store......
    Were i you i would go with the dual 2 GHz. I dont have a mac to compare with but hear me out. I use premiere on dual 2.8 Xeon's with hyperthreading. The difference from single processor to dual processor is massive.
    i put all my money into the hardware especially two G5 2Ghz.... speed speed speed is all needed for digital video editing and special effects......
    I would get maybe a second hand CRT monitor 19 or 21". Sony trinitron monitors are really good and high quality. Also that idea about final cut express is shear genius. Im sure you could make do with final cut express as the stuff you can do with it is quite impressive.. also doesn't the apple education store discount extend to software as well.......
     
  11. Vlade macrumors 6502a

    Vlade

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Location:
    Meadville, PA
    #11
    Really??? My camera is around 13 GB (not Gb) per hour I think, I remember a half hour clip took 6 and a half gigs.

    Anyways, if the stock drive is good enough, stick with it, because storage is doubling every 6 months, and you can probably get a serial ATA HD cheaper somewhere else than through apple.


    I use a G4 733MHZ mac with final cut express, it it runs GREAT. I have 896 megs of RAM, and thats more than enough. You won't need 8 GBs or ram for a long time, 1 or 2 should be fine for what your doing.


    If you have the spare cash, get the 1.8 over the 1.6, I don't know who actually uses PCIX, but It seams like a good thing to have for video. Plus you will have DDR400 instead of DDD333.

    The DP machines are REALLY nice, but so is an extra 21" monitor at about 1/3rd of the cost. If the money is burning a hole in your pocket and you can wait 2 more weeks, get it instead.
     
  12. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #12
    BUSTED! Im ade a ty[o! ;)

    Yeah, raw DV runs about 13-18 GB per hour depending on your camera (13 GB/hr is a pretty common rate, but I think that if you shoot anamorphic 16:9, it's more). It would be nice though -- 16Gb per hour? You could get 20+ minutes of raw footage on a 1GB memory stick! An awsome thought....
     
  13. jrv3034 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #13
    I actually need FCP4 because I shot the movie using the Panasonic DVX100, which records at 24 frames per second (awesome camera), and only Final Cut Pro 4 can handle that frame rate. Plus I'd love Soundtrack, which comes bundled with it.

    Anyways, I'm still not sure about LCD vs CRT. I love the Apple 20" Cinema Display (the image quality is superb; better than any other LCD I've seen), but I'd just feel really wrong about paying $1300 for it when I can get a 22" Lacie Electron BlueIV monitor (with much higher resolution) for $800.

    http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10037

    I guess the real question is "Will I benefit more from the sexy LCD or from a system with more RAM and better processor?" Then again, will the 2 grey lines visible on the screen of this CRT drive me up the wall? Maybe, but I'd be more pissed if I got a dead pixel on my LCD...

    Unless somebody can convince me that LCD's are better for editing video, I think I can't justify paying that much for something just because it looks cool.

    Whadda ya think?
     
  14. jhershauer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    #14
    What I would do with $3000

    Well, with Educational Prices, how about a 1.8 G5 with 1 GB Ram and ATI 9600 Pro video card, then get Final Cut Express for $99 with the current promotion. That's $2569. Then you can get a nice Viewsonic or other non-apple 17" monitor for $450 (1280x1024 resolution).

    You could also drop down to a Combo Drive instead of Superdrive, knocking off $200, and put the extra into the monitor or HD space, unless you really want to burn DVDs right away (maybe you could add on the DVD burner later, after you've done your editing).

    [Edit] Doh! You just posted that you need FC Pro while I was typing.
    [Edit again] Wait a minute...never mind. You said you have $3000 AFTER dropping the $1K on FCP. Also, I see that selling a kidney is an option, in which case you should definitely go with the dual processor model.
     
  15. G5orbust macrumors 65816

    G5orbust

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    #15
    • 1.8GHz PowerPC G5
    • 1GB DDR400 SDRAM (PC3200) - 2x512
    • 250GB Serial ATA - 7200rpm
    • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
    • 56k V.92 internal modem
    • SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
    • Apple Keyboard & Apple Mouse - U.S. English
    • Mac OS X - U.S. English
    • APP for Power Mac (w/ or w/o display) - Enrollment Kit

    Price: $3,023.00
    (Apple.com)

    Education Price: $2,735.00
    (Apple.com)

    Scrounge up some more funds for a monitor. That education discount, if you are eligible, will suit you very well. Get a 300$CRT (I got my very nice envision crt for 225$; you can probably find a great 19 inch at 1600x1200 resolution and super great refresh rates for 300$) if you want, or get an LCD. You dont have to have an Apple LCD. You can get an excellent LCD for under 800$, but the CRT monitors will give you the higher resolutions. The lower end Apple LCD's (17 inch and 20 inch) are not great, having brightness that just barely makes minimum marks and lacking viewing angle and pixel response time. Also, ADC is the same exact quality as a DVI connection, so dont think that getting a digital LCD for cheaper means you are skipping out on quality. Just something to think about before you jump into an expensive Apple LCD, which by no means (dont get me wrong) are bad, just not great for someone on a budget.

    Good luck.
     
  16. jrv3034 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #16
    Would you really suggest getting RAM direct from Apple? It seems pretty expensive, compared to something like Crucial.com or other stores... Is the Apple RAM better somehow? Also, would it be better to get the 160GB drive and add another (cheaper) drive later, instead of getting the 250GB?

    Thanks all for the quick responses! I really can't wait to get my first Mac, regardless of what the specs are!:D
     
  17. daveg5 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 28, 2001
  18. jrv3034 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #18
    Re: cash

    Um, what?:confused:
     
  19. mymemory macrumors 68020

    mymemory

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Location:
    Miami
    #19
    I'm editing video with a Powerbook G3 500 and FCP 2, anything above that works.

    Get the lower end G5 with alota ram! at list 512MB or so. Be sure to use just one slot, so you do not end up with all the slots full of 64MB cards.

    Get another LCD display than Apple, Apple LCD are way too expensive and you can get more features from another manofatures.

    Just for your information, I'm working right now in a Powerbook G3 500 with 256MB of ram, I have done a lot of video and tv comertials in this unit and I have a project comming up of 2 videos 10 minutes each, full After Effects and FCP. I have an 60GB externar (firewire) IBM Hard Drive, get another brand IBM is not reliable, I lost all my herichical structure twice but I went my way around.

    Get Final Cut Pro Express, you are going to loos only all the different options of exporting a movie, that eman that you will only export in DV codec full resolution, if that is what you want you are set. May be iDVD may work for you as well.

    I would sugest you to get and older version of Final Cut Pro, do not pay extra for things you do not even know. I know FCP very well and all I do is cut, paste and export in a lot of different codecs.

    Now, you can get the lower end PowerMac or if you want to do a better business, get a discontinued Dual 1.4 GHz. they may be very cheap and they are fast, trust me. You may end up with a ver good set up fro about $2300, including the software.

    Go to eBay and look for people selling Macs in your location to check them out.
     
  20. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #20
    Those that are suggesting Final Cut Express, please stop. jrv has already mentioned that he can't because he shot his footage at 24 fps, which FCE does not support.

    I recommend the 1.6 G5 since you're on a budget and need to get a monitor as well. If you had another $500, I'd go for the 1.8 GHz G5, but that is clearly not an option. I highly recommend an LCD, especially if you will be sitting at the computer for an extended period of time. The picture clarity just can't be beat and they cause less eye strain over time.

    Get at least 1 GB of RAM (2 GB if you can) and at least 250 GB of hard disk space. Remember, RAM has to be upgraded in pairs on this machine. You HAVE to get a shuttle/jog wheel. I've edited video with both a mouse and with a shuttle/jog wheel and there is just no comparison.

    If you are enrolled in college, get the education discounts. I think FCP is only $400 if you're a student, which would provide enough savings to go for the 1.8 GHz G5.
     
  21. jrv3034 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #21
    Yeah, mymemory, I'm leaning more in your direction... I'm mostly going to be doing straight cuts and simple dissolves, so a G5 is possibly even overkill for me. I do have to get Final Cut Pro 4 because it's the only one that will support 24fps footage. I'm interested in getting a dual 1.42 G4, but I'm afraid of eBay scams. Is there anywhere else where one can find dual 1.42's anymore?
     
  22. jrv3034 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #22
    I can't wait to see real-world comparisons between the 1.6 G5 and the dual 1.42 G4, other than the benchmarks posted here earlier. Unfortunately, I'm not a student, so no discount for me at this time. :( However, If you had to choose between the 1.6 with an LCD or the 1.8 with a CRT, which would you choose?
     
  23. i_wolf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #23
    i still reckon that you should get the dual G5 2GHz. Regarding the other components in the system i would get a decent graphics card the 9600 pro is great. But i would initially spec it with the lowest amount of ram and the lowest sized hard drive.
    Upon receiving the dual 2GHz i would order from crucial or some other company that does 3200 DDR ECC ram. Do the same with the hard disks. You will find that you will probably save more money and get even more bang for your buck. Apple tend to over charge on their ram and hard disk option. Spec em down on their site and buy elsewhere were i you.
    Incidentally I am assuming that you will be working with extremely high resolutions based on that camera you are using. that extra grunt of a dual processor would definately come in handy. Maybe you could download a trial version of FCP (if one exists) from a mac equivalent of kazaa ???? Also maybe download Adobe premiere from kazaa demo as well (not advocating piracy here!) compare the two under the G5 and see if the cheaper premiere would do the trick for you.
     
  24. WannabeSQ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    #24
    I second the dual 2ghz G5. I got a nice 21" Sony Trinitron at the computer fair for $140, and its great. You can always get a newer/better monitor, but you can't get a new motherboard like you can with PCs. Scrounge around for a little extra cash.

    BTW Amazon has FCP 4 for $900, so that will get you a used CRT to get you by while u save up for an LCD.
     
  25. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #25
    I personally would choose a 1.6 with LCD, but I'm not a graphics professional or trying to edit a feature-length movie. I've seen documentaries of Industrial Light and Magic where both LCDs and CRTs are used. the 1.8 is more "future-proof" though.

    I mainly recommend the LCD because the image really IS that much sharper, and it's guaranteed to be flicker-free.

    You might consider the 1.42 dual G4, but I don't recommend it because you will run into severe bottlenecks when editing video--the front-side bus and RAM just can't keep up.
     

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