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Power Mac G5 2GHz 30fps 1080p stuttering

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by derlockere, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Hi Folks!

    You are my last hope! I own a Power Mac G5 2.0 GHz dual core (PowerMac 11,2) with 2.5GB RAM and a GeForce 6600 256 MB graphic card.

    Since I'm doing videos with Canon's 5D Mark II currently I get full HD footage (1080p) with 30fps and encoded in H.264.
    The problem now is that I cannot watch the clips on my PowerMac smoothly. They stutter awfully. I have no problem with editing in FCP (although they stutter there as well if I play them in there).

    It's really frustrating as my MacBook Pro easily handles the files with 20% CPU load :(

    Do you have any hints where the problem might be placed?

    Cheers, Sebastian
  2. macrumors 6502

    You do meet the minimum requirements (sort of) but just barely. That's for video at 24fps, and you're doing 30. So it's definitely going to struggle. I'm sorry to say I think you're biggest "problem" is your CPU. What MBP do you have?
  3. macrumors 65816

    I would convert the footage to something other than H.264.

    H.264 isn't ideal to edit with on any machine.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    G5s are slow and the 6600 doesn't help the situation either..
  5. macrumors 6502

    My dual 1.8 always struggled with 1080p. 720 was the highest quality h.264 that I could run reliably at full speed. I think it is just too much decoding for the lower clocked G5s to handle.

    Since when did the graphics card have anything to do with playing movies... This is 2005 graphics technology we are talking about here.
  6. macrumors G5


    Requirement for HD: intel Mac

    Seriously, you are comparing something released in 2003 to more recent Macs?

    FYI, MacBook Air has more processing power than PowerMac G5.
  7. macrumors 65816

    I don't think so.

    My old G5 was pretty good at heavy duty 3D rendering in Maya. I wouldn't dream of doing that on my Macbook Air.
  8. macrumors 6502a

  9. macrumors 6502a


    E5DmkII stuff needs to be converted to,say prores, to get non stuttering playback in fcp. Run it via compressor first.

    But your rig is a bit long in the tooth to do any decent work with the material.
    I think with the apple prores you need about 150mb/s throughput to play it smoothly. HQ needs 230mb/s.Are your disks up to it too?
  10. macrumors 6502

  11. macrumors 6502a

    FCP im pretty sure can be HA.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    The comment to which I replied was in specific response to one about 'processing power'. Not the GPU. And of course any synthetic benchmark is ... synthetic, but it is quite well accepted that the G5 proc is a good deal slower than core based things. The G5 could indeed have more powerful graphics (probably won't) and it almost certainly will have a faster hard disk, perhaps more RAM too.
  13. macrumors 603

    Your Macbook Pro is able to handle it because your Macbook Pro is actually faster than your G5. Any Intel is faster than all G5's, except for the quad core G5's.

    The G5's never have really been able to handle 1080p video.

    Then you should try it sometime, because it's true. The CPU on the Air would eat most G5's for lunch.
  14. macrumors member

    Hey Folks!

    Thanks for your plurality of helpful comments on my issue. I was awaiting smthg like not enough CPU power but didn't want to believe it :(

    Regarding the comment on harddrive speeds: I think that's Mbit/s and my Harddrives could handle that in contrast to my CPU.

    So the way to go is a new Mac Pro but this is currently not the best time to get one as I have read in the forum and the buyers guide.

    THX + Cheers, Sebastian
  15. macrumors member

    It really depends on your needs. Not everyone will need the extra SATA ports, 1333MHz RAM or the higher clock speeds. But in any case, there are always many MPs available from the Refurb Store, eBay/online and your local CL. Don't forget the CPU upgrade options too!
  16. macrumors 68040


    You don't have enough ram in the machine. You can have up to 16 gigs in your machine if it is a late 2005 Powermac.

    Get the 7800 or Quadro video card.

    Get the biggest fastest hard drive you can afford.

    You won't be seeing these issues then. 2.0 Dual Core is an excellent machine for Final Cut.
  17. macrumors 6502

    A ...

    ... general rule of thumb for speed conversions: Having the same clockspeed and numbers of cores/processors, the G5 is half as fast, the G4 even less so. But that´s not all to it. The Intel processors have more famous "performance per watt", which means: With the same amount of energy you get things done a lot faster.

    You need at least an Intel Core 2 Duo beyond 2Ghz for somewhat smooth working, a quadcore would be best and without going hackintosh this would mean a Mac Pro. Your harddisc should be fast enough, as H.264 is CPU bound and not at all I/O bandwith bound: You could edit a dozen streams of H.264 with one harddisc, but your CPU will have a stroke probably with more than two.

    Don´t do transcoding to make your material workable with the G5, because even there the G5 will take quite some time to finish the task, especially with the new ProRes codecs. Transcoding in general should only be done if really necessary, as it degrades the quality, even with lossless variants (they just conserve the status quo, including artefacts and the like; reencoding makes those artefacts worse). Stay as close to the source as possible. Final Cut can be made to transcode only those portions during editing, which are manipulated, for including titles, animations asf. You don´t need to transcode everything.

    Upgrading RAM doesn´t give you much for Final Cut yet, as does the harddrive for H.264. The graphiccard update isn´t necessary, too, as it is doesn´t give you any kind of enhancement for H.264 encoding/decoding. The amount of money you would have to spend here basically buys you a used iMac Core 2 Duo fast enough to deal with 1080p H.264 material.

    Don´t upgrade your G5 for this purpose, just try to sell it to someone with a lesser workload (graphic design, text processing, pictures) and move beyond Power PC, because Power PC basically means no usefull H.264 based HD editing (I would say none at all).
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Can you migrate to the MBP until you're ready to get a new mac pro? The other temporary alternative would be a hackintosh, but I'd be more inclined just to buy the MP and save yourself the hassle.
  19. macrumors 65816

    You definitely don't need to get a brand new Mac Pro, or even wait for the next upgrade.

    Save some money and go with a refurbished model or find a used one.

    It's not like the new Mac Pros have ushered in a new wave in HD editing. People have been editing HD footage for years now in resolutions greater than 1080p.

    Of course it won't hurt to go with a new model, but saving a few bucks is always nice. And by a few, I mean a lot. That could be better spent on storage, memory, video card, etc.

    And when you eventually get a new machine to edit on, just remember to not edit with H.264 footage. Convert to proRes or something else more NLE friendly.
  20. macrumors 6502


    I have a 2006 Mac Mini (Core Duo 1.66) and it can push smooth 1080p, but ONLY when using Plex (everything else stutters) and ONLY when playing off the internal hard drive.

    Same is true with 720p; Plex is the only thing that plays it smoothly (although Quicktime+Perian can almost do smooth 720p, just a little hiccup here and there).

    Plex must have some really bad-ass decoders in it.
  21. macrumors 68040


    If the original poster has the late 2005 2.0 ghz, there is no reason he cannot use Final Cut on it for editing; I'm astonished. Let's remember that five years ago feature films were actually being edited on Mac G4 Cubes running Panther...

    2.5 gigs of ram on a G5 is just not enough ram for Leopard and Final Cut.
  22. macrumors 603

    Sure, you can edit. But you're not going to be able to do realtime 1080p playback. Definitely no RT Extreme sort of stuff.

    Assuming you're fine with that, it's a decent editing rig. People who edited stuff on G4 cubes likely didn't work with 1080p footage.
  23. macrumors 65816


    No G5 has the processing power to smoothly play H.264 1080p except the Quad 2.5ghz model and possibly the 2.7ghz model.
  24. macrumors 6502

    Most, ...

    ... if not any professional editors used accelerator cards from Decklink or Aja to produce and use native uncompressed streams.

    Like already mentionned: HD in H.264 is a no go for any G5, and forget about the G4. Anyone who gets a HD camcorder or DSLR with HD capability should opt for an Intel Mac - any Core Duo is a good start, but for serious editing (lots of effects) you need at a quad or octo core Mac Pro (or hackintosh for the fainted hearts). You don´t need lots of RAM yet, although it would be best to give Final Cut the 2.5GB it can handle (it´s still 32Bit bound), so the minimum recommended RAM would be 4GB.

    So: An iMac with a Core Duo 2,4 and 4GB RAM should be perfectly capable to work with HD H.264 material on a home movie basis. If you go semi to professional, a Mac Pro Octo is a definite "have to".

    So, please, do believe us: It´s not worth at all spending precious money on upgrading a G5 Powermac to handle H.264, because it isn´t possible. You won´t be happy with it at all.


    You gain a huge advantage in using Elgatos Turbo HD for accelerated H.264 HD editing with camcorders and their AVCHD codecs on Intel Macs.
  25. macrumors member

    Yep, currently I do that. Anyhow the MBP is from my company and the PM is used by my GF at home normally as she is doing Video Stuff in her studies (Arts). It's a temporary solution but I use to keep work + private stuff seperated! Hackintosh: I think it's a hassle and my GF is mainly using the PM, so she hates hassle and if she gets annoyed i get even more annoyed ;)

    Refurbished doesn't help too much as I can get Mac's at the AOC shop. There you usually get 12% of the retail prices which comes out similar to the refurbished ones. And as I leave in europe (Austria - Vienna) there's not that much variety on refurbished MP's in the apple shop (for instance the 8x3.2 model never showed up refurbished here).

    with a used one I wouldn't be that happy with the warranty issues and so on.

    Thanks for your suggestions, I will check ebay, Perhaps there's a good offer for an Octo 3.2 with the option to add APP.

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