Which MAC for DV Editing

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by spins, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. spins macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #1
    I'm a lifetime wintel user that has been looking to make a switch to mac. I've been putting off a CPU purchase for about a year now. Basically, my primary use for the CPU would be to perform moderate level of dv editing. I figure I would start with imovie, and then proceed to Final Cut eventually.

    I would like to go with a Mac mini 1.42 w/512MB since I have extra monitors/kb/ms, but I'm concerned about memory. However, if I go with 1GB, I minus well go emac or iMac.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. crap freakboy macrumors 6502a

    crap freakboy

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    nar in Gainsborough, me duck
    #2
    I'm in a similar position, the mac mini may be tempting but I'm waiting to see what the next rev of the iMac offers later this year. Fingers crossed for slight speed bump and better graphics card. :eek:
     
  3. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #3
    I'd say you definitely want to pass on the eMac at this point, but whether you want a Mac mini or an iMac depends on how much you care about the extra speed and built in LCD monitor (as either a positive or a negative, depending).
     
  4. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #4
    I'll keep hoping for you, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
     
  5. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    The best Mac at DV editing would be a Power Mac G5 with a 30" display. However, that's out of reach (and overkill) for most of us.

    The truth is, any Mac will more than cope with DV editing. I edit on my 1GHz G4 PowerBook with just a 12" screen, so the Mac Mini will be fine (even the 1.25 GHz one). Hook it up to a half decent display and you're laughing.

    The RAM isn't a problem. While, the more the better, mine copes fine with 768 MB (mine is maxed out at the moment until 1GB chips come down in price).

    So, to reiterate, take any Mac you want. They will all do the job fine. But I'd recommend as much grunt as you can afford, and as big a display as you can afford.

    P.S. It's "Mac" not "MAC" ;)
     
  6. crap freakboy macrumors 6502a

    crap freakboy

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    nar in Gainsborough, me duck
    #6
    that makes two of us I'm afraid. :(
     
  7. spins thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #7
    Thank you for the advice on the hardware and jargon.
     
  8. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #8
    Any Mac with a FireWire port. :)

    That is all you need for DV editing. :)
     
  9. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #9
    If you have an Apple certified technician close by, this is what I suggest: buy the Mac mini in its stock configuration (256MB RAM), order the 1GB module separately from another vendor (it calls for PC2700 but if you can find PC3200 for cheaper, buy that because it's compatible), and then pay the Apple tech to install the RAM. You'll save about $150-200 this way.

    That's what I'm doing with the Mac mini I bought for my dad.

    I agree with maya - most any Mac with a FireWire port will do. I edited hours of movies and shorts with my 700MHz G3 12" iBook back in 2003.

    An external FW hard drive (or many drives) is essential also. Even 80GB isn't enough if you have a lot of photos and music, and space gets tight after you install all the GarageBand loops and iDVD themes (which should already be installed by default).
     
  10. spins thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #10
    just noticed that the hd is a 4200 rpm drive. That's not gonna do for DV editing. Any thoughts? Usually a 7200rpm is recommended.
     
  11. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #11
    You should never put your media on your boot drive anyway. People have done it but it's discouraged because it can cause problems (such as messing up your system).

    Using an external FW hdd is essential for video editing.
     
  12. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #12
    The rule of thumb on this is "buy the most expensive computer you can afford".

    However, like others have said, any new Mac will probably suffice. Good luck with it.
     
  13. spins thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #13
    I just wanted to get my feet wet with Mac, but now it looks like I need to do a cannonball (another Mac) or go with a power pc.
     
  14. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #14
    I have both iBook and PowerBook , both have FireWire. I have no concerns with the HDD even though one is a slower rpm than the other. And no concern with the GPU one has 32MB and the other a 64MB.

    As long as you have enough ram DV editing will work great. Do not get sucked into the marketing hype. :)

    The Mac mini will do DV editing quite fine with 512MB of ram though I would get a 3rd party 1Gig ram and be happy with that. :)
     
  15. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    refurb 1.8GHz single g5, go get ogles of ram and a pair or 250GB HD's.
     
  16. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #16
    If your boot drive is the same as your capture scratch drive you're just asking for trouble. It might not come quickly but it's there. It's better to use a higher performing external HDD, rather than take your chances on storing your video on your boot drive. Just because you can use your boot drive for video and it's the default setting in iMovie and FCE/FCP, does not mean that you should.
     
  17. TranceClubMusic macrumors regular

    TranceClubMusic

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Location:
    Miami, FLorida
    #17
    Get a Refeub PowerMac G5 1.6 or 1.8 - dont get anything less - Period.
     
  18. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #18
    Mac mini + 1 GB of RAM from 3rd party + KVM switch + monitor = ok

    a 4200 rpm drive won't spin fast enough, it will get annoying fast.

    So, an external FW enclosure + ATA drive + <$100
    And a FW hub (because you only have one FW port) = ~$10-$20

    That would be a really nice DV station to start with... better than my first play thing! (G4 400 MHz, low RAM, low HD, FCP 1, but it was at a camp...)
     
  19. spins thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #19
    Thank you. Currently I do editing with a Gateway 600 MHz and FW with great patience. I've been waiting for MacWorld to see further options and, of course, I would prefer a Power Mac, but who wouldn't. Basically, it’s too much of an investment to switch currently. The Mac Mini offers me the opportunity to experiment without a huge investment, understanding that it will eventually get repurposed (media center or something) in the future when I'm ready for the next step.

    So again, thanks to you and the others that have posted to my naive thread.
     
  20. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #20
    if a Mini is acceptable then I think the same is true for an eMac........to some extent the Mini is just a repackaged eMac

    the extra $300 for the emac gets you speakers, keyboard, mouse and monitor

    the emac even offers some advantages over the Mini....it has one more firewire port, one more usb port, and 2 user-accessible ram slots instead of the single "apple tech only" slot on the Mini. You can also get a 160GB hard drive BTO on the emac while the mini is limited to 80GB

    if you're looking to save money and don't have the extra speakers/mouse/keyboard/monitor sitting around, the emac is still a good deal
     
  21. ziwi macrumors 65816

    ziwi

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Right back where I started...
    #21
    One more thing...

    THe emac also offers another RAM slot for the extra $300, another bene to be able to upgrade the RAM cheaper by not going to the 1GB chip, but using 2 512's.
     
  22. 3Memos macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #22
    Sorry, but I dont recommend the Mac mini at all for DV editing. The CPU and HD are fast enough to handle DV datarates, but you are limited to only one firewire port - and that port is taken up by the camcorder. Like another poster said, do not capture media to the internal HD. So you need an extra firewire port for an external HD. Daisychaining, and you'll be in trouble with dropped frames.

    Any G4 or G5 over 500MHz, 384MB RAM and at least 2 firewire ports are all that is needed to edit DV. The iMac G5 and entry-level G5 PowerMac are excellent for DV editing.
     
  23. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #23
    I've had no issues with dropped frames while daisychaining from my old G3 iBook's single FW port to external HD to miniDV camcorder. My PowerBook G4 has also had no problems doing that. This is with generic FW400 enclosures and an ordinary miniDV camcorder.

    I agree that it's nice to have more ports, but one port is sufficient for DV editing.
     
  24. FightTheFuture macrumors 6502a

    FightTheFuture

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    that town east of ann arbor
    #24
    i agree. i would stick with the pro line (powerbook, powermac), you could use the dvi port on the powerbook for a second monitor (very useful for video editing). most cases though, with an external firewire drive: there is usually an extra port for an additional peripheral, such as a deck/camcorder which you can plug in. so having only one firewire port is a non issue. as far as buffering overruns, or dropped frames - i haven't encountered that yet.

    also, stick with final cut express or final cut pro HD. lots of people like to cling to Avid, but Avid has been really slow at utilizing the speed of the most updated macs (both apple and avids fault actually).
     
  25. primalman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    at the end of the hall
    #25
    Just to note, all macs are PowerPC based. :)
     

Share This Page