Will the Mac Pro fit my needs??

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by diamond3, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #1
    I have been making a lot of movies lately on my iMac g4 1.0ghz. I am just trying to decide if its really worth it to spend the money on it right now to buy a new mac pro 2.66ghz. Here are a few questions.

    1. I heard a 2 hour movie to encode and burn in iDVD should take around maybe an hour and a half to burn to a 4.7gb disc. Now, if I burned it to a Dual Layer disc, how long would this take? Also, does this time estimate seem right?

    2. If I am importing a movie thats 2 hours long from my camcorder, could I (a) be working on another iMovie project at the same time and have any problems? (b) Be encoding and burning another project? I wouldn't be doing all three at the same time, but definitely 2. Would a second HD help and have one import to one hard drive and then have my other project on the second so they don't tie up the same HD?

    3. Would you recommend me getting FCE with the BTO for $99. Would it be something that takes a lot of time getting used to? Or just wait for the new one with the education discount?

    Now it just comes down to: the money and whether I should wait until leopard and a update of the mac pro. I would have to make a lot of movies to break even on this setup. Would another iMac be more beneficial. Could it do the things I was thinking of above?
     
  2. volvoben macrumors 6502

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    #2
    There are no simple answers for your situation, but here’s my insight:

    1. encoding etc all depends on the size of the video, compression, ram, etc etc etc. It’s probably better to think of it as this: the mac pro would encode much much faster than your imac g4.

    2. sure, there’s enough power to import and keep working on other things. Truthfully with enough ram and a second hdd there shouldn’t be any trouble editing another movie and/or burning a dvd too.

    3. if you buy a mac pro for video editing, you should probably think about moving up from imovie. Perhaps imovie is powerful enough for you, but if you will be editing lots of film, you should probably start using industry standard software. It’ll be beneficial in the long run as you discover and utilize more advanced techniques.

    When to buy all depends on you. Will better things come if you wait? Yes. Will they come tomorrow? We don’t know. Can you spend your life waiting? Only you can answer that question.

    If you’re not sure a mac pro is worth the investment for you (yet again, only you can decide this), you will also see dramatically improved performance with any new mac. An imac bumped up to 2gb will run FCE or even FCP rather well really, and if you kept your imac G4, perhaps networked together with firewire, you could improve multitasking (process and burn dvd on G4 while importing/editing on intel iMac for example). In defense of the mac pro idea though, it has the advantage of 4 hdd bays for all that video you'll be dealing with (cheaper faster and easier than externals), upgradability, and it'll be faster than anything else available.

    If you were to sell the G4 you’d still get a decent price depending on specs, they’ve held their value well, but if you bought a portable or a new imac I’d consider keeping the G4 for the aforementioned multitasking advantage.
     
  3. Trekkie macrumors 6502a

    Trekkie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Location:
    Wake Forest, NC
    #3
    I did the $99 FCE when I bought my iMac G5 in 2004.

    I've yet to figure out how to use it, and there isn't a single decent book on the thing that I can find.

    Also the camcorder I have doesn't import right, but with 3.5 it can read iMovie 6 so you can import with iMovie 6 and then open in FCE but I don't know how to do anything in FCE.

    as far as your encoding question, I've not made a 2 hr DVD yet with iDVD with my Mac Pro however transcoding using Handbrake I can transcode MPEG-2 to iPod Video format at about 100fps on average.

    You'd probably want 4GB of RAM to be able to import and do something else, because if the OS pages at all it'll stutter and fail the import, at least that's been my experience.
     
  4. diamond3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #4
    Thanks for the response.

    I was wondering about the FCE and studio. I am just worried it will take me a while to learn it. But if I keep doing this, I know I need to move to the professional lineup. The reason I like the mac pro is its expandability. I think of it this way, had we bought a powermac dual 1 ghz I would still be fine with it. We could have added more memory and not bought an ext. hd. So I think if we got the Mac Pro, its a computer we would have for easily 5-8 years without worrying about upgrading to a new one.

    I guess what I will need to do before i go much further is set up some more contracts so I can see if I have a lot more movies waiting to be made. Since I am just transfering the movies to dvd, I don't edit a whole lot. Mostly because i don't want to be the one to remove their Family videos. But if I could get to the point where I get done 5 or 6 in a day I see it worth it. Its hard a decision everytime because by the time you add extra ram, hd, and then a monitor you are looking at 3k. Then you look at the 24" imac refurbished for 1699 and it looks really nice. But those are decisions I have to make.

    Are there a lot of people here that recently made a switch from iMovie to FCE or FCS? How was the transition?

    I think though I would wait until Leopard comes out and maybe the new FCE or FCS before I bought anything. If only apple would just release all there products....There hasn't been anything exciting for a while. The iPhone was nice, but with the long delay I am kind of tired about it. i want new computers and software.
     
  5. diamond3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #5
    I just saw your post about FCE. Thats interesting. If only they offered a trial version with the mac pro or something like that.

    On my iMac g4, i have imported a movie on my external hd and browsed the internet etc at the same time. Its a little slow. I am thinking the mac pro would have no problem importing and then working on another project.
     
  6. volvoben macrumors 6502

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    #6
    That's a very good idea, trial versions of FCE and Aperture on mac pros. maybe even Logic. Anyone buying a mac pro is likely to be interested in one of apple's professional programs, although they probably assume that pros will already have the software they need.

    Indeed, we all want new computers and software, I haven't much interest in the iphone so the only excitement for me is the oncoming release of CS3...

    If indeed you're the type who would prefer still using a dual 1ghz powermac right now, a mac pro would indeed keep that advantage. You know what it's like being on the iMac side of things (how long it'll be before you need to upgrade), so you'll just have to weigh the upfront costs. 8 years is really pushing it though, a 1999 B&W G3 would be pretty painful for video, but I see your point.

    The 24" imac (while a bit of a stopgap product because Apple refuses to make a decent mid-tower in my opinion) is still a great machine. Having that nice 24" screen be obsolete in 4 years because of the hardware around it though would drive me nuts. It (or a 20" model if you don't really need the extra real estate) would make a good 'stopgap' machine for you if you're unsure you have the work to justify a mac pro. If you don't get enough work, you'll still have a faster machine that'll last another 4 years and you won't be out so much $$$. If you do get enough work, you'll have a better chance of keeping up because an iMac will still be relatively speedy, and you can always sell it while it's still current and get a mac pro.

    If you have the option of waiting a bit though we are definitely due for some new releases!
     
  7. diamond3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #7
    Yep, I see your point about the screen issue with the iMacs. If our iMac g4 had a separate monitor, it might be worth selling. But to me, its a really nice 17" widescreen monitor on a fairly decent computer. To me its not worth selling for say 400-500. This computer does fine running CS2, ilife etc for general purposes. But if I get into running my own little business, I need something faster.
    I too would really like to wait, I just have a few things working against me. But if anything, I would like to wait until the new os ships with it. If anything how big of an update could we see in the Mac Pros??? I have heard about the 8 core, but that would probably only be the high end one anyways and well out of my budget. How much faster processors etc??? I still think its a joke they only offer 1 gb of ram standard on such a machine. I mean heck, the MBP comes with a single 1 gb stick standard.

    So here are my plans. I am going to see how many movies I would be doing in the next month or so. If its a lot that I can pay for part of the Mac Pro, I will be getting it soon.

    Does anyone here run a video editing business. A pretty small one anyways? I am just getting into the converting of old vhs, 8mm, minidv to dvd. I have made a lot of movies for trips and that, but the more I started doing it around here, the more people were interested in it.

    oh ya, the new OS isn't a huge deal for me, because I could always buy a family pack to go on our 2 computers, and my sisters etc. But you know there's always a chance for an update around then.
     
  8. volvoben macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Depending on ram airport etc you could probably get 6-700 for your iMac, stores sell similar models for 900 or more. But I wouldn't sell it if I were you, a second computer is very handy no matter how powerful your new computer may be.

    There is likely to be a Mac Pro update relatively soon, perhaps before Leopard is released (especially because apple 'accidentally' put up an 8-core blurb on some sites yesterday). This isn't going to make a big difference for you though, chances are that the 4 core will not change and if the price drops it won't be by a whole lot. the 8 core machines will be aimed at video and 3d work mainly, because most other users will prefer the faster clock speeds of dual core xeon chips (as it looks today, intel makes 2.0, 2.66 and 3.0 chips in dual core, but only up to 2.66 for quad...so i'd assume for the same price you could get a 2.0 octo or a 2.66-3.0 quad). A new case would be surprising, and i don't even think intel makes a chipset for dual cpus that doesn't use ridiculous FB-DIMMs.

    1gb of ram is lowish for such a machine (meaning probably 85% of users will need more than 1gb to accomplish what they need to), but really I'd prefer Apple keeping the 1gb and not inflating the price, letting me buy my own cheaper ram.

    My friend worked at a local photo/video store that did lots of film-dvd and vhs-dvd conversion, she wasn't an expert or anything, but their setup a few years back included some enormous equipment for capturing film and a rack of Xserve G5s, disks etc. All you had to do was load the film/vhs and hit start, it was all automated for the employees, my 15 minute 16mm film took about 30 minutes to convert and burn. A more personal touch would have been nice though, i wanted a HD conversion but they could only make dvd.

    Anyway, I'd personally wait a few weeks, maybe a month, but if you have legitimate business need for the Mac Pro, it's highly unlikely you'll regret buying one today. If you buy one before Leopard you can wait for 10.5.1 or see if there are big issues, plus if you have more than 1 mac, the extra $70 for the family pack is a great deal.
     
  9. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #9
    Go for final cut express. I wish i did i just didn't know about it. I bought a mac pro in October. I don't use imovie that much but i think it would have been worth getting FCE. Wish i could upgrade now still.:(
     
  10. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #10
    I'd buy Final Cut Studio and do lots of training. It is SO worth learning. Lots of powerful tools in there.

    I'm just saying this because you are buying a $2000+ computer, why not buy some really good software with it?

    My transition to Final Cut Pro wasn't difficult at all, simply because I used Premiere on a PC and it is very similar to FCP.

    For me, Final Cut Express is very limiting (duh because I use the real FCP) but for you it will be a whole new beast for you and I'd recommend a 20 inch iMac with final cut express if you don't want to try final cut studio.
     
  11. nazmac21 macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Digital World
    #11
    How about this to start with:

    Refurbished Power Mac G5 Dual 2GHz
    Dual-core 2GHz PowerPC G5 processor
    1GHz frontside bus per processor
    1MB L2 cache per core
    512MB of 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-4200)
    160GB Serial ATA hard drive
    16x SuperDrive (double-layer)
    NVIDIA GeForce 6600 LE (128MB GDDR SDRAM)
    price: $1,599.00
     
  12. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #12
    That's overpriced in my opinion. Get a refurbed mac pro if anything.
     
  13. nazmac21 macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
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    Digital World
    #13
    No, it is a good deal but the OP should add more RAM (at least 1GB) if he/she plans to get it.
     
  14. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #14
    Ok, that Dual G5 should be going for 1200 MAXIMUM. My MacBook Pro is just as fast/faster then that G5 and shouldn't be priced that high.

    You can get a QUAD 2 GHZ Mac Pro for 1800-2000 Refurbished or New.
     
  15. nazmac21 macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Digital World
    #15
    Fine, what about this for the OP:

    Refurbished Mac Pro Quad 3.0GHz Intel Xeon
    Two 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors
    2GB (4 x 512MB) memory (667MHz DDR2 fully-buffered DIMM ECC)
    250GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200-rpm hard drive
    16x SuperDrive (double-layer)
    ATI Radeon X1900 XT graphics with 512MB memory
    price: $3,299.00

    (kind of pricy, I know)
     
  16. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    Apr 16, 2005
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    #16
    Nice deal but WAY out of OP's range.
     
  17. nazmac21 macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Digital World
    #17
    This has power for cheaper amount of price:

    Refurbished iMac 24-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SuperDrive
    1GB (2x512MB) 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-5300)
    250GB Serial ATA hard drive
    Slot-load 8x double-layer SuperDrive
    NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT with 128MB GDDR3 memory
    Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0
    Built-in iSight Camera and Apple Remote
    $1,699.00
     
  18. Multimedia macrumors 603

    Multimedia

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
    #18
    WAIT For April 15

    Just chill man. This is no time to be contemplating a Mac Pro purchase until Apple shows its hand and it ships with Leopard and iLife '07. I've been waiting a year already. Can you wait a few more weeks? Please? :eek: :confused:
     
  19. Cult Follower macrumors 6502a

    Cult Follower

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    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    North Dakota
    #19
    no matter what your needs the Mac Pro will be suffice, unles you need protability or a cheap machine.
     
  20. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #20
    Yeah you may want to wait. As the apple sites were accidentally updated to say 8 cores available this may change something else in the 4 core lineup. I doubt it but you never know.:eek: It shouldn't be long now.
     
  21. diamond3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #21
    Here is the thing, I have decided the iMac is out of the question. I am either going to go all out with the mac pro, or just get a macbook + ext. monitor so I can use for school etc. The worst thing I could see happening if I did get a mac pro after they update is that if I finish up some business in a year or so, I can turn around and sell it only being out a few hundred dollars. But that probably wouldn't happen.

    The thing is, my situation right now is more than just waiting on the Mac Pro. It's kind of complicated, well really complicated and I have been in this predicament for almost 6 months. There are things going on right now that I don't know in a few months if I would be here to work on my business.

    I saw the details on the 8-core mac. I know they are so close to being updated. That's what makes waiting so hard at this time just because I know I want to wait so I really want them to come out soon.

    Heres a quick question also: Would you get two 22" widescreen monitors or one 24" wide? I was even thinking about just two 20 or 21" normal monitors connected together? I can't decide if the division would bug me on 2 small monitors like that. I think i would do just fine with a 22" widescreen from dell since we only have a 17" now.
     
  22. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #22

    2 Displays are the BEST for video editing. Everything is a lot more organized and it's just easier on you when you are editing a big project and you want lots of screen real estate to work with.
     
  23. Millenwagon182 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    #23
    2.33 vs 2.16

    I'd be using the Macbook Pro primarily for FCS editing. Would I be limited by the 2.16 compared to the 2.33? The main factor is the graphics card rite since RAM can be upgraded and the processor speed difference isn't drastic. I heard a rumor that the next generation FCS wouldn't work with a 2.16 processor? Any truth to that?
     

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