Advice on new Mac Pro for high-def video editing

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Buck Forester, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. Buck Forester macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2008
    Lincoln, CA
    Hello, I'm new here. I've never owned a Mac or any Apple product for that matter. I've always had Dell PC's just because, well, I don't know. But I'm creating an audio/visual studio at home for music and professional level high-def video editing (hd camcorder is the new Sony XD CAM EX) and I know Mac's are the way to go for high-end graphics stuff. I will be running Final Cut Studio, Logic Pro, and Adobe CS3 Photoshop.

    I want a high-end Mac Pro. I've been waiting for this update so I'm excited about it. I know nothing of Mac's and I'm not very hardware savvy. I have budgeted up to $16,000 for the machine alone (this is a business investment, not a hobby).

    Please help me build my machine. What would you choose? Items I know I want are the best/fastest chips (two 3.2's) and two 30" monitors. I don't know about video cards... is the NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 worth the extra $2,650 over the NVIDIA GeForce 8800? If so, is that a decent price or should I upgrade that from another supplier? Seeing the price of Apple's RAM I get worried about getting reamed by upgrades. How much RAM should I buy with the Mac Pro from Apple and where should I get the extra RAM I want... I'd like at least 16 GB. How about the RAID card and/or the Fibre Channel card? I'm not sure the best hardrive storage options to use. Locally there's a Guitar Center store that sells Mac's... is there a benefit by ordering the same configuration through them, or going directly through the Apple Store? As you can see, I have a lot to learn on the hardware side. I can produce marketable images and video, I just need to learn the technical editing side much better.

    Thank you for any suggestions!
  2. adrake86 macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2007
    Get the new mac pro. 8 cores of power.

    Huge hard drive. Lots of ram. Very good monitor. Really what you want. You can't go wrong. I don't think you really need an awesome graphics card you are not gonna be playing games or anything.
  3. Buck Forester thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2008
    Lincoln, CA
    Thank you, adrake86! I guess I'm looking/hoping for more specifics, like an example of each component you would choose to build the machine.
  4. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    You don't need the fiber channel card. That's for networking.

    Most folks get the ram from third party suppliers -- you save a bundle that way.

    I'd check out the return policy on both sites to determine where to order from.

    You're going to need lots of HD space, and a way to back up your work. You'll probably want to buy a third party hi-def DVD burner, so make sure you budget for that.

    But I'm not an expert on any of this. Do a search of the forums. You'll find a lot of information there.
  5. kenrobin macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Get the new Mac Pro stock. The only build-to-order option you need to debate is on the graphics card and whether to add the Airport card for wifi connectivity.

    You can add 3rd party memory and additional / larger hard drives for less money than what Apple charges.

    Oh and get AppleCare (3 year extended warranty).
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    That should be more than enough - does it include software?
    You might want to explore pricing from Dell on the monitors, depending on how much you "need" the Apple look.
    For what you do, I doubt that card would pay for itself, esp. as you could get another 30" monitor and extra card for less.
    8-16GB, yes (you could start with 8 and work your way up). Places to look include OWC and DMS. Don't buy the cheapest RAM you can find - buy RAM guaranteed to work with the Mac Pro.
    A RAID card might not be a bad idea, but Fibre Channel isn't needed, and RAID isn't really needed either. I would strongly recommend being sure you can back up your drives to external ones as well, and, if you have valuable data, I'd further recommend having a third set of drives you back up to and then keep offsite (best) or at least unplugged and in a different part of the house. You don't want a lightning bolt or thief taking everything you have.
    I'd think, for your needs, you'd want maybe three 1TB drives and one really fast main drive or just another 1TB drive. The upgrade price to the 1st TB drive isn't so bad[Edit: the upgrade is over $100 more than just buying it 3rd party], but I'd buy the other three 3rd party.
    I don't think you can return without a restock fee in either case, but ordering from Apple gets it delivered right to your house. I'm not sure that Guitar Center can get the same config for less, but you could ask.

    Also note that many options are ones you can extend later - get additional drives, get more RAM, get another monitor. Things like the CPU are most important, and the graphics card matters to the extent that you don't waste money on one you'll not use.
  7. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    You'll probably want the RAID card. Get a couple 1TB drives in RAID 0 to use as your scratch disk. (According to wikipedia, XDCAM EX is ~35mbps) so a couple of drives in RAID 0 would give you more than enough performance even if you're running multiple streams of it at the same time.
  8. dabirdwell macrumors 6502

    Sep 26, 2002
    Consider Motion...

    If you'll be doing motion graphics with Motion, AE or other software that requires 3D acceleration, the graphics card may be more of a consideration. I don't know if there are benchmarks available now, but I can guarantee that the folks over at will have some performance comparisons up very soon.
  9. Buck Forester thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2008
    Lincoln, CA
  10. Joe Bannon macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    I just ordered this today. I'm going up get some upgrades off newegg.

    Two 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeo
    2GB (2x1GB)
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB
    320GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb
    Two 16x SuperDrives
  11. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    im in a similar situation, except that as an amature looking to go professional, i have roughly £3000 for the mac and software. this isn't as bad as it sounds though, as i can get cs3 very cheap as im a student, while i also qualify for the apple he discount, which gives me i think 14% off of the mac pro. can anyone recomend me a set-up at that price? i was thinking of definitely going for the VIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB GDDR3 and getting ram from a third party, but im unsure whether to go for the 15000rpm HD or two 750 gig HD's, and also about whether to upgrade to the 3 Ghz processor?

    any ideas?

Share This Page