Best dollar to editing ratio mac?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Krio, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. Krio macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #1
    Hi all,

    Sorry for the lengthy post, but I'm trying to get all the info out in one shot.
    Gleaned tons of information the past year and a half off this forum and finally signed up. I started my mac adventure last summer with a white 13" macbook with 2.4ghz dual core w/ snow Leopard and primarily use it for school and casual video editing after adding 4 gigs of ram and a 500GB hdd. Here's what I've been doing and what I hope to do with some guidance from the macrumor gods:

    I'm looking to step up my editing game as I've hit a wall using iMovie HD (06?) with various third party plug-ins. My camera of choice is the Samsung HMX-10 720P camcorder simply because I got it for <300 and it has xlr available. Most of my editing is for RC races using pip, slow mo, and basic transitions. I've already picked up an acer 23" 1080 monitor for dual screening my macbook and have a 19" AOC tele available as well. My biggest problem is that after any given race I have 8 to 16 gigs of video to crunch and being unable edit and export at the same time removes all hope of a relaxing sunday (and even monday) after the race.

    I just picked up the FCS2 academic version off fleabay on the cheap and am now considering a dedicated computer for editing, exporting, uploading and burning a couple hundred DVD's of each racing season.

    In short, I'm looking for suggestions from other budget editors on using ANY mac for such endeavors.

    Thanks!
     
  2. anthemus macrumors regular

    anthemus

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Location:
    Denver
    #2
    One scenario might be this.

    First buy 3 maybe 4, 4GB SD cards Class 6 to shoot on. As you shoot and the cards fill up, swap the cards. Bring your MacBook along and begin importing the footage into FCS2 via card reader. That way by the time you leave the event hopefully you only have one card left to import instead of the 4. The last card you could even start to import on the drive home if you live far. Edit on your MacBook if that's all you have. Do your exports to an external firewire drive. I say firewire because its faster and uses less CPU then USB 2.0. Also by offloading some of the work to another drive, hopefully it will not take as long.

    Just an idea.
     
  3. Krio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #3

    Importing usually isn't the problem as I can let it run when I get home saturday nights (unless there's an error for some reason and it stops after 2 vids:rolleyes:) The camera itself has 8 gigs built in and then I have 3 8 gig class 4 cards and I usually just have to swap from the card to the internal half way through the day.
    Thanks for the export to external idea as I have a set of drives in a mirror raid for 1.5 terabytes. Never thought about the fact the internal hdd wouldn't be hitting as much.
    I don't have FCS2 in hand yet, but is there a way to "limit" how much of the processor background exporting uses?
     
  4. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #4
    besides getting another computer there isn't much to do. Currently I'm exporting a 2+hr sequence and uploaded a 2+ hour sequence to FTP to my company... (this is why apple better hurry their butts up and release a new mac pro and MBP! :p)
     
  5. Krio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #5
    That was part of my original post I guess. I am strongly considering picking something up and splitting the work between the two. Been considering a mac mini, but not sure if I'd spend too much time watching the pinwheel.
    What about the Mac pro G5's? Saw several go on ebay for a decent clip.
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    There are Mac Pros (which are intel) and there are G5's (which are PPC). There are not MAc Pro G5's. Unless it's free don't get a G5. More and more apps, plugins, codecs, ect., are intel only and, in terms of raw processing power, a new Mini will beat a G5 (save for maybe the last gen G5 dual core models).


    Lethal
     
  7. Krio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #7
    Thanks for the info. I understood the latest were intel vs ppc, but was unsure how the ppc's actually compared to the intel.
    I think I'm to the point a mac mini is the best (cheapest) solution if I plan to increase the volume of my editing. I've seen many year old mini's (2.0 ghz, 2 gb max RAM) go on ebay for around 400. I would prefer to save the $200, but would 2gb be enough? Or should I splurge on a new one to make my investment last? Watching my MenuMeters on my current laptop with 4 gb it looks like it would be cutting it close most of the time:confused:

    Quick unrelated question:
    When I create a .img file through idvd I cannot use a thumb drive to throw it on another computer to burn more disks. I can only burn it on the computer it was created on. Is this normal?
     
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #8
    It does seem like you're entering the foray of an MP. Of the lot, stay away from the '06 - '07 models, as they use EFI32, and won't last long for what you're intending to use it for (video/graphics pros are or looking to dump those systems). EFI64 is needed to keep up with graphics cards in the future, as well as OS X when it goes exclusively K64 (32 bit Kernel gets dumped).

    Of the EFI64 systems, the '08 Octads are the best value IMO, and it's not likely to change when the Gulftown based models arrive either. They're less expensive, can outperform the '09's entirely (depending on exact models compared). And in the instances that they're a little behind (a tit-for-tat scenario), it's not by leaps and bounds. As it happens, the 3.2GHz '08 Octad is available in the Apple Refurbished store for $3299, which is the same price for the base model '09 Octad <2.26GHz> (last I checked). That '08 kicks the crap out of the '09, and you can add the extended Apple Care (highly recommended). Used is also possible (and the only option with the slower clocks), but be careful. I'd recommend sticking with Craig's List over eBay, as you can inspect and verify operation before payment. Safer, as you can keep from getting burnt by a seller misrepresenting a system (DOA recently happend to another member).

    You also avoid the issues with wanting to use the internal HDD bays with a 3rd party RAID card, don't have to sacrifice those SATA ports if you run one, or have the ICH10R throughput limit of ~660MB/s (is a potential problem with SSD's). There's even an issue with applications that need to use the Quicktime X code (less than 1% CPU utilization, but yet runs hot; 67C or higher).

    Take a look at the chart to get an idea of how systems compare. Hope it helps. :)
     

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  9. Krio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #9
    My tendency is to get the best from the getgo when I know I'm serious about something... but cash isn't as free flowing as I would like. Plus the resale value on the mini's is great atm should it fall short on my expectations.

    A little birdy keeps telling me I'm gonna end up with a mac pro in the end. Just not sure when that is.:cool:

    Thanks for all the info!
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #10
    A new Mini is faster than the G5, but I'm not sure you're going to be that happy with it given the software you want to run.
     
  11. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #11
    Yeah i no i am the same - i too and doing editing on my macbook pro. Late october, find it slow . I would like a dedicated rig to do this. too. But Later i guess! got other stuff to by.
     
  12. anthemus macrumors regular

    anthemus

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Location:
    Denver
    #12
    A newer Mac Mini maybe not so bad for your project. Last year I was slammed and bought a Mac Mini Intel Solo. It was able to edit and export HDV via firewire 400 no problem. Sure it took a little longer but I split my time in half since I was able to edit on my other system while the mini did the export. Actually looking at the new Mac Mini's, the specs are pretty good. A lot better than they use to be. It would come in handy for at the fraction of the price of a tower. Don't forget Craigslist.org, that's where I find a lot of my Mac deals... Last spring I bought an 08' Octo for 2k. Not bad considering the original retail price...
     
  13. Krio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #13
    I think I'm going to spring for a current mac mini. Final question: 2.26ghz or 2.53ghz? Would the difference be worth the 130 apple wants? I can add ram and hdd later, but I hear the chips are epoxied in and you can't change them...
     
  14. icrude macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #14
    what kind of rc racing? I used to do a bit of that back in the day :p
     
  15. Krio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #15
    Offroad electric for the most part. Here's my favorite vid I've done:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P3yvtw_Tak

    I am the driver for the car with the camera in it and a friend shot the overall HD from the bleachers. That race is a "spec" class where everyone uses the same cheap low power motor so the racing is very close and comes down to skill (and apparently whoever doesn't have a 6 ounce camera weighing down their car:D)
     
  16. anthemus macrumors regular

    anthemus

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Location:
    Denver
    #16
    Nice video. Like the inside shot on the RC.

    As for the Mac Mini - I would take the $130 in savings and buy more external drives. The difference will only be slight in comparison.
     
  17. Krio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #17
    Ok, hopefully some one reads down to this post...

    Still looking for a mac mini, but FCS2 showed up and after 4 hours of searching the internet and calling apple I've come to the awful conclusion that my Samsung HD camcorder will not work with fcp simply because it does not have a firewire port.

    Anyone know of a way to get HDV720p60 mp4 H.264 video into fcp...:confused:
     
  18. Krio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #18
    Ok, I was able to push some of the original hdv files through compressor to get them into aic and now I'm able to import them into fcp and get some real work done. However, it takes freaking forever to convert them through compressor to aic and I just don't have time to experiment with various settings. Anyone have a quick and easy way tips when it comes to what file types/settings to use for the fastest (re)compression?
     

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