Best Mac Pro configuration for editing DV

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by cokalorum7, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. cokalorum7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #1
    I am planning to buy a NEW MAC PRO optimized for my purposes, which are: editing, with Final Cut Studio, independent movies originated on DV format. I'm primarily concerned with having a system maximized for speed in terms of real time editing as well as rock solid stability. So, my primary questions revolve around these issues:

    (keep in mind cost is an issue for me - the total for tower and internal hardware should not exceed $5000)

    First, is there much of a speed difference in Final Cut Studio between the 2.8 gHZ and the 3.0 gHZ processors - enough to justify the $800 price tag?

    Second, I want to have plenty of storage space but I'm finding it difficult deciding on which hard drives (brand, speed, etc) are best for my purposes. (And for cost reasons I don't want to order the stock drives from Apple) Again, I would stress dependability and speed. My initial idea was to get three to four 750 gb or one tb drives. I thought I could have one drive be the system drive and the remaining two to three be raid 0 - arrayed for media storage. Is this a feasible storage configuration? Any consensus as to which brand and model drives out there are best for speed and dependability? And how about the Raid 0 setup - does this sound good, or any other recommendations? I know this is risky as far as data loss, so I was thinking of getting an equivalent amount of external drive space to back up to.

    Third, I am wondering about RAM. Again I don't want to spend the $ to buy RAM from Apple. Two questions then about RAM: 1) how much realistically do I need for speedy editing? I was thinking 8 gbs - is this too much? not enough? 2) I need recommendations on which RAM brand and type to buy? And where should I buy it from? Again, dependability is all-important.

    Fourth, is the 2600 graphics card sufficient for my purposes? Or will spending the extra $ on the 8800 be worth it? I will probably be connecting only 2 monitors to it.

    Fifth, do I need any additional capture cards or some other video card? In the past I've always just captured video from my camera through firewire.

    Thanks in advance for any helpful advice you can offer!
     
  2. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #2
    While it's been some time since I did a lot of DV editing, as long as you don't have imminent plans to go to HDV or AVC editing in the next couple years, ANY Mac Pro will FLY. I think less is more here. AVC would be another story, but the beauty of the MP is that it is expandable.

    I'd think 4GB memory is a strong starting point for you, if you have the money 8 can't hurt if you run lots of apps side by side, but you won't use it is my guess.

    The video card should be fine, as long as you don't plan to run 2x30" displays.

    No additional capture card required.

    As for hard drives, read up on these forums. I'll let others offer direction there.

    Enjoy!
     
  3. wpc33 macrumors 6502

    wpc33

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #3
    Holy geez, is the Mac Pro fast. It has been shown in tests that the 3.0 is not worth it on the price/performance ratio. The 2.8 Quad is probably good enough, but the aforementioned ratio does rule in favour of the 2.8 Octo.

    If you're editing DV you definitely do not need a better GPU than the stock 2600. It's faster for editing, et. all than the 8800.

    As far as RAM, the base 2GB it ships with has made many people more than happy, when you consider the inherent speed of the rig itself. If you upgrade, I suggest that you stick with 2GB sticks from OWC or Crucial. 4GB modules are overpriced at this point. If you wanted to go crazy, I'd say, 4x2GB at about $250, plus the stock 2GB...overkill:D Let's be honest, my G5 is way slow to the Pro. My 4GB of much slower RAM never get used when I run FC Studio apps one at a time. Try the stock 2GB first. This is only DV.

    Seagate drives have a great reputation for reliability, and faster than 7200rpm sometimes have size/reliability issues. Decide for yourself, but the price/performance ratio these days on 750GB Vs. 1TB is pretty good for the terabyte.

    If you wanna do RAID and get a sSeagate, get the ES series SAS drives, but only if you do RAID. SAS drives are not so good for standard use.
     
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #4
    If you do decide to go RAID, keep in mind that SAS drives are quite expensive.
    SATA will work quite well, and is less expensive. Just make sure to look at the enterprise grade drives, not the consumer ones. The extra money spent translates into higher reliability since they were designed for this type of use. :)
     
  5. cokalorum7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #5
    Thanks much to everyone who has offered advice so far.

    a couple questions in response:

    1) If i wanted to run a 30" & 24" Apple cinema screen together, what capture card(s) would I need?

    2) Are all the 2.8 and 3.0 gHZ Mac Pros now being sold on the Apple online store all 8-core? Is this the standard configuration?

    3) Let me offer the disclaimer that I am not that technically savvy when it comes to the in/outs of storage and RAM;

    -That said, what is the difference between SAS and SATA drives?

    -Can someone post a link to a drive (750 gb - 1 TB) that is not too expensive but has worked very well (speed/dependability) for them in both a Raid array as well as a separate drive? There are just too many choices and I've had many drives fail on me in the past. So any specific advice would be greatly appreciated!

    -and any good advice as to the best raid setup for storage (3-4 tb's worth) for speed and stability, along with an external backup setup?

    Again thanks for your all your help - the amount of information available is too overwhelming and I don't know what to believe.
     
  6. cokalorum7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #6
    Thanks much to everyone who has offered advice so far.

    a couple questions in response:

    1) If i wanted to run a 30" & 24" Apple cinema screen together, what capture card(s) would I need?

    2) Are the 2.8 and 3.0 gHZ Mac Pros now being sold on the Apple online store all 8-core? Is this the standard configuration?

    3) Let me offer the disclaimer that I am not that technically savvy when it comes to the in/outs of storage and RAM;

    -That said, what is the difference between SAS and SATA drives?

    -Can someone post a link to a drive (750 gb - 1 TB) that is not too expensive but has worked very well (speed/dependability) for them in both a Raid array as well as a separate drive? There are just too many choices and I've had many drives fail on me in the past. So any specific advice would be greatly appreciated!

    -and any good advice as to the best raid setup for storage (3-4 tb's worth) for speed and stability, along with an external backup setup?

    Again thanks for your all your help - the amount of information available is too overwhelming and I don't know what to believe.
     

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