Building editor from used Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by chasfred, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. chasfred macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2014
    I'd like to build a decent video editor with USB 3 connectivity without paying retail. I'm told I need to be careful that the USB 3 card is compatible with the operating system's driver (hope I got that right). Currently editing on 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro with 8GB of 1067 MHz DDR3 ram; want to create something faster in a tower (probably '09 and later), and add USB 3 connectivity without paying retail (oh, that apple name). On a related issue, presently am clinging desperately to 10.6.8 Snow Leopard because it's more stable and if I upgrade i have to bid farewell to my Final Cut 6/Studio 2, because I'm told it will not run on Lion or Mountain Lion. Sigh. Knowing which video card is best would help as well, though I may settle for whatever it comes with if I can get the rest right. Your thoughts, those of you with greater tech wisdom than myself (which might be just about anybody on this forum), greatly appreciated.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Just to be clear and prevent guesses: You want recommendations what Mac Pro to get to edit with FCS 2, thus Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and what USB 3.0 PCIe card to get to have good USB 3.0 experience.
    You do not want to built your own Hackintosh.

    If that is it, what kind of budget are we talking about? Also know, that FCP 6 does not really take advantage of GPUs.

    And since you are new, I can recommend using Advanced Search and MRoogle to find answers while you wait.
  3. chasfred thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2014
    Hackintosh maybe. I've been inside my MacBook Pro to replace hard-drive and clean trackpad (it was purchased used). Feel competent swapping components, as long as I've done my homework. Weighing my options here: 1st choice, stick with FS6/OS10.6.8; some of the USB3 cards work back that far, right? but which (CalDigit?). And there is limitation on which machines of what vintage will accept USB3, right? Not sure what GPU means, please enlighten (something to do with the USB3 architecture?).
  4. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
    CalDigit FASTA-6GU3 appears to support 10.5 onwards, check website for drivers.

    GPU refers to the graphics card; if you're getting a second-hand or refurb unit I'd use the card that comes with it if you *have* to stick with 10.6.8 and Final Cut Pro 6, otherwise just upgrade to Mavericks for free, get FCPX which is much, much better and very cheap for what it is, and slap something like a Nvidia 760 or a 680 or a AMD Radeon 7950.
  5. chasfred thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2014
    Of the three cards you mentioned, the Nvidia 760, 680, or AMD Radeon 7950, a preference? (I'm guessing the 760)
    I know FC X is cheap but then I'd have to spring for all the peripheral programs, which ups it a bit. I take it you feel it's easier/faster, better performance, both? that justifies the upgrade...


    and back to the original question: thoughts on what I'd be looking for in a Mac. Have not kept up with the quad core, dual quad core, quad core 2 etc. etc. GHz processor speed v. other considerations (cache? speed of vram?, quant. of vram?). Any help appreciated.
  6. MacPoulet macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2012
    Just an FYI, I'm running Final Cut Studio 2 on my 2006 Mac Pro which has 10.7.5 on it.

    I did a clean install on 10.6 first, made sure Rosetta was installed for some legacy programs and then upgraded to lion. Seems to work alright, but 10.6.8 was more stable.

    The Mac public beta for lightworks comes out June 11. It's a good price point and might be interesting to try out.
  7. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    I am also using Snow Leopard though sometimes I also use Mountain Lion. No plans on migrating to Mavericks for now. Mountain Lion is fine. I am using Inateck USB 3.0, 4 port card, giving you the lowest price value plus good performance but you have to be in Mountain Lion. For Snow Leopard, I have been using Caldigit or Highpoint RocketU or Newertech USB 3.0/eSata combo. All works fine.
  8. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
    I'd personally go for the mac version of the EVGA 680 GTX or the Sapphire 7950, but of these have EFI out of the box and work as you'd expect them to. The 760 is obviously newer, and stays within the power limitations imposed by the Mac Pro (debated at length here,) but is slower than the 680, although cheaper. Since there isn't a Mac version, there's be no boot screen, it would only start displaying at the log-in window, unless you flashed it. It's also important to point out that none of these cards will work if you choose to go the Snow Leopard route, drivers were never written for these cards by either Apple, AMD or Nvidia, just worth pointing out.

    FCPX leverages much more of your computer; it's 64bit so can access more of your system memory, instantly works to render out your projects, and can leverage your graphics card with OpenCL (AMD cards only).

    I understand you like Final Cut 6 (I used to be a FCP7 man myself) and the way of working does change quite a bit in the jump to X, but into opinion having projects complete much faster is worth re-learning the interface for 30 minutes.

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