DV editing: G5 over P4?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by sockdoggy, Jul 5, 2003.

  1. sockdoggy macrumors regular

    Jan 21, 2002
    I'm trying to convince my school into getting a G5 over a dell 3GHz P4. What are the advantages the Mac has over the dell for DV editing? (Hardware and software wise.)

    Price has to be comparable with the dell, so it would probably be the 1.6 G5.
  2. XnavxeMiyyep macrumors 65816


    Mar 27, 2003
    Try to get the 1.8 GHz, only $400 more for twice the RAM maximum, and more speed.
    faster system bus (not sure about the 800 MHz bus one, may be equal)
    Superdrive (dunno if Dell has one)
    Probably faster (Dual 2 GHz definitely faster)
    Better for multitasking

    Final Cut
    OS X (works better, can't crash)
  3. G5orbust macrumors 65816


    Jun 14, 2002
    G5: well, the G5 will be better equipped to handle video editing right out of box. The G5 has iMovie and iDVD- two great products. Also, the G5 would have a DVD-R/RW drive, which is more compatable for set top DVD drives. The G5 has betetr options for low and middle budget- though high end- editing software. Final Cut Pro 4, as we all know, just makes PC editing programs look like a panzy. Only Adobe Premiere comes close, and that isnt even really that good. Also, though untested, the G5 probably has better encoding times than the Dell, especially with the optimized iMovie or Final Cut running.

    Dell: The Dell comes with some crappy Pinnacle lite program and some Sonic DVD burning app with a ton less power than iMovie and iDVD and with a ton less integration between them. The Dell also would come with a DVD+R/RW drive, a risky thing to get if you want to play your disks in a set top (some play it, some dont) The Dell, though it has the fastest availible Intel chip, probably doesnt have faster encoding times than the G5 and the programs availble for editing are either 50000$ or 100$. The only quality, mid-range video editing program is Adobe Premiere. DVD burning is probably the least of your PC concerns, as you probably only need to make simple menus and burn it. Nothing super complex needed in that area.

    My recommendation: G5

    Even at 1.8 Ghz on single proc, it would probably be on par with the Dell in price and speed. Knock up the RAM a ton and you have yourself a kick arse video editing machine- complete with a Geforce Fx 5200 (no Radeon 9700, but this is not a gaming rig, so who cares). Just add you choice of monitor and be happy :)
  4. tazo macrumors 68040


    Apr 6, 2003
    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    can the dell handle 4 gigs of ram? or 8 gigs?

    I doubt it. It is my understanding that the more ram you have in a video editing machine the easier and faster it is to edit. Having said that, the programs for Mac are also much cheaper and more efficient then their PC counterparts.

    go mac.
  5. G5orbust macrumors 65816


    Jun 14, 2002
    youre right. If possible, you could hold a large portion of your compressed, but raw dv footage in the RAM. (dv tape holds 11GB compressed) Wouldnt that be awesome? Encoding from a source that almost instantaniously feeds data. Wow, sheer brillience.
  6. GigaWire macrumors 6502

    Dec 25, 2001
    FCP 4 is a major plus for the G5, but does not compete with Premiere, it's angled at DV xpress Pro by Avid. The only problem is that DV xpress Pro is expensive alone, plus if you add the standalone accelerator (Mojo) to it, then you're looking to add significantly to your costs. Since the computer will be for a number of users, by far your best bet will be the G5 as not only can you run FCp 4 on it, but you also have a solid beginner oriented software package in iMovie, which isn't to say that it alone would not sufficiently meet your DV needs in a high school. Finally, it has been my experience, over and over again, that working with video on a Mac is far more stable than on a PC.

    With FCP 4, you have an amazing software package at a great price, on a solid platform. Not the same with DV xpress Pro.
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    kinda right. FCP is aimed at Avid. Period. FCP is completely resolution independent which means it can do everything from DV to Hi-Def. And this makes it an increbilby flexible program sense it can "grow" as your needs grow.

    your understanding is kinda right. ;) Having more RAM will not help you out speed wise unless you just don't have enough RAM to run the editing program properly. A faster proc will lower your render times and suffciently fast HDDs will help make sure you don't drop frames, but more RAM will just give the flexibility to run more programs at once w/o the system bogging down. The exception to what I just said is FCP 4 which is supposed to use all parts of the system (GFX card, HDDs, RAM, and Prco) together to expand the RT abilities of FCP. Sense FCP 4 is still so new I haven't found an all inclusive review about it so whether or not RT Extreme lives up to it's hype is yet to be determind.

    I fail to see the advantage of holding a small amount of DV video in RAM? Current 7200PRM P-ATA HDDs are more than fast enough handle the data rate of DV. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding you point?

  8. daveg5 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 28, 2001
    os and software

    hardwarewise is not as important as software.
    and software is where the mac has the clear advantage.
    if speed and ram limit is important to you then there will always be something faster in 3 months.
    i would even choose the dual 1.25 with superdrive over the dell even though it would be slower at many things then the p4 and single G5's, but probably faster a mp aware apps. and dont forget the price of 1GB chips.
    software and eas of use should be first consideration, then expansion, then speed and ram,
    take the crew to the apple store when they have a demonstration of idvd,imovie and the amazing final cut/express and logic 6 and soundtrack.
    let the hardware be second to the software and show them some of the work done by others on the mac.
  9. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    Re: DV editing: G5 over P4?

    Plus, schools can get an education discount. Just got to the Apple Online Store, and click on education. Then choose your school. Hardware and software are much cheaper.

    Don't let them get a Dell for DV. I know from experiance. We could never burn DVDs right from our new Dells at work. You can edit with a PC, but it's a pain, even if it is a little faster (debatable). Do a net search, show the person responsible some good examples.

    What school, and how much can they spend?
  10. benixau macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    4 Gigs - no way - be lucky to get three in there. The PC will not hold as much RAM as a G5 for some time to come. The G5 is 64bit. That is why the RAM is limited to 4TB.

    TB = 1 024GB
    GB = 1 024MB

    TB = 1 048 580MB
  11. Schiffi macrumors 6502a


    May 22, 2003
    Having used the PC for DV editing I must say that the Mac is definetly better. With all the PC machines I've never been able to render in Premiere while doing other tasks. However, in even my single processor G4 I can render, surf the net and chat. Just if you get a Mac, make sure you get an external drive. Internal Mac drives have been slower compared to their PC counterparts and you wouldn't want to slow down your internal with video data. I suggest an ADS drive kit (www.adstech.com) that way you could always upgrade your HD space.
  12. P-Worm macrumors 68020


    Jul 16, 2002
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Re: os and software

    I agree, the software is what counts and there is nothing that even comes close to competeing with Final Cut Pro or iMovie in their respective price ranges. But I disagree with going witht the Dual 1.25, the G4s have massive bottlenecks and the G5 improves this emensely. You want all of the processor time to go to the video program and the G5 will allow you to do this. The Dual 2Ghz would be sweet, you might be able to convince them that it will last a lot longer than any other computer you can currently buy for that price. It might actually save you money in the long run (and I think it will).

    Like what has already been said before, RAM is very important, because although hard drives are fast, they're not RAM fast.

    Any G5 is going to womp that P4 in video simply because of the software. You would be doing your school a huge favor by convincing them to get a Mac.

  13. daveg5 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 28, 2001
    Re: Re: os and software

    i only sugested the dual g4, if there are budjet limits.

    remember if software is written for dual processors like quake3 you will see that the p4 is only 20-30% faster then the bus limited g4's, if it is not the P4 is twice as fast and since most apple apps and macosx are MPaware,the G4's are viable candidates as a second choice to the G5.

    in fact everything video done on the macs recently has been done on a g4.

    it might even be faster at somethings then the single G5's, like it is at somethings against the P4.

    again this is a good second choice to the superior G5, not a first choice, and it should give you a few years if and only if you cant afford the G5.
  14. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    i would also make sure you tell them about apple winning the first ever technical grammy, for firewire and final cut pro. also mention its the number 1 video editing software being shipped. i would also get in contact with video editing houses in your area that use final cut pro and maybe get some info from them. being a salesman, basically you have to know what your talking about and apply to that the pc to make it sound crappy. say what the mac can do, then how the pc cant do it, or how it wont benefit the students. just dont go in there and say macs rule and pc' suck. sound smart, even if your not :)

  15. hsilver macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    New York
    As someone in the forum said, there's always going to be a faster computer in 6 months so trying to get the fastest computer will just be frustrating. The software is the important thing especially in a learning environment. On a Mac you can use Final Cut Pro or the AVID DV editing program -whatever they call it now. There is only AVID on Windows. They are playing a constant game of catch-up with each other but Final Cut is the program that is innovating and always scaleable for whatever format.

    In the industry AVID still has the lead in number of systems and qualified users in use but Final Cut is leading among independent film / video makers. There is a resistance to change both because of the investment in equipment in place and just plain fear of new technology. High school and college students don't have that fear.

    In the nineties, I gave AVID training in a program in New York to most of the editors in the Editor's Union here. You never saw so much fear in a room! The fear was both of AVID but also just of computers.

    Some big editors had heard about another system, Lightworks, and were resisting AVID because they heard Lightworks was more 'film-like'. Well, Lightworks lasted another 2 years and there are still maybe 2 editors out there in LA using it but no one takes it seriously. One of its big drawbacks -being on a Windows platform.

    Premiere just released a major upgrade -for Windows only. No one who makes a living working in film or TV takes Premiere seriously and probably never will.

    I've used both AVID and Final Cut and prefer Final Cut. It is very powerful and very well geared to my way of work.

    AVID can still do some things Final Cut can't -like multiple camera handling -but that's only the expensive AVIDs not the DV one that competes with Final Cut.
  16. dannyp macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2003
    good well informed points hsilver.

    For DV editing you want either FCP or Avid DV.

    The one benefit of using AVID DV over FCP (each program has individual pros) is the in the professional market avid is still king.

    If the concern is just DV editing then either choice is fine.
    Integration with the DVD SP will make the whole DV experience friendlier

    But if this is a learning experience as a stepping stone in to the professional world, learning the AVID workflow is very important, even more so than ease of use.
    having experience in using an AVID DV will let you be able to sit down on any avid system and know how the basics of the program and its workflow that you cant just fake. this is important for anyone who will be trying to get a job in this field.

    FCP is a great product, but unless you are working on ind. films, AVID is still holding on as the editing platform for professionals.
    This is changing, but very slowly

  17. sockdoggy thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 21, 2002
    Thanks for all your help guys. Few more questions:

    Do you think FCP express would better suit a high school than FCP?

    What is a "set top dvd player?"

    What advantages does a 64 bit processor have over a 32 bit processor for DV editing?

    What are some disadvantages of the dell machine?
  18. StarmanDeluxe macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2003
    San Diego
    FCP4 beats the pants of FCE. Besides, FCP4 for schools is only $400 (might be $300, I don't really remember). FCE is FCP3 with some mostly unnecessary stuff removed (except that you can't set in and out points while logging and capturing, which isn't so bad if you learn it with capture now anyway). FCP4 has some super-awesome new features. I've worked with DV editing on the high school, middle school, and commercial levels, and FCP4 is the best thing I've seen yet.
  19. daveg5 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 28, 2001
    dell who?

    set top dvd box = a dvd player that you hook up to your tv $50 and up
    some have progessive scan, mp3, vcd playback, componet out, many say when teamed up with a good display gives superior quality then dvd players in computers.
    just set this box on your tv and play.

    dell equals microsoft

    =xp=bill gates
    although the dell is good yes pcs arenot as bad as we mac zealots let on
    i do believe the software/hardware by one company advantage of the powermac overshines it with better integration.
  20. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles

    I don't think that is very relevant and, IMO, shouldn't be used as a decision maker. Knowing the Avid workflow is a bonus but it's not that important (and not very hard to get the basics down IMO). Avid and FCP have similar work flows so it's not difficult at all the pick up one if you know the other. It's not like they would be coming from Premiere or Vegas (which have very different work flows and interfaces) and then trying to hop onto an Avid or FCP. And FCP has much, much deeper penetration in the pro market than just indie films or people who just can't afford an Avid. Avids are being replaced by FCP rigs, IMO, at a fairly quick pace and I can only imagine what the editing landscape will look like in a few more years.

    Also, when they get their first job it's almost a given that they won't even touch an NLE in the day to day work as a PA, runner and/or tape vault/dub room person. When their work calls for them to first use an NLE (probably to log/capture footage) they'll get trained on how to do it. Even if they know Avid they'll still have to get trained in regards to organizational workflow (put X clips here and Y clips there use these settings on this, use those settings on that, ect.,). I knew Avid, AE and PS coming outta school but that didn't help me a whole lot at my first job which involved routing decks (Beta, DigiBeta, 3/4", 1/2", 1", DAT...), making dubs and some, *gasp* linear editing. Now, my software knowledge probably woulda moved me outta the dubroom faster than average (assuming I stayed w/that company), but even if I didn't know anything about Avid or AE I woulda had plently of time to learn the programs after hours before I woulda even been considered for a promotion.

    So, the point of my whole rant is that knowing how to use an Avid is definetly a bonus, but it won't get you a job right out of school and not knowing Avid won't cost you a jog right out of school. And if you get a job w/a place that has Avids you'll have plent of after hours time to learn how to use it before your boss would even consider moving you up to a position where you would need to know how to use an Avid (did that make sense?).

    Well,,, I guess that's all for this rant. ;)

  21. Rezet macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2003
    Connecticut, United States of America
    Tazo, have you been smoking something really?
    No school will ever install like 8 gig of memory into a computer anyways, nor will they install even 4gigs. 512mbs-1gb is top for schools. So that is not an advantage by far.
    And software is cheaper for mac? That really starts to crack me up. And not in all cases mac program are more efficient. I can tell you that 3Ghz P4 with Adobe Premier very likely will beat a mac that is 1.8Ghz and even possibly Dual at most tasks.
    And don't forget, now schools often go mainstream, trying to consider that people will more likely to use pc in the future. 90's are gone, democrats are gone, government doesn't influence the decision as much these days.

  22. Steradian macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2002
    San Jose
    We are still alive thanks much, and what does it matter if 90 percent of the market use windows...I don't see why they can't have Macs...I would reccomend a Dual 2 Ghz Comp, it will do well to take down that Dell. It is also possible that because it is a school that they may already have Macs, and it will be easy to use old software on the new beast.
    maybe it should ;)
  23. Flowbee macrumors 68030


    Dec 27, 2002
    Alameda, CA
    Not if they're going to become video editors. :p
  24. Mr. Peach macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2003
    I agree that FCP is a great editing program, and will be a force to reckoned with. I still stand by an avid anyday. For the money, especially the AVID DV EXpress. (which has the color correction power from the AVID symphony). I've directed or produced over 25 television shows in Hollywood and have never seen any professional editor use FCP to cut the show. (ever). I agree and have seen editors in the indie world cut beautiful movies with ease using FCP, but it's rare & growing. If you want to be a professional editor, learn the AVID. If you want to keep up with the changing times, learn the avid & FCP. Eventualy they will be even. Good luck to you.
  25. ColoJohnBoy macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    Welcome to MacRumors Mr. Peach!

    Just out of curiosity, which television programs have you produced?

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