Final Cut Pro 3, the new iMac, and a bottle makes 3 tonight..


macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 14, 2001
Hey all,

Like many I am attempting to fully understand Apple's plans for the Pro line. It is obvious that the G5 is coming and soon. But I have some questions.

In May, I was ready to purchase the 733mhz Powermac (top of the line at the point) for $3499 plus a monitor. The new iMac is an 800mhz G4, I assume exactly the same cache, etc. I had intended the system for Final Cut Pro editing.

Now, I wound up building a 1.4 ghz Athlon system (I've been a windows user for years) and only started with macs in Oct. when I got an ibook 600 (love this thing!)

My issue is price. If i buy the iMac I get what I was going to buy last summer, but even a bit faster for a lot less. When the G5 comes out, it will effect Final Cut in the ability to render non realtime effects faster, right? But if I expand the iMac with a Firewire hard drive, won't it suit the FCP app just fine?? I just can't afford much more.

I'm curious about the true power of a g4 at 800mhz and what the experts think.

Thanks and I look forward to your insight.




macrumors 68040
Dec 29, 2001
Final Cut Pro works fine on my mates
G4 733 but he did buy a FW harddisk
and it works sweet
Get the new iMAC
I am when It comes out


macrumors 6502
Dec 25, 2001
you *might* have an issue with capturing through firewire to firewire, as I did with my 500 MHz Mac. Someone who knows for sure, please respond.


macrumors 68030

The G4 800 is more than perfect for Final Cut Pro... and at that price, its a real bargain.

I'm getting one.

About the firewire to firewire thing, im pretty sure that the 733 took care of that problem, so it should be fine.

Good luck!



macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2002
look at the big picture

ok i am a fcp user and premiere user,
this is the scoop.
although the imac will be ok (for a while) on fcp and premiere it will run into problems in these areas and you are out to save money right.
you truley do need to use two or more drives one for the program and another or more to capture the media to.
or you will run into fragmentation problems and big frewakin headaches.
also the bus is a biggy, 100mhtz still.
basically its a freakin older style laptop logic board with the ability to add a pc 100 chip. great machine all the same but look at the big picture.
you will need a second firewire hard drive to go with you imac around $300 or more as you will want a decent size and fast enough one then if you need another one ...... see what i mean.
tower mate do the tower thing you can add more drives on these and have no gliches.
i have my main drive partitioned into 2 one partition has all my stuff on it that i use every day the other has just the system and fcp and premiere and the programs that do the dvd stuff, i boot up of this partition when i do video , this way there are no conflicts with software ect.
i then capture to my other drives. i purchased a card for $69.00 and have five internal drives for capture and storadge.
you can get 100 gig internal drives for around $200.
i would just hate to see you run into problems and then hate what you have spent money on.
advice wait to see what happens with pro line and then either grab one or grab one of the reduced quicksilvers.


macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2001
In the shadow of the Space Needle.
$.02 follows:

If you're going to be doing pro work you'll need a pro setup. Tower, G5, DP G4...$$$$$$
If you just want to dork around and learn it and maybe do a couple smaller projects here and there, then the iMac is fine as long as you get a Firewire drive that uses the Oxford911 chipset and a 7200rpm drive.

Down the road there will be new abilities added to FCP and more newer power hungry apps that will only run well on the newest and latest, but by then the tower you buy today may also be too slow. What to do? If you're okay with the screen size (I can't work everyday on something that small), and you're okay with a new FW HD, then get the's a great machine and if new G5's come out and you absolutely have to have one, then you can probably sell off your imac for a decent price.


I do the majority of my video editing on a dual processor G4 but I recently annexed my (original) imac DVSE (G3 500 Mhz) for auxilliary work. It runs FCP 2.0 fine and with a 7200 rpm Oxford bridge firewire drive (available from Other World Computing), I've never had a single dropped frame problem. Mac-to-firewire drive capture has zilch to do with the internal processor and everything to do with the chipset and rotation speed found in the firewire drive itself.

I've personally been surprised at how good this little imac has been at running FCP. Oh, and how did I solve the small screen problem? Get this: do you remember those old television magnifier screens? Well, I found one in a thrift store (paid $1 for it) and mounted it in front of the imac! If you look at the screen straight-on it turns it into a 24" screen! Not the best solution but one that works ridiculously well.

Anyway, with the proper firewire drive in use, the new imac should run FCP just dandy - and then some. I know I plan to get one soon and, yes, I will definitely be running FCP on it as well.