Final Cut Studio Upgrade Help

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Nickwell24, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. Nickwell24 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    #1
    Okay, so I finally took the plunge to get Final Cut Studio. I've been working off express for awhile now, but needed Motion and Soundtrack. I have a few things I'm looking to get to help the system work better:

    1) External Hard Drive for Scratch Disc

    Can't decide between a USB 2.0 and FW800 HD, Money is an issue so i'm curious if you all have tried using a usb 2.0 as a scratch disc.

    2) Additional 4GB RAM to help run motion

    Which route will I see a better improvement on initially? I don't have money for both upgrades. The projects I create are normally just 2-5 minute HD product overviews, nothing too intensive.

    Currently my system is the iMac 27" Quad-Core i5 2.66, 4GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive.
     
  2. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #2
    Final Cut Pro is still 32-bit, so I do not think you will find much benefit from an additional 4GB of RAM.

    I have always preferred Firewire 800 drives for speed, reliability, and they tend to be built better. But I think to properly answer your USB2 vs FW800 question, we need to know what kind of video you're working with, in terms of resolution and codecs.
     
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #3
    I'd avoid using USB 2.0 drives as scratch disks. First, USB 2.0 can't sustain the same level of bandwidth as a FireWire interface can. Second, more often than not, USB 2.0 drives use slower 5,400-rpm disks. They're fine for backups and data storage, but you really need a faster drive for editing, especially at HD frame sizes. Otherwise, you risk dropping frames.

    A RAM upgrade would speed things up a bit while multitasking FCP and Motion, but also realize that they're both still 32-bit applications and won't use more than 4GB of RAM running by themselves. But one area where additional RAM will help a lot is when encoding with Apple Compressor, using a virtual cluster in QMaster. 2GB per CPU core for the rendering job is the sweet spot in that case.
     
  4. Nickwell24 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    #4
    Thanks for the feedback, it definitely sounds like the HD is the area I should visit first. Any suggestions as to what is a fw800 drive that works well? I've been searching amazon and found LaCie and Iomega are both decent brands.

    Any other recommendations?
     
  5. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #5
    As far as turnkey FW drives go, I like G-Tech a lot. This is their single-disk model.

    But lately, I prefer building my own external FW drives because I get to choose what disk(s) go inside of the enclosure. You can get an enclosure like this OWC and add any SATA hard drive to it.
     

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