iMac 20'' HD 2400XT can't handle FCP! (and other impressions...)

superspiffy

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 6, 2007
736
0
So I was at the Apple Store today for 1.5 hrs playing with the new iMac and iLife toys. I can say for sure that with the 20'' base model with 128mb HD 2400 XT cannot handle FCP! Video playback is far from smooth with lots of freezing and stuttering. I was shocked as to why Apple would even install FCS on a machine if it can't handle it. I even rebooted and closed unecessary apps but FCP made no improvement. I pointed out the problem to an Apple employee and he told me it "might be because of the low 128mb VRAM" So I played with another 20'' with the HD 2600 XT and FCP worked flawlessly.

My other impressions:
-Upon seeing the pics of the new iMac upon release, at first impulse I was like "ugh! why black bezel? why?" Seeing it in person, like many have already said, might change your mind. I actually really like it now. The combo of black and aluminum ain't bad at all for a more sophisticated look.

-The keyboard is both aesthetically and functionally awesome. Typing requires less force on it than it does on my old-style Apple external kb.

-I don't know why many of you keep whinning about how the white on the kb doesn't match the new iMac. I don't think it's as bad as some have made it. The mouse is white with the keyboard so those match perfectly. Plus I think Apple wanted the new kb to be compatible with the white iMacs (incase people want to upgrade their kbs) thus choosing white and silver to match both models.

-The heartbreaker is that (*gulp*) the glossy screen really is reflective. I didn't understand what the big deal was about glossy until I saw it in person. The display, be it the LCD itself or the glass, makes everything reflect. I could see the shape of my head along with who's behind me. (perfect if you're the paranoid type) Though I imagine I could learn to block it out and I actually didn't mind it that much. But I can understand how it might be unacceptable to others.

Despite everything, I love the new iMac and f I was going to buy one, I'll really be tempted to buy the midrange 24''. And if I had more money to burn, then the 2.8ghz variant. But being a college student, I can still feel the really huge hole in my pocket blasted by my beloved MBP four months ago.
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,366
119
Los Angeles
So I was at the Apple Store today for 1.5 hrs playing with the new iMac and iLife toys. I can say for sure that with the 20'' base model with 128mb HD 2400 XT cannot handle FCP! Video playback is far from smooth with lots of freezing and stuttering. I was shocked as to why Apple would even install FCS on a machine if it can't handle it. I even rebooted and closed unecessary apps but FCP made no improvement. I pointed out the problem to an Apple employee and he told me it "might be because of the low 128mb VRAM" So I played with another 20'' with the HD 2600 XT and FCP worked flawlessly.
The computer most likely had some incorrect settings on it. The "out in the open" machines are not trust worthy representations of actual performance especially w/an app like FCP where it's very easy to mess w/the settings and bring performance to a crawl. Assuming I had fast enough storage I could playback high quality HD clips in FCP on my 5yr old G4 w/o a hitch.


Lethal
 

ViperDesign

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2007
649
505
Utah
Everyone says that in the stores it is reflective, but ask the people who got it home how "bad" it is....I think the numbers will speak for themselves.
 

oduinnin

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2007
139
0
Planet Earth
Doesn't FCP work on even the basic Intel Graphics? I thought it had the same specs as FCE...
Here is the official Apple minimum Configuration:
Minimum system requirements to install all Final Cut Studio applications

• A Macintosh computer with a 1.25GHz or faster PowerPC G4, PowerPC G5, Intel Core Duo, or Intel Xeon processor.
• 1GB of RAM
• An AGP or PCI Express Quartz Extreme graphics card (Final Cut Studio is not compatible with integrated Intel graphics processors)
• A display with 1024-by-768 resolution or higher
• Mac OS X v10.4.9 or later
• QuickTime 7.1.6 or later
• A DVD drive for installation
Recommended Configurations

The following are recommended for all applications:

• 2GB of RAM when working with compressed HD and uncompressed SD sources
• 4GB of RAM when working with uncompressed HD sources
Notice it doesn't say anything about video memory, just minimum resolution. Based on this, I could run this on my aging G4 Digital Audio Tower since I've upgraded the processor to 1.4GHz. :rolleyes:
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,366
119
Los Angeles
Here is the official Apple minimum Configuration:


Notice it doesn't say anything about video memory, just minimum resolution. Based on this, I could run this on my aging G4 Digital Audio Tower since I've upgraded the processor to 1.4GHz. :rolleyes:
Actually the line "AGP or PCI Express Quartz Extreme" address the base video card requirements. The only apps that really utilize the video card though are Motion and Color (which both have required/recommend gfx cards mentioned). I have FCS1 on my dual 1ghz G4 Quicksilver and besides Motion it runs everything fine (obviously renders/exports are slow).


Lethal
 

slffl

macrumors 65816
Mar 5, 2003
1,308
4
Seattle, WA
What made you think it was the video card that couldn't handle it? Because of all the complainers on this forum?

Sounds like not enough RAM to me. You should also reboot a store Mac before 'testing' it out.
 

OTA

macrumors newbie
Aug 7, 2007
12
0
So I was at the Apple Store today for 1.5 hrs playing with the new iMac and iLife toys. I can say for sure that with the 20'' base model with 128mb HD 2400 XT cannot handle FCP! Video playback is far from smooth with lots of freezing and stuttering. I was shocked as to why Apple would even install FCS on a machine if it can't handle it. I even rebooted and closed unecessary apps but FCP made no improvement. I pointed out the problem to an Apple employee and he told me it "might be because of the low 128mb VRAM"
And about 2 gigas, 3 or 4 gigas of ram, upgrade!??!

I think that this is gonna smooth playbacks:)
 

reallybigafro

macrumors member
Nov 27, 2005
50
0
Very interesting...I am considering the baseline 20" and use final cut on the regular, so this is very interesting. Hopefully I can get to an apple store today and check it all out. Thanks for your post OP.
 

CmdrLaForge

macrumors 601
Feb 26, 2003
4,381
2,452
around the world
That's crap. I used FCP on my iBook G4 and on my iMac G5. Worked on both - on the G5 just fine.

Question would be what video material you did through at the machine. If it is 1080i HD I am not wondering. I depends on the video format.