MacPro Setup - Rendering Goliath

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by matteusclement, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #1
    I started video ages ago but the monumental moment was the switch to mac.
    I started with a 20" Al. iMac with 4 gigs of ram. Started off okay as I was still doing standard definition. Then I went hi-def and I fall asleep during rendering times. It's time to go pro.

    I will be getting a 8 core 2.8ghz mac pro with 32 gigs ram and 512 video card.
    What I am asking you guys is what hard drive set up (Solid state and Normal Hard drive) will help accelerate the rendering time?

    Here's what I think:
    (P.s - I avoid raid only cause i am unfamiliar, please try to win me over)

    Drive 1: SSD 80gig
    used for OS & Apps

    Drive 2: SSD 250gig
    Used for CURRENT project of the week. Used to read info.

    Drive 3: 10k RPM drive 500-1000gig
    Scratch Disk for writting/rendering projects

    Drive 4: Storage

    What you think?
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    Rendering is CPU intensive. Rendering w/Motion and Color is GPU intensive. 32gigs of RAM won't speed renders inside FCP up as FCP can only access a few gigs of RAM. Which GFX card are you getting and what video formats are you working with?


    Lethal
     
  3. -DH macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville Tennessee
    #3
    I agree with LethalWolfe. You're plans are way over the top and you won't see much benefit from those drives and all that RAM. Also, as LethalWolfe implied, the type/flavor of HD you work with can have a huge impact on what your setup should consist of.

    -DH
     
  4. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #4
    Camcorder

    I use a Canon HV30, FCP 5.1, capture with the apple intermediate codec (btw, should I capture with another hi-res codec?)
    I was planning on getting the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB, is there a better choice?

    Sorry, please keep in mind that I also will be running shake, quake, PS3, and Logic at other time and possibly even the same time.

    thanks!
     
  5. -DH macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville Tennessee
    #5
    The ATI HD3870 has been highly recommended as a replacement for the stock video card. Consider at least 1gb of RAM per core. If that isn't enough to run the programs you want, you can always add more later.

    Use some of the money you save on RAM and SS hard drives for upgrading to FCS 2. Internal SATA drives will handle HDV, AIC and Prores just fine.
    -DH
     
  6. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #6
    reply

    so get the most basic card when ordering and replace it with that card?
    and just get a few 10k drives then?
     
  7. -DH macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville Tennessee
    #7
    Yes.


    7200rpm drives will handle the format you're working with very well.

    -DH
     
  8. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #8
    bottom line

    I need more cores than anything then?

    btw, why THAT video card?

    yet, I should still have multiple drive as to keep the OS away from the scratch disk.
     
  9. -DH macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville Tennessee
    #9
    All MacPros now come with 8 cores. Most rendering in FCE/FCP is more dependent on processor speed than anything else. The exception being the FXPlug type filters - they rely on the GPU (graphics card) power.

    It's been getting the best reviews from real editors. Nothing but high marks!

    Of course. Keep ALL media (video, images, audio, etc) on a drive other than the boot drive. Load up the MacPro with 3 aftermarket 1tb or 1.5tb drives. I keep one for media, one for renders and one for exports. And a couple of external Firewire drives for backups.

    -DH
     
  10. tri3limited macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #10
    Buy your RAM from Crucial or Newegg as it's ridiculously cheaper!
     
  11. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #11
    lucky

    There seems to be a provider in town that provides RAM at the same price as crucial, with out the border tax (canada) or wait time.
    I THINK that they just buy RAM from crucial in bulk.

    It's just down the road too!
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    Are you capturing via FW or are you using a capture card? If you had FCP 6 you'd have more options but now might not be the best time to upgrade since, if Apple keeps to their traditional product cycle, a new version of FCP could be announced in April.

    Do not get the 8800GT. The NVIDIA drivers aren't very good when it comes to the ProApps. Stick w/ATI cards. The older x1900xt and the stock 2600xt will both out perform the 8800GT when it comes to FCP, Motion, etc,. The 8800 will be better for gaming though. And don't get two video cards as it upsets some of the ProApps.

    As far as RAM goes, make sure you get RAM certified to work w/the Mac Pros. Apple's computers have tighter tolerances w/regards to RAM than typical PCs and uncertified RAM will cause random problems that will drive you insane trying to trouble shoot.

    If you are concerned about render times I'd upgrade to the faster CPUs.

    What sort of monitoring solution are you working with?


    Lethal
     
  13. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #13
    monitoring solution

    i have no idea what you mean by monitoring solution.

    The FCP 6 is supposed to have a better rendering process but I don't quite understand how. Something about multiple formats but I use mainly one format all the way through. it's overlays and effects that kill me. Isn't FC 6 the newest? Like... JUST released?

    I capture with FW.

    As far as the RAM, this is certified to work. thanks for the warning though.
     
  14. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #14
    By monitoring solution I mean like using a video I/O card (something made by AJA, Blackmagic, etc.,) to send a video signal to a broadcast quality monitor so you have an accurate idea of what your footage looks like. The Canvas window in FCP only shows a proxy of the image and computer monitors & gfx cards aren't designed to properly playback video.

    FCP 6 is nearly two years old and has some worthwhile improvements over 5 (as well as some great new additions to the suite in general), but being so close to the possible announcement of Final Cut Studio 3 makes now not the best time to upgrade unless you really need to.


    Lethal
     
  15. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #15
    iMac, that's about it

    Not monitoring system.
    I just use a 20" aluminum iMac.

    I think by the sounds of it that I should "tough it out" until summer when the new CPU's are coming out and the new FC studio will be too.
    But it still sucks wasting all that time on rendering/waiting.

    Btw, thank you a tonne DH & Lethal, I probably would have spent a mint on gear I really didn't need at this point in time.

    if it helps at all this is what I have made so far:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/matteusvstheworld
    (formal and not so formal)

    I shall wait for new gear and move onto the audio stuff next......
     

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