Need a Video Editing Rig. I got some questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by seemars, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. seemars macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2007
    I need to buy a computer for video editing. I wont be doing any special effects or animation. I won't be editing any High Def video. I have never used a Mac so I have some questions to help me make the plunge on a Mac Pro. I need something to edit in Final Cut and that is all I need.

    A question about Mac laptops.
    Since OSX doesnt seem to make much use of more than 2 CPU cores, and the Macbook Pros have dual core, and their CPU speeds are almost as fast as the Mac Pro, I was wondering how the laptops compare to the desktops in video editing. They arent much more expensive, and seem to be almost as fast.

    The Mac Pro memory is expensive and it seems it is slower than DDR2. How can I justify that expense. Would the average user notice much difference between the two when video editing.

    Since Tiger isnt optimizing the cores in a Mac Pro Quad core, should i expext a significant bump in performace of my computer when I upgrade the software to Leopard?

    Is Penryn worth waiting for? I really want a computer now, and if the increases are marginal I dont see the point in waiting. What would have to be changed in the Mac Pro for them to introduce Penryn and how long do people think it will be after it shows up in PCs until it is in Apples. It seems to me like the Mac Laptops were pretty late getting Santa Rosas compares to the PC brands.

    The speed increases from G5s to a Mac Pro are impressive and if people think the speed increases from Mac Pros with Penryn will be equally impressive i think i will have to wait

    Looking at the minimum requirements for running Final cut Pro, it looks like the Mac Pro barely meets those minimums with the Spec model. Which also makes me think I need to wait till the CPU upgrade

    I have never used RAID so i am unfamiliar with what the performance increases feel like. I read that the Mac Pros need a raid card and that OSX does not support software RAID.
    Are RAID cards much slower? If I am editing an hour long documentary, and have big files being written into storage, how impressive will the performance increase be if i use a RAID configuration.

    Do Mac Pros work with eSATA drives?

    External disk arrays are expensive. They must really increase performance. Are they worth it for a beginner video editor?

    What is real time editing mean, and how much does a video card help to do it? Would the G7300 be enough?

    I read that the X1900 video card isnt all the great for video editing. Is there a reason I would want that card other than gaming? Can I upgrade the video card in the Mac Pro from the G7300 to a better Nvidia card on my own ? What other video cards are available besides the ones on apples site.

    I have also thought about getting a TV tuner so I can record some shows. I dont have cable so it would be hooked up to a Bunny Ear reciever. What do i need for that? I also thought about getting a High Def TV reciever. How would i get that signal into the computer.

    If theres is some kind of information i didnt provide just ask.
    Many Thanks in advance.
  2. Crawn2003 macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2005
    Santa Rosa, California

    I'm in the same boat as you. So I'll try to answer your questions to the best of my knowledge.

    OS X at the moment with Tiger doesn't do well with more than two cores which is true. The next major release of OS X in October, Leopard, will have WAY better control of cores which means if you get the 8-core beast right now it may not be optimized but when Leopard comes out, AMAZING performance.

    As for laptops, remember that laptops only have a limited amount of upgradeable options. This means that after two years that laptop isn't going to be as fast. My example is this, I upgrade my laptop every two-three years because it just doesn't hold up compared to my towers. I recently just traded in a PowerMac G4 Dual 800 that I've used for six years. That's 2-3X longer than my laptop. (I've gone through 4 laptops now, compared to just 1 tower) I think this is due to the fact that I can upgrade more on the tower than the laptop. As for the future with the Mac Pro I hope someday I can upgrade the processors and such since it is based on Intel hardware and not PPC.

    Also I've found a tower easier because I can have different sized monitors and I'm not limited to a built in one. I know I can have an external but that's only ONE external. With a tower I can have as many monitors as I want, any size that I want.

    One thing you'll always hear on this site is: "If you always want to wait for the next revision, you'll always be waiting for the next better thing." Don't wait if you need it now, or if you need it in the near future. What ever you get now you'll more than likely be happy with it in the future. There really is not a need to wait for the next best thing, especially if you need it now. Not to mention you might be looking up to an entire year from now before those Penryn chips find their way into the Mac Pros, etc.

    I've never used a RAID, but that is my personal preference. I'm sure someone else can touch on this subject. Why get external disk arrays? The Mac Pro has 4 slots to put in drives. That's well over 2 TBs of storage! Don't forget to that you can always back up projects on DVD or DVD-DL so you don't have to keep everything on the drives. Disk arrays are more for advanced editors that will need TONS of storage.

    The other reasons I can't comment on because I don't know for sure. I'm sure someone else can touch on them that knows more about it. Also remember that these are just my opinions and might differ from what you want/need in a system. I hope I could help though!

  3. seemars thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2007

    yeah im definitely not getting a laptop, it just seemed like since the dekstops havent been upgraded in a year the laptops right now are near the processor performance. But i know i need the extra room for storage

    and im not thinking about a disk array really, im just curious how much faster it is. i think the 4 internal drives will be enough

    Im thinking about getting the 2.66 cpu and put in 2 gigs of ram to start with and move up if its not enough for me. It looks like i might need 3 gigs to keep it peppy with large files.

    Probably going to have a 500 gigabyte boot disk for Apps, and store all my files on a three disk internal RAID5 even though I have no clue how to do RAID. Im hoping i will be able to figure it out online once i get the drives.
  4. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    "I wont be doing any special effects or animation. I won't be editing any High Def video"

    If you're just planning on using FCP, then you don't really need a MP. You could edit on an iMac if you wanted.

    Render times on a MBP would be roughly 2 times longer than a high end MP. (Please don't flame, this is just my experience)

    The X1900 XT is a great card. That's the one for your current and future needs.

    Yes, you need an external drive. If you go with the Mac Pro, you can just use an internal THAT IS NOT YOUR BOOT DRIVE. You've got 4 slots, get big drives. Pointless to buy little ones.

    RAID is just a way hard drives are configured to store data.

    eSata will plug in through your PCIe ports (most likely 2). Great option for data transfer, but based on what your needs are, FW400 would be fine.

    If you're just starting out, you won't need an array unless you have many projects going on at the same time.

    It sounds like you've got a decent budget to work with. If that's the case, do more research before purchasing a computer. If you're going to be working on editing, you'll probably start on other programs as well, Motion, After Effects, etc. Take that into account as well.

    If you're editing, you might want to consider a video camera as well. Audio is as important as video. Remember that.

    High Def will soon be the standard. No point in only editing DV. Not much of a difference on the editing side, really.

    Oh, and don't get a Macbook. MBP at the minimum.

    If this is a one time project, just use iMovie & iDVD.

    If you get a Mac Pro, get the 2-quads. it'll be worth it. HUGE diff from 2-duals.

    Good luck.

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