Need advice on Video software for my 2.66GHz Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mloan, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. mloan, Jun 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013

    mloan macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2013
    I have a 2006 MacPro 2.66 QUAD with these specs:

    13 GiGS of RAM
    256 GB SSD drive
    5770 graphics card
    10.6 operating software

    I already have FCP7 on the box but my nephew wants to use the computer to do some video editing and work.

    Here are my questions. I looked for answers but could not find anything specific.

    1. What video editing software do you all recommend?

    2. What would you buy if you were me?

    3. Should I get more RAM for the machine too?

    4. Should I install another hard drive?

    5. Should I upgrade to Lion 10.7?

    I am not a computer expert.

    Thanks ...
  2. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    I just had a similar discussion with a friend asking for advice, I'll just paste my comments to him.

  3. mloan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2013
    Thank you for the tips. My computer is old but I have it loaded with the SSD drive, the RAM and the video card. Is it now fast enough to be usable with simple video editing? Do you think I need to get a bigger 7200 RPM hard drive?
  4. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    Just fine for up to 1080p Prores work. Definitely want a large fast hard drive for your video. If you have the room in your machine, get a pair of large drives and put them RAID0 for a fast scratch disk, make sure you always keep your footage backed up though. The basic rule is, if it doesn't exist in two (or three) places, it doesn't exist at all.

    10.6.8 is the most stable OSX release if you as me. Don't really need anything more than that, especially on that machine. I had the same machine as you for years with 16GB of ram. Last year I upgraded my processors and recently bumped my RAM to 32GB, though I do a lot of After Effects and editing RED.
  5. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    I think this is a perfect case for going BootCamp and SpeedEdit. It has an excellent feature set but it's main strength is speed even on older hardware. It of course screams in a newer system but for the 2006 machine this is what I would recommend. Speed will be at a premium.
  6. DJenkins macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Cheapest solution would be to get just one large HDD and stick with Final Cut 7. As long as you are just using ProRes422 footage, one HDD will keep up. Your ram will be sufficient and your existing SSD is a great thing to have already.

    So you can stop there and be happy, or read on while I poison your mind with ideas that will cost you more money :p

    Yes FCP 7 is still used by many many professional studios but it really is outdated and will not use the processing power of your machine to its full potential.

    Stepping up in price you can go with a 2 or 3 disk RAID0 for speed as suggested, and switch to Adobe Premiere CS6. It's very easy to get used to if you're coming from Final Cut. You may need to upgrade to OSX Lion but there are many modern functionality and processing advantages to Premiere. It can also take advantage of CUDA processing found in Nvidia graphics cards (GTX570 for example) if you wanted to add something else to the shopping basket.

    I have not given FCP X a full time run yet but from what I have tried it really is a different style of editing system compared to most existing platforms. If your nephew is just starting out they will probably find it useful and intuitive but later on might find it is lacking many advanced features of its competitors.

    And everyone will tell you this over and over again, make sure you have a good backup system!
  7. subwelt macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2012
    I concur with the above posts:

    stick with OS 10.6.8, it's the most stable and compatible Mac OS.

    FCP7 is fine and comes with compressor and color, both solid and pleasant to work with (and very important in your workflow). Also DVDSPro, if needed, is very good. FCS is an overall good package.

    Your machine is sufficient. If you have money to spend then some form of raid would be the best investment.

    Also I agree with Premiere Pro getting better. Especially if you need to be able to digest codecs from modern consumer cameras, PP would be a good choice.
  8. mloan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2013
    Thank you all again for the excellent advice. I just bought a 7200 RPM 750 GiG Hard drive today and will install it tomorrow.

    What is a scratch drive? I guess I could just google that.

    And finally, I read that these computers can use 32 GiGs of RAM, I thought 16GiGs was the limit. Does having that much more RAM really make that much difference?
  9. subwelt macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2012
    FCP will store it's Audio and Video data there.

    If you are not familiar with FCP you will encounter hundreds of problems and questions. Watch some tutorials on FCP at, digital or other designated websites. Else you will not be able to handle the program. Also use the manual for specific questions. If nothing else helps there are FCP forums like, they can help you.

    Don't worry about the RAM. For better performance a raid is the next step.
  10. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004

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