Need older mac to learn Final Cut Pro 5.1 on

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by timn420, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. timn420 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    #1
    I'm trying to get back in to video making after graduating with a Radio/TV degree several years ago.

    I really don't need a top of the line mac since I'm just starting out with basic editing again. I would like to use Final Cut Pro 5.1.

    I was thinking of keeping my budget around $1500. I'm pressed for cash because I'll probably eventually purchase a new HD camera (Vixia) later on. Currently I just have a Sony Digital 8 (DCR-TRV460). I'm torn between purchasing something like a macbook pro 2.4ghz vs something a little older.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    I have a 7 year old G4 tower that is adequate to do basic stuff in FCP using DV footage. Any Mac currently made far exceeds the base level requirements. Motion and Color have stiffer hardware requirements though and you'll get more bang for you buck by getting a desktop instead of a laptop. Speaking of laptops, the new unibody MacBooks are pretty much useless for video editing because they don't have a FW port. The white MB is still okay though because it has FW.


    Lethal
     
  3. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #3
    i'd suggest a refurb MBP in the $1300-1500 range. like Lethal said, anything you buy from apple now will run FCP v5.1 with no problems (Motion might be a little slow, but still very usable).
     
  4. timn420 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    #4
    I'm looking at two options right now for running Fina Cut 5.1.

    1) Refurb Imac from Apple: ($1199)

    24-inch glossy widescreen display
    2GB memory
    320GB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB memory

    2) Used 15" Macbook Pro 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo ($1295)

    Memory 1 GB ( 2 GB Max.)
    Harddrive 120 GB
    ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 256mb

    Seems like the imac is the better choice. But will the imac stand up to HD editing, which I may eventually get into. Seems like overall the imacs are cheaper then the macbook pros and have slightly better processors/video card options..
     
  5. deej999 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    #5
    I think the iMac will be a better bet than the macbook pro in the long run unless you need portability.

    For starters, the iMac has a 7200rpm Hard drive. The MBP by default has a 5400rpm Hard drive unless you upgrade it.

    The iMac is not as expandable (no PCI card slot) but the faster graphics card, greater HD space, bigger screen and faster standard Hard drive will give you better future proofing i think.

    Deej
     
  6. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #6
    the internal hard drive speed will not determine your ability to edit HD... your external storage will (which the MBP has better options). you never put media that you plan to edit on your internal drive.

    the imac is fine, but the MBP is better for higher-end editing.
     
  7. jimidan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Location:
    Frankfort, KY
    #7
    What good is a FW port if you are trying to download from a Sony HD which does not have one either. My Sony HD has to be downloaded through its USB or a HDMI. I think that I have already learned that the HDMI is for streaming video in real time, while my Sony dumps files. Is there some kind of FW that will fit a Sony HD?
     
  8. djkirsten macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    #8
    I agree, either option is going to require an external drive for media so a MBP would probably be better. With a MBP being so mobile it becomes the better option.
     
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    Unless the OP needs portability and will be working w/HD formats that are too fast for FW800 I'd lean towards the iMac. The ergonomics of a bigger screen and regular keyboard & mouse go a long way, IMO. Obviously those things can be overcome by using an external KB/M & bigger monitor w/the MBP. The 120gig drive on the MBP is a big drag too as FCS takes up a lot of space if you do a full install.

    FW gets you faster storage which, oddly enough, people using iMovie or FCE need as much, if not more, than FCP users because iMovie and FCE can't edit any HD formats natively. For example, using FCP one can edit HDV natively which means dealing w/files the same size as DV but in order to edith HDV w/iMovie or FCE the footage gets transcoded into the Apple Intermediate Codec which is about twice as big.


    Lethal
     
  10. deej999 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    #10
    I agree with what Lethal is saying here. The OP talks about cost being a factor, not portability, and working with a 20" screen makes a huge difference over 15".

    @ bigbossbmb, I agree that raw footage should be placed on an extenal drive, but I understood that the internal drive being 7200rpm would allows the OS and Final Cut to run faster. Is this true?

    deej
     
  11. timn420 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    #11
    I keep going back and forth between the used 15” 2.33 MBP and the used 24” 2.8 imac. It seems the imac is better in every way (faster/bigger hard drive, bigger screen) then the MBP for this price range.

    Yet, I hate not having the option of portability in case I would like to bring my laptop in to work and use it in the editing room. Guess I really need to think about this some more.

    Is there a case when I would need multiple firewire ports besides the two that are on the imac? I’m guessing I would need 1 fw800 for an external drive and 1 fw400 for the camera/deck.
     
  12. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #12
    If you need portable get refurb MBP.

    Otherwise get iMac.

    For video iMac would be better, unless you want to get high speed external drive for MBP (such as firewire 800 drives or eSATA card and SATA drives).
     
  13. timn420 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    #13

    Since the imac has 1 firewire 800 drive would this suffice for 1 external drive? I guess what your saying is that if I was trying to bridge multiple external drives then I would run into problems?
     
  14. deej999 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    #14
    I believe the iMac and MBP only have one fire wire bus, even if there are more firewire ports... so plugging in firewire devices share the same firewire bus.

    You can connect more than one device to a firewire port. Like a Mac to Hard drive to FW camera. It's called daisy chaining.

    Helps to have a firewire hard drive with two firewire ports!
     
  15. timn420 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    #15
    Thanks for all the help.

    In the end, I picked up a refurb 2.4 Core 2 duo Macbook pro with the 8600m GT 256mb for about $1350. I couldn’t pass up an apple refurb with warranty.. I can always hook this up to an external monitor, which I will do for editing. The 24” imac is nice, but the laptop with an external screen seems to make since. Now, off to buy some books on Final Cut….
     
  16. cmcbridejr macrumors 6502a

    cmcbridejr

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA
    #16
    Without a doubt, go for the iMac over the MBP.

    Not only is the iMac more powerful, it is so much better editing on a 24 inch screen. Editing on a 15 inch laptop is really annoying to me.

    When it comes to using professional software, always get the most power you can afford. So, in this case, it would be the iMac over the MBP.
     
  17. cmcbridejr macrumors 6502a

    cmcbridejr

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA
    #17
    Oops... sorry, but I just read that you got the MBP.

    Disregard my last comment. You should enjoy using your MBP and it should work just fine.
     
  18. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #18
    Firewire drives can be daisy chained.


    Congrats. I like the MBP with 2 firewire ports (like the one you got).
     

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