Newbie question. Advice on buying a MP for video editing.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by iHateMacs, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. iHateMacs macrumors 6502a

    iHateMacs

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    #1
    I need to edit video from my Canon EOS 5D MKII. It's 1080p 30fps.

    Windows just does not cut it at all and anyone serious about editing this sort of footage seems to be using Macs.

    I have decided to buy a MP within the week. My budget is £3000. I hate going into shops to ask advice as they only try to sell you what they have. (Though in this case I am sure they would just take an order then post the machine to me anyway) I'd hope an Apple store would be different but you never know.


    Render time is always an issue, but smoothness of editing is the main thing. As long as it's responsive when scrubbing up and down the timeline.

    I have a few questions.

    1) I have heard that the current version of Final Cut can only make use of a quad core (maybe Compressor can use 8). Would I be stupid to buy a higher Ghz quad or should I get a 8 core in the hope that the next release of Final cut will make better use of it? Does anything else make use of the 8 cores? Adobe Creative Suite 4?

    2) I want a raid, but only a raid 0 (I think that's just for performance). Am I right in thinking that this can be handled by the MP without the need for the extra raid board? That board is just for the other flavours of raid? What speed drives would you reccomend for a raid? I don't need HUGE capacity as I'll probably clear them off before each project anyway.

    2b) Can I have one drive for the system, then two more drives as a raid0 for final cut? Could I then have a fourth drive just for data?

    3) Originally I saw that the ATI graphics card was better than the standard Nvidia. Now when I look at the Apple website there are more expensive options for the Nvidia. I just want one that will help with the H.264, but I will pay the extra if it's going to help. EDIT I see that the NVIDIA options are for multiple cards. I assumed the 4x meant a 4x speed one not 4 boards DOH!

    Thanks
     
  2. jons macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    #2
    First, there are tons of pros in the video industry that use Windows. I personally know at least two that are completely windows based.

    Final Cut is one of the few programs that benefits from having more cores. See the article here: http://www.barefeats.com/octopro5.html

    CS4 does not.

    You can do several types of RAID within OS X, these are known as software RAID. They won't be recognized outside of OS X, and typically offer less performance than their hardware based counterpart.

    Final Cut will need to reside on the system disk, but you can setup your scratch disks anywhere you want.

    The 4870 is the best card currently offered for the Mac Pro.
     
  3. Boneoh macrumors 6502

    Boneoh

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    #3
    Hope this helps.

    1. Not many applications are good at using multiple cores yet. IMO the major s/w vendors like Adobe and Apple will have to start taking advantage of the available cores for performance. How and when this will happen is the subject of a lot of speculation. My guess is that Apple will be getting the Pro apps going rather quickly and Adobe will lag behind. No shot at Adobe, I have the CS 4 suite, but they still don't have a 64 bit version of PS on the Mac. Adobe does Win stuff before Mac, so we lag a bit.

    2. The built in RAID in Leopard is fine. You can get a RAID board, but for RAID 0 striping it is not needed.

    2b. Yes, you can do exactly what you are saying. You have a lot of flexibility on setting up your drives in Disk Utility.

    3. The ATI card is the better performance choice for most of us. You are correct, you can put multiple NVidia cards in your machine, but many folks just opt to get the ATI card.
     
  4. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #4
    Before you dive into a Mac and FinalCut Express/Pro (are sold separately), you need to know what video format your gonna be importing. If its formatted as AVCHD then you might as well flush your money down the toilet, seriously! As Final Cut Express and Pro and do not support editing of AVCHD clips directly. At present only the fully activated version of Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 (£688.85 inc) supports AVCHD outta the box, CS3 still lacks support.

    I think, with a £3000 budget, I think you might be a little short. Unless, choose to do all your editing in iMovie; but it'll convert all footages to QuickTime, losing quality in the process.... It's in no way as flexible as professional applications but you don't pay a hefty professional price for it, either.
     
  5. iHateMacs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iHateMacs

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    #5
    Thank you for the replies they have been helpful.

    The £3000 budget is for the hardware only I know what FC costs and that is already budgeted for. I still may go for FInal Cut Express.

    The format of the video is MPEG4 but wrapped as a .mov. I am 99.9% certain that FC handles this flawlessly without any transcoding. I just wasn't sure what hardware allowed it to do it flawlessly. :)
     
  6. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #6
    FYI...

    AVCHD files has the extension of ".MTS"

    As for video cards, I'd stick with ATI when it comes to creative and core image work, but largely it's down to personal preference.

    Enjoy your shopping.
     
  7. Mariusz1977 macrumors member

    Mariusz1977

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    #7
    Current Version may change in the next few days. NAB is next week & "supposedly" FCP is gonna hit the next version at or soon after. If your buying decision is partly based on multiprocessor utilization, you might wanna wait and see what the next version brings (can't hurt to wait until next week to see if FCP is upgraded.)

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=664307
     
  8. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #8
    Actually most people doing this professionally are on Windows - by a fairly LARGE margin. It's mostly the hardware spec that makes the difference and not the OS. It's mostly lots and lots of fast memory - system memory, Video card memory, L2 and L3 CPU cache memory, even large drive caches (or combined caches as you'll get in a RAID).


    Later you mention "Flawless smoothness". I think your budget is not enough. It's maybe half of what you need for that on a Mac. You might be able to pull it off with that budget in a roll-your-own system but still seems a little low. The 2009 macs just all went up in price between $1000 and $2300 - and for no apparent reason I might add, so they're outside your budget for sure if you're looking to edit 1080p of any length at all.


    Yeah, up your budget a bunch if you're interested in Apple.


    I would want both... The higher clocks and 8-cores. But mostly you need the fast memory as mentioned above. And of course the 64-bit applications that can use it.



    Yes, that's right.

    Yes.

    The're a little more to it than that but, OK, you can think of it that way I guess.


    I like the Samsung UJ Raid-Class 1TB drives.


    Look up the term "Short Stroking" at Tom's Hardware or other test bench sites. Between the speed you get from short stroking your RAID and what's inherently available BECAUSE OF the higher density platters the larger 1TB drives are still what you want even if you don''t need that much storage space.


    Yes to all. But you'll be MUCH better off "speed and smoothness"-wise with a 3-drive or 4-drive RAID.


    Again that flawlessness you're talking about is mostly just lots and lots of fast memory and the 64-bit applications that can put it to use.
     
  9. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #9
    The Mac's SoftRAID0 will give you high-speed data access and performance but there's double the risk of losing any data that's stored on either of the drives (array) because there's absolutely no redundancy, what so ever!! For that you'll need added hardware.

    This is why most professionals spend many thousands of pounds on RAID systems, so they can have both the performance and the security knowing their projects stay safely on the arrays, while they work. Unfortunately your budget doesn't allow for this.
     
  10. iHateMacs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iHateMacs

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    #10
    Thanks for the further info.

    I'm not doing this professionally, just as a hobby. It is a chance to "upgrade" my current PC t the same time. I realise that to get the best my budget is nowhere near.

    When the EOS 5D MKII came out, many people complained that no hardware they had could cope with the 1920x1080 30p files. BUT people who had mac Book Pros said it worked like a dream with FCP.

    I assumed that if a MBP could cope then a MP should do a beytter job.

    I understand that any amount of rendering at that resolution is time consuming but what's killing for me now on my PC and Premiere CS4 is that it will does nothing straig off. If you click play it takes a second or two before it plays, then when it DOES play it shows about 1 frame in avery 10 seconds.

    I know I could get a PC that would do it but it would mean throwing our everything I have as I'm sure what ever I kept would cause a bottleneck.

    I wanted to take this chance to shift from PC to Mac.

    I think the best way is to see for myself. I will see if my local Apple store has a MP and FCP and I will take some footage with me to try.
     
  11. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #11
    You should be fine with any of the Mac Pro models.

    I sold my G5 a little while ago and have been editing exclusively on my 2007 15" MacbookPro since. I shoot most of my stuff in 1080p and it's very smooth.


    I do plan on getting a new Mac Pro soon though. I also do 3D and visual effects work. I also need something to hook up my 2 24" monitors to.
     
  12. iHateMacs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iHateMacs

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    #12
    I have just read about Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC).

    I can understand why it's an advantage and can understand now why editing a full HD h.264 file is far from ideal.

    I presume almost any half decent mac can handle HD using AIC.


    From what I have read on the Apple website AIC need a bandwidth of 14Mb/s for 1080i60 (I presume this is about the same as 1080p30)

    Would a two drive software raid be good enough for that?
     
  13. Boneoh macrumors 6502

    Boneoh

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    #13
    If you haven't already, check out the mac performance guide http://macperformanceguide.com/
     
  14. iHateMacs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iHateMacs

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    #14
  15. bzshutter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    #15

    - I just got my MP for basically this same purpose, upon others of course. Always wanted a mac desktop.


    Current windows software doesn't cut it for 5D video, but plenty of pros do use it for other formats. The highest spec hardware you can get are still for Windows. Unless you want to build a Hackintosh.


    FCP can't utilize all cores yet, but if you use Compressor with it, it'll use as many cores as you can throw at it. It uses all 16 virtual cores on mine if you set up a virtual cluster.

    See my sig for my current setup. Prepare to have plenty of HD space for this though. For best and most smooth editing, you'd still want to transcode 5D video to a native editing format. I've been using Prores. The files are big, but most transitions can be done in realtime with Prores timeline. If you have a fast RAID setup, this wouldn't be a problem. It's still a lot smaller than uncompressed video.


    My GT120 is handling the video editing just fine, though I suppose the ATI card is better for the long run.
     

Share This Page