Updating Video editing set. advice.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by stefmesman, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. stefmesman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #1
    Dear members,

    at my work we are planning on updating our video set. since its getting a bit harsh to work on our current mac pro with HD content. And i was asked to research the things we could change to our system to improve the workflow.

    current mac:
    model: Mac Pro 1,1
    os: 10.6.4
    processor: 2x 2,66 GHz Dual-Core intel Xeon
    memory: 5GB 667Mhz DDR2 FB DIMM
    videocard: ATI Radeon X1900

    software:
    Final Cut studio 3 (mostly FCP and Compressor)
    After Effects CS4

    and im looking into upgrading this system such as buying a new processor/ram. or maybe something else like a blackmagic card to speed things up? would i be better of just purchasing a new mac pro?
    wich i would rather not) or is there something else i can do to boost this editing set?

    currently we edit alot of XD 1024x576 IMX50 but we want to go to XDHD or even Red cam edits.

    Please help me make my decision.

    thanks in advance. your intelligence is greatly appriciated
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    What software are you using? I can't really say much until I know that as if it's Final Cut, then clock speed is very important thus I would invest on a new Mac Pro. If it's something else that can support multiple cores, then I would consider upgrading the CPUs to two quad cores making it an 8-core. That could easily double the speed.
     
  3. stefmesman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #3
    software:
    Final Cut studio 3 (mostly FCP and Compressor)
    After Effects CS4
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    Compressor and AE are multicore but AFAIK FCP isn't. Upgrading the CPUs should speed things up, especially encoding. I think I would still go with a new one if that's possible. You can sell your current Mac Pro to help funding the new one. New one gets you faster RAM and the CPUs are much better, hell, even previous gen Mac Pro would be an upgrade.
     
  5. C. Alan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    #5
    I too would suggest going with a new Mac Pro for Final Cut. I use Final Cut Pro's little brother Final Cut Express on my Mac pro. When I first started using it, I was on an older Core Duo Imac. Rendering was painfully slow on that machine. My 2009 Mac Pro was much faster.

    Aslo keep in mind that the current version of Final Cut is a 32 bit application, and for the most part only utilizes one core for rendering. Rumor has it that Apple is in the midst of re-writing the entire applicaiton for 64 bit support, and for utilizing multi-core processors.
     
  6. reel2reel macrumors 6502a

    reel2reel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #6
    Based on my own experiences, I'd got for a new base Mac Pro with as much RAM as you can get. I guess it depends what's more important to you: faster renders or multitasking performance. I find myself (at work) suffering with 8GB's RAM on an 8-core MP when multitasking in Final Cut Studio. More spinning wheels, etc. I'm getting more memory as soon as I can. The problem is when they ordered the Mac, they made bad decisions and went with 8GB Apple memory. So now I'm stuck having to buy the same overpriced RAM or pulling the 8GB and buying 16GB from scratch.

    That's my personal choice, though. I'd rather wait a bit longer for a render because I've got a lower clock speed than suffer hangups, crashes and spinning wheels because I'm doing more work than my memory can support.

    BTW, I think the only Final Cut Suite app that utilizes multi-cores is Compressor. You need to set up a Virtual Cluster and your encodes via Compressor will be much faster (if you've got enough memory per core, that is).
     
  7. stefmesman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #7
    thanks for the massive help already! i guess the price of updating this one will come in the same price range as selling this one and buying a new? anyone has a suggestion on specs? what would i need to have a good go at video editing? we use the system very often. i got all options open. and i do not want an overkill on power. till now this mac pro worked fine, atleast for SD material.

    thanks alot you guys!
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    If money is not an issue, then I would get 3.33GHz 6-core or even 12-core if your budget allows. Get as much RAM as you can, 2x8GB goes for 600$ and that leaves you two free memory slots if you get the 6-core. 12-core may be more "future-proof" but I know, it's very expensive.

    Even the base Mac Pro with enough RAM will be a much faster than your current setup is
     
  9. isophia macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    #9
    Hey stefmesman.

    Oooh i love these topics, and I edit on a similar rig to the one your discussing- - but you've left out probably one of the most vitally important aspects of your edit suite - Storage and no offence but nobody here can give you good advice until we know What is your current setup is! Also what are you outputting/delivering - do you need to play to tape, to be able to monitor for CC etc, or is your deliverables normally DVD or the web? all inportant factors to take into account. Is it an offline suite or do you need to be mastering projects? How are you currently monitoring edits with no capture card?

    Whats your current workflow, are you cutting natively or using ProRes? I use a similar rig to your system and i cut a lot of HD footage - both Uncompressed and XDCamEX etc - so your system is more than capable - but depending on your encoding needs and the work you need to be doing on it, the money may well need to be spent on high level storage and not on a fancy new processor etc.
     
  10. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    Kreplakistan
    #10
    I concur with the storage thing previous poster said,but I a bit disagree on the "get a new mac pro now" bandwagon.

    As said the FCP lags behind code wise and there you will not get that big speed benefits if upgrading. Only when FCS3 comes out,we might get better multi core awareness.

    If you are outputting to h.264, a matrox mxo+MAX would be by far the wisest thing to get. for peanuts (compared to a new MP) you could get 10 fold increase in encoding speeds.

    A faster gfx card might do the trick if you use a lot of motion,but I personally didnt notice any great speed gain under FCP when going from gt7300-4870 with my 1.1 4x3.00 raid10+scratches. And not much under color either wich is supposed to use gfx cards more efficiently.

    My useage has been mainly 3-5min clips of 1080p pro res and it is me who is the slowest part in the equation. Or the damn FCP that bugs up all the time...


    So,personally,I would save the money and get the MAX,maybe a new card and definately a good raid0 external set with good backup.
     
  11. stefmesman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #11
    its not really encoding times im having trouble with, its more that the system laggs while editing (frequently see spinning rainbows and videos that skip over cause the system can't render them fast enough)

    using a 7200rpm disc of 500gb just for video storage and a 7200rpm 250gb for apps. we convert everything to prores, and export to DVD, short clips for internet and beamer/cinema presentations. so more alike anything. mostly we export to X264(h264) but for our clients we usually make a WMV (since most of them use pc's and dont want to hassle with quicktime players)
    we do anything from 3 to 20 minutes, so i guess ill need an allrounder
     
  12. isophia macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    #12
    Ok in my opinion forget about buying a new mac, you need to spend your money elsewhere - as i said i edit on the same mac as you, and the mac is not the problem. I edit professionally on the same model without any such problems.

    are you trying to play back RT or safe? Assuming your footage/project is set up correctly then the playback issue is not down to your processor speed, its your Storage speed, or rather the lack of it.

    My advice would be this:

    1. Look at a good quality RAID - It doesn't sound like you guys are dealing with large scale projects with too much media so i would suggest a 4bay setup, i would highly recommend looking at ESATA options from Caldigit or from G-Tech. You could easily get away with a RAID0 2drive setup, but one of the 4bay options would open up the option of RAID 3 or 5 so you have parity and protection on your footage. fast storage is your answer though for smooth playback and faster renders.

    2. Max out the RAM - you will see a big benefit and if your using AfterEffects a lot then the difference will be huge - 3 or 4Gigs per core minimum if possible.

    3. You need to look at getting set up with a TV so that you can accurately monitor what your clients are going to be looking at - personally i would recommend blackmagic but there are others like the offerings from AJA or Matrox.


    In brief - a new mac is not going to solve your issues mate. You need to get your storage sorted, would be happy to help if you need any more advice - but please don't go waste a lot of money on a new mac because it simply won't solve your problems!!
     
  13. stefmesman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #13
    we already have a reference monitor hooked up through a digital to analog dv deck(by sony). wich can also switch to an 1080p 32'' in the customer viewing area.

    arent internal bays faster then an esata external raid bay? We are a production company. we put everything on harddisc including copies on other hardiscs (firewire 800) the internal Video HD always has more then 200gb free. (we store to about 500gb a month on productions)

    will maxing out the ram have a huge difference even on a dual core 2,66ghz processor with an fairly old model motherboard? does it not create a bottleneck? We rarely run AE and FCP at the same time. so multitasking is not the problem.

    could you enlighten me a bit more on the raid system? i do not have a lot of knowledge on them. i guess what your trying to tell me is that the computer cant read the harddisc fast enough to show the video on my screen rather then the computer just lagging?

    thank you :)
     
  14. isophia macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    #14
    Its not so much the connection speed as the actual read/write speed of a single drive - as far as im aware there is no speed difference between SATA and eSATA (it is simply an external SATA hence the e) - and you can quite happily edit HD over firewire - what it comes down to is the drive -

    Im sure that someone can explain this easier than me but yes basically your harddrive cant keep up with you and the footage. - by putting multiple drives together, you can spread the information over them - allowing far faster read write times which is essential for editing.
    A single drive (not empty) at 7200rpm is probably able to read/write at about 65 MB/s or there abouts. If i do a quick speed test on one of my Caldigit RAIDS (striped) it reports read/write speeds of 125MB and 102MB respectively - so as you can see its a HUGE speed difference.

    RE RAM for aftereffects - admittedly your not going to see the speed difference that you would with a brand new mac but for ram previews etc yes it will make a big difference - To be honest though it really depends how complex your AE work is. Ok so its not the fastest RAM but its a lot faster than writing to the HD.

    Without knowing a little more about your workflow its hard to make the best recommendations - but from what I understand i would recommend that you look at one of the Caldigit/G-Tech options as a primary working drive. The other drives are fine for additional media and backups (would recommend playing out projects to tape however) but for editing you need a fast primary drive.

    Hope this helps a little!
     
  15. stefmesman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #15

    thanks for the massive help!

    i understand the advances of using a Raid next to the mac pro. if i want to combine 3 500gb discs and 1,5 TB backup. in one raid. what would be the most affordable option for me to do so? will this run fast on a fw800? or do u recommend sata? or would u suggest going for something else? i already have plenty of unused HD's here. Can i buy empty raid boxes?

    updating the ram would be a good addition also. whats the max Mhz i can put in this system?

    does anyone have more ideas on how to improve this set?
     
  16. reel2reel macrumors 6502a

    reel2reel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #16
    I personally never bother with RAID. I'm delivering tons of HD these days and work in ProRes (non HQ, cause it's overkill for most stuff). I never get a dropped frame when going to tape, simply playing off 7200 rpm drives. I prefer separate drives for organization, which is key IMO. I'm pretty sure RAID will only very slightly affect rendering time, if at all. You'd want RAID if you're kicking out Uncompressed HD.

    Also, I like the ability to swap out a drive when I want. For instance, I'll have a drive for one specific project, swap it out and put it on the shelf when it's done.
     
  17. isophia macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    #17
    Hello mate,

    No not really - most RAIDs require you to use identical harddrives, same make, model, size etc. The only 'mix match' raid setup that im aware of that lets you use different sizes and types is the Drobo - however this really isn't suitable for video editing and i would advise against it.

    The options from caldigit and G-Tech are expensive - but you get what you pay for. However for a lot less money yes you could buy the parts and build it yourself. You dont need a lot - a RAID card to go into the back of the mac (the brains) an enclosure, lots of harddrives, oh and some cables.

    in my experience the little two disk (RAID0) drives are mostly firewire and estata - and that is plenty fast enough. the larger faster raids tend to have SAS connections (fast and not half as expensive as the alternative - fiber).

    If you want to make use of some of the drives you have at the moment, you could stripe a couple of them as an internal raid - nice and nippy for your applications etc.

    I think your ram speed will be 667mhz.
     
  18. stefmesman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #18
    dear isophia,

    does the raid card apple sells work in this model of mac pro? and will it be able to use the enclosures that are inside the mac pro? instead of external ones? then i would just plant in 4 times 1tb for 2tb raid0 and 2tb raid1(backup).

    thanks! ive learned a lot the past 2 days from you haha :D
     
  19. CCK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Location:
    KY
    #19
    Just a thought, since I don't know what your work environment is like...

    I'm not a big fan of the imacs for editing, but I think your MB is very capable, and would be more so if it wasn't THE workhorse comp.

    If you got a quad iMac 2.8 refurb-$1700), you could be utilizing 2 comps. Though if there is only one user, this might not be a good alternative.
     
  20. stefmesman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #20

    i think you mean MP not MB :p. but there wont be an extra user.
     
  21. isophia macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    #21
    I've not used the apple raid card so i can't give you my experience with it but yes it will work in all the macpro's. I have to say though i don't think its the best option for you and in this case i would recommend an external setup - but an internal Soft RAID can be very handy.

    No worrys mate, glad to have been able to help! :)
     
  22. stefmesman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #22
    anyone can tell me about the difference between this one? (599,-)
    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/RAID/Desktop/
    or one by gtech? (899,99)
    http://g-technology.com/products/g-speed-q.cfm
     
  23. reel2reel macrumors 6502a

    reel2reel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #23
    Macinposh, have you used the Matrox MXO? I'm trying to decide between one of these vs an AJA LHi. I've got experience with AJA LHi and Kona3 and they're excellent products, but I like that the Matrox MXO2 comes with both PCI and ExpressCard interfaces. Just wondering how performance is with FCP, if it's stable.
     
  24. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    Kreplakistan
    #24
    Unfortunately not yet.
    Two of my editor friends use them (under fcp and cs4/5) and like them a lot.
    I am probably getting one within couple of weeks,so I will be a bit wiser then...
     

Share This Page