Video Editing Hardware Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by theworstkids, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. theworstkids macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2007
    So I'm about to graduate film school and I've been editing some videos I shot for clients here and there. All of it is shot on my Nikon D90s, which as I know of is not capable of being cut in FCP7 unless converted to Apple Intermediate Codec through MPEG Streamclip and doubles the size of the clips.

    Right now I'm cutting with FCP7 on a Black Macbook. 2.4GHz Intel Core Duo 2 and 2 GB 667 RAM. And I'm looking to purchase either purchase a Mac Pro or MBP. I used to own a MBP but it broke unexpectedly a month out of warranty, so getting another MBP makes me feel kind of bad considering the history I had with one.

    Honestly I can continue editing on my BlackMac if only I had more space. I'm getting more and more projects and am steadily running out of HD space. It only has firewire 400 so externals are kind of out of the question.

    I am looking towards a MacPro because I plan on editing for others as well as myself after college. I've worked with RED cameras and can see myself editing the footage if only I had the right specs on a computer.

    I'm not entirely sure the best way to store footage and edit from drives so I was hoping to get some advice from others, editors would be best but any help would be appreciated.

    Right now I have my eyes on, a 2.93 Quad-Core MacPro, 3GB of memory, 640 GB (probably will buy more HD and RAM from third party). I'm not too sure about graphics cards but I have one samsung external and am planning on buying a dell monitor eventually.

    I'm also not sure the best way on how to work with external hard drives. I'm looking at G-Drives. Something with eSata so I can eventually buy an eSata adapter card. G-Raid or just G-Drive?

    So any advice from video editors would be appreciated! Especially on storage management and working off drives. Thanks a lot!
  2. mcruzader macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2008
    As far as external drives G-Drives are good, and esata makes it even better, especially if you are going to use it as a scratch disk, I would consider getting a multidrive enclosure with firewire 800 or esata and on board raid card for setting up in a mode you would like (raid 5, 1, 0, 1 + 0). As far as the graphics card, I wouldn't worry about it too much, unless you used programs such as motion, and if you have cash to burn I would definitely look into ssd for the main drive. I think the Mac Pro will be a great choice, given its expandability, but I would definitely wait for an update unless you must get it now.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Mac Pro sounds good for you but if you don't need it now, I would for an update. I would rather have internal HDs than playing with externals (unless you need them as well)
  4. HighSeasCaptain macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2010
    I'm about to buy a Mac Pro 2010 12 core as soon as they come out, because I've been getting a lot of Red projects as of late.

    I cut both the D90 and the Red on a late 2008 MBP. You can actually cut D90 footage on a USB 2.0 external because the Apple Intermediate Codec bit rate is low enough (I've done a few projects on a consumer WD Mybook with no problems whatsoever).

    But for Red, you definitely need FW800 or beyond. And actually my MBP handles Red workflow pretty amazingly. Renders can take a bit of time, but if you use the L&T function and just use Color for getting the most out of Red RAW, or if you use Clipfinder to conform footage, I think an MBP will probably fulfill all your needs. You might not get eSATA, but I've done a few Red projects so far with just an MBP and a few G-Raids (YES go with G-Raid, they are exceptional drives).

    Depending on what your needs are, which it sounds like you won't be doing too much heavy lifting, an MBP should suffice. For me though, my MBP isn't able to keep up with what I throw at it (I'm also starting a small Red specific post company soon). Soon I'm going to have a Mac Pro 12 core, 4 1TB RAID 0 drives for scratch and all small Red projects (for maximum performance and playback -- and of course with a dedicated Time Machined backup), 4xSSD's RAID 0 for the system disk, a Blu-Ray player, and 64GB RAM. It's going to cost around $10,000, and that's a pretty good entry-level serious editing machine for a pretty good price.

    But then again, if you have the cash to spare, DEFINITELY get a Mac Pro.
  5. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    We use both Final Cut and Avid Media Composer Nitris system.
    Lately (past 3 years) its all been G-Tech RAID enclosures and externals.
    We move projects between MBP and MacPro easily using the externals.
    Our media is mostly XDCAM so having FCP helps a little.
    Were only using the Firewire options on the external and Fibre on RAIDs.
    G-Techs been solid for our needs.
  6. theworstkids thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2007
    Thanks for all the quick advice guys. I think I'm going to wait on the Mac Pro update, by the time I have enough funds it'll hopefully be out.

    Thanks Captain for the D90 advice. I'll give that a try, if it works it'll certainly help me out.

    But in the mean time can anyone fill me in on the difference between SSD and HDD?
  7. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    SSD = Solid State Disk

    SSDs have no moving parts and are that's why a lot faster and more reliable but because they are still quite new, they cost a lot more per GB. SSDs are great as boot drives and application drives because they are faster but because of their high cost they aren't very good for storing data e.g. videos and music.

    If you want to make your Mac Pro fly, grab one of them and use it as boot&app drive
  8. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Vogon Planet Destructor
  9. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    You can edit RED projects on a MBP just fine using an off-line/on-line workflow (the proxy workflow can be a bit slow though), but you'll quickly grow out of laptop when you start getting bigger gigs and you find yourself doing a lot more rendering. At that point, you'll really want to step up to a Mac Pro.
  10. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    Since money is tight, (always is), what about getting a quad interface external drive. I have a Buffalo with eSata, FW800, FW400 & USB.
    THat will get you over the hump of needing more space.

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