What MAC PRO Desktop for AVID MEDIA COMPOSER 5 ?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by DCfilms, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. DCfilms macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #1
    I'm upgrading my kit - new Mac Pro desktop & new Avid Media Composer (AMC) software...

    I edit for a living, but my computer knowledge is pretty rubbish.

    I was going to get the quad-core 3.2 Nehalem, £2,368. Then i realized that despite having 4 cores, it isn't a dual processor, and i'm told i need DUAL for HD editing work...

    So, now i'm really stretching my budget to the dual quad core 2.4 Westmere, £2859.

    Question: Will this be good enough to run AMC smoothly, or does it have to be the 2.66 12 core?

    GRAPHICS CARD:
    I can upgrade to the Radeon HD 5870, or is it better to upgrade to 2xRadeon 5770? Someone told me the 5870 is the better option!!!

    Avid have only tested the Radeons on an imac and the 12 core 2.66. The rest are NVidia - and they reccomend NVidia in general...

    Here's Avid's tested Mac set-ups:

    http://cdn.pinnaclesys.com/SupportFiles/attach/Apple%20Macintosh%20Specifications%20for%20Avid%20Media%20Composer%20v5.0%20January%202011.pdf


    Is there an NVidia card i should use instead of the Radeons?
    If so, am i right in thinking that those Avid tested with don't seem as good as the Radeons?

    'm hoping Radeons are as good as NVidia for AMC, since the NVidia are so much more expensive.

    I'm really stuck and appreciate any advice.
    Thanks :Confused:
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    The safe bet is to always follow Avid's guidelines. That' doesn't mean an unsupported configuration won't work it just means that if you call Avid with a problem the first thing they are likely to do is to tell you that by not following the recommend specs they can only be of limited help. With that being said, you might get better feedback posting on an Avid-specific forum such as Avid's forums or DVXUser's Avid forum or Creative COW's Avid forum.

    Also, you don't necessarily need a top of the line Mac Pro to work with HD as it all depends on your workflow. If you are going to be pulling a silly amount of HD streams that are H.264 you'll need a lot of CPU power because H.264 is a bear for computers to process. If you are using one of Avid's 'mid-range' DNxHD codecs you probably won't have any hiccups at all on any current Mac.


    Lethal
     
  3. DCfilms thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #3
    LethalWolfe, thanks for you're advice, i'll certainly post on the forums you've kindly linked.

    Despite having been an offline editor in facilities for 10 years, i don't have a great understanding of HD codecs. But for my home set-up, with more and more stuff being shot HD i'd like to be ready for it when that work starts to become more prevalent.
     
  4. boch82 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    #4
    Someone at my previous company (they were still on MC 3) decided to purchase all new mac pros. Avid would not launch since it would not recognize the dongle. The dongle would only show up in 32 bit mode so there was a huge issue there. First result when googleing the issue was avid dongles do not support 64 bit systems

    Bottom line - Be sure to stay to AVID Specs or you will have a ton of headaches or not be be able to use all the power you paid for in a mac pro.
     
  5. ShiftClick macrumors regular

    ShiftClick

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    Avid only qualifies a few mac pro workstations because they don't have the time & resources to qualify every single mac pro configuration. If you go on Avid forums you will see lots of admin's on there using non qualified set ups.

    I have helped many people in your shoes and as a professional user of MC I'd be happy to recommend to you the 3.33 Mac Pro 6 core tower, either graphic card is fine for using media composer. Upgrade your ram through a 3rd party to 3 x4GB, for using media composer for the time being I would just use a regular magnetic harddrive as your boot drive.

    Media Composer doesn't use more than 2 cores or utilize more than 4GB of system ram, I recommend this tower as the 3.33 gives you the most processor power that you can use.

    Now if you are doing heavy transcoding for say a red cam feature and you are doing an offline-online workflow then I would suggest the 12 core, but as just a basic edit station with a mojo dx, the 3.33 6 core is the way to go. Good Luck and congrats on your purchase.
     
  6. DCfilms thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #6
    ShiftClick, huge thanks for your post - it's just the kind of advice i needed.

    Doesn't it matter that the 6-core is single, rather than dual processor - i was told that AMC needs dual!?

    Also, boch82's comment about AMC3 being 32bit, because of the dongle, is worrying. Do you know if that's still the case/

    Very glad to hear that the Radeon 5870 will do as good a job as NVidia. The saving will pay for the 3.33 6-core.

    Thanks again :)
     
  7. ShiftClick, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011

    ShiftClick macrumors regular

    ShiftClick

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    DC you're just getting hung up on computer terminology.

    Yes you need atleast a dual core processor to run MC but anything more than that is going to work, and work better. Laptops have a dual core processor, base mac pro and top of the line imacs have a quad core processor and the mac pro I recommend has a 6 core processor. All desktop macs being sold have a dual core or better processor which can run MC just fine. The 3.33 will just run process' faster.

    I can't comment on the dongle for MC5, as I thought for 5 everyone was doing the serial registration. Yeah it can be a bit hanky having to deauthorize and reauthorize when you do fresh OS install, but Avid support yes even the ones in India are very competent and I've never had issue getting my machines reset.

    But on that front, if you hold down the 3 and the 2 key at power up you can boot into 32bit efi. You can easily google it I might be missing a command or option key to hold down, but you can control which efi you boot into when powering on. Best of luck

    Sorry missed dual processor inferred it as dual core, no a single processor with atleast 2 cores running 2.66 or better will handle MC5 just fine.
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    Avid did away w/the dongle but, AFAIK, it still needs OS X to run in 32-bit instead of 64-bit (64 is the default in Snow Leopard). Avid has a knowledge base article though detailing how to switch from one to the other.

    AMC doesn't need dual-cpus to run so don't worry about that.


    Lethal
     
  9. treehorn macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #9
    As an FYI, as of a week ago you couldn't have the newest version of Mac OSX running as the program wouldn't work (it was telling me that it had been already registered on another computer...which freaks one out more than a little when one has spent so much on software).

    By downgrading my system software (or rather, by using back up hard drive that still had 10.6.5 on it), I was able to get it to work with no problems.

    As a further FYI, it works fine on my 2 X 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon running a NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT graphics card

    (It does not like the fact that I use a Firebox for my audio as it wants Firewire to be devoted strictly for its own usage...)
     
  10. DCfilms thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #10
    ShiftClick & LethalWolfe, thanks for the advice - guess i'll go for the 6 core 3.33.

    Can't believe Avid is still 32bit. So every time i want to open AMC i have to downgrade my computer to a 32bit!?
    I've always used Avid and love it (leagues above the other pretenders IMO), but aren't they really letting us down by not being 64bit, or is there a good reason?

    massive thanku again. you guys are lifesavers for a simple editor stumbling around in the labyrinths of CPU GFX single triple quad core super computers... phew!


    EDIT: BTW, thanks for the warning treehorn - i don't really understand, but i'm grateful for the heads-up.:)
     
  11. DCfilms thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #11
    Guys, those of you running Avid on Mac Pro, do you have any issues with the audio waveform on the timeline - having to rebuild after every edit, making it impossible to use?
     
  12. boch82 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 14, 2008
    #12
    to boot in 32bit mode just hold down the 3 and 2 number keys on startup.
     
  13. DCfilms thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #13
    Thanks boch82. Surely Avid have to sort that out soon, though!
     
  14. daceymathers macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Location:
    newyork
    #14
    If you are using windows then Intel Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz processor or faster is sufficient.But if you are using mac then the Intel Dual or Intel Dual Core 2.66 GHz Xeon processor or faster, or Intel Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz processor or faster (laptops) is required.Memory requirement would be the same i.e. 4GB RAM.
     
  15. legreve macrumors regular

    legreve

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #15
    Just wanted to chip in...

    Right now I'm importing an avi clip into AMC 5.03 on a MBP 2.2 i7 with 8gb ram.... no issues. And I didnt boot up in 32 bit...
     
  16. simsaladimbamba

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    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #16
    Do you realise the age of this thread?
     
  17. mBox macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2002
    #17
    Yep still 32bit but look at Final Cut. its still 32bit till June. Im running Avid MC 5.5.1 with the Nitris DX on a Mac Pro 1,1 (older legal spec). Its fine but buggy as Avid is :p
    We also run MC 5.5.1 on a MBP 2010. For offline and out of house editing, we swap a few G-Tech externals around.
    Yea dont get caught up on the tech part, its a complete waste of creative time :(
     

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