Wow, I am old school (final cut pro question)


macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 16, 2005
Mt. Prospect, Illinois
OK (living in the stone age, you could say), so I discovered a month ago that my powermac g3 cannot run any new versions of final cut pro, so I have decided to get final cut pro 3, and just see how many videos I can make out of this machine...

400 mhz ppc g3
256 mb's of ram (i ordered another 256)
64 mb's display card (can be dual)
one 12 gig drive for OSX, one 120 gig drive for videos
Running OS 10.3.9

With the specs I have just mentioned, can I get decent performance out of Final cut pro 3? I know I shouldn't expect any real-time or amazing performance, but will it be liveable? Another question, will the extra 256 mb's of ram help that much (The mac has been freezing like crazy since I got panther, it has to be the little amount of ram)? I checked the activity monitor (with no other programs running) and I have only 55 mb's left of memory, so I knew it would make sense to upgrade the memory...Don't worry, I will upgrade to a g5 in the future, but for this summer (hopefully by august 16th [my birthday], that will change), I edit video on a g3..



macrumors 68020
Feb 3, 2004
Virginia Beach, VA
You should be alright with that setup. I wouldn't plan on applying a whole lot of filters or doing things that take a whole lot of rendering, as rendering speed will be the biggest drawback, but you should be able to use it enough to get you by for awhile.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2002
San Francisco, CA
Don't mean to burst your bubble, but I was barely even able to run iMovie on my 400mhz G3 iMac, let alone FCP. My advice: save up, sell the G3, and get yourself a new Mac w/FCP. If you can't afford much get a Mac Mini or iMac G5.


macrumors 68020
Feb 3, 2004
Virginia Beach, VA
But iMovie is alot different than FCP, with FCP, you can change your workflow so that your rendering is not using up all your CPU cycles when you're trying to edit. iMovie autorenders pretty much everything you do. I get better performance in FCP than I do in iMovie on my machine.

There are probably a lot of people in this forum that used ot use FCP 3 with machines similar to that. Like I said, its going to be pretty slow compared to a newer machine, but it can be done.


macrumors 601
Oct 21, 2004
FF_productions said:
anybody else?
I ran FCP3 for nearly two years on a pismo (500Mhz, but had 1Gb or RAM which makes quite a bit of difference). If you're adding to a total of 512Mb RAM that should help some. You're HD space though is another issue. You may want to consider using an exteral HD to designate help with your scratch disk. And, as stated renders will take longer. Bottom line, if you must go with what you have, you can do some acceptable stuff with FCP3, depending on your context. I'd look to getting to a G4/G5 processor asap, and getting either FCP HD or the Suite (5). It's a huge improvement again depending on what you're wanting to crank out.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2005
Lyon, France
Oh you're not so old-school. I still like to edit on Steenbecks when I have the chance.

There's nothing like that buzzing sound of the start switch.... alas.