Hello. I'm a tech, but primarily (by far) I work on PC's. But now I'm helping a friend buy new hardware to run FCP3. We want to make the best choices for his budget. Towards that end, I have these questions to help him determine where best to put his money now:
1) Would it be better to go to 12 GB RAM (triple channel) on a single-CPU Mac Pro, or upgrade to the Dual-CPU (8 Core) Mac Pro, adding more RAM later on?In both cases, we won't upgrade up front to the faster CPUs Apple offers (but we could down the road).
2) How important is the video card to FCP3? I know CS4 just takes a small advantage of graphics card GPUs versus the CPU when rendering. What about FCP3? Should we stick with Apple's basic GT 120, upgrade to the offered HD 4870, or go to multiple video cards? We could just order it with the basic GT 120, and then go to third party video card(s), if that would be a significant benefit.
3) What is a realistic minimum RAM amount to get decent editing and rendering performance?
4) Any suggestions for a good RAID card rather than Apple's? We'll add at least a second hard drive for all the video data, even if we don't start with a RAID card and striped data drives. What priority would you place on a RAID set-up?
5) Any suggestions for anything I'm overlooking?
Thank you! Chuck