Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Editing › Mac Pro Specs.
- This topic has 12 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 9 years, 10 months ago by Anonymous.
- May 15, 2010 at 6:22 PM #47150AnonymousInactive
I am wanting to get a new mac pro in conjunction with Final Cut Studio. My question is should I wait for the 2010 model to come out or should I get their current model. If I get their current model what specs would you recommend? I shoot with an HMC 150. Thanks
I’d purchase one now. The 2010 models will not be so astronomically improved that a current model will be rendered useless. I have one from Sept 2007 and it runs just fine (with occasional basic maintenance and proper media management).
I’d get a 2.66 Quad-Core unless you are getting paid for your video work and actually NEED the fastest Mac possible. I use a 2.66 Quad at work and I never sit around thinking to myself “gee I wish my computer were faster.” So if you’re making enough money to balance out the extra cost, I’d avoid the 8-core.
I would get AT LEAST 8GB of RAM, however, you can never have too much RAM. If you plan on doing a lot of work in Motion or After Effects, load up on as much as you can as those quickly use up a lot of RAM for RAM Previews.
For Hard Drive Bay 1, I would get a 1TB drive. This is your system drive, so ONLY your operating system and software should live on this drive. This will help ensure that your computer will run smoothly because this hard drive will only have to worry about tasks relating to the OS and software. It will not have to worry about accessing video media (or any media for that matter).
This is how I would handle the rest of my hard drive storage:
Hard Drive Bay 2 would be designated for Project Files only. So 1TB should be plenty.
Hard Drive Bay 3 would be a backup of a G-RAID. So I’d get a 2TB drive here. (more on this below)
Hard Drive Bay 4 would be use for a second iTunes Library designated for music intended for video and sound FX. iTunes is great for organizing this kind of media. I’d get a 2TB drive here too.
As I mentioned above, I’d get a G-RAID for storing video media. Your FCP capture scratch should live on the G-RAID. The G-RAID is better than a single hard drive because it’s 2 hard drives striped together as RAID0, which has much faster transfer speeds than a single drive. So you will be able to preview more real-time effects without having to first render. Like I said above, back up the G-RAID to a 2TB internal drive because RAID0 set ups can be sketchy. Even though you will only be backing up to a 2TB internal drive, I’d get a 3 or 4TB G-RAID because I never fill my drives up more than half way anyway.
I would get the ATI Radeon HD 4870 Graphics Card.
I would not get Apple Displays. They are very nice, but very expensive. I recommend 2 Acer H233H monitors. Your computer monitors are not as important because you SHOULD be using a reference monitor.
To connect a reference monitor, you need an AJA Kona card, Matrox MXO2 or MXO mini, a BlackMagic Design card, or something similar. FCP will send a video signal to these cards, and then these cards will send the video signal to a SD and/or HD reference monitor. That is how you properly judge the quality of your image. Whichever one you choose, just be sure to connect it to the correct PCI Express slot in your Mac Pro.
That’s about it (besides getting a reference monitor)
Oh yea, and you’re shooting with an HMC-150? If I remember correctly, that shoots AVCHD. When you import that into FCP, transcode it to ProRes422. ProRes will take up more hard drive space, but it’s MUCH more friendly for editing.
Thanks again for your help that is three times you have answered my questions. I have a few other hobbies were I participate in forums and I gotta say in these forums I have never met so many people unselfish with their ideas and willingness to help with professionalism.
My wife and I have been doing this for about two years with an entry level imac. We are starting to get more and more people asking us to do work here in the Houston area and felt we should take the plunge and start taking on some more business. I would love to being doing this full-time and hopefully as time moves on that can happen.
As far as memory goes, I am thinking about 8 gig should be enough, your thoughts? Many thanks.
Glad to help.
Now is not a bad time to get started with a small business, in my opinion. The economy is slowly coming back, and due to the recession, people have figured out that they don’t always need a gigantic production to help them with video (which is unfortunate for some, but beneficial for others). So hustle and get your name out there if you hope to be making a living with this.
8GB of RAM should be fine. If you find you need more, Other World Computing is a great source for Mac stuff. And they aren’t too expensive. I think a general rule of thumb though, is to keep an even number of GBs of RAM. So 8, 10, 12, etc GB of RAM.
I originally didn’t respond to your Mac Pro specs post because Rob is doing a fine job there. And while my 2009 model specs are a bit different from what he suggests, he isn’t by any means off-base. I did go with an 8-core and 16 gigs RAM, with a 350 gig HD for systems, and three 1 TB HDs in the other three slots. I utilize a slightly different strategy with my internal 1TB drives than Rob, and I use an external JBOD box (just a bunch of drives) that holds four 500Gig HDs – each housing resources, one for all music, one for all photos, one for movies, one for project archives. Still, all good the way Rob suggests going at it.
I am writing you this primarily to offer you a pdf attachment that is an excellent basic instructional white paper regarding handling the resources from tapeless avchd camcoders like the HMC150. I kept it because I am moving into HMC150 and AVCHD sometime second or third quarter 2010.
If you’d like to receive this very helpful pdf, give me an e-mail address and I will send it to you – Earl e:firstname.lastname@example.org