Just bought Final Cut Studio... now I need Apple computer buying advice

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by eyebytes, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. eyebytes

    eyebytes Guest


    I need to use Final Cut and Motion for projects at church, so I bought
    a full set with manuals on craigslist last week. Since then I've been
    pulling my hair out trying to decide on the best Apple computer for my

    Here's my requirements:

    1. Run Motion and FCP for small projects, typically 5 - 15 minutes (not
    2. I already have a 20" monitor with VGA and DVI connections, which
    could be used as a primary or secondary monitor (with iMac).
    3. I have an Xbox 360, so it's not likely that this computer will be
    used for gaming.


    1. Is a 20" iMac monitor, (with a secondary 20") going to work well in
    Final Cut? The 24" iMac looks nice, but is it really worth the extra
    $500... especially since I already have a 20" that's not being used?

    2. Will I see much performance boost with 256MB of VRAM over the
    standard 128?

    3. Will I be happy and productive with an iMac Core 2 Duo (which is
    limited to 3GB of RAM), or should I splurge for the Mac Pro instead.

    Keep in mind that I'm getting this primarily for church projects, but I
    might find a way to use the software and computer to make some money on
    video projects down the road.

    Any and all advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
    eyebytes, Sep 22, 2006
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  2. eyebytes

    Mr. Tapeguy Guest

    There are several variables here.

    What will you be shooting on? If you are using DV, you can probably
    stick with the iMac. If you are using analog or other HD you may need
    a AJA or similar input card which will require the PCI slots of a Mac
    Pro. You would also need that if you wanted to use something like an
    external SATA raid.

    Also, Motion is pretty memory and graphics card intensive. If you're
    going to use it you need to not skimp on RAM or VRAM. The iMacs can
    run it now but be sure you've beefed everything up.

    The second 20" monitor should be fine now that they've added that
    capability and you can use them as a dual monitor setup which many
    editors prefer, assuming that's available in the system settings which
    I believe it is now.

    Let me know if you have any more questions.



    Authorized Apple Service and Pro Video Reseller
    Mr. Tapeguy, Sep 23, 2006
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  3. I run Motion on a liquid-cooled dual-processor mac tower with a gig of
    ram, and it STILL seems slow. Awesome, but slow. I don't think you
    will ever be truly happy on an imac if your work will be graphics and
    render-intensive. I would go with a tower if i had the choice. Screen
    wise, if you have an external monitor setup, the screen size of the
    imac or tower is not a deal breaker for simple edits where you can
    close unneeded windows and enlarge the workspace as you need to. That
    said, I use two of the second-largest mac montiors side by side for my
    stuff, plus a Tv output monitor.

    Be careful the software will run on your new mac: I think maybe the
    newer intel-chipped ones require a revised copy of FCP.
    nobody special, Sep 23, 2006
  4. eyebytes

    Spex Guest

    FCP is universal.

    Motion requires a modern graphics card rather than CPU horse power. Any
    intel Mac will run Motion flawlessly assuming FCS 5.1.x is being used.

    On a Macbook Pro most SD work is realtime while HD work is near
    realtime. A modern iMac is likely to piss all over a Power Mac of last
    year because it has a far superior GPU. That's the main determining factor.

    Motion is excellent.

    Its the bollocks...
    Spex, Sep 23, 2006
  5. eyebytes

    Mr. Tapeguy Guest

    I'm not sure what you mean here. It is because the Mac mini and
    Macbook do not haved separate and/or beefed up graphics cards that they
    do not run Motion well if at all or at least they are not officially
    Mr. Tapeguy, Sep 24, 2006
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