Video Editing machine recommendations

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I want to build a video editing machine.

I figure all I really need for starters is a Mac Pro and a 23" monitor.

Then I go with Final Cut Studio 2, Adobe After Effects and Photoshop and I'm set.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    Get a Mac Pro

    Get at least 2 3.0 GHz of ram and I'd say about 6GB of ram. And yes Get Final Cut Pro. I would even recomd stmp from shinywhite box
  • Reply 2 of 3
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,806moderator
    I think the lowest 2.8 quad Mac Pro would be enough - video editing is not that CPU intensive, it's more drive intensive. Get 4GB Ram - I don't think Final Cut uses more than 2.5GB but maybe newer versions do. You might want to consider 2 x 20" or 2 x 23" displays because it means you can have one window fullscreen while you edit. Final Cut also has a lot of panels so it's good to have the extra workspace.

    You might also want to consider a RAID setup. You can do it with either software or buy the hardware RAID with the Mac pro. Hardware is faster but software still gives some good performance gains:

    Remember though, the more drives, the more chance of data loss so you should backup often. You should always do that anyway of course.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    northgatenorthgate Posts: 4,461member
    You have to answer some questions first:

    1. Are you planning on editing SD or HD?

    2. Are you planning on editing uncompressed or using a compressor codec like DVCPro or ProRes?

    3. Do you want full-screen monitoring (either to a dedicated LCD or CRT)?

    I highly highly recommend more than one monitor for FCP. At a minimum I recommend a 23" and 20" monitor. Ideally dual 23". I'm currently using a 30" and 23" and I'm STILL using every inch of screen real estate (particularly for HD editing).

    If you want full screen monitoring you're going to need a Blackmagic or AJA I/O card. The flavor of editing you're planning on doing will determine which product from these two companies best serves your needs.

    If you're planning on using DVCPro or DVCProHD then an entry level Mac Pro should do fine. If you're planning on using ProRes 422 then I recommend a quad-core or Octo-core Mac Pro. SATA drives are fast enough for those two codecs. If you're planning on editing native HDV or AVC files (any long GOP format) then you're going to need a Quad or Octo with a higher-end video card.

    If you're planning on uncompressed then you're going to need a RAID setup.
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