FCP Studio - Mini, iMac or MDD?

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
I have to do some training and get up to snuff with Final Cut if I expect to have a job in about 6 months. By now I had kind of counted on Apple for a Mac Pro refresh. I don't want to buy until they have a new release and that looks like the end of March at the earliest (of course then wait for shipment... ugh).



How well will FCP Studio run on a (2006) 2.16GHz iMac W/ 1gb, bus is 667MHz? Better than a MDD G4 with an ATI 9800 and 2GB ram running @ 166MHz?







Thanks for any help.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,506moderator
    The iMac is faster than the G4 as it has two CPU cores but if you have to buy it and the Mini is a good bit cheaper, I'd recommend that instead. It has a slower hard drive but the CPU will be round about the same. The Mac Pro refresh should not be too far away (8 weeks tops we hope).
  • Reply 2 of 7
    tony1tony1 Posts: 258member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    The iMac is faster than the G4 as it has two CPU cores but if you have to buy it and the Mini is a good bit cheaper, I'd recommend that instead. It has a slower hard drive but the CPU will be round about the same. The Mac Pro refresh should not be too far away (8 weeks tops we hope).



    Actually I own both a Mini and the iMac.



    Thanks
  • Reply 3 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,506moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tony1 View Post


    Actually I own both a Mini and the iMac.



    Thanks



    Ah so you want to know which of the 3 machines you own will run the software best. In that case, the iMac will run the software best.



    If you only have a single processor G4, the iMac will be well over twice as fast at processing, which helps for encoding.



    The processor in the Mini is faster than the G4 too but the hard drive is slower and having a fast drive helps out when your are dealing with large video files.



    The iMac has a decent dedicated video card, which the Mini doesn't. This won't help a great deal with Final Cut Pro, only really if you decide to use apps like Motion or some 3D effects.



    You should upgrade the Ram on the iMac but if you will be buying a Mac Pro soon then it's probably not worth it. 1GB is about the minimum you should use to run Final Cut.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    tony1tony1 Posts: 258member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Ah so you want to know which of the 3 machines you own will run the software best. In that case, the iMac will run the software best.



    If you only have a single processor G4, the iMac will be well over twice as fast at processing, which helps for encoding.



    The processor in the Mini is faster than the G4 too but the hard drive is slower and having a fast drive helps out when your are dealing with large video files.



    The iMac has a decent dedicated video card, which the Mini doesn't. This won't help a great deal with Final Cut Pro, only really if you decide to use apps like Motion or some 3D effects.



    You should upgrade the Ram on the iMac but if you will be buying a Mac Pro soon then it's probably not worth it. 1GB is about the minimum you should use to run Final Cut.



    Thanks Marvin,

    The G4 is a dual 1.25GHz. Also I have a couple new HDD's on hand that I bought for the upcoming Mac Pro, they were too good a deal to pass up. They're 1tb Seagate's that run at 7200rpm with a 32mb cache. I'm not about to install them internally into the iMac, but use either as a scratch disk externally for the iMac or externally for the Mini or internally for the G4. What would be the best choice again here?



    Also the G4 has an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro w/ 256mb vram and also a Sonnet Tempo card that allows for internal Serial ATA drives. The biggest downer here is the bus being at 166.



    Unfortunately, my wife won't give up her Mac Pro no matter how many bunches of flowers and chocolates I buy her, boy how married life changes over the years.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,506moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tony1 View Post


    The G4 is a dual 1.25GHz.



    That helps a bit but each processor on the G4 is significantly slower than the equivalent Intel core. I've benchmarked a single 1.5GHz G4 vs dual core Intel 1.66 and dual 2GHz and I was surprised at how much difference there was over a long CPU-intensive encoding. The iMac was 4 times faster than the single processor machine, the Mini was about 30% slower than the iMac (clock speed difference alone).



    I would not even consider using the G4 when the Intel machines are available.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tony1 View Post


    Also I have a couple new HDD's on hand that I bought for the upcoming Mac Pro, they were too good a deal to pass up. They're 1tb Seagate's that run at 7200rpm with a 32mb cache. I'm not about to install them internally into the iMac, but use either as a scratch disk externally for the iMac or externally for the Mini or internally for the G4. What would be the best choice again here?



    It's good to have your scratch separate from the main drive and it's fine as an external drive but use a firewire enclosure not USB.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tony1 View Post


    Unfortunately, my wife won't give up her Mac Pro no matter how many bunches of flowers and chocolates I buy her, boy how married life changes over the years.



    Does she do video work too? If she isn't doing anything intensive with the Mac Pro, that's kinda selfish. I work beside people who do this and they hoard powerful high-end MBPs for checking email and it's mainly because Apple don't sell Macbooks with 15" screens.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    tony1tony1 Posts: 258member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Does she do video work too? If she isn't doing anything intensive with the Mac Pro, that's kinda selfish. I work beside people who do this and they hoard powerful high-end MBPs for checking email and it's mainly because Apple don't sell Macbooks with 15" screens.



    We own a small graphic design business and she works at it for about 60+ hours a week. I was only kidding about her, she more than deserves her machine, but I love giving her a bad time. I'll tough it through the next month or two with the iMac setup. I picked up a mini dvi adapter to connect another display to it, so it's not so bad so far.



    Thanks for the help, Tony
  • Reply 7 of 7
    Definitely use an external FW800 RAID solution. http://www.g-technology.com/Products/Products.cfm
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