Okay, want to transition from Premiere Pro on a PC to FCP on a Mac, since I'm ready to get a new computer in any case.
Question: which Mac to get? Want to start playing with HDV, want to have a high end machine, what do you Mac pros recommend? Is it the $3,300 Quad 2.5GHz? Do I need to soup it up with something? Haven't owned a Mac since about 1985, any advice greatly appreciated.
I don't really know how much money you want to spend, but here's my average "really nice machine" specs. You could spend a lot more than this (or a lot less), but this might be just what you need.
Powermac from APPLE
Dual-core 2.3GHz PowerPC G5 processor
512MB of 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-4200) (256 x2)
250GB Serial ATA hard drive
16x SuperDrive (double-layer)
Three open PCI-Express expansion slots
NVIDIA GeForce 6600 with 256MB GDDR SDRAM
RAM from CRUCIAL.com
Four 1 GB chips (they come in packs of 2) ~ This will give you 4.5 GB of RAM, total.
(Install yourself. Follow directions in Powermac manual EXACTLY, it matters which slots it goes in.)
3) Second SATA hard drive - Any size, buy from anywhere
(Install yourself. This is for non-video files. Things like Word files, DVD projects, and media you save forever, like logos and animations.)
4) Some kind of external storage for video. What you're using now with your PC might work. If not I suggest the Firewire800 G-Raid drives.
5) IF you're actually going to get into HDV you'll need some kind of video capture card to monitor it on an exteranal HD monitor. If you're going to use DV you don't need this for now. You CAN capture HDV with firewire and play arond with it without this, but you'll need one of these when you decide to really use HDV for real projects. Please search the archives in the Final Cut Pro and HDV rooms. Look for posts on "Kona 2" and "Decklink." I only edit DV so I can't suggest what to do here, only that it's been talked about a lot around here so you should be able to find more info on that by searching old posts.
Like Jeff said - not sure how much $ you want to spend & not sure what you really need this system to do. You say 'play' with HDV... Is this for Hobby? Income? How long do you need the computer to last?
The quad is probably overkill.... afterall we produce (not on HDV - but Digibeta) about 65+ shows a year for PBS with a Dual 2gig G5 and 2 gigs of RAM. I also like a SATA raid more than a firewire - either will do. Try a roll your own Burlybox from macgurus.com - buy the dirves Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 400 GB SATA 8 MB cache - form elsewhere, maybe pricegrabber.com.
You WILL want to get your ram from crucial - might not need soo much.... can always add more if needed.
There are almost always deals on the Dell 24in lcd - it has component, composite, DVI, many flashmemory card readers and is lots cheaper than the apple - seems liek it can be had for $800 right now with all the right coupons...see barefeats.com
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Dual 1.8 G5 ** 1GB ** 10.4.1