Best computer setup
I am in the process of getting a new video editing computer and wanted to get some recommendations on the best Mac configuration (especially in terms of video cards).
The computer will be a Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 16GB RAM and two 24" Cinema Displays. In addition I have a preview monitor for use with FCP which is a SD PAL plasma which I hook up using s-video or component. The reason for the plasma as opposed to a standard broadcast monitor is that we have this particular model of plasma in 150+ stores throughout the country. As almost all of the video work I do on this computer is for these screens, by having this plasma as my preview source, I know that I am getting an accurate representation of what my footage will look like in store.
In terms of hard-drives, I am looking at 4 x 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3GB/s drives. I wasn't planning on getting the RAID Card, is there any reason to or better approaches to drives?
My main question is regarding video cards. I need something that can run the two cinema displays and the plasma simultaneously. Up to this point I have a DataVideo fire-wire to s-video (DAC-6) peripheral to run the plasma out of FCP but it is a limited solution for obvious reasons. Also it doesn't allow you to monitor out of Color which is also a major problem. I was looking at getting a Blackmagic Design: Decklink HD Extreme, would that be the best approach? If so, what then would be the best video cards to go with to run the displays?
One last question. We're debating whether to keep my old computer (Mac Pro 2 x 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel) as a rending computer. Has anyone had experience in setting up Compressor so it can use multiple computers to render?
Thanks in advance for everyone's help!
WHAT MAC PRO SHOULD I GET FOR FCP!
A little searching goes a LONG way, as we answer this question a lot.
[Matthew Clift] "hat then would be the best video cards to go with to run the displays?"
The computer ships with a graphics card that runs both displays. Oh, unless they aren't APPLE displays...since the cards now have that one APPLE monitor connection that is unique. Get the ATI Radeon 3870. Works great with Color.
You cannot run 3 displays on one card, and FCP and COLOR don't like 2 display cards. Well, Color doesn't at all, and FCP will work, until you start using the FxPlugins, that rely on the GFX card for render enhancement. So if you want output to a Plasma, then look at the Matrox MXO2 Mini. $499. Or the Decklink Intensity Pro for $199. Cards get better the more money you spend, but is this for output to a monitor only? or what other needs do you have for a capture card>?
GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def
Thanks for your help.
So I can use a graphics card (e.g. ATI Radeon 3870) with color and still preview out to my plasma? The problem I have now is that the plasma is fed by the Datavideo DV converter (via firewire) and you cannot preview out from Colour using firewire.
Also, is there any benefits in capturing using something like the Matrox (all footage shot will have been done in a Sony HVR-Z1 - up to this point I have just captured using Firewire)?
I should probably note that the other issue I have with my current setup is the delay from FCP to the plasma (a couple of frames caused I presume by going through the DV Converter)... not sure if there is a way around that?
Could I ask you for a clarification. In your message you say that the standard NVIDIA graphic card that comes with the MacPro will only support two monitors if they are Apple. (I will be using an old LaCie 19 inch Electron Blue III and a Samsung 24 inch Sync Master 245T - for economic reasons.) Further on you suggest the ATI card works better with colour. Are you also saying that this card would work with two non-Apple monitors?