I need to upgrade one of our edit suites to allow us to run the new version of Final Cut and I was hoping someone might be able to give me some advice on the best/optimal configurations for buying a Mac Pro?
I've been on the Apple website and there seems to be two principle options: Quad-core or 8 core. It's been suggested that we go for two 2.66GHz Quad Core Processors, however the apple website has a further upgrade for around an extra €1000 for 2.93GHz. I just wondered if it might be best to pay the bit extra and go for the highest spec now rather than have to upgrade again sooner than we might need to. Can anyone advise me on whether there's any real benefit of purchasing the additional 2 x 0.27GHz?
We're planning to online our projects inhouse where possible and want to run the Final Cut package at it's full potential. My principle concern is to try and minimise motion and graphic render times as much as possible, and also to get the best performance out of Compressor.
[Jen Dunbar]"My principle concern is to try and minimise motion and graphic render times as much as possible, and also to get the best performance out of Compressor."
To get the best performance out of Compressor you should definitely be going for an 8-core model. When set up properly, Compressor will use all of the cores for encoding. Absurdly FCP doesn't do this yet, but if finances allow, personally I'd want to spend a bit more on the 8-core to increase its lifespan.
I personally think that the cost of the upgrade to the processor speeds are a bit overpriced. I'd go for more cores over a faster processor for sure.
To run FCP etc at its full potential you need to also be using a fast RAID for storage. You don't mention how you deal with media storage so you may already have a good set-up, but if not then you should look into it.
Thanks for your advice. I think we've decided to go for the 8 core model, everyone I've spoken to seems to have the same opinion that its our best option, even if Apple bring out a new model in the near future.
As for storage, we use various drives due to the amount of footage we're working with on different projects but I'll try and utilise the GTech Raid drive for current projects.